Monday, February 02, 2015


I bought my dad a new laptop for Christmas, a little HP it was really cheap but surprisingly capable of running all the sorts of application he needs.

The only disappointing thing about it was the amount of junk software installed. Not just lots of useless apps put actually dodgy apps ready to hurt the unwary. For the first time I saw an uninstalled which on one of the steps actually installed more software! Basically relying on the social engineering that most people just keep hitting next then end up with yet more crap ware to remove. If I was head of HP I would not want this junk of my hardware, it just makes it look crumby, certainly the repetitional damage is not worth the few quid they advertisers are paying.

It not just hardware manufactures getting caught out though. I recently fixed my barbers laptop and like a lot of computers I see it had all sort of dodgy browser extensions installed. It displayed fake adverts for Adobe flash which installed yes you've guessed it more junk software. The laptop was so full of this junk as to be unusable. These programs are for some reason not recognised as viruses, in spite of their virus like behaviour, changing settings ruining the user experience and driving the user to specific pages for finance gain. I am unsure why this junk is allowed to exist.

Overall I have to hand it to Apple, every Mac which I have used comes with software that enhances the computer not just to sell advertising space. There is a hell of a lot less of this junk which affects Apple.

Road to Sata

I just got a message from fitbit to tell me that I have now recorded enough steps to walk the length of Japan 3,007. It reminded me of a book I read some years ago, when I was trying to learn Japanese.
The books were The Roads to Sata: A 2000-mile Walk Through Japan by Alan Booth. His first book written while he was living as a writer living in Japan. He basically set off on a strange journey across Japan on foot. Charting his experiences, anecdotes of the people and places he met on the road intermingled with historic information. It is a very good book, full of fantastic characters and a real product of its age the 1980's when Japan was conquering the world before the crash and the stagnation which followed.

I never did get very far with my Japanese course, after the first two enjoyable semesters the third went down hill after the college amalgamated two classes. Strangely later to just like my Polish course also hit the buffers after three semesters thanks to a lack of students.

I am really looking forward to the release of the Fitbit Surge which should mean I can wear that instead of the two devices I use now when running; my current Fitbit flex and Alpha Mio heart rate monitor. The flex has been a great device and having a fitness tracker really does help to motivate me to get out more often, however its not got a watch and its annoying to wear two devices.