Category Archives: Rants

Microsoft can go too far

IT Update,   a newsletter I read every morning, has an alarming suggestion: ‘Microsoft may ‘automatically upgrade  Windows 7 and 8.x to Windows 10.’
This presumably because nobody wants windows-10Windows 10 running on their computers.
At the moment I am running Windows 7.0 and in the past four weeks I have had some 500 updates. None of which seem to have made my compimagesuter work better or faster.
What Microsoft is missing is Bill Gates.
I interviewed him for an hour on television and he took each question, thought for a moment, and came back with a cogent, grammatical reply. He was totally remarkable. And he did not have the bad temper that made Steve Jobs so difficult.
OK, so Bill Gates was not the most charming of men. He once said one of his major regrets was allowing employees stock options. He thought he did not need to and it was effectively money wasted.
I think since then he has changed his stance and is a major, major contributor to charity. And, as far as I can ascertain,  has nothing to do with the day to day runningSteve Ballmer of Microsoft.
Would that he did.
After him came Steve Ballmer who was an amiable cove, devoted to Microsoft and an excellent father. But not an excellent leader of Microsoft. Under his direction the company started to slip.
And it has been slipping ever since. Yes, yes they eventually got rid of Ballmer and some of the more obvious mistakes have been corrected. Which leaves Windows 10.
Windows 10 has generally been rejected by the public. I know not whether that is a question of performance or marketing but I know this: if it is bunged on to my machine without my permission I switch to Apple Macintosh the next day. No hesitation. No messing around. A quick switch.
Mac retinaYes, it will cost $AUS2,000 and that is a lot of money. Worth paying that sort of money if it means I no longer get stuffed around by Microsoft and a version of Windows which seems to be in perpetual need of updating.

Ranting against the class system

imagesThe old class system nonsense appeared recently in the UK yet again. I left there when I was 33 purely because I could not stand the English class system. (Note the Scottish and the Irish may have class systems but I have never noticed them .And not the boys in the picture are not from Eton.) But the English class system is alive and well and living at all sorts of levels.
A prime example arose when I was proper poorly and not writing but I would like a little Continue reading Ranting against the class system

Aspirin might be even better for you

Peter MilesThis is an odd story and starts around 1950 or so. The French were trying to hang-on in Vietnam and had bugger all chance. The Americans were slowly moving in and the Australians started to arrive around 1962.
Among the  Australians was a doctor  called Peter Miles who worked in serious combat areas. I had been in Vietnam for strange reasons before him and when he retired from the Australian army and went to civilian doctoring in Hong Kong we met and became firm friends. He retired about ten years ago.
He believed in self-medication in moderation. In Vietnam and Malaya (as it then was) if we were going out on patrol we took two Panadol or equivalent. Note, not aspirin. The Americans called this ‘firefighters candy’
But back in civilian life or when not in a combat zone Peter Miles was very keen we took a Continue reading Aspirin might be even better for you

I am not nutty, I think

cleeseThis is going to sound strange but it really happened. And then it might sound a lot stranger.
Years ago in British some television was done in studios in Shepherd’s Bush, a suburb of London. As a place to work it  was, then, not that popular. It lacked the sizzle, pop and snap of other places.
I have no idea who I was appearing with that night or whether I was appearing in a non-fiction show on a new book or the latest Continue reading I am not nutty, I think

Name of a name

I was given Letters of Note by my son. It contains one of the most famous memos of all time.
Its release was originally banned under the thirty year rule. So it did not become generally available until 1973. At first it was ignored and then the penny dropped.
This is what it was about.
At the height of World War II on April 6th, 1943, British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, seen here, wrote a letter to Foreign Office minister Lord Reginald Pembroke in an effort to simply brighten up his day. Indeed, a classic piece of correspondence.
Continue reading Name of a name

Publishers are not rotten

This is a bit late but still. In the Guardian last year appeared Everyone does not have a novel inside them. The author has a message which is basically ‘get real’ but comes out as ‘The British publishing industry is crying out for a high-profile hothead to disabuse thousands of needy, bumbling timewasters of the notion that nascent masterpieces stir within their loins.’ A bit purple prosy but I would not argue. The article says publishers should put more emphasis on authors they already have on the list and not be so preoccupied with getting the Next Biggest Thing. Tim Clare implies that publishers are failing authors.
I find this so much nonsense.
Continue reading Publishers are not rotten

Riding idiocy

Yes, yes, I can be very boring on this subject. But I seriously believe exerciseOne_Leg_Cycling_Drill is good for you. My own preference is running but it you prefer cycling, swimming or what ever I will cheer you on. Exercise is a good thing. But sometimes it attracts nut cases. People who are not the full quid. People who read like something created by Lemuel Gulliver. Enter scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. They are indeed the nutty fringe.

Continue reading Riding idiocy

Dash your stress, I think

coueAnyone who knows me in the slightest knows I think exercise is a good thing. In my case it is running and perhaps a small amount of tai chi. I do not need scientific proof for doing this. I enjoy, it keeps my blood pressure and pulse normal and my weight around average.
That is really all I know and it is really all I need to know. Moderate exercise is good for you.
In the United States some entrepreneurs produce sites which seem to suggest they have found the secret to eternal life and have scientific phrases to go along with it.
Continue reading Dash your stress, I think