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mmaddock

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Posts posted by mmaddock

  1. [quote user="Jean-Luc Picard"][quote user="mmaddock"]I fail to see the excitement.  I had a single device capable of doing all those things years ago!

    BTW - someone has been messing with the Wiki page!

    Matt

    [/quote]

    Yes? What was that, then?

    [/quote]

    In fact I've had several different devices over the years.  Mostly iPaq's, but even the (now old) S/E P800 does pretty much what this does.  I just don't see why it is so 'revolutionary'.  We've been able to watch movies, play music, take photographs, browse the web, send/receive e-mails etc. etc. for many years now on a single device.  Touch screen - so what?! That's been done to death recently (with little success IMHO) - have you tried sending an SMS using a touch screen? - it's a nightmare, if you're walking along it's almost impossible.  The keypad might not be pretty, but it is functionally simple!  I guarantee as soon as this comes out there will be loads of them on eBay as people get fed up of trying to use it successfully, battery that only lasts 24 hours etc. etc.  Been there, done that - many times!!!

    Matt

  2. [quote user="Cassis"]That could be interesting for those of us living here who don't make a lot of calls - "emergency" users.

    I can't see anything about credit expiry - does it specify those terms somewhere?

    [/quote]

    I e-mailed them to ask as it doesn't specify on the website - there is no exipry period on the credit.

    Yes - calls are a bit more expensive, but for occasional users the fact that it doesn't cost anything to receive calls makes it a perfect replacement for a French SIM.

    Matt

  3. Chrises - I have to agree with both of you! 

    When I went to buy the wood from the local supplier around here he said a corde was 3 stere.  'Tho it does vary - in Ardenne it is 2 stere!

    I don't think 45 € / stere is a bad price at all - it is good quality, very dry wood that has been properly stored for a number of years.  Especially given that 1 mile away I paid 55€ / stere for wood that I can't even use until I've dried it out.  I know wood varies in price - 20 miles away where we used to be I could buy it cheaper from the commune, but right here where we are now I can't!  Even according to Chris pp's own post, he said 100-125 € / corde was about the rate around here - then 10 € more for good stuff isn't exactly a 'rip off' is it?!

    I'm not even trying to sell the wood!!  I'm just passing the information on in case anyone in the area is interested as I don't really need the 7 stere of wood she has left!  If people think it is too much they won't buy it, if they think it is a good price they might be happy to pick up a load of decent wood!  All I know is that I was more than happy with the price, and that it lights & burns very well - certainly better than the stuff we bought from the commune (cheap) that I've had in storage for 3 years.

    Matt

  4. Chris,

    Well I won't be buying any from the place I got mine from again that's for sure - regardless of the price!  I object to them delivering wood I can't use for a year.  I'd go and complain, but to be honest it was only 1 stere and I can't be bothered now that I've got the wood from my neighbour to use this year.  I paid 135€ for a cord(e?) from my neighbour so not a million miles out - and I like the fact that I can cut them myself to any size I like.  I cut the smaller ones into 3's and the larger ones in half - the mix suits our fire well.

    Where we were before (about 20 mins away) we could buy a corde for under 100€ from the commune (tho that was a couple of years ago) but our commune here doesn't seem to offer that.  The place I ordered 1 stere from wanted 165€+ for a corde (I don't understand why they bothered to quote the price separately as it was just 3 x 1 stere - you would have thought there would be a discount for buying in bulk??!)

    Matt

  5. Not that I can find at least!  I paid over 55€ locally for one stere for wood that isn't even dry, so I can't use it until next year.  As with most things in France, you pay pretty much the going rate for everything no matter what!  Maybe she would do a deal for all of it, but knowing the French they'd probably rather waste the time moving it to their new place and keep it sitting around for 10 years until they get the price they want rather than give it away cheap! - although personally I don't think the price is bad.

    As much as the log cutter would be useful, I just can't justify spending out another 180€ on toys :-)  I already bought their rotavator!

    Matt

  6. David

    I've not had any experience of Garmin I'm afraid.  I did consider them, as Garmin is obviously a well known name in the GPS industry (before in-car "Sat-Nav" took over).  I think I discounted the Garmin systems as I recall the prices were generally higher than their equivalents.  I have to say, I can't see that even a complete beginner would have any problem using the Navman system - it is particularly easy if you are going between already known locations as you can select the location from a photograph!

    Check out the navman website and you can see a demonstration of the system in use, might help make up your/her mind.

    Matt

  7. Not sure where to put this, but since there are a lot of queries about heating in here, I'll put it here!

    Our neighbour is moving in March and she has 7 stere of wood to sell (I've already bought 3, but don't think we need any more).  It is very dry and ready for use.  They are in 1 metre lengths and vary considerably in diameter (from about 4cm up to about 15cm - tho some are huge!).  She's wanting 45€ / stere.  She also has one of those fancy log cutting machines.  Looks a bit old but she assures me it is working order - 180€.  I would buy it myself, but I use a chainsaw and can't really justify another saw!

    Anyone interested, PM me.

    Matt

  8. One of my regular suppliers sent me an e-mail with details of their new SIM card service - certainly worth a look for those of us in France - either permanently or coming for regular short breaks.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say it is almost better than having a French SIM card as it works on a PAYG basis, no expiry, no roaming charges and pretty cheap calls within France back to the UK.  Prices aren't spectacular for UK to UK calls, so I wouldn't consider it as a UK replacement unless you are a light user.

    Apparently the website doesn't go live until Christmas day so presumably you won't be able to place an order until then.  I'll be ordering mine!

    http://www.travelfone.co.uk

    I've got nothing to do with this company, but I thought the service was so good I couldn't not recommend it.

    Matt

  9. Sorry for the late reply, been away..

    In the box I got screen mounting, 3xdiscs with software & maps (tho they aren't at all necessary as it works out of the box fully loaded with maps), protective carrying case, in-car charger, UK & euro mains charger, USB lead - maybe some other bits I forgot?!  As for the manual to be honest I'm not sure as I have never even opened it - it is that easy to use!  I do know you can get the English manual online in PDF format though as I have seen it on the Navman website for download.

    As for the other question, I'm not sure if you can change the road speeds - I haven't seen that option I have to say.  The one thing Tomtom is good at is allowing you to change just about every possible option, but (for me at least) I'm more than happy with it setup exactly as it is, so I don't see the need to mess with the settings - but I do know some people like to fiddle with everything going!

    The only problem I have come across so far, is that the maps are a little too up-to-date - it has the A88 [A28 (Sees) to Caen] on the maps, but it isn't actually completed yet!  Not a difficult job to add that road as an "avoid area" so it doesn't use it though, and I'd prefer it to have it on (so I can just remove the avoid area later on when completed) rather than have to buy new maps next year!!

    BTW, the new Sirf GPS chipset is AMAZING!  I stuffed the Navman in my glovebox at one point, and it kept navigating even from in there - I could hear it directing me!  I even got a signal (albeit from only one satellite) sat on the car deck in ferry at the very back!

    Matt

  10. With regards to Outlook Express

    Go to the "Tools" - "Options" menu choice

    Under "General" tab, you can check the box that says "Play sound when new messages arrive"

    As for the sound it makes, you can change that (in Windows XP at least) by going to "Control Panel"  "Sounds, Speach & Audio Devices" click that, then select "Change the Sound Scheme", scroll down the list at the bottom and find "New Mail Notification"  You can select from a range of standard sounds.  It may be that you are actually getting sound when a mail arrives, but the defaut is a quiet 'blip' so you may not be noticing it.

    Matt

  11. Will work fine, the only thing you might need to change are the VPI / VCI settings, which in France are [normally] 8 / 35 respectively - otherwise you won't be able to make a connection.

    When I signed up to Tele2 they sent me a sheet with a full list of modem/router settings for their ADSL service (a lot more than BT did in the UK!) so I was quickly able to configure the modem to work.

    Matt

  12. Just to throw something in from the side - have you considered electric heating?

    Electric is cheap here (according to our latest EDF bill 85.8% is nuclear - hence not dependent on oil/gas price) we have a very effective electric heating system (now that we've managed to upgrade our supply from 6Kw!)  It is very cheap (and easy) to install, and very flexible in its use.  It can be installed to be controlled just like "normal" central heating systems with all the options you would be used to.

    I spoke to quite a few people about it who already live in the local area before deciding, and many of them recommended electric (including the French locals) - or stated they wished they had gone with the electric option because of the price of oil/gas[/wood]

    Matt

  13. I've spent the past two weeks researching in-car GPS systems..the result..I have bought a Navman N60i system from www.rueducommerce.fr (for somewhere around 460€).  It is absolutely superb.  Latest 2006 maps, incredibly easy to program and is just a plain simple GPS system, no stupid bluetooth mp3 junk that you can't use whilst navigating anyway!  Has full European street level maps loaded on it.  I understand the N40i - which is rather cheaper - has the Euro maps, but not pre-loaded so you have to upload from the supplied CD, not that it is a huge issue, but for me the bigger screen size made the N60i stand out.  The interface makes the 510/710/910 Tomtom systems look like they are 10 years old already!  I would highly recommend it.  The huge screen is a joy to use, very bright and clear.  Equally, the voice announcements are loud and understandable.

    I've had several systems over the years - all of them awful!!  This is the first really useful one I've had.  I do understand the Tomtom's are good, but really the widescreen is wasted by having about 1/4 of it permanently used up with the status bar.  Plus, I don't see the point of all the bluetooth and mp3 add-ons when I've got a hands-free kit and a stereo in my car which gives far better sound than a crummy GPS speaker!  The camera on the Navman might seem a bit of a gimmic, but once you actually think about it, it is actually very useful.  Navman even have an online repository of photographs you can use to navigate to (they've teamed up with Lonely Planet)  Users can also upload their own photos to the site for others to download.  I intend to buy my father one for his birthday, so then instead of trying to give him complex directions as to how to get around rural France, I can simply snap a photo of the location and e-mail it to him so he can put it on his Navman - it will direct him straight there without even having to know the address!

    Matt

  14. I've only had one problem with an English card, which was just the other day when the old dear in La Poste was convinced that the hologram on my card was the chip! She insisted on putting it in the machine hologram first several times, despite me trying to point out she had it the wrong way around!  Sometimes it won't take to the chip-n-pin route, but they always just swipe it in that case and I have signed instead, so chip-n-pin isn't a reqirement - tho occasionally they ask for a passport if I sign.  I do tend to use my French card mostly now though - plus the more you use it, the less the yearly charge is.

    I noticed the other day that the Esso garage just outside of Ouistream now takes English cards - shame as it was rather fun to regularly see the non-French bank holders scratching their heads at the pumps trying to get them to work!!

    Matt

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