Monthly Archives:July 2008

Buying a new laptop is not easy ( admin posted on July 28th, 2008 )

It should be, what with high street sales struggling, credit crunch etc. But PCWorld doesn’t want to sell one to me. I want a simple laptop and they have a model that looks perfect – EI 1201. Except I want to run my own operating system (Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Open SuSE/Open Solaris). Shop price £280 including the windows tax (vista). How much without vista ? Lets see :-

email to customer services.


I called into my local store recently (Huddersfield) and was impressed
with the EI Systems 1201. I would like to buy one without Microsoft Windows
installed, but the people in the store were a bit vague as to whether
this was possible. Could you clarify this please – can I get one with the
software removed already, or do I have to buy one, then return the
disks/stickers for a refund at the store? (Assuming I am not going to use
the software and refuse the license agreement). Could you also please
advise the amount of discount/refund I could expect?

Many thanks,


2008/7/21 PC World :

Dear ,

Thank you for your email dated 17th July 2008.

The Ei System 1201 only comes pre-installed with Windows Vista as a
manufacturing standard, therefore we would be unable to remove this
software. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Radford
PC World Customer Services


Thanks for your reply.

What would be your position if I bought one, then refused the software
licensing agreement?

Would I then be able to claim a refund on the software as per the standard
microsoft license terms ?

I understand this is to be recovered direct from the retailer (yourselves,
not from microsoft because of the bundling) according to the terms.
Obviously I haven’t read the actual terms that go with this machine yet, I
am assuming they are similar to others I have seen in the past. Perhaps you
could send me a copy or point me to the correct link prior to purchase?

Your comments appreciated.

Best Regards,

2008/7/24 PC World

Dear Mr ,

Thank you for your email dated 21st July 2008.

We would consider a refund of the whole unit if you did not agree with the
license agreement, but there is no responsibility on the retailer to refund
the cost of the operating system. The point of contact for this would be
the original equipment manufacturer.

I trust the above serves to answer your query and thank you for taking the
time to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Jones
PC World Customer Services


I am very disappointed. Ideally I would prefer to buy an EI Systems 1201
without any software, my second choice was to purchase the unit and then
apply for a refund covering the microsoft software bundled with the product,
thus ensuring no disruption to your supply chain.

You are now saying I can’t do this. This seems to be against all common
sense. If I was buying a car from you would I be forced to use microsoft
maps rather than the collins ones I already have? I use microsoft software
every day, but I would also like a choice in spending my money where it is
best used. Buying a computer, with the cost of the operating system and
other software included, and then wiping the hard disk immediately seems
just wasteful.

Can I contact EI systems direct ? Will they sell me one direct ? I thought
that this machine was made exclusively for DSG and therefore you are the OEM
not just the retailer?

This would not be such a big issue if the cost of the bundled software were
comparable to the car/map scenario (car £15,000, map £5), but in this case
it is probably of the order of 10 to 20% of the final cost of the unit from
yourselves. Thats a heck of a tax!

Your comments appreciated.


Dear ,

Thank you for your email dated 25th July 2008.

I am unable to assist from here at Customer Services, as we do not hold the technical knowledge required. I suggest you contact our technical team direct on 0844 800 6020 or visit for further support.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Keady
PC World Customer Services


So there we have it. My questions are too technical. Or maybe they don’t want to answer.

I am very tempted to push this further, but quite frankly I can’t be bothered. I have ordered a dell with ubuntu pre-installed instead (£55 cheaper than the windows model, but not as cheap as the EI 1201).

I have also requested an online petition to unbundle hardware from software, or at least make it transparent.

If approved for voting I would appreciate some support. Breathes in and holds . . . . . .

COMMENTS: Comments Closed

Categories: general

DRM is really, really stupid. ( admin posted on July 16th, 2008 )

I’ve been avoiding anything ipod related for a long time – especially since I read Cory Doctorow’s excellent speech some years ago.

Today I heard another story where someone wanted, quite reasonably, to put music onto a different player to their normal ipod for a while. And couldn’t. Yes there are ways round it, but making people jump through hoops to play their own music is not good for business, or as was said to me “If I had known about this I would never have had an ipod. I will never buy another”. Nuff said. Your music should be your music.

Googling for Cory + DRM finds a lot of similar comments.

Another funny explanation of drm is here.

I don’t have an MP3 player, but my kids do . . . . .

COMMENTS: Comments Closed

Categories: education, general

Fast Dilbert ( admin posted on July 16th, 2008 )

I regularly check the dilbert website and the latest cartoon is just superb. Best for a long time.

If you didn’t already know, you can bypass all the flash and the adverts by going fast.

COMMENTS: Comments Closed

Categories: general

Last Vulcan back in the air ( admin posted on July 8th, 2008 )

XH558 is back in the air. Sadly I couldn’t be there at Waddington over the weekend, but my second favourite aircraft is back on the air display circuit.

I will never forget the sight (and sound) of a Vulcan Scramble at early 1970s air shows. Yes I know it’s a bit of a fake, with the aicrew already strapped in and the whole plane “hot”, but as a pre-teen, it was just fantastic. (If any real crew would like to tell me otherwise be my guest).

Good luck for the rest of the season.

p.s. my favourite plane ? English Electric Lightning.

Also here.

COMMENTS: Comments Closed

Categories: general

Kirklees Needs this ( admin posted on July 7th, 2008 )

Like a fish needs a bicycle.

First you need to visit or and have a scan through. Not really hit google yet because it’s too new (Registered 4th June 2008, along with The architects and artists have clearly been very very busy.

This is a superb development, full of clever opportunities to spend money and buy fat (sorry – enjoy nutritious food in an exciting “major fast food brand” restaurant).

If last Sunday is anything to go by, a few new roads will also be needed (Total road chaos for 3-4 hrs on Sunday due to the kirklees youth games. No I don’t have clue what that was about either, despite having numerous “youths” living at home).

I also recall the last deluge when the river through the site came within inches (or mm) of flooding the whole area. Lets hope the budget includes a big dredger and a wider river. Build this on a flood plain ? Glad I don’t have to insure it.

Posted on 21/01/2008 1:03 PM by: Niel Stewart

Note the trees on the bank!

I wish them luck – they are going to need it.

p.s. the council owns 40% of KSDL (Kirklees Stadium Developments Ltd)

p.p.s. The council website hasn’t found it either :-

Search for: hdone
Results for hdone. Search took 0 seconds.Did you mean: done ????????


COMMENTS: 1 Comment »

Categories: general

No more music at work ( admin posted on July 2nd, 2008 )

The PRS are causing mayhem with small businesses all over the country, and they have the law on their side. A few months ago they started a very agressive campaign, assuming (probably correctly) that most small businesses, that are able to, have a radio at work. Bingo, collect a huge fee from them.

Except most small businesses don’t consider this fair and either refuse to pay (and get sued) or take their radio’s home again. This has now happened where I work – no more music. And no more adverts. Oops – do the commercial stations realise what they’ve done?

The FSB are also fed up, especially with the bullying tactics employed.

My advice :-

Don’t speak to them. Don’t reply to any correspondance. Don’t admit anything. Don’t let them on your premises.

If that’s too late, then join the FSB and hope they can get some concessions for you. Putting your head in the sand will not make these people go away – but you can at least drag out the process and make them earn their money, which of course means less revenue for the artists they supposedly represent. If you have already admitted to having a radio (or similar), you are doomed. I would suggest you stick your head in the gas oven, but you probably need a permit for that as well.

COMMENTS: 1 Comment »

Categories: general