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Archive for February, 2012

25 Billion App Download Day approaches

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012


The App Store is about to hit 25 billion downloads.

Download the 25 billionth app and you could win a US$10,000 App Store Gift Card.

Apple have setup a counter here

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Happy Leap Year Day 2012

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

only happens every 4 years, so I thought I would get a blog in today!

Happy Leap Year Day for 2012!

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This week, I’ll be mostly playing …

Saturday, February 25th, 2012
Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever

My Mummy, said “I’m allowed to play it, now I’m old enough!”

Duke Nukem was first released in 1991 for MS-DOS, it’s a first-person shooter video game similar to Ids Doom and Quake!

Lock ‘n’ Load …

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Andy goes for a long walk, and finds his Local Mobile Phone Masts!

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Never a boring day, today I went searching for my nearest mobile phone masts. The only trouble was I could see them, but had a few difficulties, in finding the access road leading to the actual base transmitter mast sites. I left my car, and went walking up a hill, across fields, and found the base transmitter mast sites, took some photographs below of the sites, and then walked back down the access road from the site, only to find, it was miles from where I left my car. A lovely warm day, and fantastic views, across the Vale of York.

The O2 and T-Mobile transmitter sites, are just inside the Kilnwick Percy Golf Course, as you can see in the photographs, graffiti artists, have already “tagged” the site, it wasn’t me!

In one of the pictures below, I highlight with a red circle, where I live in the distance.

I found evidence of an O2 and T-Mobile transmitter mast, and a Vodafone transmitter but could not see any visible documentation, for mobile company 3. (Three). I suspect one of the antenna on the transmitter mast must belong to 3 (Three).

The reason for my visit, was to check, if I could “beam” a 2.4GHz WiFi signal back to my house, to check line of sight. I could, so I have clear line of sight to errect a new 16 dbi Yagi antenna, to improve my 3G UMTS/HSPDA signal, and improve and hopefully get a better download speed using wireless technology.

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Happy Pancake Day 2012

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

A Happy Pancake Day to one and all!

or Happy Shrove Tuesday!

I’ll be having my stack later….

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Microsoft Windows XP Professional 3 – too many wizards

Monday, February 20th, 2012

I was having a discussion with my Nephew, which mentioned Microsoft Windows XP Professional 3, I think he was referring to Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3, which turned into a conversation about Microsoft Patches and Updates for Microsoft Windows XP Professional. Since Service Pack 3 to date (20 February 2012), there have been 116 High Priority security updates and patches. (if you include all the Internet Explorer updates and patches).



My personal favourite Microsoft Windows OS is Windows 2000 Professional, I’ve only just got used to Windows XP Professional, too many wizards, and I’m not referring to Harry Potter!

Security Patches and Updates will continue for  Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service  Pack 3 (SP3) until  April 8, 2014.

See here

support-for-windows-xpSo, there’s no need to rush for that Windows 7 computer just yet……

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Just for you Conner!

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

My Nephew Conner, wanted me to put this on my blog, so here it is….maybe he’s going to be the next Sir Alan Sugar or Sir Richard Branson!

Free Domain Names provided by Dot.TK. Need a Domain Name, Create one in a minute!

(no idea what it’s all about!). But if it helps him become a Millionaire, hopefully I’ll get a bite of the cherry!

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Andy’s XBOX 360 Fix!

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

A few months ago, my father had complained that his Xbox 360 was over heating, caused by possible fans failure. He had confirmed that his Xbox 360 was still functioning correctly by using additional cooling using a small desktop cooling fan, when he had removed all the Xbox 360 covers, and directed the fan across the CPU and GPU heatsinks, the Xbox 360 ran perfectly.

He purchased a new fan assembly from eBay, connected it to the 3 pin connector on the motherboard, but the two fans still did not function.

This is how Andy fixed it, if you remove the circuit board from the Xbox 360, there are plenty of articles on the internet that show how to do this. On the underside of the circuit board, near the 3 pin connector is a transistor marked MJD210, this is a D-PAK surface mount device. The datasheet can be found here. I believe this is on the “Falcon” Xbox 360 circuit boards.

You can either replace this transitor which drives the fans, you can purchase here from Farnell.

or use Andy’s Hack and Bodge fix! which is just bridging the pins of the transistor!

Lindsey said “you fixed that quickly” – I had to remind her that once upon a time, I studied Electronic Communication Engineering…..(although do not practice it anymore, but still retain the k-nowledge! and that’s a flash back to being in form ‘N’ at school for nowledge!)

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Me and Midge Ure – Dancing With Tears In My Eyes!

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

I’ve just returned from a excellent, fantastic gig by Midge Ure, at Pocklington Arts Centre. A brilliant gig of all his great songs, and especially a fantastic rendition of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Dancing With Tears In My Eyes – so very true due to recent events!

Andy and Midge Ure, Pocklington Arts Centre, 10th Feb 2012

Not to put a downer on the event, the gig was fantastic, but to be honest and truthful I did have tears in my eyes, and found it difficult to hold them back when meeting Midge this evening. (due to recent events!). A very emotional evening.

Midge did comment “that he does write bloody miserable songs!” and wished us all the best.

A truly sureal moment, growing up in the 80s and listening to Midge Ure/Ultravox and then to meet Midge in person.

Thanks to Midge, Berenice (and my Dad!)

“a night I’ll not forget!” – Andy

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Wired or Wireless, ADSL or 3G? that’s the question?

Friday, February 10th, 2012

I’ve recently been running trails using 3G Wireless Internet with Celltime Provider Three and O2, you are probably thinking I’m as mad as a badger! (well once upon a time, I did study Electronic Communication Engineering, so I know a little about Radio Frequencies! – (thanks to Mum & Dad! for the funding!).

But check the results below, and this is with a -85 dBm signal (boffin speak for GOOD! or three bars good buddy! have you got your ears on!), using the internal antenna on a Option GlobalSurfer III (3G Router). I’ve recently noticed that Three have upgraded their transmitter to now support HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), well what does that load of gibberish mean, well other than the UMTS or 3G symbol changes to “H” on my phone or router. It means that rather than max speed of 3.6Mbps, the max speed could be 7.2MBps or 14.4MBps. Yes via Wireless!

At present I’m getting faster wireless speeds than wired!

Eclipse Internet Three 3G Internet
Eclipse Internet ADSL speedtest by Three 3G speedtest by
Eclipse Internet ADSL pingtest by Three 3G pingtest by
Eclipse Internet ADSL speedtest by Broadband Three 3G speedtest by Broadband
Eclipse Internet ADSL speedtest by My Broadband Speed hree 3G speedtest by My Broadband Speed
Eclipse Internet ADSL speedtest by Thinkbroadband Three 3G speedtest by Thinkbroadband

I generally use this 3G router, because when normal wired ADSL fails, it automatically fails back or fails over to 3G Wireless Internet, and after the recents drop outs and faults, I noticed my 3G wireless broadband was faster!

Option GlobalSurfer III 3G Network Router

Option GlobalSurfer III 3G Network Router

I need to complete some more calculations, and purchase a directional Yagi antenna, so I can get a stronger signal = more signal = more power = faster throughput and downloads! (does that sound like Captain Kirk to Scotty the Engineer – Give me more power! Scotty! )

Microwave Wireless Aerial or Twig!

Microwave Wireless Aerial or Twig on biscuit tin!

This aerial is not correct, the VSWR (sorry boffin alert) is too high, and not correctly matched at 3G frequencies! It reminds me of long ago with a DV27 on a biscuit tin!

I now understand, when I visited China, why they did not role out copper wires to peoples houses for telephones, they just jumped to wireless 2.5G communications (whilst the UK, was still using GSM! (2G)).

Well Good Buddy Signing Off!, 10-10.

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