If two bike and two PC breakages at home since the beginning of the month is not enough (and that does not include those PC’s at work), we can now add the TV to the list of breakages. The TV decided it did not want to play ball any more, it is the sons birthday today and as with all young kids he wanted to try out his new Wii game before school (he was up very early so time was not an issue), he tried to turn the TV on and nothing, dead, expired, deceased, a working TV no more (said in a Monty Python dead Parrot sketch voice), I was not impressed. Fortunately her in door had the forethought to take out insurance on the TV when we bought it just under 3 years ago (10 days until we have had it three years) so after a quick phone call the the company that administers the policy we have a man that can coming out to look at the TV on Saturday. In the mean time it back to the olden days, a 14″ TV with just 4 channels and talking to each other!!
While everything around me seems to be breaking I must be really tempting fate as I have been playing with a new mini laptop today. Bigger than a netbook but smaller than a notebook the Thinkpad Edge 11 is quite dinky. As much as I like the dinky size on the laptop I think I would find it to small for long term use. This one’s job if for occasional office use and on the road use, it will certainly be a lot easier to carry around compared to my 15″ screened Lenovo laptop.
Well that it I’m off before I break something else……………….
Now I have had a laptop in one form or another for nearly 10 years, but this must be the first time that I have sat on the sofa, using the laptop (writing this blog) and watching TV (Cardiff v Bath rugby, in the pouring rain). I have always had a laptop so that I can take it with me when I am away from home or use it in the garden (done that many times), when the laptop is at home it normally sits on my desk.
The one thing I can’t get on with on a laptop is the mouse or should I say synaptic touchpad or a nipple (who came up with that name, a frustrated geek??). My work laptop (Lenovo) only has a nipple so I have a wireless mini mouse I use with it, but this laptop has a touchpad which I can just about put up with I have to, it normally sits on my desk next to my PC (my work laptop and a scanner also live on the desk as well) there is not enough room on my desk for another mouse. I have tried using a roller ball but I found a lack of feeling from them and soon gave up. When it come to a mouse I believe it is worth spending the money to buy a decent named mouse (shop around the price vary greatly). I have tried many different manufacturers of mice at work but with the exception of a couple of manufacturer I always end up going back to either Logitech or Microsoft, simply the quality of the cheaper mice is not there (hence the reason they are cheap). Desktop keyboards are pretty much the same, cheap keyboard will last as little as a couple of weeks in an office environment before either the keys fail of the letters rub off the keys. My desktop PC is sporting an old heavy duty Dell keyboard which I believe is around 7 or 8 years old.
Of course the other option for a computer at home is to use a tablet PC with a touch screen, now everybody idea of a tablet PC will be the iPad. While it is a nice piece of kit, it also way over priced as much of Apple’s kit is. I can’y justify £450 to £650 just to be able to sit of the sofa and surf the net. There are plenty of other manufacturer offering iPad like devices but judging by some of the reviews the quality is a little suspect. Like the Smartphone, this market will mature in the next 24 months with prices falling and a large range of devices available.
OK I have waffled enough for the sake of waffling, I’m out of here
Work should be banned it is bad for your health. I had to drop a laptop of to our Hampshire branch today so it could be taken to our Devon branch and work out why a tape drive would not eject a backup tape. Nothing to taxing there so I decided to drive up after the rush hour this morning. I spent the first hour or so writing a report (the curse of modern working practices) at home. So at 9:30am I left home and returned 10 minutes later after realising I had left my tool box at home. On my second drive down the road I received a phone call about 200mtr further than I had got about 20 minutes earlier. Apparently the driver from Devon was not going to our Hampshire branch he was going to our Dorset branch, the opposite direction I was heading.
I eventually arrived at our Hampshire branch 2.5 hours after leaving home, not bad for a 60 minute drive…………
Turns out the tape drive is knackered, got the tape out but when you try to get it to record data, it tells the software it is working ok while putting on a Christmas light display on the front of the tape drive for anybody that is watching and when you check the tape there is nothing on it. So I spent the afternoon ordering a new tape drive. It is not the first time it has failed, it is just not reliable, funny thing was it was in my report I was writing earlier to be replaced in the future.
Tuesday I spent an hour writing some basic instructions for a non computer person on how to use a laptop (the one going to Devon, it got there). So why did I spend 30 minutes this evening on the phone talking him through how to use a laptop!! might have been better if I had taught him how to read.