Mac or PC for students

I posted the reply below to a student looking for advice. I do not envy you making a choice on limited funds. I have two daughters, both of whom graduated from university last year, and got through two cheap laptops each. Those two laptops were cheaper (together) than a comparable Apple Mac. I had to provide a considerable amount of support to them over their three years on securing their laptops, making repairs, carrying out rebuilds, sorting out configuration issues. They used several low cost Read more […]

Selling our home

I knew this day would come. The day when I reached a certain age, the kids had grown up and left home, and I wanted to consider working less and having more fun. Time to DOWNSIZE. A large farmhouse style property with 7 bedrooms is clearly too much for a late-middle-age couple. So, it is time to sell the house and move into something more humble. You can’t just slap up a for sale sign these days and have the estate agent pop your details into their window. No. Nowadays you have to prepare Read more […]

Back to old style Mercedes

I have just bought a 1993 Mercedes S-Class LWB S500 W140, with 85,000 miles on the clock. Cost me £2800 ($4372). It was a joy to look out of my bedroom window the following morning and see it sat at the back of the rest of the family vehicles. A great trick of perspective makes it look smaller than the other cars, until you start to adjust and notice its size against the large double garage I parked it next to. This is my second W140. I had a later model SWB S280 around 10 years ago that I Read more […]

Why I use a Mac instead of more for your money PC

I recently switched from PC (Lenovo running 8.1 Pro 64 bit) to a top spec Macbook. I know Windows very well. I used to build my own PCs. I expect to reinstall Windows OS every six months. I absolutely understand the specification/price argument. For most purposes though, the higher specification hardware is not called for. Such hardware is over specified. Maybe not if you are doing complex 3d CAD, video processing, etc, but not for general Office and development work. More important for me than Read more […]

Back to Mac

I have switched, properly, to a Mac. I know you can get more for your money with a PC (for which, read Windows laptop these days), but the overall integrity, reliability, and quality of the Apple computers is in my humble opinion unsurpassed although Lenovo’s Carbon X1 comes close. Already, in work situations, I have found the Mac much easier to use without lots of additional utilities and complex configuration than any Windows machine I have ever used. I am still going through the learning curve Read more […]


I hate gardening. Always have done. Always will. I like the results though, but the doing of of it is just not my thing and I do not believe this is down to laziness so much as just a major problem with boredom. That said, I did enjoy getting a decent bonfire going to get rid of the rubbish the gardener had collected. I suffered afterwards though, not because I burned myself but because I always have asthma problems after spending time near a fire. There is still a lot of gardening to do, so Read more […]

New digs for both daughters

As a parent, I absolutely want my children to grew up, become successful, fulfilled, happy adults in their own right, able to stand on their own two feet. As a parent, I dread the moment my children grow up and leave home. That time has come to pass. Over the last two weeks both of our children have left home. Not like they did to go to university but properly, renting their own places (the first homes of their own) and starting new jobs, both in London. Whilst I am very happy for them, I cannot Read more […]

Poor service from DW Sports store in Telford

It is not often that I walk out of a store for poor service. It happened this weekend though. I have just signed up for a year (or so, thanks to current deal) alongside Lucy with DW Fitness and can use any of their gyms nationwide. Handy as there is one close to where Lucy works in Blackburn, a small gym only outlet in Burnley (where she lives during the week) as well as one near home back in Telford, which we have used extensively in the past. I have always found the staff at the gyms to be Read more […]

Back to Mind Manager

I have just bitten the bullet and bought the latest version of Mind Manager having stopped a pattern of personal investment over many years when they went a bit weird on their licensing for a while. In the meantime, been using all sorts of packages for a good while, most recently freeplane (having tried freemind first and finding the fork did some things a little bit better). Very disappointed that the two products could not speak a common language. Thinking “surely XML” would cut it. A Read more […]

Store Loyalty Cards

I like the benefits but I just can’t be bothered to stuff my wallet with loyalty cards and the vouchers I get forced upon me at the till and through the post drive me nuts. I rarely remember to use them. Whilst I appreciate that the stores want loyalty and therefore a degree of exclusivity, it would be much better for consumers to have them establish a common standard that can be exploited by smartphone apps. This could be a new competitive platform, trading and promoting offers, assisting in Read more […]