560 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009
Re: The lesson of the LS120
It's actually two of us.I got the drive.
But I only ever bought 1 or 2 discs. And I had to save up for this.
The lesson of the LS120
There is a section of the technology industry that seems to think that it can always sell its products for a high premium price, so doesn't need to charge a customer friendly one. Sometimes they get away with it. (iprices). But sometimes they get bitten.
I chose the example of the LS120 "Super floppy". Because the cost of the discs was so exhorbitant that no one bought the damned things. Eventually they got overtaken by cheap CDs.
No, fair enough. I should have realised that. Wasn't thinking I guess.
Agree, but then I also wonder who clicks on these adverts. I may be wrong but I am guessing they're not ads for the more mainstream types of product.
Between the 1970s and the 1990s the accountants took over the world. And to them staff are just bits of machinery. SO if they can be made more productive with real machinery you just get rid of a few, you certainly don't reduce their hours.
And yes, the attitude is essentially 18th C mill owner, but with a fancy certificate.
Who does the UAT and also when? That's the question.
A few years back a great chunk of my time was spent sitting with the manager who had done the UAT work on a major data sharing system that we were all meant to be using, because it was pretty well unusable.Trying to show her how it should have been set up to work. So that she could then go back to the developers to get it sorted out. It was a clumsy design, poorly implemented and mostly unusable. Things like, if the user paused for even a few seconds the screen they were working on closed ( for security) and the data was lost. Or navigating to different parts was a bit like playing Myst. ( But without the graphics).
The thing is, she'd headed up the team that briefed the system designers and tried the system out, but had never approached any ordinary users. let alone the external client groups who'd be providing the bulk of the information. God knows what the designers thought they were meant to be doing and how much of the mess was theirs and how much was hers. But as a clue, the system only worked with IE 6 - already obsolete by then.
So what, I've equally found odd errors in Garmin's and TomTom maps -like not knowing that there are two adjacent roundabouts in a junction and telling me to turn left at "the roundabout" when I need to turn left at the second one. Or not knowing that a (different) roundabout has a new exit, before the one it was indicating.
I use each of them. So far I haven't personally had any problems with Bing and its instructions have been really clear and unambiguous.
And we all know what happened when the fruit based mapping was introduced.
But there are commentards who have hating Microsoft as a religion.
Re: Some nice points
I love teaching LOGO. I've used it over the years with numerous kids who have given up on on learning, particularly learning to read - my main professional role- because it teaches them to think logically, to understand that sequence has significance and that it takes the combination of a number of different strategies to get a result.
Not just getting the turtle to whizz around the screen. But actually getting the kids to put together a proper programme, structured. So that they can go back to class, enter the name of their routine and the turtle will draw a picture on the IWB. Maybe a house, with windows, roof, garden, trees etc. Or a car when they type "car".
BUT, that's a world away from having a class of 30 kids dutifully typing sequences of boiler plate code. My LOGO work starts with getting the kids hooked on the idea of controlling the "turtle" and then setting small challenges to lead them through to bigger ones.
The government and its allies believe that education should be al about drilling stuff into kids. Step by mechanical step. Reading is taught by pure, mechanical, phonic "decoding" and computing taught by pure, mechanical "coding" .
I have a deep suspicion that Coding isn't the New Latin. But rather the New Woodwork. In effect, teaching kids to do jobs.
When I was at school we all had to learn to make dovetails and fasten stupid bits of wood to together. I don't think many of us were wanting to be joiners, and some of us were turned completely off the idea of any kind of skilled work by this dreadful tedium.
Latin was for the remaining grammar schools, where they expected kids to go to posh universities.
Coding is the 21st Century version of getting kids to so something at school that will be useful - because education is wasted on the working classes.
Sadly, the growing prevalence of the belief that the authorities are lying to us, whenever anything happens has meant that there are a lot of people who will trust rumours and whispers ahead of any factual statement. It's only an extension of the way that people will choose to believe utter crap if it suits them.
All TwitFace and the like do is provide a much more efficient manure spreader.
Re: Are Eccles Cakes subject to the appellation controlée laws?
So Eccles cakes aren't from Eccles. Then I guess Bakewell Tarts aren't from Bakewell and Banofee Pie isn't even from Banoffee.
Well, there's also the Bury (Home of the late Robert Peel and origin of the Black Pudding) area to the North of Manchester.
And Southern Softies indeed, Alderly Edge. So all those footballers and their current wives, and the astronomy types from Jodrell Bank may well be scooped in to that as well.
Unless it is just Sky. In which case, serves 'em right.
Re: Finally, a decent replacement for SliTeX & WTF is with the down vores for Matty B? (was Terry 6)
Well yeah. Matty's comment seems pretty reasonable ( not short, but reasonable).
Computers are for users.
Not for the IT guys.
And if the ordinary user can make a presentation this way, and it meets the purpose. Good.
Most users probably need about 1% of the software functionality they have. And probably don't know how to use the rest.
Even "Power Users" discover functions on a need basis. When they need to do something they find out how.
So if "Sway" gives users a toy to play with, and they can use it, cool!
@James51 That occurred to me too. It sounds fun, and interesting. But as with OneNote's slightly confusing way of organising stuff I suspect I'd end up using some third party version that works more easily. (Like I use Evernote now).
I think personally it'd be OK if the penalties for failing to encrypt data were stringent enough. And enough means that the people responsible would be prosecuted just like they would be for any breach of building or fire regs.
@Tom 38 (no title on your post)
£15 a month is a lot of money for many people: They can't afford it.
£15 a month is a lot of money for many other people: They have better things to spend £180 a year on.
£15 a month is a lot of money for many people: They live in "dead spots" and get sod all signal.
No AC. You missed the point. Without all these rules the free market will sort everything out to perfection. No company will get too large and be able to control price or supply. No contract would be devious and unfair. No children would be used in production. No products will be unsafe because we would just choose the safe one from a free and open market, hotels would charge a reasonable price for internet use and.....,Oh wait. .
Re: Sorry, no.
Also, maybe you took the beers (canned, barcoded etc,) out to make room for the home brewed (nn electronic tag) stuff your mates brought round. Or because you're expecting to bring back a supply of cider from the farmer's market.
I don't want my fridge becoming one of those hotel room things that tries to charge me each time I knock a bottle of their nasty wine while trying to squeeze in a carton of proper milk for my tea.
"..I suspect a lot of it will do for personal admin what the mobile did for social admin: Cut out on some of the pre-planning that we do in our lives. Just like there is now no need to pre-plan a trip to 'X' pub for 'X' time, because you can text people if..."
As in, "Sorry I missed my godson's christening, I didn't see the message on facebook" which I heard recently.
Only then it will be, "Sorry I didn't buy the eggs, Tesco didn't realise we needed them ."
Re: Your Fridge has shut down unexpectantly, please reboot ...
That's interesting. I thought fridges just plugged into the mains, like almost everything else. Mine have always done. As have those of my friends and family, the places I've worked, etc.
Are we talking everyday domestic fridges, or big industrial jobbies.
at the end of the day*
It's my f*****g fridge. And I don't want anyone outside my house knowing what I keep in it. It's no one's business if I do choose to fill it with cream and beer. Nor do I want it telling me not to.
I know perfectly well what to avoid buying. It's not the fridge's decision, it's mine.
*Sorry about the cliche.
Re: Industry has had IoT for quite a while
"You do realize that the alternative is to write things down on a slip of paper, right?"
Well, carry it in your phone if you must. But the fridge list can only tell you what you've run out of. With a bit of big data snooping it might know that you usually need butter on Wednesday, or whatever, but beyond that it's not going to be any better than a list of things you bought and used previously.
" Yes Amazon, I did buy Gorgonzola last week, no I don't want to buy another effing lump of the effing stuff"
Think of all the stupid emails you get from Amazon about stuff you've already bought ( often from them).
Re: Your Fridge has shut down unexpectantly, please reboot ...
It woiuld not be OK to turn off most of these;
". Electric heaters & ovens, aircon, washing machines, dishwashers, pond pumps, central heating systems, bread makers, printers. "
Pond pumps maybe. Are they a significant contribution to energy use?
But electric heaters and ovens have a device that keeps the temperature at a functional level, it's called a thermostat. Anything else is going to be ineffective. You can't leave people without heating for long and the energy would just be used to regain temperature a short whiole later. Ovens often need to cook at a steady controlled temperature, and agai the thermostat controls that. Better insualtion is a damned sight more useful that Big Brother controlling our cooking times.. Bread makers need to make bread according to a schedule.
And printers? Routine office printers or big industrial ones? Do office printers use much energy when they're not printing? You can't completely switch them off if you want to switch them on again. So the effect isn't going to be great. Apart from the little matter of practicality, having them when you need them.
Re: It seemed that only the pretty ones in the sales team were allowed out and made to wear the shorted/tightest skirts they could find."
Probably handpicked for looks, which seriously begs the question of who it is they are trying to attract.
Their webpage says "CIOs, Heads of IT, Technology Experts.....".
Working on the assumption that female CIOs etc aren't going to be too impressed, and that the businesses who hire the short skirted sales teams know what will sell there is an implication that those CIOs etc aren't the best people to be attending these events. If a short skirt is enough to cloud their judgement it suggests that the judgement isn't very good to start with.
Compare this to similar trade events for, say, Education professionals. It's a mixture of Power Dressing and teacherly brown jackets doing the selling. But then the Head Teachers, Heads of department and education experts are basically competent professionals who are there to find stuff out.
Even if the man is a hairy knuckled Neanderthal, or a total waste of air, as some here would consider him to be, he still ought to have been prepared for this session, known what the issues were and been prepared to give an appropriate response. Even without a PR team to support him. It's what any senior manager ( and indeed any competent junior manager) would be expected to be able to manage. It's called professionalism.
Re: face plam
I guess that's just a poor attempt at trolling. Ho hum.
Many will be away from home for the first time.
Most will have gone from a protected school system to the Uni's system, which supposedly has much more sophisticated and grown up IT support than their schools' did.
Most will trust their Uni's systems for all of those reasons and because it is, after all, their Uni to which they have a general trust and loyalty. (Unlike in my day, when the University's admininstration was automatically seen as the enemy with suits).
Add in that ( also unlike in my day) they have a heavy workload of assignments coming their way - probably mostly by email.
It's not surprising that these kids didn't act like seasoned IT professionals.
(Caveat - if they have a computer science faculty and those students responded so poorly they should all be given an immediate fail IMO).
But the products
The thing is that Windows 7 and Office (even with the stupid ribbon) and the Windows Phone are basically good products that Microsoft seems to have been determined to f**k up.
And the f**k up seems to be because someone in there is determined to push their view onto an unwelcoming public.
I actually like my Windows phone more than any other I've had. But it still has annoyances that irritate me and some of which would probably put many users off completely. So,for example, the low end 635 that I have is meant to be a mass market device. But the average punter wants a device with a self facing camera and flash. Which it hasn't got - no doubt to keep costs down. And, should they look for something just a bit more expensive and capable, but not near the top-end, they won't find it. Because, it appears, MS are looking to push sales up to the top end and stuff the middle.
But touch any other MS product and you'll see the same muddy paw prints. Did anyone ask for the ribbon? Or for "Metro" as it was then called, rather patronisingly IMHO.
Bit unfair if you think that's a troll's comments.
El Reg's income
Give the Register a chance. They have to earn a crust too. Click the Reddit link, you don't have to read it if you don't want to and it doesn't do you any harm.
Personally I unblock ads from time to time, and click on a few things, on any site that I want to support.
Even a fan
I'm not a Microsoft hater, maybe I'm almost a fan. I've always been relatively happy to stick with Microsoft. Sometimes their decisions have seemed absolutely barking or even just plain mean (Win 8.Clippy,, Ribbon, ending support for Money, not providing Publisher/Outlook in some versions of office etc) but basically a set of decent products that ordinary people can use.
But a cynical price increase in a fundamental product in the market segment that is most able to move off is just plain insanity.
My guess is that yes they think this segment will absorb the cost, or move to their cloud service, like the article says, where SoHo sales can't.
But it's also the segment that has the sophistication and adaptability to migrate.
Re: Harvey's law
Not psychopathically suicidal, just normal bean counter thinking. They only see ways to syphon cash, (sorry maximise revenue) not the effect this has on the overall business.
Re: There is only one way.
No, I'm getting a load of spam on my business email address at the moment. None of it is sophisticated. Just ads for stuff that no one with a half a brain would consider buying.
Anyone who is stupid enough to click on those links needs to rounded up and taken for re-education.
Sadly, as the net has become a tool that anyone can use without thought it's become open to the types who just don't think.
Re: Article is a load of crap
Some good points in that comment. When I was a kid (maybe 50 years back) in the UK a lot of people still rented their TVs, because it wasn't economical to buy and repair them, except as conspicuous consumption items for the better off. Come to think of it, how many had their own cars? Only those who had money to spare to buy and maintain them . The rest took the bus. Public transport is, in effect, renting vehicle space. And in the UK we didn't even own a phone. All was rented from the phone company.
"I am sure I could be a competent farmer. But do you really want me to spend my time farming or using my education to design drugs and provide you with medicine?" As quoted from Phil Dude
This said just about three days after it was pointed out in the media that research showing that some anti-depressants could help with brain cancers was suffering from lack of development funds because the drug companies wouldn't make enough extra cash from finding a new use for existing drugs.
Two strands, really
Even if everything in the article is true, that doesn't mean any collusion between political impertives and business', Companies are set up to make profit. Shareholders want more, because that's simply human greed.
So whatever the government wants, unless we have a command economy those built-in obsescences will exist.
Yes politicians and the like do behave in those ways. But that's a different story.
You don't have to click......
....on every stupid bit of clickbait you see.
Or "like" every damn stupid comment either.
And anyone who buys from an ad that magically appears in their browser needs certifying.
Sadly that seems to be a significan part of humanity.
Re: Tiles should replace icons fully - everywhere.
Spot on Dat.o
As much as I like the live tiles on my personal Winphone a desktop is where staff find their work. The OS is there to hold that stuff. That's what users need it to do. As unobtrusively as possible.
We care about the toolkit, not the toolbox.
Most users would be happy with Win 3.11 if it could support the 21stC hard/software. (And most probably don't use many more features than we had with Word for Windows 6,)
said it all
"Good enough is good enough - just like with CPU power, where a CPU from 2009-ish is vastly overpowered for MS Office ".
An OS is just a way to make the things work. So if the things work it doesn't need to change. In reality once people were on to Win 3.1 the only need for a new OS was a new development in computing - like networking or USB.
To most users the OS is no different from the buttons on their remote. You press them to make the thing you want happen. It needs to look nice and be easy to press. (Win 8.1 on a phone is brilliant, but not on a laptop btw ).
Think how many users fail to distinguish between the monitor, PC, OS and software.
(Hands up anyone who hasn't had a user call and say "The email isn't working" when the PC has just crashed. If your hand is up you either don't work with any users or you're lying.)
Re: No surprise here
Tickets used to have a blanket agreement on the back, accepting their T&Cs which were, on display somewhere or other (what was that line from Hitchiker?). Basically it said that by purchasing the ticket you agreed to give them some money and they promised to give you pretty much nothing, not even a ride on their bus/tube, unless it suited them.
Re: Oh so true...
"Yes portforwarding requires a tiny bit of IT knowledge which I hope you have, visiting this site"
But so many commentards forget that we're a small subset of the user group. So any item which is about generally applicable tech is not something that we can view from just our own standpoint. If you can do it and I can do it it's still not going to work unless thay can do it.
They are out there
making sure we don't find their supplies of instant mashed spuds.
Something I'd long assumed...
...after many years of trialling a lot of new products, working alongside tecchies and discussing new products with them and other users.
"the moment a project kicks off, a wayward gang of obnoxious louts – newly appointed IT directors, mid-management bosses and "oh-I-have-an-idea" types – pull it to pieces while the marketing bods who sold the idea to the clients in the first place without caring about dreary matters such as reality and possibility tell the poor programming sods"
Except that I felt that the marketing types were a lot more culpable. Too many products that had some annoying feature that clearly only existed to promote further sales.
A simple example, that I assumed was in this category - the "app" for Box cloud storage. This piece of software installls itself to autorun from the registry for " all users" in HKLM with no option for just one of the users on the machine to use it. So on a single PC with more than one user ( a typical SoHo setup) the dratted thing pops up to annoy any other users when they log-in with their own credentials. I am pretty conviced that this is deliberately done so that ( in their minds) the other user(s) will choose to register and log in to their product.
Windows Phone sales
On a certain website dedicated to WP users there's a comment, actually a quote overheard by a contributor, making the point that phone (and tablet) users who had already got used to Android (or Apple) machines weren't familiar or comfortably with using these new Windows phone thingies.
Which points up what happened. It seems pretty clear that the marketing types convinced Microsoft's managers that the way to move people on was to get to them through the desktop.
Dammit- you got there before me.
Re: Wire me up
Feed back how hard you're working to the beancounters more like.
..was that Bing was making a prediction.
Now, from time to time I use the facebook translation option, which uses Bing. To be fair, it seems to be improving a bit, but in general, what gibberish!
I shouldn't be shocked. But the idea that the world's biggest spy agencies buy in their spying tools does shock me. What next? M given the boot and 007 having to get his gadgets from Maplins? The CIA buying miniature cameras from the back of magazines?
Weekend and so...
...with poo impacting on the ventilation no one can be found to comment. How much do these guys get paid?
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