* Posts by tanj666

39 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jan 2010

EC tells Euro rebels: Hike up your ebook tax to 15%, or else


Scrap VAT, Scrap the EU and tell the whole lot of the money/time/space wasters to go away (this polite version took three attempts to get rid of the profanity)

The Dragon 32 is 30


My second micro...

I had one of these way back when...

During launch week, unemployed as I was, I spent a lot of time in the local Boots store where I quite happily explained to potential purchasers the differences between the Dragon and the Spectrum et al. Despite helping them to sell loads, they offered me no discount nor a job, so I bought mine elsewhere a few weeks later.

Eventually I added a floppy drive to mine and transferred my games tapes to run from disk.

After many years of faithful service it was put into the loft. When retrieved about 10 years ago I discovered that it no longer powered up. The PSU was fine, the cables were fine, but the mobo had died quietly in its sleep.

Such an ignominious end to a fine machine.

Snigger joke warning - You could have SEX with a Dragon but not with a Spectrum. SEX was the nmemonic motorola introduced to extend the sign bit of a byte from 8 bits to 16 bits - Sign EXtend.

Blizzard faces court battle for 'misleading Diablo III fans'


No such thing as constant connection is there?

I bought this game. Eventually I couldn't stop myself. I'd loved 1 and 2.

But the internet connection requirement is worse than just a pain. It's plain awful and stupid. The game jitters and jerks about a lot, constantly jumping back to previous places. It's very, very annoying.

Why the heck did blizzard spoil the game by making the single player need an internet connection anyway?

It's also very short lived. For me, it lasted just over a month of occasional playing. I expected more.

It's also very very repetitive, the map outlines are the same each time, the locations of dungeons are in the same few places each time.

Can I get my money back now?

'Unfair' tariff tweaks yield networks £90m


Long contracts make this very unfair

Now that most companies are tying customers into two-year contracts, this is a particularly loathsome trick. I've been with my current provider for quite a few years and I have multiple contracts with them. I think it might be time to switch some of them off if this devious underhand practice is what they do to such long term customers..

Blizzard coughs to boring Diablo III conclusion


Not a unique game every time by any means

I've had this game for about a month. Played it lots, obviously.

While its a good extension to D2, in it's own right it's not enough given its development time.

The location maps are the same every game - something that bored me to tears with Titan Quest. Yes the names of the bosses change a little, sometimes. Yes, the location of extra quests can change a little, sometimes.

Overall though, I'm already getting bored of it and thinking of returning to Torchlight which is at time a lot more fun.

Oh, and what are these unique items? Never seen one yet.

Computer nostalgia is 10 PRINT 'BOLLOCKS'


Baggage Handler to computer journalist ...

So from doing something useful to a chance to rant about stuff you nothing about eh?

Amazing how you profess such deep meaningful feelings and extensive knowledge about things you never actually owned?

The old ZX81 had a mere 768 bytes of useable memory and yet was fully programmable with that. We learned to write very lean code in that small a space. Something modern bloatware could learn from.

I've always felt that to be allowed to express an opinion in such a public forum as this, a person really should have studied the subject rather than just ranting into the ether.

Twelve... classic 1980s 8-bit micros


That was pure nostalgia for me

I had already experienced some computer programming by the time the ZX81 was launched - in COBOL of all things. But for 18th birthday I was given a ZX81. I loved it. It too me about two weeks to exhaust the BASIC programming capabilities of the 1K machine. And I never looked back.

Over the years I had an Atom, an Oric Atmos, a Lynx, a Dragon32, a Z88, an Amiga, I even had a couple of the MSX machines for a while.

But the ZX81 was always my first love.

Like most schoolboys, I won't be revisiting this old love though, my finger ends couldn't take the pain of the keyboard now (he says using an android tablet).

Sony: UK ebook shop open for business


... additional

Still not found anything cheaper or even same price on sony store

extra gripes have arisen though ...

The web pages give very little feedback and the buttons are not very responsive at all.

For instance, the pages need the buttons to be clicked to turn not a swipe of the screen and these are the on screen buttons at that!

I also have a slightly older PRS-350 - small 5 inch touch screen reader. So all the new T1 has really is a bigger touch screen over the 350. Hell, I could have simply got a 650 for that!



OK, I have both a Kindle and a T1. This was to avoid paying top dollar by being restricted to single stores.

Big fail. For example, Neal Asher's The Departure - Sony price £10.19, Kindle price £5.03

That's not a VAT rate difference, it's just rank profiteering!

The new reader store is simply a web page. It has none of the slickness of either the normal T1 book reader interface or even of decent android browsers.

The search is clunky, text input is appalling, navigation is pathetic.

Getting books from Kobo isn't brilliant compared to Kindle books, but it's a lot better than this rubbish system!

Is this really the best Sony can do? Did they really sit down and all agree that this product was *finally* ready to launch? Jeez I hope they can improve this. They'll have to.

UK government says no to turbo e-bike


Govt can't keep the pace?

I think our precious government is just jealous of the speed that this assisted bike would be able to port people about at. These people would not be buying petrol/diesel for cars then and the govt would be losing revenue, while people were actually getting on with things.

The future of the fondleslab belongs to the Fire


when 7 inch is enough

I have had an original Galaxy Tab for the past year, 7 inches of pure brilliance. I can carry it about without the need for a big bag, it's small enough to escape undue attention.

This last week I 'upgraded' to the new Galaxy Tab 7.7. Only slightly bigger? Actually its quite a bit different. It's slimmer and slightly lighter (despite a bigger battery) but wider and longer. This one only just fits in my trousers side pocket (the AMOLED screen is amazing btw!).

I imagine that if fruity-blandness do bring out a 7.8 incher it'll be too big for a pocket and will need a bag, thus negating the point of the smaller size.

Overall, I can see the 7 inch format being very sucessful as it's small enough to carry, light enough to hold for ages at a time and the screens are useable enough for common-or-garden surfing etc. That this seems to be the preferred format for the lower end of the tablet market is not too surprising really. But sadly I don't think enough of them are being specc'd as well as the Kindle Fire has been, too many have 'old fashioned and clunky' resistive touch screens.

Audi shows off OLED-illuminated concept R8

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and in the end ...

it's still an audi so it's going going to owned and driven by cocks ...

... nuff said

Satnav blunders blamed for £200m damages


Clarion - are you paying attention?

I have a satnav built into my Honda. Car was new last year, maps were already 2 years out of date and no sign of an update for the clarion manufactured head unit.

Manufacturers should be forced to keep updates rolling out at least annually to be available for sale in the UK.

Spring launch for Apple OLED TV with Siri, says retail mole


Of course it will make money

If rotten Fruit sell it, people will buy it. They'll pay way over the odds for what is essentially a low quality item with a high prestige badge.

Of course, the people who will buy such a thing will be of low gene quality to do so and of questionable mental capability, but that is the core buyer of the rotten fruit brand - Mentally deficient, emotional retards with too much money and not enough sense to come in out of the rain who ought not to be allowed to breed, but that's only my humble opinion of course.

NB: The "I'll get my coat" actually looks more like a corporate fruit person stealing from someone's coat to me but what do I know?

Firm pitches tech trio powered by portable processor


This is where it's at!

I like this idea, I wonder if they'll allow other manufacturers to add devices to these 'circles' of theirs?

put the processing/identity components out of sight and hang the displays and i/o devices wirelessly off it.

Hopefully there will be some kind of encryption in the pairings so that people can't just use someone else's hub (and bandwidth etc).

Something biometric based on brainwave patterns? Oops, too star trek. Perhaps simply Kirlian field based then? Argh, wrong book this time.

well, whatever, you know what I really mean don't you? Something to authenticate the user properly

Renault Fluence ZE


It looks like a real car too

The thought of silent motoring instead of the rattle and thrum of a diesel.

And for once this looks like a real car too instead of a frankly stupid bubble on wheels.

Shame that electric cars will always be a niche though and not mainstream because of the range and the charging times.

Nice though, I'd have one. Until hydrogen comes along anyway.

Amazon rethinks Kindle Fire 2 screen size


Peronally ...

I think the 7 inch size is about right, any bigger and I'd need a bag to carry one. I can carry my 7 inch tablet in my pocket including a case.

Smaller makes it more of an old fashioned PDA or phone sized device and you'd lose all the benefits of any screen size for readability.

WHSmith Kobo Touch wireless e-book reader


Never going back

I've had ebook readers for a few years and I'm never going back!

An 800 page book is a pain to hold, a pain to keep open, its heavy, cumbersome and easily damaged.

I'm now on my third generation of ebook reader, I've been able to put the books I bought previously onto the newer device with no problems so far. I love the way these devices keep my page as I switch from book to book. My old collection of bookmarks (collected over 30 years) is now a real collection as none are used.

I made the choice a few years ago that I would not buy a book in paper format again, that I would wait for the ebook version. This year that commitment has been stuck to better than before. No books bought this year so far (I bought 4 last year and 12 the year before, down from 30-40 before that).

As I replace old books with ereader copies, the paper versions are being recycled - either with other people or the the charity shops (you surely didn't think I mean the council recycling facility did you?!?).

Ebook all the way for me!

Oh - that page turn issue? not a problem at all, most of the time I don't even notice it and it has never annoyed me.

Valve chief says Apple will own your living room


Snowy days ahead

It will be a snowy day in hell before any fruit branded product is allowed into my house in any case, so the thoughts of SJ's ghost deciding which games I am allowed to play doesn't worry me.

Of course now he has ascended to true godhead, I may not be allowed to harbour such heretical thoughts for much longer...

Samsung signals HD smartphones with supersize screens


Oh, it looks like...

Just about every other phone nowadays, how long before those pillocks at rotten fruit take umbrage at this because they didn't invent the format of mobile phones either?

45% of Android users to upgrade to rival phone OSes


Android all the way!

I'll be sticking with Android thank you very much.

I like the O/S, I'm on my third handset now and have loved all of them. Each has been a step-wise improvement over the previous, both in O/S version, screen size and functionality.

Even my tablet is an Android (Older Samsung Galaxy Tab 7).

As I simply cannot stand Job's and his over priced garbage and his overpriced, over-inflated attitude it will be a snowy day in hell before I own any of rancid fruit-branded rubbish.

I've already told my kids, they can bring home their own fruit-branded nonesuch, but that's the day they leave home!

Apple Flash buying clout will give it the ultrabook edge

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Apple selling cheap? Not likely!

I honestly cannot imagine that Apple will cut costs just because it can.

Apple sells via snob value rather than anything else. It's a brand like trainers and baseball caps.

If they cut prices people will rightly start to wonder why they've been paying so very very much for the brand for so long won't they?

Dell Streak 7 Android tablet


7" is big enough, but not low res please!

I've got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, also on android 2.2.

I got the 3G in a special offer that actually made it cheaper than the wifi, but that's another story.

Like David Evans, 7" format is perfect for me. I spent a long time looking around since the first android tablet appeared.

I did like the thought of this Dell Streak 7, in fact I so nearly got myself a Streak 5 on android 2.2 just before this came out. But it wasn't quite good enough for me. Neither, in the end was the 5.

But the clincher is the poor screen resolution.

Maybe the next Dell Streak will hit the mark better and come with a higher screen resolution?

Sadly, for me this one is a fail.

Won't have any apple at any price, even completely free - can't stand the idea of Apple's Thought Police telling me what I can/can't have because of their poorly thought out morality.

Ofcom slaps Channel 5 for loud PlayStation ads

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Hate channels with adverts anyway

Well done Ofcon, oops, Ofcom, siding with the people for once.

To be honest, I don't watch very much on commercial channels anyway, when I do it's generally been recorded. The reason? Loud, annoying adverts.

Given that amongst the people I know, I am not alone in this why doesn't the TV and advertising industry realise that they're massive turn off to viewers.

A certain insurance comparison site will never be visited by me for instance thanks to the severe annoyance caused by their TV adverts.

BMW intros revamped Mini as sporty MG-alike

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Poor thing

Ye godz! That thing us UGLY.

This would be something to be driven at night when people can't see who's in it.

E Ink, Epson to build 'retina' display for e-book readers

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Work or Play?

I have both a Kindle 6" reader and a Sony 5" reader. Love both to bits. I use them for leisure (Play). I've tried putting pdfs onto them for work but they simply don't work well enough. I've converted some pdfs to kindle format and thats mostly ok, unless the text has columns in the layout. Close, but no cigar.

As pdfs are more for technical reference (work) I'm thinking a bigger pdf capable reader will be the thing to go for. Colour isn't that important to me, readability is.

I think this sort of high def image will be pretty good when it comes out, I might even save some pennies up to buy one.

Honda Jazz Hybrid


Hybrids - a flawed concept?

I'll admit I have a Honda Insight. It's a comapny car, so cheap on the tax. As a family we like our Insight, it has a nice big boot and is very comfortable.

Someone earlier posted about the IQ being a good car. I'm sure it is, but with families and friends and 5 seats, the Honda's make more sense to me from a practicality viewpoint. As I spend a lot of my driving time on motorways and major roads, I've always found tiny cars like the IQ very wearying.

Previously I hade a diesel Citroen C4 with the flappy-paddle gearbox. It was supposed to do about 60mpg - but in 3 years it only managed 40mpg overall. The Honda, in the last month or so I've had it, is doing 51mpg so far but improving as the car gets run in. The petrol engine in the Insight is very quiet normally (see comments below) and so much easier to drive than an oil burner for sure.

The biggest thing about these hondas to my mind tho, is that silky smooth CVT gearbox which is seamless, especially compared to the Citroens glacial-change in auto mode (Hint for Citroen users: use the paddles and change gear using the accelerator like you would with a manual - it's faster and smoother than the auto change).

Sadly, an idea like these 'mild' hybrids is flawed. Why? Because the engine is still running and drawing power.

The Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) is only partially effective. Motorway driving can be a chore if you need to accelerate to overtake a lorry for instance. The engine will whine and eventually get going, little assisantce from the electric motor. Starting moving from a standstill uses a lot of engine power and very little motor power it seems.

I've changed my driving style to suit the car now, I'm much more relaxed and use the cruise control on all longer journeys. Lower consumption, less noise, less stress. thats the way to do it.

On an associated topic:

I read an old, but interesting article from James May (top gear) recently. Should we really be eaking out the last of the oil? If we use the sodding stuff up quickly then we'll get all this much talked of new technology to replace it. As long as we continue to hoard and sip away at oil, the longer it will take before we get replacement technology. 10 years ago, this idea would have been brilliant, but now with petrol over £6 a gallon, who of us can afford to guzzle the gas?

iPad 2 spawns updated iOS and apps

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Apple will no doubt copyrite (sic) that word shortly so I'll have to be quick ...

Same old tat, same old wrapper.

I can't believe the column inches wasted on non-news!

Please people, stop worshipping at the alter of Lord Jobsmort. There is life outside of crappy second quality apple-goods.

Try mp3 players that put sound quality first and stupid touchy-feelie shite second instead of the other way round. After all, these things are about playing music, not bloody shopping!

Leica S2 professional medium format DSLR

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Its in the glass

As usual, the quality differentiator is the lens.

What a fantastic piece of kit though! Anyone know what the winning numbers on tonights lottery will be? Please tell me. I'd love one of these!

Man cracks open floppy disk, inserts USB Flash drive


Anyone gone all floppy over this?

Hmmm, very clever. Now can it be done with a 5+1/4" or an 8"?

The very essence of portable data storage, at last!

iPhone 4: the best built smartphone...

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Not quite sire I agree with some of the conclusions

The article says that iPhone users are like most smartphone users so the damage figures from drops must be hardware.

Well considering the iPhone is for the image/fashion concious, a flighty type of person IMHO, I think they're more likely to drop them when they fly into some emotional outburst while proclaiming to all that they want Steve Job's love child.

Just to be clear, I do loathe and despise iPhones and all things fruity, but I do think we should be blamig the users not the manufacturers for this high incidence rate.

Netbooks: notebook evolved - or stunted throwback?


Netbooks vs Tablets

I have had two different netbooks, the original Acer Aspire One running linux with 8GB SSD and recently a newer Acer Apire One running XP, 160GB HDD. Biggest difference and why the swap? The second one ran 11.6 screen not 8.9 and the res was 1366*768. Perfectly suitable for everyday home use.

I have powerful core-i7 for games and serious stuff, but for lounge surfing and simple emails, the netbook is great. I also use them for keeping spreadsheets updated as they can cope quite well with that task and for bits of word processing whenever I feel the need.

My wife has stolen the netbook from me, so I'm trying to get a second-hand original linix based AA1 with SSD to replace it.

I'd love a tablet of some kind, not the apple though, I actually didn't like it that much. Perhaps Android 3.0 as I have an android phone I love. Perhaps Win7? who knows. Right now I'd like one but don't have a foggiest notion what I'd do with it.

Apple MacBook mid-2010


I guess I'm all alone now ...

Is it just me, or this change to calculator style keyboards just some sad designers trying to relive their childhoods when used Sinclair Spectrums?

Must these arty (read as pretentious [read as heads-up-their-own-a*^%s]) types that like them, after all they only use one finger at time anyway ;-)

iPad, Kindle as readable as print... almost

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e-ink is good

I have a sony prs-505. An old model now but still very good. I find that I enjoy reading my novels more on this device now than paper as it often weighs less than the paper version!

I also echo the finding s of the report, reading anything is a chore on the computer screen, be it a laptop or monitor. Thats just one of the reasons why I hate online learning so much

Bluetooth: wireless wonder or digital dead end?


Panning the PAN?

I have some of my first actually useful BT devices in use constantly. A medical plugin device that talks to my handheld monitor, it would never work without somekind of PAN. Now I even have a satnav that will BT with my phone in my pocket.

So yes, its very useful. Sadly it does let me down when I need it most - the phone/satnav don't always see each other. And the medical monitor and plugin need to be within inches of each other to work (at least I don't need to strip down to my shorts to get at the plugin anymore ;-) )

Perhaps, we should talk of the demise only when the replacements/alternatives are real and working better? This is th principle of rational anarchy - down with the system, but only when you know what is going to replace it and you're happy with that!

Quit Facebook Day flops


Facebook? facebore more like

I quit yesterday. Wasn't that hard.

Seriously, I quit no because of the campaign on privacy, I only make info available that I'm willing to share anyway. I quit for another reason.

To be honest, I find facebook boring, but thats life as billy-no-mates for you

Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back


Sample's show a pro at work

Looking at the sample photo's with this article it is obvious that they were taken by a professional photographer. Wonderful focus and contol of light, even in 'snaps' like these.

These just go to show the quality of medium format over the more 'snap-happy' 35mm sized cameras. The real difference is in the superb lenses as well as the amount of light captured with the larger sensor. Using a manual camera system, checking the light levels and making you 'work' for the image like this does improve your skills no end as you learn to look beyond the click of the button.

Just look at how tight the zone of focus is on these pictures, incredible. I'm going to get my precious out and play with her (Bronica SQA 6x6 film camera - I'm not rich enough to afford a digital back, but I do still have my own darkroom ;-) )

Aussie man convicted for Simpsons smut


2012 Olympics logo?

Does this mean that the dreadful 2012 Olympics logo will have be banned/redrawn?

iPad Mini/Nano beta-tester: Of course it's real


iPad Shuffle ...

It sounds like an uncomfortable feminine hygine product. but imagine, no screen but text-to-speech! The first version will for on your collar, hold only 25 pages and will read them in any order it cares to.

Think of all those books you've got bored with, a new story every time!