Niall’s virtual diary archives – Sunday 3rd March 2013

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Sunday 3rd March 2013: 7.39pm. So, after spending yesterday filling in the dozen page Canadian tax return and scratching my head a few times (there are LOTS of calculations and sub-worksheets and even sub-sub-worksheets, it's clearly been designed by accountants rather than anyone thinking in terms of human convenience), and perhaps even wishing I had the straightforward British form or especially the uber simple Irish tax return instead, I suddenly realised why the sums weren't adding up: the T4 end of year statement RIM sent me is incorrect! It doesn't match my pay stubs by several thousand dollars. Which is a relief, because I had thought I was missing something somewhere, and bad data in equals bad data out.

I also succeeded in removing the whole drive encryption from the work laptop's hard drive and imaging it onto a fast SSD, then reencrypting it using the SSD's onboard 256 bit AES engine. The work laptop now running on a SSD is now usefully swift, unlike the treacle it was before (RIM installs an awful lot of security crap, it rattles and scans the hard drive constantly and you don't have the privs to disable or remove any of it). Yeah I know I should get IT services to do it for me, but you have to get two layers of management approval and go through four to six weeks of approvals process, then lose your work machine for several days which I can't afford right now given my deadlines.

It's a bit like that Canadian tax return - they don't make the path of least effort approximate the path they want you to take, so you have this huge incentive to behave badly. I have to admit, this is one area where Europe generally excels over North America: in bureaucratic process design. In Europe, generally speaking, they take time to make bureaucracy as non-intrusive as they can, so people have less excuse. Here, well here they just don't seem to think through how these things appear to the end user for some reason. It must be a cultural thing. Who knows why though!

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