Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How many exhaust pipes have you got?

Nowadays when you venture out onto our roads, it's all about the number of exhaust pipes on a car isn't it?
Back when I was a kid in the 80's, if a car had 2 exhaust pipes, it was a big deal.

Today, this is a pretty common sight (the number of exhausts, not the car...:):
Most other cars only get this view of the BMW 1M...

I suppose the more beefy and macho cars become, the more exhausts will sprout out of their vehicular backsides... :)

Given the rapid change and progress in technology, and the need for faster, more powerful engines, can you imagine cars in a few years...?
Maybe 10 exhausts coming out of car backsides won't be an uncommon sight...!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Smelly feet and other attractive human qualities - just how do Doctors and other medical people deal with such things?

Having recently had to visit a biokineticist (which involves exercise sessions, sometimes after a long day at work), it occurred to me that it cannot be too pleasant for such practitioners to have to deal with the first item mentioned in the subject of this post.
I mean smelly feet are just the pits now aren't they?

If you are reading this right now and you can honestly say that you have some kind of affinity for smelly feet, then you, my dear blog reader, have some freaky-flavoured fetish going on there...!

Moving along then, in the name of consideration I decided to don a clean pair of socks prior to my most recent biokineticist appointment (much to the amusement of everyone within a few metres of me), and amusing as it sounds, I am pretty sure it was appreciated on some level :)

Now a biokineticist is one thing... what about other medical people?
First thing that springs to mind here is a podiatrist - they must see some freaky feet, and some freaky things on those freaky feet... yummy!
Next on my list would be a dentist - can you imagine all of the lovely tooth and mouth-related abominations that dentists must witness during their working life?

As I delve further and further into this list of medical practitioners who have to deal with the most undesirable things that the human body has to offer, my nausea level is steadily increasing.
It is therefore at this point that I will gratefully call it quits, and leave it up to any of my readers to further comment on this tasty little subject.
Perhaps someone in the medical field is reading this right now - if so, please comment here as it certainly takes a special kind of human being to have to deal with the human body on a daily basis.

Kudos to these special people for their service to humans everywhere.
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Dear Apple, How the hell does this fit in with your slogan "It just works"...?

Yesterday I came across a very confounding thing about Mac OSX.

Uploaded with

This true gem of an error screen holds absolutely no clue as to its own meaning.
Seeing this for this first time, I understand this screen to mean:
"You are not allowed into your own Mac. No entry for you. Ingresso vietato. Eintrag verboten."... you get the idea. Especially if you speak Italian or German.

Right... ok so what now? Perhaps there is a reason for the entry restriction? Perhaps not?
Maybe your Mac just wants to mess with your head a little bit and then start working normally again in a while?
Check date - is it 01 April? No? So it's not an April Fools joke then.
How about holding in that power button for a few seconds and restarting - that usually fixes things, right? Not in this case...

Well as it turns out, after a few calls and some help from one of my close friends who I will just call "Google", that Apple error screen apparently rears its ugly head when critical system files are missing, damaged or corrupted, or when the hard drive is faulty or requires scanning using the Mac Disk Utility.
That doesn't really narrow it down though - there are a lot of other problems that can apparently cause this, so it's a bit like a really cool guessing game, except it's not that cool.

Nice one Apple. No quick and easy error message for us techies who actually have to fix the problem.

It seems that Apple are only now realising something that Microsoft cottoned onto way back in the 90's (see Lion Recovery Disk Assistant).
Remember something called Windows 95?
Even that had Safe Mode - something which could be accessed easily via the F5 / F8 key during boot, not some hypholuted key combo involving [Command]+[Alt]+[Shift]+[4]+[6]+[W]+[T]+[F]+[?], to be held down for 7 seconds thru 15 boot cycles, while scratching your left nostril and holding your right knee hovering just above your left toe. At 14:55 precisely.
In addition, such ridiculous key combos are known only to the Apple elite - a group of extremists akin to the Illuminati of the IT world...

Really guys, all you need is a few lines of text somewhere in that super snazzy looking error screen of yours - something along the lines of:
"The system has failed to start due to a corrupt system file or drive failure. To enter Recovery Mode press [KEY].
Alternatively please contact your IT Administrator or Apple Support on [INSERT NUMBER HERE]. [Error code]".

Apple products may be simple, intuitive and user friendly, but not when they don't "just work"...
So in conclusion:

Dear Apple and Steve Jobs in particular,

Please make it easier for IT Administrators and Support Technicians to fix your products when they break.


Scarred by Apple No Entry screen

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Monday, August 8, 2011

No more free calls to USA / Canada in GMail...?

For the past year or so, I have been one of the many GMail users who would happily don a headset, dial in a US phone number and happily chat away to friends over there, all at no cost to myself.

Initially the "free calls to USA / Canada" feature was due to expire end 2010.
It was then extended to end 2011... which is why I am now rather confused as to why this feature appears to be either non-functional, or just (hopefully) temporarily unavailable.

Previously, if you started dialling a number using Google's number pad within GMail, it would automatically display that wonderful word "Free!", if you were dialling a USA telephone code.
Lately though, it simply displays "$0,01 / min", and refuses to route any calls that I try to make...

I can't seem to get a solid answer anywhere online though, so I guess I will just have to keep trying it out to see if it is just something temporary.
I must say that it was pretty cool to be able to call the USA for free - sure there is Skype etc., but this feature made it possible to call any US-based number i.e. landlines and cellphones included.

Have you had the same problem, or can you shed any light on this?
Please comment if you can...
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