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* Posts by Terry 6

586 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

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Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

Terry 6
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Re: Antivirus

Microsoft's AV stuff is ideal to force a bit of protection on the low end user, someone who doesn't get being careful out there, let alone maintaining their PC and paying for updated AV software.

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I need a password to BRAKE? What? No! STOP! Aaaargh!

Terry 6
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Re: Negative view on Sat nav

We switched from TomTom to Garmin because to get the traffic update renewal you had to buy a whole (expensive) package of stuff we didn't want. But now we regret this. Garmin has, as Dabbsy says, a lifetime update. But it doesn't seem to actually be any good. Months of driving in traffic jams while the Garmin looks at us and promises "NO traffic ahead" and we've had enough of it.

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Terry 6
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Re: Sorry

When the kids were little a Citroen Berlingo was perfect. (Peugeot are also Citroen, and do the same vehicle slightly higher specced, possibly).

It's not flashy, far from it. It's not speedy, or smart. But absolutely perfectly functional. It does exactly what it was designed to do, and does it well. Tons of storage in any spare space. Lots of power outlets for the DVD players. Seat back tables for the kids to colour ( and eat) on.

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Terry 6
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Dabbsy come back.

You're meant to write witty, human pieces for us. The clairvoyance stuff has to stop .Get rid of this Kelly Fiveash and get back to work

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BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?

Terry 6
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Re: In the old days

The pulleys might have changed, but the sales technique is still the same.

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Terry 6
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Aargh, this reminds me of our multifunction printer

Oh God. The nightmares are coming back. Managing an education team that was run as part of the council, but was not a council office, and being responsible for the day-to-day IT work, with the schools' IT team, not the council's corporate team for back-up.

Our first multi-function printer/copier was fairly simple, but we couldn't get the go ahead from management to network it straight away. I don't know why, but I'm guessing that they just didn't understand the concept.The engineers from the copy company said it wasn't a problem, we can do that later.

There then followed about three years of me and the education IT team calling in engineers from both the copy company and corporate IT to come to look at connecting the thing to the network and going away again. But without ever connectiing it.

Eventually I got one to admit that it had been installed without a network card, and that would now count as an upgrade at some incredible cost. So we carried on printing from our various stand-alone inkjets, at ridiculous cost in ink.

Then we got a visit to ask our requirements for a new machine, on the new contract. I went through our needs with great care. All the cost saving and efficiency requirements like security ( we were working with reports on vulnerable kids) print on arrival and so on to be set up, staff trainning etc. All was agreed. The Education IT team sat in on the meetings with me so that we all knew what part of the set-up would be their's, what part the supplier's and what part would be mine.

And then the thing arrived. And someone in the council had decided that we didn't need any customisations, so the machine was set-up in a generic form, replicated for all council departments and totally failing to meet the requirements we had, in an off-site teaching service. Training consisted on a half hour with a rep, for a few managers and admin staff who happened to be around. Nothing about the advanced features that we needed, even if we'd been able to absorb them when we were still learning basic opeations. I tried to do my bit and set up the mail boxes, secure printing and print on demand codes. And none of it worked. For the next year we had our engineer from education IT liaising with the copy company, and and eventually finding a couple of work arounds to help slightly. But we never got any of the features we needed. Not even the print on demand, which was supposed to save the hundreds of waste pages per week and ensure confidential documents weren't lying around.

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Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads

Terry 6
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Re: Obviously...

Absolutely,

If they had to pay themselves, ( or had any ethical standards) they'd want to know which was the most economical.

Since it's a shiny toy they want the coolest, best known device that they can flash around.

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BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

Terry 6
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Re: "Like money on expensive consultants?" I ask

@dan1900

The classic example of this is in education.

The then government, already wanting to see "phonics" as the be all and end all of teaching reading. (It being simple, cheap, easy for the electorate to understand, popular with the big publishing companies who could sell schools lots of cheap kit expensively and a good sound bite) appointed a "commission" to decide the best way to teach reading. Chaired, of course, by someone who had already made clear that he believed that phonics was the be all and end all of teaching reading.

You'd never have guessed his conclusion (would you?).

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Terry 6
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Re: Consultants eye view

"Usually to find a justification for getting rid of people."

Even when they aren't firing there's still an alternative. Covering their backsides.

A consultant's report is management's way of justifying their own role and blaming someone else.

At either juncture, I've been through several episodes of consultant disease over the years.

Consistently, at the end of it we find there are fewer frontline staff doing the work and more beancounters. Even when there are cuts being made the number of higher managers goes up.

Where previously there were too few frontline staff and even more limited numbers of support staff behind them, after the consultancy there are often many fewer of the support and admin staff who had freed up the frontline staff to do the work, because consultants never seem to get the idea that filing reports and adding up hours takes time that could be better used with the clients. Yet, the number of suits always increases. And they somehow always need additional staff to support them. (But their's aren't called admin - so disposable- but "assistants" and are essential parts of the management).

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Terry 6
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A lot of organisations ignore their own staff's expertise

@localzuk

I don't understand what you are saying here. Are you in a position to employ the consultants yourself?

Or one of the frontline staff who get consulted on from a great height?

If the former, be very careful. The consultants you hire may well decide that there is more butter for the bread with the people upstairs who you are trying to influence. You can't simply trust them to say what you want them to, if there is a better offer available. Or to put it another way, you might find that you become the meat in the sandwich.

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Terry 6
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But yeah

In every field there are these types, usually coming from big named companies, who vacuum up a big chunk of the budget to issue a bullshit report based on a mythical expertise that is often invented by the company that employs them. It's all smoke and mirrors, but with the force of the big consulting agency wafting them onwards. There never seems to be any real evidence to support the underlying assumptions and any "research" is usually created by themselves to justify their own claims.

Management consultants are the worst, since they are all, by definition, NOT managing anything if they are out being consultants. And, I should add, education management consultants are the worst of the worst ( I know, I've done the training). They aren't managing *or* teaching. I wouldn't leave any of them alone in a room with the silverware.

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UK urged to stop bigging up startups, feed 'growing' firms

Terry 6
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The system

We've built a political system around *them* taking credit for new stuff. So no one has any interest in keeping existing stuff going on. That holds for businesses, education, even the NHS, which they keep messing about with because they don't dare say they want to scrap it. (Even Farage had to backtrack on that one).

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up

Terry 6
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Re: Once again

Didn't actually happen in my bit of London, see above.

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You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes

Terry 6
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Re: When you assist aunty to buy a computer I suggest you also

Yeah, and not just aunty, of course.

My late mother took up computers in her 80s- without, of course. asking me what to buy etc. Trusting a crony to tell her what to get. (Expensive, full of crapware, and with lots of optional stuff that she'd never use). So as soonas I got teh chance I did all of that, and added some remoting in software, too. So that I could sort stuff out from 200 miles away. After the same crony used it ( suppsedly said crony was helping her, but that's another story) but who allowed all sorts of malware in, as well as messing the PC up big time.

Good free AV software, with automatic updates. No Admin rights. And a button ( icon) marked "help" if she was having problems.

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DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

Terry 6
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Annoying solution

There's something particularly irritating when companies caught out by the media screwing over one of their customers suddenly put their hands up, sort out the problem and apologise to *that* customer, when they don't actually take any action when anyone else not lucky enough to get the attention of Watchdog, or even El Reg, needs their equally ghastly experience resolved

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Poll: Yes, yes, texting while driving is bad but *ping* OH! Hey, GRAB THE WHEEL, will ya?

Terry 6
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Re: is this anything new?

@wikkity

Ditto

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Terry 6
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Windows phone

My Lumia reads and takes voice replies to texts over the Bluetooth hands free. I don't know about Androids and iThingies only read texts with difficulty. But I would only use even this system when stopped. There are too many road users out there trying to kill me to let me surrender concentration.

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Terry 6
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Re: This is the same reason..

Yep, I know people like that, though I estimate that the threshold is about 80% charge.

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Eye laser surgery campaigner burned by Facebook takedown

Terry 6
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Re: If a service is free...

Well, yes. But I do make a point of showing the ads and clicking on some of them from time to time,

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Terry 6
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To be fair, she is running it on her own site, but that won't get the coverage that F**book gets.

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Me GIVE you $14 SQUILLION gadziddly-DILLION

Terry 6
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Re: My Dear Mr. Dabbs,

"semi-accurate stereotype"

Err

1.) It's a stereotype

2/ Most Jews don't work in these areas, even if a lot do; it's a stereotype. Like Irish Cops, and so on.

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Terry 6
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Re: My Dear Mr. Dabbs,

Shylock.?

And for Dewey,

see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zhI-tHoxG4

Even the American pronunciation

http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/dewey

is, to say the least, ambiguous in this matter.

And "Schuster" outside of German speaking communities is largely identified as a Jewish name.

So maybe the references were only unintentionally offensive, except for Shylock. Which rather does suggest not.

Casual racism has to be challenged.

And it's amazing how often the response to that challenge is in the form of denying that anything was intended. When so often the context suggests it was.

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Terry 6
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Re: My Dear Mr. Dabbs,

Dewey, (pronounced JEWY) Shylock (Jewish character in Shakespear) and then Shuster.

Crude Racist Anti-Semitism.

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Terry 6
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Re: Gently amusing :)

I want to be the Lobster.

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Bona-fide SCIENCE: Which forms of unusual sex are, um, mainstream?

Terry 6
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Psychology

*Sigh*

"It's pretty plain that if you regard the function of scientific research as pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge, this could all be regarded as rather a depressing waste of money: but if instead you view the psychology departments of the world primarily as a source of entertainment, they are in fact excellent value."

Is shooting yourself in the foot a recognised fetish?

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Samsung turns off lights on LEDs worldwide – except in South Korea

Terry 6
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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.

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Terry 6
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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.

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Ad-borne Cryptowall ransomware is set to claim FRESH VICTIMS

Terry 6
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Re: Complacency

No, fair enough. I should have realised that. Wasn't thinking I guess.

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Terry 6
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Re: Complacency

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.

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Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM

Terry 6
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Re: Nomenclature

Beancounters

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.

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Terry 6
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Re: Special

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.

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Whisper tracks its users. So we tracked down its LA office. This is what happened next

Terry 6
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@will godfrey

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.

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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

Terry 6
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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" .

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Terry 6
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Woodwork

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.

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Twitter 'news' spreads faster than Ebola #FakeCures #Malware

Terry 6
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Attitude problem

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.

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It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE

Terry 6
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Facepalm

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.

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Terry 6
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Re: North?

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.

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Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function

Terry 6
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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!

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Terry 6
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@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).

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Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods

Terry 6
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Encryption

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.

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

Terry 6
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@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.

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Greedy datagrabs, crap security will KILL the Internet of Thingies

Terry 6
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Re: Nightmare

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. .

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Terry 6
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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.

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Terry 6
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Re: Regurgitation

"..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 ."

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Terry 6
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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.

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Terry 6
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Big Brother

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.

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Terry 6
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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).

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Terry 6
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Re: Your Fridge has shut down unexpectantly, please reboot ...

I'm sorry

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.

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