Welcome to my blog, Whats this about then?

This is a place where I will be posting all sorts of things not just things relating to Derby and Derbyshire. On here you will find details of any videos I’ve made of things in Derby and also Time-lapse, stop motion animation, Tutorials etc. If I find some useful software for PC or iPhone then I will feature it here.I’m sure that there will be something of interest to someone on my many posts.Please leave comments on any posts if you like them.
Don’t forget if you are new to my blog and would like to read through the previous posts then see the Blog Archive section on the left side of this page.
Also there is a Search box at the top left of the page if you are looking for something but cant remember where it was. I am a trustee member of "Friends of Friar Gate bridge", aiming to get this bridge restored.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Boxing Day Deals on Amazon, Get a bargain without going out.

Now you have opened all your Christmas presents and had your dinner why not get some bargains in the Sales without leaving your home. No need to queue for hours in the rain waiting to park up!

Perhaps you have had some Amazon Vouchers for Christmas and was wondering what to spend them on, now is a great time to use them as you can save some money.

Amazon start their sales online now.

Its a chance to buy those presents for yourself that you wanted but never got :)

If your thinking of getting a new TV then January is the best time as the sales start on Home Cinema :

Amazon January Offers in TV and Home Cinema.

Did you wacth The snowman and the snowdog on Christmas Eve? The wonderful music that was used in this animated film is available :

Happy Christmas

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Derby Virgin Media Broadband Internet doubled in speed, has yours yet?

If your ISP is Virgin Media and you live in Derby then you may have noticed that the speed of your Broadband Internet has recently doubled or will be very soon. Running speedtest.net test on my connection I get this result :

Here are the results during the speedtest :
Download test :

Upload Speed:

To find out when your area's going to be ready, just use the postcode checker below :

They'll be upgrading our network area by area. Once the job's completed, a total of 186,000km of cable and 38,000 street cabinets will have been upgraded.

I'm guessing that you will need to have the newer type of cable modem to get the really high speeds of 120Mb they are offering. I have the black VM Cable modem which is not too old. (model Ambit E08C013.00). See the video of this cable modem.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Premier Inn Hotels - How to connect your Media Player, Video Camera, Digital Camera, Games Console etc to the Television in your hotel room.

If you stop in Premier Inn Hotels then you may well have looked at the back of the television in your room and wondered how do I connect my own stuff to those video inputs. Looking on the remote control they give you its not possible to select anything. Well I have the answer to your problem.
With my guide you will be able to connect your media player, Video Camera, Digital Camera, Games Console etc etc and watch on your tv in your room. No longer are you limited to Freeview, load up your media player with what YOU want to watch!

This guide relates to the Philips FlatTV Screen LCD TV. Model No. 20HF5335D/05 known as a "Hospitality Television" because Philips designed it specifically for hotel use. These seem to be the standard TV used in Premier Inn Hotels.

I have created a detailed guide for you here :
Premier Inn Hotel TV,  How to connect your Media Player, Video Camera, Digital Camera, Games Console.

My how to guide video on connecting your devices to the hotel TV :

Hope this helps anyone wanting to connect their equipment.
Feel free to link to this blog the video or my web guide from Facebook etc.

If you found this of use then please leave a comment on either my YouTube video or this blog post.


Monday, 17 December 2012

Festive Flapjacks, A popular treat with a seasonal twist.

Following on from my Ultimate Flapjack recipe I decided to create a Christmas version. These turned out pretty well and tasty so decided to share the recipe here so you can have a go at making them yourself.

Here is a close up view of what we are going to make. Chewy Oats with a succulent mincemeat layer filling.

My Festive Flapjack.

Items needed to make a tray of Flapjacks:
These items will leave you spare ingredients to make further Flapjacks in the future. For instance the sugar and Syrup will do for several trays of Flapjacks!

1) Lyle's Golden Syrup 907g
2) 1kg Quaker Jumbo Rolled oats. box
3) Demerara sugar 1Kg bag
4) Lurpak “unsalted” 250g x 2 packs. Any "Unsalted butter" will do such as Tesco Value unsalted butter or Countrylife unsalted butter.
5) Mincemeat 411g jar of quality mincemeat (e.g. Tescos Finest Mincemeat)

Other items needed :
  • Greaseproof paper or Baking parchment to line baking tray.
  • Large cooking pan (must be large enough to be able to easily mix all the ingredients without it going all over the place.)
  • Non stick Baking tray approx 32cm x 24cm x 4.5cm deep
  • Electronic kitchen weighing scales.
  • Oven.
  • The tablespoon from a set of measuring spoons

Ingredients needed for 20 off pieces
300g unsalted butter
75g Demerara sugar
120g Golden syrup (6 tablespoons approx)
450g Jumbo rolled oats
411g jar of mincemeat

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/ Gas Mk 2.
Line the baking tray with baking parchment and leave it in oven to heat up.

2. Melt all the 300g of butter in a large pan with the Demerara sugar, Syrup and a pinch of salt. Stir well to combine, make sure everything has mixed together well.
The mixture will start to boil and foam at this point take off the heat and stir in all the oats until all completely covered.At first it may look like there is not enough to cover all the oats but it will, Turn the mixture over and over many times to ensure everything is fully coated.

3. Remove the baking tray from the oven and spoon out HALF the mixture into the tray. Press evenly into the tin using the back of a large spoon making sure its all pressed down firmly.

4.Empty the enire jar of mincemeat on top and spread it out evenly across the surface so that it goes right to the edges and all the oats are covered.

5. Once your happy with the mincemeat layer you can spoon out the remaining half of the oat mix on top and spread this out, making sure you don't disturb the mincemeat layer. Press this top layer down with the back of a large spoon.

6. Bake for 35 minutes at 150C on the middle shelf.
Remove the tray and place it somewhere to cool down for at about 15 minutes.
Then press the surface down with the back of a large spoon.

Leave to cool down for at least an hour before cutting into pieces.

Happy Christmas.


Video of Maps app in "follow mode" running on an iPhone 3GS while on a moving train. Using ios5

This is a quick simple video showing what the Maps app on an iPhone 3GS looks like in "follow mode" when you are on a moving train. I find it interesting how accurate it follows the railway tracks.
You can see the shadow cast by bridges in the home button on the right, as you can see it coincides with the bridges on the map.

We take this technology for granted, imagine going back to the 1980's and telling someone what you can do these days they would not believe you could have such power.

If you own a smartphone and use the built-in mapping application then you will probably be aware of what it can do. On my iPhone 3GS (still on ios5) the "Maps" application allows you to see Satellite imagery for your location by simply tapping once on the arrow button (bottom left of the Map screen) it will go into "locate" mode. Your current position on the Earth is marked by that blue dot with the white circle around it.
When you do this it uses the built-in GPS to find you and show the map.

If you tap the arrow again it goes into "Follow mode", this means it will move the map arround as you move around and keep it centered.

If I had not done this video in follow mode then the blue dot would have moved down to the bottom left and gone off screen.

If you tap the arrow for a third time then it puts it into "compass mode", this is the same as follow mode but now also orientates the map so the roads are exactly as you see them now. (assuming you are holding the phone the correct way around!).

As you probably know one of the biggest features that iOS 6 removed was the Google Maps App. This is the one reason I have not bothered to update my iPhone from ios v5.1.1

If your trying to work out where the train journey is, its near Stockport in Manchester, UK. The phone is running on ios 5.1.1, The network provider is o2 PAYG using their ALL ROUNDER WEB bolt On.

The blank squares at 2:24 are because it has not managed to download the data for those sections in time so they appear blank and then fill in as they move.

If you have updated to ios6 and miss the Google Maps app then you can now download it as a free app !
Google Maps App for iPhone ios6.

Its almost the same as the ios5 maps app but you have to get a google account and sign in if you want to save addressed etc.

Hope you found this of interest.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Video of Defiant Architecture at 1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester.

This very odd looking building is at 1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester.
I love this building the way that large section of it just hangs in free space.
The building consists of two mirror-image parallelograms, stacked one on top of the other, resulting in a three-storey 75 foot cantilever on the east end of the building.

I like the way that massive overhang just sits there!

You can see it under construction on Google Streetview in July 2008 :

The summer photograph you can see at the start and end of my video is one I took on 31st July 2010.

Hope you enjoyed seeing this strange building.

If you enjoyed this then you may like my video of 122 Leadenhall Street, London being demolished :


Friday, 14 December 2012

Video of Manchester Christmas Market on Albert Square December 2012.

Here is my video of this years Manchester Christmas Market on Albert Square "The European Christmas Market".

This is the Manchester Christmas Market on Albert Square filmed in December 2012.
Manchester's award-winning Christmas Markets. Considered to be amongst the best in UK and Europe. This year there are over 200 stalls! Never seen this many before.

Have you been this year?

The Manchester xmas markets takes place from 17th November to 23rd December 2012.

As well as this massive "European Christmas Market" on Albert Square there are 7 others :
Manchester World Christmas Market - Brazennose Street
Manchester German Christmas Market - St Ann's Square
Manchester Christmas Arts & Crafts Market - Exchange Street
Manchester French Market - King Street
Manchester Christmas Market - New Cathedral Street
Manchester Christmas Market - Exchange Square
Manchester Christmas Market - Corn Exchange

Manchester Albert Square Webcam.
There is a webcam that looks down on the Christmas Market on Albert Square so you can see all the stalls right now! See how busy is gets. In this webcam you can also see some of the market that goes down Brazennose Street.

Live webcam view (click to enlarge):
Live webcam view of Albert Square in Manchester, UK.

Very impressive.Well done Manchester.


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Video of a Winter train journey through Hope,Edale,Hathersage and Grindleford in Dec 2012. Stunning scenery!

If you have never been on a train between Derby and Manchester Piccadilly then you are in for a real treat. The Section between Sheffield and Manchester Piccadilly passes through some of the most stunning scenery I have seen on a train. After the train has gone through Totley Tunnel is goes through Hope, Edale, Hathersage and Grindleford.In my video you can see that the countryside is covered with a heavy hoar frost.

Here is my video of a Winter train journey through Hope, Edale, Hathersage and Grindleford in Dec 2012. Stunning scenery! :

Or click this link : Video of Winter train journey through Hope,Edale,Hathersage and Grindleford.

If you fancy going on the train from Derby to Manchester Piccadilly say for the Manchester Christmas Market then it only costs £34.20 (open return) per person. At Manchester Piccadilly just get on the free Manchester metroshuttle (Orange Bus No1) and get off on John Dalton Street.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas Poundland tat, very funny video from Ashens.

If you have not seen the Poundland tat review videos from Ashens then you are missing a real treat, these are hilarious reviews of the crap that you can get in Poundland and 99p stores for Christmas. Ashens does quite a few of these reviews, watch and see what you think.

Christmas special Poundland Tat 2012 :

New for Christmas 2012 "Poundland Is The Best Thing About Christmas" :

Christmas Tat video :

Christmas tat video 2010 :

A character that became a regular in his videos was "chef excellence", in this video here was where we first heard about him.

There are too many funny videos he has made to list. A classic one was the Poundland Pizza review.
Hope you enjoyed these videos. If you like his videos why not subscribe.

Happy Christmas

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Norton AntiVirus 2013 - The cheapest place to buy the latest version and other tips.

Update Nov 2013 : As per my notes below, I've just bought a 2 licence copy of NAV 2006 from ebay for £9.99, because the key has never been used its still valid for version 2014. So thats just £4.98 per computer! Beat that !

Do you use Norton Antivirus? if your Subscription Status is getting low then you will soon need to buy the latest version of this popular software. If you shop around a bit then you can save lots of money. I will show you here what you need to do to get the best deal and also some handy tips on this software.

Norton AntiVirus 2013

How many days subscription do I have left?
To see how many days subscription you have left on your current Norton product, simply single click on the little Norton Anti virus icon on the system tray (bottom right of Windows 7). A panel will pop up like the one below. If there is no icon in the system tray then double click on the "Norton AntiVirus" icon on your desktop. if there is no icon on the desktop then goto Start - All Programs - Norton AntiVirus and select Norton AntiVirus. If you can't see that either then perhaps you don't have Norton AntiVirus!

Norton Antivirus 2013 Status panel showing subscription status.
As you can see at the bottom it tells you how many days you have left before the software will stop working and you will need to renew your subscription.

When it does actually run out it will look like this :
Norton AntiVirus when your subscription has run out.

If you click on the "Renew Now" button it will take you to this screen. Click on the link "I have a key or code to enter." (below where it says Renew My Subscription).

I have a key or code to enter link.

It will then show you the screen where you can now enter your 25 character prodcut code from the paper CD envelope. Once you have done that click NEXT.

Time to enter that long key code!

If you entered the key code correctly then it will ask for your Norton Account email address then your password. the product will then be activated.

The best price for Norton AV
The worst thing you can do is to click on the "Renew" link next to where it says how many days remaining you have and buy another years subscription using Norton's own online purchasing page as you will pay well over the odds for your software.
I have just tried this option on my pc which currently has 53 days remaining to see how much it would cost for a years subscription and it says £29.99 for a years subscription renewal for 1 pc.

In previous years I have managed to but this software a lot cheaper from www.ebuyer.com by getting the OEM version (System builder) of NortonAV, but I have just found it even cheaper on.......

Argos !, yes surprisingly you can get "Norton Anti virus 2013-3 user version" for just £19.99
so thats just £6.66 for each PC. Argos order code : 675/9692. It comes in a DVD case.
Of course this is a real major saving if you have a couple of PCs and a laptop as you can protect them all in one go, compare this with if you selected the renew option on your three computers which would have cost you £89.97. Argos wins !!!

On Ebuyer it costs £13.49 + £2.98 postage (£20.47) for the 1 user version. so if you only have one pc this is not too bad or Try Amazon links below.

Norton Antivirus 2013 links :



If you only have one pc then you can sometimes get the single user version cheaper on Amazon for around £12 :

Some points worth noting about NortonAV.
Did you know that when you get your new CD of Norton Antivrus you do NOT need the cd. All you need is the Product key which is printed on a label on the paper CD envelope. It is this 25 character serial number which activates your subscription for 365 days.

If you enter a new product key before your current subscription has run out you will loose the remaining days you had left. i.e. it will not add them to the new subscription so wait until its about run out before renewing your product!

The NortonAV product key only becomes active when you use it, so there is no problem buying the product now even if you are not going to use it for many months, the keys do not run out until you use them.
Because the key never expires it means you can even buy a Norton Antivirus from 2006 and use the key off it to activate your 2013 version ! Not many people know this fact, as long as the key has never been used before it will work.

You can not use a "3 user" package on the same pc to get 3 years subscription, it has to be 3 separate PCs.

If you are currently on Norton Antivirus 2012 then you can upgrade your software for free to Norton Antivirus 2013. To do this get the information panel up (as per the screen grab above) and click on the "Support>" link (top right of panel) and then go down to "New Version Check". If your product is valid it will say you are eligible for a free upgrade. Just follow the instructions to update your product to the latest version.

If you have more than one PC that you use Norton on then the "3 user" version will generally be cheaper than buying 3 single user versions.

Hope this is of use to someone.