The cure for darkness is light. Not more darkness.

The matter of data centre security was raised recently on a network mailing list I subscribe to. Someone was wondering if data centres checked incoming equipment for “bad stuff” – explosives and what-not.

The reaction from some was “don’t talk about that, we don’t want to give people ideas”. What a muddle-headed response!

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Good error messages

I recall our little team getting into trouble many moons ago. We were writing a creditor system, and one of the requirements was for comments to be attachable to individual invoice lines. In COBOL every data structure has to be predefined. One of us thought that surely, surely, 400 comment lines would be enough for any one invoice line. This turned out not to be the case. Continue reading

VirtualBox flubs IPv6 (when in doubt, go wired)

I’ve just spent an hour struggling with (I thought) IPv6 on Windows 7. IPv6 is enabled by default on Windows 7. I was seeing autoconfigured addresses on the ethernet interface, but there was no IPv6 connectivity beyond that. Looking at it with Wireshark, I could see neighbor discovery packets leaving, but answer came there none. No firewall rules were blocking ICMPv6; in desperation I turned the firewalls OFF on both source and destination test machines – still nothing. What the…?

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Bank limits

True story: I tried to transfer some money from the Commonwealth Bank a few years ago, and struck a daily limit of $5000, with no way around it.

So when I was planning to move back to Australia from Switzerland and knew I’d need to transfer a deposit (for a house) out of Switzerland , I rang my Swiss bank. The following conversation ensued:

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