Sunday, June 11, 2006

Click Go the Shears Boy / Click Click Click *its lateral…think about it... I'm not telling..

Some things I’ve learnt in recent days:

  1. I should’ve bought a manual for FrontPage a long time ago. My web pages have been a dog’s breakfast for years because I blindly decided to teach myself web design by, foolishly, seat of the pants, instinct. Arrogance I guess it is. I taught myself the ins and outs of a computer decades ago, writing BASIC bits and pieces in the mid eighties, dismantling countless boxes, and I’ve been reasonably Windows literate since about 1989. I’ve had internet access (via Auckland University) since the early nineties and remember the arrival of HTML and Mosaic well. I can find my way around generations of CorelDraw &, Photoshop and the registry really doesn’t frighten me. So I really just jumped in some years back. My earlier web stuff was done in Netscape’s very rough Composer, then first editions of FrontPage, which was a shitty program (and that is a generous description). A couple or three years back I went across to Dreamweaver and it all got very messy. Last year I went back to FrontPage and it started getting very confused. Half a page would be done with Dreamweaver, half with FP and it would all look fine before I published. Layers, how the fuck do they work..there is nothing in the appalling help or MS’s inadequate online help. Sadly I was oblivious to the cascading conflicting disaster visible to anyone who looked online. Last month I went to a page and found that it was a visual nightmare and had been for ages. So now I have a book…I’m up to page nine and I’ve learnt about the tab viewer and a bunch of other very basic things….here I come.
  2. I haven’t learnt anything. I’m teaching myself Bahasa Indonesia right now…a tutor…nah, who needs it. Watch me walk into a panel beater and tell them my car has a green testicle…..
  3. I’ve learnt not to listen to Brigid at three in the morning waking me to tell me that the tap in the outside, Indonesian styled, bathroom is broken and our pump was working on overdrive and was a) likely to break down due to over exertion, and b) our well would likely be drained by morning. After getting up, allowing the dogs to get out and listening to them joining a chorus at the gate with all the local anjing kampong I realised that there was little that could be done to fix a washer or whatever it was in the middle of the night. I went back to bed but the howls from the street and the roosters from the compound next door, that joined in conspired to keep me awake until dawn broke. I found in the morning, of course, or at least I was told, that there was nothing wrong with the tap that a quick turn wouldn’t fix….joy…
  4. Sometimes I feel so completely useless in Indonesia. I had to put air in a tyre and had to ask where….Gustu pointed to the air compressor across the road in the workshop…..smiled and walked away. He’s a good lad though….
  5. Bad service is a universal thing. I moved the aforementioned web pages from Ihug to in the US of A (to make it easier for the NSA to keep track of my subversive thoughts)(and because they are cheaper and faster) and after going in who are the registrar and pointing the DNS in the right direction (something that I’ve done many times before…its not tricky) waited the required few hours before I realised that the whole lot had disappeared from the web. Jaguarpc had the files and all was correct there but still showed Ihug as the server and typing into Firefox came back with a no such domain result. I rechecked the repointed the DNS on Domainz to Jaguarpc, but nothing. Frantic emails to their support got no reply and a toll call to their support number went unanswered. The best part of a week went by and I emailed some five times, getting no reply and getting more and more annoyed, until on the sixth day I received a quick one liner saying there had been an error and it was now fixed, as it was. But no explanation and no apology. Hopeless. I wonder if my snarly, vaguely irrational, email to their corporate head office in Melbourne that day made any difference….
  6. I’ve learnt that the countless blown bulbs in the traffic signals in Bali are not a problem. I used to get irritated by the fact that many many of the lights at the intersections on the island simply don’t go. In many instances all three colours have blown but in almost every intersection at least one bulb in each direction is dead. This has nothing to do with electrics, but more to do with the fact that the bulbs have blown and nobody seems to be assigned to changing them, or if they are, they don’t really bother. It used to drive me crazy especially as it was such an easily resolved problem. Now, however, I’ve learnt that I sit until the two dozen motorcycles behind me start barking out with their horns, indicating that they know that the light is green, or would be if there was one. Or, I take a punt and move forward anyone. Generally the traffic will make way and I’ll find out I’m wrong when a policeman pulls me over and threatens, unless RP50,000 slips out of my wallet into his, with charging me with going through a red light. The argument that there was no light, red, green or otherwise (the red lights often show orange here just to confuse) is irrelevant.

No comments: