34 posts • joined 11 Oct 2007
Testing or Polishing?
I produce control systems for a living. I have systems all over the world so support costs me money. I spend far more time on testing than polishing the UI's. My customers appreciate it and I get less support calls.
Microsoft are too worried about their image and ratings to care about the bugs they regularly ship to us. Imagine a programmer saying to the pre-release team "I have found an obscure bug". With the press briefed and the glossy advertising booked there would be no stopping the release. It would then be forgotten.
We, the customers, are Microsoft's largest debug team. And we don't' even get a discount!
Even the purchase of Nokia shows poor thinking. The deal is not yet done and Nokia announce a phone that runs Android! Go figure.
Since the start they ripped off education establishments (ie took our money) by re-badging and slightly modifying off-the-shelf equipment and selling it at a huge profit. You couldn't just add a hard disk to an RM box; oh-no you need their branded version.
Their networking sucked too.
Despite brave noises I cannot see how RM can survive as they no longer have a captive customer base or any products the education really wants.
On the downside a lot of local education authorities are now canning their school IT support departments as schools are doing it themselves.
Surely this business, although very welcome, is not enough to save Blackberry in it's current loss-making state?
I moved to NoMachine some time ago. When they offer their "NoMachine Anywhere" service then I will no longer need LogMeIn.
Re: fuck off
And if you are rural, like we are, with a less than adequate ADSL service, what are you expected to do when BT are looking for a wind-induced line fault? Twiddling thumbs does not keep a business moving.
Tail wagging the dog
Microsoft have painted themselves into a corner of their own making. They know there are a lot of XP users out there sitting on their hands. They also know that these same XP users do not really like or want Win8.
Even Win9 is being launched early to try and keep the spotlight on Microsoft.
The problem is the world is changing beneath them. They mocked Apple but then they just watched them overtake them in the marketplace. They pooh-poohed Android as a Google toy and watched them take the largest share of the phone and tablet market.
The only sizeable market left is corporate where Microsoft have been strong for years. But even there, BYOD, Cloud and tight budgets have worked against them. And corporate is where these XP boxes are. So, do they piss of their chips and risk defections to Linux or relent. Despite previous statements from Microsoft they have backed-down and it must be embarrassing.
With Ballmer going they have a chance of a major restructure and boy do they need it. All empires have their day and we are witnessing the fall of the original Microsoft. Once there is a new helmsman we will have a new dawn. IBM and Apple survived by looking at the market and then inwards - Microsoft need to do this with a very sharp knife - and soon!
So, Murdoch wants to strip news for free from Twitter and then charge us to read in on his paywall protected papers? Go figure!
to rushed ot carry out testing?
It appears that Microsoft are starting to panic and, as a result, are not thoroughly testing their code. Having missed Xmas last year, and with RT a flop, Microsoft need to get someone at the helm that can manage a big company - and FAST. They are rudderless at the moment. Yes, they have a cash mountain but it won't last forever.
Why do we accept this?
Microsoft got 13 years to get this product secure. Why should be product test XP for 13 years and then still be told that it is not secure after all. Then, we are advised to upgrade. Great for the Wintel conspiracy!
With so many XP installation in the wild why is Microsoft just abandoning it's customers? What other products that we buy do we get this sort of treatment? Imagine that every item in your house came with a replace-by date. Even Win7 is going to be expired in 2020 so then we have to upgrade to Win8? No way.
The sales driven security fear-sell is also becoming a bit wearing. We just aren't; buying it but don't try to make out that we are criminals when we don't jump to Microsoft's tune...
They have run the course and would be better to take the remaining cash and shutting up shop now rather than taking the painful slide into insolvency. With their better competitors also struggling then a take-over isn't likely either.
This is a new era and the Wintel conspiracy is coming to an end. Microsoft is looking rudderless and Intel has just woken up to a new competitor on the block.
The industry needed a kick or two and ARM/Apple/Android was just what was required.The latest chip announcements are part of a knee jerk reaction and they need to get it right.
Of course Intel did have their own foray into the ARM world some time ago but abandoned it.
They could buy ARM with lose change today which is why I am hanging onto my shares.
Another XP conundrum
So, you download your films again and then watch them for a minimum of five minutes and your ok to go yes? Wrong if you are using XP on an ageing PC. It seems like a Microsoft/Sky head lock to me.
Microsoft should have a t least thought of enabling some form of transfer mechanism into their Media player.
And they wonder why we don't like DRM, eBooks, cloud storage or anything that puts our stuff at risk?
We need some digital rights for the users as well as the suppliers here. It's all too one sided.
Admission of failure?
Surely U$oft are only bothering about this because it's own phone has failed in the market place?
Despite what Ballmer tells everyone, win7/8/Lumia phone is not the first phone we think of when purchasing or upgrading.
Considering how U$oft has bullied us in the desktop market for years this is really the pot calling the kettle; try buying a PC without Windoze!
Hopefully the EU will see this for what it is - the cries of a spoilt child that is no longer getting it's own way.
This smacks of desperation
The move to a bricks and mortar strategy will add lots of costs to their bottom line that hitherto Microsoft never had to think about. Trying to out-Apple Apple is not going to work either as they are in catch-up mode. And, unlike Apple, they still have their OEM chain to placate somehow.
With Intel pulling out of the motherboard market it is clear that the times they are a changing.
Time will tell but I think that the shareholders will be looking hard at the break-up options if U$oft continue to slide. I hedged my bets when I bough shares in Arm a few years ago...
Why does patching IE need a reboot?
I just tried the patch on one of my test machines and was surprised to find that it demands a reboot after applying. WTF does a browser patch need a reboot?
I am now trying to schedule my Windows, Adobe and Avast updates together as the reboot cost on a lot of machines is just too expensive.
The quality of Microsoft coding is more than suspect. Win8's quality will not be any better with the pressure of keeping up with Apple, Android and Linux. With both Arm and X86 platforms to support simultaneously I suspect that the quality problem is going to be much worse in the future.
At least the Linux systems rarely need a reboot :-)) I need a strong coffee.
Arrgggh a mass rebooting session as well!
I tried the latest patches on one of my PC's to see if a reboot is required. And, it is. Another weekend of updates and reboots to waste my time.
When U$oft marketing departments compare the TCO of Microsoft against alternative systems this is one metric they leave out.
My Linux platforms seldom need a reboot and, even if they do, they don't put an in-your-face dialogue box in the middle of the screen every 10 minutes. Why don't Microsoft realise that in a busy company later means much later.
This anger is compounded if Adobe decides to offer it's fixes at the same time. Not only do their patches usually need a reboot but you have to watch out for pre-ticked boxes offering to install software from a company currently run by a desperado and which you do not want or need. Ditto Oracle/Java but at least you never need a reboot...
Not just BBC is affected - Zinio as well
It's not just the BBC iPlayer that is affected but Zinio too,. Zinio, an online magazine system, can no longer get library updates from magazines you already own. So, after a major upgrade/re-install you have an empty reader! Zinio too recommend installing the previous version.
I'm getting tired of these large companies treating their users like monkey meat. And why do we keep being offered unwanted extra products by default? Even a simple update may land your PC with more bloat. I do NOT want a Yahoo bar or Ask Jeeves on my browser. Any I will decide when I want Google chrome......
mmm, you said "found it to be an extremely reliable platform." and then said "SQL Server Express using up all the memory after it's been online for a couple of weeks" - Surely, for a 24/7 embedded system, that is a major deal breaker?
And then, ever an optimist, you said "maybe SQL Server Embedded will address this." - this tells you all you need to know why you should try another platform. Unless you are a really BIG user, U$oft doesn't listen to it's customers and rarely acknowledges or fixes problems; their answer is either "start again with fresh install" or "take the upgrade".
Some of my systems run 24/7 for 5 to 10 years. A re-boot to fix a supplier's software problem is not an option.
Too many variants and missed the boat.
As an embedded developer I am amazed just how many variants of Windows 8 Embedded there are. The old CE was a bit of a dog to program and was lagging in features so I jumped ship to embedded Linux a while ago; some native and some locked-down Androids. We even get a database for free!
With no licence fees my per unit costs are now less and I have more flexibility than with Win8 embedded. Too late U$oft I am not returning to the fold.
Too late, too complicated and too expensive. Another Ballmer balls up in my view.
RM? You must be joking!
It's bad enough the U$oft are trying (desperately in my view) to get more Win8 users on board early but then you add RM as the sole supplier for this deal and you have a desperate partnership like U$oft - Nokia.
RM are slowly dying as the schools that were handsomely fleeced for high priced "special" disk drives and customised (read locked into ) software woke up and smelled the coffee. Most schools spend their IT budgets more wisely and quite a few are using their older existing hardware with Linux and Open Source software installed.
This is the ploy of a desperate behemoth and a desperate dying small fish.
Oversight or boundary pushing?
Surely a company like U$osft with building full of lawyers couldn't just forget this EU agreement? If they did then they re losing the plot. Alternatively, with full knowledge of their legal department, they are just pushing the EU boundaries to see how far they can go.
Either way Win8 is not for me or, I fear, a lot of corporate customers. U$oft don't like it but XP still rules in a lot of companies I know. And, with no easy upgrade to Win7, a lot of my customers are now visualising their XP systems and using VDI/RDP to access them.
If I were a betting man I would give very short odds on Ballmer being gone within 12 months.
The Elephant in the room
The stock overhang is an even bigger problem if it is not Windows 8 compatible. Without a qualified UEFI BIOS in place, then this is strictly Win7 or Linux stock.
With the success of Win8 not guaranteed by any means then there will need to be stock capable of addressing both markets and this can only be achieved with an installed UEFI with a disable option. Microsoft does not allow disable on it's ARM machines but does on it's X86 machines. If X86 PC's are installed with a disable option then the panic currently felt in the Linux community will be unfounded.
It seems unfair to the Chinese manufacturers on which Microsoft depends as platforms for it's product sales, are now being held to ransom by it's product requirements and delivery schedules.
We live in interesting times for sure.
As well as giving the power companies an Orwellian control over our electricity supply, there is the other question of who pays? I am sure that we will all pay for the meters on our fuel bills just like the feed-in tariffs. There is no free lunch here. And I will not hold my breath on the reduced fuel bill promise - that will never happen.
With security systems being broken every day, and even "unbreakable" encryption systems being cracked, surely the Government is naive in thinking that the smart metering system will be secure for ever? A lot of smart, bored, chess-playing eastern Europeans will relish the challenge.
I live in a very remote part of Wales where Broadband coverage is poor so how come I can suddenly be connected to a nationwide network that I didn't ask for?
Dafydd, North Wales
Disk Drive Rip-Off
I had an order for 2TB WD drives in the works with Misco when the floods occurred. The drives were in stock when I placed the order and delivery is usually next day. After 5 days I enquired where they were and was told the order had been mysteriously cancelled. Misco could not explain the cancellation at all but said I could re-order them. And, you guessed it, the price was now nearly double for exactly the same part number.
As WD drives are currently not being manufactured then these drives were either in stock or were in-transit at the time of the flood. The date codes were also pre-flood. Rip off, absolute rip-off!
Royal Mail Website
I purchase stamps online and one part of the process is to get the address using the postcode search etc. For my address, which has no house number or street the address, the address checker fills in the form ok. But, when I come to purchase the postage to print the label, it rejects it as invalid.
The stupid system rejects an address that IT generated - how daft is that?
I have lost count of the number of times I have emailed this problem in and never a replay and it is still not fixed.
The workaround is to type a single character (I use a space) into the street address.
Yeh right - No IE - no problem?
Try and use a number of Microsoft's own websites and you will be denied access unless you are using a Microsoft browser.
Surely, the EU should only left U$oft off the hook until the whole company is browser neutral? Since browsers ought to be W3C compliant then this should never be an issue. I
If U$oft think their browser is the best one then let them offer a free download with a shareware type charge of just 1$ for it. Just think of the possible revenue Redmond!
So now sue the AA
As he was deemed to be an employee then surely he was entitled the benefits that an employee would get? So, holiday pay, sick pay, training, out of pocket expenses etc. Also, the AA should contribute to the NHI as a normal employer would.
They cannot have it both ways.
I'm glad I quit contracting before IR35 came in. This sure is a mess!
Where else is there now?
I'm over 50 (like it matters) and have been with Demon for over 14 years. If fact, ever since I realised that Pipex were ripping me off. More importantly I use Demon for my business and we have ten direct connections and five customers who use Demon on our recommendation.
The reason we use Demon is fixed IP's, no usage caps and excellent uptime. When we get ADSL problems then Demon always manage to sort BT out when I can't.
If CW decide the just take the Demons customers into their existing system then we are doomed.
What CW should do is look at why Demon has so many faithful and satisfied users.
It's a sad day for sure. Talk-Talk anyone?
Vote with your feet
Let's face it some will vote with their feet and go elsewhere (are there other dotcom auction survivors?) and the rest of us will continue to use eBay. Yes the costs are getting a bit steep but look at the alternatives.
The local papers charge a lot (£25 for a classified) for poor coverage, only a couple of days of good visibility, and no PayPal or CC options - cash or cheque. Mostly you will have to drive to do the deal adding to buyers costs so some will decline to visit.
Boot sales are fading fast due to Ebay so early morning bargains are getting rare. And why waste 1/2 a day when an Ebay search takes 5 minutes and you don't even have to get dressed.
The free sheets only cover more densely populated areas and you may have to travel a distance (petrol costs 20p a mile) to see the item only to be told it is sold.
If you take a step back then, like it or not, Ebay is still the better option.
This has been done before but not with an integral camera. Usually, the camera points at the 360 mirror from below. The image is "corrected" using software. There is always a single point where there is no image.
See also http://www.0-360.com/
They lied once... and Talk Talk fib too....
Since BT have now admitted they lied to us then how are we expected to believe anything else they say?
Only one exchange? No private information? Small trial? Due diligence? No Cookie? No Mirroring? Opt out? ..... Once you are caught out lying then the trust goes. BT we don't believe you!
Only this morning I had TalkTalk trying to sell me their Phone/Broadband package. I asked about Phorm and he went quiet and then read out what seemed to be a prepared statement saying that the project was not certain to go ahead after some "difficulties".
Don't forget BAE's hand out too
BAE, despite saying it would "try" to come in on budget, has said the current overspend is £500m. It is holding it's hand out for more and it will get it too.
I bet BAE would get 70M for telescopes if there was a military purpose for it.
It seems that Astronomy doesn't have any votes in it...
Galileo yes, Gemini no
So, we have to spend millions of pounds on something we don't need and, it seems, cannot opt out of. A the same time we save £70m on Gemini - something we do need and is nearly completed. UK plc is bust!
Usoft does a reset too!
After the current patches one of my machines was rebooted automatically. After the reboot an update message balloon said this was necessary for security reasons - whose I wonder?
The machine in question is an unattended server and I have to explain to my users where their Instant messaging and MySQL database had gone...
This really is taking the pi$$. Microsoft really do rule the world!
(Thankfully, I am slowly migrating to Linux where resets seem to be very rare - even after updates!)