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Someone designed these

There are certain questionable design decisions out there, but there’s an entire other class that make you try and picture the meeting where people signed off on it. Here are some examples.

  • Pavement tiles that become slippery when wet.

  • Pavement tiles that crack under the weight of a passing pigeon.

  • Pavement tiles that look worse than what they replaced.

That was a lot about pavement tiles. Moving on:

  • Leaving an API call or feature as preview or beta when you know most of your customers use it.

  • Senior high school uniform shirts that go translucent at the first sign of precipitation, for use in the tropics. Admittedly less of a problem for my gender at the time.

  • The Microsoft Surface Pro something that has a gap between the screen and keyboard when folded closed.

  • Door handles that fail in a locked position.

  • Apple’s mouse that charges with a bottom-mounted cable.

  • CSS and JavaScript, and every layer that’s slathered on top to attempt a PulseAudio-style fix.

  • Marketing bagels without holes, as I witnessed a cafe in North Sydney do in the last few months. The bagels themselves without holes, not the marketing. The only hole in the marketing was the communicator’s logic.

  • Coffee machines with frames you can scald yourself on. Or any other appliance for that matter. I’d point my finger at them, but it can’t hear me over the sound of being scalded.


Father's day, life, work

My dad and folks after Father's day lunch

The last few weeks have been, to use some colourful language, balls. It started being locked in my bathroom, then work and personal stuff continued to slide into the veritable abyss. I feel like Homer Simpson bouncing down that gorge, only to fall down it again after being rescued.

But all it took this weekend was to get in touch with people with far larger problems to bring myself back to earth a bit. For all the mudslinging and negativity in my life right now, it pales in comparison to what it could be.

Father’s day yesterday, despite the interruptions, was also pretty great!


Half-rhyme patrol

My mum imparted several words of wisdom before moving off this mortal coil. Always leave the last button on a blazer undone. Gotten isn’t a word. And half-rhymes aren’t rhymes, and have no business being in songs.

In this post, we’ll explore some recent(ish) examples that employ half-rhymes in a chorus, which therefore repeats the cringe many times!

Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks, famous for holding the Guinness record for longest song sung through a crappy telephone:

All the other kids;
With their pumped up kicks. ♫

And Stitches by Shawn Mendes:

I’m without your kisses;
I’ll be needing stitches. ♫

I’m still painfully sad she’s not around, but at least she avoided these lyrical monstrosities.


How do you make time to blog!?

I’ve been asked by a few gentleman how I’m able to blog when I’m otherwise completely busy. There are a few reasons, though in Australia we call them sultanas:

  1. Mostly, I’m just awesome like that.

  2. Most of my posts are written quickly and submitted. [Added after finishing, this post took less than two minutes]. Conciseness and clever prose aren’t priorities to me, ideas are.

  3. Most importantly, blogging is cathartic. It’s an introverted coping mechanism. It exercises a different part of my brain to social interaction and technical work, even if I’m blogging to people, about technical topics.

This post also includes variants of the word most, at most, six times. Mostly.


The longest post ever, on the STV-4540 PDU

This may be the longest post I’ve ever published, regarding the Server Technology PRO1 Switched STV-4540 Rack PDU:

The Server Technology® PRO1 Switched Rack PDU provides control of outlet power and local LED input current monitoring, allowing IT personnel to determine safe levels of loading on a per-phase basis while installing equipment into the rack/cabinet.

And here it is. The full height and outlet spacing are brilliant; only needing short power cables to wire up a rack of equipment saves so much space and potential for spaghetti.

Long photo of the above hardware


Paulding, United States

Michigan US Highway 45 is the the Wikipedia featured article for today. The accompanying photo by RoyalBroil references Paulding, which I read as Pudding. Royally broiled pudding; that sounds delightful.

If I had some work leave and a bit of money, I’d love to travel around rural America. Especially Whitefish and surrounds in Montana. I could start in Seattle, then just keep going till I hit Boston. Maybe even ducking into Canada a few times for fun, eh.


Disabling Hyper-Threading for Spectre

It’s too early to tell what the broad performance impact of the latest Spectre mitigations will be, but so far it’s clear as mud. Thomas Claburn wrote this for The Register:

The performance impact when Hyper-Threading is disabled is dependent on many factors. Measured impact ranges from a +30 per cent gain, to -50 per cent loss and beyond. Most HT testing, however, showed losses in the 0-30 per cent range.

We’re dealing with this at work at the moment. Fun times.


The iOS Settings search field

I keep hearing podcasters advising us to use the Settings search field, in lieu of navigating multiple levels of menus. It’s easier, it’s faster, it slices and dices!

These were some I tried:

  • 24, to change the time to 24 hour time
  • IMEI, to get the IMEI number
  • Font, to change the font size
  • Gargh, to find anything

None worked. Anyone use this? Am I holding it wrong?