Monday, October 26, 2009

Technologically Challenged

My laptop went purple today. And it froze. Kaputt. Totally and utterly. On top of that I can't get Twitterberry to work. So I took advice and downloaded Ubertwitter on my Blackberry. That doesn't work either. So I'm sat at home typing on an old laptop on which the space bar barely works and the keyboard doesn't have any letters on it. And you all thought I was high tec, didn't you?

So up to Tottenham Court Road tomorrow morning to blow money I don't have on yet another Sony Vaio. And before all you Mac freaks start bleating on, save your breath. Not in a zillion years. I made that mistake once before and I won't be making it again! Macs are the invention of the devil. And that's my final word on the matter!

So if blogging is a little, er, light over the next 24 hours, you'll know why.

87 comments:

objet petit a said...

Give in to Apple, Iain. O the joy of having a computer that doesn't crash

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Thats why everyone needs a spare laptop or two or three.... I like a decent laptop at home and then a couple of netbooks that have the inbuilt modem for your sim card. Mrs Tory Radio however does not approve on any more purchases of gadgets.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Really... are you mad? One bad experience with a Mac and you will never use one again?

Quietzapple said...

Your party doesn't do user friendly I've noticed.

Mac vs vaio?

The vaio even sounds alien.

DominicJ said...

good call on the mac, bad call on the vaio

Ivor Biggun said...

And you think a Sony Vaio is a good idea?

Try getting the screen replaced if it happens to get cracked - Sony won't want to help (even for money) unless you have an extended warranty, and even then, you have to send the machine back to them and wait for them to return it to you... in the end, I had to personally import a replacement screen from the US for a client and replace it myself - it was impossible to get otherwise.

My advice, get a Dell with a three or four year next-day on-site warranty (inc. accidental damage cover) if you value staying online and keeping your data in your possession when life's slings and arrows come along!

Even if you don't like Dell (and who does, but their on-site hardware warranty service is good!), consider anyone else before going the Sony route - style over substance - but then again, that might suit a meedja tart like yourself :-)

You might have to wait a week or ten days to get it, but it's worth it for peace of mind and easy hassle free recovery when things go wrong.

norman said...

Iain
I know how it feels. The new super laptop I have for an year suddenly went berserk a few days ago, fortunately it was only a software problem. The recovery files were also corrupted and I had to get the recovery DVDs from Germany. In the meanwhile, the workhorse Acer Laptop which was shunned as old came to the rescue. I had Sony Vaio but that came and gone. I prefer a medium-priced Acer any day. If it is a software problem still worth getting new recovery DVDs.

Fiscal Stimulus Freak said...

So is business not going so well for you Iain?

Think of what would have happened if this LABOUR government did not implement the much needed fiscal stimulus.

Keynesian said...

BUILD MORE COUNCIL HOUSES

Paul Halsall said...

Macs are evil.

Argos might be cheaper than Tottenham Court Road, especially when you count the travel costs.

There is almost no way a non-gamer non-nerd could use all what is packed into the cheapest computers around now.

TrickyDicky said...

Good man Iain - Win7 is fantastic and the Sony Vaio's are a great machine for about the price of the Apple mouse.

I've been using the Win7 beta for a while on some fairly old machines and it's neat, fast and can handle all the peripherals that I couldn't get Vista drivers for.

Charlie Brooker was right about this Apple fanboys :-)

post Industrial dystopia said...

I think Iain what we need for an economic recovery is to abandon any idea of a return to free markets and nationalize the commanding heights of the economy such as satellite television, PC World, and amongst other things ASDA.

We don't have much else to renationalise - because it has all gone abroad to CHINA.

That's what happened in the post industrial dystopia the Tories left after 18 years in government.

Anonymous said...

Get a mac. Job Done.

LG Test Blog said...

Iain, you're predjudice against Macs is amusing given that Sony are desperate to be the Windows equivelant!

Anonymous said...

Come over to the Mac side, you know you want to. And while you're at it dump the blackberry and get an iPhone, you'll never look back

David from Ealing said...

Never had a problem with the three Macs I've had. And they're so easy to use. And I can take documents from a Mac to a PC and back again - easy!!

John Moss said...

Make sure you get Windows 7. It is sooooo much more stable than vista - faster too.

Personally, I would always get a dell online, direct, with a four year warranty, but I guess you can't wait five says for it to arrive?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Iain,

I have to congratulate you on choosing one of the very few PC-makers whose machines are—when compared feature for feature—universally more expensive than a Mac.

Leave aside tech concerns, that strikes me a being a bad business decision.

DK

dazmando said...

Try tinytwitter for blackberry

Unsworth said...

Avoid PC World at all costs unless you know exactly what you are doing....

Paul Halsall said...

Basic rule from 20 years ago.

A new computer lasts
6 secs
6 minutes
6 hours
6 days
6 months OR
6 years

Get one with a 2 year warranty, and two portable back up hard drives.

Anonymous said...

"And before all you Mac freaks start bleating on, save your breath. Not in a zillion years. I made that mistake once before and I won't be making it again! Macs are the invention of the devil. And that's my final word on the matter!"

After using Microsoft operating system's since DOS I bought my first macbook unibody in the first half of this year and never looked back.

Why? Because I have a computer that is easy to use, with minimal configuration, and does everything I can possibly want.

It even has Microsoft Office. I literally can't think of a task that windows users can do that I can't do more easily and faster on my mac.

The ONLY reason not to use a mac is if you have a windows program that you cannot live without. Usually niche business software.

Otherwise windows users are penises, no exceptions.

Oh, and if you like twitter, "Tweetie" the mac only twitter client is better than sex. So there.

Mac >>>>>> Windows >>>> Tories >>>>>> AIDS >>>>>> The Labour Party.

Transistor said...

Lets renationalize ASDA and offer everyone more for less at ASDA price. Hell, we can even run council's like ASDA.

Charlie Easton said...

Agreed with DominicJ. I have a Vaio and loathe its flimsy build and unstable software. My next buy will be a Thinkpad (IBM/Lenovo) - bombproof and functional.

Tony said...

Iain, just follow Adam and bite the Apple - you know you'll like it!
Buy a Mac. Instal VM Fusion add Windows xx and be happy ever after - even happier when you start to use OS X.
get with the program, Iain! Now!

A Level German student said...

Here is a non political question for you:

How do you type German umlauts on a QWERTY keyboard?

Have you ever typed German umlauts using a normal keyboard?

The Grim Reaper said...

Iain said "So up to Tottenham Court Road tomorrow morning to blow money I don't have on yet another Sony Vaio."

One appearance on the Sky News newspaper review should pay for several Sony Vaios...

Alister said...

Have a look at Toshiba or HPCompaq and use of the computer magazines to find the best one to suit what you need it for - if It's pure and simple web based stuff on the go get one of the netbooks light (1kg) and cheap (sub £200)
Got a netbook for parents running linux (Acer) and Dad loves it (and he's a luddite)

Old Labour said...

Iain these are the list of priorities I feel a British government should do.

(1) renationalize the means of production - including telecommunications, shipping, steel, road transport and railways. All manufacturing and biochemical industries.

(2) Disarm all nuclear weapons and make a national holiday 'Nuclear Free Day'.

(3) Build 3.5 million council homes for our hard pressed families.

(4) A higher tax rate of 80% of individuals earning £100,000 or more.

(5) Build a new fleet of merchant ships so Britain can once again trade with the outside world.

(6) Create high speed rail.

Luc Boucher said...

ubertwitter stopped on my blackberry yesterday in the middle of the arsenal game. as a gooner i think i know why.... anyhow i have read of problems in the last day or two with blackberry/orange accounts in case thats who you are with.

Martin said...

Personally I'd never touch another Sony product with a barge pole.

You really should think of getting a netbook though Iain. I just picked up a nice MSI Wind U100 from Argos for £199. Windows XP 1 gig ram and 160GB hard drive, runs windows very nicely and ideal to pop in a bag or case.

Jabba the Cat said...

@ David from Ealing said...

"And I can take documents from a Mac to a PC and back again..."

Gosh, I never would have believed it...

Anonymous said...

I have just replaced my 6 year old VAIO with a top end Acer. Big mistake. The VAIO had all the software you would actually want; the Acer just has rubbish. "Acer arcade deluxe" caused a lot of problems until I uninstalled it. Acer's technical support is useless. It costs 50p a minute, and the person just says he doesn't know the answer; and if you email them, they just say delete the operation system and start again (knowing full well that you will never do it). In another 6 years I'm going back to VAIO!

trevorsden said...

When is old labours next appearance at the london palladium, I want to watch.

IT? Suddenly every ones an expert.

I am not - but historically Apples were for desk top publishing and specialist scientific freaks.
And Windows was great because it gave you loads of choice and cheap software.

Now Windows is every bit as good for DTP (scientific?).
Apples run more windows programmes.
Basically Apples are for bigots and new age religionists who have a chip on their shoulder over Microsoft's success.

My two-pennath is that Apples are not as good as they are cracked up to be.

Sony? Someone told me they are a load of unreliable rubbish.
Why go to Tot Crt rd when you can buy online - next day delivery?

Can I do the papers one night please, so I can afford a netbook?

Anonymous said...

For the love of god! Don't get a vaio! they are notorious... The have massive problems with graphics cards going. If you want a new pc get something else, if you want bang for buck HP/Dell will do you fine, apples are good but then they cost as much as a car...

Budgie said...

Hey, 'Old Labour' your economic program is almost identical to the BNP's.

Ben Waterton said...

Iain, I'm with you on Macs. They are for people who can't work a proper computer.

...however you are talking as if your old Sony is already dead. I have an inkling that I may be able to fix it tomorrow morning by re-seating the RAM. If I do fix it will you give me a mention here? (Don't worry I'll break it again straight away afterwards ;-).

JBW said...

What do you expect with a Sony Vaio!

Getting them repaired is virtually impossible.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Glad you have resisted the Mac snobs. They are fine if you are a grafic artist and thats all. They are the Betamax of the PC world.

People that own Macs are Liberals and Greens. Ugh.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Mac sounds Scottish to me, another reason not to use one.

Jabba the Cat said...

I agree about avoiding the TCR. Try Dabs or CPC, both have reasonable prices.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Send it off to.

http://www.computersdontbyte.net/

for repair.

A good smallish family business.

Ask for Adam and say I sent you.

jailhouselawyer said...

It still don't explain what happened to the Daley Dozen?

Tachybaptus said...

Iain: I have a Sony Vaio. I bought it because it was pretty. It is desperately underpowered for its stiff price. Dell next time. I have a Mac too, and have never learnt to like its stiff bossiness.

A-Level German Student -- and everyone really. If you have Windows, install the Welsh keyboard, aka 'United Kingdom Extended' but on the toolbar it comes up as CY rather than EN. I am not pulling your leg. When you use this keyboard:

As on the ordinary UK keyboard, hold down Alt Gr when typing a vowel to get that vowel with an acute accent. Also, Alt Gr with c gives you c cedilla for French.
The ` key at top left is a dead key for the grave accent. Hit it, then the vowel key.
For circumflex, the dead key is Alt Gr-6. (Shifted 6 is marked ^, that's why. But don't use Shift here.)
For umlaut, the dead key is Alt Gr-2. (Shifted 2 is marked ".)
For tilde, the dead key is Alt Gr-#. (Shifted # is marked ~ on a UK board; this key doesn't exist on a US board.)

Is this logical? Bloody hell no. But it works.

Señor Müller est prêt à manger le pâté de colimaçons.

Anonymous said...

Iain get yourself a Dell or a Thinkpad(now made by Lenova). These have the best keyboard for laptops, and hell you're going to be using that a lot for your blog! Windows 7 is great(I have been using the beta version), the Virtual Hard drive feature is great!

OldLabour whilst I'd agree with you that the railways need renationalising don't you remember having to wait six months to get a telephone, and getting a choice between a black or a white one?

Paul Pinfield said...

Iain, the fact that you can't get on with a Mac speaks volumes. But really, a Sony Vaio?

Sub Chav...

tapestry said...

hewlett-packard are best.
disposable at the price and fast.
who needs a four year warranty.
after one year they're old.
iain likes vaio to watch himself on tv.

Cynic said...

Sony don't do extended warranty any more. Oh yes, they will sell you one but its all contracted out to a third party supplier. Parts prices are also extortionate. Lose your power supply and its normally about £50 unless its a Vaio - that'll be £99+VAT squire and whoops we don't have them in stock.

Buy a Dell at PC world or some other outlet. More powerful, more robust and about 2/3 the price

Alan Douglas said...

You should'a had a pink laptop ....

Alan Douglas

canvas said...

The blue death...you can come back from that ...do you have a friend who knows about PCs?

I recommend Samsung laptops. They're great. Sony gives you no bang for your buck.

What's wrong with Tweetdeck?

Anonymous said...

Get a Samsung laptop.

Similarly-specced to a Viao, many of them are well-designed & generally more reliable than some of the flimsier ones from other no-brand companies.

Darn site cheaper than the Sony, too.

But you're right about Macs. Nightmares - and they come with a free mental virus that infects the owner with allegiance to Steve Jobs and a desire to spread their disease.

Sean Haffey said...

I started with IBM PCs in 1981, when they first came out. I loved IBM quality but was less impressed with Windows.

Five years ago I changed to Apple. Everything worked - a little differently perhaps, but easily. I connected to our WiFi in seconds: my wife (who has a first class degree in computer science) spent over an hour getting her Windows system to connect.

However, in fairness, Apple build quality is variable. I'd say, based on my statistically insignificant experience, that good quality PC vendors (Sony, Lenovo, Fujitsu) have slightly better build quality.

For backup, you must have an external disk. On Apple the backup happens automatically; I'm sure the same can be set up on PCs.

If you do go PC (shame!) don't get Windows 7 yet. It's too new and chances are as with any software from any vendor you'll be buying a headache.

I'm puzzled by your anti-Apple statement: it's so irrational, coming from an otherwise sensible chap. But we all have our foibles.

Half The Story said...

save on samsung are great

Mick Anderson said...

The clue was in the phrase "another Sony Viao".

I find that they break rather a lot, and often impossible to repair.

Dells are repairable, but they need to be. they break even more often than the Sonys.

Try a Toshiba. I'm running five of them at the moment, and they have been far less trouble than the Acers, HPs, Compaqs and Sonys that they replaced.

Mike Goggin said...

Agree with most comments about the Vaio - style over substance, and expensive. No mention here of Acer - perhaps not sexy enough for you lot, but they give good value, and they work.

clause 4 said...

I would go a step further than old Labour and renationalize all the means of production and exchange in this country...

Our whole economic productivity and infrastructure would come under the state direction.

This is what Old Labour stood for and this is what I stand for.

Common ownership of the means of production

Lets start nationalizing said...

We need to have the common ownership of the means of production

Anonymous said...

I GET HIGH ON RENATIONALIZATION.

I can't wait to start renationalizing in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I took advice from our IT consultant and work and our in-house IT guy who is into all this stuff. Dell is boring and quite expensive (but boring is good in this case). Vaio - had one once, never again, and now have an Acer netbook - the lightest on the market which means I can carry it around without needing physio.

Man in a Shed said...

Iain - buy cheap.

Get a netbook - Acer for example and don't spend more than £270.

It will be lighter, cheaper, have longer battery life and you'll be able to buy two for the price of your dead Sony.

Richard said...

@Ben Waterton unless you develop Mac and iPhone applications, then you need a Mac. Macs are Unix systems with a great UI so how is Unix now not a proper computer?

Libertarian said...

Iain,

Good news, your laptop isn't broken, it went purple because you are still logged on to the UKIP sign up page for Potential Parliamentary Candidates.

PIENOMICS said...

You are so wrong Iain.

I have had 4 macs since 1993 and not one of them has given me a problem.

See the light. An Apple a day keeps the bugs away!!!!

Victor, NW Kent said...

I wept bitter tears and was inconsolable when I read of your sad losses.

My thoughts are with you.

What's a Twitter by the way?

wv=logings

Curbishlyauto said...

You don't have bad experiences with a Mac, they are a joy, a delight, a wonder how anyone, anyone can waste their money on a PC.

Mr Angry said...

Iain I have two Vaios and two Macs so I feel qualified to comment on the difference.

The Mac's are just plain better.

sceptical said...

Go Apple - they just work. And they win the customer service awards all the time. They are like the Tories - in the end, they are the best, most practical solution to your problems...

Dave H said...

ALGS @10:20 “How do you type German umlauts on a QWERTY keyboard?”

At last: a chance to make an unambiguously positive contribution, though sadly wildly O/T (though Iain has some German ‘form’):

While holding down the ALT key, type the ASCII code for the letter on the numeric keypad. The letter will appear when you release the ALT key. For example:

ü=ALT+129
ä=ALT+132
Ä=ALT+142

and so on, I can be bothered to list them all. Search on ‘ASCII table’ for the full list, including useful ones like ± and ² as well as weird stuff like ░ and ╬. They’re in the extended version.

(For the sake of irony, I have a German keyboard (a QWERTZ?) so can get them without doing this. It’s ALT+156 that I had to find. As for computers, I think it’s all gone steadily downhill since the BBC Micro)

sockpuppet said...

"Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults...computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui."

- C. Brooker.

PC + anything that isn't Vista.

Mike Rouse said...

UberTwitter: Just change the network setting it uses from "auto select" to "BIS-B" and it'll work. My mate had the same problem yesterday.

Anonymous said...

As an Apple user I am delighted when people persistent in using Windows.

Your sacrifice as victims for the malware writers is appreciated. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I'm not very capable with computers, but Macs are easy, robust, reliable, never seem to crash or go wrong, do everything I need, what's not to like? And it's all going on in a thing the size of a cigar box (Mac Mini). Amazing.

Steve Horgan said...

Iain, don't buy a Sony, they are not reliable. Unless looks matter that much to you, I suggest you pick up a commodity laptop in the £400-£500 range. Or you might consider one with extended battery life ine £700-£900 range, given your mobile lifestyle. With Viao laptops you tend to pay several hundred pounds for the label.

Anonymous said...

I had a Morris Marina once and that broke down then I had a Austin Allegro which was stolen by a moron then I had a Vauxhall Viva and it went wrong and I could not get the parts then I had ............. Give us all a break you sad buggers

Roger Thornhill said...

Iain, buy what you want, but don't moan when it fails after we warned you!

@trevorsden "Basically Apples are for bigots and new age religionists who have a chip on their shoulder over Microsoft's success."

TD, you often say very sensible things that I agree (albeit sometimes only party) with but this time you talk the used contents of equine nosebag.

@Keynesean - go ahead, but spend your own money, there's a good chap.

@Ben Waterton

"real computers"? Microsoft? In your dreams. I come from a Mainframe background (OpenVMS) and I got away from Windows asap as the UNIX underpins of Mac are more reliable than Windows ever will be. Windows is a kludge upon kludge based upon garbage.

Anonymous said...

Rejecting the evil Apple shows your 'taste' account is now back in credit after the earlier postings about Cliff and Roxette.

Jez said...

Oh god, mention laptops and your blog turns into 'The Register'. Have you thought about renting a laptop? That way you don't have to worry about it becoming obsolete in a year. I agree with other comments, avoid the Vaio- they're expensive and fragile (another tip, never hold them by one side, they can bend slightly and crack the motherboard over time). Modern macs are a huge improvement on their predecessors - fast, easy to migrate data and settings between computers, good backup facilities, pretty, but can be tricky to get used to as a long term PC user and frustrating at first.

Curious said...

Iain, can you describe briefly what happened to your Mac please?

MikeyP said...

Iain:

Put a copy of Ubuntu Linux on any old clunking laptop, and it will run much faster and more securely than all but the highest end Windows machines. That said, Windows 7 is streets ahead of Vista or XP, but there are still a few hardware issues with some devices.

Caro said...

Not often I agree with anything in the Grauniad but Charlie Brooker is absolutely right about Macs and their smug owners, as their comments on this thread show. See: www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/feb/05/comment.media and www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/28/charlie-brooker-microsoft-mac-windows.

Caro said...

PS Ditch the Blackberry and get an HTC Hero with Twitter integration.

Anonymous said...

Unless you want to play video games, why spend any money on the laptop iteslf ?

Netbook grade, plus a couple of external USB drives. At that price you can have a backup PC as well.

Andy said...

Just buy a reasonably-priced, reasonable spec laptop at PC World, ditch all the Windows software it comes with and install Ubuntu. Brand new version (9.10) coming out on Thursday. So simple to install, secure, stable and free!

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Roger Thornhill said...

"I come from a Mainframe background (OpenVMS) and I got away from Windows asap as the UNIX underpins of Mac are more reliable than Windows ever will be. Windows is a kludge upon kludge based upon garbage."

Lol...then you should know the origins of Windows NT and who created the core of it and what it is based on. DEC ring any bells?

In my experience the problem is seldom the computer hardware or the operating system but the moron human attempting to use it.

Quietzapple said...

Iain:

Will you be replacing your iTunes by this:

Gates hints at Microsoft version of iTunes - ZDNet.co.uk ?

Roger Thornhill said...

@jabba the cat

Yes, I know that an ex VMS person went over to the dark side and played a major part in NT. Alas he had to junk most of what made VMS any good and by 3.51 NT was a massive disappointment even on alphas. Security? Gone. Scheduler and priorities? Gone. Memory management? Gone. Oh it had mickey mouse things but not really up to the job.

So your LOL is misplaced.

Anonymous said...

Iain

Go to your nearest WH Smith and see the huge variety of PC magazines on sale.

They exist simply to cater for the massive number of Windows users who have experienced the traditional problems that Mr Gates and Mr Ballmer (the new CEO - do a search on You Tube and watch this clown - you really want to buy ANYTHING from this man?)unleash on their unsuspecting ( and sometimes naive) consumers.

Then have a look at the Mac magazines - they simply exist to show Mac users how to CREATE what they want to with their Macs.

Then take a look at the hoards of car magazines on display - do any of them have headlines such as;

"Cure all problems that exist in the new Jaguar/Ford etc etc!"

No they don't - PC magazines carry these types of headlines because Windows does not work - it's not the PC - its the operating system - a windows system.

With a Mac you will save time/money/energy/patience/years of your life spent solving windows issues.

Before 2005,I was a Windows supporter too,then I bought two iMac's - you open the box,plug them in and use them.Simple.

Final thought - which company is selling 19% more of their desktop computers this year than in 08? Apple.

Which company is going down faster than a Kamikaze pilot? Microsoft.

Good luck with Windows - enjoy the crashes,the wasted time,the intrusiveness, but please don't swear too loudly in public!