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ATPM 16.02
February 2010





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by Mark Tennent,

Frozen in Time Machine


Back to work after the New Year, drove to the office, negotiated the dicey icy side streets to find the main roads clear. Only self and one other, who had travelled nearly 100 miles, turned up at the office. Staff living within walking distance all decided it was too dangerous to venture out, even though the pavements were clear. Many excuses offered, including that the very roads I had driven on were impassable. Offered to drive round to pick them up but told to go home instead.


Boss decides it is too dangerous to open the office. She has a laptop and VPN (Virtual Private Network) that lets her work from home; the rest of us have a mobile phone each. Sit at home for most of the day, bored, with nothing to do because cellphone reception is non-existent since local residents decided cellphone transmitters give you leprosy.

Drove along empty roads to do the shopping. Got lots of “labels” where sell-by date was close and no one was around to buy them. Go home and fill freezer. Could just as easily left shopping in the garden to freeze.


Boss says it’s OK to go to work. Now I am worried because the roads are sheets of ice. Gingerly drive to and from the office. Do next to nothing because none of our customers are at work. Suggest to IT Department that I install LogMeIn on my work machine so I can access it from home. No response to my e-mails.

Having no work to do, access home Macs via LogMeIn and get them doing useful things such as converting videos and burning to DVDs, which I had thoughtfully left in the drives before departing for work. Ceiling collapses in office due to roof leak I reported last year.

Get home to try to run the DVDs in our Blu-ray player. None of the films play, even though they are in the formats the player is supposed to be able to use. This included DivX, purchased for such an eventuality, but then found out it won’t install on a Mac if it is running in 64-bit mode.

Hamlet Who?

Aye, in the words of the late Dr. Who (and some other geezer), there’s the rub. We cannot decide whether to sling a laptop, or perhaps an old Mac mini, next to the telly and run that as the media player, even accessing our libraries via WiFi. Or to consider the advice of various magazines and get a fully fledged media player. Alternatively, we could buy a TV recorder box and cut out the computer altogether. But what about our existing library of films and music?

Come on, Apple, we need a decent Apple TV box that will cover all of our media-playing needs. And please make it compete in pricing. In the meantime, lower the price of the current Apple TV to around £100.

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