Wednesday, 23 December 2020 12:00

Mr Grumpy: how to kill a computer

Written by  Bob Campbell
Bob Campbell Bob Campbell

I have killed four computers by drenching them with wine.


I taste wine at my desk, typing my notes directily into a laptop. I killed the first computer with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The second computer died after being doused with a generous amount of Malbec.

I purchased a remote keyboard and mouse and put my laptop on a stand. Problem solved, or so I thought. The next computer died when a frisky bottle of sparkling wine shot half its contents over the remote keyboard into the arms of my laptop. My fourth computer met a similar fate. When opening fizz, I now point it toward a rubbish bin. One computer was able to be fixed by replacing the keyboard (it was still under warranty).

I have learned to react quickly when wine meets electronics:

  • Unplug the computer.
  • Remove battery from laptop.
  • Hold the laptop keyboard facing down above a sink and squirt water up into it.

It is not the liquid that does the harm, it is the residue that is left when the wine dries out. Vintage port is apparently more harmful to computers than Prosecco.

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Bob's Blog: Predictions for 2021

Market research organisation Wine Intelligence looks into the future each year and makes quite specific predictions. They have scored a high hit rate in the past. Here are their five predictions for 2021.

  1.  Wine volumes will decline and spend per bottle will rise – though this may be largely due to rising alcohol taxes. Taxes on alcohol are a popular way for governments to re-charge the coffers drained by Covid-19. I would add that Australian wine producers will be seeking alternative markets after China, their biggest market, placed restrictive taxes on Australian wine. New Zealand is an obvious target.
  2. Alternative packaging formats will make serious inroads into the traditional glass bottle market. Bag-in-box and cans have a smaller carbon footprint than bottles, which could become a victim of measures to battle climate change.
  3. Wineries will forge more meaningful and lasting direct relationships with their consumer bases, but wine tourism will take a long time to recover. The pandemic has motivated producers to ramp up their online sales to good effect. The momentum is expected to continue, albeit at a slower pace. Cellar door visitors will continue to be depleted until borders are opened.
  4. The surge in online retail usage will continue, and investment and growing competition will reshape the online channel and enhance delivery speed. Consumers have been encouraged to make purchases online. That is likely to continue as deliveries become faster and more efficient.
  5. The wine seltzer market will take off. Hard seltzer has tripled in the US over the past two years and is expected to continue.

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