* Posts by NHS IT guy

44 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Jul 2008

The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

NHS IT guy

Very good

Enjoyable post, however I enjoy the simplicity of iOS, and the elegant design of the iPhone (I have a Lumia 800 for work btw).

I'm pretty sure upgrading to the iPhone 5 isn't going to bring around the end of civilisation ;)

Windows Phone 8: What Nokia and Microsoft must do

NHS IT guy

Swings and roundabouts

I've had a Nokia Lumia 800 as my second phone for about 3 months now. I like it and am disappointed by it in equal measure:


- I love the industrial design, I've not had any issues with the "sharp edges" - man up.

- The ClearBlack screen is sensational, so vibrant

- The OS is attractive and fresh, a welcome change from iOS on my iPhone 4

- The OS is responsive, again in contrast to my laggy iPhone 4.

- The People Hub is inspired


- The battery life is shocking, I've barely used it today but it's at about 70%

- The MarketPlace is very immature and MS don't seem to control it, allowing junk/nonsense apps

- The keyboard isn't as intelligent as my iPhone, not even remotely.

- Despite being "Carl Zeiss Tessar" the camera is frankly sh*te

- The fact we won't be upgraded to WP8 is insane, it's a year old.

The phone is nice, but it's let down by an immature marketplace, dodgy keyboard and an offensive upgrade decision. I don't regret getting the Lumia 800 but I'd be hard pushed to recommend a MS phone to anyone else.

LG's quad-core Optimus tabphone powers into Europe

NHS IT guy

Nurse, a Mars bar - stat!

Someone please feed those models, before they disappear!

Strong ARM: The Acorn Archimedes is 25

NHS IT guy
Thumb Up

Where's the A7000?

I remember these machines so fondly from school.

We had three rooms packed with A3000s that were hooked up via EcoNET to a shared SCSI hard-disk that was turned on and off with a key, and sounded like a gravel chipper. Just before I left school all the machines were updated to A7000s - they were just beautiful, so fast.

My favourite package at school was called Wordsworth (I think?) - it was a word processing and DTP package, incredibly easy to use and very powerful. Reminds me of Apple's Pages today.

The number of fonts included for free with RISC OS was astonishing too. Anyone else write EVERYTHING in that tube/bubble font?

Apple New iPad Wi-Fi only

NHS IT guy
Thumb Up


I've had no problems whatsoever with the ergonomics of my iPad 2.

For general use I have it portrait with the bottom edge resting on my lap, a hand either side.

For watching movies the 'smart cover' can be turned into a toberlone shape and it stands the iPad upright in landscape orientation. Great for on trains, or for watching a TV show in the bath.

In bed (checking facebook, twitter etc) I tend to use it landscape, leaning against my raised knees.

Find it so much more versatile and comfortable than a laptop. The 'smart cover' was a great investment, as it allows you to stand/lean/hang the iPad in many many ways.

Microsoft 'yanked optical drive from Xbox 720'

NHS IT guy

What about download limits?

This would be fine in theory, if all games were as small as those on iOS App Store or the Android Marketplace.

But next-gen games are filling whole 25Gb blu-ray disks. Are they seriously asking punters to sit there and wait for their console to download 25Gb of content over their ADSL connection? What about people who use mobile broadband? Or those who have cheaper ADSL with a download cap?

People really don't think these things through.

iOS 5's iMessage chops carrier SMS routing traffic

NHS IT guy
Thumb Up

It's an international win

I have friends and colleagues all over the world, most of whom (for one reason or another) seem to use iPhones. Previously I had to choose between emailing them or paying through the nose for the privilege of saying hello and asking how they were.

Now not only can I say hello, ask how they are, I can see pictures of my friends in Amsterdam and videos from my family in New Zealand free of charge. I can chat away to my brother who is working in Brussels like he's down the road.

NHS IT guy

Coming soon (apparently)

The rumours having been flying, and getting more frequent that there's an update to iChat for Mac OS X on the way that allows you to use iMessage from your desktop.

NHS IT guy

because it's unreliable?

I used to use whatsapp fanatically, but over time it's become less and less reliable. Messages go missing, people show as offline when they're online (and visa versa), connections drop for no reason. It's less reliable on the whole than iMessage now.

2011's Best... Premium Tablets

NHS IT guy
Thumb Up

I agree

Been looking at a fondleslab for myself and my partner lately. Have played with an array of Android tablets, the BB playbook, but we both independently settled on the iPad 2.

It's super slim, best range of apps, most consistent interface, best battery life and biggest range of accessories. Although we did argue over colour, him white and me black.

RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860 smartphone

NHS IT guy


What's up with that browser screen?

Why are the GUI elements so big? Why on the social screen do you only see what looks like half the post in that huge ugly font?

Swing and a miss RIM... swing and a miss...

Mass ASP.NET attack causes websites to turn on visitors

NHS IT guy

Next to useless article

This is a pretty major development, especially for those of us working with ASP.NET directly, or supporting users of ASP.NET systems - and I'm the latter, working in one of the UK's largest hospitals.

What you've written is a fairly lengthy article saying not very much. Useful things to include in your blathering might have been:

- What actions developers should be taking

- What actions server side support teams should be taking

- What actions desktop support/end users should be taking

Facebook's complexity will be its doom

NHS IT guy

Couldn't agree more

I've been on FaceBook since day one, I was a beta tester - an early adopter. But year by year, month by month I've become less fond of it.

What was once a lean, well connected and easy way to message my friends and look at their photos has become a bloated mess with gangster games, music updates, video updates, pointless questions, a IM system that won't close, a constant feed in the corner of nonsense.

I've removed everyone but my family from FaceBook now, and choose to use Twitter and Google+ - they're just so much quicker and lighter.

Sorry Mark, but you've fucked up.

Ten... digital voice recorders

NHS IT guy

Last but not last

Number 9: Last but not least

Number 10: Actually last and still not least.

Virgin Media finally offers network options on SuperHub

NHS IT guy

Operation FAIL

Virgin did indeed push this update to my SuperHub at home last night, at 8:07pm, you know why I remember so precisely? Because I was in the middle of a transatlantic video-conference with a supplier.

My router was down for nearly 15 minutes as it rebooted, updated, rebooted, and then required me to re-authenticate all my devices back onto the wireless network.

Needless to say I was *less* than impressed. Could they not have pushed this out at 2am or something, or perhaps the engineers had to get home to their WoW.

Intel: Apple has online app sales exactly backwards

NHS IT guy

I'm sorry, what?

Dear Christ that man can talk a lot of bollocks without actually saying anything! That was one of the single most painful things I've ever had to read.

Intel: Stick to what you're good at - making silicon.

Most Adobe Reader installs are out of date

NHS IT guy

Just can't be bothered.

Of course they're out of date Adobe.

Have you used your own software? Every time I start your reader I get prompted to install a new update, which takes the best part of 10/15 minutes - and all I was after was to read an invoice.

Even when you're not using Adobe Reader actively, the sodding tray icon keeps throwing up balloon tips demanding I update. I just makes me resent updating that little bit more.


Leaner software (which equals smaller faster updates)

Less frequent updates

Less intrusive notifications/nag messages

Apple iOS 5 and iCloud examined

NHS IT guy

How is iMessage going to fail?

I'm not sure how the report thinks that iMessage is a fail, I've tried and I just can't see it.

Services like Ping and Whatsapp for the iPhone are hugely popular, but at times unstable/unreliable and in the case of Whatsapp cost money.

Almost everybody I work with, and everyone I know socially has an iPhone or an iPad (including my parents and grandparents) and as this is built into the iPhone messaging app (rather than being stand-alone) I can see my SMS usage falling considerably.

The other clever thing that Apple have done here is calling it iMessage. Which, like BlackBerry Messenger being shortened to BBM, will be shortened to IM - "Yeah sure, IM me", hopping on the back of an already popular/well known abbreviation.

iMessage is a hail, not a fail.

Win8: A beginner's guide to FondleWindows

NHS IT guy

I don't get it

I might just be being dense, and feel free to call me on it if I am, but...

There's all this showcase of FondleWindows' touch screen interface, but 98% of the world don't have touchscreen computers. 98% of the world sit at a desk using a keyboard and a mouse on a monitor that's a couple of feet away. Any chance of seeing what the UI that, almost everybody, is going to be using?

Microsoft shareholder calls for Ballmer's head

NHS IT guy


As we can tell, Balmer's marketing skills are second to none, as you can be seen in this PIECE OF ART: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cX4t5-YpHQ

Dell intros world's thinnest 15in laptop PC

NHS IT guy

Oh look

It's like a MacBook Pro, but cheaper and nastier.

What's with that hinge set part way into the laptop? What's with the nasty lettering on the keys? and a lid that doesn't seem to quite be big enough to fit the base?

Dell, grow some balls, shell out for a couple of designers and make your own damned products.

Credit cards get colour screens

NHS IT guy
Thumb Down

e-ink no?

Surely a 320x240 colour LCD is a little over the top for a credit card, something that'll spend 99.5% of it's time out of sight in your wallet, and the other 0.5% of the time half inserted into a card reader? (though I understand this card would spend it's 0.5% being held against a NFC reader).

A medium resolution, e-ink display would be thinner and consume MUCH less power making the card last longer between charges, as well as leaving your balance on the screen at close to zero power consumption.

Check Point kills scareware-style pop-up campaign

NHS IT guy

Awful software, awful company

In the part of the country I cover for the NHS we use hardware firewalls (obviously) within the offices, but for those members of staff who go out and work in the community, or indeed work from home we needed a software solution.

SOMEONE *glares across the office* chose ZoneAlarm. It is without much doubt the most bloated, unconfigurable, buggy piece of crap I've used. I can't even get it to play nice with our proxy servers. I asked Checkpoint for advice but they rarely answer their phones much less an email.

I'll be glad when March comes and I can go out and procure something half decent.

This is your NHS speaking, and for your personal health and mental wellbeing we recommend against ZoneAlarm!

Apple iPod Touch 4G

NHS IT guy


You'll have noticed that FaceTime has rapidly descended into CrotchTimeif you hang around on any chat room for long enough...

Boffins riot as Hadron Collider upgrade is delayed

NHS IT guy


Something like that, but I'm sure it was in movie form....

NHS IT guy


It can't be *just me* who reads the name of this place as the 'large hardon collider', or is my mind elsewhere? Either way, almost chocked on my lunch,,,,

Jailbreaker alert: Apple TV runs iOS

NHS IT guy
Thumb Down

You sir...

Are a douchebag.

NHS IT guy
Jobs Halo

Not the nano

Apple have confirmed that the new nano does not run any variant of iOS, but rather a smaller custom built OS to ape iOS.

Road test: putting the iPad to work

NHS IT guy

Wrong point?

This article wasn't supposed to be about it replacing your computer, it was about taking a portable device on the road for notes and emails. I don't know about you, but I don't tend to spend my time in and between meetings sharing files and playing music, I spend it reading reports and replying to emails - which is exactly what this article focused on.

Your reply: D-

NHS IT guy

It was mentioned...

From page 3: "I couldn't have used my Wi-Fi only iPad back at base."

LG Optimus GT540 Android smartphone

NHS IT guy

Cheap but fun

I'm an iPhone user, have been since the original iPhone and very little could change that for me, but I've always been interested in the Android Market, so decided to get me a little Android nasty.

I bought this phone SIM free from a well known high street phone store a couple of weeks ago for £99.99 on PAYG (so somewhat cheaper than the review price), it also doesn't appear to be network locked which is a bonus, and came with a free 2Gb micro-SD card.

Android 1.6 is a bit old now, but I'm reliably informed (as are other users who have asked LG) that there will be a major update to 2.1 this month - it can't come quick enough.

The stock keyboard is shockingly bad, but if you install 'Swiftkey' from the Android Market (for free) you get a prettier (iPhonesque) and much more accurate keyboard.

So many of the cheap Android phones have a QVGA 320x240 screen with which a large number of Market apps will not work, however LG thankfully went with the 320x480 resolution.

For £99.99 you can't beat it really!

'Larry and Sergey's HTML5 balls drained my resources'

NHS IT guy

Not all that bad...

Running on a Lenovo ThinkPad X200 (C2D 1.86GHz, 2Gb RAM) I get these results:


Static (not moving mouse) - 42Mb RAM - 1% CPU

Moving (chasing the balls) - 49Mb RAM - 13% CPU


I get stuck at 49Mb RAM - 5% CPU - but the animation does not load *shrug*


Static (not moving mouse) - 63Mb - 1% CPU

Moving (chasing the balls) - 63Mb - 29% CPU

(the balls are smaller and move less elegantly on IE8)

Shop risks legal action for posting 'shoplifter' CCTV online

NHS IT guy


I don't know about the ethics of this one, but the first shoplifter is hot - *would*

Sir Alan Sugar hails £30m 'equitable' Viglen win

NHS IT guy

That's not actually a bad deal...

...well it is and it isn't.

The Dell Optiplex 755 (2GHz Pentium-D, 1GB RAM, 80Gb HD, DVD-RW, 17" TFT). This machine currently costs £379 (exc VAT & shipping) direct from Dell.

The EXACT same machine to the NHS... *drum roll please*... £780! Goverment contracts are just an excuse to milk the tax payer dry with minimum repercussions.

The longer I stay in the NHS the more depressed I get at how much I as a tax payer am getting a raw deal.

Googlephone unworthy of Satan tag

NHS IT guy
Dead Vulture


Now, before I start this comment I'd like to say up front that I am an iPhone user, but I'm not a blinkered Apple sheep. I know my device's limitations and faults, but I can live with them.

That said, I was really looking forward to the upcoming offering by Google/HTC. All the viral/leaked device videos looked awesome, the interface looked slick but now having seen it in the light of day I must admit to being horribly disappointed.

I've owned HTC devices before (namely the Tytn and Tytn-II) and I loved both of them, but they really have dropped the ball here. No video recording (same as iPhone, a pain but something you can live without), no multitouch, and the biggest mistake no headphone jack. I mean, come on! Design FAIL.

Then there's the software. No desktop sync? Wha? I've been doing that since my Psion 2 - what makes them so special? How do I get music/videos/documents on to it? Rub it up against my CD collection? Forced GMail account - I've already got one admittedly but still. No video playback? I've had that since my Palm-IIIc.

Maybe we were expecting too much from one of the world's most forward thinking web/software giants, and one of the best mobile device designers? Maybe they just needed to release this turd of a phone to get it out their system?


Did the width move for you, darling?

NHS IT guy
Thumb Up


Well I for one welcome our web 2.0 overlords....


Sony pumps up PSP screen

NHS IT guy

Worth an extra 1000?

So a slightly improved screen, and a mic.

I'm not sure that's worthy of a press release, let alone a whole new product and upping the product model number by 1000!

What are they paying the PSP design staff for?

Teens admit to Grand Theft Auto-inspired petrol bombfest

NHS IT guy
Paris Hilton

Come on...

...these people are clearly unhinged to begin with. GTA4 is an easy target to pin the blame on. In the 1980s we blamed the movies, and now we blame GTA4.

I play this game frequently, and I have no desire to torch cars, or take out pedestrians with a handgun.

How about authorities tackle the route cause instead of banning a legitimate (and somewhat fun) product.

Paris, because she enjoys cocktails - just not Molotovs...

Analysts slam iPhone security and battery life

NHS IT guy

So, like everything else then...

So it shares the same flaws as most smartphones then?

Data not encrypted? Same as 99% of other smartphones as PDAs

Battery life not great? Same again, especially if you stay connected to exchange all day long.

I'm using my iPhone 3G as my NHS smartphone via exchange and it's working a dream. I'm not a mac user, but I do love the form factor - and the fact I can take my personal and work life around in one handsome unit.

The web-browsing on the iPhone is a leap ahead compared to the majority of smart phones I've used, this also applies to the multimedia capabilities which are obviously the iPhone's forte.

Microsoft slams 'sensationalist' Vista analysis

NHS IT guy
Paris Hilton

Why would I though?

I work for the NHS, and am directly responsible for a small network of approx 200 desktop systems and 6 servers (2 sql, 2 citrix, 2 file), in a independantly funded (not tax payers money) department.

We have machines ranging from brand new to 3 years old, all running XP Pro SP2. Everything runs sweet as a nut, the machines have a light, compact custom build, it looks good, it's familar, responsive and pretty secure.

I currently see no reason at all to move over to Vista. If I were to migrate I'd reimage every machine identically (it makes support a breeze), and to be frank some of our older machines wouldn't cut it, and some of our new machines would probably be a little sluggish.

Vista's party-piece for want of a better phrase is media, and that's simply not a part of office life.

Expensive license + time to reimage + cost of new hardware + sluggish performance = FAIL

Paris, because she understands the true joy of a responsive OS.

Info commissioner says comms database is leap too far

NHS IT guy
Black Helicopters


Plans such as this are just going to drive both normal people like you and I, and the "baddies" into hiding. I have nothing to hide, but I also don't fancy whatever outsourced agency the government chooses going through all my data/calls.

We're likely to see a huge increase in PAYG mobiles, and PAYG 3G dongles - and a fall in landlines/ADSL if this goes through. It's not like they can possibly trace those to anyone, and how do they decide whether a hotmail.com address is UK based - and would MS even hand over the data.

But the biggest stopping point of all would be the UK's complete incompetence at collecting and storing data on ANY scale.

Motorola ROKR E8 music phone

NHS IT guy
Paris Hilton

Haptic feedback...

"The E8 is Motorola’s first effort at using haptic feedback, providing slight vibrations..."

This is incorrect, the Motorola Razr v2 employed haptic feedback throughout the phone, both on the outer screen, and when you pressed buttons.

Paris, because she's good at researching articles.

MS takes Windows 3.11 out of embed to put to bed

NHS IT guy
Paris Hilton

I'm not gone...

I'm 22, and I remember using 3.11 when I was 8 on my Tandon NB286/SX laptop. I've still got it somewhere. Whilst 3.11 isn't anywhere as full featured as XP/Vista or even Win95 it had a certain charm, it was so quick and simple.

Paris because she isn't afraid to mourn the loss of 3.11

BOFH: The admin gene

NHS IT guy
Paris Hilton

The gift

I was beginning to think it was just me that could hear when a PSU was on it's way out, or the first tell tale signs of a failing drive, or the slight shimmer of text on a screen telling me the refresh rate or resolution is just off.

Paris because she loves the hum of a NAS.