VinceH

Oct 192012
 

I have worked for pretty much my entire adult life in the field of accounts, and throughout that period I have almost always used, to varying degrees, a package from Sage.

This started in my first job, working for a firm of chartered accountants. Around 1990-ish, they had purchased a copy of Sage’s software. The intention was to use it to maintain the records for a client, and they asked me (as the resident computer geek) to learn to use the software so that I could train the person who would actually be using it, and provide oversight and support where necessary. Since then, I’ve used it at various clients and, in recent years, even for my own accounts. Continue reading »

Nov 072011
 
Sky One ruins Terra Nova

Back in May I had a little rant about Sky One ruining Stargate Universe with an annoying banner, advertising a bit of celebrity gossip that was anything but important enough to justify what they did. A banner that was irritatingly large and stupidly bright – especially considering it was set against the dark backdrop of the show, making it that much harder to mentally block out. (Not that this means if the banner itself was darker, that would be okay – it wouldn’t: it would be less annoying, but it would definitely still be annoying.)

Well, they’ve successfully done it again.

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  •  November 7, 2011
  •  Posted by at 10:50 pm
  •   Comments Off on Sky One shows contempt for their viewers. Again.
  •   TV
  •  Tagged with: ,
Aug 312011
 

That’s the claim of findmypast.co.uk, one of a number of websites designed to help those interested in the subject of genealogy with the task of investigating their family tree. They seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to send out a marketing email – very specifically, advertising new, lower subscription rates – and claim that it isn’t a marketing email, it’s a “service update”, an email that it is necessary to send out to their membership (and from which said members can’t unsubscribe).

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Jul 252011
 

Back in January, I wrote about an issue I had with Very, a Shop Direct Ltd trading arm. Specifically, they had started sending me marketing emails to an address I supplied when I made a purchase from LX Direct (which no longer exists, and also belonged to Shop Direct Ltd) – my policy when purchasing online is to use unique addresses (so I can monitor when companies abuse those addresses) and to opt not to receive marketing emails either from the companies concerned or any third parties. That clearly means those emails from Very were indefensible. They were spam – it’s as simple as that.

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May 242011
 
Sky One ruins Stargate Universe with the non-news about Ryan Giggs

I don’t care much for football – or pretty much any other sport for that matter. I don’t watch it on TV, I don’t follow any particular team, and if you asked me to name a team’s worth of players I’d struggle, though I could probably get there in the end. And that’s just naming a team’s worth of players – enough to make up a team, rather than all the current players in an actual team. Asking me to do the latter would be less successful than holding your arm directly in front of a rattlesnake in a sudden and aggressive way and saying “Please don’t bite.”

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May 202011
 

In case anyone reading this hasn’t noticed, there are a number of Christians who seem to believe the world will end this year, with two very specific dates given: 21st May, 2011, and 21st October, 2011. These dates have been misunderstood by others, with many only being aware of the first of them (tomorrow as I write this) and have formed the impression that it’s being suggested (by those who believe it) as the date for the end of the world. The biggest problem with the world ending tomorrow, they say, is that it’s a Saturday. Why couldn’t it end on a Monday, so that we can have a weekend of fun and debauchery?

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May 022011
 

This post is a follow up to the first, second and third rules of the Virgin Media forum moderators.

The title of this post are the words spoken to me today towards the end of a twenty three minute call I received from a chap called Pete, from Virgin Media‘s complaints department: You can blog about it all you like, we’ll allow you to do that.

The call was the result of a convergence of my complaints, sent in multiple directions, concerning the two main issues I’ve been having with the company recently: The first being the new P2P/NNTP traffic management policy (about which I have yet to post), which I believe is both unfair and unreasonable due to the way in which it has been implemented, and the second being the situation I’ve found myself in on their forums, being banned not once, not twice but three times.

The outcome of that call is that the complaints I’ve sent to the company via a number of channels have pretty much amounted to nothing.

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May 012011
 
…is don’t piss off the Virgin Media forum moderators.

This post follows up the first and second rules of the Virgin Media forum moderators, was updated on 1st May, 2011 and followed up in You can blog about it all you like – we’ll allow you to do that.

The story so far:

I questioned a moderator’s behaviour on the Virgin Media forum, and that thread got deleted. Amused, I wrote about it, and referred to it in my signature file on the forum. This wasn’t received very well: I was banned from the forum and presented with an unhelpful error message, referring as it did to something I couldn’t read as a banned user. I then bypassed that ban (simply by registering again) and deliberately brought the fact to the attention of the moderators by posting an ‘open letter’ to them on the forum. That message was deleted and I was banned again, as expected, and presented with a slightly longer error, clearly written by someone who was responding in a somewhat childish manner. Finally, after sending complaints off in a couple of directions, I bypassed the ban again, and sent a private message to the forum administrator regarding this, and copied it to the moderator I believed responsible.

The story continues:

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Apr 302011
 
Virgin Media 2nd Ban Notificiation
…is DON’T talk about the Virgin Media forum moderators.

This post follows up the first rule of the Virgin Media forum moderators, and is followed up in the third rule of the Virgin Media forum moderators and you can blog about it all you like – we’ll allow you to do that. It also received a minor update on 30th April 2011.

Last night, I was banned from the Virgin Media forums for doing exactly that. The history that led up to this can be found in the item I wrote on the 28th and updated late last night in direct response to the ban, so I won’t go over it here, except where I feel it necessary to provide context in this item. Instead, I’ll go straight to what happened next.

After updating the item (and linking back to it  in the sig for my second account on the forum and posting an open message to the moderators), I turned in and gave the matter some thought as I drifted off in the direction of the land of nod. I decided that, perhaps, the update would be better placed as an item in its own right, in the end deciding that’s what I’d do this morning.

I’m not going to do that after all, though. Instead I’m going to talk about what I anticipated and mentioned in last night’s update – I’m going to discuss my second ban.

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Apr 282011
 
…is don’t talk about the Virgin Media forum moderators.

Updated 30th April 2011 and followed up in the second and third rules of the Virgin Media forum moderators…, and you can blog about it all you like – we’ll allow you to do that.

At this moment, I have an unfinished post regarding my ISP, Virgin Media, and a newly introduced traffic management policy – which only applies to upstream traffic for two protocols, NNTP (usenet, newsgroups) and P2P (peer to peer, file sharing). I’m holding back on finishing that off, for the moment, to give them time to answer some questions I’ve raised in public, on their forums – questions that, in truth, I don’t think are going to be answered.

There does seem to be a policy on the forums pertaining to their broadband and internet services whereby the forum team refrain from responding to a thread until several days after the last person has posted – the logic apparently being that other members of the community might provide an answer to anything raised, so the forum team only needs to bother if an issue is apparently unresolved. To some extent this makes sense but, to a disgruntled customer who is experiencing problems with some aspect of their service, it can be extremely frustrating, and the temptation must be there to follow-up a query, expressing annoyance that the issue isn’t being dealt with – which, unless the forum team take notice of what’s being posted, potentially delays their response.

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