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Category: useful gadgets

The phones

Today’s little story begins with something that many people do every morning. The commute to work. That special time in the morning when millions of men, women and children from all walks of life leave home for their offices, factories, banks, shops, schools, colleges and other places of occupation. The movement of a huge population across our city in the space of a very short time is a moving testament to human organisation. It would be an amazing spectacle to observe from a decent height; think of the famous annual wildebeest crossing of the Mara river all taking place before 08.00 am. Continue reading

protecting your sim as well as your simu

It seems like it is nearly 100 years now since the introduction of the first mobile phones for us ordinary folk. Back then Safaricom was still the leading player. I remember with great fondness and some mist in my eyes how I acquired a shiny new sim-card with a beautiful 0722 number whose memory I will always cherish.

It took me a little while back then to familiarise myself with the normal use of a cell-phone. Safaricom operated a sim-lock system. One needed a pin to unlock the sim each time the phone was switched on. Also when you inserted the sim into a different phone you needed to enter the sim-lock pin.

simu

This all seemed unusual and cumbersome to me, having become accustomed to the operations in other countries where the sim card was not locked. It was annoying and irritating to keep having to enter this pin and I cursed whoever had put such an unfriendly system in place.

As with most things in life it was just a matter of getting used to it and in a short period of time that which was originally an irritation simply became a matter of fact. Imagine then my surprise and delight when I saw a recent article in the paper that has got me singing the praises of the wise people who created this clever sim-lock to protect us from all manner of crooks and evil-doers.

The article relates how people are becoming victims of fraud when their sim cards falls into dirty criminal hands. I will not spoil the story for you but I am sure that you will be as relieved as I am that we have such a lock system in place if you are with any of the major phone companies. I understand that sadly Orange is the exception.

Read the shocking story here

The dark secret (again)


There is a popular style of speaking that every now and then declares something like “White is the new black” or “Thurdsay is the new Friday” – It is a supposedly cool way of saying that trends are changing. This morning I caught a bit of a radio show in which a hair styling guru was being interviewed. She stated quite clearly that Grey is the new Blond, or Black.

More and more people of a certain age-group feel confident enough to wear their natural hair with grey. It is now considered sophisticated and mature – in a good way.

I’m always the last one to hear about these things. Infact just last Thursday I slipped into a small chemist’s the other side of town and quietly bought myself another one of these

sailing

In every carton you have 2 bottles – a small one and a larger one. There is also an instructions leaflet. The dyeing process can hardly be described as rocket science – it is more like bathroom chemistry. It helps if you have a steady hand and a bit of privacy.

sailing

The contents of the small bottle are poured into the larger bottle which you then shake for a few minutes to mix the reactants quite thoroughly. I should have mentioned that it is a good idea to put on the disposable gloves – which I discovered in the packet half-way through the process.

You are advised to test on a small patch of hair just incase you are allergic to the products.

Once the dye is applied you should not leave it on the scalp any longer than 5 minutes. The leaflet actually warns users not to simply guess when 5 minutes are up. Use a stopwatch. I would hate to imagine what happens at the 6th minute. I have not had that problem though because I find that 5 minutes is plenty of time – so much time infact that looking in the mirror I catch myself contemplating the ironies of nature – what exactly is the use of hair on the average human’s head? Is it perhaps as a protection against cold and/or heat? Harmful solar radiation, maybe? If that be the case why are the most vulnerable – babies, the elderly why don’t they have more hair than the rest of society. Why also does nature rob you of hair from your head and transplant it in silly places like inside ears, on the back, in the nose – I am on a roll now as I slowly develop the theory in my mind that in nature Hair is just another mating accessory – we have peacocks with their fine feathers, monkeys with their colouful behinds so why not lovely hair to attract the mate – in human populations. It is an evolutionary trick. Once you are past the mating age it is all downhill….

Oh, five minutes are up and it is time to remove the funny mess from my scalp. After a good rinse and shampoo I step out of the bathroom looking a bit silly but 11 years younger. The remaining liquid in the bottles must be discarded. The clever scientist have made the dye so that it decays one hour after mixing. Next time you want to cover up the greys you will need to buy a new bottle. Like I did just before writing this.


The Western Digital passport 250GB external hard drive




I recently had a bit of bother with my home pc. The monitor kept turning itself off and the screen would just go blank. There was no way of recovering anything. Any un-saved data was lost. Each time the monitor went blank I had to turn off the pc using the little button at the back before I could restart it.

When I asked my nephew about this he said that the Daewoo monitor that I bought late in 1998 was now well past its best days. Two days later he brought me a beautiful 17” TFT monitor by Philips to try out. It was love at first sight. I had a lovely new monitor and it was sooo big! All went well for a few days but then the new monitor started to play up – turning itself off without warning. I was getting really fed-up. I suffer from anxiety attacks and insomnia and this was not helping. My nephew then said that perhaps the mother board needed attention. He went out and bought a new mother board and set it all up for me. He had decided that as we were doing all this rebuilding work perhaps we should get a bigger hard drive as well.

Before we could install the new drive we had to back up all the files on my current drive. There were millions of photos collected over the years, a huge iTunes library and tonnes of data files amounting to about 60GB. My nephew had brought along his Western Digital passport 250GB 2.5” external hard drive to back up the contents of my hard drive. He connected the new drive and installed the OS and other software.This portable hard drive is an easy and affordable way to add 250GB storage for PCs or Macintosh notebooks.

The Western Digital My Passport Essential 250GB USB is totally portable and does not require a power adapter. It is powered directly via the USB port.The Western Digital drive is an ideal solution at those times when one is faced with the problem of having to carry large files between work and home. It is also great for workers on the move. If you need to back up files or transfer important documents, music, video or photos this portable external hard drive might just be the perfect solution.

Just make sure that you don’t leave it on the train!


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