algorithms

It’s a long time since I did my A levels. Actually, I never did A levels, I did Highers, but they were almost as good, or better, depending on which side of the Who Cares fence you sit. But algorithms are implicated. Great things algorithms, when they work. Sometimes they don’t.

I’ve been using Teamviewer for years. In a personal capacity. Very personal in fact. Pretty much tautologically selfishly. Friends and Family don’t even come into the frame – it’s pretty much me me me. Or, me and the PC in the garage.

My case use, pretty much my sole case use for the last year or two, is to use one of the PCs in my house, to connect to the PC in my garage. I have a Linux PC, and a Windows PC, and I’ll use one of them (usually the Linux one) to connect to the Windows PC in the garage.

Why? Two reasons. 1. to do the massive upgrades that Microsoft lob into the universe at occasional intervals, and 2. to download videos for Rouvy rides that I take a fancy to. It’s not great when Microsoft decide that your Windows 10 PC wants to do an upgrade, and it’s gotta do it NOW, just when you’re settling into the little cog for a slog up some pretty alpine pass.

My Rouvy rides were getting a bit jumpy, and I realised that garage PC just wasn’t cutting the mustard. Cutting the mustard? Where does that come from …

Hmmm, well I’m not sure I’m any the wiser, but my garage PC, imaginatively named garage, was at the bottom end of the spec for Rouvy. But the spec of my office PC, in my house, was a bit better. With the addition of a bit of memory and a budget graphics card it would be a better fit.

So, long story short, I swapped things round. The Office PC went in the garage, and the dusty garage PC came in the office. And all was well. My Rouvy cycle rides along canal paths and up alpine passes did not get easier, but they did not get easier with a better frame rate.

This hasn’t gone down well with Teamviewer. It starts simply enough. Rather than walk down the stairs, go out the back door, unlock the garage, check the PC for updates/downloads, it’s easier to fire up Teamviewer.

And then the problems begin …

COMMERCIAL USE DETECTED

If you click on More info you get taken to a Teamviewer page where you can explain yourself. I thought, why not. It’s not unreasonable. I wasn’t too chuffed tbh. There was the presumption of guilt. Hints of Capita TVL about the tone. Capita TVL are an organisation that combines incompetence, dishonesty, bullying and cowardice in one easily manageable package, and every year they get the contract to collect the BBC licence fee. It’s what Capita do. Make money out of misery. And blame their own data for the fact that their own data is bad, and somehow make out that it’s someone else’s fault that they’re really bad at what they do. They’re pretty nasty.

But surely Teamviewer aren’t the same as Capita? Surely Teamviewer are quite good with data? I filled in the form, explaining that, it was just me, in my house, connecting to my PC, in my garage. Sorry, but I wasn’t even helping out friends or family. Surely personal use doesn’t get much more personal than that?

Apparently not.

Teamviewer say that it can take a while to respond to their online form. Specifically:

We are aiming to solve all requests within seven days. Please note that we will attend to every request. Sending multiple requests will prolong the process.

https://www.teamviewer.com/en/support/commercial-use-suspected/

So I was a bit surprised when my response came through just a few hours after submitting my form. Almost as if it were, I dunno, automatic, or processed by some algorithm, rather than looked at by sentient entity.

Unable to Confirm the Situation

No matter. There are other ways. I could, for example, get off my arse and go downstairs, outside, unlock the garage, and check for updates. Do me good. Or I could use one of the many free remote desktop utilities available for Linux which would do all I need. All is well.

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