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Grey Olltwit
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GrumpyGriz's Xanga Site
Inside My frontal Lobe


Olltwit's Blog II - Grumpy Old Git

The Ramblings And Rants Of A Dot Com Busker
My 'Vent To Pay The Rent'


You Can Lead A Human To Knowledge…

You Can Lead A Human To Knowledge But You Can't Make Him Think

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Turn Around, Go Back, We Fu…

This is great and just captures man’s achievements perfectly.

turn around go back

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Increase Wireless Signal Strength To Excellent

I have a wireless BT Home Hub router to connect to the internet and signal strength has always been a problem showing between 2 and 3 bars out of a possible 5. The reason for this is quite simply the distance from the hub. The only practical place we can have the hub is on one side of the house whereas we use our laptops on the other. To bring the hub any closer would mean rewiring through the attic, an extra power point and a lot of aggravation. So we have plodded on with our poor to average speeds.

Then I noticed on Amazon a thing called a Huawei Wi-Fi Repeater, which boasted a dramatic increase in your signal strength by simply plugging in the device closer to where your laptops, desktops or any other wireless devices are located. No wiring is required, just a spare three pin electric socket.

I read the reviews for this item and they were all pretty good so I bought one. Once arrived, the set-up wasn’t that easy, as warned in several of the reviews but patience is rewarded. The simplest method described in the manual is to plug in the Wi-Fi Repeater into an electric socket close to your router and wait for the light on the front to turn from red to yellow. Once it is yellow press the WPS button on your Wi-Fi router (most modern routers have one) and then the button on the front of the Repeater. The Repeater yellow light then blinks and should turn solid green after 20 to 120 seconds. This means it is connected OK and you can then unplug the repeater and move it to a socket closer to your Wi-Fi devices. Your laptops etc., should then connect to the internet using the same details as before but the signal is now being boosted.

Unfortunately this method didn’t work for me, even after discovering that a BT Home Hub router requires you to press and hold the WPS button for at least 20 seconds until all the front blue lights flash and then press the Repeater’s button. I still got a solid yellow light instead of a green one. This means the connection failed, so I had to do it manually. Taking my laptop through I looked for the Repeater wireless signal and connected to it. Then I typed 192.168.2.254 in the address bar of Firefox. This connected me to the admin section of the Repeater and it started looking for my wireless internet connection. It came up with a list of ones close by and I chose my BT one. I then needed to just type in my password key and I was connected via the Repeater. The light on the Repeater turned green and all was well. I moved back to where I work and plugged the Repeater into a nearby 3 pin socket. It started up, the light on the front turned red, then yellow, flashing yellow then solid green. A reconnection to my BT Home Hub gave me 5 bars i.e. excellent signal strength as promised. Yippee! For the price of just over £25 and a little bit of aggravation it was and still is, well worth it.


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Internet Advertising and Cookies

Unlike advertising on the TV, the internet provides a wonderful opportunity to tailor advertising to the individual with its ability to provide interaction. This should mean that only adverts relevant to you should appear but the reality is still somewhat different in my opinion. For instance when I book a hotel for a short break, I then start to see hotel special offers in the adverts while generally browsing the web. The fact is I have already booked, so I am unlikely to want to book another hotel for the same period in the same town. More likely I would have thought, would be adverts for extra services such as travel insurance, car hire in the area I am visiting, restaurant recommendations etc. Similarly when I buy a product such as the rechargeable sweeper I recently purchased from Amazon, I really don’t need to see a whole range of other sweepers for the next several weeks when I have made my purchase. Surely it would be better to show me carpet adverts, or other domestic electronic devices.

What Are Cookies?

Advertisers use mostly cookies to detect our surfing habits. Cookies are small text files which are dropped onto our computers when we surf the net giving little bits of information about where we have surfed, what we have searched for and more. My own website www.greyolltwit.com, does not use cookies to track usage of any kind.

Are Cookies Bad? How Can I Turn Them Off?

There is a lot of negative press about privacy concerns but are people really so naive that they do not realise every move we make nowadays is monitored in some way, with close circuit television cameras everywhere and our mobile phones giving our virtual GPS position wherever we are in the world. Not to mention things like Facebook, which encourage us to show where we are at any one time, through our mobile devices. The fact is, if you want to be more private in your web browsing then you can simply delete and/or disable cookies in your web browser in the settings or options section or you can visit AboutCookies.org for more information.


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Now I Am A Sat Nav Convert

RAC 300 Sat Nav

I guess like many parents of grown up children, my own started to use satellite navigation devices to get around. My initial reaction was, why pay so much when the old fashioned maps give all the information you need. Plus, I thought, and still do, that young adults will not learn the skills of map reading and in consequence have little idea geographically of where they are going or where they end up. This was born out to some extent when I asked my sons on a recent visit, what route they took e.g M25, A12 etc. The reply was that they really didn’t know as they just followed the directions spoken to them from the Sat Nav. Aha I thought smugly, these new devices are not so good after all, as when, rather than if, they break down, you won’t be able to find your way.

That said, however, my wife and I were planning a trip to Salzburg to visit a friend and we would need to hire a car from the airport to get to Schliersee in Germany where she lived. Hire car companies charge around £50 extra for use of a satellite navigation so having discovered you can buy one from around the same price, I decided to bite the bullet and get our own. So I ordered an RAC 300E Sat Nav with Western Europe maps through Amazon for £49.99. A few days later our Sat Nav arrived and after a little setting up and playing around, I found it really simple to operate. Before our trip to Europe we used it for several trips in the UK and were surprised at the routes it took us, saving us many miles and consequent petrol costs on just usual routes. In fact it pretty much paid for itself in the first few weeks.

Our trip to Europe also proved most successful and ‘Brenda’ as we came to call our Sat Nav performed brilliantly. The journey from Salzburg Airport to Schliersee was very easy, just following ‘Brenda’s’ directions. Once there we wanted to visit some of the ‘Sound Of Music’ film locations and ‘Brenda’ directed us to everything we wanted to see, saving a good deal on a tourist coach trip with the added advantage of doing things at our own speed. Interestingly enough, Salzburg does not provide very clear signs to many of the Sound Of Music locations but a visit to a tourist information centre gave us the location details to load into our Sat Nav and ‘Brenda’ did the rest. I guess Salzburg really wants people to go on the guided tourist trips rather than wandering about on your own, which is fair enough.

Following our little European adventure we took my mother to Wales for a little holiday. Once more ‘Brenda’ performed really well. The clear voice instructions are excellent but you do have to apply a little common sense when sometimes very narrow, single lane roads are used to direct you. For us this added to the fun and adventure but may frustrate others. Overall, we would not be without our Sat Nav now.


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Design & HTML authoring - Simon Hensby aka Grey Olltwit, the self proclaimed Victor Meldrew of the Internet.

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