Robert Hampton

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15th March 2013

Techno techno techno techno

ComputersIt’s hard to imagine now, but when this blog was founded, I had to write the entries by creating a series of punched cards, which were then sent by first class post to a laboratory in Cambridge, where a man in a white coat would feed them one-by-one into a mainframe computer to create each blog post.

OK, that’s obviously not true. But technology has moved on in leaps and bounds in the last decade, often in new and unpredictable ways. In 2003 there were no YouTube videos to embed, no tweets to RT, and if you poked someone in public, you could expect a slap in the face in return. Google was a search engine company rather than an… everything company.

As for me, in 2003 I was still using RISC OS, the operating system designed by Acorn Computers for their ARM-based systems. Acorn had shut up shop in 1998, but the OS was still being developed by an independent company and I had fun playing with the latest versions as they were released. I was also still using it to do web design work (still haven’t found an app as good as Draw for quick pictures and diagrams). So when my machine started developing hardware faults, I was alarmed.

When computers develop hardware problems, my usual attitude is something approaching blind panic. I never did a backup (I meant to, but never get round to it), and I never paid attention when the hard drive started playing up last year (I meant to, but never got round to it). Procrastination 1, Rob 0.

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13th October 2011

iOS, I like the way you dress

Last night I got home, plugged my iPhone into my computer, and got this message:

"A new iPhone software version (5.0) is available for the iPhone 'Robert's iPhone'. Would you like to download it and update your iPhone now?"

Yes, after a summer of feverish anticipation, iOS 5 has finally made it out of Apple HQ and onto the flash drives of eager users everywhere.

Well, almost. The first time I tried to download it, the download aborted after about 50 megabytes (although I think that might have been my dodgy wi-fi). It worked the second time, but that proved to be the easy step, as every attempt to install it was met with this message:

"The iPhone 'Robert's iPhone' could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (3200)."

I wasn’t the only one. Error 3200 was trending on Twitter for much of Wednesday evening. It didn’t help that the “More Information” button linked to an Apple support page which didn’t even mention error 3200 (although it has now been belatedly added).

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1st January 2010

2009? More like Two Thousand and Fine!

July saw Merseyrail’s run of bad luck continue, as a train rolled out of the depot and derailed. To atone for their sins, they introduced a new day ranger ticket, but I wasn’t convinced. This was something of a train-y month for me, as I did my bit to help out the previous generation of Merseyrail trains. Trains were also on the Government’s mind, as they announced that the Liverpool to Manchester line would be electrified.

In London, the Police proved once again what a wonderful organisation they are. In Rome, a swimmer suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction.

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31st December 2009

2009? More like Woo! Thousand and Nine!

Was this year an exciting way to say goodbye to the decade? Here’s a reminder of what happened on planet Hampo this year (part 2, hopefully, follows tomorrow):-

January started out with one of my favourite shows being revived. Despite being up against EastEnders and being hosted by Ben Shepherd, the Krypton Factor did well enough to be recommissioned for a second series. We found out Who would replace David Tennant, and a year later we still haven’t actually seen him in the role. ITV’s latest attempt to ape the success of Doctor Who was Demons which failed spectacularly; the only creative thing about it being the number of different excuses the writers found for Christian Cooke to remove clothing.

In the wider world, various eras were drawing to a close, as Woolworths closed its doors, Tony Hart kicked the bucket and Dubya left office. Meanwhile, yours truly had an enjoyable night in London Theatreland.

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8th October 2009

Hi Pod!

I can’t fault the Apple online store for their service. Ordered at 9.20am Tuesday, delivered at lunchtime Wednesday.

Yes, I have joined the white earphones club. Now I can listen to music and informative podcasts on the train or in the gym, or anywhere I want.

iPod nano

I’m not actually going to do that, of course. My nice shiny new iPod might get stolen or damaged, and that would never do.

In fact I think I’ll just keep it in its box. Can’t be too careful.

29th June 2009

Game, Cassette and Match
Posted by at 1.34pm | Music | No responses

Another tale to make me feel old. Teenager compares an ancient Walkman with iPod for BBC News. Among all the oh-wow-this-is-primitive complaining, is this marvellous quote:-

I’m relieved that the majority of technological advancement happened before I was born.

Yes, because technological advancement has STOPPED. You just wait a few years, and you’ll have Spotify beaming tracks directly into your BRAIN.

I had the CD version, the Discman, which at the time was hailed as the most wonderful thing to happen to portable music ever. The adverts didn’t mention that if you ran, walked or moved slightly in any way, the music would skip and jump all over the place. Good times.