Amazon Kindle Support – impressive

In the last couple of days I’ve been very impressed with how the Amazon Kindle customer support is handled – in fact I’ve been thoroughly surprised at how efficient it is.

I’ve been using my Kindle since September with no problems. One of my first purchases was the Independent newspaper and this gets streamed to the Kindle automatically every morning, when I wake up it’s there waiting for me. That was up until last Thursday when the download become locked in “pending”. Continue reading “Amazon Kindle Support – impressive”

10:10 Carbon Footprint Reduction

Back at the end of 2009 I signed a pledge to reduce my carbon footprint by 10%, called 10:10, here’s my results.

Well, it was close… depending on how you calculate it… although in another sense I totally failed.


First of all it’s worth saying I’ve always tried to have a low Carbon Footprint so I was starting from a fairly low base – well I’d like to think so, must of my electrical hardware has a high energy rating and they are switched off when not in use. However, one area I thought I’d be able to make some progress on was lighting. Low-energy bulbs should be an easy way to cut back so I replaced all but two bulbs in my house with these.

Continue reading “10:10 Carbon Footprint Reduction”

My New Laptop

The Dell Inspiron 15 z Laptop
The Dell Inspiron 15 z Laptop

My new laptop has come. It’s a Dell Inspiron 15z and I splashed out for the Cherry Red version (which looks much more red than the photo gives credit). This is a quick blog about it, expect a more detailed one after more experiments over in my tech blog.

The “15” refers to the size of the screen, actualy 15.4 inch widescreen. It’s got a nice reflective surface on it, and looks to be very clear. The “z” part refers to the lightweight, small, and long battery life version of the inspiron. However, it still has 4 GB of Ram, 320 GB of hard drive and a fairly nice graphics card (512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD4330). The main battery life saving is via the processors, two intel 1.3 GHz processors, about half the power of standard processors, but still very capable for all but the most intensive of jobs.

It’s not an incredibly light laptop like some much more expensive laptops are (this one was about £650), but I’d still call it an extremely portable laptop (if not quite ultra portable). Battery life seems to be around predicted values on dells website. I’ve been using this laptop for about 4 hours already, with wi-fi and dells power saving settings on, and I’ve still got over 2 hours left of power. With the wifi off, and screen at it’s lowest (it’s half way at mo) I’ve seen predicted times of over 7.5 hours.

All in all I’m very pleased with it. As a bonus I’m hoping to count some of my 10:10 commitments to my new laptop!

The Own Art scheme


Here’s a really nice way to buy some prised pieces of art – be it anything from paintings to pottery.

It’s a scheme run by the Arts Council in England (And therefore only available in England – sorry world.) They provide you with an interest free loan from £100 to £2000 which you pay off in 10 monthly installments.

You can buy whatever you like, and it’s as simple as going to one of the many local arts galleries that are taking part. (There’s a searchable list of participants here).

Take a look at the arts councils website here:

I just need to decide what to buy now…

The Collectors tales of beedle the bard.


It’s in my hand… and … it has got to be the nicest looking book I have ever seen!

Don’t read on if you want to keep what’s in the collectors edition a surprise

The outer box looks like an old book is embossed with the drawing JK made for the front of the original. Open it up and there’s a wallet on the back of the front cover containing “Collector’s Edition Prints” In the main box is a recess contained a velvet looking pouch with JK’s signature stitched in gold.

In side the pouch is the 180 page book. Three dimensional metal engravings appear on the front, with a skull in the centre with emerald eyes. There’s a lock on the side that appears to magically unlock just when it needs to.

The text and images inside look like they have been penned in by hand, and some of the text has definitely been done this way (although is probably been magically reproduced).

I’m sure it will raise lots of money for the Children’s High Level Group. Thanks to JK Rowling and Amazon.

Star trek XI

The new trailer for the Star trek 11 is now out. And it looks really great.

It doesn’t start out as your typical star trek, in fact there’s no sign it is star trek until a fair way in.

I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t already seen it so watch it before reading on:

My favourite visual must be the building of the enterprise, that looks great. The new crew even looks like the new crew (except Uhura’s been replaced by a model and Scotty looks like he’s been on a crash diet…).

Some favourite shots below:

From Star Trek 11
From Star Trek 11
From Star Trek 11
From Star Trek 11

Spiderman 3

Watched the third film in the Spiderman series on Wednesday.

I really enjoyed it, the action was great and it was really funny in places, the plot didn’t always make sense but who’s going to let that get in the way of a good story!

I’d recommend it to anyone who liked the second one as its pretty much as good as that one. Also, its quite simple to understand what’s going in even if you haven’t seen the others – it stands up well as a seperate movie in itself, although it may actually be worth seeing the first film!

Was a rather heart breaking end to the film though..

The age of the Snowmen…

So did you get the film title from the cryptic title? Well, it’s Ice Age of course, actually Ice Age 2. And I went to see it last night. I thought it was very good. The animation of the characters had much improved and the lighting made everything seem closer to reality than before. They almost look like really models. Although the water effects sometimes looked a bit funny, noticeably when a wall of ice collapses.

The story was also very funny, and I laughed to myself throughout the film. I’d recommend it. Scrat is as funny as ever – can’t beat a good bit of slapstick!

I thought it was better than the first one, but others didn’t. Have a look at trailers and games here.

#flag: Film, “Ice Age”

The Feast of Lupercalia.

So today is the day after what is usually a pretty miserable day for me. Usually, I’m all on my lonesome at home… (sob, sob…) but this year was different, this year I decided to go out and be lonesome somewhere else. Just kidding, this year of course, I had my girlfriend, Sharon, over.

I even got presents! No less than several acres of martian land! Cool. Some rather fetching boxer shorts, and a new computer game “Metroid Prime 2” for my GameCube. (I’d tell you what I bought her, but she’d only get embarrassed when I mention how extremely revealing the skimpy underwear was….)

Still, there’s always a down side to Valentines day, and this years’ was I let Sharon pick a DVD to watch… “A perfect catch” – , a romantic comedy, quite a recent release, about a girl who meets a bloke, and he turns out to be “mad” about baseballs’ “Red Sox”. In my opinion, the madness didn’t go far enough, I don’t remember laughing at all. The whole film seemed to go nowhere, incredibly slowly… (Of course, there was one redeeming feature)

Now, I bet your wondering what Lupercalia is… Well its all to do with the beginnings of Valentines day, back around 2300 years ago… back Romans, shepards and wolves. This website has some nice information, if a rather sickening background (pink, with hearts on…, girls….), and so does this one.

In closing, I’d just like to sing a little valetines song, and bring back a long forgotten tradition from England: (see website above)

Good morning to you, valentine;
Curl your locks as I do mine—
Two before and three behind.
Good morning to you, valentine.

Doesn’t that just put a cheer in your heart.