Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Techno upgrades

January 13, 2017

It’s a sad day when your headphones no longer work and you cannot fix them.  Damn, cos they were really good ones that Antony bought me a few years ago, and I really liked them as they were comfortable.  It seems that there is  a broken wire somewhere as first one ear piece had no sound, then it was both ear phones, although I did manage to get them working again intermittently if I wiggled the cord a bit and held it in the right place and hoped the wind didn’t change!  

In the end I gave up and headed off to buy a new pair, this time wireless headphones so no wires to break.  I don’t like the in-ear phones, they just annoy my ears besides one ear bud never seems to fit properly and they always fall out, after looking around and checking out different types and brands, in the end I went with the same brand and style of my previous ones.  

And they are brilliant, as well as being very comfortable they are very clever. Not only can I adjust the volume from the earpiece controls, I can also pause and restart whatever it is I am currently listening/watching.

Whilst I was in the store I happened to spy the new iPads, I currently have a mini iPad which has served me reasonably well over the past couple of years but I have run out of space in it.   I like it because it is just so much lighter than my previous iPads and it fitted comfortably in my handbag but of course the new iPads are just as light and thin….so yep, you guessed it I now have a new iPad, and cover of course, to go with the headphones. 

Waiting for its new cover to go on.

I am just going through the process of transferring everything off my old iPad to the new version.  Then I can wipe everything off the mini and donate it to a worthy cause – in this case, Antony!  As he has surgery and a long recovery coming up, he will be able to use it for watching movies and reading.

To top it all off, we have also purchased Chromecast, a device which allows us to stream wirelessly from our iPads directly to the TV.  Goodness, we won’t know ourselves soon.  We are certainly not missing usual TV watching at all, and certainly not missing ad breaks every 10 minutes.  


Of course summer is here now which means more time is spent swimming and being outdoors and away from devices, but I’m sure they will all be well utilised.

We have data!

January 3, 2017

We have leapt into the real world and now have lots of internet data!  You see, up until a few months ago we have only had limited data (6GB/month) available through the mobile phone network (at exorbitant rates) and to access more we have had to make use of free wifi spots at libraries and the like around the country to satisfy our internet needs or pay through the nose for extra data.  However, a few months ago we became aware that there were other options available.  

We waited until the dust settled on the debates around which options were best and which company to go with before making an informed decision on what was best for us. As loyal Vodafone customers we also approached Vodafone directly to see if they were offering a similar package, however, after many phone calls and checking with many levels of management it seems that yes, they do offer a package for their customers however their modem is geolocked which means you cannot use it outside a specific area.  And yes, they know about the other companies offerings and no, they are not about to offer similar services any time soon!  So guess what? They have now lost these loyal clients, and we have changed our phone plans which means we are saving ourselves plenty, well, enough to boost the happy hour funds!  

With now just the two other options (and yes, we understand Spark is also trialling a similar system) we had to make a choice on which company to go with.   Both options are utilising the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) which is the government’s initiative to provide fast broadband to areas outside the urban copper and fibre networks. It uses long range fixed wireless towers to provide broadband coverage to receivers  within range. 

After much debate and checking out our options we have gone with a company called  Netspeed.  

We rang them to get ourselves sorted which was done quickly and efficiently.The modem arrived the next working day to our designated mail pick up point, where we returned with it to the van, plugged it in, another phone call to Netspeed to activate and voilà, instant internet access. As we already have a Yagi directional aerial set up for Vodafone, if it is required, but at this stage we have had no problems with access to good fast internet anywhere we have been. Although we have put it up whilst we are here at Shakespear as we are parked in a bay which is surrounded by trees and the signal is so much faster with the aerial up.


At the moment it sits on the sunscreen visor at the front and is plugged into the 12v adaptor.  We haven’t mounted it permanently as we have found that depending where we are in the country it works better in different locations in the bus. For example when we were at Rarawa, it worked best when it was located at the rear of the van in the bedroom.  And whilst we are here at Shakespear it doesn’t get moved, nor does it get turned off!

Now we don’t know ourselves, having gone from only having 6GB a month to 120GB peak hours plus another 50Gb off peak (10pm – 6am – perfect for the lark of the touring party), we can watch movies, catch up on TV series and generally waste time to our hearts content 😉 and all for a similar price to what we were previously paying on our phone plans.   

We have also given up Sky TV (until the netball starts again!!), and as a result we have decided not to bother with a Freeview box either so we are a TV free zone and not missing it one iota.  We sometimes have a feed running from the computer to the TV to watch the news on demand, but most of the time we don’t bother.  

So if any of you have any recommendations of movies or series we should watch, then let us know.