Thursday, April 05, 2012

Great Grouting, Shiny Knobs and Sky Anytime+!

Best timesaver ever for tiles?

A very productive and satisfying day here today!  First stop was ASDA for a few shopping essentials and then to Wickes the necessary DiY bits.

Next, the big task of the day was to tidy up the grouting in the kitchen – a job we’ve been planning for ages, but we just needed a period of  uninterrupted time to complete it. With the help of a ton of elbow-grease and some grouting whitener, (a product I’d never seen before) the job was very easy and straightforward.

White is the colour (apart from the blue)

I guess we got carried away, and before we knew it, the fridge was being defrosted, the cooker got a clean, the microwave too and then, the most boring job in the world (but ultimately satisfying!) – cleaning the brass knobs on the cabinets – zzzzzz!

...and you with knobs on!

Five hours later and we were admiring our shiny ‘new’ kitchen.


Sky Anytime+ – The Saga Continues...

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The other significant job of the day (but slightly more challenging) was to try-out our recently upgraded Sky package – ‘Anytime+’ as I’d upgraded online a few days ago for the princely sum of £0! (a bargain!!!). The ‘+’ in the name is significant as it potentially opens up a whole new world of TV programmes. Well, that’s the theory!

I knew that our pathetic internet speed here (0.5 Mb/s mostly, but 1.0 Mb/s on a good day) would inhibit the package – and how right I was! My first test showed that it took almost 6 hours to download an episode (yes ONE episode) of Mad Men! Well, at least I know the router was talking to the Sky-box!!!.. sort of!!!

The confusing part was that the package it ‘replaced’ – Anytime - was not showing any content at all and that potentially suggested that the ability for my shiny-new upgraded package to download programmes via the DISH overnight (like it used to under the Anytime name) had been replaced with a download-by-ROUTER ONLY facility. Given the connection speed here, and as the Mad Men experiment showed earlier, this was going to be a disaster!!!

A phone-call to Sky didn’t help much, (they suggested turning off the router, if I wanted my download-overnight option back). My posting on their help forum was more successful, and revealed the solution.  I was wrong, and the old Anytime package WAS still alive and well, just cunningly renamed SHOWCASE under Anytime+.

Sky are you listening! I’m lucky that I find it fairly easy to understand tech-stuff, but how the average end-user is supposed to fathom all this out, I don’t know! The whole affair wasn’t helped by the Sky Help Desk NOT knowing/explaining the link between Anytime and Showcase. Phew! Missions accomplished!!!

With a smug sense of satisfaction on my face, it was feet-up for what’s left of the day, including a quick drop-in on Jo and Janet later in the evening.