back to article Thought you'd go online to buy better laptop for home working? Too bad, UK. So did everyone. Laptops, monitors and WLANs fly off shelves

Notebooks are flying off the shelves like hot cakes, or perhaps more appropriately bog paper, as Brits barricade themselves at home to rest, work and play in an effort to avoid catching COVID-19. Mike Norris, chief exec at Computacenter - one of Europe's largest resellers - told us he has been signing "500, 1,000 or 2,000 …

  1. Timo

    and desks and chairs at IKEA

    I'm sitting in my basement working on a folding table and chairs, and there are likely many others in the same situation. I bet there's a run on desks and chairs at IKEA as people get tired of working at the kitchen table (while the rest of the family is home too), or worse, and look to set up something in a far corner of the house.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

      Well, Ikea can't complain about that.

      Hopefully the huge spike in demand will even out the drop following it.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

      Too late here, furniture is not an essential, so they have been closed all week.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

        Shame - I was looking forward to the launch of their Salf Isóláten range of desks and Sósal Disténs chair selection

        1. KarMann Bronze badge
          Headmaster

          Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

          'I was looking forward to the launch of their Sälf Isölåten range of desks and Sösal Distäns chair selection.'

          FTFY. Swedish doesn't do grave or acute accent marks.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

            A combination of me just using AltGr and my feeble, ageing eyesight telling me it looked close enough

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

            Is that a reasonably good transliteration? Many of us have seen Swedish, kind-of know what it is about, but haven't a clue how to pronounce it.

            See also Škoda and Porsche.

            1. TVU Silver badge

              Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

              Actually, once you get to know the Scandinavian language pronunciation rules they become easy because they are far more consistent than English is.

              Among my favourite Swedish place names are Växjö (Vekshur), Norrköping (Norshurping) and Göteborg (Yurtehbory).

              1. Graham Cobb

                Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

                Apart, of course, from never knowing, in Swedish, whether a K followed by a vowel is pronounced "sh" or "c". And even the g-as-y thing occasionally changes.

              2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                Re: far more consistent than English is...

                Among my favourite English place names are: Meopham and Cirencester

                Probably a snopes legend but I heard a story that someone wanted to show National Rail's Indian Call Centre in a bad light by asking about trains to/from these locations whilst recording the conversation.

                1. Nairda

                  Re: far more consistent than English is...

                  I live near Meopham and you can hear it pronounced "Mep-am" which is correct, or incorrectly "Me-op-ham", "Me-off-am"

                  Also nearby is Trottiscliffe correctly pronounced as "Trosley" and indeed there are signs pointing to Trosley Country Park, but you still hear it occasionally pronounced as Trot-is-cliff". Then of course there is also Wrotham which should be pronounced "Root-am" but inevitably you hear "Roth-am".

                  Further afield an old acquaintance of mine who lived in Malvern was once stopped by an American tourist asking how to get to Tweaksburg, - he was referring to Tewkesbury.

                  Oh the joys of the English language.

                  1. TimMaher Bronze badge
                    Coat

                    Re: far more consistent than English is...

                    And don’t forget Cholmondeley.

                    My coat is the Aquascrotum with the hand wash and gloves in the pocket.

                    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
                      Happy

                      Re: far more consistent than English is...

                      One assume you were doing that before the current issues

                    2. OssianScotland Silver badge

                      Re: far more consistent than English is...

                      Without the hand-wash now....

            2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

              Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

              I had just presumed their product names were faux-Swedish. Maybe something run through a Bork Translator

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

                If it's Swedish, would that be a Bjorn Bork Translator?

          3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

            Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër? See the løveli lakes The wøndërful telephøne system.......Ohhhh

            1. KarMann Bronze badge
              Trollface

              Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

              And mäni interesting furry animals.

              Including the majestik møøse.

              (For extra effect (or maybe even affect, in this case), I always pronounce it 'mah-yes-tick' when saying it out loud, or even in my head. It seems pretty obligatory to me.)

              As seen under Scandinavian bridges --->

          4. tonique
            Headmaster

            Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

            I think 'self-isolating' could be "självisolering" in Swedish. You'd get only one letter with something funny.

          5. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

            >Swedish doesn't do grave or acute accent marks.

            You mean Ikea product names are actually correct Swedish and mean something in Swedish?

            1. Mike Richards

              Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

              It certainly used to be the case that each category of good was named after a different aspect of Scandinavian life such as place names or plants. For instance, outdoor furniture were named after islands in the Stockholm archipelago and rugs are named after plants native to Denmark and Sweden.

              The reason being that Ingvar Kamprad who founded the blue and yellow monster was dyslexic and struggled with product codes, so he chose unique product names.

          6. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

            I downvoted you. Who cares? I thought it was very clever!

            And you clearly got the point, too.

            Very good!

    3. MR J

      Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

      Ikea actually closed the stores in the UK, so I doubt anyone is there buying anything.

      1. kat_bg

        Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

        Stores are closed but online sales are still open. also the main distribution center is still open, although not accepting incoming deliveries anymore

    4. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: and desks and chairs at IKEA

      Most people are just putting their kit on their massive pile of bog roll jumbo packs.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Delays

    We looked at purchasing at the beginning of the week, the supplier had gone from next-day to out of stock on pretty much everything. Only the bottom of the range business laptops were still available - 2 - 3 week delivery.

    If we want our normal "mid-range" (Latitude/ThinkPad class) from any of our suppliers, we are looking at May at the earliest.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Delays

      I needed one laptop for the managing partner this week who had previously said he'd never work from home and changed his mind based on recent events.

      Any low and almost all mid grade equipment was sold out as of the start of our telephone call. By the end of it my supplier candidly told me that the last of the mid grade software had just gone to being unavailable, and stock was dropping on the more expensive laptops like a rock.

      I ended up with a Lenova laptop which does the job perfectly well, but doesn't match the rest of the company fleet of laptops.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Delays

        For one client I've just completed going through their store of "for disposal" laptops - I've been pleasantly surprised just how easily windows 10 installed on Dell Latitude/HP ProBook laptops (i3 and better variants) dating back to circa 2012 and yes the impression is that Win10 (1909) - after it has sorted itself out is slightly snapper than the pre-installed W7/W8 images.

        Obviously, the laptops have received a physical clean - superclean keyboard cleaning gel is surprisingly good at its job - plus your hands also get a good cleaning. But people have been really pleased to be given a laptop and not really cared that it might be 'ancient'.

        However, my experience with doing similar with HP/Dell desktops isn't quite so positive.

        1. AOD

          Re: Delays

          Windows 10 is surprisingly usable on my nine year old HP Elitebook (8460p i7 2nd Gen)

          Of course the 16GB of Ram and Samsung SSD probably have quite a bit to do with it as well.

          There is something rather satisfying about plonking it into its docking station and driving twin screens from it (it could manage 4 if I had them) with a full size keyboard and an actual mouse.

          Today will be assembling a desk for the better half to use this lot with (from IKEA as it happens). Assembled one last night for daughter to use so she can have a keyboard/mouse/screen with her laptop.

          Planning to run all the laptops over Powerline Ethernet and leave the wifi for browsing and occasional streaming. One of the times you really appreciate having a reliable Broadband connection.

        2. MortyCapp

          Re: Delays

          The latest Win10 works well on all my old laptops, HP 2470P, 745 G2 and G4, thinkpad X1, t61, R61i...

          Microsoft apps and Office 365 make collaborating from home almost painless out of the box.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Consider a software upgrade to Linux for your work at home needs.

      Yes, you might need to use all windows software to interact with your companies windows desktops. Thereby needing to continue with Windows 10 Operating System software, but you might find that you can perform your work at home with a Linux Operating System and Linux application programs.

      So If the local shop is fresh out of hardware to buy, How does a free software download sound? Good? 10 minutes, 2 downloads, 1 USB flash drive to give Linux a spin on this laptop in front of you.

      If you feel your laptop could use a speed boost, but your wallet is sparsely populated with cash. Test drive a live linux on your present Windows laptop hardware. 2nd option, consider purchasing a cheap 120GB SSD SATA 2.5" drive to either install internally to replace the hard drive in your laptop or connect externally via USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 cable to a USB 3.0 to SATA drive enclosure with the SSD placed inside.

      ""https://opensource.com/article/20/3/open-source-working-home"" Here are some tools you can use Free, from your work at home site.

      Google some of these next items, to find their website.

      Either zorinOS 15 Lite or PeppermintOS is a free download that you can try booting live from a USB flash drive. etcher.io Balena Etcher will write a .ISO file to USB flash drive. Available for Windows, MacOS, Linux.

      Fatdog64 Puppylinux can also be installed into a USB flash drive and booted from USB flash drive without chainging a thing on your Windows Computer. Just hit the F12, F10 or ESC BIOS boot drive selet key to select which disk drive to boot up from. Choose the external USB Flash Disk.

      So don't have a USB Flash Drive handy? Lick Installer .EXE file works on your present windows PC to install a puppylinux version 8.0 or Fatdog64 in a single file on your existing Windows C:\ disk.

      ""http://puppylinux-or-pcbsd.blogspot.com/2019/11/ms-windows-users-consider-lick.html""

      ""http://puppylinux-or-pcbsd.blogspot.com/""

      Need more information and help. Check out the forums of your chosen Linux Distro. Join a local Linux Users Group (LUG) in your neighborhood. Join Telegram, t.me/linux4everyone and visit and ask questions.

      google Linux4everyone , Listen to one of Jason Evangelho's podcasts. Read his Linux Gaming articles at Forbes.com ""https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/#7565da20d36f""

      Enjoy the software and hardware that you have now. If you feel Windows is too slow when working remotely from home, maybe changing over to ZorinOS Linux and a SSD SATA 2.5" inch drive will improve your work flow. Maybe using PuppyLinux 8.0 or Fatdog64 810 (includes LibreOffice 6.1.2) from a USB flash drive will help you out.

      10 minutes, 2 downloads, 1 usb flash drive is all that it requires. You have the time and means now that you are home. Give it a shot and explore the speed that is in your present laptop hardware.

      Fred

      over the pond in Oregon USA

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any factory orders from HP have been taking 2-3 months since the beginning of the year. Stuff ordered in January has been arriving this week. It's all fine grabbing laptops but you have to have IT staff available to provision it.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Provisioning

      Something my former employers have probably found out....after the last of us in one location (That used to do all the back orifice stuff & hardware provisioning) were shown the door in February.

      Icon - I'll drink to that, payback like vengeance is best served cold like a lager, as it's not bitter.

      1. Never10_use_Puppylinux

        Re: Provisioning Windows

        Sorry you have lost your job, Sir. Maybe you can start your own business of installing PeppermintOS Or ZorinOS 15 Linux onto Laptops and sell them to support people working from home? You have the knowledge for the back end and could configure the front end with Linux tools.

        Seems that shelves are empty of speedy NEW laptops, so fight the war with the kit you have at hand. Just get rid of Windows7 and Windows10.

        Fred

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Any factory orders from HP have been taking 2-3 months since the beginning of the year."

      Yeah right. It's been like that since at least July last year and HP have been so shifty about explaining delays (plus supplying systems with parts missing) that I've given up on them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Domestic flights carried a "belly full" of tech kit when in service

    Interesting...does that mean that it's fairly routine to have a plane full of passengers sitting above a cargo containing laptops with Lithium batteries?

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      The self-loading cargo ain’t what pays the bills. This is true at sea, on rails, and in the air. If the self-loading cargo has a problem with some of the cargo which actually pays the bills, the self-loading cargo can bloody well get out and walk. Doing that while the aircraft is on the ground is a good idea, though some of the self-loading cargo is too stupid to think of that.

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        I'm sure the airlines are ramping up their efforts to develop cryogenic-suspension capsules, to avoid all the issues with passengers, and to squeeze more in at any time. Then they could just stick with cargo planes for all but the shortest flights (processing time has to be considered).

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Shhh, Michael O'Leary reads this sort of stuff. Don't give him any ideas please.

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
            Holmes

            re: Michael O'Leary reads this sort of stuff

            That's always assuming that RyanAir still exists after all this is over...? Many Airlines will go broke very, very quickly.

            1. Julz Silver badge

              Re: re: Michael O'Leary reads this sort of stuff

              Oh please.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Michael O'Leary will be trying to figure out how t make the capsule seem big enough to hold a family of four and offer a 20% discount to bring in the customers (but still 4 x 80% > 100%). Your own capsule would be business class and a premium charged.

            Standard fares will involve a cracked fish bowl.

            1. MortyCapp

              Anesthesia as a compulsory extra add on.

          3. MrNigel

            Upvote for Ryanair

            Ryanair don't do freight - 25 min turnarounds don't allow for it and neither do most of their routes. They have just refunded 100% all my booked flights through to end of April

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          cryogenic suspension

          That would actually be a lot more comfortable than flying in coach is these days, so I'm all for it!

        3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Dumarest

          During the long journeys sleeping in Low or doped with quick-time in High.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        I believe the original comment was thinking about the restrictions on checked baggage containing lithium ion batteries, which goes in essentially the same place as the cargo that also contains lithium ion batteries. One could reasonably ask what precautions are required for taking those when the pressure and temperature circumstances would be the same for both. The airlines might be thinking about batteries being thrown about, which is less likely for neatly-packed cargo than for personally-packed belongings, but I don't really know the details on either.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Last time I bought a MacBook battery from Amazon, it had big warning labels on the box saying “do not airfreight, call this number immediately if the box is damaged”.

        2. Gaius

          the pressure and temperature circumstances would be the same for both

          The cargo hold is pressurised but not heated

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            The cargo hold is heated. Most of it is held above 7 or 8 centigrade. Animal areas 18 centigrade or so.

            The external temperature at cruise is -56 so luggage would need to be defrosted before it went on the carousel if it wasn’t kept warm.

            Of course the baggage hold is pressurised too, if it wasn’t then the passenger cabin floor would buckle.

  5. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

    For furniture...

    try your local charity shops. Yes they are second hand but they are probably cheaper than IKEA and certainly more comfortable/durable and will stand being washed down with the appropriate bleach/anti-septic/anti-biotic/anti-microbal spray

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For furniture...

      Jolly good. And where do we go for the bleach/anti-septic/anti-biotic/anti-microbal spray?

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: For furniture...

        Home Depot. Lowes. Ace Hardware. Other locations may be available. I was just in my local Home Depot, they have bleach and cleaning agents stacked up on pallets all over.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: For furniture...

          Earlier this week, my local Crappy Tire & Dollar stores still had some stock.

          I also considered (but didn't need to try my local Peaveys).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: For furniture...

          I don't think they'll admit me to the US even if the purpose of visit is to visit Home Depot.

          One of the problems we over-70s have is that the supermarkets themselves are high risk areas, and around here none of them have stock of anything in the way of cleaning products.

          1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            Re: For furniture...

            Google "covid 19 mutual aid" - there's probably a group of volunteers near you that will deliver food etc if you go properly self isolating.

            We set our village group up over the last two days. Local call number, with a little JavaScript app we can use to route calls to different volunteers at different times. The phone company gave us the number and calls for free once they realised what we're doing.

            In fact, given the tech industry is probably one of the most resilient in these circumstances, perhaps El Reg could do a little solicit to see what it's readers are doing and sum up the best ones? We're all going to have a lot of time on our hands, may as well do something useful. My to do list today is try to find someone with a tractor to plough the school field for vegetables. Greetings from Surrey!

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: covid 19 mutual aid

              Unfortunately my local group insists on signing-up using Facebook.

              I've self-isolated from Facebook for a very long time, and that's unlikely to change

              1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

                Re: covid 19 mutual aid

                The flyers went out today, two calls in the first hour with the second being a 92 year old woman who's neighbours normally help her buy food, but she hasn't been able to get them on the phone for a couple of days.

                I'm baffled by anyone that thinks Facebook is a solution to this. Even email is a bridge too far. It's sole purpose for us is recruiting younger folk to help out, or to let their parent's know.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: For furniture...

            "One of the problems we over-70s have is that the supermarkets themselves are high risk areas, and around here none of them have stock of anything in the way of cleaning products."

            You might be surprised by what good you can find in the smaller convenience shops, especially local independents and, if you still have them in your area, local butchers and bakers. The majority use only large supermarkets these days and in large busy shops there's a crowd psychology effect that encourages panic buying. Likewise pound shops, places like B&M, Home Bargains etc.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: For furniture...

              Our neighbours just got back from Spain after being in lockdown for a week and a half. On the rare occasions they were allowed out to go food shopping, it was very quiet and the shops were very well stocked. It's beginning to look like that's what it will be like here in UK soon. The panic buyers will have all they need and as the shops re-stock, the rest of us will get a chance to buy what we need, eg milk seems to be in more or less ready supply again.

              The sad thing is, I'll bet a lot of that panic buying ends up with much more wasted and spoiled food than usual.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: For furniture...

        Any store that stocks it normally that nobody shops at.

        Around out area that's B&M, which has like most other supermarkets parked entire pallet loads of stuff anywhere it will fit. Unlike other supermarkets, they don't have any serious numbers of visitors because (almost) nobody habitually shops there.

      3. gotes

        Re: For furniture...

        Jolly good. And where do we go for the bleach/anti-septic/anti-biotic/anti-microbal spray?

        Surely you must have some sort of surface cleaner at home? How do you clean the kitchen and bathroom?

        Any detergent will do the job.

    2. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: For furniture...

      I'm a trustee of a charity that runs two shops. Nobody is coming in, no volunteers to help run the shop, might be closing on Monday. Everyone is panic buying elsewhere!

    3. Martin Howe

      Re: For furniture...

      And for computers and such - I work for a charity shop that sells a lot of second hand electrical stuff on eBay (yes we can and do PAT everything) and the eBay side has been a lifeline for us as we're a small charity and may have to close the brick-and-mortar side of the business or scale back opening times.

      Long story short, we've been prepping Latitudes and Optiplexes like there's no tomorrow for the last couple of weeks and already sold £200 worth of monitors and nearly £1K of laptops. Of course our stuff isn't suitable for the legalistically bound big corporates, but we seem to be acceptable to small businesses. (Ironic, since most of the recent stuff was donated by a big local corporation, sans HDDs of course).

      1. Never10_use_Puppylinux

        Re: For furniture..., God and Country

        Glad to hear of your success on Ebay. With a bit of time, you can install PeppermintOS 10 Linux on a HDD or SDD 120GB Sata 2.5" or 16 GB USB flash drive and increase your profit from you Laptop sales.

        Fred

        Or other Linux you like, Zorin OS 15.2 , Ubuntu, Pop!_OS, Ubuntu

    4. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: For furniture...

      Dell 21" Monitor 5:4 ratio.

      Local computer supplier £210

      Local charity shop : £9 including a four mile lift home, or

      £5 cash and carry.

      NO contest.

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: For furniture...

      "try your local charity shops. "

      And these are open, where exactly?

  6. wolfetone

    My gaffer told me that by the end of last week, the only reasonably priced laptops were Macbooks. All the other midrange business ones had been bought up. Ourselves we ended up with 9 Dell Vostro's.

    My laptop though, a Latitude I think, has been on order since mid-February and hasn't turned up. And it'll go to the office, where I won't be. So that'll be fun.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      >Ourselves we ended up with 9 Dell Vostro's.

      Seem to be solid systems, whilst not particularly exciting specification-wise or visually, the do seem to take the knocks and last - one client has been using Vostros as their mobile classroom laptops since 2012 about a third of their current classroom laptops are from that original batch.

      1. wolfetone

        Yeah I have to agree. I mean they don't inspire confidence in terms of build quality (they flex a fair bit), they're not bad. I can't fault them so far, except for the bloatware that comes with them. But that was swiftly resolved.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Our place was due a disposal run, laptops up included.

      Now those laptops are all deployed in productive work. Something learned.

  7. Scott Broukell
    Coat

    Loo Roll(ers)

    With the use of some half inch marine ply, some flexible hoses and five 360 degree casters I now no longer need to worry about the dreaded loo roll shortage! I can now sit "on the throne" all day at my workstation and can move about my office / work-space with relative ease, I can even reach hot coffee and snacks. I just need to have a quick shower at the end of the day and Bob is your mother's brother, no need for any bloomin' loo rolls anymore! I have even incorporated a small water heater so the ceramics involved are at just the right comfy temps for my bum!

    (mines the one with the patent application in the pocket)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Loo Roll(ers)

      That's a really shit idea!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Loo Roll(ers)

      As we invested some years ago in a Japanese toilet, I expect our 18 rolls to last about as many weeks. Of course it's after that it's going to be recourse to the chainsaw, liquidiser, and home made sieve tray to make our own.

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge

        it's going to be recourse to the chainsaw, liquidiser, and home made sieve tray

        That all sounds a bit painful. Have you considered tabloid newspapers, dock leaves or even three sea-shells instead?

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: it's going to be recourse to the chainsaw, liquidiser, and home made sieve tray

          That all sounds a bit painful.

          It is ... to the tree that is converted into loo paper.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: it's going to be recourse to the chainsaw, liquidiser, and home made sieve tray

            Despite stockpiling bog roll, half a year ago in error & the use of the bidet hoses preferred by Mme L, we still have plenty to hand, though I did "panic buy" one single pack that was on special pricing (Not extortionate), in a store that had plenty on the shelves.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: it's going to be recourse to the chainsaw, liquidiser, and home made sieve tray

              Some have started using left-over salad leaves - butt that's just the tip of the iceberg...

              I'll get my coat!

        2. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: it's going to be recourse to the chainsaw, liquidiser, and home made sieve tray

          Where can I buy soft absorbent sea shells?

      2. richardcox13

        Re: Loo Roll(ers)

        My shopping run a few hours ago: there was some loo roll! It was going pretty much as quickly as it was brought out.to the shop floor.

        Maybe the panic buyers have run out of space, and the rest of us can reach a normal level?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Loo Roll(ers)

          I saw a suggestion on Youtube that the next panic buy would be caravans, to store all the stuff people have been panic buying.

        2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: out of space

          John Lewis were selling a very large number of freezers. The good news is that their non self isolating delivery drivers will be delivering Waitrose groceries instead.

          Anyone know where I can buy some corona virus? The death rate is tiny and for someone fit and healthy like me it is negligible. I would rather get past the infectious stage and become immune so I can safely ignore any "don't go anywhere or meet anybody" restrictions.

          1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

            Re: Mr downvoter

            If you have evidence that my preferred strategy is not helpful then please link to it.

            The average death rate for the infected is under 1% and for fit healthy people it is under 0.1%. Once infected, people can infect others for a limited amount of time (which probably starts before symptoms become noticeable). Once that time is up they become immune and cannot infect others. As a courtesy to people with chest infections, heart disease and other serious medical conditions who are at real risk from COVID 19 I am following the government's guidelines and restrictions. This has economic consequences which would end sooner if I get COVID 19 promptly.

            1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

              Re: Mr downvoter

              You really shouldn't. Not only the elderly die. There have been deaths in otherwise immunocompetent adults.

              This is also hedging lots of bets on your perceived immunocompetence.

              It's a little like playing Russian roulette.

            2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

              Re: Mr downvoter

              First There is an increased number of deaths amongst health workers, which are certainly not 65+ - so dosing yourself with COVID19 might not be a great idea.

              Second, while you're certianly going to have immunity for some time after infection. for how long? See https://twitter.com/BallouxFrancois/status/1238837158007447558 - there's no reason to believe it's not permanent. A six month immunity would get you ill just in time for next winter.

              Finally, the current tests do not identify whether you've had it (past tense), just whether you've got it now. Once those tests come along it will be easier to decide to head out in the knowledge you're immune, at least for a bit. For now though...

              1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

                Re: Mr downvoter

                If we are going to stay immune for a very short time it is especially important for all the healthy people to get infected very quickly. This will kill the decease.

                The last thing you want when tgg hg e immunity period is short would be to prolong the epidemic. This way it will never stop.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Loo Roll(ers)

      "no need for any bloomin' loo rolls anymore!"

      I just went to Aldo this afternoon and picked up a 24 roll pack from their decent stock level. Much kinder on the arse than your solution :-)

  8. karlkarl Silver badge

    They don't already own these things?

    Finally people realize that tablets and phones are not actually very useful for productivity ;)

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: They don't already own these things?

      Doing a survey of our staff, I was surprised to see how few people said that they had a laptop/PC at home.

      Unpleasantly surprised, since some of them had work issued laptops. I just passed that to our HR with a few terse comments and a copy of the asset register and that appears to have been sorted out by HR.

      But i'm still not sure if these people are actually without equipment or if they expect that they are going to get new laptops issued if they claim that they don't have anything.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: They don't already own these things?

        We had a field IT tech, that when fired, was found to be in possession of two work owned vehicles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They don't already own these things?

          They needed the second vehicle as storage space for all of the tools and equipment that is definately their own privately owned property. Also they should be compensated for using their own equipment over the years because, as the lack of paperwork shows, they were not supplied with essential tools and had to get their own to do their job properly.

  9. Scott Broukell

    I Hate This Panic Buying!

    I just rushed out to the garden centre and bought a ride-on petrol lawn mower - I live in a flat!

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: I Hate This Panic Buying!

      Hope it was the superduper one - complete with a variety of useful attachments so you can offer your services in the coming weeks and months to the "Good Life" brigade...

      A friend once complained the shaver they brought, whilst good and came with lots of attachments, was missing the attachment to use it on your boat. As he didn't own a boat or have even stepped on a boat, he naturally got the p*** taken and still gets reminders.

      1. hoola Bronze badge

        Re: I Hate This Panic Buying!

        Apparently the people who supply chicks to lay eggs have run out due to "panic buying". There has been a huge increase in demand from people keeping hens at home. I suspect that in the same way these idiots bought all the bog roll, they have not twigged that hens don't automatically lay eggs and when you first buy them, are weeks away, if you are lucky.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I Hate This Panic Buying!

      At least I used the spare bedroom for something useful that will help keep society functioning.

      I have 20 pallets of blank CDRs. When government employees working from home realise how important it is to be able to exchange files with each other, I am going to make a fortune.

    3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: I Hate This Panic Buying!

      Well, at least you could drive it back.

  10. Chris G Silver badge

    The end result

    Since so many employers are investing in enabling staff to work from home as much as possible, I wonder how this will end up.

    Will employers suddenly think I they should get rid of all that office infrastructure and find efficient ways of supervising remote office workers?

    Or will everyone be delighted to get back to their cubicles and bosses will be delighted to have them back where they can keep an eye on them?

    There seems to be the potential here for a shift in how people work and are employed never mind the possible social consequences.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: The end result

      Since so many employers are investing in enabling staff to work from home as much as possible, I wonder how this will end up.

      Honest Hans will give you odds of 2-1 that the government will say that home-working has been proven to work and will mandate it in order to get commuters off the roads and so get us closer to carbon neutrality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The end result

        IBM will be able to tear down more of it's office buildings (they'll be sorely inadequate to work as data centres).

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: The end result

          Will they need any soon?

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: where they can keep an eye on them?

      Your boss will probably be able to do that easier when you are working at home than in the office. All those keyloggers have got to get some use from time to time...????

      "So Jones... you spent twenty minutes on hotnakesbabes.com. Why was that?"

      "Well Mr Evans, Your last email to everyone included a link to that site. Why were you in that site?"

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'customers will stop buying and start preserving capital'

    this applies across the board. Even if you don't know how long this shitstorm is going to last, you will preserve, if not positively hoard capital. And, guess what best preserves capital when you have a workforce that does no work? Offload the "issue" asap to the state, and real quick, before the state wakes up and re-offloads its responsibilities to private sector. Either way, it's gonna be a lose-lose for the employees in the end, methinks.

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: 'customers will stop buying and start preserving capital'

      This is not AI. We are dealing with real, low down, bottom-of-the-line genuine human stupidity at it's very worst (or best, depending upon your view). I have seen people filling baskets with 20+ large bottles of olive oil "cos its Italian innit, you never know". Never mind that they probably exist on a diet of baked beans on toast and JustEat.

      In the UK we are panic buying loo rolls while in the USA and South Africa they are panic buying automatic weapons. Says it all really.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'customers will stop buying and start preserving capital'

        Yeah, the stupidity of those panic buying automatic weapons is a sad reflection on modern society.

        The number of people who dont even have a basic assault rifle, let alone body armour and backup side-arm, if they need to defend themselves is shocking.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Ultimate weapon:

          aahhh-cchhhoooo sniff sniff aaaahhhhhh-cccchhhhhhoooooooo!

    2. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: 'customers will stop buying and start preserving capital'

      "Even if you don't know how long this shitstorm is going to last, you will preserve, if not positively hoard capital."

      Potentially - but right now the base rate has practically made money free.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let them eat Laptops

    I prefer potatoes myself.

  14. Ima Ballsy
    Mushroom

    Its the same

    Over here across the pond

  15. jonathan keith Silver badge

    The Lenovo laptop I bought two weeks ago for £320 is now £150 more expensive, and it seems you can't buy a webcam less than £300 for love nor money.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Prices are being to make Maplin (the deceased high street store) prices look like bargains.

      1. short

        Maplin seems to have been at least slightly revived. Someone's got the site and set up a shop with similar logos. There are references to how long Maplin has been trading for, pics of the old catalogues, but very sketchy about whether it's the same company.

        Similar-ish offerings to defunct Maplin, so who knows if it's a goer. Good luck to them, though.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          It is a new company called Digital-First Retail Limited which was incorporated in June 2018. They file micro-entity accounts and have assets of £50k, so by no means a large company.

    2. Adr

      I had a solar nightmare trying to get my hands on a webcam so my sister can have consultations with patients while she's self-isolating. Also managed to track down what appears to have been the last Skype headset in the country (for only twice what it's worth).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's more to plan for..

    First I recommended getting hold of decent had creme when the dermatological consequences of frequent hand washing would become obvious. I had an unfair advantage here: I have worked in chemical industries with stuff that was so toxic that even the most invisible trace would yield you a trip to the hospital so washing was mandatory, just in case your instinct for self preservation was defective. A week later it became government advice (yes, I'm not in the UK).

    In a related job, I was required to wear masks, so here is my next prediction if we get to a point where masks are available for the general population (and as far as I can tell, we're pretty much there): toothpaste. Trust me, you will remember to brush your teeth when you're forced to partially inhale your own breath in a mask..

  17. Cian Duffy

    My regular box shifter can't get me anything at all, 70m+ turnover and now basically adrift with nothing *to* shift.

    Remembered our satellite office in a smaller city (with a citywide ego issue, so they'll probably detect I've called them small and arrive to murder me...) used a small local B2B place for all their stuff and he was set up as a supplier with accounts. He actually had stock at hand and while the laptops he had were a grade or two lower than I wanted it wasn't entry level. Still had decent HP desktop PCs (also in severe short supply in Ireland) on Friday as well as all the various accessories that are running out everywhere.

    Monitors, keyboards, mice, laptop bags, headsets are all stripped bare in normal consumer outlets now.

  18. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Things I am working on

    Finding old phones which have working cameras and enabling USB out, so they can be used as webcams

    In fact many cheap Nokias can be firmware bodged even if they have broken SIM slot etc, this is a low level

    function so many will do this even if manufacturers won't support it.

    Also feasible: Pi noIR as low light camera for folks working odd hours, so they can at least video conference

    with different time zones.

  19. Archtech Silver badge

    "Eventually, 'customers will stop buying and start preserving capital'"

    Instead of maxing out their cards the way they have been doing for decades?

  20. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Buy a pack of Toilet Paper for £££..

    and get a FREE laptop!

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