Just a Quick Note

Amos asked me to remove  “ Seasonal Greetings “ from the website

I did

Took less than 30 seconds  ( see Promotion )

I also took Raybits advice  – No upgrades to the old Netbook for at least a month !!!

Life is much calmer !

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Upgrade Update !!!


Stuck at 1909  ( OS Build 18363.1256 ) with repeated messages

“ failed to upgrade ! “

I got quite frustrated !

Late last night Raybits came over tapped me on the back and said

“ Enough ! ;  We’ve all been there – Got the T  shirt – Got frustrated and angry – It doesn’t help “

” Turn it off– Go to Bed – Turn it on in the morning – Clean it up- and don’t touch upgrade for at least a week – Better still a month and then. maybe, just maybe, try again “

“ in the meantime remove any programs you don’t need – Run “ Disk Cleanup “ and “ Clean system files “  Then WAIT ! “

I can recognise sensible advice and experience

So I will !

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Funny Old Week

It’s been a funny old week!

The whole Team is, of course, in modified partial shielding because we are now in coronavirus tier four.  We have a lot of time on our hand in the shed

Arteman popped in on Boxing Day to wish us all a happy Christmas.  Although he has now slowed down and retired from active membership of the Team he is still quite interested in what we do

He bought an old computer with him.  ” I found this in a cupboard “, he said, ” whilst we were rummaging around looking for the Christmas decorations “

The computer was a Toshiba NB200 netbook

” It used to be quite good “. He said, ” but then progressive upgrades of Windows 10 made it slower and slower and slower, so like me it got retired “

” You can play with it if you like,   and see what you can do “

So I did!

After three days of intense work it was finally running reasonably swiftly with Windows 10 version 1909 installed

I should probably have left it there – because it was running reasonably well and doing the couple of things I wanted it to do although it was obvious that Office 365 was never going to run  satisfactorily

Google Docs and Sheets provided a workable alternative

Last night however it offered an upgrade to Windows 20H2 OS build 19042.685

I think this may be a bridge too far  !!

The little netbook is sitting there at present trying to install the upgrade ( currently 70% ) so we’ll have to wait-and-see

I will post in an update – successful or not, when I know what has happened

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cedric’s Promotion

Cedric’s promotion has been made substantive !

He is now officially ” Master Gopher and a member of the Shed “: Not bad for a lad who used to be a chimney sweep’s boy

He spent most of yesterday afternoon and almost all of today online with the helpdesk at TSOhost but the problem is now finally resolved

Arteman and the team have access to their old website!

Sergei has sent his congratulations and confirmed the appointmnt

The silly thing is it was the most minor change that occasioned all the heartache.

All I wanted to do was add   ” Seasonal Greetings ”  to the personal part of the menu at www.arteman.com

The actual change only required the removal of two // and the change of one URL

The changes took less than 30 seconds!

Rediscovering the location of the website and gaining access to it has caused a problem over at least three days !

On the positive side we do now have a faster way of updating the old website

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Technical Trouble

A very frustrating problem has arisen

Most of my output now is done through blogging on WordPress.

I do however maintain a very old website which acts as a direction indicator to all of the WordPress blogs. I use it a lot to move around my sites

The website is almost certainly 30 years old,  very ancient, but does what it says on the box –  it directs people to the appropriate websites.

It has worked well for 30 years with only the occasional hiccup and I last updated it about six weeks ago.

I update it regularly every year at the end of November to add a festive ” Seasonal Greetings ” direction.

I tried to do it a couple of days ago

Total failure.

FTP access which has always worked in the past just would not work.

I spent some frustrating time trying to locate the problem and then realised that the site had probably been moved

I tried to find its new location

Total failure


I know where it used to be, but it’s not there anymore!

doc thump

I finally discovered that my original host had been moved many times over the past 30 years, I won’t bother you with a list of the different providers, but after many hours work, and being passed backwards and forwards between different hosting companies I finally gave up and handed the problem to Cedric

Cedric had already been promoted ( following the disaster of the Prime Minister and his soundless Zoom meeting – Cedric demanded a promotion and new title for all the work he has done recently for the team )

Cedric is now ” Master Gopher and has been admitted to membership of the Shed “. HIs elevation is contingent on him successfully re-establishing contact with the website.

At the end of his first day’s work he has finally been able to get one of the hosting companies to admit that they are  in fact hosting the website,  even though they denied it to me

At that point things turned a little more complicated as they claimed that ownership of the website was vested in an email address which was not the one from which he was working.

He reported this morning that the helpdesk of the website

  1. Admitted that it hosted the Team’s website
  2. Could not verify that any of the addresses used by Cedric were valid.
  3. He is currently attempting to verify an address to obtain access the website

It looks as if he may be halfway, or partway there

It has been very tedious

From Arteman’s desk it looks a bit of a shambles.

Sylvia ( acting head of IT ) is keeping an eye on the matter

It may be that Arteman holds two accounts with the hosting company ( not impossible ) and that we will eventually we will be able to gain access to the site.

It is possible that the administration of the website has been stolen and compromised

Time will tell.

Sergei  (SVP and Super Head of IT and All Things Technical )  is of course still on the West Coast with Aleksandr    ( prolonged,   ” promotional ”   holiday ! )

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Technical Troubles

Yesterday was a day of technical disaster !

For some reason Microsoft Outlook failed to close properly and froze my entire Microsoft Office 365 suite

We depend heavily on Office 365 which provides a integrated cross-platform system ( on all the computers and android devices ) for the whole Team.

The problem with Outlook prevented any of the office programs from working

Sylvia and Cedric came round very swiftly ( Sergei is still on the coast with Aleksandr on their promotional ! holiday !  )

It took them all afternoon to solve the problem and I understand that they had to uninstall Office 365, and uninstall the residual part of Microsoft Outlook which remained behind and then reinstall all of Office 365.

Happily all of the data ( seriously backed up but not needed ) was not affected so all is well

Before they left Cedric made a few adjustments to Arteman’s new Home Television Studio!

And because the Boss has now started using Zoom for quite serious Zoom Meetings for one of her ladies organisations,   Cedric ordered the additional bits that she needs to turn her study into a Home Television Studio!  ( Really just a green screen and a stand )

Happily all now seems to be running well so a round of applause for Cedric and Sylvia


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

End of Year Report

To Sergei: Senior Vice President and Super Head of All Things Technical

From Sylvia: Acting Head of IT

You asked me to submit an End of Year Report if you were still on the West Coast doing your promotional tour for AutoSergei

I’ve seen the videos and it looks more like a holiday than a promotional work experience

Before you left for the Coast, we discussed Arteman’s equipment.

I had a good look at Arteman’s equipment and it is certainly getting very old and beginning to look a little strange.

I’m not the only person that thinks this; both the alarm engineer and the gas engineer have said much the same thing

But then Arteman is getting quite old!


The two computers are both very elderly; built and designed originally for Windows XP they have been progressively upgraded through 7 and 8 to Windows 10 and you have managed, miraculously, to get them all updated to Windows 10 version 1909!

Unsurprisingly the equipment is at the end of its’ lifespan!

The scanner is even worse!

In its heyday, the Canonscan 8000f was an excellent scanner for early versions of Windows including XP: It survived upgrade to 7 and 8 but was never certified for Windows 10.

Quite how you kept working under 10 is beyond belief!

For the last 4 or 5 years Canon have been issuing warnings that continuing to use 8000f on Windows 10 might cause severe system instability

I did tell you !!!

No surprise, therefore that the increasing instability of the scanner attached to Arteman’s Spare Backup Computer has been causing problems for some years culminating with a fatal collapse on Christmas Day.

I was called in on Christmas Day to resurrect the system.

I had to carry out a full destructive reinstall of Windows 10 and a reinstallation of all the programs!

What was even worse I was called in just as I was leaving home to go to a party.

I was wearing my glittery Christmas frock ( the one you admired so much when I last wore it! ) and I had to keep it on throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day!


It was hard work

I took Cedric with me, ( you might not remember Cedric he’s the young lad we took on just before you left under a government-sponsored apprenticeship scheme.)

He has been kept busy making the tea, sweeping the floor and keeping the workshop clean, though he has exhibited a surprising technical ability regarding cabling.

He is able to get into the smallest darkest and most obscure corners and sort out cabling


We should keep an eye on him – I think he is playing around with coding and I keep finding copies of the magazine “ Hackers World “ hidden in the tea room !!

I took him with me, ( which was just as well because I didn’t fancy crawling around on the floor in my best frock! )

Computers are both now up and running and the new scanner installed

All now appears well (You will have to buy me a new frock ! )


Acting Head of IT

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Technical Update

Sergei SVP and Super Head of IT and All Things Technical remains in California.

Arteman is continuing having regular one-on-one meetings with Sylvia Acting Head of IT

She is a very hands-on instructor and she’s given Arteman lots of advice and suggestions about how best to use his equipment!

Not sure how long Sergei is staying away

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tech Team News

Sergei  ( Senior Vice President; Super Head of IT and all Technical Services )

Sergei has had to do a lot more work for his employer of record recently ( he only moonlights for me ) ( for peanuts ! )

You may have seen the video about Auto Sergei, but he did find time recently to fit some added RAM to my best machine together with a four port USB card which has made the world a lot tidier.


( Computermabob is a lot quicker too – Sergei )

He is currently in California with Aleksandr promoting Auto Sergei and he appears over relaxed.  If you have seen the video you know what I mean – must be something in  ” The Air That I Breathe ”


I do recall being in LA many, many, years ago with the Boss. – We travelled very late one night on a night bus back to our hotel and there was no need to smoke –  it definitely was in ” The Air that I Breathe ”

We look forward to Sergei’s return

Whilst he is away Sergei has appointed Sylvia,  his Training Officer,  as acting head of the IT department.

She oversaw the final installation of the RAM and USB cards on the primary computer and came into the office just to check that the wiring had been sorted out.

She was not impressed.

In a matter of seconds she had added 2 new 4 port USB cards to the backup machine and tossed  out even more cabling

She looked at the remaining spider’s web of cables ( even though some had been removed ) and informed me that in discussion with Sergei they had decided that the complicated computer system and incredibly tangled wiring system was such that they fully expected my computer to become fully self-aware within a very short space of time

She warned me that sparks might fly !

She was equally unimpressed by my dictation technique.

“ Why are you using a headset ?  “ she said

” You  have a perfectly good dictating machine there which you could use and then use auto transcribe to transcribe the recordings whilst you do something completely different ! “

She demonstrated the system to me.

I have therefore arranged a number of one-on-one meetings with Sylvia to improve my technique.

Sylvia is a relatively new recruit to the IT department;  she is young,  attractive and she has suggested that I do not tell the Boss about our meetings in case she gets the wrong idea!

She has also suggested that we do not declare them to the rest of the organisation!

I suppose Sergei will have to know when he returns.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Overdue Celebration !!!

A message from Sergei dated 21 Feb 2019

So,  Well Overdue !!!!!

From: Super Head of IT and all Technical Services.

The laptop computamabob has now been upgraded to Windows 10; release 1809 – it was hard work and Super Head of IT and all Technical Services has declared a three day holiday

Also deserves new title and pay rise !!

May take a day or two,  later on to put everything back where it should be


Super Head of IT and all Technical Services. and Super Geek

I’ve tried it and it seems fine !!

The laptop computer running windows 10 version 1809 has been tested and is amazing

Sergei is now

Senior Vice President;   Super Head of IT and all Technical Services

Same Zero hours contract and same single point pay scale !!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment