innocent_lex: (Default)
In principle, email is really simple. Until, that is, you try to read it on or send it from a device that isn't a laptop. Sure, it should still be simple, but it's been a pain in the proverbial for me for months. I don't want to have to use a different email address. I *like* my email address. But due to Vodafone's faffing about with their email smtp servers I've now given up on them and am playing with google instead. My virgin email is coming to my phone through a convoluted path via gmail. Gmail have a setup where I can get my mail, send it to whatever device, and whoever I send mail to will be able to reply as if it came from my real email address. This is a good thing. At frigging last. But the amount of time you have to spend googling for answers for what should be really simple stuff is getting beyond a joke. I guess, at least we have search engines these days, so that's something.

What's odd, though, is that virgin's been faffing with their servers, too, and so the previously annoying thing where they automatically send me a copy of every mail I send (even though I'm not cc'ed on the mail) has turned out to be less annoying. Now, that random doubling up means that it also sends me the email I sent from my phone, just because it exists. Weird, but helpful, no need to cc myself to make sure I have a record on Outlook.
innocent_lex: (Default)
I've been doing things that aren't posting to blogs of late. This isn't a great surprise to me, mostly because my focus has been quite inward and not outward, and not even inward in an outward kind of way. But I think I'm moving back into the real world, looking at things I have to do (sort out financey stuff, sort out housey stuff) and taking some notice of what's happening out there. Not that any of it's profound or essential to the continuation of the species, but it's little steps that are worthwhile to me.

Anyhoo, my conclusions about the year that's just gone are forming, and the first one is that I've bought two pieces of tech that have been really, really worth it. The first was my Samsung tablet, which was exactly what I needed, when I needed it, and has continued to be extremely useful. And the second (more surprising) was my xbox with kinect, because it surprised me with what it could do (not just help me jump around like an idiot), and I'm absolutely going to make the most of the jumping aroundness of it and also the media centre functionality of it when it's installed in its new home in the newly converted garage (which itself will only be a few more weeks in the making). Tech is fun.

I have more conclusions, but musing will continue.
innocent_lex: (Default)
Today I gave in and changed the temperature setting on my phone's weather app to Farenheit. Since summer has come back it's now officially too warm for me to be able to relate to Celcius. It's currently 10:30 pm and the weather tells me it's still 72 outside - lovely night's sleep coming up, then. Tomorrow it's claiming it'll go up to 82. This is definitely summer. I vaguely recognise it.
innocent_lex: (Default)
Since it's taken me a while to get to the bottom of this problem and fix it, I figured I'd post for anyone else out there with the same problem. I'm running Win7 64bit and in the last few weeks have had repeated problems with the internet dropping out on me. It's pretty regular, really annoying, and not the router or anything hardware related. I went through a load of forums, sites, updated drivers, tested this, switched off that, etc.

Anyhoo, it's the Apply bonjour service that's the culprit. It gets installed with iTunes in stealth mode (i.e. it doesn't tell you it's happening) but unless you run speakers over the network or connect your iphone or something else fancy over the wifi, you don't need it. So I've uninstalled it. Blissfully, my internet connection is now fine, the browser and email are running faster, etc. Took way too long to track down the problem and I'm really unimpressed. It's apparently causing problems in Win7 and Vista, so if you find yourself getting this issue, try bonjour first.

This public service announcement was brought to you by a very irritated tech user.
innocent_lex: (Default)
Before: with two tabs open in Firefox and with one instance of file manager, I was running at 80% RAM use.
After upgrade from 1Gb to 2Gb: three tabs in Firefox, file manager and iTunes open, and it's only 53%. *happy sigh*

Things are running much smoother on the netbook, and hopefully that irritating interference I was getting with music will now go away because there's enough memory to deal with all the things I do at once.

Dear world

Jan. 19th, 2011 05:09 pm
innocent_lex: (grumpy)
Thank you for reminding me of the frailty and ephemeral nature of material things. It's a lesson I haven't had for at least a week, so was keen to be retaught. The man from British Gas (TMFBG) will be inspecting my boiler tomorrow morning, and hopefully at that point will bring back my heating. If I'm lucky, it will only drop to freezing outside overnight and not go below that. If I'm even luckier, my house will not succumb completely to the laws of thermodynamics and I will retain some level of warmth in here. If I'm unluckly, TMFBG will tell me my boiler is buggered and needs to be replaced (and considering the peculiar noises it's been making for a day or so now, that's likely). If I'm unlucky, a new boiler will cost me thousands. If I'm lucky, someone will be able to fit said new boiler before the weekend when I will have a houseful of guests...

*sigh*

Also, am writing this offline as still have buggered router. New router arrived while I was at work and I haven't had time to go and collect it yet. Only working network connection is being used by new netbook running its windows upgrade that claimed it would take TEN FRIGGING MINUTES! Two hours later, it's still going.

No, I'm not at all cranky.
innocent_lex: (Default)
I've had my wee laptop for a long time now (4 years? more?) and it was a right little cracker when I got it. It was also damn expensive, being that it was a convertible tablet. Still, its specs are pretty low compared to current netbooks, and for what I want to do I want something that's responsive, light and has excellent battery life. I think I'm going to go for an Asus 1015PE, which I'll need to upgrade to 2GB of ram and put a clean install of win7 home premium on it (seriously, what is all this nonsense about these netbooks getting win7 starter?). That should give me something nice and snappy, without all the bloat that comes with the original install.

I'm giving myself a week to think about it, then I'll put the order in with Amazon. Probably. News from CES might change my mind...
innocent_lex: (why is this my life)
What else is there to do when you're awake at 3.25 am? Am getting quite grumpy now about this lack of 3d home entertainment.

Posted via LjBeetle
innocent_lex: (Default)
Grrr. Broadband has been down more than it's been working all week, and virgin are claiming the problem was fixed yesterday. How come my connection has been non-existent most of today as well, eh? Why am I having to post this via phone?

Fix it! Gimme back my interwebs!

Posted via LjBeetle
innocent_lex: (sleepy)
New app - ljbeetle. Seems to be good so far, letting me pick pics, tags, privacy, etc.

And it's -8C so another v cold night here. Am going to have a warm bath before bed. Another week then time off. Huzzah!

Posted via LjBeetle
innocent_lex: (Default)
Work continued on two of my luxuries today. My bathroom is currently a disaster. Everything's been ripped out and most of the tiles are off the walls. I didn't realise quite how much I rely on my bath for its relaxing and regenerating properties until just now, when I remembered I can't just wander upstairs and wallow. Oh noes!

T'other luxury which I updated was the mobile. There was another Android update last week, which I downloaded but hadn't got around to installing because I wanted to be sure I'd done a backup first. Ran the update today, and so far things are fine, some things better than fine (the email problem that was introduced with the last update has been fixed), and some things I've yet to assess (reports are that power management is improved, for example). I'll see. I really like this phone and its capabilities.

Also, apparently the Supernatural boys have been voted onto the cover of the US TV Guide magazine. I remember this being a BigDeal(tm) when Jack'n'Daniel were on the cover. I'm guessing it's still a BigDeal(tm) these days? The boys seemed very pleased, anyhoo. Though, whoever was let loose on photoshop should be fired.
innocent_lex: (Default)
I've had my current laptop for almost a year. That may not sound like very long, but I have 3 other laptops stacked in the cupboard in the study that I replaced in under 2 years, either because they went wrong, or were too slow, or too hot, or... well, a lot of 'or's that made me frustrated with them and led to a replacement. This current one, though, is doing pretty well, and so far I can't think of anything about it that annoys me. I like it. It's got game. It does everything I ask of it without complaint, and it's even pretty while doing it. And it matches my car (I didn't actually realise that until it arrived, but it amuses me).

If I were following past trends, some time in the next 6 months I'd start thinking about what comes next. What should I be looking out for to replace this. What kinds of processors are blazing through previous speed records, what kind of memory is coming with high end specs, how big would the hard drive need to be at a minimum, how many HDMI ports, USB, card slots, etc, etc. But I'm not thinking that. In fact, I'm thinking this machine is lovely and I want to keep it for a long time (well, a long time in laptop years...).

What it also prompted me to think about was the latest rash of tablets. I realise Apple, in all their delightful delusions, think they invented the tablet. Bless them. But obviously they've been around a long time, much longer than netbooks and much, much longer than the ipad. I don't see the point of an ipad - it has no place in my gadget box. I see the point of a tablet (I've had one for 3 years at home, 18 months at work) but again it has its strengths and there's no point in getting one if you're only going to use it as a standard laptop. Also? Inking. I *really* don't see the point of a tablet that isn't optimised for inking. Yikes! So I'm watching the releases of new tablets with interest, waiting for one that meets my requirements. It seems I'm always waiting for technology to catch up with what I want / need to fill my niche. It took about 15 years for someone to create a commercial HDD recorder after I decided I wanted one when I was 12. I hate to think how long it'll take for someone to create a holodeck that I can feed fic into. Obviously this has made me somewhat patient, but it's also made me read much of the tech news with an air of detachment: "oh, someone finally got around to creating that, did they? Just not very well, apparently."

So, I'm waiting for a tablet to meet my specs (I really don't ask for much), and in the meantime I'll stick with my old faithful UMPC and my current faithful laptop.
innocent_lex: (why is this my life)
I checked out my usual tech blogs today just to see what's going on out there in the world of techiness. Ooh, what's that? Sony are bringing out new ereaders? With better screens and longer battery life and more shininess? Ooooohhhhh.

*smacks head* 

Yeah, it's a Pavlovian thing, absolutely no question. I've had my ereader for about six months now. Six whole months. There is no reason I could possibly justify buying a new one just because it's shinier (see previous post for all kinds of reasons). But my brain makes that leap without me even noticing these days. I'm so glad I have a policy now of adding things to wishlists and coming back two weeks later when my brain's had time to recover from the rush of endorphins.
innocent_lex: (Hmmmm)
I'm intrigued and more than a little bewildered by the number of people commenting on tech blogs to say they can't imagine Win7 on a tablet, how hard it would be to use, yadda yadda. They're probably talking about any version of windows, because picking on Win7 particularly is daft - it has a lot more touch / pen-enabled functionality than Vista, and Vista had a lot (no matter how much it irritated me). My theory on this goes as so:
- the people who don't want windows on a tablet are the people who think tablets should be touch only (i.e. use fingers and not stylus)
- the people who don't want windows on a tablet aren't particularly interested in being productive with a tablet

The thing is, this new wave of tablets that are being made this year are good for those people who want touch only. They're not good (yet) for people who want productivity (or large hard drives). And they're giving many people the impression that tablet=slate, which also isn't true. A tablet computer is one that you can touch and / or write on, and they come in various modes. The one I've had for about 3 years is a convertible, which means it looks like a really small PC (or a netbook, if you will) including keyboard, and the screen can twist around to switch into slate mode. This is great for me, and though the hard drive is a little small at 160gig, it's done well over the years. I pre-ordered Win7 for it, knowing the great pen/touch functionality it had. It arrived just ahead of launch day, installed beautifully, and I wouldn't go back. So on a 7-inch screen I have all the capabilities of a full OS along with lots more additional functionality than I had before. Me and my stylus are awfully fond of it.

So, no, I don't follow why all these people who claim to be interested in tech would say that Win7 on a tablet -- something with such great functionality -- is bad when what they really mean is they haven't tried it or they simply want something else themselves. Every bit of tech has its own audience, those people for whom it will be the ideal solution. I'm sure there are plenty of people who spent a lot of money on a new apple tablet, took it home and loved it for being so shiny or for having a great screen or for being something they can put on their knees and surf while watching telly, and on the other side there are plenty of people who spent a couple of days with it and then wondered what the heck they were thinking and could they get their money back. The hype will always get to people - it's inevitable. The responsible tech blogs, magazines and on-line news put emphasis on getting what's right for you, and not what's 'of the moment'. But still many people reading them don't get that message. That's how tech firms make their money, I suppose.
innocent_lex: (happy)
The last time I bought a car stereo I was 19. Being slightly older than that now, I have decided I need a new car stereo. Not that I still have the old stereo, or even the old car, but I have what came with this current car when I got it 11 years ago. It has a tape deck. I've gone 11 years without a CD player in the car, and I've managed by having those little tape adapter thingies that has a cable on it and you plug it into whichever output you want (used to be CD player; currently is ipod).

So today, I stopped off at the car stereo place and asked them to explain what they had. I'm now (almost) the proud owner of a new car stereo that comes with ipod interface, CD player, bluetooth for the phone, bluetooth to play music, and will connect into the remote switchy things on the steering wheel that I use so much. They fit it on Sunday. What stunned me the most was that when we tested the bluetooth to see if my phone was compatible, it took about 15 seconds then I was listening to Lady Gaga on the speakers in the store. Considering how stunned I was, it's clear how behind the times I really am on this kind of tech.

Anyhoo, it's getting fitted on Sunday.

Also, have finally bitten the bullet and ordered a satnav. It's a little one, so I can use it when walking about too and not just in the car. There was a very good offer from one of the tech websites I subscribe to, and having looked at a couple of reviews I think this'll do me just fine.

I'd been looking at getting a new car but I really can't justify it (or afford it), so the new plan is for me to get a few things for the current car to make it better. Stereo - check; hands-free phone kit - check; satnav - check; something to give me a heated seat - not yet check but am looking; chauffeur - I wish. So that's car stuff almost done for a while.
innocent_lex: (sleepy)
My mobile phone is excellent, except when it's BehavingBadly(tm). It's an android phone, and syncs with my outlook calendar / contacts, which is as it should be (I've been expecting this as a basic PDA function for about 12/13 years now). But twice now it's had a freaky freakout, crashed some process every time I try to sync, and google was not my friend. Last time (first time it happened) I googled a lot. The only solution out there that worked was effectively a factory reset, which was a pain in my arse. This time I googled again. It seems someone has figured out the problem must be corrupted calendar entries on the phone, and there is a much simpler solution: clear out the data from the calendar and re-sync. So simple, and it works. Huzzah! Have saved the tip for next time because I know full well there'll be a next time.

Time for a bath and bed. Long day at the office, but I made progress. Progress is good.
innocent_lex: (Eh?)
I've been having a look at my online billing for the mobile phone to see what's what with the new phone. Trouble is, now I'm really confused. Previously, when I browsed the web or picked up email it was listed as "internet or data", which made sense. Now it's listed as "WAP", and the difference came on the day I stopped using the old phone and started on the new one. I thought WAP was too basic for me to be getting what I'm getting, i.e. full web pages with flash content, full emails with attachments and images, tube updates, google maps, etc. Maybe I just missed the point somewhere along the line?

*sigh*  It's late, I'm tired, and I've set myself a reminder to phone Vodafone tomorrow and get them to explain it to me. Their explanation on site is non-existent.
innocent_lex: (Default)
http://www.umpcportal.com/2010/04/30-ipad-productivity-problems/

There are key reasons for me, there, and some that wouldn't bother me. The wouldn't bother me list is about 4 things, and the rest definitely would. iPad is definitely not for me.
innocent_lex: (Hmmmm)
I don't exactly do much video editing, and so far I've used Windows Movie Maker, which is very basic but generally does the job. There are some key issues I have with it, though, which is the lack of control over output (always 4:3, can't decide on frame rate, can't decide on format e.g. avi vs wmv vs ipod, etc) and lack of detailed control over sound / picture / matching up.

I know you folks out there do video editing. I don't mind paying money for it, though I'm not talking a lot of money here. What do you use, and would you recommend it?

Thanks!
innocent_lex: (Default)
It's here, it came, it's shiny! Yes, the new phone has indeed arrived, and I've spent *mumble* hours setting it up and figuring it out. It's intuitive, don't you know? If it weren't, it would take days and days to figure out. Had a few issues trying to get the email sorted out and that took some googling to find the settings for outgoing pop3, but we made it. Also ended up having to create a brand new google account just to access the android marketplace because it wouldn't accept my existing account which was a bit irritating. But generally it's been fine.

Also? By golly, it's fast. And shiny. And responsive. And loud! And excellent. And did I mention shiny? It's honestly surprised me how much zippier it is than the current old phone.

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