My Graphics Card Saga

September 29th, 2010

So 17 months ago (6th of march 2009) I bought a BFG graphics card. I’d been tossing the thought in the air over it for a while. I had a medium-spec (at the time) PC which should have been able to play games on high graphics but for the ageing ATI Radeon X1950Pro so after a particularly difficult month I decided to treat myself, spending £318 on a brand new graphics card. One that was technologically the best on the commercial market at the time, a BFG GForce 285 GTX OC2 with 1GB of GDDR3 Memory.

About 4 months after purchasing the card, the computer started to do some very strange things when playing games. One of my screens would occasionally flicker when on a black screen and when I was playing games with a lot of colour in them, such as Audio Surf, or games with a high particle count such as Saints Row 2 (when its raining or when there are several things around you on fire) the graphics card driver would crash then re-load or even crash-out the whole computer.

I thought it was a software problem so I removed the graphics driver and installed the latest version. Sadly, that didn’t fix the problem but the motherboard I had wasn’t too brilliant and my windows installation was questionable too. Knowing I was upgrading everything soon then I thought that if I waited I would soon find that either everything works because I’ll have a bundle of new equipment with a new windows installation or I’ll be back in the same boat. So I persevered with it until I got my new computer and a proper copy of windows 7, but I still had the same problem.

Now the only common denominator was the card and the two monitors connected to it. The monitors on their own won’t cause a problem like that so it had to be a fault with the card. I contacted BFG, Gave them the symptoms (not realising myself what was causing them at this point) and within 2 days they issued me with an RMA number. For those that don’t know, RMA stands for Returns Materials Authorisation. It basically means the manufacturer will accept it back and either repair or replace your product as soon as they find a fault.

I sent the card back and had to wait for BFG to repair or replace it. Until then I was reduced to using my old PowerMac G4 as my PC or my laptop. After about a weeks worth of swearing at my Mac because APPLE COMPUTERS DON’T DO HALF THE STUFF I WANT TO DO WITH A COMPUTER, and getting frustrated with my laptop since its only a laptop. They are fine as a temporary or portable solution but I was used to a high-powered dual-display gaming rig as my permanent pc, not a mediocre Centrino processor with a 15” display, I went and bought a £50 PNY Gforce 210 to use in my PC. Finally! A computer with some bang that I can at least use for a few games and for university work.

About 3 weeks past and finally fedex turned up with my graphics card again. First thing I did was disassemble the computer, put the graphics card back in and presto! It worked. It continued to work for about 4 months until I started getting the same problem again.

This time I did a little diagnosing myself. I knew where the problem lay so I downloaded a GPU monitor and loaded up one of the games. Sure enough the graphics started to glitch and I watched the GPU monitor which showed the core temperature still rising through 85 degrees C and yet no increase in fan speed to compensate. I kept watching it. 95 degrees it got to before the PC crashed completely. So okay, it’s the temperature.

I called up BFG again who gave me a new RMA number but this time I get the new card before I can send them one. 6 WEEKS the wait is. But if that’s the wait time, that’s what I have to live with. About 2 weeks later I get a letter from BFG…they have gone into administration and will be cancelling my RMA. Son of a BITCH!! So my 10 year warranty isn’t worth the damn paper it’s written on? Actually the loss of the remaining 8 1/2 years warranty wasn’t a huge problem to me. While it’s a bitch and having a warranty like that is a nice thing to fall back on, I wasn’t that bothered. What I was bothered about was my faulty fucking card that should I dare to play Saints Row 2 without setting the AUTOMATIC fan control to 80% MANUALLY.

I would have lived with the having to manually set the fan if the settings didn’t change so drastically with the temperature of the room. The room my computer is in gets pretty hot in the summer and depending on whether or not the heating is running pretty cold in the winter. Over the space of a few days I tested it with the same games. 1 degree change in room temperature could mean needing a 10% increase in fan speed. The top I ever ran it at was 80% and this was in march. What would happen come the summer we have just had where there were days of 30 degrees C?

Fortunately, I work in retail. I have had many customers come up to me and say “EU Law says…blah blah” they are usually wrong in what they say and I have had to do a little research to be able to say “No, you’re wrong. First off, we go by UK law. second, BOTH laws say this…” add to that my 6 years of retail experience. I know retailing law pretty much through and through, since I have to deal with it on a daily basis.

One thing I know is that if you can prove that you have been having the same problem from inside the basic 1 year RTS (Return to seller) warranty, that you have continually had the same issue, that you are still experiencing the same problem, then it is the SELLERS responsibility to get you a working product within a reasonable time. Notice that I said “Working product” not “replacement” you cannot demand a replacement, the seller has the right to repair the item before offering you a refund or replacement.

There’s a few other things to note here. Even if the product doesn’t go faulty right away, if you can prove that the fault is a manufacturing defect with the product then in the UK you can claim for a repair up to 5 years after purchase. There’s a few ways you can go about this but I’ll not bore you with the details. You can email me on advancedflea at gmail dot com or catch me on IM if you want the details.

So! Armed with my knowledge of the law, a little bit of bullshit and my graphics card, I drove 40 miles to Stoke-on-bastard-Trent to the shop I got it from, Overclockers, as I got nowhere with their webforms. I have to say the person who handles the webnote system they have comes across as quite arrogant. I’ve been to the shop before and dealt with the one person who mans their desk. A very well-spoken, polite guy. “Hello sir, yes sir, certainly sir” in a queens English accent is what you can expect to hear from him. Also, he’s pretty good at his job, I’ll say that for the guy.

I got into the shop and explained the situation, we went back to his manager, came back to me and said “as you are aware, you warranty is with BFG and as you are also aware, they have gone bust. There is nothing more we can do for you there” so I told him that I had been having the problem since before the RTS warranty expired and that the card had been back and forth several times to BFG. That last bit there, that was my small amount of bullshit.

He went back to his manager again, this time returning to tell me that they will book the card in and test it, then look at their options. Fine by me as I knew this would result in a working card OR my £318 back to go elsewhere and buy one. Either way I would eventually get a working card.

I did a little more digging and found that Overclockers have a habit of not bothering to call their customers if they had something in for repair. Great customer service there, I think not. Anyway, a week later I called up and asked what was going on. It turns out that their policy requires that they get my written permission to take the cooler off, as this will invalidate my none-existent warranty. Yeah, they can have my written consent to do that.

They had a plan. They were going to try re-applying the thermal grease. That isn’t going to work, it’s a fan-speed problem. Then they were going to try finding another cooler. Good luck, since it’s a BFG card and they have a different screw footprint to other cards AND It’s an overclocked card which needs a more powerful cooler.

After another week, I got a letter, signed by a Christ Montgomery saying that they have applied a blanket policy to all BFG cards. They will give me 10% off the cost of a new card. Now, for a card that’s 3, 4, 5 years old, that’s a GREAT policy. The manufacturer have gone bust so the retailer, who don’t have to help (provided the above conditions aren’t met) and they are. However, for my situation that’s a really AWFUL policy and nowhere near what I am entitled to. I went into the store to find out what the hell’s going on. Mr. Well-spoken guy told me what I already knew and you could tell by the way he spoke, he felt awkward about giving me that news and didn’t back it. He told me he was going to getch his technical manager who it ended up said exactly the same thing, and you could tell he felt the same way about telling me the bad news.

I told them I was going to leave the card with them and write into the Managing director, since it was his decision. They were both quite happy with that.

I grabbed a template letter from consumer direct, told them the situation so far, stated my rights then bombarded them with all the evidence I had found of the cards being faulty including posts from THEIR OWN FORUMS. I told them in no uncertain terms that the card was not “of satisfactory quality” and since I could prove so many people were having the same problem, the cards were arguably unfit for purpose. I made sure to send it as special delivery so that they had to sign for it and that I would get an electronic proof of delivery. I also made sure to tell them that I was sending it recorded delivery in the letter and said that I had already spoken to trading standards for advice (more bullshit) and since their own technical manager has said the card can’t be repaired, and since I can prove the card went faulty within the first year (with BFG’s full “confession” for want of a better word, to the known problem with the cooler) I would be reporting them to trading standards

So on Tuesday I got another letter through the post, saying they are prepared to offer me a GTX470 1250MB Which is an acceptable offer to me…but I fancied something better so I paid the difference between the 470 they wanted to offer me and the 480. The thing is this letter was from Chris Montgomery, apologising for the fact I have had a problem and saying “I can only apologise that it has taken so long to resolve this for you I have been out of the office and wasn’t aware until today of your problem” well that’s bullshit because you sent me the letter last week. However, I can’t complain there because I did a small amount of bullshitting myself. We all do it.

For the tech geeks out there It’s an EVGA GTX 480 1536MB GDDR5 PCI-E and it even came with a copy of Mafia II which was a steam-enabled licence key :)

Ofcourse, when I got the card home, this called for some serious …ahem “Testing” I loaded up EVGA Precision and left that monitoring everything while I played games. What do you know? A fan that speeds up automatically to cool the card, a graphics card that works below 70 degrees C when running games at full-whack…it’s a nice thing to have :D

-Flea Out

A Guide To Retail

August 27th, 2008

So, since blitzen and I have recently been on the receiving end of someone who thinks he knows his consumer rights (read: doesn’t have a clue about them. Is working on the customer is always right mantra) and thinks they could treat customer service guys just exactly how they like, I have written this little guide to getting good customer service in the UK.

1. The law

1.1 Your rights

When you buy a product it should conform to the following; 1, Be “suitable for purpose” so if you buy a kettle in the UK, It should work on 240 Volts not 110. 2, As advertised/represented. So if you were told that the product would do something, it should do it. This includes by the sales person who sold it you, or any form of advertising. 3, “free from defect” which basically means; it should work.

You do NOT have the right to buy something then bring it back if you don’t like it/don’t want it or if YOU made the wrong decision, this includes about size, colour, weight and anything that you could have judged when it was in store. There is an exception to this rule and it is called the Distance Selling act. If you buy something from a catalogue or from an online retailer then you have the right to send something back if it is not correct provided that it is in a saleable condition; all seals intact, you have not opened the boxes and haven’t used it. This does not mean that you can take it back to a retailer if you bought it from their website, but wish to take it back into store. While most retailers will accept these items back, they are well within their rights to tell you to send it back through the delivery network at YOUR expense.

If a product develops a fault within 12 months of purchase you have the right to a working product or your money back within a reasonable amount of time. A “reasonable amount of time” is defined by trading standards as 6 weeks. This does not mean that you are entitled to a replacement right away, but I’ll get to that later.

If a fault develops within the first 6 months, the retailer must prove that the fault was not there from the beginning. If a fault develops AFTER the first 6 months, the burden of proof is on YOU.

1.2 The retailers rights

The retailer has the right to refuse you a refund or exchange without going down other paths first.

First off is that the retailer has the right to test the product in its factory state first. This means with computers that the retailer has the right to wipe the hard drive clean and test the machine on a fresh installation of the operating system but this can be applied to most things. For example, if you buy a car and change the radio, the car manufacturer has the right to take out the radio you put in and put one of theirs in to test a fault with the car. This is to make sure it is nothing you have done wrong.

If the retailer finds that the product works correctly after having been put back to it’s factory-shipped state, the retailer has the right to charge you for the labour, give you your product back and have nothing more to do with you concerning that particular problem.

If it is diagnosed that there is a fault with your product, the retailer can then make the decision that they will repair the device first so as they can asses whether or not it would be economical to them to repair or replace. This usually ends up in a repair as most things you buy now are modular so all they need to do is change a few components.

If you buy something and decide that you don’t want it, or YOU have made the mistake, the retailer can take the product back and re-sell it but the retailer has the right to charge a re-stocking fee, which is usually a percentage of the price you paid. They can charge up to 50%

1.3 The Customer advisor/sales guy/customer service rep’s rights

Customer service guys (and by that I am encompassing male and female staff) have the right to work in a clean environment where they feel safe from threats and intimidation. That, I am sure, you have heard before. It’s posted on the walls of the vast majority of customer service areas, on the security-screen at banks, building societies, petrol stations and post offices and even on busses.

If you shout at a member of staff, they have the right to refuse you service.

If you swear at a member of staff, they have the right to refuse you service.

If you threaten a member of staff, they have the right to refuse you service.

If you attack a member of staff, they have the right to defend themselves and this can mean that you’ll get hurt.

The customer service rep is WELL within his rights to refuse you service for any of the above reasons. Remember; they are not there to take your abuse, they are there to make a living, just like any other ordinary person. Think about it this way, would you tolerate it if someone came into your work place and verbally or physically attacked you? You should also remember that when you are inside the store, you are on private property. No one needs a reason to ask you to leave. If you refuse, you are trespassing and that is a prosecutable offense.

2. Approach

There is only one way to approach a customer service desk/advisor…POLITELY. I have heard said before “when I go in with a faulty product, I tell the customer service rep what is going to happen, what I expect and I do not back down until that happens” this is not how you do it. If you do that at my customer service desk, you will not be served. The same will apply to pretty much all customer service desks across the country.

Remember that the person behind the counter is being paid barely above minimum wage and has procedures he has to follow if he would like to keep his job. You are a total stranger to him so you are not worth bending the rules for. If the person serving you says that the product may be away for up to 28 days then there is no use tutting and huffing about it, it’ll get you nowhere.

The only thing you are entitled to is a working product within a reasonable amount of time (6 weeks or less) so telling the customer service guy that you should get some kind of refund or discount is not going to get you anywhere. The same can be said for complaining about the amount of petrol used going between the shop and your home. We all know that Petrol and Diesel are expensive, but customer service guys also have more knowledge than you think so when you say “It’s cost me about a hundred pounds in petrol” when you live 20 miles from the store and have only been there twice. The average car gets between 8 and 10 miles to the litre (as much as 15 in a diesel) so let’s call it 10. If you have driven 40 miles in all, at today’s prices of £1.10/litre, that’s cost you £4.40 not £100. If you tell us you drive a big car, that will usually be met with “No car consumes that much fuel unless you are driving a tank. If you drive a Gas Guzzler, that’s your choice, that’s your problem.” Do not ask for what you are not entitled to.

When you speak to the customer service guy, do NOT turn around to someone who is trying his best to help you and say “You do not know what you are talking about” because that is one damn good way to get a person’s back up against you.

3. Entitlement

I brushed on this in the last one, so now I want to go into a bit more depth. You are only entitled to a working product within a reasonable amount of time. However, some customers will continue to think that a Customer service rep should bend over backwards to keep your custom. I have actually been told I should do this on one occasion. It took the customer completely by surprise when I quite literally turned around and bent over the counter backwards.

Many customers seem to believe that they should get something extra for their troubles. Ask yourself this; why should you? When your car breaks down, do you tell the AA man that he should give you something because you’ve had to call him out?

Many customers who believe they are entitled to something that they are not tend to use the argument of “It shouldn’t break down then it’s only ___ old” or “I’ve have to drive all this way. I deserve some compensation” are two common ones.

When it comes down to orders and stock level; it’s a shop. They sell stuff, so they will run out of stock from time-to-time. Generally, if you use the reserve and collect or “collect at branch” services that many stores are offering now, then they will request a phone number to contact you if the store runs out of stock or there has been an error on the stock system. If you expect the store top contact you, then put a genuine phone number. Numbers such as 0121 111 1111 will usually mean that if your order is out of stock then the order picking sheet is put to one side with a note on it. If the item is out of stock and you have not provided the store with the correct phone number, that’s your problem.

Should you come into store without having ordered anything and find that the item you want is out of stock then kicking up a fuss is not going to help you. A member of staff cannot give or sell you a product that they cannot physically get their hands on. If the item is out of stock, it is unfair and rude to take it out on anyone in store. If you wanted to secure the item then calling before you left or even ordering it would mean you would get your product without any fuss, or at very least the person on the other end of the phone would have been able to tell you “I’m sorry, we don’t have that item in stock. You may be able to get it from…”

4. The phone system

Common place in the UK now is for many stores and companies to use 0870, 0845 Or 0844 Numbers for you to contact the company as opposed to giving out the stores direct 01, 02 or 03 numbers. There’s several reasons for this

One reason is that you only need one phone number to speak to anyone in the company. If you call needs to be put through to the branch then branch call handling will do so, otherwise you will be dealt with by the correct department at branch call handling.

Reason two is that there are several numbers for the branch and YOU do not know that you are calling the correct number to speak to the correct department. The tech team do not want to be taking phone calls for the finance team

Reason three is that the guys in store are busy enough without having to take calls and usually troubleshoot over the phone. All of that can be done by tech-call handling. See, all of your calls can be handled by people who are specifically trained to handle calls of whatever type will come through the phone lines. The people in store are usually NOT trained for this particular skill.

If you have decided that you are going to call the store directly for technical support, do not expect to get anywhere. As above, the guys in the tech centre are not trained for call handling, they have jobs that are scheduled and booked in to do. These jobs have to take priority over you because, and this may surprise you, customers with booked jobs are customers too.

5. Blogs and the media

5.1 Blogs

We all know and loves blogs. This is being posted in a blog, many of us keep them for our personal thoughts, random musings, wishes, and even to just plain gush about things to get them off our chest. We’ve all seen how famous blogs can become (see http://postsecret.blogspot.com ) and how much trouble they can draw ( see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/27/delta_blog_grounded/ ) but for some reason, some people seem to think that because they have a blog, and that blog carries a small following, that if they post something on there, it makes a huge dent in the world.

Blogs do not make as bigger impression on the world as you may think. Yes, a blog has a potential for a global audience but it does not attract that global audience. Your blog attracts the attention of people who are either like-minded, people you know, or people who live in your locale.

If a company does you a disservice or even just a customer advisor as a singularity posting on a blog is not going to get anything done about it. The only thing that posting on a blog does is just basically makes you feel better

5.2 The media

It’s all too common that Customer service reps have done something, usually involving sticking roughly to company procedure, this has pissed off a customer and the customer has yelled something along the lines of “You’ll be reading about this in the papers” I have even been told that I’ll make headlines because of how the company acts towards customers. Those threats don’t sway anyone except the new guys. Even with the new guys get made to feel better because when they mention it, and they do, the ones of us who have more experience tell them there is absolutely nothing to worry about and the company’s public relations department deal with any media coverage there is

There is something that you have to know about the media. They CAN broadcast anything they like however, a person can refuse to be interviewed and can refuse to have his or her name and face shown by the media. If that refusal is not respected, the people presenting the “news” on the matter lay themselves open to more legal action than you can fathom.

One that I hear a lot of, not for being on the receiving end of threats, but because of the area I live in, is the Edd Doolan show. “You’ll be hearing about this on Edd Doolan” is one that gets yelled occasionally. I have been known to reply to that one with “You mean the old git on Radio WM who does absolutely nothing about your problem and gets half the listeners that the rest of the BBC Midlands network radio shows get? I’m sure I will” which I have found usually shuts people up rather quickly.

6. Lying

You would think that saying “don’t do it” would be enough, but with some people, It’s not and this always tickles me a little. When you walk into a store and up to the customer service counter, you are walking up to a group of people who not only understand how the products work, how to fault find on them and where likely problems will lie, but understand the products well enough to know perfectly well when you are lying to them.

You don’t get anywhere when you start lying to the customer service guys. They will usually know you are lying and this will immediately put their backs up against you. There is a reason for this; Treat other people how you would expect to be treated (or “Do onto others as you would have others do onto you” ) Think about it this way, if you had been sold something and the sales guy had lied to you about it, how would you feel? I’d say at very least annoyed and angry. Now think about how those guys feel if you lie to them. It’s along the same lines. If you lie to a customer service rep then they are more likely to find you out, then stick by the rules to the letter. Yes, Customer service guys will bend the rules occasionally but it’s less likely to happen if they are well aware that you are lying to them.

Customer service reps are people as well and are just as good, if not better than other people at telling when you are lying.

7. In conclusion

So, I hope you find this helpful and the next time you find yourself in a retail environment, presented with a customer service rep, you’ll think about this entry and conduct yourself properly.

Dedicated to Bock and Friends.

Also dedicated to those at Customers Suck ;)

Random musings and googlebot cacheings

August 18th, 2008

is cacheings even a word?

Well, googlebot has started exploring my website again. I had to deny it in the robots.txt file because of Bock the retard but he and his little entourage have left me alone. Not sure about Blitzen, but he hasn’t complained about it in a while so I’m guessing he’s been left to mind his own business too.

I was driving down the motorway back home today and got hit by another surprise from this new car. Now, my previous car (A 2001 Y-Registered Ford Fiesta ‘Flight’ for those that don’t already know.) if it got hit by cross-windows on the motorway, I would feel the steering wheel start to move in whichever direction the car was being pushed which if you weren’t used to it, was rather scary. This new Corsa, the body is so damn heavy that if this car gets hit by a cross-wind, it doesn’t even roll, much less try to steer its self into on-coming traffic.

I should have knowen better than to think I could dry the washing outside in England, really. I left some out while I went about my work day on Friday and by the time I came home, the washing was wetter than when it had come out of the machine. Marvellous. Thank god for the tumble dryer. After that one I could see the steam POURING out of the vent at the side of the garage. So much for me being energy efficient, eh?

One thing I must ask; why is it that small flying animals find it nessicary to screech at full volume, then slam into my bedroom window at full speed? It seems odd that they would want to do this.

Another trend I have noticed recently is that MANY places are starting to employ these new systems from NCR, the NCR “Fastlane” (self-service checkouts) and I have to say; I think they’re pretty cool. They have them at the Tescos and the ASDA near me. I tend to use them over the regular checkouts. It’s usually a lot faster for me to just scan the stuff myself, bag it, confuse the machine when I remove a bag to put it in the trolley, pay, amuse myself at other customers who can’t work out how to use a machine that tells you what to do every step of the way. Once I am done there, I put everything in Iggy’s boot and drive away, but that’s another story all together.

Right, I am off to get somthing to eat before I die of starvation. Screw cooking. I think I’m in the mood for chips tonight.

Come Mr. DJ

August 4th, 2008

I saw this on dA. It is officially the coolest thing I have ever seen

http://thebourgyman.deviantart.com/art/The-Console-War-Movie-32170692

And I recomend you checkout the guys website, which is http://dj.bourgy.net/en/ and there is one song in particular on there that I LOVE;

Mini EuroMix of the month, June edition

That will be all! :-P

Welcome Back

August 1st, 2008

Well, welcome back, Ireland. I do apologise for that interruption to your service but I had to block your entire continent due to the fact Blitzen and myself were being cyber stalked

Cyber stalking is defined by Bristol university as; “Persistent posting of offensive or threatening messages to or about someone on chat forums and blogs”

For those Wikipedia fans out there, wiki defines it as; “The use of information and communications technology, particularly the Internet, by an individual or group of individuals, to harass another individual, group of individuals, or organization. The behavior includes false accusations, monitoring, the transmission of threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, and gathering information for harassment purposes. The harassment must be such that a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would regard it as sufficient to cause another reasonable person distress” Interestingly enough, the person cyber stalking Blitzen and I claimed Blitzen was threatening him when Blitz specifically said that he wasn’t doing so.

I define it as pretty much the same thing. Following a person around the web, monitoring what they are doing, what they post on forums, message boards, social networking sites (facebook, myspace etc) Video sites (Youtube, Veoh etc) and any other site you can post on. This is applicable to ALL that person’s internet identities or names they use on the web. If you add to that using what the person has posted against them, that’s cyber stalking in a nutshell

I should point out that in the UK Cyber stalking is illegal under the malicious communications act (1998) the same applies to Australia, Europe, Ireland (northern and southern) and the US (although the names of the laws are different)

Anywho, I’m sure you all missed me, but for those that didn’t, why are you reading this? Lol.

So whats been going on with me? Well, I have a cold at the moment, a horrible one but I think it’s more “Man flu” than anything else. I got my new car after the accident. The car insurance people still haven’t paid out so I owe my dad £2000 but he knows he’ll get it when Tesco motor insurance pay up.

My new car is SO cool x3 it’s a Corsa “Breeze” “Plus” http://www.pentagon-vauxhall.co.uk/dealers/vauxhall_new_corsa_breeze_plus.php the difference between a breeze and breeze plus is that the plus has aircon AND a full moonroof. I love it though, it’s so comfy to drive, and the controsl are really light in comparison to the Y-Reg Fiesta that I had before. I gotta say though; I did love that Fiesta to bits. Too bad its end had to be a twisted pile of metal at 70MPH on the M6 motorway

Anyway, I am off to bed before this headache kills me.

Flea out

complete with gay fiction at no extra charge

July 19th, 2008

Yup. This website comes complete with gay fiction at no extra charge :D it says so right here:

Gay fiction

That screen cap from a website where the owner and a good amount (but not all) of his entourage have nothing better to do all day than sit around and skulk in the cyber-shadows of two 22-year-old students. I’m not going to link to the site. Why? Because Blitzen has had enough of that guy, I’ve not had anything to do with him (except being on the receiving end of his “monitoring” ) and even I’m tired of him.

Here’s a message going out to all you who are shocked about the fact there is gay fiction on this site; I write it. I enjoy writing it, I’m not going to stop and the feedback I have had from people on various online galleries including Deviant art, sheezy art and particually, Y!Gallery says that I am damn good at it. Want to know more? Some of my work has been published. Check out a little thing called the “South park book project” or “SPBP” as it is called on the shelves.

Another message to all those who don’t like the content of my site is that the golden rule for my website is: Don’t like? Don’t Click!

I would say that it’s “flattering” that some guy is following my little digital trail of breadcrumbs where ever the net may take me, but it’s not. It’s creepy that this guy genuinely appears to have nothing better to do with his time than follow me and others around the web. Perhaps he likes them young eh? Heh.

I do find it staggering that the same person who’s blog that was on, stayed reading all the way through said gay fiction on here. That amuses me :D

In other news, T Minus 11 days and counting until I allow Irish traffic back to my site again. Again, as you will know, that’s down to the same old gay guy who pretends to hate but really pines for two young lads.

In other news; we finally have all our computers back working in tech again. We only had to take apart 3 scrap computers to make one good one. I guess that comes with the fact they are run 24/7 and, in all honesty, get the crap beaten out of them. This particular one had been a thorn in my side for a while. It has been repaired 3 times this month. Once on component gets replaced, another one blows days later.

I decided as part of good “housekeeping” the working parts I salvaged from the other machines before scrapping them I would blow all the dust off of with the air compressor. I keep forgetting how dusty that place is sometimes. I was somewhat surprised when I fired the air into the fans and was greeted by a cloud of dust. Marvellous.

aaah yeah, the iPhone

July 15th, 2008

One thing that strikes me as absolutely astounding; the new iPhone 3G.

Not the actual phone it’s self, but the gall Apple have sometimes.

I’m gonna point out here and now that I am not some Microsoft fan boy who hates apple because they are competition. If you look on my Seti@Home profile, you’ll see I own a Mac…I’m actually typing this on it.

When windows Vista came out, a SHIT load of Apple fan boys, and fan girls and a few apple management were screaming the age-old “Microsoft stole from apple” the argument there being a little fuzzy until apple eventually cobbled together an argument that the gadgets bar was stolen from apple. Funny thing is, apple’s version of gadgets (widgets) came out AFTER they started beta testing Longhorn…complete with gadgets. Strange that.

The same actually goes for all the other “innovations” in OS 10

When SP1 came out, Everyone in apple started laughing their arses off. Vista’s been out a year and already it needs a service pack. Yup. It’s a service pack that’s free to download, instead of paying £80 to go from 10.4 to version 10.5 with no major innovations or changes

Now the iPhone V2 is out. The original iPhone has been out 12 months and now, if you want 3G, like all the other basic phones on the market, you have to pay £500 for a new phone.

So what about the battery on those things eh? Apple kept that quiet, didn’t they? 300 recharge cycles before the battery needs replacement. On average, every phone is recharged every 2 days so that means the battery on an iPhone will last about 2 and 1/2 years before it needs replacement. When you have to replace the battery, it’s not a user-serviceable part. You have to pay £80 for a new battery, and about another £50 for apple to fit it. Something tells me the iPhone v2 will be the same.

Funny thing is, I’ve got 2 phones. Both of them I got free from Virgin media. One is 4 years old, one is 18 months old. Both are Sony Ericsson both are walkman phones. The older one is a W810i and the other is a W880i. The W810 still has it’s original battery, which has been recharged, on average, about 500 times, I would say. Still lasts the same amount of time it did when it was new. Whats better is that when it gets to the end of it’s useful life, to change it, I pay £20 for a new battery, take the cover off, slide the old battery out, the new battery in, charge it up and wheyhey! New battery. No need for an engineer…just fingers.

Supermarket and a message from Blitzen

July 15th, 2008

So, every week, on a random day that is when I actually get a break in my schedule, I do the weekly shopping. This usually involves me getting pissed off with several members of the public because it seems like everybody goes out of their way to get into –Mine-

Basically, when I am shopping, if you have done something stupid, like have parked a trolley across the aisle so no one else can get past, you will get one polite “excuse me” which most people tend to ignore, one irritated “excuse me” which most people pay attention to…if you are one that does not pay attention to the irritated ‘excuse me’ you get a trolley rammed into you. I am not a patient person.

This one really irritated me today though. I was at my local Tesco (Dudley) and I was walking down one of the aisles when across the bottom of it, some woman parks her trolley with about 5 unwashed children clinging to the side of it. I kid you not, I was 50ft away and I could smell them from where I was. I was considering walking past them, or trying to get around their trolley but I decided against it. My nose had already had more than it could handle.

Edit! I have a message from Blitzen from all your readers from B.T.R.s site.

“Hi guys! Look, we all saw the nastiness that went on there and I can’t help noticing one or two wanted to hear my un-edited side of the story. Well, you can.

Send an e-mail to wolfram.blitzen@googlemail.com all e-mails will be answered, but please remember I get quite busy at times, so might not be able to answer them immediately.

Cheers dudes and dudettes!

Blitzen “

So there ya have it, boys and girls. Drop Blitz a line, he’ll straighten things out for you.

Calling all irish people who are B.T.R. fanboys

July 14th, 2008

I want to put this message to the Irish people, friends of B.T.R. who have been trying to log on to my site and keep getting 403’ed.

Irish IP addresses are BLOCKED so why do you keep trying?

How do I know someone keeps trying my site and keeps getting blocked? lets look, shall we;

Here is your IP address as taken from cPanel

IP Address

and here is your IP lookup from http://www.whatismyip.com

IP lookup

Please, stop trying. Your futile attempts were funny, now they are just annoying. Maybe you are B.T.R. trying to find ammunition to use against me on this site. I am afriad that you won’t find any. Stick that in your blog and smoke it.

Now, to address the masses…or lack their of.

One thing I found out about this guy, whom I shall refer to as BTR for the rest of my net-days is that he likes to do research on people. He’s an old man with nothing better to do, so what the hell, he probibly figures “why not? then I can blog it” (yes, I am aware of the oxymoron here that I am blogging about someone blogging. What Can I say? I have no more revision to do, no more essays to write and my dissertation is out the way, thank god.) so I’m damn sure he knows my name by now and probibly a few other things like where I went to school, and possibly the names of a few friends. Another thing I noticed is he seems to like trying to put the wind up people.

I found from reading one of his blogs that he got a friend (yes, a friend because he doesn’t seem to be able to do this kind of crap himself) to look up what kind of computer another guy who threatend him used (Yeah, unlike the Blitz, this guy actually did threaten B.T.R. if the blogs aren’t some made up fantasy) well, I’m not surprised to learn from various lookups, he tried to do this with me and the Blitz. There’s bad news on that on B.T.R. I assembled both machines. The only branding on them is the brands of the component parts. But if you want the name off the sticky label on the front. Well, Mine says “Jeantec Phoong II SE” (Phoong 2 Second edition…whaaat? get your act together, Jeantec) and Blitz’s says “Xcilo” The little badge says “Scan” but thats only because that’s where I ordered his case from.

Don’t feel too bad though. I’m sure you got the code names for the computers. But if you didn’t, mine’s “Digit” and blitzens is “Comet”. You can get all the information you like on our computers. Niether of us care much. Hell, if you just ask, I’ll give you all the information you want.

A little story…and as cloe to a reason as you will get as to why the blog was out of action

July 11th, 2008

*Edit*

…Lets see if this app can post blogs WITHOUT pages and pages of fucking font code first.

*End edit*

It seems like the blog wasn’t working. Shows how often I use it; I didn’t even know. It looks like the database got screwed up. I was cleaning out the server a few months ago so it could well be my fault. I don’t want to blame MidPhase if there’s doubt in my mind about it being them. Oh well, it’s fixed now, and I have a story to tell you :D

“We’ve GOT them!” Erixon yelled jubilantly as he came bursting into the offices of the secret service. “We’ve discovered their plan. They are making test flights tomorrow to see if they can get the liquids onboard without being detected”

“Excellent! But are we not at risk of losing those planes?” Baxter asked

They stood there for a second, Horrible images of planes taking off from Heathrow, getting to cruising altitude then being ripped apart in a ball of fire. Severn of them in all, with plans for a grand total of 14 planes at a later date. If the intelligence was wrong, and these weren’t test flights but the real deal, approximately one thousand, four hundred people would be blown to bits, and the secret service would not have been able to do a thing about it.

The both forced these horrific images out of their minds and burst back through the offices doors, sprinting down the hall way to the head of their department. They burst through his office doors, screeching to a halt as they did, looking at the chair which was shadowed in darkness. “Don’t you two GOBSHITES KNOCK?!” a thick Irish accent rang out. He leaned over and began typing on his computer.

“But sir we…” Erixon started, but he was cut off

“ENOUGH! Can’t you see I’m blogging?!” he yelled

“But Mr. Bock this is…” Erixon tried again

“SILENCE! Did I say you could speak?!” an old man emerged from the shadows that overcast the chair. “This is MY office. I control everything that goes on in here.”

“Mr. Bock” Erixon spoke firmly “There are TERRORISTS who are going to try and blow up SEVERN airliners over the Atlantic. We have to DO somthing”

“Are you threatening me, Boy?!” Bock snarled through gritted teeth

“No sir, he was just trying to make his point heard” Baxter chipped in

“You pair of gobsites don’t understand, do you?!” he growled, getting up and walking around his desk to the two men standing in the middle of his office “My voice, my opinions are the only ones that matter. Not yours. I do not care what you have to say, I don’t even have to give you freedom of speech to air your opinions, even if this appears to be an open space. I pay the fucking bills in this area so what I say GOES. Do you understand?!” he said, coming so close that they could taste his disgusting breath.

“Yes sir” they said in unison

“Now get out of here” he said, turning his back to them and heading back to his computer

“Sir” they said in acknowledgement, Turning around, walking out and shutting the door behind them

“Fuck sake. What an arsehole” Erixon commented

“Yeah. Just mind he hasn’t put any telescreens on the wall before you say anything like that.” Baxter replied

Back in his office, Bock sat at his computer “I shall have to blog about them. Those damn terrorists think they can blow up planes from our airports? Foolish gobshites. I shall look them up on google, find out all I can about them and follow their tracks from here, documenting everything about them on my blog.” He began typing away on his computer again. “After all, I have nothing better to do than sit here all day and complain about gobshites like Erixon and baxter, and those fucking terrorists” he stared intently into the screen “Gobshites. “ he muttered

Credit to: …No one! :D I came up with that one myself in approximately 30 seconds flat. Add about another 3 minutes to type it, but it’s all my own work, atleast.

I gotta say thank you to one of my muses, Gem. She gave me the idea of an MI5-type one-shot and poked my memory about those fuckers who were going to blow up those planes. Gem, in all honesty, you’ve been a rock this year as a whole, not just in recent weeks but for the whole time I;ve known you. I owe you one, BIG style, Girl! :D