215 posts • joined Thursday 11th June 2009 10:19 GMT
Re: FAIL felt as far as Oregon
The First Direct call centre is in Leeds, so you wouldn't end up speaking to someone abroad. Though there's still no chance of a face-to-face. On the up side I haven't had any big problems in 10 years.
For the BB (5)<-> MacOS sync it had a nasty habit of changing the date of calendar items during the sync. They couldn't be bothered to ever fix that, so hopefully the Google Calendar fix will be better!
I've had my Mac Pro for about four and a half years now. It cost a small fortune, but at least I saved a bit my putting my own memory and disk in. I deliberately got a Pro as I wanted a Mac with more than one disk, and I was messing about with video a bit at the time. I've had no real problems with it, though the OS is a bit laggy every now and again, but that's probably my fault for being lazy and upgrading rather then a fresh install. And on that subject I have a sneaky feeling that for the next release of Mac OS Apple may shift their support window and leave my Pro out in the cold.
I see my Pro going for a good few years yet (not bad considering I used to replace my Win PCs every 2-3 years) and I'd love to replace it with another Pro (hopefully with USB3, Thunderbolt etc all thrown in), so fingers crossed Apple don't do away with it and try and convince people that a Mac Mini with serveral daisychained external drives is a good thing...
Re: It's all "Top Down"
And on a similar subject: Kin, Zune, Sidekick (the data loss was on MS' watch), Courier...
Many companies have disasterous products, but Balmer-era MS seems to be having more of its fair share.
Re: To thumbs downguy
Funnily enough the website that gives you the $15/£15 promo code (http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com/) doesn't actually check that you've recently purchased a Win7 box, so you can just make stuff up. And the code will work for XP as well (as long as you've got a kosher version, though XP 32bit will only upgrade to 8 32bit).
And as a quick aside when upgrading from XP to 8 it will not offer you the option to make an ISO. However once upgraded if you run the upgrade program again then it will give you an option to make an ISO.
I like to keep up with what's going on with desktop, so I've got VMs for XP, 7, 8 and a few Linux distros, all of which run on the Mac. So all bases covered for random support questions.
No phone line needed
Even though the T&Cs require you to have Sky boxes plugged into the phone line, you can get away with it not being plugged in. Though that does mean some of the interactive red button stuff may not work. I haven't had my box plugged in for about 3 years now and no complaints so far. Even when I swapped boxes I just called them up to pair the card when it couldn't do it itself.
As far as I can tell there may soon be the abaility for one Sky box to be able to stream to another. From http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/sky-hd-supertelly/48844-new-sky-hd-skyhd-epg-v49-20-being-rolled-out-now.html
"Sky is currently developing an ability to allow access to the contents on the Sky+ HD STB. This should then allow the SkyHD STB and the Sky Go app to stream content from your Sky+ HD STB when on the same LAN. There should also be an ability to allow you to view the content when away from home too with the Sky Go app."
I was waiting for a 128GB iPod Touch (to upgrade from my pre-'Classic' iPod) and would have purchased one ASAP. But for whatever reason Apple have stuck to 64GB. Basically I was after the storage, the apps (as I've bought a few for the iPad) and some wifi.
That didn't happen, and my work Blackberry is pretty stupid as far as smartphones go (not 3G, wifi never works, useless browser, lack of/expensive apps). So I took the (comprimised) plunge and got myself a 2nd hand iPhone 4S 64GB via eBay, as many people are upgrading to a 5 then there's a few of them about! It's nice to have a phone that is comparable with the missus, who has had a HTC Desire HD for a while.
I seem to recall one of the ASM libs/packages/whatever only being available via an OEL subscription (for 6.x). That's one way of getting people to use OEL. Strangely, even though you can download the ASM packages for 5.x from their website when I attempted to use some of their yum repos for the same packages, one of them was strangely absent...
Most of our RHEL boxes run Oracle (the rest is CentOS), so when they get replaced/rebuilt for 6.x it'll probably have to be OEL rather then RHEL to get a fully supported DB. No point paying for two subscriptions. In fact I think some of my colleagues over the pond will be going OEL 6.x for that reason. I don't particularly like it, but it's increasingly what you have to do if you want to tun Oracle DB.
Given their nasty (DB) pricing, mangled Sun support and this sort of thing, they are probably my most disliked IT company.
I'll wait for another year, again.
Once again I was hoping for a 128GB iPod Touch to replace my 'Classic' (though technically it's a 5th gen iPod 160GB from before they named them Classic). 64GB isn't quite enough to hold all my music and apps, which I would like to have with me at all times in case I have a burning need to listen to obscure remixes of Pacific State, 3am Eternal or A Huge And Ever Growing...
I'm surprised that the Classic is still on sale, as it doesn't quite fit in with all things fondle. I'd like like to think that if they drop it , then they'd beef up the Touch to compensate.
Though I'm sure there are some deep in Apple who live in some utopian futurist fantasy world where there's always wfif/4G/etc and everyone loves to use iCloud, iTunes match and the like and so therefore no-one will ever need more than 64GB storage.
I'm more of a CLI guy, as it was drummed into me a long time ago then when (UNIX) boxes go wrong you've usually only got a CLI console session and vi to try and fix everything. The point being that you can't always rely on a GUI. That was slightly more in the days of X, though even now apps or web-based GUIs still need something to connect to. Mind you back then it was almost always quicker/easier to use a CLI than (on Sun kit) run admintool or the horrors that were AdminSuite/DiskSuite. And as others have pointed out, when you have to automate something, then the CLI is usually your friend.
Plus on the more practical side, none of the Linux boxes I look after has a windowing environment installed so it's not as if I have a choice! Though from remote point of view handy things like FileZilla client and even the web front end for Dell's OMSA do allow you to take a quick glance at what's going on without having to resort to CLI antics.
Re: testing generators
Yep seen the same thing. After a test someone forgets to switch back to auto. Some time later a digger goes through some power cables and the entire area goes out. This is then very swiftly followed by a lack of power in the office... That's when you get to see how good your DR setup is!
Re-inventing the wheel. Again.
The only way Microsoft and Nokia is going to get out of this is to stick with Windows 8 and whatever hardware platform it comes on, and then try expanding on it. This is opposed to pressing the reset button and almost starting from scratch every other model/year.
Generally (I know there are exceptions) if you buy a newish smartphone nowadays be it iOS or Android then it should run the next OS revision (any if you're lucky maybe the one after that too).
Or to put it another way. Changing the wheels every so often doesn't help the momentum...
Re: Abandoned mine when I saw the "you live in australia tax"
A big +1 for clearing cookies/cache etc. Whilst looking for some long haul flights a few months back the wife and I were using several different flight comparison sites as well as some airline sites to try and get the beat deal. In one case the price went up about £100 per seat. So after some swearing etc, we cleared the cookies/cache and waited 30 mins. Low and behold next time round the prices were back down again and so we booked the tickets.
And a slight footnote based on @Diogenes TSA coment. They are a bunch of theiving bastards.
S'OK I suppose, unless you need support
I've had two domains hosted with Fasthosts for quite a few years now. In that time the support has definately gone down the toilet. More often than not it's not even worth opening a case as they just won't do anything, assuming they can actually understand what you're asking for. The first line support have no access to anything, so frequently ask you for your passwords to see what's going on.
A Sony fanboy speaks
I've got a fair amount of Sony kit, so some thoughts from that point of view.
Over the past few years the build quality has definately going down. In the past year the Bluray player and amp I've purchased have been significantly more lightweight than their several year old predecessors
Meanwhile as someone else pointed out, there is a lack of synergy (can I use that word here?) between products. A case in point being the Bluray player point blank refusing to acknowledge some video formats/codecs, but the PS3 not having any problems at all. They both have had various firmware updates, so it's not as if they've been completely abandoned. Similarly my new amp is touted an AV reciever with a DLNA client, but doesn't support streamed video at all!
On a similar subject I'm now pretty used to the XMB style interface that most visual Sony products have. So I have no idea which team of idiots developed and signed off the abomination that my amp presents me with. Words fail me at how bad it is, so as a picture paints a thousand words, imagine this on a 40" screen: http://asset2.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2011/08/09/IMG_0026_540x303.JPG . A great use of screen real estate, no?
As for the very bad things Sony have done (to me) the worst has to be the proprietry hardware/software formats it foists on us. I'd got fed up with having to buy yet another evolution of Memory Stick with suitably evolved name for a huge price. Fortunately for Sony someone up top decided to allow their cameras to start using SD as well, as I was virtually on the way to the shop to pick up a Lumix.
I know that Sony Centres/Shops are franchises, but you would like to think a corporate drone would take a look every now and again. When looking to do some amp pre-purchase research I visited three such establishments, and none of them even had a single amp on display. It's almost as if they didn't exist. Bluray players were a bit elusive as well.
So to sum up in report style. Must try harder.
Re: Anglo-Saxons, go home!
What happens in the Balkans...
Yep, in short the start of WWI was more or less the same as 2 blokes having a bit of an altercation in the pub, in which they both drag in their (slightly reluctant) mates before it all kicks off because no-one involved is willing to lose face and walk away. And in that case the US is someone minding their own business until someone bumps into him and spills his pint...
Re: That's awesome!
I've always wanted to see the Saturn V there. Unfortunately for me when I was there in late 1996, it wasn't on display as they where busy stuffing it into it's current home. Similarly after many years of wanting to go on the 20000 Leagues Under The Sea ride at MouseWorld, when I got there it was closed never to return.
Strange that the DLNA bods say this now, I've been running (Netgear) powerline stuff for a while now. I stream films/music from my Netgear ReadyNAS or Mac to PS3 and Sony BluRay and amp. Generally works fine, no buffering at all (compared with WiFi).
Though as I only use them for streaming and PS3 connectivity I usually switch them off when I'm done.
For me the demise of Game started some time back when they closed their Canary Wharf branch (probably priced out of the rent I expect). By the time they closed, there was hardly a PS3 section at all (lots of 360 and Wii though) and even the (PS3) pre-owned was very slim pickings. They had a few PC games, but not really much new stuff. Very rarely would I buy something from there, as it was always extremely expensive compared to everywhere else.
Where I live there's a Game, but I can't say I've really been in there much. As every time I do, I'm reminded of how expensive it all is. I appreciate they're not going to be as cheap as online, but more often than not it's £7-10 over.
Fortunately CEX have now opened a branch a few mins walk away from them. Before I had to go up a few tube stops or have a bracing walk to the nearest branch. As of late I've managed to offload some of my older games and stuff I'm not playing any more, and stock up on something I may have missed and in one case a new game. Kudos to the nice man who gave me the full fat version of Battlefield 3 (with online stuffs) for the price of the diet version. Done whilst joking that as it had been out for 24 hours I was sure to get my arse kicked online by a load of kids!
Hmmm, tough one. I wouldn't fancy being hit with a monthly fee, and to a certain extent I wouldn't particularly like to pay a one-off fee for something I've already paid for.
However I could be tempted if they opened up the archives a bit, and allowed you to download (within the DRM framework of iPlayer Desktop) and also relaxed the time in which you could watch something.
At the moment I quite like the fact that you can stream and/or download, but the time constraints put on watching can be a bit annoying.
"An Apple PR person sent a statement to El Reg"
What Apple are talking to El Reg now?
Re: dlna issues...
Indeed. I've noticed that the PS3 and my BDP-S780 (BluRay) both have things (video) that one won't play and the other will.
Though at least they both have the easy to use XMB interface, opposed to the horrendous bag-of-spanners GUI my recent STR-DN1020 (AV receiver) is lumbered with. Also strangely for an AV amp it will happily pick up DLNA streamed music, but doesn't have the capability for streamed video. Though appearently it will play video off a USB drive.
Another +1 for SuperDuper! here. I use TimeMachine for everyday stuff and do full-on clones every week or so (every few weeks for the offsite drive).
Shops lacking kit, with big prices
Whilst looking for a new amp recently I popped into a few Sony Centres, and they now seem to be rather heavily slanted toward TVs, fondleslabs and not much else. Not that I was thinking of buying from there, just wanted a look at the kit. Purchased from Richer Sounds in the end for £150 under the Sony list (web) price.
In the past I'd managed to haggle a deal at the Sony Centre on TCR (one of the Shasonic ones) when buying a TV and DVD/HDD. Though at that point I was walking up/down taking notes on who could offer what, and ended up buying from Ask opposite in the end.
Have purchased from the actual Shasonic shop itself a few times, I wonder if that is going under. Likewise a Sony Centre opened in Wimbledon a few months back, I also wonder if that is one is on the way out. Strangely w-a-y back in 1996 there used to be a Sony Centre in Wimbledon, but that closed down some time after. Maybe someone thought if Stormfront (Apple reseller/specialist.whatever) could sell shiny kit there, Sony could too?
Putting a different spin on this...
Instead of an XKCD ref, here's a Cyanide & Happiness one:
Stangely enough whilst reading these very comments I got to have a quick play on a Vita. The interface and navigation seem to be pretty easy to pick up. I played a demo of Mod Nation Racers, which was OK though took *ages* to load. I also played Cliff Diver and the AR card magically created a pool and tower on my desk. Gimmicky but quite fun.
I won't be buying one as after the inital shiney phase it'd probably end up sitting around gathering dust like the PSP I used to have. Though I suspect that my iPad may also skew things a bit. I can see how more hardcore/fanboi gamers would quite happily pick one up (and I'm sure the games will get better), but I'm not sure how well it will sell going head-to-head with whatever Nintendo are shifting and the multitude of smartphones/tablets and the like.
Re: Re: There's an obvious problem with this statement:
Amen! At my first job the sysadmin department was basically run by some contractors and quite a few graduate age permies (of which I was one). It was very much a JFDI place, us doing what we wanted and (almost) damn the consequesnces as we'd be off to the pub.
Looking back on it now we wonder how on earth we ever got anything done, didn't screw everything up and got away with it. Still it provided a great benchmark in my mind of "how not to do things".
MS: Windows 8 = Windows 8 = Windows 8. But Windows 8 (x86) != Windows 8 (ARM) != Windows (Phone) 8
This is going to be a a giant clusterfuck. MS has been banging on that there will be something called Windows 8 and it will run on PC, tablet and phone. But in the smallprint they now say that there's not going to be much (if any) crossover between Windows 8 (x86) and Windows 8 (ARM), and I guess that also goes for Windows 8 (Phone).
As many commentanrds have already pointed out, there are bound to be people who purchase a Windows 8 tablet, and then wonder why they can't throw some of their existing x86 software on there. MS is so hell bent on using the Windows brand that it's just shooting itself in the foot continuously.
It only takes a sideways glance at Apple (or even Google) to see that it is possible to have two separate arch OS (MacOS/iOS and at a push Chrome/Android) from a known brand.
I think they should have just called the (entire) tablet/phone OS Metro and be done with it. Besides having the Metro interface on a PC is just a complete disaster.
At this rate I can't see (ahem) active getting the upper hand over passive. Cheaper, less complex and less side-effects are always going to win out.
However the real killer 'app'/elephant is content. As several commentards have said over the years; dross in 3D is still dross.
Re: Re: Re: Re: He'll never work again. Anywhere.
Earlier this week I saw a tweet from a NoTW staffer who lost his job. He indicated that he and others were unemployed whilst NI generally has the same management bods and a new Sunday rag. I'm under the impression that said new rag will more-or-less be staffed by the existing Current Bun lot.
The whole removal of NoTW to try and protect allegedly guilty moptop woman and Murdoch Jr was overkill. Many of the staff wheren't even on the paper when all the nasty stuff was happening. And now NI just go and rub salt in the wound by bringing back the same paper thinking that a name change will make any difference.
On a recent trip to Kruger Nataional Park in South Africa, some sound advice imparted to me was that virtually everything in the park could move faster than a human (inc those slovenly looking hippos and water buffalo). Fortunately the closest to grief I found myself was in a 4x4 that was having a Mexican standoff with an elephant. In the end we reversed a bit and he got bored, but it definately taught me a new respect for elephants!
Apple Store = Customer Service?
Hopefully one of his first actions will be to put tills back into the Apple Stores again. I don't mind waiting in line for a till, but waiting around trying to flag down a passing sales droid who can be bothered to help really annoys me. Moreso as on the last 2 trips to an Apple Store I've known exactly what I wanted, I just needed to pay for it.
Note to Apple, you can sell more stuff if customers can actually pay...
I remember Wordwise. For me it was on a ROM on BBC B/Master whilst I typed up my A level CompSci project (amongst other things) in 1992. I also recall the different edit and view modes. My mind was blown when I first saw a WYSISWYG word processor on an Archemidies!
I picked up an iPad2 from Reston whilst I was in the US a few weeks back.
I went into the store and was met by a 'greeter' who then directed me to an iPad on a desk, which I then had to fiddle with for an employee to come over. The store wasn't busy, and after a few mins salesbod toddles over. So I ask for a 16GB iPad2 WiFi in black (as that as what I wanted). He then asked if he could ask me a few questions to see which iPad is best for me. I told him he could try. He did, and (in the style of Brian Clough) in the end decided I was right and knew what I wanted.
That small issue out the way, he then had to order the item via the iPhone round his neck, for someone round the back to bring it out. At this point there was lots of waiting around, and salesbod even had call someone up to see WTF was happening. Eventually iPad2 showed up. As I had a UK plastic and was paying in US I had to have a chat with a HSBC bod over a crap line to reassure them it was all legit.
After that the salesbod offered to initialise (or whatever) the iPad2, as it was iOS4 back then and you had to do that sort of thing. In the end what should have been a quick (well 15 mins tops) in/out purchase ended up taking about an hour!
Not entirely convinced
The Metro UI looks like it will finally bring Windows (in some form) to a portable device without trying to shoehorn the traditional Windows look and feel in. This is definately a good thing, moreso if you've had the misfortune to use Win CE (or whatever it was renamed to).
However MS' insistance of having Windows 8 on PC, slab and phone may come a bit of a cropper. In short the Metro UI on a PC desktop is a complete disaster. You can turn it off with a bit of messing about, but how many average bods are going to do that? It's the same argument that many use againt Ubuntu's takeup of Unity and GNOME 3's direction.
Another slight problem is that no matter what it looks like, you can be sure that MS will ensure that it will have to do Windows things. This is what stopped previous Win tablets dead, as they were just normal Win stuffed onto a keyboardless laptop with some estra blurb for touchscreen/stylus.
With the move to ARM for the slab, then it's WinPho7 time again for the apps. As the film says if you build it (well them), they will come. But will there be enough apps? Will existing devs who code for iOS, Android and whatever BlackBerries run this week branch out to Win8?
Like some other comments here, I agree that MS seem to be going in the right direction, but it may be too little too late, with a huge swadge of "look we have a tablet too!".
Silver Lake Partners eh?
Expect to see a decrease in Yahoo staff and spending and for certain management to get megabucks whilst everyone else (including any current stock owners) gets screwed.
From the game that gave frag a slightly new definition...
I recall the earlier versions which used (I think) IPX which brang many a network to its knees, and the later TCP/IP versions which didn't as much.
And the mods (all those .wad files)! Can't remember if it was I or II, but I too played a pretty full-on Aliens mod. Sounds and everything it wasa great! I also created a few little mods myself, the best being the one that was a reconstruction of my flat at university (albeit one with lots of monsters, Nazis and a teleporter instead of stairs).
The redesigned price finder page was palying up last night. Couldn't get it to work at all in Firefox and after several attempts it worked in Safari. Not sure if it was due to the outage, or just the new redesign.
I picked up an iPad2 in the US a few weeks back. More often than not I use it every day whilst slumped on the sofa after work. It does exactly what I expected it to, namely web browsing, email and a few games. So my Mac doesn't get switched on as much.
The only real down side for me is that some websites don't quite play well with Safari (and sometimes Opera).
Every so often I have a play with the latest distros via Parallels on my Mac. Unfortunately more often than not the kernel etc support (via Parallels Tools) lags a fair bit behind the final releases.
So to a certain extent I find Fedora and Ubuntu (not quite as much) to be a bit too bleeding edge sometimes. If I were to have a permanent Linux desktop, then I'd probably attempt to stick to something along the lines of Ubuntu LTS. Not to sure if it's me, but there seems to be a trend of software/OS being released to some sort of schedule if it's ready or not (and sometimes change for change's sake) as of late.
I too have an EEE 701 and I effectively bricked it after a day trying to tweak the Asus managled version of Xandros (an OS so bad that even Xandros themselves wanted nothing to do with it). So from then on it was semi-freqently rebuilt with Ubuntu EEE/EasyPeasy. Though the past few years I've used it less and less, moreso when I got my iPad2.
As a precursor to flogging it, I thought I'd rebuild with stock Xandros. The CD/DVD that came with it was a bit trashed so had a look round the web to help out. I found an extremely useful page that told me everything I needed to know (and where to get it) whilst also pointing out how bloody useless Asus are for anything that isn't a BIOS update.
So I'll have to agree. I'm pretty sure Asus will get bored after a few months and effectively abandon any useful support.
I had 2 boxes from Gateway. I recall they were very reliable and used to come with a fair swadge of hardware and software (like full-on Office for a start). Pity they decided to withdraw from the UK market though.
The only down side was that their support was terrible. Took me ages to get some W95 drivers out of them, and when they did come back (on floppies *I* had to send them!) they were pre-release ones and I'd managed to blag some proper ones from elsewhere. Another time one of the support CDs was duff and it took me ages to get a replacement. At one stage some support muppet clained I couldn't possibly know the part number, at which I read it off the disc to him...
I picked this up at the weekend for the PS3. Am suitably impressed with the multiplayer so far (haven't bothered with the campaign yet). I've got some favourite maps already (Caspian Border and Seine Crossing). Though to be honest I'm pretty naff at online FPS and have the stats to prove it!
So why B3? I had CoD4:MW some time back and put in enough time to get to level 55 (just the once!) but I found it a bit of a slog. Sometime later I got Battlefield 1943 which I find to be quite fun given the different roles you can play and of course the vehicles! Based on that I decided to take a punt on B3 rather than CoD:MW3 as if I can get points/XP/whatever from doing things other than shooting people then that's a good thing for me.
Maybe with a few more kills that laser sight might just make a difference...