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* Posts by Sir Wiggum

859 posts • joined 3 Mar 2009

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Windows 8.1 Update: Throws desktop drones a bone but still as TOUCHY as ever

Sir Wiggum
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Touch or no touch

People like long term transitions. Windows 95 still allowed the Program Manager to be ran, for example.

The Windows 8 default desktop with all the boxes just feels too much like a mix of MS Bob and Xbox 360 (where it was difficult to find things at the best of times!)

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The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Microsoft missed an opportunity here...

Rebrand it "Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs" and target it at older installations?

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Google hands over $1.4m for unmarked Street View cars in Italy

Sir Wiggum
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Fairly recognisable

When I spotted one, it was fairly recognisable:

http://www.wgmnet.co.uk/opel3resize.jpg

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Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

Sir Wiggum
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Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

What they need is another FLP.

FLP was XP-lite for old Pentium 2s etc. that were running Win 9x to bring them up to the NT/XP line.

An FLP2 based on 8.x, with TIFKAM nonsense removed, but which runs on anything from a 1.5ghz atom up, would be useful in getting people off XP.

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Plusnet goes titsup for spectacular hour-long wobble

Sir Wiggum
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Not sure if I'd notice

Not sure if I'd notice any reduction in speed that Plusnet provide, below the 1.5mb/s.

Might be fine in 1998, but in 2014 it is shockingly slow.

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Get Quake III running on Raspberry Pi using Broadcom's open-source GPU drivers, earn $10K

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Incredible

I was going to post similar.

I remember in the mid/late 90s, a friend had a top of the range PC with a Voodoo 2 graphics card, staring in amazement at the anti-aliasing and the lighting effects (back then, every game had red and blue lights everywhere, it was atmospheric at the time).

Now it runs on a 20 quid 'toy'

In 20 years time, looking forward to playing Crysis and Bioshock on a RaspberryBake....

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Hey, IT department! Sick of vendor shaftings? Why not DO IT, yourself

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Smart kids in the UK are making better career decisions too

This.

The careers teacher in the 90s sold me a pig in a poke.

I ran SimCity on their 386s, suddenly I was some sort of whizzkid.

Ended up with a BSc Comp Sci, was sold some sort of golden path, ended up in App. Support fixing other people's messes.

If I had to do it all over again - I wouldn't.

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But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

Sir Wiggum
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First is to make up a childish name, like 'boo', 'twitter', 'bing', 'google' etc.

Then, get the trendies to use your site. Sell useless stuff at high prices, or have a service which will never turn a profit. Get the trendies talking about it, as if it is some 'in' secret.

Then, fire out PRs, wait until the investors buy you, sell out, retire to a mansion in the Bahamas before investors realise they've been sold a pig in a poke.

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Facebook ditches TOP SECRET email service. Did YOU know it had one?

Sir Wiggum
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One provider, one service please

Call me old fashioned, but if one provider can focus on one service that'd be great.

Facebook - don't offer me email.

Google/Gmail - don't offer me social networking.

Sorted.

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Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Wii failed

The N64s visuals were remarkable compared to the PS1 and the Saturn.

Goldeneye was a watershed moment in console gaming history.

Super Mario 64 showed that you could take an old franchise, turn it 3D without losing the fun.

Pilotwings 64 was a thing of beauty that still gets the occasional play.

WaveRace was the showcase for water effects.

What the N64 didn't have was the breadth of games that the PS1's licensing allowed.

The cartridge format restricted the size of games, and were expensive to produce (and sell) compared to CDs.

The PS1 struck a cord with the 90s 'lads' era, gaming was no longer Manic Miner in the bedroom, it was Fifa and Gran Turismo in the living room.

The Gamecube similarly failed against the PS2 and Xbox, the Wii was basically Gamecube with a motion controller. Some fun games - WiiSports, Mario Kart Wii, but once the gimmick wore off it was back to the 360/PS3 for BioShock / GTA4-5 / Forza-GT / Cod-Battlefield / Fallout etc.

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Micro Men: The story of the syntax era

Sir Wiggum
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How I envy the pioneering era of UK computing 30 years ago, as I sit in front of a Chinese computer running a mass produced American OS.

Amstrad swept up with their bulk sales to retailers, no masses of inventory, ended up buying the last of Sinclair.

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You’re NOT fired: The story of Amstrad’s amazing CPC 464

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Mail Order

Did anyone actually do this?

Most I know bought their C64s / Spectrums / Amstrads from the likes of Comet / Lazer / Boots / Tandy...

I never tried an Amstrad, though I did boot up an emulator once to play an old game I was trying to source on any emulator. It booted up CPM, which with DOS-like syntax did feel very business-like.

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Boffin talks WATER on MARS: Granted, no 'smoking gun', but all clues flow there...

Sir Wiggum
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Ice caps?

Surely the martian ice caps are the greatest indicator of water?

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Gamers in a flap as Vietnamese dev pulls Flappy Bird

Sir Wiggum
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Bad publicity?

No such thing as bad publicity.

I'd never heard of this, and if I had noticed it on the app store I would've thought it was an Angry Birds ripoff.

Now from the national media, I know the app, what it is about and who the developer is.

Not bad publicity at all!

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STRIPPED DOWN and EXPOSED: Business kit from the good old days

Sir Wiggum
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Goldmine

You're sitting on a goldmine there.

- The eMac will sell itself on eBay to one of the many Apple hoarders.

- The typewriter - at a wedding show recently we were quoted 50 quid to hire a typewriter, like the one there with a bit of plastic ivy glued to it. The 'retro' wedding craze is in full swing and is an absolute cashcow to those in the know.

- The filing cabinets - used car dealers love these for storing V5s, MOTs, dodgy stamped service history books etc. - can't do that with a computer!

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Sony set to axe 5,000 workers worldwide as it flings PC biz overboard

Sir Wiggum
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Re: TV and DLNA

"Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes (not Opel for obvious reasons, GM) - Germans put a lot of effort into making the car look esthetic"

Seriously? "esthetic"?

VW just tweak the headlights of their last generation Golf and sell it as a new model.

BMW and Mercedes have a photocopier set to S/M/L saloon car.

German designs are some of the most conservative (small c) and boring in the industry.

Compare a last-gen 3 series coupe and saloon to an Alfa Romeo Brera and 159.

Compare an S class to a Jag XJ.

VW, BMW, Mercedes etc. aesthetic-wise are the automotive equivalent of Thinkpads.

Boring unchanging design, usually bought as corporate fleets.

Ford, Vauxhall etc. are the automotive equivalent of Dells.

I do agree, though, that someone needs to step up to the plate and offer an alternative to the cheap-plastic x86 laptops. Though most are probably keeping their best designs for tablets and ultra-expensive 'ultrabooks'.

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Sir Wiggum
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Re: Their market

Avoid Lenovo era Thinkpads.

While my IBM TP 380Z still trundles along for occasional retro gaming, my Lenovo TP 410 needed 3 (!) replacements after the fan stopped spinning. Eventually it was crashing a lot (IRQ not less than or equal?) then ground to a halt (HD in death throes).

I would not recommend a Lenovo Thinkpad to anybody.

I did have a VAOIAOAIO about 12 years ago, nice machine at the time. Was great until the fan stopped spinning (although consuming half a bottle of beer might've played a factor in it's demise).

For some reason the model I had had a different shaped CPU fan to other, presumably more popular models, I never did find a replacement. Ended up breaking, salvaged the HDD and sold the screen and casing for parts.

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Life support's ABOUT to be switched off, but XP's suddenly COOL again

Sir Wiggum
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Only machine I can think of, my old Netbook runs Linux, XP and OSX.

Plenty of alternative there.

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This THREESOME is a HANDFUL: It’s the Asus Transformer Book Trio

Sir Wiggum
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Owning an Android Transformer and occasionally using an old Acer Aspire One netbook, this looks like it could be an ideal living room machine.

Connect to TV when needed, the tablet is still usable.

Use as laptop when needed.

My only concern is that the 'switch' looks bolted on, it reminds me a bit of an Amstrad MegaPC which was a 386 PC with a Megadrive bolted on, rather than sharing.

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MAC TO THE FUTURE: 30 years of hindsight and smart-arsery

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Locked into enforced throw-away

Mac Mini?

Mac Pro?

Even during the compact run, various PC-like boxes were made, 2s LC 'pizza' boxes, up to the beige G3 which were basically an iMac sans the form factor, colour and USB.

The G3/4 towers were iMac coloured but a proper tower, then the 'cube'...

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Windows 8.1 update 'screenshots' leak: Metro apps popped into classic desktop taskbar

Sir Wiggum
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Re: desktop on every phone

I remember Windows Mobile phones from a decade ago, at least they had a stylus for touching the mini-CE start menu.

Difficult to get that point of accuracy with a big chubby finger. (oo-er!)

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Bloke hews plywood Raspberry Pi tablet

Sir Wiggum
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Re: We did question his use of plywood

The Spruce Goose!!

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Rap for KitKat in crap app wrap trap flap: Android 4.4 is 'meant to work like that'

Sir Wiggum
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The problem with Opera

The problem I've found with Opera is with sites that are updated a lot.

Say, the mobile twitter site.

You go to click a link, but for some reason it gets the page layout of the latest page and clicks *that* region, rather than the original link.

Annoying, as it means you have to go back, refresh, find the link and select it again.

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Twitter: It's JUST LIKE Elder Scrolls (no it's not)

Sir Wiggum
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Life is indeed a game.

Albeit one that is heavily skewed towards those who have amassed, or started the game with, large amounts of in-game credits.

A game server or two need rebooted somewhere.

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Intel and Asus put the dual boot in, offer 2-in-1 lapslab WinDroid

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Decent Android Laptop

Closest is probably the Asus Transformer

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Intel ditches McAfee brand: 'THANK GOD' shouts McAfee the man

Sir Wiggum
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Nonetheless, a good way of getting a company to stop putting your name on a terrible product.

I'll bet Peter Norton is wishing he was videod snorting sherbet off a strippers chest.

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Sir Wiggum
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Casio FX-82

Joining secondary school in the mid 90s I remember one of the requirements was a Casio FX-82.

It looked like it had barely changed in 15 years, but if it did the job then it was ripe for the job.

I also remember in the 80s in primary school, someone had a calculator that had a vivid red LED display, it was a thing of beauty.

Remember teachers saying that mental arithmetic was important?

That we wouldn't be carrying calculators with us everyday?

I look at my mobile phone, with calculator, spreadsheet and internet connectivity functionality, and laugh to myself.

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Gran Turismo 6: Another glossy, gorgeous Mario Kart on steroids

Sir Wiggum
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For me, the pinnacle of racing sims was Toca2. I really enjoyed it, the AI seemed believable, and it was great to get a balance between proper racing, not being left behind but not zooming off into the distance either.

Later Codemasters offerings have been more about drifting around some X-Games stadium rather than raking a Peugeot saloon car around Knockhill and Croft.

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Sir Wiggum
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Re: waltz-win in first car: a Honda (yes, really)

I once had an old Accord coupe VTec auto that cruised about like an old Merc, but when you put the foot down it is one of the only cars I've ever owned that was proper push-to-the-back-of-the-seat, it saw off many challenges from unaware boy racers in lesser Corsas.

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Sega’s Out Run: Even better than the wheel thing

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Home versions

My C64 copy was the 2nd on a compilation, meaning I had to load through the first game, then the 2nd (I was too young to realise the use of the tape counter).

I enjoyed it.

I remember Sega Power Drift, which was a bit like Out Run but had more of a roller coaster type tracks

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Handspring Visor Deluxe

> but this whole iMac design was one of the worst things to face the face of earth

Late 90s and everything was translucently blue, from external TV cards, webcams, printers, even pencil sharpeners.

By the early to mid 2000s, it was iPod white. Even the original xBox 360.

Then, late 2000s and into the 2010s, with the iPhone and iPad, black was the new.. black.

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Blighty's winter storms are PUNY compared to Saturn's 200mph, 15,000 mile wide HEXACANE

Sir Wiggum
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A hex upon thee

Plenty of hex screws lying about the Antrim coast.

Just follow the signs for the Giants Causeway.

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RM to schools: You can have third-party kit, just not from us

Sir Wiggum
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End of an era

Whatever your opinion of RM, it is the end of an era.

Throughout the 80s and into the 90s, RM was there in my schooldays, my first experiences of x86 PCs.

RM Nimbuses, the old 8086s then the 386s which were BNC networked to boot off a server.

The occasional standalone machine with Clarisworks installed.

They're as much a part of my childhood as Mac Classics.

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Sony brags: We've hit over 2 MEELLION PS4 console 'sales' worldwide

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Consoles are to games

A friend recently bought a PS4. I asked him what the main USPs were, he said the menus were a bit faster.

Given that when I switch the PS3 or 360 on, the menus are usually the bit in between me booting and playing the game, I don't see them for more than a handful of seconds anyway. It wouldn't make me rush out and buy one.

However - Show me Fallout 4 with gorgeous textures at 1080i and I'll be first in the queue....

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PS-PHWOARRR: We review Sony’s next-gen PlayStation 4

Sir Wiggum
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Where is the USP game?

I bought this gen Xbox 360 (and later a PS3) when there was a reason to get it - that was GTA4.

After that I got into some great gaming experiences with the Bioshock, Forza, Fallout, Project Gotham, Elder Scrolls, Gran Turismo series.

Currently playing GTA5 on the PS3, I'll follow that with the Bioshock Infinite DLC.

However at that point it would take a really interesting game to get me to buy the new generation.

The rumours of a new Fallout might be just that.

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Sir Wiggum
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But.. but... all PS3s play PS1 disc games.

(Not a lot of people seem to know that)

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DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life

Sir Wiggum
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Netbooks

My own netbook experience is thus:

- Bought Acer Aspire One, ran Linpus. I actually liked it, a small, fast, appliance-like distro. Of course I found the terminal quickly, enabled the right click menus etc. - biggest problem now is that it is a few years out of date, upgrading the likes of Firefox is a little cumbersome.

- Installed XP on the netbook. Runs ok. Support is going to end though I'll not use this for anything secure / banking etc.

- OSX. Bit cheeky, but this runs brilliantly. Biggest problem is that it does seem to make the machine run warm. For a little hackbook it is quite nice.

- Toshiba netbook with Windows 7 starter, bought as a gift for my other half. Despite being newer than the AAO, runs very slowly. Even Ubuntu put on it runs slow. Was gathering dust when she got an iPad.

Combined though, I use the AAO to run on the TV to stream videos from my external drive, the Toshiba is used on the other side of the living room, with synergy, to drive the mouse on the AAO.

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Sir Wiggum
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Re: Alternatively....

Had this been 10 years ago, I too would've nodded my head in agreement at buying a second hand IBM Thinkpad. *

I can't say the same now though, and would not suggest buying a Lenovo Thinkpad.

Thinkpads are alright in corporate world, when you have next-day replacement support when the inevitable fan failure occurs.

For domestic use, they're not built to last beyond the 2-3 year corporate upgrade cycle. You don't want it out of action for a week or two trying to source and fit aforementioned fan.

* My 380Z thinkpad is still going strong.

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GTA San Andreas: Now smack that disobedient hooker on your PHONE

Sir Wiggum
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Controller support / remap buttons

Any chance of adding support for proper controllers to remap the buttons?

GTA3 is fun to play on my Android convertible tablet, especially when I plug the PS3 controller in.

However, the buttons are mapped all over the place. The triangle, for example, which usually gets into the car, is used for shooting...

I tried playing it on touchscreen, just no. Horrible experience.

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Want to reach out and touch your Chromebook? How does $299 grab you?

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Or get this..

(US Only)

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XBOX ONE owners rage as HDMI SNAFU 'judders' Brit and Euro tellies

Sir Wiggum
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An Amstrad receiver going through a Microsoft console onto a Tesco Technika TV?

Talk about stacking elephants

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BBC's 3D blunder BLASTED OUR BRAINS – Doctor Who fans

Sir Wiggum
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Re: RE: The lack of ads on the Beeb is still remarkably compelling

"or at the very least should be hived off to a "BBC Classics" channel rather than sold for more profit to Dave or UK Gold."

Dave, GOLD and the rest of UKTV are basically BBC repeat channels.

Used to be broadcast from Broadcasting House, at one point more commercial TV was broadcast than BBC channels..

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BOFH: Resistance is futile - we're missing BEER O'CLOCK

Sir Wiggum
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Re: The barman knows too much!

Cornish pastie or Irish battered pastie?

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Wintel must welcome Androitel and Chromtel into cosy menage – Intel

Sir Wiggum
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Re: ooooouch

Don't forget the AMD chip in the Xbone...

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Migrating from Windows XP – Time to move on...

Sir Wiggum
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XP holdout

My own XP holdout is an Acer Aspire One from the good old netbook days of 4 years ago.

However, given that it also runs Linux and <cough> OSX </cough> (allegedly), and is still handy for taking on holiday / transporting to parents houses to show holiday photos on the TV etc. it'll stay in use.

Replacement? I tried an Asus Transformer, but it just isn't the same as a full fat laptop.

The Surface Pro / Lenovo Yoga x86s are interesting, but pricey...

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Sir Wiggum
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Re: Serial issue

I recently got some DE-9 serial port diagnostic probes for checking and diagnosing industrial applications working on a brand spanking new Windows 8 notebook for my father.

Used a serial to USB adaptor.

Only caveat was that the applications needed to execute in 'Administrator' mode to pick up the COM ports.

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HP redundancies all about getting 'cheaper, lower skilled' bods

Sir Wiggum
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Re: Reading the above comments...

If it was the well known GB (or is that BG?) energy supplier that I'm thinking of, the one that took 4 phone calls to set up a direct debit in the first place, then upon leaving GB and phoning to settle the final bill, informed me that I was in credit.

Then, a few months later at my non-GB address, I get a random bill for 40 quid, then a random bill for 150 quid, then a phone call later, a refund for 40 quid?

Utter shambles.

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Possibly EXPLODING or GLORIOUS Comet ISON: The (GIF) MOVIE

Sir Wiggum
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Re: As any fule kno

"it's pronounced jif, hence why that cleaning product manufacturer got sued by the internet authority a few years ago and had to change the name of their product"

How did the plastic lemon / squeezy juice company get away with it then?

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Schiller: 'Almost everyone' at Apple works on iPhones - not Macs or anything

Sir Wiggum
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What became of the Mac

The Mac as a product was always niche. It found a nice little corner of the market for DTP, but by the mid 90s generic 'IBM compatible' PCs had caught up.

Jobs first masterstroke was replacing the old PC-style beige Mac boxes with nice new translucent iMacs, the 'toilet seat' powerbook and G4 towers. Remember the late 90s when everything had to be translucent with that aquamarine colour?

That was the start of the mac as a fashion accessory.

Few iterations on, the iMac goes to a lamp to an all-in-one large screen.

The powerbook design gets restrained, first as an iPod-style slab then the brushed aluminium look.

Every wedding DJ seemingly has one with the obligatory playlist of 'grease megamix', 'rock the boat' and 'brown eyed girl'.

The tech moved from Gx PPC chips to x86. Presumably less development and testing required to use off the shelf PC components rather than a specialised chipset.

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MANUAL STIMULATION: Whack me with some proper documentation

Sir Wiggum
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WFW 3.11 + DOS

I remember my first PC, a 486, came with a weighty tome which was the manual for DOS 6.22, Windows 3.1 and Workgroups 3.11.

It covered everything, from batch files to control panel to setting up local network post offices...

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