THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Rant – and rave

Actually – lets start with the rave. About the new HD Flip Video – fantastic micro-technology and an upgrade on one of the biggest selling “I need it for work – honest” blokes gizmos of 2008 – I love my Flip and I’m now deep in early-adopter envy. Click here to see the beautifully designed web site and product. You have missed my birthday but it’s nearly Christmas. OK – rant – are you ready? Its about Windows and Vista and the 3 hours of my life that evaporated in the last 24. So, before you reach for the keyboard. Yes – I know – I need a Mac. I’m saving up for a Macbook Pro 15″, ever since I drooled in the Apple store Manchester and Wired magazine confirmed it’s “cool”-ness. Though I have spiritually gone over to the Mac side, I have to save up and not just go out and swipe a card. Even I have been thinking more carefully about money after those nasty Americans buggered up the world economy (Gordon Brown says so). I arrived at Old Thorn Golf and Country Club at 9.30pm last night – so deep in the Hampshire countryside that there wasn’t a single street light at any point on the compass. The two cars I parked alongside were a clue that occupancy was at a seasonal low – I felt rather insecure at the thought of solitary residence in the hotel block (Jack Nicholson – axe – “here’s Johnny!”). Settling down to check my emails on the free wifi (!) I opened Outlook to discover that my calendar from 1st December onwards has disappeared – just gone – blank – nothing – nada. As I watched in confused horror, my auto-sync then proceeded to wipe my Google calendar clean as well. Now the good news – two items of good news that should be a lesson to all of you:

  1. My calendar syncs with my 3G iphone using Mobileme – and a quick check of my iphone reveals the appointments still there – so I quickly switch off iphone sync. Moral – more than one back-up;

  2. My IT guru Kimberly Black lives in California and so its about 2.00pm in the afternoon when I call her and we spend an hour on the phone looking at various recovery options. Moral – build a global championship support team.

As it happens – Kim and I are unsuccessful – but I switch off the lights in room 108 and pull the covers up to my quivering and lonely chin, in the knowledge that Kim will weave a solution by morning.

After a restless and freezing cold night, I’m sat at my hotel room desk at 6.00am this morning when Kim emails to say that she is still available (10.00pm her time, same day – wierd) and so we invest another hour this morning ingeniously restoring my information.

This is how good Kim is – Apple don’t know the answer but she manages to work out how to reverse the Mobileme sync so that the Apple server downloads my schedule to Outlook, thus returning my lappie to its pre-catastrophic state – and I then re-sync with Google so that Phillippa can get back to work.

Its midnight in California before I wish Kim a good night’s sleep and jump in my shower to warm up. I’ve been up since 5.30am and not a single email answered or project progressed – I’m three hours behind and very lucky to have no appointments this morning.

The Golf Hotel serves me a lousy breakfast and, after checking out of the room and bumping into a former neighbour from Falmouth (how crazy is that?) I claim a place in the residents lounge to catch up with emails before an early afternoon appointment in Berkshire with a potential acquisition.

My rant is that I’m sick and tired of having to stop the clock and ask Kim to help me fix the bits of Vista that either don’t work or randomly wipe data and change settings – the operating system is, in my opinion, out of control and part of an evil conspiracy orchestrated by lizards.

I’m saving harder than ever for that bright, shiny Macbook – because I want to be rid of this crappy OS.

After a day of meetings and travel, I am pleased to say that I’m back up to date and in the know after working whilst I watched the Germany v. England soccer friendly this evening.

Great game (there is no such thing as a friendly between our nations, I don’t think they have ever forgiven us for kidnapping and then adopting their Royal Family) even though the Germany goal was more excruciating than John Sergeant’s tango.

I feel quite sorry for John Sergeant this evening – he deserves an  MBE for  shifting our attention away these last few weeks from our dodgy bankers, the ignorant, untalented Russell Brand, the manipulative X-factor creeping of Daniel Dead-Wife and the spectre of weeks of watching B-list celebrities eat bugs and bugs eat B-list celebrities.

God bless Strictly – good clean fun.

A pox on Microsoft.

Congratulations to Flip video.

Thank you Kim.

I’m off to bed – 6.30am Bristol Parkway to Paddington tomorrow.

That’s a Macbook Pro 15″ in an “aluminum” case – if you were feeling generous……

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