31 thoughts on “Apologies

      1. If the machine is a write-off, be sure to salvage the hard drive(s), unless of course that’s the part that’s failed. If you put the drive into a similar machine, i.e. of about the same age, with a bit of tweaking you could have your old beast back again. That is the drive contains your personal settings and data, its ‘personality’.

        Mind you, you if all you want to do is post blogs etc. and surf the web for info, you could probably manage with a tablet these days. Old machines are a lot of fun if you’ve got time enough to fiddle with them, but honestly probably not worth the bother any more.

        Pob hwyl!

        Things that come back, hmm … King Arthur, whats his name in that film, bad smells … 😉

  1. Dai Barnaby

    The bad guys across Wales will be giving a collective cheer (for a while). Come back soon Jac!

  2. Anonymous

    I’m sure that there are readers able to sort the computer for you , maybe if you describe the symptoms that the computer is suffering someone may offer advice or a fix for you.
    Roy Bach

    1. It’s a Dell XPS 420 dual drive. It just won’t switch on. Currently with a guy who fixes computers, so I’m just waiting to see if he can fix it, if not it’ll have to be a new machine.

      1. Big Gee

        If it won’t switch on then the first thing to check is your switching power supply Jac (the bolted on box with the cooling fan). Don’t dump it just yet – I can lend you a power supply to swap out. New power supplies are not expensive. If it still won’t fire up disconnect all drives etc. powered by it and see if it will start to ‘post’. If it does then reconnect each device in turn (a short – or an overload – in any of the devices causes the power supply to shut down). If you find a ‘culprit’ device that’s where your problem will be. If all that fails then the chances are it’s the power regulating circuitry on the mother board. It will then be time to seek out a new mother board. Rushing off to buy a whole new machine should not be your first option.

        If you’re near Aberaeron pop it in if you don’t fancy rolling your own sleeves up!

        I’m posting the info. on here for you because I guess you’re not receiving e-mails in your e-mail client on your broken machine.

        1. It is the switching power supply, but it’s a non-standard Dell unit for an XPS 420 which I’m told will cost a bit to import from the US. However, my son got me a tower off ebay in the hope I could just transfer my hard drives, but this didn’t work. However I should be able to take the spare tower to the guy who’s fixing my machine and he should then be able to transfer the unit. Fingers crossed!

          1. Big Gee

            Hmm – that doesn’t sound quite right. I don’t think the XPS 420 uses a Dell proprietary power supply (some others did), most standard ATX power supplies with either, a 24-pin or 20+4-pin, main motherboard power connector, are compatible and can be installed. Is yours a 24pin or 20 & seperate 4 pin set-up?

            Just transferring your hard drives to another machine will not work. Those wonderful guys in that charitable Bill Gates workshop in Seattle have designed Windows to ‘register’ the hardware on the machine Windows is first installed on. Put the drive on another machine with different hardware and the ‘boot’ drive jibs – because Gates was paranoid that you might cheat him out of cash by installing on one drive and then cloning it for use on other machines – miserly money grabbing bastard that he was & still is I guess. Now if you used Linux it would be a different story . . . .

            Double check before forking out silly money for a PSU. A Dell replacement from the US will probably set you back the best part of £130.00 – if not more. You can get a decent branded ATX switching power supply for under 50 quid.

            Glad to hear my original diagnosis was correct 🙂

            1. I had the same problem I believe a few years ago. I still have the old (not working) power supply here under my computer and gues what….? It’s a Dell. Model No PS-5201-5D. I’ve tried to work out what you mean by “24pin or 20 & seperate 4 pin set-up”. I see I have a connector with 20 pins labellled P1. There’s a few with 4 pins. I suppose I have a 20 + 4 pin? It may be obvious to you Big Gee but not so much to others. Oh yes…..it cost around £40 if I remember correctly to have it repaired.

          2. Colin

            A half decent repair man should be able to rig a power supply, it’s only a bunch of 12/5V/3.3V feeds and a common, 10 minutes with a soldering iron should have it running. If he doesn’t get the power supply working the best bet would be to copy over as much of your old user profile as you can from the old hard drive using a cheap USB hard drive caddy, if they aren’t included in your backups. You will be able to rescue almost everything from that.

            The worst bit is lost software if you don’t have the disks/licenses. I’m a systems administrator so I reckon between us all we can get you on track again, I have quite a varied bunch of applications at work; I’m sure my English boss would be happy to help the cause!!

  3. Daley Gleephart

    Hard drive loss?
    Hey! Hey! You! You! Get onto iCloud*
    * or any other Cloud storage.

    Wales on the web isn’t the same without you. Get back to us soon.

    1. Big Gee

      Contrary to popular belief (mostly held by members of the public with below par technichal knowledge but an incredibly strong ‘herd’ instinct to follow the latest technical trends), your data is NOT secure in the ‘cloud’. In 2012, Google alone received 21,389 government requests for information affecting 33,634 user accounts. You should also remember what already happened to Jac when his original blog had the plug pulled on a whim by Google. That is why this blog is now hosted on my server – so that it’s safe from being shut down. All his data was lost and Google absolutely refused to give the reason why and refused to return the data. That should give you a clue about how things work in our Orwellian bound society.

      While online data storage services claim your data is encrypted, there are no guarantees. With recent revelations that governments tap into the files of Internet search engines, e-mail and cloud service providers, any myth about data “privacy” on the Internet has been busted. Simply put if you want to keep your data under your control ALWAYS back it up on a storage device on your OWN system.

      While providers of email, chat, social network and cloud services often claim — even in their service agreements — that the data they store is encrypted and private, most often they — not you — are the ones who hold the keys. That means a rogue employee or any government “legally” requesting encryption keys can decrypt and see your data.

      Given the nature of this blog you can bet your little cotton socks that ‘Big Brother’ already has one eye on the activity and contents here – to allow them the opportunity to access ALL of the data on your computer would be akin to volunteering to put your own balls in their vice!

      Not only can iCloud (and all other cloud services) be freely accessed by government snoopers, there’s also the risk of data theft by hackers. iCloud have already been hacked (remember the nude celebrity photo scandal?). So simply put – steer WELL away from cloud back-ups.

      Freedoms of society and privacy of individuals are being taken away at an alarming rate (the usual excuse is the fight against terrorism and national security – which is lying crap espoused by control mad governments) – don’t go giving away what little privacy you still have left.

      1. Daley Gleephart

        Too true. My post was a light-hearted remark and pun on a Jagger / Richard song.
        I’ve never used a cloud device so, I have stack upon stack of optical discs, USB sticks and floppy disks*
        * I keep an old 80486 down the cellar in a locked cabinet with the warning sign ‘Beware of the Leopard’.
        Paranoid? Me? Nah.
        Why bother these days? – One example from today’s Indy: ‘Israel boycott ban: Shunning Israeli goods to become criminal offence for public bodies and student unions’ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/israel-boycott-local-councils-public-bodies-and-student-unions-to-be-banned-from-shunning-israeli-a6874006.html

      2. Colin

        Very impressed with your tech knowledge, surprised actually, I would not have had you down as the techie type at all. Funny how people never cease to surprise me, I would have shot a guess at accountant or lawyer or something! Sorry 🙂

        No never back up to the cloud, it’s a bit like stuffing your savings under the wheel arch of your car, not safe and not guaranteed to be there in the morning, especially given the nature of this blog. It’s bad enough all our browsing data is being recorded let alone giving them full access to everything you keep online. You can bet your bottom dollar everyone who posts on here will have a file on them kept by men in sunglasses with strange sexual habits

        1. Big Gee

          WHAT!!! what

          ACCOUNTANT? LAWYER? Please don’t . . . .

          No I’m an electronics engineer by profession – thanks to the University of Wales Institute of Science & Technology (UWIST). Now retired and totally focused on my allotment activities http://aeronvale-allotments.org.uk (the web-site is a little of my spare time handywork).

          I spent a whole afternoon arguing with my old headmaster why I wanted to be an engineer (I used to win the short story competitions every year in the school eisteddfod). He wanted me to do a degree in Welsh or English, or if not become a lawyer, arguing that if I did anything technical I would never find a job in Ceredigion – as it happens he was right – I had to wait thirty years to be able to come home.

          1. Colin

            Ha! Well it just goes to show my thoughts on the stereotypical politician, lawyer, accountant… I should have known better, you did put your integrity and beliefs before your career, I can’t see a bloody lawyer doing that. Actually I think that if anyone wants to become a politician should be reason enough to exclude them, I see few who I feel are truly “doing the right thing” these days.

            I’ve been very lucky, apart from four years in Liverpool university doing a masters degree in Astrophysics I have never had to leave my home area. What a lot of good that degree did me, I ended up going back to university in Bangor to do a degree in computer science quite recently before I got any work in any of my fields of qualification. I now work as a systems admin – server and network stuff. I’m hoping to retire soon, I’m sure an allotment is a wonderful way of spending a few days a week. It’s a shame more people don’t do something similar and get back in touch with what food should taste like, like it did when we were kids, food grown within a few miles of home instead of imported from Christ knows where.

  4. Colin

    As an aside from Jac’s PC woes, have you seen this? http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/revealed-north-wales-postcode-house-10889670

    The small village of Llwyngwril where house prices have risen 67% in the last year! How in Gods name are local people supposed to cope with that? Another community taken over by incomers who are prepared to pay over the odds for houses up for sale so they can come for their 2 weeks by the sea once a years and have an investment while their at it because the prices can only go up. In the meantime Mr & Mrs Jones son Rhys and their daughter Bronwen have to move to rented accommodation in Aberystwyth; because not only can they not afford to buy or rent a house in their home village but the local shop and garage where they worked closed because it can’t sustain being open year round because of the seasonal occupation of the village.

    Just up the coast, the village of Fairbourne with it’s ancient Welsh name will be abandoned to the sea. I have mixed feelings about this but the reality is that a fair proportion of the village is owned either by incomers who have retired there or have second homes there. I guess house prices there have fallen recently since that decision was made by the council.

    In the above article, it says Rhosneigr, my home village is now the most expensive place to live in north Wales. The local councillor Richard Dew says:

    “With Rhosneigr’s popularity, I suppose it’s inevitable that people will look slightly further afield to see if they can get better value for money.

    It’s nothing new to see houses change hands for significant amounts in Rhosneigr, a phoenomenon I’ve seen grow since the A55 was completed around 15 years ago.

    Being so close to the expressway means you can travel to Manchester in less than two hours.

    That said, the village certainly isn’t deserted in the winter although, as expected, the main activity takes place during the summer months.”

    With locals moving out to the slightly further afield places and the average house owner only there for an average of 2 weeks of the year and the occasional weekend when the sun shines I struggle to see how he can observe that the village isn’t deserted. The last time I spoke to the man was at a coffee morning a few weeks ago where the only people there was him, a grumpy twat of an incomer and my wife and I. Deserted it wasn’t there were four of us out that day, the shops did a roaring trade.

    I really think something should be done with these holiday homes, they are literally ripping the life out of not only communities but the country itself. As long as it’s an attractive investment for these people though it will never stop, the situation will spread wider and wider as Mr Dew hints at. A brows through the houses for sale ads this evening shows many houses just outside Rhosneigr as having ample driveways and land for car parking and boat storage; adverts tailored to the second home markets. Prices lower than Rhosneigr but still vastly inflated beyond what they were just a few years ago. Just a 5 or 10 minute drive from Rhosneigr and the beach and another community up the creek; where will it end and is there anyone out there capable of stopping it?

    1. OK, this is the bit I can’t get my head round, and I’m not trying to be funny, I honestly don’t understand what’s going on here.

      You have presumably an close knit Welsh community, or did have a decade or two back. Then incomers start buying the place up and the community is slowly destroyed.

      But for every buyer there has to be a seller. So if you really did have this wonderful supportive thoroughly Welsh community, what possesses it’s members, especially at the start of the process, to open the flood-gates to ‘foreigners’? Are they that desperate to make a few extra quid that they’ll sell out their neighbours, who presumably are their old friends and often relatives? I appreciate that once the process gets underway it may soon become unstoppable, but all the same, how is it ever allowed to build up momentum? Is their no social pressure against such behaviour?

      Also once people see this happening, why don’t they band together to prevent it? I’m sure there are all sorts of legal and other arrangements that could be used by local groups to keep property local. Is it just that the Welsh are rabid individualists at heart? If so why all the talk of community?

      Basically to prevent a ‘disease’ you need to understand how it’s contracted and how it spreads.

      1. Big Gee

        You really depress me – you have the clssic straw vision of a problem through the eyes of a coloniser.

        Now picture this. You have a starving dog with it’s ribs sticking out of it’s skin – it can hardly stay alive. It’s been fed crumbs off the table for all of it’s life & then some opportunist stranger offers it enough beef to keep it alive for the rest of it’s miserable life – in return for it’s basket. What do you think it’s going to do? Turn it’s nose up at it? The problem is it’s starving because it hasn’t been fed for so long, not because it wants to give it’s basket up for greed.

      2. Colin

        The thing is, this isn’t a new problem, whilst it has escalated exponentially it has been going on for decades. I can only speak for Rhosneigr with any accuracy but many years ago incomers built houses on the common land by the sea and a hotel/golf links on the sand dunes. Long story short but the village becomes popular, more than usual because we have a train station which makes it easy access. It all starts with one or two and some more might buy another house or two as they become available. After all it’s just one or two, where can the harm be in selling? Then years down the line houses become a bit short and the young move out of their parents houses but there in nowhere to live in the village so they move out to other areas. Their parents eventually die and the house comes on the market, the kids have lives of their own now in Llandudno or wherever; incomers are prepared to pay more than any local can afford so the house gets sold and so it goes on.

        In the mean time all these people go back home to Wimslow or wherever during the winter months. This means that the population is down for a large part of the year, which in turn means that a shop here and a garage there shuts because there isn’t enough population to sustain it year round. In turn there’s a job or two less in the village so another youngster is forced to move away to look for work. There’s a shop or two less for the local farmer to supply so his business is struggling. Eventually in an effort to keep his farm he sells some land for more incomers to build more houses on which instantly get sold for a huge profit, after all the locals can’t afford them, we’re all short of work.

        Tourism is all well and good, yes there’s a place for it, after all our country is a beautiful place, people would be daft not to want to come here and yes we would be daft not to exploit it but the issue is that it is the country and it’s people / culture that has been exploited. There is no partnership based on respect with the incomers, it has become a cancerous relationship which is spreading throughout Wales (and many places in England too). If it doesn’t stop it can only mean the demise of any dreams we ever had as a nation. Of course we have got to the stage now where it can’t stop, it’s a money driven monster where the market far outweighs supply, every spare bit of land and I mean every spare bit is being built on and the property sold before the first sod is dug for the foundation.

        I admit I am living in the extreme version of this but it will spread, this in a few years will become the reality of all coastal Wales, from there it will move inland to all areas slowly. Who can stop it? Certainly not the councillors they’re probably getting rich with backhanders from all the development (I can’t prove that, it’s just an opinion Mr Parry), when challenged about this and other issues our local councillor shrugs his shoulders and says he can’t do anything while opening the door of his brand new BMW.

        The only way this will ever stop is if it becomes financially threatening to own a property in Wales

      3. Brychan

        “But for every buyer there has to be a seller”.

        It’s usually the case that the “seller” is the estate of a dead or downsizing Welsh grandparent. This is where the next generation have already left the area to find decent work. It is impractical for the middle generation to uproot the grandchildren and move back (from England, sometimes M4 corridor) to the native area in mid-career with no change in the native local economy. Any additional mortgage arrangement to release equity is impossible as the inherited property is in a low income area.

        On the ‘buyers’ side, if they are native to the more prosperous parts of England, inheritance can be the form of equity release where the middle generation get to move into the inherited high value property in England, From this they can also release enough cash to buy a holiday property in Wales, any mortgage is obtained in the English property based on the income generated in the high income area.

  5. Jac, Have you ever thought about coming to Aberystywyth University to do a talk about you think the greatest problems are that Wales faces? (ie Colonisation.) A talk to students there hosted by, say the International Politics Society could be a great opportunity to raise the issue of Colonisation, and why the Welsh Heartland has contracted so badly, and discuss it with them, whether they be Welsh speaking students (ie those who were kicked out of Pantecelyn) or non-welsh speaking. I am a student from London actually but have felt obliged to learn Welsh and thus have done so online. Not everyone might agree with you, but isn’t that the point of debate? If you agree to do so, I will contact the different societies that would be able to host it, and hopefully away we go.

    Diolch yn fawr.

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