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* Posts by jason 7

1786 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

jason 7
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Re: Even if you are a Microsoft/Windows fan... why buy them at all?

"The only useful thing from Microsoft (Office) has been ported over to iOS and Android... so why would you still want Windows?"

Well I can see where you are going but I'd say maybe all those people that want a proper computer (Android angle) and don't want to pay over £700 for it (Apple angle).

That's quite a large user base to aim for.

MS should abandon the sub £400 market to Chromebooks and tablets. Then concentrate on the £400 to £1000+ market. All they need to do is produce their own Nexus type laptops at say £400, £700 and £1200 to set the benchmark for other manufacturers at those points.

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jason 7
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Re: Disposable?

Well we are there with laser jets and inkjet printers so can't be too far away.

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jason 7
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Big issues with these.

As a grass roots IT support guy I have issues with such bottom of the barrel computing.

1. They are not really powerful enough to run Windows 8/8.1. I've had in £250 laptops with AMD E1 CPUs in them and they are terrible. Truly embarrassing performance and I'm a big AMD fan.

2. They are so cheap and 8.1 is such a hassle to re-install at times it makes it not really worth it financially to re-install and fix them back up if they fail. A lot of the so called user friendly restore options don't really work if the machine gets too screwed up and they do for some reason.

From my point of view the ultra cheap Windows with Bing machines don't make much sense. Get a Chromebook instead because at least it shouldn't crash.

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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

jason 7
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I just use...

approx 30 digit passwords made from 5 or 6 random words.

If it limits me to 8 or 16 then I move on.

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Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search

jason 7
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Re: Obnoxious

So much thought and consideration over 300MB of ram...in 2014.

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jason 7
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Re: Obnoxious

So it's now personal preference rather than an actual hardware issue that's stopping you going back to FF.

At least that's straight now.

So bottom line, if you have a modern PC from at least this decade you should be fine running FF.

If not maybe the Reg should have an appeal whereby those of us more fortunate with 4GB+ can donate some of our 'unused' ram to those less fortunate or technically able?

"Just an extra 256MB could make all the difference to this web designer! So please give all you can!"

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jason 7
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Re: Obnoxious

But you are still referring to a usage case...from the past.

Is it relevant to today?

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jason 7
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To be honest data plans are largely over the top. I use my 500MB data plan for purely on the go usage for email and a tiny bit of info browsing when I'm not near wi-fi. I don't use it for video/music etc. The average monthly use is around 50MB.

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jason 7
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Re: Obnoxious

Bet seriously if you have a 8GB+ PC or laptop then what's the issue with Firefox using say 500MB behind the scenes compared to Chrome using maybe 300MB?

If Firefox gives you the better front end functionality and control what's the hassle of it using more ram when ram is no longer an issue? Sure it would be lovely if all browsers worked in just 50Mb but is that realistic?

It's not like its 2002 after all.

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

jason 7
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Solution...

...offer folks between the ages of 17 and 30 £1000 to be sterilised.

There will be queues round the block. Will save the nation a fortune in the long run.

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jason 7
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I'd like to see...

Housing and rentals being priced per square foot rather than the silly bedroom rule.

If we need more land then we should look at all the land the MoD has under its belt, most of which it probably hasn't used for decades.

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Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons

jason 7
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Thats another....

...slider to activate in Adblock Plus's options when I build a customers PC. So far its just been the malicious slider.

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Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

jason 7
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Re: 23 Years

I have offered Linux to cash strapped customers that just want a basic PC with the usual internet type capability plus a little more. Essentially it knocks £100 off the cost.

I've told them it will do everything they need but they always turn down the offer and pay for Windows.

Shame cos I'd like to start supporting some Linux machines on occasion. Then I might be able to expand my Linux desktop usage from novelty value VMs.

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Six of the best gaming keyboard and mouse combos

jason 7
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Re: Always wary of buying expensive keyboards.

However, the downside to that business model is ...once bitten, twice shy.

Ahhh another £5 keyboard it is then.

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jason 7
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Always wary of buying expensive keyboards.

I am not a nail biter and have rather hard fingernails so the keycaps tend to wear out very quickly. Especially the illuminated ones as they are usually coated over clear plastic. Looks very shabby then.

Amazingly, cheap keyboards just never seem to wear out like the expensive ones do.

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So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL

jason 7
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Re: History catching up again.

I have to agree with you there.

There is something adrift somewhere with web on mobile devices as I still find web browsing painfully slow and problematic. I use the web on my smartphone only as a last resort. If there is a specific app for getting that info its always much quicker than using the web on it.

I have at home a A/C/N router capable of pushing 600Mbps wi-fi and it's still pretty slow to serve up webpages whether I use Firefox or Chrome on my Nexus 4.

I don't think its a CPU issue, it lays somewhere else in the chain.

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jason 7
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Re: Oh no

In that case I stand corrected. Thank you.

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jason 7
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History catching up again.

There is another issue with smartphones in that the tech is now pretty mature like it has for several years with PCs and laptops.

Those 2012 spec quad core ARM CPUs are still plenty good enough to run today's apps and probably will be for another 18 months+.

No need to buy a new smartphone every year if you look after it.

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jason 7
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Re: Oh no

However, it would be interesting to know if Aston Martin is actually a profitable business and would survive on their own.

Currently they are probably just a nice prestige brand and handy tax write off for their larger corporate owner/owners.

Novelty value basically.

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Best shot: Coffee - how do you brew?

jason 7
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Sorry.

Just mentioning using Longlife milk for anything other than having nothing else to put out a small fire gets your authority downgraded.

Step away from the kitchen Sir!

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jason 7
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Re: Easy to make

And most Kopi Luwack is fake or acquired though not very ethical means.

I bet most of the coffee beans you see in these 'Artisan' coffee shops are beans that Nestle rejected for putting in nescafe.

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jason 7
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Re: Easy to make

Yes I really don't know why people seem to need all these old fashioned primitive methods to make a simple cup of coffee when modern science has done away with it all.

A teaspoon and a quality jar of instant is all that's required.

I have instant and my gf has to have the special ground/cafetier whatever etc. etc. She didn't have time to drink her cup the other day and so gave me her cup of special superior ultimate roast coffee from some third world country I would never dream of visiting. She made it sound like I was so lucky.

Tasted like crap. Was like drinking a liquidised stale cigar. I've found that a lot when visiting so called coffee aficionado friends. They hand you a cup of 'something exquisite' and it tastes like they made it with washing up water.

Sorry if I have offended some here but there is a bit of Emperor's New Clothes going on in 'upmarket coffee'.

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Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek

jason 7
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Re: +1 for Opal Fruits

All I know is that when I was a kid you could put them in the fridge for an hour and it would take two hours to dissolve tucked away in your cheek.

Heaven for an 8 year old in the 70's was a chilled Mars bar cut into chunks by your mum to share with your younger brother so you didn't eat all of it and 'spoil your tea later!' .

Oh probably followed by "get back from that bloody TV or you'll get square eyes!"

The irony....

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jason 7
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Unhappy

Re: +1 for Opal Fruits

And put the proper thick nougat filling back in Mars Bars while you are at it! Not the old Milky Way filling!

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Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

jason 7
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Happy

Re: @jason 7

No, I answered your question with a valid answer.

Be more specific next time perhaps.

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jason 7
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Meh

Re: @jason 7

Erm on Amazon the mean price for a 120GB SSD is around £55 and you can buy a Crucial M500 240GB for £72.99 (hears rush of feet and mouse clicks). I bought a new 240GB SSD for £65 just a month ago from there on Prime.

You are still getting ripped off however you want to sugar coat it. But you carry on guzzling on the teat.

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jason 7
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Childcatcher

Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

The key is to make sure little Philippa stumps up for at least £300 of it out of their own pocket money.

They tend to last a little longer that way.

If they don't want to then a £300 Toshiba from PC World it is.

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jason 7
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Meh

and £200 for what's really a £20 upgrade to the 256GB SSD is rather steep.

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Creaky PC? SanDisk gives users a NAND with speedy '3-bitter' SSD

jason 7
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Re: Differences?

That's it really. SSD reviews should be 90% about value add and "what makes this SSD special' and just 10% on performance.

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jason 7
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Differences?

Comparing SSDs is getting like ram comparisons. My heart sinks when I see another DDR3 ram group test on the net.

Give it another 18 months and they will all be within +/-2% of each other.

Bottom line, unless you have a very very specific need...they all work fine.

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Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away

jason 7
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WTF?

It's.....

....the TINGLER!!!!!!!!!

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No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off

jason 7
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Meh

Re: Standards proliferation

That reminds me, I have a Tesco bag full of Mini A cables that need to go to landfill.

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A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...

jason 7
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Re: Maybe...

Well there are two types of IT people really.

You have those that live and die AS/400 etc. and never have to talk to another human being from their basement office. Let them carry on ug-ughing and grunting to themselves and doing their magic.

Then you have those that actually have to meet a human being and relate to them in some way. Support, relationship management etc.

It's not all about being able to BS your way to the top, sure there will be some that do that (how do most get to the top these days..it ain't through hard work) but being able to sit and look people in the eyes, show empathy, gain their trust and confidence can help enormously.

Takes all-sorts but being an IT guy that normal people can do business with means you'll always be busy. Plus these kind of skills don't just help in the workplace either...

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jason 7
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Maybe...

...learn some social skills first?

Not being funny there but I've found in IT, being able to properly communicate and deal with non IT people in a human to human manner really can set you apart from the rest.

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What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

jason 7
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Meh

Note to web designers.

Please remember it's not just about the browser you design in. The end product has to work and look right in every browser out there in general use.

I know most here won't fall into that noob trap but you'd be amazed at how many self-styled 'uber-web wizards' will make a website that looks marvellous in Chrome but falls over in Firefox or IE straight away.

My other half makes websites and I reckon for her its 25% building and designing and then 75% of the rest of the time getting it to work properly in at least 8 different/versions/types of browser.

Oh yes and developing in the latest and greatest platform that ends up being popular for all of two months (say Symphony etc.) and then you have stuff to support long term in a format no one wants or maintains.

"Yes I have a website I'd like you to take over and maintain...platform? Oh I think it's in Symphony..hello? Hello?"

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Chromebooks to break out of US schools: Netbook 2.0 comeback not just for children

jason 7
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Re: It's now my permenant laptop

Exactly, why wouldn't users want a PC that doesn't require them or an IT guy digging under the hood every few weeks to keep it going?

Plus if you break your Chromebook, you just run out to the nearest PC shop, buy another, login and away you go.

It's about time. I guess a bit of the negativity towards them is from IT guys that feel threatened their long-term career is going the way of the farrier.

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jason 7
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Re: they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important —

And then back in the real world...they'll still be moaning they cant do anything and off for an early lunch.

Nature of the beast my good man.

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jason 7
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Re: Cheap Windows PCs with Bing

I've actually migrated and trained a lot of baby boomer/retired couples from XP to 8 this year and it's been fine.

No fuss or drama. Most people really don't care what they are running as long it it works reasonably fast and smoothly.

The biggest surprise for most of them was the fact the new machine cost around half of what they paid for the old one.

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jason 7
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Re: Dell blind loyalty to Redmond as usual

I am a big MS fan. I don't mind admitting it. But I like to keep an open mind and also from a wide range of personal experience not to mention the holes my customers find themselves in I believe strongly in the best solution for the situation.

And that's not always Windows. If a particular bit of kit fits the bill then that's what goes in, be it Windows, Linux or a Chromebook.

Two years ago I was a bit sniffy about Chromebooks, but I felt I had to actually use one to see how it worked and could fit in for customers. So I bought a Samsung (had to wait as they were hard to get), unpacked it and put it on my desk and thought I'd 'battle on' with it for a few days.

After 10 mins I was truly stunned at how simple and well it fitted into my situation.

Always pays to keep an open mind. You are not being fair to your customers or yourself if you won't try or look at something different. It makes your world very very small.

It's up to MS to come up with something similar that fits the bill.

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jason 7
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Facepalm

Re: There do seem to be a lot of Chromebook haters on here...

Probably have all their email on Outlook Express too. Dear God....

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jason 7
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Re: they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important —

This is what always makes me laugh. Nowadays if a Windows/Apple/Linux PC has no internet connection...it's pretty damn limited. You can bet most staff would be sitting around moaning they had nothing to do.

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jason 7
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Facepalm

Re: Cheap Windows PCs with Bing

No they don't have difficulty. All you do is spend 10-15 minutes with them explaining how the thing works and how it differs from their old machine. They'll get it.

It's called 'Training', a long forgotten practice I know but it's how you get folks to get the most out of what they are using.

Not difficult. Try it sometime.

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jason 7
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Re: WinRT

Yes, carrying masses of data around on a laptop/mobile device is a daft liability. Quite old fashioned really.

All the old bulk data I have is kept at home on a NAS. The day to day stuff I need/use stays in a Google Drive folder. About 1GB if you must know. I need to trim it down soon.

All my laptops have been slimmed down to mostly 64GB SSD drives. A couple have 120GBs in them but not required. My Chromebook has nothing stored on it locally. Doesn't need it as its 2014 and not 1998 anymore, connectivity/internet wise.

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jason 7
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Re: workers

Watch out for really cheap AMD equipped laptops. The bottom rung of Windows laptop buying has got quite tricky.

If you buy the cheapest AMD CPU laptop, chances are you will end up with a E1 spec CPU. I had one in to look at that was a 1GHz dual core. It was terrible. Took me back to the days of Windows 3.1 and seeing the egg timer on screen more then the cursor. To make it even half usable I had to rebuild it with a 120GB SSD. It still didn't perform well. For the sake of £50 extra it could have been a different story. Those E1 CPUs are sub Atom spec IMO and not designed to run Windows.

My Chromebook on the other hand is two years old and still as nippy as the day I bought it.

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Microsoft fixes all those shaky GoPro vids nobody wants to watch

jason 7
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Re: Hours...

Plus I guess you'll be able to apply degrees of the algorithm which may require less number crunching. Basically turn it from jerky cam to slightly less jerky cam.

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Microsoft OneDrive tip-off leads to arrest over child abuse images

jason 7
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This is Google/MS etc.

telling those creeps.."get your creepy filth off our systems!"

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Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

jason 7
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Re: Parental controls

I just tend to put the OpenDNS Family DNS settings (not the standard Open DNS ones) into the router rather than the default ISP ones.

Done it for a few business routers at the manager request....helps productivity.

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jason 7
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Meh

Re: Seem to have missed Draytek off the list.

Hmm Draytek now seem to be steering into "trading off past glories" territory for me.

Too many burnt out wi-fi cards in them for my liking. YMMV of course.

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Cut price Android on steroids: OnePlus One – should we look gift horse in the gob?

jason 7
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Re: Send to China for warranty repairs?

Haven't you got 8 others kicking around in your junk tech drawer?

If not have you a friend with a junk tech drawer?

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jason 7
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I don't think it's the batteries. It's the services.

My Nexus 4 gave me around a day and a half at best usage battery wise.

A few weeks ago I had a look at the services running and just switched off all the ones I felt had no need to be running.

Such as - Location Services (if I'm going fell walking maybe I'll turn it on), Google Play (I have all the stuff I need), Google+, Google this and that. I only kept the Android marked Google services going and the other crucial ones.

Now the phone works for me in exactly the same way but it can now go three and a half days on a charge. Just from switching off 4-5 services. This is a 18 month old phone.

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