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.