Enough compliments. It's time

August 23, 2002

Enough compliments. It’s time to make some disparaging

I’m developing a new three-step escalating system
for dealing with problems. I call it the Razor List. It goes like

  1. Ockham.
  2. Hanlon.
  3. Straight.

Some of you might not be familiar with them. In the first
case, Sir William of Ockham, also spelt “Occam”, stated a
principle that’s also known as the “Law of Economy”; that
entities are not to be multiplied without necessity. Basically,
if there are two possible explanations for something, then
the simpler one is more likely to be correct. The second, Hanlon’s Razor, is equally succinct: never
attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by

The straight razor is just that.

Apply in increasing order until clarity is achieved.

It hasn’t gotten to that stage yet, though I feel that I have come
close a few times this week.

  • The customer service at Bell Mobility‘s “Cellular One” stores, as well
    as at RIM, is bad
    enough that I will never, ever personally own a Blackberry. When
    you send something in to get the part fixed, and they ask you if you
    want to get a trivial cosmetic defect fixed as well, replying “no”
    to the latter does not imply that you want it sent back broken. That
    charming little exchange took a month to complete, with the device
    obviously returning to us still-borked. This is unacceptable. I’ve
    been told that somebody at RIM will “expedite” the second attempt
    at fixing the little knob on the side of the thing, but nobody will
    promise that “expedite” means anything other than “our thoughts
    are with you, God bless” for another full month. It has one
    moving part
    , chrissakes, and that’s the broken bit. How can
    that possibly take a month to fix?

  • One of my users, today, tried to install some drivers for
    a trackball onto his Win2k machine. Not only did it knock over
    the entire machine, but it knocked it over so thoroughly that
    you could not successfully boot to any of the provided options,
    and the “recover” functionality didn’t do a damn thing. Who lets
    a bad mouse driver frag an entire OS, to the point that you can’t
    even dig out a working command line?

  • Yesterday, our phone system fell over (many thanks to Shaver
    for a perfect euphemism) and hit its head, hard. The cause of this
    “falling-over-hard” was determined to be a new receptionist, who
    punched a button that would have done exactly what she wanted it to
    do, on an older version of the same system. She might well catch hell
    for this, but this is not her fault. If GM had created a car that
    set itself on fire and navigated itself over the nearest escarpment
    when mishandled, nobody would be saying “Well, of course
    you’re not supposed to turn the radio on before starting
    the car.” Way to go, Mitel. You get a gold star.

I’ve got it on good
that there ain’t no party like a west coast party,
’cause a west coast party don’t stop. The best we can do here in
the Ottawa Valley is to have some of that buck-wildness flown in,
and that’s what’s goin’ down at the Hoye Household right now –
my sister’s getting married this weekend, and the entire west-coast
clan has flown out to get both down and funky for the occasion. Word,
I say. Word.

That’s probably going to be one of the high points of my week,
the other being that I get to see my girlfriend more than once
in a seven-day period, our average being much, much lower than
that. Those of you who know her know that she’s something of
an anti-Mike, being hard-working, intelligent, pretty and shy,
all of which are a constant source of wonder. She smells nice,

Those oft-promised scans are on the way – SCSI problems abound,
but they will soon be defeated. Fear me, SCSI, for I will terminate
thy chain and in doing so, bind you to my will!