Category Archives: Frustration

How unutterably rude Skype has become

I turned on my Macbook this morning to be greeted with this popup:

A new version 6.3.0.602 of Skype is available and to be able to continue to use Skype you must download and install it.

What the heck, Skype? That’s not how upgrades work. How unutterably rude you’ve become since Microsoft bought you.

Coincidence?

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Replacement plate for Daewoo microwave

Wo own a cheap Daewoo-brand microwave oven, which I picked up at Lidl one time for (probably) £19.99. A few days ago, the glass plate that revolves in the middle of it broke. So Fiona phoned them up to see if we could order a replacement.

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“Sure”, they said, “It’ll be with you on 17th October”.

Which is four months away.

??!

 

 

Dear charities: stop spamming me

And while I’m complaining

charity-swag

Last night, I opened my big backlog of snail-mail. When I say “big” I mean that if I could have got it all to stand up in a single stack, it would have been between two and three feet high, and that I was up until 3:30am ploughing through it.

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TalkTalk want £10 for a 13-month-old bill

I’m putting together my expenses for running the small home office where I do my work. One expense is my phone line. I went to the web-site of TalkTalk, my phone provider, only to find that they won’t show me the older bills unless I pay them £10:

Screenshot from 2013-10-29 12:00:52

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Turn up the volume!

Back in 2005, I won a first-generation iPod Shuffle at a conference for being the most engaged participant or something (i.e. for being a loud-mouth).

IPod_shuffle_1G

The Shuffle is a horrible piece of kit, of course. It has no display, no way to navigate between albums (only track-at-a-time), no EQ, only the crudest battery-state indicator (OK vs. not-OK), and Apple’s appallingly clunky proprietary disk format which means you have to wrestle it to the ground before you can add songs.

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On Stewart Lee and the art of stand-up comedy

In the last week or two, I’ve become obsessed by the comedy of Stewart Lee. He’s an English stand-up comedian, originally famous as half of the Lee and Herring duo in the 1990s, making Fist of Fun and This Morning With Richard Not Judy for television. His career has taken a lot of twists and turns since then, but in the last few years he’s emerged as a unique voice with a series of shows that don’t really resemble anything else I’ve seen.

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Pulled back into PlusNet after all

Well, what do you know? I left the phone ringing as I wrote the last post, and it did get picked up. I got through to a helpful man who was going to send a new MAC key, but managed to get me to explain why I wanted to move.

Beyond simple frustration, PlusNet simply don’t offer the package I need, which is unlimited bandwidth with a static IP address. Well, I was right: that package doesn’t exist. But they do have a package which gives me 120 GB per month rather than the current deal which starts throttling me to death around 30 GB. So for now at least, that’s good enough — it’s past the I Don’t Want To Even Have To Think About How Much Bandwidth I’m Using threshhold. (Because that’s the real issue. It’s 2012: I should not have to think “better not watch that on iPlayer this month, it might push me past the threshhold”.)

Not only that, I can have a static IP address with the 120 GB package for £5 a month, which is fine. It’s actually going to come to significantly less than I am paying now.

So I am staying with them after all.

But here’s the frustrating bit: I only found this out because I phoned. x There is nothing on plus.net that admits the existence of a 120 GB deal: it’s a closely guarded secret. Their site only shows 10GB and 60GB deals. And there’s nothing that says you can get a static IP address with either of these deals. In fact the whole site seems coy on the very existence of static IPs: for example, nothing in my account page admits that I have one under my current package.

You only find out that the 120GB deal exists, and that it can have a static IP address, if you phone up and are prepared to wait twenty minutes.

What’s that about?