Category Archives: Rant

BES Data Plan: Thirteenth Time’s a Charm

Warning: This post contains a rant and may contain a Bad Word!

What is it with mobile phone operators and the elusive Blackberry BES data plan? With all the devices that must be floating around out there, there must be a huge number of Blackberry owners who have BES data plans. So why is it so difficult for mobile phone operators to get it right the first time. Even when you spell it out clearly, BES…”BEE..EEE…ESS”…for Enterprise Server, they still give you a BIS. And as any programmer worth his salt will tell you, BIS!=BES.

Personally, I own an iPhone, but I have to support a BES server in my organisation, so I am often the first point of call for all of our Blackberry users. I am truly fed up of having to try to activate a user’s device, only to tell them that their data plan isn’t correctly set up and that they need to return to the store. The user dutifully returns to the shop, who press a few wrong buttons and send the user back to me. I then re-attempt activation to find out that, shock horror, the shop assistant (or whoever deals with these things) is a muppet and has no idea what BES is, let alone how to activate it.

And please, Mr Shop Assistant, do not try to tell our users that the issue is with our BES server, or that we have to install additional software on our BES server for it to work properly (I have dozens of these god forsaken devices successfully activated on the server), especially when RIM’s own tool clearly says that the device’s data plan hasn’t been correctly provisioned for BES!

Please RIM, give the sales folks who push your devices some form of cheat sheet for switching on BES data plans!

Hang on. Did I get through that rant without a single bad word? Fuck me!

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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Rant


This is not just a delayed delivery…

…it’s a M&S delayed delivery.

Despite the fact that I ordered my new leather office chair from Marks & Spencer a month ago, they somehow messed up the order and now tell me that the chair hasn’t arrived at their warehouse. Really? A month to get the order processed, and you still mess it up?

And what is really annoying is the letter I received advised me that if *I* were to change the delivery date it would be against the terms & conditions of the sale, and they would charge me £100. That’s not a typo, they would actually charge me a one hundred pound re-booking fee. Given that they’ve now changed the delivery date (still don’t know when it’s going to be arriving) I’ve a good mind to invoice them the same amount.

On another note, I received my marked assignment back from the OU today and my score was much better than I’d anticipated, giving me hope that I might just be able to muster enough self discipline to get through TMA3 and reach the final EMA. Only trouble is, now I’m potentially looking at doing an MSc in computer security and forensics with 7Safe after this, which will no doubt means serious amounts of study (not to mention expense) for a few years to come.

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Posted by on July 23, 2011 in Rant, Study


All Aboard The Me-Too Train

Four weeks ago, after some testing, I began rolling out Adobe Reader X in our organisation.

Because this was a major version upgrade, I decided that a staggered rollout would be best, to allow any problems missed during testing to be discovered, reported & dealt with before the application had been deployed to too many machines.

I should have known better. I received one report yesterday that PDF’s opened from a hyperlink in Office documents were taking minutes to open. This is a known issue that is fixed in 10.0.1, which I have already prepped and am preparing to rollout.

Today I received a report from another user that PDFs are locking up his machine, taking forever to open, crashing applications, not searching keywords properly, losing his work and kicking his dog (ok I threw the last one in to see if you were paying attention).

Shortly after that, the oh-so-familiar chorus of “me too” struck up, as more users leapt onto the bandwagon, demanding to know why we’re ruining their lives with our latest update, despite the fact that no-one actually bothered to report it themselves.

Here’s a thought for you, dear users. If you notice problems of this magnitude, don’t keep it to yourself for weeks, hoping it will just get better. Don’t grumble about it amongst yourselves, hoping your grumbles will somehow hop onto the cat5 cabling and deliver themselves to us. Instead, pick up the phone and log a call with your IT support team. Not a fan of the phone? No problem, we do email too. Just don’t sit there in silence, waiting to board the me-too train, because you will make your sysadmin stressed. And to paraphrase a large green man, you wouldn’t like me when I’m stressed.

(Actually, I lied. I did receive one additional “error” report from another user, although it turns out that the error in question was the license agreement page. RTFS?)

Your Friendly SysAdmin

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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Rant


Old Queue Jumpers

I don’t like following up a ranty post with another rant so quickly, as it makes me look like a bit of a ranter. Nevertheless, today I feel the need to rant about old people pushing in queues…

What is it about old people that makes them think they don’t have to queue? I was in Tesco’s today and, as is usual for this time of year, the queue’s were ridiculously long. Of course, this wasn’t helped by the fact that half of the self service machines were out of action, but that’s a rant for another time :0).

Anywho, I dutifully joined said queue, clutching my chicken sandwich and bottle of juice. Within moments, there were at least a dozen people behind me, and we all commenced the Tesco shuffle, inching ever closer to the checkout and freedom from the mad throng of people panic-buying their bread and milk to see them through the Christmas period.

At this point, an old bloke and his (presumably) wife wandered up, took one look at the queue (which now spanned the width of several aisles), took one look at me, then without so much as a mumbled excuse, just blatantly pushed in. It wasn’t like there could be any misunderstanding as to where the end of the queue actually was. There was the person in front of me, then me, then the person behind me, then everyone else behind them all standing in a line. I’m not a scholar of the English language, but I think you’ll agree that is the definition of a queue.

So there they were, two old folks pretending like they didn’t know I was standing inches behind them, burning holes in their head with my furious glare. Then the bloke turned around and, I kid you not, glared back at me. I mean, wtf? Was he cross because I (and what now seemed like the two hundred others behind me) hadn’t shuffled back to politely let him push in? If he’d wanted personal space, there was plenty to be found at the end of the queue where he belonged.

I am all for treating my elders with respect, but there’s a line between showing respect and letting them take the piss, and they crossed that line by quite a distance. Can you imagine the fuss they’d have made if I had done that to them?!

Oh well, I guess one day I’ll be old too and will get to enjoy these perks. Until then, loyal reader, have a very good Christmas. Unless you’re an old queue jumper too, then I hope you choke on a sprout >:o(~

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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Rant


Note to Avon: Stop. Leaving. Books.

**Ranty post alert**

I never signed up with Avon. I have never bought anything from Avon. I would imagine that I never will buy anything from Avon. I have never expressed any interest in any Avon item, ever.

Why, then, do they feel the need to continually push their bloody catalogues through my letter box. And then have the cheek to get stroppy when I don’t bother to leave it out for them when they collect. Listen: I have left the catalogue out (many, many times). Each time, I have left a polite note saying I do not wish to receive it in future. Yet there it is again, lying on my door mat, stupid order form sticking out from between pages that I’ll never read. “Look at me, I’m baaaack” it would say in a mocking tone, if it could talk.

I understand Avon reps have to pay for these catalogues, and they lose money when they’re not returned. Well, here’s a simple solution for you: Stop bloody shoving ’em through my letterbox.

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Posted by on December 5, 2010 in Rant


Fcuk Off Iggy

This is a pointless post to vent my anger at a certain car insurance company who’s name I won’t say here because I’m not going to give them the satisfaction of having free publicity via my blog.

It’s bad enough that you pollute the TV airwaves with your ridiculous ads featuring a walking, talking piece of leather. I can live with that (just) by switching channels whenever your shitty ad comes on.

However, having just had Iggy “Leatherman” Pop scream down my headphones at me during a spotify ad break, I can safely say I have had enough. Un-named car insurance company, take your crappy ads and Fcuk Off.

Hm, perhaps it may be time to upgrade to ad-free Spotify premium.

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Posted by on July 19, 2010 in Rant