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Tumble Drier Danger!

So there's been a lot in the press (if you know where to look) about the dangers of certain tumble dryers, ours it would seem, is one of the affected models. We're told that as long as you clear the lint trap after every dry and don't leave the drier unattended then all should be OK. We do clean out the lint trap after every use. The lint trap however does not fit perfectly into the door frame so some fluff builds up around it. As the fluff builds up it stops the trap working properly. Getting into the machine to clean out the fluff from around the trap is not a simple task! I've just cleared all this [pictured] including coins, hair clips, elastic bands, sticks and a small sheep worth of fluff out of the machine. I had to use a stick wound with tape to get some items out, the vacuum nozzle doesn't fit inside the machine so didn't help.

All this fluff builds up around hot parts of the drier and can potential cause a fire! We've registered our drier and are in the long (est 4 million) queue to get the drier fixed. Attempting to clean this out any further would require taking apart which may void the warranty.

Please make sure you clean out the fluff trap in your drier, make sure all your household appliances are registered so that you are notified by the manufacturer of any faults or recalls.

Make sure you know where to turn the power and water off in your house!
Be safe people as the machines are out to get us!

My Second Mobile Phone

Nokia 5110 (?)(replaceable front and back cover) Cellnet (1999?)

My Experience

I’m pretty sure that my next phone was not a Nokia 5110 but it was very similar. All I really remember was getting a pair of these phones and being able to change the colour by using different covers.

Still the phone was just a phone and it was mainly used for making and receiving phone calls. No music, no video, no camera.

A Place For Everything...

As it's Friday I had full intention of getting some manual labour done in the office. I have equipment that I need to inventory and chuck around so I left the DMs at home today. Kneeling can put a lot of scuffs and wear on the toes of shoes so I'm avoiding where possible.
The home for the shoes is in a great new drawer system that we've recently had fitted under the stairs. Until now there was just a small door to the space under the stairs and the only way to utilise the space was to pile the shoes high. Now there are three drawers, two with shoe racks and one deep drawer for bags. Not only is it now easier to find shoes but also I don't have to get down on hands and knees to reach them.
Two consecutive blog post aboue shoes, don't worry this won't be a trend.

The Last Shoes I'll Ever Need?

I was debating how to word the title,
"The last shoes I'll ever wear" or "The last shoes I'll ever buy"? Neither fit since I'll wear other shoes for sure and I didn't buy these shoes, they were bought for me!
I was trying to tie to "Men In Black" in reference to "The last suit you'll ever wear" but my pedantic way of thinking just won't let it pass.
These are Dr Marten, "For Life" shoes and I'm very interested to see how tihs experience goes.
The shoes were expensive (for men's shoes) but come with a guarantee replace or repair for any reasonable wear and tear for the life of the owner... me.
I've registered the shoes, I'll follow the care instructions, I'll be careful to only wear the shoes for sensible use (no decorating or mountain climbing) and will see how well they last and what needs replacing/repairing first.
When I was in my 20s I wore Dr Marten shoes and found them very comfortable. When I tried them again a few years ago I was shocked that they were uncomfortable and the shoes didn't last very long, rubbing at the back of my foot to a point where the rear seem broke. These were not the "For Life" range. I was really put off the brand until stumbling into the concept of shoes that "last forever". I think it's safe to say my feet stopped growing a few years ago now so here's to the last pair of shoe's I'll ever need...
Though technically I'll still need shoes for decorating, climbing etc...


USB cables are far more complicated than they may seem. We use these cables now mainly for charging our mobile devices and see any available USB port as a charger. We need to be more careful of this approach! There are two important issues that you need to be aware of when using USB cables.

  1. Using the wrong cable to connect your mobile device to a USB port may damage the device you're plugging into.

  2. If you do not own the device that has the USB port on it do you know that this device is not reading your data or writing a virus to your mobile device?

The Wrong Cable

What You Need To Know

There are documented cases of USB cables causing damage to laptops when mobile devices are plugged into them for charging. Specifically the new USB-C cables are more likely to cause issue.

Not only could a bad cable lead to damage of a computer it could also cause excessive heat and possibly even start a fire!

What To Do

  1. Where possible use the USB cable and charger supplied with your mobile device.

  2. When purchasing additional chargers or cables get these from your device manufacturer.

  3. When purchasing additional chargers or cables from any source research first.

  4. Be very wary of cables that are very cheap.

  5. Where possible only charge your device from dedicated chargers.

  6. Avoid using USB ports on computers and computer displays unless you are transferring data. Even when transferring data you must be sure of the quality of your USB cable.

  7. If you are not 100% confident in your USB cable do not plug it in to a computer or display, either at home or at work.

  8. Do not use a USB cable that is damaged.

  9. Do not plug a USB cable into a device that is damaged.

  10. Be careful of where you charge your mobile device. Charging causes heat, faulty devices or cables could lead to fire.

The above are all the sort of information that is printed in the "safety manual" provided with new mobile devices but in all honesty, how often do we follow these instructions?

Links To Related Web Atricles

The Verge Feb 4th 2016 - http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/4/10916264/usb-c-russian-roulette-power-cords

Charging From Unknown Sockets

What You Need To Know

There are documented cases of unscrupulous people setting up "Charging stations" that actually attempt to take data from any devices plugged in to charge.

What To Do

  1. Only charge your devices from your own power supply.

  2. Encrypt your mobile device and do not unlock it when charging.

  3. Do not treat all USB sockets as power outlets, expect them to be linked to a data collecting device.

My First Phone

Alkatel One Touch Barclaycard On Cellnet (1997)

My first mobile phone along with my first credit card and credit card sized SIM! The Alkatel One Touch was promoted by Barclaycard and had a feature that allowed you to check your balance by using the big blue button. There was no mobile Internet at the time so I can only assume that the information was sent via SMS.

While you could send SMS messages on this phone you typed using the number pad hitting each number multiple times to reach the character you wanted.

As I remember text messages were quite expensive and so it was generally cheaper to phone someone and talk to them for a few minutes than to send messages back and forth.

The inconvenience of typing on a number pad along with the price per text meant that this was typically used for making actual phone calls.

Ring “tones” were a series of beeps, there was no concept of playing music nor watching video on the monochrome LCD display.

Privacy On The Internets

Most of the stuff on my journal is listed as "Friends Only", there will be the occasional public post but there's a lot more going on under the surface.

What I like about LiveJournal is that as life situations change I can change the privacy settings of past entries too.

Since I've hardly used LiveJournal in the past five years, setting the majority of my older posts to "Friends Only" isn't really a big deal.

Also will be performing a bit of a pruning on the friends list. If your account hasn't been active in a long time, chances are I've probably removed you from my friends list. If we really are friends and like me you've re-found LJ then by all means drop me a message and I'll set you back up.

With any form of social media it's a good idea to review who can see what and limit the use of "public" posts. I'd suggest you're careful with what you put in "Friends Only" and "Private" posts as it's not unheard of for systems to accidentally make such posts public.

Marking posts as "Friends Only" does also stop search engines from finding things on your journal that may no longer be relevant or accurate.

I Was An IT Crowd Extra

I really thought I'd written this up already but I've looked through my LiveJournal and through the Notes on my Facebook page and can't find anything. Possibly I've read reports from so many of my fellow extras that I've forgotten to write my own piece.

Now that the episode I was in has aired and is indeed on the Internet for all to see, I don't believe I'm breaking the non-disclosure that I signed on my two days of filming with the crew of The IT Crowd.

Read more...Collapse )

Watch the episode on www.channel4.com

We also discussed this on our podcast back in March when I actually did the filming. Give it a listen, you never know, you may even like the show!
Dumbed Down Life - Show 66

Deleting Broken Links In Itunes

How To Delete Broken Links From iTunes

DISCLAIMER! This article was written and rearched back in 2008, there have been many versions of iTunes since this and the content may no longer be relevant. I no longer use iTunes to be able to test or vouch for this process.

When you've been using iTunes for a while and perhaps had the odd machine crash, rebuild, virus then you'll almost certainly have broken links in your iTunes library. Though the iPod simply skips the tracks (in fact I don't think the empty stubs even transfer over) the broken links do mess up the play lists and searches.

I'm not sure why but Apple have not made it simple to find these broken files but it took a lot of searching to find a process to find and delete them.

Hopefully by putting this in my journal it will help people in the future to find the answer to this problem.

How to delete dead tracks from iTunesCollapse )

On my old, slow machine with just over 5000 files the whole process took about two minutes. There's a slight delay at step 4, copying the files into the "All Live Files" play list, just be patient and don't click anything else as the files are selected and copied.

I found the solution here -->http://www.paulmayne.org/archives/2007/11/how-to-remove-broken-or-dead-tracks-from-itunes

Unfortunately the original post does not have links to DIG or any similar sites that increase the visibility of the article. If you find this helpful please link to either this post or the original article in your own blog, journal, web site.

UPDATE 8th March 2011
Every time someone leaves a comment saying "this doesn't work with version x" I'll check and post results here. This method was tested with PC iTunes version and still works. If you leave a comment and you don't use LiveJournal please leave your email address in your comment if you want further information. All comments are screened and I won't share any comments with email addresses in them.

UPDATE 26 Dec 2010
One comment bellow suggests you can use the drop down menu to copy the tracks to the "All Live Files" play list. It appears that if you do this with iTunes 10 on the PC then the missing tracks are also copied and the system does not work. I don't know if this also applies to the Mac version.

Copying the tracks via drag and drop is a little tricky, you have to hold down the mouse button until the number of tracks you have is shown in a little tag next to your mouse pointer, then drag over to your "All Live Files" play list.

I'm glad this information is still of help two years after the original post of this article it seems that iTunes still does not have a more simple was to delete unlinked tracks.