E-tales: Bill says: ‘I share your pain’

Several-pages-long whinge leaked

Bill says: ‘I share your pain’

Bill Gates’ departure from Microsoft has got people reminiscing, including Gizmodo, which carries a spiffing interview with the man who, it seems, gets as frustrated with Microsoft products as the rest of us.

Gizmodo has republished a leaked memo from 2003, from Gates to Jim Allchin. It’s a several-pages-long whinge about the joys of trying (unsuccessfully) to download Moviemaker. He starts by saying how disappointed he is that “Windows Usability has been going backwards” and continues ranting about why, oh why does one have “to download 17 megs of stuff” with still no Moviemaker included. And this “after more than an hour of craziness… and being scared and seeing that Microsoft.com is a terrible website I haven’t run Moviemaker.”

“The lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind,” he adds. Ours too, Bill. Check out Retromodo at Gizmodo.

Begone Xtraordinaries — we don’t speak l33t here

ICT Minister David Cunliffe being made an honorary Fellow of the Computer Society last week resulted in a lot of talk about the industry’s professional image. The antithesis of that image, Telecom’s “Xtraordinaries”, inevitably got dragged out of the closet — and reviled yet again.

The ridiculously geeky quartet, who supposedly embodied all that was good about pioneer ISP Xtra, were “a bunch of misfits wearing garbage bin lids on their chests,” according to NZCS president Don Robertson.

So, were they a marketing mishap? Well, it has been years since they graced the small screen but the geeky foursome keep getting those media mentions. And, when they’re mentioned, we are inevitably reminded that Telecom’s ISP is still with us.

Perhaps there is really no such thing as bad publicity.

• For those who don’t know, “L33t” (pronounced “leet”) is the distorted typography used by the worst kind of geek, when discussing arcane “hacking” matters, and derives from “elite”.

Recycling Rubik

Look, we know that Rubik’s Cubes are super-geeky even before you start playing around with the design. But this example is green and geeky, and solves that problem of what to do with your old keyboard. E-tales found it courtesy of the uber-quirky Boing Boing website, where it links to the “Dark Roasted Blend” website, which, in turn, features the geekiest Lego and Rubik’s projects ever.

First up is a Lego version of Escher’s never-ending “Ascending and Descending” staircase. Truly a geek project and cold winter’s evening alternative to downloading, social networking, whatever… it might even be a couples sport for nerd duos.

Stating the obvious

One of our e-talers recently came across this extract from an RFP (Request for Proposal) from a public-sector organisation:

“This Section describes the Services to be provided… They are described with the intent that Respondents can understand the scope of the requested Services with sufficient detail to provide a Proposal in response to this RFP.”

We’d kind of assumed that might be the reason.

The document also included two numbered paragraphs which said:

“6.1 The RFP shall close at the place of closing at [date and time].

“6.2 The place of closing is….”

And, interestingly, since this is an RFP for ICT services, emailed and faxed responses are specifically forbidden — despite the RFP itself being available online. Instead, respondents must put seven hard copies and one electronic copy in an envelope and post or hand-deliver it. We feel respondents could incur quite a bit of carbon debit here.

Boy and girl earblasters

These are so cute… no really, it’s such a shame Valentine’s Day isn’t coming up, then you could get a double-up of these new headphones which come in yummy sugar-pink (for her) and macho black (for him).

Yeah, we’re extracting the urine, but here at E-tales some (one) of us has a thing about pink tech — we hate it. And, while we appreciate that restricting the colour range of the latest Skull Candy “high-explosive” headphones to just two colours might be a recession-proofing ploy to cut back on remainders, there are a lot of discounted pink mobile phones out there. So, retailers beware.

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