Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Updating to Windows 8

Updating ought to have been easy, but I found it incredibly frustrating.

First, I went to the upgrade site, but after getting all the way through the purchase process, it stated that the upgrade wasn’t for commercial use.

OK.  Off to Curry’s to reserve a DVD which also prevents me having to download the whole thing: Get Windows 8 upgrade on DVD from Currys at £49.99 and apparently doesn’t have the commercial restriction, a premium of £25.00.

When I got there I started looking at a new laptop as well, but that’s another story.

So, I’m now installing from the DVD I purchased.

The first thing I need to do is uninstall the incompatible apps (some Dell stuff, an Intel USB3 driver?, and Security Essentials!?) followed by a reboot.

I chose to keep my existing, files, programs and settings.

After quite a long delay, my machine installed devices, then spent quite awhile longer preparing. 

Another reboot, and “Moving your settings” was the next task.

Following that, a personalize choice, followed by connecting to the network via wireless (I’ll do that later).  I then chose express settings, and entered my previous admin password, and chose sign in without a Microsoft account.  After “Finalising your settings” a disconcerting black screen before “Hi” Finally appeared along with the W8 intro stuff.

It eventually booted into W8, so after the initial confusion about licensing, not too bad.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Be careful when buying new tyres for your car

I was advised at my last service that I needed new tyres on the car, and was given 3 different prices.

I asked about fuel economy, and was pointed toward the most expensive offer, with the statement that they’re what you have at the moment.

So, I called around a few places and got quotes, and eventually the dealer matched the quote, so I had the tyres fitted this morning.

However, when I got back to the car, I noticed that the new front tyres weren’t Michelin Energy like the rear tyres, and so my hunt for the difference began.

Bridgestone has a good document that describes the efficiency.

tyre efficiency 

What I cant determine is if the increase in consumption is per tyre or per set of 4.   Let’s assume it’s per tyre (as that’s the worst case).

My new tyre is rated E, and the tyre available elsewhere is rated B, so that’s a difference between them of 0.04 l /100 km.

On this set of tyres, I drove 43,000 km (or 26,500 miles) so that looks like it will cost me 43,000 km * 0.04  l / 100 km = 17.2 l which at the current price of fuel for diesel at £1.42/l = £24.42.

That’s £100 if the rating is for each tyre, which is quite a difference for just fitting a different tyre to the car.

So, look for the label and choose wisely!  Clearly if the price per tyre is more than the savings a lower rating may be a better choice, though at the same price, it’s a no brainer.