Sunday, December 30, 2007

Robin Hood - the death of Maid Marian

I just watched the series 2 finale of Robin Hood on BBC1 and have to say I'm really disappointed.

Leaving aside the unusually poor scripting. How could they kill of Marian? I've never seen a version of Robin Hood where this happens. It's an absolute mess - and if by some miracle she does come back - its going to make the whole story even more ridiculous. What good is a Robin Hood without a Marian?
They have said that there will be a series 3 I can only assume for some reason actress Lucy Griffiths didn't want to continue with the project. I must be honest she was the main reason I tuned in.
Does anyone know if Lucy is part of series 3? Maybe appearing as a ghost or being brought back to life by some mysterious eastern magic? It happened before.
Djaq and Will don't return from the holy land either instead starting a new life together there. It's going to be a strange series 3.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Dell, Vista and DHCP

I recently became the proud owner of a Dell Dimension 9200 with Vista Home Premium. I started it up plugged it in and discovered I couldn't access the internet. Being computer literate I decided to investigate the problem. Starting with the comand prompt.


This showed me my IP address was in the 169.x.x.x range. I immediatley knew that was an APIPA address and for some reason DHCP wasnt working. The connection said local only. Baffled I plugged an old XP workstation into the same cable and I immediatley had full access to the net.

After some investigating and installing a wireless card to see if that connected any better (It connected fine - still no DHCP though!) I was getting very frustrated. I found this potential solution on the net:

I followed the instructions but still had no luck.

I phoned Microsoft who told me that as I had bought an OEM product it was Dells problem or they could charge me for support. I phoned Dell. Dell told me that as I can ping computers when i set a static IP address that it was a software problem and they could refer me to a local engineer who would charge me to repair it. I am a local engineer - and none of the solutions on the web work.

Has anyone else had this problem - how did you get arround it?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

As the IT manager at my firm I am often ordering components online - 95% this process runs smoothly the goods are delivered online and cheaply. I have often used companies like Misco, Ebuyer and Dell - and most of the time when there is a problem it is easy to resolve.

However, recently I have been using Google Product Search to find the cheapest deals. I have been placing orders with companies I have never heard of - who have an online store.

Twice in the last year I have come unstuck and have had great difficulty getting my order - or money back. The first experience was with exciteit - who have now ceased trading. You can read about them here.

The latest trouble I am having is with computerwebstore.

There are some similarities between these two operations. The companies have done their best to hide any form of meaningful contact details. They don't have a telephone number. The address given is a PO Box. Also the problems seem to have arrisen through the fact that they don't actually appear to keep any stock of their own.

The original order for two external hard disk drives was placed on the 19th of July. I was emailed an order confirmation which stated there was an expected delivery time of 3 days.

I emailed them on the 25th when it hadn't arrived. I had no response. The next day I wrote again - this time via the website. They finally replied on the 1st of August.

They advised me the order would be shipped that day or the day after. I waited - and sure enough on the 3rd a parcel arrived for me - upon opening it I was aware that I had only got one of the two drives I had requested. I checked my statement - to see if they had charged me for one or two - and they had charged me for both items.

I wrote to them again - explaining their error - and asking them to immediately dispatch another one.

I had no reply. Finally on the 6th - getting frustrated that I was unable to call Computerwebstore i decided to threaten them with cancelling my order. As of today they have said they will dispatch a second drive ASAP - as their warehouse only had one in stock.

If they only had one in stock why did their website quote me a delivery time of 3 days!

I am inclined to contact my card issuer - and request that they do not honour the payment - and then make Computerwebstore collect it at their own cost.

I will not be making the mistake of using a small company like this again - just to save a few pennies.