Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category.

Sir, can I see your card and registration?

I just found out that the people we’re renting our new apartment from, Vesterbo, insist that we apply to be allowed to install our new combined washing/drying machine and the dish washer. We’re not allowed to connect them until the permit arrives, and of course they couldn’t tell us when that would be. How stupid is that?!

I tried asking them for a reason why we couldn’t just connect the machines right away, considering that the woman who lived there until now had all the same machines as we with to connect. But no reason was given. The woman I argued with could only offer an analogy, she said it’s like when you have a driving license: you’re also not allowed to drive without carrying it with you. But that’s not a reason! That is just side-stepping the question…

Arghh, I have such rules that make no sense to me and where I cannot get a reasonable answer!

All in all I must say that I’m rather unimpressed by these organizations that administrate the apartments in this town. We’re currently with Fagbo, and there we’ve been waiting over a week to have the light replaced in our bathroom (it blinks like mad, so you either have to shower with the light off, or suffer a headache when you get out…). It’s been like this every time we have asked the janitor for something — the round-trip time is at least a week.

At least the packing is going forward — Stéphanie and I packed most of our books and all our DVDs and CDs yesterday.

Meeting the Enemy

Everybody must pay the media fee! Yesterday Stéphanie and I had an unpleasant visitor: the License Fee Guy — or whatever you want to call what we call “licensmanden” in Danish…

Since January 1st you have to pay media license fee if you have a computer that can access whatever strange stuff DR decides to put online… and yesterday one of the controllers came by and asked us if we had a TV or a computer. Well, what kind of a stupid question is that to ask people in a building with only young people?! Of course we have a computer — we have two, not counting the two laptops we’ve ended up with!

Luckily the fee is per household, so we “only” have to pay the 2,150 DKK one time and not four… :-/

For 2,000 DKK (about 350 US$) we could have made a small vacation or something similar. Now we have to pay for a service which we don’t really use. I’ve never seen anything of interest on the DR homepage (except their radio shows and I would gladly pay the 320 DKK they cost in annual fees). We also hardly ever watch the two programs broadcast by DR: DR1 or DR2.

The whole idea of having a public service station is okay, but could they please start taking the money from the taxes we pay already? A regular student has about 4,000 DKK a month after taxes. Paying 180 DKK a month for having a computer connected to the Internet comes out to 4.5%(!) of extra taxes. I think that having a media tax of, say, 1% for everybody would be much more fair. Then they could fire the people who spend their days knocking on peoples’ doors…

Closing tabs in Firefox 2

Thomas recently compiled Firefox 2 here on DAIMI, so I gave it a go. My impressions so far have been good overall: switching between tabs is significantly faster than before as is scrolling through, say, The Planet. The machines here only have 512 MiB of RAM, and Firefox 2 seems to handle that better than before. The built-in spell checker is also very nice, but why did we have to wait until 2006 (almost 2007) before browsers shipped with a spell checker by default? That’s just ridiculous!

There is one change in Firefox 2 which I don’t like at all — they changed the close buttons on the tabs. Now there are individual close buttons on each tab. This is apparently a great achievement, they even mention is as one of the new great features of Firefox?! I find it truly annoying to have to search for the button I want to push when I want to close a tab. With Firefox 1.5 the button was always in the same spot so I could click it several times in a row to close several tabs quickly. With Firefox 2 I have to move the mouse around when closing multiple tabs.

Luckily it’s easy to change: open the URL about:config and find the setting browser.tabs.closeButtons. Change the value to 3 and you’re back to the sane pre-Firefox 2 setting.

Do I live in FøTeX?!

I was just playing around with my home banking… I exported the data for the last year to OOCalc and filtered it based on the descriptive text associated with each entry. So I discovered that I’ve spend no less than 8,897.67 DKK (roughly 1,500 USD or 1,200 EUR) in the FøTeX in Storcenter Nord! And that’s for the last six months only since I was in Switzerland until Marts this year.

Spending almost 9,000 kroners on 51 shopping sprees is an average of 175 DKK per visit. Auch — FøTeX is an expensive place to enter! Comparing FøTeX to some of the cheaper super markeds I see that both Netto and Fakta average around 130 DKK per visit for me. So I could probably save some money by shopping there more often.

These statistics are wrong by an unknow factor since they only reflect the spendings I’ve made with my credit card (Dankort). So the “score” for FøTeX would be even higher if one included all the little visits I’ve made where I paid with cash. They also include the stuff I’ve bought for our lunch club, which might help to explain the many expensive visits made to FøTeX.

Annoying Stofa terms

Stéphanie and I have become a pair of those strange people you sometimes hear about who don’t watch TV… it started when I got back home from Switzerland and didn’t install my TV tuner in my computer right away. Suddenly a month had passed without a TV, and it wasn’t something which I particularly missed.

The silly thing is that we have the big plan at Stofa, paying some 200 DKK (~$30) a month for nothing. Not exactly nothing, since we’re also getting our Internet connection through Stofa, so I thought that we were required to have a TV subscription too.

That is true if you get your Internet over their cable network, but Stofa also offers their Internet through ADSL, and for that you don’t need any TV subscription. So today I called Stofa to have them switch us over and terminate the TV subscription.

Of course they were happy to help, but at a price… First of all it turns out that you only have four chances a year to cancel your subscription, once every quarter. And as if that wasn’t enough, you have to do it two months in advance… So we have to keep paying for the full package until December.

Couldn’t we just switch to a smaller and cheaper package? Of course we can, but at a price… Switching would save us 150 DKK a month, but the switch itself costs 500 DKK! Those bastards have us exactly where they want us!