Roman Sandals

November 22, 2007

C: Drive

Filed under: musing, technology — Craig Lawton @ 4:08 pm

I just had a thought. I should really back-up my work laptop. I should back-up my C: drive. I fired up the XP Backup tool.

Even plebs know what a C: drive is! But why is it so? Surely, it should be the A: drive if it’s that important. But no, the A: drive was originally assigned for a floppy disk, and I think the B: drive was for a secondary floppy disk from memory. But nobody has floppy disk drives anymore!

As if reading my mind, the XP Backup tool told me that after creating the back-up file it would ask me for a floppy to create a boot disk. Of course, you’d think it’d check to see if I had a floppy drive before asking. I don’t.

Interestingly, Wikipedia lists all the Operating Systems that use drive letter assignment. It reads like one of those Human Rights Watch charts, one which lists the countries that kill more of their own citizens than others: (more…)

November 15, 2007

Random Numbers and Pokies

Filed under: social, technology — Craig Lawton @ 2:09 pm

Australians love pokies. The Productivity Commission found in 1999 that we have 21% of the world’s machines in our pubs and clubs.

Somewhere in the dim, distant past poker machines became very much like computers. Somewhere even dimmer and further back in time, I was taught that computers were really bodgy at coming up with random numbers. Indeed they can only come up with pseudo-random numbers.

Gambling venues today prefer the decidedly “pseudo-name” of gaming venues, and maybe for good reason. A device that can guarantee a particular financial return, typically set at 75%-85%, isn’t taking chances. There is negligible risk to the house.
It doesn’t sound random to me. It doesn’t sound like gambling.

Some people may call it entertainment; some people may call it robbery.

November 14, 2007

Offshore destinations.

Filed under: management, technology — Craig Lawton @ 7:29 am

Nobody ever asks about the technical – or quality – benefits of offshoring. The financial benefits are obvious. There are two aspects to any business “benefit”: reduced cost and/or improved service. But the best you can hope for when offshoring is similar quality. Nobody cites better quality as a reason for offshoring. Business processes don’t improve or get re-engineered when the real business is half a planet away. I’ve worked in businesses where two groups separated by little more than a 40 minute drive, have come to despise each other. These particular relationships were not confused by language, culture and wage-worthiness issues.

Offshoring is mostly MBA-hyped wankery. That is, it’s real, but completed oversold, and not based in the real world. A fad. A blunt instrument.

Offshoring simple processes gives a similar (hopefully) result at a lower price; offshoring more complex ones is difficult and frequently gives you a worse outcome, and an outcome which is unlikely to be improved upon over time. But it will be cheaper. (more…)

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