Category Archives: IHOS

Two minor user interface choices on VirtualBox

VirtualBox is – as a general user I have to say – a really neat program. A free and open program from Oracle (ex Sun Microsystems) it lets you do virtualization on a reasonably powerful PC with a smooth interface and options. It’s like VMware but free.

I did spot a couple of problems with the interface when I was using it though1.

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How to get rid of the Bluetooth icon from the Action Center in Windows 10

EDIT (August 5, 2016): This post is now obsolete: the “Anniversary update” or version 1607 allows you to individually enable and disable the quick actions, including Bluetooth. Worth noting: Windows now does not even allow the icon on my PC, perhaps recognizing that it is not even present.

EDIT (June 16, 2016): It’s gone again, because I installed the latest cumulative update for Windows 10. Will keep observing.

EDIT (May 8, 2016): This no longer works for me.

In Windows 10, the Action Center contains some “quick action” tiles at the bottom of its flyout panel. One of the common ones is Bluetooth, even if the PC doesn’t support it. This is evidently frustrating to many people.

I found what I think is the answer:

  1. Restart Windows

I know it’s an old joke about Windows that you restart it to get it to work, but I’ve noticed that the unwanted icon shows up whenever I’ve installed a cumulative update from Windows Update… and disappears at the first restart afterwards.

Try it and let me know of your success.

What is that supposed to look like? VPN edition

In Windows 10, the Action Center is a flyout panel with information and common (supposedly) actions that you get by clicking the little message icon in the notification area at the lower right of your screen (lower left if you have an RTL language). A sales-language infused explanation is here on Microsoft’s site for Windows (10).

Down in the lower part of the flyout is a collection of “quick actions” – buttons you can hit to bring up common tools like PC Settings and OneNote. One of the common actions is VPN. Evidently Microsoft is expecting them to become a big thing, but my question is:


What is that swirly icon supposed to be? It looks sortof like the Command key on a Macintosh, or maybe this flag from New Zealand. Nothing about it says “virtual private network” to me, nor would I guess that’s what it meant if it was spotted alone in the user interface somewhere.

SAP is the worst non-custom ATS/HR software I’ve found yet

SAP is one of those “enterprise software” suites that claim to be able to essentially do everything except Email for every kind of organization or firm. You can see this on their website, which doesn’t seem to definitively describe what it does in a single sentence.

My experience with SAP is limited to Iberdrola (A Spanish energy firm) and their use of it as an applicant tracking system (ATS) or in other words HR software. It is terrible for this though, at least as they configured it.

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Bruker “the minispec” software was terrible

Another software rant this time, since my KENPAVE review got so many views.

I worked at a laboratory that had a Bruker “minispec” NMR analyzer. The thing itself was a neat little self-contained non-destructive testing device with HUGE magnets (kindof required) that you would put a test tube into, run a method, and get a result from.

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More out of data browser requirements

While checking out NYSEG‘s website, I clicked on the link on this page to see what browsers were supported. Here’s what I got:


While not as out of date as ITT, this is still dated by several years. IE 6 should be withdrawn, as should all of the versions of Firefox in that range. We’re up to Firefox 40 now, not 3.6.

Nice Gantt chart you have here… pity if someone… tried to read it.

While looking into the current New Zealand flag change question, I found this wannabe Gantt chart, which I think is hideous.

Here are some problems:

  1. And worst, the layout is just plain hard to read. Time is the abscissa, but the ordinate is a bunch of categories with arrows pointing here and there.

1A. The entries on the list do not line up with the categories, making it hard to tell who is doing what.

1B. There are multiple colored arrows, complete with dashes and solids, making it hard to tell how many parallel processes there are.

  1. The thing is mostly made in Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint (I can’t tell which exactly), which isn’t bad, but for some reason, the striped band between 2015 and 2016 is a bitmap and so looks ugly when you get close in.

  2. The colors of the fonts are inexplicable.

  3. “CPG” category has terrible colors and a gradient on each line for some reason!

  4. Overuse of capitals and acronyms. These are a common problem in politiqual work though.

I request that they hire a graphic designer to fix this, or find a bored summer intern (or winter intern since they are down south) to fix this up.

ADP’s broken recruiting wizard; or, what school hands out criminal records?

Automatic Data Processing, or just “ADP”, is a payroll processor that has evidently branched out into things like recruiting and other HR fields. I was applying for a position at a local(ish) engineering firm. Like most companies, they outsource it to a third party party firm (here, ADP) who supplies the front and back ends. The firm supplies the information about the job openings and ADP creates this webpage that then allows people to apply.

For some reason (I don’t know if this is ADP’s fault or the employer) the result is a mess:


(Click to inlarge immage)

First off, note that there are two “4-A” lines. Hopefully in the recording database these are kept separate.

Second, and most important, the logical flow is completely disrupted. Lines “3”, “4-A” (the first one) and “5-A” (also the first one) are entirely out of place. 5-A (do you have a criminal record?) has nothing to do with subsequent “5” questions (what school did you go to?).

It’s not impossible to navigate through, but it really does not make the firm look professional, or even competent.

Send my Transcript to the Canal Zone!

While attempting (successfully) to order a copy of my academical transcript from the college, I found out you could send it to some pretty strange places, including some that would really tick off the USPS:


First of all (though you can’t see it in the image), the field this drop down box fills is named “States”, which is clearly incorrect: 12 out of 21 of these entries are not states at all! There are 9 states, 3 United States territories, the federal district (DC), and one freely associated country (I’m still not sure exactly what that means), and… the Panama Canal Zone! I defy you to get mail sent there. The canal zone was disbanded in the 1970s and completely finished in 1999. Why was this even included in the options when this RDBMS was set up?

Finally, let’s note the most shameful of all: the entries “Conversion”, “Default State”, the two “Do Not Use” (!) and the two “Foreigns”. These are programming features that should not be seen by the end user. Keep in mind this is an application meant to be used by the entire college community, liberal arts majors should not have to ask their (girl/boy)friend in computer science wtf all this means just so they can get a prospective employer an official copy of their academic record.