Tuesday, 21 April 2015

These days are past now ...

Microsoft has introduced thus feature called clutter to Office 365 - basically the system learns what you always ignore or delete, and moves it to a folder called clutter, where you can set up an auto delete rule to get rid of the content after a decent interval.

Anyway, in my clutter folder were a pile of emails from various Jiscmail mailing lists, including a couple of lists I started myself some twenty or so years ago when I worked in the UK and was involved in the support of enduser computing - mainly windows and thin client (remember them?) stuff.

Well, the world has changed immensely since then.

Enduser computing is essentially a commodity - hardware is vastly simplified with no need these days to specify video adapters, network hardware - basically you can go to any of the big box stores and just about anything you can buy will do the job.

Likewise operating systems and network configurations - it's become immensely simple and black arts such as building boot volumes or building network configurations are mostly behind us, and the plethora of file services on offer such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox and the rest make network storage provision increasingly irrelevant.

And as these things become simpler I've moved away from enduser support and now work principally in data management and archiving.

So, I dumped out the headers of these mailing lists, found the unsubscribe instructions, and did the necessary.

I did feel a momentary twinge though ...

Friday, 10 April 2015

Microsoft using WindowsUpdate to spruik Windows 10 ...

So Microsoft have decided to use the Windows Update mechanism to sneak adverts for Windows 10 onto PC's worldwide.

This is really bad. Basically it's a Snapfish moment for Windows Update and destroys trust in the update mechanism.

It flushes years of educating users to apply windows updates religiously down the toilet.

Debian anyone ?

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Netflix angst

There's been some angst recently due to the arrival of Netflix and its impact on Australia's shaky internet infrastructure. So far the consensus seems to be that Netflix (and its rivals Stan and Presto) are pushing a shaky house of cards over the edge.

This isn't surprising. For years at Chez Moncur we were troubled by unstable internet and service dropouts. Things got so bad I eventually bought myself a 3G router so that it would fail over to a 3G service whenever the ADSL did a walkabout.

Well that's worked a treat, and, about a month after I set up the 3G router I found an alternative ISP who'd provide us with an ADSL service (quite a few of the major players declined to offer us a service as we lived in an ADSL not-spot),

For whatever reason, our new isp's service has been incredibly stable, if a trifle slow at times. So much so that the router only failed over to 3G three or four times in the whole year.

Then came Netflix and its competitors.

Since then we've had as many flipovers in four weeks as in the previous year, and always in the early evening around six o'clock.

I can't of course prove it's due to Netflix but I'd say it was a reasonable guess.

The autumn school holidays start next week in Canberra - what happens to our link could be interesting ...

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

5 years of the iPad ...

Last weekend, as well as being the Easter holiday was the fifth anniversary of the iPad, a device which has undoubtedly changed the world.

The iPad wasn't the first such device - but earlier tablets had been slow, had clumsy stylus based interfaces and the rest - and they'd been heavy and had comparitively short battery life.

The iPad got it right - reasonable battery life, wifi available in lots of places, and suddenly one could carry a single device with all your meeting notes, photographs and the rest.

It could have been a flop. It wasn't. The success (or lack of it) of its various android competitors shows just how effective Apple's marketing was.

The iPad changed things. Finnish paper manufacturers blame the decline of their industry on it. Airlines let you use them to access streaming media on flights.

Things have changed, and the iPad has been one of the engines moving us over into a truly online world ...