iGo Stowaway Ultra-slim Bluetooth Keyboard

At last an answer to texter’s thumb and a way to make my phone much more useful.

Continue reading

Posted in Mobile, N95 8Gb, Technology | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

A big thumbs up to Vodafone customer service.

I’ve been meaning to post about Vodafone’s customer service, which has really impressed me.

Now, mobile phone companies don’t have the best of records for taking care of their customers, I’ve had some shocking customer service issues with T-mobile in the past, having to deal with Indian call centers not understanding me, being told one thing by one person, another by someone else and generally spending ages on hold paying for the priviledge.

So far though, Vodafone have been superb. Each time I’ve phoned with a query the call has been promptly answered and my problem resolved rapidly. For example, the other week I was having lunch with James Whatley and others and wanted to access my flickr account from my phone. Turned out I couldn’t, for some reason Vodafone deem flickr to have adult content and I’m not allowed on it until I prove I’m over 18. Switched to their website and there’s forms and credit card details needed etc. Can’t be arsed with that so I phone customer service.

Around me there are comments about ‘but we haven’t got that long to wait’, or ‘you’ll be lucky to get anything done about it this side of christmas’. Well, the call is answered inside of a minute, I give them my security details to prove who I am, explain the problem which is promptly followed by ‘one moment sir’, and then a moment later ‘that’s fine sir I’ve lifted the restriction, your phone should now let you access any content you require’. 5 seconds later a text arrives informing me of the same thing.

Colour me impressed.

Another example is that I don’t like having a phone that’s locked to one carrier. I used to travel a lot and had sim cards for half a dozen different countries that I would put in as the plane landed in whichever country I was travelling to, giving me a local phone number as I left the airport. Very convenient. Most phones sold through a contract in the UK are locked to the service provider and you have to pay to have them unlocked either by the phone company or by one of the shops on the high street.

Not with Vodafone any more. All new Vodafone handsets are being supplied unlocked and if you want your locked vodafone handset unlocked you only have to phone them and ask. I did this and they gave me the unlock code straight away, told me how to use it and then called me back 5 minutes later (exactly when they said they would) to check everything had worked. 

I believe that O2 also supply unlocked handsets as well. Hopefully this will be a continuing trend amongst the companies.

Vodafone’s network has been one hundred percent solid, never dropped a call or missed a data connection, gets me a line when other peoples phones can’t and so far has been a near perfect operator. The one mistake they made, which was a piece of incorrect information I was given when I first joined, was rectified as soon as I contacted them, and the charge refunded immediately.

Given that I’ve had a mobile phone for going on 17 years, I can safely say this is the best service I’ve had by miles. If they keep going at this rate, they’ll have a customer for the long haul.

Posted in Mobile, N95 8Gb, Technology | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How do you create the life you want.

As a great man once said, “I have a dream”. It’s a fairly simple dream, but it’s one that has set the direction for my life over recent years. It’s caused me to change many things about how I live and to make decisions that perhaps could have been better made in other ways.

My dream is to own my own house, somewhere in the mountains and to live a life the way I wish to, unencumbered by debt or mortgage, doing a job I enjoy and with the time and money to travel and do other things, such as voluntary work, when I choose to do so.

Sounds simple doesn’t it. It’s not.

Continue reading

Posted in Eco-housing, Sustainability | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

RIP Sheldon Brown

Another of the people I looked up to passed away and I didn’t find out until a couple of weeks ago.

Sheldon Brown.

I’ve been wandering through Sheldon’s web sites since about ’98, I swapped some emails with him when I was living in the US, and had planned to visit and meet him at the shop he managed in New England when we were going to go on a bike tour up there which we didn’t get time to do. I took part in several of the forums he was an active member of for several years, particularly while training up for the big triathlons

I can’t even find words to describe this wonderful, gentle and incredibly generous man, who was one of the world’s authorities on all things bicycle related. His personal, bicycle and business sites are one of the largest repositories of all things bicycle related. That he spent years putting this on-line for free, would answer any email or phone call and offer the benefit of his many years experience to anyone who asked was a reflection of his kindness and generosity.

After a couple of years away from bicycle communities I’m saddened not to have heard about this earlier but much more saddened that such a delightful man is no longer with us. Most of what I know about the technical side of cycling I learned on his sites and it made me a better, faster, safer and more knowledgeable rider.

RIP Sheldon, you’ll be greatly missed.

Posted in People, Sustainability | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Obligatory hello world post

Here I am again, with a new blog and a few ideas for posts to put up. Eventually this will get transferred over to my main website, but until that’s sorted out I’ll leave it hosted here. Feel free to add comments to anything you see but please remember this is my blog, and my ideas, if you don’t like them, well, tough. 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment