DEAR SANTA, the INQUIRER is 17-years-old and we have been very good this year. Well, mostly.
Here's what we would like for Christmas this year...
Editor, Carly Page
As regular INQ readers will know, dear Santa, I'm an Apple fan; "iCarly" is what they call me around these parts. I'm not asking for any new iDevices, though, I pretty much have it all, no thanks to Apple's PR department; I'm currently using an iPhone X, my life-saving Apple Watch, an Apple TV, a HomePod (hush, you) and my 12in MacBook.
What I really want, though, is for these excruciatingly-expensive devices to, as Apple has long-promised, "just work". I've already documented my struggles with my HomePod (which I'm still experiencing, 10 months on), and now it's my 11-month old, £1,249 MacBook that's the source of my Apple rage.
A couple of months ago, as I was editing INQ, my MacBook turned off. I shrugged it off, naturally, assuming the battery had run down or it had possibly overheated. Fast forward to an hour later, when I'm ripping my hair out after an excruciatingly-painful conversation with Apple Customer Support, who concluded that there was nothing they could do to help fix my now-defunct laptop, which had seemingly died a sudden death for no apparent reason whatsoever.
It took almost four weeks, numerous trips to Apple authorised service centre in the middle of nowhere (because Apple had no Genius Bar appointments for three weeks), a new I/O board and a new logic board until my 11-month-old MacBook was back up and running. Thankfully it was still in warranty, otherwise the ordeal would have set me back £542.
Sure, Santa, I know these things happen, but Apple is a company that flogs expensive products with the promise that they "just work". Have a word, Santa.
Associate editor, Chris Merriman
Hi Santa. First and foremost, can you tell Rudolph that if he eats all the carrots he gets left out, he'll turn orange. It's true. There was a story in the nineties about a family that drank nothing but Sunny Delight and turned orange so am pretty sure the same applies.
I'm pretty set for stuff to be honest, it's one of the side-effects of the job. What I really need is something to store it all. It amazes me that after all these years, nobody has come up with a really good system for keeping cables neat and tidy.
I'm the office smart home nut, and the one aspect that I haven't really done any work on is motorising the blinds, so that would be kind of cool. Proper Bond villain.
I'd like a pair of active noise cancelling earbuds that won't fall out if I wear them in bed. I'm sick to death of finding the left one at the bottom of the bed, covered in fluff with a toenail impailed on the rubber bit. That's be ace.
Finally, if you could, any chance you could bring Silicon Valley a little bit nearer? I'm the oldest member of Team INQ and the jetlag is killing me. Cheers pal.
PS - if any of this is too much trouble, how about Super Smash Bros, Mario Party, and some way of stopping people emailing me every five minutes to see if I got their last email. (If anyone does it the same day, ideally I'd like for them to stink of raw sewage for the next 24 hours).
Contributing editor, Roland Moore-Colyer
As I look around my pokey, cold, and dimly-lit flat, the one thing that warms me is the rather hefty mass of tech I've acquired as both a reviewer and a tech nerd. Suffice to say the past 18 months have been pretty good for tech; sure there have been incremental upgrades to various laptops and phones, but all the tech around is properly excellent.
The Surface Laptop 2 is lovely (I just hope Microsoft keeps forgetting I have it) and the Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T are top-drawer Android phones; pity Apple hasn't sent us any kit.
And I recently bought an Xbox One X as a rather indulgent treat to run Red Dead Redemption 2 at 4K, and it looks bloody brilliant and really shows how impressive Redmond's powerhouse console is.
So year, Mr Claus, I'm good on pretty much most stuff. However, as good as all this tech is, it's somewhat stymied by my utterly s**t broadband.
I live in an area where fibre is available but getting it yanked from the neared junction box to my flat building is not currently a thing, thanks to needing to get permission from the actual building landlords. Apparently, you can own a flat in London but not really own it.
As such, I'm stuck with a 5Mb connection. That's painfully slow when it comes to downloading anything more than a low-res picture. Streaming 4K and games isn't really a possibility and getting stuff done like throwing words at this very article isn't easy either.
So what I really want more than anything, Santa, is fibre broadband. It doesn't need to be the fastest ever, but please, please can I have a connection that at least lets me actually get the most out of this pile of tech I have #humblebrag. Failing that, a change in leasehold law would be nice, preferably through the removal of the Tories, but I don't expect an Xmas miracle.
Contributing editor, Alan Martin
As someone who lives with two cats that like to mark where they've been with a blizzard of fur, there was one thing on my Christmas list: a robot vacuum cleaner. That may be the dullest Christmas wish of my life to date, but as someone now in their mid-30s (or as I optimistically call it: "late-late 20s"), I feel like I've earned the right to be boring.
But then Black Friday came along, and Amazon reduced the Neato Botvac D5 Connected, and there it was in my basket and delivered around a month before the day itself. So instead, I'll just wish for it to play nice with my router because so far all attempts to get it to connect to WiFi have been spurned. I mean, I've still had a lot of fun hearing its little startup tune and watching it amble around without app support, scaring the Bejesus out of the cats it's cleaning up after, but it would be nice if the damned thing worked as advertised.
Last I heard from Neato support, I was advised that it probably needed a firmware update to connect to WiFi - something that could only be achieved by connecting to WiFi. So the big idea is that I take it round to a friend's house, as y'do, but I suspect doing that would mean they don't remain friends for long.
So please, Santa, make my robot talk to my WiFi.
Well, that sounds pretty stupid, now I see it written down… Okay, just give me some time, so I can actually work through my massive backlog of PS4 games and we'll call it even. µ
Ohhhhh (Florida) maaaaaaan...
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