John Topley’s Weblog

Rants

Paul Thurrott’s Hallucinating Again

I just don’t understand Paul Thurrott. Although I now prefer Apple’s products, I occasionally visit his site because I’m still vaguely interested in the latest news from Microsoft. Much of what Paul writes is balanced and fair, but sometimes he comes out with some complete tosh!

Purchasing Music Online, Microsoft Style

My partner recently wanted to download a track from HMV Digital. The following is a true account of the process we had to go through before we could play the purchased music.

Welcome To The Social

I’ve just been reading a hilarious review over at Engadget of the installation process for the software that comes with Microsoft’s new Zune device. Apart from the fact that the software clearly isn’t finished and has a high stinkage factor, what caught my eye was some of the language used in the screens.

A Battery Of Problems

You may have read recently that Dell have had to recall four million laptop batteries made by Sony because a few of them exploded. Well it turns out that Apple have been affected too and have initiated their own recall programme. As soon as a heard this news I knew straight away that my PowerBook would have the problem.

How To Lose Friends And Piss People Off

I was reading about the winners of the Apple Design Awards on Daring Fireball today. Impressed by the sound of iClip Lite from Inventive, I clicked on the link to investigate.

Please Release Me, Let Me Go

A few weeks ago I finally got around to getting broadband Internet access at home after procrastinating for a few years in the face of a bewildering amount of choice and uncertainty over technical options.

Nothing For Nothing

My name is Catalin I am assigned to choose an ERP for our company based in Bucharest, Romania, Europe. The maximum number of simultaneous users of the ERP will not be bigger than 60.

Summer Madness

It looks like the silly season is upon us again. Respected PC Magazine columnist John C. Dvorak writes about Windows' security problems and implores Microsoft to spend some of its billions of dollars on fixing its software.

Marketeers Can't Count

What the blazes is going on with software version numbers? Sun have just announced that the next version of Java is going to be branded as Java 5 and not Java 2. So instead of J2SE 1.5 and J2EE 1.5—I'm ignoring the Micro Edition because my mobile phone doesn't have a JVM—we're going to have J2SE 5 and J2EE 5.

Javadoc Not Backwards-Compatible

Although occupationally I currently write code for J2EE 1.3, the other week I needed to install the J2SE 1.4 JDK and this led me to discover an interesting difference in the Javadoc documentation program between the two versions.

What's In A Name?

I had a snail-mail letter from my ISP last week trumpeting the fact that they're changing their name from Freeserve to Wanadoo. Apparently they wanted me to be one of the first to know, although they must have felt the same way about my partner too, for two such letters were received in this household and millions more were doubtless in the same situation throughout the country.

If You're Going To Localize, Localize Properly

Many websites invite their users to visit a regional version of the main site, but unfortunately few seem to manage to get the localization right. I recently had to renew my Norton AntiVirus subscription and I was directed the European Symantec site, where I was confronted with a classic example of poor localization.

Users Are Not Dogs

The problem of what to do about the browser Back button has reared its ugly head again. Actually it's never really gone away, it's just gone out of focus because other issues have come up and because it appears intractable.

Trash 'n' Learn

If there's one thing that's guaranteed to make people distrust a particular piece of software, it's when it trashes their data. I've often heard users complain of losing data whilst using Microsoft Office. I can't recall ever having had that particular pleasure, but today I did lose an afternoon's work because of using Oracle software.

No Time Wasters, Please

One of the things that really annoys me is when people ask questions and then disappear off the face of the Earth. During the nine months that this site has been running, I've received a number of technical questions either as comments or via my Contact page.

Domain Vultures

During the past week I've received two letters from entirely unrelated companies but both wanting the same thing. My johntopley.com domain.

Java Default Constructors

There seems to be a lot of confusion amongst Java programmers as to what consitutes a default constructor, a no-argument constructor and what the difference is between them.

Living With The Pocket PC

I've just bought a couple of accessories for my Pocket PC. I got the official Hewlett Packard USB combined cradle and charger and a 256 MB Secure Digital card. Unfortunately all is not well.

Not Good Enough

Technology promises so much but often all it delivers is frustration at its failings. I've been in contact with my bank—Lloyds TSB, should you want to avoid them—for nearly a third of a year now regarding a bill payment I made to a water company using Internet banking.

Return To Sender

I've been having a problem with spam lately that is a direct consequence of the technical decisions taken by two very different companies. One of them is an ISP and another is an online chat website.

Illiterate Internet

Do you want to know what the thing that irks me the most about the Internet is? Probably not if you've got any sense but I'm going to tell you anyway.

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