595 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009
Let me correct the headline for you: Watchdog sceptical UK.gov's Universal Credit can handle 8 benefits claimants.
Sorry, I'm a sadist
I used to have the opening bars from 21st Century Schizoid man (King Crimson) as my ringtone. It would make the whole office jump. Sadly it had to come off as it had the same effect on me. :-(
We're all doomed (again)
Ah well, having skillfully avoided all NHS contracts last time round, I'll be doing the same again. Most of the people I know who worked on the last round are now clients of the NHS - the psychiatry wing of it.
I think that perhaps a branch of the US govt (there are many overlapping jurisdictions) would find it much easier to "pick him up" in Ecuador than even in the UK...
Re: Sweet memories...
Yep, that's rekindled a few grey cells. We thought we were on top of it, repeated warnings sent out, 24pt, bold, underlined, bright red, dire threats and all. Then, one person in PR decided to completely ignore all that... When asked, they said, "Oh, I never read messages from IT, you're always just sending out warnings."
Never trust the +
Another lesson in not trusting anything with a + sign at the end:
Canada+ (or++) (or +++)
C++ (you can like this one, but trust, nah).
Re: Google+ users
Me too. Oh, wait, I don't have a cat.
I was working in an organisation that finally decided to move into the 20th century and buy some of those new-fangled Babbage thingies. The building dated back to the 19th century and the wiring wasn't much younger. This was all fine until one of the managers decided his office was a bit cold (to be fair, we were wearing fingerless gloves at our desks, very Dickensian). He plugged in his new fan heater - cue 20 screams...
Re: "Consumers"... US still utterly unable to understant it.
You seem to be under the mistaken belief that they actually have souls... ;-)
I had the opposite experience. Working for a charity, a nice company (OK, it was Autodesk and I bet you haven't heard them described as "nice" before) gifted us a copy of Autocad (last DOS version). They also threw in three days training for two of us. However... the charity wouldn't buy a machine to run it on. Cue sudden panic when the head of Autodesk UK decided to visit to see how their gift was being used. Which is how I ended up with a 386 and an A2 pen-plotter almost overnight. Of course, in the intervening 6 months my memory of the training was a little shaky. As a side issue, rendering and plotting whole very large buildings took a looooong time on the equipment mentioned - 24 hours wasn't unheard of.
Being cursed with the unofficial IT support role in one organisation, I had a colleague who used to go literally berserk with both her PC and printer. Her problem was deadlines. She'd leave printing large academic papers until, ooh, about 5 minutes to 5 and the postman would come and pick up at 5. So, several times a week there'd be a scream of "The fucking printer won't print!". This was quite often accompanied by impactful sound effects.
Muggins here would wander into her office and say "How many times did you press print?"
"Only fucking once!!!" would be shouted back. Of course, when you viewed the print spool, there'd be 20 jobs in the queue...
She once threw her mouse so hard at the monitor that we never did find its ball in the pig pen that was her office.
Re: "Israel should stop murdering Palestinians"
Ah, so like Brexiteers and Remainers but with a longer history and more death?
Re: Seems obvious ...
Yep, the first thing I do is buy a case to protect the shiny - one that protects the screen too (Usually before the phone arrives). My phones tend to last until something dies or becomes unsupported...
Thanks Simon, it's been fun - hope the new job is great :-)
Why does Beaverton sound more like the sort of hotel Trump might stay in?
Oh, deep joy, no sooner than I pump out our corporate data legislation training I'll probably have to do it again and in a few months time, probably again. Oh and a few months after that...
Exit the Cleaner
I was working for an organisation that was having a new building designed. Unfortunately the architect was an egocentric &%^$ who designed a building that was totally at odds with our requirements. To demonstrate that the building was unfit for purpose I had to build and render a 3D model of it. In those far off days it could take 12 hours to render and plot an A2 drawing. This drawing had to be completed by 11am the following day, so our CEO could take it to London and show it to our very, VIP President. When I finally left work that night the rendering had completed and the plotting had begun...
You guessed, the cleaner came in and turned off the PC and the plotter at the mains, despite the fact that the plug switch was taped open with yellow and black tape with a large warning sign above saying DO NOT SWITCH OFF!!! End result was obviously initial panic, followed by a painful replotting process and a motorbike courier racing up the A3 just in time to get the drawing to the meeting before it concluded. We never did see the cleaner again.
That's me on the domestic IOT idea. Sorry, can't see the use case for most of the toys (although some may be of assistance to people with a variety of disabilities). "Turn on the lights, well known brand of speaky thing". Get up and do it yourself you lazy git. Fridge "I'm running out of hummus, I'll order some more". Yes, I can see that and I don't want any hummus this week. "Goolexapod, order a 24" deep pan pizza". Cook something yourself you idle toe-rag. IOT - just another way to get obese and have your data harvested. OK, rant over, back to helping the commercial world put all its eggs in the net basket. ;-)
Re: Psycho creeps will always be with us.
Giving my age away here, I thought DM meant Dungeon Master (from a game for anyone who thinks it might relate to a predilection for whips, chains, etc) and it took me a second to realise that you meant a disreputable publication.
Re: "I prefer not to answer that but suggest you wear gloves to work."
I had a great boss a while back who said to us: "You all know what you're doing, it's my job to shield you from the political crap." He did - resulting in a happy, productive department while he basked in our success and gained (as we did to a lesser extent, obviously) much in the way of bonuses.
I've had two of them so far. I think they may be from the same person/group who have been sending the "I've hacked your computer's camera and recorded you watching porn, blah, blah, blah." Same Bitcoin demands, etc. I always find them rather amusing.
I worked for an organisation where I had to provide unofficial IT support. One of the secretaries (it was some time ago) complained that her much loved keyboard wasn't working properly anymore...
Me: "How long have you been using it?"
She: "About 5 years."
Me: "Have you ever cleaned it?"
She: "No, I didn't know you could."
It wasn't just a matter of turning it upside down and banging it on the desk (although that was mildly horrifying). All the keys had to be taken off to get at the thick padding of dead hair, skin and food debris that was stopping them depressing far enough to work. It was alive I tell you, alive!
The future's bright...
"On Huawei's latest cameras, AI turns grass fluorescent and the Palace of Westminster orange." I thought the DUP had already changed the Palace of Westminster orange.
Re: Indeed on the pork ...
When I was taking a metal-working course at a local Tech College back in the mid-70s, wearing a tie was compulsory. Of course, you were wearing it under a boiler suit, but one guy nearly did a face-plant into a lathe doing 1500rpm when his tie got free. Moronic policy.
Re: I've got 3 Rolexes!
Been shopping in Thailand, eh?
Um, because it's a huge and fascinating country where the vast majority of people are openly friendly and generous. Yes it's got some horrible problems (racism and misuse of firearms among them) but that's far from the whole story.*
* Disclaimer: I am not an American citizen, but have worked and holidayed there.
Genuine Senior Management Quote
"Our software is so user-friendly that training won't be necessary". That went well. (It actually took about 5 days classroom training to become moderately incompetent with it and a lot of practice and experience to do anything remotely useful).
Hmm, I always found the the availability of soft drugs led to an increase in alcohol consumption (or was it the other way round, it's hard to remember) ;-)
Ah, the explanation for Britain's falling birth-rate at last!
Re: "not that I'm a member of NatWest or RBS now"
I always vote for the top guy with the biggest cocaine and prostitute habit (with the CoOp that is - God knows what my local Councillors get up to).
I once had to set up a global conference for a major book launch. (This was in the days when Centra was in wide use). OK, the day comes, everything is set up and tested and I'm waiting... next I get a furious phone call, giving me a total bollocking because nobody can log on. I'm totally mystified, so take the lift up to the executive level. Here I find the author has decided that since there is a consumer version of the software, they won't bother with the already set up corporate instance. Not only haven't they got a clue how to use it, I actually get blamed for their failure. At this stage I threatened to defenestrate the nasty little man (well, we were on the 9th floor). There never was an apology...
Re: Core competence: getting contracts
You missed out an obvious advantage though - any failure can be blamed on the outsourced provider, not the government department. You'll see the same policy with regard to local councils. Central government hives off responsibility for something like social care to local authorities and makes it a legal obligation, but then cuts their grants. This results in other services being cut, but it's the fault of someone else, not the government.
Sounds about right. I've seen customer software training put under HR - because "It's all just training, isn't it?" Try getting travel budgets to major customers in funny foreign from an HR dept.
Flashbacks - not nostalgia
One of those products that creates hideous flashbacks, particularly if you had to train people on it. Please, just let it die quietly. (Or drag it screaming down to hell, I'm not fussy).
In one very large company I worked at I had to scan the CEO and CFO's signatures - good job I'm honest! ;-)
Re: Just finger trouble
I had one of those at work. I blame my potty-mouth on the experience.
Re: Software testing?
Don't tramp city streets in Vibram-soled walking boots - they're really made for tracks/mud/rock/grass, etc. I had the same problem with my walking boots - they're due to be sent off for their second re-soling. :-(
Re: If somebody does not understand...
Oh God yes, I've been training/supporting people for more years than I care to remember and some of them seem to be utterly incapable of learning - well, anything new. At one company, I used to hold the chief executives hand and move and click the mouse for them when they were video-conferencing. Because they only did it once a month, they would forget how between sessions (no, the printed (large font and pictures) user guide on the desk next to them didn't help). Possibly they just liked me holding their hand of course. ;-)
Re: Missing the point
I'd love to see a new government taking a look around and saying. "Well, everything seems to be more or less OK, let's just kick back and relax unless something unpredictable happens".
I sincerely hope this was deliberate.
"because almost nobody in China wants anything under 5.5 inches." Fnar, fnar... ;-)
Of course, users can always try this well-known fix: http://newsthump.com/2013/01/28/major-technological-breakthrough-as-man-fixes-computer-by-shouting-at-it/
Ah yes, the monitor problem. In the distant past I've had users explode with rage when I've asked them if they'd turned the computer on. Then asked them if they'd turned the monitor (the large TV thing) on - more "Do you think I'm stupid?" The final question, "Is it plugged in and turned on at the mains?" usually resulted in a sheepish silence.
Had a great deal of fun many years ago with an Astra diesel hire car. Pick up car, drive home, try to park. How the hell do you get it into reverse??? Neither of us had ever seen "the lift the little collar" on the gearstick method before. No manual in the car, no mobile phone, no clue. Had to drive to a petrol station and ask if anyone had a clue - fortunately someone had.
The Fads of Doom
I've had the dubious pleasure of watching senior management adoption of fads damage or destroy their companies. My favourite was "Shockwave is the future of the internet, we are going to create all our training materials using it!" (For youngsters, think Adobe Flash, but bigger and capable of doing more stuff). The few of us with experience went "NO! That way lies madness!" So it proved, instead of an estimated take-up of 3000, only 3, repeat 3, users got on to it (I'm not sure how, even the contact details and help were embedded in it). Not long after, the long-established company died.
Lovely post-apocalyptic landscape. The nuclear power plant and the power lines just add the final touch.
Ah, I see you're trying to start a war. ;-)
Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.
That's called being platform agnostic! So, almost an atheist, burn him!
One great advantage with such short-term appointments is that you can explain the gap on your CV by saying you were on vacation. If anyone asks why your hiring/firing were all over the press, you just sneer and say "mainstream media lies, fake news, sad."