Random Thoughts 27, The Big Rip Off

This isn’t about a rip-off of global proportions, but to old gaffers like me it represents a fair proportion of their pension. I’m talking about Sky Television, the poor quality it offers, and the position it holds in theĀ  life of retired people.

When I say old gaffer, I mean really old, – like ‘ought to be dead’ old – where every day is so like another you can’t remember what day of the week it is. Some of us no longer have our sight of the level that allows us to drive, and the journey that used to take about an hour, now takes three because public transport is so abysmal. Those of us who are lucky enough to have a Soph, who has managed to put up with us for more than 60 years, are not as disadvantage as those who live alone. I can only speak for my day. Being fairly fit, I can shop, garden, read a lot, go for walks along the sea, and occasionally see my relatives. At about five o’clock drink more alcohol than I should, but my liver hasn’t complained yet, and then I settle down after the evening meal to be entertained. And that’s the rub, that’s when I get frustrated because I feel that I’m being ripped off. Sky television has a nasty habit of not only putting up the prices, but introducing little specialities like, High Definition. which require either a change of the set or some other expense to enable one to see it, and then they put their best films in high-definition.

For the rest of us we find it bad enough that they are upping the charges every year, or even more often, while paying any more is an anathema, and so we have two choices, we can repeatedly look at the repeats, or we can switch off. I asked my local television guru if he could fit me a top box with one of those gadgets that records normally and also for short periods if the viewing is interrupted. He told me the system gave a lot of trouble. If he is right, and I propose to check, then Sky have the ball at their toe. It looks to me that there is an opportunity for another company to step in and give us what we think we want. The problem with Sky is that it thinks, that with all the general documentary channels, lifestyle and all the others, people have more than enough to see. What they don’t take into account is the fact that old gaffers have either been there, seen it , read about it or lived it, with the result that what we really want now is good-quality, well produced films, of any sensible age, by that I mean the sixtes on, in which the action is exciting, is possible, not totally outrageously ridiculous as to defeat reason,, and believable, where the diction is not only well delivered but can be understood, by these elderly folk with hearing aids. I am probably asking too much, because we, the oldies, only represent about 20% of the population.

Microsoft I have been operating my current Toshiba laptop for several years, happily and with delight. But in recent times I discovered that everybody wants to download everything in the name of updates on my computer, often without my knowledge. I got somebody to put the bar on this and consequently I now find that every time, and I mean every time, I switch on the computer I get Microsoft updates. Previously I was used to the way that the thing worked, it was like a reflex, and now Microsoft has changed the look of everything on my toolbar and in all sorts of other ways. I don’t know that it has helped me, as far as I’m concerned there is little difference, and the thing that I find strange is that XP has been available for years, so why, in the Devil, do they feel it necessary to keep changing it now, unless they are secretly slipping in bits of Vista, which I’m told is so bad, that some computer companies are selling new computers with XP on them rather than Vista? They say that their commercial customers are finding it difficult to talk to other computers that have not Vista, and even those with Vista are tricky enough in themselves. Have Microsoft made a Bobo? Overreach themselves in order to sell more equipment? You guess!

Categorized as General

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