Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘unreliable

Do Not Buy An ASUS Transformer Book.

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asus-transformer-book

I apologise for the technical jargon but there is only one way accurately to describe this product.

It’s crap.

In 36 years of buying and using personal computer technology, I have never suffered such frustration, inconvenience and real consequential losses because of an unreliable product.

When and if the power works properly it’s fine but it is so unpredictable that it is a nightmare.  I can never rely on it to power up when I need it, irrespective of its state of charge and it has caused me a real problem on several occasions.

On paper and the display shelf of PC World Currys in Weymouth it looked good.  I paid just over £150 for a small, neat laptop with Windows 10. The screen can be detached to form a tablet but that’s not what I bought it for and I have never used it that way.  Obviously, at its price and size, it has a lot of compromises which I was happy to accept.  It has just 2GB RAM, 30GB of disk space, one conventional USB port and no possibility of expansion.  That’s OK, I knew what I was buying.

asus-transformer-book-boxWhat I didn’t know was that it has a mind of its own when it comes to pressing the on button.  It doesn’t matter how long it’s been charging, you never know whether it will start or not.

The first one went back to PC World within a week.  They were great about it and didn’t quibble at all – but the replacement machine was exactly the same.

Of course, there is nothing in the pathetic paper manual provided, nor online at the ASUS website.  Only when you call the support line does it become obvious this is a well known problem.  The solution I am given is ridiculous and nearly six months on it doesn’t work consistently either.  The ‘fix’ is to take the power cable out, hold the power key down for 30 seconds, replace the power cable and press the power key once.  Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes it sorts of half boots up but then hangs.  Sometimes you can’t even shut it down.  To use another technical expression, it is a pain in the arse.

On several occasions I have needed to fire it up urgently to post something or deal with a problem while I’m travelling and it just hasn’t happened, whether it’s just been charged or not.  I’ve had to find a power socket and then mess around for up to a half and hour before it will finally work.

I’m told by my friends who have been suckered into buying Apple iPhones that they don’t work without an initial charge. Apparently, if the battery’s flat you have give it 15 minutes before it will switch on.  That’s what you get for buying technology for fashion rather than function.  I’ve never had a phone that won’t run straight off the power supply.  My Sony Xperia Z3 does so perfectly.

We all know that the real cost of buying technology is not the initial capital purchase cost but the time you have to invest to get it working.  On that basis I have put thousands into this machine and it keeps letting me down.  One day, some technology company is going to get sued for the consequential losses its faulty or badly designed product has caused.  Perhaps then these companies will get serious about serving customers instead of using us, at our expense, for their new product development and testing.

I’ve invested too much in this now and I just have to adapt to its shortcomings.  If it worked as it should it would be a great product – but it doesn’t, so don’t buy one!

Written by Peter Reynolds

September 25, 2016 at 11:48 am

Home Office Backtracks On Cannabis – Part 2

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See the original article here.

The Home Office has been denying to me all week that it had changed its story.  It claimed that it had said “Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis are extremely harmful and can cause misery to communities across the country.”  It claimed that cannabis was never included in this statement.

Today it finally owned up.  It issued this statement at 5.18pm this evening:

A Home Office spokesperson said:

“There is clear evidence that drugs such as heroin and cocaine are extremely harmful substances.

“There is also clear evidence that cannabis is a harmful drug which can cause both physical and psychological problems. Even the occasional use of cannabis can be dangerous for people with diseases of the circulatory system, and it can contribute to heart disease and lung cancer.

“In this instance there was a drafting error with the original version of this statement, which was subsequently rectified.”

Does It Look Dangerous To You?

Now, I understand and respect the professional efforts of the Home Office PRs to damp down this story.  It just doesn’t wash though does it?

Why did it take nearly two weeks to correct this error?

Why did they try to cover up the error in the first place?

All this from a government department that emphasises how important are its “health and education messages” and that it must not send “the wrong message – to young people in particular.”

Of course, the truth is that the Home Office sends inaccurate and misleading messages about drugs all the time.  Everyone, except the Home Office ministers and mandarins, agrees that the present drug classification system is nonsense, that it amounts to nothing less than misinformation.  In fact, the Home Office is currently less than seven days away from a judicial review of its political manipulation of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.  The Drug Equality Alliance co-founder, Casey Hardison, has taken it upon himself to challenge the Home Secretary and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the Administrative Court for its irrational, unfair, and possibly illegal exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from control under the Act.

Even David Cameron agrees that ecstasy should not be a class A drug – see here.  The debacle and embarrassing nonsense about the ever-changing classification of cannabis destroyed Alan Johnson’s integrity for good.  Young people have been watching the government’s “messages” for years, comparing them to their own experiences and realising  that the government talks rot when it comes to drugs.  The Home Office is inconsistent, unreliable, contradictory and nothing short of dangerous when it comes to messages about drugs – as they’ve just proved, yet again.

As for the revised statement, there is evidence to show that smoking cannabis can cause the same damage to the cardiovascular system as smoking tobacco, but no one smokes anywhere near the same amount of cannabis as they do tobacco – they’d be asleep!  In fact, the very latest research shows that cannabis has an extraordinary protective effect for tobacco smokers and may actually reduce the likelihood of lung cancer.   Other recent research has also shown cannabinoids to have remarkable effects in shrinking brain, head, neck and breast cancers.

The Home Office is so far out of date it’s difficult to believe.   It still talks sensationally about the dangers of “new stronger strains of cannabis known as skunk”.   The truth is that skunk has been the predominant type of cannabis available in the UK for more than 20 years.  That’s how up to date the Home Office is.   Finally, the “psychological problems” story.  Sure, any psychoactive substance has the potential for harm but increasingly there’s evidence to show cannabinoids actually have an anti-psychotic effect.  One of the most useful applications of medicinal cannabis is in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

To those who don’t already know the facts, I say simply google your questions.  Even the Home Office, much as it might try, has not yet found a way of silencing the truth.