Friday, 24 April 2009

Passed My Theory Test. Again!

Okay so for the second time I passed my theory test first time with only one wrong answer on the actual theory part of the test. The hazard perception test is completely pointless. Do the test the way the instructions at the start tell you and, clicking once for each hazard you see and again each time the hazard changes priority, and it becomes so easy to trip the nanny alarm that tells you you're just clicking at random. Which I wasn't. Which is why I almost got up and walked out at that point.

I'm glad I didn't though. I passed the test and filled in the questionnaire at the end telling them it was pointless. But it got me thinking about the last time I took my driving test a few years back.

Back then I completed my theory test just fine with only one wrong answer. There was no hazard perception test at the time. It was still under trial. The practical test is where things went wrong. Basically I had a snide bastard for an examiner. He liked to play with the dual controls. Not exactly fair. That really put me off trying again. What's the point when the test isn't fair and the appeals process is practically non-existent? Why waste my money?

Being stuck with a provisional licence does have it's draw backs though. You can't drive anywhere unsupervised. Which means job prospects are limited. So what can we do about cheating examiners?

The answer, rather shockingly is, not a lot. A driving examiners decision is final and it cannot be over turned. The appeals process involves either writing to the area manager or taking the case to a magistrates court. Unsurprisingly the DSA don't make a habit of making appeals easy. In fact it's almost impossible to find any information on-line at all. Perhaps the DSA are petrified that the 49% of drivers they claim fails their practical test first time round will swamp them with complaints? Maybe they're afraid the mythical quota system will be exposed? Maybe they're afraid their examiners will be exposed?

In any case, even if an appeal is succesful, the best we can hope for is a refund and a free resit. Perhaps 49% of revenues being refunded would cut into the DSAs' profit margines too much.

So if you have any driving test stories. Feel free to post them in the comments.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Portable Ubuntu Screencast

Nice little information video. Well presented and well done. But I'm missing something here. Why bother running Ubuntu inside Windows Vista or Windows 7? Why bother with Windows at all?

I've been testing the Windows 7 beta for a while now and I'm just not that impressed. To begin with it was fast and responsive. But since installing a few applications and using for only a few hours a week it's started to get sluggish. Start up is sluggish, application execution is sluggish, shutdown and reboot still run fine.

I'm just not seeing much improvement over XP or Vista. Certainly nothing worth another £300.

For people that want Linux. Just run Linux on raw real world hardware. It's faster, more stable and more secure.