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mmaddock

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Everything posted by mmaddock

  1. I agree with the last poster - unless you are familiar with this sort of thing leave it well alone, a laptop is nothing like a PC to dismantle and fix and unless you are very careful you will end up breaking something - the screen if you are unlucky! - they are quite fragile when being twisted and cojouled! As for laptops in general - it is back to Toshiba for me in the future - I bought an Acer this time because the price was too good to be true.. 12 months on, the touch pad keys have worn through, the "J" key is missing, the hinge on the screen has now broken completely at one side and is on its way out at the other side, and overall it looks like it has been thrown down several flights of stairs! - other than that it is a good machine internally and aside from the "shiny" screen it has been good and I really would recommend one to light users, but for me it is now due replacement.  In contrast, my last Toshiba was 3 years old when I got rid of it - it looked like new and it was only replaced for more power. Matt
  2. I didn't think so, it did sound rather high!  I didn't question him too much because it wasn't something I was considering anyway - I suspect he might have been talking about accountants fees etc. etc. in that price as well.  I have to say, he was possibly the most helpful person I've met here so far (and most people are pretty helpful IME) and spent several hours with me talking things through when I registered.  It was just a shame I didn't go to him when I first got here because he said I could have been entitled to some large grants and have social charges waived for the first year if I had gone to him when we first got here and gone to register as unemployed. Matt
  3. The fee for registering is 98 euros for an Entreprise Individuelle (effectively self employed) around here.  The guy at my local CC told me it was about 10,000 euros for a SARL (equiv of UK Ltd Co) - I don't have any personal experience of that, but it does sound rather high!  The tax regime (e.g. Micro, Real etc) is something different, don't confuse the two. Matt
  4. Thanks for the replies, "tranquil" makes the most sense and sounds right too - in particular in relation to what I was talking to my neighbour about yesterday - he was saying that the soil was too wet to do anything with [plant veggies, dig over etc.] at the moment - Christine was unwittingly pretty close to the mark I think! Matt
  5. You may well be right now I think back on my conversation today, perhaps I've been hung up on thinking it was two words and some sort of French 'saying', so that's how my brain has processed it.  I'll wait for it to come up again and see it it makes sense! Cheers, Matt
  6. I've heard this used quite a bit here and there.  Today my neighbour used it, but I couldn't quite make out exactly what he meant even though I understood the rest of what he was on about... ..it sounds like (in English phonetics) "trent kill" or maybe if I was speaking in French it would be like I was asking for thirty kilo's of something! Any help appreciated...I'm determined to find out as I'm finally fed up hearing it and not understanding what it means! Cheers, Matt
  7. I would urge caution on installing these sort of thing - if it is anything to do with saving money (i.e. reducing household bills) forget it.  The systems are nowhere near as good as the manufacturers claim - there was some report on this somewhere recently criticising them for making wild claims.  The best use of these systems are for swimming pools where the water doesn't need to be anywhere near as hot as tap water.  I'm not saying they don't work for domestic water, but you'll always need an electric backup to it.  I looked into it myself, but just couldn't make it stack up, either financially or environmentally - since most of France's power is Nuke it is effectively 'carbon neutral', and it doesn't cost much to run a Chauffe-Eau - we have ours on a timer for an hour a night and we've never had to run it longer than that for a family of 4. Matt
  8. Yeah, Works is a real pain. This is the list from my version of OpenOffice - tho there may be add-ons for other formats. [img]http://www.lefouanglais.co.uk/openoffice.jpg[/img]
  9. Sorry to butt-in here, but I read this thread with interest...I was under the impression that I could just buy a caravan anywhere (very 2nd hand in our case!), hook it up to the back of my car and away we went to anywhere we wanted without any restrictions or licencing - along similar lines to buying a trailer.  I have to admit I've never heard of having to register a caravan!  Does it have to be registered like as for a car? is this just a French thing, or do you have to do it in the UK as well?  We'd probably be looking at an older one (likely around 10 years old on our limited budget).  Has anyone got a quick summary of info anywhere about registration requirements? (we live in France) Cheers, Matt
  10. [quote user="Dick Smith"] Can Open Office save files in Word format? [/quote] No problem - saves in all the recent "Word" formats.  I save things in native format myself, but when I send to someone else I just save it in Word format, no-one has reported any issues - tho I'm sure for complex documents there will probably be some minor formatting issues. Matt
  11. [quote user="Dick Smith"] My main beef with Microsoft is that they could do so much better with their Office software. I despise Word and it's 'automatically update style' nonsense, it really isn't any good for serious use. Sadly the Apple version is no better at all. I haven't tried Open Office, but I don't have a great hope there. So it's back to Word and all the style problems... [/quote] Ah, styles - I remember them well!!  Jumping between pages, section numbering, indexing that seem to randomly include the first line from the next page etc. etc. etc.!!  That's why I now use Open Office (not to mention Thunderbird and Firefox!).  It sure as hell ain't perfect, but at least it doesn't cost £100's!!, and probably better than you would think for a 'free' licence.  Tho I think if I was doing the sort of stuff I used to, I'd probably head back to Word simply because I understand it's problems and how to get around/fix them! Matt
  12. I'm not sure the argument follows - you can hardly call Microsoft cash strapped!  There was never much profit in PC hardware.  Many years ago I looked at starting up my own 'PC build' business, but it just wasn't possible to make the figures stack up unless you were one of the "big boys" (Dell, Gateway etc.) or went for a niche market.  Apple's computer hardware business is actually not doing that great - it's the iPod phenomenon that is giving Apple such huge profits. Could we imagine a world in which computers were supplied solely by Apple or Microsoft? - i.e. choose you operating system, choose your system manufacturer - I'm sure we wouldn't have the very affordable computing prices we have now, and I'm sure that Microsoft would have been sued many more times for restricting their operating system to their own hardware!!!  Apple seems to escape all of these 'anti competition' law suits, despite bundling just as much stuff with the MacOS as MS does with Windows (Web browser, e-mail etc).  They are as bad as each other, in fact I think Apple might be worse when you factor in the hardware issue - but sometimes it is good to be the 'little guy'!!  I'm not saying that Apple are wrong to build their own hardware (there are obvious benefits), but I do think that in todays market they are restricting themselves too much, and if Microsoft had gone down the same route then neither us as users, or them as a business would be in the favourable position that we/they are now. Matt
  13. [quote user="DOMY"]I'm not up on Mac's now-a-days, but maybe Dick can answer...now that Apple products are Intel based, does that mean we will be able to install OS X onto 'regular' PC's? ------------------------------------------------------------- Installing Windows on a Mac is LEGAL and it works very well ! Installing Mac OS X on a PC is ILLEGAL and it doesn't work very well ( Slow .... )[/quote] That's a big shame...If Apple was confident enough in its product to run on other machines then I'm sure it would find a good user base.  Unfortunately one of the reasons Windows can be unreliable is because of the huge variety of hardware it has to cope with - whenever it's been unreliable for me, I've always found it to be hardware related (firstly tracking down the offending piece - not always easy!) and replacing it has always fixed any unrelaibility issue - I suspect this is why Apple won't release OS X for 'general consumption' as it were - they would start to gain a reputation for poor stability.  As I said, it is a shame because until the Linux community gets its act together there isn't a realistic alternative to Windows unless you want to buy new [expensive] hardware as well, and if you do that and decide to go back to Windows you have to buy a new computer all over again! Matt
  14. [quote user="pcwhizz"]Totally agree Matt. Re Vista, personnally would avoid the upgrade options.  It is never a good idea to upgrade a OS, a clean install is the way to go.  Unfortunately, that probably means a new PC for many, but at least then, you will have a PC man enough for all the gui stuff.  Also wait (if you can) for SP1 and DX10. [/quote] I tend to agree, I hate "upgrading" an OS and always go for the fresh install.  I don't fancy wiping this machine tho as I have so much on it I can't bear to think of the re-install process! I'll wait for 6/12 months or so when I buy a new machine to get it "free" and fresh.  I have to say for the "average" user I think XP is excellent, and I'm sure Vista will probably be just as good for them too.  Of course, for the power user you have Linux - my only problem there (now) is that there are so many varients that I wouldn't know which one to choose now, or why I'd choose one over the other!  Which is a real shame because under a united front they could really start to challenge Windows. I'm not up on Mac's now-a-days, but maybe Dick can answer...now that Apple products are Intel based, does that mean we will be able to install OS X onto 'regular' PC's? Matt
  15. Yes, I tend to pick the best (i.e. cheapest!) times to travel as I don't have to tie my trips into anything in particular, and I have the Owners club discount as well. Matt
  16. We're in Civray (about 15Km from Ruffec) I plugged our UK-bought Digital Freeview box into our rooftop aerial and it picked loads of French channels no problem at all, so I would imagine you'd be ok in Ruffec with the same thing. Matt
  17. Can someone summarise their experience with LD Lines.  I've used BF for many years and I really like their ferries, and as long you I avoid the peak times I don't normally pay more than around £140 return (FR-UK-FR).  I've heard some pretty awful things about LD Lines, so I've avoided them, but maybe the people I spoke to were just unlucky - if they are that much cheaper I might consider them as my ferry costs run into the thousands each year...what's the deal?! Cheers, Matt
  18. [quote user="Dick Smith"]. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6319845.stm [/quote] The words tea, cup and storm spring to mind! I'm no more a fan of filling Bill's pockets than the nexy guy (although at least he seems to be quite ethical with his 'spare' money) but for 99.9% of people, these things will have absolutely no effect on their use of Windows - and there is nothing new in there anyway.  Windows Defender has been around for a while on XP, and if you download updates or programs MS has required you to verify your copy of Windows for ages.  So, you might not be able to rip-off/steal software quite so easily, and you can't just copy movies by connecting up to your DVD recorder...so what - you shouldn't be doing it in the first place!  As for Defender deleting programs, you don't have to have it running - if you don't like it BUY a product from someone else that does that job! Matt
  19. As I understand it, there has officially been a ban on smoking in France in public (including bars etc. ) for quite a while, tho it has been completely ignored - but now they are going to start enforcing it.  I can't remember where I read the article, I think it might have been on the BBC news site somewhere. Matt
  20. I'm afraid it doesn't work the other way around tho LGal - UK to France service only.  I've already asked them if they do it the other way around and they don't I'm afraid.  There doesn't seem to be an equivalent cheap courier company in France that I can find at least [:(]  Still, for larger [and heavy] items it's a good deal if you buy on eBay UK and the seller will let you have the item collected by Payperdrop. Matt
  21. The prices are amazing, I 've had accounts with couriers myself but could never get anywhere near these prices - presumably they send huge amounts and get very low prices. BTW - they are not at all fussy about the size - there are limits, but the drivers will usually just take whatever is there! Matt
  22. I now use this company as they are the cheapest around.  They only sell and advertise via eBay - no idea why! http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Payperdrop Matt
  23. [quote user="yellowbelly"]Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply. I am not looking to avoid paying my way, just that for the time being I would prefer to remain in the UK health system. I too am not sure that passport scanning has anything to do with residency claims, from what I can see it has more to do with tracking and identifying criminals and potential terrorists. Derek [/quote] Sorry YB, but is anyone really fooled by the cobblers the UK Govt spouts about tracking databases etc being for terrorists only???  Do you honestly think that if the have the necessary information [to prove something like when you went in/out of a country] that they are not going to use it against 'ordinary' citizens? As for the original question, as others have pointed out, the 183-day rule is a myth (in so far as what most people think it means) and is only a minor factor in deciding your residency status for tax purposes.  I can understand you wishing to remain in the UK healthcare system, but if you do intend to spend long periods of time in France without becoming a tax resident in France (or even if you do!), make sure you do your research to ensure you have appropriate health cover should the worst happen, leaving you needing emergency treatment in France. Matt
  24. Working on the same rationale, for an average UK wage (say £23,000), married couple with kids (not that it makes any difference in the UK) for 2006 that would work out at... £3,694.30 income tax £1.975.16 National Insurance £5,699.46 Total direct tax ...by my reckoning that's 24.7% - surely it can't be right that the figure comes out to exactly the same??!!  Admittedly it makes sod all difference in the UK (from a supposedly "family friendly" govt) if you're not married with kids, so single people it would appear are better off in the UK on a direct tax only basis - tho if you take into account rent etc. etc. there are likely better off here with an equivalent "average" job.  As I said from the start, it all depends on your personal circumstances, and I know for us that we're significantly better off in France because of many factors, personal and financial - not least of which, I'm saving over £1000 in fuel tax on my annual bill! I think, as you pointed out Jon, it is all down to perception.  The two constituents of a UK PAYE tax bill are reasonably similar, so neither appear to be too high - but in France where income tax is low, but social charges are high, the social charges are perveiced as being *very* high.  I'm not saying they are not high, but you have to consider tax as a whole - at the end of the day it all goes out of your pay packet and to the govt no matter what heading it comes under! Matt
  25. From the ONS - (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/article.asp?id=1687) gross median annual earnings were £23,600 for full-time employees.  I'm sure if I dig around I can find an average for all those "working" in some way, which I suspect will bring that figure down a bit, but to be honest I have to be up at 5 tomorrow morning to contribute towards our commune's income statistics [:)] and I can't be bothered to go searching too deeply right now!!  The ONS website is pretty comprehensive so I'm sure there will be something on there. Matt
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