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Everything posted by mayhem

  1. A good indicator of the Governments response to how they will deal with the coming big decisions is how they handle there own staff during this period. Will they cut anyone's hours, lay off non core staff, furlough them and make them seek payment from schemes like businesses are having to do? I think we unfortunately know the likely answer to that...
  2. If nothing else this should provide enough political cover (assuming the will is there) to significantly reduce the scope of government and deal with the pensions issue. I would hope it would also be a driver for sorting out having a sensible amount (4-5) local authorities. That is if the reserves make it through this. The government income in addition to providing support is going to be under considerable strain for the coming years. Should the reserves not hold up then I personally think some sort of alignment with the UK could be the only option left. Who would lend to the IOM other than the UK (unless some sort of global hardship fund is set up)?
  3. Interesting that a whole Government department (GTS) are now working from home yet schools etc are still open.
  4. Do these figures include those on long term contracts? These are currently all the rage for project managers / IT types I'm told.
  5. mayhem


    I'm told they have a full-time marketing type on a fixed term contract just for communicating updates etc...
  6. They should consider a National Fibre project to get Fibre into every property on the Island. Long term it would likely create more wealth and opportunities than EDF
  7. This statement appears to be the most blatant abuse of a monopoly position I've seen in a long while. In essence they have a profit figure of X% that they need to maintain. If they are not meeting X% they will simply increase costs until they do. Is there any actual oversight into how the business is run? Are it's costs appropriate for instance for a company of it's type? It's the ultimate get out of jail card - the company could be the best or the worst run on the planet. This statement makes that completely irrelevant - they have to make X% they are not doing that [insert reasons] and thus increase prices until they do. As others have stated if we have a hard winter will prices come down I suspect we all have a view on that. They are basically running a business without risk - which is something we would all very much like but most of us are not so fortunate and have to actually work at things, keep costs in check etc to achieve a profit. In many ways the MD of Manx Gas has perhaps the best job in the world.
  8. To an extend I agree consultants can be divisive and need to be given clear direction / goals in order to achieve positive outcomes. However are the IOM government capable changing themselves at a pace of anything faster than glacial? Have they actually done much other than put a head count freeze in place? Do you believe the IOM Government if left to themselves can sort things on there own in a reasonable timeframe (before they really do run into serious financial hardship)? If the answer is no then do they not need help from experienced people that are used to leading / driving through change?
  9. Regarding the price of bringing in consultants to sort out the mess that is the cival service. There are consultancy practices that will work fee / expense free and take a cut of the savings over a 2-3 year period, minimal risk to IOM Gov but they obviously need to be empowered to drive change through, suspect that is where it would all go wrong. These arrangements have been used to good effect elsewhere.
  10. mayhem


    Guernsey changed the basis of rating some years ago to be based on the composition of your property (they previously had a system similar to ours but even more antiquated) - land, garden, main dwelling, business premises etc and it's value in squared meters. The Gov / local authorities then decide on a multiplier that gets applied to each category. All very fair and equitable and allows the local authorities some interesting options too to attract or discourage certain types of businesses into their area via the rating system.
  11. Have a HD7 too with 7.5 and is a very good phone and the rate at which they are adding improvments is pretty impressive. Agree some apps are a bit more expensive and there is not the choice of iPhone / Android but everything I've ever needed / wanted has been available. Now that MS own Sykpe would not be surprised to see it built in to future versions, they are certainly committed to a release soon. Very pleased I went WP7
  12. This is likely what they mean by general avoidance rule: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_130_11.htm
  13. mayhem

    Eve Online

    I play eve - in game ID is: Rastlor
  14. Have been getting a awful lot of Corrected Blocks (see attached) on our Draytek since the upgrade to ADSL 2. Thankfully the line is mostly stable but has anyone else noticed a increase? Have compared this to my Draytek at home and we have had 2 Corrected Blocks. Does this just mean that the line we are on is pant's / has too much noise on? Have to say the increase in upload speed for us is godsend but disappointed with the download speed in Onchan. As others have said Onchan's not exactly a backwater! Wiring within the building is new and MT have replaced the faceplates / removed the bell wire after our last "problem at the exchange" issue so pretty sure it's a issue outside of our control.
  15. Not used this as we've been long term Quick Books (too much pain involved in moving at the moment) users but Microsoft have released Account 2008. They have a free express edition (which can be upgraded if you need more). Worth a look and got a decent write up in PC Pro recently. http://www.msofficeaccounting.co.uk/
  16. Some one told me the IOM Collage was a testing centre? I'm in the same boat for the MS Dynamics stuff I'm studying for.
  17. I've used MS Expression for developing a few ASP.Net sites and have to say I've been impressed - handles nested masterpages, has decent standards checking, does a good job with style sheets and all the good stuff you would expect on the whole works well for us (also allows us to switch to VS 2005 easily, we find we do the our design / layout in Expression and coding in VS 2005). Much of the code base for the designer is to be found in the new VS 2008 web designer, so once we move to 2008 we will use it less. Bascially if your bulding ASP.Net sites you can't go wrong really. Not sure about it for PHP etc Dreamweaver may be a better bet if that your bag.
  18. Have to say I agree with most of the advice here but would state that a lot of the development on the Island is done in VB.Net and I can't see that changing any time soon. I would say that the split is close to 50/50 VB.Net / C# . It's a similar story in Guernsey / Jersey. It is different in the UK though and C# developers seem to command a slightly higher salary. As was stated the important thing is really to get to grips with the monster that is the .Net Framework and to get a good understanding of fundamentals. It's very easy to get overwhelmed by .Net, my view is simple - the framework is too big for anyone other than perhaps Scott Guthrie to know http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/ so accept the fact and get used to looking things up! Use this custom .Net search by a certain Mr Dan Appleman who some VB develpers may remember! http://searchdotnet.com/ I've worked with and employed many talented developers - some of whom I would even let meet clients. However the very best always have a passion and a genuine love for what they do. To me if someone is prepared to go through the effort to put themselves through a distance learning course that tell's me a lot about them - distance learning is not a easy option from my experience and has a high drop out rate. We may have a opening for a junior developer shortly PM I your interested.
  19. Have to say I find the whole naming committee idea totally ridiculous. I've had 3 out of the 7 domains that I've registered on clients behalf rejected. Had to wait an age for each one (almost 6 weeks in one instance as the committee (suspect it's 1 ISD guy) were ill / on holiday). I've tried to contact the committee in the past and have asked what there charter is. No one at Domicilum / the communication commission knows. They have no direct contact with the public everythign has to go through Domicilium! I always recommend to clients that they stay well clear but some alas are very insistent. Don't mind people earning a living but I do resent the slowness of it all, as slim says they still send paper invoices out! The online check for how an application is progressing is also something of a joke as I've never seen it move off stage one. Can't fault the help desk staff though as they are always very good with changing DNS entries etc.
  20. mayhem

    The Hospital

    Just another example of Governments inability to handle a capital project. Still good to see the old Nobels site is mostly up and running again!!!
  21. mayhem

    Manx Roads

    Firstly let me just state that this is an emotive subject for me as my 19 year old brother and his two best friends were killed a couple of years ago. My thoughts are that the roads themselves are not overly unsafe, sure they could be wider (have you ever been the Guernsey - they define narrow roads) and yes they do have more corners. I'm also not convinced that the lack of national speed limits are the problem. The way I see things is we have two main issues enforcement and driver education. The enforcement of speed limits and driving standard is IMHO a complete joke. The police just give the impression they are not interested. I'd like to see local authorities be given the power to prosecute in addition to the police and the proceeds from any fines returned to the authority (with the funds ring fenced for policing the roads). The second problem is driver education (particularly for the young). I remember when I first passed my test and to be frank I was a not a very good driver (dam right unsafe at times and mostly when my mates were in the car egging me on). Yes it may be a right of passage but at the time you don't realise the impact your actions can have on others. Perhaps a trip for all those taking there test to the vehicle test centre to look at the wrecks or some form of shock gallery showing the effects and injuries sustained. Perhaps the Traffic Investigation officers could show the scene of accidents photos (subject to relatives consent of course). I'd also like to see more people retaking their tests when they commit certain classes of offences. Why not make it compulsory every 15 years and every 5 when over the age of 60? Please note that I'd not trying to discriminate against the elderly - it's just that I fear for the lives of several of my own relatives every time they get behind the wheel. Bikers on the whole I think you’re better on the roads than the vast majority of us (a healthy dose of self preservation I guess) you are however still a bunch of nutters
  22. Slim I've made 80+ Skype out calls to the UK / Jersey / Geurnsey and only had 3 calls where I would term the line quality poor. Even then I completed the calls without having to redial. Not had any problems for over a month - was the line bad recently?
  23. My understanding is that the DTI were fully aware and encouraged the MEA to progress with their business plan and the Skyward (broadband) proposals. All MEA staff were briefed on this during the later stages of the project with regulatory issues being the only ones that needed to be addresses. I believe was stated at this meeting that they had the backing of the DTI. I was told that a member of staff (who's partner worked at MT) left the room in floods of tears in realisation that he may well loose his job!. However it was also stated that they expected MT to object to the proposals on the basis that they have invested so much in the IOM etc, etc It was stated that they expected to be issued a licence shortly. As we all now know MT have been very effective in there lobbying to get this canned which is a real shame as it would be good to seem some credible competition for MT. I also believe that it would b good for IOM plc too. Perhaps it's not too late - all the work has been done, the infrastructure is broadly in place and they clearly need some additional funds.
  24. mayhem

    Mea Resignations

    It should make interesting reading when it's finally released but I have to say I'm totally astounded that PKF have concluded that no one was responsible. Seems to me to be a complete cop out. As Rog points out if this were to happen in the "real world" heads would roll and rightly so. This whole culture of pretty much being able to do as you will without any consequences is truly staggering and unique to government. From my dealings with the Civil Service (upto Chief Executive level) the more senior you are the more ambiguous and scared to take responsibility you are (there are of course some notable exceptions Current Head of DTI actually seems to reside in the real world at least most of the time). At least the Board of the MEA did the right thing and resigned (although they hung on in longer that they perhaps should have). If only there Civil Service counterparts would do the same. Re the Enron thing my recollection is that the MEA had insurance against the contractor disappearing this is certainly what MEA staff were told at the time (have a relative working there). Perhaps the insurance was in the form of a large loan from Barclays.
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