1014 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008
Re: I can honestly say I'm not a fanboi. The gear is just easier to use
I have NEVER bought this argument. I've been a Mac user since '84 and I find them just as much as a PITA to use as PCs - which I first encountered in '94. I've used smartphones since '99 and yet, when presented with an iDevice (you know how it is. You work in IT so as soon as someone gets a gadget you keep getting handed it and asked "How do you do X with it?") it takes me just as long to figure out how to do stuff as it does any other phone. Just the other day someone handed me his new iPad and asked me how to bookmark a page. After a few seconds I spotted a symbol that looked VERY vaguely like it might refer to bookmarks and tapped it. All it did was LIST them. The bookmark button doesn't let you ADD bookmarks? Turns out that is a different button whose icon bares no resemblance whatsoever to adding, bookmarks or anything else. Why would you prevent someone bookmarking a page from the bookmarks?
My Mum picked up my Wife's cheapy Android device and within seconds was delighted that she had managed to find and use a recipe search app and declared it was the easiest phone she'd ever used and wanted one. I bought her the exact same phone for her birthday 3 weeks ago and she STILL can't figure out how to send a Text message??
I simply don't buy that any of them are particularly easy to use. People, under certain circumstances, will be driven to trying things to find out how they work. On a different day, in a different mood, they'll be petrified and declare it is "too difficult" to use. Maybe dropping £500 on an iPhone just "inspires" more people to be brave than spending £50 on a Huawei from Tesco.
Re: Remote controls
"skipping past channels that do nothing but sell tawdry jewellery"
I just set up a "Favourites" list with the half a dozen channels we ever bother with. I can get to the favourites list with two key preses (GUIDE and BLUE) and then, at a glance, see what is on/coming for all the channels of any worth.
And the answer is usually bugger all.
Re: Am I the only one that writes helpsheets for family?
Not for family but, when we go on holiday, we tend to house-swap with random foreign-types (German's last year, Norwegians this). I have had to write a manual for the entire house - including our all-in-one remote - that can be understood by people for whom English is not their first language. It really does make you stop and think. Trying to describe how to switch the remote into one mode, turn the telly on, set the source, switch to the satelite box etc etc really is a challenge when trying to stick to fairly simple words. I end up using lots of pictures (stolen from the PDF manual) and then use MS Paint to draw circles around the relevant buttons.
Re: Telly upgrade
> what do these do that the last tellies didn't?
Lower power consumption, higher contrast ratios, better viewing angles and clearer in sunlight.
And no, I won't be upgrading either. I REALLY love my films and something like Hero on BlueRay does look absolutely stunning but, its just a telly. It should last at least ten years before I have to replace it and the current one is probably 3 years old. In fairness, the last one only lasted a couple of years but that's because my, then, two-year-old drove a tractor across it and broke the glass. But that's okay. I stopped crying a couple of months ago and now we even let him out of his room every once in a while.
Re: …hook up two of these over a 500Mb/s powerline backbone
You'd be better off with a Wireless range extender. My parents live in a 200 year-old converted chapel with 1m thick stone walls. The WiFi has always been horrific. I got a TP-Link WiFi range extender off amazon for just over £20. It took a little bit of fiddling to set up (TP-Link use a different IP range to almost every other router manufacturer so you have to change it in the setup software) but, once up and running, it provided 4-5 bars of coverage throught the house. And you can add more if you need.
The wife was so impressed SHE actually asked me to buy one for our house to give her a better wireless signal in one part of the house that has always suffered. I'd actually already ordered one so Amazon looked really good when it turned up the morning after she had suggested it that evening!
Re: You would be wrong
Why would you "Pre" order? If it's available, you buy. If it is not available yet, you order.
Pre means "before" so Pre-order is what you do before you order. What is that? Thinking about ordering?
Re: Please someone tell me the point in this?
Okay. I'm a race-walker. I spend many hours out on the roads using my phone and Endomondo to track my training. You might not have noticed but in the UK in rains a fair bit. My phone sits in the pocket on my bottle belt. If I want to check on my progress I have to reach around, unzip the pocket, take the phone out, turn it on and unlock it. That's assuming I CAN unlock it. If it is REALLY pissing down the water buggers up the capacitive screen and I'm stuffed. With one of these, I just glance at my watch.
Granted, I could get a GPS watch like the Forerunner 310 CX - but that costs about £240 and I would STILL need to take a phone with me for emergencies etc.
I can also read texts to see if they are important without getting the phone out etc. etc.
Re: No rush to DDR4
"The need to populate ALL DIMM slots is a serious negative for DDR4."
See, I thought the same thing to start with. I remembered the bad old days when, if upgrading your PC RAM, you had to buy matching pairs which often worked out VERY expensive. If you had a mother board with two pairs of slots and one pair had 2 X 512MB DIMMS to give 1GB of RAM you couldn't just buy another 512MB DIMM. You had to buy two thereby doubling the cost.
But, with the PC becoming more and more of a consumer product I'm not sure that matters any more. Yes, there will still be the enthusiast market for whom it will be an added expense. But then, when speccing a high-end gaming rig or video editing machine you expect expense.
The vast majority of people now buy laptops, tablets or all-in-one PCs which either can't be upgraded or just won't be. And I can't remember the last time we added RAM to a PC at work. It used to be a regular occurance but, with Windows 7 (and 8) having the same memory requirements as Vista, RAM hasn't really been an issue for the last several years.
or goodsync for a windows desktop. Been using it for years to sync;
Desktop1 -> NAS <- Desktop 2
It keeps both machines in sync AND a copy of everything on the NAS.
Not sure I see the point of this FolderSync though. Isn't that exactly what the apps themselves do? I only use SugarSync out of those listed but I just tell that to keep an eye on a few folders on my device and keep them synched with my account and/or my PC. Do the others not do that too or am I just missing something?
Re: Can an Rpi
"An old Xbox1 can do this, for about a tenner, if youn install XMBC and a few plugins"
Apart from HDMI and 11n Wi-fi
I always stick the windows toolbar up the right-hand edge of the screen on any machine with a widescreen display. It gives you more verticle pixels to play with AND has the advantage of being able to show several running apps on the Bar without the titles becoming unreadable. I've been doing this for 6 or 7 years now but am still surprised how few people follow suit - even though it appears to be blazingly obvious. It takes a couple of days to get used to.
I've also taken to setting my vertically oriented toolbar to auto-hide and very wide - but that probably IS just me being a little weird.
Re: Personally i'm happy
"Not that much hassle actually. You can write to the TV licensing agency"
Really? This must have changed fairly recently. When I got my first flat (12 years ago) I didn't even bother getting a telly (couldn't afford one) but got regular red letters from the TV Licensing authority accusing me of being a criminal. It didn't matter how many times I told them I don't have a telly they kept sending letters - minimum two a month. I eventually sent a cease-and-decist notice and got told (paraphrasing) "Tough shit asshole. We're a government department and we'll send you whatever threatening letters we damn well like as often as we like".
And like the commentard above, I also pay twice as much for a TV License I don't use as I do for my Netflix subscription. Thieving bastards!
Re: Tempted - why have a smartphone
Okay, just a quick list of the stuff I use on a daily/weekly basis;
Endomondo - I do a lot of race-walking and Endomondo tracks all my training and logs performance data
Music - I DON'T have a separate music player so this is it with a 16GB memory card and senheisser headphones
Radio - It is also my Radio AND I listen to podcasts
eMail - I hardly go near my home PC for email now. We are restricted at work as to what we can access so my smartphone gives me access to personal email
News - I use Google Reader to keep up with the local and national news and a few race-walking blogs I follow
Facebook - Not essential but handy for road-closure news if nothing else.
Football - I have an app that keeps me upto date on any England/Spurs matches including goal alerts, final scores etc
Lists - I use springpad to keep lists of all sorts of stuff. If I buy something on-line, springpad has a button to clip the invoice and archive it. It means I carry around receipts of almost everything in my pocket. My wife can update a shopping list which notifies me when things have been added so that I can pick them up from town in my lunch. Reminders, memos, todos. I use it a lot.
Tickets - most tickets are virtual now - either a reference in an email or some kind of code. They are all on my phone. Can't remember the last time I used a physical ticket for anything. The closest might be going to the cinema where you show them your code on the phone, they print a ticket and you walk 5 yards to hand it to the bloke on the door????
Reminders/Calendar - My main use is as a virtual filofax. My phone is constantly pinging to remind me to do this, get that, collect so and so. My wife and I share one calendar on-line that syncs to both phones so that we can see what times are free, who is picking up the kids etc. My wife works shifts in a pub so keeping up with when she is/isn't working is a nightmare.
Tesco - When I use the last of something I add it to the Tesco "Big Shop" list for weekly delivery. You can just use the camera to scan the barcode.
Fuelly - I keep track of the MPG of both our cars
Sunrise/sunset and Tides - I have tables of both on my phone, very handy for walking training or for walks along the beach with the family - not much use taking them for a walk along the beach if it is under water.
Mapping - I have full OS maps on my phone and use them frequently along with the built-in GPS
Weather - VERY important when you are out walking in the hills for hours on end
Other stuff that just comes in handy once in a while;
SatNav, Calculator, Unit converter, IMDB, Internet (usually sports scores), eBay, amazon, TV listings and VERY occasionally phone calls or texts.
I've been using a smartphone since 1999 (Ericsson R380 World) and would be utterly lost without it.
Do you want....a certain ICS upgrade or a microSD card slot?
Am I REALLY being too greedy in wanting both?
I remember playing this game a LOT as a kid but didn't have any of the machines listed? Still, it was fantastic fun.
We just marked that out on the wall in the office that has the large whiteboard on it. It is bigger than the whiteboard - by quite a decent margin. Infact, it is so big, I wouldn't need to decorate the living room wall ever again - because I wouldn't be able to SEE the living room wall.
Re: fiver goes a long way
"If the SIM goes dark after 6 months that's worth knowing"
That certainly applies to T-Mobile UK. Not tried any of the others as T-Mobile have always had good coverage and excellent Data Rates on PAYG for the areas I visit. "3" are looking more and more tempting cost-wise but they have too many coverage holes.
Same network, different country
I'm on Sure - Cable and Wireless and, not only can I roam to other countries within the same network but numbers in those countries are included within my "Free" minutes; along with Ireland, for some reason. Quite handy, though, as the wife's family are from Dublin.
Re: fiver goes a long way
> Silly question - why throw the SIM away?
Not a silly question. They get locked after Six months of inactivity. It is probably horribly lazy of me but I've found it to be far more hassle trying to get the damn things re-activated - which I want to do before I get back to the UK and so have to ring an international number - than to just buy a new one. If I know I will be back in the UK soon I will keep it but that is rare.
Re: fiver goes a long way
Yep, when I visit the UK I switch my local SIM into a dumb phone so that I can still recieve calls from home. I then stick a UK SIM (T-Mobile) in my smartphone and get Unlimited* data for £5 a month. I usually just pop into the nearest supermarket and get a SIM with £10 of credit. The £5 left over usually does me for making calls whilst I'm there and I throw the SIM away on the way home.
It seems daft paying roaming charges when you can pick up a local PAYG SIM for nothing but the credit you charge it with.
* Where unlimited is very much limited.
Re: Shouldnt it be cheaper....
"IF Huawei could do the San Francisco at 100 (OLED screen mind you)"
ZTE did the San Fran but your point still stands. Samsung also do the Europa (i5500), a cracking little smartphone that can be had, SIM Free, for £60. I would have said £180-200 for this. Particularly with the Nexus available for £280 and the Nexus S for only £30 more.
Re: The thing is...
"Is making it smaller and bunging in a GSM chipset really worth 2x the price?"
I've wondered this for ages. Phones have smaller batteries, smaller cases and smaller (albeit higher PPI) screens. From a completely uninformed viewpoint there seems to be little in it BOM-wise. The only reason I can see for certain phones costing a LOT more than tablets is the sales model. Punters spread out the cost of a phone purchase over a 24-month contract and so don't notice the cost. With tablets, the full purchase price is usually paid up front.
As an example, I just got my Mum a Samsung Galaxy Europa (i5500). For the phone, an 8GB memory card and in in-car holder/charger it was £66 off Amazon. It is a cracking little phone. The wife has had one since September and loves it (hence Mum wanting one). How can a Galaxy III cost more than EIGHT TIMES that?
Re: 7" tablets are brilliant
"But given the trend for phones is 4" or bigger (mines 4.7") if I'm going to invest in a tablet it needs to be a different form factor for a different job.
10" is perfect for portability but a use that's different enough from my phone to be worthwhile"
But, AGAIN, not everyone is the same. Whilst, yes, top-end smartphones are increasing in size (seen a lot of Galaxy Notes about lately) there is still a big market for cheaper, smaller phones. I couldn't use one any bigger than 3.5" for various (irrelevant) reasons. So having a 3.5" smartphone plus a 7" tablet works really nicely. On the other hand, my retired dad has a nokia dumb phone for out and about and a 10" tablet for using around the home and for taking on holiday - which works really nicely. He has tried to use my 7" tablet but finds everything too small for his needs.
Horses in corsets and all that.
I must admit, the rapid ubiquity of HDMI ports has been great for me. Just before we set off on Holiday with the kids in May I grabbed a £90 Android tablet from Amazon. On the way up the M6 I even manged to get a MiniHDMI to HDMI cable from the bargain bin (packaging damaged) of ASDA. With a USB Memory stick packed with films/cartoons for the kids and a Netflix subscription we were able to plug the cheapo tablet into the HDMI port on the telly in our accomodation to keep the kids/us amused and it even worked with the TV in the cabin on the boat on the way over. Only two years ago something similar could be acheived with a portable DVD player and a case full of DVDs but they were a bugger to cart about, the battery didn't last long and, inevitably with kids, the DVDs all got scratched to feck.
Yeah, I'm not too sure about edge to edge screens on phones either. What are you going to hold? How does the phone know the difference between the finger wrapping around onto the screen to grip it and you touching it to control the UI? It sounds nice in principal, I grant you, but the practicalities seem insurmountable. But then, I'm not a UI designer.
Re: I use KeePass
"Oh, you don't work in banking / government / large company where everything is locked down and you're not even allowed to install a non-Microsoft browser "cos of cequritey".
I DO work in such an environment and KeePass is the group standard used by all the various bits of IT along with HR and compliance.
Re: Exercise in pointlessness
"never understood why people mount TVs high on walls, are they trying to create that pub TV feeling!? Are they trying to create neck problems for themselves!? Are they just really chuffed that you CAN mount a set on a wall nowadays?"
No, they've had their first LCD cracked by their two year old driving a toy tractor accross it and now mount it high enough to keep it out of reach.
Re: bigger != better
Why are you "sick of" of manufacturers doing something? They aren't forcing you to buy them. There are litterally hundreds of choices out there. You can still get smaller smartphones. My contract came up for renewal so I got a Motorola Defy + which was a really nice size (flogged it on eBay for £170). My wife has a Samsung Galaxy Y which is even smaller. There are loads of smaller phones being released but they tend not to be at the very high end so you don't see reviews for them on sites like this. Sony (Ericsson) are little doing the Xperia Mini Series which are amazing phones with a really nice UI skin to get around the problem of the screen being so small.
"Given that Goldman Sachs' junk mortgages are larglely responsible for the state of the global economy today"
That's a wonderful statement. Any evidence? Presumably, therefore, none of the responsibility lies with the people that took out those mortgages that they couldn't afford to repay and that were more than the house was worth? Of course, it is far more comforting to blame the Atlantic recession (I think you'll find the economy is pretty much tickety-boo in most of the rest of the world, thanks) on a couple of "Evil" companies than to accept that people are just greedy and allow their greed to blind them into making stupid choices.
"You just need to say "English" since, by definition, that is what is spoken in Britain"
Do you want to explain that phrase? Even as an Englishman I'm aware (reminded on a regular basis) that there is a fairly huge difference between England and Britain. And that is before we even get into the whole hornets nest that is the UK, the Crown Dependencies etc.
Re: Depending on battery life...
> I'd also have to add "has a message/missed call notification LED?"
It has an OLED screen so these are redundant. Just install NOLED on it and you can have all the notifications you want with all the information you wish. Simples. Of course, lacking physical LEDs, it should come with the software already installed!
Re: yep, indeed... not
Defeinitely not my experience either. I've owned HTC devices for many years. Must have had six or seven and the build quality has always been stupidly good. Sure, many of them were big, heavy and cumbersome but they felt like you could bludgeon someone to death with them without leaving any tell-tale signs.
Re: I remember...
"I'm still a bit skeptical about conversion from screen to real life though. After all, aiming with a mouse or a joystick"
The study did make a distinction between those who had used a traditional controller and those that had used a "similation" aiming device like a wii remote in a gun-mount.
Re: People who practice doing something turn out to be better at it
Incorrect. Have done plenty of both - though no real pistols. Just shot guns and air rifles. And, other than the obvious kick-back from a shot gun - which only takes a couple of shots to get used to - they are damn near identical. Aim, track, squeeze. It isn't difficult.
Well bugger me sideways
People who practice doing something turn out to be better at it than people who don't. Fuckin' hey! Research grant well spent, guys.
Re: If they really want better search results...
@h4rm0ny - I'm in the Isle of Man but connect through the comapny proxy in Dublin. Google is fine with this and returns geographical search results based on my actual location. Bing just tells me I'm wrong and that I live in Dublin. Believe me, I've tried over and over again. Bing seems to be fine if you're in the US but, in my experience (and I set Bing as my default for a good six months after the last raft of changes) Bing is not much cop for local searches if you live anywhere it considers abnormal.
Working - Ish
Last night I was able to install and run Google drive for both Windows and Android. However, the Windows install took forever to download and forever to connect and kept giving time-out errors along with a few more general errors. No such problems with the Android version but then, I only had half a dozen Google Docs in there and, as I couldn't get the Windows version to work, I couldn't see how well it synched new stuff.
Anyway, it all seems a bit shite compared to SugarSync.
Re: Its a good list.
Jet Set Willy WAS good but I think it is correct that the list focus on the original Manic Miner and not the sequel.
Love the list. I would have subbed "The Hobbit" for THGTTG but then, that's the point of these lists. They are personal possessions composed of shared memories.
It all looks a bit limited. It is really a shame they have gone with the crappy Dropbox model. Having to move all the stuff you want to sync into the "sync" folder is just crap. You end up duplicating stuff all over the place when the general idea of cloudy sync is to make life easier and avoid ending up with multiple, out of sync copies of things. I really don't understand why all these services don't just allow the user to choose what they want to sync from their current hard drive. I've been using SugarSync for longer than I can remember and, whilst a bit more expensive than Google Drive, it seems like a lot less hassle - especially given that the early interest in Drive seems to have brought down all their servers. I'm getting no response from Drive or the webpage!
A wonderfull piece that brings back many happy memories so a huge thank you for that. However, I can't believe any piece on the Spectrum is complete without mention of the Kempston Interface pack. This plugged into the back of the machine and, if memory serves (I was only 6!) went straight into the memory interface. It was sold as a general interface but was REALLY just so that you could plug in the same joysticks that your mates were using with their Comodore 64s. The only problem was, because it plugged directly into the memory interface, if you got a bit "enthusiastic" with your jojstick and pulled the cable out you killed your RAM. I have a vague recollection of this costing the better part of £100 to replace back then.
Re: Oh come on!
> You should read some of the tabloid press now and again then
No. I shouldn't.
I think this looks STUNNING and the cost is pretty decent too. But a lack of storage (only 13GB available and no SD card slot) plus an old OS is going to make it a hard sell.
After someone used the old "Just because someone leaves the front door unlocked doesn't mean you can just waltz in and take what you want" (which is clearly bollocks as nothing was taken) I was trying to think of a more apt analogy. In this case it was more like Norwich have put posters up in the living room window pointing out into the street and are pissed off that someone took a photo of the poster and then re-printed it.
Re: Who's it for?
Assuming you were being serious and not just trolling;
How am I supposed to measure the contents of a fully sealed oil tank by "getting off my fat arse"?
How am I supposed to stop my son's bedroom dropping below 16C by "getting off my fat arse"? Do I get up every 30 mins during the night, take a temperature reading and either turn the heating on or off?
Or, for the example someone gave above of dumping excess solar energy into the immearsion, should he remain at home all day to do this or do you advise running home every few minutes to switch the relay manually?
Slowly creeping in
I started reading this thinking "Oh god, another Tomorrow's World special on things that will never happen".
Then I realised, we already have a signal-man that uses an accoustic sensor to monitor the level of oil in the tank and calls the oil company for a re-fill if it gets too low. I didn't even pay for that - the oil company supplied and fitted.
And, when we got our new oil-fired boiler three years ago they threw in a wireless controller. So the heating is fully programmed and, for example, I can stick it in the youngest's room overnight (which tends to be the coldest) and it will ensure the room never drops below 16C.
I also have a £15 all-in-one remote which, from a single button press, will turn on the TV and blu-ray and switch the TV onto HDMI-1 (amongst other things).
And, whilst not automated yet, we get our shopping delivered each week by Tesco. I can use my Android phone, during the week, to take a snap of the barcode of anything I've emptied (cereal boxes etc) and they just get added to the list. On a Monday night I then log in to the current order where it tells me what I ordered last week, what I usually order and if there are any specials on things I've ordered in the past. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the list and it gets delivered Tuesday night. I can see that process becoming more and more automated over the next few years.
Home automation isn't just coming. It is here. But it is here in ways that we tend not to notice - which is surely the whole point.
Re: San Fran
It is actually the same processor (Arm-7), just clocked up to 1GHz - so still no official Flash support. Also, I don't like the look of that back cover. My SanFran has proved itself to be pretty waterproof (mine gets used in Mountain Rescue as a navigation device and tracker beacon). With bloody great holes cut out of the the case for the camera lens and flash any tiny bit of moisture is going to kill this. Which is a shame as, low-res-screen not withstanding, it was looking pretty good.
"Why are the comments most hostile to authors always the most illiterate?"
Given "illiterate" means "an absence of literacy" surely you can't have a "most illiterate" as that would be the greatest amount of the absence of something?
Should be "least literate"
10% of an Apple Turnover
Sounds tasty but wouldn't keep me going for long.
Re: wife one of these for Xmas and they love it !
They? How many wives do you have?
Re: How many more?
I really don't understand your point. This piece is about Google being a monopoly. This is why Google keep being investigated. They are not doing anything illegal per se. It is simply that different rules apply to them in the same way that Microsoft cannot do things that Apple can because MS has 90% of the OS market and Apple has less than 10%.
But these rules are not black and white. The rule is that you cannot use your monopolistic position to leverage further market gains or to unfairly influence other markets. That isn't a yes/no tickbox. That is up to competition commissions to interpret the rules, argue with lawyers and come to considered opinions.
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