Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Geekstravaganza

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    I hope Orcon know what they're doing. The only people who'll pay $70 a month will be people who intend using *all* the gigabytes they're paying for. And they'll be complaining bastards if it doesn't work.

    80:20 rule and all that..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Following up from last night's GirlGeek dinner, why do you have to say "your mum" as an example of someone who can't use technology? Why not my dad?

    Yeah I'm not in the mood to drop this one. I live with three guys - an engineering geek, an IT geek and a gaming geek (well, that last one's a bit of a stretch) and I'm the only one who knows how to programme the hard-drive DVD player. Most of the time you're really careful about this Russell, but if you're serious about making sure that this is always a good place for women to come, please don't insult our intelligence.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    "New Zealand owned company" is trumped by "New Zealand Government owned company"

    At least it's not Evil Canadian Pensioners!

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Siu,

    What's the ETA for the roll out to Remuera? I switch to Orcon in a heartbeat!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    actually I already pay Orcon over $70/month without ADSL2 - looking at their web site changes I'll apparently keep paying that whether I get ADSL2 or not ...

    So Paul .... will Vodaphone give me a static IP at home? (the only reason I went to Orcon ....)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    __the phoneline is essential__

    Humankind managed for 40,000 years without one.

    But society was not then based around large, spread-out cities and distributed social networks. If you live in a subsistence village where all your family are within five minutes' walk, and your job involves spreading muck on fields, then you're fine. But if your friends and family are distributed over hundreds of km, and your work requires you to contact or be contacted by people over the same range, or you need to call the landlord to fix the sink or the electricity company to arrange payment, then you're very quickly going to become socially and financially isolated.

    Having said that, a landline is far from essential, and I generally get by very rarely using voice calls on my mobile: my phone's primarily for text, FB, email and web browsing. So it might be most correct to say that in today's societies, some form of electornic communication device is essential.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Most of the time you're really careful about this Russell, but if you're serious about making sure that this is always a good place for women to come, please don't insult our intelligence.

    Jeez, lighten up. I think I use the phrase because in the back of my mind I have my Mum (my Dad's not with us any more). It's not an insult, just shorthand for the average, perhaps older non-geek consumer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I've got one of those too :)

    A critic? Or the ability to record 6 channels?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    You know, I think my dad would get upset if I used him as a synonym for lack of technical expertise. He's a retired test pilot and aerospace scientist.

    Mum, I think, would be fine on it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    He's a retired test pilot and aerospace scientist.

    Jeez, you probably can't even ridicule his driving.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Humankind managed for 40,000 years without one

    I'm sure they'd rather have had it if they could've, though.

    I'm surprised I was able to survive before cellphones, personally. I think my son will be skeptical about such old-timer's stories. "What did you do if you were late?" "Well son, in those day, people just had to suck on it".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    If you live in a subsistence village where all your family are within five minutes' walk, and your job involves spreading muck on fields, then you're fine.

    Actually, there is a steady stream of news in the last year or two about how mobile phones are affecting (for the better) life of very poor subsistence farmers. People are using phones to find out what prices are in other parts of the country and what foodstuffs are in demand at the market today, which enables them to get a better return on what they sell and to avoid wasted trips.

    Yeah, you don't NEED a phone when you're a peasant, but if you can have one, it'll help you identify opportunities for arbitrage just as well as a Wall St trader.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You know, I think my dad would get upset if I used him as a synonym for lack of technical expertise. He's a retired test pilot and aerospace scientist.

    Mum, I think, would be fine on it.

    I think it's reasonably safe to use Grandma as an example, and it's not sexist - both Granddads are dead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Mckay,

    I can't get into the Orcon website either, no idea why.

    Very excited at this news though, did try Woosh and got nowhere fast, so have been paying vast sums of money to Telecom for some time now. Probably only use my landline phone once a week, hate having to pay for it every month.

    Go Orcon!

    Pt Chev, Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    a cleaner/dishwasher guy i worked with in melbourne was kenyan, and was studying the uptake of mobile phone technology out in the bush.

    he reckons the companies taught these illiterate rural african women to text using some sort of phonetic pictograms, and they took to it.

    their villages had no electricity except for a central generator in the local markets, so they women would wander into 'town' leave their phones to recharge, do their purchases, collect their phones, and off they'd go, happily texting away.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Regarding phones, yes, they are very handy. But I consider essentials to be food, water, clothing and shelter.

    In the early 80's, I had no usable phone whilst a student at uni. It was a pain, but I managed. If people wanted to contact me, they had to either find me, or leave a note in my pigeonhole or whatever. Or use email, if they were among the 40 or so people with access to the CS email system.

    In any case, mobile phones are affordable to anyone who doesn't spend all their money on beer/crack/pokies instead of buying topups. I'd happily dispense with a fixed line - the only problem with that is that it's still sometimes expected as a creditworthiness indicator. So I don't see any reason to subsidise phones.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I think it's reasonably safe to use Grandma as an example

    same. my mum is blimmin hopeless with gadgets. growing up in rural new zealand meant that 'the latest technology' was... a bigger v8.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Plus, I'd add that a phone is probably more useful to an African farmer who has work to do and crops to sell than to a dole recipient in Auckland, who doesn't.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Russell said

    They're probably not deals for your mum, but for communications-happy households they're a welcome innovation.

    WTF? I thought we were past this sort of stereotyping these days. Bad Russell! Go sit on the naughty step and have a long think about what you've said. Time starts now...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    food, water, clothing and shelter.

    Yes, that's the bare minimum required to not die. But to live a soul needs music.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Jono Baddiley,

    I can press a number key and set that, but I can't see a way to reduce the number of digits between the dots.

    Have you tried putting an "01" to mean "1" (in place of the "11")? On some systems that I've played with this seems to work...

    As for the wireless hotspot, it shouldn't make a difference - the hotspot should be acting as a bridge (which forwards pretty much all traffic across all of it's ports). Does anything else that you plug into the same hotspot wire-connection work?

    Wellytron • Since Mar 2008 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Ackroyd,

    Indications are that the major free-to-air networks will broadcast everything they can in HD, from launch. And launch is … sometime in April.

    "Everything they can" for TVNZ at the moment is pretty much nothing but the Olympics, according to today's Herald.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    WTF? I thought we were past this sort of stereotyping these days. Bad Russell! Go sit on the naughty step and have a long think about what you've said. Time starts now...

    The use of 'your mum' by tech geeks might have something to do with the 'fact' (ie statement I'm basing entirely on observation and anecdotal evidence and not thinking about too hard) that most times when they're being asked to set up a system for someone with no tech nous, it's a woman. It's the grandmas who want a computer so they can email their grandkids, look at photos, take up blogging. The grandads are all busy being curmudgeonly and discovering that they're now old enough to use words like 'new-fangled'.

    Plus, I'd add that a phone is probably more useful to an African farmer who has work to do and crops to sell than to a dole recipient in Auckland, who doesn't.

    Oh come now. How are the bludgers our country is seemingly awash with supposed to arrange their p deals without a phone?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I wonder how long before "World of Warcraft" becomes an essential of life. Coz without it, you know, you might have to go outside - and thats scary, with people and cars that might kill you and bad weather that could freeze you to death.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

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