Blog DOB: 22 Aug, 2006
Name: Mark O'Connor
Me in the Antarctic
Really Annoying Sh##
This is my blog where I can dump all the sh## that really annoys me. It stays here, I can get on and enjoy myself. It's like therapy, and you can join too for free. Just add yourself as a blogger and get rid of all your sh##.
"A Christmas happy you will have.....ruff ruff"
I found this poor Yoda through google images, and decided to give him a home here for Christmas.....
Why is it always at the most inopportune moment your bank or credit card company will decide to put a stop or caution on your credit or debit card? And what are you supposed to do? The only contact numbers on the card are to report if it's lost or stolen. There isn't a number listed on it to call if your bank have put a hold on it.
Although my most embarrassing moment was definitely being stranded at a checkout in Tesco with the card stopped and no cash, this Christmas the bank did it inconveniently again. Twice.
The first time, Nintendo Wii's were back in online stock but because the card wouldn't process they were out of stock before I had time to finish. I didn't get one.
Next day I decided to buy something else, ordering before 2pm to make next day delivery. Again the card was stopped. By the time I had run through a series of ridiculous security questions by the bank (such as "Give me the name of a music store you buy music?" - let's face it, you have a 50:50 chance of getting that one right, HMV or whatever Virgin is now called!) I missed the cut-off so the delivery is now scheduled for two to three days after Christmas. No doubt by then it will have been discounted 50% in the sales.
Is there a better way?. Could the bank actually call, don't they have your contact numbers? But of course some of them do. Recently a friend was left stranded in a panic in Tunisia in the middle of the night when her card was stopped. She had no cash. The bank however had kindly left a message on her home telephone in the UK saying the card was stopped as it was being used in Tunisia.
Being used in Tunisia? Ehh, maybe she's in Tunisia, maybe we should call her mobile? No such luck.
There must be a better way. At least as a start a customer service number should be printed on the card. You might then have some chance, rather than having to take a very ignoble exit from Tesco if you happen to be left stranded with no cash and a refused card.
If you're buying retail and go into any of the high street stores such as PC World, Comet, Currys, John Lewis, Dixons, Tesco all laptops on sale come pre-installed with Windows Vista. If you go online to Compaq, Toshiba, Sony, HP, Acer and the rest, you have no choice but to buy Windows Vista. In fact, all websites display the same message "Toshiba recommends Windows Vista", "HP recommends Windows Vista", "VAIO recommends Windows Vista", "Acer recommends Windows Vista" on and on ad nauseam.
With the consistent wording, these recommendations clearly originate from Microsoft rather than clinical engineering tests. Microsoft are heavily incentivising manufacturers to push Vista which has unbelievably been in development since 2001, consuming Microsoft people and money. Despite this, Vista, delivered three years late, doesn't perform any better than XP and needs some serious hardware just to run the graphical "Aero" interface such as 1GB of system memory and a 40GB hard drive capacity.
Business customers running Vista Business were thrown a life buoy, being quietly allowed to "downgrade" to XP. Retail customers, however, don't have the same licensing choice. If you have it, you're stuck with it. The main change in Vista is the unnecessary user interface and an improved search function as it tries to catch up with Google. Oh, and My Computer has been renamed Computer.
With Vista OS I am reminded of the Apple II being replaced with the Apple III in the early 1980s. The Apple III was designed by Marketeers and was the beginning of the end of Apples leading market position until it started to find itself again with the iPod. Vista has the look and feel of a development being led by Marketeers, it's not an operating system of choice.
So what is the alternative? As you can't seem to buy a laptop with XP you can return to Apple and the MAC OS (once it's not the "leopard" 10.5) or you can build your own with a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu, i.e. buy a Vista Laptop and uninstall the Vista OS. For the moment, my choice is not to buy.
Chancellor Alistair Darling does listen to businesses, he announces, trying with great difficulty to suppress a smile as he daringly poses for a picture without his ears.....
Mr A gestured to the Garfunkel's across the road and suggested we "just go in there". Even though it was quiet, the staff left us waiting to be seated for an unnecessarily long period of time.
When it was obvious we weren't going to leave, the waitress approached. From her expression she'd clearly drawn the short straw. She had to endure the inconvenience of the customers.
The attitude in the kitchen can't have been any better. I had to take a photograph of Mr A's lasagne. It was so palpably burnt - incredible that this could be delivered out of a kitchen in Piccadilly Circus and be unashamedly charged at £8.95.
Krispy Kreme have a facebook group, apparently, called Krispy Kreme is coming to Portsmouth. But don't get me started on social networking sites, I want to talk about another one. This site, pictured below, used to be the children's playground at Tesco's North Harbour in Portsmouth.
Make way! It was obviously not producing revenue and has been given over to the much healthier doughnut! Evidently 120,000 of them will be given out free in the run up to store opening and , especially for Portsmouth, a limited edition doughnut, called the Berry Redknapp, after former Pompey manager, will also be available. Don't you just love the marketing?
And the playground? Gone.
Despite having the Techguys with "a wealth of knowledge, years of experience and unrivalled expertise in all manner of computer and technology related challenges" I couldn't get onto the PC World website as it was too busy. I am advised the store will open soon, and bizarrely, am asked to try again in 1430 minutes.
1430 minutes, why that's just under 24 hours? What's the matter, can't the Techguys get the load balancing on the servers right? Is the challenge too great? Or maybe PC World, ironically, just doesn't have the hardware?
By the way, I assume the 1430 minutes is an error in their calculations, unless they've been really clever and included a variable to cover the amount of time a visitor will waste trying to find a laptop without rubbish Vista installed.
Wouldn't it be useful if PC World added operating system into their search function? You might feel you actually had a choice, even if it was only to select XP.