Tuesday 30 November 2010

The UK Insurers MarkerStrudy Group are a shower of useless prats

68 Days ago I was knocked off my motorcycle at a junction by a car driver who managed to have his eyes closed. He must have because (a) I wasn't moving (b) I am a largish chap on a largish bike and (c) he was driving on the wrong side of the road.

Once discharged from hospital I phoned my insurer (Equity Red Star) and reported the accident gave them all the details and they had a form with me the following day less than 24 hour later. Because my statement and the police accident report absolved me of any blame they recorded the details of my claim and because I was Third Party Fire and Theft insured and not fully comprehensive yet had legal cover got me in contact with a solictor.

One week after the accident my solictor had been given all the relevant paper work by me, the doctors and the bike's mechanic. I was ready to start the process of getting back on the road.

However The MarketStudyGroup who were the insurers of the driver that hit me have a policy they will take no phone calls or emails about claims you MUST connect with them via snail mail. This was duely done, and done again , and done again.

Not a f**king peep out of them, no loss adjustor to see the wreckage of bike, helmet, jacket, trousers and phone. No request for my medical records or interest in the 3 times a week trip to the medical center to get my leg wound dressed. Nothing. Nada, Zip not a fecking sausage.

Then my Solictor sent them a sternly worded letter threatening court action, not to get them to process my claim the action was JUST to get them to respond to his requests.

Then today 68 days after the accident over two months later I get a form from them in the post!

68 Days? 68 Days?

It does not take 68 days to stick 3 pieces of paper in an envelope, address it and stick it in the post.
It does not take 68 days to correctly administer a process that takes around 2 minutes and thats if you write slowly with a crayon and are not to clever with your letters.

To add insult to injury the covering letter says
"[we] will endeavour to settle this claim quickly without the need for expensive court action"
emblassoned on the cover.

Sorry Markerstudy Group you do NOT! You make the slightest effort to get off your arse and post a form into a labour of Hercules. Your endevaours to date make continental drift seem brisk.

If you are a UK driver and are thinking of insuring with the Markerstudy Group PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reconsider as it seems they really could not be arsed doing anything other than taking your money and laughing all the way to the bank!


Thursday 25 November 2010

Generating a Random number on an iSeries in CL

This i have to admit is very very esoteric and even the iSeries Geeks out there may not be that interested however if you ever need to get a Random Number in CLP or RPG on an iSeries here is a way to do it.

Neither CLP nor RPG has a Pseudo Random Number generator built in, so we have to kludge it to get it to work. You can link the QLEMF C library and use the CERNAN0 api which is the method I found when I went and Googled it the other day.

The other way which I didnt find is to use the QSH shell to do it. This method generates a random number between 0 - 32767 inside the QSH shell env and then stores the result in a DTAARA so that the calling program can access the value, as there in no native way to return vars from QSH environment

02. Insert the following code into your PGM

CHGVAR VAR(&CMD) VALUE('print $RANDOM|datarea -lw MYRAND')

The Print $RANDOM generates the random number

The | separates the two commands

The datarea -lw  MYRAND takes the random number and stores it in the DTAARA


Wednesday 24 November 2010

The Yellow Bitchiness Quotient Analytics begin

Given the great brewhaha re bitchiness in the Yellowverse and being of a scientific mind I have spent a considerable number of McDonut CPU cycles analysing and cogitating over how some sensible base metrics can be achieved so that a decent, fair and equible "pointage" system may be applied.

Using my not inconsiderable skills and the rather lovely HTML Canvas (excanvas for IE* users) object I have managed to combine multiple RSS streams, Planetlotus, Twitter, Facebook and applied some Bayesian tricks I learned from Spam Filtering and come up with the AYB (ambient Yellowverse Bitchiness) gauge you can see to the left.

Hopefully over the next weeks and months we can get some baseline figures together, form an operational committee and start allocating Points as an when required. .... I will need a period of extreme bitchiness for the next couple of days to get a decent calibration. So do feel free to be as Bitchy as you like.

If anyone would like a copy of the widget please do let me know

Monday 15 November 2010

The ILUG Paradox

Well it is over for another 2 years!
I can say without fear of contradiction that I am totally knackered but smiling from ear to ear.
ILUG does that to me, always has and with a bit of luck and professional planning and 12th level black belt ninja clipboarding always will.

Once again it was my honour to be a "green shirt" although the better half the ever lovely and patient Val does posit that green is not my colour ;-). I have now been "in" on an the preparations for UKLUG09 and an ILUG10 and I can say that even the months of oraginising are achieved with smiles and the best sort of professional fun ... (and the occasional chorus of the Tigger Song and endless height gags) With this sort of preparation what else would the final product be but fun.

ILUG is about having your blue touch paper lit so that you can go back to work and have the bravery to take the next step into a new skill knowing there are people out there that have done it and to whom you can reach out to when you stumble.

ILUG is about learning that you are not alone in your cubicle. There is a worldwide community of real people out there all doing the same thing as you.

ILUG is about being involved in something that is bigger than any one of us, the greater Domino Community (yes even admins)

Others have mentioned the sterling efforts of Paul, Eileen, Warren, Kitty, Gab, Rob, Tom, Tim, Matt ,Kerr, Bill, Mike, Julian and Coatsie so I will say nowt other than without all the efforts of these stalwart souls ILUG would be a different beast ... well done all of you!

The sponsors - well this year more than most now money is tight, you came through again and paid for the event - major major kudos to you all !!!

The speakers - a fine bunch of lads and lassies briming to overflowing with enthusiasm, wit and charm sharing their expertise for free, you all rock!

The venue - who put up with some strange end of day activities and odd requests.

However ILUG wouldn't work with out all you and there lies the paradox. No matter how we fiddled ,futtered, pimped and preened to get the "perfect" conference, if you the attendees did not come ILUG would shrivel and die very quickly

In our hectic, fast-paced, tech-driven society, it's common to feel overwhelmed, isolated and alone. I hope that you all re-discover the healing and empowering role that our wee community can bring to your lives. The sense of belonging I feel when I interact with the Domino community gives me a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in my professional life. So , both as an minor helper in the ILUG team and as an attendee, to all the friends old and new that make up the wider Domino community THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH! :-)

Now ... Monlezgetblootered ;-)

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