Please note that in general I do not accept friend requests from people I do not know in the real world. It's nothing personal!
I've been a bit of a geek for as long as I can remember. I love gadgets - I just wish I had the income to support my habit!
I have a BSc in Computing (more years ago than I care to contemplate), and worked in software support for Hewlett Packard for 9 years after I graduated. I had recurring back problems, and left HP to join Back in Action, having been impressed by the service they provided to me as a customer. 13 years later, in January 2006, I repeated the pattern of happy-customer-turned-employee when I joined The Veterinary Centre in Henley, having become a bit of a fixture during the last year of my dog Jazz's life while he was being treated there for canine lymphoma. I am now Office Manager there, looking after day-to-day admin and the computer systems. In addition to this I had a part time job from June 2012 to March 2017, helping to support BeyondPod for Android.
My first PDA was a Psion 5, followed by a Psion 5mx - possibly the most advanced handheld gadgets of their time, and with a QWERTY keyboard that in my view has still never been beaten on a pocketable device. I could actually touch type on it. I ran my life on that thing, with no thought of synchronising with anything else - nor any desire to. I am now looking forward to the Gemini Psion 5 lookalike, running Android or Linux (which I backed on Indiegogo).
I am also a Toppy user (Topfield 5800 and 5810 PVRs) and active member of the UK Toppy forum. More recently, we have bought an XTrend ET8500 Enigma2/Openvix PVR, which we're still getting to grips with.
I'll post here sporadically (and definitely not regularly) about things that interest me enough in to put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard).
Current smartphone: Huawei P10. I also have an imported Huawei P8 Max phablet (which I use more as a mini tablet and occasional WiFi hotspot), and an Asus Fip Chrombook in regular use, plusa Pixel C tablet and a collection of other Android phones and tablets that rarely get used except for testing.
How to say thanks
If you've found any of my posts useful (or even just entertaining), there are a number of ways you can say "thank you" in practical terms. Some of them even benefit you too.
GiffGaff offer PAYG SIM cards which can also be used as if they were contract SIMs ... but without being tied in for the long term. Call rates are generally pretty good as a PAYG, and for £12 per month you can get genuinely unlimited data, plus bundled minutes and unlimited text messages. If you need more minutes, you can go up to £25 per month. Oh, and if you're using it as PAYG, you can set up automatic top-ups from your credit card when you get below £3 credit, but with limits on the number of top-ups per month to make sure it's not possible to rack up huge bills without knowing about it. If you use my link, I get a £5 credit, and so do you.
Those of you who follow Kev Wright or listen to Tech Talk UK will already know about Quidco. It's a site where you can earn cashback on purchases. If prices are otherwise the same for an item that you're planning to buy, you might just as well earn cashback on it too. There's no charge to join, but the first £5 you earn each year is retained by Quidco. So, if you don't use it, it doesn't cost you anything. And if you register your credit cards, some stores give cashback when you use that card for in-store purchases too. Oh, and there are Android and iPhone apps that will earn you a few pence just for checking into some stores. I'm afraid using my link doesn't gain you anything, but it does earn me £2.50.
Dropbox is a cloud synching service that has PC applications to automatically sync files in your Dropbox folder to the cloud and all of your other PCs with the software installed. In addition to that, there are mobile apps which allow you to download and upload files from and to your online storage, and folders may be shared with other dropbox users or made public. In February 2012, Dropbox released a version of Dropbox for Android that does automatic uploading of photos to your Dropbox too. You get 2GB free (or can pay for more), plus we both get an extra 250MB if you use my link to sign up.