Categories
Life

Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium – the adult version

Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium was on TV the other day. I looked up the information on my PVR, only to be surprised by the red text under the film’s description. I can’t remember that in the film.

Categories
Customer Service

Next customer services

Today I go to order some curtains (don’t ask) from Next online. All goes well until the point where I need to sign in or set up an account.

Categories
Life

Useful Kindle online services

Kindle Cloud Reader

Kindle Cloud Reader is a web site that allows you to read, online, your Kindle eBook collection.

Kindle Previewer

I’ve mentioned lots of ways of converting various eBooks into a Kindle format. Amazon also provide the Kindle Previewer, an online service that lets you preview how a converted eBook will look on the Kindle.

KindleFeeder

Kindlefeeder is a service for Amazon Kindle owners that lets you aggregate your favourite feeds and have them delivered to your Kindle in a convenient, easy-to-navigate format.

Read Web Pages Later

The following 3 links are for existing online services that allow you to save web pages for reading later. However, they all have specific options for sending this information onto your Kindle….

Instapaper
ReadItLater
Readability

Kindle Direct Publishing

Created your own book but not sure how to now sell it? Now, via Amazon’s Direct Publishing service, you can self-publish your books on the Amazon Kindle Store. It’s free, fast, and easy.

Books self-published through KDP can participate in the 70% royalty program and are available for purchase on Kindle devices and Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices.

With KDP, you can self-publish books in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian and specify pricing in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros.

Categories
Life

Children In Need 2011 – Tweets from a call centre!

This Friday is Children in Need night – an opportunity to donate and raise money for a very worthy cause.

Last year I worked at one of the UK call centres taking donations. I’d not done it before (although I’d been wanting to do it for years) and had the late shift – until 2am! It was great fun and I took lots of donations. Sadly, it all seemed to be over too quickly so, this year, I’m doing a “Lionel” (as in Ritchie). i.e. I’ll be working “all night long” from 6:30pm until 2am.

If you wish to donate, please do so here.

On the night I’m going to Tweet updates and pictures, so follow my personal Twitter feed if you wish to know more! There’ll be no details (or pictures) of people who donate, as all that is private, but it will give you an idea of what happens “behind the scenes”.

Categories
Life

Moving to low energy lighting at home

With the ever growing need to save energy and the slow phasing out of incandescent lighting, we find ourselves having to find alternative lighting.

When I recently moved home I realised that the new house had a lot of lights – for example the kitchen had 6 45Watt down-lighters for the ceiling alone. That’s 270W every time you flick the light switch. So, the hunt was on to fit the new house with new lighting. I already had a number of cheap “standard” energy efficient bulbs but there were some requirements – like the kitchen – for something more specific.

First stop, I went online and equipped the kitchen and both reception rooms with Megaman bulbs. The reception rooms needed candle style bulbs, which Megaman produce. Instead of a glass surround, they have a rubbery exterior in the candle shape.

All of these, I have to say, exhibit the old issue with energy efficient lighting – they take a second or so to initially come on and then take some time to get to full brightness. Having said that, though, when coming downstairs in the morning it’s a blessing to not flick a switch and be blinded by the result 😉

Soon afterwards a bulb in the utility room blew. These are GU10 bulbs and I went to The Lamp Shed in Derby. After initially trying to sell me some LED versions at £15 each (I needed 4 in total) I bought some Bell low energy versions. Sadly, these didn’t fit into the fitting due to having a slightly different shape to the standard GU10, so I put 3 into the office, where I also needed some, and returned 1 for a refund. Sadly, the Bell ones aren’t very good. The have a very yellow light and emit a low whine.

After a tip-off from a forum, I headed to eBay where I purchased 4 Phoenix LED GU10. At £6.79 these were a lot more palatable – I purposefully went for the bright white variations as these were for the utility room. And these are really excellent – instant on and a superb output.

So, yes, some low energy bulbs take a moment to come on and then take a good few minutes to get to full brightness. But, you have to get over it – we can’t keep using energy in the way we have done in the past. If that means minor inconveniences, then it’s certainly a price worth paying. However, if you can afford to, look at the LED variations which don’t have any of the downsides, and on eBay you can get some real bargains.