* Posts by John Lodge

38 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

Whaddaya mean, No refund? But I paid in Bitcoins! Oh I see...

John Lodge

That was a cracking good article. I cannot for the life of me see the point of crypto currency - this is caveat emptor writ large.

I don't think you're stupid by the way, just sort of normal.

Nothing's as SCARY as an overly aggressive SOFTWARE PIMP

John Lodge

Vista was dreadful, slow, bloated and unusable in default release mode. Rather like Windows 8 really.

MPs back call to boycott low-taxed tat from Amazon over Xmas

John Lodge

I have now stopped buying from Amazon. The final nail in the Amazon coffin was the Panorama broadcast on how they treated their staff which, needless to say, is not very well. Stuff 'em I thought.

What Amazon does have is a superb business model, it's fast, efficient and apparently very friendly and well run. However what it not is, is cheap; it gives the general impression of cheapness in much the same way as supermarkets do but when you start delving and cross price checking most items can be found cheaper elsewhere. Where it does win is on convenience and reliability - but what price my conscience? Amazon will no longer be on my list, which is a pain.

If and when our Beloved Leaders sort out the tax question and Amazon, along with Google, Starbucks, Vodaphone etc, I may just return as a customer. For me, it's a moral stand but to make the principle work, it's going to need a whole lot of extra effort from everyone.

TalkTalk's broadband base continues to fall as TV subs grow

John Lodge

I'm unfortunate enough to be a customer of this bunch of overpriced, under-performing half wits.

A few weeks ago I arrived back from the pub at the same time as a marketing email arrived from Talktalk. I called them on the 0800 number provided and for some reason which made perfect sense at the time, I signed up for their TV service.

In the harsh, cold light of a sobering October Sunday, the deal didn't seem anywhere near as attractive. You get a recorder/tuner (got two already), catchup TV and pay services for some Sky content which is pretty much what I already have. "No, this is not a good deal" I thought to myself, especially when I contemplated the additional 2 years locked in to a contract with these clowns. I decided to cancel.

I rummaged around my inbox for contact details and found the You Want To Change Your Mind number, which unsurprisingly had an 0870 prefix. Not being one to fall for such simple extortion tactics, I got the equivalent 0800 number from good old SayNoTo0870 and I'm glad I did.

I called the number and got through to the TalkTalk Indian sales office fairly quickly, once we had established an understanding he said he was putting me through to the department that deals with cancellations. Fair enough, that's good. He then explained at some length that I was to hold on to the line, they are very busy - bear in mind that this is 08:30 on a Sunday morning, just how many people are cancelling at that time? So I told him I fully understood and promised I would hang on. This transaction had taken around a minute.

The phone went quiet, no music on hold which was a blessing and no sales jabber which was even a bigger blessing. At exactly seven minutes into the call, the music on hold arrived. This lasted until the eighth minute when the call was picked up by someone in the UK. The next seven minutes where spent batting away fallacious reasons for not cancelling, I will admit that he was very good at his job as it took me all this time to get the "upgrade" cancelled. That would have been a full fifteen expensive minutes. It was after that call that I decided to bail out at the first opportunity.

To be fair to TalkTalk, the provision hasn't been too bad, customer service and fault reporting are a joke though but probably no worse than any other provider. But cheap they are not!

Digital 'activists' scramble to build Silk Road 2.0, but drug kingpins are spooked

John Lodge

Loads of shizz being bandied about here. The guys that run these organisations are not to be confused with Robin Hood and his Merry Men. They are evil. Many would not think twice about terminating with extreme prejudice. And as for drugs being good, that is complete bolloxs, I have lost a few friends to bad Class A's and have a few who, being long term Black Leb smokers, are now deranged and unable to hack life that well. Meantime all my alcy mates are doing just fine and none of the smoker mates have died of cancer yet, though they surely will.

I know of what I speak, been there, done it and tried it in the 60's and 70's. The stuff available these days is much, much worse.

Apple tries to trademark the term 'startup'

John Lodge

Damn! All the startup domains are taken ...

Microsoft: Still using Office installed on a PC? Gosh, you squares

John Lodge

MS Office Phhhhph

I have learned to love Open Office and accept all its little foibles with good grace and Thunderbird stays up, unlike full fat Outlook. Now experimenting with Linux and this shows great promise. It's a bit like going back to Novell 3.xx and DR DOS with a decent GUI.

REVEALED: Google's GINORMOUS £650m London Choc Factory

John Lodge


Someone should really copy this "design concept" to Prince Charles, he'd love it.

Mooreslaw: Chopping up chips for the future

John Lodge

I'm going to install DOS 6.1/WFWG on an i5 - just to see how it copes

I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

John Lodge

I hate this. God I detest people knowing what I do for a living. And there's always an expert, some spotty hobbyist who reads PC Daily and thinks that all things Micro$oft are really cool.

"Have you been visiting any dodgy sites?" I ask in response to a question as to why the laptop is running like a tortoise on mogadon. "Don't do thinks like that" comes the inevitable response as I scroll down the cookies and find all manner of unpleasantness site visit wise. "when did you last update your AV?". "What's that". "Never mind" Spends next hour or so cleaning various trojans spambots and other assorted shite, a quick defrag and installation of a new AV and hand the squeaky clean box back with a reminder to be careful when surfing.

The only upside is the occasional bottle of vino and the sure and certain knowledge of all the neighbours sexual foibles. God, there's some pervs next door but one!

Review: Living with Microsoft's new Surface Pro

John Lodge
Thumb Up

Re: Guess I'll got one - it looks great to be used together my camera.

Suspect the down-voters have not interest in DSLR's - it'll be a winner in that market. The USB port in unbelievably useful, I couldn't survive without one. If you're looking for direct comparisons, check the Sony gear which has a very similar spec and price point. Don't compare it with an iPad, they are merely toys that are uber restrictive.

Cabinet Office: We've cut taxpayers' SAP and Microsoft bills

John Lodge


Every time I hear "SAP" mentioned it seems to be in the same paragraph as "millions", "cost overrun" and "Failure". Isn't it an acronym for Software Assisted Penury?

Darth Vader mounts defence of doomed empire

John Lodge

I eagerly anticipate the demise of this ersatz techie retailer. For at least 20 years now DSG have excelled at supplying crap to customers who wouldn't know a tape drive from sonic screwdriver. Lord help the customer who had a problem, the Sale of Goods Act didn't seem to apply to them. They deserve every shade of shit they get.

The Register Guide on how to stay anonymous (part 1)

John Lodge

Does it really matter?

All you're gonna get is better targeted ads - and there has to be some method of paying for all this free technology you are all using! Privacy my left buttock. Just use common sense, avoid pr0n and generally be good netcitizens and all will be well.

Twitter hacker flings poo at PayPal

John Lodge
Thumb Down

Steaming pile of shite is about right

We use them at our company as a payment processor of last resort and to be frank Paypal are arrogant, inefficient, lying, pompous, anal and not to say useless. They cause us endless pain but we need them as a good traunch of our less well educated customers think they are really good. The sooner they go tits up the happier I will be.

Aussies demand Poms cough up first 'Australia' map

John Lodge

Who drew this? An Austrialian - Nope

It would seem that the Ozzies are wrong, it was produced by a Brit in the pay of HMG. End of...

Nottinghamshire back-end taken over by giant reseller

John Lodge

This is going to work just fine - Not.

Yet again another hair-brained money saving scheme which will end up cost three times as much as the original in house job...

'Smear agricultural land with human poo'

John Lodge

So what's new

45 years ago my old man bought a lorry load of Dagfert for his new garden. This was human waste that had been composted on the Rainham marshes for a while and it worked as it was supposed to - even got free tomato plants for a few years.

Christ only knows why people are so bloody precious about poo, it's been around a while and has always been used for fertilisation. It's a bloody site better that using rock phosphorous.

In a few years time you'll have little choice anyway!

Best Buy opens UK online store

John Lodge

Extreme right wing sympathy

Had a quick look at their site, nothing too spectacular but there again, I'm not in the market at the mo. I thought it a bit odd that they are calling the shop assistants Blueshirts, this, I believe, was the name adopted by the Irish fascists in the 30's. Much the same as the Mosely's Blackshirts and Hitlers Brownshirts!

Spanish fascist decries Franco Eurovision slur

John Lodge
Thumb Up

Grammar Falangist


Chinese gamer survives knife through skull

John Lodge

Brain dead

I always suspected that the players of these games were not the brightest bulb in the box, now I'm convinced. One of the major attributes required to enjoy this pastime is obviously a frontal lobotomy although no brain at all is preferable

Climategate witchhunt fingers scientist

John Lodge
Big Brother

He's safe

If the Essex Boys in Blue are investigating this then the lad is safe. Most can't read and none of them would be able to find a bottle up their own arse.

My stance is firm denier (isn't that a measurement of stocking density? perhaps it should be denyer) - as usual it's all to do with tax and limited hydrocarbon supplies and bugger all to do with saving the planet.

Robot nuclear windjammer to sail patio-gas oceans of Titan

John Lodge


So where did all these hydrocarbons come from in the first place? Thought they were created by compressing organic matter over a long period of time?

HP ScanJet 3C takes lead on Bohemian Rhapsody

John Lodge

Sad genius

That was good, very good - better than the original in places. ISTR that you could code IBM 360's to play tunes by generating radio interference. You could also get the golfball typewriter stripper too (if you need to ask you shouldn't really know)

In the ditch with DAB radio

John Lodge

Dab? Doh

It;s a huge waste of money...

FM works wonderfully well in most of the UK, DAB doesn't. I now, thanks to Santa, have doubled my DAB radio count to 2 which is 2 too many. Reception is not good around here (Central Essex) and we often get the babbling mud effect. I have 6 perfectly good analogue receivers, at least one of which is 40 years old, if fact I am listening to Radio 4 on it right now!

And another thing - the power consumption of these thinks is unbelievable, they eat batteries and the mains powered ones do nothing for the old carbon footprint (Not that U actually give a stuff).

God only knows what Those That Know All are thinking of - I can't for the life of me think of one advantage Digital has over Analogue is this case.

On the list of strange British stuff, 13 amp plugs and BT phone sockets deserve a mention as examples of pointlessly over engineered gubbins. I think it was deliberate in case the Frenchies or the Yanks invaded - none of their technology would work ...

PS I have 5 car radios that would need changing too

Tories release MP office raid footage

John Lodge

1984 now?

It's 24 years late but it looks like it's finally arrived. it appears that we are now living in a melded Orwell/Stalinesk police state where unhelpful opinions are not tolerated and we all must think alike. This scares the shit out of me.

Brits decline to 'think outside the box'

John Lodge


"Issues" really piss me off. It's used all the time by the Beeb - "If you have been affected by any issues in this program...." WTF is that all about? Surely there must be much more elegant ways of getting the point across.

Has "Roadmap" died a premature death - I sincerely hope so.

I must admit the list reads like a precie of a Gordon Brown speech to the party faithfull

Fifty years later, steam appears on British railway

John Lodge
Paris Hilton

Pedant II

<Pedant subtype="gricer">

Also this new A1 Pacific is not a train it is a locomotive or at least a steam engine, When combined with rolling stock it then becomes a train - like the "Jacobite"


The last A1 cut up was St. Mungo - no "W"


All good stuff though, nice to see that British Engineering is alive and well! For further reading on the A1 class, take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Peppercorn_Class_A1

Paris? Because she likes 'em long and hot

Now Hollywood is chasing UK downloaders

John Lodge

Tiscali really do suck

I used to have a Tiscali business account which never performed as well as the backup BT ADSL account (same premises, same exchange) so I decided to change provider. I emailed Tiscali cancelling the service which they acknowledged and we switched providers. Next month my credit card was debited for the monthly charge - and again, and again.

Numerous emails and phone calls made bugger all difference so I got on to the credit card supplier and got them to do a charge back for all the payments since cancellation plus one more for luck. This really pissed Tiscali off, which was the intent, I then had a year of fun with debt collection agency's trying to recoup £14.95! The last (of many) phone conversations went something like this...

Them: "You owe Tiscali £14.95!

Me: "No I don't"

Them: "Our records show blahdeblah"

Me: " I am not going to pay, are you going to sue me for £14.05? I would enjoy that"

Them "No"

Me: " Then why are you wasting your time then?"

End of phone call and end of contacts.

Tiscali are nearly as bad as that other well known bunch of twats Paypal - a similar strategy saw them long gone after they tried to claim money I didn't owe them

Dell hits all the wrong keys – again

John Lodge

PC World

PC World? That is possibly the worst IT retailer on the planet bar none (IMHO). Over the years I have sampled the delights of DSG and consistently found them wanting.

I am astounded that they are still trading, they arn't that cheap, the staff in the main are somewhere between brain dead and incompetent and th a counre customer service is truly dreadful.

It is said that a country gets the government it deserves, likewise with technology retailers too!

BT opens wallet to send fibre to the home

John Lodge

Why shouldn't BT protect it's investment?

I cannot believe the sheer volume of moaning and groaning going on here. Here we have BT offering to invest billions in a new network infrastructure, of course they are going to want to protect it and rightly so, why should likes of Tiscali (what a shower they are are) get dibsies on the cheap? BT is a PLC owned by shareholders who will not thank them if they give investment away, they need to maximise their profits to allow for future investment. OK, they are big, cumbersome and sometimes unreasonable but they have some excellent R&D, good engineers (when you can extract them from the caff) and a pretty reasonable network which probvides all you whinging winnies with a fair telecoms service.

I don't suppose many here remember when BT was a monopoly and just how restrictive it was - 1200bps modems the size of a suit case - having a fight to connect a Racal 4800 to a private circuit, no discounts or offers, stroweger switch gear, screw terminals, answer phones bt BT only - God it was awful then - you lot go count your blessings and stop your moaning...

BTW I don't work for BT and never have - just used them for the last 40 years - they are like a rather smelly favourite Aunty, comfortable but strangly unpleasant at the same time

Dell offers 'Windows Vista Bonus' to frightened customers

John Lodge

Vista Mmmmmmm

Had Vista on a good few machines now, including 10 ordered from Dell although XP was ordered, Vista arrived plus a some Laptops too.

I am an IT professional of the pragmatic type. I like operating systems that are clean and easy to use, and above all easy to support. Vista is none of these.

It does pretty much the same job as XP, which is easy to support, Vista uses more CPU cycles and more memory to achieve the same end - so where, pray tell, are the advantages. OK, security may be better but you still need a decent AV and spyware package installed to make it safe.

No doubt I will get a severe flaming for this but Vista is bloatware at its worst, it is slower, more resource hungry, harder to use than XP (if you need to do anything half interesting) and it still has large lumps of 95 (and probably 3.0) code lurking in its kernal. Stuff it - it was only released to improve Micro$oft's flagging cash flow.

What ever happened to Digital Research, so much cleaner and greener...

Dell guilty of defrauding New York customers

John Lodge
Black Helicopters

Never again

I ventured twice into the murky world of Dell. The first time was pretty much a success, bought a mid range rack mounted server, arrived on time, with the right spec and works, and still is, working fine.

The second venture wasn't so good. I was after some cheap disposable PC's, real bottom end stuff plus another reack mounted server. I asked the corporate blokes from Ireland for a quote. This duly arrived, long and complicated with the kit totalling the advertised price, with a humungus delivery charge attached - like 25% of the order was delivery!

Didn't bother responding. Dell emailed a day or two later and asked why I hadn't placed the order. So I told them. They offered a requote and I thought what the hell. Some time later, the quote arrived, again big and beefy and guess what, the carriage charge was now much more reasonable but when I actually totalled the complicated list, the price was exactly the same - they had increased the price of the hardware and reduced the price of delivery. Next day bought an HP server, better spec less money and a shed load of Lenovo's (which are suprisingly good for £180 ea ex VAT!)

Never again will I request a price from Dell.

BTW I have always got the rebates from HP, never gad a problem with them

Intel said to feed Google solid state drives

John Lodge

An Oxymoron Shurley?

When does a disk (or disc in ICL parlance) cease being a disk? A disk is round thing that may or may not revolve and may or may not be used to record data magnetically or optically. What a disk is not is RAM, DRAM or any other type of memory.

A new name or acronym is needed to describe this not so new and not very exciting technology - could this mean the return of the Virtual Disk as last seen in IBM 370's? The resulting acronym is pretty unfortunate though.

BOFH: The Boss gets Grandpa Simpson syndrome

John Lodge

Am I that bad?

Ye Gods, I have loads of stories - the famous KDF9, 8k IBM 360/20 with only an MCFM & a 2501 reader, used to hate getting E02 errors on the console after a 2 hour batch run on a Friday night. And for that matter the very impressive card wrecks you'd get on the 083 sorter.

Magnetic media? That's for woosses

Mel Gibson to star in Edge of Darkness

John Lodge


sn't Mel Gibson a vertically challenged, anti-English Antipodean Thespian of doubtful ability? Edge of Darkness was really, really good this remake will be a complete balls up but may result in reruns of the brilliant original. Anyone remaking Howard's Way?

Microsoft soothes Vista pain with Bossploitation flick

John Lodge


I have never been a fan of Micro$oft, always thought that DR got the mucky end of the stick but this is a new low, just when I thought they couldn't get lower - what on earth are they thinking - celebrating a service pack release with an embarrasingly cringworthy awful video. "OK guys,the release wasn 't perfect but we've now fixed all the problems with this massive pile of patches. Any self respecting software co would issue this is a nice, quiet, polite manner.

Network Solutions hijacks customer sub-domains for ad fest

John Lodge


This is bl##dy outrageous. Just checked 2 dormant domains, chandlery.tv and marinestore.tv and they are promoting our competitors!

I new that Network Solutions were a touch unethical but this????