I have a question Volume 23 - Mark (RLBS)

******* Thread now closed, please see volume 24 ********


In this thread you may ask any question for which you need help, advice, suggestions or whatever.

It does not need to be motoring related. In fact, in this thread it should not be.

No politics
No Speeding, speed cameras, traffic calming
No arguments or slanging matches
Nothing which I think is not following the spirit of the thread
Nothing that risks the future of this site (please see the small print for details www.honestjohn.co.uk/credits/index.htm )

Any of the above will be deleted. If the thread becomes difficult to maintain it will simply be removed.

However, as has been said a couple of times, there is a wealth of knowledge in here, much of which is not motoring related, but most of which is useful.

This is Volume 23. Previous Volumes will not be deleted.
SKY in another room - Nsar
I've succumbed to Rupert's blandishments and got Sky - now I'm trying to plumb it into another room. Tried a wireless transmitter from Maplin - snowy pic so tried a co-ax link but this too is very snowy and won't work with the remote controller eye gizmo at all. It's a long run of co-ax (40m) so I bought very low loss cable but so far it's a dead loss - any thoughts people?
SKY in another room - Mark (RLBS)
Its not the long run. I have a 60m run with no issue. However, and I'll check tonight, I don't think its normal co-ax; I believe its got other shielding.

I'll let you know in the morning.
SKY in another room - Nsar
Thank you Mark, I'm not sure how long I can go on without re-runs of Minder in more than more than one room.
SKY in another room - SpamCan61 {P}
I'm pretty sure this is covered in the FAQ for the uk.tech.tv.sky group; but I can't get the link to their FAQ working at the moment....:-(
SKY in another room - Robbie
The FAQ can be reached by the link below.

Passwords Compromised? - Cardew
Like most of us I have a plethora of Passwords for access to many sites on the web. Occasionally, with my mind in neutral, I enter the wrong password. For instance my bank password on an insecure site - say The Times newspaper.

Given the ability of outside agencies to apparently monitor every site I visit, are my passwords compromised?
SKY in another room - Mark (RLBS)

It is not normal co-ax. However, I am told that whilst normal co-ax will introduce degradation, what you are experiencing sounds excessive.

However, I am told that first you should put all the equipment together, but set up as if it was in two rooms, with your cable run reduced to about 1m, not 50m.

See if you have got a good picture that way.

Leaving the equipment together, then connect your 50m cable and see what you've got.

SKY in another room - Dynamic Dave

I dont think it's an issue with the co-ax cable, unless you've made off the end connections less than 100%. I have one tv aerial on the roof that in turn connects through the Sky system, then into a VCR, and finally to a 3 way splitter. One feed goes to the main tv in the living room, the other 2 feeds go back up into the loft and feed tv's in 2 separate bedrooms. Admittedly the terestrial channels from the tv aerial are a little fuzzy, but still perfectly watchable. The Sky broadcast is crystal clear though. All using bog standard 75ohm co-axial cable.

You could try a tv amplifier, but sometimes they have the opposite effect and just amplify the snowy/fuzzy picture.

I found having the wiring pumped though the VCR from the living room before it reaches the tv's in the bedrooms help improve the quality a little. I think I'm right in saying that a VCR helps amplify the signal.
SKY in another room - cockle {P}
Definitely check the coax connectors, it's very easy to get a piece of the outer screen in contact with the centre conductor, this will certainly cause some signal degradation. Also, is the centre conductor properly seated in the centre pin of the connector, being old fashioned I still solder mine just to make sure.

To check your coax try extending your terrestrial aerial via it to check signal quality, if the RF out from the Sky box won't go down it then the terrestrial signal shouldn't either.

After you're sure the coax and connectors are good I'm afraid it's down to part changing.

Are you using the SCART from the Sky box to the TV? If so then connect the RF out from the Sky box to your TV RF in and tune it in as you would a video. If the signal is good from Sky box to TV then obviously signal is good from the Sky box and it points further on from there.
It is certainly not unheard of for the Sky boxes to go faulty in double quick time so don't assume because it's fairly new it's OK!

Finally, Good Luck!!

P.S. DD, you're quite right video recorders do amplify the signal slightly.

SKY in another room - Nsar
To all the BR people who have replied - thank you. A determined effort at being slightly competent on the co-ax plugs has got a crystal picture and I now don't have to lash out £XX on getting someone in. Cheers one and all.
SKY in another room - SpamCan61 {P}
If your 'magic eye' thingy isn't working then make sure the co-ax is connected to 'RF OUT 2' on the digibox & make sure that the Dc output on 'RF OUT 2' is enabled on the digibox
TV Licence - (Continued from Vol 22) - jeds
Re: Topaktas - TV licence query \'I have a question volume 22\'. Couldn\'t respond as the thread was closed but I noticed a few replies said that you need a TV licence just for being in possession of a set that is capable of receiving broadcast signals.

This is not true, you only need a licence if you actually use it to receive signals. If you use a TV to play pre-recorded DVDs or Videos you do not need a licence. You do not need to disable the aerial but to be safe the best advice is to tune the set in between stations so that not even a flicker of a picture is visible and then disconnect the aerial when in use.
TV Licence - (Continued from Vol 22) - Stargazer {P}

I replied that the TV dealer selling the set is obliged to give your details to TV licencing

quote from TV licencing website

\"How TV Licensing affects Dealers

The Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967 (as amended) requires any dealer who sells or rents TV receiving equipment (whether the equipment is new or second-hand) to notify TV Licensing within 28 days of each transaction, giving full details of the buyer or renter.

Don\'t forget this also includes:

* Computers fitted with electronic broadcast cards (TV Cards).

* TV Cards themselves.

* Set-top boxes.\"

And also that \"If you use or install television receiving equipment to receive or record television programme services you are required by law to have a valid TV Licence.

I also stated that it is possible to refuse to pay on the grounds that you only use the TV or video to watch commericially prerecorded material....this has been proven in court many years ago, but I also stated that this can be a lot of hassle.

My experience of trying to persuade them that I only had a B W TV and therefore only had to pay for the reduced licence fee was repeated letters, phone calls for years insisting that I pay the full fee for a colour TV....\"but nobody has a B W Tv these days\".


Ian L.

TV Licence - (Continued from Vol 22) - jeds
Ian L, I wasn't particularly referring to your response which was accurate. It sounds like you may have been through the same correspondance with TVLA as I did. What irritates me is that it does not make this clear on its web site. I am certain there are people paying for TV licences that don't need them and I am equally certain that that is deliberate. The web site used to have a very clear paragraph which spelled it out but it mysteriously disappeared a year or so ago.
Wheelie bins or .....? - L'escargot
I'm trying to persuade our District Council that wheelie bins (preferably one for normal waste and one for recyclable waste) are better than their current archaic system of plastic sacks plus an open-topped box for recyclable items.

The plastic sacks (black for normal waste) are issued at the miserly rate of one per week, and if you require any more than that you have to pay for them. Garden rubbish will only be collected if it is in an approved green plastic sack which is only available from the council and for which they charge the extortionate rate of 75p per sack.

What are the views of other Backroomers?
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Wheelie bins or .....? - Baskerville
I'm having the same fight, but last year set up a compost bin to take care of the garden and kitchen waste. It's no good for hedge clippings (200 metres of garden hedging produces a lot of clippings) or for meat scraps (attracts vermin) but for everything else that will rot and the birds won't eat it works very well. After a year we are now getting top grade potting compost out of the bottom. It's amazing how quickly it goes down after you've filled the bin to the brim.
Wheelie bins or .....? - HF
A free black plastic sack per week?

Blimey, I must be living in the wrong area. Unless something has passed me by (distinctly possible)we have to buy all ours.

Agree completely about the councils' unhelpful attitude though, and in particular with regard to the extortionate cost of the removal of green bags.
Wheelie bins or .....? - Phil I
Well HF you get the choice . Pay by the sack or by the council tax impost. The truck that collects and takes the sack has to be paid for as does the driver. At least pay per sack fairly treats the people who do not produce any green waste.
Wheelie bins or .....? - cockle {P}
Sorry, L'escargot, wouldn't really want wheelie bins.

Wheelie bins are fine if you've got somewhere to keep them and they can be wheeled from that position to where the dustcart is going to stop to empty them. In an area where most houses are terraced would you really fancy wheeling a wet, dirty, smelly bin through your house from front to back on collection day?
Or having them sit outside houses on the pavement all week?

As for them allowing you to discard more waste, an adjacent council which has wheelie bins has now introduced a second bin for recycleable waste, a good idea in principle. Only problem is they now collect the two bins on alternate weeks so the residents have to not only remember which bin is due which week but also have to put up with waste sitting in them for up to a fortnight, must be very pleasant in the summer!

We have bags, black for waste, pink for recycleable material. I keep two plastic dustbins, one for each, on collection day simply take bag out of bin and deposit for dustcart to collect. Bags stay dry and undisturbed by vermin and so long as I remember to allow 5 minutes to put it out in the morning the cats and foxes don't have all night to rip them open.

Wheelie bins or .....? - matt35 {P}
You said it!
We currently have;

One black wheelie bin for household rubbish - every two weeks.
One brown wheelie bin for garden rubbish - alternate 2 weeks.
One box for bottles and tins - every two weeks with Brown bin
One bag for newspapers - every two weeks with Brown bin.

After a public holiday, the days might change - what I do is to look outside and go with the majority, on the very crowded pavements.

If we mistakenly put something wrong in a bin, it is taken out and left on top of the bin - like a smack on the wrist - my wife put 6 birthday cards in the household bin on Monday - these should have been in the paper bin, so were taken out and left on top of the bin.

I suppose I should post this in the JOKES link, but our rates went up about 17% last year for this service.
Wheelie bins or .....? - Wilco {P}
You're likely to end up with wheelie bins eventually - Government targets for recycling are putting the pressure on all councils to get moving. Even my old council in Watford (nothing provided as per HF's experience) eventually started recycling green waste.

Up here in South Northants we now have the twin bins plus recycling boxes as described by others. Biggest pain is the collection for "conventional" waste is fortnightly - OK at this time of the year but back in the heat of summer 'twas a bit unpleasant.

Bottom line is that I spend less time taking stuff to tips and recycle more than I used to - so for me the pro's of wheelie bins outweigh the cons.
Wheelie bins or .....? - Dwight Van Driver
Not really a question, more of a warning.

Many of you have come to know that excellent chap FiF on this Forum.A modest chap indeed. However this Forum may well be inundated with posts from him as work on the A.1 Motorway in his home area has unearthed what could be a relative, many times removed, and his form of Transport.

Watch out for

Classified: Well used Chariot, Registered 500 BC for sale

Discussion: Which current vehicle would you bury to survive to the year 8475?

Technical section: How do I re-shaft a 500BC Chariot?


Wheelie bins or .....? - Flat in Fifth
Blood and stomach pills!

We always wondered what happened to Uncle Albert!

My concern is what will happen to the Pontefract cake mines!

Not to mention the rhubarb caves!

Ecky thump!
Discussion: Which current vehicle would you bury to survive to the year 8475?

BA Concorde not motoring I know but FWIW there it is.

Technical section: How do I re-shaft a 500BC Chariot?

Are the nearside hub nuts left hand thread? Critical issue to be able to give you an answer.
Chariot repairs - CMark {P}
>How do I re-shaft a 500BC Chariot?

I know just the guy for this job!

You are not going to believe this but...
My best mate is, amongst other things, the MD of a company here in Jordan called "Roman Army and Chariot Experience" who are building replica chariots for racing in the Jerash Hippodrome.
Check out their website www.jerashchariots.com

This is the same guy who spent 10 days with me travelling out from Holland to Jordan in my G-wagen.
Wheelie bins or .....? - Nsar
Rochdale Council has decided to stop collecting refuse from 14000 homes on unadopted roads on the grounds of cost. It still collects recyclable materials though, but there's no point in signing up to it as they only collect plastic, not metal or paper and even then only certain types of plastic so you still have to make a trip to recycling centre - utter madness!
Wheelie bins or .....? - Soupytwist
I have recently moved to Braintree (not quite adjacent but close) and have had delivered in the last week two wheelie bins (along with labels for writing your house number on, which you then stick on the bin - no indelible marker supplied so hopefully not too many people will use water soluble ink).

In the grey one you put non recyclable household rubbish - collected on alternate weeks, again we wait to see what it'll be like in the summer although the instructions did state that the waste should not be put directly into the bins, but nor should it be put in larger style rubbish bags as this can make emptying the wheelie bin difficult. They suggest using supermarket carrier bags (not a problem for me but where does that leave people that take their carrier bags back to Sainsburys and get 1p per bag reused off their shopping bill?).

The green one is for organic waste, but not branches over a certain size, to include stuff like leaves, grass cuttings, vegetable peelings etc. Well, I already put all that sort of stuff in the compost heap and my new house has two well made wooden composting bins. The council do also suggest that you could put this stuff into a composter for your garden and subsidised composters are available for about £6. The contents of this green bin are collected on alternate weeks to the grey one along with all the other things for recycling - i.e. seperate bags of textiles, paper - magazines, direct mail etc. but not newspaper, that's to be put out seperately tied in a bundle with string - and tins. Bottles are not collected, you have to still go to the bottle bank with them - why I don't know.

We have been supplied with a calendar to show what's to be collected when and enough clear recycling bags to last us until the next century, gratis.

It will take a few weeks to get used to it all, where we used to live we had seperate rubbish and recycling collections and they only collected paper, tins and glass & you could mix the last two up in the plastic container they gave you. And in our road we had to have the bins sit outside on the pavement all week or put them in our small front gardens, which often included steps so wasn't an ideal situation for the less able. One near neighbour had their front garden re-done and included a specific wheelie bin keeping area to make life easier.

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
Is there anyone in the Backroom who is in the Building Trade or can advise me from their own experience?

Some months ago a local firm replaced the felt on my garage roof. I am 100% satisfied with the job they did.

In the meantime the felt on flat roof at our Church hall has ceased to keep water at bay. In several places there are little ‘molehills’ in the felt which has duly split…..hence the ingress of water.

I asked the same people to inspect / advise / quote. The following is an extract from their quotation:

“Prepare and prime asphalt, cut out blisters and seal. Supply and lay a 4mm polyester high performance torching membrane, top surface finished in aluminium solar reflective paint , felt-in a torching membrane green mineral finishing to edges”.

I asked why they were not proposing to remove old felt (which looks in good condition, apart from ‘molehills’) and was told that (A) it would bump the cost up considerably and (B) leaving it in place would provide extra insulation.

I know these people do a good job but am uneasy about them simply sticking a new layer on top of existing material.

What do you think? Is this an accepted practise?

Your advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
not in building trade, but on house mother used to live in,with flat kitchen roof, she had these "molehills" as well. local *builder* she got to repair them told her that it was caused by laying the previous felt over a damp patch. his remedy, which lasted several years(until she died and house was sold)was to simply cut the blistered area back to soundly attached area, re-tar about six inches around this area and attach a "patch" which was rolled (with a sort of large wallpaper seam roller) firmly in place.

OAP, Your post says the roof surface is asphalt - this is important because it makes a big difference.

If it is truly mastic asphalt it is quite normal to repair blisters and leave it in position with a solar protective layer. You can tell if it is hard asphalt by giving it a tap with something like the handle of a screwdriver - it will sound hard.

I have to say, it is unlikely to be asphalt and is more likely a felt based bitumen membrane. Give it a tap. If it gives a dull thud it is membrane. Or look to see if you can see the joints between sheets. If it is a membrane it is less desirable to leave it in place.

In any case, flat roofs are a lot more complicated than most people think. Surface blisters and damp decking boards are most often due to moisture vapour condensation from below rather than penetrating water from above. The vapour causes the membrane to blister and fail which in turn lets in rainwater - i.e. the primary cause is the vapour and water ingress is an effect.

What job you have done really depends on circumstances. It is a perfectly valid economic decision (and I say that as a professional) to have a cheap job done and extend the life of a roof by a couple of years - as long as you pay cheap money and fully understand what you are getting. The problems occur when you pay for the top job but get the cheap one, or you pay for the cheap one but expect the top one. the key to getting building work done is to understand what quality you want, pay the right money for the right quality and then make sure you get what you paid for.

OAP, what cost were you quoted and what is the surface area? A top quality job should cost about £75.00 per metre.
OAP, I realise you may not have access to the roof to check on the existing surface. You could try asking the roofer if the existing surface is 'mastic asphalt' or if it is a 'felt based membrane'. They should know.
Thank-you 'billy 25' and 'jeds' for your replies. I apologise for delay in acknowledging which has been due mainly to illness in the family.

I asked the Builder about the quality of existing covering and he says that it is mastic asphalt which in view of your second paragraph, 'jeds', is good news.

However, as I tend to be a belt and braces person (not literally!), I will carry out your suggested tapping test before giving the go-ahead.

Again...many thanks.
Wheelie bins or .....? - L'escargot
Sorry, L'escargot, wouldn't really want wheelie bins.

wet, dirty, smelly bin

Cockle, wheelie bins are only smelly if you put food waste directly into them. If you use a pedal/swing bin liner, and also a wheelie bin liner (which will last for several collections if you fold it over the edge of the bin) then the wheelie bin will remain perfectly sweet-smelling. I know this from years of past experience.
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Wheelie bins or .....? - cockle {P}
>> Sorry, L'escargot, wouldn't really want wheelie bins.
>> wet, dirty, smelly bin
Cockle, wheelie bins are only smelly if you put food waste
directly into them.

OK, you might be able to get rid of the smelly bit but if you are in a situation like mine then they must get wet and dirty standing in the back yard, certainly in weather like we're having now, and I really don't want a set of tyre tracks across my kitchen floor, lounge and hall carpets every week.
The only alternative would be to leave the bin, or bins, parked out front; not only would that make the street look even worse than it does now but the local 'lads' on their way home from the pubs and clubs would have a whale of a time with them, I suppose then we would be expected to chain them to our drainpipes!

Sorry, but in my sort of area rubbish bags, kept properly and deposited for collection a few hours before the dustcart is due, are the better solution. I can quite see that, in the right areas, wheelie bins could be the better solution, just for me, I'm afraid, they aren't. Horses for courses.

Incidentally, while I'm in a 'green' mindset, I am informed by the local council that using supermarket carrier bags as waste bin liners is not the thing to do. I always thought I was helping by recycling the carrier bags as bin liners but, apparently, bin liner plastic is designed to degrade in a landfill site whereas carrier bags are not and will last many years longer, hence not welcome.

Wheelie bins or .....? - Pugugly {P}
Mmmm when we had bin bags we could chuck them in a vehilce and drive them down our lane to the road where the Bin Truck would collect. We went over to wheelie bins about 6 years ago. Problem now is that it is difficult to load it (whe full) into a car boot so I've had to buld a trailer to tow it down the lane. Complicated. All garden waste is disposed of in an enviromentally sound way (i.e. piglets next field but one eat anything and everything.)
RF's Thailand trip & HF's AOL problem - eMBe {P}
From vol 22, replies to HF anf RF

Renault Family: re your one-day stop in Bangkok. The following links will probably give you all the information you could need. I suggest taking a limo or "mini-bus" from the airport. For family oriented visits, try the Grand Royal Palace and the Reclining Budha temple. For mini-bus hire for a day, contact tour operators used by BA/Quantas/Thai-airways; they will pick you up in a 8/10 seater air-con bus with guide and driver, and take you around the city. Beware the tourist cons. See 1st link below for more.
www.into-asia.com/faq/ ( try all the tabbed links)
www.angelfire.com/in/bkkairport/ (full airport info)
thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/ (forum - useful for all destinations)

HF: You could open a "pay-as-you-go" dial-up account with Tiscali and transfer("forward") all your e-mails to that account. Tiscali do not require you to dial-up through them to access the account, so you can access your tiscali account e-mails via any service provider. So it will not cost you anything. You need only to register with Tiscali. Then ditch AOL, and sign up with your telephone company - which is NTL. NTL charge only £10 per month for dial-up and so you will save £5pm that you instead can put in your children's savings account. It makes sense all round. You will have access to your tiscali e-mails via NTL's account, and if you want, you can then also back up ("forward") your cherished e-mails to your new NTL account.
RF's Thailand trip & HF's AOL problem - eMBe {P}
Postscript to RF: relax, Bangkok airport has all modern facilities, you can pick up city maps from there and foreign currency exchange, departure tax etc. are all very civilised procedures. My family's tour guide even had the courtesy to check us in and accompany us right up to the departure gate in every Thai city/town we went to.
RF's Thailand trip & HF's AOL problem - smokie
Isn't NTLs 128mb service somewhere around £15? It's a much better service than dial up and, more importantly, doesn't clog up your phone line.
Digital Cameras - NitroBurner
Can anyone reccomend a good digital camera in the price range of £150 - £200? I'd like one with an optical zoom, but realize I'm pushing it a bit...

Digital Cameras - arnold2
Have a look here: www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html, a great resource for reviews.

Personally, I think the great advantage of digital cameras is getting a zoom compact with good quality that's REALLY small - my favourite are the Pentax Optio's. There is a new 4 megapixel Optio S4, so you may find the original OPTIO S on the internet for just £200 - Jessops list it at £279.90 - and a quick search got a price of £229.99.

However - NEAT TRICK ! Jessops have a price promise, which means they will match any genuine UK price. So go on the internet, get the cheapest price, and buy it from your local Jessops !!
Digital Cameras - SpamCan61 {P}
If you can stretch to around 225 quid then I'd recommend the Canon Powershot a70; if you like the option of full manual control as well as a variety of automatic modes. Another very useful site is www.dpreview.com
Digital Cameras - NitroBurner
Cheers arnold & spamcan.....Big fan of Canon anyway

Didn't know Jessops did pricematch. Useful 2 know....
Digital Cameras - terryb
I got a Canon A40 Powershot from Amazon about a year ago (£199 then). I'm very impressed and if and when I feel an upgrade is in order Canon will certainly be top of the shopping list.

Digital Cameras - arnold2
whichever camera you go for, just go for one with the most pixels - if you get one that only has 2 megapixels, you won't be able to enlarge the pics much ! Try for 4 megapixels if possible, and DON'T get 'last years' model, this years is always better in digital cameras at this cheap end ! If you can do without a zoom, look at the Canon Digital IXUS i - small and very cool !
Digital Cameras - SpamCan61 {P}
The cheapest price I found on the A70 (via kelkoo.co.uk) was 218 quid; but the Comet web site was only a few quid dearer, and at least I can take it back to a real shop if it breaks...

Bear in mind that you will almost certainly need decent AA rechargables plus a bigger flash card. In both cases I used 7dayshop.com; who are about half the price of Argos on thsi sort of stuff.
Digital Cameras - arnold2
If you can stretch to £249.90, Jessops have the excellent Sony DSC-P92 5 megapixel zoom camera - well recommended.

You can see some sample pics and a great review at :
Digital Cameras - M.M
I'd expand that advice to looking at the whole Sony P52/72/92 range. They are basically the same camera but the P52 is 3.2megapixel with a 2x optical zoom, the P72 3.2megapixel with 3x optical zoom and then the P92 with 5megapixel and 3x optical zoom.

They are small without being too tiny and also are pocket shaped. They produce brilliant results left to Auto 99% of the time but have a fair amount of manual options. Their movie mode with clear digital sound is excellent, the length in time only being limited by the memory card size.

They are as battery efficient as anything in their class, this is a crucial factor. Also the long-life Sony AA rechargeables and charger are included in the price. Get a good deal like Amazon or perhaps Jessops and you can take your pick of the range between £165 and £250. You will need an extra memory card for £30-£50 and a cheap padded case at about £6.

Think about the pixel issue related to your use. Our camera will go up to 3.2megapixel but is mostly left on the 1.2mp setting. This gives better 6x4 prints (uploaded to the Sony internet site and then processed by the Swiss Sony lab) than our old Pentax SLR outfit....and it displays with perfect quality on a 17" monitor or 21" TV.

Personally I would never buy a digital camera without a/v-out sockets. One problem with digital images is that they do tie you to the PC a bit, if you ever want to show "the old folks" those 100 brilliant images of the kids on holiday then sitting in front of the TV is a very civilised way to do it.

I have noticed that most folks rave about the particular camera they have, possibly because the conversion to digital images does open up the photographic world.

Some makes seem to have a specific colour balance. I have seen some cheaper brands give odd results but Fuji, Canon, Sony etc are usually perfect. Kodak can make the images a bit "warm" looking....some folks really like that though.

I would go along with the advice to buy an up to date camera, a 2003 model at the very least. Things are moving so fast and prices are dropping every week/month. Older stuff that claims to be discounted from "was £400" to "only £189" might be worse than a brand new model made to sell at £189.

Steve's Digicam site in the USA is excellent for getting a feel of the models, with actual full file size images from every camera to compare. Do bear in mind some of the reviews are quite old, from when the cameras were launched, so a glowing review dated Feb'2002 may not stand up in today's market.

You'll enjoy whatever you get anyway.

Digital Cameras - smokie
Also if you will want a zoom facility make sure it has optical zoom - do not depend on digital zoom as much quality is lost...
Digital Cameras - M.M

Fair point if your camera is quite low res, say 2.0megapixel and below. If you go for a 3.2 to 4megapixel but usually only print 6x4/5x7 or view on the PC then you can up the resolution setting on the camera and then either use the digital zoom or crop later on the PC...still with the end result you were seeking.

The Sony P52/72 range has a crafty trick in that it zooms optically up to 2 or 3x, and then carries on zooming in digital mode....but only as far as it judges appropriate to the image quality selected (called Sony SmartZoom). If you were taking a picture at 1.2megapixels with the P72 and zoomed in it would go through the 3x optical range and then as you kept you thumb on the button it would continue to both zoom in and automatically up the picture capture resolution setting at the same time. At full stretch it would have ended up at a total of 4.8x zoom and pushed the camera to its maximum setting of 2048x1536 (i.e.. 3.2MP)....but (if it makes sense) the final image would still be a 1.2megapixel so the digital zoom had merely cut pixels away from the upper resolution to get back to what you wanted anyway. Of course the higher the resolution you first set, the less "headroom" available to use this facility. If you are already set at 2.0megapixel the digital zoom only adds 0.8x to the 3x optical.

It's an endless topic this digital stuff.


Digital Cameras - SpamCan61 {P}
It's an endless topic this digital stuff.

Certainly is... as demonstrated by the endless 'foveon vs. bayer' and film vs. digital wars on rec.photo.digital and rec.photo.equipment.35mm for starters.

Personally I agree with smokie about 'digital zoom' ..triumph of marketing over engineering; but see your point for small prints. Usage of my the Canon A70 has pretty much rendered my 35mm point & shoot redundant; but my Pentax SLRs still have a future...until I can bget get a full frame 35mm digital SLR for 300 quid, anyway.
Digital Cameras - commerdriver
<< Personally I would never buy a digital camera without a/v-out << sockets. One problem with digital images is that they do tie << you to the PC a bit, if you ever want to show "the old folks" << those 100 brilliant images of the kids on holiday then << sitting in front of the TV is a very civilised way to do it.

Agree with that I got a cheap shareware prog off the web a couple of months ago which lets you save your digital pics on to a Video CD which can then be played on most DVD players. This let us keep the digital images in a form we could show on a TV without either keeping them on the card in the camera or connecting the pc to the tv

Easy way to make multiple copies for family pics as well

Digital Cameras - Welliesorter
>>...I got a cheap shareware prog off the
web a couple of months ago which lets you save your
digital pics on to a Video CD which can then be
played on most DVD players. This let us keep the
digital images in a form we could show on a TV
without either keeping them on the card in the camera or
connecting the pc to the tv...

What's the program called? Recent versions of Nero (CD writing software) can do this but I've never got it to work properly with a large number of photos.

If you do this don't forget to keep the photos in their original format on a separate CD: turning them into a video CD is not reversible and there's bound to be some deterioration in picture quality caused by the video compression. This is probably not enough to be noticeable on a TV screen

Quite a lot of recent DVD players will display jpegs (the most common file format for photos) directly from a CD - no need to turn them into a video CD. For some reason you're more likely to find these features in cheaper (£40-60) players than in expensive ones.
Digital Cameras - commerdriver
It's called DVD PixPlay the website address is below can't guarantee it's the best around but it worked for me
I was trying to get pics into a form that my wife's parents could see and I didn't know what their DVD player was capable of but the video CD from this worked

Digital Cameras - Robin
They do indeed. I just bought a Canon S50 for £350. Jessops price was about £400 but on the internet it was £350. I phoned Jessops, they asked for the website address and checked it out. They phoned me later to confirm they would match the price so in I went to get it. They also matched the price for memory cards etc.
The website I used was Cameras2u.com, which is apparently owned by Jessops anyway.
Digital Cameras - NitroBurner
Still listening to you guy's advice...Cheers

Saw a Canon Ixus II & a Canon A70 today, both @ £250...

Keep the good advice comin in...
RF's Thailand trip & HF's AOL problem - eMBe {P}
.. Isn't NTLs 128mb service somewhere around £15? It's a much better service than dial up and, more importantly, doesn't clog up your phone line. ..>>

Yes it is, and it is the option that HF would be well advised to take up - presuming her PC is of high enough spec to cope.

I should have also added in my note to HF: I presume she knows that deleting software from a PC is not the same as uninstalling it. This is in reference to removing "system mechanic" from her PC.
RF's Thailand trip & HF's AOL problem - arnold2
AOL dial-up - there are some 512K broadband packages available now for £20/month....
RF's Thailand trip & HF's AOL problem - SpamCan61 {P}
IIRC the cheaper 'proper' broadband options were mentioned in vol. 21 or 22 of this thread...soz too lazy/busy to do a search at the mo...;-)
Phone Scam... - Welliesorter
...from Volume 23 confirmed as a hoax.

See www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/34349.html

RF's Thailand trip & HF's AOL problem - Welliesorter
>> .. Isn't NTLs 128mb service somewhere around £15? It's a
much better service than dial up and, more importantly, doesn't clog
up your phone line. ..>>
Yes it is, and it is the option that HF would
be well advised to take up - presuming her PC is
of high enough spec to cope.

It doesn't need to be of high spec. You can connect any old computer, even one without USB, to a cable modem as long as it has a network card. No need to install any special software. The PC will just think it's connected to a local network. If there's no network card you need to install USB drivers. This method is not as good because using USB will take up some system resources.

I've been a reasonably satisfied (600k) NTL cable modem user for nearly three years.
I have a question Volume 23 - Victor Meldew
Sorry but this is motoring related in a sort of way.

I live overseas and my wife comes back to the UK for an average of two months + a year. We have in the past rented cars , which are expensive.I have bought a car (cheap) and keep it garaged up for a year and get it MOT to allow us to use it this is also expensive with repairs due to sitting idle .What i want to know is there an alternative to doing this.?

I have a question Volume 23 - jeds
I suppose this depends on what sort of quality of car you want. If a car for £2k will do you, Why not just buy a car and then sell it 2 months later. You would probably make a loss of, say, £500 but that would be a good deal cheaper than renting.
I have a question Volume 23 - henry k
I live overseas and my wife comes back to the UK
for an average of two months + a year. I have bought
a car (cheap) and keep it garaged up for a year
and get it MOT to allow us to use it

What insurance arrangement does this involve because you are a non resident?
Garage roof - BobbyG
I have a Marley-type garage with one of those corrugated type roofs that I think is made out of some sort of cement type product.

However, quite often especially in cold damp days, drips come down from the roof onto my newly waxed and polished car (thats the car link!).

These aren't coming down through holes or screws, they just seem to be getting "absorbed" through the roof.

As this is a typical roof for these garages I am sure there are plenty out there with the same roofs - how do you make them fully waterproof? The outside of the roof is clear and is slanted so there is no stagnant water on the roof.
Garage roof - Sooty Tailpipes
It could be condensation, but if it's soaking through, try cleaning the outside and coating with two part epoxy roof seal. Summer job I reckon though?
Garage roof - Doc
This happens on my roof too, very occasionally.
I put it down to condensation; I don't think it causes any harm to paintwork, especially that recently waxed!

Garage roof - chris p crisps ©
I think you will find it is condensation, these type of roof covering always seem to sweet like this there does not seem much you can do exept insulate it internally and make sure it realy is watertight from the outside.
Garage roof - Cliff Pope
I fixed a kind of inner 'tent' on battens, made from a cheap tarpaulin, to lead any condensation down the sides.
It works even if you have actual leaks coming through, such as in my rusty galvanised iron shed.
Garage roof - martint123
Does it frip from the roof sheets or the battens they sit on??
I found hairline cracks in mine over the steel battens and it dribbled through there. A couple of good dollups of Thomson brick sealer seems to have sorted it. I'll try some of the rubberised stuff on the outside next year if it warms up at all.

I've seen lots of condensation on my tyres, but not on the roof as yet.
Garage roof - BobbyG
Martin, its coming down from the sheets. Thanks for suggestions so far - looks like one of these things that I will need to wait to the summer to treat it, and then wait till winter to see if it has worked!
Garage roof - billy25
i would try coating it with G4 sealant, it comes in various tin sizes, and is what is used for waterproofing the rendering on swimming pools and especially garden ponds. it's applied by either brush or roller,has no noxious vapors,and is available from most aquatic outlets.

Garage roof - BobbyG
Billy, inside or outside?
Garage floor - lezebre
What's that snow-like fluff that sometimes appears on a concrete floor after it has got wet and dried out?
Garage floor - billy25
if my schoolday science lessons serve me correct, i think they are "salts of ammonium", which is the alkalinic compound in the cement powder. however i maybe corrected!(my memory ain't wot it used to be!).

Garage roof - billy25
i would use it on the inside, not aware of any temperature restrictions with regard to using it either.

Garage roof - jeds
bobbyG, Be careful of rubbing the surface down, it might be asbestos cement. Harmless in its normal state but a hazard when disturbed - i.e. cut, broken or cleaned.

Lezebre, The white powder that comes out of concrete and can often be seen on new brickwrok is called efflorescence. Various natural salts in the aggregates go into solution when mixed with water and are left on the surface when the free water evaporates.
Cataracts - L'escargot
I've been told by my optician that I have the start of cataracts, but he would not (or could not) tell me how they might develop. At the moment I am aware of a slight star-shaped "halo" around the headlights of approaching vehicles. I don't know whether this is partly due to the electrically heated front screen of my Focus, or whether this is wishful thinking. Apart from this I don't notice any symptoms. (Incidentally, I wear thin-lens spectacles with an anti-reflective coating.) How does one decide when an operation is necessary? I understand that from a medical viewpoint, the later the operation is carried out the better? Has any Backroomer had to make this decision, and what prompted the decision?
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.

'billy 25' and 'jeds'......please may I draw your attention to post which I have just typed....it comes immediately after yours of Wed 3rd above.
\"Site Search\" shortcoming - L'escargot
Question for HonestJohn..........

The \"Site Search\" facility doesn\'t seem to work for the \"I have a question\" section. Can this shortcoming be rectified?
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
"Site Search" shortcoming - Dynamic Dave

What is it you're looking for?

The "site search" searches the whole forum for whatever it is you're looking for; it's not thread specific.
If you want to do a more detailed search, I suggest you try the "Forum Search", which is located just under where you sign in/out.
Phantom FAX calls in the wee small hours - Godfrey H {P}
I had two phantom FAX calls today from what I presume is an automated system. One at 00:20 hours and one at 04:39 hours. Dialling 1471 gives "number not available". Calling BT was useless as they went into fob off mode. Anyone else had this problem and how did you get round it? I don't have a FAX machine so looking at the FAX for clues isn't an option.
Phantom FAX calls in the wee small hours - No Do$h
Have you got winfax or similar on your PC? You can leave it switched on to answer all calls after midnight and see what has been dialling in.

It may not be a fax machine as many remote vending machines use a similar polling system and are dialled from time to time to check stock levels. It could even have been a good old fashioned modem looking to contact another pc?
Phantom FAX calls in the wee small hours - Godfrey H {P}
Windows XP isn't seeing my faxmodem and since I don't use it now it's going to be a lot of work to find out why. I just wondered if anyone had any tactics for getting BT out of fob off mode!
Phantom FAX calls in the wee small hours - Welliesorter
I had two phantom FAX calls today from what I presume
is an automated system. One at 00:20 hours and one at
04:39 hours. Dialling 1471 gives "number not available".

Did it actually say unavailable? If witheld you could try Choose to Refuse (free for a month if you're having nuisance calls) which will bar incoming calls from specific numbers, even if you don't know them.

Do you have fax software on your PC? You could leave it set to receive incoming faxes.

If you have call diversion on your line you could divert it overnight to a fax machine. If the problem's persistent you might even be able to persuade BT to do this. I suspect they wouldn't do it if it's a one-off case of misdialling.
Phantom FAX calls in the wee small hours - borasport20
Have you reported it to the right bit of BT ?

They do have a nuisance call bureau ( 0800 666 700, i believe), and being called daily at those times certainly would constitute a nuisance to me !

Bora - what Bora ?
Phantom FAX calls in the wee small hours - Godfrey H {P}
Dialling 1471 says the number is unavailable so choose to refuse won't fix it. I've been on to the BT nuisance call bureau and they won't trace the number so it can be barred. The faxmodem on my PC isn't working under Windows XP for some reason. I now use an ADSL modem so trying to get my faxmodem working is going to be a real hassle. I would like to know of any tactics I could use to get BT out of fob off mode.
Phantom FAX calls in the wee small hours - terryb
I tried the nuisance call bureau when we were getting about 100 calls a week, at all hours, intended for Epsom Hospital.

They were as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike. The only way I managed to stop the calls was to change to NTL and change my number. Now wild horses wouldn't drag me back to BT.

Phantom FAX calls in the wee small hours - Welliesorter
I tried the nuisance call bureau when we were getting about
100 calls a week, at all hours, intended for Epsom Hospital.

Could it just be that your number was similar to theirs? There's nothing BT can do about that except change your number.

Ask Honest John

Value my car