Month: July 2021

Rip Off Britain

Many years ago, I had a Psion Series 3 handheld… remember them?

I loved anything gadgety and the Series 3 fitted the bill nicely.

When it was superceded by the Series 3A, I immediately went out and bought one, even though it wasn’t that much of an upgrade.

As I remember, it cost about three hundred quid at the time.

And I was amazed, when Mrs M and I went on a shopping trip to New York just a few weeks later, to see the very same device being sold for almost half the price!

I wouldn’t have minded so much, but the damn thing was designed and built in Britain, so how can it be so much cheaper in a different country?

Fast forward to today: I was mooching through some ham radio videos on YouTube, and in one of them, someone – an American chap – showed how to build an interesting project using a Raspberry Pi, and in his video, he showed how all the parts could be sourced from Amazon. He even showed the actual Amazon pages, so one could be sure of buying the right parts.

Intrigued, I noted them all down and then went to the UK Amazon site. I then found all the parts and totalled up the price.

It worked out to be fifty quid more than what this guy paid for it in America!

The Raspberry PI itself made up over half of that difference: 64 pounds in the UK, but only 37 in the US… 27 quid cheaper!

Again, the Pi was designed in Britain.

It is a hugely successful British product.

And whilst some are made in China and Japan, the bulk of the forty million or so that have so far been sold around the world, have been made in the UK.

So why the hell are we that live in the UK having to pay so much more?

Picture not perfect

Last week, I attended a family funeral.

As with all weddings and funerals, it was a chance to meet relatives I hadn’t seen in a long time – and in this instance, some relatives I have never met before or even knew I had, until quite recently.

Of course there was plenty of “How old are your children then… they must be quite grown up by now?” type of conversation amongst us all.

Back in the day, when asked this sort of question, a gentleman would pull a slightly creased photograph of his family from his wallet and hand it around for various aunts to coo over.

But nowadays, it’s smartphones that get handed around, and people can flick through literally hundreds of such photographs, should they wish.

So, when I was asked this very question, I got my phone out and started going through the photos on there.

Embarrassingly, I couldn’t find any. I scrolled back and back, before eventually finding a photo of my daughter from 2015, which I’d taken when she’d  had her braces fitted.

Scrolling back further, I found one of my son, taken at a children’s birthday party in 2012. He would have been about seven and looked nothing like he does now.

And I couldn’t find a single picture of the current Mrs M. Not one.

But I did find loads of pictures of the dog. Seemingly hundreds of them.

And motorbikes.

And lots of electronic projects in various states of construction.

So, what does that say about me, I wonder?

Maybe I’ll just stick a picture in my wallet… in case I’m ever asked again.

Normality Resuming pt 2

I went to do my weekly shop at the supermarket yesterday, and noticed that their restaurant had finally re-opened.


And last night, we went to the pictures again, where we watched the latest (ninth) instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise in the IMAX screen.

What a ridiculous film! I really didn’t enjoy it at all.  I remember watching the first film years ago, and not thinking much of it. I’ve not watched any of them since.

The family was keen to go and see it though, and there was nothing else going on – apart from a football match – so I saw it as a night out.

But, what a ridiculous load of rubbish!

One silver lining, was that because of the aforementioned football match, the cinema was almost deserted.

That’s probably not so good for Cineworld, though.

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