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* Posts by AJ MacLeod

193 posts • joined 11 May 2006

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BOYCOTT FIREFOX, rage gay devs as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

AJ MacLeod

Re: The witch hunt continues @Chris W

Think about it, please; he's not a moron for having his own opinion, he's a moron for crying loudly that someone having an opinion opposed to his is not fit to lead Mozilla.

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AJ MacLeod

The witch hunt continues

This self-important Catlin moron needs to get a grip and understand that billions of other people have different opinions and beliefs to his own and that he is not the sole arbiter of truth and right; in this case the opinions of Eich have absolutely nothing to do with his work and are completely irrelevant to Mozilla.

We are now seeing more and more the militant homosexual lobby not just sitting back and being content with having achieved what they first claimed they wanted, now they want to destroy all those who have disagreed with them. We're all free to our own opinions as long as they don't clash with theirs...

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Microsoft frisked blogger's Hotmail inbox, IM chat to hunt Windows 8 leaker, court told

AJ MacLeod

Pirate Windows 8?

Don't think they need have worried there!

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Ford to dump Microsoft's 'aggravating' in-car tech for ... BlackBerry?

AJ MacLeod

The trouble is that car manufacturers have spent most of the past ten years sticking technology and gadgetry where it isn't suitable, doesn't work and isn't wanted.

I can think of very few places where a touch screen interface is less suitable than in a car, particularly if it's supposed to be operated by the driver - and yet many manufacturers have used them for all kinds of operations which were previously trivially easy to manage purely by feel whilst driving.

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BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

AJ MacLeod

Re: @James 51

My own trackpad (BB9105) has been very reliable even in situations where it couldn't really be expected to be and as for the physical disconnect button I won't buy a phone without one. I only hope they don't make it completely flat and indistinguishable by feel...

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AJ MacLeod

Finally!

A company that listens to their customer base and not only admits to mistakes but rectifies them? I'm sold. If only they'd bring back a model with a proper numeric keypad too... I know I'm not likely to see that ever again though and my current phone won't survive for ever - this is probably as good as I'm going to get, and far more than I honestly expected so unless the reviews of the final device are universally awful I expect to be ordering one.

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Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

AJ MacLeod

Re: faulty premise no.1

Precisely why I'm still using my BB 9105 three years on... one day in the future I hope that somebody, somewhere, will realise that a phone is best supplied with a phone keypad on the front (and should last the best part of a working week without being recharged)

Until then, I'll be deleting the "upgrade" offers Vodafone plague me with...

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HP claims ProLiant server audits to stop 'competitive misuse'

AJ MacLeod

Re: AJ McMakeStuffUp Shove off, HP

Newsflash for those living in cloud cuckoo land - most companies are NOT managing large server estates. Those that are are no doubt well placed to fork out limitless money on shiny manufacturer's support contracts (which actually aren't all that brilliant once you move away from the larger population centres.) HP then appear to be saying that all they care about is big business - that's fine, smaller businesses have other options and will use them.

Why _shouldn't_ customers who have spent plenty of money on a product get fixes for the flaws built into that product once HP eventually admits to them and produces a workaround? That kind of behaviour is pretty close to extortion...

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AJ MacLeod

Re: AJ McMakeStuffUp Shove off, HP

Oh come on - it doesn't take a genius to apply firmware updates as required, nor to swap out faulty hardware. There's nothing magical about HP servers or even anything particularly different about them compared to any others - they're just basically fancy PCs. In fact, if anything they're even designed to be _easier_ to maintain.

And I didn't say ProLiants don't come with a warranty, obviously that's not legal - but they don't sure as anything don't usually come with a full three year support package as suggested above.

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AJ MacLeod

Re: Shove off, HP

No they don't - none of the servers I've bought from HP have ever had a 3 year warranty included, it's been a very expensive add-on every time. Are you suggesting that being permitted to download fixes for only the first year of a server's life is in some way acceptable?

Besides the article appears to have been edited - I'm sure the suggestion was that if HP suspected that firmware updates had been applied by someone other than one of their overpriced agents they would cease to honour any warranty. Either way I really don't care - the very fact that they're even thinking along these lines is enough for me, and already my (or my customers') money is going elsewhere as a consequence.

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AJ MacLeod

Shove off, HP

Specced my first two Dell servers instead of the usual ProLiants just yesterday, reading this garbage today just makes me 100% determined - HP aren't getting another penny from any of my customers. Just who do they think they are? What they're insisting on has to be beyond what they're legally able to.

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Adobe goes out of band to fix frightful Flash flaw

AJ MacLeod

Linux Support

The question is, do they class the Linux update as less critical because it's less vulnerable in this case or just because they couldn't care less about supporting Linux?

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Just as we said it would: HP clamps down on server fixers

AJ MacLeod

Got this last night

and that's me convinced - I won't be buying HP servers again. It's a shame because I'd only just settled on them in the past year or two and was pretty happy (notwithstanding having to pay extra for iLO to be usable - and even then it's a bit iffy unless you're using old versions of IE)

I was buying desktops and laptops from Dell anyway, might as well add servers to the list.

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Another one bites the dust: AVG kills its remote access service

AJ MacLeod

Re: They had an extra service? (@ecofeco)

Nor had I heard of it, and I'm an AVG reseller. Having said that, they probably stuck some stupid "cloudy" name onto it, making me automatically ignore it... If only AVG could stick to making a decent, lightweight AV product and steered clear of all these other pointless gimmicks!

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UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

AJ MacLeod

Re: Important change @El_Andy

That's exactly the case now (for various values of reliably.) Nobody has said ODF is already perfect (indeed the quotes in the article show that the expectation is that later versions can be used as the spec develops) but at least it's not 100% controlled by a single US corporation with a staggeringly bad track record.

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AJ MacLeod

Re: Important change

The whole point is that implementing good ODF support is actually a realistically achievable goal, whereas properly implementing Microsoft's "standards" is never going to be because that's the way MS wanted it. Having one highly untrustworthy foreign company calling the shots on data formats is just stupid and I'm amazed (but pleased) that the government has actually noticed and appears to be doing something about it.

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UK IT supplier placed on ASA naughty step over 'misleading' HDD ad

AJ MacLeod

Increasingly common fraud

It's all very well saying one shouldn't buy "refurbished" drives, but I've had several sold through Amazon as brand new which had many thousands of hours on them. They usually come packaged correctly in a sealed anti-static bag but handling a fair number of new drives each month I can usually tell there's something slightly off, and check the SMART stats before using (or rejecting) the drive.

I'm sure lots of people with a bit less experience would never even think about it - after all some manufacturers are keen on "hiding" the production date in a less than obvious code, and the drives are clean enough on the outside.

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9,000 heads to roll at Dell? Tosh. It'll all go down in Feb and it's THOUSANDS more - insiders

AJ MacLeod

Why the hate?

For me, Dell have been fantastic over the past six or seven years when it comes to bog standard desktop PCs and laptops for SMEs. Not only are their prices decent, but the product is on the whole at least as reliable as anything comparable (the occasional duff model of laptop excepted) and just as importantly they have consistently been truly excellent in dealing with issues arising during the warranty period (and even outside it sometimes.)

I suspect though they could live quite happily without the apparently huge numbers of Indian-based sales people that like to try and get in touch after a sale - I didn't need them to make that purchase, why would I want to speak to them the next time I'm after some machines? Web-based ordering removes the language barriers and you see everything clearly laid out in print before you buy.

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Security holes in Word, the Windows kernel and Adobe Flash. Party like it's Patch Tuesday again

AJ MacLeod

Re: Huh?

Actually it's most likely because these CentOS updates are not primarily security updates, but an "point" upgrade to a new version. Similar to the Windows 8 to 8.1 "upgrade" only with a much smaller download size and the choice of virtually any UI you like either before or after.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

AJ MacLeod

Re: Unnecessary Windows 8.1 Hate

We all know this - don't you see that what you've actually done is wasted useful time in fiddling with fairly obscure settings in order to get a semi-usable experience? This is the whole issue that has annoyed so many people - Windows 8 can be made to work reasonably well but only after tweaking; a desktop OS should come ready-configured as a desktop OS, not some kind of dumbed down phone.

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AJ MacLeod

Really - people hate the utterly retarded UI just because MS released it? How about this... maybe everyone (and, in my own experience dealing with a huge range of IT-using punters every day, it really is effectively everyone) hates the retarded UI because it's retarded. Maybe we should just all put earplugs in and go about blindfolded so that we all have a consistent experience of the world around us whether or not we are naturally deaf or blind?

I'm of the opinion that if the default Windows 8(.1) experience really does suit someone they probably shouldn't even have a PC at all; they'd be better off using their similarly handicapped phone or tablet.

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Yes, the BBC still uses FTP. And yes, a Russian crook hacked the server

AJ MacLeod

Re: Software Clients - pass the blame

FTPS != SFTP (which is far more widely used IME)

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

AJ MacLeod

PPC640 could be bought with an internal hard disk - my brother has one which I fired up about a year ago out of curiosity and it all still worked perfectly (well, I didn't test the built in modem but I'm sure it'd be fine!) Funny, when I regularly have to bin failed hard disks that are less than a year old - outrageously expensive "enterprise" grade SAS or dirt cheap SATA, they're all short-lived rubbish these days.

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Our Vulture strokes Dell's ROBUST 15 INCHER: Inspiron 15 Core i7

AJ MacLeod

Annoyingly they (stupidly offset touchpads) are not just common but almost universal. Which is especially annoying on machines that don't even have a numeric keypad!

One big thing in Dell's favour is that though they may not supply manuals with the machine, they usually have a good manual available online which actually covers disassembly and repair... I'm quite used to doing without, but it's definitely nice to know exactly what your best plan of attack is rather than going by guesswork and feel.

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OpenSUSE 13.1: Oh look, a Linux with YOU in mind (and 64-bit ARMs)

AJ MacLeod

You've either got your dates or your Redhat version wrong there... I suspect both, actually! In those ancient days the only practical way for me to get as huge a set of software as a distro was on CD and I remember being delighted when SuSE made it onto the cover of a UK magazine. Possibly the same one you're on about, though this was 1998.

I still occasionally use OpenSuSE when I want a generic "kitchen sink" distro with plenty of quick access to a wide range of packages and it even came on a netbook I bought a few years ago - I ditched the dreadful install almost right away but it makes a nice change having a SuSE sticker in place of the usual MS one!

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City of London cops ARREST 6 suspected to be MICROSOFT COUNTERFEIT RING

AJ MacLeod

Re: I may have a fake copy

I've seen loads of these - lots of them were really obvious fakes because they didn't have a proper COA with the product key on them...

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Meet the BlackBerry wizardry that created its 'better Android than Android'

AJ MacLeod

Yeah, what an idiot. He should have trusted all his personal information to Google, they never pry...

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

AJ MacLeod

Brother's website is far from the worst of them IMO... which only says how bad some of the others are!

Personally I'd have tried a standard PCL or PS driver if in a rush - most reasonable network capable printers deal with that fine.

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AJ MacLeod

Re: Nice cat

I agree, they're often more than infuriating to use - but they're there and will continue to "work" long after the manufacturer loses interest in the device, and will work no matter what OS is running on your computers. Even on Windows I will usually install the most minimal drivers available to avoid the awful bloatware which comes with most printers and at best simply duplicates the functions available on the machine itself.

Edit : re-reading your post it looks like you've misread mine; I'm talking about a physical control panel on the printer itself, not 300MB of badly written malware which only runs on one version of Windows and a handicapped version which almost runs on some Macs.

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AJ MacLeod

Nice cat

Does it have Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat in its ancestry?

Printers are annoying devices. Printers with their own proper control panel are slightly less annoying and USB only printers are rarely worth considering.

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Naughty Flash Player BURIED ALIVE in OS X Mavericks Safari sandbox

AJ MacLeod

Re: and all people wanted was a movie player...

If by "X-Windows" you mean the network-aware nature of X11 then you're completely wrong. It provides capabilities that have been relied upon by thousands of people every day for years and does so with little fuss - nobody claimed it was perfect, but it definitely fulfils a genuine need. For that matter I have no idea why you've put CUPS in there, never mind "lp"... do you think that people aren't likely to need to print? Print spoolers and print servers are solutions to a problem people don't have?

In any case your argument against PDF is fallacious; if all you need is basically unformatted plain text then use plain text - PDF exists because of the difficulties in maintaining formatting appearance across devices whilst retaining the ability to preserve the textual content as such.

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Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH

AJ MacLeod

Re: What's the downside of the "upgrade?" vs Snow Leopard?

Thanks, will maybe image the drive and update sometime soon then. I wouldn't ever have paid real money for an OSX update but my wife (it's her laptop) was finding that ordering prints through iPhoto had stopped working properly and the new version wouldn't run on SL so maybe now's the time to update.

Sadly it won't cure the "won't stay turned off" problem the thing has had since before 1 year old as it seems to be hardware / firmware related (does the same thing even when running Linux off a DVD)... so long as it doesn't break anything more she'll be happy.

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AJ MacLeod

What's the downside of the "upgrade?" vs Snow Leopard?

As per title - on a 13" MBP from early 2010, running Snow Leopard - are there any disadvantages to moving to the latest version?

I seem to recall something about X11 support being dropped at some point - presumably this is available from elsewhere (though it was very nice indeed to have it built in.)

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Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

AJ MacLeod

Re: Right click admin options

I'm still completely unable to find any kind of justification for the huge download - it still needs classic start etc to produce a half reasonable user experience. Advice to those who haven't tried the upgrade yet - don't bother.

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AJ MacLeod

Bewildering is right

Having dealt with loads of wildly different operating systems over the years, some with GUIs and some without, I don't think I have ever found one so bizarrely messed up as Windows 8 / 8.1

Configuration options are scattered around willy-nilly, there are usually at least two versions of any type of application, important menus are deliberately hidden - it's a completely unintuitive, illogical mess and only a retarded fool in severe denial could ever argue otherwise.

It's all the more astonishing as MS had finally, after decades of botched attempts just about managed to produce a version of Windows (7, obviously) which worked pretty reliably, supported a reasonable subset of hardware "out of the box" and had an interface with some kind of logic behind it.

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

AJ MacLeod

Re: What are the alternatives?

LyX is very good indeed for writing technical documentation IME. I ditched Word in 1997 and have spent a good part of my time since then helping people to work around disasters caused by that abomination.

Note that most of these disasters are not merely a result of user inexperience but rather Word's infamous "random disaster generator" behaviour.

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Royal Mail FAIL as web brokerage Hargreaves Lansdown struggles with investor demand

AJ MacLeod

Re: Like BT and British Gas

"The workers get shares and sell them quickly when they realise that to go up in value, they have to do their jobs properly"

Except that they can't sell them for years yet (not their freely allocated ones, anyway.) Still, facts etc...

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AVG, Avira and WhatsApp pwned by hacktivists' DNS hijack

AJ MacLeod

Ah, this explains why I was having difficulty updating / downloading a new copy of AVG on a machine earlier... it was the only PC there and riddled with junk but even after cleaning up everything obvious the AVG site would only occasionally load whilst every other site I tried, even anti-virus related, seemed fine. I had thought there might still be some kind of trojan lurking on the machine but obviously the answer lay elsewhere...

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WHY do phone cams turn me into a clumsy twat with dexterity of an elephant?

AJ MacLeod

Re: Phone cams hard to use

"Smartphones on the other hand are frictionless slabs with nowhere to put your fingers, without touching the screen and thus firing-off some function."

Another reason why I like my BB 9105 (which works amazingly well as a camera despite the specs not looking too promising); the "shutter" release is the touchpad click, which is a physical switch. Impossible to press by accident and couldn't be easier to find by feel.

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OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

AJ MacLeod

Re: Why? (@Pen-y-gors)

Actually yes, I know that TalkTalk give a better service than BT IF AND ONLY IF it's TalkTalk Business (which it would only seem fair to assume for this particular comparison)

Having suffered many times on other people's behalf at the hands of TT's various consumer arms, I would never have considered their business offering but ended up with them through the takeover and re-takeover of Freedom2surf.

On the couple of occasions I've had to call them I've had better service than I've found anywhere else, ever (and I spend time on the phone to the whole range ISPs on a weekly basis through work.)

You know you're going to get somewhere when you start the conversation by giving your diagnosis of the fault and a brief outline of the steps you've taken to deduce it and the person on the other end listens, actually understands and takes the issue from there. It's been my experience every time with TT Business... can't say the same for BT business (though they do usually get there in the end.)

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Torvalds: 'We're not doing Linux95 … for a few years, at least'

AJ MacLeod

Re: If it's too hard for the experts...

I admire your faith in Time Machine, but experience would suggest it's badly misplaced...

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David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

AJ MacLeod

Re: Of course we are evolving

@Thorne; Your comment shows that at best you are extremely ignorant - not least because if you were to actually study the list of the very greatest scientists and engineers of the past few hundred years you would find that many or most of the very best of them are/were very religious, even to the point of religion being their main inspiration.

This, despite religion having been generally held in disdain amongst the majority in the "educated" circles during the same period.

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Reg hack battles Margaret Thatcher's ghost to bring broadband to the Highlands

AJ MacLeod

The funny thing about this particular episode in the saga is that unless I'm very much mistaken, a good few years ago I used the ADSL connection in the very house in question here to provide a link to another building a few fields away!

Granted it wasn't a particularly wonderful ADSL connection but it worked. As did the link, remarkably reliably (just bog standard 802.11G bridge with reasonable POE APs and a Yagi at either end.)

The only fly in the ointment was the router having to live, unsecured, in a cupboard which guests and others had access to; the inevitable periodic resets were the usual cause for lack of connectivity at the other end. Why people invariably go to the effort of finding something pointy enough to prod the reset switch instead of just pulling the power cable out or even just switching it off at the wall I will never know...

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AJ MacLeod

Re: Margin

You're mistaken about the probability of rain, that's the other side of Scotland - here we usually have some of the lowest rainfall figures in the whole of Britain.

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'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail

AJ MacLeod

Re: Even better

Whilst I agree with the sentiment in this particular case, it's definitely not true that what's known can never become unknown.

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Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

AJ MacLeod

Re: I' not buying the Groklaw arguments - see the evidence..

Not necessarily dumb, but this is an IT site... the post is indicating that Groklaw has been using Google to supply their email services.

Since Google has always made it plain that there is no expectation of privacy for GMail / Google Apps users, it is slightly odd that Groklaw is now shutting down because their emails are being read by third parties...

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IBM snaps up banking security biz Trusteer, won't say what it paid

AJ MacLeod

Fully agree... in fact I'm right now sorting a machine which Rapport has wrecked (it's somehow mangled a pile of pretty vital drivers in this case.)

I have always advised people not to install it; at best it is guaranteed to slow down your PC and I've not seen any evidence of it actually doing anything genuinely useful.

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BlackBerry hits 88MPH, goes back to the future with NEW old 9720 mobe

AJ MacLeod

My 9105 has a battery life that rivals the Nokia brick that it replaced - even now, three years on, it'll stretch to about a week of normal usage (i.e. mainly calls and the odd email/BBM) or a few days of heavier usage (lots of photography / GPS / browsing )

It's easily the most practical smartphone I've ever used, not lacking any feature I'd even "kind of like"; sadly most of the market apparently doesn't actually want a reasonably priced practical smartphone, they want flashy fashionable gimmicky toys.

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Acer to downplay Windows in favor of Android, Chrome OS

AJ MacLeod

Re: Your demands are getting ridiculous!

The funny thing is, I'm pretty sure that if Microsoft had done nothing at all other than maintain Windows 7, the PC market wouldn't be quite so poorly as it now is.

Compare the going price for Windows 7 Pro vs Windows 8 Pro... nobody in their right mind wants the new rubbish.

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Internet giant you may still remember (AOL) gobbles vid ad biz Adap.tv

AJ MacLeod

Re: Giant?

Funnily enough, one of the two routers exhibiting exactly the same symptoms (naturally, as the problem is at the other end) was a usually trusty DG834G.

The most annoying thing is that for the ridiculous price they are paying every month they could have a decent business broadband package with faults lines staffed by people who have at least a vague idea of what they're talking about...

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