Professional Geek
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  • Sky Player on Xbox 360 – Fail!

    Regardless of the title this post actually has nothing to do with the “technical issues” that caused Sky Player to get pulled from the Xbox dashboard today

    It’s to do with the way it’s been priced

    There are two ways to get Sky Player on your Xbox

    As an existing Sky customer

    If you are a Sky customer and have multi-room (or Sky broadband unlimited) you already get access to the existing Sky Player service on the Sky website and now you also get access to Sky Player on the Xbox at no extra charge

    If you don’t have multi room you can add this on or buy an online multi-room option (between £5 and £10 a month extra)

    As a non Sky customer

    You basically have to take out a subscription (you also need to be an Xbox Gold member)

    These subscriptions work in a similar way to a standard Sky subscription in that they start at £15 for the base “Entertainment Pack” and then if you want sports and movies you have to add these on at extra cost

    So why do i see this as a massive fail?

    I don’t see the point – if you already subscribe to Sky then all you are actually gaining is another platform to consume Sky content on

    If you aren’t a Sky customer then what really is the point? If you wanted to sign up and pay a monthly figure then surely you would just get a Sky dish?

    Just signing up for Xbox package you got no HD capability and no Sky+ option

    As far as I see it people who have an Xbox are in one of two camps

    Kids or Adults

    Kids wont be paying for the Sky subscription so they get no say in this (you can’t pay with MS points)

    If the parents are already paying for a Sky subscription it’s an easy way to put Sky content into their children’s room

    For Adults who would be paying a Sky subscription then as I said above if i wanted Sky on a full time I’d sign up for it through a dish. My Xbox is on my main TV so even if I did have a Sky subscription I wouldn’t be gaining anything at all

    Also looking at some of the options the Xbox only option works out more expensive and if you spent that sort of money Sky would throw in a phone line and broadband connection! So where is the incentive?

    There really should have been some sort of pay-per-view option

    I’d quite happily use my MS Points to grab a football match, watch Lost or the Simpsons or anything that took my fancy on a casual basis. This would also mean you could grab the teenage market if they could watch content on a casual basis using MS Points. Currently they have spending power at all for this!

    I was really exciting when the it was first announced the service was on the way. It added to Microsoft’s vision of the Xbox being the entertainment hub of the home.

    I’m just feeling massively disappointed

    From a couple of Xbox blogs and forums I’ve seen already I don’t think I’m alone with my opinion

    Also before I really get started I haven’t even looked to see if the content is subtitled. Video marketplace has a distinct lack of digital accessibility but I’ve ranted about that plenty of times before!

    It would be good if a pay-per-view option were to become available in the future but I wont hold my breath

    I’d love to hear your opinion

    Other Links (read the comments!)

  • ZTE MF627 and Window7

    Further to my last post on this I’ve had still had mixed results getting my Three modem to connect to my Windows 7 systems.

    Now that Windows 7 is on general release I had a quick look on the Three support website and find a support article specific to my problem

    A quick firmware upgrade is all that is needed


    If you have a ZTE MF627 and have already upgraded to Windows 7 or Snow Leopard, your modem will not work until you download the firmware updates. You will be able to install the dashboard software (and you should do this!) but you will not be able to connect. Once you have installed the dashboard, using an alternative connection, or on another computer, go to and select ZTE and then MF627. You will then have the option to download the correct firmware for your modem – either Driver Setup – For Windows 7 Only or Driver Setup – For Mac 10.6 Only. Click the correct link to download the .exe/.zip file, and if you are using an alternative computer, transfer the .exe/.zip file to the computer that has Windows 7 or Snow Leopard already installed.

    Plug in your modem, double click on the .exe/.zip file and follow the on screen instructions to install the firmware. It is very important that you do not remove the modem during this process, and that you do not switch your computer off before it is finished. If you have a laptop, make sure it is plugged into the wall, or you have at least an hour of battery charge left.

    Once installed, remove your modem and restart your computer. Your modem will now work.

    The firmware update is was straight forward to install and only takes a few minutes. It does mean you lose the whole “plug and play” aspect of Three’s mobile broadband offering but I imagine new subscribers will get devices with the latest firmware

  • AMITPRO Meeting – October 2009

    I’ve been meaning to post about the changes at AMITPRO for a little while but I’ve been a bit on the busy side recently. I’ve started the post about three times and never finished it!

    So the changes…if you’re a regular attendee to AMITPRO you’ll already know that Steve Wright has decided to stand down as group leader

    He’s done a great job over the last twelve months and will still have input into the group via his Partner Area Lead role

    As of this month the new leader of the group is Guy Gregory of Peak Support and me!

    Both Guy and I had shown an interest in taking on the group lead role and decided a joint effort would bring more to the group and sharing the responsibilities can only be a good thing

    Since I’ve been involved with AMITPRO there has always been a great spirit of collaboration so it makes perfect sense from my perspective to take this on with someone else

    If Guy and myself can keep up the great work from Steve and Vijay before him AMITPRO will continue to be a great resource for IT Professionals in the Midlands area

    Tonight’s meeting was our first as joint leaders. Steve had already organised the speakers so we were able to hit the ground running!

    Our first speaker was Zoe Russell of ZHR Marketing

    She gave a great presentation about marketing specifically for the small business. It took a while for the group to warm up but once they did there were lots of questions and ideas about different marketing ideas. Hopefully it will have given everyone some new ideas!

    Next up was Cécile Cathala and Richard Zinner from StorageCraft Europe

    While StorageCraft isn’t a new name over in the States they are only just branching out into the UK.

    StorageCraft is a backup imaging product for grabbing snapshots of servers and PC (competing products are Backup Exec System Recovery and Acronis TrueImage) that can also restored to dissimilar hardware or even a virtual environment

    They have editions for Desktop PCs, Servers and Small Business Server

    There is also a managed service provider licensing model if you would like to provide backup and recovery as a service

    One of their unique features is their IT Edition. This is a technician license that allows you to create images of as many servers as you need. You can also run this directly from a CD or USB Drive while the system is running

    There are trial versions of the products available so it’s definitely worth a look

    Just a quick overview of both speakers. They both did a great job

    Afterwards we retired to the bar and continued with our usual mix of chat about business, life the universe and everything!

    Next month we’ll be organising speakers of our own…that’s when it gets really serious! 🙂