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Things that make you go arghh!

‘I heard that the locals in Derbyshire used to make a paste from woodlice,’ says Monty Wood.
Yes! It’s this week’s sandwich fillings. He fails, however, to suggest how lice are best employed in the world of bread-based lunching, so we leave that as an exercise for the reader.
Which leads us to more practical suggestions, and this week we highlight student food, courtesy of Simon Mountford, at NYK Reefers (which sounds like a student type of company to us). He suggests three sandwiches: mustard on white bread, brown sauce (just brown sauce) and when that gets a bit dull, ‘Weetabix and salad cream. Try it, it’s great.’ Residents of Derbyshire might want to add a few insects.
Meanwhile, in North Yorkshire, 100 jam sandwiches have been hidden in woodland in an attempt to find the pine marten, a rare mammal thought to have been extinct for 100 years. Who came up with this excellent ruse? Biologists at Hull University. The martens should think themselves lucky they didn’t get brown sauce.

October 27, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Out of memory. Delete previous version to make space?

OK, we simply can’t fail to comment – as have most of you, judging by the size of our postbag – about Steve Ballmer advertising Windows in a US TV ad in ‘the late 1970s’.
‘My memory is that Windows 1.0 was released late in 1985,’ says Alan Brindley, among many others. Those cheeky Microsoft boys.
‘I still have a copy of Windows version 1.03 (and no, I don’t still use it), which I bought when it first came out,’ says Kenneth Spencer. They are naughty scamps indeed.
Windows has been with us for only 20 years. It just feels longer.

October 27, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why don’t you just switch off and read Backbytes?

While we’re on the subject of Christmas presents, we’re sorry to be late in spotting this autumn’s new must-have device, the
Created by inventor Mitch Altman, it sells for just £9, and acts as a universal remote – that simply turns off nearly every TV.
Requests for it have threatened to crash his web site. ‘I thought there would just be a trickle, but we are swamped,’ he says.
It works by simply sending about 200 infra red codes that will turn most TVs off (and on again, don’t panic).
‘There’s just so little time in all of our lives,’ says the inventor, which only leaves us to say, thank you for spending so much of it reading Backbytes. It’s so much better for you than watching TV.

October 27, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you just can’t Cope

One of our long-running threads, namely, ‘what I sing when I’m in the office’, contains a pleasant surprise for Ben, at Prospect Mailing.
If you remember, he had taken to singing ‘I hate my life and I want to die’, not because it was an amusing pun on a well-known popular song, but because that’s how his job made him feel.
We can offer some comfort, or more precisely, a tune to sing it to: ‘I think you’ll find that "I hate myself and I want to die" are indeed lyrics; specifically from Queen/Mother by Julian Cope,’ suggests Jason Banyard, at Investmaster.
We assume Prospect Mailing wants can-do achievers in its ranks, and probably dislikes being made fun of in newspaper columns. Our suggestion: Ben should curry favour with the boss by suggesting Mr Cope’s snappy tune as the company song.

October 27, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The end of the Day...

Now that’s resolved, we can suggest another little song for you to sing. Or maybe we should stop this now, as we’re even beginning to irritate ourselves by singing the songs while we type them in.
Mystery contributor ‘Jon Pertwee’ has a colleague, who he describes as a ‘regular Doris Day’ who contributes this excruciating verse: ‘When I was just a little boy/I asked my mother/What will I be?/Will I be handsome?/Will I be rich?/No son, you’ll work in IT…’
We can’t bear to bring you the chorus.

October 27, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thyme to right some poet tree

‘I’m getting tired of songs to sing at work,’ says Terry Davies, who must also be tired of life. Or maybe not.
‘So how about homonym poems to compose at work? The winner would be the poem with the most homonyms that passes the standard Microsoft Word 97, 2000 or XP English spell-checker.’
He encloses a fine example written by Janet E. Byford, entitled An Ode to the Spelling Chequer: ‘Prays the Lord for the spelling chequer/That came with our pea sea!/Mecca mistake and it puts you rite…’ and so on.
We’ll give special credit to the creative use of appropriate regional accents and examples culled from real life. Can you do better? And if you don’t know what a homonym is, luke it up.

October 27, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Caviar attitudes

To continue in our search for the perfect sandwich. Hang on! What are we saying? We continue in our horrified fascination at your disgusting eating habits.
This week, we start with the ‘Scooby Snack’, an unlikely sandwich created at university (where else?) by Chris Fields, at the Independent Review Service.
‘Nearly impossible to eat, but giving you a meal for a week, it consisted of two slices of thick white bread, Supernoodles, tuna, mushrooms, onion rings, lashings of cheap salad cream and the crowning glory, acting as a centre piece of bread and stabiliser: the Kwik Save mini cheese and tomato pizza.’
After that, it’s a relief to see that David Gray, at Thales Joint Systems, is recommending a Christmas favourite for those of you who have to work the holiday season.
‘Bread, cranberry, mature Cheddar cheese, piccalilli, ham, halved silverskin pickled onions, turkey, stuffing, cranberry (again), bread.’
We assume the order is important, perhaps to stop the onions falling out.
And if you’ve ever asked yourself the question: ‘what sort of sandwich would an IT director order for himself?’, ask no more.
‘Reading your alternative sandwich fillings reminded me of an old favourite of my own – caviar and peanut butter on toast,’ says Johnathan Wootton, who is head IT honcho at Nvesta.
‘Evenly spread the peanut butter, then gently add the caviar on top so that it sinks in. It works best with smooth peanut butter so as not to distract from the texture of the caviar,’ he adds – but then you knew that already.

October 20, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rogue elements

And if these delicious recipes weren’t enough to convince you to stick to sausage rolls, then the ingredients list on the prepacked ham, egg mayo and mustard sandwich that Simon Guerrero has just bought might tip the balance. It apparently contains: ‘Mustard, smooth, Ham, premium, Eggs, chicken, boiled, Mayonnaise.’

October 20, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Off track

More advice on how to come to terms with the annoying habits of mobile phone users on trains.
Greg Evans, at Velindre NHS Trust in Cardiff, has the sort of helpful idea that car drivers tend to offer in these situations.
‘Not being a regular train traveller myself, I’m probably not best placed to offer advice, but surely the best solution for avoiding noisy, irritating people on trains is to travel in one of the empty carriages?’ he says – still charmingly under the impression that empty carriages still exist after 6am and before 11pm.

October 20, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Extreme bridge, anyone?

If anyone from Serif Software invites you to a game of bridge, be sure to wear some padding. Alan Kimmitt, at Unisys, forwards an email from the company offering him the chance to buy The Times Bridge for only £9.95.
‘This PC version is sure to keep you occupied for hours!’ it says, but then continues: ‘Includes a beginners’ and experts’ bidding system… Saves unfinished games to come back to later... Uses real Newtonian physics for realistic ball collision, side, swerve and backspin.’

October 20, 2004 in backbytes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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