About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

23 August 2008

Movie: Goya's Ghosts

Francisco Goya is a famous painter, who lived in the late 1700s, and apart from painting portraits of famous people and murals on churches (as other famous artists did) - he was also well known for his portrayal of dark fantasy - of demons, hell and disturbing scenes of war and life of the times.

The opening scene of the movie, where the leaders of the Spannish Inquisition are examining his prints, one of the leading characters makes a comment that Goya is merely potraying the world as it is out there, and it is the Church's duty to cure the world, and not punish Goya for potraying the truth.

I thought, that would have set the tone of the story - given an examination/plausible theories of the stories behind the paintings. However, the movie instead meanders through the life of a rich devout merchant, his devout daughter, the corrupt church and priests and the general unfairness of life.

While maybe the general unfairness is Goya's ghosts, but I think the movie could have been much better - and had more sturcture. And, I wish it did not take so much artistic license in historical accounts and settings.

22 August 2008

Problem Solving, or the lack thereof

A few weeks ago, a colleague commented that modern day tech support do not really know how to problem solve - they have just one solution; rebuild the machine. He had been having some problems with his laptop, and that is the solution tech support came up with. I share his frustration after this week ...

I have had intermittent problems with my cellphone since last weekend, and it died on Tuesday afternoon. I was in Cape Town, and had left my charger back in Johannesburg - so I did not think too much of it. When I recharged the phone on Wednesday night, it seemed to work fine; but on Thursday morning, the phone packed up (and started dropping signal an hour or so before that). Nashua Mobile, my service provider - had a solution as soon as I walked in - the cellphone equivalent of rebuilding machines - reinstall the phone software.

After 45 minutes, the phone seemed to work again - only for it to pack up again around 4pm. So, I did my own quick investigation (something I should have done on Wednesday night I suppose); and deduced that I had a faulty sim card. When I went back to Nashua Mobile today (Friday), and explained that reinstalling the software did not help, the guy suggested a new sim card - did not even test out the real problem!

Anyway, the new sim card seems to work fine, and I haven't had any dropped signals or frozen cellphone operating systems. But surely, a check list of remediation is the least efficient way to fix problems - finding the cause of the problem should come first!