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Comment Re:Oh Boeing... (Score 1) 403

I lived in Woking, about 11 miles from Heathrow back in the 80's. About 2:00 pm on a Sunday, there would be a VERY loud airplane overhead, look up, and sure enough, it was a Concorde. I saw 002 at the Prestwick airshow about 1972; it flew low over the crowd, and was even louder. It was, however, the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in the air; like a big paper dart. I kinda feel sorry that my sons will never look up and see something insanely impressive like that. Regardless of any other considerations, it was the most fantastic machine ever.

Comment Re:Has the worst happened (Score 2) 155

I very much doubt that anyone's data will be trashed, and the main account balance for RBS/NatWest does *not* live in a database (although many databases will be updated from there). I would think that they are currently trying to manually process a shit-ton of transactions which are usually processed via automatic nightly scheduling. When you have to do this, you want people around who really know the system, and it would appear that due to off-shoring, these people may not work for RBS any more. Hence getting things back in synch is taking an embarrassingly long time. In a sane world, a failure of CA-7 following an upgrade ought to be a piece of piss to remedy and recover from with competent staff, even in a major production system. Someone in the RBS hierarchy is going to have to explain how the discrepancy between this and what actually occurred arose, and if off-shoring was an aggravating factor, then heads should roll.

These are absolutely core business systems; making decisions which turn out to compromise their smooth running is unforgivable. If I banked with any bank in the RBS group, I'd be out of there ASAP if this indicative of how they run their operations.

Comment Problem and fix (Score 5, Informative) 155

Ok, RBS group (which includes NatWest) updates customer accounts via a vast number of batch jobs on a (very big) mainframe overnight. They use CA-7 (a job scheduler, originally written by Uccel) to manage the release, interdependencies and status of these jobs.

It would appear that an update to CA-7 resulted in the actual schedule for these being corrupted or deleted. Therefore they do not know how much any customer actually has in their account, since accounts were not updated with transactions from the previous day.

The problem now appears to be fixed (read: update backed out and control datasets restored), but they still have to run through three days of unprocessed transactions, so people are not getting money paid in during these three days into their accounts as expected, resulting in misery.

This is something which should have been detected and fixed in a competent mainframe site very quickly indeed, so I imagine that the wisdom of outsourcing any "back-office" function of this nature is shortly going to be a matter of very close scrutiny.

Hope this helps.

Comment The fuck? (Score 1) 215

"There are people who perceive that these sensors are triggered by conversations, but that is just patently not true," he said. "They don't turn on unless they hear a gunshot."'"

So they can hear a gunshot when they're not turned on? And that's patently true? Jeez, have you americans invented magic and not told the rest of us? Yes, I'm sure Slashdot readers can think of loads of ways to do just that (pressure sensitive switches, etc., etc.) but I was more askance at the sheer mendacity of the spokesman. The case is only extremely rare if he is lying through his teeth.

Comment Re:Big waves (Score 1) 107

Interesting link but some of the text is reminiscent of Julian and Sandy ( from "Round the Horne", I mean, "The Triple Island light was built to guide mariners through the rocky waters of Brown Passage, on their way to the port of Prince Rupert.", I ask ya!

Comment Re:Bad title. (Score 1) 166

Ok, people lust after '64 blackface Supers and Bassmen. And possibly blackface Deluxes (although I don't quite get than one), but you are comparing oranges with apples. Depends really what you are putting through them. Marshalls, generally, sound great with humbuckers (ie. Les Pauls), Fenders sound great with single coils (ie. Strats and Telecasters, and Gretsch). Which is not surprising, 'cos that's what they were designed for. If you heard someone slinging a Strat through a Marshall back in the old days, bet your life they had a treble booster in between. Or something in that vein. I've owned a few, and curse the day when I was left with a Fender Super Reverb to run a Les Paul through. It loves my Stratocaster though.

Comment Re:Real Live Amp Sound (Score 1) 166

Can only agee here. I saw Joe Bonamassa last night (in Glasgow), and I have to say that, despite Joe's undoubtedly good playing (with 4 Marshalls, RIP Jim), the entire experience was somewhat underwhelming. Sound mix was total shite to the point that we could hear the guitar, a bit of singing, but there were also keys & bass, who may have well as been miming. Could hear the cymbals acoustically, plus apparently soundless tom-toms & snare. To ice the cake, the front-of-house sound was about 1/10th second out of synch with what was actually being played. I played pub gigs for years, and have watched many others, and as the OP says, completely different (and better) quality of sound.

A drummer is generally very loud, so you will get along just fine with (variously) 40 watt Fender, 100 watt Marshall or anything in between, although perhaps two 4 x 12's will move maybe a wee bit too much air for the smaller venue. 300 watts for bass is not too much at all, but you have to be careful because larger speaker enclosures (eg. 15 inch speakers & up) don't sound loud until you are about 25 feet away from them.

The people in the '60s used backline amplification for instruments and PA for vocals only, and they were right.

It might be some modern thing; I don't seem to remember Blackmore, Hagar, Nugent, Gallaher, Moore et al sounding quite so bad 30-odd years ago, but that might just be old age, or perhaps the insidious creep of digital processing.

As an aside, I could kick myself for letting various point-to-point wired Marshalls go over the years, especially a little 20 watt head and 1 x 12 cabinet, and a Park 100 watt master volume combo. Lovely, lovely things...

Moral - avoid stadium rock if you care about sound quality.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother. - Kahlil Gibran