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Everything posted by SC

  1. >As a last resort, if you know what you’re doing inside a PC, you could buy a new casing (with power supply) and rebuild the PC into the new casing. If you do, don't forget that cases changed format from AT  to ATX (generally bigger) about five years ago, and the main components aren't interchangeable. I think you should upgrade[:)] It will probably cost half what your Advent did. Steve  
  2. >where's the difference? >As someone who once spent most of a weekend tracing a N to E fault in a typical British 'common neutral' sytem, I say give me the French system every time !  I have an intermittent fault that I've been looking for for a while.Could you explain why the French system should make it easier for me to trace the fault, if that's what you mean? I see references to ELCBs. Aren't they the old devices that detected a current passing through the earth wire to ground? Modern RCCBs detect an inbalance between neutral and live to trip the circuit breaker. Steve
  3. A few months ago the Leroy Merlin at Séné had by far the best range of low price receivers (below 70€) although the new Castorama at Parc Lann may have more choice than the old one did. Their salesmen are very knowledgeable and their advice worth taking. We have cheap Metronic and Strong receivers and they are fine, but their menu functions are a bit clunky and you can't lock out fiddlers from searching, for example. Maybe more expensive boxes are better in this respect. Carrefour had a few, as did Bricomarche at Séné (Poulfanc). Also earlier in the year, Bricomarche had an offer of analogue and digital receivers plus dish and cable for about €80, you never know there may be some left over. I think you need the analogue receivers for some French channels, and also that you will need a dish aligned for a different satellite than the one(s) the British channels are on, but there are others who post to this forum who I am sure will advise you better than I can. We use an aerial to receive French channels. Steve
  4. I'm sorry if I offended you Dick, I wasn't 'having a pop at teachers', just trying to illustrate a point that there may be more to the program than you realised. But what do I know, I run a gite complex. Fortunately I have a life, which is why I spend so little time posting on forums such as this, but when I do post I try not to write anything that I would be uncomfortable saying to a person's face. Steve
  5. TP said>But to add Office you have to spend as much again as you did on the PC Office is sold on its potential, if you're a newcomer you can buy or try an old version for next to nothing and it will be fine.. Most folks have no idea or requirement for what Works can do [:)], let alone Office. Dick said>I don't like Access, though, I think it's an insult! Dick,  I can't see why you think Access is insulting. One German carmaker's UK finance arm was using a MSAccess database until fairly recently for it's UK car purchases/hp/leasing. It does however, require a committment to learn how to create within it. Incidentally, our local Lefarge owned quarry runs on Excel. You're an educator, and I would have thought that you would have appreciated that there is usually more to things than that that you know yourself. MS Office is much more powerful than most people realise, as no doubt is OO, the problem is that folks think (or are advised)  that they have to buy Office regardless. Steve   .
  6. Its inflicted. Farmer friends said it was in order to classify land for tax purposes and as far as they were concerned that was it. but it is more far-ranging than that and can simplify some of the daft results of division of fixed assets. My advice to others from my experience so far, would be to attend all meetings and try to understand everything. Re 'non a la remembrement', perhaps you area has undergone land drainage for example, and is now of better quality and will thus be uptaxed, some folks obviously don't think it should be! Steve
  7. Our commune is currently undergoing a remembrement. It's primary aim appears to be to acertain if the current record of ownership of each parcel of land is correct and to reclassify the taxation class where justified. As a byproduct, multiple parcels with common borders under the same ownership are to be renumbered as one parcel, and small surrounded/stranded parcels will be included in the larger parcel, exchanged for presumably a similar but accessible small parcel. I would like to know if anyone has experience of a remembrement (the whole process takes several years) and knows of any pitfalls or has advice they can share. Like most French former farms, our property is composed of multiple small parcels, and one tiny parcel is owned jointly by us and an old French friend and his mother, who died in 1975. Also for six years we have tried to buy another parcel from an estate following a death. Thanks, Steve
  8. >I just have it from our Project Manager: Monday everybody works, it's because of the "Heatwave" in 2004 when so many elderly peole died.< Think it was 2003, 10,000 peole died and 5000 related deaths, afterwards, allegedly. Isn't today (Mon) Pentecost, and last Thursday Ascension? >From a country boasting that it is Republican and has passed a law, a century ago, that the Church should have no say inthe governance of the country, they sure have not taken the religious days out of their republican calendar!< Yes!! And the wearing of conspicuous religious ornament in schools. It wasn't going to have any effect on most Catholics. Thank goodness someone (French?) knows whats going on!! >Should add that the 35-hour week is a joke for many people in professional and management grades (cadres), to whom it does not apply. They are often expected to put in very long hours;< Ha,ha.ha,ha,ha,ha,ha.......... Am I an ass? Answers please....! Steve   
  9. I'm sure that I recall that LF don't charge VAT to advertisers if you provide them with a TVA number. Others should be the same. I used to import to the UK and didn't pay TVA on the invoices as I was VAT registered there. Although I'm all for keeping things simple, if you're already producing proper accounts and you find there's 0% TVA on gite rentals, you'll be in a similar position to a farmer in the UK who only charges VAT on wool, but reclaims on everything else [:)] Steve  
  10. We went through all this palava a few years ago when we bought a couple of mattresses at Carrefour. Asked the girl at the desk, man appears from back with two mattress on a truck, takes us to counter where they do paperwork, join queue and pay, sortie via the security guard who checked the paperwork and mattresses. When we got home we found they'd only charged us for one. So of course we went back to complain, but complaining gets you no-where at Carrefour.......... On another occasion nearly twenty years ago, I got what I thought was a really sharp quote from a really overworked salesperson in a huge concrete works for a small fosse septic plus pipes, filter and so on. They delivered it the next day and I paid the driver.  On selling the house a few years later, and preparing the invoices for the notaire (those were the days), I noticed that they's only charged me for the pipes, filter bucket, and Pouzolaine - the fosse septic wasn't charged for! [:)] Steve    
  11. "First however, I'm not sure why there is all this talk of three LNBs. For what you want to do, all you need is a single "quad lnb" which is a single unit, requiring only one dish but with four outputs." Thank you for that, shows how much I know about what's available! It's just that I read this thing in LF where this gite owner listed UK television as a must have for good quality lettings [:D] so I thought we'd add FTA. Steve 
  12. Nick, "Use a 2-way (satellite/TV) outlet plate at each TV and connect the TV outlet to the aerial input on the TV and the sat output to the LNB input on your satellite receiver." I did put these in place when I renovated, but the type I bought (Legrand) are made to have only have one coax feeding them. With reference to the rest of your comment, would all receivers be independantly controllable at once? Paul, "Having said that, if it were me and I had access to the cable runs I would have separate coax cables for RF and Sat feeds. Better quality and no attenuation, for comparatively little cost." Yes, I think I would, although the single cable from the attic works well in our house. Trouble is it'll have to be surface wiring and it goes against the grain if it's not absolutely necessary...... Thanks chaps, any other comments would be welcome. Steve
  13. In our gites we have three TV's supplied from a single aerial and a mains powered signal amplifier in the attic that has separate connections and gain controls for each TV. We want to add a 3-LNB dish and three receivers to the setup, and if possible would like to use the existing cables from attic amplifier to each TV. We have done this in our house with one TV/aerial/dish using a y-connector in the attic that I assume separates the voltage/signal to and fom the aerial and dish. My question is, can I connect the cables from each LNB to the three existing cables that run from the attic amplifier to each TV, using the correct y-connectors? Or will the possibility that all three existing cables from TVs to amplifier are connected at the amplifier cause this to rip, tear, and blow up?[:)] Thanks in anticipation, Steve
  14. The French Min of Ag has announced today (Friday 17th) that it's very likely that a duck found dead in the Ain department died of the H5N1 virus. Here's the link on the TF1 website:  http://news.tf1.fr/news/sciences/0,,3284888,00.html?trk=100 Steve
  15. The 'eligibility of the line' is all important. If your new commune isn't converted to ADSL yet (like ours) you'll have to revert to dial-up. If you go to http://www.francetelecom.com/fr/votre_region/  and choose the page for your new region, there should be a 'haut debit' link that will enable you to find out if your new commune is converted yet, or due to be soon. Steve
  16. Thanks for your help! Yes, sorry, FTA. Most of the rest I'd sort of worked out, but I wondered if I was missing something basic. We've watched French TV only for six years, we're not too fussed about having extra French channels, although we still always watch TF1 news at 8. The idea was to give our 17yr old daughter the opportunity to pick up some British culture from a source other than from us. Likelyhood is, sadly, the most noticable new cultural item she'll adopt will be the f-word, much more prevalent now on UK TV. Steve
  17. Forgive me if this has been asked before, but I've searched the forum without success. I'm a novice as far as satellite tv is concerned, but I've installed a freeview satellite system in France using a Strong SRT4120 receiver bought in France. The signal strength and quality seem OK (85%, 70%), and I can receive all the freeview channels on the Lyngsat Astra list without problems. I can receive the BBC interactive channels, but have no interactivity, for example, I can't select and view the different windows shown on the screen, the red button on my remote always returns the complete installed channel menu list. I have tried all the other likely buttons without success. Is this due to the spec of the receiver? There's no mention of the MHEG standard in the spec. Am I correct in thinking that receivers with MHEG spec are more difficult to find in France and that I need this in order to use BBCi features? Or am I overlooking something more basic? thanks in advance. steve
  18. Tell us more about beaver cheese, Jond [;)]   Steve
  19. Unfortunately getting on junk e mail lists is a by-product of most amateur, and more often than not 'professional' website design that leaves your e mail address readable by harvesting programs. Once on the lists, there's not really any going back for most except to change e mail address, with all that entails. Anti-spam can be over-zealous, as you can read about on the Wanadoo / NTL thread in the computer forum, and personally I wouldn't want to lose a customer who might be spending a couple of thousand pounds, even if he is called Mr. Erection!. Things are much better than they were a year or so ago (before the Chinese government took action to close spam servers), when we were getting over 100 per day, now it's a dozen or so. sc
  20. I'm not sure why you want a three phase supply unless it is for Option Tempo? If it is then you will save quite a lot on your standing charge and summertime consumption, but remember that the power is measured over the three phases, ie an 18Kva supply is limited to 6Kva per phase. (thank you, Punch, I think it was about four years ago!) If you use one phase per gite that's fine, there's no obligation to balance the consumption per phase. 6Kva per gite works fine for us. All the financial advantages of Option Tempo can be wiped out if you need electric heaters and have gite guests during a couple of cold weeks in the November - March period and your rental doesn't reflect this. There's only one meter, and I think on ours you can read the usage of each phase individually if you wish. sc
  21. According to the director of 'de particulier a particulier' estate agency publication, it's quite possible that the price of houses will fall by 30-40% in the next five years, like it did between 1990 and 1996, due to current overvaluation. This isn't what most of us want to hear! Around here (South56), it seems to me that individual building plots in areas popular with the French, and properties for renovation in areas inland popular with the British, are both considerably overvalued in relation to the finished project. I wonder if the price of properties for renovation has escalated out of proportion because most of us Brits don't look at renovated properties (and their price) when we're searching? sc
  22. John - the photos on your website make it clear that your gite is furnished and equipped to a high standard with good furnishings, and the books, pictures and toys make it so much more welcoming than gites with just the bare essentials, which in my experience often signals a more general lack of interest in the guests after their money is in the bank. The views from the terrace in particular, make me want to pick up the phone right away! I assume that with a UK phone number you must be relying on cleaners to handle your changeovers, and I think therefore that your quality survey is a very good idea - it shows your guests that you care, even after they've returned home. It's not surprising that you have a 'pool of renters'. Ross - Owners can just pick comments from the blue and say they're quoting from their guestbooks. I know that guestbook comments often appear in adverts, but does anyone really believe them? I suppose if one uses the 'my favorite beach', 'we had a fantastic time at...', sort of comment, then it helps to set the scene. I wouldn't want to upset any of our regular guests by not using their comments on our website though, as you can be sure that they'd be looking out for them! You've made me think about it though, thank you. I never found out if the comment in one of our guest books 'Don't go to Damgan in the mornings, because the tide is out' was intended to be funny or not! Fortunately we do our own cleaning, and knowing how long it takes us, I dread to think how much we would have to pay someone else to do it to the same standard. Steve
  23. We had a fire the flue very soon after we arrived and it was pretty scary. Ever since then we've swept them properly ourselves at the end of each winter, on the basis that if they're properly swept, they won't cause a fire so the insurance company won't be involved. The insurance certificate with the buche de rammonage must be completed and sent to the manufacturer. The one's I've seen cover you separately for damage caused by a subsequent chimney fire that your house insurer won't pay for. At least that's what the big print says! Steve
  24. Remember that the quality of your website will reflect the quality of your gite. One or two bookings can pay for a good, uncomplicated website that with just a few annual modifications can serve you for many years. It should cost no more than a year's advertising with, say LF.  Although we have had requests for brochures in the past, for us that has died out completely now, everyone seems to have internet access themselves or via friends or family. Guests seem to see our press etc adverts and then check out our website right away. Some still phone of course, to assure themselves that we're for real! Steve
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