CentOS threatened with FBI for “hacking” a web site.

A Jerry A. Taylor appears to need to get a clue – despite the fact that he has “22 years in computer systems engineering and operation” , when his hosting provider mussed up, he decided to threaten CentOS, as obviously the fact that the web server was displaying a nice message from them it was their fault.

You really can’t make up stories like this, and this guy is set to become an internet legend.

One of their websites still hasn’t been fixed when I write this.

I actually can’t believe how civil the guys at CentOS kept being in the face of a complete and utter… I would have probably taken them up on thier offer to send in the FBI, and let them be had for wasting police time.

Centos full email exchange

Computers and Mice

Computers should be kept away from mice – they don’t mix! I have just got my Sharp MZ-80K out of the box from the loft ready for my computer museum exhibition for National Science Week on Thursday and Friday.

I opened the box (yes, an original 1979 box), and inside to my horror I see small shreds of paper. I’ve seen this before – the cats brought a mouse in, and it managed to hide out in my office at home when it was just a store-room. We cleared that room out a few years ago, and moved the MZ-80K up into the loft out of the way. Anyway there was distinct evidence in the box of mouse related activity, and upon further investigation, the little blighter has eaten the bottom half of about 15 pages of my Hisoft Pascal manual – fortunately I have a photocopy of that manual, also in the box, but untouched – the animal only goes for original paper.

So I clean out all the remains of the mouse nest, get the machine out of the box, perform a cursory examination of the inside of the machine – one wire chewed through, but it’s just one of the wires connecting the led that displays keyboard state – no worries there, that can be fixed in due course. Ok, plug it in and switch on – the sound of the monitor powering up, and immediately down again – hmmm, something not right here – I guess there’s a fuse just blown for some reason.

I check the fuse in the plug – that’s ok, right how about the resistance between the neutral and power on the plug – that’s too high to be a primary winding on the transformer – time to take the power supply apart.

As soon as I start to take the PSU apart I realise there’s something amiss mainly due to the number of peanuts falling out of it… Some old fashioned form of capacitance – nope just a mouse’s winter store – when the blighter was in my office it must have found the bag of peanuts for the birds and relocated a number of them inside the power supply – must be causing a short somewhere, sure enough the primary input fuse has blown on the PSU, and I’m going to have to try to replace that tomorrow – I’ll take the machine into work, and see what Ian thinks of it. There’s going to be some damage to some components I think, but hopefully nothing that can’t be fixed. After all, this thing was my first computer – my parents bought it for my in about 1979, and its been through a lot – it would be a shame to lose it to a mouse.

more photos of the damage can be viewed here

And finally, talking of the 70’s check out the David Gilmour concert on Radio 2 – you can watch some of it by pressing the red button on any BBC TV channel, or listen to it on the Radio 2 listen again service – I just love the sax in Shine on you Crazy Diamond.

The beast lives again

After my last post, things have moved on… Apaft from the amazing smoking BBC model B, everything survived science week. And tonight I brought home the repaired power supply for the MZ80K, plugged it in, and it all works again – some of the keyboard switches are a little sticky, but it didn’t take very much work to revitalise them – I love old robust technology.


At one time I tried to build an add on graphics board for the MZ80K, and my soldering skills were a little less than perfect when I was at school. I soldered directly onto a static RAM chip, and ended up blowing the chip slightly – 8 cursors on the screen at a time, and an upset machine. It was a little worrying, but I was able to order a replacement chip, and a socket to mount it in ( I learned that lesson ) . I soldered the socket onto the board, inserted the chip, and everything worked again. The socket can be seen on the large version of the right hand photo – it’s blue, and near the middle of the circuit board.

Another time, the lid of the machine came down when I left something on top of the power supply, breaking the corner off the tape deck control circuit board – half a dozen wires now jumper the 2 halves back together, and it still works well today. Try doing that with your modern PC! Mind you – the games are not exactly the height of technology.