Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Google Ads Sense of Humour

October 13th, 2008 No comments

Had to laugh at this Google Ad that popped up, presumably picking up on the word ‘congestion’

funny ad

Obviously never tried the buses round here.

Chicken Pox exposure guards against Shingles

September 16th, 2008 1 comment

My daughter currently has chicken pox so I’ve been doing some on-line research, mainly to see when the contagious period ends. Having previously had it myself (unfortunately as an adult) I was interested in the connection with shingles.

Chicken Pox I knew that you can only get shingles if you have previously had chicken pox, as shingles is caused by re-emergence of the chicken pox (varicella) virus which has lain dormant in your body, but I had recently been told that exposure to chicken pox can trigger an outbreak of shingles. This is not so and I was interested to discover from the NHS Direct website that exposure to chicken pox actually gives you a booster vaccination against shingles:

If the chickenpox vaccine were to be added to the list of childhood vaccinations, it is feared that there would be a greater number of cases of shingles in adults, until the vaccination was given to the entire population.
This is because adults who have had chickenpox as a child are less likely to have shingles in later life if they have been exposed occasionally to the chickenpox virus (for example by their children). This is because the exposure acts as a booster vaccine.

and the trigger for shingles is basically a weakening of the immune system, allowing the virus to re-emerge.

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Sky+ offer not so attractive

September 9th, 2008 No comments

I’ve received a flyer from Sky to upgrade to their Sky HD box. The outside of the flyer looks promising:

Sky HD

Seventy five quid – not bad and possibly a price-point at which it’s worth upgrading, but once you open up the mailshot they hit you with the sting: £60 ‘set-up’ fee.

Now when I moved house, I had no problem unplugging at the old address and plugging in at the new address. The only difference with an upgrade to a HD box will be a registration stage – pressing a couple of buttons. If it’s possible to set up a home broadband router by yourself, why can’t Sky do the same? Also, why does it cost sixty quid, especially when new customers get it for thirty quid (another flyer arrived at the same time, asking me to introduce a friend).

They even have the cheek to say:

Sky HD

…but we don’t think you deserve to be rewarded for your loyalty.”

So, since the setup fee is non-optional, the real price that Sky should print is £135, but if you add on the ten pound extra per month for HD, the total cost of ownership for the first twelve months (on top of your normal, ever increasing, Sky subscription) is £255, a far cry from the headline £75.

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New Classic Rock Station for Manchester

April 24th, 2008 No comments

106.1 Rock Radio ManchesterThere’s a new classic rock station starting in Manchester – 106.1 Rock Radio. The good news is that it is currently in test broadcast, so it’s playing classic rock back to back without any adverts. Unfortunately, that luxury will end on 5th May at 6pm when the station officially launches.

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April 15th, 2008 No comments

While reading Specifier Review, I came across this advert for Surespan:

Cellar Hatch from SurespanSurespan accesses fine wine
A jersey home owner can now access their wine cellar via their kitchen thanks to a specially designed hatch manufactured and supplied by Surespan. Designed with a recessed lid to accommodate the matching the matching stone floor, it is virtually unnoticeable when closed and operates electronically to reveal a hidden wine cellar.

Great, I want one!!

Just one small point – I don’t have a cellar and neither do most people in the UK.

In an era when builders seem to want to cram as many houses as possible on to a plot of land (no doubt encouraged by local councils, eager to maximise the number of council tax payers), most houses with garages have never seen a car; they are instead used as extra storage rooms to make up for the lack of space in today’s houses, or even converted into another living room. Why then, is it not part of the building regulations or planning controls that all new houses should be built with cellars? Straight away, you have a ready made laundry room, work room and extra storage, all for the same amount of land usage as now.

You could even put your car in the garage. Wouldn’t that be a novelty?

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A fault on a Crusader Condenser Dryer

March 16th, 2008 1 comment

I’m posting this in case it might help someone whose condenser tumble dryer has stopped working. Our seven year old Crusader* dryer developed a fault whereby it would run for a few minutes or seconds then stop. The water tank was not full and pressing and holding the start button would make it run, so this ruled out any safety cut-out (such as overtemp or door interlock) from being faulty.

Schrack RelayThere is a relay (Schrack part number RM505730) which latches in when the dryer starts. It was this that kept dropping out on its own.

The relay being the cause was reinforced by this forum post on a white goods site, so I ordered a replacement from RS (210-6661) and this fixed the problem, so for the sake of eight quid, we have a working dryer once more.

* Crusader is Comet’s own brand name and the dryer was identical to a Hotpoint and Zanussi model at the time of purchase, apart from the cosmetic front cover.

IMPORTANT: Do not attempt a repair (or even open the cover) unless you are competent to do so. IF IN DOUBT CONSULT A QUALIFIED PERSON. This information is posted entirely ‘as is’ for those who are curious. Your fault may not be related.

Central Heating Thermostats

October 22nd, 2007 No comments

It’s that time of year again, when the temperature starts to drop and people start considering switching the heating back on, which leads me to a question: In every house I’ve lived in, the room thermostat has been situated in the hall, not the living room or bedrooms. What is the logic in controlling the heating based on temperature in a room you don’t actually live in, except to move to another room, or answer the front door?

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A Sad Day for ICI

August 13th, 2007 No comments

The once proud British Chemical Giant has today agreed to be bought by its rival Akzo Nobel.

ICI coined the word plastic, and invented numerous other everyday items.

Yet another British company swallowed up by a foreign competitor.

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Has BBC ‘Have Your Say’ Lost its Way?

May 9th, 2007 No comments

BBC Have Your Say ExtractBBC Have Your Say has recently started showing statistics about the posts made to a topic. Look, however, at the figures on this post. Out of 1138 posts, they have only got around to posting a measly 57. That’s only 5%. If you haven’t got the staff to moderate it, then they should make it reactively moderated or don’t bother including the topic. Very soon, people will realise there’s no point in bothering.

The implementation also fails to allow proper threaded conversation. People often quote others but because of the disjointed nature of the post order, it is not possible to see the original quoted post.

As well as recommending a post, it should also be possible to mark it negatively. A more conventional forum or newsgroup style would work better and should be adopted.

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Old Sony Radio

May 6th, 2007 No comments

While moving house recently, I found an old Sony portable radio which my parents had given me back in the 70s. The model number is a TR-3550. It is Medium Wave only but is still working. The only repair I had to do was replace the battery connection. It is interesting to note the complete lack of integrated circuits. All components are discrete components. Click on the pictures below for some views.

Front View Back View Inside View Battery Terminal Repair
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