Author Archive

First Impression, A Month of GiffGaff

by on Jul.11, 2011, under General

So, coming to the end of my first month on GiffGaff, the Mobile MVNO powered by O2, so what can i say about it?
First impressions are excellent. Quick simple well managed, my number port in was amazingly smooth, coverage is great (will expand in this later), certainly sorted the issues I had with Vodafone and a few rural towns I frequent.

I am running an HTC Desire HD, with Cyangenmod7, and it got the APN setting first time, I did however use the community provided android app to fine tune the APN settings. An excellent example of the community support model that GiffGaff owes its success to.

Fantastic value for money, 8p / min for most call unless you get a goody bag, I am using the 10 quid goody bag, 250 mins, truly unlimited SMs and truly unlimited internet (but you are not allowed to tether). Even if you brought a brand new android device for say £400, it comes in cheaper than a contract device over 14 months!!! Yes 14 months, NOT 24 and a loads of minutes you don’t need..

Auto top up on low credit, auto top up for goody bags is in the pipeline, so while being a PAYG service, it has all the flexibility of a contract and more.
Only TWO issues I can see at the moment.

  1. O2 does not have the best 3G coverage in the UK, but does have outstanding 2G/edge to back it up, so for calls, text & email you can’t beat it, the foursquare app get a bit upset on 2G, but every other app I used just gets on with it
  2. I would like more than a TOP5 breakdown on my call and SMS usage, online perhaps, that said this is a rare feature for a PAYG service.

Get your GiffGaff SIM Here…….?

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A step away from the norm

by on Apr.12, 2011, under Geekdom, General, Technology

Still not sure exactly why, but i have been considering a tatto for a few months. However I don’t get the traditional tattoo artworks, gothic imagery, skulls, names etc etc.

So the hunt was on for something different, original and most of all very me.

Thought about various electronic references, ohms law, resonant frequency or Q formulas, but a bit to obscure for main stream people.

So along came bar codes, plenty of forums later, I started to look at standard type 39 barcodes, but to get something meaningful in, and have a chance of it scanning, it would need to be VERY long
So 2D barcodes had to be considered, QR Code seems to be the current 2D format that most people recognise, and is supported by plenty of moble phone scanners.

Still has to be quite large to scan, but it just had to be done.

After 2.5 hours sat in a Gloucester tattoo studio, I now have a QR Code Tattoo, best of all it scans too!
Though i am not sure if Greg will ever do another QR Code.

species5618 qrcode tattoo1species5618 qrcode tattoo

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New Server Test

by on Dec.01, 2010, under General

Test on New Server

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WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious”

by on Jun.17, 2010, under General

well that was easy, and i don’t seem to have broken anything

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How to deal with election propaganda

by on Apr.10, 2010, under General

When they (election candidates) mail me direct with my name and address printed directly on the stuff, I must prevent ID fraud and shred it all

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As a planet we must start to be more careful, but Fines/Punishment is not the way to do it

by on Apr.03, 2010, under General

At a Microsoft Architect Conference this week,?? Dave Colpin said RFID tag in bins (and collected data) should be used to educate NOT punish, for example “Did you know you waste is 10% lower than the average house hold of your size”

Positive feedback on the good things, not negative feedback (or punishment) for the bad things. This is the same approach Tanya Bryon uses with unruly children. This can be extended to almost any walk of life???

Pence (or CO2) Per Mile meters in cars instead VSP. ??Encourage the drivers to slow down and protect the environment, rather than have some computer TRY and fix a problem which has already occurred.

GPS for insurance / road tax in cars, should be sold as a way to thank careful drivers with money back not an additional charge/ punishment for drivers who driver on clogged roads drive at unreasonable speeds. Yeh ok the end result is the same, but more people are likely to join in.

For the simple minded, this could even be reduced to a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) status system. My EON smart meter does just that for my instantaneous power consumption. It took my wife just three weeks to start asking ???who is using all the electric??? when the red light came on..

As a planet we must start to be more careful, but Fines/Punishment is not the way to do it

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How NOT to wire up PSTN and ADSL

by on Mar.25, 2010, under General

I recently stumbled across some of the worst PSTN/Broadband customer premises wiring I have ever seen. TWO lines, both with ADSL, and proper ADSL faceplates on the Master Sockets., All sounds good so far. TWO other rooms, each with extensions in for both lines, but this is where it heads south.

1. The extensions are TWO wire connected not the usual THREE
2. The extensions are connected to the telco side of the master socket, not the customer side of the master socket, so are not filtered for ADSL/PSTN use properly

The net result was, the phones do not ring, the lines is noisey (as ADSL is not filtered properly) and the modem/router only connects at 7.6Mb/s despite being only 5 meters (yes 5 Meters, that is NOT a typo) from the exchange equipment…

Yes you guessed it this is INSIDE a village telephone exchange………….

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