The Post Office hasn’t worked out there are Mac users out there

I wanted to open a Cash ISA.
When I clicked on the Download Application Form button on http://fixed.postofficeisa.co.uk/isaapplication.aspx it downloaded a windows .exe self-extracting archive.
I moved it to a windows box, and it extracted to the expected pdf.

But for dog’s sake!
There are any number of other self-extracting formats that are less platform-dependent.
And for a 1.3M file, do you really need to compress it nowadays?

And it gets worse, it turns out.
If you let the page time out on you you don’t get a nice message; you get a Server error:

Server Error in ‘/’ Application.
The resource cannot be found.
Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

Requested URL: /Timeout.aspx

Stunning.

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make syntax

Even after all these years, I find another bit of make syntax that does a gotcha, which I guess the whole world already knew.

# foo=bar
FOO=BAR

is not the same as

FOO=BAR        #foo-bar

You live and learn.
In case you are wondering, they are different when used as

BAZ=${FOO}-QUEX

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People who “hide” their email addresses

tosser(at)funny.farm
I mean, do they (or their organisations) think that email trawlers can’t work that out?
All it does is inconvenience the genuine people who want to contact them.
There are only about 6 spammers in the world, apparently – do you think they didn’t get your email a looooong time ago:- or will as soon as you put that up?
Or worse still, wanker AT room DOT one DOT bedlam.
And to cap it all, let’s make it an image so that I have to type in the whole thing absolutely correctly.

Or why not just give me a web form to fill in to send you a message?
That way I have to use your technology to do it, and then it doesn’t get into my normal processes – pissing me about again.

Or perhaps you want to just give me an email hash?
That’s just great to help me get in touch with you – yes Semantic Web Dog Food this applies to you.
http://data.semanticweb.org/person/hugh-glaser/html
It’s on my wiki page http://semanticweb.org/wiki/User:Hugh_Glaser, so why obscure it on the data page?

The reason you have an email account is to make it convenient for people to contact you.

I have actually decided not to email people about things I am sure they would like to know because of this;- open.ac.uk is worth mentioning as a particularly bad specimen.

So if you haven’t got systems that can cope with the spam, then get different ones. Don’t push the effort of futilely trying to protect youself from spam onto me.

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Getting Identity Thieved

Yet again I have to piss about dealing with someone using my identity. And for why?

Because as a company director I was required to give out my Date of Birth so it can be made a clear matter of public record at Companies House.

I even use a different mother’s maiden name for each company.
But what is the point of trying to protect my personal information when the law requires me to give stuff to them to publish to all comers?

Time the tossers sorted it out.

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Apple screws up iTunes zoom box

I am always finding that my iTunes window is too big for the laptop screen, since it usually gets resized on the big monitor. So the resize corner is off the bottom of the screen, and somehow I need to get it back.

Every other app I know lets you hit the zoom button (the green +) to get an (possibly) ideal size.

Not iTunes – you get a stupid little mini-browser if you do that. So maybe I can get the window to resize by moving the window (as in Safari)? Not a chance.

I finally had to read the Shortcut Keys in Help (if all else fails RTFM). It kindly and politely informs me that I should Option-click to get the normal behaviour.

FFS.

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Autocomplete in Safari doesn’t backspace right.

Type a few characters in the address or Google bar; realise you got the last two wrong so do two backspaces – you might have thought you got back to where you were, but you didn’t or maybe you did!

If it did an autocomplete, then the first backspace cancelled the autocomplete, and the second cancelled one character;
If it did not do an autocomplete, then you lost both characters (probably what you wanted).

This just can’t be right – I have to look at the screen to find out what my typing has done.

The number of times I type a search term and press go, only to look up and see that there is an extra character at the front really pisses me off.

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Trying to upload a photo to Facebook

So I have one tiny little photo I want to upload … 20 minutes later I am still looking at a “Select Photo” screen that is flashing away.

It told me that the “recommended” way was to install a plugin – fine, but it didn’t offer me any other ways, so I clicked “OK” instead of “Cancel” – seemed a reasonable choice. After allowing it through my security, I then try again.

So what is it doing now? Either it has failed, or it is trying to index every photo on my hard drives, I guess to be helpful and offer me the choice.

Is there an exit button? Of course not. I need to close the window and try again.

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“Fixing” things

Why would anyone fix a utility as fundamental as “touch”? It wasn’t “broken” so it didn’t need “fixing”.

What was in their minds when they changed the code?

I can just see some clever little oik, wet behind their Linux-like ears finding the “bug”, and being delighted they have found something to spray their piss on, retiring in the warm glow that all those copies of the software will go round the world smelling of them for the rest of time.

What am I on about?

The latest version of RedHat has broken my scripts. I used to be able to do

touch -d 20010000 foo

but now it gives me

touch: invalid date format `20010000′

yes, I know it wasn’t sensible, but it wasn’t “wrong”.

It is now, so because some tosser doesn’t understand the importance of backwards compatibility and legacy, I’m going to have to go round and check every bloody script and “correct” them.

What was the point?

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