* Posts by Alistair Dabbs

667 posts • joined 19 May 2009

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It’s DEJA VU: Customer forgets to tell us about essential feature AGAIN

Alistair Dabbs
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>> architecture / scope creep

It's about neither. It's an anecdote. If I could just make this shit up, I'd have a quieter life.

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Alistair Dabbs
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>> large white balloon

You want information? You're not going to get it!

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Alistair Dabbs
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>> Jennfer Connelly has curve

Yes, she looks nothing like her father, Cyril. Or was it Billy?

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Evil computers sense you’re in a hurry and mess with your head

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Ah, the old 'Error 51: Consult service manual.'

This is possible. I found a trick online that disables my printer's toner-out countdown, and I have not needed to change my toner carts for nearly two years.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: That Go West video

I don't know why, but this video has been pulled from YouTube and Vimeo. I quickly found a dodgy alternative. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Computers are afraid of me...

Thanks for the reminder about the Coronation kick. I first heard anecdote in April this year at the IEEE Milestone unveiling for Blumlein at Abbey Road.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Leaded glass

I will never work for a charity again. I did it twice, never got paid from either charity. When I pushed for payment, I received the "we're a charity, you know" treatment, despite having agreed on a contract before we started. When it got nasty, I left them alone: I would have come out worse off.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Flanders & Swann

Brabbins & Fyffe

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What do you MEAN, 'Click on the thing which looks like a Mondrian?'

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Click on the Save icon...

>> The one that looks like a 3 1/2" floppy disk.

Some interface designers have tried to solve this problem (no-one under 30 knows what a floppy disk looks like) by changing the button to look a bit like the casing of a hard disk. This is worse because not only do even fewer people know what a hard disk looks like, a thin blank rectangle with a dot (to represent an LED) is practically unrecognisable as anything.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: £££s

>> I think I'm going to throw up

I once felt unwell during a sushi-and-saki party, and the restaurant staff skilfully smuggled me out a back door and into a black cab. When I said I was feeling sick, he put his foot down and got me home in 20 mins instead of the customary 60.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Anyone been tempted?

>> Anyone remember MS-DOS?

Some years ago, a letter came in to the computer mag I was working for, in which a disabled man was complaining that MS-DOS kept insulting him. Being wheelchair-bound, he believed that the operating system was being sarcastic about his attempts to use DOS commands because it would respond "INVALID SYNTAX" every time.

I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a joke letter but I do wonder sometimes...

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Why do you keep using the phrase "training course"?

>> I went for a course in electroconvulsive therapy

Did you make any contacts?

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Why do you keep using the phrase "training course"?

Not sure what you mean. Are you suggesting it's a tautology? If so, I call it a 'training course' to distinguish it from a golf course, an assault course or a course in electroconvulsive therapy.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: £££s

>> black cab from Heathrow bound for a B&B in a side street in North Finchley.

Be reasonable. You honestly expect someone to have memorised every street name, location and directions to get there within the entire Greater London area?

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Call me a cab . . .

>> Or "at the roundabout, take the first exit", which happens to be a farm track

My Dad used to do this. As soon as the GPS told him to turn left, he'd immediately haul on the steering wheel and shoot up someone's front drive.

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Let me PLUG that up there, love. It’s perfectly standaAAARGH!

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Microwave recipes

>> http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3407497.htm

I kid you not, we owned a little gas camping stove right up until a couple of years ago, when I finally disposed of it. It had never been used. It had been sitting on a shelf in the garage ever since I bought it at the end of December 1999, "just in case".

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Education

>> School windows never open

The ones at my school did. In fact, they remained open, sun or rain. I remember our Latin teacher had a habit of casually tossing our marked exercise books, frisbee-style, to us from his desk at the front. If you were lucky enough to sit by a window, there was a chance that your exercise book might fly outside before you had a chance to catch it. That meant you were allowed to go outside (two floors down, in the playground) to fetch it. If you were unlucky, it would be raining and your book would be a pulpy lump by the time you retrieved it.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Microwave recipes

Still without a hob and getting rather fed up of laboriously cooking separate ingredients in the microwave in sequence, then finishing them off in the oven or under the grill. I have even learnt how to make frittatas in the microwave, and I have been told how to poach an egg in there (will try this over the weekend). The day I get the new hob fitted, I will cook something that requires me to use all four rings simultaneously. (Ooh matron etc)

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That man told me to stuff a ROLE up my USER ENTRY!

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Ah yes - access permissions

Thanks for the anecdote. It's nice to know I'm not the only one to experience this weird approach to rolling out corporate systems – in which the business spends $50 squillion on bespoke software, then thinks up all manner of ways to prevent its own staff from using it.

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Alistair Dabbs
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>> First rule of contracting club

I quite agree, but I always ask not to be given deletion rights. The drawback is that I have to ask a college to delete things for me every time. The huge advantage is that I will never get blamed for deleting something important (which some damn freelancer asked me to delete for them).

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FLICK my FLINT and SNIFF my TREE on the streets of Naples

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Another hazard of Naples

Yes, I read that. Apparently, the volcano was either erupting or constantly puffing out smoke for millennia right up until 1944, when the last eruption collapsed the interior. This means it has not been able to let off er... steam for 66 years and may be bottling something up pretty big, and it's 50-or-so year blast cycle is overdue now. We went for a walk around the crater.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: SItes

Yes, we visited Herculaneum. Much of the ancient town is still under slums. However, it has not been possible to acquire the slums with a view to widening the archaeological site and move the unfortunate residents into better accommodation because, according to our Italian guide, intransigence on the part of local politicians in the pockets of criminal gangs. How terribly exciting, I must say.

I think they are holding out for more cash from the charity that supports the dig: the Packard Foundation, set up by David you know who.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: The automatic banana peeler sounds useful

>> Those automatic bananas can be a bugger to peel.

Ah, I can see where you're going wrong. Try holding it in your hand instead.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: "to see the city’s most famous sites"

Sites. As in locations to visit. Sights can't be closed at weekends, unless of course someone covers them up with vast amounts of cloth.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Welcome Back

>> If only I had a baby. >> Or had bought baby related things in the past. >> Or had even looked at baby goods.

I think you should have a quiet word with your wife. She may have a surprise for you.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Maybe ....

>> those who eat citrus fruit in the office

My wife was in a sauna when a woman walked in, sat down and proceeded to munch through an orange. Everyone else had to leave because they were unable to breathe.

BTW, "munch through an orange" isn't a euphemism. At least, not yet.

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INTERNET of BOOBS: Scorching French lass reveals networked bikini

Alistair Dabbs
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The bikini isn't French

It's an Italian invention.

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Waitrose

>> scan the "finished" barcode on the automated till, do the normal credit card stuff, and leave.

You missed the bit where the machine says "RESCAN" and you have to stand there, red-faced, while a Waitrose employee laboriously rescans everything and repackaged your bags, piling the heaviest items on top of the eggs, and everyone in the supermarket stares at you like you were a shoplifter.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Me too

>> Hope Dabbsy is having a holiday

Here in Sorrento, it's nothing but humans serving in the shops. Actually, better than humans: they're Italians.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Some Dutch shops..

>> Worth Investigating, Mr Dabbs? A world tour of Supermarkets, perhaps?

You have to be taking the piss.

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The oracle knows all. Not THAT Oracle, of course

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Adam Ant

What, you mean this? ... STAND AND DELIVER!

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Quick Questions are better than

Who were you training? Columbo?

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Putting your schlong into the reel-to-reel tape machine is a bad idea

Alistair Dabbs
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>> it doesn't even mention this highlight of his career

Then it is my duty to update his Wikipedia page with my video.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Either you photoshopped your current profile photo

Nope, I was spawned in Kent and only brought up in Yorkshire. Now I'm back in Kent, I pretend to be miserable. In real life, I am positively chirpy.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Either you photoshopped your current profile photo

I'm a bit of a porker again, now. My profile photo was taken using selfie rules: from above, looking up.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Perspective, Mr. Dabbs

>> Which actor did P and P begin performing with

According to Wikipedia, it was John Slater, but I don't remember him. Wikipedia also says Pinky and Perky were revived as creepy CG characters in 2008, which I can only imagine was as hideous and terrifying as the CG series of Noddy.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: CRACKERJACK!!!!

Agree about Crowther, he was OK. Stewpot hosted the programme like a gym teacher who'd been asked to take a Geography class.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: I was 32 at the time with a young family, and it shows: I look tired and overweight

I could easily have clipped out the title sequence but I thought it was so very 90s with its glowing strawberries and sliced coconut. What did it all mean?

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: CRACKERJACK!!!!

Did anyone find Bernie Clifton amusing? I didn't mind Peter Glaze so much: you just felt sorry for him.

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Right Dabbsy my old son, you can cram this job right up your BLEEEARRGH

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Names: Google Glass

>> Is this not the killer App for a Google Glass style gadget?

I was thinking more along the lines of a Death Note and Shinigami Eyes but that would mean giving up half of my remaining life, etc.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Working in the movies...

>> Eyup Neil

I think you'll find that he was asking you to "kneel".

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: I blame the parents...

>> Do you find not even family members can spell it properly?

You're joking. Even I can't spell it properly.

- Staleair

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: The mobile phone company can never get my name right

Insurance companies always get my name wrong. No, I mean always, throughout my life since the day I was old enough to purchase my first insurance policy (for a stacked stereo system, I recall). I can only assume that it is a deliberate and systematic action to misspell names in a vain hope that it will allow them to wriggle out of paying up if I should ever put in a claim.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Ours were all Pauls

I once knew a Sally who was long and tall.

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Alistair Dabbs
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>> Paid for by European funding

Before the London Olympics, I tried to submit my expertise through the government's standard bidding process. I stumbled over the question that asked me whether my company had drawn up an equality and inclusion policy and distributed it to all my employees. Being self-employed, honest and an idiot, I ticked "No", whereupon I was booted out of the bidding process without further warning.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: I blame the parents...

It's Gallic for Alexander. Probably originally spelt in runes.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Xmas is your friend

Then you can greet her in the morning with: "So, how was it for you, Grandma?"

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SOD TABLETS, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a LAPTOP

Alistair Dabbs
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Re: Plus one vote for the 90s tv appearance digitisation

I'd started a family by then, so I didn't have time to visit the barber's and I was probably wearing my only shirt without vomit down the shoulders.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: : Wrong Memory Card

By eckers, lad, you have a good memory.

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Alistair Dabbs
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Re: The art of travel....

>> DSLR? One camera/one lens, unless it's a proper photo trip

My column this week was about work, and I've very recently begun a return to basic photojournalism. The telephoto lens is not optional. If it was a holiday, of course, I would leave the camera at home and take all my snaps on a smartphone.

>> Microsoft Surface might just be your friend

Tempted, tempted. Short of money, though.

>> Clown car packing

The famous 'clown car' is just the conventional way of rolling, folding and stuffing flat clothes into every crevice of a bag. Shame my cameras and toiletries aren't flat, foldable or or rollable.

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