For the second year running, the award for the....

most unreliable, wireless, telephone handset goes to:  

Binatone Symphony 2210 Phone & Answer Machine TRIPLE

DESCRIPTION:   The Binatone Symphony 2210 is a very stylish cordless phone with a host of features including a handsfree speakerphone, 40 name and number phonebook and a handy answer machine with 15 minutes recording time. Check out all the features below !
  • Specification:
    • Digital cordless telephone with answer machine 
      When it works
    • Black
    • Hands-free
      When thrown against the wall in frustration
    • Up to 10 hours talk time
      I don't think the phone is designed to work for that long
    • Up to 100 hours standby time
      Handset life expectancy
    • 40 name and number entries
      What's the point if you have to change the handset every 5 minutes
    • Last number redial - 10 numbers
      When it works
    • 20 call log
      If it does not crash
    • Secrecy button
      If it does not crash
    • 8 melody ringtones for handset and base
      All sounding shit
    • Remote access answering machine
      Never tried it
    • Call timer
    • Amber backlit large display
      When it works
    • Clock
      Never looked at it
    • Keypad lock
      Never tried it
    • Message playback from handset
      When it works
    • Ringer volume control on both handset and display
      When it works
    • Up to 50m range indoors and up to 300m range outdoors
    • 15 minutes recording time
    • Supports up to 5 handsets
      Theoretical values, under controlled lab conditions
    • Requires 3 x AAA rechargeable batteries per handset (included)

      The base units for the above above handsets are so unreliable, it's legendary. I'm already on my third set in as many years.

      You buy it, and after a year or so, the base unit dies, so you decide to buy another base unit to use with the other satellite stations (phones) that you have left, only to discover that those would not work with another base unit, unless you free them from within the existing faulty base, which is pretty much impossible - so once again, you end up with some more bricked-up handsets.

      I still remember when BT used to charge us for the Telephone Handset rental, and guess what, the sets used to last forever. Now, and 12 months down the line, we have another dead system, and we need to buy another, and another, and another... 

And why not?...

MADRID — Ironic art fans have launched a petition to save the “world’s worst restoration”: a retouched, century-old church painting of Christ that has become an international joke.
Cecilia Gimenez, described as being in her 80s, has won global fame with her horribly botched impromptu attempt to restore an oil painting of Christ crowned with thorns, his sorrowful gaze raised to heaven.

The “restored” painting looks like a pale monkey’s face surrounded by fur, with mishapen eyes and nose, and a crooked smudge for a mouth, a style some wits have compared to Picasso’s.
Titled “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man), the original was painted in oil in 1910 directly onto a column in the Iglesia del Santuario de Misericordia church in Borja, northeastern Spain.

It was showing its age as the paint deteriorated over the years.
But the “restored” version has provided grist for an explosion of jokes across the world this week.

Online commentators in Spain inserted the faces of King Juan Carlos or Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy into their own, digital versions of the restored painting.
More than 5,000 people have now signed an online petition to halt the town’s plan to return the painting to its pre-restoration glory.

The restoration “reveals a subtle criticism of the Church’s creationist theories while questioning a resurgence of new idols,” says the petition launched by a user on, comparing the retouched painting to the work of Goya, Munch and Modigliani.

Gimenez herself said she had been patching up the painting for years, with the church’s knowledge.
“The priest knew,” the elderly, neatly dressed lady in spectacles told public television TVE.
“Everyone who came in could see me painting.”
Despite the derisive coverage, with some media calling it worst restoration in history, Gimenez said she was an accomplished artist. “I had a four-room exhibition — I sold 40 paintings,” Gimenez said.

The church painting was no masterpiece, completed in two hours by a local man, Elias Garcia Martinez just over a century ago.

But the original artist’s granddaughter, Teresa Garcia, was unimpressed by the brushed-up version.
“Until now the only thing she had touched was the tunic,” Garcia told TVE.

“The problem is that now she has meddled with the head and, clearly, she has destroyed the painting.”
The town hall has not yet decided whether to sue over the botch job, which was performed a month ago. “It would be different if it was vandalism,” said the town councillor for culture, Juan Maria de Ojeda.

“She did it with the best faith in the world,” the restorer’s sister, Esperanza Gimenez Zueco, told daily newspaper El Mundo. “She just wanted to give it a bit of colour.”

The All New iSh....

Frankly apple could spray a piece of Shit silver, stick an apple label on it and people would be queuing around the block to buy it . Oh of course they would have to call it the iShit because the i means that its super cool.

Another day, another...

Parking fine - for a 6 minute overstay at a car park in Swinton... So why not charge you the correct amount of "PARKING FEES" when you finish your business and leave the car park...

I hope they choke on this 'ILL GOTTEN' money.

Wow, look at all those pretty colours - Pink & Yellow - Make it worth every penny...

How do they do it? The young royals get everywhere at the Games...

Snippet of an Original article that can be seen @

The young royals seem to have an unquenchable thirst for sport - or so their attendance day after day at the London 2012 Olympics would suggest.

Royal cheer - the young royals show their support

Prince William, his wife Kate (or Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge if you want her proper title) and his brother Prince Harry seem to be 'ever presents' at the London 2012 Olympics.
They've obviously been pretty diligent with their approach to buying tickets from the LOCOG website (!) and whoever their boss is has been very generous about giving them time off work to watch so much sport!

Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It’s ..........

James May in Drag - I'm not into the Olympics, but today, and while changing the channel, I watched around 4 minutes of the shot-put finals.

I was impressed with Belarus's Nadzeya Ostapchu - The winner of the Gold Medal, but I still had few suspicions as to her exact gender..

Adam Buxton's BUG

The Counting Song

Summertime Booze


Raid 1 here we come... Part II

So we installed the Raid Server, and now it's time to get paid. And as per usual, we have to wait for the bastards to make their mind up and to pay us for the service.  This particular establishment has 5 idiots working there, and everybody is pulling you in a different direction and making some different excuses, so that they don't need to pay you on time..

We have The Father, who works 7 days a week, killing himself, running the business, when he can delegate the responsibility and relax with his wife, but instead he works there and so does his wife (he doesn't even trust his own sons)....

We also have the 2 Son(s), who also work 7 days a week, trying their best to impress the father with their dedication, and a third Son who is working away - he is the IT expert of the family, and the worst kind, he knows a bit, enough to mess things up, but not enough to fix anything.

And finally we have, the Holy Ghost, represented by the supporting cast of employees + Wife & Daughter and a little weasel of a local IT nerd who, I'm sure, was responsible for infecting the entire network with a virus. And he is another one of those know nothing experts...

You do need some patience to deal with this lot, because everybody pulls and pushes you in every direction, one says something and then the other says something else, and you are left with no idea on what to do or who to deal with... So the best solution is to ignore all, and to do what you think is best... 

Slow Roasted....

I have just burnt my Sweet Chilli Chicken Flatbread Pizza - If you look closely, you'll notice that it really does not resemble anything on the packaging.  Watch out garbage, here we come...

BTW. I also bought the Goodfella's Delizia Slow Roasted Tomatoes & Mozzarella Pizza, and for some reason the "Slow Roasted Tomatoes", tasted like shoe leather...

Raid 1 here we come... Part I

NAS servers have come a very long way since their inception...

Problem, the server is too bloody small for the money we are charging, so we bastardise a PC and fit it with 2 hot-swap HD caddies, & 2 x 1 TB hard drives.

Problem, our nice case is too small for caddies, quick, go and get new case.

Problem, only case that fits the caddies is an ugly white case, made in 1962, or thereabout with an old style, non-standard power supply,

No room for fans
No room for air.
No room for front usb
No room for SATA power (but room for a floppy disk)

So our "New Bullet Proof" server - is like the old server, only uglier, slower, slightly worst and definitely a lot hotter..

1st ever attempt at a Raid server,

  1. Put PC & bits together,
  2. Make sure all is working,
  3. Install Windows XP, (XP does not support SATA), we have to use floppy to install SATA drivers.
  4. Enable Raid 1 in the bios (PC deletes everything) & we have to start again from scratch.

2nd attempt at a Raid server,
  1. Format everything
  2. Create new XP install, with SATA drivers slipstreamed into the bootable ISO 
  3. Reinstall Windows XP
  4. All seems to be working according to the plan
  5. Hopefully Raid 1, will be more reliable

I was so happy, with the results, I couldn't help patting myself on the back - the adulation and the ecstasy - We installed everything, MySql server, Software and Data, and all seems to be working OK, so we set off to the customers shop and install the new server, and 1 minute later, this crashed with an recoverable error (crash) that blocked all network services and the network card, with the only way of getting to work, was to reboot the server...

My brain went into Bullshit overdrive mode, and I told the customer, that every time we connect this terminal, the server goes offline, so he said lets take that terminal off, and we did, but the server still crashed when connected to any of the other terminals on the network.. So, and with our tails between our legs, and our heads hanging down in shame, we returned to the office, with our brand new Server, trying to see what had happened.   

3rd time Unlucky - Back to the drawing board

We decided that Raid is bad, and that the crashes were all caused by it. So what other solutions did we have; and the solution that we came up with was to:
  1. Stop Raid 1,
  2. Format Both HD Drives,
  3. Install Everything once again, 
  4. Ghost an exact working REPLICA (HD image).
  5. Use M$ SyncToy 2.1 to sync all changed files
So we did and guess what, there was only 1 little flaw to the plan:
  1. Mysql locks files
  2. And SyncToy 2.1 does not sync locked file
And because we no longer have a Raid array, we have the added bonus of randomisation on boot sometimes, disk 1 boots, sometimes, disk 2 boots so we lose all the transactions from the previous session...
we tested software at the office, all is working fine.

So we take the Server to site, and the Software crashes again..  When we return to base, we notice that all our flash drives are virus ridden.

4th and Final Attempt

So this time, go to site prepared, we check all machines for Virus infections, and we reinstall windows on 4 machines, we install anti-virus software on all machines as well.

Everything seems to be working fine now, with no crashes and no Problems, apart from;
  1. We no longer have the security of a Raid 1 system and, 
  2. We have random boot issue (either one of the 2 hard drives may boot & we have no control over which one, but it's always a 50/50 chance)
  3. The server's temperature.
Another job well done and another satisfied customer...

My Open Source Woes...

Not so long ago, I used to depend on "OPEN SOURCE" software in all aspects of my "PROFESSIONAL" and working life - If I needed to type a letter, then I would use "Open Office", to make an exact HD image, I would use "Clonezilla", to do some fast data recovery or a "Low Level" work on an HD, I would use "Parted Magic", to do a quick edit or source code, then "Notepad++" was always there, and to create a new PDF document, then I usually send that to my "PDF Creator" printer. I really had an extensive collection, something to be proud of, with, being my first port of call when looking for a solution.

Lately, I noticed a change when I was installing an update to one of the many utilities, I clicked on next, next, next, finish, and without given the updater a second look, I noticed that I had, inadvertently, installed "Babylon Search Bar", which, "in my opinion", is more damaging than a Virus. This, toolbar, opens the back-door for all kind of advertising, hijackers and nasties to be installed on your hard disk, and without your permission. At first, I thought this was an isolated incident, but then when I tried to install other pieces of software, I noticed that almost everything is coming with its own "Advertising" wrapper, something like the "ASK" toolbar, or the "Babylon Search Toolbar"..

I have nothing against "Babylon", but somehow I feel that they are a company without any scruples. And that they would sell their toolbar space (injector code) to anybody, regardless of motives, as well as the fact that they managed to change my browser settings, with no option to change those back to their original state. Regardless, please read this snippet from "Wikipedia" regarding the Babylon Toolbar.
On 7 August 2010, Microsoft antivirus products identified the software application as malware (identified as "Adware: Win32/Babylon") due to potentially intrusive behavior. Sixteen days later, on 23 August 2010, Microsoft announced that Babylon Ltd. had modified the program and that it was no longer categorized as malware. 
Babylon toolbar, a browser plugin for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, is installed with various ad-supported software packages on an opt-out basis. This toolbar overrides default browser settings, does not provide an option to automatically revert to previous settings and is infamous for the complicated uninstallation process. This behaviour qualifies the software as malware in many users opinions.

Which brings us to today, and I'm trying to reinstall the "PDF Creator" PDF printer, and the installer that insists on adding the "Babylon Toolbar" to the express install.. I think I have to start a list to tell people about alternatives to "Open Source" files.

Payment Notification Unit (

Dear Beneficiary,

I hope that this correspondence is received with the urgency and expediency required. It has come to the notice of the Board of Trustees at the CBN that your present inheritance claims application being handled by the Remitting Bank in Nigeria is experiencing some man made irregularities. To this effect,it has become necessary for the Board of Trustees to invite trained Fund Transfer Specialists from the United States to resolve and  regularize your fund release with immediate effect.

We at Frank-lee  & Associates have been duly consulted by the CBN Board of Trustees and have been fully informed about how the staff of the remitting bank have been taking advantage of you by telling you to pay unnecessarily exorbitant charges which will only make your fund payment a long drawn out process. Due to this we have decided to step into the process of your fund transfer to enable your funds to be transferred within the soonest possible time you are to get back to us immediately without needing to pay all the huge sums of monies that are being demanded from you by the remitting bank.

All processes to have your funds paid to you immediately through the CBN's  Liaison Remittance Office in New York have been initiated to cut out unnecessary costs.You are advised to keep this communication highly confidential as the CBN Board of Trustees have asked us to resolve  this fund payment independent of the office of the CBN Governor to identify the principal participants in this unethical payment procedure.

Furthermore,you are hereby advised to pay no further fees or charges to the Remitting Bank in Nigeria as they shall no longer be handling your payment process.

We shall await your immediate correspondence with your direct telephone numbers for re-confirmation to to my confidential email address. so that we may conclude your payment immediately.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr.Frank Lee.
David  Lee  & Associates c/o CBN