bookmark_borderUbuntu for two

Marcel seems to think that computers are for downloading random programs from the Internet, preferably without an up-to-date anti-virus program.

So of course his computer (running Windows XP) got very, very ill. I managed to clean it, but unfortunately this left many programs broken.

Our only set of XP CDs didn’t work on his 64-bit computer, so in an act of desperation I wiped his harddisk clean and installed Ubuntu Linux on it instead.

Surprisingly, he rather seems to like it, and I have had no requests so far to reinstall Windows XP. Is he a new convert to Linux, I wonder?

Having burned an installation CD for this purpose, I decided to reinstall Ubuntu on my laptop, which had been left somewhat useless after the auto-upgrade from version 7 to 8 failed.

It worked beautifully, except that the wireless connection didn’t work.

However, after rebooting three times with a wired connection, it managed to locate and install a proprietary driver on its own, and suddenly the wireless card kicked into action without any action from my part.


bookmark_borderWe’d rather have had £1230

Tax Return Check from Hell
Originally uploaded by mercyskye

The temporary VAT reduction from 17.5% to 15% is estimated to cost £12.5bn.

I doubt it’ll have much of an effect – I’m definitely not going to splash out on huge Christmas presents just because prices come down by 2.13%.

Also, lots of shops have significant problems already, and they’re not going to pass on the 2.13% if they can help it. Sure, many of them will have to reduce their prices to attract customers, but they would’ve done that anyway even if the VAT rate had stayed at 17.5%.

As far as I can make out, the cost of £12.5bn works out as £205 for each person in this country.

If the government had kept the VAT at 17.5% but instead sent everybody a cheque of £205 for Christmas, it would have lead to much more spending.

I’m pretty sure that if the six of us had received £1230, we would have spent at least some of it on bigger presents.

Can’t this government get anything right?