* Posts by John White

40 posts • joined 10 Apr 2008

Brits love their phones, but spend less than ten years ago

John White
Boffin

@Crikey

Well if you're on a networked MythTV setup with three tuners and 'TV' [i.e. SFF PC+monitor] in Kitchen and 19+teen bedroom - you rapidly run out of 'tuners' to record [even if you *can* record three channels/multiplex] and watch live TV. Since son *likes* the MythTV mucho I'm looking at another tuner in secondar backend and a 1TB drive in the main backend to cope with his [and our] requirements.

Good job I skipped the new TiVo - too limiting (bet it doesn't stream to other rooms). Don't even mention Sky. [and there's no cable in my town in WA15]

Philips 221TE2L 21.5in monitor and Freeview TV combo

John White
Coat

RE What? 'monitor' and no DVI input???

slip of the fondle keyboard - its a Hauppauge 226 USB remote, not a 221......i'll get my coat now...

John White
FAIL

What? 'monitor' and no DVI input???

re DVI inputs... seriously - have you tried getting a DVI cable anywehere on the high street? £21 - £25 from C~~y's et al for 'gold plated premium version'. 'They don't use DVI any more ' from the oiks in the stores. Er anyone told monitor manufacturer's? Thought not.

Lack of DVI port is a pain - try using this on your MythTV box and unless you're using the latest m'boards with on-board HDMI [which breaks the point of a MythBox] you're done for.

So £5 DVI cable/adapter from Amazon are your route but if the DVI ->HDMI input is so bad this monitor/TV fails completely as a PC monitor [as most video cards I've seen in my price range as a private buyer are DVI/S-Video/VGA only] and is really just a TV. Who would revert to VGA??

Fails as monitor/ TV - better buy a decent monitor with thin bezel + stick a Acer revo/similar + MythTV on the back (don't forget the Hauppauge 221 USB remote - £25 on Amazon - for the '10ft interface'

It's the oldest working Seagate drive in the UK

John White
Coat

......when you use a HD as a door stop

I've a Sun E450 power supply as a door stop - does that count for geekiness?

[great 'cos it has a handy carrying handle]

Top Ten Arcade Classics

John White
Thumb Up

Use the Frorce Luke!

Ah, remeber some of these FAR too well. Sixth form it was battlezone and Defender - even have De3ender for Psion and enjoyed even round 200 - now onto Defendguin the Tux clone - still all good. Best memories were with Star Wars - repeatedly failing to plant the torpedo home - probably something to do with 4+ pints late at night in Student Union Bar...at least I *think* I got to firing the torpedo.....

Netbooks: notebook evolved - or stunted throwback?

John White
Go

re netBook and netbooks

increasing screen size beyond 10ins (best is 9) and spinning HDDs ruin the format - a small, handy device that does just enough of the desktop/heavy duty laptop to be useful and with good battery life. Bumping screen size up ruined all the good points.

I'll keep repeating - a modern version of the Psion netBook is what many of us who HAVE to input data need.

Perhaps the Toshiba AC-100 with Debian? or Compaq Airlife 100 (has a touchscreen) with better processor? I'd have those. Until then, my HP 2140 +SSD +KDE Ubuntu is the closest I've got/can afford.

I don't know who to blame for the size creep; MS pushing at manufacturers or manufacturers looking at 15in laptop sales. Either way, a >10in laptop with spinning HDD does NOT meet the qualities/versatility of my Psion netBook

Ubuntu 10.10: date with destiny missed

John White
Linux

I LIKE those pesky partitions

Come off it peeps - Windows needs separate partitions more than Linux - reinstalls need to format the disk and you lose all your personal data (bad upgrades anyone?) Kepp personal stuff in a separate partition and no pain for re-installs - that applies for Windows AND Linux. Yes I DO add separate ones on my Ubuntu installs - it's all GUI stuff and takes less than five minutes. Its saves LOTS of time restoring your user data on a re-installed base.

My son (who is Windows only - 'no games on Linux and it's borig cos it don't break') has separate partitions on his Win machine - tells me it's a gift on his 6 monthly re-installs of XP.

If disk are so big these days - what's the gripe in giving 12Gb to "/"; and the rest to '/home'? (I'll leave the '/swap' argument for others to argue over but personally I thing Win could benefit from one for pagefie )

I've been doing Linux for 13yrs and Windows from when it was a Dos shell - some things are not just a habit - they are from innumerable Win95 upwards install/reinstalls and Linux had an idea woth copying

All-in-One Inkjet Printers

John White
Boffin

Re Pete 2's comments

Pete, thanks for sharing that with us; you told us nothing as you didn't name the printer make/model!

I for one, appreciate Linux support; I've had Epsons for years - none have broken - the supplies people stop stocking the ink modules 'the model is too old - no demand'.

The Epsons are a pain because Linux support from Epson is non-existent . Driver modules they supply have always failed to compile (I'm not alone on this) and I have to wait 12 months before the community figure out how to get scanner bit working. That said, my SX200 now prints and scans absolutely fine; drinks ink (blame my son for that). No idea how good it is under Windows as the installer on my son's PC takes ages to run; once it finds the printer one day - it has 'lost' it the next and require a driver reinstall (printer is networked)

HP do support Linux - I know because I've had two (different) models. However both printers died at 13 months old (controlling electronics just stopped working - repair shop confirmed). So though I like the sound of the HP recommended here; I'm wary of buying another

Why we love to hate Microsoft

John White
Gates Horns

Remember FoxPro ; Autoroute.....10 reboots on installs...

I 've been messing with PCs for years - since 1987 and remember Windows 1 and 2. I also remember MS buying the 'ahead of the times' Autoroute and it disappearing ..fast. FoxPro after MS takeover - languished and left to rot in a backwater - too much competition for Access 1.0

Oh, and the installs..I built my own PC's in the early '90s (too little cash) when install from CDROM meant 'build a boot disk with CDROM drivers then try installing '98' . Once clocked at 9 reboots and 3hrs for a basic system (no apps) - just all device drivers.

I even tolerated the virus's caught early on in my dialup internet days

I used to *quite* like '98 as it was all I knew. Then one day, a device driver for a new motherboard caused 'Win98 to run like a 2 legged dog - 5mins to splash screen! No success at removing driver in safe mode or using the boot floppy+base drivers (to read CDROMs)

3 hrs into a complete re-install (and all personal data loss aka MS duff disk partitioning) and 10pm at night, I pressed the reset and shoved a Mandrake Linux disk (can't be worse than 3hrs plus another 3 for usable apps). Booted from CD; answered a few questions re my dialup; installer said '45mins to complete'.

'Joker' I said; 40 mins later I was in bed; emails collected; full office +apps installed; one reboot after install. I was sold on Linux and have used nothing else since 1996, (OK, I've intstalled Solaris on x86 and Sparc and even run Linux on Sparc).

I've learned more really useful computing info in 2 months of Linux (including networking MS PCs in the NT4 days) from Linux than I ever did in 9 years previous MS/Win use.

The dodgy business practice; wriggling out of monopoly convictions and downright uncompetitive behaviour (e.g. buy a better competitor product company then bury the product in a deep hole) just seals the can.

Microsoft, you're a disgrace - I hope your misdeeds catch up with you with a vengeance

Windows 7 SP1 'beta' leaks, hits torrents

John White

@Bear Features

You know, that's exactly how I feel when Windows users wine that 'linux doesn't work for me therefore it's junk/toy/unusable' when I've been using it for 13 years.

You imply it's his problem not Windows so go away and hide for being incompetent. Try swapping Linux for Windows in his comment and the forums get a different reaction.

OK, we'll apply the Linux test to this Windows version - it's a fail, unusable, an apology for an OS written by a bunch of incompetent programmers....

Nokia loses top tech brain

John White
Go

EPOC brains @ TomTom

perhaps with all those ex-Psion peeps at TomTom; we *might* see an updated Psion netBook as a TomTom netPad??? ARM powered of course. There was a Psion Lx mooted in place of the daft netBook Pro so we can dream.........

Nokia tops iPhone and BlackBerry (again)

John White

Re: commoditised market

Er .. isn't that the point - large volume of sales at low margins = large imcome/profit. Tesco (NO not Tescos) have been doing it for years and lat time I looked this meant mucho profit, (then again, Tesco isn't a company I would want to support)

Disclaimer: I have owned/own a Nokia 9500 and 9300 and they've been excellent. 9300 could have been an Android phone except I only use 60GBP a year on PAYG and could not justify a £35/month vs 9300 on eBay @ £65...

BBC Trust won't probe iPlayer open source gripes

John White
Grenade

TV tax = advertising

to all the licence fee whingers - get a life. I don't like adverts interrupting my programs and don't watch much commercial TV live as a consequence. OTOH I don't like the 'tax' I pay on almost all goods I buy and want to opt out of paying it but I have no say in being made to pay it.

It's called advertising

get over it, TV costs money, has to be paid for in some way and advertising is just as much a 'tax' as the licence fee - have no say in how much is added to the goods I buy; have no say how it is spent; cannot deduct it from goods I buy (food; gas; elec; insurance; banking ....)

Microsoft aims thin clients at the classroom

John White
Linux

Linux terminal Server Project anyone???

LTSP has been around for years and has just as long a track record in classroom thin clients. No limit on connections (apart from your hardware); volumes of documentation and real life examples. It's free as well - no licensing costs - still have to have sysadmins though(as will the MS Terminal Services) but many teachers seem to be able to install & manage it.

Even I run it at home (excellant indestuctible internet access for my 'youf' who insists on running XP Home c/w malware and virii) as part of my 'distributed desktop/diskless client' round the house (yes, it's in the basement with the file/media server)

Linus Torvalds doesn't hate the Googlephone

John White
FAIL

Re: More shocking... → #

Can't believ you wrote that.. My car is 6yrs old and I am 'being green..er' by keeping my diesel longer rather than buy a new car (and it's associated production impact).

It has no sat-nav; it still goes from A to B and as 95% of my journeys are to places I've been before - I do not need a sat-nav. When I do, (usually round France), I found paper map and reading sign posts a whole lot more accurate than a sat-nav

Pioneer puts Pandora Radio in your car

John White

In Car Entertainment

I'm sure last time I got in a car, the idea was to go from A to B (in some safety/comfort) and the radio/CD/MP3 was there to while away the bring bits on the car park called the Thelwall Viaduct/J21A of M6...

Seems now we almost at the stage of having a personal seat that's wirelessly plugged in to your phone/mp3/video screen attached to thereto. Next we'll sit in the seat in the house; seat+occupant is transported into the car complete and out at the other end whilst virtually navigating our way /simultaneously watching a video and IM chatting to friends

Hang on, think my 17yrd old does that now ....

Nexus One teardown: 'nicely put together'

John White
Linux

Broadcom WiFI..

wonder if they had any stress over the Broadcom chip for wifi - the 4311 in my Hp2133 seems to require unsupported drivers or NDIS wrapper for use under Linux (yes, I have it working but why is the 4368 OK and the 4311 'unsupported'?)

Mozilla lights fire under Thunderbird

John White
Grenade

Outlook needs a bomb under it

"Microsoft Outlook 2007 already does everything I need and does a great job at it "

YOU MUST BE JOKING;

Outlook (as implemented+in the NHS) is a POS. My calendar view is regularly borked with the only fix seemingly a new user profile (and lose all your settings).

As for exporting contacts in a useful format (iCal;vCal anyone?) then is MS all the way - all yours info belong to us. Like IE; Outlook needs a good kicking - or better still competition (such as Thunderbird) to be a viable alternative. Outlook won't share easily portions of diary/email with anything else

I use Kontact(Kmail/Korganiser) on my netbook and at least it'll connect (at the moment until MS alter Exchange again) to an exchange server. I know some people hate KDE but I found it better than Evolution for my needs. We need some more plugins for Kontact/Evolution; easy installer for Windows and then we'll have competition for Outlook.

Billionaire floats eco dream on sailing soda bottles

John White
Coat

Suitable recyclable materials

Could I suggest a material which is biosynthesised; can be harvested; by selection of suitable material sub-types can make ship; masts; ropes etc. Once ship life is over, construction materials can be burnt for power (cf previous entry re plastic recycling) or used in new ships/buildings. If boat sinks, materials are naturally recycled by ocean flora and fauna.

Skill persons in it's very widely available

The material is..... wood (well plant materials..)!

Microsoft howls as Google turns IE into Chrome

John White
Coat

Chrome(d) embellishing of IE

I read this article with some amusement - it's the software equivalent of a 17yr old sticking BMW alloys on a 1996 Ford Fiesta. Two fingers at MS it shouts (I'm not that keen on G Chrome and even less on IE - especially as my flavour of the NHS is still on IE6 + XP Pro - new this year!).

Still even better was reading the first post and remembering the recent article (I forget where I read it ) that pro -linux/Google/anything against MS being trashed as soon as they appeared. Morris, you're a star - five gold ones from the teacher (Bill G)

Xandros - the Linux company that isn't

John White

@ AC 14:01 GMT "Linux... pretty restrictive"

Come on - cant't let that lie there. I've installed Win OS's on home built PC's since 1990. It's a pain to install from scratch. Hardly anything works out of the box - you need a stack of OEM CD's for drivers for x,y and z and an equal number of reboots (yes still in 2009!). My son's (second hand) Dell D530 still has no working motherboard LAN as I cannot pin down the right driver from the Dell site (of course you need the LAN working to download the driver...). Oh and Microsoft Help/Troubleshooter needs a working internet connection...Also don't forget to activate your license for XP...

Ubuntu on the same machine - installs completely in 18 mins via a GUI - including LAN. Open Office apps as well. I can even LAN boot it via my Linux LTSP server and even sound / video works!

It does sound like you looked for the Windows dialogs ; found none and left. If this was a car you would have a fiddle about; get the manual out. If while on Ubuntu you had looked on the internet (which was working) for "install apps" you would have discovered "Synaptic Package Manager" which really is a "one click to install" installer. No reboots (almost) or disks.

Asus to slash retail Eee PC line-up

John White
Thumb Down

Welcome back trusty Psion netBook....

As others have said...

10in scrren == too large

Windows XP == too old/not netbook friendly (yes - I installed it on my 701 for 2 months and it was cr*p - put Xubuntu back on)

no SSD ==not rugged enough

battery life == less than same machine running Xubuntu (by 1 hr)

so goodbye Asus - you've killed your netBooks and If I cannot find one I can install a touchscreen on (Mini 9? Aspire One?) then the good 'ol Psion is back

Psion netBook 64Mb RAM and.....

sub 10 in screen ==tick

EPOC OS==tick - OK old but it's reliable and has apps I need and no crud

no SSD (4Gb CF)==tick

battery life - 16hrs (with nB Pro battery) ==up to 12hrs (not tested beyond - got bored)

Homeless Frank and Microsoft's cookie-cutter PC campaign

John White
Thumb Down

"Disney" PC adverts

having seen these cringing adverts - all it says to me is

"I'm a kid; My computer runs a child's operating system. It's a child's toy"

Sums it up quite well I thought

Concerted Linux-netbook effort needed to beat Microsoft

John White
Linux

"Arm" still waiting for "my" netbook.

Can I second the ARM powered Linux netBook - it would be a worthy succesor to the ARM Psion netBook (put a netBook Pro battery in the original and have 10 hrs up to 14). WinCE is/was a waste of space for the netBook - tried Jornada and netBook Pro - it's the apps - non existent if you're a non corporate type without a tame programmer

Nokia plotting Symbian laptops

John White
Go

Er is this "back to the future"?

Er....

Symbian on an ARM based netBook is how I read this.

sounds suspiciously like EPOC on a (colour) 5MX or Psion netBook.........

I'd buy it like a shot. Nokia - get on to it! Actually if it was Linux on ARM netBook I'd probably buy it. Years of use of Psion products (original netBook/PC companion idea) says that the Symbian meagre power consumption would be a winner with many of us. Let's face it - the Psion apps were pretty good at what they offered and the OS stability is still the best (I use Win and Linux). As long as the CPU is cranked up to give a reasonably fast user experience and some updated EPOC apps, I think they could have a viable product.

World's 'smallest, lightest' laptop launches

John White
Go

Psion 5MX reborn?

Like it! Very much the Psion 5 size with updated spec. Why have Windows on this? Much better something lighter - it really needs an equivalent to Psion EPOC as an OS i.e. instant on/off (suspend?). I still use a 5MX as an 'almost-a-PC - PC companion' . Don't need a full PC just the essentials and sync to PC at a later date (day - week - 3 weeks+ later). This would be a pocketable 'almost - a - PC' with the right OS. Crunchbang Linux as a lightweight distro (http://crunchbanglinux.org)?

Asus unwraps 10in Eee with 9.5-hour battery life

John White
Linux

Re: Proof if it were needed... Linux is wanted

Frankly, I DO NOT want Windows XP desktop on my netBook.

I LIKE the fact that there is an OS which suits an SD drive; is solid and simple in interface - I even use and appreciate the linux Asus EEE PC for a quick input interface which does the job.

I have installed Linux distros and Windows (also Solaris and plain Debian) enough times to know I want a machine which is simple to maintain and use and is NOT a copy of my desktop PC . My Psion netBook fulfilled all these requirements (without constant OS upgrades ) for years. The new netBooks, for me, are a hardware/software upgrade on the Psion netBook. My Nokia 9500 operates like a Psion 5MX for ultra portability. The new netBooks with linux I have found to be as reliable as the Psion OS so far and the fast boot time with Linux /SSD disk is the killer, (especially if you're walking about entering info every couple of mins).

Others may want a complete Windows PC in a netBook (why with such a small screen,fiddly touchpad and delicate mechanical hard disk?) but for those who do not - an option for an OEM Linux install is perfectly valid to expect.

In fact, touchscreen EEE PC 901 + (decent) OEM linux = updated Psion netBook

Mobiles finally admitted to English hospitals

John White
Go

@Dodgy Geezer - try working in a hospital!

As someone who works in a hospital - please note that I ALSO PAY TAXES SO PAY FOR NHS STAFF SERVICES - OK I do take out net to the NHS but the point is "who do they think pay the wages " includes NHS staff themselves.

Just as important - I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR A NURSE - many others professions work in hospitals and yes, I do have to wait for patients to finish mobile conversations; stop emailing on the internet via phone and reading/sending texts. This slows my work down. How happy would you be if I said "sorry your discharge/consultation has been delayed by 2 hrs because I had to wait for x patients to finish their phone conversations/texts"?

Those patients using mobiles/PDAs/laptops have a duty to be considerate/courteous/respect privacy when and where they use them. This, of course, applies just as much outside hospitals

BTW; Thise with camera-phones should be think hard about bringing them into hospital due to the high risk of infringing the privacy/dignity of others.

End of soap-box rant

(after all they rightly expect hospital staff to be the same to them)

Last major VHS supplier ejects from tape biz

John White

@ alphaxion

Spooky - I'm in the process of doing the same thing - house already Cat5 wired and 24port switch (in the basement) in. All my music is done (mirrored server in the basement). Plug your laptops into a good amplifier and good hiFi speakers (all cheap on eBay) and your away....

Question is - OS for backend? VLC for streaming? Mythubuntu for frontend/backend?

Currently I'm on Linux for server (x86 with old Ultrasparc as backup repo).

HP puts Linux on business PCs

John White

Re Mmmm....just wait until...

Try using Kubuntu/Ubuntu (insert any flavour of Debian) and your dependancy hell is over.

apt-get install vlc lbbdvdcss2 w32codecs

I *always* install extra software (including VLC) and haven't had dependancy hell for years (since I gave up on SuSE/Mandrake)

Native-Linux music player Amarok gets major overhaul

John White
Linux

The bloody thing *does* just play files..

I must be making a mistake here - I run Amarok (Kubuntu-Hardy Heron) on 900Mhz SFF PC hooked into my home network, - it DOES play files from my (wired) networked "music folder " just when I ask it to (thr my NAD 302 amp - but that's another story). It also manages to update the folder list in the background. I also don't wait 6 hours for it to load. I tried Rhythmbox - by comparison it was crude - I like the contextual info from Amarok. Also tried Songbird - but Amarok just beats it hands down.

Not tried iTunes as I have no Windows machine (except the one running in VirtualBox) - my son has/does. Unfortunately he lost all it's tunes recently when an auto update to his XP assignes his keyborad and mouse to the same interrupt and he had to re-install (told him to use network folder but he's 16 so....)

In summary, Amarok works fine for me; nuff said

Linux weaktops poised for death by smartphone

John White
Linux

Re What is this strange word "f*ck"... and Christopher Martin

"fsck" - linux command line for file system check and with right switches repair...think scandisk but better

John White
Coat

:@Evi Graham and Psion netBook

There is a quite complete review/description of the original netBook at

http://www.geek.com/geek-review-psion-netbook/

For range of software see http://www.pscience5.net/

- you can still get them (working) for c £100 on eBay. Read the article and you will see the true heritage of the modern "netBook".

Yes they did and do work. No, there is no command line available, shareware programs and small authors abounded and games.

I still use mine with a netBook pro battery - gives easily up to 12 hours continuous use. The Option GPRS PCMCIA card gave GPRS acces to the internet (I have one of those also).

Loved and still love it. Eee PC is aclose second though, tell you if it is as good in 10 years time

(long term test)

John White
Linux

Wrong; wrong ; wrong!

The author has completely missed the point and I award a big FAIL to the assessment. I have owned laptops in the past; several in fact but have given up using them

too big (try it on a train; plane.....)

too heavy

too short a battery life

weak components - screen; hard disk- HARD DISK !!

underpowered compared to most peeps desktop at work (or home)

expensive

So called "weaktops" are like the Psion netBook

smaller but easily used keyboard/screen

more robust (NO HARD DISK)

relatively long battery life

inexpensive

apps "just good enough" for letter writing; basic touch-up my photos; running website etc

Smartphones (I have a nokia 9500) is fine for "have to type a reasonably argued email"/desperate for internet use and good as a PIM platform. But it (and other smartphones are available) has a pale imitation of a browser that glacially slow at rendering. I know it's the smartphone app's fault - not good enough for the job for nay realistic use for any length of time (add in the mangling that mobile browsers do to websites and.....). Alternatively; GPRS via smartphone linked to netBook = *very* acceptable mobile internet. And it (Eee PC) all can be carried as as A5-book-size parcel all day and in my pocket (phone). Just not possible with a "real" laptop.

Background: 10years+ with Psion netBook and Nokia 6310i

Enough said

ARM to fuel netbook, internet gadget drive with Ubuntu

John White

MIDs and Psion netBook

As someone still using a Psion netBook for 'real work', I agree with Bit Fiddler that experiences of half-baked support of Linux will ruin the chances of non-MS product acceptance. My netBook still excites interest and even more so because it is not Windows but is still fully functional. I've just bought an EEE PC 4g - same size as a netBook and from the 'simple gui' works fine with just as much 'under the cover' access that a Psion gave. Being experienced in Linux, I've enabled full desktop; rooted round the fs/OS but have gone back to the simple gui. Why? Because the basic product is 'good enough'; full desktop (and I suspect an XP desktop also) is too much for the form factor/screen size. I like Basket for KDE so installed it for a 'free form database/notes' but could have used TiddlyWiki just as well. It is a replacement for the netBook - just need to get used to different programs/usage of programs.

I wanted a robust; (spinning) hard diskless machine and the EEE Pc/Linux is nearly there (apart from battery life). ARM+Linux - we need. We need MIDs to be as physically robust as the Psion devices but up to date at an OS level and with the battery life AND robust OS. ARM have a good heritage with EPOC/Symbian as a reliable architecture OS so ARM+Linux is to be welcomed. If the ARM/OS hookup is as the ARM+EPOC customisation then a customised ARM/Linux integration will be all the better for users.

Last words on operating systems belongs to my son- a Windows-only user (he can/does install XP himself including partitioning) - "Linux is boring; just keeps on working; there's no fun in fixing things when they stop working" Sounds perfect for ARM and MID

Ubuntu 8.10 - All Hail new Network Manager

John White

@Francis Fish and Paint.net

As someone who has just struggled with Paint.net to crop/resize/edit 3 photos and a jpg logo for a newsletter - I could have screamed at P****.net. Give me any flavour of basic Linux paint program and they are easier to use/more powerful. I gave up and used Paint for KDE on my Asus EEE PC instead. GIMP is overkill for most users needs - so don't compare to Paint.net!

As for Intrepid Ibex - I'll wait a month or so and check that are bugs are sorted before upgrading. At least I can choose that unlike my son's XP auto-update. That introduced a keyboard/mouse interrupt conflict which could not be uninstalled - needed a complete XP re-install - over 5 hrs of his time.

Nokia's Communicator to make a comeback?

John White
Go

S80 forever! and make it a N5MX (sorry Psion)

Well I never, make it an S80 (unlikely) Symbian with colour touchscreen and we have.... a 2008 version of the Psion 5MX. As a 9500 owner and 5MX owner (still - the keyboard is better) this could be what I've been looking for. A stable OS, colour touch screen with a usable keyboard + bluetooth; IR; GPRS; WiFi etc. You get it: a modern 5MX/phone. I've used WindowsMobile "equivalents" and suffered ActiveSync. We all hated Psion's PsiWin but on my 5MX it's a dream compared to ActiveSync and the Nokia equivalent on the 9500 is even better.

My main gripe with 9500 is lack of touch screen and apps. S60 solves the latter problem but S80 is so like ER5 in feel. BTW to the WindowsMobile fans; yes I do like EPOC/Symbian; and Linux - I can even install and use productively linux or Solaris on an UltraSparc

"Go" because a new Communicator will not happen - they are not cool to the mainstream market

Netbooks and Mini-Laptops

John White
IT Angle

@Adam Wiiliamson & Psion

The Psion S7/netBook IS the predecessor to these.

Don't knock a 'PDA OS'. After all it had a useable WP, spreadsheet, database (OK flat file but with OLE), internet connectivity, email, diary....you get the picture. They worked and rarely crashed (mine still works fine). They used CF (legacy SSD?) cards for backup and extra storage AND as a place to install to and run programs from. Batery life - 6hrs+. The Sony VAIO Picturebook C1X could not match the sum total of all these and the UMPC's here are the update to the Psion legacy. Like the Psion, these UMPCs are high portability, robust machines with long (comparatively) battery life for prolonged use away from the availablility of a desktop PC, providing the most useful subset of capabilities of a desktop. Most laptops today are too big, heavy and fragile for those purposes.

I would have a Eee 701/901 like a shot, however the basic Psion apps and a few chosen other specialist apps on a netBook fulfil all my needs - to buy a UMPC would be sheer acquisitiveness. BTW - buy a netBook Pro battery on eBay and you have a 12 - 16 hr capable netBook.

I'll still sit and wait a while

Ballmer bitch slaps Vista

John White

@Marc Linux screen resolution = no restart

Funny that Marc - I, using Kubuntu on 'Gutsy' core and I change screen resolution on the fly using the desktop system manager...no logout

Perhaps you mean 'adding new resolutions' to the Xorg conf file rather than selecting from those available? Grant you you need to restart X then but I'm sure that adding a new monitor/driver combination has required a reboot in my son's XP box.

BTW - the XP box does random reboots - probably due to 3rd party XP-certified games...

NHS IT loses its interim head

John White
Linux

CFH needs to show it is working for end (l)users

Speaking as one of the 'health professionals' (no not a doctor or nurse - there are other clinical professionals in the NHS) CFH needs to engage with end users. Most do not see any advances in IT *which bring any improvements to the way they do their job*! A few regular small working improvements would improve the image of IT among the ward/clinical department users. As one of those hated departmental developers who produce small projects for their department, I find that CFH has promised urgently needed projects but in my case - we would have been waiting since 1997 for one project (displaying at ward level if discharge prescriptions have been received and if completed). This saves the equivalent of one wte each day answering the phone! Our trust IT was completely uninterested in the project and has disparaged it at every turn. But it does something which people need and use.

CFH from our point of view suffers from

1. those who are/seem incompetent - never leave and treat anyone else as computer illiterates

2, those who are competent, get hiked off to so-called 'strategic projects' and are never seen again

3. competent and leave to join private business at much higher salaries

4. IT projects which are promised in 3 yrs and delivered in 13 or more years (I've been in theNHS 22 yrs so I HAVE seen this)

5 projects delivered only to find that clinical practice has moved on on the intervening 7+ years and the delivered project is not easily upgradeable

So NHS staff ARE disillusioned with IT - no wonder why - I have no doubt there are talented people in NHS IT - just cannot seem to see them.

PS - my profession is a level 3 part of CFH so I'm told. At this stage there is apparently NO date to even START any specification! Judging by delays at the first level I will be retired by the time our specialty is recieving its component of CFH

TUX because I only use Win98/2k/XP for games (or writing those 'hateful' projects...)

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