192 posts • joined Sunday 31st October 2010 10:58 GMT
Why not just use a spreadsheet
With projects like UC I always ask, "Why can't they just use a spreadsheet?".
OK, in the real world there are reasons. But it would help in putting together a project plan if those reasons were spelled out: to the taxpayers, to the minister, to the civil servants, and in particular to the contractors.
Re: Time for a new gov dept. - 'Department for IT Development' ?
It used to be called the Department of Administrative Affairs, and was run by messrs Hacker and Appleby.
Re: Of course the Iluminati archive is located in Bavaria
Or encrypted in the DNA of an Upper Cambrian trilobite.
Re: Lots of dead trees
Yes, but all that parchment was fearfully expensive. So you had acts of vandalism such as the works of Archimedes being erased and replaced with minor religious texts.
Centuries later, similar things happened with BBC videotapes of Hancock's Half Hour and Dr Who. The Sage of East Cheam turned into an un-person!
"Intelligent computers" (if that is not an oxymoron) should be able to sort out Word 2, Word Perfect 5, etc. Latex can be more difficult if there are dozens of 'include' files which have been 'lost'. Spreadsheets and databases may take a little longer. Does anyone really want those Powerpoint nonsenses? (Yes, if you are a serious archivist.) Then there are Abiword and Gnumeric, Amstrad Locoscript, ... And there is an awful lot of image-mode PDF lurking about.
Re: I'm getting pretty sick of this "human error" crap
The best bit in the World Snooker Championships is listening to the commentator's ackamarackus after a champion player cocks up a shot.
In the Reg Reader Survey I have asked them to stop using BLOODY AWFUL CAPITALS in their headlines.
Cheers to MS
Let's raise a cheer for MS One Note.
Its sections and pages cater for me and the most scatterbrained author. Inbuilt OCR, handwriting recognition (if you write it yourself; it won't decipher a file with handwriting within).
Then you can export it, to PDF or to Stallman's pet hate MSWORD.
No, I don't work for them, no connection.
Re: Would it be OK to do the same to people who suggest hadoop as the cure to all ills?
I thought the NSA and other such people had the terrorbytes.
"in the constellation Leo". No that would be only a few thousand light years at most.
So: "beyond our galaxy, in the direction of the constellation Leo".
Re: So saying that
The new law demands that substantial financial damage be caused.
With monopolies like water companies, the customer cannot switch to another supplier. Hence no damage caused, no damages payable. Unless the water company could show that people had been dissuaded from moving into their patch.
Re: So, while we can...
1. What you wrote is an opinion. It does not have to be a wise and considered opinion, only one which other people might hold. In my opinion such people are stupid.
2. Of course you can be traced if someone is willing to pay lawyers and their "dark side" contractors. It was neatly put by two old lags in a cheap American thriller I once read: "If they wanchyer, they gotchya".
Re: A million eyes look at the source
I once worked for companies that were certified for ISO 9000 Quality Assurance. So that meant we had to do code reviews. Very few of these actually picked up any bugs in the software; all we got was nitpicking about variable names, presence or absence of comments, or similar.
So I totally agree with your points a and b.
Re: Running scared Y2K
It was a non-event because all the Y2K promoters were bingeing their ill-gotten gains on an immense best-forgotten blowout and were oblivious to all problems for a few days.
Re: "sub-unity ordinal numbers"
There is a Zeroth Law of thermodynamics:
"If, of three bodies, A, B, and C, A and B are separately in equilibrium with C, then A and B are in equilibrium with each other."
The Elements of Classical Thermodynamics, by Prof A. B. Pippard.
I was in Sainsbury once when all the lights went out. And the tills. But the tills were back about five minutes after the lights came back. As a computer person, I was impressed: I have known some networks that needed an hour or two of tinkering before re-use.
I shall be in Sainsbury again tomorrow. For how long, we shall see.
Then there was my neighbour who, a year or two ago, took a day off work to do Xmas shopping. But the power was out in the High Street, and they could take even cash. Wasted day!
So the big threat is mains failure.
Surely an intelligent alien ship would come in at an angle to the ecliptic plane to avoid the disk of crap?
Re: I expect to get a zillion downvotes but...
@DAM / Mencken
When in1789 American politicians framed a new democratic constitution, perhaps they distrusted the popular vote less than they distrusted each other.
Yes, I thought that was the fashionable hypothesis.
But the book by Cairns-Smith, 'Genetic Takeover' is a fascinating read. He is/was a chemist who knows the practicalities of organic chemistry. His book is in three parts.
Part 1 demolishes the old 'organic soup' hypothesis with two major points. First, organic chemistry will lead to a filthy tarry mess unless things are well controlled. Secondly, in an early ocean things would have been far too dilute for anything to happen.
Part 2 is the clay hypothesis. 'Mud is fascinating stuff', he writes at one point. Yes, if you are into the subtleties of silicate chemistry.
Part 3 notes there seems to be hierarchy of organic compounds. Some, e.g. acetic acid, can form almost anywhere, but the more complicated amino acids must be manufactured carefully.
It is not difficult to replace part 2 with the idea that superheated water deep in the earth's crust, where silica dissolves like sugar, might have seen some interesting developments. It is a fairly steady environment with a gentle flow of energy from a slowly cooling planet. Then things moved nearer the surface, and into the bottom of the oceans; but there may still be relics deep down.
Re: So fix it!
That reads like an argument for selective education. As a grammar school oik I entirely agree, but the privately educated leaders of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties are not interested.
Re: "Girls" all "work" for a living over there
In Britain many years ago there was a song in which each verse described some domestic disaster compounded by incompetent workmen, leading to the chorus line "It all makes work for the working man to do".
I have been waiting for a song with the chorus line "It all makes work for the working girl to do".
The biggest threat, or nuisance, to ordinary people at that time were all the bl**dy cyclists infesting the roads and showing off their hairy legs.
Your comments look pretty sound. Also, one remembers that Stuxnet was spread by USB sticks.
8080, Z80, etc
2. El Reg once reported someone had got a Linux running, slowly.
1. DOS, Windows
2. Unix, BSD, Linux, Solaris, AIX, ...
5. OS/2, Ecomstation
1. George3, VME/B
2. RT-11, RSX11various, RSTS, VMS
3. IBM mainframe various (sorry, I know little of these)
4. Other minicomputer OSes. I remember DIRECTOR, for Ferranti process control systems.
Re: perhaps dark matter/energy is cosmological philogiston
Is that a Google conspiracy against physics?
The other day I saw a large British bank still running XP. Yes, the manager told me, they tried Vista but that wasn't so good, and they tried 7 but for some reason copped out.
Re: you say third party cookies are blocked
Perhaps they should be compelled to offer you a cookie that says I don't want no more cookies.
Cogito ergo sum
Brain: that with which we think we think - Ambrose Bierce, Devil' Dictionary. (But would we credit that to other people, especially certain other people?)
A void said to a vacuum
Cogito ergo sum (*)
The vacuum stood up and winced
And left the space it had not filled
(*) I think, therefore I am.
Re: Oh come on...
I'm told it can also raise old hardware from the dead.
But that is only for very young versions of Linux, not the modern matured(?) versions.
Re: Even Win 7 is iffy
I have migrated from Open Office to MS Office. Mainly because collaboration with others on a document is less troublesome.
Even if we all used open source software, Open Office versus Abiword v K Office v etc... would be a nightmare.
Re: I don't think so
My sister's netbook, running Win 7 basic version, had become sluggish. I did a 'disk cleanup', including system files. This seemed to remove a lot of crud, from MS auto-updates and from various other things, eg skype, that had been installed and then removed.
It then ran swiftly.
Re: The most important question
Fried, and with chips - why not?
Re: A working brain?
The former British prime minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home tells in his memoirs of major surgery to his back. Afterwards he said to the surgeon, "Congratulations! You have put backbone into a politician".
They did not do much for his brain, though. He used matchsticks to figure out economics.
Re: Bird massacres
My niece has a smart cat. One day its hunting produced a £20 note.
In sea water it is absorbed over roughly the space of one wavelength. Hence the need for low frequency, i.e. long wavelength - and therefore low bandwidth. Just about enough to give a nuclear sub the order to fire.
Re: WordPerfect Reveal Codes
Word has the 'reveal spaces etc' icon in the ribbon, which is particularly valuable for cleanng up documents that came from OCR rather than typists. Aha, so it's that section break that was causing the trouble!
Re: nice, but where ...
There was the George 3 operating system on the old ICL 1900 series machines. This would transfer files to magnetic tape leaving only the index entry behind. All the programmer was aware of was that old files could not be read or updated until the operator had fetched the tape and the OS had restored the file.
One day I had a rant:
A programmer waiting in vain
For his files to come online again
Was tearing his hair
In a mood of despair
And cursing in manner profane.
Re: What are the alternatives?
In Word 2010 I use themes.
Just as a style will e.g. make all headings consistent, a theme will tie together all the styles in a consistent way.
Re: No Alternatives?
My own experience is that Open/Libre Office is never completely accurate in exchanging documents with Word users. So in an office environment it causes endless minor but irritating problems with collaborative documents, even though it is fine for letters, memos, etc.
I believe this is what the Germans have found, with some public authorities on OO, others on MS, and all having to exchange documents.
Re: Horse before the cart
Much easier to use MS One Note. With its pages and sections you can insert new thoughts in more or less random order, and then cut & paste the results into Word. It uses a reduced set of formatting options, but does include spell check aka typo-check.
Re: Damn. You beat me to it.
Did you also play billiards? It seems to have been a mis-spent youth.
Re: And this is news, how?
I was the "unpopular guy" at one work place because I said what I thought about the god-awful Latex. If you think moving a diagram in Word is a pain, try getting it to go to a proper place in Latex.
Then we had all the "special to us" include files for Latex, which evolved like a jungle and made it impossible to rework old documents. OK, our fault with lack of configuration control there, but with Word there is no nonsense of 'include' files.
Most of the difficulties mentioned in these comments amount to trying to work with someone else's document. I suggest that would be difficult in any word processor. There is a lot to be said for extracting the ASCII, then running autoformat (which MS have carefully hidden away in modern versions of Word).
Finally, three cheers for Open Office. I used it to rescue some old Wordstar files for a friend.
no win no fee - then no payoff
Perhaps it should be the rule that anyone bringing a no win no fee case should equally not be allowed to collect damages. These would instead be paid into, say, the Legal Aid scheme. So offenders would be punished, but there would be fewer worthless cases and appeals brought.
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