Perhaps it's just me but...
I find speaking to a computer is weird. The one time it would be useful doesn't work. When using Google Maps in the car, saying "OK Google, I know where I am now" or "OK Google, Maps off" do not silence it.
192 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Apr 2009
> mindless automatons following a script without any regard for the actual outcome
That happens in private industry too. A company making an automated analyser decided the project would be done with C++. Unfortunately, the programmers they hired knew only Visual C++, not embedded programming or anything about hardware. The project was finally completed years late after spending a lot of money on replacing burned out stepper motors.
I had a team of three technicians trying to fix my broadband and failing. The fault was found days later by a fourth who discovered after quite some time that another company's technician had disconnected me at the junction box while repairing my neighbour's connection.
I rely on the Internet for medical reasons so I have my usual connection plus a 3G modem and the hotspot on my phone. All three use different ISPs in case the fault is with the ISP's network. If the power goes off, my laptop batteries will last a total of 21 hours and I can charge them in my car with a 12 VDC to 240 VAC inverter.
When my Windows drive died four days ago, I had to decide which operating system to install out of Windows 7, Windows 10 and Linux. Windows 10 has a bad reputation with Microsoft's "Ready or not, here I come" installation of buggy updates, changing user preferences and hiding settings, all of which make Windows 7 appear more reliable to me. Linux was not a practical option as I have so much Windows software so I reinstalled Windows 7.
> Windows 11 introduced a novelty in the Windows world: a black screen of death.
That was actually introduced by Windows 7.
I fixed the neighbours' computer - again - and told them not to move it. Of course they moved it and got a black screen. I found out that Windows, running on that particular hardware, was sensitive about which USB port you used for the mouse.
I'm confused about the CPU requirements as it ran fine in a VirtualBox VM using one core of a 2nd generation Pentium.
The UI is something I can get used to without grumbling too much. My main concerns are (1) will I have another battle to prevent its trying to install itself on my mum's antique laptop and (2) will Microsoft drop its "ready or not, here I come" approach to installing buggy updates.
I got into Mensa years ago with a surprising amount of room to spare and I didn't last long. I was disappointed to find that they were no more intelligent and a little more crazy than my fellow team members writing safety-critical software.
Their attitude towards intelligence was odd, like that of a teenage boy who thinks he knows how to drive fast just because he has a car with a big engine. Skill and effort are required, not just raw mental horsepower.
When I was doing volunteer work at the local community computer centre, there was a steady stream of people who had saved up what little money they had to buy an HP laptop then were quite upset that it was running so slowly. I replaced the pre-installed Norton Antivirus with the free version of Avira and they went away quite happy.
You would be surprised by what you can expect from the company accountant.
At one place I worked, the CTO didnt know much about technology. When a network or computer started acting up, he would sit down in front of it, tap a few keys to confirm it wasn't working then hand the whole thing over to our accountant who was quite good at fixing it.
This was a company making medical equipment, by the way.
I've always followed the policy that backups are not done unless I do them myself. I once returned from a hoilday to find that the sysadmin had reformatted my hard drive and deleted the backups because he thought I had left the company. Fortunately, I had my own backups on computers in other cities that he didn't know about.
A replaceable battery used to be important to me until I bought two for my five-year-old phone. The first was clearly a fake and died after only three charges. The second was much better but the battery connectors hadn't been tinned properly.
I have found that keeping the batteries charged to around 40%, as recommended by the lithium-ion battery manufacturers for long-term storage, works well for prolonging battery life with five years for my mobile phone, seven for my tablet and twelve for my laptop batteries.
Writing the ATC software was interesting.
I was told when I got the job that I would be allowed one bug in my code. A second one meant termination.
My code was gone through with a fine-tooth comb by the two most senior engineers before I was even allowed to run it on the test bench.
There was a lot of redundant hardware. Each communcations card had a full set of backup channels. There were backup cards in each rack, backup racks and two generators.
Although we were some months behind schedule, there was no pressure at all to cut corners.
Not to mention seriously defective support.
Someone on Microsoft's Technet website asked how to add Copy to Folder and Move to Folder to the context menu of Windows Explorer on Windows 10. A Microsoft rep told them to reinstall the operating system.
I knew it was a simple registry change for Windows 7 so I ran Windows 10 in a VM, made the changes and it worked. After I reported my findings, I got an email from Microsoft congratulating me on having solved my problem. Good grief.
In Australia, a number of thieves were surprised to be fined £900 for being away from home during the lockdown.
Time Magazine didn't use to fire people. It moved them into an office and gave them nothing to do, hoping they would quit. Someone used the opportunity to write a best-selling book. She was moved back by an annoyed management.