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Advent Calendar day 16


Forum lurking

One of the subforums on the ROOL site is called "Aldershot" (for long boring reasons that I might have had something to do with). It is a place where all the off-topic (non-nerdy) stuff can be discussed.

Except recently there has been an amount of discussion there, and some people clearly aren't happy with this. They'd like a killfile to block certain people's posts from being shown, or maybe just the Recent Posts view to not show the messages in Aldershot.

When referring to who to killfile, one person said:

Killfile two names, the 10000+ post spammer and assistant.
That gets rid of most of the crap.

Yes, I have written ten thousand posts. But spammer?

You can call me a troll, I do have my moments, especially when people say dumb things like how much better RISC OS would be if it was licenced GPL, or even dumber things like - in the twenty first century - extolling the virtues of writing everything in assembler like it was 1987.

But I have never been a spammer. I have never tried to sell stuff, I have never blitzed a forum with a load of computer generated messages. Every single one was typed by hand by me, and yes, it took time. Sometimes, even, a little bit of thought went into the crap I write. And, anyway, while ten thousand messages might look epic, that's over eight and a half years. Averaged out, it's a little over three posts per day.
Less exciting when written like that, isn't it?


Have I posted a number of messages recently to Aldershot? Yes. I live here alone, it's the middle of bloody winter, I was in "lockdown" (lifted as of today, in fact), and anyway that was pretty much about as close to a "social life" as I get. And, no, not everything I posted was off-topic gibberish. I have helped, I have fixed, I have even written some software, and come up with some ideas, discussed ideas of others. My posting history is available, feel free to read it.
And excuse me if I find being called a spammer to be, well, offensive.

To the complainer(s), I'm sorry the things we were talking about recently weren't suitable for your obviously narrow set of interests. You know, not everything interests me but I have honed a more useful ability of ignoring the stuff I'm not interested in. It's an ability that helps in life too. And I'm sorry that you feel the need to come up with a convoluted technical solution instead of just clicking the "Next page" link.

Don't fret. I have found other things to occupy my time. One, that I'm not going to talk about at the moment, started off as a dumb way to prove a point, but it's actually turning out to be an interesting exercise. Still utterly pointless, but hey, I'm having fun with it.
Prime Video has just released the first three episodes of The Expanse. Looking forward to that. And my "stuff to watch" list is ridiculously large, so I can spend some time catching up on a few things.

All things that don't involve upsetting the precious sancity of the forums.


Enedis FAIL

France's electical system is split into two parts. There's EDF (or ErDF these days) that generates electricity, supplies it, sends you a bill.
And there's Enedis that has been handling the rollout of the Linky smart meters. I think they might also look after the physical distribution network? I'm not sure.

Today, as mentioned in the video, I received an URGENT letter. When the Linky smart meters were being installed, some properties had new "disjoncteurs" (RCCB, I think that'd be in English) fitted.
Well, it turns out that some of those were not so good. As in a "call us NOW to make an appointment to have it replaced ASAP".

Great going.

So I phoned them up. About ten minutes of waiting until I got to speak to somebody. I told them that the disjoncteur here was not replaced when the Linky was fitted, that it's been there since 1968 and has been faithfully working ever since (at 650mA it wouldn't save my life, but it stopped big problems happening when a wiring fault in a washing machine shorted live to earth; a click and the power cut out without so much as a melted cable) so it'll be replaced over my dead body.
I don't think she knew quite what to make of that. So she went to script. Model number, serial number, what colour is it, give me your email address so I can send you a link for you to send us a photo. I did, and she confirmed what I already knew, their shonky half-ass failing disjonteurs was NMFP.
At which point I thanked her, wished her a merry Christmas, and hung up.

It was enough to take away the mechanical spinning disc meter, that's probably unceremoniously been turned into landfill. They're not taking the disjoncteur too. Back in 1968 they built stuff to last. In 2018? Well, don't these Linkys contain a little lithium cell with a lifespan of approximately ten years, and various anti-tamper devices so nobody can open the box and pop in another battery? I can see this being another expensive balls-up in a decade or so when these cells run out and... and what, do the meters start up after a power cut not knowing who their subscriber is? Or do they forget how much electricity has been consumed and, thus, would switch to some sort of failure mode?
I guess we're all going to find out circa 2028-2030.

Assuming we live that long. I said 2016 was a really naff year that, in the future, people would say "in what year" and before they've even finished the question people could reply "2016" because of how awful it was.
And then came along 2020 which made 2016 look like a school talent competition in comparison.


Happy Birthday?

If you're expecting me to say something about my birthday, don't. It's just another day to me.
I celebrate on the 16th of June. Six months from now when it'll be blue skies, long days, sunshine, and warmth. Pretty much everything that's missing from today. ☺

Yeah, technically I'm forty-mumble, as that's what it says on my passport and birth certificate. But if I'm going to celebrate, it isn't going to be in the deep dark dismal midwinter.



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VinceH, 17th December 2020, 00:07
I haven't read the ROOL forums properly in a while, other than my occasional glances - when I do catch up, I'll be doing so by reading the (checks) 5,000+ posts held in my RSS reader, on a forum by forum basis; each of the ROOL forums has its own feed. 
I'll just glance at many posts, and may even wipe out entire threads. And I could, if I wanted, add filters. 
So the solution for whoever made that comment is to use a decent RSS reader. (It might necessitate reading the forum on a different platform because I don't know what the state of RSS readers is on RISC OS - but there's a good chance they do anyway, TBH.)
David Pilling, 17th December 2020, 02:03
So the ROOL forum person is a troll. 
The disjoncteur differentiel was interesting. I would not expect them to be that old, '68 student riots and RCB/GFCI were being fitted in France. Earth leakage unit. A different class to the modern domestic ones, which trip on much smaller currents. 
They will get us here with the smart meters eventually - recently neighbours had one fitted and it turned off their power for a day (seemingly remote power off is a feature). 
YouTube may not be your best buddy, it suggested "Yo Yo Advent Calendar", no competition there, off I went. Turned out to be click bait, but how to boost your ratings next year. 
Zerosquare, 17th December 2020, 10:59
Happy... huh... non-birthday to you, Rick!
Rick, 17th December 2020, 15:27
Some people can do amazing things with yoyos. I'm not one of those people. 
Maybe you could watch me fail to hit Playmo people with one? Though it might get boring fast. 
I used to read a few times a day (now I don't bother, it's the same incoherent gibberish as before) but it's not a great hardship to just look up the list of Recent Posts and realise...all the time I'm saving. 😉 
Mom used to refer to the June one as my unbirthday. I would refer to my state of being in mid December as undead. 

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