Techno-Rant: Enough noise about Vista!

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25 January - Responding to an opinion article from Alan Wright on whether to stick or twist on Windows Vista, Glenn Gilbert shot back: "Someone wake me up in three years".

He continued: "To be quite frank I'm bored stiff with listening to Microsoft. I've been in the IT industry writing software (Microsoft software I may add), consulting and teaching since the 70s, so I've been around the block quite a few times.

So, Vista's better. I should damn well think so. That's not news. But, before we look forwards, let's look backwards at Microsoft's previous record.

They've come a long way since DOS in the early 90s. Just think, 17 years ago there was no internet and no Windows. But it's been a slow and evolutionary process to get where we are.

Skipping a version is good for th...

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02nd Feb 2007 11:03

Software for Macs?
Had to take issue with the comment that nobody writes software for the Mac!

You could easily run an enterprise on Mac systems. Microsoft supplies Office, and there are the usual opensource clones too (Apple's own word processing and presentation software is light years ahead of Office).

For bookkeeping, you have options such as MYOB for the smaller businesses and the likes of Astra and Hansa for larger concerns. Plus there's the online variety of software, the sort of which Dennis Howlett champions.

And if push comes to shove, you can run Windows on the latest batch.

We operate here with a mix of Macs and PCs here and I personally have a lot less trouble with the Macs than the PCs.

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By Anonymous
30th Jan 2007 08:08

Apple also have their own issues ....
Mac's may (questionably) have the edge for certain disciplines in the computing world - however

Having seen iPod's in operation I don't think we should be too smug about Mac's. So far as I recall these wizards of modern science started life with batteries that had a dubious life span and could not be replaced; requiring a recall and some very p... off customers compounded by Apple refusal to own up to the matter

Furthermore if you have ever tried to use an iPod they tend to dump playlists, refuse to connect to computers without reformatting the entire device (thus loosing everything on it) and latterly refusing to switch out of 'shuffle mode'; so you can play any track providing the iPod tells you which one.

Frankly it is a 'technology thing', whilst an excellent idea they are generally a complete nightmare to deal with and take endless hours to recover. It doesn't matter what the devices is (pc. mac etc) any machine that tells the user what to do (intellisense) and only lives up to part of ones expectation is disappointing

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10th Jan 2007 20:27

Simple answer
Apple - it just works

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11th Jan 2007 15:01

another vote for the mac
Beat me to it… I was about to add that an Apple Mac Mini with elegato eyetv software and a USB freeview stick gives a superb PVR functionality, which “just works”.

I haven’t used a DVD recorder for nearly 2 years now, due to the Mac.

Be wary of “upscaling” DVD players though – they really offer nothing like HD images. When comparing an upscaled picture to either Sky HD, Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, upscaling really does nothing.

Still I suspect that the vast majority of owners of HD ready sets believe they are getting HD simply by having such a set, and it hasn’t occurred to them that HD sources (like the ones mentioned above) are required…

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11th Jan 2007 15:26

2 rants for you:
1) Just before Christmas I allowed some nice BT saleman to sell me an upgrade to 8MB Broadband, with a "free wireless router".

Between Xmas and Boxing Day, thought: "why don't I spend 10 minutes installing this thing..." BIG MISTAKE !!! after struggling for 2 days, I finally gave up and emailed the help line. After then wasting another 5 days with emails, eventually got to speak to a very pleasant technician in India, who very pleasantly informed me that my hardware ( which had been working fine with the old router ) was in need of a "patch". I am still waiting for a response from the hardware supplier .......

2) Two Xmas's ago, my wife bought me some CD Rom Ordnance Survey maps ( Memory-map ) of the South of England, which I could read on my computer and print off a map of anywhere we wanted to go for a walk. This Xmas, she phoned MM and asked them to recommend a PDA to download the maps to. Better than printing them out, and you can get PDA's with GPS positioning capability. "Sure, buy a Mio PDA", they said, and this was then my XMas present. Lovely ! Couldn't wait to install it . Well,..... another day and a half of fruitless struggle ! The PDA downloads data using software that is not compatible with my Win 98SE computer. Fine, I thought. No problem, I'll use my laptop, which is XP. Installed the maps on the laptop. Result laptop crashes when you try to open the maps. MM, needless to say, are on holiday until after New Year ( you would think they would be there, as a lot of their stuff gets bought for Xmas presents! ) and their Q&A's on their website seem to show others are experiencing similar problems. When I finally get through, I learn that the download software is indeed not compatible with 98SE. Moreover my 2003 maps are compatible with XP, BUT NOT when the download software is present in the computer. Stalemate ! what's the solution ? Spend another £65 upgrading the maps. Clever, eh !

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12th Jan 2007 14:59

Macs just work
Where's the fun in that?!?

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22nd Jan 2007 18:02

Back on topic
I have had several bad experiences of the Gov't Grateway.

I fixed the problems myself in the end and they' tried to claim credit for it!

Complain & you eventually lose the will to live - typical call-centre cu(l)ture. There do not exist the words to describe properly their MO.

Their attitude makes the IR's services & complaints procedures look fantastic by comparison - probably a deliberate ploy.

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19th Jan 2007 18:31

not everything being transmitted
You have data entered in your system and a tax calculation based on it. The HMRC are coming up with a different tax calculation. I see 3 possibilites

1. Your tax software is calculating the tax incorrectly.
2. The HMRC are calculating the tax incorrectly.
3. For some reason not all the data is being transmitted.

From what you have said and based on my experience of the HMRC computer systems my money is firmly on option 3. Do you get to see a copy of what is actually transmitted ?

As for filling in whitespace - I believe this will cause the return to be flagged for manual inspection which is a good reason not to use the whitespace unless strictly necessary. I would much rather my return was looked at by a computer than a human being who might be having a bad day.

as for Macs - unfortunately no one writes software for them !

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02nd Feb 2007 19:51

software for accountants in practice for macs
tax software ?
final accounts ?
company secretarial ?
The trouble is with a niche market, like software for accountants, targetting macs is a niche within a niche and just too small to be worth it commercially. As for windows Vista - justified by the "gadget bar" alone. Unfortunate I can't print to my LJ1022 anymore.

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