All posts in Outer Monologue

It seems that recently I’ve been sending quite a few emails that require me to attach things to them. I’ve always had a bit of a problem, which from my experience of receiving emails also seems to be quite common, of writing the email first and then forgetting to add the attachment.

This usually results in me (just seconds after sending the email) having to write a short follow-up email saying how I’d forgot to attach them and ensure with the attachments included (as it’s really bad when you forget the attachments on this second email).
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I’ve just read a lovely rant by Dave Gorman about BT and his internet service being down. It’s the kind of post I’m trying not to write about my (ongoing) trials and tribulations of trying to get an iPhone 3G and some kind of semi-decent customer service during the process. But I digress, the reason I’m writing about this is that this point stood out for me:

You can get a courtesy car when your motor is crocked so why not a courtesy internet connection? Especially when the bit that’s broken down is at their end of things.

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My iPhone 3G arrived yesterday and due to another issue I’ve had with getting the iPhone (in an ever growing list, which is another story) my O2 SIM card wasn’t activated/connected. So I had a phone with no phone functionality.

However it did give me the chance to play around with some of the other things last night and download and try a few apps. However one thing really bothered me about the app store; no trial versions.
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I’ve just bought something from Amazon and something has happened that has happened to me every time I’ve used Amazon for the past few months. I’m not sure if it’s something they introduced recently or whether I’ve just not noticed it before but it’s bugged me one too many times so I’m going to moan about discuss it here.
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I’ve noticed a few times that my Ubuntu VM, running in Parallels, suddenly goes slow.

First time round I was totally confused and re-booted the VM (I access it via SSH), that didn’t work, and was also really slow. So I shut it down and then I noticed when I returned to Parallels to stop the VM that a dialog box was waiting for me (telling me there was an update or something). It turned out that this was the issue. It seems to happen to me for any dialog box as just now I’ve had the same issue when there is a dialog box asking if I want the VM to connect to a USB device.

Seems silly to me that this should slow down the VM, but just thought I’d mention it.

A couple of weeks ago in the hope of getting my hands on an iPhone 3G on release day, which is another (long) story, I called my current phone company to get a PAC code to transfer my number. I’ve been thinking of changing phone companies for a while now mainly due to the fact that I’ve been on the exact same call plan for over 5 7 years and have never really been offered anything by the company.
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I've previously highlighted the geekery that is using pseudo-code for non code related activities (in my case an IM insult) and just though I'd share this lovely example from Null is Love:

RUBY:
  1. piper = Baby.new(:name => 'Piper',
  2.                  :born => '2008-06-09 18:22:00 EDT',
  3.                  :weight => {:lbs => 6, :oz => 8},
  4.                  :length => {:inches => 21.25})
  5.  
  6. skoglunds.children <<piper
  7.  
  8. piper.daily do |p|
  9.   8.times do
  10.     p.eat
  11.     p.poop
  12.     p.sleep
  13.   end
  14. end

I've just about given up adding comments to blogs as about 80% of the ones I've made recently haven't appeared on the post after I've submitted them.

If you've got spam filters and they're catching comments then inform the users that their comment has been identified as possible spam, if you've got moderation on comments then inform the users.

I don't know how many times I've submitted a comment twice as it hasn't appeared the first time (and usually never does the second time either) just to make sure that it's not a cookie issue -- as in my RSS reader I don't have cookies enabled.

So the long and short of it, is that if for any reason a comment will not appear as soon as the user has submitted it then inform the users that you've got their comment and the reason it hasn't appeared. If you're just returning the existing page without their comment you're going to frustrate people (I can't be the only person this annoys).

I used the BBC iPlayer for the first time yesterday so I decided I'd share my thoughts on that and as it turns out a few other things with regards to on demand TV.

Firstly I must make the point that I have the a home made Personal Video Recorder (PVR, using GB-PVR) which I had and used for nearly 3 years and a Sky+ box. Both of these have really helped me detach from being locked into the TV schedule and digital recordings are much more liberating than VCR's ever were. I rarely use my PVR anymore, only as a DVD player and to watch older recorded/downloaded programs & films - but it would be the perfect machine for any on demand TV software, in my opinion.
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I was just reading my RSS feeds (in the fabulous FeedDemon) and I followed a link to an Excel spreadsheet (on purpose).

I've not used IE (outside of FeedDemon that is) in so long that I forgot that with Microsoft Office documents it opens them within the "browser" for you. Yuck. I wasn't expecting that, not at all - and it scared me, quite a lot. This kind of thing (and the slow loading speeds with this kind of thing) is the reason I don't let Firefox load PDF's inside itself.

Am I wrong? Sitting here looking at an Excel spreadsheet within FeedDemon you'll have to forgive me for thinking that it's all a bit scary.