Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

September 22, 2013

Nooo Peee Ceee – Final

OK, brain dump time..

Almost invariably these mobo’s like the PX79XPRO have in addition to the Intel X79 sata ports some others, in my case Marvell, but you find Highpoint etc too, and these are always used for software raid.

  1. Never use software raid, never, ever, ever, if you want a raid set up go out and spend the bucks and buy a pukka LSI or Adaptec card.
  2. Never ever use these ports for anything except “last” when all the other sata ports are full.

Software raid is like fucking a bloated bitchy entitlement pwincess skank, hardware raid is like fucking a hot 16 year old slut with a great body who worships your cock… so the moral here is unless you have used hardware raid you don’t know shit about how raid is supposed to look and feel and perform.

When doing a new build;

  1. set up the bios
  2. with NO network cable installed (network hardware possibly wont work anyway without the drivers) install winders flavour of your choice
  3. make a folder called “Drivers” on your HD, make a new folder inside this for your drivers CD‘s, mobo, gfx, etc
  4. copy the entire contents of each cd to the appropriate folder
  5. go to control panel > device manager, look at all the hardware without drivers, work your way through it updating the drivers and telling it to browse to the “drivers” folder and search sub-folders, if it can’t find one, move on to the next.
  6. repeat #5 with the aid of another PC, Google and the hardware makers website support / download section if required.

Basically the idea here is to install the drivers, not all the bloatware and crap that using the cd in auto-run mode will install, Asus, like everyone else, are cunts for this… the reason for unplugging the network cable is you want the manufacturers drivers, not Microsoft ones via MS update.

If the drivers asks you to reboot, LET IT, don’t be tempted to save time by whacking half a dozen in before rebooting…

You need ALL the drivers sorted before going any further, or even thinking about installing software or testing your PC for speed or reliability.

On another PC, go to ninite.com and tick all the stuff you want, click get installer, save to a USB stick, put on new build. It will be a tiny file, 300k or so in size.

Then you can connect the network cable and run the ninite exec, and let the background winders update.

Prior to doing all this, at the build stage, hot air rises, so your fans should promote this, my build has a 120 mm fan low at the front of the case drawing air in, and a 120 mm fan high at the back of the case expelling the air, creating a good flow path through the case, the big noctua HSF is angled to work WITH this flow, not against it or across it.

Always “offer up” the motherboard before installing it, personally speaking I place the mobo on something soft but firm, a clean dish towel laid on a table is fine, then install the following;

  1. CPU
  2. HSF
  3. RAM

and then install that into the case… this can make some screws awkward to get at, but a tiny dab of grease or Vaseline on the end of the screwdriver will hold all those screws to the screwdriver.

Don’t cable tie and tidy your cables away until after you have checked nothing is fouling or pulling on anything else, and that the build is basically working.

Don’t force anything, even though everything is within spec, you can get situations where some shit just don’t fit, that big Noctua HSF just fouls the side on lots of cases, because those cases go outside spec and put windows or dished centres or grilles or fans and crap in the side door, stop the build and go and buy a proper fucking case.

Once your basic PC is built and sorted, you have your windows updates done, via ninite you have your a/v software (I like !Avast) in, and you have some basic utils, NOW IS THE TIME to ensure you have a good system restore point, and set up backup, ideally to a network location such as your NAS, if you don’t have a NAS box yet, use your old PC to build one.

NOW you are ready to install your software, and start with the shit that is going to stay on there longest, so, no matter how much you are itching to try GTA-V on that baby, Office comes first.

Everything installed and working, one last job…

  1. right click the disks in my computer and select properties > disk cleanup
  2. hopefully you grabbed auslogic defrag in ninite, so do a full defrag and optimise, yes, even on an SSD on a new build.
  3. do a full, in depth a/v and malware scan.

Good to go..

September 21, 2013

Nooo Peee Ceee – part deux

Filed under: Wimminz — Tags: , , , , , — wimminz @ 8:07 pm

Ok, so lets start with some pix..

20130921_103005 20130921_103022
20130921_103058 20130921_103048

You see this is the thing I like about the Noctua HSF, although it comes with dual fans you can remove one and it is still a kick ass HSF, taking the maximum possible volume between the banks of ram, gfx card and the case panel.

Because I bought good spec, and because I attached the two Vector SSD’s to the Intel sta3 ports and not the Marvell ones, and because I wasn’t daft enough to stripe them, one click on the inbuilt motherboard easy tune and you can choose between fast and very fast, where fast is 100% stable and within limits for everything, in my case an instant 25% overclock… 4.875 GHz.. this is rock stable and air cooled and fucking silent, but most of the time the cores are running as low as 1.3 GHz doing lowly shit like firing up office or simply unpacking an archive…. the RAM is of course overclocked by the same amount.

My archive test file / folder was 4,710,951,556 bytes in size and contained 2,941 Files and 119 Folders, and it wwas basically a backup copy of the internal storage of my mobile, so *every* imaginable kind of file in there, movies, music, photos and of course the entire android / dalvik OS for the phone itself.

Decompressing it takes 31 seconds.

Compressing that to a new archive with normal compression works all 8 (or if you prefer all 4 dual cores) processors at around 75% utilization and 90% clock … for 2 minutes and 29 seconds.  Compressed it is a 4.18 gig rar

If it set it to maximum compression in takes 2 minutes 35, and gives a 4.07 gig rar.

If I set compression to store, eg none to speak of, it takes 17 seconds, and gives a 4.38 gig rar

Now I could have sat here and talked about playing Crysis 2 at 1920 x 1080 on a 46″ screen with every possible graphics setting set to the highest possible setting and the whole think being silky smooth and gorgeous, but really, if that sort of thing is all there is then buy a fucking games console.

HD Tune Pro is giving me max / min figures of 359 / 293 megabytes/sec for both SSD’s. They should be the same, they are identical. This is the Benchmark test by the way, closest to real world, I could have quoted the random seek for a 8 megabyte file test, which gave 509 megabytes/sec.. the image below / right is actual from this box and test series.


As for noise, I can hear the battery electric clock in the bedroom (I’m in the lounge) tick, but the only way I can hear any noise at all from this thing is by putting my head behind it, and I can then hear the gentle sigh of the exhaust fan… or by putting  CD/DVD in the drive.

Main-board is 38 degrees and CPU is 36, CPU fan is doing 580 rpm, the two chassis fans (both 120mm) are doing 690 and 770 rpm, ambient in here with the heating on is about 23/24.

This, to me, is the result of the ethos described in part one, FUCKING silent, FUCKING cool running, FUCKING stable, FUCKING fast



July 5, 2013

What the fuck is this

Filed under: Wimminz — Tags: , , , , , — wimminz @ 11:57 pm

In my day job, as in life, basically all I see is 95% of the time people come along, look at an issue, and then proceed as though the actual issues and a theoretical issue that just happens to make life easiest for them are one and the same thing.

I had a job recently, they told me I was about the 17th site visit trying to fix their problems, which I soon realised was a simple case of the 16 before me using the attitude I just mentioned (also in AfORisms https://wimminz.wordpress.com/01-intro-and-stuff/) “fuck it, I’m doing *this* and getting my ass out of herewhat the fuck is this

So, in this case there were in fact three or four separate issues, we *think* we got it licked, but only time will tell, which is what happens when one problem is actually three or four, it used to be one problem, but the 16 fuck it types that preceded me added three more and made the original one worse.

One of the remote guys at one of our big clients knows me as “the serial number guy”, because we are doing an upgrade roll-out where boxes A and B and being replaced, but, you have to do this in a VERY specific order and way, or best case scenario is you take the entire site hard down, worst case scenario is you take the whole corporate WAN hard down, and this is for a fortune 500 type company.

I am the “serial number guy” because I insist the remote guy reads me the serial number he has on file for old box A & B, *before* I touch anything, he used to laugh at me for being anal, last week he stopped laughing, the serial number he had for old box A, and the serial number on old box A did not match, turns out some fuck swapped it out a while back and it wasn’t documented… *he* got the credit for this, I don’t give a fuck, I did *not* get the blame and my ass was covered.

In the recent job where I was #17, one of the previous guys had put a replacement box in, but it lacked a plug in card. So he pulled the card from the old box and slammed it into the new box… shame he forgot to copy the driver software for the card over too… as it happens the card itself was dying, so it all just makes things more complex and time consuming to diagnose.

I have walked in to places to fuck around with patch cables to diagnose why VOIP phones aren’t working that worked last week, only to meet an in-house guy with a REAL cable tester in his hands, one that does attenuation and shit and can calculate the length of the fucking cable and log and record results, he knows it ain’t the patch leads, I know it ain’t the patch leads, but the client’s outsourced to India tech support guy insists we spend an hour fucking with cables before agreeing to move to an unused port on the switch, which is what they were told in the first place… and 2 days later it stops working again… why? because the doofus in India didn’t update the documentation, and scanning software found what was supposed to be an unused port in use, and disabled it…. duh…


though at first glance it may seem completely unrelated, I just can’t fucking stand wimminz, because after putting up with this crap during the day, I got no time for it on my own personal unpaid time, but, this is exactly what wimminz are.

If I had a dollar for every wimminz of whom I have thought, you know, she could be fucking great except for glaring flaw exhibit A, I’d be richer than Bill Gates, so really, what are the odds that exhibit A always involved treating me like a cunt, are all down to me?

About the same as the jobs described above where the faults I walk into, which were already there, are somehow down to me.

Of course, the outcomes are the same, when things work out, well, it was just that their attitude didn’t exceed the inbuilt stability threshold, and that goes for the wimminz too… but, the times they are a changing, as we get to a critical mass of don’t-give-a-fuck in each and every process chain.

Thing is, what sets the good, the bad and the ugly apart are not such things as the sheer number of cisco or microsoft or whatever certifications the person has, sure, there is *some* correlation between the good guys and the certification, but it is fairly loose at best, give me a conscientious, thinking, observing, methodical bastard any day over the elite certificated apex dude in the field, the methodical mother will rarely if ever make anything worse, and can always tell you what he DID do, and what effects it had and what he observed.

The guy who said fuck it and didn’t bother to think long enough to load the add in card drivers from the old box has all that manufacturers certs, fucking gold accredited partner status, he can whizz bang the exams, he can spec your corporate network from a blank sheet of paper (in theory) but in practice in the field he can’t even stop to think that add in card hardware = drivers or it presents as a fault…

Many years ago in my marine engineering days we used to build, into shipping container and smaller format, complete hydraulic power pack systems.. the head of the company was a fucking hydraulic genius, and his designs were awesome, except, when you tried to build them, he’d lay out a bunch of pipes for a manifold and put them so close together you couldn’t actually get a spanner on the unions, so, we used to use his to + or – 0.1 mm spec designs as a sort of artists impression, and build it so you could actually build it, and in the two years I worked for the asshole he never actually spotted that what we built and his designs were different.

Pity the poor fucker in the field who tried to fix a repair by having a part CNC’d up according to his designs, and you wouldn’t believe how common that is in engineering… nd of course some of THAT shit is deliberate, trade secrets and branding etc, so Volvo (penta) used to buy Peugeot diesel parts, and make subtle changes so you couldn’t go out and buy a pug part at a tenth the price, which was doubly hilarious because the only reason the expensive volvo penta part died was the deliberate design changes, tow examples were cracking between the valves on the straight six diesels, and making the mechanical fuel lift pumps sealed and non-serviceable, so when the diaphragms went they leaked diesel into the sump, voilà, dilution and runaway….

For about 10 years in Spain you could buy standard UNF and UNC thread bolts, with metric head sizes because the fitters had metric spanners, not AF sets… I’ve seen that cause more “What the FUUK!!!” than chicks with dicks down Bugis St.

Old Joe was a semi retired Morris engineer who made a nice living in spain as a small garage, what with this AF and whitworth spanners and whatnot, fixing all the english cars and tractors and stuff that found its way to spain..

At the time I had a DKW (Audi) diesel truck, imagine what a cunt I looked when the clutch went one day and I looked and saw the cable was broken, so went to the auto factors to ask for a deek truck clutch cable… no señor, there is no such animal… me waves clutch cable in my hand at them, they shrug, oh dear, looks like a previous owner did a mod…

But, 20 years ago this shit was the exception that was a good tale to tell over a beer after work on a Friday, nowadays it is par for the fucking course, no greens or holes, all sand traps and bunkers.

Reminds me of a joke Fred the alky used to tell about Hell, which was full of bars and lewd wimminz, “you see all those bottles of beer, well, they all have holes in them, you see all those lewd wimminz, well, they don’t


April 5, 2013

Just a quickie

I have posted before about my latest (work) gig, putting all these remotely managed cisco boxes in businesses so that they, and the people who sell them their interwebz connection, can all sack in house IT staff and save money.

Yesterday I again had the pleasure of dealing with one of these jobs, and for those of you who ask what could possibly go wrong…

The business methodology is based on three principles;

  1. The actual keyboard / coding tech work is outsourced to Mumbai, we may be dialling local numbers but IP telephony and call forwarding means the guy you speak to is half a world away.
  2. The actual onsite work is done by people like me, cos remote guys cannot physically touch kit or alter it.
  3. The sales and management, you know, the core revenue generating business, is still done here in the UK.

Invariably there is a direct link between how well the Indian national half a world away has been able to absorb the English language and culture, and how well they have been able to absorb the coding language and culture of the box in question, whether it be Cisco, Juniper etc.

Invariably the ones with very heavy accented English that is quite difficult to understand, and it is difficult to understand when you have to ask them to repeat words like “cable” and “switch” etc, are the lowest paid, most script following, and the ones invariably assigned unless it escalates, or the UK company was enlightened enough to not go for the absolute lowest bidder.

Invariably these non native English speakers make just a big a fuckup of work orders as I would if I was trying to tell a Russian coder to go to Acme supermarket in Stolichnaya street zip code 90201, meaning the zip code is often right, but there is no supermarket there when you get there, but there is a home furnishings shop with a completely different name.

So you as the man on the spot eventually resolve this issue, find out the job is in the furnishings shop and sweet fuck all to do with ACME supermarkets, so what are the chances that the OS and configuration you have been given for the replacement router is either correct, or fully functional?

You guessed it, so you sit there for three hours with Mumbai using a remote session via your laptop to try to make the router work, and every 60 seconds they go back to their script and ask if you are sure you have connected the fucking patch leads back in from the old one…

Eventually, the job is done and lo and behold the customers computers can get back on the interwebz, and more importantly to them their chip and pin / till machines can connect to the banks so they can actually make sales via plastic the fast way….

This has only taken a three hour return trip either way for your trusty engineer, three hours onsite, and a three hour return trip either way for the courier delivering the new kit, and a couple of hours of back office staff updating web portal software so job progress can be tracked and your trusty engineer can know he is to go to ACME supermarket H^H^H^H^ Cushy Home Furnishings to swap out a router…. but just think of the money saved by getting some poor fucker in Mumbai to play with the config until the fucking thing actually works… as opposed to, you know, having a fucking working config on file for each customer and each site…


I see this shit every day, stuff that would literally terminate my business when I wear my self employed hat, and yet this is not just how big business works every day, this is how best of breed big business works every day, with outsourcing world and dog beating a path the the guys who employ me in my day job, which means loadsa work for me.

Any job that has (at least) three different sets of people in three different companies in three different geographical locations is going to be a total fuck up, because the only thing any one of them gives a fuck about is getting their own boxes ticked and their own asses covered.

Course I am an old hand at this shit, and spend maybe 25% of my time on site documenting everything and also photographing everything, so when it comes back down the grapevine that the last guy out the door broke stuff and he was only here for a minute anyway, and that last guy happens to be me, it takes me all of ten minutes to send times and dated and geolocated pictures, pics / scans of forms showing time on site and off site complete with names and signatures of people on site, and so on and so forth, but then I didn’t come down with the rain last week.

I am also an old hand in the sense the any long service guy sat in a trench will relate to, I am a waldo, cos the guy in Mumbai cannot physically do anything on site, the pay is not enough to go over the top and start taking lead, but the (same) pay is pretty good if you have managed to swing a REMF job which doesn’t really involve much of anything, driver for the colonels flunky… so the whole thing washes over me…

I don’t sit there and curse my cheap tools and underspecced and overloaded with bloatware company laptop, I take the GI attitude, if they wanted me to have it they would issue it, and if they don’t issue it they don’t want me to have it, and life is good if you chill and avoid being the bitching squeaky wheel…


Which brings me to Cyprus and the economy.

I’m the guy who turns up when the business loses net connectivity, and trust me, we do ALL the high street names and blue chip companies, so I see what happens when their net goes dark.

  1. Suddenly all the staff start running around like blue assed flies.
  2. Suddenly production / output is maybe 50% of what it was when the net was alive and the staff were all cruising.

_I_ personally am as disposable as a used tampon, but my role, well, when my role goes we are back in the stone age technologically.

When 1 and 2 above happen, even fucked up mismanaged too many cooks outsourced shit like the above looks like a good deal / saviour to the company in question.

When 1 and 2 above happen, NOBODY, but NOBODY, has a Plan B, the entire business model rests upon getting Plan A back up and running.

“Back up and running” does not mean what it means when I do work with my self employed hat on, that fucker is FIXED, it means connectivity to fuckbook / intranet / whatever is restored so I can get my piece of paper signed and leave the site, until it goes wrong again, which is just a question of time….

I have computer kit, routers and servers and firewalls, that are over a decade old, and which still work FUCKING FLAWLESSLY, so it is not the case that we cannot make shit that just works….  there is just no PROFIT anymore in making shit that just works.

And so we have local branches of businesses that have six full time employees and turn over considerable sums of money, all hanging on a single DOMESTIC grade ADSL connection, no backup, no failover, no Plan B, and frankly the very expensive and high end Cisco kit that is supposed to make it all work is no more reliable than some 50 quid Netgear crap, which they guys in the shop could buy locally ex stock, navigate to in their browser, type in ADMIN and ADMIN, and enter their ADSL username and password and be back up and on-line before I can even complete my three hour journey to get there… at least that would be an HONEST “crap but cheap” solution.

I shouldn’t complain, and I am not, if any of these people were remotely competent to run a business, I would be out of a job….. the purpose of this is to highlight the fact that in the pursuit of fucking everyone else over to nickel and dime everything to death, we have created a business infrastructure that cannot actually even keep itself going by itself.

If you think the above example, by the way, was a “bad one”, you are sadly mistaken.. at least these guys had the old PSTN phones so they could ring up another branch to get the web price of a mattress, or to manually authorise a credit card payment.

I have been to sites where, in a bid to save money, all the phone lines but one are VOIP, so when the system goes dark it ALL goes dark… the plan is I go there and using the wonders of a laptop tethered to 3/4G networks, the reseller can remote in and fix things up, except there is no mobile signal in the faraday cage that is the comms/server room, oh, the one single emergency PSTN phone line, blocked by the provider from local rate 0845 numbers, which just happens to be the ONLY support number for the reseller, in the laborious fallback strategy of they tell me what to type by voice, I type it and tell them what just happened… so even that doesn’t fucking work.

Looks like I am going to be employed for quite some time yet…lol

March 9, 2013

Network Attached Storage

I’ve gotten to that place again where all my bloody hard disks were filling up, and it was time to add to the NAS…

…and that’s where it got bloody, since it has been a while I went on a trawl of the major online vendors, and the answers were not nice.

I could buy a shitty and cheap unpopulated 2 bay NAS box from the likes of Dlink, or the next option is an equally shitty but not cheap 2 bay NAS box from Qnap, and as soon as you look at a 4 bay box, or god forbid a 5 bay box to run raid-5 it gets bloody expensive bloody fast…

So the stopgap was go out locally and buy a 3 terabyte seagate go flex jobbie, for it has to be said not a lot more than the cost of the 3 TB disk inside it.

Down sides is the bastard is fairly slow, but freefilesync and walk away means I don’t care too much and it is the initial big wad that takes the time, not daily use, so lets run some numbers.

MB = megabyte which disks are measured in, mb = megabit which transfer speeds are measured in, and there are 8 bits to a byte.

USB2 can pull a consistent 10 MB/sec on decently sized files

100 mb Ethernet is theoretically able to do 100/8 = 12.5 MB/sec, but again you’ll see nearer 8/10 in reality.

10 MB/sec is piss slow compared to even what a spinning SATA2 hard disk can handle, a good SSD SATA3 should give you 250 MB/sec easily, gigabit Ethernet will give you a theoretical 125 MB/sec, but there it is, so how long does it take to fill up a 3 TB NAS drive at say 8 MB/sec?

8 MB/sec = 480 MB / min, which equals 28.8 GB / hour

3,000 / 28.8 = 104 hours, or around 4 days, and this is ideal speeds, in reality you can add 50% easily.

Just as a chain is only as strong as the weakest link, data transfer is only as fast as the slowest link, so there isn’t a whole lot of point having a high end NAS on a 100 mb network, if you are looking at speeds alone.

In day to day use 8 MB/sec is enough, it will transfer a 700 MB CD in one and a half minutes, or a 4.5 GB DVD in about nine and a half minutes.

8 MB/sec is not enough if you are imaging hard disks for example.

A quick way around this is the NAS box we discuss below with gig-e and a crossover cable, or use one of the hot-plug bays.. >;*) 100 MB/sec here we come…


So what my “price of the bare disk inside it plus a 10% premium” 3 TB goflex is buying me is neither speed, nor reliability / quality, what it is buying me is some breathing room at a reasonable price…. it will do in the interim, but the fact is I need to do something about an upgraded NAS box.


WD do a red label disk WD30EFRX especially for NAS boxes, the bare 3 TB disk runs about 120 UK pounds a pop, one of the things you have to take in to account is your NAS disks dying or suffering data loss, RAID is not a backup, but a good RAID/ZFS setup spanned over enough disks can help you avoid using your backup.

If I build a 5 bay box with hot plug SATA drives, I could get 6 TB of useful storage (no point striping because a single modern SATA3 HD will push between 50% and >100% of gigabit Ethernet capacity depending on if it is doing sequential or random reads) mirrored with a “ready hot” spare in place….. I could start with just two disks, for 3 TB of useful storage and no hot spare, and add the other 3 disks later…

So we are looking at a copy of NAS4free, which is free, two disks which is 250 notes or thereabouts, and my “box”

The box itself doesn’t have to be much horsepower wise, in fact it shouldn’t be because we want low electrical power consumption, so an Atom based system will do nicely, another 100 or so, Icy Box do a nice 5 bay back plane IB-555SSK for another 100 or so, and add another 100 for a case and incidentals.

The basic bare box thus works out at about 300 quid, populate it with two disks and it takes you to 550, populate it with all 5 drives and it takes you to around 925.

The cheapest bare 5 bay NAS box I can find is the Qnap 569 @ £570

That’s (our 925)  a lot of dough, but, the closest to a 15 TB or greater commercial until (and the commercial units always count capacity by adding up individual disks) I can find is the WD sentinel @ £1,422, and the closest to a 5 bay or greater is the netgear 6620 @ £1,950.

Neither of the commercial offerings have the virtue of you just being able to go out to any PC hardware store and buy some generic replacement part WHEN something dies, plus the interface is open source.

Frankly the “value added” bundled software with all these commercial things, from the lowly goflex I just bought, up to the thecus / syntology / qnap kit, is a load of bollocks… it is not the fucking job of a NAS to stream your fucking itunes shite to your ipad via VPN  while you are sat on a beach somewhere..

It is the fucking job of a NAS to look after the hard disks inside it, and look after the data being read / written to those disks, one way of aiding this is a fucking dust filter and a couple of nice but silent 120 mm fans, which none of the commercial offerings will give you, but which you can do yourself.

Nor will any of the commercial offerings allow you to add another 5 drive bays for 100 quid, swap out the main-board for something more powerful, add some extra gig-e ports etc etc.

Nor will any of the commercial rigs do anything other than lock you in to that vendor.

Perhaps the biggest limitation of the commercial rigs is however that you have to buy them with one big wad of cash, but the home built solution can be purchased in 100 quid lumps over a few weeks or more.


Certainly the goflex has bought me some breathing space, and will allow me to tidy up some of the nested directories and file structures, preparatory to starting the next NAS build, and I won’t wake up tomorrow as I did today to find two overnight  “add to archive and delete” operations stalled out because of lack of spare disk space on the last added mini NAS..

If I think about upgrading my main PC, currently a core 2 quad q6600, for a nice socket 2011 / i7 3820 build, then I am already looking at everything except the Icy box 5 bay backplane and WD red disks, a saving of 200+ notes… again options that do not present themselves once you have tied yourself into proprietary devices…. it wouldn’t kill me to break open the goflex and pull out the 3 TB SATA HD inside, or to break open the 2 TB WD elements and pull out the 2 TB WD green SATA HD inside, they are essentially not much more than caddies…

March 8, 2013

Living in a virtualised world

I’ve been busy of late, hence the dearth of new posts..

My current gig is basically summed up thus, world + dog are chasing economies wherever they can find them (a good example is regional offices that years ago would have been on leased lines now being connected by xDSL) and so ACME corp’s 447 regional offices get new Cisco 887 adsl routers and all that, and the IT management can then be outsourced and offshored…. 447 expensive leased lines dropped, the in house 500 strong IT department sacked en masse, loadsa money saved, trebles all around at the bean-counters offices.

But some cunt has to turn up with the box and physically plug in the patch cables and so on, and when, not if, when that shit breaks, some cunt has to turn up and physically reset or repair the thing that cannot be fixed remotely…. even if that someone is just a remote pair of hands for a resellers resellers resellers reseller….

Don’t get me wrong, this shit is slick, but it is a basic engineering principle that the more layers of complexity you build up, the more there is to go wrong… which is why twice in the last week alone the NatWest Bank customers have seen all the ATM‘s simply stop working and no on-line banking either, and this is being repeated across the nation in all things IT.

Like the song says, Do your fucking job till the end

Till your job ends that is…. meanwhile back at the gig the crowd I work for are all gung ho, gangbusters and corporate image, which is fucking great while it lasts, which is by definition going to be a finite amount of time, we are hyenas feeding on corpses, for the moment it is a banquet…

I smile sweetly at them all, and friday rolls around and I think to myself that is another week’s money grabbed, wonder what next week will bring, because you see I am old enough and cynical enough to know that in this solyent green world, the crowd I work for can disappear with as little warning as the jobs of those we are replacing with little Cisco boxes (themselves now made in the Czech republic, oh the irony) went down the swannee…

They tell me about all the valuable skills and qualifications I can earn while working for them, and there is an element of truth in that, but I had valuable skills and qualifications in my previous trade of marine engineering, and they don’t put food on the table today, but my survivalist attitudes to life do, so what is more useful to me?

Never take a job you aren’t prepared to walk away from on a moment’s notice is a good motto, because already in this young and dynamic company I can see signs of the rot setting in, and the infection is spreading a lot faster than it did 20 years ago… I see this all over now, they will give some guy a £25k car to turn up at the customers premises in, because it looks good, but no 5 dollar uniform sweatshirt, just wear something of your own, and if you are given any tools they came from walmart, it is utter fucking madness…. exactly the same brand of utter fucking madness that created the jobs in do in the first place… by sacking all the IT staff and sticking in a remotely managed router and some switches.

Of course VOIP is all the rage, so when the cute little cabinet goes down the ACME corp regional office does not just disappear from the HQ WAN, all the fucking phone lines go down too… how many of these sites have all this shit running on a UPS, even a cheap and nasty will only keep it running for ten minutes SOHO job from APC or similar?

You got it, haven’t seen a single fucking one yet….

It is fucking dreadfully incompetent and amateurish, I don’t give a flying fuck how swish and fancy and cute all this remotely managed Cisco kit is, WHEN IT IS WORKING, I don’t care how impressive the tricks are that you can do, WHEN IT IS WORKING, I don’t care with what ease you can do quite complex tasks, WHEN IT IS WORKING, all I see is a system that studiously ignores the 9,000lb gorilla in the room, what the fuck do you do when it stops working, and their answer to that is to point at dudes like me…. whoooosh…

So anyway I’m chilling after a job yesterday with another of the field engineers, who is of a similar age to me, and we are discussing this, and the one thing my extensive experience has taught me…. and this is from the year dot of web servers on…

  1. The least likely person to bork such a box is the field engineer sat there physically in front of it, in true CYA mode he covers his ass at every step, when I am asked to type in console commands for a box that has lost connectivity to a remote IT management centre I read and spell everything back phoenetically, and then ask them, do you want me to press return now? No matter how simple the command.
  2. The MOST likely person to bork such a box is the remotely connected tech telnetting in or whatever, they don’t give a fuck, and this is before they get confused between the three other field techs they are talking to simultaneously to me.
  3. The MORE of a wizard the remote tech is, the WORSE they will bork the box…

All of which means that instead of us field guys being remote waldoes for the megamind remote admin guys, which is how all this shit is marketed by the bean-counters, we are just another point of failure, for exactly the same reasons that someone playing Call of Duty will have a different approach to a crunchie on the ground in Afdiggastan with actual bullets flying around…Networkfailure

Now these people, if you push them, will admit that there are things like the graphic above, a “cascade failure”, but these same cunts have never had to RECOVER from one, because the fact is they have never been in one, of if they have, they were but one node…

I can distinctly remember being in a large hydroelectric turbine hall when a (local) cascade failure hit, because one of the turbines was tripped out by a vibration sensor, which they think was caused by a log getting down into the vent, so one goes down, and it takes aaaaaages to spin down, but the SOUND is indescribably different when it is not under load, and then the next one went because it was overloaded thanks to the first one going down, and then then remaining three went almost together…. and everyone is stood there looking at each other and the hall lighting goes out, and emergency DC lighting flicks on and the turbines continue to spool down… it is the most eerie motherfucking experience… and it took on the onsite diesel gen set and four hours or work before they could start spooling up again, another two hours to get the first two turbines synced to the grid, and another four hours for the remaining three.

But they had ENGINEERS on site, not fucking remote wizards and the only thing on-site some field techs told on a phone press this button now, now press this one, now type this in, now move that cable from here to there, OK I’m in, you can go to the next job ta….

SLA’s, well SLA’s are fulfilled if the resellers reseller can get a warm body on site within 4 hours, that warm body doesn’t have to actually DO anything, or FIX anything, he is just there so the SLA penalties can’t be invoked.

What the people I am currently working for do not know, that I do, is this.


So what happens in extreme cases, well someone ships a new box down, and it gets swapped out and we see if that fixes the problem, the only thing rarer than a UPS is the proverbial “smoking gun” when responding to an error call, nobody know what went wrong or what the causes were, and nobody gives a fuck, this job has had a 2 hour slot allocated to it, and that’s all there is.

Various three letter government agencies are waffling on about the threat of cyber terrorism, and hackers are getting sent to gitmo for 999 years of waterboarding pre trial, but the fact is that the real terrorists are all the fucking beancounters putting these bastard systems in place in the first fucking place, it isn’t IF it falls over, it is WHEN it falls over.

Currently these failures ain’t that bad, wossname bank goes down for 6 hours, wossname ISP goes down for 8 hours, wossname supermarket goes down for 4 hours, but no measures are being put in place to improve on this, on the contrary…. the opposite is what is happening.

Currently, cascade failures in IT have been confined to so called fucked up countries where fucked up stuff like the so called arab spring uprisings were going on, and again shit was blamed of guvvmint shutting shit down, hasn’t YET happened to a western country on the scale of the seventies east coast USA power grid cascade failure, which was ultimately caused by ONE part dying…  hasn’t happened YET.

But it’s gonna, why else is everyone getting the pre – emptive bullshit excuses in place about digital pearl harbours.

And it is not just ACME corp and your local supermarket and your local mobile phone shop doing this shit, it is also your local Court of law, your local Police station, your local lawyers, your local bank, your local hospital, and the technology is spreading in all these places.

Sure, they may well have a diesel genny out back that can be fired up to keep the lights on, but what fucking use is that when packets carrying everything from data to voice suddenly find no routes outside the LAN?

Which reminds me, next week’s money I need to buy myself a new NAS box and a couple of WD Red 3tb disks… lol


January 15, 2013

Do Androids dream of eclectic sheeple

I have banged on loads, and with reason, in the right sidebar about the vast benefits of equipping yourself with a smart-phone and a google account and tracking everything.

In response to *many* emails and messages, this is my 101.

As previously discussed;

  1. Get an Android smartphone
  2. Sign up for a google gmail account
  3. Set the gmail account in the smart-phone and set everything to sync

Now, the details.porno

Android is great, but it is the apps that bring it all alive.

I have already discussed Google Latitude providing you with a historical record of WHERE you were at any given time or day, now let’s boost it.

Once you have done steps 1 to 3 above, you can sit down at any computer with a web browser and point it at https://play.google.com/ and login with your gmail address and password, it will log you in to the play store, and identify the phone you created the account on in step 3 above.

Now you can use the search function to search for apps, and even install them to the phone automagically from this browser window, get all these and install them.

  1. SMS Backup +

    Jan Berkel

    This app creates two new folder in your gmail account, “call log” and “sms” (you can rename them) and will either manually or automatically back up all call logs and sms / mms messages to these folders, it will also restore if required… in addition, it will also add the call log records (incoming and outgoing) to your google calendar.

  2. Barcode Scanner

    ZXing Team

    This is a barcode reader that reads all sorts of barcodes, including QR codes, you can do all sorts of neat stuff like share phone numbers, full contact info, map locations, wifi accounts, it is “just” a utility app, but so useful you should grab it and use it.

  3. AirDroid


    AirDroid starts a service on the phone, over wifi, that allows any computer to type a URL such as into a web browser and see an interface to the phone… this URL, along with the required password, is displayed on the phone screen. From the computer browser you can then send and receive SMS, up / download photos, browse files, listen to music, etc etc etc… very handy tool

  4. Dropbox

    Dropbox, Inc.

    Cloud storage, if you grab an app called Sandisk Memory Zone it will do an online backup to cloud storage of selected directories on your phone, eg DCIM / camera.

  5. Titanium Backup PRO Key ★ root

    Titanium Track

    Titanium is pretty much the Android backup tool for backing up installed apps and user data, but it is pretty pointless unless you back it up to a removeable miniSD card in the phone, and NOT to the phone internal memory, because anything that wipes the phones internal memory will wipe your backups too, and many tools like Odin etc are capable of wiping and moving partition tables on your phone’s internal memory.

  6. Cheetah Sync for Files/Folders


    Wifi File Explorer is the tool to use if you want to browse the file structure of your phone from a web browser on your computer, and while it is good for moving single files to and fro, it doesn’t work for quantities of files, enter Cheetah sync, which can sync from phone to PC, or PC to phone, or both ways, just select the folder on the phone, the folder on the PC, give that sync job a name (you can store many different sync jobs) and whenever you feel like it, run it… I have one job that syncs my entire 32 GB miniSD card in the phone to a directory in my laptop

There are others, SeekDroid is handy for locating a lost phone, or remotely wiping it, Qik is an app that uploads a photo to a web-server as soon as you take it (handy to defeat po-lice instructions to wipe / delete), WhatsApp is a handy way to send pictures without incurring a charge as you would as MMS, Magnify turns your phone into a handy magnifying glass, Brightest Flashlight is self explanatory, there is a WordPress app to allow you to post to blogs like this, and one for Drupal if you host yourself, the beat goes on …

The point is, you are walking around with a technological marvel in your pocket that would have utterly blown away not only the entire moon landing effort, but also anything that ran the first “modern” version of Windows, 95a, aka Chicago, WITH ALL THE PERIPHERALS INCLUDED.

Most people only use 1% of the functionality.

All I suggest you do is use 5% of the functionality, you are getting tracked and traced and recorded anyway, this way you and your legal representatives get access to that data too.

There is NO EXCUSE for a man to get convicted of a false accusation of DV or sexual abuse.

The only downside is other extreme laws, and this article would not be complete without mentioning them, this especially applies to all you men out there with kids who have a smartphone.

  1. In many places, such as the UK, extreme and child pornography is an “absolute” offence, and the “absolute” means that in Law, no defence can be made. You ARE guilty.
  2. In many places, such as the UK, “possession” is defined as being in a position of responsibility, if your kid comes to visit on your one weekend in the month, and this kid has illegal shit on their phone, it is in your house, they are a minor, you are the responsible legal adult, you will be deemed to be in “possession” in Law.
  3. In many places, such as the UK, “making” is defined as what your web browser already did when it displayed the image above.

To sum up, if that image above was of a girl who was, or WHO APPEARED TO BE, less than 16 years old, it WOULD be classed as child pornography, to which no legal defence is possible, you own the device it is displayed on, or the property in which the device it is displayed on is sat, so it WOULD be classed as possession, and of course as per point three you WOULD in Law have been making that image.

Making and possession of child pornography, no defence possible, guilty, sex offenders register, probably prison time too.

These are not possible or probable outcomes, they are absolutely guaranteed as certain as death cancer and taxes outcomes.

Being in the company of a child is now far less dangerous legally than being in the company of the smart-phone in the child’s pocket.



It is one option, you can encrypt your phone, and your PC, and sooner or later the word privacy will be mentioned, but you don’t have any privacy, all this data I am talking about making available to yourself above is already being collected anyway, that is how the technology works, so there is no privacy, and once you realise that then encryption ceases to be a tool to protect your privacy, and starts to be a tool that law enforcement see as a sign of guilt…

Sure, the fuckers have access to all that data anyway, they just tell your cell provider to pony up and grab your computers and smartphone, but the key phrase with law enforcement is the thing they say to you when they arrest you.

“Anything you say may me taken down and used in evidence against you.”

Doesn’t say shit about anything you say may be taken down and used as evidence to exculpate you and eliminate you from enquiries.

Standard procedure is in fact to simply ignore anything that might show your innocence, all they are looking for is stuff that makes you look guilty… encryption makes you look guilty, and doesn’t prevent them getting cell data anyway.

A citizen under arrest and caution is the last motherfucker on the planet who should be arguing about civil liberties.


December 2, 2012

No sheeeeit sherlock

There is a blog post here http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/saturday-essay/

The salient and interesting paragraph is this;

There is a connection here. None of my chums would do business with Mobile Phone Pushy Token Memememeee Woman if they could help it: their view in two out of three cases is that life’s too short for arseholes, and if people want more than they offer, they’re politely invited to look for it elsewhere. The third person (a woman, as it happens) takes a more pragmatic view: she simply charges them more – which, she argues, is perfectly fair. I’m inclined to agree. We not only get what we pay for in this life, quite often we pay for what we think we ought to get. Assumed entitlement comes expensive – as indeed it should.

I have highlighted in red text the real red pill nugget at the heart of this.

Jon, the blogger, was talking about three friends who are running small self employed businesses and making a living by the simple tactic of being honest.

To MY mind, #3, the wimminz, is just being a wimminz, and is being anything but honest.

When in the same situation myself, I have always said the following to the MPPTM wimminz, niggerz and other assorted assholes who wanted to give me shit;

My job is to do x, for this I charge x per hour. My rate for eating shit is 50x per hour. Now, you choose which it is to be

Which of course always ends up with me walking out within 5 minutes, which is exactly what I knew would happen when I say it.

THAT, is being honest.

Not saying anything and charging them extra for being a cunt is valid in many ways, but it is not honest.

Honesty is when you tell them UP FRONT that you are going to charge them extra for being a cunt.

I have my own small self employed business, I am in hours worked terms radically under employed… to be strictly honest, I should be doing another 5 hours a week in financial terms, but that does not stop me turning down two to three jobs for every one I take, and the jobs I turn down I do so with honesty and candour.

You won’t want to pay me what I will have to charge you in order to do a good job, and I am not prepared to do a bodge job for what you would want to pay me, but in any event here is some free and good advice about what I would do if I were in your situation.

It means I only ever worry about being a bit short of dough, I never worry about getting a bad name or a bad job coming back to haunt me and cost me money.

I’ll give an analogy that anyone reading this can relate to.

Desktop computers and servers are a lot easier to fix properly than laptop computers.

There is, fundamentally, one reason and one reason only that this is true, desktop computers and servers are built to STANDARDS, such as ATX, PCI, AGP, RGB/VGA, USB, etc.

Laptops on the other hand are custom, I cannot open up a Dell and a Vaio and simply swap the motherboards over, there is no standard such as ATX, they are all unique.


Most of you are probably familiar with ATX, and perhaps mATX, but these are just two mainboard standards out of many, PC104 anyone?

Similarly a 12.1″ 4:3 aspect ratio laptop screen, it could EASILY be made a standard, both in physical dimensions as well as mounting points and electrical connections, irrespective of resolution or refresh rate or anything else.

What DROVE the revolution in personal computing was the foresight of IBM and others in defining these first physical standards.

What has STAGNATED and is KILLING the revolution in personal computing is the abandonment of this and embracing of the bad old days.

In the real bad old days before the industrial revolution there was no such thing as a standard screw thread, each bolt and nut was unique, and if there was any interchangeability it stopped at the factory level.

After the industrial revolution things got better, but there were still issues, yank kit turning up in Europe with JIC pipe fittings where the local shops only had BSP or maybe NPT fittings in stock was always fun, and extra work… and it produced some real howlers… for a few years in spain and italy you could buy bolts with BSF or Whitworth threads and shanks, and nearest Metric millimeter size heads for use with metric spanners and socket sets….

Of course when you come across these things fitted and all you can see is the head, you start swearing and asking what cunt put a 12mm metric bolt in a fucking Gardner engine….

And yet, this is what we are going back to (and this incidentally is the real reason I hate Apple, their engineering is all DELIBERATELY proprietary, and therefore by definition atrocious) a world in which nothing is standard any more.

You see, when you go to a real engineer, and you ask them to do something foolish, they will tell you to go somewhere else, but when you go to one of these wimminz and niggerz that call themselves engineers, they will just charge you more and give you what you asked for, with no thought as to the future consequences for the industry.

By using a standard port such as mini USB, there is almost nowhere that I can go with my Samsung Galaxy S3 ***** and not be able to charge the fucker up, even without carrying my own mini to full USB lead.

By using a proprietary port like crapple does, there is almost nowhere you can go with an iphone and charge it up, and I know personally of at least three wimminz with iphones who have found themselves in hospital with a severely ill child and a dead iphone, and no way to recall various contact numbers.

I know several “road warriors” who carry a plethora of charging and DC supply devices, all with different voltages, OR the same voltage but different proprietary plugs.

A STANDARD is the engineering term for HONEST, and it only applies to the things explicitly defined by the standard in question, so any ATX mobo will fit in any ATX computer, but chances are the 50 buck MSI board isn’t a patch on the 300 buck Supermicro board, and as referred to by the explicity of the standard, which does NOT mention CPU sockets, there is no guarantee to you swap ALL the components over from one ATX board to another.

Honesty is of course always the enemy of those who want as big a slice of the cake as possible, for the least effort possible.

Which brings us right back to the quote at the top from Jon Ward’s blog, what is interesting is that Mr Ward spent his working life in marketing, so as we see that explains his congenital inability to spot that the wimminz in his trio of “honest tradespeople” does not belong in the same company or group as the two honest tradesmen.

Laptops are not a pain in the ass to repair because Johnny Ive is a style guru or because they HAVE to be that way to be those dimensions and weight and have those outside appearances and layouts, laptops are a pain in the ass to repair because they are explicitly NOT based on standards, and as such they are not honest in engineering terms, and are a regressive step.

The other thing about standards is you have to choose APPROPRIATE ones…

There is no valid reason on this planet for there to be at last count some 50,000 proprietary and unique wheel sizes for automobiles, and for there to be no basic set of common standards…. I don’t know about now, but for many years all the trucks Henry Ford made in Europe were all metric fasteners, except for the wheel nuts, which were BSF, because they kept the fucking wheels on where the metric thread did not, BSF being a far superior thread.

A LOT of the economic pain we are suffering is a direct result of this avoidance of standards.

Indeed, the whole concept of a fiat monetary system is avoidance of a standard.

It’s going to get worse.


*****Disclaimer, while I admire and like my SGS3, and while the common mini USB interface is great, I would no rather repair it than an iphone or ipad, the internals are all devoid of standards, except for the SIM card and mini SD card sockets.


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