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Thursday
Jan052012

Coniston Old Man.

Another photograph, captured in The English Lake District, in winter. This one is a view across Coniston Water towards Coniston Old Man.

Wednesday
Jan042012

Morning Mist.

I posted a cropped version of this on Instagram earlier today, but wanted to post the whole image. So, here it is.

Hope you like it.

 

Wednesday
Dec282011

If ?

I've never been a lover of Facebook. Most of what I post there is content from this site and from my Posterous feed, which links photographs posted in Instagram. Almost all of this is done automatically, so I am a rare visitor to my Facebook home page.

The personal information I share on Facebook is limited, too. I've no desire to share anything that advertisers can use to target me. Even so; on my occasional visits to my homepage I see ads down the left side, for products and services loosely related to what appears in my feed.

Then this ad appeared.

 There's no "If" about it. I'm certain that I will die.

Will I leave a message on Facebook in anticipation of this future event?

Certainly not!

Friday
Dec022011

Waiting.

 

 

Thursday
Dec012011

Losing their Marbles!

In July 2000, I signed up for a Marbles MasterCard, Issued by HFC Bank plc. (Part of HSBC). In the relatively early days of online shopping, it was guaranteed to cover any losses due to fraud. Sure enough, this was proven to be correct; when someone kindly bought several cases of wine, using my card details. I reported the irregular transaction and was immediately credited with the lost amount.

In 2007, the Marbles brand was acquired from HSBC by SAV Credit, a rather anonymous holding company, supported by private equity investors. Subsequently, I believe that the Marbles brand was sold to Aviemore Funding Limited and licensed to Bank of Scotland plc, a member of the Lloyds Banking Group.

Regardless of ownership, everything has been fine, until a couple of weeks ago, when I found myself unable to log in to the online account management page. I called to enquire about this, and was told that there was a known issue and that logins were sporadic, but still possible, if I kept trying.

After several days of not being able to access my account, I rang them again. This time I was asked which web browser I used to access the site. When I said Safari, on a Mac, I was told that access was not possible with any browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer. At this point, I may have been rude. If I was, then I'm sorry to have taken my frustration out on the customer support representative.

 BUT, REALLY?!  INTERNET EXPLORER?

Microsoft discontinued support for the Mac version in late 2005 and removed the application completely in early 2006.

 Later the same day, I checked the Marbles site to see exactly which browsers were supported. To my horror, things got worse.

Below are the hardware and browser requirements for site access and account management.

 (Copied and pasted directly from the Marbles site and dated 2011). Link here.

 

"What do I need to use the on-line service?

A PC with Windows 95, 98 or NT, an internet connection and a browser, preferably Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 4 or above), or Netscape (version 4 or above)".

 

 Last week, I stopped using my Marbles Mastercard and signed up for a replacement card with a provider firmly based in the 21st. Century.

Wednesday
Nov232011

Ram Mount. - Product review.

It's rare to be totally satisfied with something; especially when that something is a combination of product, customer service and efficiency.

Like so many people these days, I carry around an expensive smartphone. I look after it, making sure that is kept away from pockets full of keys and change; ensuring that when I'm using it, I reduce the chance of dropping it onto concrete or asphalt to the absolute minimum. I keep it clean - polishing the glass, front and back, after almost every use. Then, I jump into my car and put it in a flimsy, light weight, poorly designed windscreen mount. It wobbles around in a ratchet adjustable cradle (the ratchet failed within weeks of buying it), on the end of a 9 inch (23cm) flexible arm that holds the phone in exactly the right position, except when driving on anything other than a perfectly smooth road. More often than not, it just bounces around, with at least half an inch (12mm) of travel in any direction.

About fifteen months ago I was listening to the MacBreak Weekly podcast from Leo Laporte's TWiT network. At the end of each show, the contributors recommend a product, service or piece of software. On this particular edition, Andy Ihnatko talked about the trials of mounting tech in his car. His solution and recommendation was Ram Mount.

Ram Mount produce an incredibly diverse range of products, designed to connect any device to pretty well any surface. You can create your own custom mount, by selecting the device holder, the mount and, if necessary, an extension arm from the vast catalogue of parts available.

Late last week, my Kensington car mount failed completely. I was in my car and away from home. I loaded the Ram Mount site on my iPad and decided quite easily which mount and device holder I wanted, but I was struggling to find a suitable extension arm.

I filled in and submitted a sales enquiry from the site, asking for help; explaining exactly what I needed. Within a couple of minutes, I had a reply, detailing the parts that I would need. I immediately set up an account and submitted my order. Confirmation came back within seconds, and within 15 minutes I got a notification email saying that my order had shipped. 

The following morning, my order arrived. I connected the three parts and attached the mount to my car windscreen.

I can say without hesitation, that I regret buying all of the cheaper mounts over previous years. The Ram Mount is excellent. It is solid and stable. The suction cup is so much more substantial than anything I have used before and the X-Grip holder grips the iPhone easily yet securely. The extension arm is a two piece metal casting that clamps on to ball mounts on both the suction cup and phone holder, making precise positioning very easy, and once set and tightened, there is no movement of the whole assembly.

I am totally satisfied with my Ram Mount experience.

 

All Ram Mount products are covered by a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

Ram Mount is an American company (National Products, Inc.), based in Seattle, WA. I bought from the website of Ram Mount UK.


Friday
Nov182011

Dramatic Sky.

I couldn't make up my mind whether or not to post this photograph. It was taken yesterday, close to home, looking out of the car window over the River Dee estuary. It was taken on the iPhone 4S and unfortunately isn't particularly sharp and appears rather grainy. It is however, an amazing sky and I'm glad that I captured it. I just wish I'd had my DSLR and tripod with me.

I posted a version of it on Instagram and Posterous. The version was cropped to a square format and converted to a sepia tinted monochrome.

This is the original image, with no modifications.

Hope you like it.

Sunday
Nov132011

Late Afternoon.

This is the first photograph posted here, to be taken on the iPhone 4S. It is exactly as shot. No filters have been applied and no modifications made. Considering the fact that it was shot directly into a setting sun, the level of detail and lack of lens flare is pretty remarkable for such a compact, multi-optic lens and CMOS sensor assembly. Any blur can be attributed to me, standing on a steep bank, hanging on to a hedge for support.


Friday
Oct212011

A new Gallery.

I have created a new gallery to focus on photographs and images of buildings and architectural details.

LINK TO GALLERY

Thursday
Oct062011

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