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* Posts by Marshalltown

622 posts • joined 30 Sep 2011

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BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Marshalltown

Re: The difference

"...even though incompetence is widely available anyway, people often prefer the vendor's incompetence over a third party..."

They even prefer paid incompetence over free incompetence. And may even be disturbed is the free incompetence is slightly less so than what has been paid for.

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BOFH: We know where the bodies are buried

Marshalltown

A thouhgt - a very curious and potentially disturbing one

If you consider just how long Simon has been ensconced in his ops room, and the close and - ah - intimate knowledge he has of company operations, there is more than a small chance that he actually owns the company or a majority through blind proxies. Owning the company and its administration would provide job security. I knew a janitor who never needed to work because unbeknownst to anyone up the line. he actually was the boss of all bosses and really did know where the bodies were buried. He mainly showed up to keep an eye on things and note any new graves.

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Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

Marshalltown

Ah yes. My first job - actually related to computers as anything but tools - I was sitting at my desk trying to kludge together some dbaseIV code to parse a very large (for a desktop PC) data file into a saner order. My new employers calls me to his office where his computer "is slow." He is writing a report in WordPerfect about 12 pages worth so far. He is formatting the document as he writes and then edits, rewrites, redits reformats and on and on. He wanders off to get coffee or visit bar or something. I close the file and wait a very long time. Once the file is closed everything seems jake. Nothing slow, programs come up quickly (for the early 1990s). There's no internet in the office yet and the world wide web is merely a rumour as far as we are concerned. So I loaded his document and it was really, really slow. Hmmm. I gave the WP reveal codes command - WOW! The text is literally lost in orphan formatting code. So I closed it again and checked the file size, which for DOS, was huge. I don't recall the actual size. So I went in cleared loads of orphan codes away and cleared them away and cleared them away. Then I saved and reloaded the file. It was fine. Closed WP and went back to my own work. I here the boss enter his office and settled there's a brief quiet period and then a girlish shriek and my name screamed. So trotting in, I see he's paper white. He had noticed the difference in file size. It considerable convincing. Even looking at and printing the whole file could not initially convince him loads of important stuff hadn't simply vanished.

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BOFH: Give me a lever long enough and a fool, I mean a fulcrum and ....

Marshalltown

Re: cellphone, mobile, handy

Glance at BBC News. One of the Sections is "US and Canada." I rather wonder what the typical Canadian thinks of that. Being from south of the border, my experiences in Canada never involved even needing a passport. I did get an RCMP officer a little aggravated once, but that was settled by backing away from the border crossing to a pull out and cooking and eating the sweet corn we were carrying.

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Marshalltown

Re: cellphone?

When the BOFH first appeared the "cellular telephone" was a very, very new new thing. They were actually about the size of bricks (no back pocket carrying) and would get hot enough that you might start worrying about an explosion next to your external acoustic meatus. In the US these monsters were referred to as "cell phones" in distinction to land lines. However, "mobile" was an option. "Smart phone" is an oxymoron.

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Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell

Marshalltown

Re: This will deter foreign citizens from wanting to come to the US

It deters me and I'm a citizen.

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Marshalltown
Alert

Re: its optional....

That really depends on how you view US history. Prior to the Civil War (American) anywhere from half to four fifths of the immigrants from Europe arrived as indentured servants. Some "voluntarily" indentured themselves. Others were shanghaied off the streets and came to bound for America as "indentured servants." Britain also sent "excess" population with criminal records our way as indentured servants. The short lesson here is that while this period is often referred to as the "colonial" period, the majority of immigrants would be called "refugees" these days and many arrived unwillingly regardless of their continent of origin. One of the south's reasons for "preferring" African slaves was that they looked different enough to be tracked readily of they escaped. There was no significant Federal interest in immigrants until the late 19th Century when the "Chinese Exclusion Act" was passed. Ten years after that the first immigrant (from Ireland) was processed at Ellis Island.

For some of us "hardline" Americans "illegal immigrant" sounds un-American.

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Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

Marshalltown

Re: If you want puritianism then

"...Typically items in the trunk are deemed to be in the possession of the driver so while they're ok with you taking what's left of the wine bottle from the restaurant you have to have someone walk it home."

Not really. Just drive sanely, signal turns and lane changes, actually stop at stop signs and stoplights. A cop won't pull you over unless there's something resembling a cause that can justify the stop. The commonest reason for a stop is a "rolling stop" at an intersection. They also love catching people talking on their cell phone or better, texting. The fines are steep and contesting the ticket requires actual proof you were not using your cell phone.

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Marshalltown

Re: Advertising falls most heavily on the poor

Ban adverts. Or at least get rid of the bandwidth gobbling s**** that make so many web pages so very, very ugly and noisy.

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Marshalltown

Re: Ha ha that's funny

Fredrick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth discuss the concept of "free will" in a civilization run by ad companies in Space Merchants. A true classic.

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BOFH: Honourable misconduct

Marshalltown

Re: who would play BOFH and PFY?

"...(too obvious, typecast?) With characters named BoFH, PFY, BOSS, HR droid, surely you jest.

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Billionaire's Babylon beach ban battle barrels toward Supreme Court

Marshalltown

Common law

Ironically perhaps, the legal basis by which the public has right of way across that property extends far back into English history. The rule in California is that a private ownership of a route used publicly has to be maintained by denying public access to the route annually. I used to help my father-in-law close off a short road on land he owned connecting two other roads, erecting a barrier and running tape across the entrances.

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MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Marshalltown

Re: Great Headline, Register

The original story was "The Sentinel" and ends with the narrator wondering if the "builders" might not have become cranky in their old age, jealous of younger races. The movie begins with that and then builds on a "singularity" like concept of "evolution." (Evolution really has no direction its headed in so YMMV.) Some of the movie has concepts that probably really hark from Childhood's End. There was no original book as such, just a novelized version of the movie.

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Web searching died the day they invented SEO

Marshalltown

Not found

The trouble is that not a few of us actually did, once upon a time, genuinely find some page or document that is now not found. It was there, and now it is not. That is not a user problem.

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Marshalltown

Re: I miss Altavista

They're really optimized to provide your eyes to ads they get paid to slobber all over the display. Now we have cheeky sites that complain "you are using an ad blocker. We'll die if you don't let us use your machine the way we want to. Please help us." A decent ad knows its place. It stays where it belongs, makes no noise, and doesn't need pop-up windows and the entire screen.

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Marshalltown
Headmaster

""Enormity" means great evil, not large size."

Not necessarily. It has come to be used that way, but it really simply means immensity. The use is well established in literature.

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Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Marshalltown

Re: PC world

You left out, "that cup holder too cheap. It broke when I out my mug in it." No joke. I took the call myself. My first bewildered response was "cup holder?" Since we were an ISP and only sold internet connection, the hardware calls were particularly aggravating. But our boss was sure that we would get more business by helping the folks that had gone to some local assemble it while you wait shop.

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Russia tweaks Telegram with tiny fine for decryption denial

Marshalltown

Re: But..

' ... This is different from the customary USA constitutional legalfest where a village court can discuss the first, second, etc amendments taking "village court decisions"....'

The US situation is such that any court decision that actually intrudes on a constitutional right can be reversed either by a higher state court or a transfer to a federal court which disagrees with the original decision and that disagreement becomes "precedent." The really problematic aspect arises when someone invokes the Ninth or Tenth Amendments. The Ninth essentially acknowledges that there are "rights" retained by "the people" which are not enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The states are not mentioned in the Ninth. Only the individual rights regarded as the most important are delimited in the BoR. More confusing though, the Tenth notes that rights which are not "delegated" to the Federal government or explicitly forbidden to the states by the Constitution are "... reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." That is nicely confusing, setting up a conflict between the states and their populations. If there were only the first nine amendments, there would no major issue about state's rights. Their "rights" would be limited to those granted by the constitution.

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Marshalltown

Re: But..

"Village court..."

Not sure where you are from, but plainly you never served on a jury in the US. There is no such entity as a "village court." In fact searching the term would lead you lead to real estate ads. US law follows the common law system inherited from Britain. A defense lawyer might try to nullify a jury using constitutional arguments, but the judge will instruct a jury according to law and statute. Any constitutional issue would be settled in a federal court or potentially the Supreme Court.

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User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Marshalltown

The old "sewing machine" control

Working in one of the first ISPs in the San Joaquin valley in the California in the early '90s I took precisely the same kind of call. The lady had her mouse on the floor as a result of analogical reasoning. It looked vaguely like a cheap foot control for a sewing machine so she put it on the floor. It required a little questioning to determine precisely what the problem really was, but she hung up a happy customer. It was a surprise for me to find similar stories disposed of as "urban myth" within five years.

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RIP Ursula K Le Guin: The wizard of Earthsea

Marshalltown

Re: A good read?!

She was the daughter of of Alfred Kroeber, arguably one of the most influential of American Anthropologists and certainly one of the more important early names. It was Kroeber who brought Ishi to UC Berkeley. The influence of regular exposure to anthropological and ethnographic patterns of thought is evident throughout much of Le Guin's work. When I was in college I took Anthropology classes and the various professors liked to let students know their "pedigree" as heirs to Kroeber's legacy. The nearer they were to Kroeber in terms of teacher-to-teacher lineage, the more they let Anth students know how privileged they were to have them as professors. It was rather comical one-ups-manship. Le Guin though, wrote fine fiction. I was particularly fond if the Earthsea novels.

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'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Marshalltown

Re: Capacitor, HAH !! I raise you 2 stories

Ah, yes. Those happy days. We ware called in by the office administrator one day because her computer was "misbehaving." We inquired as to the specific bad acting and were informed that something "smelled bad." We could indeed smell hot electric somethings, but had our own, real jobs as well. So we remarked that we hoped her files were backed up, they were. We also told her we were happy to hear that she had not seen any smoke. She made some inquiry to which we informed her that "those ICs run on smoke. If it gets out they stop working." To which she sniffed contemptuously and snarled "no they don't." A very short while later she screamed quite loudly. We went running in to observe, or call emergency services, or laugh depending. She was standing up, backed against a wall. A thin wisp of smoke was drifting out of the louvers on the case. We broke out a screw driver and - after unplugging the beast - dismantled it. There, on the small processor board of a hard drive, in a largish chip was a small crater with a small amount of smoke lifting from it. We showed it to her and said, "see?"

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Facebook grows a conscience, admits it corroded democracy

Marshalltown

Democracy - hmmm

The real problem is not the damage to democracy, which in a rather raw(ish) form went and saddle us with Trump. The US is a republic and as such, theoretically elects (democractically) well informed "specialists" to do work that us proles are too busy being productive, lazy or ignorant to address directly. That is, a republic is an indirectly democratic government rather than a democracy per se. The US Constitution actually enshrines certain nature rights in the Bill of Rights and if one reads them very carefully, and one is equipped with good reading skills and perhaps a slight skill in wading through the wordiness of the late 18th Century, then it quite clear that the authors trusted "democracy" just about as far as they trusted the British monarchy - i.e. not at all. Mobs are, after all, democracy in action. One of the natural rights the Bill of Rights enshrines is the right of dissent - regardless of the kind, but particularly from religion. Among other things they had studied the history of England and its Glorious Revolution carefully. The lessons learned were what structured the US Constitution and one reason that British common law authorities are still cited in US law. No, the real damage is the self-inflicted damage done by the republican (not Republican) government on itself that provided the weakness exploited by all that fake news.

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UK government bans all Russian anti-virus software from Secret-rated systems

Marshalltown

Re: Jet Engine

Far, far too late. The UK literally sold the USSR the technology for the early MIG engine. There was an "agreement" signed and sealed, that promised sincerely that the USSR would never, ever use the engines for anything warlike. Then the first MIG captured showed they had replicated the engines. So, technically they might not have broken the promise, but ...

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BOFH: The trouble with, er, windows installs

Marshalltown

"Simon's taking inspiration from George R R Martin..."

Not all. BOFH was around long before GoT.

http://bofh.bjash.com/bofh/genesis1.html

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Wait, did Oracle tip off world to Google's creepy always-on location tracking in Android?

Marshalltown

Getting the location of the cell tower?

When a cell tower is planned the desired location is fixed to a high degree of precision - less than a meter IIRC. That location is fixed with an accuracy of about 1.3 mm in latitude, but the longitudinal distance will vary with distance from the poles. The locations are public knowledge (at least in the US).

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Let's make the coppers wear cameras! That'll make the ba... Oh. No sodding difference

Marshalltown

Re: Try obeying the law - won't always work

Never getting hassled simply means you aren't a "modal" figure. I've been stopped and searched more than anyone of any human variation in appearance I know. I spent about six years - or maybe a couple more - not scaring the guys with guns at least once a month and occasionally twice a week. Never ticketed, never cited, never arrested. Asking "why" they stopped me, the answer's gist is that the police DO profile - and not just racially. If you are the right build, you may match the modal description for a possible "perp" - their words - of whatever race you belong to. So, the BOLO says "white, dark hair and beard, six foot, athletic build, blue jeans and boots, military jacket," and you match that, they stop and question you at the very least. Small, white Toyota pickups were apparently also popular with the criminal set. By the time it happened about 20 times, I knew the routine. That actually made some of them more suspicious. Some would get twitchier because I followed directions carefully.

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Marshalltown

Re: Better justice is the difference

By and large police are pretty well behaved. But they are dealing with individuals who frequently have an exaggerated idea of what they are entitled to. I gave the bum's rush to a former in-law one evening following a death in family. He tried to start some sort of counseling session in my house. No one wanted to hear it and when we asked him to postpone it until a better time. Instead of changing the topic he started in on his constitutional rights under the First Amendment. I hustled him out the door and down the walk, one hand on his collar and the other helping him along by his belt pulled up high and tight at the small of his back, explaining that the First guarantees freedom of speech, but not an audience nor a venue. He called the police outside the gate. They came, explained the same thing to him, and that trying to return after being told to leave was trespass. Then they told me that it might be better to let them handle the riff raff. If he'ld been injured when I chucked him out the gate I would have been at fault, but I had their sympathy since he would not shut up about his rights. So they escorted him off to his car and nodded good night to me.

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So, tell us again how tech giants are more important than US govt...

Marshalltown

Re: the big media fallacy

There's little evidence advanced that any agency other than Russia interfered. What is interesting though is that the evidence made available indicates that the purpose of the interference was not to get the Duck elected but instead to aggravate existing rifts in the US social structure.

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Marshalltown

Re: So much bullshit

The difference is "in house" versus "out of house." With Republicans and Democrats we know they are both lying their ***** off, but the issues are clear cut enough to decide which side you are leaning toward. The Russian ads are not directed in support of some specific candidate but toward disrupting social coherency. They take explicit points being argued within US society (gun control, police shooting, racism, etc.) and amplify them into outright conflicts. The evidence resides in the fact that once Trump won the election, the campaign did not stop. The "liberal" protests following the election were actively "supported" by the very same Russian sources that targeted Clinton. The purpose is social decohesion in the US that would limit our productivity and ability to respond coherently to common threats.

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Marshalltown

Your opinion is is nice to see ...

... but, being American (USian) I have to say that the sad truth is that there are loads of people with barely room-temperature IQs out there that definitely would jump at the chance to "text" their vote, rather than mustering at a polling place. Every year the IRS reminds everybody that will pay attention that they do not contact someone over the phone for the purposes of informing them of an audit or other action. Yet every year people receive phone messages explaining that the caller if from "the IRS" and that to avoid further action the individual receiving the call can send check, money order or use their credit card to pay the delinquent amount.

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Marshalltown

Re: I'm confused

As others have already said, "both." The ads collectively don't target some specific candidate and support another. Instead they are directed at social fault lines in the US and the political process. Were I to speculate, and I am, then I would not be surprised of the attack reaches back much farther in time. Consider the crop of candidates available by the time of the election. How many were really good choices? What the US ballot needs is a "none of the above" as a choice for president. It would require some sort of interim "caretaker" system - possibly carrying over the incumbent for one year or something similar, while the parties take in the message and look for genuinely qualified candidates.

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BOFH: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

Marshalltown

I

"...And his fingerprints on the window key as more evidence...."

Reread the bit when the Boss returns the key. He wiped it before dropping in the drawer. One to watch closely.

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BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Marshalltown

Ah - museums

One of the great problems of the hoarder mind set - and all decent museums are run by hoarders - is the inability to accept that there are limits on available space, and especially available space with appropriate climate control for fragile items (old texts, woven material, organic material, etc.). Dealing as they often do with bean-counting, penny pinching, space grabbing types, decisions are frequently made that resort to make shift lodging for critical collections. Occasionally the decision makers did not bother to inform the curators of the decision to relocate (or even OF the relocation). The school I went stored some collections in a structure know fondly as the "rat house" thanks to the large population of a hybrid wild/lab rat mix. Same school, after it was determined that the rat house needed to be razed for ?, the collection vanished to be relocated months later under the music building in an area contaminated by PCBs from the transformer. The engineer screamed aloud when he saw that "someone" had piled cardboard boxes full of flammable materials next to the transformer. My professor was unhappy as well and told the engineer that as soon as we could negotiate new storage space with university, the materials would certainly be moved. While negotiations were going on the collection once more vanished and was rediscovered several miles away at "the aquatic center" where the rowing team kept their shells and oars. Before it could be rescued, a winter storm came through removing the roof, dowsing the collection, doing massive damage to original paper work, and requiring hazmat operations - mold don't y'know - to rescue what could be rescued. Since the collection actually belonged to the US government we were able to point to the school administration and explain, "they did it!"

At another major university, the museum, renamed from a prominent anthropologist to a cranky 19th century, very wealthy woman who bequested an endowment to the school, relocated a large part of the collection to a space under the women's pool. The area was constantly exposed to chlorine gas. The consequences for the collection when constantly exposed to chlorine gas were unhappy.

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BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?

Marshalltown

Re: Ah!!Ah!!

Nope, not from Texas. Grew up on a ranch though. We and our neighbors mostly used either gasoline or horses for herding. Gasoline in ATVs, hay in horses.

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Marshalltown

Ah!!

Thanks for that. As a USian, I've run across the term "red diesel" in British literature but never could figure out what it meant.

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BOFH: We're only here because they said there would be biscuits

Marshalltown
Pint

Re: More spying?

Until you catch the webcam popping out of the lid to watch the key board as you type in your passwords, your biggest worries are mainly about being caught napping or someone noticing how often you seem to be AWOL. And, just for laughs you can make faces at the camera, rude gestures, and if the spy can read lips, more fun. Now the lass attending meetings from her bedroom, well either she should worry about her webcam more, or she has alternate income streams.

This episode really makes me appreciate my old boss. He was odd, left pr0n up on other people's pc's and forgot an at least quadruple-X magazine in the [female] office manager's scanner once, started an inhouse plague international computer viruses until we destroyed his infected floppy disk, but by and large, really kept out of the way.

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US judges say you can Google Google, but you can't google Google

Marshalltown

Ah - Alta Vista

It had a vastly superior search syntax to G*****. Among other things you could make a soft criteria for related terms within a certain proximity (number or words) in a document with none of the "Did you mean ...." crud. With ads priotized the usefulness of the big G is even more limited.

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BOFH: Oh go on. Strap me to your Hell Desk, PFY

Marshalltown

Re: Benedict?

Stephen was one name, but if you read over BOFH it seems probable that there have been several PFYs over time. Some went on to become BOFH themselve's; others came to a bad end. The BOFH reserves his true disappointment for PFYs.

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Marshalltown

Re: I have a computer cart in my spare room...

There's no pillow on it?

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Marshalltown
Pint

Depends entirely on prioritization

Saftey calls for never crossing (which might include not being so naive as to reveal a potentially profitable line at work in front of the BOFH and certainly never to the boss who is as trustworthy as that moldy stuff in the jar in the back of the fridge). Continued decent working relations require a cut in the action, but that has to be handled very cautiously because clearly the BOFH is no more trustworthy that the boss might be.

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GoDaddy gives white supremacist site its marching orders after Charlottesville slur

Marshalltown

Re: Brown plague

No, you don't want to defend Nazis, but you do want to know who they are, along with all the other --ists with extreme ambitions. So, let them talk. The labels they create are what they themselves are wearing.

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Marshalltown
Facepalm

Re: 'scum in the shadows'

The MSM doesn't inform any more, if it ever did. At best it is an entertainment enterprise. At worst it continues to operate in the William "You get me the pictures, I will provide the war" Randolph Hearst mode.

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Marshalltown
Alien

Re: 'scum in the shadows'

...Brexit and Trump did make it more acceptable to be openly racist in the UK and US....

In fact, the ones who "caused" this were the lazy twits that stayed home and didn't bother to vote because they couldn't believe the issue was as close as it was. In the US a minority voted, and a bare minority won thanks to the peculiarities of the Electoral College. In the US one advantage of the First Amendment is that we can always watch the idiots slat the "I'm an idiot" label on their foreheads when they open their mouths. Unfortunately, there are other idiots who think know what someone else thinks is a bad thing, especially if they don't like what other thinks. The Right and Left are both like that and aren't about to sit down and talk about substantive issues since both sides run on faith in their convictions.

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Marshalltown

Stopped clock moments

Yep. I thought Trump's remarks were on of his stopped clock moments (depending on the stopped clock and the country it's in, the clock will show the right time once or twice a day).

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Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

Marshalltown

Re: I would guess MS is to blame

"...Could it just be that Intel's documentation was wrong? ..."

Nah. The chipset has been in use fairly widely with no issues on the radar. MS has always been a crew that "know better." It has bitten them before. It will again. I am still at loss about the point of using a "fondle slab." I like my desktop.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Marshalltown

\dev\null

I've always wondered - but never very much - why not simply redirect ad content to \dev\null. Don't let the server know the ad is blocked. Just lie. I don't mind the well behaved ads, but any that asks for a new window, new tab in front, autoplay video or audio, "sure, you can have anything you want. Right this way."

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Senators want FBI to vet FCC's 'cyberattack' claims

Marshalltown

Re: The same old story

With Trump acting as Trump, no one has to "work" to do him damage. One of the scariest things about the Republican Party is its steadfast appeal to the lowest common denominator in voters and the apparent search for the worst candidate it can get elected. Dan Quayle who happily never had a chance. Bush #2 who argued with unseen "voices" in public, recorded live on public TV. And now, a specimen of "reality TV" narcissism who was actually elected! We might not like Hillary, but Trump and his administration appear to aiming at beating her record on triggering investigations. And there were more investigations of Hillary than she served years in office. The Trump administration is achieving a new investigation on a monthly basis! Hillary was a terrible choice, but Trump? Really? It's getting so you can't do anything but laugh every time you hear about Trump "tweeting." "I t'o't I taw a puddy tat!"

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Marshalltown

As one US citizen who posted my personal beliefs ...

As one US citizen to another, where precisely did you post them? And why, as a US citizen, would you parade your ignorance of British slang on a UK website?

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Marshalltown

Re: I wouldn't be surprised if it was either the system getting flooded with comments or foul play

Making the system for commenting readily accessible would surely constitute foul play from the FCC's view point.

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