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Showing posts from March, 2007

Why I hate Adobe

Maybe it's Adobe's Mac background. Maybe it's because they equip all their programmers and testers with state of the art, lightning fast gear so that they never notice speed problems. Maybe it's that they haven't got a clue. Either way, I just hate all the Adobe software I come across. From Acrobat Reader which takes forever to load up all the modules that you're unlikely ever to use, before you can actually read the 2 paragraph PDF press release you've been sent, to Premiere Elements, the most appallingly incapable and inefficient video editor I've EVER come across, it's just hate, hate, all the way. Just say no.

Aha! The secret of darts - treble 16!!

Ah. See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/21/better_darts/ - I've been saying this for years. For average players, it's much better to aim at treble 16 rather than the traditional treble 20. If you hit the treble, there's still 48 on offer and if you miss by an inch or so, you'll still get 7 or 8 or treble 7 or 8. or even, if you're miles out, a lucky treble 11 or treble 19 or even a bull. Far better than streams of 1s and 5s! Plus there's the added benefit that the casual player will get a tired arm quickly and it's easier to have a physically lower, rather than higher, target to aim at. Anyway, it's nice to have someone else agree with me after two decades....

Shock report: Long queues shouldn't exist

Like most people, I hate queues. Of people, of cars, just generally waiting in line. Now, I recognise that some degree of queueing is inevitable. Waiting for food deliveries in some poorer parts of the world springs to mind. And in a shop you can't have 100 assistants standing around needlessly all day just so that no customer has to wait more than a second to be served. On the roads, you can't have 10 lane motorways everywhere so that noone ever gets caught in a traffic jam.
But ultimately, long queues are signs of inefficiency. On the roads, long jams are easily noticed and usually rectified in the end with slightly bigger roads, one way systems, flyovers, and so on. But to go back to my retail example, regular, long, frustrating queues are simply poor planning by the shop owner. To have to wait for 20 minutes just to pay them some of your hard earned money makes no sense whatsoever. That'll be one customer who thinks of your store and decides to go somewhere else to avoi…

What's so great about iTunes?

I admit it, I'm only a part time iTunes user. I only really keep it on my PC to keep track of a few podcasts (including my own Smartphones Show video podcast), but I'm appalled by iTunes' interface. I've lost count of the number of times that I click on something (or try to right click on something) and find that nothing happens - I then try clicking somewhere else, and eventually discover that I needed to double-click, no, not there, over there, on that particular spot, in order to make something happen. And how do I make playback of that video larger? Try everything in sight.... No buttons or icons or menu functions.... eventually work out that I can drag the playback window away from the left column..... I get by with iTunes, but it's a hate-hate relationship and I really must get round to finding a replacement...

The Fastest Over Ever

Why do so many fast bowlers (I'm talking cricket here, you can switch off if you're not into it!) use such wierd and inefficient bowling actions? Yes, I know many of them are entertaining, but they're wasting energy. Look at Michael Holding, from the 70s and 80s, poetry in motion and superbly efficient, reputed to have bowled the fastest over ever. I don't bowl much these days myself, but I do try and bear in mind Michael's classical action when I do. Other bowling greats with efficient actions, by the way: Dennis Lillee and John Snow.

Height barriers

One of my real passions is motorcaravanning. You know, 'camper vans', motorhomes, etc. Great fun and a great way of living (I lived in a motorcaravan for 3 years!) but it's all but ruined in many parts of the UK because of all the height barriers on public car parks, especially at seaside locations. Look, I know you don't want travellers (or me, for that matter) parking overnight there, so why not have one of those swing barriers, which get opened in the morning and closed again at night? OK, so you've got to pay someone to do this each day but it's only a small job and you do get the trade of all the motorcaravanners using your facilities and shops. Down with height barriers!

London 2012 Olympics

I hate to be the guy in the corner moaning, but when we (the UK) won the bid to host the 2012 games, I had reservations on the sheer cost of it all, all for just a bit of kudos and glory. And now the costs have spiralled to THREE times the original amount. These games are going to hurt the country financially - if this amount of money is truly available then surely it would have been far better spent on hospitals, schools and old age pensioners (to name but three worthy recipients)? I like sport as a casual watcher, but 9 billion is a silly amount of money just to be able to say 'we hosted the Olympics'. Bah.