Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In the budget

Listening to the chancellor this afternoon I was very alarmed at the notion that in the next couple of years there will be millions more high tech jobs, and millions less low tech ones.
Not to worry! says the chancellor, they will be re-trained! we are pouring huge reserves into education and training!
What utter rot!
There exists in this country, as in all others, a huge number of people who will never be trainable through no fault of their own, and therefore will become scrap, victims of a profit making machine.
This is criminally insane: all citizens regardless of their intellect deserve the opportunity to contribute to society and achieve self respect and happiness, otherwise why bother having a society at all? we may as well go back to being vikings!
The government should institute a program to provide an extension of provided social services to generate jobs for these people. The expense would be little different than having them live on handouts, and they would at least feel self respect as functional members of society.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Completed installing Suse 10.0

Today I managed to finish the addition of drivers to the software to permit the playing of DVD's and mp3 files, also additional updates to the internet browsers and Java.
The result is that Suse 10 can now cover more tasks than windows XP .

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Nearly spring this weekend

We went for a pleasant drive through the countryside today, avoiding the main roads where possible, and saw the first daffodils out, and large numbers of spring lambs in the fields.
With the wind dropping, the temperature (7 Degrees Centigrade) felt very mild and springlike.
This is the last weekend before the caravanning season starts, so we've been round to check out the van in storage, and found it was all OK.
Roll on next weekend!

Sunday, March 12, 2006


"Strange name, 'innit" but excellent software for all that. This morning I succeeded at last in gettting the scroll wheel on the mouse to work, now all that remains is to get the system to recognize a USB floppy drive, then all operations are nominal.

Can spring start now please?

Went for a drive in the car through Holderness and ate lunch on the crumbling clay cliff top at Barmston, then during the afternoon went out on the Honda Dylan scooter, and for the second day running, ran into a blizzard (slight exaggeration as despite seeming to be heavy, it didn't lay.)
Still, it was bl***y cold!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Got the car back, and...

everything seems to be OK, so I shall be keeping an eye on it for the next few days!

OpenSUSE SLICK Linux is the Give-away on the front cover of the April issue of LINUX FORMAT

I installed it as an upgrade over Suse Linux 9.2, and apart from having no mouse when first installed (soon fixed) it is running very nice and very fast!
There is a new package manager called "SUPERAPT" and it is really first rate, in about three hours I had built a first rate system up will all the apps you could want.
What a freebie! it does everything that windows will do (with one exception, for legal reasons it won't play video DVD's)
It really is first rate, give it a try!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Call this service? I dont!

I took the car in for it's 90,000 miles service on March 9th 2006 at 8:30 the Main dealer.
A telephone call from The main dealer at approximately 10:30 informed me it was ready for collection.
I arrived about 11:30 AM. paid and received the key.
On entering the car the engine started normally, first turn of the key, but I found to my surprise that I could not shift into any gear.
The clutch pedal felt normal under foot, and there was no sound involved, but the gear lever could not be moved forward or back into any gear position.
I stopped the engine, then attempted to restart it, but there was just a light spinning noise, as if the starter motor was spinning without engaging the flywheel (no grinding noises.)
At this point I went back into the showroom and reported that I had a problem.
A gentleman named Paul went out, and returned saying that the engine had started without a problem.
When I asked if he had tried the gears he replied that he hadn't, at which point we went out and Paul got into the car and started the engine without trouble, and selected the gears, again without trouble.
At this point I said thank you for your efforts, perhaps it was my imagination?
Paul went back inside and I started the engine and pulled out, but had to stop as there was a small lorry in the way.
At this point I shifted into neutral, and found I couldn't get back into gear again.
I spotted that Paul had come out and waved him over. He got into the car and at first was able to shift into gear, the stopped the engine and it wouldn't restart, just made the spinning noise as before.
On the next attempt the engine started, but then Paul had problem selecting gears, this did eventually clear, at this Point Paul said that he couldn't risk me driving the car in this state as it may break down, I would have to leave it.
Late afternoon I received a telephone call from the young lady in the office saying that the diagnostics had revealed that the A.G.R. valve had failed and this was why the engine wouldn't start: (This is a gas feedback valve from the exhaust to the Turbocharger.)I asked how could this have affected the gear change, and was told that the mechanics could find no fault with the clutch or gearbox.
I was informed that the part would have to be ordered and would cost about £195 including fitting, which I had no option but to agree to, and that they would ring me tomorrow when the work is completed.
I repeated that while I was perfectly happy to pay for replacement of the A.G.R valve I could not see how this would affect the gear change, and asked that the mechanics be requested to ensure that this was tested and rectified before the car is returned to me.
I find it very odd that it had never failed to either start or select gear until it was brought in for servicing this morning, and while I accept that things can go wrong without prior warning, the odds that two such unrelated things can fail between me handing it over and collecting it three hours later, and the gear selection fault being beyond the capability of the diagnostics or the mechanics to trace is very hard to accept as a reasonable explanation.
The odds against this happening must be astronomical!
I have been put to a great deal of inconvenience, not to mention expense over this matter, if the car is not correct when returned then I shall clearly have to seek a different source of servicing and or future vehicles.
Needless to say I shall create one hell of a fuss if it isn't fixed tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

First day of spring!

And what an odd combination! We drove through to visit my sister,who lives in the village of Strensall, just above York, and had sunshine all the way, even seeing the first open daffodils this year, yet a few miles to the north at Malton, and a few miles to the east at Scarborough (Whitby too) they had thick snow!
Admittedly the temperature where we were never rose to more than 2 Degrees centigrade, but at least it was sunny.