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merville

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About merville

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    Somewhere N of London
  1. Personally, I can't go along with this juvenile partying mentality. Basically an old woman of 87 has died. She has not been involved in politics for a very long time. Her job was leader of the Tory government and in my opinion she was a clever pragmatic politician and a good leader of her party. Totally agree. Let us have some respect for the dead, no matter what their deeds. Hey, none of us get out of this alive .... The problem as I see it was the millions of gobshites that voted for her, time and time again. Hmm. And the alternative was? People hate to waste votes at general elections. I actually felt some sympathy for her when she was spitefully stabbed in the back by her Tory cabinet. Yes, And no doubt some of them are still behind the scenes today sharpening their daggers :-)
  2. A very 80's poem Rich man, poor man In the poverty of my riches here I stand, A product of this western land, My belly full, my wallet fat, I even own a Persian cat, I drive fast cars, I own a boat, My wife she wears a new fur coat, These goods of my mine they are my gods, Right down to my brand new fishing rods, I can't be equal, I must have more, Than even the chap who lives next door, I watch the news, I see the pain, Of starving children without grain, For charity workers seldom scoff, At a pound or two dropped in the tin, That covers over my lust and sin, Their tormented spirits scream and shout, But I'll eat some more and drown them out, For I'm spiritually sick, yet physically well, As I ignore the children's hell.
  3. Don't know the legal position with landlords, but from a service perspective look at 48 - 72 hours depending on availabilty of parts. While most service level agreements will get you an engineer next day, unless the boiler is recent utilities generally don't carry exhaustive spares. If it is something straightforward like the pump or motorized valves shouldn't be an issue though. British Gas took 3 days to fix our 4 YO boiler when it failed last winter.
  4. These charlatans sold years of intellectual property for [iIRC] £1. to the Chinese. What they did IMHO is treasonable and I believe the death penalty is still on the statute books, so maybe hanging or beheading is not as fanciful a notion as you think markinspain. :angry:
  5. Really sorry to hear of your predicament - was in a vaguely similar situation some years ago (Rented room - batty, vengeful, bitter landlady.) Probably the best course of action is take a few days leave if your employer will let you and move out fast. I know it seems contrary to natural justice, but people like this are best avoided as they can make your life absolute hell - e.g go through your private stuff when your out, stealing etc. As the other poster said, in reality it will boil down to your word against them and unless Plod really wants to make an example of them I'd leave them to their narrow minded devices. Have a word with your local homelessness officer at the Local Authority - They may be able to help you with temporary accommodation until you get something permanent. Edited for poor punctuation
  6. Firefox + NoScript extension + AdBlock Plus extension = No Ads + fast page load times. Firefox website
  7. I realise I will have to tread carefully here, but make no bones about it we are all responsible for this thread - individually if not jointly and will have to foot the bill. I appreciate that in these politically correct times one has to toe the line, but frankly I will have to stand up to this accusation of unkindness and sock it to you. The fact that you have chosen to trample my black humour suggests you may be a bit of a heel, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you re not my arch rival. Yours faithfully, John Bunion.
  8. What is their price on the Footsie ? [edited for typo]
  9. From the style of the clip, my take would be that the clip originated outside the UK. I do agree though about the PC lobby but the tragedy is that it it is now global.
  10. I came across this link on YouTube which places HPC in a very poor light and may be considered defamatory. Or am I loosing the plot and HPC is indulging in some viral marketing ???? YouTube (Contrary to what Kenny Everett would say this is not in the best posssible taste)
  11. Joey, Here is my 2p worth from an old hand. Having worked in IT for a long time (I cut my teeth on the IBM XT) there have been a lot of changes. There used to be a lot of money in support, but most people now have a "friend" (who often knows enough to be dangerous) who to call on. There is certainly opportunity there to make a bit of money, but pick your customers carefully. The real problem is, most people want something for nothing. I advertised for 6 months in my local rag, and while I made a bit of money out of it, often it was a case of having to backup a PC, re-install XP or whatever and restore all the data and applications. Easily 3-4 hours work for little return. As people often don't have the original copies of their software (pirated from "friends") this would end in tears as they expected me to use illegal software - something I was not willing to do. Small businesses are notoriously tight, using illegal software and not wanting to pay the going rate. Hardware support is very tight on margins - you might be able to make £50 tops on a new PC build, more if they want something special. While that might seem a lot, don't forget you are responsible if something breaks (e.g video card or hard disk). By the time you get a returns authorization from from the supplier, pay for the spare out your own pocket and wait for a refund, that profit can quickly vanish. Upgrades can be profitable, but again take into account the amount of time it takes to perform. More RAM or a video card is straightforward, a new hard disk not so. Word of mouth is a good way to get business, and to be honest most of my better jobs (i.e. those I have actually made money on) have been through that. Supporting friends is always an issue as they expect you not to charge or maybe just pay you a token amount. I stay clear of support now, unless I can be sure that I can make a clear profit without too much grief or it for a friend who isn't going to take the you know what. PC World charge £50 an hour, which might seem excessive, but in reality it is to cover their costs. If you charge less than that, point out to the client this is an hourly rate and you will charge them pro-rata. This will get rid of the time wasters. A good line is setting up wireless routers and broadband access - make sure you secure the boxes properly though. What I do make money on is web development. Set up a decent hosting account (which will cost about £350 - 500 pa) and charge them £75-100 pa for hosting. When you add in the cost of building the site (Anything from £250 -£!500), and they will come back to you for mods and upgrades over the life of the site, there is a decent margin in it. In reality, HP, Dell and even BT are now in on the support act (And even they have problems making money with tight margins) you need to look at your market carefully. As to advertising, WOM is best. I have spend money in the past, and the returns are always hit and miss. If you get an entry in Yellow Pages, your are inundated with calls from sales people. The local rag generates some business, but is expensive if you advertise every week. Television is out of the question. One tip I had from a business adviser who was really switched on is local radio - it is not cheap, but seems to be the most cost effective in generating quality leads. You could also look at the cheaper end of the market, Micro Mart, Exchange and Mart, Loot etc. When I was self employed in the 80's, I made a really good living and I didn't place a single advert. Unfortunately, as another IT friend of mine said, the public are happy to pay £50 an hour for a plumber or an electrician, but baulk at paying that for a time served, qualified IT engineer to fix their computer. While I personally wouldn't charge that much, I agree with his sentiments and experience has proved that to be true. Training can make money, but again you need to examine your market carefully. What I found is that if a company is not willing to pay a decent amount for support, it is unlikely they are willing to train their staff either. A possible opening is one to one training at peoples homes, it keeps your overheads down and if you set a fixed price and provide a good service, the word of mouth principle can be your advertising. I hope this helps.
  12. I think there has been such an overall reduction in the quality of life in the UK certainly since 2000, and that combined with financial pressure doesn't help matters. With the changing shape of the global economy [growth and jobs moving eastwards] this adds to the general feeling of insecurity. Add political correctness gone mad, lack of ethics, big brother state and the never ending social pressure that wants people to conform to mediocrity rather than strong thinking individuals it is no wonder that the wheels are coming off. More and more people are leaving the UK and I am not surprised at that. This country has gone downhill so much since I was a lad (The only clues I am going to give to age is we used to take Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon into school on vinyl to lend for other musical delicacies). .
  13. Sorry to hijack the thread, but sadly, with the amount of flour improvers, water, and other crud they add to "bread" the real to the supermarket is probably half that. Bakers nowadays use a process by which they increase volume and add extra yeast but remove all the goodness. I am trying to find a decent baker but all the supermarkets buy in the part proved dough and warm it up in-store - it is not really baked there contrary to what the ad men would have you believe. :-(
  14. What would forum members recommend as a good financial strategy for 2008 ? I have seen the financial writing on the wall for some time but am at a loss as to the best thing to do. So far I have minimised all debt, and could probably stretch to investing / saving £200 - £250 per month. I appreciate that it would be prudent to spread the risk across various strategies [Gold / Swiss Franc / Canadian Dollar] but what would be the best proportion ? Or would it be better to pay off the debt quicker and not go down this route? Any other suggestions and other peoples experiences would be very welcome.
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