Showing posts with label Earth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Earth. Show all posts

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Wacom Bamboo Touch Pen & Tablet Rant

Well, I said I would write about this on my blog, so I suppose I should.

Recently my MacBook updated itself to Mac OS 10.15.5 Catalina. It's been fine. I've had no problems.

Apart from my Wacom Bamboo Touch Pen & Tablet, which isn't working the way it should, IE at all. So I get on to the Wacom website and download myself the latest driver for it.

Now this tablet I bought in Japan in 2007 ish and it's one of the only things I've been able to care for and look after enough such that I haven't lost the pen or pulled the wire out the tablet or anything like that. I even kept them all in a bubble wrap envelope for years. To be perfectly honest, it's been great this whole time. It's helped reduce RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in my wrist, I've used it for drawing and designing and editing. It's been brilliant for 13 years.

Until now.
The driver is like, "Dude, no can work with Catalina." 

And I'm like, "Dude, yes can work with Catalina."

And it's like, "No dude, no can work with Catalina."

And I'm like, "But dude, must can work with Catalina."

So I get on the chat support and meet a very nice chap called Luis with a beard and I immediately get off on the weak foot when my autocorrect makes me write, "Hi sis."

This is a bad start. But I press on.

I told him the problem and he told me the problem. 

Wacom no longer supports my product for Catalina. It'll work on older OSs and Windows but alas, Catalina and my Bamboo Touch are now incompatible.


I tried to not direct my frustration at Luis, who was only doing his job and very well, instead trying to make a case for corporate responsibility. I had hoped the whole chat conversation would have been sent to my email address so I could just copy and paste but probably when anyone threatens to 'write about it on their blog', they are not expressly given this option.

Anyway, I did manage to copy this rantette:

You know the world has a lot of problems right now, with the coronavirus pandemic, and a global depression. Everybody is feeling the effects, and I'm sure your company is too. But I can't afford to buy another product from Wacom at the moment because I have nothing in my business bank account. £5 or something. I don't think it's right for a company to stop supporting a product that a customer has taken care to look after, not break or lose, for 13 years, only to be recommended to buy another product, even when the first product is still in perfect working order. I can't afford to keep updating hardware like this. The planet cannot sustain such a 'throwaway' existence. Can you please forward this to your manager or decision maker regarding this as it's socially irresponsible and in my opinion poor business practice. I'll be posting about this on my blog, because quite honestly, it's heartbreaking.

I asked if it might be possible to be given a discount off a newer tablet in exchange for returning the now defunct 2007 product I have, but Luis didn't sound all that enamoured with my suggestion. He gave me a number to call in the UK which I'll try, but I won't be calling with much gusto. Anyway, as I only have £5 in may account I doubt that even with a discount I'd be able to buy a new tablet.

But wouldn't that be great though? A business that gives you money back on old models. It deals with waste and helps keep their loyal customers up to date with tech. I don't know, maybe I'm being too unrealistic since seeing the words 'Lifetime Guarantee' on my Zippo.

What am I supposed to do with a defunct but perfectly working Wacom Touch Tablet and Pen? I could use it to play ping-pong against myself. I could use it as the roof of a little hamster house. Ooh, I could use it as a cheese board. 

Anyway, I hung up the chat giving Luis five stars to try to make up for having to listen to me blowing off steam and then a cloud of dejection lowered upon me. The planet is screwed. I personally am in it now up to my eyes. This philosophy and practice is unsustainable.

I have been trying to live by the ideology of Billionism, (which I may have invented) which is to imagine what would happen if all the billions of people in the world took the same choice and made the decision as you. I use that to guide my actions. That's why I sign petitions. Plant vegetables. Plant trees. Walk instead of drive when possible. One man makes not much difference. But if Billions thought the same way and did the same thing, what a difference!

What the hell am I meant to do with a billion defunct but perfectly working order Wacom Tablets and Pens? What makes it more annoying is that it still works perfectly well. That really grates. If it was broken I wouldn't mind so much. But it's fine. I feel like the prize I get for looking after it all these years is for someone to say, "Right, get lost."

Within my cloud of dejection I didn't feel like writing a blog post. I felt like a white, male, privileged twat complaining about nothing. People are poor, hungry and dying all over the world.

Then I thought, well, what the hell.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

More Cycle Paths in Scotland

On 28th June 2018, Scotland recorded its hottest ever temperature of 33.2 degrees celsius in Motherwell, Lanarkshire. 

One of the good things about the climate changing is that if we can expect warmer sunnier mediterranean weather in Scotland this means better days for cycling.

But according to this article, Scotland only has 1036 km of traffic-free cycle track, compared with 32,187 km in Holland. So Scotland only had 3.2% the amount of cycle paths Holland has.

Cycling, which has been hailed as one of the most efficient forms of transport, seems to be the way forward for this country and the world, if we want to continue living on this planet. These velomobile things look pretty cool too, but who's going to fork out for one of these?

By Bluevelo, CC BY-SA 3.0,
So, it might seem to make sense that to encourage more people to cycle to destinations under 10 miles away for example, we would need a better traffic-free cycle network, the benefits of which would be many, and not just for cyclists:

  • Less traffic on the roads
  • Less cyclists on the roads for cars to overtake
  • Healthier citizens -> less strain on NHS. According to this article a link has been found between cycling to work and cancer and heart disease. "During the course of the study, regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%."
  • Less risk of car accidents for cyclists -> less strain on NHS. According to this 2017 article, which has a lot of information about cycling death and injury in the UK, about 100 cyclists die each year in the UK and more than 3000 are seriously injured. There are even a few shocking stories of motorists purposefully injuring cyclists.
  • Less hazardous exhaust fumes for cyclists to inhale
  • Better cycling tourism -> Better for the economy.
  • Better local air quality -> Better for childrens' health -> reduction in asthma.
  • Less national CO2 production. According to this report, in 2016 transport became the largest contributor to national CO2 at 26%.
Two American solar cars in Canada

How much could we save?

Let's take a look at the effects of 45% less cancer and heart disease on the NHS.

According to this article, "Last year the costs of cancer diagnosis and treatment across the UK NHS, private and voluntary sector were estimated by the report at £9.4 billion. This is equivalent to an average of £30,000 per person with cancer. "

45% of £9.4 billion is £4.23 billion.  

How much will it cost? 

This blog has some useful information about costs. Sustrans and TFL estimate it to cost anywhere between £100k and £900k per km of proper cycle track. Let's say an average of £500k per km of cycle track.

Scotland has 55,000 km of roads, but not all of these would, could or should be cycle-pathed. According to this report 1% is motorway, leaving 54,450 km. Let's calculate the costs to cycle path the roads up to Holland standards.

This would result in costs on average of £500,000 x 32,000km = £16 billion.

But we could estimate that we save £4.23 billions worth of health care in cancer prevention.

This alone could pay for 4,230,000,000/500,000 = 8,460 km of cycle track.

Imagine what another 8,460km of cycle track in the central belt could achieve in terms of health, cleaner air, less congested traffic, and reduction in CO2 production.

According to this article, "The average distance commuters ride in a single trip within Scotland is 9.4 km." which would take about 6 miles. This would take about 36 minutes by bike.

Source :
So that's it. In this blog post I've hopefully outlined why more cycle paths in Scotland would be beneficial to our health, our country's finances and our planet's climate change crisis.

What's the next step? Email our MPs, contact our local councils, sign this petition :

Thanks for reading.