* Posts by jason 7

2045 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY

jason 7
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Things change.

99% of my viewing is now Prime or Netflix. The £150 for the License fee is just not value for money any more, especially as mentioned if you don't like cookery/Z list celebrities dancing or Gregg Wallace.

Sorry BBC but you aren't the only game in town now. It's not the 1990's and many of us have moved on.

We really don't need you anywhere near as much as you think.

As for the Poll Tax... I actually didn't mind it. When you look at it now and with modern family demographics of two to three generations living at home now... it makes more sense than Council tax.

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

jason 7
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A few of my thoughts...

Damn glad I no longer have top lug 21" CRT monitors around. Amazing how office folks could not notice you holding one as they stood chatting in a narrow corridor or doorway.

I remember the 2006 Stuff show where they proudly showed off a 50" TV for £50000.

I was looking recently for a decent high end 32" LCD TV on Amazon and the pickings were pretty slim all the way up to 47". Seems if you want 50"+ you are well catered for. As I only sit 12' from my TV I don't really need anything quite that imposing.

I'm still rocking a 32" 540p TV (PerfectPAL). I have to say downscaling really works a treat. I shall miss this TV when it goes.

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RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

jason 7
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Thank You Mr Nimoy

I greatly enjoyed your work.

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Lenovo CTO: Hey, look around – we're not the only ones with a crapware infection

jason 7
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Re: Just take off...

I love it when you need to install the wi-fi in a laptop and the drivers page list 12 different drivers for four different wi-fi cards.

"Where's me screwdriver?"

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jason 7
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Re: A tragedy of errors continues

Yep thats how it is. But it works when you are dealing with small numbers. People tend to feel a little more under scrutiny if there are just 4 laptop users in a company. You can't hide your recklessness with kit in the huge herd like in a corporation. Especially when you may just sit 5 feet from the boss.

I have to say though those cheap £450 laptops tend to keep on trucking. I've been a self employed IT guy for just over 6 years now and pretty much all the sub £500 kit I've bought for customers is still going strong. Some of it looks pretty tired and may have had a rebuild or two but still doing the job.

Always go for the one that has the no frills ABS plastic look.

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jason 7
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Re: MS Might Share Some Blame

It's not hidden that deep. Just search on the MS site for "Installation Media" and it takes you there.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-reset-refresh-media

Plus it's been covered several times by other tech sites.

http://www.neowin.net/news/how-to-create-windows-81-install-media-if-you-lost-your-install-disk

http://www.howtogeek.com/187525/how-to-perform-a-clean-install-of-windows-8.1-with-a-windows-8-key/

Very handy if you have upgrade editions of 8 as it negates the need to install an OS three times to get up to date. The 8.1 install just accepts your upgrade license as a full one.

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Oh No, Lenovo! Lizard Squad on the attack, flashes swiped emails

jason 7
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Re: And what now?

You joke...but it proves who is really in charge of things.

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And the buggiest OS provider award goes to ... APPLE?

jason 7
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I think the long and the short of it is...

...whichever OS you choose, you cannot afford to be complacent.

We all need to accept that our fave OS could bite us at any time.

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jason 7
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MS could probably close a few of those holes...

...if it just switched some of the security options in Windows on by default.

Will they at least get rid of Admin accounts as the default and integrate EMET into Windows as standard?

Other than that I feel Windows gets its rap purely to the size of it's user base.

If there is a flaw in Windows and 90% of the worlds users use it then they need to know and the worlds media responds in the usual fashion.

If there is a flaw in OSX then it gets onto a few news articles and is usually downplayed for some reason and then slips off the radar a day later.

If there is a flaw in Linux then its posted up on a few forums for those that need to know.

But at the end of the day if anyone here can write perfect secure code with 100% reliability then please step forward with your resume...

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AMD's new Carrizo: The x86 notebook processor that thinks it's a GPU

jason 7
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Re: Just one small problem....

Appreciate that but the core of the machine is still...not great (its a bargain basement £260 laptop with a CPU slightly above an Atom CPU) and why couldn't it have come with a SSD and at least 8GB of ram to start with?

Cmon, it's not a great situation for AMD if that's the best they can manage.

As for the £700 AMD laptops, then look up HP/AMD on Ebuyer.

At least you can put the ram and SSHD in the laptop you buy next year.

My question is where are the 'desirable' AMD laptops with the good screens and tech already included that some of us here might actually buy?

Just ain't gonna happen.

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jason 7
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Re: Just one small problem....

Indeed they would but Intel will see that it never happens.

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jason 7
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The biggest issue is that a lot of low power/tablet type CPUs have crept into the mainstream inventories for laptops and desktops.

If a customer wants a cheap laptop or desktop I now have to check if that Celeron/Pentium/Athlon is a proper desktop part or just a re-badged ultra low power Atom type.

It's actually better value/simpler to buy second hand ex. corporate clearance in a lot of cases. You know what you are getting with a 3GHz C2D.

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jason 7
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Just one small problem....

...you'll never buy a decent laptop with one of these in it.

AMD are all but frozen out of the laptop market. Take a look on any IT retail website and its slim greasy pickings for AMD based laptops.

Nothing classy or decent. Just bargain basement crud or buying an over priced, hamstrung 'protect Intel from monopoly' model from HP.

£700 for a AMD A8 laptop with 4GB of ram, a 1366x768 screen and a 500GB rust spinner? Oh yes please!

Shame really.

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Man the HARPOONS: YOU can EASILY SLAY ad-scumware Superfish

jason 7
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Just had a Advent desktop handed to me from a customer.

He said it wasn't working as nicely as his Macbook and so hadn't used it much since he bought it.

Well no sh*t! Machine was struggling to do anything in less than 3-4 minutes.

Just uninstalled twenty four pieces of bloatware off of it and ran a full adware scan etc. etc.

Now it's running nice and smoothly...as it should have done in the first place.

Thanks Advent! Well done!

It's just so idiotic. Imagine Ford selling you a new Mondeo and then just as you leave the forecourt they weld a 500KG anchor to the rear axle.

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

jason 7
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Re: Orange Alert!

If you use the recovery partition then 99 times out 100 you get all the bloatware re-installed.

Nothing like having a laptop freshly installed with mouldy 3+ year old installs of Adobe Acrobat/Flash/Java/Skype/Wild Tangent Games/Oberon Media/OoVoo/Ebay links/Cyberlink DVD player/McAfee/Nero Express/Norton Backup/Power2Go/Bing Bar/Google Tool Bar etc. etc.

Mmmm smooth!

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

jason 7
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Take a look on the Amazon reviews for IT Hardware/Software...

I would say 80% of the 1 star reviews say -

"Grrr wouldn't work with Mac!"

Or words to that effect. Usually quite short reviews either way.

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

jason 7
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This is why I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't tried harder to stop the spread of bloatware on OEMs machines. The practice isn't doing Windows/Microsoft any good.

It's like Ferrari producing a fine car and then the dealership slaps loads of cheap sun strips, fluffy dice, novelty horns, beaded seat covers and furry steering wheel covers on it.

The moans from customers are rarely about Windows itself, it's the issues caused by old bloatware they have never dared remove.

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jason 7
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Re: They shot themselves in the head

Unfortunately, the range available is rather small and uninspiring.

However, it's a start.

I'd like to see a video of Lenovo's CTO starting up one of their domestic laptops from out of the box and seeing how he enjoys the bloatware experience.

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

jason 7
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Lenovo/Acer/Asus/HP etc.

...are making their laptops and desktops look and behave like clown cars with all the useless junk they install on them.

Have any of them sat down with one of their consumer machines out of the box and thought -

"Oh yes, now this is a slick and pleasing computing experience!"

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jason 7
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Re: Microsoft hardware

@Buzzword

Not sure why you are getting all the downvotes. Bloatware/Adware on new laptops from the likes of Lenovo/Acer/Toshiba etc. is a major screwup in the Windows experience.

I get customers to bring their laptops straight to me unopened so I can delete the 30+ items of crap (not to mention the crappy McAfee AV trial that will lapse and leave the machine unprotected). The machines work really well after all that cruft is removed.

This bloatware trend creates a messy and pop up riddled experience that makes Windows look a mess. Doesnt reflect to great on Acer/Lenovo etc. I can tell you guys, your customers don't like it.

It is time that MS started pushing out more desktops and laptops with just Windows and a few essentials installed. The current US based signature thing isnt enough.

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Horrors of murky TrueCrypt to be probed once more

jason 7
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Still good enough...

..to stop the bloke that nicked your laptop from taking a good look before someone slaps something over the top.

That's all that's needed in most cases.

However, as mentioned above, Truecrypt was largely obsolete for full HDD encryption. Still handy for containers though.

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Superfish: Lenovo ditches adware, but that doesn't fix SSL megavuln – researcher

jason 7
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They can charge more for the laptops. After all a lot of my customers are happy to pay me £50 to remove the crapware and set the laptop up like a Mac would come out of the box.

Improves the user experience no end.

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Get ready for the El Reg Storage Winners-n-Losers super chart

jason 7
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Sorry...

...I need a girl to help me tell the difference between all those colour hues.

Being a guy I only understand the basic colours.

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Windows 10 Preview - First Impressions?

jason 7
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Re: It's an improvement

Yes to get past the need for using a Outlook account you simply click the "Create new account" and then you see an option to login using a plain local account.

A little counter intuitive but going forward the more logins they get the better for them I guess. Plus it helps when customers moan they can't get into the Apps store.

I have tried 8/10 with a MS login and its pretty neat as soon as I logged into my first 10 VM it automatically looked like my Windows 8.1 machine even down to the desktop theme.

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Jaguar F-Type: A beautiful British thoroughbred

jason 7
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Erm...

...whats that awful protrusion from the dash on the passenger side?

A leather wrapped girder? Nasty.

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Help! DYING Google Helpouts YELPS out the door

jason 7
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I was asked to be a Helpout person.

It was about two years ago. Had an interview, setup my Helpouts page etc. Was quite intrigued about the possibility. But then it suddenly went all 'happy clappy' as a lot of these type of web things do and as a Brit I just edged away from it. Some people just got a bit too over excited by it all.

Then a few months ago Google told all us Brit Helpouts folks we could no longer charge for our time...which was nice.

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So long, Cyanogen! OnePlus says its future belongs to OxygenOS

jason 7
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Oh bliss!

Just managed to get my tech curmudgeon girlfriend to accept that Android has moved on somewhat since her Galaxy Note1 got left behind and accept the One+ as a worthy replacement.

Mighty have to start all over again...

"Why can't I have..." "Why isn't..." etc. etc.

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Death knell for Windows with Bing, licences carved up

jason 7
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Unhappy

The race to the bottom.

The Windows with Bing has brought another issue thats been a pain.

When you bought a sub £400 laptop a couple of years ago you were assured of getting at least a proper Pentium or Athlon level dual core laptop CPU. Nothing amazing but perfectly acceptable and pleasant for general use.

However, the past 18 months or so has seen a huge influx of rebranded low power CPUs that barely give tablet/Atom level performance in this sector. It's been a nightmare with customers bringing these AMD E1 etc.CPU laptops that appear to have the same user experience I haven't seen since using a 1999 spec laptop in 2002. Putting in a SSD makes them almost tolerable so you may as well have spent the £60 extra in the first place.

I now have to check carefully the CPU specs to make sure I'm getting a proper CPU for the money.

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AMD stops shipping chips as bloated channel begs 'Please, no more'

jason 7
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Meh

They would do well to raise their profile.

I mention to customers "well you could get a AMD based machine..."

"What's that? Never heard of...AMC did you say?"

Yet they all know of Intel due to every Currys ad etc. having the Intel tag on jingle.

They complain about Intel taking all the cake but when hardly anyone know who you are...

I love AMD gear but they are their own worst enemy. While we are at it, c'mon AMD how about some new chipsets that are at least 2014 spec rather than the current 2010 spec ones.

Edit - Just checked and the average price for a FX 6300 CPU is currently £9 more now than what I paid a year ago.

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Hear that sound? It's the Windows XP PC bubble popping

jason 7
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Re: For me it's older Xeon workstations.

Well it's been running fine for nearly 7 years and the box itself cost me £80 so...

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jason 7
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Re: For me it's older Xeon workstations.

Ahh shame. Mines a 2008 one with latest BIOS and still going strong after a years heavy use from yours truly.

Added in USB3.0, eSATA and a HD7870 gpu. Okay its a power pig but I love the flexibility,

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jason 7
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Re: Huh?

Yeah I had stopped replacing all my customers XP machines by end of May.

Would have done it sooner but you have to go at their pace sometimes.

Now I'm onto the great SSD upgrade crusade...

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jason 7
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For me it's older Xeon workstations.

You can pick up quad core dual Xeon boxes and the CPUs for peanuts on Ebay. Slap in 16-32GB of ECC ram and you can run your VMs etc. etc. all day long.

Dell T5400 machines are pretty handy and real cheap. Tank like build quality too.

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FOCUS! 7680 x 4320 notebook and fondleslab screens are coming

jason 7
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Well I'd settle for being able to buy an average laptop with at least a 1600x900 screen but apparently I'm just too fussy it seems.

It's crazy that in a few months time we'll probably have -

% of laptops with 768p screens - 66%

% of laptops with 1080p screens - 2%

% of laptops with 4K screens - 32%

Just no middle ground. From one extreme to the other.

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jason 7
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The reality?

Next year we'll still have 99% of laptops with 1368x768 TN screens.

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Why 1.6 million people will miss Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 date with fate

jason 7
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Re: What I've found...

Encrypted (if required) USB3.0 drive hooked into the back of the NAS and scheduled via the NAS to run a backup at lunchtime and then 10 mins before the person responsible for taking the drive home goes home.

Far easier and faster than multiple tapes. Plug in and leave it for the day.

All the PCs user data folders are backed up individually to the NAS in a staggered timing during the day also. These also go into the offsite backup.

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jason 7
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What I've found...

...in the realm of small business setups are quite a few that were sold over the top Server setups running 2003 for basic file sharing and backup duty, plus a nice monthly support fee.

These are single core Dell boxes with a single 320GB HDD in them that have racked up thousands in costs over the past 10+ years.

So I've been swapping them out for the small business level QNAP NAS boxes with double gigabit. Oh and at the same time I pulled the old 100Mb switch for a gigabit one. No more 200W noisy box in the corner, no more multiple DAT tapes for daily backup (same tapes from 2003 probably) and no more massive monthly support fee.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

jason 7
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No Hi -Fi company makes it's own cables.

Cable making is big, dirty industrial work. You cant run a cable maker without having to run several KM of wire at a time so that £500 a meter cable ain't costing anywhere near 10p a meter to make in the first place.

I would speculate that 99.99% of all wire that goes into Hi-Fi cables was originally specced for Boeing or CAT scanners at next to £nothing a meter.

All you need is a reasonable (thicker than bell-wire) gauge, reasonable quality copper and keep it as short as you can.

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Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

jason 7
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Linux

So the question has to be asked this time...

Can i hack it and put Android on it instead?

What's good for the goose...

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'Tech' City hasn't got proper broadband and it's like BT doesn't CARE

jason 7
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Re: Sympathetic - to a point

I call them the 'more money than sense' crowd. Plus those oil fired Agas are a real treat in the summer when they still keep throwing out the heat.

We worked out how much the oil ones cost to run and to be honest I'm surprised they are still legal.

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jason 7
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Re: Sympathetic - to a point

Yeah if I was buying a house one of the first things I would ask when taking a look is to run a speedtest.net run from their broadband.

I come across a lot of folks that have bought barn conversions out in the wilds of North Norfolk and then moan to me that they decided to buy a £850,000 property 4 miles from the nearest exchange and didn't bother to think about broadband.

Satellite it is then! They can afford it, I saw a nice oil powered Aga in the kitchen there!

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RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

jason 7
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Re: Poor timing for this announcement

Indeed, I reckon it was done purely to kick Intel into line to start producing the chips MS really wanted for mobile productivity.

Sometimes getting what you want/need from another industrial leviathan costs billions.

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

jason 7
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Re: Sigh

I install Adblock on both Firefox and Chrome for ALL my customers machines whether they ask for it or not. It's just basic computer safety/security now.

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jason 7
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Re: Sigh

"I would if it wasn't such a memory pig"

Really is that an issue in 2015?

Sometimes you just have to come to terms with the fact that some things just won't change and live with it.

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jason 7
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Re: Sigh

Indeed, I've never bought CillitBang, tampons or a Nissan Juke.

Likewise I've never clicked on anything saying "Get a free iPad here!!"

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Death becomes it: Grim Fandango Remastered

jason 7
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Re: There was another game that came out a year earlier...

Spot on!

All comes back to me now. Ahhh yes, buying PC Format each month to get the patch updates and bits of software you needed because downloading a 20Mb DirectX update by 33.6 modem would have just been too much hassle.

Good times!

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jason 7
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There was another game that came out a year earlier...

...that was claymation style. A tall thin alien type character who had a man eating plant in his living room. I remember myself and a mate playing the first level demo version on my new 150Mhz Windows 95 PC all those years ago. It was good fun but we never got round to getting the full version.

Can't remember its name. Grrrr

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Port authority: Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock

jason 7
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One of those bits of tech...

...that will pass me by I reckon.

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BYOD is NOT the Next Biggest Thing™: Bring me Ye Olde Lappetoppe

jason 7
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If I was a metal worker I wouldn't expect the company to ask me to bring my own heavy duty lathe to work.

Same if I worked for Rentokill, I wouldn't expect to bring my own pesticide.

Why shouldn't staff expect the tools for free if they are being employed?

Would be different if the employer gave them each a cheque for £5000 a year for IT kit and support costs.

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

jason 7
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Re: Just too expensive now

No, no stylus but to be honest...other than you, only folks in the marketing ads for the Note ever used one (or pretended to use).

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