Re: Too small
"GERBILS IN SPAAAAAAAAAACE!!"
Maybe Muppets in Space?
1349 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jul 2014
Back in the day I used to buy electronics magazines and relished going through all the ads in there, looking for bargains like mixed bags of electrolytic capacitors etc. Online ads are just so irrelevant, intrusive and some a security risk. So I use an ad-blocker. If YouTube hits me with "Unblock Or Eff Off" I'll be effing off. I like YouTube to play background music while I'm on the computer, but not enough to turn off my ad-blocker. I'd maybe pay £2 per month for ad free, but no more. Even then I'd be reluctant to part with my CC number to Google, trust is in limited supply.
I'd used all Microsoft operating systems from the days of DOS 3.1 and earned my living as an application developer on all those platforms. Windows 8 went too far for me and it was the moment when I started dipping a toe into Linux. By 8.1 I was dual booting Windows and Linux on the same laptop. Then one fateful day a Windows update trashed the bootup and made the laptop 100% Windows destroying the Linux boot option. That was the final straw and I deleted Windows and went 100% Linux, eventually settling on Mint. Not looked back since.
I encountered it during a hospital stay recently; both me and it were quite unwell. Each bed in the NHS ward had a small TV on an extending arm. It was pretty crap really with only a handful of TV channels and the rest were daily subscription based. It kept crashing. During its long tortuous boot sequence I noticed it was based on Windows CE. According to the technician who came around to fix it, it was in end of life care.
"getting one (even if they could afford one) is a shit idea."
The stepson bought an EV, but has since sold it and gone back to petrol, citing lack of infrastructure, needing to plan long journeys around charging stations only to get there and find they either aren't working or there is a long, time consuming, queue. The final straw he got a parking fine for charging up his car "out of opening hours" in a supermarket car park.
An aeon ago, I inherited a rather complex application and associated access database. One of the tables had an index field of lowercase letters a to z. Then an Access update introduced spell chucker and similar features to Access. Unbeknown to me it changed all the lowercase letter 'i's to uppercase 'I's, trashing the index. Only came to light after hundreds of CDs had been shipped to clients.
We had one installed just over a year ago as I was becoming too infirm to climb into the cupboard under the sink to get manual readings. The display unit has never worked since installation, so we have no idea how much electricity we are using until it appears on the bill. So not very helpful. I literally had to report the fault to Shell energy ten times before they even acknowledged the fault existed, only for them to say "tough luck" in so many words as it would never be fixed. The automatic sending of data also failed for a few months, reason unknown, so I had to climb into the cupboard again to submit manual readings.
Fair to say I've been left underwhelmed by smart meters.
Correct me if I'm wrong but as I recall from chemistry many years ago H2 is a very small molecule and tends to leak very easily, escaping through surfaces/pipes/joins that it finds to be somewhat porous compared to larger molecules like CH4. Could hydrogen even be safely transported along old pipes buried in the roads intended to carry methane?
A letter arrived to my address but in the name of someone I'd never heard of. As there are so many scams going on I opened the letter and it confirmed they had been accepted for a credit card (at my address). Sensing attempted fraud I tried phoning the bank's fraud dept but they refused to speak to me because I wasn't the person named in the letter. A few days later a credit card arrived (I could feel it in the unopened letter) which I returned to sender. A day or two later a pin number for the card which I also returned to sender. A week or so later a letter arrived expressing confusion as to why the previous mail had been returned.
I tried to create a Euro account with them a few years ago, it had to be done in-branch with proof of ID etc. Got there and their computers were down, so had to fill in a long paper form. They then lost the paperwork, found it again some time later and generally went from bungle to blunder. I closed the account as soon as they got round to creating it as they were too late for my needs. They apologised for their incompetence and said they'd give me £20 compensation but I never got a penny.
I experimented by buying one of those trackball gadgets, but found it much worse than a mouse. My fingers just weren't steady enough or precise enough to control the pointer so it was wobbling all over the place while I tried to point it at what I wanted to click. Sent it back to Amazon after one day.
Another thing that peeves me is with games. In my twenties I was really good playing the original Doom on DOS, nowadays a lot of games on the PS4/5 don't make allowances for older gamers with slower reflexes or a little arthritis in their fingers. I can only play on "story" level nowadays. Often the so called "easy" level is impossibly difficult as my fingers just seize up while trying to fight a boss or I don't have the finger control required to precisely and quickly aim a weapon. I've had to abandon several games part way in when encountering a boss that you must defeat to proceed with the game. So frustrating when it is relatively easy to make an easier level for people with age related disabilities... just have larger values for the amount of health gained, your resilience or for the power of your weapons etc. It ain't rocket science.
I'm slowly heading into that category with some hand tremors and a little vision loss. What irks me is the tendency of websites to use small font sizes and operating systems and application interfaces to tend towards using tiny controls and shrinking scroll bars. It applies to physical things too, typically like user instruction leaflets that come with gadgets and household appliances, the text often is effectively illegible for me as it is too small even with prescription reading glasses. I even had to return a book to Amazon the other day as the text was too small to read - the frustrating thing there is that Amazon tells you the physical dimensions of books, how many pages etc but unless there is a "see inside" option, you are left with no clue how big the text is.
Agreed, sometimes it is best just to go straight to A&E rather than try to get a GP appointment. If I'd listened to the Rottweilers and waited for my cardiologist appointment I very likely wouldn't be alive to make these posts now. It is unfortunate though that there are medically untrained personnel (the Rottweilers) effectively making life and death decisions with their actions and instructions to patients, probably unaware of the severe consequences of what they say/do.
"see and talk to, like, an actual doctor"
I was on a waiting list (a couple of months hence) to see a cardiologist at my local hospital. Feeling quite unwell one day I phoned my local doctor's surgery but couldn't even get past the not-medically-trained rottweilers manning the reception desk. "No, you can't make an appointment to see your GP, you've got to wait for your hospital cardiologist appointment". A few days later feeling very unwell I went to A&E where they stuck me on monitors and told me I was too ill to go home and needed to have a pacemaker fitted as soon as possible. Turned out my pulse kept dropping into the 40's, 30's and my heart was even periodically stopping completely for a few seconds and I was in imminent danger of a heart attack, stroke or death!
I joined Mastodon a few months ago. On the plus side it doesn't spam your feed with unwanted crap but on the downside it hasn't reached a critical mass of people I'd like to "follow" e.g. various scientists who I find interesting. At least NASA is on Mastodon with regular posts on what they are doing or the latest JWST photos. As an end user of Mastodon I do find it a bit confusing that you have to select a particular server to join with, I guess that is due to the federated nature of Mastodon, but does that affect what people, organisations and content are visible to me? That isn't so obvious.
Due to data corruption I had to uninstall, wipe and re-install Thunderbird from scratch recently on Linux Mint. Oddly the Calendar / Events functionality appears to be missing. Can't find it in any of Thunderbird's menu options. Very odd. I suspect I'm missing a trick somewhere, just surprised it isn't available "in my face" any more. Don't know if they've removed Calendar/Events or just buried it somewhere unobvious. Or was it an add-on?
Out of curiosity I created an X account the other day. I selected various scientific and technology topics as my only interests. What I got was a feed with 99% unwanted crap, including conspiracy theories, verbal diarrhoea quoted from Trump's own platform, Alex Jones rantings, Q-Anon nonsense, republican political ravings, crypto currency scam posts and a flood of posts on topics I have zero interest in such as American football, baseball, formula 1 racing, actors, singers, soaps etc. Even after clicking the "not interested in this post / topic" the feed kept bringing the same crap up continuously. X is like an open sewer, with an endless supply of turds floating to the top. I deactivated my account less than 24 hours after opening it.
for general use. I've been a keen gamer since the days of the original DOS based Doom. I'm now retired and recently treated myself to a Playstation 5 with VR2 headset and controllers. Been playing Horizon Call of the Mountain which is fantastic in 3D game play. However, the setup cost over a grand, and there aren't that many VR games out there yet, making it a bit of a luxury. Can't see it becoming mainstream until the price comes down and there are more games available for it.
"Linux on my computers even if I do only get support for 5 years for the OS"
There are always new releases of Mint and it is no hardship installing or upgrading to the latest long term support version. I run my hardware until it fails, no arbitrary end of life determined by a manufacturer or OS supplier.
"waiting for a keypress to a modal window which was hiding behind something else"
I got caught out with one of those once. Didn't have a clue why a system had frozen, it seemingly had crashed. I was on the verge of doing something drastic like killing the process before I realised there was a hidden window waiting to be clicked on. Such windows really need to be displayed "topmost".