Don Burnside

Recipes, technology, personal stuff and a crap load of archives.

It’s the 21st Century. Welcome.

Working a help desk for the past almost year has been a very interesting experience. Ignore what I have said for a minute and understand that it has been an interesting experience.

It has reminded me that people, still, are afraid of computers. It has also reminded me that, still, people expect to have their hand held 200% of the time when they are using computers. And here I am, thinking it is the 21st Century, when in fact, you are acting like you just got Windows 95 for the first time.
Continue reading “It’s the 21st Century. Welcome.”

The Problem with GoDaddy

Oh boy is the internet pissed at Godaddy this week! Turns out they supported SOPA (which they later changed their mind about). That was reason enough for quite a few folks to start pulling their domains and move them to different registrars. I know I did, but not because they supported SOPA. More like, that’s the straw that broke the camels back.

I’m transferring domains away from GoDaddy as fast as my checkbook will allow. I only have 8 or so left with them, and I hope to have them transferred to Hover by the end of January. This is a process I started earlier this year after Bob Parsons came home from Africa after spending some quality time shooting elephants. But that’s only part of why I’m moving my domains.

Another part is their famously awful user interface. Or the fact that they are the worst WordPress host. Or the fact that when trying to check out when purchasing **anything** you have to click through 10 different pages offering upgrades, magazine subscriptions and ginsu knives. But, like the other reasons, this is just a part of why I’m transferring away.

If we take a second to look at the graphic at the top of this post. That is a screen shot from my Gmail account. Please note the date stamps on each line. If you want to know why I’m transferring away from GoDaddy, it’s because they are practicing email spammers and there is no way to make it stop that I can find.

Buy a domain? 2 emails. plus the weekly “buy more domains” email. Have a domain? 9 months before it expires they start sending reminder emails to renew. As the date draws closer, the frequency of the emails increases until you are getting 2 per day (per domain). Once the expiration date has passed, they continue to send emails at the rate of not less than 1 per day per domain. And there is no way to make them stop.

Worse part is when you don’t want a domain name any more. I let about 10 go this year that I will never do anything with (or my customers won’t be using). And the damn emails never stop. It’s truly rediculous.

So, if the emails won’t stop, if the UI won’t change and if the check-out process won’t stop pushing ultra high security email and faxing from my rotary phone, then I’m out.

And now you know
The rest of the story.

Dear HP Printer Division

I’m having a pretty good week so far if I can be so bold. Nice and busy, but not crazy busy. Just about perfect. Perfect except for 1 thing. It may seem minor to some of you, but it is making me absolutely batshit crazy.

Everyone one of my customers this week have had printer problems. Every one of the printers was an HP. And every one of them took me no less than 2 hours to complete if it would even complete at all.

Whiskey tango foxtrot, over?

Let’s start with the size of the **basic driver** download for a PC (Windows, all versions, all bits). For most of these downloads the file size was a compressed 205MB or larger. I had 2 of these drivers, uncompressed, that weighed in at 1.5GB. **Gigabytes** people. For **basic** drivers.

Next up was the installation. On a brand new and fairly buff Windows 7 machine, one of those drivers took almost 8 minutes to install and required a reboot. The longest of the printer driver installs was 45 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly. Almost 1 hour to install a printer. Sure it was XP. Sure it was a Celeron processor. Sure it only had 1GB of shared RAM. Is that an excuse? When I can install video drivers on that same machine in less than 5 minutes? No, it’s not.

Maybe I’m too old school in my thinking. I remember when a driver was nothing more than a few .inf files, maybe a .dll or two. Fit on a floppy disk and installed in just a few minutes. I guess that is no longer the case. Or, probably more like it, HP is getting lazy and/or Microsoft is making them include a but of crap that isn’t even needed but they think it is.

If you are looking for what the problem with Windows is gang, just look at the printer division of HP. Bloated software that performs poorly and clogs the system with files and features that aren’t needed or required.

I know I am repeating myself, but printers are nothing but a waste of time, energy and money. I went paperless a few years ago on **everything** that doesn’t require my signature, perhaps you should encourage your users to start doing the same thing.

Dear Everyone

This one is dedicated to every HR person, every over thinker, every person that fancied themselves, at one time or another, a designer.

Or to the web developers that have never heard of a Mac, a browser other than Internet Explorer and still think Front page is a cool thing to use.

Or to the architects. Wherever you are.

Please take a minute the next time you create something that one of your customers, potential employees or anyone in the general public could possibly interact with and let someone else look at it before you pull the trigger making it live.


You HR people. I understand there are rules and that you need a ton of information when an applicant applies for a job. I do. How about making the process _make sense_? How about paying a designer with some idea of user experience planning to design the forms for you? How about a little beta testing to make sure that the forms work?

You that build large corporate websites used for support and to serve customers other important information (, I’m looking directly at you). Why not follow the links you create to make sure they go somewhere? Again, beta test that cool new feature of the site to make sure it works before rolling it out to the general public. And, hey? Why not take a few minutes to add a little consistency to your entire web presence?

Finally, you architects. I realize that you don’t always get to see your projects to completion. Still, why not visit a property you designed to make sure ‘it works’ correctly and things are easy to get to and find. Essentially, test the navigation. See how fucked up it is and take **that** back to your drawing table to make things better. Make sure to account for trees and parking structures if they aren’t already in place.

Through the course of each and every one of my days I’m constantly coming across things that could have be fantastically awesome if only someone would have taken a little bit of extra time and planning to make sure it worked correctly. To make sure the navigation was consistent. To ensure that it looked cool, no matter how it was viewed.

I’m less than a genius. I’m also the first person to admit that I’m not always the smartest person in the room. But I do know how stuff should work. Sometimes I can even do something about the stuff that _you_ made to make it work the way it should.

Anyway, I would really appreciate it and owe you a solid if you could do something to help me out here. Just stop making things that suck.

You rule, as always!



The Problem with BitTorrent

We discussed this back in ’06 and I am here to say that BitTorrent is still not useful. Back then I said,

>For bittorrent to be useful, there has to more than a few users with fast connections. If you try to download something that is only shared by a few users, the download will take forever. Same goes if any of the users sharing are doing so over a dial up connection.

As you can see from the graphic above, I’ve almost got the complete download. .01GB is all that’s left and it’s gone caput. It’s been running like this for almost 24 hours and nobody out there has that last bit I need to complete the download.

We can only hope for the day when bandwidth and storage is so cheap that this kind of thing won’t even be necessary. I’m not saying BitTorrent is bad, but if it’s something that might be a little older or not very popular, it’s just not the way to go.