Sunday, 27 November 2011

A year Later……

 I cant believe its been a year, yes a year since I moved from Surrey to Essex. And what a year its been, definitely not a quiet year either. Also apologies for not blogging in that year either, it has been busy & hectic.

One of the things I've been busy with is the flat I have moved to & as you can see from the pictures, what a difference its make with a coat of paint & decent flooring.

 2010-11-28 12.35.00a     DSCF6040 Stitch

DSCF2540     DSCF6065

DSCF2546     DSCF6066 Stitch

DSCF2544     DSCF6059

DSCF2545     DSCF6060

But it wasn't just my flat that had lots of changes too, I also had things going on over the past year. Mainly health related with popping in & out of hospitals for tests upon tests upon tests, all for my knee & a lump that had appeared on my left arm causing pain just before the move.

After various tests they decided to just remove the lump on the arm, so in September I went for a day in hospital for an op & went well.

2011-09-07 15.26.25    IMAG0259     IMAG0390

It proved to be successful & arm is now fully healed & getting stronger, which is a good thing being that I'm left handed.

As for my knee, all the tests just came up clean. Nothing wrong with it, just the muscles being weak from decades of not using my leg when using crutches. So for the past couple months I have been doing Physio & knee has been improving to the point where they got me in a Lower Limb Gym for an hour a week. Its proved to be the best thing for me as I have had physio before I moved & didn't have a gym workout, the workout helped more an physio has & now got this to play with…..


I am now cycling once a week (soon to be twice) for only a mile (where Morrison's is) & back (with a bit of shopping) & knee is coping ok atm. Eventually it will be every day & lil bit further out, but as I have learnt is you really need patience at this as push that lil bit to far & you’ll end up back at square one (I learnt that one the hard way).

So what’s for the next 12 months, who knows? All I do know is I am getting better & fitter & soon to be back looking for work in the new year as will eventually classed as ‘fit to work’, though will be part time if I can find a job. I am hoping to get help as I am one of the long term Sickness benefit claimant the Government wants back to work & so looking forward to do that myself.
As for the flat, still loads more to do……

OH, and for those who don't know why I moved 100’s of miles, well this is why! Open-mouthed smile

IMAG0124     <KENOX S730  / Samsung S730>

Things you do for love! xxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Message from Sony, to little to late for this email...

Just got this by email from Sony, they mention quick actions taken but forget to mention its taken a week to let us know & that others told us 1st. Thankfully I dont purchase anything through them but is a concern as to how safe is online ordering is now?

Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer:

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:

1) Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;

2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and

3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained.

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security, tax identification or similar number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.

To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant to review your account statements and to monitor your credit or similar types of reports.

We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please contact us at should you have any additional questions.


Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment Teams

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A Newbie to Tablet PC’s

"Before you start readng my blog, I like to say Sorry for a lengthy blog. It wasn't my intention, but when you read on you will understand why"
Just over a year ago I decided after having I got a Decent PC & Windows 7, I needed something more portable when I am away so not to hog other people’s PC’s to check my Social Networks & emails online as my lil’ ol’ N95 was struggling with it all. After helping others to get Netbooks, I thought a Netbook would do me nicely as they were cheap & cheerful.

Well that was the plan, but the prices of Netbooks were escalating, gone were the days of the £100 unit which was the whole ethos of the netbook. Linux faded into the background as Netbooks went to XP & now Windows 7. So I decided I cant really afford it.

But I had started seeing reports & news on mobile phones with Android & then the rumours of a Tablet version. But all I saw about them was online & very vague. So when some freinds got Android mobiles, I had to have a play & I like what I saw. But still wasn't what I wanted, I wanted something like a Netbook. So I got a download version of Android & installed it onto my PC in Virtual Box so I can try it out. It definitely suited my need, if only I could get the right Tablet.

Then before Christmas I was starting to get emails from well known Computer shops offering Android Tablets for under £100 & this got my interest. It would be perfect for my needs, a portable PC with Wi-Fi capability. So I decided it was time to research on specs, prices, reviews & good suppliers. That is where my headaches started, if you go onto a site like eBay or Amazon you will find hundreds of them out there. Different sizes, specs & types of Android from 1.6 to 2.2. And with eBay, a lot of sellers are from abroad & with Electrical Goods I prefer to buy within the UK. One thing I had noticed was the lower the price, the lower the specs were & to be honest I don't think the lower spec ones would handle the modern web & social networking.

So, 1st thing to do was to see what's the oldest version of Android I be happy with? Ideally 2.2 is the best at the time, tho 2.3 is coming out & 3 is just around the corner. But for cheapness, 2.1 would be ok for what I needed. So next was to find a cheap good model & that was another minefield. You have Apads, Epads & many other cloned look alikes to the iPad, so I went thru & researched each that looked ok & at the same time taking notes of the companies as well as the reviews of the tablets & the Company who are selling them.

That’s when one UK Company caught my eye, as I saw them mentioned with reference to reviews of their stock in Webuser , Engadget & Gadget Show websites, what they were saying was pretty good tho nothing about tablets, so I went to & had a look. They had exactly what I wanted, it was an Android 2.1 7” Tablet for £140 which wasn't to bad with all it came with.  

OS: Android 2.1

Processor: 800Mhz

Built-in flash memory: 2GB,


Micro SD card slot up to 32GB

WiFi, G-Sensor

Camera , Microphone, Built in stereo speaker

USB 2.0 port

2.5-mm stereo earphone jack


Charge socket

Display: 7" TFT LCD touch screen, resolution 800x480

Support up to 1080P

Google Android Market access, YouTube video playback

Battery: Long time standby with low power consumption up to 6 hours

Built-in 1500mAh lithium

Multi formats supported include: MPEG1, MPEG2, WMV9, MPEG4-SP, ASF, DIVX, H.263, H.264, RMVB, Mov, Mkv, TS, FLV, WMA, MP3, WAV, OOG, AAC, EAAC

Weight: 0.5kg

So with Christmas coming up & me spending time away from my PC, I ordered one. It arrived late due to the Snow but in time for Christmas. This is what I got in the box, it even came with the HDMI cable to connect to TV.

From initial inspection, definitely looked good & felt sturdy, but had to charge it for 6 hrs & wait which was a pain as I was itching to play with it….

Once fully charged, I turned it on & off I went. Setting up Wi-Fi was a doddle & you have to have a Google account to access the Android Marketplace as well as other parts of the Android Software, but I had one already so was easy to log in with my account details. Setting up to how I like it was pretty simple too.


Now the downfall, for some reason after a day the Marketplace wouldn't download apps to the Tablet. I tried different ways without success. But as it was Christmas I couldn't ask the supplier about it so I reset it & tried again. Reset to factory setting was painless & Marketplace worked ok, but stopped working again a day later. I eventually worked out that if I install all wanted apps as soon as Factory reset is done, that will do me until I contact the supplier about this glitch. So with that sorted for now I used it over Christmas, a lot! It was very handy, even fitted inside my coat pocket as I went visiting family & friends. Whilst I played with it, I found it didn't like Flash or Java but neither did my N95 & on researching more I found out only Android 2.2 or later does work with Flash.

The Tablet also came with a stylus that slips into the back of it when not in use, this came in handy as the touchscreen isn't too responsive, but a cautious warning if you do use the stylus you be best to sand down the edges of the tip as mine had a sharp edge & slightly scored the glass on the 1st use of it.

All in all, minus the glitch of the App Marketplace this is a worthwhile buy. And after the Christmas season, I contacted Sonix7 about my issues to see if they knew a way to resolve it. The reply I got was a surprising one. They apologised for the issues I had, this was due to a glitch in the firmware & then offered a replacement of a newer 8” model coming out in a few weeks if I can wait. So of course I agreed & a few weeks later the replacement 8” model arrived & I did some comparisons.


Apart from the obvious difference in size & version of Android as well as the specs, the main differences I found in the hardware was the new 8” model didn't have HDMI output or a camera. This wasn't an issue for me so I was happy with what I have. Specs are as the following: 

OS: Android 2.2

Processor: 1GHZ


Hard drive: 4GB NAND FLASH

Micro SD card slot

WiFi, G-Sensor, Built in stereo speaker

Flash 10, Standard 30pin dock connector & USB adapters

3.5-mm stereo earphone jack

8" TFT LCD touch screen, resolution 800x600

Support up to 1080P, YouTube video playback

Battery: Long-time standby with low power consumption up to 6 hours

Built-in 3900mAh lithium

Multi formats supported include: MPEG1, MPEG2, WMV9, MPEG4-SP, ASF, DIVX, H.263, H.264, RMVB, Mov, Mkv, TS, FLV, WMA, MP3, WAV, OOG, AAC, EAAC

Weight: 460g



 Not only was it better in processing speed, RAM, Memory & screen size as well as its now Android 2.2, I also found the touchscreen was far more responsive. Downside was that it wasn't pocket size, but it still is portable as what I required as well as cheaper than a Netbook. Setting up from start was the same as the previous model with the Wi-Fi & Google account, etc. The updated Android is a lot better, Marketplace is working ok too with no issues of troublesome downloading as I had in the previous model. So I am totally happy with this model & the service I got from Sonix7, they definitely achieved higher than expected service & I would recommend them.

Are the 2 models worth it? I say yes! Even with the firmware glitches in the 7” model, it was still a good one to work with & eventually there would be an upgrade to it to take the kinks out of the glitch in the Android Marketplace, maybe even upgrade it to Android 2.2.

Both have their uses, it all depends on what you require. 7” Model is great for it size & 8” for its power. Both are below £200 mark, a lot less than the iPad & Samsung Tab as well as many other similar ones going for the £500 mark. I have played with a Samsung Tab & the best bit about it was the touchscreen, but £500 is a lot of money. These 2 models I have discussed about are sure worth what you pay for. And as for battery life of both models, I found that not to bad. I got around 3 hrs of use on a single full charge on both models, this isn't to bad. I know of mobile phones running down quicker when using all its services. They also met my requirements to what I wanted too, so I am happy.

I hope this review of my path to getting a tablet has been of help & hope you the best to getting a tablet suitable to your needs. Tho in a few months, these models will be outdated & other better ones will be available. But the Company will hopefully be there for you to go have a look at.