Friday, 17 September 2010

Technical crap today...

Monday evening I turned on the TV - we still had a big old tube TV (kids please ask your parents what I'm on about). Well it warmed up and George Alaghia appeared, briefly, then *bang* and the picture disappeared and the light started flashing alternate green and red, no doubt a useful error code to an engineer. So I did the usual thing, turned it off and on about 3 times before finally admitting that it had failed. I've been saying for some time that "when the TV breaks I'll get a new one".

So my son starts showing me modern TVs. There was a time when I felt up to date on this stuff and new roughly what was what but which 1080i vs 1080p, 100Hz refresh... blah blah blah... I felt totally an idiot and so out of touch. How can so much have changed in the 8 years since I last bought one. However my son guided me through my belligerent denial trying to explain the various features and what they would potentially provide me with.

Tuesday we set off to John Lewis to look - armed with some price comparisions. We quickly found 3 that were in the range of what I was looking for and started to compare the pictures - a cheat really as they had a piped HD feed which given we can't get HD Freeview here until 2012 it was a bit pointless. Anyway I settled on the one I thought had the best picture (it was a 100hz one so that being the deciding factor no doubt) and we approached the guy to haggle. Failed! The John Lewis "never knowingly under sold" promises has more small print than a contract with Simon Cowell! Still never mind I realised I was haggling over £70 and if I bought off an internet site I'd have to pay £20 for delivery and only get a 1 year warranty so with John Lewis giving a 5 year one "for free" (well in the price) I went for it.

My son and his mate ("I'll see this project through" :-)) had a great time helping getting it all up and running which was nice of them. So at last as my son says our TV is at last in the 21st Century. I had to admit the picture is much better than the old set and DVDs via the player my son sold me a while back that does "upscaling" is just stunning.


Network hard drive. I thought a simple solution to home PC backups. Oh how wrong. I ordered a 2tb one from Amazon Marketplace - that was cancelled instantly. I thought £74 for that too good to be true, elsewhere it was £175 so I think a typo mistake that they realised when no doubt flooded with orders! So I bought the £80 500Gb one. The instructions when it arrived couldn't be simpler. Attached power cable. Attach ethernet cable into the router and power up. Load the s/w on the CD.

Ok this'll take no time. Hmm... CD wouldn't work "illegal operation" error as soon as you hit the autorun.exe. So onto Forums and found a link to download off the manufactures site the s/w in a zip. Did that and installed. Now we are cooking!

Ok so just copy over my "data disk" - about 20GB, big but not huge. I did a drag and drop and left it as I got on with something else. Then at the bottom of the screen in the task bar the thing saying "3 days remaining" made me look again. What?!!! It was creeping along. So onto their support. "It is your router - try direct"... same speed issue. So now about an hour in I thought - "blow this". I tried a small cheap 500GB USB drive my son had recently bought - 20 times the speed. So parceled up the network drive and sent it back.

Technology - bloody marvelous isn't it. Good job I don't work I need days and days on this bloody stuff.


  1. Oh good lord....I would have just had my hubby handle all that. Not for a girl like me. a TV I could choose, but the other stuff I would have no idea about.

    thank goodness for me I have someone who can make those decisions.

    Ps-new aviatar picture? You are so handsome!!!! Nice shot!

  2. Our flat screen blew up after four years a few weeks back, luckily we bought with John Lewis so are still in warranty. But in a pickle as the TV is away for repair (collected and offsited to the JL repair centre) but they can't deliver a new one unless they can collect the old one - but the old one probably won't come back is it's broken. Like a Mexican standoff, all this and we're having to watch on my youngest's 15" portable. Ho hum!

  3. I'm about to go through the SMAME HELL regarding televisions.

    HBAG currently has an old 60 inch big screen, and I'm REALLY waiting for the price of an HD big screen of the same size to come down to a reasonable price (which shouldn't take much longer).

    I use an 80 gig external hard drive with USB connection to back up all my PC shit. Effortless.

  4. The shops love to pipe HD thru the display Plasma's and LCD's... they all look great. But like you say, the majority of what you watch will still be non-HD, maybe even still terrestrial. So it's always worth while getting them to run a bog standard TV signal through it, or a DVD (not BLu-rau).

    A lot of people say the picture is worse on their new flat screen than their old TV... but it's just because theire new TV is now so good, and picking up all the imperfections of bog standard tv broadcasts.

    It's not easy having a good time!

  5. When my dad was last over on a visit he was asking me to show him how to send a text from his very basic mobile phone...I could see the daughter will one day in the not too distant future be taking the mick out of me when I don't know how to use the 'latest gadgets'! It comes to us all!
    A friend has the right idea..she simply pretends not to have a clue on these things so that others sort it all out for her.

  6. Sounds like not working is fab for you :-)

  7. My hubby used to deal with all the technology. Now I am going to have to deal with it on my own. I'm still living in the 19th century, let alone 20th or 21st and your post sounds a lot of techno-gobbledegook. Fat chance I'll have of surviving the digital takeover in 2012 unless I do some serious swatting up on the subject.

  8. We've been waiting for our tv to break down for years ...

    Still now at least I know who has the technological knowledge to advise when it does go up in flames.