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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 25 June 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: Christopher Cookson
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Political Party web sites

Bruce did you have audio turned on when you visited the
progressive coalition site?

I wonder whether they've been good little boys and grrls
and paid their royalties for use of the "Mission
Impossible" theme as a midi file on their site?

Oh, and I did a check of the source code, and the file is
actually linked from someone else's site (www.integrityoptions.com)
which actually doesn't look like it has much to do with integrity at
all. One think to link to someone else's page but another thing to
link to their content, so it is directly embedded in your page and
they get the traffic, but no credit! Oh, btw, the layout of National's
site is broken, or at least very wierd in Opera, also very slow.

Even at my 1152x864 resolution, I get mostly a blank blue page, with
the content way further down. Do National really want to get across the
message "we're a bit blank space"?

Aardvark Responds:
Well spotted!  I guess I should leave the MIDI channel on my PC
unmuted eh? It appears very much as if you're right about Jimbo's
party stealing content and bandwidth from someone else's website,
they've taken that MI theme from this selection.

Jim's credibility shot to hell and back again -- so what's new? :)

From: Andrew McGhie
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Ministry Of Education


My company is attempting to give some unused pcs to the
local schools. They are PII 233 with 32 or 64 mb and
several laptops, mmx 64mb ram. These are about the lower
end of machines we are still using for business. All of
them have told me that they have the operating system
available through the ministry of education. I wasn't
listeneing very closely but they were saying that the
ministry had paid $80 million for the privelege, but only
windows xp and office 2000 were available. Do you know
anything about this? It basically means that these machines
are no good to them all though I have been offering Linux
with installation free of charge (either Red Hat or
Mandrake). Did anyone tell the ministry the hardware
requirements for them to use this software? Also the
disadvantage of being tied into the operating system ie if
they want it for training they will not be able to change
the hardware?

Totally p****d off

Very glad you're still around :)

From: Bahu
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: re: Ministry of Education

It's called the Microsoft Schools Agreement and it is a $65
per PC licence that enables the school to use:

MS Windows (All versions)
MS Office XP for PC and Mac
MS FrontPage
MS Publisher
and a few other apps.

Only available to schools and they have to sign up to it,
they don't get it automatically. They still have a choice.

From: Stuart Young
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Wee response from the Greens

Thank you once more for your criticism. It would be nice if
your criticism was more constructive and less harsh but
never mind.

Anyway, I just wanted to clear up a couple of points.
Firstly the Greens website is produced entirely by
overworked volunteers and any failings are due to that

Yes, despite our preference for OSS, the main greens site
does still use ASP and is hosted using IIS, however it will
be ported to PHP and use Apache after the election - when
we have time.

The new www.votegreen.org.nz does use OSS and this is what
the press release referred to.

Secondly in reference to your May 20th column on email
subscription, yes we are aware that the email newsletter
subscription system on the main greens.org.nz site is poor,
but please we are only volunteers and there are so many
other tasks to work on. This will also be fixed after the

I hope you have noted that the email subscription form on
the new votegreen.org.nz site is a double opt-in system as
you recommend.

Yours sincerely,
Stuart Young, Green Party webmaster

From: Bill Keesing
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Xtras' "help" desk

I am not suprised that you have people ringing up about
Xtras' helpdesk. I worked in the ISP industry up until Jan
last year and I heard a large number of stories about them.
The people that I spoke to invariably found they did not
get the service they expected to get from Xtra, although it
could be argued they got value for money from Xtras'
helpdesk. I also had chance on more than one occasion to
contact the Xtra helpdesk on behalf of a customer and was
less than impressed. One of my even told me that the number
24 in relation to their helpdesk meant that it took 24
hours from the time you start the call to the time the call
is answered. But I, of course, cannot comment.


From: mEMe
For : Right Of Reply (for publication)
Subj: Getting it right the first time, but oh... :o(

In response to the wee excuses of Stuart Young, Green Party

My immediate thought was - do right first time the Greens'
E-Form to Editors, or just don't do it at all, especially
after I said as much to Lynne, the American over here
showing how things are done over at "her" place, election

Well, last week between Bruce's original editorial on this
matter and the E-F2E launch, with Bruce's permission I
tabled his opinion piece at a Greens public meeting.

My particular concerns, echoing some of Bruce's were -

1. the apparent helter skelter haste to get the
mechanism "out" there, regardless of whether safeguards and
misuse and abuse monitoring were in place. Often steady as
she goes, avoids one being on the leading and bleeding edge.

2. imho E-F2Es smack of haste and insincerity.

3. the Kiwi and American ways are different and let's keep
it that way, while I'm not suggesting that one is better
than the other. They're simply different for various
reasons, historical, etc etc...

4. I stressed to Lynne that my approaching her publically
on this issue was part and parcel of the process to get it
right first time! Instead we get the goof-up in the drop-
down box. It's elementary that the top line should "force"
the user to choose from the list below and not
automatically default to top of the list, Auckland
Magazine... :o(

From: mEMe
For : Right Of Reply (for publication)
Subj: Oops Bruce, you beat me to the punch... ;o)

I've just seen the required change to the E-FE drop-down
list. Spot on there Bruce with the good free advice! And
listen Lynne, slow down a little please, as it can't be too
healthy for you?

Btw and fwiw I'm a paid up member of the Greens, and I was
simply trying to get them to listen AND get it right the
first time, thereby avoiding any eggs!
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