Tag Archives: samsung

A Nokia comeback ?

So my year of study comes abruptly to an end.  It is extremely pleasing to have maintained a 100% first time pass record for all of my marine studies.  Those in the know, will be well aware how hard I have worked this year to achieve them all.

Earlier this week I overcame the last hurdle and passed my oral exam in Hull.  Very rapidly posted my documents off to get them upgraded and then at 6am the very next morning, got on a plane to Italy for a month of work.

Back to the grind for a month – while I continue the search for something .

I was also fortunate enough to be able to sit a speed awareness course.  You may remember I got flashed (sadly a speed camera – not a naked wench)  while driving up to Newcastle earlier in the year for two of my exams. It was an eye opener but not for reasons you may suspect.

There was a girl there that was telling a story about two guys that were crossing a road when they were hit by a car and killed.  She said the car was reportedly travelling at 50mph and she was shocked that a car hitting a person at 50 would be enough to kill them.  My thoughts – can people really be so stupid?

I blame Hollywood.  See, in the movies, you can be running a marathon, get hit head on by a speeding bus, bounce across the roof and over the side, brush off the dirt and finish the race while still setting a new world record time.  A bit like the A Team back in the 80’s – all those gun shots and no-one ever got hurt.  Makes the yoot of today think they are invincible.

Any road up – I am now more wiser to the operations of those new smart motorways – and I still have a clean licence.

Now, telephones – lets talk.  I dropped apple some time ago now and favour the Android system because of the freedom and options it gives you over iOS.  What miffed me though, was just how easy my Samsung ‘Gorilla Glass’ broke on my phone 4 times in one year.  Now, I am not generally a heavy breaker of phones.  In all the years with iPhone, I only ever broke 1 screen – in fact, I had only ever broken one screen since I got my first phone in 1995.

The Samsung replacements were not cheap either, nearly £200 for a front and £80 for a rear. Add that to the £750 purchase cost and you have a whopping £1310 over two years – if you ask me, that is taking the piss, plain and simple.

It gets worse – for each repair, expect to be without your Samsung for a full week.  That would be a real shitter if you didn’t have a spare.  You can’t walk into a repair shop with them, you have to courier them away.

I chatted with the guys in carephonewhorehouse about this. The spotty little oik had an answer for me – buy insurance at £80 a year! Now, I very nearly told him to fuck off but instead, I tried to explain.

I shouldn’t have to buy insurance for something when it is made with ‘Gorilla Glass’.  The name implies a significant inherent amount of strength – correct me if I am wrong.  I would never expect a phone glass to break while it was in my front pocket and I was laying on the floor.

They didn’t get it.  I wilted a little.

I had a cunning plan though………..NOKIA.

Remember them?  Those tech geeks from Finland are making a bit of a come back. I have been checking out their product for a few weeks now.  Their offering, a Nokia 6.1 plus comes with 64gb of internal storage, expandable up to 400gb, yep 400 – that’s enough memory to put everything I have on my macbook pro onto, 4gb RAM and a 1.8ghz processor.  16mp front camera and a 5mp rear will capture your wrinkles in every selfie.  It also boasts dual sim capability although I am not sure if that is at the demise of the expandable memory but time will tell because I ordered one.  It runs on Android so that means I can pick it up and it will work exactly like my Samsung – no need to learn a new operating system.

Do I sound excited?

Honestly, I am a bit.  The biggest part of that excitement is because of how much it cost.  I bagged all those specs, that will compete with any iPhone or Samsung for a fraction of the price.  Yep, my new Nokia rolled in via the postie at a tad under – yes UNDER …………………………….£250.

There is one downside – not splash proof.  My theory is at that price I can afford to buy a new one every 6 months for the next 2 years and still save over £300 on the Samsung experience across the same time period.

There was another angle I considered.  The new Samsung Note 9 with 1TB of storage and a Dex system and then when my Mac dies, I can do away with a laptop altogether.  Downside there is the Mac still works well enough even if I do believe it is on its last legs – the new Samsung is over a grand though – and as Mike Skinner so famously said – ‘A grand don’t come for free’.

Now based on my experience with Samsung after sales and the running costs – I opted for the Nokia – I will update you soon on the demise of Samsung.

And Finally

 

I found a little note tucked in my shoe of the morning of my oral exam earlier this week.  A little surprise from the missus as I was getting dressed for battle.  She likes to do that when I am travelling, just to remind me she is there – waiting patiently.  I thought I would share it with you.

 

 

 

 

 


You thought I was dead right?

Well not quite, although if North Korea have anything to say about that, I might be vaporised some time soon.

Firstly an apology.  In the 12 year history of this blog, I don’t think I have ever suffered a silence this long – almost two months !! So, as you might expect, I have plenty to rant about and as my connection is shit and I need to be quick, I need to type fast so don’t expect it in any kind of relevant order what so ever.

Skype – lets talk about them for a minute.  Couple of months ago, my Samsung auto updated overnight and gave me the all new Version 8 of Skype – what an abortion it turned out to be.  I also took the update on my iPhone to equal disappointment.  The android however, would let me roll back to V7 where it still comfortably sits until this day – making the android my extra special phone of choice again.

I would dearly like to hit the ‘New Skype’ team with a fully charged bolt of lightning – right up their ring holes.  They have turned what was a very unique and life saving application into some pre pubescent teenager dribble, forgetting that the majority of their user base is probably over the age of 30.  I keep checking in on the iTunes Store and also Google Play to see the hammering they are taking in the ratings but still they blindly plug on, forcing the shit that no-one wants on all of us.  What was once a 4*+ experience on the iTunes store has now dropped to just above 1*.

Of course, I have tried half a dozen other applications for communicating with friends and lovers but none of them do what Skype V7 does.  That got me thinking.  See those developers at New Skype must have thought ‘we need to do what everyone else is doing’ and that makes no sense.  If you have a product that is the same as 10 others , your market share is limited, people will choose which they use based on silly things, colour schemes, friends that use them etc.  If you have a product that is different and no-one else does anything to rival it – you have something that, I remember from my corporate days, is referred to as a USP or a unique selling point.  That alone will draw people in, away from those other 10 products in the market that don’t have your function. Sadly though, New Skype is giving its clients something they don’t want or didn’t ask for – a bit like ‘New Coke’ if you are old enough to remember that.  Sadly though, and unlike New Coke, I expect New Skype will not be withdrawn in favour of the old V7 masterpiece, even when customers leave in their hundreds of thousands to other platforms.

Either way, its a loss for the consumer – even more so when I asked Skype to refund me the credit that is on my Skype account and they said no.  For anyone like me who works away and likes to communicate long distance in relative simplicity – Skype was a godsend, now it is just a pile of shit.  All of this at a time where I was seriously considering a move away from apple completely and back to Microsoft – but now that’s on hold.  I hope I can eek out more life from my 7 year old mac.

The world is a changing place too, as I edge towards 50 I am feeling different.  I put some proper grunge on this morning, Soundgarden, no, I am not a fashionista that recently got into Soundgarden when their lead singer recently died – (quick divert here), why is it, that when someone dies, iTunes suddenly doubles the price of their music?  I can see it now, news breaks across the world and the iTunes admin staff go into overdrive to instantly hike up their prices, Chris Cornell was no exception, as were the Beastie Boys when Adam Yauch left us behind, even the mighty Bee Gees get the same treatment – it really pisses me off, these big fat corporations getting even bigger and fatter from other people’s misery.

I just mentioned to my second engineer, how about some real grunge?  I put on Screaming Life and jokingly said ‘this is probably older than you’ – turns out , it was. After the whole album was gone, I turned to a little bit of Green Day just to spice things up a bit.  then it hit me – these fuckers on here probably don’t even know Green Day, FFS.

The biggest frustration I have with the youngsters on board is their lack of caring and respect for the very vessel that keeps them safe and alive.  They crash around, bashing and slamming everything, leaving every electrical device turned on with no thought for their actions.  I have just had a frantic call from the chef about his freezers.  From the sound of his radio call, you would think his freezer was on fire when in fact all that had happened was he had shut something in the door and damaged the door seal.  Now call me a twat if you will but if you can close a walk in fridge door with two steel plates in the way that shouldn’t be there and NOT EVEN NOTICE – you shouldn’t be working at sea.  Go and join a Facebook group or something, complain all you like but please, fuck off and leave me alone.

The other week, one of the stewardesses came to me with a door handle in her hand.  She had slammed the handle down with such force that the shaft that runs through the door from one handle to the other had sheared completely.  That’s a lot of force.  Even better, I don’t think they know that door handles can also be used to close doors gently so that you don’t wake other people up.

Now of late, I have had more of a need to communicate while at sea than I have in recent years.  I am of an age where we didn’t have full time internet connections.  Transatlantic sailing was done from Mallorca to Antigua without any contact with the rest of the world, 16 or 17 days at a time. Now, everyone feels so privileged that they should have it all the time.  This in turn causes the boss to have internet anguish as I like to call it.  His speeds get so slow that he can hardly function.  In fairness to him, if I was paying 4 grand a month for an internet service, I would want all the bandwidth too but it is making my life extraordinarily hard.  On a work level, my boat computer gets shut down from the outside world.  That can be a real drag.  When the boss is on, I have to be very selective about what work I do, most of it is hugely invasive so it has to wait.  While it waits, I normally catch up with suppliers, theories, paper work or just hunt out solutions for current problems.  Cut me off from the outside world and it really hurts.  Most of my shopping is done with suppliers in America who are 12-18 hours behind.  Cut me off at the wrong time of day for a couple of hours and I can lose a whole day – not funny.

Then of course, there is the want and need to communicate with the squeeze. I am not talking about full on video conferencing here but just the need to send or receive simple messages or photos and that gets frustrating. Two days it took to download a recent video message the squeeze sent – as it happens it was a very important clip, a tearful squeeze explaining and sharing how she struggles with my absence – and it took me two days to see it.  Looking at it from her side, she has bared her soul, sent me a message and I haven’t even bothered to respond – or so it seems.  Knowing how things can spiral out of control, i get frustrated at the inability to communicate.  Let me put it into perspective.  When I am finished here today, I will click on the menu area at the top of my screen. i will then wait for around 30 seconds for the menu to appear with the ‘sign out option’.  Now imagine trying to load a whole page?  It ain’t pretty.

So change will come, change will happen, change is good – and if you oppose change there is always Facebook where you can say you protested your bit by joining a Facebook action group where once you have clicked ‘join’ no further action is taken.

So, change is good, unless you are the New Skype Team, in which case your product change was shit but nowhere near as shit as receiving your p45 when Bill Gates sees all the reviews people have left you.

 

Anyway – I want to leave you with a little grunge.  Not my all time fave track but one you are more likely to recognise.  As it happens, it’s not too bad either.  This song deserves your attention so stop what you are doing and take a moment to enjoy it.  Put your headphones in, turn up your speakers, lean back in your chair  – just take a moment.  Grunge is not dead – long live grunge

 


Smartphones – The choice of a New Generation.

The other day, I very nearly took a step into the unknown.  It would have been a momentous occasion too, no less spectacular than when Armstrong walked on the moon.

I almost wrote a blog from my phone.  It would have been a first for me, if I am honest I find those little screens a bit fiddly.  Can you imagine JK Rowling writing her next book on a smart phone? Aint gonna happen – genius needs comfort.

Anyway, not being a complete tech phobe – I did upload some photos from my phone to the blog.  It also happened to be very easy too. I liked it.  But there was method in my madness.

Around 6 months ago I finally took the plunge and bought an Android phone.  Spurned on by Apples continued push to constantly take away all the functionality in their products that I like and thus force me to pay for a cloud account that I do not need or want.  Better still, they take away functionality and then put it in an app that you have to buy.  That can’t be right.

So, slowly I began to use the Samsung S7 Edge. What a beautiful phone – if nothing else, looks wise it was like comparing Florence Welch to Vera Duckworth, Florence being the Samsung.  It sits in your hand with more ‘ooomph’ than an orphaned kitten, it really is something to behold.

The big drawback was something all Android/Mac users will tell you about – synchronizing.  See, when you plug your iPhone 6S into your Mac, it syncs everything for you, writing data in both directions between your phone and your laptop.  The Samsung has none of that, despite several apps claiming they will do it, I have yet to find one that really does work.  So manually, I pull out the expansion card and write all of my data, music, contacts across once or twice a month.

It really was a bit of a drag – or so I thought.  The more I used the phone the more I liked it.  Yes, dragging the data across was a bit of a pain but I am happy to do it now and have much preferred to stick with the Samsung over the iPhone.  In fact over the last couple of months, the 128gb iPhone 6 has become nothing more than a very expensive iPod.

Another nail in its coffin – I downloaded a music player to the Android the other day and have to say the sound is insanely good so the iPhone days are clearly numbered.  With a 7 year old Mac beginning to creak at the seams, there could easily be a 100% move away from Apple on the cards.

Apple have left me miffed for a long time, offering updates with many new things but they never – NEVER tell you what they have taken away, and they always take away something I am very used to using.  Now at this point I would normally push you over to the App store where you could read customers reviews of Apple software updates so you can see for yourselves – BUT – as their last 3 software releases got so badly slammed by the users, Apple decided to stop letting people leave reviews. That’s good logic right ?

Now, back to Samsung – technically, the phone is streets ahead.  I won’t bore you with blurb but instead stun you with a master piece of a practical experiment.

In the photos section of my blog you will find a folder entitled ‘Asia’.  In there are photos that have only been taken with a smart phone, my big camera hasn’t seen the light of day. If you click on one of the photos it will open it in full screen but also show you the source of the photo – i.e. iPhone 6s or Samsung (SM).

You will be stunned by the photos the Samsung has taken – stunned!  You will be certain I am telling porkies and I used my big camera – but no, they are all phone shots – the Samsung not streets ahead, but motorways/freeways/autobahn ahead.  The iPhone is an infinity away – it misses the mark by at least a Steve Jobs.

So there you are – Samsung over Apple every day of the week.

There is however, a sting in the tail.  A sad ‘Steve Urwin’ style of sting that threatens to diminish all that the Samsung has achieved. Even the waterproof phone that I can use to Skype the squeeze while I am in the shower has a serious, loyalty threatening flaw.

Customer Service.

I had the misfortune just over a week ago to be laying on the floor with the phone in my pocket. I heard that light and gentle crack that can only come from smart phone glass and knew instantly I had damaged my phone.  I took it out of my pocket to see the back of the phone was shattered.  I was pretty amazed if I am honest – I didn’t even realise the back was glass.

Anyway – it broke. I took it to the local Samsung shop here in Singapore.  They told me as it was a UK phone, they could not repair it as the parts were different.

I got in touch with Samsung customer services in the UK. I got in touch with then 6 times in as many days.  After 6 days of repetitive email it transpired that the Samsung ‘Experience’ store in Leicester couldn’t repair it for me, they could only sell me a new unit. It also came to light that there was not an approved Samsung repairer within a 50 mile radius so my only option was to have a courier collect the phone, have it repaired and returned to me.  This would take 7-10 days.

I am lucky.  I have a back up phone – the 6s.  Could you imagine not having a back up phone and being without your whole world for a week or more?

Now here’s the real sticking point for me.  If I broke my iPhone in the same way, I could walk into ANY Apple store worldwide, pay a small fee and take an exchange phone out of the store normally within 20 minutes or so of walking in. Samsung may just piss me off and direct me back to the Apple store.

Samsung please take note (but note a Galaxy note as they catch fire right ?)

Now, bug off over to the Asia photos section and see what I mean.

 


I wish those fucktards would stay away.

But they wont will they?  Seems the BBC has employed more than their fair share – I guess that’s what you get for being politically correct? 5% of your employees must be one eyed lesbians, another 5% fucktards, 3% retired ice cream vendors with a dog named Patch who lost a testicle in the Vietnam War etc etc etc.

So the article in question – I was reading the news yesterday and saw a piece about an earth quake in Italy that had triggered an avalanche.  I understand that I may not be the sharpest tool in the box but this……?

Earthquakes cannot be predicted with precision but seismologists had suspected this particular area of central Italy would experience another batch of serious tremors sooner or later

Now, if there were an award for vague predictions, this would definitely get second prize.  Second only to a weather girl I watched once (on the BBC) who made the startling prediction that 2013 had a 50% chance of being a hotter year than 2012.  I hope her parents hadn’t invested too much in her maths degree.  To have the two options of hotter or colder clearly is a 50/50 situation, or in other terms 50%.  Turns out she had told us bugger all.

But sooner or later ?  Come on FFS – that isn’t rocket science.  It isn’t really even a prediction is it.  It’s reality.

 

Lightening the load a little.  My Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge experiment has been boxed for now.  I was trialling a very lush looking Samsung while here for two reasons.  I have been intrigued by the Samsung for a long time now and secondly, having a local SIM in a different phone meant that I could still use iMessage to communicate with the rest of the world.

As beautiful as the Samsung is, I have struggled with its functionality.  Not that Android is no good, my problem lies with the shite internet connections I have to suffer while working at sea.  I need to investigate more about how to use the phone at its best and that just isn’t possible with a sht connection.

So now it is boxed, fully charged and ready to try again when in blighty or sell on to a lucky bleeder that will get a £625 phone for a smidge over £400 I suspect.

I went back to the iPhone 6s after trying for hours to get photos off the Samsung onto a work computer so that I could order parts.  Certain that the flaw was the internet speeds but I couldn’t plug the Samsung into the Mac and draw the photos off and that pissed me off!!!!!

That said – I did really adore the Samsung – a very pretty phone and with an expanded memory of 232GB – plenty of music could be had if only I could figure out how to store it on the SD card !!!!!


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