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.
Monday, April 5, 2010 2:10:05 PM
You might have noticed I am posting a lot today. That's because there is a big pile of ironing waiting for me downstairs and I am putting it off. I am sitting here basking in the pleasure of having successfully installed the Ubuntu version of Opera on to the PC in the lounge.
I am not what you would call a Linux expert. I did get a dummies' guide out of the library in order to try to understand it a bit better but reading tax regulations would probably be more exciting.
On my wee netbook I have a version of Linux called Linpus Lite which does what it is supposed to do quite nicely; it lets me browse the web, listen to some music while I am ironing, do a bit of work while watching the telly and so on. So long as I don't try to do anything complicated on it like installing a game then it does the job, but the Linux fan boys reckon the operating system is capable of being a genuine Windows replacement, which is not the case with Linpus Lite.
Ubuntu seems to be the consensus pick as the most user friendly version of Linux for Windows veterans, so when I rescued an old PC from the loft I decided to give Ubuntu a whirl. This was despite having a spare copy of XP available; the reason the PC was in the loft was because the machine suddenly stopped loading up XP after several years of being happy to do so. I reformatted the hard drive, reinstalled but still got the same result.
The machine seems quite happy with Ubuntu, however, although the installation is a lot larger than I anticipated. I seem to have used up most of the 3 gig on the hard drive, according to the helpful disk utility program that pops up periodically to inform me I am running out of space.
As with Linpus Lite, using the operating system is remarkably easy. Ubuntu is a lot less locked down than Linpus Lite, but it is still fairly idiot proof. It's got a menu bar at the top of the screen with three menu headings: Applications, Places, System. That all seems fairly intuitive.
At the bottom of the screen are the apps I have open. On both the top and bottom menu bars are tiny icons linking to things like the browser (haven't worked out how to supplant copycat browser Firefox for Opera yet), e-mail, network and the speaker volume.
Amazingly, the system seems to recognise the rest of the network, which is all Windows based. Getting Linpus Lite to do this seemed to involve making a pact with the Devil.
As seems to be my downfall with Linux, installing new programs has been hit and miss. The recommendation is to do this via the Package Manager, which lists all the free Ubuntu compatible software: just tick the boxes of the ones you want and it installs them all for you (hence the disk space shortage - I ticked tons of stuff, not knowing whether I would need it).
For some reason I could not find Opera in there, so I downloaded the browser directly from Opera.com. I tried installing it two weeks ago and kept getting meaningless error messages. Tried again today, and it worked. I have no idea why it has worked this time round.
So, here I am using my preferred browser rather than Firefox, which is a fine browser but which has a few foibles that annoy me (using the search panel brings up the results in the current tab, not a new tab; can't be bothered to install mouse gestures). I've opted for the Link option on Opera which means all my bookmarks from my main PC downstairs are automatically available on this PC. Now, if only I can persuade the IT department at work to let me install Opera on my work machine, I'll be laughing and won't have to put up with Firefox's annoying habit of returning to the top of the editing panel every time I bold up a piece of text. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
God bless Opera. Well done Ubuntu too (tutu?). I am quite liking the Ubuntu experience so far; the best £0.00 I never spent.