the internet – still spazzy

March 3, 2011

Friday’s coming, folks, and that can mean only one thing. A trip to London Town to Tallulah Rendall‘s album launch.

For this, I required a number of things:

  1. A ticket for the event (done)
  2. Somewhere to kip (done)
  3. A ticket for the train (done)
  4. Trendy album-launch-style dudsĀ  (done. I shall be attending in my best polyester slacks, acrylic shirt and clogs).

My experience purchasing a ticket for the train gave me pause for thought last night. I chose my trains and selected the Buy Now button, at which point I was instructed to set up an account.

Here are some FACTS for you, National Express East Anglia:

Fact 1 – You can’t effficiently/correctly/properly run a train service which involves the simple forward propulsion of a vehicle invented in 1829 down two parallel tracks.

Fact 2 – There are naughty hackers out there who would very much like to have my personal details from anywhere they can get them.

Considering FACT 1 and FACT 2, why would I trust my personal address and personal credit card details to your website? Why do I need to create an account on your website to purchase a ticket? What’s wrong with a “I don’t want to set up an account, here are my details, let’s checkout now” button.

I do not want to have to supply you with my title, first name, surname, telephone number, email address, email address again, password, password again, postcode-and-then-click-on-the-appropriate-address-for-the-postcode-in-this-annoying-pop-up-window (all the houses in my street have the same frickin’ postcode). And if I don’t want to have to do that, why in God’s name would I want to tick a box to tell you and your “approved third parties” not to spam my email account? Oh, and don’t play that “You didn’t fill in a field quite right” game and untick the Do Not Spam Me box, just in case I don’t notice what you’ve done. If you do this, you are not a business with which I wish to be associated. With.

By the way, who approved these third parties? Because I know that I didn’t. Could you send me the list and I’ll decide whether they should be approved or not? I suspect I am more choosy than your marketing gurus:

Guru 1: Like, they get on a train, so they must want to hear from Reader’s Digest!
Guru 2: And Kay’s catalogue!
Guru 1: And they must need a new phone contract!
Guru 2: And a new laptop!
Guru 1: And those fake scratch cards!
Guru 2: And information about coach journeys!
Guru 1: And conservatories!
Guru 2: And comfortable polyester slacks!
Alf boredofjam: Wait! Fuck it, I’m signing up.

But seriously, all I’m asking is that you let me buy my tickets, simply and easily, preferably without the hassle of account creation. I bought the cheapest tickets I could get hold of, I am not going to be a big revenue earner for you. Take my details for this transaction, verify my card, sell me my tickets and then ditch my information.

Please, internet people, let me live my life simply. If I’m making a one-off, quick purchase, then that is what it should be: Quick. I don’t have the time or the patience to be told that “Username boredofjam is taken, how about wkerjndvn_22 instead?”

I. Just. Want. My. Stuff.

Now excuse me whilst I go lay down somewhere dark and have a good cry. But first I’d better buy some tissues. Now where’re my Tescos log in details?

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all saints eve cartoon

October 31, 2010

bored of this gargoyle cartoon


never overcook a computer

July 12, 2010

I have a chum whose sole purpose in life is to do fucked up things to perfectly brilliant computer hardware I assemble for him.

His most recent exploit is to keep his PC running throughout the heatwave, burning DVDs. How jolly!

How not jolly to be woken at 6:20am on Saturday by a text message: “PC won’t switch on, left it overnight burning DVDs, call me when you get this msg.” Well, bollocks was I calling at 6:20am. In fact, bollocks was I calling until about 11am. After all, it had been the warmest night on record since recorded records began being recorded, and I needed some bloody sleep.

“Mate,” he said, when I’d decided to phone. “Mate, the pc had been fine all day…”

“All day?” I said. “You left it on all day on Friday?”

“It was fine all day on Thursday, it ran OK all night, then all day Friday…”

“What?”

“…And then when I went to bed last night, I left it burning a DVD because it takes so long…

“What?!”

“…But when I cam downstairs this morning, the entire box was dead.”

“And you are surprised by this turn of events?”

“Well… yes! What can I do mate? I need my PC!”

So I gave a few basic hints and tips; was it the fuse in the plug? Was it just needing a rest? Was he being a pleb? The usual sort of thing. But no, it seems the computer-box is dead.

“I tellĀ  you what, mate,” (the emphasis was lost), “I’ll build up a spare Ubuntu box and have it to you on Monday, how’s that?”

“That’ll be brilliant, thank you!” And he hung up. Well, it was a hot day on Saturday, and you don’t want to risk your phone overheating and going bang, do you?

So what you can do here is imagine a montage section (you can supply the music, suggestions welcome in the comments):

  • Me finding the parts for a spare computer, digging in boxes.
  • Assembling the parts.
  • Switching the machine on for the first time.
  • The screen lighting up.
  • A wry smile across my face.
  • Taking off my glasses and wiping my arm across my forehead whilst drinking from a mug of coffee.
  • Watching a progress bar slide along the screen.
  • Typing at a keyboard and somehow the text on the screen is projected across my face as I type.
  • Clicking a mouse.
  • Finally placing the top of the computer on and wiping it with a piece of rag before patting it lightly and sighing to myself.

And now we are at this evening. I have just returned from installing the beast. And a beast it is too. It’s a Pentium 3, 733Mhz with 512MB of memory and 32MB of PCI NVidia graphics power behind it. It’s running Ubuntu 10.04.

I figured that PC-Boiling-Chum would want his DVD burner (I really don’t understand why) so thought I’d just slot that in. It would also probably be worthwhile sliding in his PCI-to-USB card too. He has a worrying collection of, ahem, webcams scattered about his desk which he likes to have plugged in.

My only problem was forgetting that his DVD writer is a SATA-based product, although luckily I had also installed a PCI-to-SATA card in the knackered PC. But what would be the chances of Ubuntu working nicely with:

  1. A 10 year old PC
  2. A PCI-to-SATA card it hadn’t known about on install
  3. A SATA dvd burner plugged into the PCI-to-SATA card it hadn’t known about on install

Obviously, it coped magnificently. Having opened the computer up and filled its amazing little riser card full with a video card, some USB ports and a SATA card, it then proceeded to boot and load in no time at all, perfectly happy with all the hardware. Webcams included.

So there we go. Unbelievers, start believing. Install Ubuntu Linux and enjoy.

(And for those of you that think something must have gone wrong somewhere, well, you’re right. The wireless mouse needed some new batteries.)


beware the virus makers

May 12, 2010

From Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 – Application Development Foundation:

Running code with limited privileges has many benefits given the presence of predators who are foisting viruses and spyware on your users.

Predators?

ZOMG. Dude. There’s a leopard with an ASM assembler in ur filez stealin ur credit card details.


if…

April 29, 2010

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
If life gives you Cornettos, pretend they’re penises and make pornart.


yo! ubuntu!

April 29, 2010

It’s 1830 here in the UK on April 29th 2010.

Where the fuck is my new operating system?

[10 second-later] Edit: Oh, there it is.


chernobyl tours (ice creams extra, da?)

April 29, 2010

It’s funny what the internet will turf up. A fella called Neil Byrne took a trip to tour Chernobyl, the site of the World’s Worst Nuclear Accident (They’ve Told Us About).

You can see his words and pictures here. It is a fascinating article, and if you are of a certain age and can remember it happening, I dare you not to be moved by it.

Of course, reader, this is boredofjam, and so you’d expect the moving to be juxtaposed with the stupid. So here’s what Google maps will show you if you go to Chernobyl in the Ukraine and do a “Search nearby”.

google maps Search Nearby

Perhaps sir would like a tasty biriani to go with his human tragedy?

Edit: Just noticed that the date for the disaster was April 26th, 1986. Twenty four years ago last Monday.