Thursday, June 14, 2018

Online...

I spend a lot of time online*. Writing posts for the blog. Checking Facebook for pictures of my grandkids. Watching (and ordering stuff) on Amazon, watching a bit of Netflix (though far less than I used to), and playing computer wargames via Steam.

Now as far as work goes, even though I'm on a computer all day, I'm not really online as I'm mostly doing work stuff on the company's intranet. Though we can get out past the dreaded firewall, and while it isn't forbidden, nor frowned upon, we are allowed "reasonable" usage, for certain, and variable, meanings of that word. No, I don't spend a lot of time on the company's dime surfing the web.

We have Internet Explorer and Windows 7. When I go to work I feel as if I've gone back in time. That cartoon above really does seem to describe IE to a fair-thee-well. It's slow, it's cumbersome, but oh-my-gosh it is super secure. (So the company IT wonks claim. Or are told to tell us, I'm not sure. The real IT guys don't like it but the besuited IT people like it. As they pay the bills, they get to make that call.)

I most assuredly don't care for it. We used to be able to use Chrome, still possible but you have to know the right magical incantations and Google shoots themselves in the foot by insisting on attempting to install Chrome directly from their website. Our security software always says, "Whoa, not so fast buddy! What is it you want to do? I don't think so..."

Mozilla is a little more clever, you can download the "install package" and then load from that. The problem is is that our IT folks have circumvented that with two new tactics:
  1. Uh-oh, you don't have the latest version of Firefox, click here to get it. If you click where they tell you, you get the exact same message again. You have to know to press the link, not the button.
  2. Now that it's downloaded, 90% of the sites you want to hit give you a "404 - Not found." But if you use the exact same URL in IE, bingo! Works fine. IT is playing me, like a cheap fiddle.
So I'm sorta stuck with IE, don't care for it but it's what I have to live with.

As for Windows 7? I have never liked it, had Vista (which is sort of 7-Lite) at home and it was "okay." For a long time I had to use Windows XP, which was more "okay" than Vista. What do I use at home now? Windows 10. Is it the best OS I've ever used? No, of course not, but it's better than Windows 7 and it's better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Oh yeah, at work I get to use Windows XP as well but only on this one network which has no connection to the outside world. There are days I find myself asking, "What is it about XP that I liked?" Argh.

Don't speak to me of Unix or Linux (which I call Unix-Lite), that's an OS I use for real work, both now and back in the Air Force. Not at home, no, no thank you.

So work is often a trial. Monday I had to reboot my computer twice, for software "updates." (I think it's just more spyware the company dumps on us, the suits don't seem to realize that it's the engineers bringing in the profits, not the spreadsheet cowboys.)

But hey, it's a paycheck and the work itself is interesting. Yes, there are times that I feel like we're using flint knives and bear skins but hey, it pays the bills and keeps the Guinness flowing.



Yup, I've got that going for me.



* Technically speaking my computer is online, I'm just driving. When it lets me.

70 comments:

  1. Can I get you some cheese to go with your w(h)ine?

    Just kidding, I can understand your frustration.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What kind of cheese? Something strong I hope.

      ;)

      Delete
  2. And, yes, I'm up early. Been up for a couple of hours already. When the wife is away, the mice will play ( on the computer ). Now I'll go check out Steam.

    Paul

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    Replies
    1. Dang! And serial commenting too!

      Delete
    2. Serial? Is it time for breakfast?

      Paul

      Delete
  3. Ok, that was way more than I wanted to know. I play on my computer that is not connected to the web, not this one. That way I can play games and surf at the same time. My! How exciting my life is.

    PLQ

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  4. Running off at the fingers, I am.

    Paul L. Quandt

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  5. When refuters work.. wonderful, when they don't...aaaargh! Had to wait for the update this morning, been several weeks since the last update . Hmmmm, wonder when the Steam sale will hit?

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    Replies
    1. Ah yes, updates. Surprise! This will take a few minutes and your computer may restart several times! Argh indeed.

      Delete
    2. Truer words were never spoken. I got up early this morning, put the coffee on, and fired up the trusty laptop only to be greeted by the dreaded "this will take a few..." message from the Wizards at Redmond. Only a mere 76 minutes later I was welcomed to their newest iteration. And the first thing I discovered in changes is that they apparently erased all my saved passwords.

      Delete
  6. We run both at work. Current logic is, "if IE won't pull it up, then try Chrome...." This isn't the IT I had hoped for in the 21'st century. Our internal programmers...... ugh, never mind. Too early to be this depressed.... Depress any key to continue.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been telling sad stories to the "pg up" key on my laptop all morning. Effing thing is still not depressed...

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    2. Hahahaha!

      Paul

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  7. I was going to do a bit of weaving today, but my Jacquard loom controller wanted an update.

    My IT skill set peaks when I tell the computer to Restart Now.







    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First ever reference to a Jacquard loom on the blog. There has to be some sort of prize for that. But it'll have to wait, I need to rustle up a bowl of serial for Paul. Maybe I can do that in parallel with looking for your prize.

      I have discovered that screaming at my computer, insulting it, and threatening to turn it into a oat anchor has no effect on its performance.

      Odd that...

      Delete
    2. Perhaps you could ask the serial bus to make a drop off at Paul's location.

      Delete
    3. Hahaha!

      (And yes, "oat anchor" makes no sense. What was meant was "boat anchor." Bloody laptop keyboard...)

      Delete
    4. Dude, John, I actually got to help program a Jacquard loom one time. What fun you can have with punch cards.

      At least there was no 4th year ass-hat taking your pile of cards and purposely tossing them and making you re-sort, by hand.

      Delete
    5. Ooh, shuffling the deck. Not good.

      Delete
    6. My dad taught me the trick of taking a magic marker and going crosswise from corner to corner across the tops of the cards to give a quick sort when the stupid senior lab-techs decide to be jerks, which was always.

      Fortunately I only had to do one program on punchcards. The rest of my programming time was on time-sharing systems where I was the lowest prole in an overloaded system. Which sucked.

      Delete
    7. Beans,one of the jobs in my sister's resume was punch card machine operator for a health care company.
      Monsieur Jacquard would have been proud.

      I don't remember what TV program we were watching years ago when they briefly talked about a Jacquard loom, of course I had to look it up because it looked interesting.

      When I was on shore duty, I took some college courses at night and I recall that the instructor for a computer course called the roll by flipping through a stack of punch cards. Even then the tech was fading out.
      I do recall that when something interrupted his roll card, he went back to the start of the pile and began anew. I did wonder what programming language he thought in.

      Delete
    8. John - I'd bet FORTRAN. (I hear the kids call it Fortran now. Sigh, it's an acronym...)

      Delete
    9. I took a FORTRAN class from one of the writers of FORTRAN.

      If you didn't know he was 'famous' and bowed down to his magnificence, you didn't do well in his class.

      Couple that with my thickness in understanding foreign languages, and that class was not for me. Bleh. I'm a user, not a programmer.

      Delete
    10. Wow, like the dude wanted props for that?

      Well, could have been worse, he could have been one of the inventers of COBOL.

      Delete
    11. EASSSYYYYY there Hoss. I began with those two languages.

      Delete
    12. "My IT skill set peaks when I tell the computer to Restart Now"

      That's infinitely higher than the skill set of most of MY users.

      Delete
    13. Juvat - I started with FORTRAN, then Pascal, then Motorola 6800 series assembler, only then did they inflict COBOL on me. Then I got to cleanse my palate with C. This was all in college.

      We are of an age Juvat.

      Delete
    14. As to the IT skill set, I really have had a user complain that they couldn't execute a program we'd delivered to them as his keyboard didn't have an "Any" key. Staff wienie at SAC, I was tempted to ask him if he'd ever been an F-4 backseater and written up the radar for not working in the O.F.F. mode. A very literal fellow he was.

      Delete
  8. BEAR SKINS?!? Well, I never!

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    Replies
    1. What was I thinking? How could I be so insensitive? Please bear with me while...

      Ah crap, I did it again.

      Delete
  9. I liked XP too...using Win10 now, always updating and adding stuff I can't know about, driving me nus! Updated twice yesterday for me too.

    I'm spending more time away from it all these days. It was a long winter, and I'm glad to be outside again.
    Blogging...burning out.
    Oh yeah, I prefer Firefox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The constant updates are a pain. Most of them are for security issues is my guess.

      Delete
    2. Probably ought to revisit your privacy settings every time you update. Some company in Redmond has a nasty habit of changing them back to their default, which is not very private. This script will reset them to what ever level you desire. I've got it as a scheduled task on my computer. Bastiges!

      Delete
    3. Ooh, very nice. Github is an old acquaintance.

      Delete
  10. Recently picked up a new client. They use Internet Explorer. I use Chrome. Now the two fight for control of my browser.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, in a fair fight Chrome should win easily, but IE is from Microsoft, so it has an unfair advantage.

      Just a theory.

      Delete
  11. Does anyone even remember Netscape?
    I really hate how quirky all of the various browsers are, but at least we have more than two choices, unlike other realms in our universe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Netscape? I've heard of it but I think I was in Germany during Netscape's heyday. Before it died I was a civilian again, we used IE at work, now I don't remember what I used as a browser at home back in those days. May have been IE, honestly didn't spend as much time online before about 2008/2009 (which is when Chrome came to be, 2008).

      All software is quirky, it's the nature of the beast. The developers want to continually tweak it until it's perfect (which means it's never done) and the business types want it out the door yesterday.

      The customer gets to test it, which isn't the way it should be.

      I can't wait for Juvat to chime in on this thread, IT guy that he is. (But not the besuited variety.)

      Delete
    2. I know a couple of real IT guys.
      They hide from the suits.
      I think the suits are corrupted by business schools.
      They think IT should be a profit center rather than a collaborating aid.

      Delete
  12. I feel for yah. For several months I couldn't use Chrome for some reason when I read this blog at work. Actually, I could read it, but couldn't comment because it wouldn't accept my avatar login. We got Win10 last month though and things are fixed. The only thing that isn't right is that NMCI doesn't really like Win10 so EVERYTHING is REALLY SLOW. From a simple click on an icon, to finding a file on the share drive, everything takes a long and frustrating time. I tend to keep 3 browsers open and try to use whichever one likes me that particular day.

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    1. It gets very frustrating some days.

      Delete
  13. I guess I'm an old stick-in-the-mud but I keep coming back to IE based browsers after trying others. Sumpthin' about liking or being used to how certain things are handled. The majority of my computer use these days is reading my favorite blogs, banking my meager fortune, and emailing, so I don't need a lot.

    Back in the day I worked a lot in Unix so a couple of years ago I decided to have a look at Ubuntu for my laptop. After a couple of days I decided it just wasn't worth the effort for a little gain. Gettin' lazy, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't go too far wrong if you stick with the tried and true. What works for you, works for you.

      Stick-in-the-mud? Nah Flugelman, you're old school, a traditionalist.

      Delete
  14. And now Microserf has signaled the future end of IE, now that they've worked out most of the issues with super-IE, Microserf Echo.

    Oh, sure, they say they'll continue to update IE but we all know how Microserf is.

    So, actually I have both IE and Echo on my home machine. IE is sluggish and has always had problems loading everything, like some of the pictures and videos on people's blogs ('The Abode of McThag' and 'The Feral Irishman' being the main ones that I could never see the pretty pictures.) But it never locked up my system.

    I also use Echo, which does allow loading all the pretty things, and loads much quicker, but it sometimes locks up if too many windows are open. And it doesn't allow you to save a newer webpage over an older one. Tried it a couple years ago and it was kludgy as all get out. Now it seems to work many much more better.

    I've tried to use Chrome but it did it's darndest to hijack my system and never could get it to work, so I booted it, which only took like 4 attempts to remove before I finally exorcized the last remnants of that thing.

    Kinda off-topic, ever notice how anti-virus programs act like viruses?

    And now I have to wait to do real fun on the computer while World of Tanks goes through it's 3rd update in the last 3 days. I guess they're updating the update to the update to fix all the issues with the update. Darned Russians, colluding on my computer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Firefox ain't bad, doesn't seem as intrusive as Chrome.

      World of Tanks? Hhmm, I've looked at that, requires interacting with other humans, hhmm. Scares me it does.

      Delete
    2. World of Warships allows you (and 5 other people) to play against 6 computer controlled ships, or against other people. Which is great.

      World of Tanks? You are stuck playing against other people, which is never predictable. Somedays it is fun, somedays it is just furious as the game allows players to buy premium ammo and upgrades which means you can be running around getting beaned by a bunch of fools with too much money. Which sucks. No one should be able to fire APDS or HEAT every friggin shot.

      Delete
    3. What I meant to say, World of Warships allows you to play with 5 other people against 6 ships controlled by the computer, which is great. Or you can play against other people, which sucks. Especially when the other people all have money to pay for upgrades.

      But World of Warships is fun. On your sidebar, Bringing the Heat shows lots of WoW videos. Kinda fun to drop a couple tons of AP shells onto some other dude. I kinda like firing torpedoes, but the game doesn't allow you to fire your main guns and your torpedoes at the same time, and I like guns.

      Delete
    4. Ah, carp. Microserf EDGE. EDGE. I am such a noodle-brained idiot some days. I'd bang my head against the wall, but then I'd have to fix the hole.

      Sometimes my mind works in odd and splendidly unfortunate ways. I have a habit of seeing one word in my head and substituting another by the time the thought works its way out. Or seeing/hearing a word and substituting another word in its place.

      Delete
    5. Beans - I'm familiar with World of Warships, xBradTC has lots of videos of his adventures over at Bring the Heat.

      APDS or HEAT every shot? Um, no, just no.

      Delete
    6. Beans - I should have read your second comment before commenting. Yeah, I watch those, I've even met xBradTC in person, great guy.

      Delete
    7. Juvat - I like the way you let him down easy.

      ;)

      Delete
    8. Beans, my mind "works" that way at times. Hence my earlier comment of turning a computer into an "oat anchor."

      Sometimes my brain thinks, oh, I already typed that word, so the fingers skip right past it.

      I knew what you meant, I figured "Echo" was a typo, yeah, a typo.

      Delete
    9. Overly educated donkey.

      :)

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    10. our impression of edge? Not ready for prime time. Many things which are still needed from IE are not included. Adding network printers for one. Maybe later...Chrome at work, Brave at home first until it doesn't do what I want. Then Firefox.

      Delete
    11. As for "Microsoft Echo", I trust my wingman. I thought it was Edge, but thought I might have missed a new option. No Blood, no Foul.

      Delete
    12. Beans - we all have days (sometimes months) like that.

      Delete
    13. Edge is my emergency browser for those days when Chrome decides to play the fool.

      Don't really hate it, don't really love it. (Isn't Echo an Amazon thing?)

      Delete
  15. Chrome offline installer. https://enterprise.google.com/chrome/chrome-browser/

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  16. Beans - Your comment on the spam bot was deleted when I marked "Jenny Lee" as spam. It's automatic that way.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh, thank you. I hate spammers, and the comment was just me at too-late-o'clock to hold the dripping sarcasm in. It really wasn't up to my low class humor of my normal comments. More septic system comment than gutter comment.

      Delete
    2. Yes, apparently (I shot it this morning) someone feels that the blog is a good place to advertise for people needing a moving company in India.

      Spam might mean we're no longer in the clutter but visible on radar. A good thing?

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)