Posts Tagged grumble

Moving hosting … again

So, it’s official. Blacknight VPS‘s suck so much that they can’t even host a single wordpress instance. Yes, one, single, very low traffic wordpress instance, with every last piece of optimisation and caching known to man, is too much for a blacknight VPS.

I really wish I could have stayed with them – it’s bloody awkward moving a blog, but it has already gone way way way beyond any form of humour, and their tech support seem to think the performance I’m getting is normal (and I believe them, which is why I say they suck).

So, this blog is now happily running (in Tokyo!) on a VPS of its own, hosted on a cheaper, and much much much much much faster linode VPS.

Long may it continue.

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‘Revert’ does not mean ‘Reply’

I’ve seen three occurrences of this stupidity recently (all, as it happens, in communications to/from Irish solicitors), and it is really starting to vex me.  Particularly because the people involved should all know better.

Generally, the usage tends to be:

Please revert to me

which, while grammatically correct, only has meaning if the person you are writing to was, at some time in the past, you. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Defragmentation Brigade

These people epitomise all that is bad about computer-care.

  • They read a book once, it had ‘Technical’ in the title.
  • They read a website once, it had ‘Tweaks’ in the title.
  • They fix their mom’s computer, installing realms of free anti-spyware software when doing so.
  • They enable the windows firewall on a trusted lan, and install another firewall for good measure.
  • They use the words ‘Anti-Virus’, ‘Anti-Spyware’ and ‘Firewall’ interchangeably.
  • They say things like ‘fix it in the bios’.
  • Their favourite piece of software is called ‘Super Extra Registry Clean Optimizer’ (order of adjectives varies).
  • They know all about ‘l-eye-nux': It’s fast, efficient, wonderful.  Some day they know they’ll try it too.
  • And they honestly believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that defragmenting a computer hard disk fixes issues.

So, if you ever have a computer problem, and someone gives you some advice containing the word ‘defragment’, consider running away, very fast.  God has a special level of hell reserved for these people, and you don’t want to be near them when he sends them there.

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What the f&*k’s up with IM Video on Linux

I mean how difficult can it be?

  • Skype: It’s the best I’ve found so far, but it still sucks dried donkey turds. Aside from minor annoyances like having to run the static build coz the buttons keep disappearing otherwise, random crashes for no apparent reason, dropped calls every time it tries to switch to TCP (helloooooo? TCP for realtime video is a terrible idea!) and generally bombing out for an indefinite period after about 10 minutes of conversation … where was I? … oh yes: Well skype is evil, isn’t it? Proprietary, closed-source, linux-is-an-afterthought and all that. Bah.
  • Pidgin: Well the great god ubuntu gives it his stamp of approval. But, well, did they forget to put in audio/video? Oh wait, a little googling tells me that they don’t actually care about audio/video conferencing. They may implement it, some day. But that day isn’t now.
  • Kopete: Aside from being ugly, and coming with a shedload of kde stuff I don’t want; video is limited to MSN and Yahoo. Hmm … well that’s useful eh? Don’t know (or more correctly, wish to speak to) anyone who uses either.
  • Ekiga: An hour or so tweaking around with an asterisk server to set up video, and twenty minutes convincing the other end of the call (a windows user) that they wish to install Ekiga, led to a 2 minute call with terrible video and no audio, and downed internet connections on both ends for about 20 minutes afterwards (I’m guessing that ekiga was trying to send video info so fast that it just stacked up at both routers, and killed everything else). This one nearly cost me a divorce.
  • Wengo: Signup on their site is broken – no problem I says, I’ll use asterisk again. Turns out their implementation of H263 is non-standard and doesn’t work with asterisk. Great.

Is that it? Are my options exhausted? I think so.

So for now it’s suffer skype, or run windows in a vm.

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Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty

Lisbon Results by constituencyThe following is my summation of what seems to be the world media’s (with the exception of just one Financial Times article I found) perception of why we rejected the Lisbon Treaty (which we did not in fact do, I’ll explain shortly) today:

  1. We did not understand the treaty
  2. We wanted more from Europe
  3. We voted not against the treaty, but against our politicians

Of course the above is rubbish. Any reporter who had taken the time to research our issues properly would have known this.
Read the rest of this entry »

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How not to run a gsm provider

Personal LogoLiving as I now do in Buenos Aires, I decided it was time for me to get an argentinian mobile. Off down to the shop with me to buy the cheapest prepay mobile they have (costing me a whopping €40), from what I believe is the largest mobile phone operator in the country: Personal Telecom Argentina. In fact this happened many months ago, and since then I’ve been marvelling at just how pathetic a mobile phone operator can be.

  • You can’t send text outside the country. This is not a limitation with my phone package or anything of that sort. It appears that other (read “Irish”) operators simply ignore any sms from Personal. Possibly because of their complete disregard of any gsm standard?
  • If you send a text to a Personal phone from another provider, you will get a successful delivery report immediately, regardless of whether the text was delivered or not.
  • If you send a text from a Personal phone, you will never get a delivery report. I’ve never seen an exception.
  • They seem to have no concept of a time zone. Their gsm servers believe they are in GMT, so any communication with the outside world is off by 3 hours. In short this means that
    • Texts from the outside world appear to have been sent three hours previous
    • Texts to the outside world, if such a thing were possible, would appear to be from three hours in the future
    • If you have a phone that is aware of timezones (most modern phones are), then every time you wander into a Personal coverage area, your time will be set wrong by 3 hours.

There’s lots of other interesting stuff too, some of it bordering on hilarity. For example, my girlfriend and I recently travelled to Ireland (for my sister’s wedding), and, while there, my girlfriend received some texts from home (her phone is also a Personal offering). Each text arrived 100 or so times! We had to turn off the phone at night coz it was so annoying (we could disable any sounds, but we couldn’t stop it’s lights flashing).

Anyway, that’s it. It seems that the argentinians don’t know or care that this is pathetic. There are other mobile phone operators in this country (who, from my limited experience, do a far better job), so I expect market forces will eventually resolve these issues.

In the meantime I should of course complain, but my meagre few words of Spanish would hardly handle the assault … so I blog it :)

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Nokia E65 Woes

Nokia E65I’ve quite a bit to get off my chest about this phone, so be warned :)

It’s billed as a “business” phone, with basically every type of connectivity available (3G, GSM, Wifi, Bluetooth & IR), and a price tag to match (around €400). But for that money you get so many great undocumented features: Read the rest of this entry »

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