Spam

Like, I suppose, everyone who has a site like this, with blogs or forums or guestbooks, there is a lot of spam coming in. If you read my pages, you won’t see any because it is simply removed before it can be published, and the offending IP addresses are banned.

It’s a pain to have to do this, but no big deal.

If you are a human responsible for sending spam to my site, then save yourself the effort. No advertising and no spam here.

Splash

One thing that truly annoys me is when you are using a computer and you load a program, and there is a splash screen. You know, the thing that tells you the program you are using, versions, puts a jolly picture up etc.

It’s when the splash screen takes over most of the screen, stays on top regardless of what you try to do, takes ages to load and you can’t do anything else.

Are you listening Adobe, Pinnacle…?

Web sites

I think it is just about essential for businesses to have a proper web site. Yes, fine, they can have Facebook pages or whatever, but a serious company should have a formal site that provides useful information for any customer wanting to use its services or products.

A restaurant, for example, should have pictures, a sample menu, contact details and opening times, possibly an on-line booking system (this always sways me, given a choice of two, one with and one without), possibly comments from customers (though the only ones are likely to be good and perhaps not 100% representative). The site should reflect the nature of the restaurant and, if there are rules, eg jacket required, it should say so.

Whatever the business is, the information should be accurate and sufficiently detailed. The contact information will have a telephone number and an e-mail address, and if you send them an e-mail, they should respond in a timely manner.

A formal web site does not have to be boring. It should reflect the nature of the business, it should appeal to potential customers. But, at the same time, some care is needed in the presentation. Black writing on a black background is not good, hidden items, broken links, missing pictures etc and spelling mistakes will put potential customers off. Information should be easy to find. Given all the competition about these days, making it hard for a potential customer to get information is not a good plan.

I was disheartened recently to find a pretty well known rock group had announced a tour for 2018, so went to their web site to see if they were coming my way, which is London. This is their official site. Last updated 2009. Really.

Things like a shop or a forum can be a plus, but need someone who will commit to managing it/them. Of course, a shop especially can be a money earner. For musicians, for example, some kind of unique product will sell. I have several signed discs in my collection. On line chat or help can be good (personally I hate ringing companies and being on hold for hours), but the people on the other end need to actually know things and be helpful.

This just seems logical to me. It’s called being business-like, professional. Web sites don’t have to be huge. I have a few sites and one has nearly two hundred pages. It has generated exactly £0 in the 17 years it has been run, but that is not its purpose. As a repository of knowledge on a certain subject, it is pretty exhaustive, either from what I have included or through links to other sites. There is another site I do for someone that is barely five pages and generates thousands each year. It serves its purpose totally and has no gimmicks, mistakes or waffle. People who visit it find what they need and at least one reliable method for getting more help and purchasing the product.

4K

I bought a new tv some time ago. It’s a Sony, and they are all now Android tvs. I have grumbled about it elsewhere: it’s not the set, it’s the Android.

Well, just the other day I managed to complete the second half of the project and bought a 4K bluray player.

Now, since my tv was made, something called HDR (High Dynamic Range) has been implemented on some discs, but I don’t have that obviously.

The player is also Sony, and is a bargain at under £300 in many places. It comes with a free film, and mine had a cable to connect to the tv.

So, I have been looking at a few films, Underworld: Blood Wars, Wonder Woman etc. But the highlight was the original Blade Runner, yes, originally shot on film, which looked spectacular.

Except, some parts are shot on regular 35mm and the effects are on 65mm are are noticeably less grainy.

What 4K does is makes the problems easier to spot.

Hopefully more titles will be available soon. Close Encounters… is coming soon.