Rio

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    Reply to: Which iPhone?

    Can’t speak for the X but I went from an SE to an XR; everything is good except the size – it’s like carrying a small tablet in your pocket. Since when did portability stop being a desirable feature in a phone? I miss my SE…

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    Reply to: Vets, a licence to print money?

    £400 for dental work? Bargain, ours was over £1000. Flea and worm stuff doesn’t normally require a prescription and is indeed cheaper online.

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    Reply to: What do ‘Business Analysts’ do?

    Interesting discussion. Maybe one of the BAs on here should head over to Wikipedia and edit it as whoever wrote the page on “Business Analyst” didn’t seem to know what one is either. I particularly like:

    …business analysts do not have a predefined and fixed role…

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    Reply to: Why no electric estate cars?

    Estate cars don’t seem to be a thing any more outside Europe, and as most EVs are aimed at the US and China markets I can see why people aren’t making them. At the moment EVs are a niche product, and estate cars are a niche product, so your wondering why someone doesn’t address a niche of a niche…

    I don’t buy the battery packaging argument – a model S is a hatchback and could (or can – see pics earlier in the thread) easily be built as an estate, but that’s not what the US market wants. I would guess the same applies to the Model 3. Even the German vapour-ware doesn’t seem to include estates.

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    Reply to: PSA – Plantronics Backbeat headphones cheap

    No refund here yet, and my order still says “processing” even though they’ve cancelled it.

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    Reply to: Christmas Airfix!

    Damn – I believe they did have the Vulcan – people were talking about it – but when I first went past I couldn’t get near the Airfix stand because of the crowds (if I ever go again it won’t be mid-day Sat) so I meant to go back later but now you’ve reminded me that I forgot!

    I did succeed in my primary goal of getting some 1/32 RFC control wire turnbuckles (niche or what!) – it’s amazing what you can get there if you know what you’re looking for.

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    Reply to: Christmas Airfix!

    Fine looking piece of work!

    Did anyone else make it to Scale Model World in Telford today? Amongst other goodies WnW had their 1/32 Lancaster on display; that’s definitely going on my Christmas if I can ever dedicate an entire room to making it!

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    Reply to: When did Neff start making rubbish…?

    According to the woman in JL when we bought our oven, with BSH appliances you need to look where they’re made. Our Neff oven is made in Germany and seems pretty solid, as is our Bosch washing machine and Siemens fridge. Our Neff dishwasher is made in Turkey and  was getting noisy after a year and now has occasional software problems requiring a hard reset, and I hate it. She implied that if they don’t say where they’re made they’ll probably just last the warranty period.

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    Reply to: Garage Roller Doors

    Extra guide width is no use if it can be prised up. When we looked at this recently one major manufacturer was marketing the wider guides as an extra defence against weather.  When we asked them about security and queried the ease with which it could be prised up they said it wasn’t supposed to be secure (odd for a garage door!). Best to look for one that has some sort of security credentials if security is a requirement.

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    Reply to: PSA – Plantronics Backbeat headphones cheap

    Well spotted, not something I’d normally look for on Euro Car Parts. Spare pair ordered (with free delivery!).

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    Reply to: In dashcam land what’s the equivalent of Drac’s iPad?

    We’ve got the Nextbase 522 + rear camera on Mrs R’s car. Dashcam works well but the rear camera completely knackers DAB reception despite much rerouting of cables and application of ferrites. Nextbase weren’t interested when I told them this (“All our devices are thoroughly tested for electro-magnetic compatibility”), but tbf it may be partly the fault of the crap BMW electronics on the car.

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    Reply to: Electric Piano, any advice?

    I have a Yamaha P45, but I’m just someone who wants to be able to bash out a tune with headphones on, not a proper piano player. I went to a digital piano specialist to buy it and asked the guy in the shop to demo it, and I suggest you do the same; at the time I bought it there seemed to be a degree of price fixing so there was no point in shopping around online for a discount. Some things to think about – keyboard quality (obviously) – a bit more money will get you one with wooden keys which may or may not matter, speaker quality – can it do the bass notes? (not an issue if you’re mainly using headphones), polyphony (the P45 does 64 max, better pianos do more), pedal quantity and quality – the single pedal that comes with the P45 is pretty crap, and then the minefields of voices and connectivity – the P45 has a few voices and connects to my iPad for Garageband which is enough for me but some people want bells and whistles. TL:DR, you may be entering a minefield if you’re not a piano player.

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    Reply to: Your password doesn’t matter

    I like the not-so-subtle dig at users being the weakest link

    I particularly like the subtle dig at auditors, who IME when I did this sort of thing were complicit in preventing more risk-appropriate password policies from being adopted.

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    Reply to: Why is OS X and iOS software getting so bad? (I’m an ex-fanboi)

    As a home user I’ve found both Catalina and iOS/ipadOS 13 to be pretty stable, but if you’re still reliant on 32 bit applications then I understand your pain. On the other hand Apple’s continual tinkering with their own apps for no apparent reason is doing my head in. For example, the random changes to the way Photos, on all platforms, organises and displays your photos are particularly bizarre. Then again, we’ve just moved from Office 2007/2008 to Office 365 (because 2007 is out of support on Windows and 2008 doesn’t work on Catalina) and it makes Apple’s changes look entirely sensible in comparison.

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    Reply to: Any Mac supernerds in the house?

    If you haven’t already tried it there’s a keyboard shortcut to do a verbose install which may help you find out what’s going wrong – ⌘-L I think.

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    Reply to: What ladder?

    I hate going up and down ladders (although quite happy to work at the top of one) and cleaning gutters needs a lot of going up and down and moving ladders, so I use one of these – https://www.stihl.co.uk/STIHL-Products/Blowers-and-Vacuum-Shredders/Accessories-for-blowers-and-vacuum-shredders/Accessories-for-hand-held-blowers-and-vacuum-shredders/213778-28094/Gutter-cleaning-set.aspx

    Usually on a lightweight Worx cordless blower as with a petrol Stihl it weighs a ton and is like trying to maneuver a jet engine on the end of a long pole. You do end up with the contents of the gutters all over the garden though.

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    Reply to: Swap front and back tyres on a lease?

    *Apparently tyre performance drops off massively under 3mm Linky

    Michelin seem to disagree, and this from a company with a vested interest in selling you more tyres.

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    Reply to: iMac – doh

    Have you tried turning it off and then on again (the keyboard, not the Mac)? Preferably out of range of the Apple TV so it doesn’t just reconnect to that…

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    Reply to: Mac people: AV?

    I’ve never bothered. Just make sure updates are turned on.

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    Reply to: PSA: Storage Boxes

    Good psa, just picked up a couple while collecting a stepladder from Screwfix.

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    Reply to: Sticky curtain rail – lubrication?

    Standard approach I believe is to rub a candle along them. Probably depends how fancy they are though, if they’re really expensive you may need to get an artisanal lube from the manufacturer.

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    Reply to: Where to buy pet/cat food in bulk and have it delivered?

    We use Zooplus, Vetuk, Viovet (handy as I can collect from their warehouse if I need it in a hurry), Amazon or anyone else that can do free postage. Costco also do mega packs (the reason we originally joined) but that would really test your “spend money on other stuff I don’t need” willpower.

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    Reply to: Iphone SE battery life has gone….rubbish

    Ask the phone how much its battery has deteriorated – settings->battery->battery health. If it’s bad then Apple charge I think £45 for a replacement, or a local phone wrangler will do it for less, or do it yourself with a kit from Amazon or EBay. I just replaced Mrs R’s 5s battery myself (wasn’t worth getting anyone else to do it as it was only a stop-gap) and it didn’t take long and still works.

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    Reply to: STW horticulturalists assemble: what’s this leaf?

    I’d agree, silver birch. Our house is full of them from the neighbour’s tree. Seems to have been a particularly prolific year for them.

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    Reply to: PSA: half price dremel at argos

    Why would I need a Dremel?

    I thought the same when one came up in the Amazon Prime day sale, so I didn’t buy it. 2 days later a job came up which was best done with a Dremel, so I bought the Argos one last week.

    There are cheaper cordless Dremels but they tend to be weedy 4.8v ones, this one is I think 10.8v so a good compromise between power and delicacy.

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    Reply to: Adult onset Asthma

    I got diagnosed a few years back. I picked up a chest infection on a flight back from some diving in the Red Sea which led to a cough that never went away. The GP was reluctant to give me the full asthma diagnosis until one day I got short of breath at work, staggered home, collapsed into bed feeling as though my lungs were half their usual size and went to the out-of-hours doctor the next day (Sat) who immediately gave me a prescription for oral steroids and told me to see the GP on Monday. The steroids kicked in pretty quickly – it was like having a new set of lungs and I was back on the bike by the next weekend. Once diagnosed the long term control has not been a problem and didn’t stop me for example doing triathlons, ski mountaineering, windsurfing or anything else. It has made the diving more difficult though as many diving centres won’t take you out (even if you have a medical certificate from your doctor). And I now always use a mask when doing anything like sandpapering that produces dust (which I should have done anyway).

    tl;dr – don’t worry unduly, lots of us have asthma and lead perfectly normal lives.

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    Reply to: Click once per revolution, only when seated but not when seated and high load

    Had this a while ago, tightened everything visible to no effect, turned out to be the end of the internal dropper cable clicking against something which sort of echoed through the frame. A bit of tape fixed that, but I noticed yesterday it’s come back. No doubt it will be something else this time.

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    Reply to: Any vets in the house? Cat with potential IBD.

    Our cat has recently been diagnosed as having the early stages of CKD, which is sort of not relevant to the topic except that he’s vomited had runny poo and farts that could clear a room for the 16 years of his life until he went on to a veterinary renal diet, since when his poo is normal and he hasn’t tried to gas us or thrown up (apart from fur balls). I’m not suggesting that that’s a cure for yours, just an example of how sensitive cats can be to diet. The vet seemed to think he must have had some sensitivity to something in normal cat food, but god knows what as they seem to be full of things cats shouldn’t really be eating. One feature of the renal diet is that it contains “high quality protein” which makes you wonder what’s in the rest. Hope yours turns out to be something simple.

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    Reply to: The Work of The Devil

    They don’t /didn’t compost.

    True, and yet round here they say put them in your brown compost bin. Go figure…

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    Reply to: Electric Vehicles – Looking for Advice

    From what I’ve read the Polestar 2 will be made in a Chinese factory using a generic Geely electric car platform. There’s no Volvo branding that I can see even though Polestar used to be a Volvo trim level, and of course Volvo is now a Chinese company. Expect more of this sort of thing.

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    Reply to: Electric Vehicles – Looking for Advice

    Given their ICE options are still mostly a joke I’m not sure many sensible buyers will be flocking to buy their first gen EVs any time soon.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Geely’s Polestar 2 looks pretty interesting, for example, and I’m sure more similar will follow with or without the pseudo-European branding.

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    Reply to: Driving questions

    In the UK it’s covered by the Highway Code rule 114:

    “In stationary queues of traffic, drivers should apply the parking brake and, once the following traffic has stopped, take their foot off the footbrake to deactivate the vehicle brake lights. This will minimise glare to road users behind until the traffic moves again.”

    Why you’d want to put the transmission into P except when parking is beyond me. Either leave it in D with the handbrake on or use N plus handbrake.

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    Reply to: Driving questions

    On point 1, I put the transmission in N if I’m stopped for any length of time with the handbrake on, e.g. at traffic lights, partly because it seems the right thing to do but also because if I don’t do that and take my foot off the brake the engine restarts (see point 2), so whoever designed the stop-start must have intended you to drive that way.

    On point 2, the stop-start not only has all sorts of battery and engine condition monitoring but it also stops the engine in the optimal position for restarting thus minimising load and wear etc. I wouldn’t try to emulate it, you’d probably be doing more harm than good.

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    Reply to: Recommend me a cat flap!

    We have the Sureflap Microchip pet door, which is touted as suitable for large cats and small dogs. Seems more robust than the Petporte it replaced, and was preferred by our larger cat whilst not being so big that a small scrote can get in.

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    Reply to: STW unusable

    Any web site that treats iphone, ipad and mac users as an “edge case” is pretty much doomed. Speaking of unusability I’m guessing the development hamsters have been let out again judging by the strange formatting in this thread (Firefox on Windows 10 in this case, but looks the same in Safari on IOS):

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    Reply to: Kettle and toaster?

    Our Dualit toaster was about £100 from Costco, but that was over 20 years ago. I’ve never had to test the repairability despite toasting things that it wasn’t designed for. I think they were about £140 last time we were in there, which would leave you £60 for a kettle. Our current Dualit kettle has also done well given that our hard water kills most appliances that come into contact with it, but I’m not expecting it to be repairable like the toaster when it eventually dies.

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    Reply to: Plumbers – plastic push fit??

    Not a plumber but – don’t underestimate the benefits of the flexibility of plastic pipework. When I wanted to put a tap in the garage I worked out that the pipework would require 7 elbows if I used copper, but using plastic pipe I could run the whole thing with no joints except the tee from the existing pipe and the tap. Surely that has to be better and more reliable? Similarly when adding a new radiator in an impossible location I was able to thread through plastic pipe rather than have multiple joins/elbows. And when we’ve had plumbers in they’ve always used push-fit and plastic pipe in difficult-to-access locations. Never had a problem with any of it.

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    Reply to: Christmas Airfix!

    Inspired by this I’ve just photocopied my decal sheet. Looks good, was going to suggest adding some seatbelts to make it look busier but if you’re putting the crew in that’s maybe not necessary.

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    Reply to: Hi-Fi is out of “the Basket”…

    Got a Naim Muso a couple of years ago, separates system never got used after that so it’s all in boxes in the loft. I test listened to the Muso at Superfi but they didn’t have one in stock (and had difficulty finding any classical music to play on it) so I ordered one from John Lewis and collected it from Waitrose the next day; such is the way of modern retail.

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