Things I’ve learned this week…

Posted by Chris Green on Friday March 30 @ 2:05 pm

Hey folks, its Friday, it’s lunchtime, and I’m feeling more than a little unhinged, so it’s time for another thrilling installment of…Things I’ve learned this week!

1) In a very odd place this week, neither happy or sad, yet uneasy with the world around me.
2) As of this morning, Sky has not enabled my DSL broadband service.
3) The tossers that delivered my new TV look like they have played football with it, so expecting said TV to be DOA when I get home.
4) This week has been a real grind, loads of people away, coupled with a couple of really slow news days.
5) Press launches can be pointless, tasteless and sleazy all at the same time.
6) My day brightened up significantly around 11am this morning, when a friendly face I’ve been missing came back to the office after three days away!
7) I’m still giggling at just how much free publicity Microsoft has given IT PRO this week :)
8.) Windows Vista blows.
9) My next car will be either a Prius or a Mustang (preferably a Shelby one), depending on whether I want to save the planet or give it a good kick-in the day I go car shopping.
10) Not spending enough time with some of my friends – beginning to realise I’m losing touch with certain people.
11) Still can’t decide whether the Sidekick 3 is a good thing or a bad thing – need to play with it some more.
12) Hiring all the stuff needed to do a spit roast pig is expensive!
13) I’m only 20 posts away from hitting the 200 mark on Twitter.
14) I need a drink!
15) I also need a holiday, or at least a few days off so I can finish catching up on Desperate Housewives and all the bootlegs of Las Vegas season 4 I’ve just downloaded.

It’s Sky Broadband Day…….hopefully!

Posted by Chris Green on Friday March 30 @ 12:55 am

OK, so this is a really optimistic post, as it is not long past midnight.

According to my recent letter from Sky, today is the day it is supposed to enable DSL on my recently restored BT line (having finally moved the phone away from the idiots at Telewest/Virgin Media). To be fair, it is not the end of the wold if it doesn’t happen today, and the letter did want that it may slip by a few days as they are still struggling to keep up with demand. I’m not surprised.

Anyway, if all works out, and the broadband is up to my high standards, I will be pulling the plug on my cable modem service. Keep in mind I was one of the first people in the UK – excluding the People’s Republic of Hull – to have cable broadband, so it will bee the end of an era, and hopefully the start of a better one.

I’m on Radio 5 Live tonight!

Posted by Chris Green on Thursday March 29 @ 9:28 pm

I’ll be popping up on BBC Radio 5 Live this evening at about 12.05am to discuss Microsoft and its woes with Windows Vista.

As many of you wil know, Vista has been a bit of a nightmare for many users, with driver issues and software incompatibility galore (makes me very glad I manage my iPod on my Mac rather than the PC, seeing as iTunes is still not Vista-friendly).

Anyway, please do tune in if you can, and better still, do email, text or call the show to share your experiences.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/

And the TV goes boom, crackle, fizz!

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday March 27 @ 10:42 pm

Well we had a bit of fun this past weekend.

On Friday the new sofa for my study arrived, and I was finally able to dump the futon that, while cheap and study and comfy to sleep on, was awful to sit on.

Much of the weekend was spent testing the new sofa, and catching up on the mounds of TV on the Sky + box that I simply have not had time to watch over the last 11 months since I started work at Dennis on IT PRO.

This was rudely interrupted on Sunday afternoon when, half way through watching the movie Thank You For Smoking, the TV in my study blew up!

The screen went blank, followed by a bit of a bang, then a shockingly loud short-circuiting sound, then the smell of burning plastic, shortly followed by some smoke. This in turn was followed by me diving across the room to clear a path through the shelving so I could pull the TV’s plug from the mains.

Obviously its not the only TV in the house, but it caught all of us by surprise, as it was the oldest, most reliable and generally considered to be the best of our TVs (even though it was a CRT, badged as Wharfedale and came from Tesco).

Still deciding what to actually buy to replace it long term, but for now I’ve gone for a cheap short-term replacement. A quick look on eBay produced a refurbished 28inch CRT widescreen TV of equal spec for 65 quid delivered, and it’s in transit now and due to arrive before Friday. This one was originally sold by Asda (badged as Pacific). I’m not expecting it to be great, but it will fill the gap left by the Wharfedale until I get round to buying a proper replacement, probably a LCD or a plasma (really would like a rear-projection TV, but haven’t got the space in the study for it, plus I doubt we would ever get it up the stairs).

CNBC Sony PS3 interview video now online

Posted by Chris Green on Saturday March 24 @ 2:20 pm

CNBC

As promised, here is the link to the appearance I did on CNBC Europe on Friday morning to discuss the PlayStation 3 launch. Sadly not featured in the video is the piece I also did beforehand on Oracle threatening to sue SAP for corporate espionage.

You can view the Sony debate by clicking here.

Doing CNBC this morning, talking PS3

Posted by Chris Green on Friday March 23 @ 7:55 am

Just a quick mobile update from the back seat of a Rover 75 (not my one) heading in to town.

I’ll be on CNBC this morning at around 9.20 when I’ll be talking about today’s launch of the Sony PlayStation 3 and posing a few tough questions to the UK MD of Sony.

I’ll post a link to the video clip later today.

TPN Rock Takeover

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday March 20 @ 12:46 pm

TPN Rock cover artChris and Ewan

Ewan Spence, he of iPod Shuffle Shuffle fame (see here and here and here and here), has given me the chance to guest host an episode of TPN Rock, the weekly rock music show over on The Podcast Network that showcases the best unsigned, unknown and underappreciated rock music from around the world.

Despite some last-minute email technical disasters that meant I almost missed the absolute deadline, we made it.

Listen and download the show from this link.

Playlist:

Critical, by Sound Breaking Ground (www.soundbreakingground.com)
Things Are Looking Up, by American Heartbreak (www.americanheartbreak.com)
Stand, by Beth Thornley (www.beththornley.com)
1975, by Zamarro (www.zamarro.com)
Starting Over, by The Deadline (www.thedeadlinemusic.com)

Cheers for the opportunity Ewan – appreciate it!

Channel 5 is having a nightmare this evening

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday March 13 @ 10:05 pm

Oops!

The boys and girls (by the sounds of the audio I keep hearing, mostly girls) over at Channel 5 are having all manner of technical problems this evening.

Just finished watching CSI, now on to an old episode of CSI Miami. So far this evening we’ve had gallery chatter breaking in over the end credits and adverts at full volume, breaking in over the main shows at low volume, playout failures and errors on trailers.

Come on people – at the very least stop trying to have a conversation between the continuity announcer and the gallery when said announcer is sitting in front of a live on-air mic!

20,000 spam comments narrowly avoided

Posted by Chris Green on Saturday March 10 @ 9:16 am

Just did another clear-out of the spam comment trap on this blog, and noticed that the counter has just rolled over to report that in about six months since I first added it to the blog, it has intercepted and deleted 20,004 pieces of spam.

For a personal blog, that’s a lot of spam traffic.

Nine days after the switch-off, Sky continues to benefit from Virgin’s childishness

Posted by Chris Green on Friday March 9 @ 5:39 pm

Just a quick update on the Sky vs Virgin Media squabble. I really didn’t expect to be saying this, but Sky is really showing itself to be a credit to good business behaviour.

The two companies have so far failed to agree a new carriage deal, and arbitration has been dismissed as an option, so no temporary reprieve for customers. Sky is not refusing to provide service, it is simply refusing to do it for the price Virgin is offering – in the same way that a shopkeeper might sell an apple for 20p, and refuse to accept an offer of 10p from someone trying to haggle. It is not bullying, just simple business economics.

Yes, Sky is fighting its corner and coaxing as many disgruntled Virgin customers into its waiting arms as possible, but it is doing so in a reserved and, incredibly, dignified manner. The adverts inviting Virgin customers to cross over are polite, clear and don’t gloat – I expected much less from Sky and am impressed that the company is taking, and for now staying, on the moral high ground. Virgin on the other hand has spent the last nine days jumping around trying to attract the attention of anyone passing by, screaming, stamping its feet and balling its eyes out like a little brat in a supermarket (and don’t you just want to smash it in the head with your trolley – I know I always do).

Even a look on Virgin’s Fair Play web page reveals that its own customers are fed up and are not interested in defending a company that has done nothing since its rebranding to earn the support and loyalty of its demoralised customers. Remember, these people (and I am one of them) are already weary from years of dreadful and disrespectful customer service when the business was Telewest and NTL. Other than a name change and a few more redundancies nothing has changed. Changing the name and dumbing down the company’s web site and literature does not equal the silver bullet needed to fix the many problems at Virgin Media.

I have a BT engineer coming next Friday to switch my phone line back to BT from Virgin, and once this is complete I will be sending the cable TV box back to Virgin as well. Depending on what level of DSL service I can get off my new BT connection, the cable modem may be following soon after.

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