Wednesday 23 November 2011

Blogger Templates

Well I have tried another template as the previous one seems to have wiped out my followers!

They haven't returned so I guess I will have to start all over again..

I wish I had known that I was likely to lose them and then I would not have updated my blog template in the first place!

Followers - Orihuela and Taberno - buying a property in Spain

Well I know that I haven't actually got many followers - but the ones that I have seem to have disappeared!

Either that or the internet at work is having a few hiccups.

What I was going to do was to go via the hyperlink to my follower in Orihuela and ask what he knows about Taberno as it looks fairly close on the map.  Well everything does on the map!

My regular email notification has come through with properties in and around Almería and one particular place in Taberno caught my eye.

I have researched the area as much as I can but I know there is nothing like visiting the area or knowing someone who knows about an area.

Visiting is out the question at the moment (no time left for holidays from work) and just sitting here gazing at the photo on the internet doesn't really give me much of an idea.  But the area looks lovely; it looks peaceful (how I like it); it has mountains (which I love) and as long as there is electricity and water then I'm happy.

Oh well I'll take another look tonight.  Meanwhile I'll dream on.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Nokia N8 Review

My Nokia N8 review.

Ok so I've had the N8 now for a few months and I think I've given it a good trial.  Now this is not going to be a very technical review, only my own personal observations:


  • Fantastic camera - love it as it takes brilliant photos
  • Camera button makes it easy to switch on the camera especially in bright sunshine
  • Great video camera - like the still camera it takes pretty good videos too
  • Nice looking phone
  • Good memory capacity with memory card slot taking a 16GB card easily (not tried a 32GB as these normally don't work too well in phones)
  • Battery life is excellent
  • Front and rear camera (front is only really suitable when chatting to someone face to face)
  • drag and drop capabilities makes accessing items while hooked up to your computer a doddle
  • Awful on the internet (so slow)
  • Ovi Store does not have the same variety of apps in comparison to the Android or iTune market
  • have to search around a bit to find where different items are stored behind all the menus
  • 3 home screens only
  • smaller screen than most touch screens
Now looking at the above I can only say that recently while commuting and being stuck in traffic queues I found it enormously frustrating when I was unable to get onto traffic news.  (Don't worry I'm not driving, I'm a passenger).

It hooked up to the internet easily enough but loading pages just took forever!  While I was waiting for the page to load my friend who had a Samsung had already opened, loaded, flicked through several pages and logged off!  I have to admit that I just gave up.

I tried both Safari browser and Opera Mini but both seemed to take just as long.

On another long journey home I got bored and tried to click on the iPlayer icon and see if there was anything I could watch on there.  Ok so I gave up again and resigned myself to the fact that internet browsing is not what this phone is about.

Digging out my HTC Desire that night I nearly thought about ditching the N8 and returning to the Desire but then I remembered the problem with that phone and how I had given up on that because of the rapid demise of battery life which necessitated carrying around a spare battery with you at all times.

Now at home if I log on using wi-fi and my broadband connection the N8 whizzes along quite happily so maybe I am just not using the right connection.  That is something I will have to look into a bit more.  

Facebook app is not all that brilliant and although I have tried several apps there doesn't seem to be one that is as good as the traditional layout that you get with Facebook.

Twitter is ok and posting tweets is easy enough.

I do find though that you have to log into Twitter and Google quite a bit as it doesn't seem to remember your log in details.

Also the lack of size of the screen, although I thought the tiny difference would not make a difference, it does. You find yourself having to zoom into pages a hell of a lot more as the writing is just too small to read.

Maybe size does matter!

Complaints about the keypad I found did not worry me.  To start with the novelty of using the old Nokia keypad brought back memories but when I got fed up with that I just added the Swype app which I find great.  Trouble is I find myself trying to 'swype' anything touchscreen.

Overall summary I would say that this phone is a good phone; nice looking; good sound; great memory capabilities (although could do with more internal memory); good signal strength and battery life.  On the down side it is frustrating sometimes trying to find where things are hidden and the surfing experience leaves a lot to be desired.

If you want fast internet searching and loading and a clear big screen with plenty of apps, then I would recommend looking elsewhere.

I would also say that the touch screen is good although not quite as good as the iPhone but then I am not restricted to all things Apple.

Will I keep on using it?

Well for now, yes.  It all depends on what you use your phone for.  Mine is mainly taking quick photos, texting, tweeting and checking FB status.


Oh dear just seen an advert for the iPhone S - can't wait to see how that goes down - talking phone hey :)

Sunday 6 November 2011

Centro Sanitario Municipal de Protección Animal

Centro Sanitario Municipal de Protección Animal is a government run animal sanctuary near Palma, Mallorca.  

They take in stray or abandoned cats and dogs and try to find homes for them.  There is a vet on site who checks the animals health upon admission and if the animal is microchipped they contact the owner to see whether they still want them.

This is only part of their work as they also take in injured wildlife and care for them until they can be returned to the wild.  Also they run classrooms where school children can go and learn about the animals and their care.

What tugs at my heart strings though is the amount of cats and dogs that are abandoned or stray.

Naturally the centre is restricted to the amount of animals they can keep at any one time and it breaks my heart to think that these poor souls will be euthanized if homes aren't found for them within 15 days.

Looking at the fees of 33 Euros that they charge to vaccinate, microchip and a tiny admin cost I feel it is well worth paying to give a loving home to an animal that only had the misfortune of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time or that had an owner that no longer could or would care for it.

Here are a couple of the inmates and these are just two of the many that are requiring homes.

Bless them I hope they find homes soon and for sure if I was living there now then I would be taking a trip to Son Reus to get one! 

I especially love the Shi-tzu :)  

Here is a link to the site:

Saturday 5 November 2011

Update on Virgin Media Technical Problems

To be fair and to give a total review on my recent dealings with Virgin Media I will continue with my progress with them today.

After going through the labyrinth of automated telephone answering services I eventually got to the section that I was trying to connect to "are you thinking of leaving us".

A very nice man by the name of Tom was the unfortunate recipient of my phone call but I treated him with respect and giving him no blame whatsoever I told him about the saga of dealing with the call centre technicians.

He asked whether I had dealt with technicians in this country to which I answered in the negative and he explained that his department was in Sheffield but he had technicians in Liverpool that he could put me  through to.  AT LAST!

To cut this story short I was put through to Liverpool where another nice man, Peter, dealt with the problem.  I explained what had been happening and how I had been told that there was an "issue" with my blueyonder account to which he took remote control of my computer and within 10 minutes had sorted everything out.  There was no issue with my account apart from the fact that somehow my blueyonder account had disappeared from my log in details on Virgin Media Webmail site.

He could see my blueyonder account at his end but it appeared that a lot of the "fiddling around" that the out of this country technician had done had broken the link with my forwarding account.

Anyway my husband is now happy as he can retrieve his emails again from his Gmail account and we don't have to go on the Virgin Media site again (well until the next time there is a problem).

Now if this had been done over a week ago I could have saved myself a lot of time and stress.

I would add that I deal with a lot of out of this country call centre technicians in my line of work and although they may be a cheaper alternative for companies they are not always helpful and certainly do not give off a very good impression.

Also one comment to Virgin Media, if you are reading this, is please, please, please, do something about your site.  It is the most difficult and annoying site to negotiate your way around and I am computer literate!

Friday 4 November 2011

Virgin Media Customer Disservice

Now I love technology. I am always using it, always learning more and more about it. I love my computer, I love the internet, I love creating websites, I love my email.

But I hate the Service Providers that we are reliant upon to use all of the above!

Don’t get me wrong, the individual people who work for these organisations are probably very nice people but the organisations they belong to are so far removed from their customers that I really feel like screaming!

For example:

On the 21st October my husband realised that he was no longer receiving his emails from our very old email account that we took out when Cable was in existence under the name of

In recent years since Virgin took over we had this account set up so that all emails were forwarded to Live Mail (in place of Outlook - which is sooo slow on the computer) and then latterly they were forwarded to Gmail. All had been going well but upon this sudden disappearance of blueyonder emails I thought that perhaps something had gone wrong with the Gmail account settings and that was why we were no longer receiving them.

After checking all settings (that were correct) it appeared that blueyonder had disappeared. I then went on to our Virgin Media online account to check on their Webmail page and see what the problem was. Well the problem was that the blueyonder account had disappeared!

Ok well I will now cut a long, long story short here before I bore you all to tears.

1. After several attempts online to try and find my old email account there was no joy and so I reluctantly phoned their ‘help’ number. An hour and half later while the technician in India had taken over my account by remote it was discovered that there was “a problem” their end. Would I wait a couple of days while they fixed it?

2. Five days later I tried again as there were still no emails. No joy. Also the technician had changed the user name, passwords etc. So if anyone has had the joy of trying to negotiate their way around the Virgin Media site then they will know what I mean. “Enter username for so and so”, didn’t work. Request username to be sent to back up email address. Several new username and password requests later. I eventually managed to find one that would get me into the Webmail. Low and behold no blueyonder account!

3. Several days later and several more attempts I registered on the Support Forum. Good advice but all basically returned to the “call this number”.

4. Called the call centre number again after getting home from a 12 hour shift at work. “we can see it our end”. Yes but I can’t see it my end!!

5. “Hold on while I fix it”. So I held and held and listened to rubbish music. “Oh there is an issue I need to speak to another department, please hold”. So again I held and held. “Sorry I’m holding on for the other department, I’ll phone you back”

Yes you’ve got it – no phone call back. So I spent my evening holding onto a phone waiting for a technician (whose name I didn’t know) to tell me to ring off and he would ring back, which he didn’t.

So when someone said to me at work today “what are you doing at the weekend” I replied “holding on the phone waiting for someone from Virgin Media to fix my problem”.

I just really wish that you could get through to someone without running round and round in circles for absolutely ages. Then I wish that the person you got through to would actually tell you what the problem really is.

Finally I would just like to know one thing – am I ever going to get my email back?

If not I really think that I should be able to tell Virgin Media “please hold on while I rip up your contract”.  After all they are not fulfilling their side of the deal.

Customer Service does not exist these days and I know that all the others will be exactly the same. Press this button, choose this option, listen to this recorded message and finally if you have had the stamina to hold on this long, speak to a real person who will not solve your problem and will pacify you and then get rid of you because you don’t know who they are and chances are the next time you phone you will get someone else.

Surely there is some enterprising entrepreneur out there that can set up a new boy on the block that will offer what we the customers require:

• Satellite TV

• Decent broadband speed

• Telephone line

And most importantly GOOD SERVICE!

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Apple I-tunes Update 10.4 Causing Problems

Well I had been avoiding doing the update as my I-tunes was working fine but I thought that surely Apple know what they are doing.

After connecting I got the normal syncing notification, and it waited to sync, waited to sync, waited to sync.

Damn it my I-tunes was now broken!

Now I remember coming across a similar problem way back when updating an earlier version where I had to uninstall another program that uploaded with the update but I couldn't remember what it was called.

Searching around on the web I eventually found it mentioned in a forum and as soon as I read it I remembered.  BONJOUR.  Now that surely should have been a name not to forget.

So quickly nipping into the control panel I checked to see if Bonjour had been installed again and yes there it was!  A quick uninstall later I opened up I-tunes again and hey it's working perfectly.

All I want to know is what is Bonjour; why does it install when I don't ask it to and why the hell haven't Apple stopped it from being installed if all it does is create problems!

Well I had been considering getting an Ipad 2 but now I'm beginning to have some doubts.  Maybe it would be better if I researched other tablets before I make up my mind as I don't want to spend that amount of money if I end up with something not much better than a big version of the ipod 4.

More investigating to be done me thinks.