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Luddite's tech questions...
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1414
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:49 pm    Post subject: Luddite's tech questions... Reply with quote

Firstly, apologies if anyone thinks this is the wrong place to be discussing such things, but I consider the practical experience of OCC members far more valuable than any sales BS or fake reviews online!

At the present time, I don't have a "smart phone", nor do I particularly want one. Thus far, I've not thought that I had any use for such things. However, I see my work colleagues doing some nifty things with them and have to wonder if I'm missing a trick. They pull up maps and takeaway menus off the net, send emails to management - thus retaining a written record that can't be denied later - and, more importantly, take legible photos of (and thus keep a record of) the ever changing rotas, knowing not just when they're working but who they're working with and what everyone else is doing. Sounds silly really but with management taking the mickey a lot of the time having a record of this stuff to hand without having to pick a time to make an illicit photocopy is starting to look very appealing. Less importantly, it would be nice to have a camera always handy to snap the interesting stuff I see on my travels, things other OCC members would likely be interested in too.

Now, I know pretty much 0 about this stuff. I use a Chromebook regularly and both Windows and Linux on a PC often enough, I have a working knowledge of what a VPN can do (and can thus use work wifi when needed without getting aggro for it) but for a phone I use a simple cheap Nokia job on PAYG which hardly costs me anything, most of my calls are from the landline at home and I can't really be bothered texting. My brother doesn't have a mobile at all but does use a tablet computer, I don't know if something like that would be any good - or maybe I should look at one of these phones after all. Can you get unfashionable-but-capable ones for a reasonable amount of cash and use one for basic stuff without spending a fortune on either lengthy contracts or one-sided PAYG tariffs?

Real world experiences welcome on this one, just searching the net I can't see the wood for the trees there's so much out there and a lot of it, I feel, is of doubtful value... Rolling Eyes
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3503
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me it boils down to ; do you really require internet access when out and about?

your answer will be; yes/no/not essential but it may be handy

Most folk fall into the latter....if it costs 10p per day its probably worth it if its £10 per day probably not.... phone apps like "Waze" are better than any sat nav as they use real traffic data from live users, a must if you drive all over the place for a living, handy if you go to the odd place occasionally and saves a sat nav purchase.

Dave
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1414
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for internet access while out and about, I'm guessing probably not. As I say I can tap into the wifi while actually at work and realistically that's all I really need. I reckon I'd be narked paying even 5p a day for something that probably wouldn't work all that well a lot of the time - even just for ordinary phone calls mobile signals are hopeless in the Valleys never mind the more rural parts.
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MikeEdwards



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 1894
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a similar boat. I have a smartphone, but it's an earlier generation - it's a Symbian phone, the first smartphone platform, that no-one supports any more, not even its manufacturers. So I've been looking for a replacement.

The only bargain I've seen so far, that I haven't got around to buying so have no direct experience of, is an Alcatel "Pixi". It's an Android phone, seems to be reasonably capable, can have apps loaded onto it, and seems to be about £40 unlocked in places like CEX. I might well have a dabble - I'm certainly more likely to try that than drop hundreds (or thousands) on something newer / better / Apple.

I also have no contract - my phone lives in the car, and is really there in case I have a problem when travelling and need to phone the RAC or wherever. I recently switched networks as EE were expensive, and the only reasonably-priced PAYG deal was with Three. I forget which way around the costs were, I *think* it's 1p/Mb internet, 2p/text and 3p/minute phone, but maybe another way around. Like most, that runs until you use it up, though you have to do something chargeable every six months. Compared to EE and their lovely "mates rates" tariff of 40p/minute phone calls, it's an improvement. With mates like that...
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alastairq



Joined: 14 Oct 2016
Posts: 1310
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been informed by my family, that I actually have a 'smart' phone!

Cost me about 40 quid a few years ago [online, from Carphone warehouse]...sim free...I am a long term user of Vodafone...I pay 10 quids a month, and [for my purposes] have unlimited texts, calls, and more data than I know what to do with [they keep rolling it over, adding to it, etc]....
Vodafone was chosen as, at my last abode, it was the only reliable signal I could get, without going out & standing in the middle of a busy main road...

I stuck with it...[because I don't like 'change?']

I have a cheapo deal with the same company for broadband....and do not ever use my house phone.

I find, the tenner a month pretty much see's me never running out of 'credit' [unlike my Dearest daughter?]
I could possibly get cheaper, but that would involve looking at usage..which does tend to vary[cannot be bothered once more]
The cost is offset by not using the house phone, therefore not being charged for calls....[I am on the cheapest tariff for broadband & phone...so pay for all calls....no point going to the free weekends or night time jobbies, as I end up paying more per month anyway, for the package]

Usage?
My family [and most friends..I do have one or two]...mostly texts me [or I, them] as I find such a method pretty reliable....even if their phones are turned off, or without signal.
With texts, I can recall them[poor memory]...or contact can be established if I don't hear my phone ring..which is often, as it is usually in my side pocket [and I have a habit of losing calls when I grab the phone from said pocket]....so a text is always there [until I delete them]...

I phone outwards [not too often, preferring email for the above reasons]...on the smart phone, as it is cheaper by far than the house phone, more convenient [I might be outside, or elsewhere..and have just remembered, etc]...
Now I am getting on [& retired, so don't work]...having the mobile in my side pocket means, wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, if I suffer a problem [a fall, for example]...I can summon help....
The phone pretty much always goes with me...for that reason. [I live solo, so don't always have someone else to keep a record of my absence, etc]

Breakdowns are useful..[but rarely used, touch-wood]

Photos likewise...especially of notices, etc. for perusal later.

My phone is a basic Huawei Y360...a good quality phone for the price....the cheapness comes in the battery.

Said battery now fails quite quickly once past the 50% mark....but seem cheap enough to replace. [Charging twice a week is no real hassle]

I rarely use internet on the phone...but it has proved useful in the past, when I have had broadband issues...Vodafone adding extra data free, so I can use the phone as a dongle at home, for my PC.

So..advantages for me as an older person [auldfahrt] are, a standby for summoning aid, including breakdowns...text communication with family, including Ex's....and occasional phone calls out....I am a map person, so don't use satnag....don't need takeaway menus, ever....[not that I don't eat....just I dont eat everything takeaway.]

A 'smart' phone is going to be almost as cheap as a conventional mobile these days....if not cheaper?
No point spending hundreds of quids, simply for the 'name'..[or, kudos?].......

As an addition, Vodafone give me loyalty points...which [now & then] can be redeemed for credit...which is how I pay for my 'bundle'...so I dont always pay that tenner a month.
_________________
Dellow Mk2, 1951 built, reg 1952.
Ford Mustang coupe, 1967, 6 cylinder auto.
Fiat 126 BIS
Cannon special [1996 registered. Built in 1950's]
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Ford Pop chassis, Ashley 1172 bodyshell, in pieces.
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alanb



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 433
Location: Berkshire.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same dilemma about my phone, I too currently have an old style Nokia phone on pay as you go, it currently costs me about £20 a year for calls and texts and it has a camera that takes poor quality pictures that I can't send to anyone though it does connect to my car so I can receive calls on the move. I use my iPad for most things in the home and outside and it takes half decent pictures, as I use BT wifi I can also access hot spots outside but my children laugh at me and say it's time I got up to date.
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lowdrag



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 1315
Location: Le Mans

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit that I try to keep abreast of things, but the emphasis is on the word "try". I have a 2016 Samsung phone and can do texting, emails, internet research and Google Maps, but today I was brought to an abrupt halt. Sunday during the GP the TV went belly up; it is six years old and parts are no longer available, so a new one had to be ordered and delivered this morning. The order stipulated delivery, installation and take the old one away, but they arrived, looked at the wall bracket, and demanded Ä100 to put it on the wall. I suggested sex and travel and off they went, but I got it on the bracket and then, after after hours trying to set it up (and I found out in the end that the manual is a file inside the TV) I am still left with problems to connect everything together. Getting old is a real problem today; I remember my great grandfather sitting in front of the fire in 1954, pipe alight, listening to the radio. Born in 1855, he told me of the problems he had when he first saw a car at the age of 47, and I pity in turn my grandchildren as they get older because life is moving at a faster and faster pace. I mean, would you have believed ten years ago that the death knell of the petrol engine was nigh?
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47Jag



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 1470
Location: Bothwell, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BB,

Carphone Warehouse (under itís iD brand) do a PAYG sim for £5 a month that give you 1GB of data a month with a roll over for any unused data. Unlimited texts and calls too. More than I ever use.

Art
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MikeEdwards



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 1894
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lowdrag wrote:
it is six years old and parts are no longer available, so a new one had to be ordered and delivered this morning.


That, right there, is why I still have a CRT. I'd love to justify a new TV, and when this one goes bang I'm sure I won't be able to get parts for it either. But at least I'll have had 20+ years out of it.

lowdrag wrote:
after hours trying to set it up (and I found out in the end that the manual is a file inside the TV) I am still left with problems to connect everything together.


I'm surprised it doesn't just do most of the setup itself - as I am someone who enjoys the process of getting stuff all set up and working, I have been quite disappointed when asked to set up new TVs for friends or relatives only to find that the procedure now seems to be "plug it in and stand well back". Nothing on the web to help out? I'd expect a downloadable version of the manual on the manufacturers site.
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47Jag



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 1470
Location: Bothwell, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BB,

Carphone Warehouse (under itís iD brand) do a PAYG sim for £5 a month that give you 1GB of data a month with a roll over for any unused data. Unlimited texts and calls too. More than I ever use.

Art
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lowdrag



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 1315
Location: Le Mans

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeEdwards wrote:
lowdrag wrote:
it is six years old and parts are no longer available, so a new one had to be ordered and delivered this morning.


That, right there, is why I still have a CRT. I'd love to justify a new TV, and when this one goes bang I'm sure I won't be able to get parts for it either. But at least I'll have had 20+ years out of it.

lowdrag wrote:
after hours trying to set it up (and I found out in the end that the manual is a file inside the TV) I am still left with problems to connect everything together.


I'm surprised it doesn't just do most of the setup itself - as I am someone who enjoys the process of getting stuff all set up and working, I have been quite disappointed when asked to set up new TVs for friends or relatives only to find that the procedure now seems to be "plug it in and stand well back". Nothing on the web to help out? I'd expect a downloadable version of the manual on the manufacturers site.


Oh, it does set itself up fine, but the choice of "cinema, vivid, dark room or light room" didn't fit the bill, so manual settings had to be undertaken. Then there is the anti-judder for watching football and other sports, and that needs turning off since it is on when setting up, and of course the wi-fi let alone it seems, the set-up for Alexa if you have it. Yes, if you think that "one size fits all" it'll set it up, but the fine tuning is complicated and takes time. Sorry, but the old "brightness and contrast" days are long gone.
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alastairq



Joined: 14 Oct 2016
Posts: 1310
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The same situation occurs with the current Ipod things....my Ex ''complains' that her 'new' ipod,which has her own music selection on it....'updates ' itself every time she goes in through her front door, by connecting to the home wifi...whereupon it promptly downloads our daughter's playlist [which Mum looks askance at]....and son-&-heir's playlist..which is equally 'odd'....but, she forgets....until she plugs it into her car's iCE system [it's an old car, so qualifies on here too]....& finds dearest daughter's music blaring out...instead of heavy rock, or some such....
She knows she ought to do something about it...but forgets.....
The point being, a simple thing like an ipod also has a 'mind of its own', so to speak.
We only 'think' we have control...it's an illusion really...
_________________
Dellow Mk2, 1951 built, reg 1952.
Ford Mustang coupe, 1967, 6 cylinder auto.
Fiat 126 BIS
Cannon special [1996 registered. Built in 1950's]
----------------------------------------------
Ford Pop chassis, Ashley 1172 bodyshell, in pieces.
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lowdrag



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 1315
Location: Le Mans

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeEdwards wrote:

That, right there, is why I still have a CRT. I'd love to justify a new TV, and when this one goes bang I'm sure I won't be able to get parts for it either. But at least I'll have had 20+ years out of it.


My Bosch washing machine went belly up a month back. It was only 22 years old and still some spares (but not the part I needed) were still available. The tumble dryer, same age, is still going strong though. We bought a new Samsung, the recently-replaced model with less whizz-bangs so going cheap, and I find that spares will only be available for three years. And when you finally have to buy a new TV, don't count on it lasting. I gave the CRT as a boat anchor when we bought a Toshiba 37" flat screen years back, and we have now had three more TV's since. Planned obsolescence, so good for saving the planet.
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MVPeters



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
Posts: 684
Location: Northern MA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the most important characteristic of any device is that it will do for YOU what YOU need it to do.
I don't care that my laptop could launch the space shuttle, that's not what I need it to do.

My flip phone makes phone calls.
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Riley Blue



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 1732
Location: Derbyshire

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My smart phone (three years old and switched on 24/7) is my electronic 'multi tool'. If I didn't have it, I'd have to own and carry many more items to carry out the same tasks and at much greater cost and inconvenience.

For car use it logs fuel use and m.p.g., it's a satnav for those rare occasions when I'm not certain of the best route, it warns me of speed camera locations (always useful!), it's an accurate odometer when using tulip diagrams and it tracks where I've been whether walking or driving.

It also enables me to make a doctor's appointment, re-order pills, pay bills, listen to the to radio, watch TV, measure my heart rate, take and send photos to anywhere in the world and all for 35p a day and a whole lot of other stuff too, in addition to making phone calls.

Together with my laptop, which I'm typing on now, it's indispensable, so much so that this morning during my pre-breakfast shuffle around in slippers and dressing gown I suddenly realised it wasn't in my pocket. I eventually found it in a wellington boot in the downstairs loo but only after ten minutes of increasingly frantic searching and three calls to it...

I also have a fully functioning Nokia 6310i that must be over 15 years old. It makes calls and can send texts; I often thing life was so much better when that's all phones did.
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1963 Riley 1.5
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