* Posts by Jay

73 posts • joined 20 Apr 2007

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The best netbook-friendly Linux distros

Jay
Linux

EasyPeasy

How come you give EEEBuntu a review but not EasyPeasy? I assume it is because EasyPeasy is a tidied up and optimised version of UNR for netbooks whereas EEEBuntu is a bit more radical in its look/feel.

At the moment I've got EasyPeasy 1.0 (aka 9.04) on my 701 and it's fine (the odd bit of wifi and function key dodginess aside). I know that 1.1 is out, but at the moment I just can't face rebuilding yet again.

Meanwhile that UNR front end is just horrible. I have to tweak things back to Gnome to keep my sanity. Interesting comments above, it never really occured to me to try and throw on Puppy Linux or (Open) Solaris. I suppose if I'm going to rebuild at some point that I can give one of them a quick try first.

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Fedora 11 leaps into filesystem unknown

Jay
Linux

Version 11?

Still some Fedora 4 and 6 running round here. Not my idea to use it in the first place, but now we should be useing CentOS 5.x, though rebuilding all the boxes is going to be a right pain.

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Best Buy leaked memo spills Windows 7 upgrade details

Jay
Gates Horns

Vista can be OK, but it's still annoying

A few months after Vista came out my Dad decided he wanted a new PC. Went to Novatech and ordered one of the PCs of the spec they were selling with Vista, but without Vista installed (I really don't like having install partitions and no media). We got an OEM copy of Vista separately.

It installed without problems, and to be honest was one of the most hassle free installs of anything I've ever done. Generally it's run fine, and I'm pretty sure it's been problem free. Mind you in hindsight I could have just thrown Ubuntu on and that would have been fine too.

Mind you on the flip side I did a lot of research beforehand to find out the exact specs of the box, and then to get proper Vista drivers for them all. I also made sure I had all the little fixes to hand for the things like the network config you had to tweak in order to get any suitable performance.

The thing I really hate about Vista is the way someone decided to move everything round, especially in control panel. I could have sworn I've seen some options/prefs/whatever in the default "Change blah blah blah" text list, but for the same options not to be available in old-skool icon mode.

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Google Squared - the Cuilest search app ever

Jay
Thumb Down

Still fail to me

Someone I know pointed me toward a Google Squared search for "British Prime Ministers". I noted it seemed to think that John Major died in 1982. So for a laugh I checked out where it got the info from and it turns out to be a Wikipedia article on John Main (some monk or summat). Mind you it seems to think that The Smiling Meanace (Blair) died on the same day he was born, that might have made a few changes. No mention of idiot Brown, so no great loss there.

If it can't even grab stuff from Wikipedia correctly (let alone somewhere factual) then that's fail for me.

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Royal Navy warship almost fires on UFOs

Jay
Black Helicopters

@AC: L98A1

Ah, I remember those buggers from my time in CCF (RAF) around 1990. They jammed so often that we were fully trained on the different types of stoppages, and how to get it working again. Once on the range I pulled the trigger, all the working parts went forward but there was no bang!

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Sony shows off PS3 motion-control magic wand

Jay

Too little, too late?

Well, it all sounds nice, but both Sony and Microsoft are obviously a bit behind here! I'm a bit of a Sony fanboi, but I don't think I'll be bothering with this. Actually I think I'm still a bit of a controller luddite, as I don't even use the tilt stuff in the Dualshock. I did have a Wii briefly, but got rid of it when my girlfried decided she didn't like it, even though it was her idea to get one!

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Rumor mill coughs up $99 4GB iPhone

Jay
Jobs Horns

3 year contract!

Who in their right mind would sign up for a 3 year contract (which is bound to be on some jumped-up tarrif)? Do people *really* want an iPhone that badly?

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Xandros - the Linux company that isn't

Jay
Linux

When Xandros is not Xandros

The problem with the Linux EEE (as I understand it) was that the Xandros that Asus had aquired was not exactly current and they'd tweaked it. As a result Xandros themselves wouldn't really touch it with a bargepole. Meanwhile Asus aren't really in the line of OS support, so they may not have been much help.

So if you had any nasty problems, or if you tweaked rather a lot, then you could be up the creek when it came to needing some help.

Personally I tried some tweaks etc, but it was just a mess and I ended up making my 701 unbootable twice. After that I gave up and moved to Ubuntu EEE/EasyPeasy, where I could get it to do what I wanted and could make all my own tweaks and it still worked!

Admittedly if you aren't going to mess with it at all, then the pre-installed Xandros is fine. But if you want to tweak it in any way (like even adding a desktop icon) then you're probably in for a world of pain...

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Welsh mum amazed by Marmite Messiah

Jay
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Marmite = Disgusting

That is all.

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Ex-NebuAd staff target behavioural data via websites

Jay
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Goad can FOAD

That is all.

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Video iPhone coming in June?

Jay
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Still not getting one...

...until you can get it SIM free and with no need to jailbreak it to get all the features.

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Microsoft Office for Mac fix falls at first hurdle

Jay
Happy

Belt, braces and stickytape

Ah just in time, as I downloaded 12.1.7 this morning but was going to wait a few days before installing it.

I was (and still am) happily using OpenOffice 3, though my girlfriend managed to aquire Office 2008 for much cheapness and so I got that for Xmas. No big problems so far, though I only really use Word and Excel (and as a fallback I've got Office 2003 on XP on Parallels).

The only problem I've had in this area is that something made a mess of an xls that I was using to import something into MySQL. Though now I can't remember which of OO3/Excel screwed things up and which was OK!

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ZuneHD en-route to Blighty?

Jay
Gates Horns

Better late than never?

From the people that gave you Vista etc...

On a slightly more serious note, what's suddenly changed to make the UK/France (not even Europe!) a viable market for Microsoft's portable media player? I'm with Phil above, if they couldn't be bothered before, then we can't be bothered now, esp as we've probably gone out and purchased better devices from other companies.

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Intel chips get new logos, star treatment

Jay
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@Confusion

Me too! The fountain of all knowledge has a handy table at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86 which shows how x86 chips ahve evolved and been named.

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Microsoft's Live Search to morph into Bing?

Jay
Stop

Rubber

Kumo instantly reminds me of tyres, Kumho tyres to be exact. Though I still think it's a better name than Bing. Or should that be Bing! ?

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Apple Mac Pro

Jay
Jobs Horns

Very nice, but not all the way there

I got a previous-gen MacPro in Dec and does everything I need (with a bit a virtulisation).

As soon as I got it I threw in 4 of my own (bigger) disks and upgraded the RAM (from those nice people at Crucial). That was all accomplished very quickly as Apple has really thought about how disks and DIMMs are accessed.

It's a bit annoying about BluRay. It is possible to throw a BR drive in and then use something like Toast to burn data to it, but if you're after watching a BR then forget it

Evil Jobs, as we haven't all got mega speeds for broadband so constantly downloading HD video (via iTunes?!) isn't going to happen, *That's* why we want BluRay!

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Super Talent flashes the big whopper

Jay
Unhappy

Interesting... how much is it going to cost I wonder?

Title says it all!

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Which desktop Linux distribution?

Jay
Linux

What colour is that hat/why is Ubuntu always brown?

Can't be bothered (just yet) to read all the other comments above, so here's my dabblings.

Things at work are moving slowly from Solaris to things more RedHat-based. For reasons I won't go into this was first Fedora and now more CentOS. Though for a new project I've managed to secure some paid for RedHat licences. Though that's all server-based stuff.

On my Mac at home I've got Parallels running XP, Win7, Ubuntu 8.10, OpenSolaris, Fedora (8 or 9, I forget) and Puppy Linux. Whilst I'm more au fait with Fedora, I find Ubuntu easier to do the simple things.

On my EEE 701 I'm running EasyPeasy/Ubuntu.

Given my day job is sys admin and I don't feel I have the time to spend hours messing about with things any more then Linux doesn't get too much of a look in. Whilst I think Ubuntu is good enough to do the usual stuff (web, mail, Skype for example) I don't think it's quite ready for desktop primetime yet.

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Microsoft kills MSN Encarta

Jay
Gates Horns

How much info can you put on a CD?

I recall having something like Encata 95 on CD when I purchased a PC around 1995. Though I had no idea there was an online version in more recent times.

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AT&T to warn online music rustlers

Jay
Alert

Downloading?

I thought they usually went after the people who are sharing/making available stuff, which is uploading.

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Battlestar Galactica eyes 'technology run amok'

Jay
Alien

Cylons should be big, clunky and metal

@Colonel Panic Agreed! Must start reading that Hendrix biography I picked up the other day.

I gave up watching at the end of series three when half the cast turned out to be Cylons. Though before that I was starting to lose interest anyway. I guess I should dig out the original series box set!

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Conficker gets upgraded with defenses

Jay
Linux

@AC Re: To my co-workers

On the assumption that said boxes are running Windows, can't you just put in a policy/change the registry etc (sorry, I'm a UNIX guy) so that people can't attach such portable storage devices, or just tie down what drives they can access?

That's what the desktop guys have done here by default, I had to ask nicely to allow access to USB storage.

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3D TV by Christmas, hints Sky

Jay
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New TV?

I don't think so somehow! At least other (non-Murdoch) channels are in HD, I can't see anyone else hurrying to make 3D progs.

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Iomega muffs hard drive DLNA testing

Jay
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Twonky = Shonky?

Dunno if it's me, but I don't exactly find TwonkyMedia easy to use. I had to set it up on my girlfriend's MacBook to stream stuff to her Pure EVOKE Flow (nice bit of kit!). Got it working in the end but it's not entirely forthcoming with if it's on or not and what devices are actually connected. Also it may also have been me but it didn't appear to work over WiFi just ethernet. The same setup wouldn't stream to my PS3 either, though I think my MacPro saw it OK.

I think I'll stick with MediaLink on my MacPro for the time being (seems to stream to my PS3 OK). I've also used TVersity on PC and after stopping it downloading GBs of YouTube by default it ran without a problem.

Though the big test will be when I get round to buying a Netgear ReadyNAS and trying to get that to stream to all and sundry...

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Ten of the best... noise-isolating earphones

Jay
Black Helicopters

Nothing from Ultimate Ears?

No products from Ultimate Ears? I got a pair of Super.Fi 5 Pro just over a year ago, and they're great. Every so often I hear stuff in a song that I've never heard before (no, not any subliminal messages like "ID cards are good").

Black helicopter as I wouldn't be hear them (though they'd probably be running in stealth mode like Blue Thunder).

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Apple shares MacBook break-in tips

Jay
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@Only the cheap bastards

Only an idiot would pay the price for extra RAM from Apple when you can usually get it for a half or a third of the price elsewhere.

Last Xmas to order a MacBook with 2GB RAM (upgrade from 1GB standard) was an extra £90! However I maanged to get 2GB from Crucial for around £35.

Likewise when I got my Mac Pro just before Xmas it had the standard spec disk and RAM, and I added bigger disks and more RAM myself for a damn sight less than what Apple would try and fleece me.

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Seagate promises second fault fix in 24 hours

Jay
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One fix to fix them all

So that's a fix for the disks bricked with the dodgy SD1A? Will the same firmware be the kosher permanent one that's meant to be the fix for the SD15 (et al) firmware?

Seagate really need to be clear about this sort of thing, they've caused enough trouble already by changing knowledgebase articles back and forth which are meant to tell the users which drives are potentially faulty, how to figure out if you've got a dodgy drive and then waht to do about it.

Maybe they might be able to post something official on their own support website about all this?

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Seagate firmware fix bricks Barracudas

Jay
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@Updating all drives in a RAID5...

The instructions for upgrading the firmware say you should only have the drive you want to flash plugged in. Unfortunately some people skipped that bit. A feature of the firmware updater app is that it will quite happily flash any drive that looks like its target. So if you happen to have more than one drive plugged in (the same model as the drive you want to flash) then that will get done too.

Meanwhile I'm just sitting tight and waiting for some new (and tested!) firmware to appear so that I can upgrade my 2 x 500GB which have the (alleged bad) SD15 firmware. But I'll make sue the forums are full of success stories before I attempt anything.

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UK schools chief begs for Home Access scheme cash

Jay
IT Angle

Another "in my day" comment

Let's see, in primary school I used the trusty BBC Model B and had a Spectrum + at home. Secondary school was more BBC Model B/Master with some Archimedies near the end and an Amiga at home. At university it was all Mac and Sparc for two years and it wasn't really until my year out that I had to fiddle with PCs and such Microsoft producs like Windows and Office. That then kicked off a run of PCs (and the odd Sparc) until I got a Mac before Xmas.

I'm now a UNIX sys admin, so like Steven R above I go by it's what you take away from the learning experience not which hardware/software combo you do it on. Or I'd like to think so...

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Sony rallies chums round proprietary standard

Jay
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Thanks, but no thanks

Much as I like Sony stuff, their habit of going all proprietry has annoyed me enough that my next point-and-shoot camera won't be one of theirs. I got caught out by one of their MicroMV camcorders (I should have done more research on that one) and the ever increasing amount of storage that calls itself Memory Stick is getting a bit confusing; Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick Micro aka M2. It also doesn't help when most things will fit in an original Memory Stick slot (maybe with adaptor) but wether they work or not is a different matter.

Mind you, much as I'd like to say something about having a bit more of a standard like SD, we have SDHC, mini SD and micro SD, then various bastardisations on a theme like MMC.

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Take a hammer to your hard drive, shrieks Which?

Jay
Alert

SMASH!

Last time I had to get rid of some disks I got busy with a sledgehammer, and made damn sure that the round shiney bits were no longer round or shiney. I was wearing eye protection too, so ner!

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Ubuntu Eee undergoes cheesy Easy Peasy rebrand

Jay
Linux

Not bad, but still needs work

I installed it yesterday on my EEE 701 to replace Ubuntu EEE 8.04.1. Installation was OK, and things where much better once I got rid of the hideous Netbook Remix front end. Also the wifi drivers seem to be a lot better (in that they do not go in a huff if the wifi signal strength is not near 100%).

My biggest problem is that the Fn keys combo for toggling wifi on/off and sound up/down no longer work (which they did in Ubuntu EEE 8.04.1). It's not the end of the world but is a bit of a pain, esp the wifi one. There are some fixes in the pipeline, but no idea when.

@Adrian - The renaming from Ubuntu EEE was not just because Canonical where not particularly happy, but also to encompass all netbooks etc as they wanted to branch out from just EEE. So I believe that it should work with the Aspire One.

@Conor - The reason it exists is so that it can cater to the strange hardware setup/tweaks Asus (and others) have made in their products.

@Steven - True the documentation is very sparse and a bit anti-noob. And the forum is a right mess and could do with some moderation to stop the same questions being asked all the time.

@Matt - Strangely enough they've already had contact with The Easy Group (or whatever Stelios' lot are called). They're OK with the name as long as the word easy has a capital E, they stay away from using the colour orange and a certain font.

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The Netbook Newbie's Guide to Linux

Jay
Linux

As per Roger Ubuntu EEE

I've got Ubuntu EEE 8.04.1 running on my EEE (sans the evil Netbook Remix front end) and it's ace. The only slightly down side is that the wifi is a bit flaky (it works eventually), though that should be fixed in the forthcoming 8.10 release. Will also be nice to get Lightning 0.8 for Google Calendar sync too.

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Rackable does cookie sheet servers

Jay
Thumb Up

COOOOOOKIE!

Sod the article, just seeing Cookie Monster has made my Friday! Ta El Reg!

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David Tennant quits Who

Jay
Unhappy

Bugger

Pity I was looking forward to the new series with Moffatt's writing and no sodding Catherine (Not Funny) Tate.

So now we get the long, drawn out saga of who is going to be the next Dr Who. Only rivaled by the same process for who will be the next James Bond.

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London consumers trounce corporates in wireless security

Jay
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BT, get a grip

As touched upon above, BT's HomeHubs come pre-configured using 64-bit(!) WEP! I don't think I've ever known anyone to use 64-bit WEP.

Once I'd figured that out a quick read of the manual (it does happen) and a google, and I got my brother's kit set up for WPA.

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IBM, PGP fill Bletchley Park's rattling tin

Jay
IT Angle

"...the internet was really only invented in 1999..."

Or so says Andrew Hart, head of privacy and security services for IBM in the UK and Ireland in the BBC reporting of this story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7604762.stm

Even if he was making the schoolboy error of confusing The Internet with World Wide Web, then it wouldn't explain me (who was rather late to discover such things) using Netscape in 1994. I recall one of my fellow undergrads using something called Mosaic in 1992.

IT? As this IBM bloke knows nothing about it! TWAT!

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Jay
Thumb Up

Update: "the internet was really only invented in 1989"

Just as I was putting something together to hassle the BBC with they appear to have changed 1999 to1989 which makes a lot more sense. Though obviously this is turning into something along the lines of The Internet == World Wide Web which is still blatantly incorrect.

However the timestamp of the story still says it was done at 0128 this morning, so someone has been tinkering (or sorting out a typo).

Thumbs up as they sorted it out, and made the bloke sound like he vaguely knows what a computer is rather than a gibbering idiot.

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Dixons Group still suffering

Jay

Swings and roundabouts

As a rule I generally avoid PCW etc (unless I fancy a laugh at how much they charge for some things). Though every so often they do have some genuinely competitive, if not lower, prices for the odd product.

Though I'm still not sure how they survive by allowing you to do the collect@store thing, esp when in some cases the product you've reserved has to be found on the very same shelves that you visit as a walk-in customer.

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French train tickets go USB

Jay
Happy

@barcode tattoos

The Orb song you're referring to is S.A.L.T, which can be found on their Orblivion CD. The ranting is sample from David Thewlis' Johhny in the film Naked.

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Symantec wins big in UK bootleg software case

Jay
Stop

No more NIS

I have to agree with one of the AC above. I've used NAV/NIS for quite a few years now, and until NIS2008 I had no real complaints (slowing stuff down is a given).

Quite simply NIS2008 is just horrible. For a few months when I asked my PC to shutdown it would seemingly hang on the shutdown screen. A bit of investigation pointed toward a Symantec process just not wanting to go away. This annoyed me so much I even logged a support call with Symmentec. They wheren't much help, but I don't recall seeing the problem as of late, so maybe they fixed that in one of the frequent updates...

...which brings me onto the new LiveUpdate front end. On previous versions of LiveUpdate you'd get a decent window that not only told you what it was downloading, but how big the files where and how much of them it has downloaded. Now you just get something with some red/green traffic lights telling you that it is either downloading or installing updates. So you have no real clue of what it's doing and more importantly, how long it might take.

Stuff like this combined with the nastiness that is Vista has prompted me to move to Mac in a few months when I've saved up my pennies. I know that Macs aren't invunerable and have their own problems, but I've had enough!

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Microsoft harpoons Nokia to fine tune Zune

Jay
Happy

“Designed for Zune Marketplace” or “Zune Marketplace compatible”

Until MS decide to move the goalposts.

Meanwhile on this side of the pond, WTF is a Zune?

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Blu-ray to rule by 2011

Jay
Stop

@W

Sometimes on Sky the HD channels are showing *exactly* (ie same pic quality etc) what the SD channels are. Sky One and C4 do this quite a bit.

So before doing a comparison make sure that whatever prog is on (say) Sky One is actually in HD (it should say so on the prog info). And if you can't tell the difference after that then it's either a duff setup or your eyes are screwed.

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US man cuffed for executing lawnmower

Jay
Coat

To (mis)quote Robin Williams

You have the right to bear arms or the right to arm bears, whatever you want...

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Sony Ericsson sees profits tumble, turns on workers

Jay
Thumb Down

I went to the dark side once...

A long time ago I switched from Nokia to the T610. It was a fine until I decided that I wanted to sync it up with Outlook. And that was virtually the end of that. In order to get it to do anything uselful I'd have to fork out for some third party software (XNTD I believe). So back I went to Nokia and immediately sync'd my 6230i using PC Suite (whis is more or less free). Since then I've had an N70 and N73 and have no intention of going back to S-E. Ever. And I'm a bit of a Sony fanboi too!

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Wii aids family togetherness, report claims

Jay
Unhappy

Not in my house!

Girlfriend said "we could get a Wii" in a positive way, so I hunted one down. She got narked as I had a few goes when it arrived (and had one of my mates round to help test the multiplayer). So she then gets in a huff that I've had more practice (it's a Wii FFS, it's not hard to learn/play!) and refuses to play it.

Result: Wii gathers dust for a few months until I sell it to my brother. Meanwhile I stick to PS3 and she sticks to playing Scrabulous on Facebook.

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US retailers start pushing $20 Ubuntu

Jay
Linux

Support is good for the less technically gifted

I don't think $20 is too bad if it includes a manual and some support.

Recently I got Parallels Workstation and decided to have a play with various OS. XP went on fine, as did Puppy Linux. Solaris wasn't too bad either. But with both Ubuntu (7 and 8) and Fedora I ran into some nasty problems when I decided I wanted a resolution of 1024x768. In short I ended up having to hack xorg.conf amongst other things.

OK I managed to sort out the problem myself after some googling (and my day job being sys admin of various *UX), but for someone less inclined to such things then it could have been a bit more of a problem, where phone support could have helped.

The Linux desktop still has some way to go before it starts to eat into Windows/MacOS, but it's slowly getting there.

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Trust on the slide, Chris Moyles on the up at BBC

Jay

The Chris Moyles Show is great...

...when he's on holiday and Scott Mills is covering.

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Orange prices up iPhone en France

Jay
Thumb Up

@Ron Eve

Annoyingly (as you have found out) the big mobile players (Voda, Orange, O2, T-Mob etc) have a nasty habit of effectively creating their own branded firmware full of their own tosh and sometimes lacking some features.

However in many cases it is possible to find a helpful shop (http://www.kingmobilephone.com being my usual port of call) who will put the latest manufacturer (Nokia, S-E etc) firmware on, which is usually newer than the players' firmware. The upside being you get a nice de-branded mobile and hopefully some proper features and a few bug fixes.

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Bus-spotting paedo terror bust: Shock CCTV image

Jay
Thumb Up

Fscking Genius!

This is the best one yet! I like the mash-up (can I say that here?) of multiple news items into a single coherent image. Genius!

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