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Old 23rd September 2020, 09:32 PM   #2481
arthwollipot
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Wow, such cynical people.
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Old 24th September 2020, 01:00 AM   #2482
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Cynic is an idealist's word for a realist. (Origin forgotten)
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Old 24th September 2020, 02:18 PM   #2483
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Remember to sharpen the spoon before performing your auto-lobotomy.
I think a dull one actually does a more thorough job of destroying brain tissue.
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Old 24th September 2020, 02:25 PM   #2484
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
I think a dull one actually does a more thorough job of destroying brain tissue.
Some managers leave the spoon in permanently. You need to give it a turn every now and then to get a response from these ones.
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Old 24th September 2020, 02:26 PM   #2485
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Wow, such cynical people.
Get your name spray-painted on your parking space.
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Old 29th September 2020, 08:49 AM   #2486
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Damn it. That stupid work thing I was complaining about last week? Apparently the Bigwigs liked it, so now they're launching a massive six-month high-priority data project. Now I know why that fruit basket arrived at my house last week. And the raise. Damn it, now I have to do more work. What kind of horrible world is this, that the reward for doing good work is being given more work to do?! Ugh. This is going to cut into my World of Warcraft time. I want my fox mage to get high reputation with the walrus people so he can get that fishing pole that lets him breathe underwater. So sick of almost drowning. Working life is so weird.
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Old 29th September 2020, 11:11 AM   #2487
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Damn it. That stupid work thing I was complaining about last week? Apparently the Bigwigs liked it, so now they're launching a massive six-month high-priority data project. Now I know why that fruit basket arrived at my house last week. And the raise. Damn it, now I have to do more work. What kind of horrible world is this, that the reward for doing good work is being given more work to do?! Ugh. This is going to cut into my World of Warcraft time. I want my fox mage to get high reputation with the walrus people so he can get that fishing pole that lets him breathe underwater. So sick of almost drowning. Working life is so weird.

Tell management that to provide the data you need a fishing pole that lets you breathe underwater.

Simple solutions FTW.

ETA: Wait, I forgot, things like that in WoW are spirit-bondaged or whatever they call it, and can't be swapped, so you need management to provide your fox-mage digital assistant software with a fishing pole that lets him breathe underwater.
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Old 30th September 2020, 05:59 AM   #2488
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Reoccuring event, a version of which is currently happening, that I've gone through about 4 times now.

Company: "IT, we need you to set up an account so we can order product/service. Give so and so in Accounts Payable the information and set it up the account with her e-mail as the info so we can keep track of it."
IT: "Okay so what happens so and so leaves?"
Company: "Oh that won't happen."
*Sponge Bob Announcer* "Five Minutes Later"
Company "Well so and so quit and all the account information for ordering that product/service is under her account...."
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Last edited by JoeMorgue; 30th September 2020 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 30th September 2020, 11:59 AM   #2489
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Upper management requires me to put a client on all our Windows machines.

Here's the installer binary, once you install it edit the registry and change the servername to 10.x.x.x.


Really? THAT'S your process?
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Old 30th September 2020, 02:51 PM   #2490
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One of our T1s just took a call from someone who started the major Windows 10 1909 update last night, then shut the computer down, and wondered why it was still trying to run in the morning.

That was dumb, but even dumber was when she asked whether the update could be paused so that she could do some work.

I suggested that it was a bit like taking your car to the mechanic, them hauling out the engine and putting it next to the car, then returning and saying that you need to urgently drive somewhere and can you just take it away and bring it back later for the engine to be put back in.
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Old 30th September 2020, 04:23 PM   #2491
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I AM NOT A MECHANIC! Please stop using technical language!
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Old 30th September 2020, 07:50 PM   #2492
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
One of our T1s just took a call from someone who started the major Windows 10 1909 update last night, then shut the computer down, and wondered why it was still trying to run in the morning.

That was dumb, but even dumber was when she asked whether the update could be paused so that she could do some work.

I suggested that it was a bit like taking your car to the mechanic, them hauling out the engine and putting it next to the car, then returning and saying that you need to urgently drive somewhere and can you just take it away and bring it back later for the engine to be put back in.
On systems that don't have a brain-dead design (high-end IBM systems and other mainframes, Linux, and possibly VMS) it's entirely possible to work on the system while applying updates. On Linux even a restart often isn't necessary, although if a new kernel has been installed a reboot is a good idea.
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Old 30th September 2020, 08:01 PM   #2493
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
On systems that don't have a brain-dead design (high-end IBM systems and other mainframes, Linux, and possibly VMS) it's entirely possible to work on the system while applying updates. On Linux even a restart often isn't necessary, although if a new kernel has been installed a reboot is a good idea.
Yeah but such systems aren't necessarily practical for a government department with thousands of users, many of whom don't have more than a rudimentary grasp of how computers work. Microsoft has government contracts well and truly wrapped up.

For the most part, our system works pretty well. But now that we're using Azure and everything is in the cloud, we're a little stuck when something happens at their end. Our O365 systems were down for a couple of hours yesterday, which generated a massive number of calls. It's been months since there's been a decent nationwide outage.
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Old 30th September 2020, 08:40 PM   #2494
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If you Reply to the automated email that our system sends to you advising you that an incident has been resolved, it reactivates that incident.

If I email you and say "please advise us if this does not resolve your problem" and resolve the incident, you Replying to that email saying "Yes, this has resolved my problem" re-opens the incident and makes me resolve it again No Further Action Required.

It's only a little thing, but it's mildly annoying.
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Old 30th September 2020, 08:48 PM   #2495
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Wouldn’t that also happen with an out of office? Wouldn’t it make sense to make them do something specific like change the subject to “reopen”?
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Old 30th September 2020, 09:17 PM   #2496
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Wouldnít that also happen with an out of office? Wouldnít it make sense to make them do something specific like change the subject to ďreopenĒ?
We've got automation that takes care of out of offices and other known responses. The system looks for the job number in the subject line in square brackets, which it includes in all automated messages it sends out. It's not a bad system, really, but it's not perfect.
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Old 1st October 2020, 11:37 AM   #2497
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
On systems that don't have a brain-dead design (high-end IBM systems and other mainframes, Linux, and possibly VMS) it's entirely possible to work on the system while applying updates. On Linux even a restart often isn't necessary, although if a new kernel has been installed a reboot is a good idea.
FWIW the only times Iíve actively rebooted my windows gaming notebook in the last 4 years have been related to issues with my router where Iíve needed to power off the wifi network card. It still patches in the background and even reboots occasionally but it does it overnight while the notebook is in sleep mode. When itís done the reboot it opens nearly everything back up the way I left it. The only reason I even know it rebooted is that VMware desktop (at least my version of it) doesnít come back up. The only issue is that the background installer process can consume CPU/IO while Iím doing something else.


In reality there is no real difference between Windows, Linux and any other significant OS running on X86 hardware for when restarts are required. Most windows reboots are due to either a) someone setting the require reboot flag in an installer even though there was nothing in the update that required it, and b) the fact that in Windows nearly everything reliably comes up in a known state. This can make for quick, easy, resolutions for application issues.
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Old 1st October 2020, 03:09 PM   #2498
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FML.

A mandatory update to the Windows 10 license went out to all staff which essentially revoked Direct Access for people across the country who are working from home. Which is about half of the total number of staff on our network, or approximately 4,000 people.

There is an automated fix, but a lot of people didn't receive it before having their Direct Access revoked. There is a manual fix, but it requires remotely accessing the computer and using an administrator password, which requires a different remote access software that is available to anyone to install but which is not automatically installed, and which sometimes doesn't install correctly when someone is having problems with Direct Access.

For those staff who can't get it fixed one of these two ways, the only option is to return the computer to the office, which isn't an option for staff in Melbourne who are under mandatory lockdown.

We opened the lines at 7am, and at 7:01am there were already 9 calls waiting, and only one T1 available to take calls.

This sucks. Worst Friday ever.
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Old 1st October 2020, 04:11 PM   #2499
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
... There is a manual fix, but it requires remotely accessing the computer and using an administrator password, which requires a different remote access software that is available to anyone to install but which is not automatically installed, and which sometimes doesn't install correctly when someone is having problems with Direct Access.
That's interesting. I know you're not on the technical team, but I'm surprised that team doesn't have the infrastructure in place to push the required software to the computers. There's a decent amount of management software out there designed to do that sort of stuff.
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Old 1st October 2020, 05:34 PM   #2500
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
That's interesting. I know you're not on the technical team, but I'm surprised that team doesn't have the infrastructure in place to push the required software to the computers. There's a decent amount of management software out there designed to do that sort of stuff.
Yes, and we do have such tools, but you're assuming that they've been properly deployed and configured, and that the push had been done prior to the problems we've been having.

After a morning of 20min+ wait times, we've finally cleared the queue and everbody has some breathing room again.
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Old 1st October 2020, 07:04 PM   #2501
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Reoccuring event, a version of which is currently happening, that I've gone through about 4 times now.

Company: "IT, we need you to set up an account so we can order product/service. Give so and so in Accounts Payable the information and set it up the account with her e-mail as the info so we can keep track of it."
IT: "Okay so what happens so and so leaves?"
Company: "Oh that won't happen."
*Sponge Bob Announcer* "Five Minutes Later"
Company "Well so and so quit and all the account information for ordering that product/service is under her account...."
Surprise. Passwords for external accounts, e.g. external IP registrations, Apple ID's, etc.
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Old 1st October 2020, 07:09 PM   #2502
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
FML.

A mandatory update to the Windows 10 license went out to all staff which essentially revoked Direct Access for people across the country who are working from home. Which is about half of the total number of staff on our network, or approximately 4,000 people.

There is an automated fix, but a lot of people didn't receive it before having their Direct Access revoked. There is a manual fix, but it requires remotely accessing the computer and using an administrator password, which requires a different remote access software that is available to anyone to install but which is not automatically installed, and which sometimes doesn't install correctly when someone is having problems with Direct Access.

For those staff who can't get it fixed one of these two ways, the only option is to return the computer to the office, which isn't an option for staff in Melbourne who are under mandatory lockdown.

We opened the lines at 7am, and at 7:01am there were already 9 calls waiting, and only one T1 available to take calls.

This sucks. Worst Friday ever.
1) Buy 10 million floppy disks
2) Put the update on one floppy, and test it works.
3) Floppy copy 9,999,999 others.
4) Insert each in an envelope, add a stamp, go to Post Office, and drop them in the big red box outside.
5) Thank senior non-IT management for this process.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 09:20 AM   #2503
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
1) Buy 10 million floppy disks
2) Put the update on one floppy, and test it works.
3) Floppy copy 9,999,999 others.
4) Insert each in an envelope, add a stamp, go to Post Office, and drop them in the big red box outside.
5) Thank senior non-IT management for this process.
This assumes that the computers have floppy drives. None do these days. So you need to deliver users a USB plug-in floppy drive. Assuming that the computers have USB. In which case . . . .
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Old 2nd October 2020, 09:33 AM   #2504
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
This assumes that the computers have floppy drives. None do these days. So you need to deliver users a USB plug-in floppy drive. Assuming that the computers have USB. In which case . . . .

Also assuming the computers don't have "security" software blocking USB devices.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 09:45 AM   #2505
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Also assuming the computers don't have "security" software blocking USB devices.
Thus my ellipsis . . .
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Old 6th October 2020, 05:04 AM   #2506
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So just as a heads up if you're carrying a printer with a lower printer tray up a flight of stars and tilt the printer in just right way the paper tray will slide out and punch you square in the balls.
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Old 6th October 2020, 05:53 PM   #2507
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Good to know, thanks.
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Old 6th October 2020, 08:16 PM   #2508
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I got a bounce message from my ISP saying that an email I had sent had been bounced by the receipt's ISP because it was malformed and that I was to get some help/action/fix by forwarding the massage to the postmaster at my ISP. That email to postmaster@myisp.com was bounced with an email from the postmaster saying that "postmaster@myisp.com" was an invalid address.

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Old 7th October 2020, 01:22 AM   #2509
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Have you tried a "whois" for your ISP's domain? Usually includes a technical contact I think.
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Old 7th October 2020, 05:21 AM   #2510
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So just as a heads up if you're carrying a printer with a lower printer tray up a flight of stars and tilt the printer in just right way the paper tray will slide out and punch you square in the balls.
You are in the USA, surely such a poor design is grounds for a multi billion dollar group lawsuit?
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Old 7th October 2020, 05:53 AM   #2511
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So just as a heads up if you're carrying a printer with a lower printer tray up a flight of stars and tilt the printer in just right way the paper tray will slide out and punch you square in the balls.

I have a (somewhat long in the tooth) Epson Workforce 645.

It is a chore to get the paper tray to come out at the best of times. Sometimes I'm a little bit afraid I'll break something if I pull on it much harder.

I'd almost be willing to try your solution if I thought it would work.
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Old 7th October 2020, 09:08 AM   #2512
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Have you tried a "whois" for your ISP's domain? Usually includes a technical contact I think.
The message I sent was addressed to a number of addresses as a reply to a message from some else.

Tried again this morning, just in case the problem had gone away, with the same result. I then sent a new message to one of the non-working addresses. It did not bounce. So the problem appears to be in the content of the message to which I was replying. Not going to expend any more effort.
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Old 7th October 2020, 09:14 AM   #2513
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
I have a (somewhat long in the tooth) Epson Workforce 645.

It is a chore to get the paper tray to come out at the best of times. Sometimes I'm a little bit afraid I'll break something if I pull on it much harder.

I'd almost be willing to try your solution if I thought it would work.
Suggest you buy a JockstrapWP first.
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Old 7th October 2020, 09:36 AM   #2514
quadraginta
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Suggest you buy a JockstrapWP first.

Or ... I could hold the printer above my waist.
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Old 8th October 2020, 06:21 PM   #2515
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
A mandatory update to the Windows 10 license...
Further to this.

We've got it (mostly) fixed. If a client can return to the office, it fixes itself automatically. Not everybody can do that currently, so we have a manual fix for those who can't connect to Corporate Network over direct access. Problem is, it requires a local admin password to run. Because of course it does.

Retrieving the password and copying the scripts and accompanying data is easy enough. But often, the only tool we have that can actually remote access the affected computer is Skype for Business - we have to send them a Skype message and get them to present their screen.

The problem with that is that the presentation suspends when the computer prompts for the admin password. This is a standard limitation with Skype, and there isn't a workaround. We have to read the password out and get them to enter it.

Here's the rub: it's a strong password. And I mean STRONG. So this is what it's like:

"Okay, ready? Capital T, full stop, dollar sign, lower case G, numeral 3, plus sign, backslash that's the one above the enter key, lower case U, lower case B, capital Y, left curly bracket..."

Left curly bracket!. It's a bloody nightmare is what it is.

At least it works 100% of the time.
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Old 8th October 2020, 06:31 PM   #2516
Norman Alexander
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Or ... I could hold the printer above my waist.
Balance it on your head.
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Old 8th October 2020, 06:32 PM   #2517
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Further to this.

We've got it (mostly) fixed. If a client can return to the office, it fixes itself automatically. Not everybody can do that currently, so we have a manual fix for those who can't connect to Corporate Network over direct access. Problem is, it requires a local admin password to run. Because of course it does.

Retrieving the password and copying the scripts and accompanying data is easy enough. But often, the only tool we have that can actually remote access the affected computer is Skype for Business - we have to send them a Skype message and get them to present their screen.

The problem with that is that the presentation suspends when the computer prompts for the admin password. This is a standard limitation with Skype, and there isn't a workaround. We have to read the password out and get them to enter it.

Here's the rub: it's a strong password. And I mean STRONG. So this is what it's like:

"Okay, ready? Capital T, full stop, dollar sign, lower case G, numeral 3, plus sign, backslash that's the one above the enter key, lower case U, lower case B, capital Y, left curly bracket..."

Left curly bracket!. It's a bloody nightmare is what it is.

At least it works 100% of the time.
What's wrong with "p@sswerd"?
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Old 8th October 2020, 07:16 PM   #2518
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Further to this.

We've got it (mostly) fixed. If a client can return to the office, it fixes itself automatically. Not everybody can do that currently, so we have a manual fix for those who can't connect to Corporate Network over direct access. Problem is, it requires a local admin password to run. Because of course it does.

Retrieving the password and copying the scripts and accompanying data is easy enough. But often, the only tool we have that can actually remote access the affected computer is Skype for Business - we have to send them a Skype message and get them to present their screen.

The problem with that is that the presentation suspends when the computer prompts for the admin password. This is a standard limitation with Skype, and there isn't a workaround. We have to read the password out and get them to enter it.

Here's the rub: it's a strong password. And I mean STRONG. So this is what it's like:

"Okay, ready? Capital T, full stop, dollar sign, lower case G, numeral 3, plus sign, backslash that's the one above the enter key, lower case U, lower case B, capital Y, left curly bracket..."

Left curly bracket!. It's a bloody nightmare is what it is.

At least it works 100% of the time.
And that's when you learn how many people don't know the NATO phonetic alphabet, or even the need to produce a similar effect.
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Old 8th October 2020, 08:23 PM   #2519
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
And that's when you learn how many people don't know the NATO phonetic alphabet, or even the need to produce a similar effect.
I read an article a little while back that argued, quite persuasively, that the current Phonetic Alphabet (either the American or the European one - yes, they are different) is not that helpful and should be replaced. Something to do with the way sounds are transmitted over things that aren't shortwave radio.

The main reason I use a standard Phonetic Alphabet is that I have it memorised, so I don't have to hesitate to think of a word. I just say N for November, C for Charlie, Q for Quebec. People I speak to say "S for... uh... Su...zanne?"

A Phonetic Alphabet is useful. The Phonetic Alphabet isn't that great.
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Old 8th October 2020, 08:27 PM   #2520
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Despite everything, we have just managed to reduce our backlog of open incidents, which at the beginning of the week was in the 180s, down to zero.

That feels good. Sense of accomplishment.
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