Monday, August 19, 2013

Ranty with a neat finish

There's a few things that I could get ranty about at the moment ...

One is the tendency of people at work to ignore instructions like "Don't use aerosols!", which occasionally results in our buildings getting evacuated as the fire alarm goes off. Yep. We had another unscheduled 30 minute fresh air break today.

Yep - I'm a little ranty.

Online trolls ! Why are they there ? We're hearing about these more and more these days. The phenomenon (yep - I said that out loud to make sure I got the right number of syllables) is getting more widespread. It's emerging from the gaming world and infesting the various overt and underground social media sites. It used to be on usenet newsgroups (an ancient precursor that's faded away now), where people gave bad advice or just plain abuse.

Twitter seems especially bad for it, from what I see on the Uksnowmap. The UK news is highlighting another social media site right now because comments put there directly led to the suicide of a young lady.

I have only one piece of advice there - if you're being bullied online, walk away. It's not like bullies at school who can chase you down. Trouble is, it can be hard to do that as the bullies not only have access to you, they likely have access to your friends too. In Warcraft, I had a few incidents where I ended up targeted (decisions like kicking idiots out of the guild). I could ignore the player, which meant anything they sent me got a generic "player is ignoring you" response and I didn't see the hateful thing they sent. But it didn't stop them blabbing my name all over the game's capital city saying "Iceangel is leaving WoW and is giving all his money away". Which leads you to getting spammed by beggars. This actually happened once.

So yeah - be careful who it is that is asking you to accept that friend request. Watch your privacy settings. Be aware that what you put on the net can be broadcast instantly by someone else. If you wouldn't want that to happen, don't put it online. I'm always very careful what I put here. I've only mentioned exactly what my work has been once and I refer to work people with codenames.

Codenames which the Snow Queen always guesses instantly. I think I need better codenames. Or someone just knows how my head works, which should scare her - lol :-)

(This was going to be a ranty post wasn't it ? Time to have a go at Microsoft ...)

I'm still shopping for laptops ... But. I don't want a Windows 8 laptop. Microsoft have driven their software into the ground lately. They've gone down very strange design routes. The latest Office is an abomination of unusability. It's an obscenity. And Windows 8 is going a similar route. They tried to inflict similar atrocities on future owners of the Xbox One (a Kinect camera always live, always online ? no thanks no stalking please) but the user base quickly rebelled and the announcements got reversed.

How come business doesn't behave in a similar fashion ? I guess we can't. We're locked into a cycle which we're scared to break because it would mean being incompatible with the organisations we work with. And if we're incompatible, we can't do business.

The perfect thing for business computers would be to have Windows XP, tightened up and made properly secure. Keep it compatible with new hardware. Call it Windows for Business and sell it on an annual licence model. Every time the machine looks for a security update, check the product ID against a database and if the licence isn't valid, lock out the machine. That business model would work.

It's all about the business model. The current model is that you'd pay a one time licence fee to use the software forever. Trouble is, if it's as good as XP originally was, this means you have no reason to buy XP+1. So Microsoft broke XP (noticed how you wait for the hard disc more ?) and refused to make New Shiny Graphics (Directx 10) features introduced in Vista available to XP users. They introduced a hurdle forcing you into buying new software. And new hardware, because the new version has massively higher requirements.

We don't need the shininess that's in Vista or Windows 7. We certainly don't need the hostility which is the Windows 8 interface.

Wait - why don't we ditch Windows and go back to Linux ? Maybe we should.

Another thing about office PCs - we're getting upgraded (and the spec is a "you're missing the point" spec) and one thing we're getting is widescreen format monitors. Ok, I like the Shiny. But. We work on A4 portrait most of the time, not landscape. We'll work with what we're given but it's a bit daft that the requirement has been messed up again :

Desktops with normal hard discs - pointless because all our data is on servers. Give the machines SSDs instead for the same cost and massively higher productivity.
4:3 format (old type) monitors - work well for business use because they have the extra height.
16:9 format (widescreen) monitors - tellies switched to this because it's good for entertainment.

What are these machines for ? Work or entertainment ? Honestly - give me a work machine that lets me get the job done without annoying slowdowns every lunchtime (when they run the virus checker on our machines that don't hold data) and keep the entertainment stuff away - it slows the machines down.

I think that's enough ranting for today. I'm still tempted by a laptop and I know I'm going to end up being forced into Windows 8 territory (unless I spend more than I need to at PcSpecialist or Novatech) but it's a Want Upgrade at the moment, not a Need Upgrade.

Neat finish ?

I've been invited to an event in a hotel in Birmingham in a couple of months. The person inviting me is a beautiful woman. Why am I hesitating ? I could say that it's because there's chance for a trip to Amsterdam with one of the gaming crews. It clashes. But it's more a comfort zone thing.

I think I will head to that event in Birmingham and see if I can break out of that comfort zone. That's been one insidious effect of the skin problem, it's put iron fencing around that comfort zone. Like bars.

But - beautiful lady wants me to go to a hotel to meet up (there will be lots of other people going and her permanent bloke will be joining the throng). How cool is that ? Not had that for a while.

PS If it was the Warcraft gaming crew - I'd be a lot more conflicted. They have the Hot Swedish Girls who sing on the voice comms.

1 comment:

  1. I think maybe you had one too many bangs on the head but I'm sure that the woman ( can't comment on beautiful bit ) in question would be very pleased if you chose her humble little gathering over an adventure in Amsterdam and sometimes we all need taking out of our comfort zone and it can make lots of difference to how we feel about ourselves - in a good way !


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