May 8, 2010

Domain Renewal Group

Filed under: Domains,Internet,Rants — Joe Brewer @ 6:51 am

I keep on getting letters from the domain renewal group asking if I want to transfer domains to them, only for them to change more than twice as much as my current registrar. My latest letter is asking me to transfer one of my .net domains to them for the bargin price of £20 (yes, that is twenty pounds stirling) for one year! My current registrar, which happens to be moniker, charges $8 a year.

Anyone else get these ridiculous letters ?

August 19, 2008

are the organfax forums dead

Filed under: Music,Organs,Rants — Joe Brewer @ 5:22 pm

I’ve tried registering several times with this forum, but to no avail.  They just wont have me.  Registration requires a moderator to review your application before you can post, and my application has been waiting for months with nothing even so much as a whisper.  Has my account been denied?  I’ve no idea, and emails to the webmaster ([email protected]) asking about my account seem to have disappeared into the ether.

This website was once a fantastic thriving community of enthusiasts.  Originally developed by Margaret Falkner – a truly great figure on the UK home organ scene, and a huge inspiration to many people.  Sadly, she passed away several years ago.  Remembered by many – such a shame I cannot add to this post to her memory.

Unfortunately the market of the home electronic organ is in a bad state.  Manufacturers insist on producing organs for the elderly, the incompetent, or people who just don’t want to put in any time or effort to improve their playing.  Take the absolutely dreadful Yamaha AR100 and AR80.  For a start, their cabinets look low quality sticky back plastic covered chipboard – hardly what you would expect for the circa £8000 you would have had to have paid when they came on to the market.  A console that is just so full of automatic accompaniments that it is more difficult to switch them off and just play something simple.  Sound quality that is so horrible.  And to top it all off, a speaker system that is more powerful than a professional instrument such as the EL90.

Manufacturers should be targeting and encouraging younger people to buy these instruments, not people that wont be here in 20 years.  So sad.

December 14, 2007

Crap user experience with talktalk’s new webmail application

Filed under: Rants — Joe Brewer @ 7:42 pm

Having used talktalk’s new webmail application for a few weeks now, I can honestly say it gives a bad user experience.

Their old webmail application was very simple, straightforward and very fast. There was a choise of different interfaces you could choose from which where dependent on your choise of browser. I always choose the simple interface as it was easy to use and very fast, but there were options for slicker interfaces that used AJAX.

Now I don’t have a choise. I put in my username and password, and I am subjected to a splash screen – something that I hate seeing with web applications. I think this is probably because I expect web applications to be fine tuned so that they can run efficiently in different browsers.

When the splashscreen disappears, I get an irritating voice saying “You have mail!”, and then I get todays news. What the f*** do I want the news for?! I’ve just logged into my webmail account to get my mail… grrr. Usually, this screen takes a while to load as it contacts an ad server to display an advert which must take up about an 8th of the screen – yet more time wasted.

Only then can I click on “inbox” and read my mail. However, this isn’t the end! When I click on a mail that I want to read, I am once again presented with a page loading splash screen – what a load of s***.

Sorry talktalk, but your webmail service is the pits.

August 22, 2007

Please fix my PC

Filed under: Personal,Rants — Joe Brewer @ 6:52 pm

I didn’t write this, but I think that it’s a pretty cool analogy, so I’m going to rip it off and post it here. It relates to the assumption on the part of many people that because someone works with computers that they’ll be happy to field personal technical support requests at the behest of their friends and family in their spare time. The question posed is do you think that the following actions would be acceptable, and if not, can you explain how it would be different if you replaced the mechanic with a person who works in IT and the car with a computer?

When reading the original article I was reminded about a chap who asked me to have a look at his girlfriend’s PC because “it was running incredibly slow and was crashing all the time”.  When I took a look at it, it was a Pentium II machine running Windows 98, which had never been defragged and had temp files everywhere.  I suggested wiping the hard disc and reloading everything (and restoring settings), which even though would take me a good couple of hours I was happy to do.  However, even though I did this, I still got several whiney texts saying that I had not put Microsoft Office on, even though they did not own a copy.  I am no longer friends with this chap, but thats a whole other story.  Here’s the original article:

  1. Call your friend who is a mechanic at home, at dinner time.
  2. Tell him your car is not running right or won’t even start.
  3. Tell him you saw a neon sign while driving that said your car wasn’t running right, so you pulled in and let these strangers install Fuel Helper, Pot hole blocker, Wheel assistants, a special radio station and an engine watcher, all of which you now “need”.
  4. Ask them if they mind talking you through figuring out why the car won’t run properly. Laugh really loud and say “I know nothing about these complicated machines!”, because they love to hear that.
  5. Tell him you have no tools.
  6. When he asks you to open the bonnet and have a look, ask him “Where is the bonnet?” Optional: Tell them your cousin tried doing “something” to fix it, but you don’t know what it was and the problem is worse now.
  7. While looking at the engine, read them the very long serial numbers of the parts. Because mechanics have them all memorised for all cars.
  8. Always keep asking if you should turn things “left or right?”.
  9. Ask them if they see the part near the other part. Because they can see through the phone.
  10. Ask then if the problem has anything to do with the new garage door you installed.
  11. After they patiently talk you through checking for “fuel and fire”, and it still doesn’t work, ask them if they can drive thirty minutes to your home on their day off and come fix it. Whine about how much you need your car.
  12. Have them do all this for just a cup of tea and a thank you.
  13. Pretend to understand when they say not to believe neon signs saying your car isn’t running right. Just smile when they say you need to regularly schedule maintenance on your car, and to use only well known mechanics.
  14. Repeat the whole process every 60-90 days. Call from your family member’s house because you tried to fix theirs and you’ve messed up their cars now. Tell your friends too, have them call to have their car problems fixed as well.

May 30, 2007

Its time for Big Brother 8

Filed under: Rants — Joe Brewer @ 12:40 pm
Big Brother Logo

Yes, its that time of year when a group of 12 socially inept losers with few values and morals and little to no emotional intelligence who haven’t got anything better to do with their lives decide to share a household watched by millions. Then, when they get evicted, they try to make a career out of having been on TV. Yes, its time once again for Big Brother. How quickly time seems to go by when its not on.

As you have probably guessed by now, I am not a fan of Big Brother. For me this programme is probably the lowest form of entertainment, if I can call it that, to be aired on TV. Forget about the dog ugly Jade Goody, who seems to have little appreciation that Big Brother made her, and that its not alright to be offensive to anyone she likes, and the incident that caused a dent in her career. What I don’t like about Big Brother is that it offers me very little entertainment value, and no educational content whatsoever. I wonder how many other people feel the same way…

It seems that TV is resorting to showing more and more shocking behavior as their link bait. Check out this Dutch TV station that is going to be airing a gameshow where the prize is a dying person’s kidneys – to me, this sounds like something out
of a Stephen King novel.

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