* Posts by Barry Lane 1

91 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


Adobe feeling drained by new model, but hopes things will improve

Barry Lane 1

"...current European economic conditions"

aren't stopping me upgrading, but Adobe's "bleed 'em dry" pricing does. I'll wait for a year or so, when upgrades appear at more acceptable prices on eBay. As for the subscription service, if the costs were more tolerable for single seat operations such as my home-based one, I might consider it, but for those prices I want it delivered in a gold leaf covered mahogany box by Charlize Theron - naked.

Stephen Fry's Pushnote goes titsup

Barry Lane 1
IT Angle

@James Pickett

"How many Mac users are IT literate?" Most of them, I expect. The majority are disenchanted Windows users anyway.

Adobe rips up rebate rules after resellers riot

Barry Lane 1

Re: Subscription model

I used to upgrade every time a new version of PShop, Illustrator, Acrobat, etc appeared, but Adobe's goods are now more expensive than gold. I imagine the pirated versions are flying off the shelves and depriving Adobe of a load of cash - and serve 'em right, frankly - but the retailers must be looking on in despair. As much as I enjoy hearing Adobe's pathetic excuses for the ultra-high prices charged here in the UK against the already phenomenally high prices in the USA, their business model sucks in grand style. Would it be too harsh to suggest that the entire board of directors be taken out and stood against a wall?

Met Office wants better supercomputer to predict extreme weather

Barry Lane 1

One day, during summer 2010...

... I was sitting at the garden table having lunch in the sunshine. My laptop was opened at the BBC News page and I took a glance at the Met Office weather, which told me that the "current conditions" were heavy rain. The local weather observation site is around four miles away and a glance in that general direction proved pretty conclusively that the wall-to-wall blue sky extended to there and all the way to the horizon. I emailed the Met Office, who sent a reply a couple of days later that explained that weather in spot can be very different a little way down the road. If the Met Office spent more time adjusting the flawed modelling they use and less time on patronising PR, they'd do a better job. Oh, and a glance out the window might help them to divine "current conditions" with a tad more accuracy.

Apple strikes back with update blocking new scareware

Barry Lane 1
IT Angle

@ ThomH

"...amongst the Mac demographic is a significant group of people with no technical grounding."

Like every pee-cee user has a degree in anything vaguely techy. Anyway, research has shown that Mac users are better-looking, smarter, richer and more fun to sleep with. Or was I only dreaming that last part?

New Mac scareware variant installs without password

Barry Lane 1

@ wil they dare?

"Open safe files" has not been a default setting for a couple of years now, plus a Mac user would have to be as dull-witted as the average MS fanbois to actually install this POS. All right, I'm just trolling you there, but there are countless people with pee-cees and Macs who happily click on anything they think looks interesting or, better still, free. Most of humankind who use a computer haven't the faintest idea what makes it tick. I drive a car, but if it went wrong and I had to fix it, I wouldn't know which end of a hammer to hit it with. You and I might be cynical and clever enough not to click on an "install trojan now" button, but there you are. Maybe we're just lucky.

I use Macs and I have Intego Virus Barrier installed on all three (no, this isn't an ad for Intego) and have done so for several years. Now that Macs are becoming so popular it is inevitable that the Russian Business Network or whoever is behind it would turn their attentions to the shiny stuff as well. They might be crooks but they're not completely stupid.

Apple seals $66bn in Jobsian wallet

Barry Lane 1
Jobs Halo

@ Robert Long 1

"plastic tat sells."

Rather beautiful aluminium and glass tat, actually. The alternative is too horrid and pedestrian to contemplate, frankly.

Stop sexing up IT and give Civil Servants Macs, says gov tech boss

Barry Lane 1
IT Angle

@ John Fielder

"Why do people who have just left a job suddenly realise what should be done?"

I imagine it's because he has gone back at a time when the government is not so concerned with "sexing up" its IT and is more worried about balancing the books. He might've been boss in his own building, but his masters were politicians who wanted to cover their own arses and look good in the apathetic eye of the public.

Apple sues Amazon over 'App Store' name

Barry Lane 1
Jobs Horns

Love Apple's computers

Hate their enthusiasm to litigate against everything that piss@s them off.

Groupon worth 'as much as $25 billion'

Barry Lane 1
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The discountless discount coupon

So my Groupon email arrives - I don't actually remember requesting one, but what the hey - and I'm about to trash it, when I see they're offering 10% off airport parking. I click through the link and I'm offered a deal to park at Stansted for exactly the same amount it costs to go direct to the cark park shark's web site.

How does that work, precisely? The only advantage would seem to be that by purchasing parking space through Groupon, I get to enrich their CEO by another couple of quid.

$25 billion? Is there a coupon I can use to get a discount on that?

Chicken Little report: Sat-nav dependency spells DISASTER!

Barry Lane 1

Tom Tom hopeless

Tried to set the sat-nav early this morning to get my wife from home to a meeting at an address in Chertsey, Surrey. The Tom Tom route planner website not only failed to recognise a perfectly ordinary address including the postcode and the magic letters "UK", but it moved Chertsey to, variously, Ireland, Germany, somewhere in California and, finally, Ottershaw, which is a mile or more away from the desired destination. Odder still, when it couldn't track down the desired address, it simply came up with one of its own, somewhere near Stuttgart, if memory serves. Google Maps nailed it immediately, mind you, so one up to them. It wasn't so long ago that both Google and Tom Tom tried to send travellers across a non-existent bridge across the railway near Polegate, East Sussex.

Anyway, my wife will be fine, because she'll stop and ask directions if she gets lost. Me, I'd just drive around the M25 until I fainted from exhaustion and lack of food, or I'd try to locate the UK head office of Tom Tom and beat their CEO to death with his crappy sat nav.

What sealed Nokia's fate?

Barry Lane 1

Too many models

Nokia's insistence that they make dozens and dozens of not-very-different models, many of them with precisely the same capabilities, is the nightmare avoided by Apple who make one chassis with a couple of variations available under the hood. Nokia's bills for design and tooling must be stratospheric. Why they never concentrated on getting a couple of forms spot on instead of going for the scatter-gun approach and making umpteen designs is a mystery to me and to many others. Fewer, better designers and a small group of the world's finest engineers working collaboratively would have produced better results, cut their overheads, improved their margins...

I still use Nokia, having discarded my 5800 XpressMusic for the POS that it is and reverted to my 6500 Slide, which is still a fine and reliable phone after all these years.

Motorola Super Bowl ad rips Apple drones

Barry Lane 1


But now that I've seen the Motorola ad, I want to rush out and buy Apple stuff.

MySpace could be someone else's space soon

Barry Lane 1

Aw, shame

Am I alone in hoping that News Corp is about to lose gerzillions through their original purchase of MySpace. Sorry for the employees, etc, but anything that stings the Murdoch Mafia is okay in my book.

Capita buys chunk of troubled NHS software firm iSoft

Barry Lane 1

Ah, Crapita

Trust Crapita to buy iSoft. After all, it all worked so well the first time.

Fanboi primer: How to move your iTunes from PC to Mac

Barry Lane 1

Ooh, an opportunity

for PC fanboiz to tell the world that they think Apple is crap. Says a lot about the PC fanboiz, frankly.

Apple to buy Sony? Good one!

Barry Lane 1

Yeah, right!

Apple has a lot of money, but wouldn't want Sony anyway - unless it wanted an instant "in" to the console market.

BTW, Apple Inc hasn't been called Apple Computer for several years.

Seagate-Steve trash for Apple-Steve flash pash

Barry Lane 1

Spinning rust?

Would that be a ferrous wheel?


Jobs' Lion to marry Mac OS X and iOS

Barry Lane 1


Yeah, but when they write the music for the commercials it'll be the king of the jingles.

Motorola sues Apple over - what else? - patents

Barry Lane 1

One way for Motorola to cure its ills

So Motorola has decided that the law is a better way to resolve its problems instead of putting a stop to making crap products that no one wants to buy. We can't be too far away from the time when patent trolls... sorry, concerned manufacturers, realise that there are greater profits to be made through the courts of East Texas than from actually designing and manufacturing stuff.

Unlike a lot of the would-be hippies at el reg, who believe that patents are just plain uncool, maaan, I understand the manufacturers' desire to protect their intellectual property and to make a few bucks from their brainchildren, but this law-festing really has got out of control. BTW, it would be interesting to learn how many of the same scrap-the-patents people would be all for any patent that they ever managed to secure for work they had done, but, I digress.

Do companies like Apple et al simply design something and then sit back and wait for the envelopes bearing that now infamous East Texas postmark to hit the doormat, or do they research what must by now be trillions of patents, many of them ridiculous, baseless and indefensible? Time for the trolls to be weeded out by a patenting system that knows what it is they are permitting patents for and that kicks the truly frivolous applications into some very long grass.

Apple wants halt to $600m patent case

Barry Lane 1


Apple stole nothing from Xerox. Xerox wanted to invest in Apple and received $1 million in shares. I have no idea if Xerox retained or sold their shares, but as the product Apple came up with was the Mac, I'm guessing that Xerox made fabulous sums.

Xerox had created some of the most revolutionary ideas for computing but promptly sat on them all for several years. Jobs & Co sought, and got, permission to take a look round and used the ideas they picked up as per their agreement with Xerox.

Apple iAds soar as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! sink

Barry Lane 1

Oh dear!

I'm afraid that you have done nothing at all to argue your corner and everything to prove that Mr or Mrs AC was absolutely right.

Office for Mac finally breaks out of Microsoft

Barry Lane 1
Gates Horns

Who'd a thought that

MS still makes an Office suite? Much as I appreciate the efforts of the Mactopia guys at Redmond or wherever they're based, the overpriced, overloaded, overhyped POS that Office has grown to become these days has no place on any of my Macs. The features missing from the latest Mac versions of MS Office don't concern me particularly, but the commercial reasons for their absence interests me more.

In the face of increasing competition from what are quite stunningly good variants of the free OpenOffice - NeoOffice, Gooo, IBM's Symphony - and Apple's own iWork suite, MS seem intent upon pissing off their Mac customers by crippling versions aimed at them.

It is with no great sadness that the last version of MS Office I bought was the last one I will ever buy. OpenOffice is a damned fine effort and works superbly well.

Critical Flash vuln under active attack, Adobe warns

Barry Lane 1
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@Then you see what, etc

Oh, do get over yourself, please.

Anyways, shouldn't you be back at school.

Apple demonstrates how to do touchscreen desktops

Barry Lane 1

Oh, come on...

With Apple's history of attracting patent trolls, is it any wonder that they'd go for a patent for this patently obvious design? I doubt they'd try to enforce it against any other company, but with this they have protected themselves from some opportunistic turd who wants to try trolling some similarly obvious tilty-screen patent in Apple's direction.

Makes sound business sense.

Treasury loony-magnet voting starts

Barry Lane 1

Are they seriously suggesting

that some poor bugger is going to wade through these umpteen thousand suggestions, some of which are indeed contributed by the mad and terminally bewildered, to include them in some kind of "vote"?

Or will they simply be used as a bit of smoke and mirrors to mask some of the unkindest cuts that our newish government is preparing to foist upon us?

Microsoft digs Macs in back-to-school ads

Barry Lane 1

@Daniel B.

"Of course, I could have a Mac, but I won't as long as Jobs is in the helm".

Yeah, like Steve Ballmer's a real angel. Right?

Apathy kills Google's new-age Wave

Barry Lane 1

Shame, really

My disabled daughter's trust manages all her day-to-day admin work via Wave, keeping trustees, family and friends in touch. The trust's regular meetings are minuted and available to everyone who has an interest in my daughter's care and wellbeing.

Sure, Wave is a bit clunky and it could do with a little streamlining here and there, but it's useful and free. Where Google is happy creating its own "Evil Empire" in some areas, it has been positively cuddly and kindly in others, and Wave will be missed greatly in this household. Not perfect, it's true, but a handy tool that has kept those involved apprised of my daughter's health and care requirements and has, to my knowledge, kept prying eyes away from confidential information.

We could use Facebook or one of several other methods of staying in touch, of course, but Wave's very obscurity has, for us at least, been one of its chief strengths.

Sad to see it go, frankly, but pleased that Google gave it a go.

Poisoned Angelina flick hits torrents

Barry Lane 1


So how are you enjoying the school holidays?

MS Office for Mac 2011 out in October

Barry Lane 1

Has Redmond even noticed

the number of versions of OpenOffice - Gooo, Neo, IBM's Symphony, etc - out there on offer for free? My Mac is now free of Microsoft product and it runs superbly well.

The latest OpenOffice (3.2.1) is a terrific bit of work and it does everything MS Office can do, but without the hassle, inconvenience, expense and crimes against the creative arts of the Redmond version.

Ballmer and Softies sacrifice sleep to catch iPad

Barry Lane 1

The question is...

not so much that Ballmer was wrong, but when has he ever been right?

Dodeca-core Apple Mac Pro coming next month

Barry Lane 1

What! No beige?

No Blu-ray, USB 3, no umpteen-port card reader or cup-holder?

Sheesh! Apple, eh?

Mac sales tripled since 2005

Barry Lane 1


"Mac users by definition have no ability to think on their own, so they follow the ideas of the herd"

It's odd, because when I look at the Windows market, all I see is countless sheep who go out and unquestioningly buy beige. Why do you all do that?

Some kind of hive-mind at work?

BBC chief acknowledges DAB flop & internet radio

Barry Lane 1

I would have bought a DAB radio

earlier than I did if they hadn't cost so damned much. As a terminal insomniac I spend a lot of the night listening to Radio 4, then BBC World Service, then Radio 4 again when it returns in the morning. My FM radio's hiss-filled reception was pretty crappy, until Tesco started selling off a bunch of DAB radios for sensible money. I got mine for £18, which was better than the seventy or eighty quid they used to ask for this kind of thing.

Why DAB radio is so much more expensive than freeview boxes that also come armed with DAB radio and cost about fifteen quid a throw, is beyond me.

Beware of cold call scammers pushing rogue antivirus

Barry Lane 1

Hadn't had a call

from these buggers for a few weeks, until last Friday. Usual, Indian or Pakistani-sounding accent, told me he was calling about my computer. I checked later on the TOPS site that I was still listed as not wanting cretinous cold-calling dingbats on my telephone line, trying to sell me malware, stone cladding or double glazing, so I can only imagine that these scammers are not registered as a legitimate business in the UK. Not registered anywhere, I suppose, unless Ankh Morpork has a Scammers Guild.

The first time I had a call from anyone telling me that my computer was emitting bad vibes - not quite what he said but it'll have to do - I asked the guy what evidence he had. He told me that my PC was badly infected and that his company could trace this through the miracles of the Vorld Vide Veb. He then went on to prove that not only was he a terribly bad liar, but that he knew nothing whatsoever about computing. I'm rarely rude to anyone over the phone, excepting my wife, of course, but I did tell him that I thought he ought to go out and find a proper job when I told him that I use a Mac and he asked me which version of Vindows I was running.

Anyway, it's all very well Reg readers being all smug and clever with these shysters, what happens when they call your mum or your granny and tell them that their PCs are rich in malware? I've warned my wife's parents about these callers but if they got a call from someone sounding even vaguely professional who told them that their Dell had a dose of something whiffy, they'd probably listen and go through the motions as requested by these crooks.

Apple, AT&T slapped with iPhone 4 lawsuit

Barry Lane 1

I only know two iPhone 4 customers

and they don't have any problems with them at all. Perhaps I need friends who are more feisty.

Or who don't know how to use a bloody mobile phone properly.

Inevitable Mac OS X 10.6.4 update problems surface

Barry Lane 1

@Frank 6

From the tone of your rant I'd say you are typing it on a Packard Bell. Apple "still has problems with each and every update"? Who are you really: Steve Ballmer? Let's pretend for a moment that you ever even saw a Mac, let alone owned or even used one: what problems did you have with updates? Oh, sure, a machine running crap fonts or some piece of naff warez falls over occasionally. Big deal, frankly.

Most of us folks who got sick and tired of Windows and moved to a platform with more stability, not to mention a UI that looked like it was designed by people with some interest in aesthetics, have never had a problem with a single update. There will always be clashes between third party stuff and a manufacturer's own product, of course, but these are few and far between.

If you really do have a Mac I think you should perhaps check it over, run the Disk Utility and buy a copy of Disk Warrior. Do a fresh install of the OS if you feel the urge. I have just updated three Macs and they are working perfectly as per usual. So there!

Mac OS X cranked to 10.6.4

Barry Lane 1
Jobs Halo

@Matthew 17:


Microsoft throws Office 2010 at shoppers

Barry Lane 1
Thumb Up

IBM Symphony is free, too

Downloaded Symphony a couple of days ago from IBM - it's their take on OpenOffice, apparently - and it's really rather pretty, although I haven't had a chance yet to check it out for compatibility with MS. On my new Mac I was still able to use Office X, which must be ten years old, thanks to XML Converter to handle the newer docx files.

Microsoft's fondness for selling its bloated software at stupidly high prices has brought about its own semi-demise, thanks to Sun et al in support of the open source approach. If these projects will continue to thrive once MS accepts that it has eaten itself, Office-wise, we'll have to wait and see, of course.

For now, Symphony will probably do rather nicely.

Apple revamps Mac Mini as skinny HDMI box

Barry Lane 1

@ Miek

"All the useful interface ports located at the rear"

Where they should be. D'uh!

Fanbois howl over 'hang a lot' Safari 5

Barry Lane 1

@AC But but but


Safari 5 off to Apple's traditional rough start

Barry Lane 1
Thumb Up

Yup, working here too

Using Safari 5 with no problems. Seems pretty smooth and fast. Browser of choice, etc, ya-de-yah...

Steve Jobs unveils iPhone 4

Barry Lane 1


Who cares? Worldwide? Couple of dozen million people, at a guess.

iPad apps may need to be disabled-accessible

Barry Lane 1


Cooler than you and your friend Butthead. Butthead!

Steve Jobs fears Nation of Bloggers

Barry Lane 1

@AC: "Steve!!"

Those "shiny toys" of which you write form the foundation for your next PC and its OS. As a PC user you're second in line for everything you use. How come you don't know this?

Mac spyware infiltrates popular download sites

Barry Lane 1

@Barry Lane 1

Hi Dan 55.

I know they're not antivirus apps, but I do know that my Intego VirusBarrier is. I was simply suggesting that most people's problem with Macs stems from no one telling them where their copy of the Disk Utility is stored.

I always have my trusty Disk Warrior with me, too, as an additional guarantee (for want of a better word) of Mac loveliness.

Barry Lane 1

@Trevor Pott

If you get one more worm-ridden Mac? Is that what you tell your customers, that their Macs are riddled with malware? Sounds like you should simply point them towards the Disk Utility or Disk Warrior.

Some of us Mac types who don't like passing on any nasty surprises they receive from their PC drone colleagues, have been using anti-virus software for years. We are not smug, we are not naive and we do not buy computers that have to be tinkered with endlessly to make them work properly.

That is all.

iPads may be outselling Macs two to one

Barry Lane 1

@ Giles Jones

I visited an insurance company in Dorset a couple of weeks back and they had iMacs of several vintages around the place. The boss and his secretary both had new 27-inch jobbies - ooh, matron! - on their desks and there was a 17-inch Macbook Pro as well as a G5 iMac on another desk. The secretary told me the boss bought them because he was fed up with Windows, wanted something prettier than beige boxes in the offices and liked the additional security the Macs brought with them. The boss has Macs at home, too, apparently.

As for people nicking them, I guess they had that likelihood covered, it being an insurance company.

A beer because it's Friday.

Adobe declares 'LOVE' for Apple

Barry Lane 1

@Mark 65

I'd have more sympathy for Adobe if their software was more reliable and didn't cost a squillion quid to buy. I stopped upgrading after CS3, when prices went stratospheric. Flash had for a long time been the only little local difficulty on my Mac, but now Illustrator needs restarting a couple of times a day.

Is Corel still in business with Mac apps?

Adobe plots rebound with latest Creative Suite

Barry Lane 1
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Too expensive

I used to try to upgrade my Adobe stuff regularly but it became too expensive. I had considered buying CS4 but the upgrade package was over £600. Looks like I might be giving CS5 a miss, too.