Thursday, 22 January 2009

New Year – New Eee

5 Jan. '09

So, here I am trudging to work on the first day back after the holidays, I seem to have developed a cold overnight, it is freezing, still dark and there is snow on the ground, which is already dirtied by the feet of gloomy commuters just like me.However there is a light, and it comes in the form of Windows XP – now you didn’t see that coming did you!??!!

As many of you may know I got a Linux based eee PC 901 at the end of the summer last year, and whilst I love the size and portability of the hardware I really struggled with the Linux platform. It seemed to me that absolutely nothing I wanted was compatible, the mobile broadband dongle, my cannon ixus camera, channel 4 OD, iTunes, Office, etc, etc.

Anyway, I must have been a good girl this year as Father Christmas brought me a copy of Windows XP professional! My Dad and I then spent several hours working to install the new operating system and optimise the performance of XP on the eee PC. I will confess that Dad put in many more hours (days actually!!!) than I did on this project and for that I am very, very grateful.

I have had the XP operating system installed for about a week now, but this will be the first week I will use the newly configured machine in anger. So far performance wise it feels at least as fast as Linux, if not a little quicker! Plus, I have a great deal more software on the machine making it much more useful for facilitating work on the move. Who would have thought the number 42 bus could become an office so easily!!! :-)

The Linux eee PC 901 was sold with 2 drives, on the smaller fast drive we have installed a cut down version of Windows XP Professional using n-Lite, this weighs in at 2.45 GB. We have split the slower second drive in two and we use one partition for programmes and the other for my files.

I will keep you posted as to how the performance holds up as I begin to push the system over the coming weeks.

I am looking for a machine that will support and facilitate me in my work not a machine that becomes a project in itself!! I believe the Linux platform is not for the non-techie, or the person who just wants to get on with the task in hand. It is for the hands on techie, who likes an ongoing project, has time on their hands and wants to support the concept of open source software.

Obviously I am being a bit controversial here, of course I am aware that there are benefits to Linux otherwise I wouldn’t have bought the machine in the first instance, but I am hoping to prompt some comments which might form a debate…

… Your thoughts !!!??!?

22 Jan. 09

Update: The eeePC is working fantastically; it is so fast and appears to do absolutely everything I want. However, I will confess it was a bit unhappy when I spilt a cup of tea over it last weekend, fortunately it dried out and started working again, phew!

… but I wouldn’t recommend this as a procedure!

Otherwise, the switch to XP has been the best decision. In fact my dad and I were so impressed he has now bought himself a Linux 901 eeePC and converted it to Windows :-)

Customer Services Heaven!

Many of my regular readers may have noticed a serious lack of blog posts recently, no excuses of course, but …

… first it was Christmas with my folks in the Lakes, then my fella’s Birthday, then it was New Year in France with Mum, then I was ill and then my Computer temporarily died!!!

Anyway, I’m better now and so is my machine, blog holiday is over and here are a couple of posts I prepared earlier!! Enjoy :-)

31 Dec. 08

Sitting at Liverpool Airport with a five and a half hour delay on my flight to the little house in France, presents me with an interesting opportunity to catch up on my Blog writing!!

Firstly as a follow up to my previous posts regarding customer service, I feel bound to report an example of customer service excellence I recently experienced.

At the office we have the ability to take credit card payments from customers using an HSBC card terminal plugged into an analogue phone line. This works very well and allows us to take both large and small payments quickly and securely. However, shortly before the Christmas break I was due to take payment from a number of clients, but the terminal wouldn’t work. After a quick call to HSBC customer support we identified that the problem lay not with the terminal but with the phone line. Our supplier is NTL business, so I gave them a call and reported a fault on the line. The lady took the details and then provided me with a reference number and said that they would be in touch! To be completely honest I was sceptical, to say the very least!!

20 minutes later, much to my surprise I received a phone call from an engineer and to my complete astonishment he was outside the office in the street fixing the connection and asking me to try the line out!! 10 minutes later and the problem was solved and the phone line and credit card terminal all operational, brilliant!!

NTL business (owned by Virgin), provided polite, fast and efficient customer services, brilliant! Just how it should be :-)