Last minute election thoughts

November 7, 2008

Helen Clarke is not the only one who doesn’t look like her posters. Nikki Kaye looks about 16 in real life (I saw her from the bus on Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon).

I don’t see a reason to assume that Clarke’s photos were retouched. I think people underestimate what you can do with makeup, lighting and a good camera.

I spoke to Viv Goldsmith (Labour, East Coast Bays) this morning. We had a discussion on school donations. Some schools are excluding children from events because their parents haven’t paid the “optional” donation. That’s not on. Sherwood and Northcross charge separate activity fees for events, and there are options to get those fees reduced. Viv has made in-kind donations to schools rather than pay the donation in the past. She also pointed out that Westlake Boys would be a lot less dependent on donations if they took more than 40% of their students from in-zone.

So, voting tomorrow. I’m going to vote for Viv Goldsmith, but my party vote is going to the Greens.

I haven’t voted in person in 16 years (John Major’s 1992 re-election), unless there was a council or European election between then and when I left the UK in 1994 which I’ve forgotten. I voted for a losing candidate then, as I did in Cambridge in 1987.

Dan has my proxy vote now. I don’t know if he’ll use a postal vote, or if he’ll drive up from Cambridge to St. Ives to vote.


Quote of the day

August 5, 2008

“The only viable COBOL documentation … is a Rosetta Stone of Java, UML and COBOL, but there aren’t enough 80-column punch cards or greenbar left to make extra copies of it.” — John Deters

A non-beer-related haiku

July 8, 2008

Snooze button

Each alarm clock ring

Is the egg of a new day

Which I’ll have scrambled.

Circles of hell

July 2, 2008
  1. Spammers
  2. Spammers that put paper spam under your windscreen wipers.
  3. Spammers that put paper spam under your windscreen wipers in the rain, so the paper smears all over your windscreen.
  4. Spammers that put paper spam with their business card stapled to it under your windscreen wipers in the rain, so the paper smears all over your windscreen and your windscreen gets scratched.

In the last category, I would like to introduce Mr. James Wilsey, of TouchUpGuys.

UI Peeve of the Day

June 29, 2008

Menu drop downs that are secretly buttons, too.

Paypal did this to me. Apart from the greater peeve that Paypal won’t let you emigrate (seriously: you have to close your account and open a new one if you change your country), the help says to select Account – Profile – Close Account. Fair enough. But if you select Account, and then mouseover Profile, you get a dropdown menu of four items, none of them Close Account. You have to click on Profile to get the full menu.

I appreciate this is a UI shortcut to the popular options, but there should be some UI hint the Profile is a link, as well as a dropdown heading.


March 4, 2008

I want to recommend the utility XPCreate, which allows you to burn an XP install CD with service packs and hotfixes already applied. Since it took two days to apply all the hotfixes to a recently re-installed XP sp2 box, this is really useful.

It also allows you to put textmode RAID drivers on the install CD, as well. I was quite surprised to be reminded that XP will only load third party RAID drivers off a floppy during the textmode phase of setup (required if you want your windows installation on a RAID). I haven’t made this work yet, but I will certainly be investigating it further.

GMail and Outlook 2007

March 4, 2008

Looks like they’ve fixed the page at since I tried to use it. Much confusion setting up SMTP access to gmail from Outlook 2007 due to the text on the page saying port 495, but the screenshot displaying 587.

587 is correct.

Another Beer Haiku

March 4, 2008

Scheherezade beer?
I fall asleep in my chair
Before I finish.

Another move, another burnout

September 16, 2007

I moved the computer desk and associated crap back down into the master bedroom today (this post is proof that at least some of it still works). The spare room is being repurposed to accommodate an au-pair, arriving a week from Monday.

Thanks to our eclectic mixture of 110V and 240V equipment, plugging everything back in has to be done carefully. Unfortunately, plugging everything back in is also done after lugging a bunch of furniture up, or in this case, down, the stairs.

The device that failed the smoke test this time was the wireless base station. It’s particularly annoying since the adapter I plugged it into (an OEM multi-voltage adapter previously powering the speakers) was actually putting out the right voltage (12V). I don’t know why the base station didn’t like it, but we’re now down to one thing that gets plugged into the transformer – Mrs. Deinotes’ cell phone charger.

I probably need to invest in a labeller. It would be cheaper than buying new hardware all the time.

Beer haiku

August 17, 2007

Sent to Beer Haiku Daily

Suffusion of hops
An East India Pale Ale
Like Tui? Yeah, right.

Tui is a mass-market New Zealand beer. It’s definitely not hoppy enough to be called IPA. They have a long-running billboard campaign with an unlikely statement (e.g. “I slept on a mate’s couch”) on the left, and the words “Yeah, right” on the right. did a spoof of that. They are also the ones that gave me the link to the beer haiku site. Sweet as.