Monthly Archives: November 2011

Grumpy Old Machine

My computer is growing senile.

I’ve had the poor thing for awhile now – since 31 December 2007 to be absolutely specific. I remember the date because it is the last time I used that credit card, ever.

It’s served me well, my poor little Dell Inspiron 530S. Sure, it’s up and shit the bed for no reason on more than one occasion and required some tough love to get it going again, but overall? For a PC? For an OLD PC? It was doing fine.

Tonight though it decided to be extra dinky and weird for no good reason. Got four nasty beeps on post – the BIOS equivalent of the computer flipping me the bird. HOW RUDE. It’s a sure sign that the hardware has decided enough is enough. Most likely the RAM or where RAM meets motherboard.

So I pulled it all out and turned it on with no RAM in it at all. Two beeps on post, which is a good sign. Pulled it out again and put in two of the RAM sticks. It turned on fine. Another good sign.

Then I stuck in the other two… and the computer went batshit. Kept turning itself on and off, like it was having some sort of fit. What a drama queen. So I pulled the power and it settled down.

::SIDE NOTE::

Wouldn’t have been weird if it had kept turning itself on and off after I unplugged it? Just sayin’. Weird.

:: END SIDE NOTE::

Anyhoo… swapped the RAM around and now it is fine again. WTF, Computer? You are losing the plot.

I need it to hang on for a bit longer; I really cannot afford to buy a new machine right now. I just worry because it’s Senior Moments are growing more and more frequent and more and more extreme. It’s a good thing I keep everything on an external drive and on the webskipops. Seriously.

Wunderlist: Part Two

As some of you already read in my earlier post today, I was having some extreme issues with Wunderlist this morning. The login was balls and then the site went down.  Not a good start to our relationship.

So I passive-aggressively complained here on my blog and sent a tweet about the site being down. Nearly immediately, @wunderlist tweeted back with an update. Which helped control my rage. It was rather interesting how just a little personal response went a long way; I was at the point where I didn’t care if I logged in ever again (I have other lists, right?) and got turned back around to being willing to give them another go.

And then it got a lot more personal.

Kirsty Lee, Social Media Manager at 6wunderkinder got in touch directly. It would appear that she had read my earlier blog post and was also aware that I had spewed forth my frustration on Twitter.

Not only did she reply in the comments to the earlier post, she also emailed me directly to let me know that a) they are working on some soothing salve to decrease the ball-ache of registering via Facebook (sadly, not by killing Facebook but rather with updates to the app) and that the site was down because the servers went down.

I am appeased.

After just using the app today, I can’t yet feedback how useful I am finding it. But after today I am happy to tell the interwebs that the team behind Wunderlist obviously cares what their users think. They obviously care what I think.

They care even though they don’t charge people anything (did I mention earlier that the service is free?). Even though my blog is mostly read by my moms and a few other people who clearly hate themselves and wish to be punished. Even though I’m not a “power-user” or whatever grotesque “you deserve our attention, money-spender” category companies lump people into. They still care.

Kirsty’s actions today (personalised and timely) made all the difference with how I feel about their brand. Instead of focusing on the issues I had this morning, when I tell others about Wunderlist, I’m going to tell them all about the solutions. About the really positive experience I had with the company.

Why aren’t all companies working with their customers/users like this?

Thanks, Kirsty. Tell your boss you deserve a raise.

Wunderlist

People think I’m an OCD, type-A, highly organised person with bountiful energy for putting everything into it’s right place.

This isn’t entirely accurate.

I’m actually kinda lazy, which is why I’m so organised about my stuff. I can’t be arsed to look around for things: My keys, a t-shirt, lipgloss, my next highest priority task, whatever. So I put always put things exactly where I can find them.

At work, I always write down what I need to do and/or remember. I’ve just always found it easier to get those things out of your brain and somewhere else so you can use your brain for other things. Having the “Oh yes, I must remember to X” thought again and again (where X remains constant) is a waste of brain juice.  So I write it down and I don’t worry about it anymore. It’s the equivalent of putting my thoughts where I can find them again with less effort.

This habit means I am constantly searching for the best way to capture this list of things to do or remember.

I often go back to paper, but that’s not always the best way: It means your stuff is only in one place and losing the notebook or post-it means you’ve lost the list. Bad news.

So I’ve been trying multi-platform electronic capture systems.

At work, I’ve been using Evernote for awhile now. I use it on and off – it isn’t a perfect to-do list, but it is extremely flexible and has other uses.

I signed up for Orchestra, Asana and Strides recently – but I think that they will be better for project task capture – where multiple people are working on one larger goal. I haven’t played with Asana yet, but the quick play I had with Orchestra and Strides showed that Strides has the potential to be the better system.

I also use Epic Win – but until it goes multi-platform (I WANTS IT IN A BROWSER) and allows me to organise my tasks into lists, it isn’t going to be the best use for me. I refuse to let it go for my personal to-dos though, it is simply too fun to “level up” for getting chores and such done.

Today I decided I would try Wunderlist after hearing so many good things about it. Available across all platforms, free, beautifully designed and easy to use.

How I feel so far?

What a fucking ball-ache to get it working on my fucking iPhone.

They need to get this sorted.

I signed up using “Register with Facebook”. Now, I rarely do that, Zuckerberg already knows too much about me. But I’m starting to hate all these different logins so I thought “what the hell”. Two clicks later (had to authorise it, innit?) and I was in.

Had a play, loved the interface. Created a “get WL app” task and got right on doing that so I could check that off as done.

Not so fast, cowboy.

The app needed my username and password. Um, whut? I logged in with Facebook, you douche. I don’t know what the sweaty fuck my username and password is for Wunderlist.

So back to the website. Looked like my username was potentially my email address. So I tried that. But what about the password?

I had no idea, so I tapped “Forgot password” on my phone. The app immediately went into a never-ending “thinking about that” cycle. raR.

So I went on the interweb and googled “WTF, Wunderlist?” (or, more probably, something about the issue I was having). Turns out that if you retardedly register for the site with Facebook, you have to reset your password to get a password.

Sigh.

So I go to the website and do that. Which was simple, to be fair. The interface is rather intuitive. Got my new password via email, back to the site, changed it to something I could remember.

Back to the phone. Put in my email address and newly minted password.

Back into the abyss of a never-ending thinking cycle. Fuck you, app.

Turns out that there was a cross-over of “I forgot my passwords” (one from the phone, which I didn’t think worked because I had to kill the app to make it stop fucking around) and another from the website.

I finally got the password to work by repeating the steps above and then trying the app again.

Now that I’m in, it looks cool and we’ll see if I actually use it or not. But what a fucking ball-ache to use if you try logging in with Facebook.

The lesson in all this is: Facebook is evil.

I’ll let you know if I actually use the fucking site now that I’ve gone through 30 anger-filled minutes trying to get it to play nicely with my phone. Now to check off “Write blog post of how fucktarded FB registration on WL is” from my list.

UPDATE: And now the app is unavailable. THIS ISN’T HOW YOU WIN MY LOVE, WUNDERLIST.

Home + Work = Awesomeness

Every once in awhile I ask for permission to work from home, especially if I have a lot on.

Working from home means I don’t lose two hours of my day commuting. And I don’t use those extra hours to piss about. I use them to get more work done.

Because I don’t commute, I don’t start my day already fucked off with the world.

So my mood is already better. I put on some coffee, some music and get to work sitting at my dinning table, facing the window (a window! Looking out at things!).

I’m relaxed. I’m more positive. And, most awesomely, I’m more productive.

Why don’t we let people do this more often?

Quittin’ Feels so Good

So.

I dropped the Introduction to Databases Course a while ago. It was just getting too much on top of all the maths I was trying to learn for Machine Learning and the (I think I forgot to mention this one) Scrum Master course I’m doing. It seemed like the right thing. My attention was all over the place. Not good.

And now I’ve dropped the Machine Learning course as well. It is just too advanced for me. I’m missing the prerequisites for the learning and I’m so lost. I got a handle on the basic linear algebra… and that turned into advanced calculus (damn it anyway) somehow.

I’m going to keep up brushing up my maths skills though. And I’ve decided to focus more on learning a programming language (most likely Ruby). This way, next fall when they (hopefully) offer the course again: I’ll be ready.