* Posts by ChrisBedford

76 posts • joined 27 Feb 2012

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

ChrisBedford

Shutter website requires user name & password

...without which you are screwed. What gives?

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Man asks internet for $1k for pebbles. INTERNET SAYS YES

ChrisBedford

"I'm reasonably certain that the density of water ice is greater than that of a mixture of 40% ethanol and 60% cool water"

Uh, whut?

Here's an experiment to test that hypothesis: take one cube (or any shaped, I suppose) chunk of frozen water and place in a container of a mixture of 40% ethanol and 60% cool water. Observe. Oh, wait...

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ChrisBedford

HA ha ha just keep telling yourself that

"...it is contaminates that give you a hangover"

Yeah, that's the spirit :-)

Actually, mate, it's a combination of many things, but principle amongst them is TOO MUCH ALCOHOL. No, really.

But that doesn't stop people (whisk(e)y clubs, seasoned drinkers, and others) from perpetuating myths like that. Yes, contaminates don't help you feel better in the morning, but leave out the alcohol and drink all the contaminates - including the dregs of a thousand ice trays - and you won't have a hangover. Guaranteed.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Soapstone? Really......??????

Yeahhhhhh... AFAIK there's no danger from ingesting asbestos. And in the miniscule quantities you are going to find in solid soapstone, you could doubtless grind an entire $1k pack of pebbles into dust and snort the lot without any danger of asbestosis (which, you do realise, is a respiratory ailment, right?)

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ChrisBedford

Indeed

"Every clearly hairbrained idea seems to become a success"

...as witness the first model Fiat Multipla. I have yet to see an uglier car anywhere, any time. And yet, and yet... <sigh>

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ChrisBedford

Re: Charity as a stupid lottery?

What you have described is a basic business plan. Anyone asking for donations / investment in his/her endeavour should be publishing one. If there isn't one available, STEER CLEAR because the entrepreneur in quesiton doesn't know what s/he is doing.

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UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD

ChrisBedford

All new drivers' first cars should Landies

The Defender - 110" wheel-base.

Yeah, I know - "fuel consumption", but (a) solid as a rock - it would take being hit by an artic to capsize one of those things (b) tough as nails (c) drum brakes, manual gearbox, rough-as-hell clutch and no power steering (d) well, fuel consumption - Junior is going to be driving slowly (e) availability of parts, plus of course simplicity of repair. No-one should drive a car s/he can't repair him/herself.

Does this view make me a driving Nazi? :-D

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Go festive this year with Christmas carols, baby Jesus and CLITORAL STIMULATORS

ChrisBedford

Re: NTNOCN FTW...

"Damn, can't find it on YouTube"

Oh well - will this do?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuRA1rZuTA

Never knew Kim Wilde had a comedy side.

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BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity

ChrisBedford

Re: That's not quite the statement

"That's not quite what is being said, that fags taxes pay for the treatment of fag related diseases (although every claim about the cost of treating smokers on the NHS is in fact lower than the amount of fag taxes collected)."

After all, it's not every smoker who has multi-million pound lung cancer treatments. So, while most if not all have some health-related issues, many get away with some relatively low-level stuff, like breathing from an oxygen bottle for the last couple of years of their lives or repeatedly having to deal with URTIs or even chronic meds for congestive heart failure, but in the long run I'd venture that the average cost of treating a smoker for smoking-related illnesses is lower than the total taxxes collected off tobacco products.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Good stuff (@ Ian Emery)

You should seriously read a book called Bad Science by Ben Goldacre.

What you are doing here is taking a sample of one and extrapolating the results to 60 million. It's so far beyond boffinry that the scientists (and anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together for warmth) wouldn't bother commenting on your experimental data.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Good stuff (@ Voland...)

Yeaaaahhh... your weight gain attributed to UK bread & jam is not exactly a scientific proof now is it though. Lots of other factors could be (and most likely ARE) at play - lifestyle and advancing age the most obvious that come to mind. I also developed a spare tyre when I turned forty, and despite working out five times a week which I didn't do in my twenties and thirties, I eat probably half what I did as a young man. And still struggle to keep those pounds off. Your body just gets better at converting carbs into blood sugar as you get older.

I forget - how did we get onto this subject? It's a bit off-topic, isn't it, since we were talking about the long-term cost (to society) of being a lard-ass. To address Tim W then, I think the point of the Kinsey (or whoever) report was that the money is "lost", irrespective of who loses it - but of course it makes much better headlines when you imply that the cost is to "the taxpayer". And of course Sky News picks up this kind of thing and Eamonn discusses it to death without actually questioning the source of the information. Makes for spectacular (if inaccurate) headlines.

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I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm

ChrisBedford

[q]I got as far as " frigging earth of ours" before the words all blurred in to Chinese, any one else do better?[/q]

My eyes went over the text, my brain did the OCR, but... yeah, still Chinese.

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FTC tells 'scan to email' patent troll: Every breath you take, every lie you make, I'll be fining you

ChrisBedford

What's the difference between a patent troll & a carp?

One of them is a bottom-feeding scum-sucker, and the other is a fish.

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Time to test your sarcasm detectors: It's the UN's global comms shakeup extravaganza!

ChrisBedford

Good job they weren't handing out any Captain Obvious awards

'telecommunications has "brought about great changes and made it possible to share knowledge in all areas of human lives including politics, the economy, society and culture."'

Luckily it hasn't brought about any change in sheeple's gullibility, narcissim, or bigotry, which has meant websites like hoaxkill and snopes have had a great couple of decades.

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US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'

ChrisBedford

Re: A start - just

"In one case I can recall from the 1990s, the FTC went after a UK fax spammer for over $50 million - and got enforcement via UK courts. [...] That they got a USA boiler room operation is good - and it's an indicator that they're taking it seriously"

Talking about one case from maybe 20 years ago, you think that means they are taking it seriously? Looks more like tokenism to me.

"The interesting thing is that much of the "indian" boiler room operation is financed and coordinated from the USA and/or UK, so this may well have done more damage than a casual reader may suspect."

Well we can only hope so. But India is probably the most technologically and socially advanced (and high profile) of the countries that are hosting these scum - what about the others? Of the calls I have received (when the caller ID isn't suppressed or faked) I have seen international dialling codes indicating obscure places like countries ending in -stan (really don't remember which country it actually was. Kazakstan? Dunno). How is the FCC ever going to go after people like that? Assuming that even that was not a faked number, what about all the call centres that suppress their numbers - who's ever going to trace those calls? Sadly, it really doesn't work like in the movies, with big-screen displays on the wall showing red lines pointing to the point of origin on a world map...

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Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE

ChrisBedford

Re: But will an Apple Hater step up to the plate?

Those Apple-haters?

Those trolls, yes.

Then, after a long, and, it must be admitted, faintly amusing rant that has (tenuous) roots in reality, and a propos of nothing in particular,

You have to separate out the business of screwing people out of their money from the marvel of technological innovation - two completely different things.

As far as I am aware, Apple has never really been about the marvel of technological innovation (well, to be fair, very few consumer boxes ever are) - Jobs stated, openly, and more often than can be counted, that the company philosphy was to start with the user experience and engineer backwards to create the product. So, product innovation (iPod, iTunes store, iPad, OSX, etc etc etc) but not really technological innovation. I don't see any shame in that.

And if it happens to end up costing more, and people are prepared to pay more for better quality of manufacture and a more rewarding experience, then well done Apple. No point in ranting about it.

No, I'm not a fanboi. Far from it, my only Apple product is an iPhone 4S. I just admire decent quality kit when I see it. I get just as frustrated with some of the Apple configuration options as I do with some of the Windows interface "quirks", but I do hate Android with a passion. They went too far in the other direction with the configuation options in that, and I still can't type a coherent text message or email in that awful abomination.

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10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

ChrisBedford

Re: Number seven

The aggro started when they then asked 'How are you today?'

Call centre drones in South Africa (and I have no reason to believe this is a uniquely South African trait, since we slavishly follow whatever's "trending") reply to the (expected) response 'I'm fine thanks and you' with the squirm-inducing 'I'm very well, thank you for asking'. Obviously someone (probably in telemarketing PR) has instilled the philosophy that obsequiousness is the same as politeness, or that grovelling makes sales, or something.

My standard response is therefore, 'I'm fine'. If the drone then tells me he's 'fine, thank you f- ' I forcefully interrupt and tell him/her I didn't ask. This will, without fail, cause them to stumble and lose their place in the script. At that point, firmly believing you should always kick a man when he's down, I start barking, 'Well, what do you want?'. Usually a recipe for being able to get them to look forward to ending the conversation.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Confession - OED

"I pride myself on rarely needing to refer to an oracle, because I know my language."

Hmm, I pride myself on not being a pompous ass, so I try to look things up before pontificating on them.

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Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. AW... your battery died

ChrisBedford

Re: How much?

"But is it really any better - really - than a top-end Android phone? Both make calls, send texts and emails; both run the same batch of common apps; both attract desperate fandom; and both are now mature products."

Yes, it really is. I had a Galaxy phone for 14 months - a decision I truly regretted for every hateful minute I had to use it. Eventually I got an opportunity to buy an iPhone 4S and have been married to it ever since (it's far more faithful and cooperative and user-friendly than my actual wife ever was).

Android was so full of stupid, unnecessary, and counter-intuitive options I was constantly frustrated at trying to set anything, the predictive text came up with the *THE* stupidest choices, and as for that unblievably kludged mess of garbage they call "Kies", the less said the better (I see it's now even bigger and slower than it was two years ago). About half my contacts were duplicated, some of them triplicated and quadrupled, while others were wiped and lost forever (from phone and PC). Yes I know there are a lot of ways of "personalising" the phone interface to "improve" it - all way too hard to install and set up (back to the plethora of options thing). Who's got time to sit messing with their phone when all they want to do is get it working? In fact at a breakfast seminar one day I was bitching about how crap the phone was when some Android convert started preaching "yes but that's because you haven't got {insert name here} installed". I gave him the thing and told him to go mad - well quite frankly the change was minimal and if anything the predictive text and typing experiences were slightly worse.

Got the iPhone, connected it to my PC, synchronised calendar and contacts, sold the Galaxy, and have never looked back.

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Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet

ChrisBedford

Re: Washing ton Post

"The more likely explanation is that nobody will put the investment into a GPON service into a neighborhood with a low GDP in the first place."

Exactly. I'd state it more emphatically, not "likely" but "obvious".

The original statement might as well have read "suburbs where the roads were wetter, were found to have had rain".

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Reg bloke zips through an iPHONE 6 queue from ZERO to 60 SECONDS

ChrisBedford

Re: call that a queue?

[quote]100,000 people line up to see a soccer game - it's just another game.

100 people line up to buy a phone - it's international news[/quote]

Umm yeah - When last did you see people queueing for a week - or even 12 hours - for a game of footie?

In fact who actually queues up to buy a ticket at the game? Doesn't everyone buy them in advance and just walk right in to the stadium? I sincerely doubt anything like even one-tenth of 100,000 people ever stand in a queue (even when you add up all the queues at 20 entrances to a stadium) of any sort, at any time, at any stadium, anywhere, ever.

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ChrisBedford

Re: It's the beginning of the end - you're confused

<quote>When people start referring to a photo of a person or persons taken by a third party as a "selfie"</quote>

No I think you missed the point, and so did 27 people who upvoted your post. The pair /went on/ to take selfies, /that photo/ wasn't the selfie, nor did ITV say it was.

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You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference

ChrisBedford

Re: Summoner's Tale

"Clearly it should of read Ten Summoners Tale's. One tale, multiple tale's. Simple's"

Your rite. No waisted grammar hear!

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ChrisBedford

Re: Summoner's Tale

@Dabbsy: "It may be "proper" but it is still "questionable". In terms of grammatical pedantry, "Ten Summoner's Tales" is correct. It is, however, questionable: despite being attractively concise in its three words, "Ten Summoner's Tales" is an awkward way of both (1) declaring that there is such a thing as a Summoner's Tale and (2) that there are ten of them."

ehhhhh... OK

I think that puts your grammatical nazism a bit to the right of mine though ;-)

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ChrisBedford

Re: Ten Summoner’s Tales

Umm, Dabbsy - not to heckle too much here, but... the name Sumner comes directly from the occupation Summoner. It's a contraction (yeh, without an apostrophe) that happened somewhere in Olde Englande or whatever - Sting actually explained it at the time the album was released.

In fact there's nothing wrong with the punctuation of the album title, it tells you there are 10 tales from one summoner.

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Go home Google, you're drunk! Desktop Maps says The Shard's TWO MILES from actual loc

ChrisBedford

I think there is Google data and user data. If you correct, for instance, road names or directions, I have found I get responses (more or less immediately, from a robot) and then some days or weeks later an update (usually, "You were right!" in a sort of startled tone of voice) and the map checks out correctly.

But landmarks all look somewhat haphazard to me and I get the distinct impression a lot of them are placed by members of the public. Illiterates, and 8-year olds, mostly, who can't map-read, because the majority of them are, as someone pointed out above, either tens of yards or several blocks off. I've never bothered to find out how to place landmarks of my own because to me the whole of Google has become arcane and opaque and I don't believe I should need to read instructions before being able to use a GUI. What isn't obvious, doesn't hack it, so I end up using a fraction of its capabilities.

Pity, but there it is. I'd rather suffer than go through the pain of a learning curve (mostly because, from bitter experience, just as soon as I learn how to use it they will change everything and I'll be back to square one). OK that's the end of my rant for tonight.

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

ChrisBedford

Re: I mostly agree with this article

"When I see an Airport router, I immediately begin swearing..."

Indeed. Your comments re that "airport config utility" are spot on - it's fine for a bog-standard arrangement but when you want to do something even slightly out of the ordinary it is completely frustrating. The software doesn't allow you to set it up the way you want, it insists, "Wizard"-style, on asking a bunch of ambiguous questions and then basing the configuration on your answers. Too bad if, as a technically competent person, you can't think like the marketing cock who wrote the questions.

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ChrisBedford

Re: re: Nighthawk. It not only sounds like a US military war machine

Now listen carefully - I shall say zis only once.

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Elon Musk GIVES UP ON SEX: He'll make do with a 'cheap' Tesla III instead

ChrisBedford

Re: SF (San Jose) to LA (Pasadena) nonstop??

Oh, yawn, a Prius. Puh-lease. Put your foot down and expect some sort of reaction maybe this time next week. The Tesla, on the other hand (Matthew Inman reports) gives you whiplash when you accelerate!

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9 Dark Social Truths That Will Totally Blow Your Bowels!

ChrisBedford

XKCD

See today's

http://xkcd.com/1385/

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Please be seated at your FOUR-LEGGED PC

ChrisBedford

You seriously can't tell the difference between your comment and the one above?

"Watch out. I said something similar and was roundly condemned for having my own views!"

No. You were roundly condemned for saying "It needs to go", implying that your opinion was the only one that counted.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

"...everybody else gets glass, but I go to the local window place and wave a couple of notes about..."

For a worktop, that's just an injury waiting to happen.

I know that in the "Tired to death of Elf 'n Safety" Nanny State that might sound like just another mindless parroting of the littany, but until you have seen the effect on a 10-year old's hand of ordinary window glass, please don't disregard.

Seriously, never make furniture out of window glass. Not even if you don't have a 10-year-old. Multi-layer safety glass, perhaps, but that is also expensive (no idea how it stacks up in price against temprered though) but also very difficult to cut to a specifi size - and, once cut, it has a finite life (air creeps in from the edges and it starts to de-laminate, especially in damp climates, and it looks crap).

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BEHOLD the HOLY GRAIL of TECH: The REVERSIBLE USB plug

ChrisBedford

Re: An accident waiting to happen?

http://www.fiftythree.org/etherkiller/

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ChrisBedford

Doesn't look robust.

The actual metal bit that sticks into the socket is, from the picture in the article, half the length of the current connector's. With the stiffness of some cables I have used (I'm looking at a USB 3.0 cable that came with a cheap external SATA enclosure) that is going to put undue strain on the socket and before long render it useless. Anyone ever tried to get any connectors on a notebook motherboard repaired? If you can find someone who does repairs down to that level it's often more costly than buying a new motherboard. Which in itself is often more costly than buying a new computer.

So what it could come down to is a £ 2 cable leading to the replacement of a laptop. Seems like a bit of bad design to me.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Am I the only one ....

" Yes. Your current phone charger is also capable of delivering 100 watts.

Bollocks it's meaningless… I'm yet to see a phone charger that can deliver 100 Joules in a second."

Yar... a fairly typical laptop charger delivers 70W (19 V @ 3.7 A) or less and it's a brick around 4" long and bigger than 1 x 1.5" in section. If you can pull that kind of power from a little 1" cube or smaller phone charger someone has worked another kind of quantum physics marvel.

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Dear Reg: What is a 'Lag' and a 'Jacksey'?

ChrisBedford

Re: Reminds me...

"water, which isn't ... a sink though it can often be found in the same room."

You have a toilet in your kitchen?

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Google Glass: Reg man tests tech specs

ChrisBedford

Re: Why are there so many Luddites on the Reg forums?

"...the same as with camera's and mobile's. The threat's to violence..."

Maybe it's sublimated ANNOYANCE at INCORRECT PUNCTUATION. When did all terminal esses suddenly acquire an apostrophe? More to the point, WHY oh please God WHY...

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FBI offers $10,000 bounty for arrest of laser-wielding idiots

ChrisBedford

I don't understand

I've looked into laser pointers and it's been no more blinding than looking into a desk lamp. Plus, how many miles away from an airliner do you have to be to have line into the cockpit^h^h^h^h^h^h^h flight deck? From that distance you can blind a pilot? When I point one of these things at a PowerPoint screen from 5 metres away the little dot is all over the place - how does anyone keep it on the aeroplane windscreen long enough to cause anything other than a millisecond's flash?

"to date 35 pilots have required medical treatment after being hit" WHAAAAAT? Those weren't laser pointers, they were weapons-grade, mains-powered, floor-mounted and with a sighting system. I call bullshit on this...

I'm not for one second advocating going out and giving it a whirl, but I do believe that pilots that get their knickers all in a knot over laser pointer "incidents" are being just the teensiest bit over-dramatic.

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From the Dept of You are Old: 'Selfie' officially 'Word of the Year'

ChrisBedford

Re: selfies are frickin OLD.

I think you're a little confused there matie. Taking pictures of yourself is old, sure, but *calling* them a "selfie" has only been around for the last decade. Until then they were self-portraits.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Wow

Oxford Dictionary's desperation for mainstream acceptance into pop culture

Wow that's a bit mean. OED has been accepting "pop culture" words for centuries - how else did a "lavatory" and "bathroom" become places to defecate. Just because this is the first you've heard of it doesn't give you the right to label them as "desperate".

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ChrisBedford

Re: Van Diemen’s Land writ large

It's an abbreviation. A tinnie doesn't mean a small tin.

Actually, yes it does. Not smaller in the literal sense, but metaphorically, as in downplaying its importance or impact.

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Double-click? Oh how conventional of you, darling!

ChrisBedford

You seem to have missed a couple of important points here

"Ah so click - wait - click again. Just like Apple or Windows or most other GUI based systems has been doing to let us edit the name of a file in the GUI for, what, 25+ years? Because if you double-click you launch it, so you need that pause. Yeah, it's horrible, but it's hardly new."

...except Alistair carefully pointed out that there was a time limit between clicks in the software he's talking about. In Windows you can leave it any time from when clicking again would not be a double-click (configurable, but usually around a half-second) to several years (if you can keep a Windows machine running for several years without rebooting it, unlikely) - the second click will put the item into "edit" mode.

And just BTW, it doesn't work quite the same in Mac OS, but that has been discussed at length above too.

"As for the GS, if that's your main example of "poor design", then I'm afraid you don't understand design at all."

No, it wasn't an example of poor design, it was an example of unconventional design. Although, looked at from the perspective of 35+ years' hindsight, I think it *is* piss-poor design.

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ChrisBedford

Re: Standards...

"Back when I was learning to drive every car was different"

Me too, me too! methinks you are referring to the 70s or thereabouts?

"the wipers and the indicators seeming to swap randomly"

There is a reason for that. It took me a long time to work it out, but it's based on the country of origin of the car. A right-hand drive vehicle has the gear stick on the left, so the indicator control is on the right. The wipers (presumably used less often than the indicators) are on the same side as the gears. Everything is mirror-imaged in a car designed for a left-hand drive market, which when it's sold in Britain only has the driver's cockpit transplanted to the other side of the car, not transposed.

Similarly the fuel tank filler point is on the side of the car that in its original market would be opposite the driver's side. Maybe in some places you still have petrol pumps at the side of the road...? The mind boggles at the thought.

"sometimes the horn was at the center of the wheel, sometimes on the end of the indicator stick"

Thank God that is one quirk that seems to have disappeared. I think the little knobby at the end of the indicator stalk was a British thing - specifically, BMC / Leyland - I remember a couple of Minis and Austins with that very-hard-to-find-in-an-emergency horn button. And let's face it, the horn *is* supposed to be an emergency control!

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ChrisBedford

Re: 1 out of 10

Mai non.

C'est logique Francaise, oui!

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ChrisBedford

Re: 1 out of 10

Nope, there is no difference nowadays. (Well, OK, there is - you don't have to take out the back seat to change the headlights, because it's basically f(&*^cking impossible to change the headlights no matter where you start.)

I wish I had had your dad's advice before buying a Xsara Picasso. Marvellously spacious car (with redefined "groundbreaking" dashboard, natch, that you can't read in daylight) but oh BOY do they screw you on the price of spares. Examples that I have to make alternative plans for: rear parcel shelf (just a solid moulding, not a fancy retractible like in the BMW X5 or Audi Q series) - either £ 270 or £ 340, I don't remember the details, it was in 2008; wiper/headlight/ECU switch/control stalk assembly - a bargain at £ 270 (this year).

Plus of course the legendary awkwardness of getting any basic maintenance work done on the thing. I think the first step for changing the spark plugs is to remove the engine.

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Assange: 'I'm fond of your work, Cumberbatch, but let's leave it at that'

ChrisBedford

Re: ASSANGE: 'I'm fond of the truth but only when it's the truth I approve of."

No. If Gov had no secrets it would be impossible to protect its citizens in any kind of meaningful way.

Abuse of privacy in government is obviously bad, but embarassing diplomats for having opinions is just petty vandalism and doesn't achieve anything "positive" (Assange's choice of terminology).

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Top 10 Steve Ballmer quotes: '%#&@!!' and so much more

ChrisBedford

Getting too old? No.

Ballmer said at a 2011 conference that "at his age it was just getting too tiring" [to do the monkey boy rants].

Correction, Mr B: it's getting too tiring because you're totally out of condition. He's pear-shaped and after the "Wooooooooohoooo I love this company" performance he was panting harder than someone who's just completed a marathon. Maybe once he retires he can find some time to go to the gym.

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ChrisBedford

Re: One Smart Thing

"I hate to think how my productivity would've suffered if I'd been stuck spending most of my working day re-installing and re-re-installing software and drivers because they didn't work right the first time, dealing with security holes, scraping out fistfuls of malware and crapware, and otherwise wasting time banging my head on Windows."

Oh yes, because that's *exactly* what we Windows weenies do *all day*, right.

If you have used Mac exclusively for 17 years how the hell can you know how much maintenance is involved in keeping a Windows box running? Listening to your friends and family whingeing, I suppose - like that is a representative sample.

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ChrisBedford

Re: F*ck you attitude.

@Fihart: you clearly haven't looked at how Apple does business, have you.

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Do you think spinning rust eats flash's dust? Join the hard drive daddies club

ChrisBedford

Re: SSD are not reliable enough yet!

Quote: "I’ve not had a regular HDD fail at under 4 years or so for a long time now."

...I have. Many. Far *too* many to call a hard drive reliable. And I'm only responsible for something under 80 computers.

In some cases the failure has been covered by warranty (drives with 2-, 3-, and 5-year guarantees) but the "free" replacement drive (a) often ends up costing almost as much as a new one, if you have to mail the damn thing to an overseas destination as I do in from South Africa, and (b) in any event is w-a-a-a-y less than the cost of your time to recover / rebuild and reinstall the machine.

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