Sunday, 2 January 2005

Now, where was I...

I really don't seem to be writing in this very often, do I?!?

Fact is, at the moment very little is irking me, and I'm definitely at my best when I can rant about something.

Therefore, it's time for some moaning! What a lovely way to start 2005!

Number one: Windows XP SP2

Now, unlike a lot of people, I've had no problems whatsoever with SP2 on any of the thee PCs we've got here. And I know of a people who have found that SP2 has sped up their PC a great deal.

My only real complaint is that they've gone too far with the cotton wool in Internet Explorer.
I only noticed this a month or so ago, as I use Firefox (go to and get it now!) - IE now blocks ALL javascript. My company website uses javascript to display its sidebar menu, so for quite some time it was unusable to all IE users. I have now included instructions on the home page for IE users to get my menu bar to appear...

...which they have to go through every time they visit the web site! Damn Microsoft all the way to hades!

Nextly, I'm miffed by the magical disappearance of Granada Plus (or just "Plus", as it was known of late) from channel 118 of Sky Digital (and, indeed, from cable too - I just don't know what its channel number was there).

It turns out that there is only one reason for this - ITV wanted to be better positioned numerically in Sky's channel line-up.

I don't think Sky and ITV have ever really gotten on. When we first had Sky, ITV2 was on channel 226 (I think!). It then moved to 176. Now, it's on 118 and ITV3 in on 119.

But right up until the launch of ITV3, adverts were quite clearly stating that the channel would only be available on digital cable and Freeview. I was certain at the time that ITV would realise that an "oldies" channel would not persuade people to get (or change to) either of these digital services and that advertisers would surely demand that ITV3 be carried by the UKs biggest digital TV provider.
The day before ITV3 launched, Sky (who owned part of Granada Sky Broadcasting, which owned both Plus and Men and Motors) offered ITV (which is basically just Carlton and Granada - who, as you might have gathered, own the rest of Granada Sky Broadcasting) a deal; buy them out of Granada Sky Broadcasting and they would throw in the currently vacant channel 119.

So ITV did just that, unceremoniously pulling Plus from the air without even telling the continuity announcers (or the people who programmed the "now and next" screens that appear between each program) on the channel what they were going to do. Programmes were both advertised and announced for the evening in which Plus simply disappeared, and ITV2 popped up in its place.

Whilst ITV3 have picked up some of the programmes that Plus used to carry, I don't know what they're going to do with the rest. I've read that Plus own the rights to over 100 episodes of The Two Ronnies. With this being a BBC programme its clearly very, very unlikely that ITV3 will ever screen it. Will they let UKTV buy the programmes that they don't want?

ITV2 is still a waste of airspace. ITV3 at least has some decent archive programmes (basically, stuff that was made for ITV originally and that Plus had the rights to) and show repeats of recent ITV shows that you might have missed on the terrestrial channel (such as showing the new Marple dramatisations the Sunday after ITV1 has screened them). But I miss Plus! It was the channel that UK Gold used to be when we first had multi-channel TV back in 1994!

So damn ITV, too; they can meet up for drinks with Microsoft in the lounge at the Hades Hilton.