Archive for Januaro, 2010

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Esperanto feature on The One Show

Januaro 11, 2010

The One Show did a feature about Esperanto on tonight’s edition, which included a short section with me, talking to the legendary Arthur Smith.

It was great fun filming it — I’ve always really enjoyed Arthur Smith — and the production staff were not only interested in what we were talking about, but pleasingly open to suggestions about what we should say and how we might say it. I’m really pleased with the result too.


Programero pri Esperanto ĉe BBC1

Januaro 11, 2010

Ĉi-vespere, aperis ĉe la BBC programero pri Esperanto kadre de la programo The One Show, kiu elsendiĝas tutlande en Britio ĉiutage (de lundo ĝis vendredo) per BBC1, la ĉefa televid-kanalo de la BBC. La programo kutime estas spektata de ĉirkaŭ 5 milionoj de homoj*.

Mi tre ĝuis la filmadon, kaj delonge ŝategas la komediiston Arthur Smith, kiu prezentis la programeron kaj intervjuis min. Ankaŭ la teknikistoj kaj la produktisto estis interesitaj kaj tre simpatiaj pri la afero, kaj (tre kontentige) pretis akcepti proponojn miajn pri kion ni diru kaj kiel ni vortumu aferojn, por ne misreprezenti Esperanton.


*Tiun ciferon mi prenis de la retejo de la Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, kiu indikas The One Show atingis spektantaron de 5.07 milionoj, 4.75 milionoj, kaj 5.32 milionoj, en ĝiaj lastaj tri semajnoj de elsendoj en 2009.

Cambridge Water: competent, and lovely too

Januaro 6, 2010

Came back from holiday this week to find we’d got no water. Phoned Cambridge Water to see if they knew anything about it, and even at 11pm, they still had competent engineers on the phone, who spent 20 minutes talking me through different stuff to test and to try.

Their engineer came out the next morning, and it turned out our main inlet pipe was frozen. It managed to freeze because it’s outside the house (in the cupboard next to the front door), not inside the house like the building regulations say it’s supposed to be. Grr. Anyway, 10 minutes with a hairdryer put it to rights.

Top marks to Cambridge water though, both for late-night telephone help, and friendly, competent (and free) help in getting up and running again in the morning, even though it wasn’t actually their fault at all (well, er, apart from allowing Taylor Woodrow’s plumbing monkeys to go ahead and break building regulations in the first place — they should have and could have refused to allow connection to the water main until the plumbing was up to scratch).

Still very pleased with their customer service though.  :o)

Debenhams: robbing bastards

Januaro 6, 2010

My partner was persuaded to take a Debenham’s store card last month, in return for a discount on a purchase. The application took so long at the checkout that she twice said, “Look, people are getting impatient here — forget it, I’ll just pay,” but the assistant pressed ahead, and the card was duly issued.

The first payment was due over the Christmas period. It arrived with Debenhams 2 days late. They applied a £12 fine to the account.

They’re a bunch of robbing bastards who wouldn’t know customer service if it bit them on the bottom.

In related news, the lovely John Lewis’s have just reported record-breaking Christmas sales. I’m not one to shout “correlation implies causation” too loudly, but I do know where I’m going to do my houseware shopping in the future.

Epson “empty cartridge” scam

Januaro 6, 2010

I own an Epson Aculaser C2600 printer. It works reasonably well, although the steadily increasing price of the toner cartridges is a bit vexing. Not enough to qualify for the “scam” tag though.

The scam is that the printer announces that the toner cartridges are empty long, long, long before this actually becomes the case. And in its default state, the printer simply refuses to print another page until the cartridge is replaced.

As if that weren’t bad enough, I’ve phoned Epson technical support on two separate occasions to ask if there’s a way to override this setting, even just to finish the last few pages of a print run, and the answer on both occasions has been “no, sorry, there isn’t”.

However, when the printer downed tools mid-December claiming to be out of cyan toner, I spent a while wading through the labyrinthine menus on the printer’s tiny screen and I discovered one that says “Cartridge empty: stop OR continue”. So I changed it to ‘continue’ to see what would happen. And here’s the bit that merits the “scam” label.

I’ve since over 600 double-sided letters, each with a blue logo on front and back, and it’s still going strong. That’s 1200 blue logos from an empty blue cartridge.

How does this compare to other printers and manufacturers? Leave us a comment!

Blue. Lots of it.

Blue. Lots of it.