Explosion in my pocket
I’ve experienced an explosion in my pocket. I also own a Huawei smartphone. The two are not related.
995 posts • joined 19 May 2009
There's a Radio 4 series of music documentaries on BBC Sounds podcast now, one of which retold the history of the 12in single. A vinyl mastering engineer explains how the audio quality on a gramophone record worsens as the groove nears the centre of the disc, which is why most 12in singles never bothered to use the full surface space available but left lots of empty unetched plastic near the label. It also explains why the last track on either side of an album always sounds muffled and a bit crap.
I worked with a guy who turned up late one morning because he had to go shopping for trousers, having split the ones he was wearing during the commute. Half-asleep and trying to look cool, he had been keeping his hands in his pockets as he took a seat on the London Underground. Unfortunately it was a seat with armrests.
Corel *used* to be famous for CorelDraw, then it became notorious for turning everything it purchased into bloatware, complete with day-long installations that included millions of irrelevant utilities and other such digital litter that you didn’t ask for. Parallels already nags me to extend licences for add-ons that it inserted secretly and I never knew were running, and I expect this is going to get much, much worse.
I keep banging on about this to customers and get ignored every time. For printed newspapers, there is a retainer contract with a backup printer in case the normal presses catch fire, break down, go on strike etc. For their app editions, there's bugger all: when the tech falls over, that's it. I think the problem is that having a Plan B is extremely unfashionable at the moment, in business as in politics.
I’m not sure how I feel about “nationality”. I was born and brought up as an Anglo-Scot and even though I suppose I’m a bit of a Francophile, I’d only be pretending if I acquired a French passport. It’s a bit like those annoying men and women you meet from time to time who evidently benefited from a comfortable middle-class upbringing but pretend to be working-class heroes.
>> Your 300dpi TIFF for print was not going to fit on a floppy, it would take you a day to send it over the 56k modem or ISDN line
A freelance programmer I was working with in the 1990s sent me 10 CDRs by post along with a note asserting, with calculations, that Royal Mail was demonstrably faster than ISDN.
OK there’s some synchronicity here. My visit to Belgrade was for an IEEE meeting and now you’re all talking about Maxwell... for whom the UK & Ireland Section of IEEE installed a double history milestone plaque nearly 10 years ago. One is at Castle Douglas, the other at King’s College London. If you’re interested, here are the details and location maps: https://ethw.org/Milestones:Maxwell's_Equations,_1860-1871
>> Shouldn't your editor have worried that before the column was published?
He did, and as a result the Father Ted clip I'd included was cut. You know the one, where he's doing a coolie impersonation for Dougal, only to notice that some Chinese people are watching him through the window, appalled. Ted then has to spend the rest of the episode trying to convince everyone he's not racist.
>> You seem to be making fun of a Chinaman. That is not cool dude.
I believe that's what the problem was. I hadn't intended to make fun of the scammers for having Chinese ethnicity. For all I know it could be Russians claiming to be Chinese. BTW I thought "Chinaman" was an outmoded term with Empire-drenched connotations, so I avoid using it. Maybe I am mistaken about this too.
So-called gaelic spellings = affectation. I have no problem with that but recognise it for what it is: play-acting at being ethnic. It's no different than spelling your name in emoji. As for pronunciation, who cares? If Americans say Stooart, all the better! My in-laws address me as Aleess-tear. I pronounce my own name as Allister.
All spellings of Alistair are gaelic: the name is gaelic for Alexander. Hence my Starbucks name is now Alex, which every barista can spell flawlessly. It still amazes me that Aleister Crowley chose the name deliberately to create an air of mystique. His first name was Edward.
I tried the Starbucks order-ahead facility once. I duly chose a drink, picked a cafe from their location list, and ordered. When I arrived later that morning, the cafe was shut. It took another few days and lots of emails to get my money back. Never again.
We experienced almost the opposite in Andorra once. Shop assistants kept turning their noses up whenever Mme D spoke to them in French, so she tried Spanish, and even Catalan, to no avail. It was only when I spoke up in English that they fell over themselves to serve us. They must assume all French and Spaniards are local cheapskates on a weekend outing but someone speaking in English must be a tourist with cash to spend.
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