A Harsh Comment

"Ive been checking your blog for a while now…in amongst the pile of
time wasting things I do everyday – as I have no life to speak of.

I spend all my time trying to get stuff to work on a pc and it
become increasingly apparent that this is the microsoft and pc
quest……..Keep you spending money to make it just do something its
supposed to ..or at least what we are told it can do.

I`ll get a better monitor..hey I`ll get 2 that will make the
experience better…I`ll get a better soundcard, more ram an bigger hard
drive a whole new pc cos the new operating system demands more of this
or that…external drives etc etc.

To be honest I`m sick of it……. I just bought a whole new pc after
being fed up of getting sucked into everything and having 2 set ups…2
monitors etc networking…blah blah.

What use is 3 monitors? apart from trying to convince yourself that you need them or too impress visitors….gaming?…….

I`ve had my new set up just over a month again..flat screen etc and
already ive come up against problem after problem……If you actaully try
to use a pc rather than just buy cool bits you are always in trouble
and it will suck the life out of you and your bank balance….

As soon as I can and thats this year Im chucking it all in for a
MAC……I want to just create and work rather than play and having lots of
bits that achieve nothing and just waste time…..but of course make me
thing im doing something cos im on the thing all the time.

Microsoft and pcs in general have us all running around in circles trying to make it better.

Ive seen your blog go from really interesting to kinda lackluster…sorry to be harsh dood.

I am a stamped geek which is to say Im asked to fix stuff that goes wrong by mates cos “im geeky and know all that stuff.”

Geeks it seems are popular right now….The IT crowd I discovered throught your site….but being a geek is kind of seperatist.

The geek builds the pc, sets up the software and keeps it running
for OTHER people to create on….Im fed up with all that I just want
stuff to work ..the minimum needs and maintainance and just get on and
have it work and STOP fiddling with it all.

Ive a few mates that have switched to MACS and now just do stuff rather than tweak their set ups all day (oo er)

I agree with a comment you made before about MACS….to be honest
having this item running on April fools days would have been a much
better idea…"


Jack made this comment on my Triple Monitor post a few hours ago, i feel like i need to straighten a few things out. 

"I`ll get a better monitor..hey I`ll get 2 that will make the
experience better…I`ll get a better soundcard, more ram an bigger hard
drive a whole new pc cos the new operating system demands more of this
or that…external drives etc etc."

A lot of people seem to have major issues with windows, and i dont really
understand why. It works suprisingly well considering, and quite
frankly if there was a ultimately better solution then that would be
used but you have to look at the big picture.

Linux? Its a wonderfully secure system and very stable too, but difficult to configure and lacks drivers for a lot of hardware. It is free tho, if you have the knowledge and compatable hardware then its a great option, but for the average user its jsut not viable.

Mac OSX? Based on Unix, so its secure and stable and very good looking to boot, but only runs on dedecated apple hardware which you pay through the nose for.

If you stand my Home made pc up next to a G5 tower you would be hard pressed to find many real differences, i have tweaked the OS and installed opensource software to give it just good looking and functioning desktop as OSX and the Hardware is neatly installed and tuned. For the time and effort i have put into mine, you pay for on the mac, its already done for you. When mac owners shout from the rooftops how great their Macs are, its the same as me shouting about how good i think my computer is, just that the mac owners paid someone else to do it for them.

You dont need to spend all this money, you can buy a functioning Windows PC for a few hundred pounds and as long as your not using it for gaming or hardcore video/photo editing it will work jsut as well.

"What use is 3 monitors? apart from trying to convince yourself that you need them or too impress visitors….gaming?……."I set up 3 montiors in my room to test for my open day, when as it happens i am trying to impress as many people as possible. I also learnt from the experience and posted it because i liked doing.

"The geek builds the pc, sets up the software and keeps it running
for OTHER people to create on….Im fed up with all that I just want
stuff to work ..the minimum needs and maintainance and just get on and
have it work and STOP fiddling with it all.
"

You dont have to fiddle, i only mess with the options for fun. As it happens i create a lot of things on windows, including digital art, essays and letters and whole programs.

"Geeks it seems are popular right now….The IT crowd I discovered throught your site….but being a geek is kind of seperatist."

I cant help but find this comment a little offensive, likening geeks to terrorists is a bit extreme. I have been a geek for as long as i can remember, i havnt just jumped on it to be cool.

"Ive seen your blog go from really interesting to kinda lackluster…sorry to be harsh dood."
I know that i havnt been posting anything particually good for a
while. All my time and effort is being poured into my Final Year
Project for Uni and i havent had time to keep up with friends or even
have any kind of social life for the past month let alone have time to
post on my blog.

My uni course is my life and the project is
worth 20% of the whole thing, this next week is going to have a huge
effect on my job prospects and future so i'm giving it everything i
have got.

I get the feeling that some people expect me to
entertain them and write for them just because they read it and its
really not. This is my personal blog, its not done for profit or gain.
The things i post are things that i find interesting or that i have
search long and hard for on the net.

This seems to have turned into a bit of a rant! Its been building up for a little while now, i have a number of posts where people are finding it through google and expecting me to help them without even reading the whole post. Its all starting to get on my nerves, i'm kinda thinking of packing it in at the moment, at least until after my project is over…

Lazy Computing

I am lazy, theres no doubt about that. I’d much prefer to go to kfc down the road then go food shopping and save myself a few pounds, i like to laze around the house rather than go to the beach. I’m just like every other student…. Lazy!!

But i only just realised that i’m a lazy computer user as well.

I was reading through a blog about how someone was reading too many feeds and felt like he was wasting his time, it got me thinking.. “Why arn’t i am having this issues?”

Oh yeah, i dont read feeds! This isnt because i dont want to know what everyone else writes on their blogs, or that i dont follow news, its that im too lazy!

I’ve automated so much on my computer, just so that i dont have to do it. Here are a few things its does automatically:

  • TuneUp Utilities cleans up my system once a day,
  • Diskeeper Defrags my HDD once a week,
  • GTalk opens itself on start up and stays open all day on my second screen,
  • I’ve made a toolbar on my taskbar which links straight to all my TV shows and films,
  • I have a number of shortcuts to my commonly used folders on my desktop,
  • Flickr Uploadr for putting pictures on the web at the click of a right button,
  • Volume and itunes controls on my G15 keyboard as well as the time on the LCD,
  • ATItool overclocks my PC when ever it detects a game, and then slows it down when i exit,
  • and Firefox clears its cache and history once a day.

And in there lies a problem, i like everything to be smooth and quick with the minimal amount of clicks so the only RSS reader i wanted to use was Sage (a RSS reader extension), but everytime firefox cleared its history it also reset sage so that old stories came up as new ones. After about a week of this i got annoyed with going thru trying to find out which were new stories and which were old, so i just removed it and stopped reading feeds.

I did that about 5 months ago and i have never gone back to feeds.

I think this is also why i’ve stopped checking so many sites every day, it just takes too much effort! And i feel guilty for doing it. If something becomes too repetative, i either automate it or remove it. Many programs have gone the way of the uninstall because of that including Gaim, Thunderbird and Picasa/Photoshop Elements.

I’ve also seen it in in blogging, for about a month i put technorati tags at the bottom of every post, which involved copying a bit of HTML code and then changing a few words, but i never noticed any increase in hits, or even technorati taking any notice of these tags so i stopped doing it.

I guess this could be seen as me being picky with the software or sites i use, but i think its more a case of the operations that i’m picky with.

Why perform maintainence on your pc when it can do it while your making a cup of tea?
Why check your emails when Gtalk will tell you if you get one when your doing other things?
Why read RSS feeds if you not to bothered about them anyways?

I tend to use the net as if i have never seen it before, i have very few regular sites and so i just go looking for things that interest me rather than waiting for a handful of sites to post that thing.

Maybe its lazy, maybe its being more efficent, all i know is that i cant be bothered with feeds!

Ruby, Coursework and SSH

Today has had me running around like a blue arsed fly.

Coding more of my project, doing State Space Maths coursework and organising my group for the business coursework I have due in on friday.

Last night i made up a quick business card to give out on my openday, i’d love some feedback on it as i’m not really sure what to include on it.

In the little spare time i have had i’ve been trying to set up a typo blog for Lauren which is based on Ruby On Rails. This is way above my abilities with server and web programming and i feel quite out of my depth. Initially i tried doing it via ftp and web interfaces, but this drive me insane… FTP is quite possibly the most terrible technology ever!!

Its slow and dumb and wont let me delete a folder with something in it. On a web with DHTML, AJAX and VOIP, why cant anyone develop a better method of moving files to and from webservers? This drove me crazy for quite some time trying to work out what to do and waiting for the FTP transactions to finish. But being a n00b with websites and only really knowing about simple HTML sites and FTP, i had never heard of SSH.

Initially i avoided it because it looked very daunting to me, having only ever used windows and so i’m used to everything being configured with tick boxes and GUIs, but i took the plung after getting very frustrated with FTP (cuteFTP to be specific) using Putty for windows. After a bit of confusion i realised i had to enable SSH on my dreamhost account, and after that became active i started to get the hang of it.

I’m Using this site for commands and tips until i get more used to it, but any other good links would be much appericated, and with my hated of forums i cant really go to them for help, but i can ask my knowledgable readers for advise :P

I’m guessing that the Shell is similar to the command line in linux/unix, and this has only made me want to install linux even more so, and i will in about 2 weeks time!
Still havnt got the blog working, so any advise from Ruby on Rails or Typo experts would be really good, once i get the hang of it then i will catch on fairly quickly but this is a completely new area to me and at the moment i feel kind of blind if you know what i mean.

Lauren too a few pics today with an SLR camera she borrowed, and i absoultly love this one, you can see them all at her flickr page here.

Logo Competition
Had a couple more entries today, still 2 weeks to go tho, and on thursday/friday (depending on busyness) I will announce what the prize is.

Ultra Mobile PCs

There is so much hype on the internet about these things at the moment, call out your fan boys MS, theres money to be made.

Quite frankly im not at all impressed with these things at all.

For one thing size… Huge is not the word, these are bordering on 12″ laptop sizes, you will definatly have to use two hands to operate one. They will never fit in a normal persons pocket meaning you have to either carry round a bag or get huge pocketed clothes, but they are going to be heavy enough to get on your nerves walking around with them.

The whole reason Ipod Nanos sold so well is that you can hardly notice you are carrying one at all.

One problem Apple had with their Nanos was that the scratched easily and the screens broke, you think this is going to be any different with this? It has a huge screen just itching for scratch, and as your sposed to be carrying these everywhere, theres got to be a possibilty that you might drop it. Lets see how it survives that!
Security? Laptops are snatched every day and mobile phone theft is a huge problem as well, if you are carrying round a basically a large mobile which is going to be worth a heck of a lot of money, then its jsut going to scream steal me, so ok you can jsut use it inside, but havnt you just lost a whole lots of its usefulness?

And as highlighted by the WordPress only yesterday, when your browsing the internet via wifi, you are transmitting most website passwords you enter in plain text for anyone to steal and abuse, any smart kid will be able to sit in the same caffee as a chump who bought one and watch most of his internet activity and then save his user names and passwords to use later.

You know these things are going to cost a small fortune, come on its microsoft!

And being Microsoft you can be assured that the software will be buggy and unpatched for many months after release and be stuffed full of crippling DRM as well.

No quite frankley i think this is a bit like the Web2.0 of computers, after the initally buzz, they will die down and like PDAs only really be used by a small amount of people.

I’ll stick with a 12″ ibook or thinkpad and be much happier as a result of it.

Update: In this Inquirer Preview from CeBit the say the retail price is likely to be 1500-1800 euros!!!

xblogging

I’ve felt bloody terrible today, its been pretty stressful with uni and terrible housemates. Looks like my housemates who are sposed to sort out and pay the gas bill have not, and we may get our gas, and possibly electricity cut off.. fecking idiots, plus we’ll be charged over £330 for the privledge.

The worst thing is that it may affect MY credit rating! This got me pretty stressed, and the only response i have heard from the 2 who were sposed to paythe bill was… “We’ve already paid it”, now forgive me if i have missed something but i dont think British Gas would send out a letter saying we are being cut off if they had paid the bill!!!

Then i got an email saying that i have missed a number of labs and i have to go see my lecturer next week, or i may fail the lab coursework. Which just added to my stress!
So i’ve kind of loafed around and done nothing.

But i wasnt going to let the whole day go by without a blog, oh no.

Today both Darkplace and The IT Crowd DVDs were confirmed with release dates, and are availalbe for preorder on Amazon. Darkplace 7th July and The IT Crowd 9th October (very close to my birthday Hint! Hint!)

The Mirror for the IT Crowd episodes is having a bit of a bandwidth problem… They used up 1762GB of Bandwidth in the first 7 days!! So i thought i could get you guys to help him out by clicking a few of hits adverts or even giving him a small donation via paypal to help him keep the server up and the IT Crowd available to the whole world.
(Dont forget to disable Adblock!)

I’m going to be swanking it up in a hotel room like this in May for a wedding im going to with Lauren (all free of charge of course :P)

Check out this blog by Pedro Silva, he works for MSDN. It looks like they are developing something rather similar to “Visual Assembly” (my final year project, the website needs updating tho) as an add-on to Visual Studio 2005 called DSL Tools, (No not Damn Small Linux) its short for Domain-Specific Language Tools.

Its pretty cool that im actually doing something that microsoft considers a valid software concept, although im sure theirs will be much better than mine!


You might have noticed that i have a new link in my affiliates section: ThinkGeek, this is an awsome webshop, i would buy soo much from there if i lived in the US, namely Jolt Cola and the really cool mugs and t-shirts!

So if you feel like checking it out, i think i get 7% if you buy anything from them after clicking my link. Already made £3!
Check out this shot of my dinner yesterday:

A nice healthy 5 Bits of extra thick bacon all covered in melted cheese!

I recevied a little gift from Ergotron today as well, which will be getting a fullon review here tomorrow, heres a sneak peak picture, and the fancy camera i used to take some of the photos with:

I’ve also nearly finished Download Vista, and in Uni today downloaded a Ubuntu Live CD in 2 mins (40Mb Connection), so if i get board over the weekend then i might end up doing a bit of OS tinkering.

Oh and a reminder that there is now 2 weeks left in the Atariboy Logo competition, didnt want you to forget now :P
Keep you eyes open tomorrow for a possible Firefox 2 Alpha release as well ;)

And my technorati rank has gone up again: 7,273

Problogger

I was browsing CoComment earlier and i stumbled across Problogger.net, by the looks of it, it is a very popular blog (he lives off the money he makes from it), and it has some excellent tips for bloggers be them n00b or l33t, i was quite impressed and took some of the tips to heart to try and improve my blog.

But… adsense, always with the adsense!

I was reading one of his posts and there was a bit about the growth in populartiy of your blog over time, which is pretty true, if you continue to post regualrly for a year you are going to get quite a few follows, but then he went on to say how you can expect to make certain amounts of money and have it increase every month. A little pause… How is he making this money?

I love Adblock, it has hiddened every single one of his adsense ‘verts and banners and giant iFrames.

Open up in IE6 and it looks quite a bit more jumbled, with adblock the theme was very nice and clean and clear, but without the adsense words just messed it up and put me off the blog a bit.

Obviously he is making money from his blog (quite a bit my the looks of it) but at what cost?

Personally if i didnt have adblock i would be instantly put off by the large ads obscuring his articles, lots of them promoting more affilite programs and adsense for bloggers (almost liek a pyrimd scheme maybe?), but i dont know what other people think of it.

Would you have a kinder word to say about it?

Would you be a regular reader of a blog with that many adverts?

Do you use adblock to shield you from the horrors of adsense?