Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

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George Washington’s PC?

May 12, 2011

In early 2007 I decided my Windows XP Home PC had to go. But I hated Vista. I managed to buy one of the very last Acer Aspire desktop PCs running Windows XP Media Edition. I used it until two weeks ago. I always felt it was a good purchase and a good, reliable and decently performing computer.

But it started blue-screening sporadically, complaining about disk and memory errors.

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Does it have to be like this?

October 7, 2010

A tweet from the inestimable Bill Thompson (@BillT) this morning about being over 50 and throwing yoghurt on his trousers prompted me to contemplate the pros and cons (mainly cons, I admit) of being in my 50s. It has to be said that it’s a bit depressing…

What was I saying? Yes, that’s the worst. I haven’t got to the point of forgetting what I’m saying mid sentence yet, but I’m sure it’s coming. I sure as hell forget what I climbed the stairs for, only to remember just as I reach the bottom step. I guess the exercise is good for me.

I am the invisible man. I work in the City of London, most of the time    Read the rest of this entry ?

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Look both ways…

November 26, 2009

I’ve been cycling from Marylebone to my office in Finsbury Square, a distance of just under 5 miles each way, for a month now. I’m enjoying the exercise, and I don’t miss travelling on the tube. I have got wet a few times – actually a lot – but that’s OK since I have showers and a locker at work, so I can get clean, dry and change into my work clothes.

However my domestic and laundry arrangements aren’t the subject of this blog: I have something else I want to get off my chest.

There are, of course, some risks involved in cycling around London, but my conclusion after the first month may be surprising. The biggest risk isn’t lorry drivers – I think you’re OK provided you’re sensible, don’t try to squeeze through silly gaps, and stay well in sight of either their mirrors or infront of them. It’s not taxis either – Read the rest of this entry ?

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The music industry must think again

August 31, 2009

For thousands of years music was a purely live experience. Either you were there to hear it or you weren’t. Excepting a few oddities, the first mechanical device capable of recording and reproducing music was invented by Thomas Edison in 1877.

So the late 19th century saw the beginning of the recorded music industry (history). Is the beginning of the 21st century witnessing its end? I think so. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Luton Airport now makes Gatwick look attractive.

August 24, 2009

Airports in the UK have been in the news a lot recently. In particular BAA, now Spanish owned, has been criticised for having what amounts to a monopoly on airports in the south east of England. It currently owns Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. That puts “London Luton” in an interesting position as one of the two London airports not owned by BAA (I’m not counting “London Oxford” Hah!)

However having just flown in and out of there to Edinburgh, it’s clear they’re not taking advantage of their opportunity.

I know it’s owned by the local council, and in these tough times they need to make as much money as possible. I thought charging for trolleys (carts) was a bit steep. I thought introducing a £6 charge to get through security quickly was a cheek – I expect them to provide enough security scanning points that we shouldn’t need to pay so I can get through in time to catch my flight.

But there’s now a combination of irritants. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Windows 7: first look – quite impressed

August 11, 2009

I have steered well clear of Windows Vista. I managed to buy one of the last PCs with Windows XP MCE installed – in fact that’s what I’m using now. I’ve advised friends, colleagues, clients and even people in pubs I’ve never met before to stick with XP and not move to Vista. It has a reputation as a memory and processor hog, and Microsoft continued to indulge their corporate passion for moving menu items around just when everyone had worked out where to find them!

So it’ll come as a shock to those of my friends who had put me down as a luddite who was going to stick with XP until hell froze over to find that I’ve downloaded and installed the Windows 7 release candidate (RC). Admittedly not onto my main machine, but onto the spare PC in my office.

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Stop flying RyanAir, it only encourages them!

June 25, 2009

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the low-cost airline model itself. Indeed I regularly fly on easyJet and Denmark’s equivalent Cimber (formerly Sterling, and before that Maersk). But RyanAir, and in particular Michael O’Leary, have taken it too far.

This post is prompted by their recent announcement that following the removal of check-in desks, so you have to check in online, print your boarding card and take any checked baggage to bag drop, they are then going to do away with the bag drop. So if you really want to take checked baggage then you’re going to have to take it through airport security and carry it to the ‘plane yourself – and pay for the privilege.

But my relationship, or lack of it, goes back much further than that.

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