Sun storage…

Having a play with the VM demo Sun s7k openstorage device…

net> start /SP/console
Are you sure you want to start /SP/console? (y/n)? y
Are you really sure you want to start /SP/console? (y/n)? y
Are you not sure you don’t want to start /SP/console? (y/n)? y
Starting /SP/console may cause liver cancer. Are you still sure (y/n)? n
Have you read and agreed to the terms of use? (y/n)? y
Do you always lie about having read and agreed to terms of use (y/n)? n
Do you lie about everything (y/n)?
net>

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Gah – Carphone warehouse lying goits :-/

Parents are looking for a wii and wii fit (apparantly it’s good for Parkinsons?? – I think dad just wants to laugh at mum in cow racing personally). Wiis are generally available now – but wii fit is still a tad rare unless you want to buy it in a pack with a few crap accessories or some crap games.

Given this, I was surprised to spot carphone warehouse had them listed as in stock, and at the standard price of 69.99 (most places have them marked up to nearer 100 quid!). Quickly ordered one, picked a delivery day and got the order placed. Excellent. Still showing as in stock 10 mins after I’d ordered. I’d also found on their site that they have an “In stock Guarantee” – even better!

‘In Stock’ Guarantee

At the Carphone Warehouse, we believe in being totally honest with our customers. That means that when you see an item with the “In stock” badge against it, we guarantee that this item is in stock.

You can still ‘back-order’ an out of stock item and we will send it to you as soon as it is back in stock. We will also give you regular updates as to when the new stock is due to arrive.

Please note: When comparing our offers to other websites, be careful to check that they mean ‘In stock’ when they say it. Many websites will happily take your order for an In stock item, only to tell you that the item is not in stock but due in “any day now”, and then leave you hanging for weeks on end…

How annoying to get an email a little later with

Unfortunately, the item you ordered is temporarily out of stock. We do make every effort to ensure that only items that are in stock appear on the website, and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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Storage expo 2008

Wow, 2 posts in as many days 🙂

Spent the day at Storage expo looking at shiny things.

Sun

+ plenty of kit to play with
+ people on stand who actually knew what they were talking about
+ plenty of reading material for train journey home

– no freebie pens or lanyards or pointless stress toys

HDS

+ loads of info to read on train
+ shiny new uber kit on display (still looks crap though :))
+ *loads* of techie staff who new what they were talking about
+ *free* sushi bar with chefs preparing sushi for you
+ loads of free squishy sumo wrestler stress toys \o/

– not able to demo the new shiny kit interface (need to see if it’s as pap as the SMS100 one…)

HP

– hard work to find anyone to chat with us
– no technical people available….we wait
– technical person appears about as technical and knowledgeable as my mum
– no freebies. One crap leaflet.

Bluearc

+ Impressive uberperforming san magic
+ cool freebie pens with bl00 leds \o/

– how much???

Dell/EMC

+ well, they were keen…

– …and utterly useless

LSI (they make the Sun boxes we are interested in – 6xxx series)

+ really helpful, knew what they were talking about
+ cool visualization stuff that allegedly “only costs a few K” (can’t quite believe that tbh… we will see)
+ actual real kit to play with

ITC

+ free innocent smoothies \o/

– shame we can’t buy from them (and shame they only sell EMC stuff)

Falconstore

+ really neat

+ another layer of complication
+ price…

So, who wins? Well, based on Storage expo (obviously there are no other criteria we need to worry about) I reckon we will go with HDS (the sushi chefs and dressing their staff up in Japanese outfits gets them extra points :)) or maybe Sun/LSI. HP once again were utterly shit (but at least they turned up this time unlike most of our meetings with them!)

Interesting that it was a lot smaller than previous ones – and freebies were really in short supply 🙁 Bloody credit crunch – need more stress toys dammit

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hrm. It’s been a while (again)

Nearly a quarter of a year since the last update – I’m crap at this blogging lark.

Anyway, last couple of months have been rather manic with something major happening every weekend. Thankfully, we have a few quiet weekends to come now (just need to put the house back together…)

Can’t be bothered to detail the lot, but highlights are the Jam^Rach wedding (at St Pauls Cathederal – go us! Mab even bought a suit!), Miles Miles’s Miles’ the stag do of Miles (an *excellent* day in London on the eye and at Vinopolis) and then Miles and Ang getting married last weekend!

Also, we have finally sorted out our heating system and now have a sexy thermal store of goodness providing uber mains pressure hot water \o/

Can’t mention all these weddings without at least one photo of a beauty in white. How sexy does that look??!? Gorgeous! Ange and Rach looked pretty good as well tbh 🙂

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Motorshow ++

A great day on friday up at the London motor show at Excel – I took sprog1 and my dad up and had an excellent (if rather tiring!) day. Jake was pleased that apart from the Veyron (they had a couple but kept them locked up upstairs where you had to pay 100 quid to go!) he managed to see *all* of his favourite top trump super car! He managed to touch a koenigsegg, a spyker and a zonda thanks to Broughtons and I thought he was going to die when he realised that they were actually going to race some of the supercars including the only Ford Avro mirage in existance around a circuit barely wide enough and made of concrete blocks. Impressive sight – even more impressive sound!

Also got a go on the new landrover experience “The mountain”. I’ve been on these before and they are always impressive but there is still something impressive about driving down a 10m high ramp and letting the car control the descent – no brakes needed, it all just “works” 🙂 For anyone who has never been to a motorshow this gives a good view of what to expect. Well worth a visit if you get a chance.

Jake was also impressed to find the Top Gear stand who had all three of the recent police cars on display and finally, he got a chance to be driven in a permanent powerslide by a mad man highly skilled driver in the westfield drifting demo. They got through an amazing number of tyres! They also give you the chance to buy a dvd about Westfield that has your drive tagged onto the end. Here is Jakes – he has only just stopped grinning 🙂

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Off to lodnod

Off to London to visit HP and see what SAN shinys we can’t afford 🙂
Also, plenty plenty of train time to play with the new wordpress iphone app – will it make me blog more? Will it just eat my battery at a scary rate? Time will tell (don’t hold your breath!)

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quick update

just a quick update (as people keep asking me)

One of dads insurance companies has now paid out \o/. Still waiting to hear from the other.

In other news, he got a random phonecall from the pension credit people telling him they thought he was probably entitled to pension credit and did he want to apply. He pointed out that he had applied and was about to ring them to ask why he hadn’t heard anything in the 10 working days that they promised…

Seems that his application hasn’t got anywhere – and they seemed surprised to hear that they had had all of his payslips etc and had posted them back to him a fortnight ago…

They are now saying it could take 6 weeks for a decision! Good job he isn’t desperate for the cash – this has been going on for months already!

Sigh…

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one of those days…

Had the morning off today for an asthma clinic appointment which meant I missed the departmental fun day (the half-day-no-fun-fun-day). I turned up at work in time to get the departmental lunch….except hospitality had screwed up and not actually delivered enough food so I had a bag of chedders…

Back to the office where I find my new chair has arrived at last (my old one has been condemned by elf and safety twice in the last 18 months as it keeps collapsing randomly). All seems good until I unwrap it only to find that it doesn’t actually work. Whereas my old one had a habit of going down all on it’s own the new one is just permanently down. Sigh. Justine did come over to check as she didn’t believe me that it was broken. To quote her “you probably need a woman to help you get it up, we are good at that”. Couldn’t argue with that logic… unfortunately, she couldn’t get it up either so an engineer will be visiting to mend it in the next 10 working days. I’m beginning to think it might just be easier to have surgery to make my legs shorter.

Then I check my email.

Subject: tank hire

Darren,

So I can get things in motion please could you complete and return by fax 01594 xxxxxx or email the attached credit forms.

The first invoice will be paid by credit card, will advise total amount

Will forward quotation shortly.

Regards

Melanie
Hire Controller

Wierd. As much as I’d like to hire a tank I suspect this isn’t of the interesting tracked variety. Then, I get another from a completely different company:

Subject: Tanker Rental

Darren

You did not come back to me as expected. Do I assume that you have put the requirement on ice. If so, no problem at this end but the Workshops will rent out vehicle elsewhere.

Brian

Finally, I get and offer of an interview:

Subject: Performance Officer – interview

Dear Mr Chapman

Please see the attached information. I should be grateful if you could please confirm safe receipt. Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Senior Recruitment Co-ordinator
Corporate Recruitment Unit
Corporate HR Unit, Town Clerk’s Department
City of London Corporation
PO Box 270 Guildhall, London EC2P 2EJ

I did give them a ring but apparantly the job doesn’t pay enough. Interestingly, them email also included the guys address so please Mr Chapman of flat 3 in Chislehurst STOP USING MY EMAIL ADDRESS!

Finally a get home to find a letter from the nationwide about my request for a new pin for their online banking system:

Thankyou for your application to register for Nationwide’s On-line banking service. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept your application at present, as your date of birth details have changed.

Please inform you visit your local branch with a form of primary identification showing this change (for example, passport of driving licence).

I’m pretty sure I’ve not changed my date of birth recently… I give up.

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yay \o/ Council tax rebate

Hurrah! Dad has had a phonecall from the council – he is entitled to council tax credit. He will be able to get help towards the 130 quid a month council tax bill to the tune of 38 pence a week. Wow, that’s really going to be great help.

After he had finished swearing at them thanking them for their help, he enquired as to what the hell the point of a rebate that just about covers a stamp was. Seems that the council have based this decision on his last 6 months pay slips – the payslips that show him being paid 70% of his salary. They seem to have missed the letter from the employer saying his sick pay was finished (they didn’t ask for it originally, we took it in) so when this was all explained to them (again) they now want to see the letter (again).

Still nothing from the pension credit people… We do have a letter from the incapacity benefit people saying that to continue receiving credit (*continue* ?????? start would be good) he now has to get a questionnaire filled in by his doctor (the useless GP) and attend a consultation with an occupational health nurse (who is blatently more qualifyed to diagnose parkinsons that Dr Barnes, head neurologist at Kings) . Amusingly, this form needs to be completed in with the doctor within a couple of weeks or the money stops. Doctor has no appointments for 3 weeks…

Apparantly this was quickly resolved by dad turning up the surgery and parking himself there until the doctor “found an appointment”. Seems they can see you within 48 hours if they have to… 🙂

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Grrrrrrrr

When dad got the letter from work saying that his sick pay had run out, mum rang “Job centre+” as you are meant to. They confirmed that incapacity benefit shouldn’t be a problem but would only pay 70ish quid a week and that they would need to top this up with income support or, given his age being just over 60 that he might be able to get pension credit instead. As the pension credit setup is supposedly easier than sorting income support they advised mum to contact the pension credit people.

This she did only to get “Oh no, if he is under 65 he will need to claim income support not pension credit. Don’t know why they told you to ring us”….

So we head into the job centre+ pit of dispair and fill in the paperwork, supply tweltymillion forms of id etc etc and off go the applications. The woman in there explained how if income support was granted, things like council tax benefit etc would come automatically – and if income support wasn’t granted how we would have to apply for each and every extra benefit individually.

Strangely, while we waited for the paperwork to come back (again) a letter from the council arrives asking for a load of proof (that we don’t have as it’s in ramsgate with social services) and a copy of the letter with the results of the income support claim. The letter we don’t have. Odd, we haven’t contacted the council at all yet (was advised not to by the jobcentre people…).

Next day, a letter and claim form from the pension credit people asking for the same papers again (nope, they are still missing somewhere in action). Odd, they told us he couldn’t claim pension credits until he was 65.

Today was the deadline for the social services to get back to mum and dad with the results of the income support claim. Predictably, nothing arrived in the post so mum rang them. “it’s in the post. It was sent to you days ago you should have it now”. Great…

After a bit more digging they finally come out with “yes, you have been granted incapacity benefit but you haven’t got income support as you should apply for pension credits instead as he is over 60″….

Mr Arse meet Mr Elbow. It feels like we are stuck in some godawful 80s text adventure game (only with a 10 day wait between each move).

In other news, both Norwich Union and Legal and General have agreed to “consider a claim” on dads critical illness policies. May take 3 months for a decision (eh? how??). Must be a bugger if you are suffering from a critical illness that gives you a couple of months to live.

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