223 posts • joined 6 Mar 2008
At least the pr0n purveyors have caught up
and are offering 4K resolution downloads (got to love naughty america; they do keep up with the technology)
Trying to buy a laptop from Tiny Computers in England
When I moved to England, I tried to buy a laptop from a company called Tiny Computers (now defunct) and the PFY who was dealing with me refused to move on from the "No" answer when asked if I wanted the extended warranty (which he must have gained commission from). Eventually I said "if you do not move on from the question of the warranty, I will walk out right now". He moved on but tried to come back to the question later, so I walked out of the sales office, and ordered the laptop from their website on my credit card.
Game of Thrones - Palo Alto
And will the ghost of Carly please stop rattling her chains and saying "I told you so".
Great title for Sara's autobiography
"Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon"
a package for load balancing based on a trip around hyde park corner on a moped. Guess what they will be calling it?
Re: "The worst case of party pooping I've ever heard"
Will they bring Graham and his urn again (and the dust buster)?
Movie where trapped in a house with technical control with someone else
It was called Demon Seed, and was made in 1977.
The book was better (natch), but you could always hire Sandra Bullock's "The Net" (One of Jeremy Northram's better movies).
Work to Rule (or the Toolset)
I have approached my boss suggesting improvements to perform regular maintenance and reporting tasks and have been rebuffed at every turn. There are also quite a few shortcomings in the toolsets we use, again the case for improvements has been made and rejected (I am in the Run Team; we are not required to genuflect when the Architects walk past but it’s not far off). My boss manages both Run and Architecture Teams.
So, using the development tools available to me already and the knowledge I have gained from previous roles, I have created a small set of bespoke tools that make completing my daily task set a lot easier and faster.
Now, the question to be posed; since I have done this off my own initiative and time, and after having my proposed solutions rejected by the hierarchy, do the time gains I have made become mine to re-allocate, rather than my employers?
My position is “f**k ‘em”; I offered my expertise, they rejected it, I will deliver to the standard they have provided me the ability to do. And I will ration my performance improvements to meet the annual objectives over quite a few years.
Of course, any spare time can’t spend sitting on a couch with a beer and an Al-Bundy pose, so I will probably occupy myself with more interesting work (artificial intelligence, pattern matching and sharemarket trading). And vague chats to my co-workers indicates they are all up for adopting this approach too.
So, what does the illuminati here think?
Had a run of really thick operators at my old job
M rings me up at midnight saying "Bob Bob Bob there's a problem with your script". I ask "what is the problem", he says "its stopped", I ask "what is on the screen", he says "Press return to continue".
Even with all that GPU power
you'd still end up waiting for ages while she decided what to wear.
Here's an idea
if you are going to think up a way of allowing people to share copyrighted files, read some of the prior art (like Napster and Piratebay) and make sure you are dancing on the right side of the legal ambiguities. And if you stand up and go "nya nya nya", you make yourself a target.
Some more tools I found helpful
Female UPS Power Cable (mating with the power strips inside the cabinet) to a 2-way multibox with local power layout, great to recharge laptops and run either local hubs or DVD Drives (USB powered DVDs are, in my experience, bad at error correction on old CDs / DVDs).
One of every specification of cable (Serial, Power, Fibre) in your architecture, for troubleshooting purposes only (never to be given up EVER! as a replacement unit). Plus at least 3 x network cables, minimum 5 metres length.
3 or 4 Clothes pegs, for marking cable temporarily
At least 2 movies you own legitimately, in physical or digital media form, so when the external supplier brings the wrong part initially, you have something to occupy your time. Rotate on regular basis (Current selection: "300" and "Indie Game: the movie")
Headphones (see above).
Battle over technology licensing here
I believe the RealTouch device used the same technology but lost its licensing with its partner at the start of the year. This may be the partner going it alone (yeah yeah I know).
The Internet Party forms alliance with Mana in NZ
So KDC has pumped 3+ million into the Internet Party, and teams up with the Mana party (Mana = "Pride, Respect, Status" in Maori) to try and gain a seat in Parliament under the "coat-tails" provision of the MMP system.
So when the leader of the Internet Party, Laila Harre, was asked "who is your internet provider", she answers "I don't know, my husband usually pays all the bills". So, really serious about internet issues, isn't she?
Mind you, this is also the mainstream that think
that Kim Dot Com is an Entrepeneur and that he didn't form his own political party to prevent his extradition. Go figure.
No great loss
even our weather is 20 yeas behind the times.
The blonde, not Melanie Griffiths
Now if you managed the components of the Cloud yourself
but leased them from a provider, you could be in control of the problem and correct it quicker. So "Cloud as a Service, as a Service". (Should I stick a "quasi" in there?)
Avoid anything with "Guru" or "Jedi" in the title
"Guru" means they have a thin layer of personnel supporting the infrastructure and / or are too stingy to pay for training or proper consultancy, so are asking a single expert to bail them out
"Jedi" is just plain immature.
Low-ball Salary Offers
So, back down-under now, currently employed but always looking, I saw a Senior SysAdmin Job for one of the larger public services in another city. SAN, Linux, Virtualisation; all the goodies I have worked on in the last 3-4 years.
But! When I see the salary bracket, I chucked it in the bin. From my current role (which is senior but not that specialised) I would be taking a 25% paycut to take on a role with greater scope and higher responsibility. I reckon their HR department put the junior pay-grade figures on the senior role advert.
I also recalled about a year ago a Linux job in another city which kept lurking for 9 months online, with a low-ball salary for a wide range of disciplines at the 3rd level support arena. It was no wonder they couldn't fill it.
Are there many job adverts you find out there with ridiculously low salaries? Has anyone actually taken a low-ball salary and tried to bump them up afterwards?
In response to your question
Next patient, please!
Kim Dot Blob is getting D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D
What is funny is that he tweets the fact then asks for privacy. The local blogger serves him on that one.
Interesting tho that Mona is the major shareholder in Mega as KDC is banned from directorship. The local press is predicting he will be broke and on his way out of the country inside a year.
Grab some popcorn and sit back for the show.
The reason COBOL gained a foothold and became ubiqitous?
It played to the managers and bean counters that they could potentially understand IT, so woo-ed them to open their wallets. Same reason SAP has become so successful.
Yup, Kim Dot Blob's PR machine is in full swing
He is throwing out ideas from his Internet Party about reducing internet costs, scrapping limits and reducing regulation, while at the same time the company Chorus (responsible for the communications networks in NZ) is being court-ordered to reduce line rentals that it was using to fund part of the new ultra-fast broadband rollout. So how does he plan to fix both those problems in one stroke - re-nationalisation? More money?
Throw in the scandal about his Nazi Memorabilia fetish, his impending deportation to the US, his many false-start promises to fund new projects (america's cup campaigns, pop concerts, second pacific fibre cable) and his legal threats to former employees, the-artist-formerly-known-as-Schmitz is not a welcome guest here, and the sooner he tries to stop gaming our political system for his own enjoyment and leaves, the better.
And now he is confirmed as a Hitler Sympathiser
Independent reports verify he owns a rare signed copy of "Mein Kampf", written by someone he refers to as the "greatest german who has ever lived". He was also gifted a Nazi flag in 2011 for his birthday. He says "Seig Heil" when German visitors are present, based on reports from his mansion staff. (Read the whaleoil article for the evidence, the stuff article is a puff-piece).
So, still think this guy should form a politic party and run a business? IBM did well out of the holocaust, creating tabulating machines for the numbers of undesirables being gassed, so there is precedent here.
Re: @OzBob - Please get rid of this f**ker for us
so you're saying he's on a level playing field in terms of influence? Then it just makes him look like a bitch whose whining cos he's losing.
Re: Please get rid of this f**ker for us
This issue is far from over. Please note the following,..
- KDC is setting up an Internet Party in NZ, to contest the election in September. As a non-citizen he cannot run but can be the party president.
- He has already fallen foul of election laws by trying to launch the Internet Party earlier with an actual party, which would have breached gifting and campaign laws had it gone ahead.
- He has claimed this weekend he has one sitting MP ready to join his party.
- The co-leader of the NZ Green Party (currently in opposition) has said he would overrule any extradition order for KDC.
- Under NZ's MMP system, a party with one or two seats (out of the 120 available) can hold the balance of power in forming a coalition government. The papers here are speculating what conditions a coalition deal with the Internet Party would involve. Care to hazard a guess yourself?
So, can anyone think of another occurence of a german starting a political party with a specific agenda and ending holding the balance of power? How well did that work out?
The mainstream media in NZ has mostly feted KDC, as have quite a few politicians. Now they are embarrassed at being caught out, so they are largely silent on the negative coverage and its the blogosphere (ironically) that is putting this information out there. Visit the excellent Whaleoil Blog in NZ for proper news and analysis.
So, thumb me down and boo and hiss me like I'm a panto villian but watch this fat f**ker try to buy his way out of his extradition with political favour.
Please get rid of this f**ker for us
He is building up a bad line of credit here with various individuals and companies, yet flies around in a chopper and take expensive holidays. Here is a bus advertising both his rubbish house music album on the back, and the ISP he advertises for on the side.
Congrats on 100 not out (cricketting metaphor, ask Chris M Evans what it means)
Enjoyed the visual aspect of the webcast (If it has video, is it still a podcast?). Though the screen layout did look like "Brady Bunch: TNG"
And was that Amy from Engineers Unplugged on the far right?
I work for a vendor who likes to refer to "dog-fooding" as a methodology for using our own products. Its generally agreed amongst the techs that the management just pick this stuff off a shelf, we're the unlucky f*ckers who have to pick up a spoon.
Cue cross-dressing lumberjacks
with their own smut channel (who said it necessarily needed to be straight porn? or even good porn?)
Most managers I meet
confuse having the responsibility for seeing a decision being made, with the responsibility of actually having to make the decision. None of my senior practioner coworkers get consulted about viability of options. Most of the time a new product gets announced I ask "is this happening with us or to us"?
And what is the condition of her cat?
:) (This post is required and must contain letters)
Re: NZ Govt
You must be a NZ Labour supporter, whose leader (in opposition) called for the entire text of the trade agreement to be released before it was signed, to allow new zealanders to vote on it. Now as a (self-claimed) former trade negotiator, Mr Cunliffe would know that any premature release of an agreement before it was signed would be a breach of good faith and result in NZ being banned from all future negotiations. And yes, you display ignorance in the same order of magnitude.
The Royal Society Christmas Lectures on computers
Remember those from a few years ago? they were brilliant in showing counting, programming principles etc. They should task the producers of that program with teaching coding.
Yes it did, I got my Foundation Radio License there a few years ago. talk about mecca for techs. Apparently from other posts, they have moved out as well, and another organisation has moved into their place.
Killing Aussies? Must have been over pavlova
Don't recall seeing anything on the Beeb website.
Whaleoil is back and his tech crew put a good post on the pitfalls of working with a vendor during a DOS and migrating away from them. Sounds like there is difficulty in getting information on the attack without court orders.
Oh yeah, a famous blogger here has had a DOS attack on his website for 3 days now
and he generally slags off Kim-Dot-Blob, berates ferals who crash their cars killing people and blows the whistle on politicians having affairs. The list of possible initiators of the DOS attack is long, but distinguished.
Still extortionate internet pricing
but super adsl coming soon,(if the agency that is providing it can stop the courts amending the amount it can charge.)
Re: who is broadcasting from the kitchen?
Actually, "authentic" and "lazy, unprofessional, & can't be bothered" all sound the same to me. I get some of the guys at work who are "telecommuting from home" on VOIP and I have to listen to the kid throw a tantrum cos it can't watch the wiggles on DVD (seriously!) and the high-pitched screams go on all the way to the bedroom. My question to the guy was "have you asked for a payrise, cos you obviously live in a phone booth".
I want just one conversation on a call at a time, un-cluttered by distraction and to the point. If you are having trouble finding a place where nothing happens, pod-cast from your f**king bedroom.
Re: would you
Nah, I reckon they just want to see what Sarah looks like (hint: think Janice from "Friends" but with ink)
who is broadcasting from the kitchen?
or surreptiously doing their dishes during the podcast?
Question: did they also revoke the add-on functionality purchased?
Or are some kids getting power-ups for nothing here?
Get your retaliation in first
When you get above the rank-and-file of IT, you move into office politics, which has a completely different set of rules. One of those rules is that "the customer is always right, about what their initial requirements are" (Most customers only know the first stanza of that phrase).
So if you in IT can see a problem that needs a solution, analyse it and put the solution in before the customer has a chance to stick their oar in. Example, refreshes using disk copies, these had been taking a while for ages, so when we ordered a new SAN Array, I insisted in the replication licenses being included in the software bundle. I then wrote a set of scripts in a couple of weeks and had a working example with documentation in a month. All before the user got wind of it. They are still be used 5 years on, just modified for the new SAN Array commands.
The problem with this approach is you need separation from the customer so you can do this in private, you need a boss who trusts your judgement and will back your recommendations and you need the skills to complete what you are getting into without an external consultant. Oh and a test environment you can take out during the day.
Some final hints,...
Never! let the customer look under the hood at what you have done, they will dismiss it because they do not understand it.
Never! allow an alternate methodology to be trialled first, you will never be allowed to get back to yours.
Never! accept anyone's word if it is not in an auditable email. A casual approval should be responded to with "flick me an email with your formal approval so I can attach it to the request".
Always! quote timings to implement as "from formal approval" and use the words "formal approval" repeatedly in meetings to emphasise the point.
Thank f**k I am retiring soon.
Originally hypothesised in the comic "2000AD"
Time travel and alien races do exist, the only reason they haven't visited is that they don't really see the point (when was the last time you had tea and a conversation with a chimpanzee?)
Free Stephen Wragg!
So Bond is "fiction"
FFS, he's not like "the Doctor" and regenerates, they are different actors - of course it is fiction! They make have thrown a little tradecraft in since Daniel Craig took over the role but its still fantasy and a little bit of satire.
BTW, my best friend tries to treat alcohol and women similar to Bond (inability to deal with reality and contempt for the opposite sex), and he looks like a tramp (at 44 years old.). Not an advisable career choice.
is it just me or is there
a lot more swearing on Alistair's articles these days? The trainspotting motif hoves back into view.
This sort of reminds me of concorde
ie. the British simply beavering away on a simple concept that is complex to implement, but doing it quite well and without too much self-congratulatory fanfare.
Excellent Article, A+
Re: I blame the unions.
And there is the difference between a bad computer system and a good one; a bad one enforces arbitrary rules on the user, a good one presents the information to the user and allows them to make the decision (but summarises that info to prevent clashes and tracks the decision for oversight later).
I used to run a mainframe (40x80 terminal) airline passenger booking system for a small domestic airline (with large airplanes), which would routinely have aircraft fall over halfway through a trip. My solution was to re-present all the passengers on board from that particular leg in different orders (sequence as selected by the user), and allow the front-of-house to rebook them using their existing information onto a new flight by putting an "X" next to their name and pressing Xmit. (Families were selected as one group to ensure they did not get separated). The system resubmitted their information to the back-end booking procedures without requiring re-entry of data.
But I was master of the system, and the users defered to my judgement on design matters (not like now, where they think they know it all).
(Said in the voice of Al Bundy)
They should go to a nudie bar!
(Sorry I just watched "The Internship").