Christmas 2012. Some thought we (humanity) would never get this far, yet here we are. Hopefully, your life has changed for the better this past year, and the thought of the birth of our savior has renewed your vigor and given you motivation to tackle another year full of challenges.
Perhaps this has little to do with Christmas, or Jesus, but it does have to do with programming (and that counts for something): if you’re the designer of a mobile website intended to redirect smartphone/tablet users away from the full site, do not – please – create the redirect so that it applies to all subpages as well. Now if I’m searching for info on Google and I find exactly what I want, and I click the link, you’re directing me back to the homepage, giving me no easy way to get to that information which was so tantalizingly close to my fingertips. But at least I’ve got nice big buttons to click because you’ve made it “mobile friendly.” 😡
Now take a look at this beautiful winter scene created by some Google artist. It’s adorable, and I’m a fan of most of the creatures depicted, and they seem to be having a good time. But closer inspection reveals that only the abominable snowman, the android, and one of the penguins are actually participating in the festivities. The other animals are rapt in digital escapism, preferring to reside in a digital alter-universe than to fully experience the joy of the present. Let that be a lesson to you; enjoy spending time together – especially if you’re around a snowy campfire – and put away your phone some this holiday season.
I like Bing. The name isn’t amazing, but the site is beautiful and its features are handy. But ever since it debuted, it has done (at least) one thing wrong…CGHM. Searching for “cghm” on Microsoft’s new search engine yields 7,890 results.
The actual site is not turned up in the top findings. Individual articles are, but the results are hit or miss (for instance, searching “cghm axminster” does not find one of our most popular articles). Currently, the most recent article is on the first page of Bing’s results, and so is HMWorld, but that’s not good enough. Even searching for “cghm.org” does not work…unless quotation marks are included. Then the main page will turn up – it’s even #1, as it should be – but, again, it’s unacceptable to have to be so specific. Even the Center for Genetics in Health and Medicine cracks the first page of the “cghm” results.
There are no such problems when using Google, the de facto standard in web crawling. As much as I would like to use Bing regularly, until they give Compu-Global Hyper Meganet the respect it deserves, I simply cannot.
I have to retract most of my statements about The DSL Service. While it’s still pretty atrocious, most of the connectivity and site timing-out issues we’ve been experiencing for the past couple of months can be attributed to a faulty router. (The faulty modem was real as well, however.) It would seem that the particular router we had been using for years was not the best DHCP server, often encountering issues with IP address assignment and whatnot. The problems were just exacerbated when we introduced more devices to the network, ostensibly doubling the amount of work the poor device had to do.
We’ve replaced the ailing router and all appears to be well. For a while, it felt like the good ole’ AOL days, spending more time waiting for pages than reading them, and then giving up and walking out to do some physical activity or something. I have renewed pity for those still suffering through dial-up, although at least when they’re done waiting, the page is loaded; we just had to hit F5 again and hold our breath…
Over the past week, I’ve had less than two days of reliable Internet access. The DSL Service seemed to sputter out and a replacement modem failed to solve the problem. After a lengthy chat with tech support, they decided that the brand-new replacement modem was defective in a different way. So we are receiving a third modem that will attempt, to the best of its ability, to solve the problem. In the meantime, we’re churning butter, tending the fields, and whistling “Dixie.” And occasionally we’ll watch ESPN.
Actually, there are several things you can do while your Internet is down. Some suggestions:
Create a sand sculpture.
Reorganize your network hub (no Internet required).
Build a fire pit.
Attend a concert (more on this later).
Dethrone a dictator (I have yet to partake in this activity).
The best thing you can do when you have no Internet is to not panic; the world continues to exist, even though you cannot see it. Rest assured more updates are coming as I re-assimilate myself into the web.
Yes, that’s a throughput of over 620 KB per second. And still, it’s not even close to the speeds achievable with FiOS, a technology I will eventually get to experience daily, hopefully.
Now, what do you get when you cross a panda with a koala? A dead fetus, the revocation of your grant(s), and a hefty pile of lawsuits. Not so funny now, is it?
The digital reprinting of Magner’s Farm and Stock Book and Complete Instructor has been temporarily suspended while I return to scholastic pursuits. Look for the next installment in several weeks, at the earliest.