I have a question. Volume 3 - Mark (RLBS)
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Please continue in Volume 4.


Mark (RLBS)
Moderator at Work

mailto:mark_moderator@honestjohn.co.uk
ntl broadband - eMBe {P}
For the truth about ntl, and a lot of helpful chat & news, go to

www.nthellworld.com/

This used to be an independent anti-ntl site. It was so good & well run, that ntl bought it out but still allows the original owners to run it freely without editoorial interference! They have a forum, plus ntl-heaven and ntl-hell sections for good and bad stories about ntl service.

ntl plan is to eventually rename the site "ntlhelpworld".

PS. Mark(RLBS)- thanks for so quickly amending my net4nowt url error.
ntl broadband - HF
Decision made - sticking with AOL for now. Certainly do not need any further complications in life at the moment!
ntl broadband - SteveH42
NTL seem to be a Jekyl and Hyde organisation. You either get good service from them, or a load of grief. FWIW, I have been with NTL for TV/Phone for about 3 years now, and on Broadband for over a year with very few problems. Downtime is minimal (much less than BT Broadband at work, and less than when I was with AOL) and I've had no billing problems. However, I've not had to contact customer services, which appears to be the bugbear of NTL.

Speed isn't a major factor for me - the fact you are connected as soon as your PC boots up is. If you get cable TV BTW your STB might already allow you to connect direct to an ethernet card on your PC so all you'd need to do is buy a cable and phone the Broadband people to switch you on.
ntl broadband - HF
Speed isn't a major factor for me - the fact you
are connected as soon as your PC boots up is. If
you get cable TV BTW your STB might already allow you
to connect direct to an ethernet card on your PC so
all you'd need to do is buy a cable and phone
the Broadband people to switch you on.

>>
Thanks, Steve, for your reply. Unfortunately getting cable TV is not an option for me at the moment (much as I'd like some of the sports channels) so I think, despite all you say, I'm pretty much stuck where I am for the time being! I, and the kids, use the internet quite a lot, and the thought of teething problems/lack of customer services etc etc is just too much to think about at the moment. Maybe after my prob as detailed in thread 2 is sorted, and a few other things, then I can think of other possibilities. However just now I want as easy a life as possible, and no more dealings with uncooperative servers/services/etc - for the time being.
Thanks anyway for your comments,
HF
ntl broadband - Dynamic Dave
NTL. You either get good service from them, or a load of grief.


The latter for me. Cancelled all dealings with NTL back in June this year. Paid what I owed, they confirmed I owed them nothing. However, they still write to me monthly at my old address demanding £35 charges for TV and Telephone. Numerous phone calls (thank god its an 0800 number) on hold for over ½ hour at a time only to be transfered to another department and then on hold again, finally being told I would have to put it in writing. Given an email address, numerous emails and still not resolved. Finally given a smail mail address to write to. Eventually got a polite phone call from customer services, apologising for the aggro they had caused and the matter has been resolved. One month later yet another bill arrives and is forwarded to me by new tenants of house. Now I simply write on the envelope "no longer at this address" and then post back to NTL.
When I was using their TV package, subscription channels kept getting added without my request and I kept getting charged for them.
NT HELL is a more appropriate name.
ntl broadband - HF
A familiar and credible story, Dynamic! Have NTL been taken over by the Woolwich by any chance? (sorry Mark, I know you'll probably have to get rid of that comment :(
ntl broadband - SteveH42
Maybe some areas are better than others? (I believe they are essentially split in to two parts - the original NTL and the ex-CWC, of which I'm in the latter)

The only real annoyance I've had with them was when the offered 3 months free broadband for people who had signed up to NTLWorld but been unable to use it because it wasn't supported on the C&W network. However, they said because I'd already got broadband, the offer didn't apply. After arguing the toss a bit I got one month free which isn't bad I suppose.

Of the other people I know who have NTL, the only problems have been dodgy boxes which have been replaced with no hassle at all - it seems the techs on the ground are the complete opposite of the customer service people!

To HF: Two small things - firstly, I'm surprised you can get Broadband without a STB - I thought the 'just phone' NTL connection was different from the 'Phone, TV and Broadband' connection. However, I'd assume the salesman made sure it was available before he called! But also, if you are happy with AOL (and I'll refrain from comment here!) then stick with them for now - NTL will always be trying to grab as much of the broadband market as they can, so offers will keep popping up from time to time.
ntl broadband - HF
Hi Steve,

It wouldn't surprise me at all if I were to agree to NTL broadband and later be informed that I also had to buy a STB, sign up for cable TV, and loads of other extras that I don't want. These salespeople are very selective in the information they provide you with. (I'm also ex-C&W, btw).

Wouldn't say I'm happy with AOL, but at the moment it's probably a case of 'better the devil you know...'. Will keep an open mind and probably change at sometime, now however is not the time.
HF

ntl broadband - SteveH42
It wouldn't surprise me at all if I were to agree
to NTL broadband and later be informed that I also had
to buy a STB, sign up for cable TV, and loads
of other extras that I don't want.


You do need some sort of gadget to get broadband. In most cases it comes through the STB, but I believe some areas have a separate cable modem. Whether you would be able to get one of these or not I don't know. I believe the ex-CWC areas are all STB access, the idea being the box did everything.

I think the prices have been a bit confused now - at one point there was no difference in cost between just having the phone and having TV and Phone. Now the base pack price is something like £20 for new customers with the broadband price on top of that. From what I've read in the various ntl.* newsgroups, it is possible to get just parts of the package - phone and broadband for example, but this involves a lot of pestering and asking questions. Basically, NTL are mainly interested in selling cable TV and base everything on you having that. Assuming you do have to take TV, you'll be paying something like £35 a month for phone, TV and broadband, plus an extra quid if you want you bill itemised.
Wouldn't say I'm happy with AOL, but at the moment it's
probably a case of 'better the devil you know...'.


Do you know that NTL do a dial-up for about £13 a month? Not sure what it's like though as it wasn't available to ex-CWC customers until a few weeks after they'd launched broadband, so I just went straight to the 512k service.

I suspect I used to be in a similar situation to yourself - the options for NTL phone customers gradually decreased until in the end only AOL would take us for the flat-rate packages. ISTR connection to AOL was fairly good, but speeds were dire.
ntl broadband - HF
In most cases it comes through the STB, but I
believe some areas have a separate cable modem. Whether you would
be able to get one of these or not I don't
know. I believe the ex-CWC areas are all STB access, the
idea being the box did everything.


Now that you've said that, I believe the salesman mentioned that I'd be provided with a modem, as some special promotion they're doing. As always, he urged me to hurry with my decision as he did not know how much longer this offer was open for.
From what I've
read in the various ntl.* newsgroups, it is possible to get
just parts of the package - phone and broadband for example,
but this involves a lot of pestering and asking questions. Basically,
NTL are mainly interested in selling cable TV and base everything
on you having that. Assuming you do have to take TV,
you'll be paying something like £35 a month for phone, TV
and broadband, plus an extra quid if you want you bill
itemised.


At the moment I can't be bothered to do loads of pestering and asking questions. I really don't want cable tv, and I really don't want to spend an extra 20 quid a month to get somthing I dont want.
Do you know that NTL do a dial-up for
about £13 a month? Not sure what it's like though as
it wasn't available to ex-CWC customers until a few weeks after


Yes, I know they have a dial-up service too, I haven't heard very good reports about it, and am reluctant to change fo the sake of a couple of quid. AOL can be very slow, and very annoying sometimes, this week it's been playing up quite a bit. However, I will give it another chance until I decide what my best options are.
Thanks Steve.
ntl broadband - SteveH42
Just checked on ntl.co.uk and unless this is a different offer, there is an installation charge of £25 for the 128k service - the 600k and 1Mb are free install. This until 31/12 when the price goes up to £75 or £50 for existing customers. The cable modem is usually free - I believe some areas have an option of paying £5 less a month but buying the cable modem up front, but in the main it is included in the monthly cost, so don't be conned in to thinking you are getting it free!

The website does suggest you can get Broadband without TV, and if they are talking about a cable modem then that would suggest your area can do this. (I had thought all C&W areas were STB only, but maybe not!) However, you'd be best making sure just what you signed up to whenever (if!) you decided to make the change. BTW, I don't know if this makes any difference, but it seems you must pay for broadband by direct debit.

It seems the NTL dial-up is actually £10. You could always sign up to the pay-per-minute one as a backup for AOL and to try it our without much cost. (1p per minute)
ntl broadband - HF
Steve - thanks again. Seems this NTL salesman may be rather similar to the one who got me onto NTL phone in the first place! I'm just recalling his wording of the offer, which began by mentioning free installation in my area. After which he proceeded to list the 128k, the 600k and the 1Mb. When I said my choice would be the 128, at no point did he say that this one was actually chargeable. Salesmen, eh - I guess he didn't *actually* lie, but was certainly trying to con me. That alone is enough to make me steer clear!

I don't have a direct debit facility on my account (this was what was able to buy me some time fom the salesbloke in the first place) although if I wanted the offer I could always do it via someone else's account. But on this ocasion I think I will decline.

Good idea to take a look at the NTL dial-up pay-per-view - if it's any good then I can consider changing over.
Thanks for all the info,
HF

ntl broadband - Dynamic Dave
Maybe some areas are better than others? (I believe they are
essentially split in to two parts - the original NTL and
the ex-CWC, of which I'm in the latter)


In my area, NTL took over ComTel.
ntl broadband - apm
I am running NTl broadband (600kbps), and I agree generally with what's been said. the service is good, and very fast, with few problems. The problems start when there is a problem- the customer service is shocking! Generally if I have a problem, I get bored with waiting to get a response and fix the problem myself! One word of warning: if you have a mac, they will assure that the broadbanc service supports OS X. The installation, however, has to be run in 'classic' OS 9 mode [1]. If you aren't happy with doing fairly complex things with computers, this can be confusing!
I would also add that the digital TV service is not the best- download times for channel info etc are pretty slow, and resets are required weekly!
On the whole, I am pleased, as I pay £37 per month for 140 channels and the broadband.

[1] this will mean nothing to non-mac users. Sorry!
Dr Alex Mears
Seat ibiza Cupra
Yamaha RD350YPVS
Central Heating 'thumps' - lezebre
Our recently replaced boiler (condensing) is fully pumped to the hot water cylinder (situated just below the boiler) and to the 1970s radiator system.

Silent when installed, it has now started making a solid thump in the pipework almost every time the heating switches off - room thermostat or timer.
It's not annoying, but should I be concerned?
I think I've bled any air out of the radiators, and I've tried all three pump speeds.

Central Heating 'thumps' - BrianW
Most probably an air bubble which gets compressed and then released suddenly when the pressure is taken off.
Could be almost anywhere in the system.
Apparently (according to our plumber, as we have the same problem in the cold system) you can get a spring loaded device which releases the pressure more slowly and stops the "bump".
Central Heating 'thumps' - Mondaywoe
Bit off topic, maybe, but thought I might share this with you!

We have LPG C Heating - effective but very expensive! About 2 months ago, I decided to look for quotes for a boiler update to condensing. Got a very reputable engineer round and he suggested a Keston condensing boiler, along with conversion of the system to fully pumped etc. So far, so good....he said he would go off and work out a price.

Meanwhile, I did a search for that model of boiler on the internet and found it advertised through a discount heating firm in Plymouth for £757 + VAT.

When the engineer came back with his quote, it totaled £2300 for all materials, work etc, so I asked him how much the boiler itself cost (it wasn't detailed) He said £1300 (!!) Also said he got all his materials through Plumb Center

I politely showed him the website and he asked for a copy of the page, addresses etc. Said he would do me a revised quote. That was 9 weeks ago. I have phoned once a week every week and been fobbed off by secretaries etc.

After a week or so I phoned Plumb Center to ask what they could do me the boiler for - £1070.

As the weeks went by I got fed up waiting, so I ordered the boiler online at £757 and had it delivered about 10 days later. Here's the punchline......it was delivered by Plumb Center!!!!

Now I have the boiler but can't persuade the engineer even to give me a quote for 'fitting only' I reckon he's throwing his teddy out of the cot! Will try to find another Corgi plumber next week, but it might be difficult explaining why I've already got a boiler and knowing my luck they'll say 'Oh, you don't want to be buying one of THOSE, sir!

Is the condensing boiler really more efficient? An 'online' plumber I chatted to reckons they have to be really carefully set up to condense often enough for good results. He also reckons I might have problems because the CH system is 8mm microbore. Apparently, they don't like 'resistance' in the circuit.

Any thoughts?

The boiler will be fitted in the garage - where the car is parked overnight. (Motoring connection for this thread!)

Graeme
Central Heating 'thumps' - teabelly
I thought the condensing boilers were only really efficient when the return temperature of the water was relatively low. If the temperature is too high then they are as effiecient as an ordinary boiler. They also don't like running in systems where there are thermostatic valves on all the radiators for that very reason.

As for the increased price of the boiler it is the normal tradesman con. I had a quote which included a worcester bosch boiler which they said was £1500, only £700 in all the websites I found them. I went to an independent who did the whole job for £1400 which included a combi 80,000 btu boiler which is a much better spec and can have radiators added to it later. The 50,000 btu would have been struggling.


teabelly
Central Heating 'thumps' - Mondaywoe
Our CH does actually seem to have a very low return temp and around 20 degrees difference a lot of the time - I've got a pipe thermometer clamped on. I fitted the CH system myself BTW so I'm not too worried about getting the condensing boiler fitted. The only snag is that you need the gas connection to be made by a Corgi to make the warranty valid. (Great chance for HRH to claw back that £500 fine - or was it a different breed?)

The Keston boiler seems very sophisticated - it's got its own pump which is controlled by the electronics in the boiler - it modulates the speed according to demand to tweak the flow and return temps.It's so efficient the flue is just common PVC drainpipe!

Bear in mind that our system is LPG and I need to get every scrap of economy out of it. LPG costs an arm and a leg.

Having said that......I have been with Calor for 18 years and it's got dearer and dearer. We use about 9000 litres a year (that's right nine thousand!) Calor is currently asking about 26p per litre. HOWEVER.....I told them I was taking my business elsewhere (a local firm offered 18.9p)and they said they would make me 'commercial' at a rate of 18p. The local dealer said he would match that, fix it for 2 years and pay me in gas the charge Calor makes for uplifting a tank (£120!!)

Be advised that bulk LPG from Calor is NOT a standard price across the UK - they charge what they reckon they can get away with individual customers. I've only just tumbled to this!

I'm now with the local supplier and it's costing me £103 LESS to fill the tank. Now if I just had my condensing boiler fitted I'd be quids in!

Graeme
Central Heating 'thumps' - mark (aberdeen)
Graeme, your info on LPG is very interesting. I will go off and dig out invoices and check what we are paying per litre; does strike me they please themselves what they charge; never had a letter notifying increases so it will be interesting to look back. Similarly we have kept same 'local' supplier since we moved in (6 years) but I may do some comparison checks. As you say they 'own' the tank so if you change supplier they take their tank home(?) Supplier also charges £50 per year for 'maintenance' of tank. Thanks
Mark
Central Heating 'thumps' - nick
My jeep runs on LPG for which I pay anywhere between 34p and 39p per litre. Is this the same stuff that ch runs on? And if so does anyone know of any reason why I couldn't get a tank and fill up at home at the prices you pay for ch gas?
Central Heating 'thumps' - BrianW
Only the fact that it is illegal.

So far as I know, duty-free gas does not have a "marker" like gas oil (red diesel) but I may be wrong.
Central Heating 'thumps' - wemyss
Graham, Modulating the speed of the pump to regulate the return temperature would indeed seem to be a clever way of inducing the condensing side of the boiler to work, there must be some very clever electronics to do this and to keep the house temperature constant.
I would certainly advise you taking out an annual maintenance service for any boiler with advanced controls. This would include a combi boiler too.
Regarding problems with an 8mm microbore system giving increased resistance is true but you can always get round this one.
The same applies to thermostatic radiator valves.
In the past when fitting a system with these valves we would incorporate a heat sink in the system.
The theory behind this was that we considered if all the valves closed down when reaching the desired room temperature the pump would then be running without moving the water around the circuits and it wasn’t considered good practise.
The heat sink could comprise of fitting a towel rail which would be open all the time allowing the pump to maintain it’s circuit. Another way would be to have a short bypass between flow and return to do the same thing. This could be done on a 8mm system also. The F&R on these leaves the boiler in 22mm on it’s route to the manifolds and would be done on these. But only if it was necessary after testing.
I don’t particularly like the microbore system myself but this isn’t so much for technical reasons but because the supply tube to the rad valves is so vulnerable to damage on it’s connection to the valve.
Earlier this year a friend of mine asked me if I could help him out with his system as he had leaks on most of the connections.
My solution was to fit new 15mm valves to all rads and use a 8mmX15mm yorkshire adapter a few inches below the new valve and complete the connection with 15mm tube.
This solves the problem completely.
Graham if you fitted the system yourself you should have no difficulty in installing the boiler.
You would use the existing connections as you probably know.
If the warranty insists on a corgi connection being made I would pipe up the gas supply to the boiler and disconnect the final connection. He will simply tighten this up and put his U tube (manometer) on the test nipple from the boiler in mm water gauge and if this falls within the allowable drop sign it as OK.
Five minutes at most so find a friendly local man to do this and if you see a neighbour with a plumbers van outside, collar him as he comes out and ask him.
Regards
alvin

Central Heating 'thumps' - Mondaywoe
Thanks for that, Alvin.

I certainly installed the last system, but it is gravity feed to the hot tank. It would be preferable to convert to a sealed system and for some reason this scares me a bit! Mind you, in the boiler bumf that came with it the makers say they can supply a pressure vessel kit that sits underneath the boiler, so presumably, you just fit this and take off flow and return in the normal way (do you know?)

I could easily convert the existing HW cylinder to 'pumped'

At present there are 22mm pipes to the manifolds - actually two flow manifolds with an electric valve in between. After breakfast, the 'second' manifold is disabled and selected radiators (bedrooms mostly) come out of the equation. All of this, however, is controlled by a whole lot of clocks and thermostats according to outside temp. On coldish days, half the system comes on as above, but if it gets down to freezing the whole system opens up. This includes times bursts through the night. BTW I live in NE Scotland - on a north facing clifftop!

I already have a couple of small rads without TRVs (heat sink)
and yes, a few of the rads have 15mm copper going into the TRVs which is reduced a few inches back to 8mm.

The cylinder is fed by 28mm copper (gravity) - again with an electric valve and theromostat on the cylinder itself. So water temp at the taps is less than the CH system (comfortable!)

It's actually taken me about 20 years to get this heating effective and controlled as it is. We started off with a Dunsley backboiler (coal!) 20 years ago. It was a disaster! After getting the LPG (18 years ago!)I progressively added and resized rads to get all the rooms just right.

The bugbear would seem to be the present boiler - conventional flue, non-condensing. According to the engineer who did the quote, a lot of the heat is just disappearing up the chimmney - that sounds reasonable!

Just not very sure about this pressure vessel setup and 'filling loop' they refer to - or rather, where exactly to situate it!

Any advice gratefully received!

Graeme.
Central Heating 'thumps' - wemyss
Graeme, Good idea with the two manifolds and is another way of controlling or zoning as it’s called.
There are many ways of achieving this and I prefer electric two port valves with roomstats on individual circuits.
A pressurised system should present you with no problems.
The pressure vessel which would be mounted on the wall near your boiler. It would be connected to the cold rising main through the filling loop which is simply a steel braided pipe with a double check valve (non return valve to conform to water by-laws and prevent contaminated water back into the main) and is then connected through to the heating circuit near the boiler to fill the system to the required pressure. The filling loop is then supposed to be removed and reconnected if any make up is required. No one ever does remove them though!.
A safety valve would also be fitted in usually to the heating flow from the boiler.
Pressure vessels can be bought as a kit which comes with pressure gauge, safety valve and instructions on installation.
Nothing complicated but you would need advice on the size of the pressure vessel which is in relation to the water capacity of your heating system.
You say...take off flow and returns in the normal manner.. If you mean heating flow and returns... NO
The pressure vessel is only connected to the cold water rising main and then into the system. Quite simple.
The pressure vessel consists of pressurised air separated from water by a flexible diagraphm. When the heating system heats up and the water expands this flexes to take the pressure off. www.avid.force9.co.uk/harhtg/direct/products/pv/ This gives you the basics.
Flows and returns come off your boiler the same as a conventional system.
You would then have to remove your make up tank. Blank off the cold feed from this and the expansion pipe also.
Converting your primary flow and return to pumped is a definite yes. Far quicker and more efficient.
Don’t be tempted to use a separate pump for this though as it will give you other problems. Think carefully how you would do this as it’s very easy to start other circuits circulating when you don’t want them to.
Often unwanted gravity and pumped circulation could have been avoided if only we had thought about it before we started.
alvin
Central Heating 'thumps' - bazza
Hi Alvin

You're obviously a competent C/H engineer, I wonder if you can help me with this one.

I have a Myson Apollo boiler and 8mm CH system, Grunfos Selectra pump, no therm rad valves, just one room stat. When running, there is a very loud whooshing/banging noise that occurs regularly, it sounds like steam venting and comes from the boiler vicinity. I've noticed that just before this happens the pump cuts out, then starts up again in half a min or so. Should the pump be doing this? An on line plumber suggested that it was probably boiler overheating due to lack of a pump over-run. What is this and how does it work? Would it be cured by a new pump? I'm happy to wop out £50 or so if the chances are it would cure the problem.

Any advice (from anyone) very much appreciated

Thanks
Central Heating 'thumps' - BrianW
We used to have an old fashioned floor standing gas boiler at work. 100% reliable other than when the wind blew the pilot flame out (not a balanced flue).
It was decided to update to a condensing boiler when the basement area was remodelled. This was duly installed.
Since then the engineers from BG (who did the installation)and the manufacturers have spent a LOT of time fixing various faults, the pump has been changed about four times, eventually for a larger one, our office manager has almost gone grey over it.
No discernable difference in the gas bills.

If it aint broke, don't fix it!
Central Heating 'thumps' - lezebre
Hi Graeme,
I too used the Net to detect a 'rip - off factor' in the quote I had, but you are braver than I, and I was apprehensive about ordering a boiler and then wondering how it was going to be connected, which seems to be your current situation.
At least you've shown that those on-line prices can be achieved and that the machinery arrives safely.

I'm surprised at what you've heard that a condensing boiler needs to be 'persuaded' to condense. It just looks like a sealed unit to me with little scope to adjust, but hopefully someone - Alvin ? - can answer yours and my queries.

As to efficiency, there is a very good improvement, but then the boiler it replaced was 28 years old.

Central Heating 'thumps' - wemyss
The thump you are hearing is known as water hammer in the trade and is not just related to a heating system but more commonly associated with a rising main cold water supply.
You will hear it in many properties when a cold water tap is turned off quickly and the sudden jolt sends a shock wave along the pipework and if it is perhaps not clipped tightly will result in a thud or bang.
This is why self closing taps as seen in service stations or institutions close slowly by equalising pressure within the tap.
What you are getting in your system sounds as if you have a two port valve actuated electrically and often fitted to prevent gravity circulation and when the electric supply cuts by either the programmer or thermostat it closes and gives a sudden thud.
However they generally close slowly although you may have a spring return one which is a bit quicker but I have never heard of any problems from these.
A more likely suspect is the gas valve inside the boiler which works very fast. The moment it loses its electric supply the valve slams shut and I have heard some very noisy ones.
In fact the one on my own which is a Glow Worm Majorca cast iron boiler 25 years old has always closed with a crack. Many others of the same model I have heard are silent.
Nothing at all to concern you but the method to find what is causing it would be simply to hold your hand on the water or gas pipe and with an assistant turning the boiler on and off you should locate where the source is.
I have no experience with the domestic condensing boilers as to whether they give greater efficiency or not.
I have read the technical literature and fully understand the principles involved which isn’t new in boiler technology and has been used in one form or another for decades. But the claims made for energy savings sounds a little over the top and would perhaps have to be operated under certain conditions such as when starting from cold and therefore getting a cooler return initially to promote condensing.
The classic flow and return temperatures in text books used to make calculations was 180f and 160f.
Can be lower of course but the differential of 20 was considered an efficient layout.
How you would obtain lower return temperatures and maintain an efficient heating system is unclear to me. The transmission of heat from a radiator is dependant on the differential of temperature between the surface of the radiator and the ambient air temperature of the room.
So obviously as the room temperature warms up transmission of heat decreases and the return gets hotter until the boiler senses this and turns itself off.
Therefore the advantages of a cooler return promoting condensing would seem to fall away under normal running conditions.
However having said that I’m sure they must operate more efficiently than a conventional flued boiler as grants are available to have these fitted and any false claims would have been long exposed.
Now a Combi boiler is a different story....
alvin



Central Heating 'thumps' - lezebre
Thanks a lot, alvin, I'm most grateful. Cheers to the other contributors, too.
Plumbers Selling CH boilers beware - Flat in Fifth
"knowing my luck they'll say 'Oh, you don't want to be buying one of THOSE, sir!"

Funnily enough there was a boiler manufacturer (shall we call them GW ;-) whose marketing strategy was based on controlling the sharp intake of breath.

As you say, "I was thinking of a Widget&Widget model ABC"
Plumber gives sharp intake of breath, so you think oh dear I've made a bad choice and more ready to accept the plumbers suggested GW brand.

Of course if he sold you a GW boiler it was one more to his target of x boilers which got him a free seat on the GW annual plumber binge to places like Hawaii, Mexico anywhere hot where a lot of beer could be drunk, golf played and women chased. (allegedly)

The only downside of this marketing strategy was the strong disincentive to the plumber when he had sold (2x -1) boilers on the basis that one more would mean he had to take the missus as well.

True story.

Plumbers Selling CH boilers beware - wemyss
Quite correct in what FIF says about the exotic holidays and I met several who had enjoyed them.
The manufacturers are from my home town and the castings were made just outside at their own foundry.
A friend who worked in the office at GW all his working life now retired tells me this has closed and castings are now imported from India.
However they were and presumably still are excellent boilers.
They also sold radiators made in Sweden and which were generally considered the best ever made. When they stopped selling them they sold off all their stock at 2.5p (old money) per square foot.
I bought all the rads in my present house for £6.50.
My mate constantly bemoans "why didn't I buy their entire stock, I would be rich now".
alvin
Leaking shower, wet carpet - blank
Since moving into our new house, we have suffered problems with the shower in the en-suite to the main bedroom leaking. The leaks are now, finally, stopped, but the carpet is damaged because it got wet so often.

The carpet is a single piece through the bedroom into the shower room and my wife and I would like it to stay this way. The builder admits that the poor installation of the shower has damaged our carpet, but are offering to make good by replacing the section of carpet in the shower room only, so there will be a joining strip between the two.

I am not happy with this. Do I have the basic legal right to be returned to the position I was i.e. with one piece of non-rotten carpet throughout the whole area, or should I just accept the offer. The difference in area of carpet is probably 3 square metres for the shower room vs 20 for the whole area, so it's obvious the builder will not accept the need to replace the lot unless I am correct in my approach.

Thanks for reading!
Andy
Leaking shower, wet carpet - Mark (RLBS)
Tell the builder you'll accept the offer if he gets a good carpet stitcher in.

A good one can join it to a point where it is almost impossible to find. Actually, given the size of your room(s) are you sure it hasn't already been done that way ?

Of course, the Builder might just find that it outweighs the cost of replacing the whole carpet, but then that would be his issue.
Leaking shower, wet carpet - blank
Tell the builder you'll accept the offer if he gets a
good carpet stitcher in.

Good idea, thanks
A good one can join it to a point where it
is almost impossible to find. Actually, given the size of your
room(s) are you sure it hasn't already been done that way
?

I was, but i'll have a look tonight.
Of course, the Builder might just find that it outweighs the
cost of replacing the whole carpet, but then that would be
his issue.

The carpet is not cheap - the wife insisted!

Cheers Mark. Have a virtual beer on me.
HF v W.B.Soc. - Phil I
Four weeks to the day when you had form letter from your bete noire. Any news on this please.

Phil I.
Central Heating 'hammer' - lezebre
I'm now sure it's not the gas shut off valve making the noise, alvin.
On further investigation, it's really really noisy on the slowest pump speed, Quieter but significant on the middle speed, and mostly silent on the fastest. Any further thoughts, please?

Central Heating 'hammer' - wemyss
LeZebre,
When you say the circ pump in noisier at low speed etc do you mean all the time it’s running or as you previously said when it switches off ?.
Normally they are quieter on the low speeds.
On most pumps there is a bleed screw. Have you tried bleeding this.
I presume with you having a new condensing boiler that the pump is incorporated inside the casing.
I only say this because if it was a stand alone one it does have to be orientated in a particular way but this wouldn’t apply if it was factory installed in the boiler.
Cylinder situated below the boiler ! ? That sounds unusual and was wondering where the vent pipe (which allows expansion and removes air) is located.
Could you give a little more info.
Is the noise still just when it switches off. What kind of noise ? How many flows and returns come out of the boiler and is there a motorised valve on one of them.? Two way or three way?.
alvin
Central Heating questions - lezebre
alvin,

I meant that the knock which only ever accompanies switch - off quietens with increasing pump speed, seems odd to me; pump itself is fine - external.
Pre-existing cylinder, vented; contractor moved replacement boiler to a position above and to one side of it, makes for a neat installation, no probs there i shouldn't think.
I can see one outflow and one return to the boiler. There is a complicated looking junction where the flow forks to serve the cylinder on one branch and the radiators on the other. Each branch is fitted with a motorised valve (ie two separate valves) and these are either both open, one open, or both shut when boiler is switching off.

Although the knock sounds like water hammer when in a room with a radiator, I've been spending some time listening to the boiler itself, and it *does* sound as if something is slamming shut inside there. If the central heating switches off while the valve to the hw cylinder is still open there is no noise. When the ch switches off the motorised valve closes, and if the hw is also off the flow seems to have nowhere to go, and the noise occurs.

Now found a "solution". There is a small bore pipe branched into the pump outlet side and leading to the boiler return pipe. This has a small manual valve on it which I found closed. With some trepidation I opened it - no more noise! I then backed it off until the shutdown noise occurred again, and settled on a position where it is half way open. Now the heating is operating blissfully quietly. One more thing alvin, if you've got this far, it is recommended to use Sentinel X100 inhibitor. I know I would never have an uninhibited cooling system in a car, but I wonder if it is really necessary in domestic heating or would plain water suffice?
LeZebre

Central Heating questions - BrianW
Central heating inhibitor prevents corrosion, extends the life of radiatirs and reduces sludge build-up.
Furnox is another well known make.
Central Heating questions - wemyss
La Zebre,
A good explanation of your system and pleased you have solved the problem.
I imagine the by-pass you describe was fitted for one of two reasons. The first being that if both two port valves were closed the pump could still be running for a while against closed circuits which isn’t considered good practise. The by-pass would solve that one.
And the other reason is that some boilers specify that the system must be wired to give a pump over run when the gas valve closes. Simply means that the pump must continue to circulate to allow the boiler to cool down by continuing to circulate in the system for a few minutes.
With low water content boilers such as space savers which only have a capacity measured in pints this is important and some with the pump already installed have it setup to do this by the factory.
Mind you in some large cast boilers of 800,000btu plus which I have installed also have this manufacturers instruction.
We shall have to guess what exactly made this knock but curing it by opening the by-pass would point towards the pump not liking the two port valves stopping it’s work. Have never heard this myself but the important thing is you have cured it.
Regarding inhibitors as Brian says Furnox is the big name on the domestic scene. Whether it is strictly necessary I have heard many arguments on this and couldn’t give a definitive answer not being a chemist but can give some information based on experience.
Beginning my apprenticeship in the early fifties domestic heating was unknown but I worked for a central heating company on industrial and new schools installations and no water treatment was used then.
The reasoning was that after the initial fill and commissioning the water had given up all its limescale, oxygen and impurities and became inert. This water became totally black, Domestic heating became popular in the sixties and even then water treatment was not used but similarly we used to drain the anti freeze out of cars at the end of winter and refill with clean water as per the handbook.
Corrosion I have seen has mostly been caused by poor design in which you get pumping over into the expansion tank. This aeration takes oxygen back into the system which rapidly causes corrosion. However I think that with today’s modern boilers, and smaller waterways it would be wise to use it as an insurance. I have it in mine mainly because a contractor gave me five gallon years of it years ago and it also seems to prevent kettling (noisy boiler sounding like an electric kettle).
alvin

Personal Liability Insurance - Vin {P}
I was recounted an awful story at work yesterday by a colleague whose son has been partially blinded in one eye by a stone thrown by another child. He ended the tale with "I'm looking for compensation". Regardless of the rights and wrongs of this view, it got me thinking.

In these days of compensation claims for everything, I could well be liable if, say, my toddling daughter tripped someone up in my local shopping centre. Theoretically, I could be bankrupted if the claim were sufficient, lose all my savings, and end up living in Waterloo Station, hoarding carrier bags and shouting at passers by.

I've had a look round the internet for personal liability insurence and all I seem to find is Employer liability insurance. Does anyone know where I can get something to cover me and my family for personal liability?

V
Personal Liability Insurance - Maz
Vin - Bankruptcy doesn't relly work like that.

Anyhow, for Private Indemnity insurance, try asking Asley Roadwell brokers - 0117 604101. They will know if anything exists.
Personal Liability Insurance - Rebecca {P}
I thought a lot of household insurances cover this (possibly as an option). Have you checked your policy?
Personal Liability Insurance - Vin {P}
Yes, that was my first thought, but I'm covered for liabilities arising from my ownership of theproperty. I'm going to give the brokers a call.

V
Personal Liability Insurance - BrianW
Third party liability insurance is usally an add-on to contents insurance but not buildings insurance.
HTH
sorry, me again! - HF
Hi BR,

well I suppose it was bound to be me that opened up this thread again, seeing as I hijacked a large part of it in the past.

This question though, is totally unrelated to any of my former boring posts, and is just made in the hope that there might be some 'techie' out there that can advise.

The other day, I was advised by my computer to upgrade to the latest version of Windows Media Player. Which I did.

Since then, all the songs that I have downloaded in the past,will not play anymore. The screen appears and it looks like it is playing, but nothing comes out of my speakers.

Have been to the Windows/Media help places, but they don't have a solution for me.

Anyone have any ideas? Do 'NEED' to hear some things that I had here before, only computer will not allow me to hear!

Any answers as always gratefully received.
HF

Oh and PS, have tried to get rid of latest WMP download and go back to my former one, but this hasn't worked either.

sorry, me again! - dave18
I can't help you with Media Player problems. Even on my amazingly good (!) computer running XP Pro ,Media Player still annoys me at times. Tonihgt in fact I tried to copy all my fave albums into the Media Library. A fair few didn't work, so I had to manually open the ones I wanted to hear. As for the screen appearing and the sound not.. check the volume settings on your computer and on Media Player. Browse the help menus too. Otherwise I cant help.
If there is no immediate solution...
I would suggest try using a different player. If you download Kazaa Media Desktop (a downloading service) and import all your music files into that, you should be able to listen to the songs that way. Search for it on Google; I forget the address and maybe shouldn't post it here because it allows much piracy... ;) Also RealPlayer may work but I only use this when it chooses to appear when I stream files (play them from an internet site.)
Or burn your MP3s to CD and listen from the CD Rom drive or an MP3 compatible CD player (portable ones are £50+) - the latter is great - 10 albums on one CD. You can get them for your car, but they are expensive, and I mwandering off topic so Ill leave it at that.
sorry, me again! - HF
Hello D18, thanks for all of that! I wasn't actually expecting any kind of reply tonight, so this has slightly taken me unawares!!

I'm on '98, not XP, - but I HAVE checked the volume settings :(

I will certainly try loading the Kazaa thing that you mention - never heard of it before but anything is worth a go!

As far as burning to CD is concerned - yep, one day I will. Right now I don't have the facilities to do so.
Gonna have to post this real soon because of the time-out rule - sorry that I have said nothing of interest or relevance, but I WOULD ilke to thank you for your advice.

Well, thanks! Goitta post now or all will be denied by the 20 minute rule - but thanks for replying to me.
Yours
HF
sorry, me again! - Dynamic Dave
Hi HF,

Regarding your Media player problems, what version you running? (to find this open the media player and goto Help/About Windows Media Player) I'm running version 7.01.00.3055) If yours isn't the same version, hopefully the menus are still the same. Goto Tools/Options. Click on the Formats tab and see what is and what isn't ticked. Make a note of them all on paper (in case you want to reset them to what they originally were) then start ticking/unticking boxes in a "trial and error" sort of way until hopefully the stuff that isn't currently playing suddenly does start playing.

ps, If only it were a Vauxhall and not Microsoft :o)
sorry, me again! - HF
Hello Dynamic, and thank you for your reply!

Seems you are a bit of a computer buff as well as a car-encyclopedia?! Learn something new every day!

Goodness knows what version of Media Player I am running - all I know is that I upgraded according to their recommendation, and subsequently nothing has worked!

Tomorrow, (not now 'cos knackered and can't guarantee results!) will do precisely as you say with regard to the clicking and making notes. Couldn't actually tell you at this moment if this is something I have tried before - because with me and computers, one tries so many things and in the end it's so easy to forget what you have or haven't tried before.

Tomorrow I will do as you suggest.

Now, I will just thank you very sincerely for your time and consideration. It's appreciated, hugely, from me.

Take care, Dynamic, and please realise that I appreciate all the posts you make to help me out.

Take care, and hopefully speak soon.
HF
sorry, me again! - dave18
If you do want kazaa:
www.kazaa.com/us/index.php It lets you download all kinds of stuff e.g. pretty much any music.
Anyway good luck fixing Media Player. Its very good, when it behaves itself.
sorry, me again! - HF
Hi Dave18 and Dynamic,

You are both geniuses! (genii?)

Having followed Dynamic's instructions re 'options' etc, I find that indeed as mentioned by 18 that my volume setting was at zero :(

Strange, because when I'd checked it out before (in a different and obviously incorrect way) it was at maximum.

Anywy, thanks to both of you, I can now hear my beloved music once again :)

Think I might try this Kazaa thing as well.

Thank you both
HF
sorry, me again! - Dynamic Dave
If you do want kazaa:


***BEWARE*** Kazaa is Spyware.

IMHO, WinMX is much better - and it doesn't report home either.
sorry, me again! ME actually! - THe Growler
Kazaa is indeed full of spyware, or at least the new one is. I stick with Kazaa Lite which still works fine. It's slow but I just log on, pick out what I want, go to bed and consolidate what's happened in the morning.

Ad-Aware can get rid of most of the spyware anyway, which is the usual stuff.

For the rest I have gone over to Musicmatch, PCWorld's top choice, you get 5 free burns and it doesn't have the ludicrous overweight front end full of stuff you don't need like RealPlayer.






sorry, me again! ME actually! - HF
Sorry about this - I don't know what Spyware is - would someone mind explaining please?

Am now panic-stricken because just downloaded Kazaa, should I get rid of it again straight away?

Thanks,
HF
sorry, me again! ME actually! - HF
ps - and what is 'reporting home'?
sorry, me again! ME actually! - Dynamic Dave
I don't know what Spyware is - would someone mind explaining please? and what is 'reporting home'?


Spyware: Software installed with no disclosure that gathers information about the user of the machine then sends this back to another server. Some adware programs fit this term.

Adware: Software installed, usually with limited disclosure, that mainly delivers ads. Some adware programs fit the definition of spyware if they also gather data about the user, either to sell to others or to make the advertising more relevant.

Taken from www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,744203,00.h...l

Plenty more info can be found on Google.
sorry, me again! ME actually! - HF
Thanks Dynamic,

You are a mine of information!

Some pretty alarming stuff, certainly explains a few things that have happened on my computer over the months! Like the morning I turned on the machine and found it had downloaded many thousands of porn sites, complete with icons on my home page. Luckily I got there before the kids did, but it took an age to get rid of the stuff. In fact for all I know it's probably still lurking in there somewhre.

The most worrying one mentioned in the article is where they can use your modem to dial up a premium rate phone number - I hope I've got enough protection to stop this one!
HF
sorry, me again! ME actually! - THe Growler
Don't worry, spyware just sticks garbage ads for c**p you don't need (like the DT Motoring pages' ones for BMW and LR hehe) on your screen. It's harmless (SFAIK) but irritating.

Problem is it puts stuff on your PC you don't want or need enabling even more junk.

Logging on to www.lavasoftusa.com will get you Ad-Aware. It's free and you can run it and clean out your system of spyware when you feel like it.

Just one thing-- There is one file of Kazaa's -- (cd_clint.dll) which Ad-aware will throw up as part of spyware. Kazaa needs this to run, so don't delete it, it's harmless. Just add it to the Ad-Aware exclusion list for the future so your next purge overlooks it.

Or just keep a copy of the dll somewhere in cas you delete it by mistake (I've done this) so you can put it back as required.

Kazaa and other free stuff relies on ads for its funding (I think the latest Kazaa upgrade actually points this out) so this is why it has to include trash programs in its software.

Doubtless better informed dweebs out there can explain all this better than I!



sorry, me again! ME actually! - HF
Thanks Growler,

you explained it all perfectly.

I actually downloaded Ad-Aware earlier, after you mentioned it in your previous post. It's thrown up all sorts of things, half of which I don't know if I should delete or not, and it also mentioned 'possible hijack attempts' which is a little alarming!

I guess this 'spyware' is the reason why I get mysterious unsolicited adverts appearing on my screen, relating to whatever subject I happen to be researching at the time.

Thanks for the info.
HF
sorry, me again! ME actually! - dave18
WinMX is better if you can't put up with the junk appearing on your screen. I automatically suggested Kazaa because my connection at Uni is behind a firewall and Kazaa works; WinMX doesn't.
sorry, me again! ME actually! - HF
Had never heard of WinMX until Dynamic mentioned it earlier. Might take a look at that as well.
HF
Random reflection apropos nothing in par - THe Growler
Perusing this lot , don't claim to understand more than a third of it, although I now know "water hammer" is what work me up every day at 4 a.m. in the Fawlty Towers I just stayed in in T. Wells. "Hammer" is what I felt like taking to the Croatian loon on the reception (where have the native English-speaking people gone in England?) who told me "it always does that in room 40 sir". Move over Manuel. Anyway......

Amazing the rich mine of knowledge and information here. I know this has nothing to do with the raison d'etre of the BR but it has proven to be excellent way of corralling all the non-motoring stuff which comes up and while off topic is useful to somebody. Usually somebody like me who has wondered about something for a long time and suddenly ses the subject come up at a tangent as part of another discussion.

M has to make it sure it doesn't take over the board of course, but I think it should stay.

Now I'm off to try WinMX.....
WinMX - HF
Hi,

not really sure if I should even be posting this here, but downloaded WinMX this morning and found somethng that really disturbed me there.

Was browsing through the program, just trying to suss out how it works, looking at all the options etc - and came upon a list of 'chatrooms'.

Glanced briefly down the list, 99% at least sounded either very sad or very obscene - but one had a title which is totally sick, totally illegal, and something the police internationally are working on right now. Bearing in mind that the WinMX program has a disclaimer about any responsibility for any chatrooms it has on its program, is there anything I can do about this room? (I know they must be all over the web, but I've never seen one before and the thought makes me sick). If I called my local police, would they do anything, bearing in mind this is an ongoing and very current topic which is being tackled internationally? Or is there anyone else I should contact?

It's just not something that, having seen it, I can forget about.

Any comments will be gratefully received.
HF
WinMX - eMBe {P}
HF: I think you need to read up a good book on protecting yourself and your PC from harm on the internet. I am particularly worried about that you may have a "trojan horse" program on your disc that set up the porn site icons on your PC automatically.

As to your specific question, do a search on google for organisations that help make the internet safer for children (and adults), and then follow their advice. Remember, anything on your PC - however innocently you might claim it to have got stored on it - is your responsibility. Ignorance is no defence in law.

Considering the amount of time people on this forum spend on their PCs and internet (which may be greater than in their cars), they should perhaps give priority to learn the ins and outs of surfing the web safely.
WinMX - HF
HF: I think you need to read up a good book
on protecting yourself and your PC from harm on the internet.
I am particularly worried about that you may have a "trojan
horse" program on your disc that set up the porn site
icons on your PC automatically.
As to your specific question, do a search on google for
organisations that help make the internet safer for children (and adults),
and then follow their advice. Remember, anything on your PC -
however innocently you might claim it to have got stored on
it - is your responsibility. Ignorance is no defence in law.
Considering the amount of time people on this forum spend on
their PCs and internet (which may be greater than in their
cars), they should perhaps give priority to learn the ins and
outs of surfing the web safely.

>>

MB, thanks, a lot, for that.

The porn-site thing happened some months ago, and I haven't had such trouble since - so hopefully I don't have a trojan horse. If I had, would it not have done the same thing again by now?

As for your advice re my specific question - thanks, I will do a Google search and try to establish if there is anyone that I can contact about this.

I know about the problem where people can have things inside their PC innocently, and that this is no defence in law - which is why I never went into the room I referred to in my last post. A little bit of me wanted to just check it out, to see if it *really* was what it seemed, but I was too scared, both of what I might see, and also the consequences.

The net can be a wonderful thing - also though, I think, it has opened up realms of possibilities that perverts can use, which were never open to them before.

All I can say is what we already know here. If anyone has kids, then please monitor their internet use, always. If even a program as innocent-sounding and well-known has this stuff lurking, then, to me, it says that nothing is safe.
HF
WinMX - Dynamic Dave
HF,

Sorry that you've stumbled on something offensive in WinMX. That was never my intention when I suggested it. I only use it for music sharing with others. Never bothered accessing the chatroom with it as I know what sad and perverted individuals lurk in those places. In fact I totally forgot WinMX had a chatroom facility.
I only started using WinMX (recommended to me by a friend) after Audio Galaxy went the same way as Napster did.
Again, sorry HF.
WinMX - HF
Hi Dynamic,

NO need for apologies at all!!!! And of course I know that wasn't your intention when you mentioned the site!

In the past I've used Xollox (the one that downloaded all the porno things onto my computer) and then Bearshare, which seemed ok. But, like you said before, it includes Spyware! (see, I am now getting the lingo right, I believe?)

I haven't been in any of these WinMX chatrooms, just saw the titles and one of them particularly disturbed me, as
I said before, and I really don't know if I should alert the authorities or if they'll take no notice.

Dynamic, please don't feel you need to apologise to me about this, you really shouldn't. It's a website and as such we all know the possibilities.

Please, answer me one thing - if you HAD come across such a thing on WinMX, what would you have done?

Can only just repeat that you don't need to apologise - I think you know how much I value your input and advice, and I know full well that anything you say is made with the very best of intentions.

So, no more apologies needed!
HF
(and thanks for all the advice/help so far, and for all that I hope you will give me in the future)

Take care
HF




WinMX - Dynamic Dave
if you HAD come across such a thing on WinMX, what would you have done?


Probably would have ignored it HF. That's where us men and women differ. Not trying to sound sexist, but IMHO, men tollerate porn and the like, more than women do.
Also I'm the only one with access to my pc, whereas you have kids that no doubt also use yours and I can fully understand you not wanting them to stumble on such nasties.
I'm sure there's a website specifically set up to report paedophile type websites; not sure about chatrooms though. For the life of me I can't remember the name though. If I happen to think of it, I'll post back.
WinMX - HF
Thanks Dynamic,

Would be grateful to know the website name because this was (seemed to be from the title) a paedophile chatroom and I really don't feel I can just ignore it.

You don't sound sexist, there's nothing any of us can do but to tolerate *most* porn sites, and I suppose *most* of them are pretty harmless anyway, for those to whom they appeal - and I have parental controls set up so the kids can't access it.

It's just that this particular one turned my stomach. I was thinking of searching around a bit to see if I could find the site you're referring to, but I'd probably find my computer throws out a list of paedophile sites instead, so I don't think that's a good idea.
HF
WinMX - Slice
HF,

It is probably the case that the sickos using this chatroom are not doing anything legally wrong in just talking about the subject, although what it could lead to would obviously be a different matter. Probably the only thing that could be done would be to apply some moral pressure to whoever is hosting it (assuming they aren't one of them) to close the thing down.

I would also imagine that if it is that easy to find - being "advertised" on WinMX - there are probably authorities already monitoring it and the people who visit it. Internet use is about as anonymous as a mugshot, as yesterday's arrest figures showed.
WinMX - HF
It is probably the case that the sickos using this chatroom
are not doing anything legally wrong in just talking about the
subject, although what it could lead to would obviously be a
different matter.


I hope you're right, Slice, but the topic of the room included the word 'Trade', so I dread to imagine what might be going on in there.

Probably the only thing that could be done
would be to apply some moral pressure to whoever is hosting
it (assuming they aren't one of them) to close the thing
down.


These rooms are totally unregulated, as far as I can see, so I would imagine the host *is* 'one of them.' In fact I can't imagine that anyone who isn't 'one of them' would act as their host.
I would also imagine that if it is that easy to
find - being "advertised" on WinMX - there are probably authorities
already monitoring it and the people who visit it. Internet
use is about as anonymous as a mugshot, as yesterday's arrest
figures showed.


Yes, hope you're right - I've reported it to the site suggested by MB anyway.
HF
Random reflection apropos nothing in par - Blue {P}
My brother has used Kazaa vefore and found that it used to make his machine want to connect to the internet all the time, and just generally caused grief as the machine seemed to crash, and become unstable when it was installed. However, we have Zone Alarm personal firewall installed, which is ESSENTIAL for broadband users, our's detects numerous probes of our system by people and so far appears to have blocked every one of them. Best of all, it's FREE! :)

I'm gonna try this WinMX thing now though.

www.zonelabs.com

Blue
Random reflection apropos nothing in par - HF
Blue, hi, me again,

just looked at the Zone Alarm thing, it seems it wants me to buy its product rather than get it for free. (and I remember looking here before, and giving up in the end!) Do I just need to uncross all the boxes so that it will co-operate?

As for WinMX, I'm sure it's great, and I am going to keep it on my PC(Dynamic's information and advice has always been spot on, and I don't see any reason that that has changed!

My only problem is this one above regarding a certain room within WinMX - I need to know, what I can do about it? Can I report it somewhere, and if so, where?

Ridiculously tired and going to bed now, so good night, and speak soon. Take care.
HF
I have a new question for you! - Rebecca {P}
Who knows anything about electricity?

At home our fairly new iron manages to trip the trip switch when used for 30 minutes or more.

Is this likely to be a fault with the iron, the socket or the house electrics? There's only so many times we can be bothered to reset the video, alarm clocks, oven clock etc.

Personally I am happy to stop ironing for the sake of the electrics, but I would like to sort this out - and get a new iron while under guarantee if appropriate.

Thanks!
I have a new question for you! - Dwight Van Driver
Pending chapter and verse from a 'sparks' is not your fault due to the fact that you are demanding too much from the incoming strength of current?. Check what else you have running lecky wise at the time and shut them down when I think you will find that you can dash away with your smoothing iron to your hearts content.
Now stand by for the full explanation.

DVD
I have a new question for you! - CM
Have you tried changing the fuse? Does the plug get very hot when/before the iron cuts out? Rather than trip the whole house the fuse in the iron should burn itself out.

I once had a fuse sort of melt but it still allowed the appliance to work (I only noticed it when the plug casing started to smoke!).
I have a new question for you! - wowbagger
Not neccessarily. If the iron takes the current for the ring circuit over the limit if will trip the MCB even though the iron's current is below the rating of the iron's fuse.

Similarly, one would hope that the RCD would trip before the fuse blows for an earth fault. (RCD's generally trip at 30mA current imbalance).
I have a new question for you! - wowbagger
Sounds to me like the iron is faulty and potentially dangerous. Stop using it at once. (Not often you get an excuse to get out of the ironing, is it?). The 'trip' you mention is either an RCD (Residual Current Device) or a miniature circuit breaker (MCB). An RCD compares the current in the live (brown) wire with the current in the neutral (blue) wire. If there's a difference there must be a fault to ground, which is dangerous.

An MCB is simply a resettable fuse that trips when too much current is being drawn. Assuming you don't have lots of other high-current appliances on when this happens, then it also indicates a potentially dangerous fault.

Don't bother trying to check the plug. If it's fairly new it should be moulded on.

By the way, I'm assuming that you have other fairly high current appliances (e.g. a kettle) that don't cause similar problems.
I have a new question for you! - Rebecca {P}
Trip switch is RCD, no other appliance causes the same effect. Last night when this happened there were a few lights on, the TV was on, the usual fridge, freezer etc and a few other things with clocks (video, DVD, alarm clock, oven, microwave) but these weren't in use.

The iron just stops, no hissing, fizzing, smoking or smell, and it's not on the hottest setting.

If this is the culprit, do you think Argos would replace it without the box? (probably have receipt somewhere).

Thanks for all your answers. Will definitely not iron again until it's sorted!
I have a new question for you! - wowbagger
OK, Rebecca, you are right to stop using the iron. Yes, Argos should replace the iron without the box. You should try to ensure that they cut the plug off to prevent further use. Just as a matter of interest, it isn't a Schneider steam iron, is it? There was a recall on these for faulty wiring.

Ideally, the iron should be returned by Argos to the manufacturer for investigation of this type of fault, and it might be worth contacting their consumer relations department to see what they have to say.

The wowbagger rule of trips and fuses is:

If it trips/blows once, reset the trip or replace the fuse (with a fuse of the same rating). If it trips/blows again there's a fault that needs investigating.
Faulty iron - eMBe {P}
If this is the culprit, do you think Argos would replace it without the box? (probably have receipt somewhere). >>


I would inform Trading Standards as this is a potential safety issue which might affect other consumers.

In simplistic terms: With irons, sometimes a fault develops at the point where the cable enters the iron or at the plug end - due to repeated flexing, a small break in the insulation is enough for current (very tiny amount) to pass from live to earth and cause the RCD to trip. This is a warning because if the cable becomes frayed further, a larger current might jump across and could cause a fire! So heed the warning and take the iron to TS and/or Argos for investigation. Do not worry about getting your money back - that is much less important in the scheme of things.
Faulty iron - BrianW
Take care of cables and flexes.
You often get damage where it has been kinked or twisted.
When putting an appliance away try to coil the cable in loose loops or if long roll it on a drum or cable carrier.
Faulty iron - Blue {P}
They have to take it back without the box, but if you can't find the receipt then you may have to forget about a refund/replacement as it is entirely at their discretion as to whether they will or will not help you.

Sorry to be such a miserable s0d! Unfortunately that's where you stand. :(

Blue
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - THe Growler
Picking up on the above re Zazaa again, I have also upgraded to the new one on my desktop PC (I still have Lite on my laptop). It is true the new one has a lot of spyware and does attempt to dial up automatically. Former can be corrected by Ad-Aware to remove the irritating spyware, and the latter is simply a matter of configuring the installation not to dial except on demand.

If this is still all too much, I have a copy of the original download of Kazaa Lite still. It's only 1.17 MB. Send me a PM and I'll get you a copy somehow as a Christmas present. There are guaranteed no nasties with this as mentioned by HF with WinMX.

Incidentally I do like MusicMatch if you haven't tried it yet...
OK it's commercial not "share" ware -- www.musicmatch.com

ZoneAlarm has come up many times in these hallowed pages and this is certainly a good deterrent against back door nasties (although I am told it's far from bombproof, but then what is these days?) There IS a free basic version if you look for it HF. Certainly you don't need to buy the Pro example if you don't feel the need, that's just bells and whistles).

I am a very heavy surfer, since after a life-time of globe-trotting my friends and contacts are all over the place. With ZA, Ad-Aware and a good virus scanner (I like PCCillin because Trend Micro have a local office in Manila and are dynamite on keeping me up to date with new viruses, whereas Norton et al are a bit sluggish), I never have any problems whatsoever with stuff I don't want. What does get through I find about at once and zap instantly.

Regcleaner (that's not MS's regclean.exe), but another one is good and safe for cleaning out the registry. You can uninstall and delete and all that but if something unpleasant still leaves traces in your registry you can have bother later on. If you are using Win XP just run that handy "System Restore" to create a record to which you can always return before you go delving round your registry.

Spam isn't so bad if you a have a filtering program, and anyway it's often worth sifting through in case there's something there you want, like a msg from someone who isn't on your approved list and thus gets relegated to the junk bin. If it really upsets you send an email to "abuse@........com" (fill in sender).

You can try running Shields Up (www.grc.com) which allegedly spots the loopholes in your system by which scanners can get at you. If you run this before and after installing ZA you will receive a lot of first alarming messages about your vulnerabilities then collapse with relief when Shields Up tells you you're safe after you've put your ZoneAlarm in.

However, despite the hype Shields Up is very far from foolproof. I have been in contact with Steve Gibson, whose site it's on, and he admits it is still possible for a determined hacker to access your computer. I'm no techie and all this is picked up from trial and error.

So, whadda ya do? My prescription: Sit back, pour another glass of sherry - diet coke in my case - and stop worrying!

Growlette is breathing down my neck and telling me stop showing of and wasting their time with all this quote unquote wirehead techno gibberish...we're late for the Mad Dogs MC Club nite and my mechanic has just set up the drag pipes on my Hog to spurt foot-long jets of red and blue flame when I blip the throttle at the lights - trade secret he says). Bet your Christmas Plod would love that one! Let's see what our dozy, sleepy, or drunk (or all three) Manila porkers make of it!

Growler out.

Kazaa revisited and other stories... - HF
A lot of interesting suggestions there, Growler. Will take me time to inwardly digest and inspect all the possibilities you mention, but thanks for all the info.

Sorry to display ignorance again, but is a PM an email?
HF
PS Like the sound of the red and blue flames - can just imagine us all doing that over here!
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - THe Growler
Sorry, meant Personal Mail: growler@37.com
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - Blue {P}
Unfortunately, without going to great effort or expense, there is only so much that can be done to defend your PC from these people. However, by having ZA running, it makes them all the more likely to just move onto the next one (a bit like my car in the work's car park:)

If they really want in, they will get in, but we don't have any thing of vital importance on our PC, all of the private stuff is stored on a Zip disc which is naturally only inserted when we want it...

Blue
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - eMBe {P}
HF:
I was thinking of searching around a bit to see if I could find the site .... but I'd probably find my computer throws out a list .... so I don't think that's a good idea. >>


Well, I typed in "safe surfing internet" and same again with "organisations" added, and it came up with a very good list
of helpful sites. The specific one that you need though is :

www.iwf.org.uk/index.html whose aim is as below -

" The Internet Watch Foundation works in partnership with ISPs, Telcos, Mobile Operators, Software Providers, Police and Government, to minimise the availability of illegal Internet content particularly child abuse images. Our Internet Hotline can deal with reports of potentially illegal Internet content, such as websites, newsgroups and online groups that:
Contain images of child abuse, anywhere in the world.
Contain adult material that potentially breaches the Obscene
Publications Act in the UK.
Contain criminally racist material in the UK. "
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - HF
MB,

That's wonderful, thanks so much for finding this for me.
HF
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - Blue {P}
I just got WinMX installed and so far I'm impressed with it, but I did venture into the list of chatrooms, you were right HF, the vast majority is disgusting, I'm afraid it seems easy to go from the nice face of WinMX straight into some of the lowest stuff on the internet. :(

Definately stuff to avoid. Still like the software though, it seems to do it's job well enough.

Blue
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - Dynamic Dave
The main purpose of WinMX is that it is a file sharing program between everyone on the internet. You can allow people to browse a specified directory on your hard drive - say where you keep all your mp3 files. If someone is looking for a particular mp3 file and you have it, you can then share it with them. Likewise if they have it, you can download it from them. The downside of this is that with WinMX you can also share other files - jpeg images, mpeg video files, ect. Unfortunately it is an open gateway for the paedophiles to share their grubby pictures with one another.
I have turned the file sharing off. Yes a bit selfish - if everyone were to do this, then no one would be able share any files. However I only use WinMX at home on a 56k modem connection. If people were to "borrow" files from me while I was trying to "borrow" files from them, it would take forever to download anything. If I had Broadband, then I probably would share.
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - HF
Well, all I can say is that I'm glad the law is finally having some success in tracking down some of these monsters. That's why it's vital that the powers-that-be *do* have the ability to monitor people's internet use, despite some people feeling this is an invasion of our privacy.

One more thing - if you allow people to browse, for example, your mp3 files, is there any way they could access any other files, or put viruses onto your PC?
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - John R @ Work {P}
Dear HF,

It is very unlikley that the 'powers-that-be' have been monitering Internet usage of people. Those that have been arrested seem to have made the mistake of using their credit cards to register onto these horrid sites.

The authorities have tracked them due to getting their card numbers from the site/s in question and traced them through the banking system.

Once the Police have their hands on the "Perps" (short for perpitrator) PC they then set about looking for evidence of visits to sites and if they are really lucky, pictures on the HDD.


John R
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - HF
Hi John R,

I must have got the wrong end of the stick - I thought it was possible for internet usage to be monitored, if of course the authorities had reason to be suspicious.

It's a pity really that it's only down to credit card numbers, because now, of course, any potential visitors to those awful sites will know not to give out card details - and I'm sure there's plenty of alternative, free sites they could use instead.
HF
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - eMBe {P}
HF:
One more thing - if you allow people to browse, for
example, your mp3 files, is there any way they could access
any other files, or put viruses onto your PC?


Yes. See

www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/critical/de...p

for details of

!!!! " Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer (324929)
Originally posted: December 04, 2002

Summary
Who should read this bulletin: Customers using Microsoft® Internet Explorer
Impact of vulnerability: Allow an attacker to execute commands on a user?s system.
Maximum Severity Rating: Critical
Recommendation: Customers should install the patch at the earliest opportunity.
Affected Software:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 " !!!!!
and download
www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/critical/Q3...p

if you feel happy about it.

I can only urge you once again to read up the links that google throws up using the search criteria I specified earlier. Also, post questions on
www.net4nowt.com/forum/index.htm
if you need expert help.

Kazaa revisited and other stories... - HF
Thanks, MB.

Downloaded the cumulative patch, unfortunately I think I must have an older version of internet explorer than is suitable for this. (I have 5.5, but the machine tells me that for this patch I need 5.5 SP2 - maybe I only have SP1, I'm no sure). I've found an earlier cumulative patch, though, on the same site, and am hoping this will be suitable for my machine.

I will definitely do some searches for tips on safe surfing, as you suggest, and see if there are any further safety precautions which I haven't yet taken.

Sorry for dragging this subject out a bit - I'll go to net4nowt if I have any more problems on this!
Thanks,
HF
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - eMBe {P}
HF: At link
www.microsoft.com/security/security_bulletins/ms02...p
Microsoft say that for the 4 December 2002 update
" Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 (Service Pack 2 required to install update) "

So you have to install service pack 2 first, for which go to:
www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/recommended...p

Then install the December critical update.

A general tip: for any software you have on your PC, here is the method by which you can find out which version it is :
With the program started up, (eg. IE5.5, or Word, or Excel, etc.), select the Help menu and click on the last (usually) item headed "About xxxx" - xxxx being the name of the software - and you will get a window telling you which version you are running.
Kazaa revisited and other stories... - eMBe {P}
HF:

just a final PS - if your PC is up to the job (that is it has Windows XP and hardware to cope), you may wish to upgrade to IE6 plus IE6 SP2. If you do, you should get a computer magazine with a cover freebie CD that has this software on it. Use that rather than downloading from the internet.

From previous posts, I recall that you have registered to read the Daily Telegraph on line. In which case, for lessons using simple terminology, it is worth reading most, if not all, of Rick Maybury's "Bootcamp" archive articles at

www.connected.telegraph.co.uk
I have a question. Volume 3 - Mark (RLBS)
pulling the volumes together
I have a question. Volume 3 - Mark (RLBS)
pulling the volumes together
 

Value my car