Mac vs PC

I’ve long waited for my old laptop to die. It’s been giving up the ghost for months. About a month ago, I backed up all the data, including all the email files, ready for it to go to the big electronics graveyard (i.e. the dump). Then, my darling BF gave me a present. He bought me a MacBook. Out of the blue. Well, it’s for Christmas, but I’ve got it early.

I love it. It boots in a second. It is awake in a second.

I am now utterly frustrated by my work PC, my home PC and my phone – all of which are Windows based.

My BF says it won’t be long before I’ve got an iMac, and iPhone and I change my home WiFi to be Apple.

He might just be right…

Internet shopping

I do it quite a lot. Groceries, appliances, DVDs, clothes, gifts and shoes…and, and, and…

This week I’ve had the ultimate disappointment. First, I placed an order with a big UK retailer – I won’t name and shame them, well, not quite yet. They cancelled part of my order the very next day. Without explanation. Then, in what looked like a positive move, I got a text offering me three options for delivery. I chose Monday (today, 12th July) – and was informed that delivery would be between 7am and 7pm. I worked from home. At 2pm I got another text to say that delivery would arrive between 5 and 7pm.

9pm arrived. The doorbell rang. One woman, one van, one dog and no apology. It took three of us to carry the item into the house. She left. We unpacked it. It’s damaged and doesn’t work.

Home Delivery Network is appalling.

We’ll see what the retailer has to say tomorrow when I reach customer services. Then, I’ll name and shame.

I want them to come pick up the item, and provide me with a full refund, plus an day’s consultancy fee for the fact I was at home today. That will be £1500.00 please (well, it turned into a 14 hour day – so let’s be realistic about it).

Help! My computer is broken

That’s how my conversations with Mum often start. This week is no exception.

Mum has an old laptop of mine, which had been set up for ‘minimum fuss usage’ – i.e. switch on, hit dial, download email, then disconnect. Nothing complicated. No fuss. Sunday she called (left a message) to tell me she’s getting error 756 every time she hits dial.

Today, she told me that when she get’s the ‘dial box’ it doesn’t go away, so she keeps clicking it and then gets error 756. Bless.

I don’t know what’s happened, but I’m supposed to fix it, so just one dial box appears for her. I can’t do the remote PC support thing, because she’s on dial up – there’s still no broadband in the glen. But, I’m supposed to ‘cure’ the problem by magic.

Error 756 this week. Next week, it will be something different. I’d never paid attention to the error codes, but Mum does. It’s not always a good thing, but this week was kind of funny.

Taking stock

My ‘day-to-day’ DVD player is on its last legs. It only occassionally spits out the disks after they’ve been played – not ideal. So, Amazon Prime to the rescue for a next day delivery of the new version. In the process of removing the old one, I had to laugh at the sheer number of pieces of equipment i have in the house:

two DVD players downstairs (one on its last legs, one shiny & new)
three DVD players upstairs (one is a recorder, one just plays and the other is so old, I’m not even sure it works)
one video recorder (and over 100 videos)
a Wii
a PS2
a PS1 (though I can’t remember the last time I took it out of the box)
a PSP
a Sky HD box
a Sky box (also no longer used)
three printers (one multi function not used, one multi function used, and a photo printer, not used)
two laptops (one work, one personal)
and a desktop
three TVs (one not used)

How did I accumulate so much stuff?
It’s time for a clear out.

Some of the items will be recycled some will go to new homes. One of the girls from work is moving into her own place and is ‘starting from scratch’ – she’s offered homes to some of the items. But the rest? What to do?

New ISP & Options

I have to apologise for the shoddy language of my last entry. It was written on my iPod Touch – while ‘borrowing’ someone’s internet access…as mine is down.

I have looked into whether I can change ISP. Yay, I’m out of contract period with Orange. I called this morning to check the situation and I found calling the customer retention team works a lot better than trying to get through the script and the language barrier with the Indian call centre. I even told the guy on the phone this morning that the reason I’m thinking of leaving was because I can’t afford to spend an hour to two hours of my time on the phone working through a script whenever there’s a problem. And, that I was left with no Internet (correction, I still have no Internet access) for several days.

He was most helpful. He checked the line and from my account saw the ‘fault’ had been fixed. I told him it hadn’t been fixed. He registered another service call. And, he’s sending me out a freebie router to replace the LiveBox. 

But there are options. Sky, Talk Talk and PlusNet have all been recommended as possible alternatives. BT was a ‘no-no’ according to my impromptu poll…

We shall see what happens. For sure there’s no Twitter & no Facebook at the moment. What’s worse, my music won’t play throughout the house…only where I have a dock for the iPod.

New gadgets?

I’m seriously thinking about getting a new phone. My HTC Tytn ii is getting old. It still works well, but needs a makeover…an extreme one. A year of abuse, being dumped into a cluttered handbag, sports bag or into the cradle in the car has done the fascia no good at all. With an 18 month contract still in play (why, oh, why do we have those now?), I need to wait a little longer – apparently, any leftover contract term gets added…before you know it, a contract could end up being 24 or even 36 months…with one handset? Get real! They are not built to last, and it certainly wouldn’t be cool to have a three-year old phone, would it?

So, I’ve been watching Tweets to see what phones get ‘Twitter Traffic” and @willcarling is all BlackBerry’d up (the Javelin, don’t you know), @StephenFry has seven iPhones (though don’t ask him why) and many others are talking about various Nokias…

Personally, I like the HTC Touch HD. It looks good. The functionality sounds great and it’s available on one of the two networks in the UK that I will sign a contract with (that I already have contracts with).

Yes, I’d like an iPhone, but I’d miss TomTom and it would mean a contract with a company I have no intention of signing with!! I know I could buy a ‘hacked’ iPhone from eBay, but would I really want that…? I don’t think so. So, how do I get iPhone functionality without ‘that contract’? I buy an iTouch and an HTC Touch HD. A little bit extravagant? Perhaps…but it sounds good, doesn’t it?

New TV

I bought a new TV this week – not a large TV for the lounge, but a small one for the bedroom. I looked at reviews, I read user comments and in the end it came down to three models – a Sharp, an LG and a Samsung.

I went for the Samsung Le19R86. Here’s the lowdown…

http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=SAMS-LE19R86

It’s fabby. The picture quality is amazing. It’s hooked up to my Samsung DVD player and the two together are just fantastic. The TV is idiot-proof – which is a good thing, and my BF only mentioned his favourite phrase ‘girls & technology’ once, so that wasn’t too bad! 🙂

Both remotes operate both items, so there’s no dispute over who gets the remote, although I’m sure there will be plenty of times I turn the BBC news off and BF turns it back on again….