Tuesday, 24 November 2009


This incredibly neat little device -known as Toshiba 2.5" USB Hard Disk Drive- which is about the same weight as a classic Ipod only flatter and wider, is a 500Gb (465Gb free memory) external hard drive (HDD) which I managed to obtain  for review on the Amazon Vine programme and have since reviewed it. It's small attractive in a minimalist way, is powered by the pc, and really easy to use. Absolutely great.

Also received from Amazon Vine is Acronis True Image Home 2010 PC Backup & Recovery which pretty much tells you all you need to know about what it is. I also got the previous edition for review from Vine and couldn't get it working because of problems with the registration code and lack of help from Acronis.

 Before installing it, I checked the reviews and noted one which suggested -keying in the 64-digit code rather than the 8-digit which you then email to Acronis and they send you the full one to copy and paste- as it didn't work. This was also what caused me problems the last time. So I copied in the 64-digit code and it worked perfectly and installed easily. As it should as it was Windows 7 ready. Now all I've got to do is try it out. An initial attempt at copying all my mp3s didn't work but there is a lot more to it than that.

I'm still having problems with Windows 7. About 10 minutes after starting it up in a morning it crashes. I then have to switch it off at the mains and wait at least 10 minutes before switching it on again. After that it is fine for the rest of the day. That is unless I install software which requires a reboot in which case the same thing happens. This is annoying but at least I know what I have to do to get it going again: switch off at mains, wait, switch on, ignore the first screen, select the first Windows 7 (I accidentally installed two copies of W7, one on the second hard disk I have), select Install As Normal and not the Check For Problems option and all is usually well.

Despite this, Windows 7 is still my favourite O/S of all the Windows O/S's so far. What you can do with the toolbar to control the open programs is really good. It's also easy to have two open side by side.

I've accepted that I've lost paid for downloaded software most of which I probably won't replace. The one that I will is Slysoft's Any DVD which turns your pc into a multi-region player and I've already downloaded and installed the trial version which works perfectly.

I watch all my DVDs on the pc because of my large flat widescreen (24") and use headphones (on loud) while Susan watches tv in bed in the next room so neither of us disturbs the other. I'm not counting the cries of: "Ian, get me a drink of water!", "Ian, get the cats in!" "Ian, are you sure the doors are locked?" "Ian, I want to talk to you!", "Ian. I'm going to sleep now. Turn off the tv and the lights!" "Ian, it's late, go to bed!"

Goodnight, children, wherever you are.

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