September 2008


I got Season Five of The Wire this week. Originally the Season One DVD was an impulse purchase in WH Smith in Kirkcaldy one time I was there. At the time there was some talk about how good it was and the price was reasonable so I thought Why not?

It turned out to be brilliant, as did subsequent seasons, which were also bought on DVD.

Now the fifth and final season is out and I bought it from Amazon. I had originally went to a local ASDA to see if they had it but they didn’t. I remember buying Season Four from Amazon and seeing it about a tenner cheaper when I was in ASDA; so I check ASDA just in case.

It arrives and for some reason the HP Laptop has problems with the DVDs themselves. The drive can whirl and wheeze for five minutes or more before loading it up. Disk Four I had to watch on the other laptop as the HP wouldn’t load it up at all. I think it is the disks themselves; the HP laptop has no problem with any other DVDs, just the new series of The Wire. Other DVDs get popped into the drive and load no problem.

So I will hunt around and see if I can get a drive cleaner; a CD or liquid that cleans drives. There wont be any harm in cleaning the drive – although I’ve only had the laptop around six months, not long enough for the drive to pick up a lot of dirt.

The final season of The Wire is fab. Only ten episodes and a only couple of extra features but all in all a great end to a brilliant series.

I have an 8 Gig USB drive from which I run portable programs. It’s a U3 disk.

Today FireFox has decided to go haywire and throw some sort of hissy fit. I Don’t know what the hell happened but when I tried to run FireFox from my usb disk today it started for the first time. All the settings had gone and it was as if it had just been installed. I take back ups of this drive so hopefully I wont have lost too much. A lot of the favourites have gone. So off I go into the backups to see what is there. Initially I restored yesterday’s bookmarks but for some reason, although the file seems complete a lot of the favourites are gone: yesterday’s book marks file seems to be corrupt so I had to go to the day before to get most of them back.

Luckily all my sign ins for web sites and forums etc. were still there after I had restored the bookmarks.  I dread to think having to go through all those again and save the settings. I did have to switch off my computer yesterday but after that Firefox was working ok. I browsed the web and everything.

Weird.

I should stop spending money.

I found 7digital (at, naturally, 7.digital.com) which sells mp3s without any drm and have been hunting their catalogue. They have songs and albums from all the major labels and quite a few small labels too. They also have independent and unsigned artists. I remember there being a press release recently about how they were the first to have the songs from the big four record labels without any drm.

I’ve never really like itunes. Never trust anyone who wants your credit card details before you’ve made any sort of order.

The good thing is that I’ve been able to download individual tracks rather than whole albums.  Which means spending less money, but some albums (like Horse, the same sky) you just have to buy the whole thing.

I’ve spent about twenty, thirty quid recently just on tracks. Eyes too big for my wallet. I did get some free tracks and they have some really cheap albums, starting from £2.

Numpties. They didn’t process my order, so no router and line activation. I phoned them back today and they told me the order had not gone through: then tried to sell me a more expensive package. They have given me the same offer – £9.99 a month for six months then £14.99 a month – and this time I got to threaten them with leaving. I said i would go with another isp, was put on hold, and then given the same deal as I had supposedly got last week. I am due to get an email confirmation of this. We’ll have to wait and see if they do deliver the router within three to five working days and get the broadband up and running. If they don’t I may actually have to go to another isp to get my broadband.

The power supply for the laptop arrived today and (sigh of relief) it turned out that that was the problem. Laptop back up and running so I’ll get the license back for Antics as soon as. Thank God I didn’t have to send it off. Rather than phone them  – and get put on hold for about half an hour – I’ve sent them an email with the ticket number to tell them that everything is okay.

So over a week after I called and there is no cable. I phone up HP again only to be told that ‘there was a backlog’ and they are sending my replacement cable out over the next couple of days by express and I should have it day after tomorrow. Yeah and I’m a Dutchman.  Och eye the noo as Dutchmen are often heard saying.

I don’t want to diss them but it smacks of excuses; they never got round to sending the  power supply so just say there’s a backlog. And I’m sitting without a laptop I can’t use: one week and counting. The way this is going I can see myself without this laptop for a month or so.

I wouldn’t be happy sending it off to them for repair. If they can’t even send off a replacement power supply are they really competent enough to hand a laptop?

I phoned AOL yesterday to see if I could switch from dial up to broadband. The guy that I spoke to offered me packages more expensive than I am already paying – so I told him that I would more than likely be changing providers.

Speaking to someone this morning he told me that he was on the package I had specifically asked for yesterday and was told by the AOL guy that it wasn’t available to me. So I get on the phone to them again and ask what packages are available.

I must have been on the system as a potential lost customer because surprise surprise I am offered the package I wanted straight away. Bit pissed off that I didn’t get a chance to rant at the guy though.

So now I am on a broadband package with the same supplier and paying less than the dial up package.

No doubt there will be a disruption to the service. I did ask if they dial up would be available until the broadband kicks in but the guy said they would endevour to ensure that it does. No commitment just the standard ‘maybe.’

Now, if only the cable for my HP laptop would turn up.

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