Saturday, September 21, 2013

The new iphone - an important statement

I haven't got one.
[Nor me: Ed]

This correspondence is now closed

Friday, September 20, 2013

The airline to avoid

Apparently Ryanair, the airline that likes to say "Sod off" to its customers, is suffering a downturn in sales and the management are reported as thinking that maybe it is its attitude that is to blame. I hope they are right and I am glad they have admitted it. This is the airline that has told passengers in the past not to bring luggage  because they could buy whatever was needed on arrival. The airline that routinely advertises low fares but not the compulsory extra charges when you attempt to make a booking on their website. The airline that has been credibly reported as looking into whether passengers could stand, using strap-hangers similar to the Underground, throughout a flight (not to mention waiting for take-off and hanging about after landing). The airline that has, I believe, seriously thought about charging for use of the toilet during a flight. And, on the same BBC report linked to above, the airline that charges a stupid amount, way in excess of the air fare, should you need to rebook or change the name on a ticket.

I have never flown Ryanair and have no intention of so doing, certainly not until the present senior management no longer have anything to do with the company and there has been a significant change to the way they do business. And even then I probably won't, because flying is so unpleasant even with the better airlines and, as I have commented before, there is really no reason, baring some family emergency or special holiday, why I should ever need to do so again. So if my foregoing remarks get me put on to the Ryanair blacklist - no problem, guys, no problem at all.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Why, oh why...( no 5 for this rather ill-tempered series) Apple, Microsoft and other major software providers think that all sound files are songs? They don't even use the word "music" to describe them. No, each track is a "song". Most of my sound files are not music at all - they are radio comedy shows, plays and audio books. Much of my music collection comprises instrumental works.

The misuse of words by commerce is always a source of great irritation. I suppose the battle to restore "typeface" to its rightful place and to relegate "font" to mean a particular size, weight and slant of that typeface is lost for the moment. The word "manager" has ceased to mean someone who manages (directs the work of others) and means (in the words of Bill Oddie) "anything you want it to be". As does "executive". And don't get me started on "customer service".

But the assumption that any sound recording is a song indicates the cultural barbarism of the software houses, their obsession with teenagers and their ignorance about, well, just about everything really. I have at least managed to rename the "My music" folder that Windows 7 insisted on creating for me, even though I did not want it to, as "Sounds".  I suppose it will get renamed back one fine day after yet another round of system updates.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Ramblings of a different kind

I took advantage of this gorgeous late burst of summer warmth [It'll come to a cold and wet end on Friday: Ed] and went on a hike through the countryside this morning. The route began at Uxbridge and led along the Grand Union Canal, past its winding confluences with the Colne and the Frays Rivers and the marinas full of barges and pleasure craft near Denham. Then across almost deserted, open countryside and into the dense woodland of the Bayhurst Country Park, then into the woods around Ruislip Lido, across the golf courses that straddle its northern extremities and up to the  heights of Haste Hill before the final burst through the woods and back to beautiful Ruislip. A tad over 9 miles, one of the longest walks I have done in years.

Just think, I might have spent that time doing a cash flow forecast or processing a batch of invoices.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

After the holidays

I still work a little as a consultant and today I visited my main client, in Farringdon. After a couple of weeks on holiday in France the tube felt like a real culture shock, particularly coming home soon after 4pm. I had figured the trains would be pretty quiet. Wrong. No trains to Uxbridge were signalled so I took the first Hammersmith & City train in order to change at Baker Street. Gosh, it was crowded, at least up to Kings Cross when enough people left for me to grab a seat. Glad that I missed the real "rush" hour.