* Posts by sam tapsell

29 posts • joined 9 Sep 2008

Mythbuntu busted as last two devs working on media centre distro quit

sam tapsell

Re: When you can

As someone who used and loved mythtv for >5 years, Kodi is simply much better.

I am running OpenELEC, with TVheadend managing the TV tuners as a "backend".

(OpenELEC is a minimal standalone distribution of KODI

It is much easier to setup and maintain, and has been running reliably.

I can watch TV from my phone, program recordings and use my phone as a remote control.

I did try running on a raspberry pi, but the cheap DVB-T2 dongle was unreliable, hence I use a desktop machine with a PCI tuner card (dual DVB-S2).

If I was starting again, I would maybe try LibreELEC, not OpenELEC, as it seems to have more devs at the moment.

If you want to try on a raspberry pi2 or 3, get a decent USB tuner, like the 292e nanostick.

GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’

sam tapsell

Support this

Honestly, this has fantastic chances to benefit health and it needs our support.

Of course there are genuine risks associated with compiling this data, but bigger benefits. I think the politicians will protect this data - its got their embarrassing past too. Sexual infections and such like are not included.

Genetic medicine can unlock really important stuff. My mate died of a heart attack aged 30, I know a 33y old mum just diagnosed breast cancer. To get these at at young age is largely genetic. Tracking the health of millions of people could solve lots of questions.

I respect El Reg for its sceptical approach to the tech news cycle, but this is a worthy cause for the geeks to bother to understand and then get behind. Suppose I can't post anon then?

Sellouts! Fans snap up iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders to avoid store queues

sam tapsell

Shopping crimes

love the complaints about buying apple.

I will continue to drive an old 2nd hand ford mondeo, shop at lidl and buy apple if i fancy. No regrets over many apple purchases so far.

I will roll my eyes at people who are too posh for lidl, drive a new car, drink fancy coffee etc.

Big screen iphone sounds very nice...fancy apple watch looks great...

Too busy at the moment having fun hacking a raspberry pi, hhvm on digital ocean wordpress droplet and going surfing with the kids at westward ho...

iPHONEY: Fake iPhone 6 images splattered over Chinese internet

sam tapsell

I have no interest in this new phone. No way I will spend £600+ on a new device.

I am very happy with my iphone 5, now 2 years old. Its a really good phone for me. Its fast, great camera and browser, OK email, great maps. Nothing to fix.

OK, who am I kidding: Double the battery life, make the camera awesome, a bigger/better screen, a 65bit processor (1 better than 64). Must resist...

...and wait for the 6s.

OwnCloud: Fiddly but secure host-from-home sync 'n' share

sam tapsell

Raspberry Pi FTW

Never mind the real kids, the raspberry pi is the server box for us overgrown kids who want to try a bit of hacking.

Looks like owncloud is up next...I had great fun trying to optimize wordpress. nginx. varnish. Very good for static pages, but dog slow when logged in (and running php rather than from the cache). I Then started reading about HHVM, up to 10 times faster php handling, and just when I think the Pi will do great wordpress handling, I discover it will likely never be available for ARM 32bit, only 64bit (and some time in the future). Hope they wait another couple of years for the pi2 (pi squared?) with 64bit quad ARM processor and gigabit networking...pretty please.

The END of the FONDLESLAB KINGS? Apple and Samsung have reason to FEAR

sam tapsell

its a great time for gadget lovers

There is a gadget revolution taking place.

Apple makes great things, other people make cheaper copies, some of which are also very good.

Apple has to work hard to make things better...

iPhone and iPad have set the standard for a whole class of smartphone and tablet devices.

I love these gadgets and am hoping for more...

A wristwatch with GPS, music, siri type functions, maybe monitors heart rate, glucose, blood pressure, Oxygen saturations. Calls and messages perhaps, camera too?

That could be great for me, or an elderly person with poor memory who lives alone.

Microsoft will be left behind protecting its income from windows and office, but those products have both been `good enough` for 10 years and I have no interest in them.

Sonos turns up volume, slips out new Wi-Fi speaker control app

sam tapsell

Re: Dedicated controller

I bought a moto G to dip my toes into android. Its currently a dedicated sonos controller! (got it for £90 from telco with a code).

Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up

sam tapsell

Re: just not interested...

Microsoft are stuffed.

If you do want legacy windows apps, you don't need a touchscreen or windows 8.

If you want fancy touchscreen apps, they are being written on iOS and android.

I can see no way back in for Microsoft. I am amazed their earnings have held up so far.

sam tapsell

just not interested...

If my own feelings are anything to go by, microsoft is in trouble.

To either love or hate a product is still a reaction.

This generates indifference...

PEAK APPLE: Fondleslab giant no longer world's biggest biz

sam tapsell

reports of death of apple too soon?

I'm not sure apple is doing too badly?

My sister has just got an iPad mini, thrilled with it. Wife loves her iPhone 5, kids facetime and minecraft on iPod touch with friends including overseas. iMessage stops us paying extra for SMS.

The only bad tech purchases were my nephew who was bought a windows 8 laptop for school work (disaster). Primary school has 28 iPads for lessons, with airplay to appleTV plugging into the projectors for teaching.

Apple may be a bit too consumer focused for esteemed El Reg readers, but its doing very well with all the ordinary folks I know.

I think Apples line up of iMacs / Macbooks / iPads / iPhones is still the best in class, with room to grow market share. I dont see consumers gladly choosing microsoft (except maybe xbox), so most PC makers are in trouble.

The Galaxy phones look nice enough, but the rest of android is not making money.

Apple is not perfect, but they are pretty damn good.

RIM PlayBook trumps new iPad in UK channel sales - analyst

sam tapsell


This is not including direct sales?

These figures reflect the crumbs falling from the table, rather than the tablet market as a whole.

The problem for the PC industry is apple has effectively disintermediated the retail channel, as well as the software resellers and for music / video with sales of CDs and DVDs falling.

'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

sam tapsell
Thumb Up

its not just a spec sheet

How about comparing the resale price 3 or 5 years later?

My iMac i am writing from is now >5y old. Still a great machine. Still valuable to me. If a product is enjoyed and used, the cost is OK and worth it to me.

sam tapsell

Cant stand microsoft, because...

I have long suspected the only people who like microsoft are people who profit from them. If my job depended on the success of microsoft, I would be getting behind microsoft too.

Sorry to those of you are invested in microsoft to support your family and pay your mortgage: a slow decline awaits.

As an end user, I cant stand microsoft. As a monopolist, they have spent years copying then destroying any threats. They did well in Office software, Browsers, Games consoles and of course Windows itself, but they have never failed to abuse their position, by charging huge amounts for what they delivered.

They have failed in Search, MP3 players and along into mobile. And worst of all, they failed by teaching their customers to hate them by their sharp operating.

Apple didn't want to do mobile (they were planning the iPad) but when they just realised the iPod would be destroyed by the next generations of mobile phones they switched attention to the iPhone. They destroyed iPod, along with nokia, RIM and others. They sucked away most of the profits in mobile, by making a device consumers enjoyed.

Next came the iPad.

Microsoft realised that its OS would lose relevance, as people innovated with tablets and mobiles. It has tried to take the same idea of truly innovating, but its too late. Windows 8 on a normal laptop is a mess, though I can see it might work with touch. If I wanted it.

But i'm very happy with apple and ubuntu now.

Microsoft could still earn a fortune in the coming decade by doing a competent job with Office, Windows and XBOX, I suspect they will blow most of their billions in trying to stay relevant and making bad purchases.

I wonder if developers out there are more excited by an ubuntu phone, than what windows phone bring next year? Maybe its just me...

Microsoft Surface priced up for Blighty

sam tapsell

early adopters

The problem is microsoft has burned their early adopters with windows phone. Apple has slowly upgraded ipad and iphone, so that consumers are not stuffed when the newer version comes out.

There are a few people who are keen to jump in, but I think a lot more people will happily sit with their popcorn and wait to see if another disaster movie like palm / HP is going to unfold.

If developers are waiting too, then microsoft has a big problem.

Microsoft to announce new Office version on Monday

sam tapsell

no hope

I'm sorry, but any microsoft software is doomed for me. The better it is, the less I want to be tied into it. I cant see any way back for them, just a steady decline now. Maybe a rapid one if PC business goes the way RIM and nokia did. Perhaps android could grow into a desktop linux in the next 5 years. Imagine the terror at redmond?

Apple annoys me at times, but they havent got me looking for the exit yet.

Microsoft promises resellers bumper 2013 with total line-up refresh

sam tapsell

Lockin avoidance

Sounds like companies have a choice to avoid 12 months of unnecessary upgrades. I dont think Nokia realised when they jumped into bed with windows phone how much end consumers hate microsoft. There is no way back for them, because the people at the end of the chain want out. I want to get the NHS on open source software and kickstart the UK IT economy.

Google's 7in tablet stalled for last-minute tweaks

sam tapsell

Re: I'll buy one

Apples gift to the world is devices without vendor crap. The phone companies had to loosen their grip and try to compete after the success of the first iPhone, which has opened up the market. I think without iPhone, the phone companies would still be strangling all innovation and trying to push us into their crap portals all the time. Apple is helping the phone companies be the dumb pipes they truly are, which helps android users too.

Apples mistake now is being servants to content providers, which is what killed sony from the digital music era. So, thank you apple, but loosen up please and let me run XBMC on my appleTV so i can use it as a frontend for mythtv. OK?

Jonathan Ive is knighted in New Year Honours list

sam tapsell
Thumb Up

hating apple is believing in santa

I had a thought this christmas. Being a person who hates apple products is like being the last person in class to realise Santa not real. Apple make nicely designed stuff, better than most PC's or phones, but they can cost more too. Were not morons for liking their stuff. The iMac, iPad, iPhone, macbook air and mac mini are all just lovely products, best in class to my eyes. Thats all. Good work jon and all the team.

IDC: Google needs DEEP tablet price slash to crack Apple

sam tapsell

iPad zombie

OK, when I bought the iPad I wasn't quite sure what I would use it for. I thought it would be like my iPhone, but bigger. For the first couple of months I didnt use it much and thought I had wasted my money. For proper internet or general use, sit at a computer. To look something up, glance at twitter, then the phone is always in my pocket. Where did the iPad fit in?

Then I had an exam to prepare for, with loads of PDF guidelines to navigate, and the need to read things up on the internet. I met in a study group at different places (using 3G).

Suddenly the iPad became fantastic. I can carry a huge library of PDF resources (goodreader is worth the money) and have the biggest book - the internet - to hand. Switching on, opening a browser and sending a query to google is just so quick. I have not seen a PDF reading device half as good as an iPad.

Most of this would be possible on the competitor tablets I agree, but now all my photos pop up on the iPad via the auto sync. It has turned my camera on my phone to a great document archiving system.

And now I have a USB MIDI interface connecting my MIDI keyboard to garageband. Now that is really clever.

I cant go back.

Its a shame, as the competition is hotting up: The Galaxy S2 looks great, the quad core acer tablet looks nice. But I'm all in with apple. Hopefully the competition will keep them on their toes...


Note to Apple: Be more like Microsoft

sam tapsell
Thumb Up

**sigh** (reads another miserable comment)

"The author's name says it all"

Oh cheer up Anon, "Mr. Asay" DOES talk rubbish of course, but not half as much as I would if I were writing his column. Always worth a read.

Keep up the good work Matt, and don't worry about the pedants.

NHS bitchslapped by ICO on data security

sam tapsell

Waste of money

The most secure system is one which no-one can access. Great. Job done.

Chocolate teapot NHS IT.

NHS loses massive Microsoft licensing rebate

sam tapsell

linux FTW

I am a GP. If it is now my choice as to how we spend money then we are going ubuntu all the way. About time for some switched on thinking

John Lewis 'leaks' Apple iPod refresh details, say reports

sam tapsell
Jobs Halo

No GPS for touch

Based in the iPad, I think the GPS chipset is built into the phone radio. Unlikely to appear in the touch.

The camera is a more likely option. I certainly didn't buy an ipod touch last year because I was waiting for the camera to appear. With camera it will be an awesome computer for kids... I hope

Apple: we've sold a lot of iPhone 4s

sam tapsell

i'm a sheep

I may be several hundred pounds poorer, but the new iphone is great. Happy things I have done: Videos are great, cycle GPS computer, Twitter app, Beautiful screen for surfing the internet.

I think I understand why people are so "against" the iphone - they are trying to immunize themselves from an irrational phone purchase. Its a very nice device - but £500 is a lot of money.

But If they sell out, then maybe the price is about right?

Microsoft loses NZ Windows government deal

sam tapsell

Open Source Time

Microsoft is not worthwhile for a basic OS and Office software. I dont know of a compelling reason why a large government organization (like the NHS here in the UK) could not run largely on open source.

Linux also tends to run better on old computers, extending the wasteful upgrade cycle.

Clearly this open source solution will hit the pocket of microsoft and those who install and support it, but it will save money for us as taxpayers.

Its time to start the switch. Internet explorer>firefox. Office>OpenOffice. By the time people are comfortable with these, they will switch to linux OS underneath without too many problems.

Lets do it!

Cameron: Give the UK's health records to Google

sam tapsell

Fed up with "privacy concerns"

Have you noticed how bad the NHS is at embracing simple technology?

Mobile phones anyone? (they were soooo dangerous)



The "privacy concerns" brigade has been killing innovation for years.

We all know that using the telephone and post is far less secure than any email system, yet electronic communication has effectively been shut down for years in the NHS.

We need to embrace a cheap, simple ideas and stop being bullied into perfection.

We may leak a few confidential disasters, but save £15 billion, or whatever this rubbish is costing.

The NHS should be aspiring to be ALDI, not M&S. (If you want M&S you go private).

p.s. In Australia the patients keep their X-rays under their bed, it is the most effective system I have ever seen.

Sony Walkman S-series MP3 player

sam tapsell
Jobs Halo

another tedious apple fan

On behalf of the ipod touch (which of course is a fair bit more expensive), the ability to use the BBC iplayer over my wifi network at home is brilliant. I use this extended functionality more than playing music.

This Sony player may be a better out and out audio player, but my needs have moved on...

I now really do want the web browser, iplayer, Nike+, guitar tuner, bloomberg app, maps etc

This looks like Sony is winning last years battle again.

iPhone users get BBC radio downloads

sam tapsell


Got the essential mix coming through right now in excellent quality, and radio 3 lunchtime concert was great too. I was starting to think about setting up my own media server to achieve the same thing - so this saved me the bother.

iplayer on the iphone / touch is such an impressive feature. Now I all of bbc radio available for easy bedtime listening, not just the podcasts.

Just brilliant.

This might just delay my exile from the UK.

Doctors rally for right to call UK.gov quangonista a 'sh*t'

sam tapsell


The problem here is that he has dishonestly claimed these comments were his own work. Clearly he is plagiarising these words from the wider community of doctors who have been saying this for years.


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