December 31st, 2004



From an internal staff/job matching system, describing a support role they wish to fill :-

... Operating systems include:Windows 3.11, 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP.

3.11 !!!!! we support clients running that ... still ... how many years ago was that superseded? It's not even year 2000 complient for goodness sake!

*runs away to hide*


I have recently discvered the joys of dual-screen working. I know, it's been available to a greater or lesser extent since Windows NT years ago, but it takes me time to come to terms with these new fangled things ;) The set up I have is a flat screen on a cute little stand to the left of my desk and straight ahead I have my lap-top, screen erect (oh, that does sound rude) on the desk base unit. The screens are set up to be side by side logically and it was no trouble at all to get that working - the laptop is Win XP Pro SP1 (I'm fighting installing SP2 but I know it's a rearguard action).

How does it all work? Well as long as a window isn't maximised you can drag it from screen to screen. When it is maximized it fills the window it is in, and if it straddles both then it pick one for you. You can set up one window across the two screens - I did this when trying to edit a document and needing two views, one of where I was cutting / copying from and one of where I was pasting the new, improved text - but truth to tell it is a lot easier to open two different windows and put each one on a different screen.

Everything seems to start off in the right hand screen, but it remembers where you leave it so it stays there the next time you start it in that configuration (it returns everything to normal if you are running with just the one screen).

There are a few strange "features" in it.

I have outlook set up to open in the left hand screen but all its message boxes and e-mail messages themselves open in the right hand screen. This can be useful as you can see the list of mail whilst reading one but does get confusing when you close the e-mail and keep looking on the same screen.

I have windows explorer set to open on the left hand screen - works fine but if you do a right click, properties the window opens in the right hand screen.

At times, quite rarely thank goodness, the mouse pointer switches between screens! *shrug - just windows I guess*

In general I've been pleased with the ease of setting it up and the reliability of it. The one thing that does keep getting me relates to the fact that I have a third screen to the right of my laptop. This is connected to a client network and has no connection at all with the local network. What tends to happen is that I'll be working on one system and then need to do something on the other so I'll try and move the one mouse pointer across onto the other system - and get frustrated when it gets stuck at a screen edge :) I guess that qualifies for "unreasonable expectations" for the systems.

Right, just chased the local helpdesk about a problem I have accessing a server (DHCP lease expired and won't reconnect) so I'm sure I'll get a call back soon (watches small pink object with curlly tail fly past the window ... oh look there goes another one!)

Peace and may all your technical problems resolve smoothly (if only!)

Tsunami appeal

If any of you are reluctant to give to the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group of UK aid organisations, then you can find web addresses for the individual organisations on the BBC's web site here .

Remember a tsunami disaster isn't just for Christmas - please give, and keep giving, as much as you can over the next few months. If the phone lines are busy then keep trying, you will get through eventually.


[cross-posted to a few places - please feel free to link to it from your own journals if you think it will get any more donations :) ]