* Posts by Terry 6

858 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

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Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

Terry 6
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Re: Why free?

Eastfinchleyite

As it happens, I did buy a new laptop today, largely because of the update.

Older child's three year old HP laptop has been a pain in the a*** from day one.

It already has had a serious warranty repair then another repair out of warranty, and now having problems with the sound socket. So when the update to Win 10 stalled at 55%* I just thought sod it, headed up to Tesco at Borehamwood and got her a new one to take back to uni ( she can keep the old one to use at home - or else I'll wipe it and stick Mint on.)

But if it hadn't been for the update I'd probably have had a new socket soldered in and kept it running for another year.

*There are a few reports about this happening, on the web, but none seem to have a relevant solution

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Terry 6
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Gimp

Re: Free you say?

Linux isn't for you average Joe, having to occasionally drop into the command line,

As it happens command line AKA Powershell was pretty much my first port of call with Win 10.

To get rid of as much of the Win 10 bloat as I could.

And I like Win 10

remove-appxpackage "packagefullname"

for a whole bunch of c***p that comes with Win 10

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

Terry 6
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Re: I have 600

It becomes very finite when the installer writes a link to the actual programme, another to the software options menu, another to the uninstaller and another to "xprogramme on the web".

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Terry 6
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Decisions

What kind of idiot coded a 512 limit, and coded an ugly fail when the limit is exceeded?

Forty years doing various jobs as a trainer, user, and support.

And I can't think of a year when I haven't come across some sort of design decision that seems bound to cause far more trouble than it's worth - leading to the inevitable "Why did they do that" cry.

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Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

Terry 6
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Re: Sigh

Beautiful example.

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Terry 6
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Re: Sigh

I don't remember writing that Microsoft invented stuff.

Just that they spotted what the users wanted and gave it to them.

MS-Dos was beautiful after CP/M

Win 3.1x was very good for its time.

Word under MSDos was really easy to use, and Word for Windows was very good.

Win 9.x too.

And even XP

But somewhere along the lines we started getting delights such as "documents and settings" folders - as if the two things naturally sat together, and Office "ribbon" designed to stop users hiding away the clutter they'd never use, and Gawd 'elp us, WIn 8.1 for touch screens stuck on our non-touch computers.

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Terry 6
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Sigh

Once Microsoft was able to sense what people needed and provide it in a way that made their lives easier.

Somewhere along the lines they seem to have decided that they could tell people what they should want, and to make matters worse, to race after the leading competitor products that people really did want at the same time.

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

Terry 6
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Not just offices

Schools too. And hospitals.

All the new build schools and hospitals seem to have the same bloody architects too.

Enter a far too narrow doorway into this damn great atrium with dazzling white walls and acres of (wasted) floor space. The reception is on or close to the left, ( with the lifts concealed behind if it's a hospital).

Information signs are grey, with white writing facing into the lights. Above your head there's a corridor at dizzying height, and in the middle there may be some uncomfortable seating so that you can soak up the echo.

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Contactless card fraud? Easy. All you need is an off-the-shelf scanner

Terry 6
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Joke

Disappointed

I thought the Which report was about recommending the best card scanner. :-)

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Even Microsoft thinks Outlook is bloated and slow

Terry 6
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No, My bad.

It is fixed . It did work I just missed that one.

Mia Culpe.

That being said, it's hardly an obvious or intuitive method. In fact it's totally opaque.

Hence three of us here on El Reg being grateful for this tip.* And secretaries and office adminstrators up and down the land when we share it with them.

Given a "How do you think we should implement this function?" discussion I can't believe that this was the best solution that anyone could come up with.

*My method was to create a page break, which then allows a line above the table. Then delete the page break. Weird, but not much harder than the official method above.

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Terry 6
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Re: Where is the real Outlook substitute?

A good point. I only use Outlook because it keeps my calendar on my Winphone and Computer in Sync. We use Thunderbird on the family PC.

A few years back I used to be able to sync my calendars through Google, until Google removed the functionality that allowed Google and Outlook calendars to Sync.

I'd often write events through the website with Google, while I was out and about, and read them on my desktop in Outlook when at home or in the office.

So I stopped using Google. Because I wanted a programme running on my computer, not just a web page that I had to log in to in a browser every time I needed to know where my next appointment was.

Now I never log-in to my Google calendar anymore, because I don't even use it anymore. A calendar needs to be on the desktop so you can see your schedule, not in the browser.

And Outlook does this.

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Terry 6
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I don't often join in with the Microsoft knockers.

But this time...... I'm in there with you.

The Outlook app on my WInphone seem absolutely fine for use.

It works fast, loads instantly, what's the problem.

This doesn't seem to be about the Outlook on my PC, which is a bit slow to start, but it's there to give me access to my messages and calendar, with suitable filters and what have you, so I'd prefer it a bit quicker, and less fussy, yes, but wouldn't want anything less than this gives me.

So this new thing, what the F*** is it for? Really. As a way to get us to email text messages?

Why?

Talk of a solution without a problem.

If Microsoft want to make things more efficient they could start with some of the weird and wonderful annoyances in WORD that have been there since Office 6 at least. For example, don't ever put a table at the top of a page. As at Office 2010, my version, you still can't then insert a line above it if you need to without a bit of trickery.

And anyone who has ever tried to console an office adminstrator who has spent hours creating a document only to see the whole thing go pear shaped at the last minute because a small formatting change has made the whole document do something gobsmackingly barmy will be able to suggest a few improvements they could make.

(No Icon for LibreOffice users?)

God knows there are plenty of annoyances they could iron out. But this bit old..........

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Windows 10 on Mobile under the scope: Flaws, confusion, and going nowhere fast

Terry 6
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Oh Dear

It does sometimes seem as if Microsoft don't know what is good about their own products.

Too many times I've seen a good product have the parts that worked well knocked out of them and the bad bits from other platforms added to the bad bits from their own.

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Russian billionaire: GET me the ALIENS ON THE PHONE. Do it NOW

Terry 6
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Re: Intelligent alien life?

search for intelligent alien life.

I'd settle for some intelligent Earth life.

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Reg reader? Work at the Home Office? Are you SURE?

Terry 6
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Experience

I worked in local govt for many years.

(Don't suppose central govt is too much different).

1.) When ever front line staff, in any area, were reduced the work force in the department in question would creep up over the next year or two. But the new seats would be filled with managerial types, not front line workers. This was true for all departments that I saw.

2.) "Essential" new posts that could be permitted as an exception under the new budget rules all seemed to be beancounters or managers, not front line staff.

3.)When there had to be serious cuts a whole new level of managers would appear to do the deed.

Afterwards they'd still be there.

4.) The less direct work someone did with the users ( of whatever type or department) the more likely they would still be there after the cuts.

5.) Essential work would get into a backlog, then expensive agency staff would be employed. These would be in place on a pretty much permanent basis because the size of the "establishment" couldn't be increased by directly employing staff, under the rules. See 1 above.

6.) "Outsourced" work would need to have a manager employed to do something or other that involved lots of meeting, with the outsourcers, who often ending up costing more than the people they had replaced even though the staff they brought in were paid significantly less than the ones who had been doing the work. The senior front line staff still in post meanwhile kept being pulled off their proper job to deal with the day-to-day issues that the managers were meant to be managing.

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Reg reader casts call centre spell with a SECRET WORD

Terry 6
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WTF?

Re: Ee are the same...

Anyone here had the experience of tech support accepting that you've done all the steps, then got flustered and started back at the start of the script again?

It's happened to me.

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Terry 6
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Re: Ee are the same...

That's one of the most maddening things about these sagas.

When you can describe the specific error, the circumstances it occurs, the steps you've taken to isolate it to a specific programme/item/circumstance, the number of times you've switched it on and off again, turned off the AV etc. They'll still make you go through the same non-related steps that they would go through if you haven't told them anything before they will either come up with a solution or, more usefully, escalate it to someone who knows what they are doing.

A special mention here for Virgin Media who have a long tradition of not telling their front line guys ( or putting information on their web site) about what is going on in their network. So that they will take you through the whole cycle of resetting and testing and what have you when it eventually transpires that the entire locality has no broadband/TV/Phone.

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Sky still blue, above the ocean: Google still raking it in

Terry 6
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Bean counters

Beyond Google's performance I found this phrase telling;

Recently some analysts have grumbled that Google isn't growing its business as rapidly as it once did and they'd like to see it cut its expenses.

Which, though El Reg's summary, does seem to be an indication of something important.

The extent to which bean counters seem to believe that business' costs should always be moving as close to zero as possible, rather than looking for acceptable (or good) cost/earnings ratios.

It's the old story of the farmer who decided to train his donkey to eat less.

So every day he reduced the food he gave it.

And just as he thought he'd succeeded the ungrateful beast went and died.

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Toyota recalls 625,000 hybrids: Software bug kills engines dead with THERMAL OVERLOAD

Terry 6
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Re: Honda

Hmm, Mine also an 09 was used mainly suburban driving.

We got 50 or so on motorway driving ( not mad speeds). Which was noticeably poorer than we got when it was newer.

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Terry 6
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Re: Quality

@irony deficient

Fair enough

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Terry 6
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Honda

Until recently I had the Insight hybrid*.

It was cheaper than the Prius and at the time I bought it even had marginally better fuel consumption .And Honda doesn't seem to have had this level of recall problem.

But about 4 1/2 years into owning the car the fuel consumption deteriorated quite badly. From over 40mpg we found we couldn't get much over 30mpg for the same sorts of journeys.

The dealerships's answer was that this was what Honda said we should be getting,at that point, so that was alright then. Presumably Honda must have known that this was an issue after four years of use.

As the Americans say "Go figure".

*No longer in production.

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Terry 6
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Re: Quality

@ Andrew Moor

Not aircraft ( or maybe also)

Another car, 1970s

Accountants decided the cost of being sued for killing customers was worth the money to protect the car's price point.

It was the Ford Pinto - and if I remember correctly it was Ralph Nader's first consumerist campaign.

The beancounters' evil plan was scuppered when the US courts started to award serious punitive damages.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a6700/top-automotive-engineering-failures-ford-pinto-fuel-tanks/

or for a detailed break down of the numbers ( second half of this article).

http://fordpintoethics.webs.com/

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Twitter shares soar after buyout story appears on bogus Bloomberg site

Terry 6
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Facepalm

I know it shouldn't ought to be allowed but

I can't help the feeling that it's Big Business that created the domain shambles, Big Business that gambles on share movements and Big Business that got caught by falling for a fake Big Business news item that pretended to be a Big Business news site, but with a different TLD.

So, deep down I just can't stop the feeling that It serves them bloody well right

Sorry.

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Ireland loses entire airport amid new postcode chaos

Terry 6
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Why the snipey headline?

From the sound of it this (Irish) project doesn't sound like it fell apart and had to be abandoned after costing several times what it was meant to cost. Didn't fail to deliver what it was intended to deliver.

Hasn't lead to a multimillion Euro court case. Hasn't even lead to lots of postmasters being locked up because they can't defend themselves against "the computer".

Whereas, just across a small strip of water..............

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

Terry 6
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Re: £££s

No no no.

Black cabs are a specialised service. Mostly for travel round the central city, though they do have a suburban knowledge subset. You can hail one in the street to get you where you need to know, with metered charges.

Cabs are ruinously expensive to buy and run, with strict maintenance rules, all sorts of requirements and a cabbie who has advanced driving and done the knowledge and can get you the quickest way to where you need to be. (And despite the myths, they do).

There are no rich cabbies, though if they work hard they can make a decent living.

Licensed mini-cabs can be pretty decent but there is no such guarantee.

Charging is what they can get you to to pay - which varies wildly.

And you have no idea what condition the vehicle is in unless it happens to have just come from its MOT. Standards of driving vary wildly too.

I've used mostly mini-cabs around home ( to the airport , bringing friends and family home from stations, hospitals and the like) and black cabs for work, to get me between meetings on a tight schedule, for example.

It depends what you need.

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Terry 6
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Re: Anyone been tempted?

I'd guess that most people have already learned that the error messages are either meaningless, wrong, or ignored by the support desk who are stuck to using a support script that ignores user input.

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Terry 6
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Re: Call me a cab . . .

Whatever

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Terry 6
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Explain anything

There has been, if my impression is right, a growing trend for people to not listen to or read explanations properly. Rather just to respond to key words, or a main concept.

So that if you write or say, maybe something like, The ( device name ) is faulty so that the timer won't start unless you reset it by turning it off at the mains"

You are likely to be asked to check the fuse.

And woe betide you if you give an example.

Like,"The thermostat dial is loose, so that it doesn't set the correct temperature. Yesterday it was set to 20 degrees and the room went up to almost 30".

Because you'll get, "I see; the room is too warm. I will send you instructions to set the thermostat".

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Terry 6
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Re: You Think You've Got It Bad?

Sounds a reasonable description to me.

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Terry 6
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Re: Call me a cab . . .

There was, and is, no such thing as a 3 point turn.

It's to turn "using forward and reverse gears" and the main testing point, now and 40 years ago was not to hit anything or anyone ( including the kerb).

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Sorry, say boffins, the LHC still hasn't sucked us into a black hole

Terry 6
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Joke

Re: Bravo

Unless of course, in most of the Multiverse we got destroyed/didn't ever exist and we're in one of the very few versions that did - so far.

Joke icon. Unless it's true of course.

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Terry 6
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Re: How would we know?

world getting stranger.....

SO that explains Islington.

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China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

Terry 6
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Coat

Re: I wholeheartedly approve.

the whiner can be of any age & most often is

Yep. That's me you can hear. I hate traveling in a metal tube, cramped, uncomfortable seats, ghastly food like substances, three people to get past just to go to the toilet. Tedious vids on tiny screen and hours sitting in the airport shopping mall staring at the sort of shops that only sell stuff you don't need .

Luckily I've never had to fly for work.

Some people ( like my B-in-L) love it. It'd be my idea of Hell.

Now a train journey.

I'd have liked that.

Coat, for on the way out of the terminal.

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

Terry 6
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Re: Sounds a bit rough, but that's not what bothers me.

Badly expressed. I meant the icons in the Modern interface rather than the tiles. (Sort of what passes for a start menu).

I'll give myself a downvote for lousy explanation. ( and leave the original in place rather than withdrawing it and posting an amended version.)

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Terry 6
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Sounds a bit rough, but that's not what bothers me.

What does bother me is when they make an annoying design decision that serves no purpose, but has to be used. In this case it sounds like it's not that there are tiles in the start menu, but that you can't put the bloody things where you want them as in Winphone 8.1 ,, .

Or as in Windows 8.1 - where tiles can't be moved around by drag and drop, Like when a new install creates its own folder, just for its precious self. It has to be "right click, open location, move tile through the tree, go back, delete folder". i.e. There is absolutely no f***king reason why they couldn't just let us manage our own desk top and start menu the way that we want it.

I like Microsoft in general. But they do seem to have this mantra that things have to go where they want to put them, often for no rational reason, and not where users want to find them. Why else would they have by default muddled documents and settings together into the same place, buried several layers down. A good place for "their " settings but absolutely wrong for "my documents".

More to the point, having made that sort of decision they make it as difficult as possible for ordinary users to reorganise. (And sometimes even for tecchie users - why else make it so difficult to create custom versions of traditional Ribbon menus in Office?)

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Brit boffins teach mere PCs to find galaxies in Hubble pics

Terry 6
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Pint

Must be getting closer to weekend

I read the heading, and thought it was getting off-duty coppers to look at the images. (Trained observers after all).

Which would be much more interesting. IMHO, of course.

Roll on Friday.

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Unions call for strike action over 'unusable' Universal Credit IT

Terry 6
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Re: byline

All of these.

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Terry 6
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Re: 15.8 billion!?

what else could you get for 15.8 billion

Greece. (With change).

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Samsung, Oppo collared in smartphone bloatware probe

Terry 6
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Re: I don't like bloatware but...

@David Nash

Was that irony?

Or did you mean it?

Or just trolling?

(It's not their phone. They sold it. Just like if I sell my car I can't insist that the new owners take granny to Bingo in it.)

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Terry 6
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Re: It's not installing the bloatware that's the issue

No AC. That argument won't hold water.

This isn't like having a car with an installed radio, to follow your image.

It's like having a car with a radio that

a.) comes preloaded with 200 Country and Western titles that are on permanent display, and

b.) that the radio can't be replaced without the risk that the entire car may never work again, but invalidates the warranty.

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Hacking Team hacked: Spyware source code torrent blurts govt customers

Terry 6
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Absolutely, and when you put the sword into the hands of ethical governments like err, Saudi Arabia you'd better be sure that you have a bloody good shield.

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

Terry 6
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Boffin

Re: Education

Oh yes.

It's almost a kind of artwork.

The double adaptor with each point having a 4/6 point socket strip trailling on the floor.

I've seen a few of those. (Shudders at the memory)

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Terry 6
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Re: @X7 re: my dad.

I do get the impression that his emotional intelligence may have been on a par with his technical

(My background in Psychology) Since he seemed pretty adept at breaking relationships as well as clutches.

You can be a klutz and still keep a family together ( I know a few).

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Terry 6
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As a student I spent a year in a house where apparently innocent electrical items seemed to be a bit tingly.

Early on I got a serious shock, so decided to investigate. After the circuit testing screwdriver lit up on a light switch I turned off the mains and started to look inside the sockets and switches. Several had live wires in the wrong holes.

A few years later, I had my own flat and needed to do something minor to the light switch near the front door..

I turned off the mains. But being paranoid checked the inside with that same old tester. It was live.

Turned out it was wired to the flat upstairs, from when the last owner's mother had lived there.

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Terry 6
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Re: Both's faults?

Sorry, not ICL. I work in some specialised bits of education- which is why I could do the technical IT stuff as well as the technical teaching stuff. And get cr***ed on by the higher ups who had no clue what we did, from both angles.

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Terry 6
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Re: Both's faults?

Too often, when I've had to accommodate a consultant, or live with the product of their recommendations ( not by any means just in the IT part of the job) they were appointed because they did a certain thing in a certain way that was all the rage. Whether or not that thing or that method made any sense in our context it was what some high-up exec wanted. So that's what we got. Because it was the "in" thing. Aforementioned exec types had of course made their reputations by being on the right bandwagons, but neither too soon nor too late. A skill in its own right as far as I can see.

And I don't think any consultant has ever asked the front-line team how they worked or what they needed to do the job.

Likewise, when the higher-ups decided that an activity needed to be computerised (usually because someone had belatedly worked out what we'd known for years - that it was a task well suited to using a computer ) the execs at the top never took any notice if we already had a method that worked well. Not even to tell us that they thought it wasn't good enough. Instead they'd purchase at some enormous cost some monolithic off-the-shelf package that required vast amounts of irrelevant or actually non-existent information in compulsory fields ( because it wasn't designed for small teams like ours or doing what we did), took ten times as long to enter data and twenty times as long to retrieve it. Usually in a form that made it useless for day to day work, so that we had to keep using the old system ( often just a simple WORD table) alongside the new one. One for show and one for use.

In one such fiasco with an enormously complex computerised information and planning package, full of sections and sub-sections all with unhelpful or ambiguous names, and icons that were like no other icons we'd ever seen or been able to identify, and menus with titles that were as unhelpful as the section headings, requiring all sorts of information we'd never even heard of, let alone had any use for, and lots of other kinds of madness, like being forced to re-enter "up to date" data that actually never changed.

But they allowed just enough enough training in it for managers to get a taster of how it worked, then were surprised when we weren't using it properly, if at all. So they appointed some temporary staff to come round and help the various teams to set it up and get used to using it. Which quickly turned into an extended contract so that they could enter the data for us. Which lead to them admitting that they didn't know what some of the sections were for themselves, then went on to them admitting to us that it was too complicated for even them to make any sense of it . And ended up with them telling us to try to keep the system up to date in certain more obvious parts, but to go back to our old system for actual usage.

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Terry 6
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Facepalm

Well yes.

Sums it up. You don't need a PhD to work this one out.

At any given time one class will be using one kind of nasty noxious reagents.

In the other room they are likely to be using another kind of nasty reagents.

So at any one time, if you don't think a divided outlet is essential when you plan the installation, there are likely to be any random kinds of reaction taking place in the pipes.

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Terry 6
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Education

As ever, anyone who has worked with the technical bits of education will have seen both sides of the f***up.

Commonly, to save a few quid, a classroom might have only one mains point, which is next to the door.

Being next to the door means that there is an immediate hazard as soon as you try to use it. Even a TV has to be put somewhere.

And since these points weren't installed before the days of the VCR even a three year old could have worked out that you needed at least two sockets.

But, computers have been in use since the 1980s in schools. SO by the time say, 1990 or so came around you'd have been able to work out that a classroom might need some electric supply that was accessible by the teachers. Not a bit of it. They were still putting the sodding things in the doorway.

But then, with the shiny new interactive whiteboards, maybe, just maybe they'd put some points near the best place for the IWB and install it there. Like not facing into full sunlight/ or next to a window south facing to catch the full glare. You'd be lucky.

So maybe they get older technology right? Like making sure that the drainage from the sinks in two adjacent classrooms was adequate to cope with both being emptied at the same time. They couldn't forget to allow for that could they? Well, yes they could.

How about heat management?

They wouldn't forget to make sure that one side of the building wasn't made entirely of south facing windows would they? Well often enough they did. On the other hand, sometimes they did put blinds in place. So that you had a choice of being baked and dazzled or sitting with the lights on in July. Assuming that the blinds were fit for purpose. Like not breaking, jamming or just plain failing to keep the light out. My favourite was a very tall primary school with some kind of external canopy blinds that were operated with a kind of internal pulley device. At least I think that was how they were meant to work. No one in living memory had seen them in use. The canopies had been torn to shreds by the elements years before. The pulleys had been jammed the first time anyone tried to paint the frames, anyway. Which was also why none of the windows opened . School windows never open, once they've been painted -except for sometimes when they are just too inadequate to make a difference. (I think that's where Bill Gates got the idea from).

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Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

Terry 6
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: NHS

RIO. Ah. Not just mental health then.

I worked alongside other NHS teams, particularity Speech and Language Therapists.

I never needed to go near their IT ( nor would any Non-NHS person have been allowed to).

But I do know that RIO was their lives. Every sodding minute of the day had to accounted for in Rio.

Everything had to go through this RIO.

[Keyboard icon for the amount of time they spend banging stuff out on theirs.]

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