Gimme a Cookie

As the geek I am, I often hang around various technical forums. Usually those inhabited by your average Joe, seeking help, than the real tech-heads.

Anyway, I’m often amazed at those people, at the point of paranoia, desperately trying to get rid of cookies from their browsing, as if they’re incredibly unsafe and causing major problems with their computers. One I read recently, was how, after logging out a site, when they return it still shows their username, and asks them to log back in first. They want it to completely forget about them when they log out.

But why? This wasn’t a porn site, or anything the least bit dodgy. If someone found you’d be on this site, it wouldn’t cause the least issue with anyone.

Well it’s the medias fault, it’s got to be. They wip the public into a frenzy over anything and everything that’s actually, well, not really an issue at all. We’re all being spied on, it’s Big Brother , they know what you’re doing… yadda yadda yadda

Which is probably why Google keeps getting a hard time these days. I think these guys are great. But some people just won’t have it – there’s got to be something more sinister going on. So, for example, if you use Gmail (I do – it’s great), their computers scan your mails so that they can target their ads at you more appropriately. That’s how they make their money and can offer you such great services free of charge. Naturally, there are many people who think it’s not that straight and people at Google are actually reading your email. Or sending it onto government agencies.

Me? Well, I don’t have anything they’d be interested in anyway. But lets be honest – any email company could be doing that if they want, including your ISP provided email account.

You could burst a blood vessel worrying about such things and in the big scheme of things it’s not really that important. Google say they’re not evil and, call me a fool, I believe them. And, yes, my browsers are set to accept all cookies.

There are more things in life to get worried about. And believe me, if it can be worried about I probably do…

Blog gone

No Blog yesterday and not much today. Too tired and too stressed.

I did write one just now, having a moan at stupid Flash websites and, visiting the Flash home page for research, it managed to lock up my browser and I lost it all. Which made my point really.

What WILL I Do Tomorrow?

The car is now booked in at the garage for tomorrow. It’s an all day job and I’ll be stranded on some industrial estate in the middle of nowhere. So that should be good for a laugh (no, not really).

I hope they find something, rather than play around all day, charge me some stupid amount of money and then for it to break down again the next day. But then again, what are dealers for?

I’ll report back…

I Hate Cars!

Went to the car park after work…. the car was dead. Bum. Rocked the car in gear and it started. Hurrah. Now I’ve got to get it booked in at the dealer at (probable) great expense. I did take a look under the bonnet when I got home but the picture of my cars started motor didn’t match what Luis thought. But then again nothing under the bonnet matched the picture.

So, assuming Luis was right, I had a careful look. The forums I chatted on suggested that this can also be down to corroded contacts – sure enough it was pretty rusty. So I got a wire brush and gave it a rub. Until I hit another contact at the same time as the other and made my own little firework display. So I gave up on the wire brush and nuked it with WD40. Let’s see if that’s any better in my non-mechanical world.

Anyway, I’m now officially going up in the world as I have… a gardener. Oh yes. I hate gardening so it’s a bit of a tip – now I can have neatly trimmed bushes (steady madam).

And last, but by no means least, I’ve sorted out the Blog – the links have gone down the right side (and how many?) and the labels have been organised.

Another Artiss, please step forward

Sometime late last week (may have been Friday. Or Thursday) I hit upon the idea of looking up my surname in the Skype directory. Found two people with Artiss as a surname so added them into Skype, with the hope that they’d talk. And one has.

Joseph D. Artiss, from Windsor in Canada, Vice President of ArtJen Complexus Holdings Corp.

He’s shed some further light onto our surname. Now, David J Artiss from the US had mentioned to me in the past that he believed the surname came from the Artois family in France. Now, without me saying anything to him about that, here’s Joseph Artiss’ take (with my own comments in red)…

It is our understanding that we were silk merchants in Artois France, although we do try to keep the French part hidden.

As the story goes, we ran amouk [amok?] of the local duke and we escaped to England. My father emigrated to Canada from Petaugh (sw England) when he was 1 year old. He always claimed that the escapees anglosized the name to Artis and in Canada people spelt it with 2 s’s so my grandfather just went with the flow and we became Artiss. I hope that that helps.

At the time being French in England was a really bad thing so I imagine that Anglosizing names was a fairly common thing. I remember when I was 14 my parents took me on a pilgramage to Petaugh (sorry I am not certain of the spelling but I think that it is near Ippswich) [Pettaugh is in Suffolk, which is SE England. But near Ipswich], we found distant cousins there but I can’t remember if they were Artiss’ or not. It may be that they were Gunn’s as my father’s stepsister’s maiden name was Gunn.

The information on the French connection actually came from a book some time ago so I cannot give you the reference. It may be that we are related or it may be that everybody that fled that area were called Artois.

He sounds to be a very busy man, but I must get in contact again to try and find his family details.

..And It's Gone

I only realised today that maybe describing the weekend as “looming” was a bit negative. In fact I meant the opposite – and it’s Monday, which is very, very depressing.

I got a little tipsy Friday night, played a lot of Lego Star Wars and Liberty City Stories. Then Luis broke out a Megadrive that he’d bought that very evening. With Sonic. Bliss.

Saturday I was hungover. And I hadn’t drank THAT much – it’s just been a while since I drank generally. The shed roof idea went to pot. Sunday it rained so the shed didn’t get looked at again. Early Saturday morning, unable to sleep more than 5 hours, I made loads of changes to my various websites. Which then broke them. So 9am on Saturday morning, hungover, I was fixing, desperately, PHP files. Grrr.

One other “fun” thing that happened Friday night was my car breaking down. I drove up to Luis’ house, having promised to take his girlfriend and her friend to a nearby town, we got into the car and… nothing. Lights were on but nothing was at home. The key turned to the sound of nothingness. Not even a click. Embarrassed, my friends found an alternative lift and I rang my Tesco breakdown services. An hour I was told. Good drinking time wasted, but never mind. I tried the car a couple more times and it was just the same. After about 40 minutes it suddenly started. I thought I’d wait for the breakdown guys to appear anyway, in case there was anything they could fix (or at least find to explain what happened). But after 70 minutes, no one was in site. And it was raining. So I rang Tesco and cancelled.

Luis thought my starter motor may have stuck (a suggestion that members of a Renault forum have agreed with). Anyway, I parked my car in a local pub park (my breakdown doesn’t cover me for home starts, which is why I left it about a mile from my house). Saturday morning I picked it up and it’s been fine since.

I have been advised to check the leads and general connectors to the starter motor, though, just in case one is lose. All I need to do now is work out where the damn starter motor is…

Meantime, I spent much of the weekend, instead of fixing shed roofs, playing Lego Star Wars 2. Again. I’m at 60%+ with invulnerability.

Now, will someone remind me to sort out my Blog labels. Oh, and those links at the top of the page. Must do it, must do it…

Other than that, my plan for today is to thoroughly check my websites for any other issues I might have caused.

Another Weekend Looms

It’s Friday and the weekend is looming.

Behind on many jobs that I need to get done around the house, particularly pressing is replacing the felt roof on my shed. It blew off in the summer and I tacked it back. I now have the materials but the shed is in a corner of the garden, with a wall tightly around it. I think the original owners built it and then moved it into place. God only knows how I’m going to get around the roof to get the felt all nailed down.

Anyway, it must be done.

So, sure enough, the weather this weekend is due to be… rainy. As it is right now. Actually, no, right now it’s lashing it down with rain and there’s lightning occasionally flashing through the windows. Pah. Typical. It’s got to be done before the winter, though.

Meantime, my mate Luis has arranged for us to go a-boozing tonight. I hope the hangover isn’t too bad or I won’t get anything done this weekend!

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