Archive for the ‘error’ Category

Office Headshaker

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

I’m working on Win10/Office 2016 these days, well I spend most of my time waiting for it. And shaking my head…

I was on the beta programs for Office 2007 and 2010 and those early betas were more reliable and performant than this ‘production’ 2016.

I have a feeling its a lot to do with Windows rather than Office, but my god its slow.

Alt tf to get options – 3 second wait before the dialog come up. Alt f11 for VBA, 5 seconds before the editor lethargically appears.

I know I am not on a super computer, but its not a total lemon either, a perfectly serviceable corporate machine. Or it would be without this combo.

10 seconds to open Excel, but its all forgiven because they have animated the activecell movement when you change selections.

10 seconds to open Word but its all ok, they animate the carriage return…

for real…

In ye olden days I had a dumb terminal onto a mainframe across a phone line that was more responsive.

All the animations made me sick, and not just because of the wasted cycles, so I turned it off in Windoze settings. Does some Microsoft UX expertidiot really fucking think people want to watch the computer slooowly respond to basic commands, slooowly???

Its like back in the day when we didn’t turn screenupdating off so it looked like we were doing the work manually instead of tossing it off in a little netscape window to geocities and alta vista.

Today alone I had five 10 minute plus application freezes, Excel, SQL Server Management studio, notepad++, and some other stuff. And Windoze Explorer crashed. This is what makes me think its at least as much a Windows problem as Office.

I was thinking I might consider a wondows lapper next now macbooks are shit, but it looks like it would be unusably slow or uncarriably heavy and bulky (and probably too powerful for a battery so coming with a 50m power cable on a reel). Never mind their ridiculous intrusive prove you’re not a pirate, frequently, features.

So maybe it will be a linux Dell finally, as system 76 only offer US keyboards (and sticker sets for johnny foreigners (like me)).

Unless you have a better suggestion for a (non wonkdoze) laptop?

How is your win10 Office 2016 experience?

cheers

simon

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Apple Engineering

Sunday, 6th May, 2018

I watched a great video recently about Apples engineering ‘quality’.

Its not very complementary.

But as I have changed 3 hard drive cables on my Macbook estate, and two have screen hinge problems, and on this current one the letter F keeps falling off… I have some understanding of his point of view.

Talking of crap keyboards…

Anyone feel the need to sign this to encourage a recall (yeah right!) of the latest Macbook pro with the slimline fragile keyboard?

I had vaguely thought of updating my machine but I really don’t think Macbooks provide what I want these days. So I need to find another supplier, who doesn’t insist on installing (and charging for) Windows. And who supplies Europe sensibly, with a suitable keyboard. No rush though…

cheers

Eventbrite warning

Sunday, 22nd April, 2018

Someone recently mentioned using Eventbrite or similar for organising the next Excel Conf (I have not heard more, so no idea if anything is in the offing or not).

Their latest agreement that you sign up to (after reading carefully I’m sure) grants them (amongst other stuff) the right to enter your event , and pre and post setup/teardowns, take as much video and photos as they like of anything they like, for them to use whenever, where ever they like for ever!!!

That also means you grant them right to publish photos of any and all attendees any time any where.

Dunno if it applies in the UK/EU

Fuller details here

What an outrageous rights grab

Office 2016 Migration issues

Monday, 16th April, 2018

I have been doing some Office migration stuff recently and came across a couple of issues I wondered if anyone else has seen. and perhaps has a solution?

Word 2016

From time to time gets very upset at docs with form fields in and scatters the text all over the screen, like toys from a pram. Seems to be related to printing, possibly quick print, but printed docs come out fine. So it looks like the printer driver is upsetting the screen driver somehow. Swapping printers ‘fixes’ the issue. Anyone seen this?

Excel 2016

Application.getfilename manages to get a filename Excel can’t use? I have had to go and add a file type to the file saveas stuff, fair enough. But the (non null) file name is not acceptable??

I thinks this might be related to server paths or something?

(this is a remote project so troubleshooting is a bit of a challenge – any ideas?)

cheers

 

GoPro SD card problems

Sunday, 30th April, 2017

Bit random for a spreadsheet blog I know…

I am putting this here because I found a fix, and I know from my own searches other people have exactly the same issue: disc full, no sd, sd err on gopro.

One of the kids deleted some files from the GoPro SD card on the mac, but didn’t empty the ‘trash’ before ejecting the card.

What a fookin pain in the arse!!! (Thanks Apple.)

Not sure exactly what misery Apple inflict on the card in this case but it really upset the gopro, really.

Initially the gopro just kept saying disc full (because macs don’t delete files, they just reclassify them – until you clear the ‘trash’)..

I reformatted the card in disk utility on the mac, then the gopro kept cycling through the above errors, either disk full, no SD or SD error.

I reformatted it in Linux, same crap, tried Windows (normally a good bet) same shit.

Of course the card was fine in other devices – I think the gopro is a bit sensitive, and a bit incapable of formatting the cards for itself. Nomally I clear the cards on a tomputer then put it in the device to format – the gopro wasn’t able.

The SD card seemed to have picked up a second partition somehow, but even after removing that the gopro wasn’t happy, a few resets didn’t help.

Then I saw a post suggesting this. A specialist SD card format tool from the SD Association. Its a free tool that does what it says – formats SD cards – but seemingly better than everyone else. It took about 5 mins, instead of the 30 secs with all the other things I tried. But IT ACTUALLY WORKED! Yay.

The whole episode cost me a good few hours of buggering around, and I was on the verge of just retiring the SD card or saving it for a gadget with better formatting capabilities. I hate it when technology beats me so I was pleased to get it sorted.

So anyone else having SD card problems with their gopro check out the SD card formatter from the SD Association (I am assuming it hasn’t opened up some GCHQ/NSA backdoor on my pc!)

cheers

simon

Vetting pantomime

Thursday, 24th March, 2016

Hopefully you have heard the phrase coined by Bruce Schneier ‘security theatre’ to refer to a lot of the recent changes in travel security etc. The basic inference is that it looks like security but isn’t really.

I know this because I have had all sorts of things confiscated while trying to board a plane, but have never been arrested. Too much of a threat to take my plastic clamp on the plane but not enough for a life sentence at gitmo. At least I can take comfort knowing that none of the other passengers has a small plastic clamp with which to take over the plane (or the world).

I am now living through a vetting pantomime. I have been offered a (short term) contract at a UK bank, and now ‘just need to go through the security vetting process’.

I need a disclosure Scotland, can’t get one on line as I don’t have a uk address. One suggestion was that I use someone I knows’ address in the uk as my current residence. Hmm – false information?

They want a 5 year work history, which I have provided, but now they want the gaps explaining. Well derrr I’m a contractor, sometimes there are gaps…

No, they want me to send them bank statements for all the gaps! What the fuck for??? They haven’t specified which account so I guess I shouldn’t use the one with all those NSA/KGB payments for leaking vital information? Or at least I should ensure those payments do not fall in a month when I am not in a contract.

Someone suggested it is to see if I have ‘been away’, ie looking for lack of transactions whilst held at her Royal Britannic Majesty’s pleasure. Its a joint account – there are transaction all the time (me putting money in, wife taking it out :-))

What are they going to do with my bank information? How can it help their vetting? it can’t. its stupid. If they came to me with a list of all my accounts then maybe, but thats SC level stuff not mickey mouse 10 week contract stuff.

Why are banks wanting to recruit people that think its ok to spaff personal confidential information all over the interwebs??

That’s right they want me to email them my bank statements, no mention of a sFTP secure upload facility, no details on the usage of the information, the storage, or the expiry/deletion. they just want people who don’t give a shit about information security, incredible.

Leaving aside of course the irony that between me and this bank, only one of us has ever been found guilty of any fraud or criminality. and I don’t (mis) sell PPI or fix Libor rates.

I’m know I am too old and battle scarred for this shit but really…

You’re the bad guy, oh no I’m not you’re the bad guy, oh no I’m not etc etc. He’s behind you…

Aaaanyway if you need a grumpy old fart with just enough knowledge about security to be cantankerous then let me know. It looks like I may be having a gap opened up in my agenda for me…

Where are all the RBS jobs?

Thursday, 5th December, 2013

It looks like RBS could do with a slightly stronger (or greyer) team.

When this happened last year the view was it was caused by sacking off all the experienced staff and offshoring the jobs to cheap fresh graduates.

Presumably thats still going on…

Anyone seen any UK based COBOL or VB3.0 jobs advertised at RBSĀ  recently?

cheers

simon

Good Spreadsheet practice

Wednesday, 27th November, 2013

Something a bit more realistic and less dramatic than ‘don’t use them’, from the ICAEW.

Please have a read and make some (constructive) comments on that site.

I can think of a counter example to all of their suggestions but I guess in general they are mostly fair enough, if perhaps a little woolly.

Some of them read a little like workarounds for poor fundamental design (eg protection – I’m never a fan!).

cheers

simon

 

 

Run and hide

Tuesday, 26th November, 2013

Just saw this in a job ad:

“You will be building a shared workbook with … for multiple users”

I guess on the plus side it will be a job for life fixing it and keeping it limping along (badly).

But its not for me.

I’m fairly pragmatic, I don’t remember ever building one myself but I don’t mind helping other people keep theirs working, unlike some devs I know, who just blank them with a “not fit for purpose”.

I have also seen a few death march projects failing to replace them quite badly.

What are they like in 2013? they are rubbish in 2010.

cheers

simon

In from the cold

Monday, 25th November, 2013

Hiiii!

So after a few months out I am back.

The cycle is fairly well established now – I do a contract, get frustrated, take a break, start looking for the next contract.

What is the frustration?

  • If I work in an IT department its their complete determination to do anything except deliver working software to the people who need it (and pay for it)
  • If I work in a business role its a. much less frustrating, b. more rewarding, c. bit of a niggle about not getting access to the best tools for the job.

Most recent contracts have been in IT departments.

I have had a great break over the summer, have been doing some teaching at a local college, but now its time to start the long painful search for a new contract.

The process was never fun, but gets even less funner every time. Clients with unrealistic skill set expectations (30 years .net 4.5, 100 years excel 2013 and 50 years Linux kernel debugging etc), and crashing pay rates (seem to be 60% of last year, which was 80% of the year before). Agents with even less knowledge of the business, the market or even IT. Too many alarm words: “prince2”, “visio”, even seen “waterfall” a few times last week!

The death of Excel as a client side target and the rise of its pale and pathetic arch-nemesis the browser, and all the the bullshit time wasting that represents. But having devs write thousands of lines of javascript to replicate 1 click actions in Excel sure cuts down the spreadsheet error rate.

So anyway I am brushing up my JQuery and Ajax skillz ready to bluff my way into that Useful Spreaddie to Pointless Web App migration project coming to a company near you soon. :-)

cheers

simon