Monday, 6th August, 2012
As you may know I am a bit of a rich client fan, and have a pretty low opinion of browser based ‘apps’.
Of course the advantage of a web/server based systems is you can throw any old shite together and call it released. Then roll fixes out hourly, or more frequently, until it finally does enough of what the users want, to get them off your case so you can go back to cv polishing.
When aiming for a richer client experience the deployment and update story is often not quite so easy. So much so that we sometimes make sure things actually do what the user needs before releasing.
The thin client guys have looked down on us ‘legacy’ fat client guys for a long time, with our excessive client side requirements (eg client needs MS Office installed, etc).
S000 … The biggest block to big biz migration to Windows 8?
Excel/VBA apps? no
Access apps? no
VB6 apps? no
Read it and savour the irony.
Not only have your users had to put up with a truly dysfunctional interface with appalling user interaction features, now your crappy browser apps have locked your org into a 13 year old operating system.
Thin client my arse!
Monday, 6th August, 2012
It seems Microsoft has had to sack off their chosen name for their latest UI catastrophe (Metro).
What would be your suggestion?
Specialised Human Interface Tablet Experience.
or SHITE for short.
Thursday, 2nd August, 2012
I just happened across a comment that it is now trading down below twenty having IPO’ed at 40 odds. No wonder so many execs are getting trampled in the stampede out the door.
I can think of more fun ways to lose half my money.
GB comes to mind…
I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars – the rest I just squandered.
I also read about the Knight destructacon algo disaster, potentially driving them titsup. I am sure this was a ‘proper’ HFT algo tech, not some Excel/VBA monster. But the effect seems pretty similar (Google Dr Evil spreadsheet). Please, please, please let the Knight rider ‘system’ be called KITT.
In a similar vein I also spotted that UBS are suing NASDAQ for their part in the FacePalm debacle. (Or FaceBerg as it is now known). Presumably they ended up owning too many of these citrus shares.
So its been a good few weeks for crap systems, no national spreadsheet horror stories though (Unless you include the Olympic ticketing/empty seat fiasco, which we were told last year was spreadsheet based).
What little spreadsheeting I have been doing recently has been Gnumeric, I can’t remember the last time I fired up Excel (or Windows in fairness).
I am still resisting the pressure to participate in Facebilk, I think they will probably rename it to facespace as people leave in droves, and evidence emerges of millions of fake accounts. Too old for faceache, too young for linked in, what should I do?
On the investment front I guess you could always try to recoup your FB losses with MS shares ready for the Win8 effect? (buying puts of course ;-)).
Monday, 2nd July, 2012
I was chatting with a mate recently…
He owns a garage, one of my other mates works for him.
They both went to the bank to get a mortgage:
Garage Owner – I’m self employed. Bank: ohh…
Garage worker – I’m employed. Bank: hi, come in, sign here.
sums them up really.
[Bank rage week is nearly over here at sos!]
[although I think its just starting at the beeb and the FSA] [and has been on-going for a long time with most customers]
Sunday, 1st July, 2012
How fast they fall…
Still no sign of progress on (most of) my book order from the middle of last week.
Looks like my first order was also my last.
Looks like its back to Amazon as the least crap bookshop…
[update: all books in the order were delivered within a week, after a little prod] [so the Book Depository is back on my list of reasonable bookshops]
Friday, 29th June, 2012
Still keeping an eye out for that elusive challenging role on reasonable terms…
Although I am keen to stay in Energy or commodity trading, I have also strayed into applying for bank type roles because of my financial services background.
Its pretty ironic to see their 50 page plus bullshit recruitment bullshit about trustworthiness, and creditworthiness.
Banks miss-selling complex derivatives.
Banks manipulating LIBOR.
UK banks bailout.
Euro banks bailout.
and don’t get me started on ‘must have experience of testing’:
Probably best if I steer clear of banks really, I would hate to develop some of the traits they seem to reward.
The disconnect between the way some of these banks perceive themselves, versus the way these malpractice investigations demonstrate them to be is, I find, amusingly ironic.
Wednesday, 27th June, 2012
I have been a bit underwhelmed by Amazons price competitiveness for a while. Exacerbated by the sweeping 30% price increase on my pending basket a few months ago.
So now I have found a new book supplier (via Amazon ironically)
Its here the Book Depository.
Its not all peaches and cream but it did work out a good few quid cheaper for my last order. Slight scam though if you buy their books via Amazon they are 2.80 cheaper in the basket. But then they hammer you for postage at the end. On their site they are more expensive with ‘free delivery’. Works out about the same I think. It would be nice to get charged postage once, not per book. Especially if like me you have an insatiable book buying (and sometimes reading) habit.
I got paper ones rather than kindle as the thought of trying to make sense of a technical book on a kindle didn’t appeal. That and the fact Mrs Smurf is still happily using her kindle and hasn’t given it to me yet.
I only just ordered so I could well be back on here in a few days ranting about their crap delivery or summat.
Have you got any recommended book shops?
Or are you one of those ‘read it on-line’ types? (I really prefer working through a book to get to grips with new stuff, on-line is great for specifics and reference etc, but I’m not a fan of reading screens and screens of text. And videos make me drowsy!)
Tuesday, 26th June, 2012
I saw this security article about a recent infection.
It was an infected AutoCad template used to send a stack load of technical drawings to its creator for supposed industrial espionage reasons.
The technology it used is partly AutoCad scripting (which I thought is/was VBA?), but mainly plain old VBS run by the Windows Scripting Host.
It could so easily have been an Office related template. But then Excel is mainly used for shopping lists, Access for CD collections, and Powerpoint for manager technobabble, so I guess AutoCad probably is a better target.
Have you seen any sign of Office related malware recently? (I had an Excel VBA virus in 1998 or something, took about 10 minutes to disable and delete.)
Friday, 22nd June, 2012
Talking, as I have, about jobs in banks it seems rude to ignore this fiasco.
The MBA types are always wondering how far they can cut costs before service deterioration becomes perceptible, I guess they have the answer now at RBS/Natwest.
I do hope they don’t manage to pin it on an errant spreadsheet.
And I presume (as the UK taxpayers bought RBS last time its management bankers drove it into the ground) , that the results of the enquiry into what caused this will be made public?
I could pretend to be shocked, but really I am shocked it doesn’t happen more often. Its probably some VB3 or COBOL component whose source code is long since gone that has barfed at some dodgy input. Or its that Flame cyberwar virus…
Fair play to the front line staff (and the backroom folks) that are working early, late and Sundays to try and sort things out.
If you have your overdraft with them I hope you are coping.
[edit I was going to have a pop about offshoring, but deleted it, but having read some of the comments it appears some key IT roles only just left the uk for foreign climes. oops]
Friday, 22nd June, 2012
Spoke with an agent today – They wanted named referees before they would submit my application to the end client. They wouldn’t tell me who the end client was.
I actually thought about it for a few minutes before it dawned on me it was just a contact fishing trip.
I must be getting old.
Next of all I will be sending my credit card details to Nigeria to help a billionaire dictator escape!
The agent now has a bunch of ‘HR Department’ details.
And I am not holding my breathe for the job offer.