Month: December 2004

A VIL arrives.

At long last, a Very Important Letter arrived in the post this morning – . We’re not sure if it is a coincidence that the letter was sent from the embassy (and arrives here two days later in FirstClass mail) the day after that Kristen’s parents contacted their senator to see what was going on but it does seem very suspicious that the letter has finally come through (but it was quick work once the phone call was made). Hopefully we won’t be the uk equivalent of Blunkett’s nanny and appear in American newspapers as someone fasttracking visa forms as this has been anything but the fast track.
The interview and medical exam is next Friday. As my surname starts with H I get to see the doc before the interview – at 8am in the morning…..something tells me this could be a long day.
There is a possibility that we could then fly out to america on holiday for christmas, but looking at the prices, if we flew back on the 2nd Jan, the prices start from £3000 each – yep, 3grand. If we fly back the day before, it drops to a respectable £700 each – but thats still a fortune.

BT Wifi for a quid.

I got an email from BT Openzone with their Special offers at BT Openzone, which contained the good news that they are offering 500 minutes of WIFI access from their hotspots for £1 for the first three months. Be warned though that if you don’t cancel within the three months you are signed up to a 12 month subscription at £5 a month thereafter for 500 minutes. That is still not a bad price – IF you have a bt openzone hotspot near where you need to access the internet.

Page changes

A long time ago before blogs, I used to use a service called netmind that would monitor a webpage for change and send you an email when it changed. This was a handy way of checking pages such as a release log for a utility that didn’t have its own mailing list etc. They then shut down and another service called spyonit did the same thing – again they shutdown (or you had to pay for it). This morning I discovered pagedetection which does the same thing. The blurb mentions that you can add a “subscribe now” type link in the page so users can sign up to be told when your page changes, but you can also add pages of your own choosing as a user too. Not much use on a blog (after all thats what RSS is for) but handy for pages that don’t change often or don’t have an rss feed.
I know you could use livebookmarks in firefox but in my short play with firefox I didn’t discover a way of notifying me the page had changed.

Norton Antivirus 2005

My parents-in-law pc licence for Norton Antivirus ran out a couple of days ago so they purchased the upgrade to 2005 which they downloaded but then couldn’t work out how to install as it needed the old version (2002) uninstalling, and then setup running on the new version. I used ultravnc to do all the work on their machine until I had gone through all the setup and then clicked on the reboot option (for about the third time) and now I can’t get back into the machine as the antivirus software comes with “worm protection” – a basic firewall that is now blocking access to their machine. I now have to wait until they get home and can see the email that I’ve sent asking for them to ring me so I can talk them through allowing me remote access to their machine.

Samsung laptop first thoughts

Well in the end I did get the Samsung Laptop from simply computers, but only after working out all the sales information myself.
The laptop was out of stock, despite the web page showing 12 in stock, but they were going to have some more in stock the following day (thursday). I opted for the three day delivery as it was cheaper and also purchased the student/educational/charity version of office standard at £100 (plus the option of 30 euros for a copy of access if required later which is a real bargain). Anyway, office arrived on the Thursday and the laptop arrived on Friday.
It had to wait until this afternoon before I started to install it…….and then had to stop. When you open the laptop up, there is a protective sheet over the screen with a sticker which says “Please charge the battery before use – see user manual for more information” – guess where the user manual is – yep, on the hard disk! Its annoying when you get a new toy/gadget and then have to wait *hours* to actually use it.
One good thing about the laptop is that it comes with 1yr return to base warrenty and if it is registered within 30 days, this is upgraded to a 72hr turnaround – a lot better than Toshiba’s 1.5 weeks.
It also comes with 802.11g, which my router supports so it will be interesting to see how fast this is, as all of my other equipment is only .b capable.

msn beta’s

I went to use WebMessenger today and was suprised to see that it asked me what status I wanted to be before I signed into the system. Handy for logging onto the system to see who is on and not letting everyone else you are online at the same time (although if everyone did this, the chat system would be very quiet. Microsoft have been pretty busy with their software updates this week with the MSN Messenger Beta released, hotmail changes, – their blogging service whose homepage looks absolutely awful in firefox, and last but not least a critical update for windows, namely an IE patch for the latest vulnerability discovered a month ago.