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 was originally the Office Manager there, looking after day-to-day admin and the computer systems, which gradually morphed into IT and Communications Systems Manager, until I was made redundant in October 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic.
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. Sadly, the Gemini Psion 5 lookalike, running Android or Linux (which I backed on Indiegogo) didn't quite match up to my memories of the Psion 5. I guess I didn't used to use commas much back in the day.
Current smartphone: Nokia 7.2. I also have a Xaomi Mi Max 3 phablet (which I use more as a mini tablet and occasional WiFi hotspot), and two Asus Flip Chrombooks in regular use - one is my primary laptop; the other is the original 10" one that is my mobile solution of choice, used with a phone hotspot.
I am also an ex-Toppy user (Topfield 5800 and 5810 PVRs) and now a considerably less-active member of the UK Toppy forum. We eventually bought an XTrend ET8500 Enigma2/Openvix PVR to replace the Toppy, which we've gradually been getting to grips with.
I was a big Google+ user (now Google Currents - Google's Social Media product), and a member of Google's Product Expert team of tech help volunteers in the Google+ Help Community. Mostly, my contributions have been in Communities, and I miss those since the consumer offering was withdrawn in April 2019. I use and am pretty knowledgeable about other Google products too, but I really like answering questions about a product using that product.
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).
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.
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.