* Posts by Terry 6

811 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

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Let me PLUG that up there, love. It’s perfectly standaAAARGH!

Terry 6
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Facepalm

Well yes.

Sums it up. You don't need a PhD to work this one out.

At any given time one class will be using one kind of nasty noxious reagents.

In the other room they are likely to be using another kind of nasty reagents.

So at any one time, if you don't think a divided outlet is essential when you plan the installation, there are likely to be any random kinds of reaction taking place in the pipes.

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Terry 6
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Education

As ever, anyone who has worked with the technical bits of education will have seen both sides of the f***up.

Commonly, to save a few quid, a classroom might have only one mains point, which is next to the door.

Being next to the door means that there is an immediate hazard as soon as you try to use it. Even a TV has to be put somewhere.

And since these points weren't installed before the days of the VCR even a three year old could have worked out that you needed at least two sockets.

But, computers have been in use since the 1980s in schools. SO by the time say, 1990 or so came around you'd have been able to work out that a classroom might need some electric supply that was accessible by the teachers. Not a bit of it. They were still putting the sodding things in the doorway.

But then, with the shiny new interactive whiteboards, maybe, just maybe they'd put some points near the best place for the IWB and install it there. Like not facing into full sunlight/ or next to a window south facing to catch the full glare. You'd be lucky.

So maybe they get older technology right? Like making sure that the drainage from the sinks in two adjacent classrooms was adequate to cope with both being emptied at the same time. They couldn't forget to allow for that could they? Well, yes they could.

How about heat management?

They wouldn't forget to make sure that one side of the building wasn't made entirely of south facing windows would they? Well often enough they did. On the other hand, sometimes they did put blinds in place. So that you had a choice of being baked and dazzled or sitting with the lights on in July. Assuming that the blinds were fit for purpose. Like not breaking, jamming or just plain failing to keep the light out. My favourite was a very tall primary school with some kind of external canopy blinds that were operated with a kind of internal pulley device. At least I think that was how they were meant to work. No one in living memory had seen them in use. The canopies had been torn to shreds by the elements years before. The pulleys had been jammed the first time anyone tried to paint the frames, anyway. Which was also why none of the windows opened . School windows never open, once they've been painted -except for sometimes when they are just too inadequate to make a difference. (I think that's where Bill Gates got the idea from).

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Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

Terry 6
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: NHS

RIO. Ah. Not just mental health then.

I worked alongside other NHS teams, particularity Speech and Language Therapists.

I never needed to go near their IT ( nor would any Non-NHS person have been allowed to).

But I do know that RIO was their lives. Every sodding minute of the day had to accounted for in Rio.

Everything had to go through this RIO.

[Keyboard icon for the amount of time they spend banging stuff out on theirs.]

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Terry 6
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Absolutely.

There are all sorts of IT related folk reading and commenting on here.

We all do different sorts of jobs, and have different ranges of skills.

But we really shouldn't be too shocked to be asked to stick in a few tags to get special effects. Or to wait until we graduate a bit and establish we are not just spamming/trolling.

And I notice that plenty of (non tecchie) sites either don't have formatting. Or do have it but for most contributors it isn't actually used.

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Terry 6
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Thanks

Newish PC.

I knew there was more stuff to uninstall.

Had forgotten that one.

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Looking forward to getting Windows 10 the day it ships? Yeah, about that...

Terry 6
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Re: @Siv "and brings you into the 21st Century"

And frankly, even though I'm in general pro Microsoft I wouldn't want them to define what is being in the 21stC.

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

Terry 6
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Re: Variable tarriffs

Oh, and by the way, having blinked at your use of the word "arbitrage" in the context of buying from a single supplier and referred my aging brains back to when I did some economics at Uni a good many years ago, I thought I should check my recollection of what it does actually mean.

"the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets :"

Which is what Wikipaedia today and my lecturers at the University all those years ago said it was.

Not quite the same as buying fuel from one supplier with two fixed prices.

Now if I could buy leccy from one supplier for the standard day tariff and another for the off-peak, that could be arbitrage, I guess, stretching it a bit.

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Terry 6
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Re: Variable tarriffs

Ledswinger

You still, despite your patronsing comments, miss the point;

.... able and willing to change their demand.

The difference between the higher rated daytime tariff and, the off peak rate is prohibitive for all but the highest night consumption - which pretty much means night storage heating.

If the load spreading advantage of moving domestic use to times of low demand is to be gained the tariff needs to be pitched so that customers who use their main appliances during the night and are out during the day have the chance to make some saving,

i.e. so that the cost of running a dishwasher and washing machine (plus the night consumption of 24hr devices) is at least close enough to break even point.

And, to labour my original point, the opportunity to manage demand by time slices across the day by using variable pricing doesn't seem very attractive to consumers when the current Off-peak pricing has not been used to give us any great advantage

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Terry 6
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Re: Variable tarriffs

@Ledswinger

You miss the point

Which I will spell out.

*There has been an opportunity to spread out domestic usage by encouraging increased night time use when domestic demand is low. This is Economy 7.

*The companies chose to lever the costs so that being on the tariff means that any day time use is far more expensive than day time use on a standard package.

*For almost all users the night time savings do not even come close to covering the cost of the day time usage

*They did not choose to reward off-peak usage to encourage load spreading

*This has meant that it was virtually impossible to use this in a cost effective way.

the companies threw away the chance to even out usage between day and night.

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Terry 6
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Variable tarriffs

In theory the fuel cost could be varied according to demand, which would level off consumption etc.

In reality we only need to look at how Economy 7 operates.

Night usage is much cheaper than the normal day tariff..

But the companies have made the cost of the day usage part of the Economy 7 so much more expensive than the normal cost that it can only save money if you are using several times more leccy in the few hours of night tariff than in the day. (And you won't be using storage heaters in the Summer).

Just using you washing machine and dishwasher on a timer overnight isn't enough to justify the major cost of the day usage, even though these are probably going to be your biggest users.

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NHS IT failures mount as GP data system declared unfit for purpose

Terry 6
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Re: Where lies the accountability?

Otto ...Bear

Yes, and also, for those who have never sat in a committee ( God help me I've wasted a good few days of my life in these) won't realise how these things work.

But, I can guarantee that in any such meeting there will be several important people who are so out of touch with the users that they have a separate entrance in case they actually meet one. They are looking for a lucrative job outside.

There will be a couple of "up and coming" less senior managers who are out to advance their careers. They don't care about this project at all. It's just stop along the way.

There will be some who are totally committed to the project, but formed their ideas 5+ years ago and are trying to plan the world that no longer exists.

There will also be at least one who is dead against the project, but for all the wrong, or even no, reasons.

There is often one or two who refuse to admit how much that it should cost and want to squeeze the budget down to below anything reasonable ( or have instructions to do so - see below).

And any number of others who are there because they have to be, and don't care either way. But may well be following a line that they have been told they must support.

And all of these will try to add their own pet idea, grind an axe they brought with them or just be desperate to cover their own a***.

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Terry 6
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Hmm Committee based planning

Government and local authority schemes ( not just IT) are dogged by the fact that everyone involved wants to have a say in what needs to be included. The project is opened up to all and sundry without fixing its aims first, so that the aims are almost immediately fudged. They all have a different agenda.

Most will not be in role by the time the thing is even started, let alone implemented, so they aren't trying to get an outcome, just to get a reputation for something peripheral ( "hard-headedness" "business awareness" or whatever) Or just looking for an over well paid job in the private sector.

The basic "This is what we need to be able to do. This is how we will do it!" is lost before the first page is even out of the printer

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Oil & gas? Pah. We’ve got a MASSIVE 3D printer, beams Dubai

Terry 6
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Labour costs? In Dubai!

What labour costs?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7985361.stm

None had been paid the money they were promised by the recruitment agencies, and many said they couldn't afford to eat properly, living on a diet of potatoes, lentils and bread. Average salaries are often no more than £120 a month. This for a six-day week, often working up to 12-hour shifts. One company paid approximately 30p an hour for overtime.

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Teaching people to speak English? You just need Chatroulette without the dick pics

Terry 6
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Re: How we read is complicated

I agree. I wish world+dog understood that. Eye tracking studies alone show that we don't read by decoding the words letter by letter.

Oh. By the way.

The trick with Hebrew is to be able to identify the 3 letter root. That will give you a sense of the meaning, when you look it up. But not the actual meaning. The prefixes and suffixes ( and unprinted vowels) are grammatical structures that modify that meaning substantially. But luckily if you omit the pronoun prefixes you will usually find the word.

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Terry 6
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Method versus marketting

Sadly, the same forces would apply here as does in the world of education.

Since teaching literacy is complicated, messy and potentially expensive the market will identify sub-skills that appear to underlie literacy, and can be achieved by inexpensive mechanical teach and test methods.

These will become the approved methods

And since these methods will determine the success criteria, because they test what they teach rather than what we need them to achieve, they will be able to claim the cash.

And who knows, they might even prove to be useful as well.

[In schools they teach "phonics". Which means sounding out words. It's one of those "it stands to reason dunnit" judgements that have very little basis in fact, because that's not how we actually read even though we think we do. But it has lots of support from politicians, who want easy answers that sound obvious and from various publishers and commercial organisations that can make pots of money from a very simple inexpensive product.]

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

Terry 6
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Re: There is a reason Group Policy exists

Well yes. This is not aimed at the corporate space.

It's a way to make the vulnerable private user even less secure.

Kind of like giving the wolves a map with a big arrow and the word sheep "printed "on it.

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Terry 6
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Re: Off

There are settings?

Sorry,

But I've worked the layer between out and out tecchies and ordinary users for so long that I'm only too aware that most of my colleagues won't even know that there are things you can change on a computer/smartphone etc. until something goes wrong and they have to be shown.

But the marketing of devices as out-of-the-box commodities means that all sorts of settings are decided by the companies because you can't ask the public to spend hours going through installation of a device explaining and choosing dozens of options. And the implication of that is that there will be default settings that favour ease of use.

(In fairness, the public don't buy devices because they are hard to hack, but because they are the fashionable shininess).

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Revive the Nathan Barley Quango – former Downing Street wonk

Terry 6
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Re: BBC

As I understand it the BBC has had to fund the World Service, previously paid for by the Foreign Office, and divert funds to channel 4.

And has been required to make a 20% cut in spending since 2011.

How the figures square with the license fee income doesn't seem to be visible in that statement.

But the cost cutting on the BBC's programme making is there for all to see.

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Terry 6
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BBC

At least part of this is that there is a strong coalition of "Free Marketeers" * and politicians who hate the independence that the BBC has from both political interference and the commercial push to the bottom.

They would like nothing more than to get their mitts on the Beeb and its funding.

God knows the BBC has already been wounded enough between the cuts and dumbing down, relying on low cost programming and repeats to get within the budget.

*Interpreted as not wanting government/public money to go to anybody but themselves.

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Australian Bureau of Statistics drops big data bubble-buster

Terry 6
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Solution in search of a problem

It's worked for Apple.

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Windows 10 is due in one month: Will it be ready?

Terry 6
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Re: @Ledswinger - Not every "home" user is a "consumer" user only.

AC

Rubbish.

shoes/clothing, even to some degree cars are on display before you buy, have a standard interface, and a small number of standard components.

Choices are limited and simple.

Shoes: Laces/slip-on (with Velcro for the Linux users).

Shirts; Long sleeve/short sleeve (With a double cuff for the Linux users)

Cars Petrol/diesel (With LPG for the Linux users)

And so on.

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So much for rainbows, Zuck: Facebook staff still overwhelmingly male and white

Terry 6
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As above (selecting)

The "people like us" problem.

In a country where Old Etonians and the like have had immense influence since the days of empire the top layers of most institutions are still largely packed with people who perpetuate the same profile by trusting people who most resemble their younger selves. In other words; jobs (and before that places at Oxbridge) for the posh white boys with often rather outdated views, but a good address and plenty of the right contacts.

I'd make an educated guess (having met a few) that American fraternity boys from the Ivy League are pretty much in the same vein

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Terry 6
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Selecting

Selecting doesn't have the benefit of hindsight. i.e. it actually means looking at how someone apparently did their last job (or what exams they passed) and guessing how good they will be at this one.

And it's far too easy and maybe arrogant to choose someone like yourself.

Which means that white, middle class, male managers choose white, middle class, male staff.

(And yes it might mean that black, one legged lesbian managers would equally be more likely to choose black, one legged lesbian staff - but they don't happen to be an overwhelming majority of managers in most organisations )

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Hated Care.data scheme now 'unachievable', howls UK.gov watchdog

Terry 6
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Impression

I just got the impression was that the whole thing was planned backwards; deciding to share information with world inc. canines first, then deciding how to do it and for whom later.

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Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

Terry 6
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Apps

The "apps" thing does define the problem, though not in the obvious way.

A mobile (smart)phone has long been a fashion item for the mass market.

And the masses make the sales and profit.

They aren't after a really good UI -, a reliable device or even decent call quality.

They want the Apple or Google "apps" their friends have. And by apps, mostly we are actually talking "games".

The Google "Play" Store is mostly about games.

There is a Games tab and an Apps tab. But the apps tab mostly contains......... games.

So if you want to share your scores on the latest dimwitted game you need a Google Phone.

If you want to do that and show you have street cred to go with it you get an iPhone if you can afford the mark-up.

Why would the average Candy Crusher want a good quality phone, when what they need is shiny?

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Yahoo! displaces Ask in Oracle's Java update crapware parade

Terry 6
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What!!

We have definitely made sure that our onboarding process is one that is highly transparent and gives users choice,"

So we're being onboarded now.

Next time I see pigeons doing what they do, I'll know to call it onboarding.

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Samsung caught disabling Windows Update to run its own bloatware

Terry 6
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Re: Surprise, surprise, surprise

...or just don't have the spare cash to waste a perfectly good HDD etc.

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Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones

Terry 6
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Hudl 2

We're the poor relations;

But there are plenty of free office suites that do.

And as noted above, I personally can't see much use for that level of functionality on a handheld device anyway.

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Terry 6
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Almost a fan

In general I like Microsoft's stuff. They brought usability to the majority.

And making their s/w available to Android sounds good.

But making it compulsory sounds like yet another stupid decision. Having unremovable software on a phone/tablet was always unacceptable. It's my phone and I have a right to decide which programmes I run.

I do not want MS Office thrust on my machines. I will not use a fraction of the functionality on a handheld device. If others want it, good. Let them install it, or an alternative if they so choose.

But this is a bit like saying some people want to grow an oak tree in their front garden, so everyone has to have one.

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10 things you need to avoid SNAFUs in your data centre

Terry 6
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Spot on

Even doing my small scale support job with a dozen or so PCs on a tiny network all this has been true for me and the engineers who came in to do the big jobs.

Yes the torch.

Yes the cables tangled.

Yes the two unrelated jobs that made the whole network fall over ( luckily not me that one).

But along the bit about the documentation being on the device that's causing the problem for small workplaces I'd splice knowing who is responsible for retaining the docs ( especially where more than one team is concerned) as well as where.

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Indiana Jones whips Bond in greatest movie character poll

Terry 6
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Acherly

That all seems pretty reasonable to me.

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What is this river nonsense? Give .amazon to Bezos, says US Congress

Terry 6
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Where?

I do wonder if these politicians even realise that there is a river named after the company.

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Terry 6
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Joke

Re: Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

I have to continue this chain,

not as good as amazon.amazon.amazon then.

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Terry 6
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What! I thought it was done by elves.

Does that mean I didn't need to pour the biscuits and milk into the laptop after all?

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Terry 6
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Re: Yes!

Absolutely,

I'm no fan of "coding" in schools.

Which seems to be pretty pointless for most kids.

But if we're showing the kids what is actually under the bonnet and then letting them try to make it do something there's a chance that some ( the right ones ) will be inspired to really get involved.

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Terry 6
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Next project

Imagine the handwired Smartphone.

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Windows Phone is like religion – it gets people when they are down

Terry 6
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Re: Love it

The Windows phones do not have anything like the cost premium of having a shiny Apple.

Is there realy anyone here in El Reg who doesn't realise that Apple gets away with a massive premium price because they are so fashionable.

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Terry 6
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Love it

Not being interested in stupid mind candy, for my purposes, the small computer in the pocket WIndows Phone is perfect for me.

I can talk, email, message, check the interwebs, keep notes, navigate, take pictures.

It works really well, is very intuitive to use.

A useful device, no Apple Tax and not part of the Googledroid ad network.

What's not to like?

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Terry 6
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Re: Yup

Not a very good trolling. B-

Buck up there!

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Virgin Media starts its broadband-of-the-gaps fibre rollout

Terry 6
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Performance and support is good for me.

My free upgrade to 150mb gives me just that, I also have had pretty good customer support once I've battled past the first line script reading call handler in Mumbai.

In truth VM do have a terrible tendency not to tell their front line staff what is going on, so they are running through a support script and asking us to reboot etc. unaware that the whole area is down.

But compared to Openreach VM's service is heavenly.

Their mobile phone service customer support is another matter. I will never use them for mobile phones ever again. I'd rather make do with two cans and a length of string.

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FLICK my FLINT and SNIFF my TREE on the streets of Naples

Terry 6
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Re: Online retailers

Fair point; Normality, in this respect relative to the normal behaviour of online retailers.

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Terry 6
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Online retailers

"Normality is an online retailer who thanks me for my recent purchase of ink cartridges and asks me if I’d like to buy a bicycle."

No, not quite.

Normality is the Online retailer who thanks me for my recent purchase of ink cartridges and asks me if I’d like to buy ink cartridges.

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Terry 6
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Re: "to see the city’s most famous sites"

No. Sights, as in things to see.

Not sites as in places.

The sights of a city are the tourist attractions.

The sites of a city are where they are building the tourist attractions.

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MOUNTAIN of unsold retail PCs piling up in Blighty: Situation 'serious'

Terry 6
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Re: If you need a "new" PC

And I should add that Linux fans seem very keen to keep their club exclusive.

I had the basic knowledge to know most of what to do, and understand what they were saying for the rest of it when I played around with Linux

But for anyone out there that wants to use Linux and isn't a techie sort of person the wall of undefined Linux jargon would be a killer.

This was a reply I saw while I was looking for examples, for someone who said he'd been using Ubuntu for a few days, on a part of a Linux site that was specifically for the "Newbie"

"You will get more useful information by install the package from the command line. Use aptitude (if it's installed) or apt-get with the command:"

etc.

The point being that the helpful person giving that answer didn't say what this aptitude thing was, or how to get to apt-get or what the was. And that's a reply for the "newbie"!

On top of that there seems to be a new fork of every distro and a new distro of every fork every five minutes. And of course every proponent of each distro/fork has their own preferred desktop.

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Terry 6
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Re: (d) Don't need another one

It's always fun looking at the boxes in the big retailer (PCyouknowwho).

The model you might want is never there.

The prices are the same range as boxes you can buy from the smaller online companies, but with considerably poorer spec for the money.

The staff are so clueless about the devices that any selling they do has to be pure BS because they don't have the capacity to match the device to the customers' actual needs and are really there to try an upsell stuff the punters don't need. Dodgy AV bloatware, pro software, complicated wireless mice and so forth.*

So retail buyers have learned the hard way to steer clear and small business buyers have neither the cash, need nor the will to buy.

*Personal touch here. My late mother got persuaded by a particularly stupid crony to buy from PCCrooks. (To anyone out there who doesn't realise this -mothers will always trust their friend to tell them what to buy, rather than the son/daughter who might actually know something). And she came back with all of the above, and an extended warranty and a whole load of other useless crap.

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Terry 6
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Tromos

The machines are faster etc. It's just the task they need to do that haven't changed. So if they were comfortable three years ago, they still are now.

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Terry 6
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Re: Brew your own

That's actually been true for a long time for the more technically able/ good local shop round teh corner members of the public.

I kept my last machine going for years, with upgrades.

The difference now may be that there is not any good reason to upgrade for most ordianry users. And the folk who used to upgrade to have newer shiny now get their fix from ipads.

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Terry 6
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Wyatt

That's the thing.

Suppliers seem very reluctant to drop the prices and sell more stuff/

I bought a Dell i7 job a few months ago. I got a much better machine for my £800 than many other big makers were asking, And even now when I look at the ads for other makes, most are still offering poorer spec for that kind of money than I paid.

But I also notice that Ebuyer offer a Dell with half the memory and HDD space that I have, and no mention of graphics card for what I paid,.

Whereas Dell itself now offer my machine with the addition of an SSD for the same price.

Which suggests that the retailers aren't in a hurry to shift boxes. OR even ask a sensible competitive price.

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Yep, it's true: Android is the poor man's phone worldwide

Terry 6
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Rational decisions

This tells us more about people than it does about technology, i.e.that fashion guides most people's decision making rather than any rational decision about use or value for money.

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OK, forget DNS for a sec. Why not shift IP addresses and protocols away from Uncle Sam?

Terry 6
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Service Level Agreement

The very phrase sends a terrible sense of fear and trembling along my spine.

I foresee artificial targets with no relationship to reality

Decisions made so that targets can be met, without any reference to what is needed.

Endless disputes over tiny percentages of irrelevance.

Or am I imagining that this is what usually happens?

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