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Archive for July, 2010

Remember the S600?

tmp28EBMany years ago one of the first of the modern “photo printers” I bought was the Canon S600. This was before they starting putting daft things like chips in the cartridges and so despite Canon’s high cartridge pricing, in practice you could get cartridges as cheap as a couple of quid… and I did.  This printer did some heavy duty printing but was eventually replaced by one of the IP series – and then onto HP etc etc… but the S600 still sat there in a corner until one day my wife needed a printer and so she had the thing for maybe a year or so – again putting the cheapest ink we could get into it.

After it had laid around for several more months gathering dust, when we first decided to buy a place in Spain I decided to give it a go – heads looked shot but a quick deep clean and it was back on it’s feet.

The printer has now been in Spain for 2 years more or less… and suffered last winter with incredible damp. Well, we’re now on top of that having cleaned up furniture that was affected – all’s well.

Today I fired up the printer to find it was out of ink – I replaced the ink with a couple of cartridges that have been here since we got the place… the yellow remains low… these were cheap imitation ink cartridges as usual.  I’ve just run the deep clean and the magenta as a couple of missing lines.. I need to get some yellow before giving it another clean – but other than that, the good old S600 is BACK IN ACTION – would you believe it….  I wonder how more modern printers would fare…. I’ve some research on bar codes to do while I’m here so the printer is essential….  talk about good value for money!

And yes, Windows 7 64-bit loads the drivers automatically, no need to go searching!

House of Commons Trip

House of CommonsAnd a very nice time was had by all. My first trip to the House of Commons Terrace since we kicked out the disastrous left.

Sadly cameras are not really on though I did manage a picture of the EYE… a really super night last week, weather was HOT in London, the FSB had it’s Summer Reception on the Terrace after first having the house speaker John Bercow open our new office in Catherine Place, we then went off to to our summer reception which was opened by Mark Prisk. There are some photos in the FSB’s press gallery of the event…

The speech was relatively short but interesting after which John Walker did his bit and then we got on with the business of meeting up with old acquaintances and some new. Shame however we didn’t have our two new leaders in – I’ve never met Nick Clegg face to face and that would be nice. The evening ended with a small number of us heading off to the nearest Indian. Lovely.

Big Brother on the Trains

Big Brother on the Train

According to Northeast railways or whatever they’re called now, the railway formerly known as GNER, they’re installing video cameras to keep an eye out FOR you – as against ON you. 

They’ve not gotten their WIFI working properly yet, keep forgetting the newspapers in first class, keep running out of sandwiches, have bust air-conditioning…..  and here they are spending money to spy on us! Next time you pick your nose on the train – note that it’s recording!

Chances of Rain – ZILCH

Just thought you might like to see this …  or not.. yes, that’s ZERO chance of rain in sunny Galera, Andalucia for the coming week, meanwhile it’s STILL raining in the Northeast of England! Head on over to www.bedrock.es for more….


Never mind the Thieves, what about the Town Halls?

When I got up this morning to read the papers, I could not believe my eyes. Cameras on every street corner watching our every move is one thing.. but Town Halls checking our waste to see what colour we are is another thing ENTIRELY.

In the DAILY TELEGRAPH today (Thursday July 22, 2010 page 8 (26 years after 1984)) we read that NINETY councils have been secretly searching through household rubbish for “clues to families’ race, social class and wealth”. Can you believe this!!!

Just WHAT give these taxpayer-funded morons the right to spend their working hours doing this, I ask? This is nothing less than I’d expect from the RUSSIAN SECRET POLICE and it’s happening right here in BRITAIN!

Apparently, more than 10,000 families were targeted last year. NO this isn’t some unofficial socialist time wasting – this was OFFICIAL POLICY – GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE would you believe!!!

Government guidelines said “Ideally you do not want to inform the public of an audit taking place, as this could alter their disposal behaviour”.  Or, to put it another way, just FEEL FREE to go and do a bit of SUBVERSIVE SPYING on the taxpayers.

When I finish this, I’ll be writing directly to my local council to ask them what their policy WAS and what it is NOW. I suggest you do the same!

Recession biting East Coast Railways

Today I  embarked on the 11.30am from Newcastle to London Kings Cross, having purchased a first class ticket, expecting a comfortable ride to London during which I could get a bite to eat and some work done. Given the cost of first class tickets I don’t think that’s an excessive requirement.

Sitting in the central station in Newcastle in coach M, I noted that the coach was rather warm. I passed comment to the guard who pointed out that trains often get warmer in stations.

At Durham I pointed out that the coach was still too warm and the guard said they’d reset the heating a couple of times. At this time the WIFI went dead… and so I took the opportunity to take a break and order a sandwich – egg and cress – the ONLY sandwich which could be classed as "rabbit-food-free" though only just. By the time we got to Darlington it became apparent that if I was going to make use of this shirt into the evening, I’d have to move. Still no sign of my sandwich.

Approaching York, I rang up the WIFI people who said the WIFI was off and they were waiting for the guard to turn it back on! Meanwhile I tackled the guard who said I should considering moving to coach K – which I did. As I got up, I caught the eye of the lady serving sandwiches, who came offering 3 lettuce-enhanced alternatives to egg and cress as they didn’t have any left (none of which had stopped her accomplice from originally taking my money off me. She said they may be able to pick an egg and cress up at the next stop.

We’re now well on our way past YORK and still no sandwich. The WIFI in coach K appears to be working and it’s marginally cooler in here. My shirt may just last the day.

For First class travel this is all PATHETIC. What is East Coast Railways going to do to compensate me for an utterly ruined journey I wonder? Don’t hold your breath

Orange – who would have them?

Another screw-up for Orange – the broadband we were supposed to have in Bellingham is still not running. I rang them up yesterday merely to ask when it would be connected.. can’t talk to me – data protection…  I pointed out that if I get Maureen to ring – to confirm, then I ring back, I’ll get through to another part of India who won’t know anything about the first call…  no difference, data protection.

If anyone from Orange is looking in – your people are an UTTER WASTE OF SPACE!

Project Natal – Milo

This just blew me out of the water – enjoy…

The Future’s GRIM – the Future’s Orange

It looks like the morons at Orange are at it again… regular readers will know of the struggles I’ve had with them over the years…

The last time we were in the Orange store, they offered us inexpensive home broadband as we “upgraded” Maureen’s mobile phone. That would be around 3 weeks ago. We duly signed the papers, took the new phone and went about our business.

A couple of days later, I tried the broadband (not REALLY expecting it to work quite so soon but keen to at least get it set up). It immediately struck me that I’d need a username and password for the modem – so I rang up Orange. They confirmed the order but we were not yet on the system so they could not give us the information.

At that point both Maureen and I had to leave the country and head for the USA. We spent 2 weeks over there during which time her sparkly new Android phone from Orange simply would not connect. Orange were useless during this time as they had NO idea why it would not work and could only offer that I swap SIMS with my iPhone, purely to determine if the SIM was at fault.. or the PHONE was at fault. It was the phone.  On the last day in the states, at the airport, her phone started to work all by itself!

Today I rang Orange to get the username and password and ended up talking to some mindless idiot from a call centre in India. “I’m sorry but I can’t be helping you today as you are not the holder of the contract” – he said, despite being reminded that this was on MY mobile phone bill and I signed the contract at the Orange store.  I left it until Maureen returned.

I just had a very upset wife on the phone. Firstly the broadband won’t be on for another 3 weeks because they screwed something up and didn’t bother to get in touch… and another mindless call centre idiot after very long and convoluted conversation, told her that the “phone was not designed for International use”.  I should point out that this is the internationally used HTC Desire on Android, designed somewhere in deepest Asia and sold all over the world.

Bunch of complete idiots. As soon as I find the time to get to the Orange store, one of their employees is going to have a very hard day…