Skip to Content

Free FON Spots?

27th June 2006 • Dave

Read all the comments below the piece. It’s an interesting concept. Wonder if it will fly?

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Free FON Spots?

Fruit Pastel Review

25th June 2006 • Dave

Oh dear dear. Just distroyed a packet and fear the other two I have will be gone before the night is out. Fruit Pastels, hmmmm!

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Fruit Pastel Review

Vista requirements

25th June 2006 • Dave

pants, just lost the URL but I’m sure I’ll find it.

“Windows 2000 IS Windows NT, version 5.0 actually. XP is Windows NT 5.1 and Vista
is NT 6.0. The lineage is very clear when you look at fundamentals of the OSes. Microsoft
has layered on new APIs, changed the kernel driver models, and moved things back
and forth between kernel and user mode.
Much as changed, but much is still the same…which is a good thing.”

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Vista requirements

Blogging from the Back of a Black Cab

24th June 2006 • Dave

Having battled the throngs at Worcester and Bermingham on Firday. I eventually made it to Stockport around 8:30PM. My sister and partner seemed in pretty good spirits as did their dogs.

We spent a quiet evening enjoying home cooking as well as laughing at Big Brother. All of which did wonders for my well-being. The last couple of days I have been suffering from some kind of stomach bug which on Friday had been acompanied by a throbbing headache. I am not a fan of pain killers, and try to avoid them at most costs. But this virus or whatever it was had really been getting the better of me, so I caved in and bought pain killers and water at Birmingham. At £3.15 Boots really did take advantage!

Saturday my sister and I jumpt on a direct train to Preston where she went to get her hair done. I met up with a friend who it appeared had over-indulged on Friday evening. At lunchtime we headed to Blackburn to eat with relatives and to set up my mother new TV which we had purchased as a birthday gift.

Just on the way back to Preston to meet with more friends and curry.

Tomorrow is the second round game for England in the World Cup, and following that I plan to head back to Worcester.

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Blogging from the Back of a Black Cab

worcester foregate

23rd June 2006 • Dave

My guts have been giving me grief all day. The head is not too special ether. The meal i pulled out of the freezer this morning turned out to be something i couldn’t cook in a microwave at work. So not had anything to eat all day.

The train station ticket office was devoid of staff so i was unable to arrange assistance or buy a ticket. A large crowd was blocking the access to the steps to the platform with noone appearing to do anything about it. Announcements have been a tad patchi and the whole place is rammed with chavs.

Everything else is just grand.

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on worcester foregate

Customer care

17th June 2006 • Dave

Once upon a time. I was proud to be a customer of PlusNet for my Internet Service Provision, and proud to be a customer of Orange for my mobile phone service. Both companies were genuinely innovative and provided an excellent customer experience. And when anyone asked me who I bought my internet or mobile phone service from, I was proud to say, PlusNet for the Internet and Orange for my mobile phone service.

Originally PlusNet was a friendly local internet service provider which grew from humble beginnings in the North of England offering feature-rich internet service packages including: broadband internet access, hosting facilities including free domain and web hosting, a full complement of usenet news groups, advanced hosting features such as PHP and MySQL and so on. Most of this is still available today. What has changed is that PlusNet now charge a premium for anything more than the most basic telephone support, email support no longer exists, and the amount of spam from the ISP itself targeted at customers is on the rise.

Orange were one of the most exciting companies of the 90s in the UK. They were one of the original GSM digital mobile phone networks, the first to introduce SMS Text messaging and Caller Line Identity back in 1994. These are services which now most people in the UK expect to take for granted. Orange invested in a voice-activated answer phone system, Wildfire, which was the only safe way to use voice mail while driving. Wildfire was also beneficial to anyone with sight loss or with dexterity difficulties as the system allowed the user to store contact information which could be saved and retrieved by voice from any phone. Orange also used to have a loyalty scheme, Orange Equity, which paid points for mobile minutes used. These points could be redeemed to purchase a range of items including a selection of wines and other items including more mobile minutes. Wildfire and Equity are really only the tip of the iceberg of outstanding Orange services which have been axed by the cellular operator over the passed decade, but they serve as examples to illustrate services which once characterised the type of company Orange once were.

Changes in technology and market conditions inevitably mean that businesses have to look to new strategies for generating revenue. However, it seems to me that despite their prtestations to the contrary, both companies are rapidly abandoning their core values and any regard they once had for customer satisfaction, in order to widen their service portfolios to increase their profit margins.

Orange now offer broadband and PlusNet now offer a telephone service while support for their respective core services is declining. Orange do not offer the range of internet services I enjoy with PlusNet, and I very much doubt any mobile services from PlusNet will be able to compete with the mobile package I currently receive from Orange.

I am still a customer of Orange and PlusNet. But more importantly for Orange and PlusNet going forward, both these companies have lost the loyalty and personal recommendations of thousands of customers. If you want a mobile phone then check out O2 or Three. Both of whom I have found very helpful and offer a tremendous range of products and services. For internet access, well that depends what you want to do with it. Although Zen Internet seem to be attracting a lot of favourable coverage lately.

My message to consumers is to be careful to separate the wood from the trees. All that glitters is not gold. And any one of a thousand similar clichés. This really is not about nostalgic rambling for “good old days” products and services which once were, but a plea to business, when you do something well, the reason customers have subscribed is because we want you to continue to do it well.

These days when people ask me to whom I subscribe for mobile phone and internet service, I shift uncomfortably, mumble something about mobile phone companies and internet service providers all being much of a muchness, and my eyes glaze over while I fondly recall a time when my mobile phone company used to send me a case of wine every year and my internet service provider was actually interested in talking to customers. Where did it all go wrong?

As a post script to all of this. I am having to pay O2 for a pay as you go sim in order that I can transfer my Orange mobile phone number which I have had for 8 or 9 years from one Orange mobile phone to another Orange mobile phone. While number portability works well between networks, number portability between two sims on the same network apparently has not been implemented.

More over, the post of this text to my site has been delayed due to PlusNet FTP server issues, which you guest it, they will not support via the phone. I emailed PlusNet at 18:25 and an hour and fourty minutes later I am still waiting for a response.

20:10 PlusNet report the following: “We are currently investigating a problem with FTP causing the error message that you are seeing, service status will be updated shortly regarding this problem and we post a further update once the problem is resolved.”

22:05 “We are currently investigating reports of some customers being unable to upload files to their Homepages webspace. Customers may see “Access Denied” type errors when upload files.”

18/06/2006 @ 09:59 “Our engineers are still investigating the problem that is causing some customers to see an “Access Denied” error message when uploading to their Homepages webspace. We have identified that this is being caused by one of the backend storage platforms, and we will be looking at this during the day.”
And it goes on…

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Customer care

Two weekends in Epsom

11th June 2006 • Dave

As the title suggests I have spent the past two weekends in Epsom. Much of this time has been spend getting the Save Choice at the Riser campaign up and running.

Additionally I attended my first Epsom Derby on Saturday 3 June. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and following our first STR campaign meeting and a hearty breakfast, a decent sized group of us including: Martin and Clare, Steve and Jo, Donna, Andrew, Graham, Don, and many others who’s names escape me right now walked out to Epsom race course.

Being as the Epsom Derby is the highlight of the flat racing calendar, there is usually a pretty good turn out. and The sunshine helped swell the crowds beyond one hundred thousand. Race goers had two options, pay 35GBP and dress up to go into the grandstand, or go into the interior of the course with the bands and bars. Naturally we opted for the place with the best atmosphere and found a point down on the grass a few yards from the rails near the start of the home straight. Thanks to Clare’s dad, I had a few quid each way on the triumphant Sir Pursey. Although Horatio Nelson, the mount of Kieren Fallon, broke a front leg 400 metres from home and had to be put down, reminding me of the risks of racing these beautiful animals.

Kudos to Don and co for assisting half a dozen blinks through the throngs. You guys and girls are the best!

Saturday evening was barbecue weather, and our group manage to make short work of mountains of food and over 6 gallons of beer.

After a busy week at work back in Worcester, the purchase of a new PDA which I will blog about shortly, I found myself under increasing pressure to return to Epsom at the weekend.

Friday evening culminated with Martin and I cracking open a bottle of 1966 Highland Park, and at 3:30AM sitting in a field talking to a gaggle of Polish and French girls. Well there are worse ways to spend one’s weekend!

Saturday Morning meant another STR campaign meeting. And I have been overwhelmed by the progress this group have made of the past seven days. It has been an honour to make a contribution in getting this off the ground. The messages of support have been extraordinary. If you have not already, please hop over to the Save the Riser web site.

On Saturday afternoon I missed the kick off of England’s World Cup opener against Paraguay as I was juggling Sims and cellular networks the details of which I will not inflict on you just now. I heard the second half in it’s entirety strip to the waste sunbathing in the beer garden of the Rising Sun. I am glad to report everyone else was in the pub and it was nice to have an hour with BBC Radio Five Live, a pint of stout and some glorious sunshine.

Saturday evening meant another barbecue, followed by much needed sleep, and now a train or three back to Worcester. I got on the wrong bus after bad advice, two tubes and … well don’t ask. I am on the home stretch now.

Looking forward to a quiet one next weekend. The past month has been pretty frenetic.

All the best.

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Two weekends in Epsom

Please support choice at the Riser!

4th June 2006 • Dave

This community are making a stand for choice and local business. Whether you have ever visited the Rising Sun in Epsom or not, the principles of this campaign have far reaching implications. Please lend this project your support. will be updated frequently in the next few days. Please visit regularly.

Categories: Uncategorized
Comments Off on Please support choice at the Riser!