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Sunday, August 28th, 2016, 7:08 pm

My New Setup (Primary Workspace)

We now have 3 dual-display laptops here, properly connected using the wonderful Synergy (we’re using it with the GUI which is Quicksynergy). My wife uses one such laptop, whereas now, having gotten a bargain on a new laptop (it cost just 99 pounds), I use two, which means 4 screens to work with in synergy. I finally got around to taking photos (a month later).

A makeover

A makeover

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016, 4:40 am

Why the British Government Has a Moral Obligation to Immediately Send Helicopters to Portugal

The UK has a large airborne fleet which is hardly being used except for unnecessary wars and air shows. Now that Portugal, a fellow EU member state, is burning we have the moral obligation to save not only houses but also people and livestock (we don’t know yet how far the fires would reach if not extinguished quickly enough). Any procrastination isn’t excusable here, especially if these military facilities are primarily intended to guard life. Political points too can be scored through such an operation, so I hope to see my government doing the right thing this morning. The people of Portugal would be grateful and the cost to British taxpayers isn’t of utmost interest at this stage (few would object to such an operation).

Portugal is my father’s favourite country, it’s one of my own favourites (I first visited at age 8), I have some friends from Portugal and some of my favourite music is Portuguese, so I feel like I should do everything possible; praying isn’t helping (let’s face it, fire won’t be affected by prayer) and I cannot physically go to Portugal. All I can do it compel my government to send helicopters there, maybe planes too (if they’re equipped for carrying water and fire deterrents/retardants).

Monday, July 4th, 2016, 8:21 am

Brexit in One Picture


Thursday, June 23rd, 2016, 12:18 pm

Robin “Roblimo” Miller and I Regarding GNU/Linux, Patents and More

Summary: New interview with Robin “Roblimo” Miller on behalf of FOSSForce

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016, 9:20 am

Where to Follow My Writings Online (2016 Edition)

Like most people*, over the years my online posting habits change and sites I was once active in I no longer access (some no longer exist at all). This differs from person to person. I used to be very active in newsgroups and in mailing lists (that was about a decade ago), but I no longer use these much. I try to use self-hosted blogs where possible, but sometimes, due to social dynamics, I also reluctantly send copies to larger networks with more people in them. It makes my messages more widely accessible to a broader audience.

I had a great time chatting with someone this weekend, whereupon I realised that some people don’t know where to follow me, or how to limit what they follow from me, based on preferences like Linux only, no politics, patents only, personal matters and so on. Here are the links to where I can be followed online in real time, so to speak.

For Linux news I use (along with my wife):

For a mix of everything (politics included):

News and focus on patents:

Personal site:


* Even those whose online activity mostly revolves around posting (uploading) selfies and pressing “like” on other people’s selfies, FWIW.

Saturday, June 11th, 2016, 8:13 am

Wilko (UK Retailer): The Customer Services Fiasco Continues

Avoid Wilko

Nearly a fortnight ago Wilko’s ATM stole my money and many hours of work later (and some major inconveniences other than loss of time and money) the issue remains uncorrected. A week ago I wrote about my second visit to the store. The manager gave me a call but was unable to offer a satisfactory solution, still just offering a bunch of forms for me to fill in or me visiting my own bank rather than the ATM suppliers fixing their own error (which they can see). I asked to escalate this, having spoken to their customer services people, but they were delaying if not stonewalling until I repeated myself several times. Here are the chat logs:

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The mistake was made not by your bank but a faulty machine of yours, I shall protest against your very poor handling of this situation

Jun 3

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I have begun writing articles about my experiences with your company. This is the first: Wilko (UK) Uses Faulty ATMs that Crash, Will ‘Steal’ Money and Then Wilko Will Lie and Divert, Not Even Naming the ATM Supplier …

Jun 3

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I’ll have to contact he authorities and ask them to revoke the rights of #dcpayments #infocash to have ATMs out there. Unfit for purpose.

Jun 7

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In the mean time, please provide me with contact details (email or phone) for Nick’s bosses. I would like to make a formal complaint.

Jun 7

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

please provide me with contact details (email or phone) for Nick’s bosses. I would like to make a formal complaint.

Jun 8

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

please provide me with contact details (email or phone) for Nick’s bosses. I would like to make a formal complaint.

Jun 8


Hi, please can you confirm what this is regarding to see can ensure this is dealt with correctly. Alternatively, please contact our customer care department on 08000 329 329 and they will assist you further :)

Jun 8

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is regarding DCPayments (Infocash) and the way management at the Wilko store in Manchester dealt with their machine’s fault. I need contact details (E-mail/Tel) for central management, not local branch (I don’t trust the Arndale staff anymore, having spent an hour speaking to them in person on a couple of visits and still not getting the issue properly tackled to its full depth). I wish to escalate this to central management. Please provide me with the E-mail address. Kind regards, Roy.

Jun 8


We would like to pass your contact number to the regional manager for the store so that they may contact you further.
Please can you provide a contact number so that we may pass this on for you? thanks, [redacted name].

Jun 9

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[redacted number]


We have passed your contact details to the regional manager and they will contact you further to discuss this. Thanks, [redacted].

Jun 10

That was more than a day ago (Friday) and I still haven’t received a phonecall. They never give me numbers, they just take my own number and then rarely call. So we shall see…

Saturday, June 4th, 2016, 2:46 pm

DCPayments (Infocash) and Wilko: Avoid or Lose Your Money, Time


YESTERDAY I ranted about my experiences with Wilko. This rant came after wasting no less than 3 days without making progress, so I wasn’t so trigger-happy. In fact, I was patient and polite all along. I was trying to be understanding. I am still polite, but obviously my rants are becoming more disruptive to Wilko, as my messages — I am told — now circulate at management level and they try to find a solution. I haven’t received the money that was ‘stolen’ from me (yet) and it’s no longer about money. It’s about a lot more than that. Had Wilko dealt with the faults of DCPayments more properly, things would be smooth and trivial for everyone. There are two parties at fault: DCPayments (of Infocash) and Wilko. The audio below explains why.

In the previous post about it I explained what had happened and shared some correspondence for the record. When I came to the store today (especially for that I had to go to Town) I was greeted by a nice lady who said she had heard about this or remembered me.

This was not the person whom I needed to speak to (I asked for management), so I was then escalated to another non-manager. She wanted me to have a bunch of forms to fill out, as if the issues are indeed quite frequent (they seem prepared for this). But still, this is not what I asked for. Here is the short conversation:

I declined to waste my time doing this and asked to speak to the manager, who turned up several minutes later and took me for a discussion at the corner (further away from clients). I needed to be escalated to the third level to speak to this manager, who was the person I was there to see in the first place. That’s the same thing which happened last time (several escalations needed). The main conversation was with him and it was amicable. Some bits were rather revealing (about what had been going behind the scenes, so to speak).

Personal lesson learned from this: record staff you speak to as they tend to lie afterwards (to cover their behind) about what they had said. This is actually the first time that I use a recording device in such a circumstance. I have never done this before. In the audio, as I pointed out, there is an alternation of what was said by the previous manager I spoke to (regarding going to the bank), or maybe an alternation of what she had said by the second manager (‘broken telephone’). He said that Wilko had 400 such machines and defended their robustness. This turned out to be a weak argument as towards the end he admitted that he himself had experienced an issue with the machines.

I am supposed to hear back by Tuesday about what happened and what happens next.

I only found out the name of the supplier, DCPayments, after I had gotten back home and looked up Infocash. Wilko never gave me the name of the supplier, or only gave it begrudgingly at the end (saying I can find the name on the machine, which sports the “Wilko” logo).

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