COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 19 Feb 2013, 10:59

Right Tiz. Over to you! I want you to take all the risks, go onto 12.4 64 bit and report back to us. If it goes well for you I'll consider a change!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 19 Feb 2013, 11:18

Thanks, Pluggy and Stanley, for the advice. I'll get myself an external hard drive now and then I'm ready for doing an upgrade with everything backed up externally as well as my usual back-ups between the two PCs. We used to be able to get a back-up onto a DVD but no longer! I'll have to do the upgrade before the present version loses support but it won't be immediate. The `elderly parent trouble' is taking up all our time and is very stressful - I won't risk more stress at the same time!

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 19 Feb 2013, 23:17

I've downloaded a 64 bit version of 12.04, I'll put it on an old computer in the morning and look out for any problems.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 20 Feb 2013, 05:52

What a good man......
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 20 Feb 2013, 07:40

I got a text message last night from EE saying that engineers had fixed the fault on our line, which is all very well, except the wife got a call from BT last week apologising for missing the appointment to come out to us, she told them not to bother. The line is now fine and other than the changeover of the tariff nothing has changed here. The old cynic in me thinks EE was engineering the fault on second line customers to get rid of us. It was too cheap and they knew it. I'm glad I hung on until the bitter end now....... I've still got a cheap deal and the broadband is faster. Speed this morning was 16.22 Mb/s. My logs indicate my external IP address changed completely to one registered to EE rather than Orange on the 4th of February which is about when the phone stopped crackling. I'll go with cunning wheeze I think, but I'm not complaining.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 20 Feb 2013, 08:27

I thin k you're right.... the CW department in overdrive. Didn't work with me though and I'm sure that what they were doing was trying to enveigle me into a contract. I took one of course but not with them. By the way, the £3.50 per month for unlimited international calls 24x7 works.....
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 20 Feb 2013, 09:42

Plugs - thanks for your (free) help and advice. Thank goodness for pedants. :smile: I have now got my machine back to its original state, sort of. I considered replacing it, but being naturally frugal, I soon fought off that option. I'll let nature take its course. I guess it will last for some time now. At least I'll be able to fix it quicker next time.
I read somewhere recently that optical drives are going the way of the floppy disc, and that Google have an offering where all your data is stored on their servers "in the cloud". They say their own operating system is virus proof, and of course you'd have no worries about losing your data. You might change that for worries about what they would do with your data though.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 20 Feb 2013, 10:07

The wife says I shouldn't be giving free advice, I should be pushing for a visit and charging. Probably a similar story for many self employed. I make it, she spends it :)

I broke my crystal ball many years ago, I don't know what the future holds. The cloud will certainly become more important, even this old dinosaur uses it. Ubuntu give you 5 GB of online storage which is automatically synchcronised to all the machines you link to it. I find it very useful as it keeps the stuff you want up to date on all your computers. They want money if you go over 5GB though. There haven't been any security issues with it I've seen. Google are big linux users, Android is basically linux but its rapidly going the money grasping, crap with everything, Windows route. Many of the apps I use on my Android mobile are now plastered with adverts and links to their social networking pages, the AV companies are now bundling Android AV in their Windows offerings It certainly isn't free of Viruses.

They have recently made their Chrome laptops more attractive by reducing the price of them. Reviewers still seem to think a cloud only PC is still very limited. Tablets are certainly here, maybe for a while, I wouldn't like to call it what will be still around in 5 years from now. The Netbook was all the rage 5 years ago, but they have faded into obscurity now. Change is the only certainty.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 20 Feb 2013, 13:17

Stanley wrote:What a good man......
Maybe not so good , the old computer I was planning using as a test bed is too old. It's only a 32 bit CPU.......

Its a Pentium 4 which marks the changeover for Intel, but its an earlier P4 than the age of machine would suggest and is only 32.

Watch this space.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 21 Feb 2013, 06:09

Down to Tiz then. No problems with 10.4 64 bit, cast iron and updates still flowing in. I can't say it too many times, having changed over and watching the trials and tribulations even with the new Windows OS I'd still recommend anyone to go over to Linux.
David, in the bad old days when I was fighting the blue screen with W98 I found that if it crashed really badly the best way was to format the hard disk so you were guaranteed a clean start. Mind you, a pain in the bum, all the programmes to reload..... The hours I spent.....!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 21 Feb 2013, 09:39

Pluggy wrote:The wife says I shouldn't be giving free advice, I should be pushing for a visit and charging.
Explain to her that giving free advice is one of the best promotional tools available to an ethical business. It puts you way ahead of businesses that only look at the immediate profit in isolation and miss the long-term advantage of customer goodwill and a great reputation. And it's *free* promotion too! Pushing for a visit is fine but it doesn't stop the giving of free advice in parallel.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 21 Feb 2013, 09:59

I don't think the really old biege one sat under my desk is worth trying. It probably started life with Windows 98.....
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 21 Feb 2013, 12:21

Pluggy was my first thought, and if he had a Cambridge branch, - he'd have got the job, no question. I was also wondering what to pack it in to send it to him - miraculously I seem to have got it back to roughly where it was unaided.

You talk about old computers - I've got two, and am coming to the conclusion that they are of no use whatever, and should be scrapped. Am I correct?
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 21 Feb 2013, 14:18

I've sold a couple of revamped old computers. sometimes people want a cheap computer. The market for old desktops is very limited now however. I get requests for second hand laptops fairly frequently, but the number of saleable laptops I come across is very small. Desktops go on for years, because they are fairly robust and rarely get moved. Laptops are fragile, get moved often and break. I've had one half decent laptop come my way, and another that I didn't get. The one I got came in for repair, mangled hard drive, didn't have any recovery disks, He didn't want to pay for another hard drive and recovery disks or for me to put Linux on it. and was making noises about dumping it. I knew it was solid and a half decent spec because I'd looked it over and offered him a few pounds for it as it stood. He almost took my hand off. I put a second hand drive in it and put Linux on it. My wife is using it now. I get quite a lot coming in that are beyond economic repair. I've a couple under my desk now that I think might come in to rob bits off. Generally desktops live until they are replaced, usually by a laptop or tablet. Laptops are dumped because they are beyond fixing.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 22 Feb 2013, 05:51

My back-up IBM Aptiva upstairs, kept because it's too good to dump and runs my scanner is a case in point. As good today as when I paid £1000 for it all those years ago. It has a 3.5" drive as well..... It runs W2K as an OS and isn't connected to the web and never gives any trouble. I get the impression from the people I talk to that W2K was possibly the best OS they ever released to community care.
I must admit that as I approach eighty years old I have a fancy for an even faster box, not because I need it but just because it's possible. Question is, would a faster board than the one I have now which has a quad core 2.83 chip give any improvement? I think the limiting factor with me is the outside world like connection and server speed and reliability. Probably best to stop fantasising!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 22 Feb 2013, 07:46

Last night I paid £13 to download the latest OSX (I think it is called Mountain Lion 10.8.4) for my Apple Mac, very cheap compared with Microsoft operating system upgrades. However, whilst trying to install it, I was advised that it could not be done and I should change to GUID instead of MBR. No problem. I have a full back up on an external HDD, so I upgraded that instead. But somewhere along the line I managed to wipe out my original system. You are always warned that you should take a full back up before doing OS upgrades, and I had done this, so I'm hoping I'll get full restoration now that I've re-partitioned the original internal hard drive using GUID system. But the restoration is slow, maybe because I'm using wireless transfer. Only another 60 GB to go! Should be finished by 8pm CST, 12 noon your time. At least I haven't lost any data.

The title of this thread is very apt. :grin: I can hear Pluggy saying "bloody amateurs" :smile:

The moral is: ALWAYS make a full back up of your system and keep it up to date.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 22 Feb 2013, 09:37

Hard luck China. Ubuntu Linux is free though.....
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 22 Feb 2013, 10:44

"I think the limiting factor with me is the outside world like connection and server speed and reliability."

I'm a few years behind you, but I find these days the limiting factor is the 'computer between my ears' :smile:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Steven Chorkley » 22 Feb 2013, 14:53

Hi, I was just browsing..... I had been with Orange Broadband for several years paying £12.50 a month for bt's old line rental charge and paying £5 a month for 5Mb/s with a free second line and no fair use policy. I was based on ADSL Max on the old 20CN network.

But Orange have now stopped use of the second line. I switched to TalkTalk as they were going to charge me £20 a month for effectively the same deal, but upgrade me to the 21CN and hook me up to 15Mb/s with their LLU.
Their router was worse than Orange's 1.1 Livebox which I previously owned, the router couldn't handle the traffic I was using throughout the network (I have a HomeServer!!!). The router would become unstable before reaching 7Mb/s...... I know you are going to say my line may not be able to handle it!!!! But the line was re-fitted when we moved into the property 10 years ago and Cabinet 7 is located 100 yards down my road.
We had two visits from engineers, the first being a TalkTalk Cube engineer. He stated my line had a crackle and my extension wasn't receiving any signal whatsoever, I knew this wasn't an issue but pressed on for a BT Openreach engineer. After at least 20 calls and a complaint raised on the account the engineer arrived the very next day without notifying. He stated the line was in very good condition despite it being wired myself and most likely the issue remains on TalkTalk's LLU system.

They denied any claims and wouldn't accept there was a fault, although they understood I had an unstable line. They wouldn't allow me to leave either without a termination fee as I will still in contract. This I managed to solve as I spoke to their regulator who states that they are in breach of contract as they aren't supplying a decent product.

I switched to Plusnet who purchase bandwidth from BT Wholesale, the transition was completed this Wednesday. I have had no issue up to date even with being in the 10 day trial period and had no instability issues. They are providing me at the moment 11.0Mb/s with the connection being live for 8 hours. Although costing £60 a year more than TalkTalk I am very pleased with the service they provide. I also must note they sell Static ip addresses for a one off fee of £5 and this will continue with the transition to ipv6.

I wanted to advertise my issue in regards to learn from other peoples experiences and see if anyone else in the area has had similar issues. I am going to try and instigate a speed wave and ask for people to show their postcodes to try and work out the quality of the exchange located within Barnoldswick.

Link: Click here to go to SpeedWave Thread

Note....
Earby are becoming FTTC enabled before the end of the year whilst the Barnoldswick Exchange wont be enabled until at least September 2015!!!!

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 23 Feb 2013, 17:22

Regarding the loss of second line, I got what sounded like the same deal. The £20 a month is including Line Rental. I was already paying Orange the line rental and was coming out at £15.88 a month before, 0845 / 0870 calls were charged and I usually wound up paying about £18.00 a month. The rang me up sayiing they were killing the second line and offered me the deal at £20 a month. Faster broadband, Inclusive mobile minutes on top of the international and inclusive anytime calls I had on second line. I went for it.

Further to may last post about my internet, it transpires that they didn't do anything to my phone line. Its intermittent, sometimes I have the crackle and slug like or non existent internet, sometime its clear and the internet goes like a train (better than 16Mb/s). I'm going to have to swear at them again.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Steven Chorkley » 23 Feb 2013, 18:06

Yeah.... I dont understand what is happening!!! Although this sounds like the service I was receiving from TalkTalk.

The only thing I can say is as soon as I switched to Plusnet last week the problem sorted itself out.

Two of my friends in the area are with Orange Broadband and have no issues whatsoever. Are you sure your ip profile is set correctly???

Sorry I don't know what else to suggest.


Thank you very much for the machine!!! It works fin, I installed windows XP and am using RDC with my HomeServer,
Thanks again,
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 23 Feb 2013, 18:51

Glad you like it.

The problem with the unholy free for all that UK ADSL broadband has become is that you can get your phone and internet from anyone, but its still BT thats in charge of the lump of wiring between the exchange and your premises. If theres a problem in this area you have to deal with your ISP because BT don't want to know you because you're not a customer so you have to deal with the script readers at your ISP. Eventually you have to convince them that there isn't a problem with your computer, router, phone and cabling within your premises and then they contact BT who then try their damnest not to do anything about it because it will cost them money and they derive little benefit from it. If you do convince them to talk to you, they try to talk you out of it with threats of a £160 fee if they don't find anything wrong with their bit. You'd probably be better off with BT as an ISP, because the buck stops with them. They can't blame the ISP, because they are the ISP.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 24 Feb 2013, 06:03

Plugs, you're right. I'm not going to relate all my problems with Orange, they're all detailed above but I am convinced that the bad service was nothing to do with the line or the equipment. They didn't like my old contract that went way back to Freeserve and so they kept me on about 10mps even after the changeover to the new BT equipment when I had 16mps (which was what we had tll June 2011 on Orange tackle). In the end I went to Talktalk on a much better deal and am back on a solid 16+mps again. I stood out against the comprehensive package as long as I could but am now better off because for one payment of £3.50 a month I get all my international calls free. I don't make any calls during the week between 7+7 so my telephone is now 'free'. A good deal..... Overall I shall save about £10 a month average when the free IPS offer finishes.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Steven Chorkley » 24 Feb 2013, 13:10

Pluggy wrote:Glad you like it.

The problem with the unholy free for all that UK ADSL broadband has become is that you can get your phone and internet from anyone, but its still BT thats in charge of the lump of wiring between the exchange and your premises. If theres a problem in this area you have to deal with your ISP because BT don't want to know you because you're not a customer so you have to deal with the script readers at your ISP. Eventually you have to convince them that there isn't a problem with your computer, router, phone and cabling within your premises and then they contact BT who then try their damnest not to do anything about it because it will cost them money and they derive little benefit from it. If you do convince them to talk to you, they try to talk you out of it with threats of a £160 fee if they don't find anything wrong with their bit. You'd probably be better off with BT as an ISP, because the buck stops with them. They can't blame the ISP, because they are the ISP.
Yeah there is that issue.... But Plusnet is BT, if you dial 100 to go through to customer services it takes you through to BT and you can talk to them directly without an issue! I didn't realise this when I switched but it is so much easier. As Plusnet is a division of BT they also allow you to raise a fault with the line yourself without the having the ISP do it for you!

Overall a really good deal. However I am really jealous of your Talk talk connection because they came out much cheaper than than Plusnet but I just didn't get the service! I paid £5 for international and UK calls, and £7 a month for unshaped traffic with no cap (torrents were shaped but used hotshot sheild ) the line rental was also very cheap using value line rental at £9.50 a month!

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 24 Feb 2013, 14:30

Having been on Plusnet for a few years now, I thought that most of what was written above was wrong, and was about to say so, but wisely checked first, and what do you know - I was wrong, and the lad's right. :smile:

I had no idea that there was any connection with BT, though they are said to be run as a seperate company. Even more surprising, when I threatened to leave them this year and go to John Lewis, they did not tell me that they also ran that operation, as a virtual ISP!

I have had a line fault whilst with them, and it was dealt with by BT, and again no mention of the fact that they are effectively the same company.

You live and learn - thanks Steven

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