Archive for Microsoft

Namaste, me and IT.

Posted in Misanthropy, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by MISANTHROPIST

It’s been a while hasn’t it? My apologies. I’ve been on a computer course and between that, some other issues and being ill I haven’t had much of a chance to post anything. There’s so much going on in the world right now, so much to write about that I can hardly think of where to begin. Lets start with the small things. My computer course. At the mercy of the job center’s infinite wisdom I was sent on an IT course with a company called Learn Direct. I attended an interview to find that they didn’t provide courses of a high-caliber, nothing there interested me so I went with something basic and useful an IT course which I would use to brush up on IT and combat my lack of Excel knowledge. It wasn’t like I really had a choice, the illusion of choice is not the JSA’s forte.

A month after the interview I did the diagnostic tests required which I basically smashed so I was put onto the higher course provided. The weekend went by and I came on monday as I was due to. The first thing that struck me was the instructors hairstyle. Japanese, I’d seen zen practitioners and samurai portrayed with that hair before. This man was no samurai. On examination I noticed a herbalife pill dosset box which lead me to surmise that he was a buddhist or health nut who took tenants of buddhism into his life style. Thinking back he was a pale man, small in stature. Probably a vegetarian which leads me to believe he was a buddhist, most likely of the zen variety. Either way the herbalife made me chuckle internally.

The rest of my class were very poorly versed in IT with the exception of myself and another girl recently out of school. There were a bunch of people I never interacted with at all during the entire course but of the ones I did speak to, these were the most interesting. Firstly there were the ‘The Only Way Is Essex twins’ a walking stereotype of Essex girls. If you know what TOWIE is I need say no more. Then the 70-year-old woman who used Google plus and had 100 followers on Twitter, to be honest the fact that she had a Twitter account or even knew how to turn a computer on was amazing in itself. I should have checked her bag for a Guy Fawkes mask.

My first day ended very quickly with me going home four hours early. The class and tests were for Microsoft Word, a program I’ve been using since before I can remember. I learned a little about functions I was previously unaware of but other than that I passed the tests without reading any of the material. This is around the point that the course began to annoy me. If the instructor had let me do the course in my own order I would have been able to finish it in three days, we were told it should take seven to eight. He would not let me continue after the Word exam so I decided to leave early, that early day combined with one day of illness put me behind meaning the course took me about five days out of the eight. I could have blitzed that course in three.

Something I always found annoying about education and work was that I was always made to follow a path set out for me instead of giving me free reign over my job or study. If I had been allowed to do things my own way work/study would be completed at least three times faster. One other thing that annoyed me with the MS Word unit was the Mail merge part, mail merge is outdated and nobody I know uses it. It is useful but I’m pretty sure most Email providers have an equivalent tool available to their users. Mail merge is an outdated feature. The next unit was Microsoft Power Point, another program I am extremely well versed in. I’ve given presentations to the board of Executives at London City Airport. I think I can handle making a power point presentation.

Another issue I found was that the software they were using, while helpful to people who know nothing of IT, was fucking me up. During the testing if you tried to use a keyboard shortcut or a left click shortcut it would count as one try on the question. This didn’t only apply to shortcuts but also many other helpful features that we use day-to-day on a computer. The whole thing had started to piss me off by day two and the instructor had begun to irritate me to the point where I began to call him ‘Namaste’ in a mocking tone. As I had mentioned before the only program I needed any guidance on was Microsoft Excel, I ended up teaching myself as I couldn’t be bothered to wait for namaste to get done with the towie twins who would flutter their fake eyelashes and get the answer from him.

I gained an appreciation for Microsoft Excel from this course, I understand why people hate it but it is a beautiful and extremely useful program if you know how to use it. I’d recommend versing yourself in it, you can create organizers and all sorts of helpful things using it. It may be frustrating at first but it is worth knowing. I think in the end the lowest I scored on any testing was 75%. I wanted to retake it but I was not allowed which further compounded my frustrations with the course. I was late in twice due to my illness and the instructor pulled me in to ‘have a word.’
‘Well aren’t you the cutest thing namaste’ I thought to myself. I told him that I walk to the course, I’m ill and yeah I’m a little late but I’m way in front on the course. In the end the other girl ended up beating me by a day due to my sick day.

Come day two I was so annoyed I began the next few days by waking up, getting ready, eating a small breakfast and rolling myself a nice joint for the walk there. A joint at 7am you say? Why not? I could use the de-stress and it wasn’t like I was particularly challenged by any of the topics. Just needed some chewing gum and some deodorant to get that acrid yet beautiful smell from my clothing and breath. I passed the course with flying colours and earned something called a European Electronic Driving License, which sounds like total bullshit to me but is an accredited qualification. Let me give you some history, back in school I was dropped into a low set in IT for some reason… Standardized testing came around and my English and Math scores were high enough to put me into the top set where I was told I had three months to finish two years worth of course work. I almost did it and ended up receiving a D,D grade in ITC.

If my school wasn’t a joke I would never have had to take this course. Anyway, its history and I’ve got my grade up now with this certificate so my IT grade won’t be scrutinized. The other reason I took this course was that I saw her dad’s PA in action. He was an idiot by all accounts and it made me wonder if PA work was the way to go. He seemed to do very little for what he was paid, I thought maybe I should get in on that. He purchased a plane ticket for her then began to crap himself after he had not received any email conformation from the airline, this was because he had used her email address instead of her father’s one. Imagine if that was a bid for a business contract, he would have lost it. Like I said, an idiot.

I was considering doing further courses with them but nothing they provide is to my taste. No offense to anyone studying with them, I don’t understand your personal circumstances, but my academic career was not a total failure. I don’t really need anything they offer but I do appreciate the knowledge I did gain from the course even if it was slow and frustrating at times.
-Misanthropist.

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Xbox One vs PS4

Posted in cool stuff, Gaming, General, Social Media, Technology, The Internet., The Media, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2013 by MISANTHROPIST

one

Is it me or was E3 surprisingly short this year? Seriously, I don’t know. It seems much shorter than last year. I’ve heard a lot of different reasons for this like Microsoft pulled funding from E3 after their console flopped. That could just be Microsoft haters hating. I don’t even know who funds E3. In fact I don’t know too much about E3. I just catch it every to see what games I can look forward too. I went through a stage of playing very few games and buying even fewer. I thought it was just me growing up and getting older but it seems it was just my slump and lack of money. With my job problem solved I’ve been replaying fallout 3. I’ve got my woman to thank for that, she reminded me how much I loved the vidya. Yup… I got a gamer. I’m lucky I’ve been told.

Lets take a little walk down memory lane right back to the Xbox, before the Xbox came out I had owned a PlayStation, PlayStation one and PlayStation 2. The Xbox looked awesome but most of all it had Halo on it, due to a summer playing that game with friends I wanted to own it. I could have brought an Xbox but around the same time I discovered a social life and other things so I never bothered, with all the issues the Xbox had I’m glad I didn’t. I waited long enough that the Xbox 360 and even longer to avoid the problems with the 360, it all paid off. To be honest I’ve been happy with my Xbox 360 experience. I’ve gone through two since about six months after it came out and I’ve played some great games on it. Never got live because I didn’t really care for paying for it. It’s kinda sad to think about this but I brought the Xbox 360 for Halo…

Enter the PS3, I should have gotten one earlier but as usual no money, waited out any issues it had and yeah never got around to it due to spending money traveling and such. I’m going to be buying one in little under a month for a few reasons. I’ve missed a whole generation of titles that I’ve always loved for example Metal Gear Solid, Kojima’s games were always masterpieces I enjoyed the depth and the story telling/cinematic were amazing. I’ve been a stealth freak since Tenchu Stealth Assassins in the 90’s. Anyway back to the point, free online because why should I have to pay for a 12-year-old homophobe to scream profanities at me and cry like a little girl when his mother/father catch him? Another great thing is Sony isn’t full of tight-fisted SOB’s who won’t let you share games, great thing about having a girlfriend who is a ps3 gamer is that she can send you a hell of a lot of games! The final thing is that most people I know moved to ps3 after owning an Xbox. Finally Battlefield>Call of duty. That is all.

I loved Halo but I think I’ve grown out of it, I didn’t even play Halo 4 and now that nobody owns and Xbox anymore I doubt I ever will. I love a lot of games on Xbox but they are available on a better console in most cases. I’m always going to go with the better choice, the one that most benefits me and the better service. The things I’ve previously mentioned plus The Xbox one’s total flop at E3 was the last nail in the coffin for me. I’m going back to Sony begging for forgiveness. Telling her I made a mistake and I can change. My friends have been recommending the ps3 to me for sometime their main reason include:

>Battlefield (read in a dey turk our jrrrbs voice, so like burrrtlefiiiilld!)
>Far less 12 year-old children.
>PlayStation Network won’t kill you for modding.
>Shared games
>Old titles I love. (soft coercion)
>Free PSN.

Those reasons were enough for me to consider it after about a year of them banging on about it. So yeah I’m purchasing a ps3. My reasoning may be cheap but the benefits outweigh the cost and any cons if there are any. Now more on E3. Sony nailed it as evidenced by amazon pre-order sales. So lets look at how the Xbox one flopped. To begin, the design of the console and control are lazy and seemed to have regressed, there’s nothing about it that impresses me if anything it’s too big. Another thing is that you cannot play games from the previous generation on it, something Sony have had down since the PlayStation 2, I don’t know if this is Microsoft trying to create an Apple style monopoly forcing you to buy more of their products for compatibility reasons. This move was widely rejected by the gaming community, I mean only one company could get away with that sort of shit, Apple. Bad move Microsoft, strike one.

You can’t share games, again Sony have nailed this one. Tell me how, in a whole console generation, Microsoft haven’t caught onto this great idea. Nobody will buy games you say? People are more likely to try and buy more games due to the limited capacity of memory and the fact that people like to own something physical. A shorter one which I don’t really think is too bad but still frowned upon is that they made their console so that it has to be connected to the internet and yet they still expect you to pay their online fee, sure they’ve added TV and such but I’d rather go watch my actual TV that I’ve already payed for. For most this feature is useless and does nothing to retract from this massive flop. Yet another massive mistake was Microsoft making you check in online once every 24 hours , what about those of us who have work and you know…lives? The more I see about the next generation of Xbox console the more I’m convinced it’s for kids. There’s also a little issue with not being able to utilize the complete memory capacity of your console. That’s sure to piss people off.

Now my final gripe, the real bullet in the back of the Xbox One is the Kinect. I always hated this thing, I’d never use one and I’ve been against this sort of thing since the WII. Even they seem to have stepped up their game while Microsoft stumbled through E3. I’ve seen my girlfriend use her Kinect but she even prefers the PS3 over the Xbox. As far as I’m aware most gamers, casual and hardcore rejected the Kinect and yet Microsoft dump more money into it and make it essential when they could have used that money for better features or whatever, just something to improve the sorry state of their new console. Over than that there’s the issue of privacy, this couldn’t have come at a worse time for Microsoft with the NSA whistle-blower and people realizing their private lives are not so private. A device you can be monitored on being on and connected to the internet at all times could be used to record you. This feature was bound to cause backlash in the first place, the whole NSA thing is just fuel on a fire.

Xbox is done for most gamers, especially adults. There are Xbox fan boys who will stay with Xbox, if you can settle for a sub-par product because of loyalty or stupidity good for you. You might say I’m fan-boying here but that’s not the case. Remember I don’t even own a PS3 yet. I will get a PS4 but I’m going to wait out any issues, plus the PS3 has enough games to keep me busy for a long time.  Talking of issues with the console Sony’s PS3 didn’t have half the issues that were faced by the Xbox due to poor quality materials and manufacture. I’m sure Xbox one owners will be enjoying their red rings for the first six months of their purchase. Another personal gripe of mine is with my favorite game/series Fallout. Fallout has its flaws, it can be a buggy game but I love it, see? I’m willing to forgive flaws and imperfections… Anyway the loading screens for Xbox are amazingly long. I recognize that Fallout is a big game but it seems the Xbox can’t handle it where I’ve seen nowhere near the same amount of problems with Xbox.

I consider this a fair review, maybe you don’t. It just seems to me that Sony is more in-tune with the demands of their user-base than Microsoft, this is evidenced by their replies to the concerns of gamers. Sony seems to care more about its customers. They’ve made their share of mistakes but they’ve always made up for them and settled them with fairness as far as I’m aware. Of the two products and services offered the PS4 and Sony in general are the best choice for someone who likes to game minus the bullshit. Microsoft needs a miracle, it’s a good thing they have the funds they do. A mistake this huge can and has put companies out of business. Hey Microsoft… do try not to turn into Apple because I still love your computers and OS.

Misanthropist.

So they retired MSN messenger…

Posted in Social Media, Technology, The Internet. with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by MISANTHROPIST

MSN MessengerI’ve complained a few times now that MSN messenger is like a graveyard but I’ve also realized that many people still use this service, just nowhere near as many as it used to be. I heard recently that MSN had decided to retire their messenger service and I must admit I was a little saddened by its departure. I remember many a night spent up at gods knows what hour chatting to friends on MSN. Nowadays we’ve moved on to Facebook and many other services but these come at the price of our privacy.

Many people constantly complain about how invasive Facebook can be, yet we ignore readily available forms of communicating with our friends in favor of this newer social media at the price of our privacy. We bitch and complain but do we even know what we want. Surely if you want privacy you can forgo a few useless features like Farmville in order to ensure our entire lives can’t be looked up by a creepy man with a very specific lack of social skills. Is it too much to ask for our privacy?

All remaining MSN users have been pointed toward Skype and making a Skype account. I don’t really have too many complaints about Skype, as good as it is the service will never be as sturdy or reliable as MSN messenger was or maybe I’m just a Luddite who can’t let go of the past. The saddest part of this is that MSN was still pretty widely used and could still run a scaled down service. It’d still work and it would cost Microsoft less to run and maintain. Part of me just thinks that this was about money. I know Microsoft took over Skype and I don’t really care to know much more than that.

I’ve also read Skype is about as good for privacy as Facebook. Honestly this whole MSN retirement feels like attending a funeral of friend, I’m sad to see it go but I’m also concerned about the lack of privacy in the newer generation of social media. Then again there is one way to ignore it all and that is not participating. I’m heading that way with Facebook I’ve come to realize that I can have all of the things that Facebook provides by bringing together multiple programs/services without the price of my privacy.

Myself and many others are going to miss MSN Messenger,
Misanthropist.