counting news

November 30, 2006

I was happy to see that Sainsbury’s supermarkets now have their quick-service tills correctly labeled as “Five items or fewer”.

speccy 4-eyes

November 30, 2006

I went and fetched my new spectaculars yesterday.

I am assured by Catm that I look “intelligent” and “sexy” in them.

But I can’t remember if she was wearing her glasses at the time she said these things.

You may vote, later. I shall put up an intelligent and sexy picture of intelligent and sexy little-old me.

hasta la vista, baby

November 30, 2006

I wonder how many more bloggers and journos will fall upon their cliche swords and commit that title of nastiness to their work in the next few weeks?

Today sees the gradual release of Microsoft’s “last best hope” for its DOS-based front-end called Windows. Called Vista, Microsoft are reassuring us that once again it’s the Easiest Windows Ever! [(c) Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP] and the Most Secure Windows Ever! [(c) Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP].

Truly, do we need this? We certainly haven’t needed it during the 2 years that the damned thing has been delayed whilst Microsoft’s very own code-fudgers remove great big chunks of the O/S suddenly deemed N/R.

XP, despite itself, has managed to do a rather fine job of looking after the computing needs of, basically, every household’s PC for the past five years. With a bit of basic computer understanding, some reliable anti-virus and a broadband connection, XP is all any family should need from Microsoft.

But now we’re eagerly awaiting the Big One. And it truly doesn’t come much humungouser than this. In order to run Vista, in all it’s spangly DirectX-fuelled glory you’re going to need a new PC. Not “probably”. Not “ah go on, let’s try it”. If you want it all, you’re going to have to pay.

The bells-and-whistles version of Vista with the vaunted “Aero” interface (an idea stolen from Apple, stolen from Xerox) requires the following National-Grid draining power requirements:

* a 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
* 1 gigabyte of system memory
* a DirectX 9 compatible graphics processor, with a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver, and a minimum of 128 MB of Video RAM
* 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB free space

… and then double it. Yes, double it. There’s no point in having that minimum spec for your computer if you wish to run anything on top of the OS. So, you’ll be needing a nice new Dual Core chip, 2 gigabytes of memory, a big hog of a Vista-only-DirectX10 graphics card (well, why not, you’ll not be able to play any games without on in 12 months time) with at least 256 megabytes of memory on-board and a tasty 80 gigabyte hard drive (I challenge you to find a reasonably priced 40GB one (when compared to the price of the 80.. or 120… or 250GB drives out there)).

So what will it be when the crunch comes and you can’t get updates or software for your XP box? Investigate a Mac or even – god forbid – Linux?

Or why not forget the computers and go outside to enjoy a bit of fresh air*?

*The irony of this statement should not pass you by.

just call me Mario

November 28, 2006

Heh, I just fixed my washing machine by installing a new pump.


goodbye cruel world

November 28, 2006

My PC has just automatically installed Internet Explorer 7 for me (nice, huh? Errr.. no.) and now it wishes to reboot my machine.

So long, my dearly beloved data, and thanks for all the IE-based phish.

nice trip out

November 28, 2006

I hear on the news that the Pope is to visit the turkeys before they all get eaten at Christmas.

I’ve not heard anything concrete, but assume that he’ll be off to see Bernard Matthews to offer blessings around the “bootiful” Narrfarrk Toykees.

“May the Lord be with you,” the Pope’ll say, before Bernard replies, “And tender to chew.”

there’re none as so blind #2

November 25, 2006


[Pic: Damn them, no wonder my eyes are so poorly!]

there’re none as so blind #1

November 25, 2006

It would appear (although I could be wrong, stuff’s a little out of focus) that I am £253 more blind than the last time I went to the opticians.

New specs, new lenses, and to cap it all off, a “special coating” that (I am told) I neeeeeed.

I have a nasty feeling it’s not the Colonel’s special secret recipe.


November 24, 2006

“My dear,” said the detective, looking at Mrs Smethwyke across the room, “I find your obsession with Hungarian stew to be most distasteful, utterly sickening, and rather goulash to say the least.”

bond not as sucky as i first suspected

November 24, 2006

I’ll stump up a review at some point.

My evil little eyes – always looking out for “film” uses of computer – noted that MI6 appear to use Linux. What with the film being choc-full of product placement (and jolly ol’ Branson turning up in yet another cameo), couldn’t Microsoft have stumped up some cash for a product placement?

In Casino Royale, there’s a great scene which goes:

Vesper: Nice watch… Rolex?
Bond: No, Omega.

Surely to God, I asked my chum Clare, an Agent in the Evil Empire, there has to be a Bill-sponsored equivalent in the next film?

Bond: Q, I hope that my top secret files will be stored securely. Preferably within an OS that allows everyone, from Novice to Computer Genius to get the most power and enjoyment from their desktop or laptop computer. I hear Linux is quite handy these days.
Q: Nonsense Bond, Vista’s where it’s at. And with all the backoffice functions running on Longhorn Server, we’re impregnable to any threat. Pah! Those Linux advocates! Tofu-eating, sandal wearing, beardy tree huggers to a man!
Bond: Ah, dangerous communists you mean?
Q: Exactly!