Enthusiasts through the history of computing have claimed that their favourite programme was easy to use and anyone could. I first met the lie in about 1981. When the schools introduced a word processor ( might have been called Wordstar) to staff, with precisely that claim. In reality a skilled admin was needed to do anything above the most basic, since formatting required confusing and complicated mark-up codes to be inserted. And that is not conducive to rapid typing -even assuming the teachers would or could learn all the fucking codes. Even the admins kept a list taped to their desks.
2613 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009
Re: Nothing like having your work day extended a few more hours
There are an awful lot of small businesses and other organisations out there. And a great many use a spreadsheet and WP. Many probably would even use a diary and contact list (Outlook).
And for these non-corporate business users LO would be more than good enough, even if there are some big players who need something that only MS Office can provide. (It's way out of my league to know what that might be). Ironically it was Outlook that kept me tied in for along time, until Lightning in Thunderbird got good enough, and that still takes an add-on to make it work properly and synchronise across devices.
Re: Torn to Ribbons...
In the pre-ribbon days I could readily adjust the menus to fit my working tasks. Stuff that I'd never use between then and the heat death of the universe was taken out of the menus. Stuff that I'd use in conjunction with items in a different menu, or that seemed to me to be more appropriate ( i.e. where I'd expect them to be) would be put there.
The Ribbon pile of excrement makes customising the menus far far more difficult. Oh, and they may call it a ribbon, but it's really just a posh name for a particularly annoying way to organise menus, IMO.
One of my favourite is that Office "Home" editions excluded Publisher.
Now Publisher is an OK DTP product, great for the Church hymn list, Girl Guides programme, auntie Bessie's birthday card and so on. Home and small office use.
It isn't really a pro product.
So they don't f+++ing include it for home use.
Two years of subscription (constantly updating yadder yadder) pays for a copy of the standalone version for what counts for perpetuity in computing terms. Or in other words the standalone pays for itself by comparison in a tad over 24 months.
And I use Office 2010 and LibreOffice at home quite happily. I'm not even sure either of them are giving me anything much more useful than in office 2003 ( or whatever it was called)
This is another of those "not just IT" comments
Many years ago, as a relatively highly paid, very highly trained, expert specialist literacy teacher employed by the then ILEA, I made my regular weekly visit to a primary school in Hackney to help them sort out some problem kids. It was open plan and in the centre were benches and sinks. And a stink. A terrible stink.
As I entered the head teacher intercepted me. And asked if I could sort out the smell.
I pointed out that this was not my job ( or my area of expertise) and that the school keeper should be doing that. And he said "Yes but the school keeper is too busy"..
And no I fucking didn't - I wasn't his employee!
Some years ago my boss was given, and passed on, instructions from the IT dept that we couldn't send emails >100 words. Above that limit it had to be an attachment. Why? No fucking idea. If that was explained she wouldn't have understood, but I'd have bet good money that it wasn't. In fact I did try to find out. And no one actually could tell me.
Either way there were plenty of reasonably shortish emails being written in WORD then attached.
In general terms
Maybe less of an NHS issue (maybe not though).
People seem to not read emails - let alone respond to them - like they do to paper correspondence, whether fax or snail mail.
I've been to too many places where staff have hundreds of emails in an inbox, most of them unread, many of them haven't even been noticed in the list. It's too easy to send trivial emails and too difficult sort through them quickly. A fax requires enough effort to send.to make people think. And enough effort to ignore to make reading the bloody thing worthwhile.
Onwards into the new(ish)
We seem to be stuck in a view that as soon as a new thing comes along the old has to vanish. But it isn't so.
Progress means that new replaces old because it does the job better. My parents had a stand alone washing machine and a mangle. It went as soon as modern machines with spinners arrived. No one had to make them.
But fax machines do the job effectively and well for most use cases for most users. Which is why they haven't jumped ship to some newer technology. It works.
BT still isn't great. It can be flakey. Too many times when it's refused to accept that the other device is there, to pair. Or indeed to accept that the usual device isn't but a different one is. Or, in the car, strangely differing levels of utility. One phone will send a contacts list to the car's handsfree, another won't. I assume that this is in the phone design and how it implements BT. But ether way there's no consistency in what the whole shebang can be expected to do
Whats(goes)App must come down... World in shock as Zuck decides to intertwine Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp
True, but also mass communication requires a common tool.
When I got my first email address,decades ago, I seldom got to use it. Because no one else I knew had one, then.
Pre-installing a messaging app means that you know other people have got it too. So you can just use it. Getting All and Sundry (especially Sundry) to install a different one, just so that you can contact them might seem a bit fussy for most people.
Re: What a bunch of technical snobs
You're going to have to do a lot better to explain to Joe Bloggs why Facebook slurping their data is any worse than Google, Amazon, Microsoft, GCHQ, NSA, local council et al. doing the same
God yes. Just explaining to a friend of my Mrs. why I don't want one of those sodding Amazon spy boxes in the house was difficult enough.
"But you use Amazon all the time, so they know what you buy"
"Yes but I don't want them listening to everything I say or do......" etc etc.
As opposed to facebook messenger or compared to other IM software, like the aforementioned Signal. Figures (in the context of instant messaging software, not all devices on entire planet including those who never IM) please. And source. And excluding countries that use their own govt approved service btw..
Or was that just a random vague claim, unsupported or out of context?
Sometimes when using SMS people want to send a picture, or a sound even. or include more than one person.Or have a regular group to communicate with.
And for most people the "included minutes" they get with their mobile phone contract excludes that and instead charges them. I've been caught that way myself and got charged. So they use Wattsapp.
And I switch to Watsapp as required.
And out in the real world people have Watsapp on their phones and so they use it. They just do. They never remove unwanted preinstalled apps, or delete old messages or use secure passwords. Why would they avoid Watsapp? Not why should , but why would they.
Wattsapp wasn't great and the privacy issue is still there, but it is far better than SMS - since I don't get charged for including a photo.
Signal you say. Erm. Wattsapp is on almost everyone's device. There's far too much inertia here.
Signal is on almost no one's and just because I wouldn't want to use the rolled-up Wattsapp it doesn't mean that I'll find any friends and family ( especially family) who will switch. Because they won't know anyone else who'd switch, because... recursively.
Everyone has Wattsapp, which means everyone needs to use Wattsapp to send rich messages to anyone else.
It's not about the staff
Management are the responsible(?) people. And it's up to them to ensure that all the stuff gets done. Unfortunately, from what I've seen, once management gets hijacked by bean counters you might as well flush anything down the toilet that doesn't impact on the next financial report.* Stuff the future. They don't do future.
*Data security, building maintenance and decor, IT systems, staff furniture other than the CEO's* etc etc
And as I type this, I'm remembering, wasn't one of the BHS issues that sod all was done to keep the buildings looking fresh and in decent repair (or even watertight.)?
Which has also just reminded me of the time the chief education officer kindly sent his recently discarded office chairs for us to use in our reception area.**
**Which then reminded me of the time they sent us a totally useless computer network that was so unusable it had been discarded by its previous department
Re: Work Kitchens
It only takes one lazy sod to dump a mug or two on the work top. After that everyone else follows suit, until or unless a responsible minded staff member clears them. But there's inevitably an inverse rule working. The greater the number of mugs the lower the chance of any decent hearted fellow worker putting them in the machine. Because at a group over about 5 or so everyone is going to look at them and say "bugger that for a game of soldiers" and quite possibly even add their own to the mess.
Re: Inquiring minds want to know...
But you'd have to share with more people. That being said, it's no less rational than people who buy (more) on a rollover. As if they think that winning far more money than they need isn't enough to squander a couple of quid, but winning far far more money than they need is.
The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings
Re: A high viz vest?
A staff member of ours came off her bike on her way home, a few years back. (Pothole). Only a week before I'd seen her riding without her helmet during the day and instructed her that if she was travelling in work time she had to wear a helmet. ( I think I'd pointed out how much paperwork she'd cause me if she got badly injured).
This time she had her helmet on. She actually came and thanked me.
Re: Whilst the UK has stabbings virtually every (other) day and acid attacks.
Also the temptation, or dare I say it, the convenience. Most people don't have ready access to acid, you have to actually go and get the stuff with intent. And kitchen knives are pretty lethal but most people don't routinely carry them (though it seems as if too many do - the police have had knife arches at Finchley Central station) and you have to get up close to use them on someone.
Leaking or loss of patient data would constitute harm. And there is certainly a responsibility under medical ethics to prevent harm to patients. So a reasonable expectation that the person would have some knowledge and oversight of the security of patent data. How the dots are joined is a matter for the lawyers, and this is a court case, so... watch this space.
One the one hand she was chief medial officer, not the CEO, so maybe could leave that stuff to others.
OTOH she was a professor so has had admin responsibility in the past and is always tied to both medical and research ethical standards. So she should been a bloody sight more proactive. At least for ethical if not legal reasons.
Re: Gah. Users.
Much of that sounds selfish rather than stupid. These are "me me" actions. I will leave a note that the microwave doesn't work. Someone else can make the effort to report it. If I need to send a text I will stop where I am and everyone else can just work round me or sod off. And so on.
Re: I can believe it!
There was a time, in some schools, where all printing had to be done by the admin. Who was part time. And in one I knew, the printer was in a locked room.
It was less about cost*, more about suspicion.
*Even these days some organisations make assumptions about cost instead of looking at TCO. e.g. assuming that the precious coloured toner can't be used by ordinary staff member- but the costings show it's not much more expensive for them than the black.
Partly our own fault - or our bosses'
When we/they treat staff as both stupid and expendable, and don't bother to train or explain they don't take any responsibility. No one has said they're responsible for what happens, no one has explained what it's all about, so they go through the motions. They do as they're told. And if you haven't told it to them they don't do it.
Yes, but, note my comment about Gaelic. It's the stereotyping that's the worry.For example, your name is Irish in origin. (After I'd posted the above I saw this and decided to check its origin). You'd probably be pretty pissed off if anyone who saw your name assumed that your main spoken language was Gaelic ( maybe it is, I'm a great fan of minority languages and want to learn Yiddish).
No. It's not racist to say Yiddish speakers speak Yiddish. I'm planning to learn it myself. But thinking that Israelis speak a middle-European dialect of German- that's different. As I've posted above, like assuming that all Irish Americans speak Gaelic and carry a pig under their arms.
Yes. Associated with a tiny subset of Middle-European fundamentalist Jews of the kind who wear long black coats in places like Stamford Hill ( and a noble literary tradition that died with the Shoah). Not Israel. Racist because of this stereotype which was never relevant to either Israel or the wider Jewish population.
It's no different to assuming that all of New York's Irish-Americans speak Gaelic and carry a pig under their arm.
Re: Pure Raging.
SR has proved very useful on occasions when I've tinkered one step too many. I do have a habit of thinking, "I wonder what would happen if.." then finding out.
However, any time I've used it in anger, because something has genuinely gone wrong it has come back as "System Restore was unable to.....". Interestingly, and mysteriously it has still sometimes sorted out problems, after supposedly not making any changes. It's a truly weird piece of sh*t.
Re: 'On a point of order, Mr Speaker'
Sorry. It's used. It might not be elegant, but it's quick and easy to say, so people do. Rarely, but definitely I've even said it myself.
People do tend to use the shortest terms with the shortest sound transitions possible. Lappy has 1 and a half syllables compared to lap tops's full two. And the p-t-p transition isn't a good one; lip-roof of mouth-lip. It's similar to how people say "probly" or "proberly" instead of probably to shorten the utterance and remove the o to a vowel transition and one of the plosive b sounds.
I kind of do that. My home PC has its own 2TB HDD and a pair of salvaged 500s of which one was from a previous PC and one salvaged from a PVR. But I do assimilate and organise them. First by moving stuff from the old PC into a partition to free up the rest of the drive, then by reorganising the drives over time. Now one 500 is purely for images of this PC and my laptop's C: drives. The other other is purely for data backups. All run automatically. I likewise have a caddy with an old laptop HDD that I use for an extra external b/u from time to time. (As well as a pair of proper external drives that I keep connected but swap round two or three times a year). There's stuff I couldn't bare to lose, as well as the stuff I need.
Currently using a Freeware called "Personal Backup" by Dr. J Rathlev and Macrium Reflect.
So many seeds of modern bad practice in that. Not Sam's (arguably). But asking people ( the staff) to run before they can walk is still an issue. Giving staff big complex systems and no training. Clunky, unintuitive software. Failure to invest in proper support, failure to invest in safety procedures.
Nothing seems to have changed. Except that the challenges have got bigger.