I posted a rant about my hosting provider about 10 days ago. As I mentioned in the post, I quickly got the site up and running again. Pretty soon after that I was at the UKOUG conference and Cary Millsap‘s training course, so I never really got time to look at things again…
On Thursday evening I took a proper look at the site and OMG, what a mess. Here are some of the issues I’ve been firefighting since Thursday…
UltraEdit 2.3 has just been released for Linux. It now has a Fedora 16 build, which is nice.
The first draft of this post was rather explosive, containing many expletives and could probably have landed me in jail on some trumped up charges. This is the more moderate version.
To cut a long and boring story short, I made a change to my hosting package today, which suggested it was an administrative change, rather than something physical. The fact it transferred my whole site to another server is annoying, but if I had bothered to read the 3000 pages of T&Cs it would probably have become obvious.
One of my friends is a drama teacher, so every once in a while I get invited to see productions that are touring locally. Last night I went to see some physical theatre by a company called DV8. The show was called “Can we talk about this?” and was about “freedom of speech, censorship and Islam”. I’m not a political or religious person, so the subject matter was not something I’m really into. Actually, I didn’t even know what the production was about before it started. If I had I would probably have thought, “sounds too heavy”, and avoided it. Added to that, I’m not really an arty kind of guy, so I guess these facts make me about the worst possible person to sit in a show like this. So what did I think?
Website stats are an odd thing. If you look at them too often and you start to think they matter, which is why I avoid looking at them for months on end.
I’ve seen a couple of browser share articles recently, so I decided to check out the spread for my website (oracle-base.com). The top 3 were a little predictable.
On the 14th March 2011, the numbers were:
The Gmail new look was rolled out while I was on the road, so it’s taken until now for me to really take a good look at it. Let me start by saying I’m not a total hater, but there are some things that do not seem like an improvement to me.
I mentioned in a previous post that I went to the OTN Night on the Monday at OOW11. I also spoke about eating far too much when I was there, but forgot to mention were the circus performers…
Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with flexibility. I love stretching and I love watching anything involving flexibility. San Francisco has a famous Circus School, so previous OTN parties have had assorted circus performers to entertain the punters. In addition to the usual clowns, this year there was a contortionist with a hula hoop. She did elements of the Cirque du Soleil act made famous by Elena Lev in Alegria. You can see the original act here.
Needless to say I watched the contortionist at the OTN Night while stuffing noodles into my face.
If anyone was wondering why football (soccer) in the UK is gradually being eroded to the point where we are a 3rd world country, you might want to take a look at this.
So in schools the kids are streamed based on their ability, with the most able kids paraded as shining examples of academic excellence and that is considered fine, but put them on a football field and the physically excellent kids have to be held back to allow for the weak to “compete”. This makes me sick. This has nothing to do with the kids. They don’t even read the papers. It’s to do with politically correct parents who just can’t deal with the fact their kids are wet lettuces. You can be sure the kids will remember a 20:0 defeat and you can be sure their friends will know the real score.
The real problem with the Telford Junior League is they have a “football for all” policy, which is good, but they refuse to stream the kids at an early age, so teams made up of Premiership Development Center players are playing against kids who are rarely facing in the direction of the ball. That’s no joke. I’ve seen it. With this in mind, of course some teams are going to get the sh*t kicked out of them.
Every kid should have the right to play football, but it should be against opposition that is of an appropriate level to them. Stream the kids in sports, the way they are in school. This latest nonsense from the TJL is political correctness gone mad. Life isn’t fair. Everyone is not equally good at everything. Kids need to learn that and start working hard for the things they want, rather than having it handed to them on a plate.
Update: The decision has been reversed. The full scores are now being published again. I like to think my blog rant helped, but the reality is, just about everyone with any sense could see that lying about the scores was not sensible.
First the caveats:
I totally understand the concept of the new front screen and the whole Metro thing. Trying to keep a consistent experience between a Windows phone and a Windows touchpad is sensible. Just like the iPhone and iPad. What I don’t like is the fact the tiles are massive and take up loads of space. It just seems a bit silly to me. Why make me sideways scroll when all the initial options could be seen on my 24-inch monitor anyway? From a desktop computing perspective, it is so much worse than the Apple Launchpad (which I also despise) or the GNOME3 Activities screen.
Since I’m running it on a desktop machine, my biggest concern is getting a regular desktop to work with. I can do this by clicking the “Desktop” tile. The resulting desktop is basically Windows 7, which is fine, *except* there is no regular start menu. Clicking the Start button takes you back to the crappy tiled front screen, or hovering in the bottom-left corner presents you with the new menu. What is on this new menu? Bugger all of any use! The search screen is like a really bad GNOME3 “Activities” screen. It requires so many clicks and mouse moves to get where you want to go. It’s wretched. If I were a regular user I think I would probably pin a whole bunch of apps to the taskbar and maybe define a few folders on desktop containing useful shortcuts. Surely the ability to run the old Windows 7 menu would be a welcome addition for the vast majority of users!
Every dialog now has a ribbon instead of a toolbar or menu. This may prove useful for the newbies as it displays functionality that may have been hidden in sub-menus, but for me it is a disaster. The top inch of very window is filled with a bunch of crap that I don’t care about most of the time.
Typically the early releases have lots of tracing code enabled, so I don’t expect the production release will be as slow as this developer release.
So what is the future of the desktop computer? The rumors are that the next iteration of Macs will be essentially running iOS. It looks like the next generation of PCs will be running Windows 8. Although both these OSes seem fine for phones and touchpads, neither of them seem appropriate for a desktop computer. Now I realize that I am by no means a typical PC users, so maybe the vast majority of the PC users of the world will be happy with these changes, but I for one think it is a massive step backwards. It is starting to look like the future of desktop computing is Linux. Luckily, I’m already there.
Let’s hope a little sanity returns between now and the production release of Windows 8. If nothing else, just give us a proper menu, or fix that God awful search screen.
Update: Check out these hacks to restore the Windows 7 style menu.
PS. Let’s see if I end up contradicting everything I just said in a few months time.