Time for a change… aka I’ve hit my breaking point…

21 10 2008

I’ve been using computers or some sort or another since I was around 10 or so.  I’ve seen different operating systems and used all types of development environments as well as computer applications.

You would not have thought it would take so long…

I have finally hit my breaking point.  I just snapped at the sheer crappiness of windows.  I’ve had enough. 

It was trivial enough; I was trying to do the extraordinary task of creating a folder using file explorer and when I clicked on the create new folder command I waited… and waited… and waited….

It was only a 20 second or so wait… and it’s not like it’s the first time this has happened to me on a variety of PCs but this time it was enough.  I had just had it.  I just want to create a folder and get on with what I’m doing… why does it take so long to do this?  Why does the application seem to freeze when I want to do such a trival task?  It’s completely unacceptable and I just had enough.  I shut down my computer without finishing whatever it was I was working on and went and did something else as I was just that frustrated.  I am sick and tired of the most trivial tasks being stupidly slow and unreliable on the worlds most dominant desktop operating system.  It’s total rubbish and I’ve had enough.

I can think of numerous frustrating examples of using windows.  Ever opened excel or word and then try to traverse some folders to open a document only to find there is this odd long pause as soon as you go file->open and try to start looking around on your hard drive?  How long do you wait?  20-30 seconds sometimes and in the meantime the application is unresponsive?  Why is there always that waiting when you fire up a new application on your new $2000 PC?  The more applications you install the more messed up the registry gets and the more unreliable and flaky you computer becomes.  Why?  Poor design?  Didn’t think of that?  What’s the reason?  Is it unreasonable to install your favourite software on your computer?  I’m sure there are plenty of other examples people can come up with. 

This was all with XP.  I have not installed Vista personally but from using it on a few friends machines I am really not sold on it.  I don’t like being asked about every little thing I do.  It was irritating.

So, you ask, what’s the alternative?  Well for the number of applications, games and the like available for windows compared to other operating systems there does not really seem to be one.  Regardless I am thinking of buying a Mac notebook computer and giving that a go.  After all the garbage with using windows it must be an improvement right?  It’s alot more expensive but, if it works without all the garbage I have to put up with in the windows world, maybe it will just be worth it.

My die hard Mac friends will no doubt be all video-conferencing each other on their iPhones whilst making a recording to replay on their iPods at a later date as well as being moist with anticipation at the thought of another “convert”.  I’ve used macs a few times and they are not as “perfect” as the iTard community (of which I will be joining shortly) out there would have you believe.  The “it just works” slogan is a bit misleading but I am really ready to find an alternative to windows.  Something had to be done…  If that doesn’t work there is always linux…

Feel free to cast your vote on favourite OS in the poll below.  I did not make a distinction between the various linux distribution packages or versions of Mac OS, etc.

Any other converts out there?


Body Worlds, Airports, Tim Hortons & Good Indian Food

15 06 2008

Well I seem to be making a habit of only posting when I am on the road for some reason.  Probably because it’s a good way to wind down in my hotel room after a day of work and another way to get some use out of the $12.95 per day the Hilton is charging me for Internet usage (after doing work of course!).

My brother and his other half came up on Friday and we shot a round of golf on the Victoria course here in Edmonton.  It was his first full “proper” 18 holes.  He made the observation that it is a frustrating game, lol.  It was all good.  Wish I got a chance to play more then maybe it would not be so frustrating for me!  I still have not worked out the appeal of the game.  I think it’s that one good hole that keeps you going…

We went to the Body Worlds exhibition at the Edmonton Science Centre on Saturday.  I walked out of it with mixed feelings.  OK, the exhibitions are of real bodies (bits and whole) in various poses with all sorts of eductational tidbits about.  There were also posters explaining the historical roots of anatomy and dissection and what the beliefs were over time as well as what was discovered (it was only relatively, historically speaking, recently that public dissections were no longer carried out!).  I was impressed with the drawings of the early pioneers in this field as they were not far off from what I was seeing with my own eyes.  Some of the poses were kind of comical but they were all sad in some way as these were once living breathing people with their own feelings, etc.  It seems odd to see them now as part of a travelling exhibition.  I found it hard to decide whether the display was for educational purposes, art or if he was just having a laugh.  The gift shop at the end of it was certainly strange too.  They had a room with the remains of babies in various stages of development as well as that of a fully (opened up) 8 month pregnant woman and just outside the door they are making a fast buck off of it.  I wasnt’ really sure how to feel about that.  With what they are charging somebody is making a pretty good living off it. 

The creator of the Body Worlds exhibition (and inventor of the process used for preservation) was certainly good at self promotion too.  His name was plastered (no pun intended) everywhere in the exhibition about what a great and clever guy he is.  There were also forms you could fill out if you wanted to donate your body to the exhibition.  I overheard someone say that there was a “waiting list” of over 8,000 people.  I am not sure I would want to participate in something like that.  Still not sure what to make of it.  Anyone else seen this and have any thoughts?

I have a work trip to Boston for the next few days.  Got up stupidly early (3am) and spent the first 3 hours (of the first leg of my flight) debugging code on the plane when I realized there was something screwy going on with my demo app.  Fixed!

Had a short connection time to make my next flight and found myself being thwarted by American customs and the huge queue I found myself on the back of.  I did take some consolation in noting that all of the carts that people had their luggage in had ads for holidays to Cuba.  Oh the irony.

Finally got through customs and found out the flight was delayed as the pilots were delayed.  I sat down in the lounge relieved that I was going to make my flight and started to people watch.  After a few minutes I noticed that there looked like there was a pilot in the queue at Tim Hortons.  I saw him wait for about 20 minutes until he loaded up on coffee and donuts.  And… yep you guessed it… that was out pilot.  Glad to see our flight was a high priority.  Would not want him to miss out on his sugar fix.

Ah well.  At least the night ended up nicely with a brilliant Indian dinner and a bottle of Argentinian red wine.  Great way to round off what was a long day. 

Late nights and iPod vending machines…

29 01 2008

OK, well getting out of the airport took a bit longer than I thought.  I don’t think we left until about 3am and I did not get to my frozen car until after 6am.  When I finally got it going, paid up and left the car park I was just in time to hit the morning rush hour.  Joy.

I had Internet issues at the airport after the last posting and my battery died shortly after so the Internet entertainment did not last long.  I had plenty of time to get some healthy Burger King meat related products and have a wander through the Vegas airport departure area.  That took all of 10 minutes.  Vegas airport did, however, have one feature I’ve never seen before.  They had an iPod vending machine.  See picture below:

iPod vending machine.

Kind of a neat idea to sell iPods and related products at the airport.  I can imagine the disappointment, however, when some poor sod buys one to pass away the time at the airport and forgets that it won’t be charged.  I tried to find a live plug to connect my laptop to but the only ones to be found were in a crowded area of the airport that was on the opposite end from our gate.  All the other ones we could find were DEAD.  That’s useful.

There was one additional element of excitement.  After we had first got the airport and got through the security check (bags XRayed, etc) a blue light and alert went off.  A bunch of us had just got through and us (amongst others) were kept from going anywhere else in the airport whilst they sorted out this security issue.  It only took about 20 minutes.  A sniffer dog came and went and various important and serious looking people in rent-a-cop outfits came and went.  From what I could gather it looked like that an older couple had made their way through the security check and forgot one of their bags.  I guess the security guys realised they had an extra bag that nobody seemed to want and wanted to get it cleared (hence the dog).  I saw a sheepish looking older guy and his wife brought back and he collected his bag.

When we did finally get on the plane the flight was further delayed as the front landing gear needed some immediate maintenance so we had to wait 40 minutes on the plane before it even took off.  When we got to Edmonton and it’s -35 wind chilled temperature we had a further delay as the ramp that connects up with the plane wasn’t working in the extreme cold.  Cue another 10 minute wait before we could get off.  Then there was the huge queue in customs but, to be fair, that went as quick as they could make it.  Bags were there and straight outside into the cold to wait for the Park & Fly shuttle to take me to my car. 

My car, reluctantly, started on the 1st try.  There was this 5 seconds of a burning smell then it seemed to be ok (probably a belt of some sort not being able to turn something in the engine for a short bit due to the cold).  Lots of snow drifts in the car park but fortunately luck was on my side and my car needed minimal snow clearing and I had a clear path to the booth to pay.

Got into the Park & Fly booth to pay my fees.  Lots of people there.  Waited my turn and played the people watching game.  This poor woman came in looking for a boost as her car would not start.  Amazingly the car park folks were not able to help her.  First it was a case of having to wait for the shuttle bus to be free to help then she was told that they did not have any functioning vehicle at all with jumper cables (or, more likely, no jumper cables).  I really felt for that poor woman and I have to admit I was a bit annoyed at the Park & Ride.  They are managing a car park service near the airport.  Think about it:

  1. People will be leaving their cars for days at a time.
  2. We live in CANADA.
  3. CANADA can get COLD from time to time.
  4. Peoples cars probably won’t start from time to time.
  5. Having to give an occasional boost is part of the job.

Looks like another clue for sale is needed.  I did not have any jumper cables in my car or I would have helped her. 

I should probably look into getting some.

On that note… it’s supposed to be -38 tomorrow (no wind chill included).  Food for thought.

Politcal Corrrectness Gone Mad… again…

14 11 2007

A friend of mine sent this link around.  It’s pretty unbelivable really… I am not sure what is wrong with some people these days.


Bad start to the day… Ugh!

31 10 2007

It’s a bad start to the day when you get to your workplace early, fill up on lunchroom coffee, get back to your desk and realise that coffee was there since YESTERDAY, ugh!

Question, observation of the day…

13 10 2007

Why is it when you go into a restaurant or building with the big glass double doors one of them (usually the left) is always locked?  Why is that exactly?  Anybody know?