Dog walks

I went for a nice dog walk the other day at lunchtime, whilst Mrs Zoo Keeper was out with friends. Coco and I were having fun, throwing and fetching a stick (I’m not sure which one of us is the retriever) and I thought I’d take a couple of pictures on my phone to send on and show what a good time we were having: Continue reading “Dog walks”

Free parking *may* help to keep our town centre alive

This past weekend, I submitted my first letter to the editor of our local newspaper, “The Rotherham Advertiser“. I’m not sure if it will be published, but the text is:

Give us free parking, and we will come.

Reading the yourletters@ pages over the last few weeks, I’ve been seeing more and more references to Tesco’s parking fiasco and the death of the town centre. Each time I’ve frustratedly yelled “But the issue is that the council aren’t providing free parking!”. After another rant this week, I turned the page to see Graves finally headline the requirement. Continue reading “Free parking *may* help to keep our town centre alive”

HP Spectre x360 13″ OLED review

Almost perfect for me, just a couple of minor compromises

Five Stars

I bought this convertible laptop after my previous purchase of a Dell XPS 13 9350 died and had to be returned to the manufacturer. This laptop had the slight compromise of no USB type-C port, and only 8GB of RAM, rather than 16, but had the benefit of a convertible OLED screen.

The OLED screen is just amazing – the colours just pop from the screen, and it’s so bright, that even with the glossy screen it’s perfectly usable outside. Inside, in a dull room, you really don’t need it on any brighter than 20%. You can also view the screen from almost any angle, but you get a yellow tinge when you’re almost level with the edges. It’s a quad HD screen, and no matter how close I get, I still can’t make out a single pixel. It’s also always nice when you power on a laptop for the first time and you can see that there are no dead or stuck pixels.
Continue reading “HP Spectre x360 13″ OLED review”

Dell XPS 13 9350 Review

A noisy machine that will mutate into an expensive paperweight

One Star

I’m very sad to report that my Dell XPS 13 9350, with core-i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD has had to be returned to the manufacturer (at their insistence, I’d rather have had it fixed under the warranty I bought with it). Most of this review was written in the first few days, when the problems I saw I’d put down to other issues such as my external display lead or Windows. After the motherboard was replaced though, it lasted less than 24 hours, before Dell support insisted there was nothing they could do other than collect the machine and issue a refund. Note that I am an IT consultant with well over 20 years in the field – this is a review from a seasoned professional, who understands that computers don’t always work first time!
Continue reading “Dell XPS 13 9350 Review”

Plunc – Recycle your old iPad

Mrs Zoo Keeper has not used her iPad mini (1st gen, 16GB, white) for a number of months now, so she decided to start the process of offloading it. Apple products tend to hold their value well, so selling it seemed to be a good idea.

Having had not too great an experience with fleaBay recently, when selling an old Apple iPhone 5S, we considered some of the various recycling sites. After trying a few companies, and getting pretty poor prices compared to the auction sites, we came across https://www.ipad-recycle.co.uk/. They were offering £15 more than their closest rival, and not too far off the expected selling price on fleaBay. They had some great TrustPilot reviews, so we thought we’d give them a shot. Continue reading “Plunc – Recycle your old iPad”