Friday, May 31, 2019

Taking a Shower with Clarrie, Eddie, Jazzer and Joe

Subtitle:  Anker Soundcore 2, It works well.

It is no secrets to most friends that Marcus is an avid listener and proponent of the BBC Radio 4 sitcom: The Archers.  In fact I have listened to the series for well over 30 years now.

But what my extended family may not realise is that my first daily listen is usually in the shower via my Anker  Soundcore 2 speaker 

A Tough Gig
If you are thinking of an idea for a startup business, never, ever, consider Bluetooth speakers.  Why?  Because these products are extremely cheap  with fiercely competitive  pricing and offer many features.   I just can't imagine how I can get all the following for about 40 GBP ...

- Small size
- Upto 24 hour battery life using inbuilt rechargeable battery with micro USB charge socket
- V2  (this one) has a rubber covering of the USB charge socket making it water resistant IPX7.  Make sure you get this model and not the older V1 which does not have the cap
- It's really loud
- It has Bluetooth 4.x
- It has a mic so you can use it in conference calls
- Available in other colours than Black, but clearly black is best :-)
- Nice rubbery surface that is slip resistant and makes me think it will survive a drop or two
- This latest model can pair with another for stereo and even louder playback.
- Note I don't recommend the slightly less waterproof, Soundcore Boost, the Soundcore 2 is the one to go for. - NB2: You definitely don't need a case.  It is pretty tough.

Back to the Shower

So now when I want to listen to the Archers or any other BBC iPlayer Radio or Spotify (etc) programme: I just power on the Anker, my Oneplus Smartphone auto connects via Bluetooth, and I can listen peacefully in the bathroom and shower.

And with that; it is back to  Clarrie, Eddie, Jazzer and Joe as they bring me upto speed about the events of

The tale of everyday country folk in Ambridge

Anker Soundcore 2 at Amazon

Thursday, May 30, 2019

IKEA Bekant Motorised Sit Stand Desk

IKEA Motorised Bekant Sit Stand Desk

Subtitle: Happy Ending

In the study in England, Marcus saved up for a special motorised table from IKEA.

But I rarely use it in an elevated position to work standing up.   Reason?  Because to expend calories I simply go for a walk or a run, this is a much more efficient way to get healthy.

Please watch the video for a fuller review, including the failure and IKEA repair of this table.

Really recommended.  IKEA, there is no substitute.

IKEA Bekant Motorised Table


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

What Price New Indeed

 Subtitle: No cash in the Attic

I'm recently in receipt of a reasonably powerful Dual Processor Xeon workstation

Actually 2 Physical processors each with 4 cores and mated to 16GB of physical memory.

In a case that is so solid that the weight of a single side panel alone is almost the weight of the whole of a cheap ATX case.

I took this machine from a friend and my plan was to sell it on Facebook Marketplace and surprise him back with a nice heap of cash.

But I am the one facing a surprise

Here is my advertisement

And the gob smacking truth is that my competitive suggested sales price for this tower of power is under 300 GBP.

As a reminder the cost of the raw components, even just the Power Supply, Case, the SSD and Hard disk gets us well past 200GBP.   And then we have to add the whole computer Electronics.

What I am saying is that thanks to new-style online selling sources like Facebook Marketplace, people, and I mean Joe public now have access to a Selling platform that takes no commission and on which they can advertise anything in just minutes.  And the audience is well, everybody on Facebook visiting the Marketplace in the same country.

It's bloody massive!

Some Savage Conclusions

- Using the principles of supply and demand, pricing for second had PC's has fallen to ridiculously low levels

The likely reasons apart from efficient manufacture and over supply also include:

- People are storing more data in the cloud, they don't need a large home server anymore

- People are seeing the phone as their primary computing device, and maybe their laptop.  People using deskside PC's and screens ... who uses those except maybe Grandpa

- So my anticipated sales price of certainly 500GBP+ is just a fantasy.    My actual advertised price still has no definite buyer

With this latest knockdown I can only repeat a prior analysis

The market for new is only being sustained by people who don't fully see or understand the second hand market

This used marketplace is now absolutely huge and is not people trying to sell stolen goods as perhaps it was in 1980.  No, it's tech literate people taking the items they no longer need, mostly because they just expensively upgraded, and them trying to claw back a few pennies by selling their tech secondhand.

But the longer term consequences are tidal

People will shortly just stop buying new!  Except for the tech fashionistas who must have he latest, and usually (but not always) greatest, you can get nearly new at a fraction of the price.

Something Gonna Change

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Ragley Hall Car Show 2019

What a great day!

If I had known that Ragley Hall puts on a classic motor show then I would have thought twice about visiting the Stratford Festival of Motoring just a few weeks back.

Why?  Because everything here was better

- The location was better  (and walkable from our home)
- The selection of cars was better
- We had to pay to get in. Only fair.   (In Stratford it was free to view, but the exhibitors had to pay to display.  I mean, what the flip?)
- There was decent food facilities
- The ability to look around Ragley Hall too  (for an extra +3GBP)
- A variety of entertainments like Noisiest car engine and best Daily driver competitions.

In a random sequence then Marcus, Agata and Petros saw ...

 Capri owners, they are basically immortal

A row of minis from small classic to monster large new variety.  Rule of thumb, new releases of a car always get bigger!

Our American Cousins

 You know what they say not only is the Corvette the American sports car, it's the only American sports car :-)

The American Boat Club
And holding up the rear, with cars that really don't like corners might be ...


It's a Ford by the way

More Brits
 When you really need to dazzle oncoming traffic

 Read the text!

Best of British

Something Very Fast

When your car is equipped with Carbon wheels it is pretty serious

Rare As ..

In Summary
The rain held off,  the location was walkable from home, the cars were superb, there was good company.    A great day out, thanks Ragley.