A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘tech’

Taking the plunge with the penguin

Posted by Alan on October 29, 2010

A little while ago I finally took the plunge and purged Windows XP from my netbook. As an IT nerd, I have had experience with Linux in the past, but never got past the tinkering for fun stage.  This time, I’m actually using it for real. So, what do you get? First up a pretty normal looking desktop:

 

Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu Desktop

 

Some stuff is in new places (such as close/minimise/etc – all in the Apple Mac style top right) and but generally it’s not very scary menu browse to application system. The biggest difference is the software centre – it’s a place where you can pick up free apps to use. There’s quite a few covering many things.

 

Software Centre

Ubuntu Software Centre

 

Wander outside of the software centre to find applications and it’s a very much more scary place though. Still, for general use the software centre does the job nicely. So in terms of apps out of the box, there’s a standard set covering word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, email, internet browsing and social networking.

 

Social networking client

 

Personally I tend not to use gwibber as my social networking client – it’s a little clunky and by default only refreshes every 5 minutes.  Still, it does integrate into the OS itself meaning any updates are subtle when minimised and once setup you get single sign on.  The office type applications are much like Office 2003 – not very scary, but less familiar now that I use the MS ribbon interface all day work!

 

Word Processor

 

Browsing the internet with Firefox is pretty much the same as it is under Windows.

 

Firefox - Web Browsing

 

As you might expect, the OS does include some image integration – it’s easy to pick out photos etc through it.

 

Pictures - as per windows XP

 

Overall it’s really good.  The wireless connects instantly and holds its connection well. Even my o2 dongle works. Best of all it’s free! These screenshots are all from Ubuntu 10.04 – but 10.10 is available now which has some minor enhancements. The most noticeable being that they changed the font – pretty irrelevant really! I have found it really helpful that Thunderbird 3.1 is part of the software centre – local calendars are the way forwards – especially if you have keep a close eye on your schedule.

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Posted in General Meh | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

o2 fail

Posted by Alan on October 4, 2009

Not impressed with the o2 customer service. Last week I did a bit of searching to find out what was happening with the firmware on my N96 – to see when it might be upgraded. Indeed, Nokia have released updates (V20 and now V30!) to the Symbian OS – but o2 customers are stuck on V12! So I thought I would ask o2 when they might get round to releasing their version of the software to receive this garbled reply…

—————————————————–

Good morning Alan

Thanks for emailing us about the Nokia N96. I understand you wish to know when is the firmware upgrade for your phone going to arrive. Also, you’re interested in knowing the realise date for Nokia V30. Let me see what best I can do for you.

Alan, I’m sorry as we’re unable to comment in regards to the firmware software for Nokia N96. I’ve checked the Nokia website and I can’t find any phone named V30 or V20. I’d request you to visit the nearest Nokia store, as they’ll be in a better position to help you with more details about the software and answer your query.

I’d like to tell you that any new phone available with us, it’ll be updated on our website. As there are demands for new phones, I’d request you to kindly keep a tab on our website by clicking on the link given below:

http://www.o2.co.uk/shop/latestoffers

Alan, I’m pleased to tell you that we have a excellent range of other Nokia phones available online. To view the same, please click on the link given below:

http://shop.o2.co.uk/mobile_phones/Pay_Monthly/Nokia

To know more about the best deals available, simply contact our helpful sales team on 08442 020202 between:

– Monday to Friday 8.30am to 9pm

– Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm.

They’ll definitely help you with the availability of the phones.

Alan, I realise this isn’t the answer you were looking for. I hope the above information is of some help to you. Have a nice day. If you need any further help, feel free to contact us or visit our excellent online Help Centre at:

http://www.o2.co.uk/help

When you email us please provide: full name, first line of address, postcode, mobile number and registered email address as it helps us answer your query faster.

Kind regards

<name removed>

O2 Customer Service

Posted in Geek Streak, Rant | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Eclipse

Posted by Alan on April 30, 2009

There hasn’t been a whole lot going on for me since the excitement of LOOT and easter weekend. I’ve started my job as a Business Relationship Manager at TfL and it all seems to be going jolly well just yet.

So… my present to myself was to finally say yes to buying a new laptop and get on with it. Today arrived ‘Eclipse’ – my new Netbook (name inspired by it’s black fascia). Using ‘doze rather than *nix – overall seems very useful piece of kit. Very quick to setup the wireless and I’m pretty impressed with the almost mac-esque gesture controls. I guess I have no excuse not for being late with BCS work…

Robin’s pie shop in Wanstead has finally opened. Haven’t been yet – saving that excitement for the weekend when Ruth is away…

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Snazzy NAS

Posted by Alan on February 28, 2009

Last week I finally got around to setting up my NAS [Network Attached Storage] box. It’s pretty cool. £25 gets you the little enclosure. It plugs into the switch, in the back room – so I can’t hear it when it’s on. It is quite loud mainly due to the fact it is a hard drive and a fan in a small resonating metal box. Seems to work with Windows Vista (after a firmware upgrade), XP and 2K. Haven’t tried Linux yet but I assume it will probably work without many headaches.

Coupled with a 120GB hard drive I bought off Chris, it works well for the TV we download from 4OD, iPlayer, et al. especially now we don’t have a TV aerial!

Next task is to look at using it to backup inportant stuff and to see how secure the public FTP facility is.

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Windows 7

Posted by Alan on January 27, 2009

Yes! I’m one of the lucky thousands with Windows 7. So what’s new?

  • A slightly different UI to Vista, moving away from the familiar windows-y look and feel
  • Shiner graphics (well, if I wasn’t running it in a Virtual Machine)
  • Paint now looks like it’s part of Office 07
  • Internet Explorer 8

I haven’t spent much time playing yet, but it does look promising. Vista has been a bit of a waste of time/money for me in many ways. It looks a bit better but it doesn’t exactly make things easier, particularly when I start to faff on with LAME and Virtual Dub.

If you do like playing with tech, get it now though. It’s free. It seems to work and certainly isn’t any worse than what you could pay for. Infact, IE 8 looks pretty promising. Add a spellcheck and I might even think about using it from time to time!

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