* Posts by Richard

156 publicly visible posts • joined 11 May 2007


Acer Aspire One D250


laptots/notbooks must be under £250 for 9" or under £300 for 12"

These manufacturers appear to have forgotten why the Aspire One and EEEPC 7xx sold so well .. SCC ... Small and Cheap Computers.

Sony takes on iPod Touch with Walkman X


@Ok it doesn't have a web browser but I didn't see the point in it on an mp3 player

Because its not just an mp3 player .. its a PMP and you might just want to be able to stream video to it, use it as a remote control (for your big hi-fi / tv /PC), send and receive email on it and checkout your favourite RSS feed (or twitter if you are dumb) .. oh and read The Register whilst out and about.

I have an ipod touch and a smartphone as a cheap iphone combo with some wifi <-> 3G routing software .... I'll upgrade to a new iphone next month if it comes out as the ipod touch experience has been excellent.

I've always wanted ubiquitous computing and the iphone / ipod touch are the closest thing to it that I've found over the last 30 years of computing. A single, multi-use device which is always connected to the Internet and can also play music at the same time and a superb user interface and excellent software that works.

Currently the ipod touch is my favourite gadget of all time and I have had quite a few over 42 years 8-)

Netbook demand dropped 26% in Q1



So, demand for a consumer device fell after the Christmas buying period .. wot a surprise.

OpenOffice 3.1 ready to lick Microsoft's suite?


@Size of spreadsheets?

OMG! Scientific computing using Excel and 1 million rows/column ... I fear for the world.

Also, have to agree with the other Richard .. first rule of UI design is definitely do not surprise the user (learnt that whilst doing a PhD in UI design tools 20 years ago and it has not changed since then 8-).

Personally I hate Word and Powerpoint ... Word because it has taken the simple process of page markup and bastardised it with overloaded functions and Powerpoint because ... well ... I've suffered too much of "death by powerpoint" and wish it would die die die.

I'll stick with the Google Docs spreadsheet app and notepad 8-) on Windows and vi (vee eye) and LaTeX on Real (tm) operating systems [*BSD (the one true Unix) and by extension OSX].

Skinn-Eee Asus out next week


Nice ... but ..

Make it under £300 and it will fly off the shelves ... at £380 and people will be waiting to see what else comes out that's cheaper and similar.

The "small, cheap" genre is being pushed quite a bit here and it will be interesting to see the breakdown of where the sweet point is for both buyers and vendors ... what's the average selling price and what's the average spec being bought? (yeah and it will be Windows XP as the OS as MS have done their usual "give away pricing" to lock the vendors in).

Apple buying Twitter!


@Um.. are they going to rename it "Apple Fritter" ?

Nope .. www.applefritter.com is already taken.

This has got to be a non-story ... unless Apple have an incredible plan, this would just be a nonsense buy. Apple know how to make money ... Web 2.0 does not make real money.

Apple could easily provide Twitter like functionality from its mobileme platform .. hell anyone can do it with an Apache webserver and some PHP code.

Oh course, someone should buy it (for 50p) and then shut it down.

Apple drives iPhone app developers to the brink


@[cr]App store

I go for cock-up before conspiracy every time.

Do not underestimate the types of cock-ups that can happen with setting up and running money transfers. It would not surprise me at all if there has been a collection of different human induced cock-ups and lack of clarity in filling in forms or things in the "Real World" changing (like banks failing or merging) which cause these problems.

22 emails in 2 days would usually get them placed at the back of the queue .. not everyone jumps because someone shouts louder ... now where did I place my Bumber Book of Bureaucracy?

HTC Touch Diamond 2


@HTC's Touch Diamond 2: uses Windows Mobile, but it's well hidden

Yeah, just don't click on the "Start" button at the top 8-)

Waiting for 3rd iteration of iphone before I decide ... although anything running Windows has to be at the bottom of the list from my ... damn must reset it ... experience.

ACT backs Microsoft in Brussels' IE legal spat


"Microsoft - commmited to open source"

Yes but as every page of The Register tells us ... "Microsoft - commmited to open source" (SIC)

So that is alright then.

Start-up Bee pledges 'affordable' British e-car


Assumptions ..

Assuming that they start cranking these out by 2011 and that the price holds true and that the government subsidy actually arrives (and without onerous T&Cs) ... then I would be in the market for one to replace a (by then) 15 year old ford fiesta as my 4-person carrying "occasional" second car.

Its good to hear they are thinking about the whole lifecycle of the car and could get good revenue from getting involved in the charging and maintence bits .. maybe also bringing down the upfront cost !

Being an English pessimist though I think these are widely big assumptions and that I will have to end up with a second-hand petrol/diesel tank with 4 wheels instead 8-(

Now if Smart had a commerical leccy car (at a reasonable price) and an option to have room for 3 people then I'd upgrade my fortwo instead 8-)

Brutish SSH attacks continue to bear fruit



I actually meant don't use passwords as the single-factor remote authentication method, i.e. passing username and password over the network. The keys or certificates should be handled properly using a strong password to protect the private key anyway .. that is best practice.

If someone keeps their private keys on a server without password protection of the keys then its the 2-factor equivalent of .rhosts ... and yes if you can compromise one machine, you can compromise them all.

Of course, you run sshd on a non-standard port as well, turn off any support for SSHv1 as well and ensure your server key is at least 1024 bits long.


Rule number one ...

.. is actually, if you don't use it, completely remove it.

SSH is easy to fix .. use keys (or certificates) and not passwords .. remember to turn the passwords option off in the sshd config.

MS blames non-Redmond apps for security woes



Actually, I was reading said tome earlier today (coz I work in Security and have to 8-) and it has some interesting quotes in it ...

"In 2H08, Microsoft released 42 security bulletins that addressed 97 individual vulnerabilities identified on the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) list, a 67.2 percent increase over the number of vulnerabilities addressed in 1H08. For the full year of 2008, Microsoft released 78 security bulletins addressing 155 vulnerabilities, a 16.8 percent increase over 2007." (page 8)

which to me reads different to the journalist spin in this article, in that Microsoft software still has a lot of underlying issues. I suspect the low number of Vista specific vulnerabilities might be due to lack of focus on it as its essentially an OS lying on the street and people are stepping over it to reach XP.

Plus ...

"To facilitate analysis of core operating system vulnerabilities, Microsoft researchers devised a model by which all disclosed vulnerabilities affecting core components of Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, proprietary Unix systems, or the Linux kernel were classified as operating system vulnerabilities, with everything else classified as application vulnerabilities.

Using this model, programs like media players are considered application vulnerabilities, as are Linux components like the X Window System, the GNOME desktop environment, and others." (page 30)

which actually means they are trying to measure like for like and not spinning it to say Linux = everything that runs on it.

There are other interesting things in the 183 pages, including good descriptions of how "drive-by" hacks work and why it is increasing and the difficulties of reducing social engineering based attacks.

I'm no Microsoft fan and there maybesome possibly dodgy stats in those pages but it does appear to be a good piece of research overall. I just wish Apple were as open ! (some hope and I'm an Apple fan 8-)

Apple updates full desktop Mac line-up


Mini not so expensive really ..

Compare the specs, like for like with the previous generation ... e.g.



and with the much faster memory, faster and better - but still integrated - graphics, FW800, extra usb, 13 watts when idle .. you get a significant amount for an extra tenner ... and if you have an employers' discount or student discount you can get it for £469.20 direct from Apple with free delivery.

My first gen Mini has done very good service as a PVR and media centre ... now it needs an upgrade to fully drive my 1080p HDTV. So finally after months of waiting I'm off to the Apple online store for a discounted upgrade for me ...

AMD aims CPUs at 10in SCCs


To be a netbook it should be a cheap version of a Psion netbook ..

So it should be very small and easy to handle, use a slowish processor, use flash memory for storage, wireless networking (Psion used a plug-in pcmcia card) and use a mobile oriented OS that is not bloated Windows.

If Psion took their original netbook/7 design and upgraded the ARM processor, memory and display, put wireless and usb on board and stuck ubuntu netbook-remix on it then it would be extremely good and if it was the same build quality as the original then I would upgrade mine to a new version straight away 7-)

Samsung NC10 netbook


I'll stick with my Aspire One thanks ..

The AAO has a very low starting price and adding a £50 7-8 hour battery gets you a very nice unit .. the extended battery also makes the unit easier to hold and less likely to topple over. I've put in extra 1 Gig RAM (£10) and a 16 Gig SD card (£20) in to compliment the on-board 8 Gig SD and it runs OSX like a dream. £10/month Three 3G dongle and you're off.

Whilst the Samsung is okay .. it is just not worth the price and hence fails the SCC test for me. If you are going for a 10 inch screen then at least up the resolution to 1280 x 800 pleeeeze.

My next SCC upgrade would be for a £250 Acer or ASUS with swivel touch screen and 16 Gb SD and 3G connectivity built-in .. by the end of the year is my guess. There is still lots of money to be had in the CHEAP netbook market (I can say netbook because I still have my upgraded Psion 7 8-).

I really don't see the point of trundling around with more than a few gigs of files (you can get a lot of DVD quality video on SD cards these days) .. a lot less data to lose if everything else is online.

HP iPaq Data Messenger Windows Mobile smartphone


Not an iPhone "killer" then?

.. oh its running Winblows, of course not ... excuse me whilst I reboot my Samsung SGH-i600 dumbphone with WM6 on it because it has hung again .. happens 2 -3 times a day ... good job I only really use it as a wifi <-> 3G gateway for my ipod touch otherwise I might be more upset 8-)

Microsoft goes retail with own shops


Free whitepaper: A Practical Guide To Disaster Recovery Planning

Is the "paid for" link surrounding this article a hint to MS per chance?

MS are good at wasting money on stuff ... let them burn more.

I suspect the shops will get raided by Linux touting hackers who will reboot all the machines and put Hardy Heron etc on them or even better a Google OS 8-)

To paraphrase Mr Dell .. "best thing for MS shareholders would be if they shut up shop and give all the money back" .. oh wait, he got that wrong before.

Geeks.com settles charges claiming its security was crap


@Then why do the authorisation services _let_ you connect to them without using SSL or similar?

Could it be because SSL is just used for transport security of insecure data .. whereas transactions could be digitally-signed and encrypted as the content of traffic, e.g. signed SOAP over HTTP ?? SSL would give extra security against proxy or MiM attacks but for these financial transactions I would hope that each transaction is separately protected from both alteration (e.g. signing with SHA1 or better, using public key certificates) and eavesdropping (AES/3-DES encryption using public key certificates) rather than just relying on end-point transport layer security.

PCI-DSS does require all access to data is secured (e.g. SSL, edge firewalls, RBAC) and that the card holder data (PAN) is held on servers in encrypted form and then only as long as is strictly necessary. If transactions are transferred in their encrypted form then I can see how easy it would be decrypt them in memory only when necessary and keep them in the databases secured.

Apple banishes Macs to old folks home


oh dear, how sad, never mind ... some people have bad luck 8-)

I've still got 4 working G3 iMacs including an original OS9 233Mhz, a G4 Cube (superb machine), mirror door G4 dual cpu powermac (makes a fine server), G4 mac mini (makes a fine DVR with EyeTV .. will upgrade when the newly expected revision finally comes out for 1080p crispness), G5 iMac, white G3 800Mhz iBook (Apple replaced the motherboard 2 years after warranty expired due to GPU overheating issue .. still going strong today though), clamshell G3 (still a great little wireless browser machine even without a working battery) and 1st gen black intel Macbook (works too well with Leopard to justify an upgrade to core 2 version and a free copy of crossover lets me run a couple of windows only apps).

I've never bothered to replace the internal batteries .. don't see the point, they boot fine without and NTP keeps the clocks in sync. Only had one Apple hard drive failure, one EMP fried ethernet port (nearby lightning strike which also killed a router and switch) and a stick of dodgy non-Apple memory. Lots of other failures on non-Apple machines though. So after many years of happy service I see no problem with either Apple hardware or continuing to run 'unsupported' machines on old software.

Recently got an 8G Acer Aspire One running as a Leopard hackintosh .. just wish Apple would release a netbook as the form factor is perfect for mobile work. I guess that all makes me an Apple fan although after almost 30 years of small and big computing I'm less of a boi 8-)

Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree


A market for lead/foil lined wallets?

I can see the new wallets and handbags being sold on eBay and QVC .. thats in addition to the tin foil beanie hats of course (seen the latest beanie hat with built in headphones?).

Addonics NASU2 micro USB NAS adaptor


@@gigabit ethernet

USB2 (480Mbits/s) surely? Even though USB2 is crap compared to Firewall 400/800 for sustained throughput I've seen up to 30MBytes/s throughput via USB2 directly (not hub) connected drives (IDE and SATA2) ... so having Gigabit (=<~200 MBytes/s full duplex?) would be reasonable for USB2 drives and even better if Firewall was also an option.

The limitation of FAT32 and not even NTFS is pants though .. backwards compatible unless you want files bigger than 4GB? ... so a bit rubbish as a media server for video. FAT32 is not unusual for low-end NAS devices though.

Hopefully these are little Linux firmware boxes which can be hacked to provide some better protocols ... like NFS 8-)

Wi-Fi comes to school buses


Nice idea .. wish they had it when I were a lad

The "Red Arrow" bus service which runs between Chesterfield and Derby/Nottingham recently added a free Internet wifi service to its fleet ... and I sometimes glimpse it on my wifi radar as it "speeds" past in the traffic 8-)

How the Google stole Christmas


@Kill all ads? Excellent plan. You'll give me and my colleagues a job, then? Cool.

I thought you all did it for the kudos not the dosh?

Ads are one thing but what upsets most people is the <blink>IN YOUR FACE</blink> <popup>CLICK ME<popup> <yet again>FILL IN OUR SURVEY?</yet again> type annoyances that ad blocks / no scripts remove ... just try viewing The Register with blockers ON and OFF and see which you find easiest to read.

Ads are by their nature intrusive, designed to mentally trip <blipvert/> you up and for the witty/sarcastic readers of your witty/sarcastic news site .. then we are indeed biting the hand that feeds (us) IT (news) 8-)

Personally I like the google type ads (when I allow them to be shown) and will randomly click on them to support a site ... what I don't like is <chew-cpu>FLASH</chew-cpu> and <annoy>POP-UP and FLOAT</annoy> type adverts that are deliberately intrusive .. it puts my back up and I will go out of my way to avoid them even if it means attacking one's primary olfactory entry point with kitchen implement. 1/2 8-)

Iomega slims down, bulks up portable drives


who needs hardware encryption these days

On a OSX Mac you can either run the cross-platform TrueCrypt OSS or just create (using Disk Utility) a disk sized .dmg with 128 or 256-bit AES encryption turned on. Works with any hard drive you care to mention and SD cards, CDs, DVDs and even over network shares (data is encrypted/decrypted at client end so it always encrypted across the network).

Sony Vaio P netbook taken for a spin


900 dollars!

oh poop.

Gorgeous machine and really good specs for a netbook but its just a shame about the price ... actually considering the 3G option then it might be worth a punt on a £40/month carrier subscription if it came "free".

Asus demos touchscreen Eee


Judging by recent Asus prices this one will be too expensive.

Looking at the extras you can do to yourself then anything more than £275 and its too much. Acer have the upper hand on pricing at the moment so unless Asus undercut them then I expect to see Acer do this to their Aspire One (which makes a great Hackintosh by the way 8-)

Deception of 'up to' broadband speeds exposed


Currently not too bad ... waiting for 21CN

Judging by the average I'm doing quite well getting between 2.5 and 3.5 Mb/s most of the time (plusnet estimate it at 2 Mb/s) ... I'm a fair few miles from the exchange but things did improve when I replaced the front of the BT master socket with one with a built-in filter ... got an extra few db which helped stabilize my line.

I'm now waiting for the ADSL2+ WBC upgrade for the 21st Century network to hit my exchange and according to BT that will be on 31st March 2011 .. yeah only 27 months away by which time what will the average French or German BB speed be?

Ah well I'll have to be patient again ... there is a cable box (diamond cable as was) 300 or so feet from my house and was laid 7 years ago and has never been lit up .. but you never know .. oh wait there is a recession 8-(

Nokia reveals Tube's UK launch date


@it'll be interesting to see what happens when it hits the streets.@

Probably bounce or smash I guess. Might need a good stamping on to finish it off though.

Of course there is only one way to find out it is better than an iphone ..... FIGHT

Gov beta test for grid-friendly, carbon-saving smart fridges


@Think big...

Would be nice ... they could pay back all the hundreds of millions they owe us 8-)

Apple tells Mac users: Get anti-virus


@James O'Brien

@ Hell even M$ is faster in this aspect then Apple. Isnt there STILL a security vuln in Safari that has been around and known of for atleast a year or more now? @

Yeah, whatever ... how about the freshly painted MS08-068 then ... MS "finally" fixing a 7 year old SMB vulnerability (see http://www.xfocus.net/articles/200305/smbrelay.html).

Windows overuse of RPC, multiple system-level APIs accessible over network connections (remember Back Orifice 8-) and overly complex security rights/permissions have led to years of these holes cropping up.

I certainly find it much easier to lock down Unix based systems because of its inherent modularity.

Apple to slash prices by up to 15% on Black Friday?


unlikely if NZ and AU stores are to be followed

According to the New Zealand and Australian Apple web stores then the discounts are similar to the Black Friday last year .. not great .. similar to the discounts most people can get if they buy as or for a student. Oh well ... by the time this gets moderated I guess we will actually know in the UK and US 8-)

Vuzix iWear AV230 XL video glasses


Agree with Danny

Had mine (the widescreen(!) £150 version) for a few days but they are going back tomorrow. The build quality is actually very good and I can put up with the low res screens BUT the optics do cause a big problem for me ... I get to see one screen perfectly but then the other one is dreadful (it appears to have a width of vision of about 5 degrees from centre on!) ... could be my eyes being not exactly the same width apart as the original designers 8-).

Yes you can use them with or without glasses ... I had to keep my glasses on because the built in focal adjust does not go far enough for me.

If they could up the resolution somewhat ... 1024 x 768 would be great ... and get the optics sorted out I would easily buy one again. Until then I'll just hold my iPod touch 10 inches away from my head instead (I can feel a headband attachment for the touch coming on 8-)

Asus Eee PC S101 luxury netbook


My wife would have it ...

... because its brown and she loves brown and green things 8-)

If the Acer Aspire One had their Golden Brown version available in the UK I would have bought that .. instead I have a £180 AAO 110-Aw + £50 7-8 hour battery (oh yeah that's more like it) + £10 extra 1Gig memory + £10 extra 16Gb SDHC + £5/month for 1Gig of Three 3G mobile Intertread.

And if I want it in Brown .. well I'd get a gell skin (fablon / SBP to you 8-)

Actually its going to undergo a colour transformation at some point so that the hackintosh Apple logo appears on the lid (and maybe even glows 8-) .. yep OSX is very nice on the AAO (just don't put the lid down - yet!)

For cheap, cute and useable ... Acer Aspire One is still the best.

For ultimate loveliness and portability in an S(c)C then maybe try the HP Mini 1000.

Royal Society of Chemistry defines perfect Yorkshire pud



I prefer to use the batter mix for pancakes ... mmm pancakes .. with brown sugar, lemon juice and ice cream ... mmm pancakes mmmm ....


dribbles on keyboard

Tragic Twitterers tweet goodbye to family life


Thought about blogging and twittering but too busy with Real Life (tm) to get 'round to it.

Seriously, the closest I get to blogittering is posting comments here and that's sad enough for me.

iPod cans menace pacemakers


cheap marketing trick from The Register

Mentioning iPod when its about ANY headphones regardless of what they are plugged in to ... in fact they probably don't even need to be plugged to cause the effect!

tut tut .. trying to drive page views.

T-Mobile Googlephone to hit UK in two weeks


This is a bad mock up surely?

I mean who would take a touchscreen phone and glue an 90's retro style bunch of buttons on the bottom? Yuck.

It makes my 2nd hand Samsung blackjack look positively gorgeous (hint: it is not and it runs Winblows Mobile [between hangs that is]).

Gooiephones only saving grace might be the software but at that price just buy an iphone and develop for that.

MacBook range revamp snippets slip out



I think this is more of an American "show your emotions" kind of thing, not specific to Mac "fans" ... just look at some of Microsoft's developer conference videos! "We have Word" (yeah yeah yeah) "We have SQL Server" (woohoo yeah baby!)

We are more reserved in the UK 8-)

McCain laptop theft sparks conspiracy theories


@Typical burglars steal many things all at once.

Surely a typical burglar would steal only that which they can easily run away with and fence?

This sounds like an opportunist theft rather than anything else.

I believe in Cock-up before Conspiracy, as that is the modus operandi of most humans.

Humans who cannot lock laptops away at night or who cannot encrypt them or who cannot keep them out of plain view or etc etc

EU battery rule may zap iPhone, blow away MacBook Air



If the battery fails during the warranty Apple will replace it free of charge (assuming you've not bashed it with a hammer etc). If the battery fails outside of warranty you can obviously change it yourself or pay Apple to change it for you .... see


looks like good customer service from Apple again.


4 to 8 years is a long time in electronics ...

Another EU commission non-story ... in 4 to 8 years time these devices might easily be run on hydrogen fuel cells which won't need replacing.

I'd rather have an elegant device which can have its battery replaced professionally by the vendor for a reasonable price than something which is so easy to take apart, break bits off and has bad internal connectors which disconnects at the slightest jog.

Dell UK releases Ubuntu netbook but favours Windows


... or Dell are over pricing the Linux version ..

£269 for Linux + 8Gig + 1Gb ... hmm, compared with Acer Aspire One at between £198 - £219 for the same spec with Linux minus 512Meg .. I think I'd rather go for the Acer and spend the difference on a 6-cell battery (seen for £50). An extra 512Meg of RAM is very cheap to source and not worth the £50 difference.

Carphone Warehouse Webbook


@Ian Watkinson

£269 is for the 1Gb RAM, 120 Gb disk with Windows XP version.

Try sorting by price and you'll see the A110L @ £198

£5 "new catalogue" discount and free delivery to a local store.

Tesco Direct, just like the Argos they are trying to emulate shows items sorted with the most expensive at the top!


Not as cheap as £193 + £5 per month though.

I've just bought an Acer Aspire One for £193 from Tesco (inc £5 discount) and have a Three 3G modem with 1G/month at £5/month ... that's just £13/month over 24 months!

The webbook is underpowered and too heavy and too big compared to the Acer.

The only thing that limits the Acer ... as does just about every other SCC at the moment ... is the tiddly battery ... however as the Acer is soo cheap then when the 6-cell batteries become readily available I can easily afford to upgrade it and have a 3-cell spare 8-)

Apple 2G iPod Touch


@WPA/WPA2 support

Mmm, seems to support WPA/WPA2 and WPA/WPA2 Enterprise with version 2.x of the OS that comes with the new touch.

It appears to have support for client certificates and checking of server certificates, enterprise authentication etc.

WPA/WPA2 certainly works at home 8-) Each wireless connection can save its own configuration settings and it will automatically switched between different known wifi networks with no issues (that I have seen anyway!).


@Sound quality

Sound quality is highly subjective. Unless, in the review, a scientific measurement is taken, under controlled conditions and repeatable with different devices then I don't see it would mean much in such a review.

One man's music is anothers rap, d&b, Kylie or Verdi .. difficult to measure objectively. If you want to know how good/bad/indifferent things sound then try them out yourself.


@But can it use eBooks?

Yes, a number of ebook readers can be downloaded from the AppStore. eReader and Stanza are two good free ones.

@ Or AvantGo (or similar) offline web browser?

Instapaper Free does this for any web page.

@Can I put (micro/mini) SD cards (with my music on) in it?

Nope, all ipods are sealed units .. you want more memory buy a bigger one or stream it online from a server 8-)

@I'm not asking for it to be a universal remote control (yet) but it would be nice to at least be able to do what my Palm can.

Remote control of itunes works brilliantly. There is a remote mouse for desktops called SnatchTest which I am about to try out. There are SSH clients for remote server management and I think I've seen a remote control for some home automation stuff as well. Plus there are free RDP and VNC clients for full remote control of PCs etc. There is no IR so no TV remotes although it could control a media centre through wifi 8-)


Definitely a great platform

For the last 20 years I've been looking for a mobile computing platform that can stay with me all the time and I can use for real things. I've gone through a Z88 (wrote a PhD thesis using one 8-), Palm III, Palm IIIc, Sharp Zaurus, WinCE PDA/GPS, Newton, Psion 3, Psion 7, EEE701, Acer AO etc. Each one was good for something and bad for lots of other things; nothing quite hit the sweet spot for me, until the iPod touch that is.

The touch is simply a great platform for ulta-mobile computing. Its essentially an iphone-lite and for those of us not willing to spend the cash for carrier lock-in it mostly "just works" ... I say mostly because even with version 2.1 of the OS there are some stability issues with Safari (although the 2.0.x DRM issues have gone away).

It is excellent to use as an internet browser and the mail client is not at all bad, the free games and utils are good and I've bought a few things but nothing more than £5.99. I use it everyday even though I have more pdas/laptops/netbooks/desktops than you can shake a particularly large stick at .. the form and function is just great.

I bought a touch and a cheap wifi/bluetooth/3G phone and have paired them and it works great and much cheaper to run than an iphone.

I'd love the touch to have bluetooth so that it could be paired with most 3G phones and also with standalone GPS units ... then you can mix and match connectivity and functions based on your needs without having to buy an iphone.

Of prime importance is battery life .. I'd rather have a thicker unit but double the battery life ... either that or make the iphone carrier free for less than £400.

Apple grabs double-digit US laptop marketshare


@Geeks buy Macs

Absolutely. I would not touch a Mac prior to OS X .. now because it is Unix based and a simply superb GUI, it is a joy to use and program. Apple kit is also very stylish and it's only recently that other manufacturers are beginning to understand that consumers don't want clunky looking boxes of bricks ... style does sell as well.

Linux/BSD/GNU is pretty good these days as well [typing this on an Acer Aspire One with a new Ubuntu installation 8-]

Having been in computing nearly 30 years I have no problem in recommending OS X for novice and expert users.