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* Posts by lazee_boy

5 posts • joined 7 Nov 2007

Acer K10 DLP pico projector

lazee_boy

old hat

I still have my Toshiba FF1 ... bought as an early adopter at the start of 2006. 500g LED projector with mains plus 2 hr rechargeable battery pack, supporting 800x600 and 1024x768; also has fully featured remote (not that you need it). I paid £350 then - seemed a lot at the time, but it did (does) what it says on the tin, and is ideal for travel use.

Although the colours (particularly reds) are a bit harsh and lacking 'warmth', and the brightness means it really needs a dark room to shine, it is still quite possible to enjoy a full length movie running only on battery, with a projected image easily equivilent to that of a 60" Plasma screen ... and unlike the Acer in the review, it is almost completely silent.

I actually looked it up as I couldn't believe that this Acer is being touted as a new gizmo 3 years on ... http://www.wedgwood-group.com/toshiba_tdp_ff1_multimedia_projector.htm ... turns out the Tosh has been discontinued and they haven't replaced it with a similar spec.

I can only conclude that it is too niche a market (£300+ for a low res, low intensity projector is quite steep). The current netbook craze will no doubt give this an initial sales opportunity, but the old Tosh was a much better product IMO - if they couldn't find a market for it, I think Acer will struggle (particularly at the quoted price).

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MySpace fingers 90,000 nonces

lazee_boy

irony watch

"the final US Internet Safety Technical Task Force report which found adult sexual harrassment of children was a minor problem"

A "minor" problem? D'Oh! Pure comedy gold :-)

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Mobile roaming in Europe: Have your say

lazee_boy

@ Mark Milaszkiewicz

For the countries where it has its own network, Three UK is the ideal data roaming solution. £50 for its HSDPA USB Modem on PAYG. £10 gets you 1GB of data with 3/7GB available at £15/£25. Speed upto 2.8Mbps. The data bundle is valid for 30 days so it's use it or lose it. BUT - you can also use it at no extra cost when roaming in their foreign destinations too (Ireland, Austria, Italy and Hong Kong for PAYG, and the list is longer for contract SIM's).

So for a tenner you get a generous data allowance & enough time in which to use it, with no monthly commitment and a USB modem that "just works" under XP/Vista.

The final bonus? It's a killer backup for your home broadband too. Next time you change provider or the ISP has a major outage ... dig out the sleek wee credit card sized modem, pop it into a USB port on any PC, pay Three a tenner, and you have instant broadband until things are sorted.

I'm just back from using this solution in Italy for the 1st time ... felt great sitting on the terrace, looking at the view while d/l'ing music to listen to off P2P and planning my day trips on the web ... all for £15, and back home now with 2GB spare to use on the Lappy in the UK over the next 3 weeks. I "won't leave home without it" in future, as they say.

One thing to ensure though is to set the connection to 3G only when abroad - to avoid roaming onto a 3rd party GPRS network when out of coverage on Three's own network ... otherwise the out of bundle charge is £3/MB for PAYG!

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Evesham Technology goes into liquidation

lazee_boy

Unsolicited testamonial

I bought a custom server from Evesham in 1994 - the spec (for the time) was pretty high: 8GB SCSI disk, 32MB Ram, HP SCSI Tape Backup etc. ... Evesham left the disk uninitialised and I installed SCO Unix, MS-DOS and NT myself so that all 3 were bootable via separate partitions.

Evesham were knowledgable and helpful during pre-sales and after purchase. The server has been continuously running since 1994 - rock solid, not even a chkdisk error i nall that time, despite several power custs and frequent "in flight" messing with the O/S boundaries and boot partitions etc. (via partition magic).

I caught 2 thieves last year in the process of burgling my house ... walked in on them as they were dragging the server (by now on its side, but still powered on & running) across the study floor by the LAN cable. After "negotiating their exit", I put the old girl back in her rightful position under the desk, reconnected the monitor ... and yep, she was still plodding away like nothing had happened.

These days, it's mainly used by my nieces (aged 3 & 4) for surfing practice and general keyboard abuse, but I occasionally use it to administer my (physically adjacent) firewall/wireless router if it throws a wobbly and I can't connect from my other wireless PC's.

On the odd occasion I power it off these days (to give guests a quiet nights sleep, as the fan and disk are both pretty loud) the disk does "creak" a bit as it starts up again, but I reckon it's good for another couple of years yet. In all that time, the only performance mod I've made was to double the RAM.

Now, all Evesham were really doing was assembling other peoples bits into a grey box, but they did it pretty damned well IMO.

I used them thereafter to supply several basic PC's for use by my clients. These all proved just as reliable as my own. One in particular got lost by a courier company when I shipped it to my client after loading SCO Unix, configuring it and loading my application s/w. It turned up 3 months later. When I collected it the packaging was pretty mangled and I feared the worst. I tried to power it up, but it was unbootable. I opened the case, and found that all of the expansion cards had popped out of their backplane sockets (despite all still being screwed down at the brackets) - so the system had clearly been subjected to some pretty hefty impact during its travels. I bent the brackets back to their original angles, reseated the cards and booted again. Hey presto, up came the $ prompt without any errors! that system then ran for 5 years in a 24x7 application and never suffered an outage until the client eventually binned it.

So, Evesham are probably the only company to whom I could, with hand on heart, give such a glowing testamonial. All things considered, I for one regret the passing of one of the original "good guy" companies.

ps. and they never spammed me either :-)

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Ofcom's 0870 rip-off reforms stumble at the final hurdle

lazee_boy

@anonymous coward/gerry

"Yes, there's a reason for making a call. But there is absolutely NO reason why that call cannot be made to an 01 or 02 number, or even an 0800 number."

The reason in this case is that the personal security device making the call has the 070XX number hardcoded in it. 070XX was originally chosen for this as it was marketed as a "personal number for life" - i.e. it would never need to be changed, could route to any physical location & could therefore safely be used in such applications. Agreed that this isn't insoluble, but it does require careful planning & the situation has only just come to light

"Now that the new 03 numbers are up and running (always charged the same as geographic numbers), ANY organisation that uses 084 / 087 numbers has only one reason - to rip off their customers."

The 03 numbers are due for introduction shortly but AFAIK they aren't up & running yet (blocks have ben allocated to operators on a competitive basis, but the blocks have not yet been offered to companies or activated for dialing) - if you can quote me a published and workign 03 number I'd be interested?

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