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* Posts by rich_a

27 posts • joined 28 Nov 2009

Curriculum Vitae - must rage

rich_a

I hope someone got some insight from what I wrote. Writing a good CV seems to have become a lost art, it's something we were taught at university before being uncaged, yet I've seen CV's of the recent alumni of the same university and they were clearly not given any tuition regarding them.

I'd love to know from others what they look for when they review CV's.

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rich_a
FAIL

Curriculum Vitae - must rage

Aaaargh! Just got a bunch of CV's through for a posting at our place, and I'm thoroughly ashamed that IT professionals can get CV's so wrong. I really wanted to contact all of the people who sent a CV to explain to them what they're doing wrong. Since I'm not allowed to do that, I instead present this guide wot I made which explains some do's and don'ts for budding IT professionals... Would be interested to hear if you think I'm being too harsh or if I'm on the money!

CV do's and don'ts.....

DON'T

- Write a "mission statement" which is meaningless. At most write one or two sentences that describes your qualities and what you're looking for. No-one is impressed by the ability to write pages of waffle or your amazing ability to shift paradigms through your strong belief of teamwork.

- Make a generic CV. I've reviewed CV's that state that the applicant wants a "general" job in IT and they've applied for a programming position. If you seriously want to apply for a programming role, tailor your CV so it mentions that you want to be a programmer. If you are applying for many different kinds of roles, suck it up and produce a version of your CV for each role type you're applying for, don't be lazy and assume that one size fits all.

- Include massive paragraphs about every project you've ever worked on. Some people have documented their whole careers on a project by project basis. No-one has the time to read all of this! Just tell me what technologies you've worked on and what skills you've gained during each job you've had.

- Include notes to anyone in your CV. I had one CV that included a "note to recruitment agencies" in it with a diatribe about only wanting to work within x miles of their home. Remember your audience - most employers will see this as confrontational and will drop your CV like a steaming hot pile of dung.

- Put "using social media" as one of your hobbies/interest. It's not a hobby, it's admitting that you play Farmville, and no-one is impressed by that.

- Apply for jobs that don't meet your criteria. There's very little point applying for a job in the Midlands if your profile says you're only prepared to travel 10 miles from your home in London.

DO

- Fill in your job seeker profile accurately. Remember that many job websites prepend this to your application. If you're going for a hardcore stats programming job and your profile says you want to do web design, employers are unlikely to read past the covering page.

- Include a covering letter. Most CV's that come through from job websites don't even have one or have a generic one supplied by the website - this is a fatal mistake. Remember that this is your foot in the door - a paragraph to describe why you are right for the role, even if you don't strictly meet the entry criteria. Also this can be used to reinforce that you are seriously applying for the job - if you're based in Luton and are applying for a job in Hull, this is your chance to say that you are willing to relocate for the role rather than have the reader scratch their heads about why you've applied for a job so far away.

- Format your CV so it's readable. Big clear headings dividing each section, making sure text wraps where it's supposed to if you're using indents. Employers get loads of CVs each day and tend to want to look at details in a certain order. Help them by formatting it sanely. Also make sure your fonts and sizes are consistent, this document should be perfect - it's a reflection of your attention to detail. The worst CV so far had almost non-existent headers, wrapping problems, sections with different spacing and inconsistent fonts in the same paragraph. There's literally no excuse for someone in the tech biz not knowing how to format a freaking Word document.

- Proofread and get others to read your CV. So many CV's come in with spelling mistakes, grammar problems and mess-ups of catastrophic proportions. I had one the other day where the candidate didn't even spell the name of software they claimed to specialise in correctly. These CV's tend to lose you any credibility and end up in the bin.

- Highlight skills you think are applicable for the roles you are applying for. When you're reading lots of CV's a day, it helps tremendously when the author has highlighted the keywords you're looking for in a CV. For example, in a paragraph describing what you do in your current job, highlight the tools & skills you use in bold.

- Restrict the number of pages. I'd expect a graduate level role to come in at 2 sides of A4. A more senior role may stretch out to 3 sides, 4 maximum if you've literally done everything that is possible within your chosen career. Any more than this and you're formatting it wrong or adding too much information.

- Put on your name and contact details! The CV is a way of selling yourself. If you don't put on your name, address, telephone and e-mail details you're doing a poor job.

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Oi, jobless yoofs: Upload a witty video bio if you wanna find work

rich_a
WTF?

What a load of horse dung. It sounds like "UK Youth" have too much time & money on their hands to be able to sit around brainstorming.

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More Brits ditch Apple tablets for Amazon, Google, Samsung kit

rich_a
WTF?

Re: Wow, what amazing insight (sarcasm)

Surely it's common sense? If your competitors are building products that do the same thing, sometimes with functionality that improves on yours and has a better price point, that means you're going to take home less of the pie?

Apple are fast becoming the British Leyland of the mobile and tablet world. Happy to sit back and know people will buy their products, but not responding to the fact that their competitors are bringing products that do the same thing (sometimes with added extras*) and are undercutting them at the same time.

(* the reason I use BL as an example is due to all the anecdotes people have about buying a car in the early 70's. The foreign competition produced cheaper, more reliable motors with luxuries like a car radio which cost extra in the equivalent BL ranges. This reminds me of the closed iOS ecosystem, and how jelly iPhone users seem to get when you mention all the cool things Android apps let you do that Apple have deemed unacceptable in their walled garden)

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rich_a
Holmes

Wow, what amazing insight (sarcasm)

TL;DR version: People want tablets, and unsurprisingly are buying cheaper ones than the ones Apple sell.

It's really not rocket science. The iPad's share of sales will dwindle further unless they innovate. Android tablets seem to be where the innovation is at: a choice of software keyboards, different form factors, pen input on some models and amazing CPU power at an affordable price. Had to laugh a few days ago when a non-techie friend said they were disappointed after they tried the iPad mini out at the apple store - apparently the game they tried runs a lot smoother on her daughter's Nexus 7 and she questioned why anyone would pay twice the price of a Nexus for an inferior product.

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Norkoshop: How Pyongyang well and truly forked Adobe

rich_a
Coat

Not legit

The hammer and sickle in the screenshots show that this software may not be legit. Any Kim (Il-Sung|Jong-(Il|Un)) fan will know that North Korea's communist symbol is the Hammer, Sickle and the Brush. The former two represent the worker and peasant, while the latter celebrates the intellectual.

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iPads in education: Not actually evil, but pretty close

rich_a

"The problem with many of the people on here is their objection is not just the technology - it's 'APPLE' - if they were Android tablets that would probably be ok / more acceptable?"

I'm not sure it's entirely an anti-apple thing. I think the problem is that iPads are a media consumption device, whereas for the same price you could get a decent i3 laptop which offers more: software that apple would deem unacceptable, a real keyboard and access to multiple programming languages.

It seems silly to give kids something so restrictive. They can't write essays on it (well, they could, but it'd take an age with the onscreen keyboard), the apps they create are limited unless they opt for one of the kludgebodge workarounds mentioned and the school has to junk all their current PC software and buy new shinier software.

It would be more productive if the schools bought a few iPads (or Android tablets) and taught kids how they go about building software on their existing kit that will end up running on the tablet.

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South Korean TV and banks paralysed in disk-wipe cyber-blitz

rich_a

Re: You're mixing up your Koreas

No, really, he owns an HTC. There was a flurry of news about it last month when he was pictured with one.

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rich_a
WTF?

You're mixing up your Koreas

"However some important websites, including KCNA and Air Koryo, were rendered temporarily inaccessible."

They're North Korean websites. They were down last week when NK had it's own internet problems (Kim Jong-Un unplugged the router power supply to charge his HTC phone)

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BlackBerry CEO: iPhone past its prime

rich_a
FAIL

Re: It's like the bike

"Funnily I never need to help a non tech iPhone user"

Funnily I do need to regularly help iPhone users. Try changing MMS settings for a Vodafone PAYG sim (iOS always sets the APN's to the wrong servers) when you can't get the APN menu to show unlike every other phone ever and have to start swapping SIMs to get the menu to show. Also try explaining that you can't just send them an mp3 ringtone like on every other phone they've owned, but you need to use a program on your PC to create one and then connect the phone to the PC running iTunes to transfer it over- and while you're at it explain that if they want a ringtone of the song they already bought from iTunes, they need to fork out the same cost again to buy it as a ringtone.

Sorry iPhone fans, your phone may look all cool and shiny, but when you struggle to do things you could do on a ten year old dumbphone you must acknowledge that all is not rosy.

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Infinite loop: the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story

rich_a
Happy

Fascinating story

I really enjoyed reading this, although it could have done with being proofread.....

I used to love the rigmarole that went with buying QL games. When you tried to run them from the microdrive that came in the box, it would force you to make a backup to an empty microdrive (another couple of quid to Sir Clive!) and then you'd need to boot from your copy and keep the original MD in the second drive to pass the copy protection they'd put on the game. It seemed that even the publishers knew how fragile they were!

I worked with an ex-ICL chap who insisted that they almost deconstructed and reconstructed the microdrives and drives for the OPD system. I'd love to have known more about that!

Also have great memories with the AmSoft 3" disk format. Used to be impossible to find them for a reasonable price - used to regularly raid the bargain bin at the local computer shop and buy unwanted CPC/+3 games as they would be cheaper than buying blank media!

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Virgin launches TV Anywhere streaming

rich_a
Pint

Re: All your eggs in one basket

100% agreement with Lee here. Generally if the internet breaks, your TV service will be fine. If the internet breaks, it usually means VOD breaks too as it loses the return path. More bizarrely, we've had our Virgin phone service lost in the past (vandalism to street cab) but the TV & Internet carried on working fine anyway.

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Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

rich_a
FAIL

Have to agree with some of the others on here... Comet really were the pits. We've there several times despite vowing never to go there again (what can I say, sometimes price trumps my principals!)

The worst incident was buying a plasma TV from there in 2010. The saleman piled on lots of pressure to buy a £100 Monster HDMI cable, then a £50 Monster HDMI cable, then an expensive Monster surge protector, then a warranty... I was amazed I didn't just walk out. I should have done, but by that point I had my heart set on a big telly.

They truly didn't know their products ("The Humax only has a one year warranty", "Funny, the box says it has two") and they didn't even know their own procedures ("Oh yes, they'll refund you on this - it just needs to go to the tech team to make sure it wasn't broken through abuse, we'll call you in a week" - cue a repaired item several weeks later after no phone call. This was a few month old drier that exploded inches away from my face as I went about other business, I begged them for a refund as the experience made me wary of the quality of the item, but they wouldn't budge).

Like another poster said, they add absolutely no value. Sorry, Comet.

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Google's Android celebrates fourth birthday

rich_a

Re: Maybe it's a good time to look back and learn

"That Java Davlik thingy. OK, the idea was that you could have software on multiple CPU platforms. However today much of the software running on Android loads binary CPU-dependent libraries."

Define "much"? Sure some top-end games and some CPU-heavy apps (Skype and the like) may load binaries for a specific arch, but the majority of the applications (calculators, fart apps, diaries etc.) don't.

"The whole idea of a "Store" as the only intended way of managed software distribution. Why didn't they add a repository, so I can install open source software just like I do with every normal Linux distribution."

Nothing to stop you from doing that once you're rooted. The current approach of allowing non-market apps, but forcing users to check the permissions of each app they wish to sideload before installation is an acceptable workaround, I think.

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Goldeneye

rich_a

I was crap at the single player game (and I'm still rubbish at 'shoot people in the face' games now), but multiplayer was fantastic.

The screenshots in this article look decidedly dodgy, though. Don't remember all the textures for the on screen text being so heavily clipped on the N64. Have these been taken using an emulator?

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Apple pounces on Samsung doc as proof of 'slavish copy' claims

rich_a
FAIL

Re: Fundroid commentards are funny

Why is it a smoking gun? Most companies perform competitive analysis where they do a detailed breakdown of Our Product X vs. Competitor Product Y to see how the products fare against each other. You don't think Apple buys competitors products and performs teardowns to see what chips and design techniques they are using? If you don't think so, you're deluded.

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Humax YouView DTR-T1000 IPTV Freeview PVR review

rich_a

Re: Like Humax but won't buy them any more

He could happily send it back to Humax as well. The HDR-T2 comes with a two year warranty.

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Freeview EPG revamp set for September

rich_a
Happy

You need to head over to hummy.tv and get the custom firmware for the HDR-T2. You can back up your recording list and restore it after you've retuned.

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Door creaks and girl farts: computing in the real world

rich_a

Hi Ralph. I mostly agree with you. Floppy disks were crap. However in the late 90's when the iMac debuted they were an inexpensive way of transferring and carrying around documents and spreadsheets. Net access was not ubiquitous, uploading 1.4MB of data took an age over the nowhere-near 56K modems everyone used and "cloud" storage services didn't exist anyway. A few people had zip drives, but they had their own problems and weren't present on many computers at all. IIRC the first USB flash drives came out a few years after the iMac, so they weren't around for the first generation.

I'd bet 50p that the majority of the first gen iMacs were sold with a floppy drive. People needed to carry around their work somehow!

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rich_a
Facepalm

I hardly think £15-25 is "cheap" for an ethernet adapter. If anything, Apple should have used a smaller proprietary connector for ethernet which is identically electrically to an RJ45 one and then supplied a free RJ-45 to smaller connector adapter - this is what telly makers are doing to allow massive SCART sockets to be connected to their itty bitty flat panels. Having everyone in an office work from wireless sounds great until you realise that the contention of a WLAN with many people on it makes it slow and increasingly useless.

I don't agree with everything Mr. Dabbs says, but he is kinda right. Apple have a history of removing "old" hardware just a little too soon. Those of us who remember the original iMac also remember that Apple did a roaring trade in overpriced USB floppy drives and probably made them much more money than if they just inserted one inside the thing in the first place

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Sony taps bug peepers to kill gloss-screen glare

rich_a
Thumb Up

How sweet would it be if this film was applied to Plasma televisions? Unbeatable black levels, lovely natural colours and the elimination of the biggest problem with plasmas - glare from the screen glass!

It's a shame Sony have dropped Plasmas in favour of LCD's. I would buy a plasma coated with this in a heartbeat!!

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Game Group shares halted, 'no value left' admits board

rich_a
Thumb Up

Re: Legs left in the business.

I agree with you, mostly. My town centre has two Game stores a 15 second walk apart (one is an ex EB store) and a GameStation a two minute walk away from both of those.

If they got rid of the Game stores (in shopping centre with extortionate rents) and concentrated on the Gamestation (on the high street, smaller shop but piled high with games - possibly more choice than the two game shops put together), they'd save a fortune in rent and serve the same populace. Combine with a reasonable pricing strategy (i.e. shaving a couple of quid off the RRP, not exactly Amazon prices, but not the current gouging prices they set for new releases) and they'd turnaround the business in no time.

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DLNA blesses HomePlug Ethernet-over-mains tech

rich_a
Windows

What next? Are they going to recommend copper as the preferred medium for wired DLNA connections, or how about air as the preferred atmosphere in which DLNA wireless traffic should be transmitted in?

Before the hams pipe up, I have to say I love powerline networking kit. Before I ran some cat5e cable I could cheerily watch 1080p video streamed from one side of the house to the other with no stuttering over some inexpensive powerline kit and 80's electrics.

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Ten... Freesat TV receivers

rich_a
FAIL

Poor roundup

Mixing PVR's and receiver-only boxes and lightweight summaries, and missing some models which have had universal acclaim (Manhattan HD-S)? The information on the Bush box is well out of whack too, the box is only retailed at Argos and costs £70 and it's been replaced for the last year or so by the "BFSAT03HD" model which provides a useless (non-functional) USB port and a software overhaul which supposedly makes the unit a lot more stable than its predecessors. I got one from ebay for £40 and give the following verdict: Good picture quality, terrible user interface, no setting to automatically fill a 16:9 screen with 4:3 programs (i.e. you're forced to have black borders each side, which is really annoying if you're worried about image retention on a plasma!)

It will do until the G2 PVRs come out, though...

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Budget Mono Laser Printers

rich_a
Happy

Laser - the only way to go

I got fed up of inkjet printing a few months ago. We are very infrequent printer users and got annoyed that on the occasions we needed to use our HP all in one we either needed to clean the heads 43 times to get anything readable or buy a new cartridge, and we also learned quickly to buy original HP cartridges since Tesco's remanufactured finest would completely dry up between printing sessions.

I ended up buying a Samsung ML-2525 and a high yield (2500 page) toner cartridge for £110 all in. That means we should be covered for 3500 pages (starter toner is 1000 pages) - probably the life of the printer. From what I can tell there is no 'warm up' time that I associate with laser printers, it's really quiet and the quality of the output is nothing short of outstanding - combined with the scanner from the old all in one it makes a great photocopier as well and we don't worry about our tiny ink cartridges drying up while photocopying anything dark! I've plugged it into our NAS so it's now a network printer as well.

Laser is definitely the way to go for infrequent printer users like ourselves.

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Virgin Media admits broadband upgrade 'confusion'

rich_a
WTF?

woooooooah

Virgin's billing is so complex you need to be a chartered accountant to figure it out. Our bill shows outrageous service prices followed by a large smattering of various "discounts" that supposedly even out the outrageous service prices. When I enquired about moving from 20 to 50mbit broadband I was told the difference to my current bill would be "minus one pounds per month". None of the prices quoted by the CS matched up with the prices on the website. Then when I enquired how much it would cost to upgrade if I removed the cable TV package I was told by the rep. that they could only advise me of the new monthly cost five days after disconnecting the TV package..... Luckily a call to retentions sorted out the upgrade and billing :-)

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Blu-ray Players

rich_a
FAIL

Poor review, especially of the PS3

Very disappointed with the review. It failed to answer a couple of burning questions:

1. PS3 Noise. The PS3 is chock full of fans which seem to spin down when playing Blu-ray and other video, is it louder than the standalone blu-ray players on test?

2. PS3 Blu-ray remote. Is the blu-ray experience as good as a standalone player when using the blu-ray remote instead of the "gaming remote"? (I'm assuming you meant the dual shock 3 controller)

3. Playback quality. Nowhere in the review was blu-ray/dvd playback quality mentioned. No BD50's tested?

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