Archive for December 8th, 2004

The Union Jack

Why is it that if Americans rally around their flag and country it is considered a natural thing to do and that they are being patriotic.

Why is it that when Frenchmen talk, nearly every fifth word seems to be France, but that is considered alright and that they are considered patriotic.

Why is it that whenever anyone in Britain rallies around the flag or dares to say “The United Kingdom is terrific!” they get accused of Xenophobia and of doing something that should only be done by adults in their own home.

The look of horror on our accusers face couldn’t be worse than if they had caught us having sex with a parrot!

Andrew

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Psion Netbook vs Sony PCG-141C

I purchased both a Psion Netbook (£899) and a Sony PCG-141C (£1449) and ran with both of them for two years before deciding to put pen to paper or, in the modern idiom, fingers to keyboard.

They both have a place in the hierachy of things and any comparison could be subjective. I know which I prefer so I will try to keep my preferences until the end of the ‘conclusions’ section.

The major advantage of the Psion is its touch-screen operation which makes it exceedingly fast to find your way around. The major advantage of the Sony is that it is fully Windows compatible and will run practically all the programs you can run on your desktop – subject, of course, to memory.

Both machines have a PCMCIA slot for a network card or modem and will both access the Internet – both e-mail and web.

Support

Trying to get efficient action out of Sony is no different to trying to get efficient action out of Psion!

Differences

The size/weight ratio of each machine is pretty similar.

Batterywise the Psion has an advantage in that it will last approximately seven hours between charges and the Sony only two hours, if you are lucky.

To run from cold, and then to load and run, at the same time, a diary, word processor and database on the Sony took just under 300 seconds seconds whereas to do the same with the Psion took less than 3 seconds.

The Sony has a hybernation mode but the Psion doesn’t need it. I will explain. After turning the Sony to hybernation mode, and just turning the Psion off, I waited a minute or so and turned both back on. After pressing the “unhybernate” key on the Sony, it took 115 seconds to warm up. After turning the Psion on, it took 1/10th of a second (or less) to come on line. Both had, of course, the diary, word processing program and database up and running.

Other features of each.

Sony

This is a fully fledged computer although it has rather a squashed screen. I found it particularly useful building up my new website when out and about as I never seemed to have time to do it at home.

Floppy drives and CDROM drives are optional extra’s and would be required if one wasn’t going to network this with your desktop. The price above didn’t include these as they were not needed. However I did need to buy a Network card so I could network it with my desktop.

Psion

This uses the EPOC operating system and, although it is not Windows compatible, it does comes with Windows software which, when connected to your desktop, will automatically transfer data in the Windows data style that you require.

One can load a number of data files with each program and a single tap on the program icon will move between data files. This is extremely useful if working on several reports or spreadsheets at any one time.

Because it is so quick to start, you can set the Psion to auto-turn off if on battery to any time from one minute. Three minutes is an ideal time I find. One can buy a docking station for the Psion which makes it easier to attach to a desktop.

Conclusion

If you really need a Windows portable, or want something you can take to a conference to run Powerpoint files into a projector, then the Sony is a must. But if you travel a lot and need to keep up to date with your reports or want instant access to your diary or contact database – and I mean instant access – then the Psion should be a serious consideration.

As for my personal preferences – I have sold my Sony PCG-141C and still use my Psion Netbook.

Now, if some kind reader, with lots of money, would like to buy me a new Psion Windows CE Netbook, I’d be a very happy bunny.

Andrew

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Journalism and Truth

I came across this in a very old magazine and, although a journalist myself, I recognise an element of truth here – so the old saying of “whatever happens across the Pond, happens here eventually” has an element of truth in it. This was written in the fifties but time has not changed the facts!



John Swinton, the former chief of staff of the “New York Times,” called by his peers, “the dean of his profession”, was asked in 1953 to give a toast before the New York Press Club.

He responded with the following statement:

“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.”

“I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.”

“The business of the Journalist is to destroy truth; To lie outright; To pervert; To vilify; To fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men.”

“We are intellectual prostitutes.”

Other journalists who may disagree with me may comment below, but do bear in mind that he was probably only referring to newspaper journalists. At least I like to think so!

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And the Lord saw, and was saddened

One day in heaven, the Lord decided he would visit the earth and take a stroll.

Walking down the road, the Lord encountered a man who was crying. The Lord asked the man, “Why are you crying, my son?” The man said that he was blind and had never seen a sunset. The Lord touched the man and he could see and he was happy.

As the Lord walked further, he met another man crying and asked, “Why are you crying, my son?” The man was born a cripple and was never able to walk. The Lord touched him and he could walk and he was happy.

Farther down the road, the Lord met another man who was crying and asked, “Why are you crying, my son?” The man said, “Lord, I work for the EU”

…and the Lord sat down and cried with him.

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