Friday, 18 April 2008

Ohhh so close

Christ I'm slack!

About a million years ago I prommissed some old friends a website for their youth theatre group, I said I'd do it for free as they have alway been good to me and so I set about being really really reaaaalllyyyy lethargic about the whole thing! It comes in fits and spurts, that last one being around the beginning of February, which as Is pretty slack.

So I've done it again; I'm spurting into another fit of enthusiasm and I'm going to put it to good use! I spent an hour last night and I was in the office at 7AM this morning getting it ready. I'm going to sent Hillary and Steve a link and isntructions to the first version of the site, Complete with a few basic pages, a news section and a place where they can document the past, pressent and future production of the theatre company.

I'm going to hold their hand through the innitial setup and hopefully watch the traffic pour in!

The photo gallery bit is about 70% done but I'm going to go live without it now as I reckon watching the hits pile (?? trickle) in on google analytics will spur me on some more to get the gallery up and running. The site looks a bit bare without it so it definitely needs to happen, and this time I think it will! i really really reaaallllyyyy do!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Beta software, Microsoft, Windows and other shit things

A while ago when the first release candidate of Windows XP Servcie pack 3 came out I read a couple of reviews and got sold on the fact that it promised some speed increases over SP2. Now I'm no fool and I knew it wouldn't be anywhere near the equivalent of getting some hardware underneath the thing but I didn't think I'd experience anything near as retarded as I have done.

Shortly after the release candidate was made available I formatted my laptop ready for a clean install. The first thing I installed after my fresh windows was SP 3. Now I know you're about to say "It's your own fault for using pre-release software" and it completely is! I doubt I'll ever use a pre-release of something so fundamental as an operating system ever again.

So what happened? Well, I came into the office Tuesday after being ill on Monday to find I couldn't use remote desktop as "this beta software has expired"...
After a quick chat to James I discovered he had had the same problems and that you needed to install a "technical refresh". This involved uninstalling the previous version, which was installed before any other software on my system.

So I uninstalled it, spent about half an hour trying to get IE back on my system as the uninstall had shagged it up royal and made the decision never to use pre-release software again.

Now I don't blame myself completely for my world of shit. Sure I installed it in the first place but Microsoft made it a bag of shit!!!

Why and how?? Well this is many-fold

1) By making it time limited in some way

This is ridiculous; if someone has gone to the trouble of installing Beta/RC software you can pretty much guess they are going to be tech-savvy enough to know when to upgrade to the full release or get the new / updated release candidate. Don’t all of a sudden make their system unusable!

2) Make uninstallers that work.

Once I’d taken the plunge into uninstalling SP3, and waited hours for it to happen I decided NOT to install the technical refresh and stick with good old SP2. Which you would have imagined would be what I was left with after removing SP3 as it was a SP2 disk I used in the first place. But no, it wasn’t! It was some clagged up hybrid crock of shit which windows update wouldn’t even recognise. I had to download the SP2 installer and run all of that again to get my system back to “working”

2.1) Make installers that work / don’t fuck your computer up

So after all that I was left with IE6 so I installed IE7 and which now refuses to accept cookies, loads of sites complain about security and loads of other shit has gone wrong.

At 1st opportunity I’m installing Mac OS 8.1 and having done with it! Well maybe not but it just baffles me why developers make things so overly complicated. Ok, it’s Beta and you’d prefer people not to run it forever so stick a warning in there. Don’t cripple their system for them and force them to brick their computers. You have a responsibility to the end user as much as to the business objectives, unless one of those objectives it to piss users off!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Recruitment consultants are a special breed of idiot

Following up on Matt's article about recruitment consultants I want to rant about them myself!

Ten minutes ago I recieved an email from someone at Senitor offering me an excelent Desktop Support candidate.

Now, having nothing to do with desktop support as all our IT is provided by our parent group I wrote said recruitment consultant a polite but concise email stating that I am a web developer, I am only concirned with web development and that I wish to be removed from any mailing lists for IT Support staff, but that it was fine for them to keep emailing me about Flash or Web Development candidates they might have.

So two mins later I recieve my read-receipt and all is well. THEN, five minutes after that I get a phone call from some other chap at senitor saying he's just recieved word from this other chap (who I just emailed) saying that I'm looking for a freelancer and can he be of any help.

So I spent five minutes explaining what I had previously wrote in my email and then informed him that we are acutally looking for a Permanent Senior Flash Developer and that he could rind Matt about that.

He mumbled that one of collegues deals with permanent developers and said he would get him to ring through. The conversation ended.

Wonder if I'll get any more IT support emails from them, or maybe a freelance chef or a mechanic?

Good work recruitment consultants!