Showing posts from February, 2011

Working Class Blues

I rarely discuss work on this blog. However, after the last two and a half weeks or so, I need to vent.

I've been working a project since last summer/fall. It started as a three-month contract that got extended a couple of times until, right now, I'm working through the end of April. And that is likely to get extended to the end of May or June. This is all great news for our bank account, even if we have to put up with the headache of figuring out taxes for two countries.

The issue came up not quite three weeks ago. A new content guru came back to the project and became my primary resource for editing the 250 page manual I was working on. She is a very good reviewer, overall, and knows the content quite well, which is good. However, she decided with only a few weeks left that she didn't like the manual's standard layout and changed it. I mentioned that this was a pretty significant scope change and asked about the due date. After some hemming and hawing, I learned that…

Music for the Masses

Beginning last year I noticed that TV shows, TV movies, and theatrical releases all seemed to have the same problem: they didn't know when to shut up. By that I mean that so many TV shows and movies were filling every possible second with some sort of music or noise. It really came to the fore when my wife and I watched a few older films over the holidays.

It is my feeling that constant sound, especially a waxing and waning score, is a way for filmmakers to hide imperfections in their work. I seem to see this issue the most on long-running shows, shows with small budgets or unknown casts, and "B" movies. However, it is not just those that have the issue.

The reason for this post is that I watched the current Smallville episode last night via TiVo. I have enjoyed Smallville for most of its run, and this final season has, for the most part, been superb (for what it is, of course). However, every single episode this season, and in particular those directed by Tom Welling hi…

Bell and Bell Mobility, Revisited

A while back, I told you about an exasperating incidence I had with Bell Mobility. A FB contact suggested that it wasn't actually Bell Mobility calling, but some other group that uses the Bell Mobility name, gets you to switch, and then you are part of their network.

As you can see in that previous article, I called Bell/Bell Mobility (I had to call both, because each side of the issue kept telling me that it wasn't their purview and I had to call the other). The Bell representative agreed with my FB source, and claimed that it wasn't Bell of any sort calling either, and that it was likely a scam. I was angry, and I insisted that she put our home Bell phone number and my Bell Mobility number as Do Not Call. She claimed it wouldn't help, because it wasn't Bell or Bell Mobility calling me. I insisted, and insisted that she do it for me right then and there and let me know when it was done. I was willing to wait. This required her to actually contact Bell Mobility her…

Home Run

I don't feel like I hit an electronics home run often. Usually, when I purchase anything electronics, I simply stop looking at my flyers and emails because I know that something better will be on sale within a week of my purchase, or whatever I purchased will have a massive price drop shortly afterward.

My wife and I agreed to use one of my paychecks from my current contract to get me a laptop. This had multiple uses and reasons behind it:
First and foremost, it would get the software required for the current contract off my PC. Ever since installing it, my otherwise completely stable and never crashing PC has been crashing and achieving the dreaded BSOD.It would allow me mobility, to take my work into the office for a consultation or training, etc. It would also allow me to take it with me and work from exotic locales, if my wife and I travel somewhere but I still need to do some work while we're gone.It would allow me a separate machine that I could always reset to a "li…


There has been a huge uproar here in Canada regarding the UBB (usage-based billing) for internet use. In a nutshell, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can now charge between $1 and $4 for usage beyond very small caps on internet use. Now, that number doesn't sound like a lot until you factor in that they are charging you a dollar to four dollars for something that costs them less than a penny to provide. That is a markup of 100 to 400 percent!

The other problem is that they are making the caps very small, which all but guarantees the average user will go over their cap every month. The average seems to be around 25 gig a month cap on usage. That sounds like a lot until you start doing the math. Remember that this cap is on both uploads and downloads, so you have to account for what your PC sends as well as what you receive/download.

Now, let's think about this a moment, especially for those who claim "well, I don't download much, this won't affect me":
Do you …