Back home and raring to go….

3.1.2014. We eventually travelled back home last night, avoiding the dreadful storms that have been battering the West of the UK, so that we could get everything straight before going back to work on Monday.

Today’s has been a great day – I’ve managed to get so much done. I’ve been working on a new website and had invested in some new technology the back end of last year. Yesterday, it all came together and I really started to get to grips with how the software works. Needless to say within 6 hours, I’d developed up a new site for MyGoalBook – it’s got a much fresher look now and fits well with the app.

After a chillax early evening, we sat back and watched one of our favorite TV series – Silent Witness, which started again this week. I gave to say, slightly disappointed with some of the acting if I’m honest but let’s see how things develop later in the series.

Busy weekend ahead, ferrying the children around to parties etc, but hopefully I’ll get the chance to get out on the bike soon – if not this weekend, certainly next.


A very frustrating day thanks to BT

2.1.2014. What a frustrating day it has been today!

It started well enough, woke up to beautiful sunny, calm conditions and managed to take some great photographs on our walk along the beach. However, we have been waiting for a BT engineer for over a week to repair our phone and broadband and today was the day that we expected him, anytime between 1-6pm. I find this AM/PM thing really inconsiderate – it just means that you are sitting around waiting -whatever happened to putting the customer first?

Anyway, although I’d informed BT that in reality, we needed an early afternoon appointment given that the problem was with the wiring and as we live in the country, after 4:30, there is no light, 4pm arrives and still no sign of the engineer. Unfortunately, as we are in a remote part of the country, we cannot get a mobile signal either, so I have to travel a mile or so in order to make any calls. After waiting on the phone for 20 minutes, BT eventually answer but are unable to provide an update, so say that they will continue to investigate and call me back within 5 mins – 30 mins later, still no call.

I eventually receive a message 45 mins later to say that the engineer will not be coming today and that they will call me tomorrow! Great service. Thank you BT.

Apologies for the rant today but it’s so bloody frustrating!

Am I the only one to get so frustrated with BT?

28.12.2013. We have come down to our cottage by the coast for New Year. It’s so beautiful and we’ve been looking forward to long walks on the beach and along the coastal trail, as well as having some time to complete a few projects and research others.

The Boxing Day storms resulted in our telephone line and broadband service being interrupted and once the storms had calmed down, I investigated the damage. In my simplistic view, it looks like the telephone wires have become intertwined with the trees that surround the cottage, resulting in the line not working.

I reported the fault to BT, only to be told that there wasn’t a problem! If there wasn’t a problem, why would I have walked a mile from the house to pick up a mobile signal, waited 30 minutes in a queue for BT to answer and then have to go through a pre scripted process with someone based in India – so frustrating!

I was then informed that they couldn’t get a engineer out until the afternoon of the 2nd Jan!

So all of my best laid plans have been completely scuppered by a company that still is in many areas, and certainly acts like the monopoly that they once were. Thanks BT. For nothing.

It is interesting to see how dependent we have become on the internet to do relatively simple things, like paying bills, researching holiday destinations and finding out about opening times for shops etc. Yes, it wasn’t so long ago that all this capability didn’t exist, but once it is available, the old sources of information quickly disappear. Yellow pages for instance or Teletext?

Because of this, it is even more essential that our service providers put in place effective fit for purpose recovery plans to ensure that life isn’t too disrupted when things go wrong and that doesn’t mean 15 minutes of auto responders before joining a queue to speak to someone, it doesn’t mean stating that a telecommunications company can’t take action and then call you back, because external calls have been ‘ blocked’, and it certainly doesn’t mean having to wait more than 5 days to resolve my problems!

Here we go again…

18.12.13. So, it’s a bit windy and a little wet and Britain comes to a standstill!

Ok, so I may have underplayed it a little, but nevertheless, why is it that we simply do not understand how to handle weather that doesn’t fit the norm?

Oh, bloody hell, just heard the forecast for Friday and they’re saying that we might have snow! Best rush out to the shops and stock up on my daily essentials because you know what it will be like when we get a flurry of the white stuff – it must call for emergency measures.

Because of the weather, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time today on trains – not the best use of time, especially when you consider that Virgin Trains seem to do everything in their power to reduce the 3G signals so for most of the time, I’ve been sat without any connection.

I’ve just caught myself moaning about a lack of connection. Blimey – thinking back just a few years the whole concept of the being ‘always connected’ was a pipe-dream. It is amazing what technology has enabled to do isn’t it and how it has changed the way that we live our lives.

I’m a bit of a gadget man myself – I don’t need to own the gadgets – I’m more interested in understanding what they can do and how they can help me in my day to day life.

Augmented reality is going to make a much bigger impact on 2014 I think and become much more mainstream – consider how we can support people from afar by making better use of this technology – I’ve seen examples of how we can show people to, for instance wire a plug or undertake a specific activity on a production line. Take a look at this Ted Talk, where Matt Mills demonstrates how AR is being used today and how the medium will undoubtedly develop in 2014 and beyond.