Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:05:26 PM
My fellow Fiendish Games owner, Mike "Mikey" Woodhouse (known universally as "Woody" but full marks to him for continuing to punt the Mikey nickname) hates Lotus Notes with a passion for reasons I can no longer recall. I think the primary one was that it wasn't whatever mail system he was extremely well versed in - probably Outlook.
I, too, work for a company that uses Lotus Notes and it does not bug me except for one feature which relates to the reminders or alarms feature.
When you set an alarm in the calendar, a message pops up on screen at the appropriate time to alert you that you wanted to be reminded of something. So far, so regular.
The pop-up interrupts whatever you are doing, which is fine and dandy.
It also offers a "snooze" option.
Now, to me, when you hit the snooze button, you are telling Lotus Notes: "Naff off, I am busy, working in Word, Excel, Opera, Spotify or whatever."
What actually happens when you hit the snooze button is that Lotus takes control of your PC and takes you out of whatever programme you were in the middle of using (Remote Brain Surgery 2.1, perhaps) into Lotus Notes.
My mental response is always "I have just told you to feck off, why have you grabbed me and taken me somewhere I don't want to go right now?"
Crazy piece of design and one that has completely coloured my view of the entire software suite.
On the subject of software, I finally seem to be getting to grips with Linux as an operating system. I doubt this is because I have become considerably more knowledgeable about Linux; largely it is because the Ubuntu
iteration of Linux is a fantastic piece of work, that is pretty much as easy to use as Windows. In fact, the little bit of jiggery pokery required to make things work is just enough to appeal to my love of poking around under the bonnet and totally fecking up the system.
What's more, it's free
! You can also run it from a CD without installing it, so you can try before you ... er ... don't buy.
Colour me impressed.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:29:12 AM
Further to my recent post about number one son's dyslexia and short term memory problems (see previous post), he has been in Spain for less than one day and has so far lost 60 euros, his sunglasses and his Apple iPhone. About par for the course, unfortunately.
Allied to his inability to remember he has put things down (or if he does remember, he can't recall where he put them) is his insistence on wearing those stupid skinny jeans with pockets that are about an inch deep and which are therefore incapable on safely carrying wallets or, it appears, iPhones.
As for me, I am feeling proud of myself. Two mentions of Apple products and I avoided going into one about the Manchester United of the consumer gadgets world.
might prove interesting to early adopters/Apple sheep.
Sunday, July 11, 2010 11:13:55 AM
I don't know, as parents you spend an inordinate amount of time shouting at your kids about their shortcomings, and in the end it turns out the old "I blame the parents" judgement was correct all along.
Number one son, who will be 20 next month, was tested recently for dyslexia. A bit late now he has finished school, though he has hopes to go to Uni.
To our only moderate surprise, he does indeed have dyslexia. The woman who tested him said it was a wonder he had survived this long - presumably in education, rather than life itself. He also has very poor short term memory. What's more, he has very poor short term memory. I have no idea where he gets it from.
Joking aside, the short term memory thing is definitely not a surprise. It takes hime five attempts to get out the door most days.
Attempt 1. "I forgot my car keys."
2: "I forgot my fags."
3. "Where did I put those car keys?"
4. "Forgot my study books."
5. "I have got the wrong study books. Have you seen my car keys? I think I put them down with my fags."
On the subject of where he gets it from, I have no shame in pointing the finger at Mrs. Fiendish, who reckons she is dyslexic too, though not to the degree of number one son.
Meanwhile, number two son, who long term readers of this blog will know as the one who has been to a number of special schools because of behavioural difficulties, has finally succumbed and is taking medication for his ADHD. He says it makes an immense difference to his concentration levels, most notably when he is taking driving lessons.
He'd always avoided taking the drugs in the past because, as an artist he was concerned that doing so would dampen his creativity. The way he describes it, his mind is like a radio that's always on where the station keeps changing every couple of minutes. It leads to some very weird juxtapositions that are reflected in his artwork.
One day I will get around to scanning some of his artwork - though he is very touchy about what material he likes to make public - and you can judge his talent for yourself, but even taking into account I am a proud father, he definitely has something going on, and it's not just fantastic skill with a spray can.
He definitely does not get it from me. Not the artistic talent bit. The ADHD bit, I am not so sure about.
I had an interesting experience when I took number one son along to his first board games convention a few years back and he was constantly burbling, coming up with non sequiturs, obscure references, bits of songs and so on and he was constantly fidgeting. In short, he was behaving like me. I only realised because he was filling up the spaces in the coversation I would normally fill with my witless burblings.
So, maybe there is a bit of ADD on my end of the gene pool, though I don't think anyone could call me hyperactive.
Of course, back when I was young, we would not have attached these labels to anyone. Number one son woukd have been a chirpy bugger who fidgets a lot. Number two son a stubborn sort with a bad temper.
Which brings us on to number three son and his mystery illness, what one consultant called "old man's body" syndrome. He's 16 and can't touch his knees, never mind his toes. He's in constant pain from his back and legs, which means he rarely sleeps well, which means he is always tired. This led to his infamous poor attendance and punctuality at school which nearly resulted in me and Mrs. Fiendish being prosecuted for aiding and abetting truancy.
He's had two or possibly threee days at Great Ormond Street hospital undergoing exhaustive and exhausting tests, and they still have no idea what's wrong with him.
I was not particularly supple or limber as a child and am less so now, so I will hold my hand up for this one.
(Number one son has just knocked on the bedroom door and asked "Have you seen my wallet anywhere?". He's off to the Benegessim festival in Spain, lucky sod. Fortunately, he's going with friends otherwise he'd probably not make it back.)
Before Charles Darwin starts spinning in his grave, the good news is that there is no chance of Mrs. Fiendish and I having any more children.
Not that the lads have turned out so bad. They've all turned out to be people I am happy to spend time with, and they generally seem to make a favourable impression on my friends on the limited exposure they have had to them. You can't ask much more than that.
Oddly enough, the one genetic inheritance the boys seem most bugged about is the height gene. I'm 5'4", and that's with my shoes on, and Mrs. F. is about 5', and none of our sons is going to reach average height. Number one son, the smoker, must have finished growing by now and is about 5'6". Number two son is nearly 18 and is about 5'8", while number three son is just a bit taller than me, having been an inch smaller just a month ago, so there's hope for him yet.
Mrs. Fiendish, lying beside me while I write this blog post but unaware of its contents, has just suggested that we'd have to do an arranged marriage for number one son to a tremendously well organised woman with significant earning potential.
Well, it worked for me ...