Monthly Archives:August 2008

PM E-Petition ( admin posted on August 11th, 2008 )

My request for an e-petition has been approved and just gone live here.

The text is as follows:-

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to force computer retailers to un-bundle software from hardware.

When you buy a computer you need to load it with an operating system and other programs (usually from Microsoft). Having these come with the unit is great for some people, but also acts as a “tax” to others who may want to use their own software (e.g. Linux). At the moment retailers keep details of the bundling and pricing very secret and in most cases will not even sell a computer without a load of bundled software. If they were forced to be more open, and sell or at least price the software separately, the market would be much fairer.


I got 60 signatures. Thanks to all who signed up, but not enough I think. Keep paying the tax then . . . . .

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Categories: general

Laptop Update ( admin posted on August 8th, 2008 )

Sound does work – I only tweeked a few things and it came on.

Great view of the desktop eyecandy – this is 4 screens, after pressing start > e

Got both firefox and opera running.

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Categories: general

Hasta la vista ( admin posted on August 5th, 2008 )

Well PC World’s loss is Dell’s gain – my new Inspiron 1525 laptop arrived today, complete with ubuntu 8.04 pre-installed, and a battery pre-charged. It recognised my new logitech marble mouse (been wanting to try one of these for a while – thought it would be good on a small desk or even a knee). It also recognised a USB pen-drive, and a USB hard disk, even though this was formatted as NTFS. I copied all 30GB of data off the disk while typing this (took several minutes at around 15mb/s according to the file copying utility).

All in all, a fantastic machine which has all the bits and pieces I need, together with access to more utilities than I will ever get to use ( and a few games!).

First charge of the batttery lasted about 2 hours intensive use, including powering the external hard disk. This is the 9 cell version with a power bulge at the back. Normally comes with 6 cells.

So far the only thing not working out of the box is the sound (not a peep so far).

Eye candy is excellent. at least on a par with vista

Keyboard is quite good, apart from my tendency to keep hitting the touchpad, due to my not normally typing on this sort of keyboard a lot. Might have to put something over it and use the external mouse all the time.

I had cause to play with a vista machine today, which seemed to spend every spare minute running both available processors flat out doing some background task. It also took around 4 hours to copy about 20GB off an external hard disk (USB). Pretty poor performance by comparison to ubuntu – good job I was near a mains point. Not my machine of course, and cost rather more.

Put a few desktop widgets (desklets) on, and had a play with “F-Spot” photo album/editing suite. Imported from disk flawlessly, and does a great slide show.

I also installed “Opera” as one of my favourite browsers, and a mobile connect card suite for my dongle arriving tomorrow. Mmmmm…..wireless internet.

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Categories: general