* Posts by Tim Hale 1

42 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Is your Surface Pro a bit full? Slot in an SD card, it's not from Apple

Tim Hale 1

Not enough storage? There's a workaround!

So yeah, add an SD card to work around not having enough inbuilt storage but it won't work properly.

It's okay though because there's workaround for the workaround:


Maybe there's a workaround for that. Thanks Microsoft!

Everything Everywhere begs Blighty to back 4G push

Tim Hale 1

Re: What we need is 3G

This. I'm still waiting for the 3G revolution. O2 can't even get 3G running the length of the England M4 corridor and I'm supposed to be enthused about 4G?

New iPad 4G data connection will only work in America

Tim Hale 1

I'm outraged I won't be able to use my new iPad on one of the many nation-wide 4G networks here in the UK. Oh, wait.

Where I live (next to, but not actually in, the sticks) there still isn't even 3G!

The iPad 5 will be out long before 4G makes any difference here and if 3G is anything to go by it'll be a great many years after that for me.

Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet

Tim Hale 1

Re: Everyother one

You forgot about 2000. ME<>2000.

Tim Hale 1
Thumb Down

Re: So yeah, a tablet OS called windows, that does not have any windows

I was with you up until 'itards'.

Apple: We never said Siri would actually work in the UK

Tim Hale 1

No. No, it doesn't

And now, the version from the correct web site. Facts, eh? Funny old things; work better when they're right. From the UK Apple site:

It understands what you say.

Talk to Siri as you would to a person. Say something like, “Tell my wife I’m running late” or “Remind me to call the vet” or “Do I need an umbrella?” and Siri answers you. It does what you say and finds the information you need. And then it hits you. You’re actually having a conversation with your iPhone.

Tim Hale 1

Re: utter tripe

Wow, ten down-votes for saying Apple shouldn't be hung for not saying the iPhone 4 didn't have Siri. The anti-Apple brigade sure do like an Apple story, don't they?

I too have seen the UK Siri advert on TV recently and it doesn't show anything that it can't actually do in the UK.

Personally, I'm not all that taken with Siri partly because it doesn't have the US features at the moment.

The funny thing is, in general, Apple tend to focus on what the device does whereas other manufacturers tend to show a list of specs and leave the reader to infer what it can do. That inference can cause problems, for the customer, when, because of some creative spec listing, the whole is slightly less than the sum of its parts.

As a hopefully non-contentious example some routers and wi-fi access points are described as dual band 2.4/5GHz but you have to look very closely to see they are simultaneous dual band 'Or' rather than 'And'.

Lloyds TSB online banking, ATMs titsup in server crash

Tim Hale 1


Their whole online banking site is appealing. I rarely get through a transaction without a 'sorry, we've logged you out for some reason' error. My record was ten times before I gave up and phoned them. Only to find the phone banking numbers had changed and they hadn't told me.

If I ran my systems like they run theirs, my boss would lynch me, and rightly so. They should be ashamed of themselves to call that a production system.

Win 8 haters are just scared of change, say MS bosses

Tim Hale 1

Well done!

First comment to make an irrelevant connection to Apple!

How about, I blame the UI designers trying to shoehorn a touch-based paradigm onto an controller- based hardware? Which, since this is all about Apple, apparently, is precisely what Apple have said they aren't going to do because it doesn't work!

When you say you prefer users who know what's happening, I take that to mean this is something you aspire to yourself one day?

The Metro UI for desktops and laptops is a daft idea. Saying that people fear change and don't know what's good for them is, to say the least, unwise and short sighted.

Aussie retailer accuses UK shops of HDMI 'scam'

Tim Hale 1


Perhaps replace the cheap coax cable? It should be shielded to withstand interference up to a point and if an HDMI lead is getting through to it, it's no doing it's job!

Tim Hale 1


'If the cable meets the spec, it meets the spec and can do 1920×1200p60, 4096×2160p24, or whatever the relevant spec revision states. If it doesn't meet the spec, it can't be called an HDMI cable.'

Thank you! A £120 cable will be better than a bit of string, but a bit so string isn't an HDMI cable.

BTW, I've read people claiming that special SATA cables can improve the quality of MP3 files!

"It's a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable; it's a lot wrong to say it's a suspension bridge."

Vodafone hikes PAYG call costs

Tim Hale 1

Who's that?

Is there a network like that?

As an example of their contempt I was just thinking the other day that the 4G auction next year is all well and good but where I live, in Gloucestershire (not exactly London, I know, but no Cumbria either) the 3G revolution still hasn't happened! And that's using the operators own massaged coverage maps! Not a single one covers anywhere within ten miles of where I live with 3G.

WTF indeed.

Music on plastic discs still popular, apparently

Tim Hale 1

CDs Fail

I agree that being able to rip a CD losslessly is good but would like to point out three things:

1. AFAIK format shifting is still illegal in the UK.

2. CDs are not DRM free, it's just that the DRM used is so trivial by todays standards as to be irrelevant.

3. I have had a couple of CDs fail on me, the silver layer has disintegrated, so not quite the bulletproof backup. May have been a disc quality or storage problem but either way, the disc was unreadable.

My solution has been to rip the discs to 320Kbps MP3 for use now and have ISO backups of the discs, scanning the cover and inlay all into a recoverable RAR file. If I want to change to another format down the line all the discs are there ready to go.

PopBox 3D set-top media player

Tim Hale 1

Not surprised

I tried out a Popcorn Hour A-210, trying to connect it to a Windows home server and it was terrible.

Lots of people think they're wonderful and maybe it's my fault but I found it to be horrendous. Hanging while reading meta data, getting stuck in loops of error messages, freezing on MKVs that played back perfectly fine elsewhere. Not to mention that the whiz-bang interface only supports one network share! I had that 'beta software' feeling, not that '£200 of quality, dedicated, device' feeling.

Companies need to understand this should work out of the box with an easy to use, attractive, accurate, interface and not a list of network locations and filenames or mismatches.

Media Browser on the PC is a good example. Tell it where your stuff is and it'll never bother you with the detail again.

Adobe rushes out patch for all-platform Flash vuln

Tim Hale 1


I built a new PC yesterday, installed Flash and it's already out of date? I appreciate a rapid response to vulnerabilities but can't they just write a decent version? Again, I know things move on and new attacks are coming all the time but seriously, Flash is the swiss cheese of software. They need to get their act together. Of course, as long as people 'rely' on it and it's seen as being vital, they've got little incentive to improve things. Now, if enough people started saying they weren't going to install Flash because of it's shortcomings they might do something.

Apple under threat from ... Windows tablets

Tim Hale 1

Point of order...

'... windows can't run on an SSD... ' um, what? I'm reading these comments on a Windows machine with an SSD as I'm sure are many others.

I'm as convinced as anyone that Microsoft has missed the boat for tablets. I have a Origami UMPC which runs Windows 7 way better than it ran Vista but it's still not a patch on my iPad.

I try to be operating system agnostic, with Windows, OS/X and Linux in use as appropriateness and whim dictate and I just can't see Microsoft winning this one.

ISPs under pressure to control online porn

Tim Hale 1


Exactly, @ph0bos. It's like having to have a PIN on Sky to watch a film after the watershed so that the kids I don't have can't watch the film that is on after they would have gone to bed (if they existed, you see what I mean). But if I record that film I can play it back at 10:00am without entering a PIN. How does that make any sense? It doesn't even work properly and yet I still half to suffer it's half-arsed attempts to think on behalf of some notional parents.

If you've got kids its your responsibility to go out of your way to look after them. If you don't have kids it's your responsibility not to go out of your way to do anything harmful ('Whee! I've got no kids, I'll drive through that playground blindfolded!' No. Not cool.).

Opt out. If you have Internet access, Sky, whatever, know how to use it. Use OpenDNS, ask someone, read. a. book. It's not like saying 'Oh, it's too complicated' is a defense when driving a car, is it?

Being a parent is hard? Who said it was going to be easy?

HP MediaSmart Server EX490

Tim Hale 1

FFS Indeed

It's only a pretend NAS if a file server is a pretend NAS.

The OS isn't installed on an array, proprietary or otherwise.

And finally, the Drive Extender has a number of advantages over regular RAID, though it does have some disadvantages too.

But why is this just being reviewed now when it was released at the tail end of last year? This is a good machine but I'm looking for it's successor!

Video calling impresses Brits, if it's Apple video calling

Tim Hale 1


Apple are great at marketing, they take something that hasn't reached mass popularity and make it popular. How many non-geeks had heard of digital music before the iPod? Like it or not, 'iPod' is almost to 'Digitial Music Player' as 'Hoover' is to 'Vaccuum Cleaner'.

Looks how smart phones have really taken off since the iPhone, oh sure, blah blah, Android's better, whatever. My point is that people have a smartphone now that didn't before and they haven't even heard the term, nor do they care.

I think video calling could go the same way, it's been around for ages but it hasn't had good marketing behind it. Never mind whether it's useful, what's that got to do with selling anything? A great many people likely don't even realise that their phone can make video calls, that's not patronising, that's just recognising that some people just don't care about spec sheets.

I don't know if it'll take off and like it or not, neither do you. But you have to admit, whether you like their products or not, Apple are great at marketing. Even if they're selling only to fanbois they had to get those fanbois somehow and if, as the Apple-haters would have us believe, it's not on technical prowess it must be on the strength of their message.

Tim Hale 1


'We all need to walk around with earpieces and mics ' um, what? Why? Is that because you've always wanted to play a secret agent on telly and adopting the look on video call is the only way you'll do it?

Linux 'copter flies in to Blighty

Tim Hale 1


@Tom 7

Firstly, shut-up.

Secondly, they're also releasing an Android controller. Happy now?

Superslim iPhone 4 enough to fend off Android?

Tim Hale 1

Well there you are then!

I'd expect a camera like that to have a good lense and a big sensor. Two important factors in cameras whether or not they're on a phone.

IF you have a tiny sensor and a plastic lens, all the pixels in the world aren't going to get you a decent picture.

The megapixel myth is finally starting to die and it can't go fast enough.

Tim Hale 1

Fail Fail

Consumers care about how slim it is when it's in their hand. From the pictures it seems to be noticably thinner.

Video calling will 'help' if Apple can make it popular, sure the EVO can do it but does anyone use it? Think about how many people outside of geeks knew anything about MP3 before the iPod, not many. Apple made digital music popular and mainstream and if they can do that with video calling I expect a lot of this kind of conversation:

I need a phone that can do video calls!

You've already got one.

No I don't, this one's old and busted.

No, see that little black dot on the front of the phone? That's a camera.

Oh. I did not know that.

And suggesting that the iPhone 4 may have WiFi problems because of a swamped network suggests more than a little bias.

Tim Hale 1
IT Angle

Not 'techies'

Photographers and camera geeks know better, regular IT techies don't.

Tim Hale 1


Well it was for the RAZR!

Tim Hale 1


Cost per unit? No idea

Cost to consumer? I would expect the retail price to be more or less the same as the last model.

Tim Hale 1

It's not the size...

it's what you do with it that counts.

Lots of phones have front facing cameras, generally speaking no-one uses them. There are, of course, exceptions. The thing is, can Apple make video calling mainstream?

Me, I don't know. I would like to think that we're finally catching up with sci-fi a little more and video calls will become if not and every day occurance, at least no unusual.

Ironic that the carriers have tried to get us video calling for years and now it might happen they seem to be running away (that was my impression from the key note, I have no corroborating evidence).

Still no fecking flying car though.

Tim Hale 1
Black Helicopters

And who provides the training...?

Why the people who supply the software, or the people who paid those people money to be acredited trainers.

I agree with you that things should be simple, but sometimes that's not the goal:

Charge for the software

Charge to install / setup the software

Charge for training

Charge to administer the software

Charge for support

UK iPad ship date slips

Tim Hale 1

Negative much?

That's not a 'slip' then, is it? They have n units available for launch, they have preorders for =>n units. Therefore, any new orders will need to be satisifed as part of a later shipment.

This also chips away at the 'UK not buying iPad' story of yesterday. Unless the initial shipment of units was only of about ten or something and we won;t know that until they release the sales figures.

Nokia: digital SLRs are doomed

Tim Hale 1



Ye cannae change the laws of physics.

Microsoft Security Essentials shakes up consumer antivirus

Tim Hale 1

What you don't know WILL hurt you.

If this is actually a half decent scanner, Microsoft should be applauded for their work.

The trouble is, with it not being made available through Windows Update, only people who know about virus scanners will install it and chances are they already have something in place. At the risk of an anti-trust violation, Microsoft should check whether a PC already has an anti-virus installed and if not offer to install one as an update. People who are already aware will either have a product installed or deselect it from the updates to be installed.

Friends don't let Windows friends run without a virus scanner.

It's the same as web browsers; those who know of alternatives will use what they like, those who don't know should be given a helping hand.

Vodafone is all thumbs on multitouch

Tim Hale 1


How many Samsung / Vodafone employees does it take to create a multitouch device? None; they simply redfine single touch (is that the correct antonym?) as multitouch. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Windows 7: Microsoft's three missed opportunities

Tim Hale 1

Extensions again?!

I'll grant you that with extensions hidden, changing the file typeis difficult. I use the command line whn I need to do it and that's asking too much of 'regular' users, there should be an easier way. However, users should be free to rename their word files or whatever without suddely having Windows forget what file type because of a mistyped backspace!

How often do people really need to change extensions anyway? Not one of the non-geeks I know has ever asked how to do it, or presented a problem for which that was the solution.

This is a geek problem with at least two geek solutions that are in Windows already. Visible extensions went out with Windows 3.1; let them go.

MS revives Outlook for Mac

Tim Hale 1
Gates Horns

Oh good.

Just when I was looking for a way to integrate Outlook with Google Sync on Windows, Microsoft present almost the exact opposite.

Microsoft aren't getting nervous about Exchange support in Mac Mail are they? I can't really see why but Microsoft seem much more reactive than proactive these days and this seems to be in the ballpark as an effect for that cause.

I can't resist using the 'Outlook not so good' icon!

Orange declares mobile broadband price war

Tim Hale 1

unlimited mobile unlimited broadband usage between midnight and 9am

I agree with @frank ly; what does 'unlimited' mean? The ISPs have bastardised the language to the point where we don't know what they're saying anymore! Safest to assume that in this context it means a bonus 1GB or something, since no-one could 'reasonably' expect to be allowed to download more than that in a 9 hour timeframe. Thanks* ASA, you're great+.

*'Thanks' in this context should be interpreted as a fervent wish that the ASA sod off and die.

+'Great' should be interpreted as 'useless cretins, divorced from reality and on the payrole of the ISPs'.

Hijacking iPhones and other smart devices using SMS

Tim Hale 1
Jobs Halo

Not on the iPhone anymore

Apple just released the 3.0.1 update to fix it. Assuming it does fix it, of course.

N97 Mini pictures emerge

Tim Hale 1


Maybe they shouldn't be so keen to push it since most, if not all, the N97 reviews seem to think it's rubbish (for differing reasons, perhaps, but the central theme is still the same). Making it smaller will only make it a smaller amount of rubbish!

Apple-apeing Microsoft spins out retail store prototype

Tim Hale 1
Thumb Down


How much would you have to hate someone to throw them a party at the Microsoft store?!

HTC Snap

Tim Hale 1

Two points:

First: HTC have a whizzy UI for their touch phones that's very nice but what may not be clear to people is that as soon as you fire-up a third-party app you're thrown straight back to the the turn of the century and the WinMo user 'interface' because, in most cases, the standard interface design is rooted back in there (go look at Windows CE 3, it'll look very familiar). Some apps have a really good UI but there's no consistency between them because there's no UI design standard that they can rally around.

To avoid this problem you have to refrain from installing any third-party apps and then it's not so much of a smartphone.

Second: Still no push IMAP in WinMo? Seriously? I mean, seriously? I know; install a third-party app, oh, that brings me back to my first point.

Masked passwords must go

Tim Hale 1

I agree entirely

That is all.

Apple iPhone 3GS

Tim Hale 1

No keyboard

I have to wonder how many people for whom a virtual keyboard is a no-go have ever tried the iPhone. I ask because a friend of mine was dead against touch screens, having tried them before, but after a few minutes changed her mind completely and is now a convert. Resistive screens, as fitted to a great many devices, are very poor in comparison to capacitive ones like that fitted to the iPhone (and the Pre, I think).

Also: The compass is great, orienting the maps automatically is the finishing touch to that functionality.

Digital zoom is, as has been said already, utter rubbish.

O2 Tethering is a rip-off and calling a limitied service unlimited should be a crime. Instead, the crime is that no-one official is doing anything about it.

Microsoft forbids changes to Windows 7 netbook wallpaper

Tim Hale 1
Gates Horns

Face <- Hand

And this after their 'Engineering Windowws 7' blog said that they discovered that people like to customize and that they've add more features in to allow people to do just that. So now they say yes, but if you're on a netbook you're too stupid / tight / poor to have this Microsoft goodness bestowed upon you. Surely they aren't claiming that the hardware can't cope with different wallpaper?

They're so deluded and divorsed from reality it makes me wonder it they're actually MPs...