Skip to main content
Nil Desperandum or Something Similar

I should have written a Computer Weekly column today but found myself putting it of until the evening.

Normally these things are reasonably spontaneous but tonight I can’t find a single creative thought, which is unusual but also might imply that there’s very little happening of real interest this week, beyond the possibility that the EU might ban Windows in Europe, which I can’t take seriously.

Is the Windows Media Player a product or a feature? You tell me. One is inextricably bound into Windows, like Internet Explorer and the other can be added and detached at will. Personally, I don’t really care, I rather like the Media Player and loathe the Real Player alternative which attaches itself to your system like an unwelcome parasite if you aren’t careful.

Does anybody else really care? The regulators and Microsoft’s rivals, I’m sure but for the rest of us, if it works well under Windows, that’s just dandy and it could be naïve if you listen to the argument presented by the anti=Microsoft faction.



I drove past the US Embassy yesterday morning as I took my daughter to Hamley’s, London’s biggest toy store, perched on the back of my motorcycle.

“Why are all those policeman carrying guns”, she asked, as we cruised through the concrete barriers being laid in Grosvenor Square. “They are hoping to arrest the President of the United States”, I replied, “But I might be wrong”.

It’s hard to explain Windows and warfare, Penguins, big-oil interest and globalism to an eight year old when you are driving a motorcycle through central London. Only black cabbies can do that and they never look where they are going anyway.

As for the consequences of a war in Iraq, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…