* Posts by Matt Quinn

13 publicly visible posts • joined 15 May 2008

How will Ofcom reduce our reliance on BT if it won't break them up?

Matt Quinn

And the band played...

Sayeth she.... "It’s worth remembering why that happened – because Ofcom made the “access” network – the copper to peoples’ homes – open to different providers. That led to competition which drove down prices as well as spurring investment in equipment and new service bundles."

Oh aye? Did it? Really? - And that's the official Stadt-approved verision of history we're all safe to regurgitate is it?

It wasn't that part of something that my parents and grandparents and great-grandparents generations built and fought for, and that I was due to inherit partial ownership of that was stripped away and given away to corporate fat-cats who then proceded to carve the good bits off leaving only the bare bones and some rotting flesh which they continue to suck the life out of? - Because having lived through the period that's actually what I remember...

And I'm not sure that more than three decades on I should be all that impressed by the sub-zero-point-five-meg broadband (average about 0.4 downlink) I have in a location that is within sight of Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Bridges (i.e. NOT a particularly rural or remote area) ... Or the cost of calls... Or anything else much about the raggle-taggle collection of two-bit parasites I've the 'choice' of doing 'business' with if I want to keep a basic essential service...

Personally I don't struggle "to imagine life without megabit connectivity"... That's just reality and is likely to remain so until I move somewhere else. And it strikes me that the main reason for this is the infrastructure has been pretty-much left to rot. - But then why wouldn't it be really? When the main purpose of 'business' is to extract as much as possible from a cash-cow customer base whilst minimising the cost of doing so in order the channel profits into the pockets of a few.

Increasing the number of sharks that infest these shallow and restricted waters isn't going to improve or change that...

As for the self-serving rhetoric of Ms Onwurah in respect of the current government's ill-considered and undoubted failures... The reality is that the Labour party she serves will do nothing different. If she is (for instance) really concerned about the plight of benefit claimants unable to access all-online services, then why isn't she arguing for basic core-provision to all households at little or no cost? Something similar stands if she's concerend about the connectivity of small businesses (and by that I mean the Butcher the Baker and the Candle-Stick Maker as opposed to the government/politico definition of a 'small business' which is turnover exceeding £1.6Million!).

Why isn't she arguing for a state provider that operates a limited basic service at minimal cost on a not-for-profit basis? - Let the 'commercial' companies provide the high end stuff and help subsidise the bare bones... Rhetorical questions of course!

With not a fag-paper's distance between 'shadow' and 'government' ministers it's unsurprising no-one admits that adding the 'overhead' of profit to a service, and then making that a priority over providing the service itself doesn't serve the best-interests of the end user... At least not where the service in question is an essential one and the infrastructure an effective monopoly. And I'm fairly certain that she is not so stupid as to imagine that at a basic level, core national infrastructure can ever be anything other than monopolistic in nature.

In truth "Labour’s commitment to universal broadband for all by 2012" was little more than a few good lunches for selected well-connected stuffed shirts, and is nothing to mourn...

Opening up 'markets' for essential services is quite a different thing from throwing service users to the wolves. When our infrastructure was sold from under us, it was supposed to be up to these 'private companies' to improve upon it and invest... Now that this hasn't really happened governments are basically proposing pouring a little more gravy from the public purse onto those old bones to keep them tasty - but that won't alter the fact that profits come before the service! Or that those profits are largely filling the pockets of the fat-cat public-school cronies.

Frankly Ms Onwurah seems simply to be bemoaning the fact that the entire gravy boat was diverted to BT instead of her particular favourite group of cronies... And that she doesn't have her hand on the spoon... If it were otherwise she'd be arguing to bring the main network under public ownership, charging the private telecoms companies healthy commercial rates to access it, and channelling the profits back 100% into the research and development of that network.

But then that might be a bit 'Socialist' for the 'old boys' and 'gels' of the Labour party...

The past 35 years seem to have seen every social advance that was achieved in the previous 35 years (and beyond) undone. Abdication of responsibility and asset stripping for transient gain seems to be what has defined politics over that period... And it matters not what shade of rogue sits in the big chair. - Political football is a game of sheer unmitigated dishonesty. And the first division is inhabited by some of the most untrustworthy people walking the earth today...

I'd remind the editors of "The Channel" then of that old geek-beloved quote about there being some games where the only winning move is not to play... And suggest that the next time it's offered a skewed-to-buggery piece by some self-serving self-aggrandising political animal they pass on it, and serve up something else. - Maybe something written by someone with sufficient grasp of technical matters that we might reasonably think them capable of fitting a plug to a toaster!

Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

Matt Quinn

Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

"Business users tend to have IT staff advising them"

Really? - In the UK around 96% of all businesses are micro-entities with around 1/3rd of those operating below the VAT registration threshold. And oddly enough, even on the lower slopes of the SME (3.9%) market, I see little evidence of many 'Howard's Way' style legal eagles and/or IT 'staff' kept fed and watered behind glass walls (or even in the boiler room)...

Making the decision as to who is the right expert to call in for a particular job often falls to someone who really lacks the expertise to make that decision... 'Go figure!' - As they will insist on saying in the States. - It's only ever a few hours to the next milking time.

'Powerful blast' at Glasgow City Council data centre prompts IT meltdown

Matt Quinn

Re: New pants please!

"I reckon you'd need a SERIOUS change of underwear if you happened to be working in there"...

So... GCC data centre employees normally wear comedy knickers then? Is this a cultural thing or something of 'Doggy Dawg' Mathieson's legacy I wonder...

Matt Quinn

Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

Ummm... There is actually no such thing as a "British education system". - Never has been... No GCSE up here either; unless taken as a 'foreign' exam.

Matt Quinn

Re: They should use G-Cloud!


They used Glesga Cloud! - A smoke-filled daylightless area (formerly the Janitors store ) in the former Primary School next to the Red Road Flats; where Nero Mathieson's Denzians gathered to stoically collate floppies... Wonder if anyone thought to tell them they were blowing the place up? - As in actually demolishing it!

Matt Quinn

Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

"That's GCSE physics surely."

- It it, aye? Given that the GCSE isn't generally taught or taken in Scotland... That sounds more like "Standard Grade" or worse still 'National 4/5' 'Marfs'...

If you've ever had to stand in front of class full of new NQ or Even HN1 students in a Scottish FE college and try to teach them anything remotely technical you'll know what I mean. At least in t'old days nobody thought the subjects they failed at school 'qualified' them for anything!

I found this musical interlude...


...Which seems highly appropriate when considering activities at 'Castle Greyskull' (Glasgow City Chambers). "A gaseous fire suppression engineer" - as opposed to solid or liquid - an actual ghost perhaps? - Could dance with the skeletons hidden in all those basement cupboards...

Being Glesga though it'll probably just be a fat bloke with gall-bladder problems.

Matt Quinn

Oh, I've heard of a few 'suppression systems' in Glesga that shake buildings and do serious 'damage'; not always just to buildings either!

Matt Quinn

Whaddaya mean "collect bins"?

Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows: The spirit of Clippy lives on

Matt Quinn

Re: MSFT is cooking with gas

I often find myself musing on the fact that corporate IT bods are about as well-grounded in the real world as the Bullingdon set... And that real-world people are too busy doing their own jobs to be bothered even reading about (let alone using) a fraction of the daft tricks these so-called 'upgrades' perform...

On that basis it would seem that this latest "pig's head" has a pretty mouth which some might find appealing.

Meanwhile, back on planet earth, life goes on happily re-installing shanner copies of Office 2007. - Even that, in reality, being no particularly useful advance (for most real-world users) on what went a decade before it...

Dixons Carphone still has 7.5k Windows XP EPOS systems

Matt Quinn

Hmmm... DSG are near the top of my personal most-hated-least-trusted retailer list... But, to be fair, why pick on them for this? Go buy some tools from Machine Mart in Edinburgh and you'll get to show your kids what a real-live green-screen monitor looks like! - running something that looks a lot like DOS! - The actual card system is of course external.

LOTS of people and places in all sorts of situations WON'T be shifting from XP... End of...

Why? Because the 'latest model' doesn't REALLY do anything better for them than the old, and the new pay, pay, pay 'till we bleed you dry systems only appeal to those with a vested interest in selling people 'upgrades' they don't want/need. - Them, and those spending other-people's money who are partial to a fashion statement...

In all honesty, there is little or nothing I'm doing on my office 'admin' machines today that I wasn't achieving perfectly well with a fraction of the 'computing power' well over two decades ago. - Heck we're even running Win98 on our CCTV system! - A system that works perfectly and has proved FAR more reliable than the newer ones that have supplemented it! - In the event of an incident it takes us literally HOURS to get footage off our new 'insurance approved' system and into a format the local police can actually use; and we can only do that in-house at all because we're a TV production company and know how to manipulate the various codecs... When others afflicted with the same system have a problem their footage goes off to a police tech-support unit, it's a few days before it can be viewed at the local station... And yes... Plod do often 'quietly' ask us to help them out!

High time MS - and a few others - started to realise that the cash-cow is not going to stand and be milked to death any more!

All the 'sky is falling' stories are fooling fewer and fewer of the people for less and less of the time - especially where in-house knowledge exists. And the traditional built-in-obsolesence is no longer a feature anyone is prepared to accept... IT is no longer 'glamorous' or 'trendy'... One no longer draws admiring glances from the ladies when one whips one's Wang with it's huge 20Meg hard drive... The computer is a dull-as-ditchwater everyday tool.

- A bit like a broom really, and just as exciting... People buy new heads and handles when the old one ARE really broken; and they tend to buy those that will replace the old directly. All the luminous brush fibres, polymer hande grips, sweep timers and GPS broom location systems (not to mention the racing stripes) in the world, won't change that...

Microsoft really HAVE milked this one to death! - Somehow their business model reminds me of the old old scam where somebody would flog you a piece of cheap infested software then try to charge you a fortune for the antidote. When XP really IS broken (and I suspect they're working very hard to break it!) we'll go elsewhere... And Dixons could be using abacuses and pieces of knotted string for all the real differerence it makes... To anyone but Microsoft and those who flog their products!

UK.gov tempts SMEs with tasty framework, then slaps them in face

Matt Quinn

Peter Gathercole wrote...

"The time and the cost is just not something that a company that does not turn over millions can risk without some expectation that they could get the contract."

Technically your business is not recognisesd (by the government) as 'small' until it turns over £1.6M - 96% of all UK businesses don't of course and are thus completely invisible to government. When you hear politicos talking about "small business" and you imagine 'ooh! they mean me" - Noooooooo... Not by a very long chalk!

DSGi profit plummets 30%

Matt Quinn

Re: My 20 year campaign is working...

Elsewhere I've recounted my experience of dealing with one of Currys managers who's underling had mis-sold my elderly Mother-in-law an extended warranty on a TV.

I actually produce TV programmes for a living and threatened him with press exposure. At which he laugehd and claimed (to paraphrase) that as one of the world's largest electrical retailers they were "flameproof".

Seems not! And I'm delighted to see the predictions I made a year ago to his repulsive fat lying face come true....

When I learn exactly when the Edinburgh Hermiston Gait store is to be shut I'll be sending a crew down to film it. And I'll take particular delight in watching a certain middle-aged, grossly overweight, arrogant lying cheating scumbag waddle towards the rest of his workng life as a doleite...

And hey; remember, I'm only one of MANY MANY disgruntled ex-customers. Which is what DSG's main product has been over the past 20 years and is the reason why it's on the slide.

It's quite pleasing to know that those wastes of space who have made Currys/DSG what it is today will probably never work again; i.e. those in or approaching middle age who have made their 'home' there. Their business practices throughout their career having been based on dishonesty and wholesale un-professionalism...

Unemployable is the word! And given the way they treated their customers over the years they deserve everything that's coming!

PC World, Currys staff to be dumped in DSGi rescue plan?

Matt Quinn


Excellent news!

I hope the fat, lazy, pig-ignorant slob in a certain Edinburgh branch of Currys who mis-sold the insurance cover on my 77 year old Mother in law's telly rots on the dole 'till he's p-ing into a bag through a tube.

I wound up springing for a new TV (from another store) rather than leave the old lady without her only source of entertainment. This piece of vermin actually though it FUNNY to rip off an old lady ...and he's was apparently the store MANAGER!

Scum of the earth! They've been a laughing stock for YEARS; treated people with contempt. They deserve everything that's coming!