Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002


Been shopping today with my parents, and bought:

  • A DVD player for me. £30 from WHSmith including SCART lead. It’s allegedly multi-region, in that the sign in the shop said it was, but the references on the box and in the manual suggested that it was region 2 only. Either way, all my DVDs are either region 2 or region-free at the moment so I can’t check. It does also support a variety of other disc formats, including DivX and MP3 CD-ROMs, which is nice.
  • A new 56k modem for our old computer. It’s going to my grandparents soon and will need a V.92 modem instead of V.90 – they only have one phone line and will probably appreciate V.92’s ability to hold the internet while you answer the phone. It’s an internal PCI one – almost certainly a Winmodem but then I doubt my grandparents will be interested in running Linux.
  • A paper shredder. My parents decided they needed one.


  1. OK that is wrong on so many levels, 1) 56k?! 2) I’d have put my grandparents on either ubuntu or suse if it’s their first computer – put a nice light window manager on an old PC with firefox and open office, it’s not like they’re going to want to play Half Life.
    I’ve been tempted to buy a dvd player myself, but we’ve already got a PC in the lounge which will do that and more, plus it can’t be long until the new hd-dvds are going to come out.

  2. 1) Tell me about it. It took us ages to find modems in PC World. I don’t think they can get broadband in their village and probably wouldn’t want it anyway since they’re not major internet users. Pay as you go dial-up is probably best for them. Heck, they haven’t even got digital TV yet!
    2) It’s not their first computer, it’s replacing a Pentium 60 running Windows 95 and Office 4.3… This one has XP SP2 and Office 97 on it and it’s a AMD K6-2 400. It’s almost 6 years old but it’s still better than what they have at the moment. My grandad is used to using MS Word and a Linux environment would probably confuse him. He is in his mid 80s now.