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Anthony Capstick

Business, technology and broadband issues.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Do not attempt to use the following link! I have given up trying to pay my income tax using this payment option, and have reverted to writing out a cheque to the Post Office. Why do Government departments get IT projects so wrong?

Tried using the Government Gateway recently? - its a nightmare. No wonder people get turned off by technology. Its such a crime when you believe passionately, like I do, that technology can help so much. However in the hands of civil servants......

Inland Revenue - BillPay Plus, powered by Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank

Friday, January 28, 2005

I'm travelling on the 11am Kings Cross to Leeds train as I write this, and have uploaded it to the website using the on-board WiFi broadband link.

Its fantastic! I have successfully logged on to the Instant Search network and to my Outlok account at the office. I have taken over the PC I normally site at and have been able to log on to Sage and enter information into that.

I can MSN with anyone online - Waj at the office, Katie at home and Dave in Malaysia. All this whilst sitting on the train.

I now have a clear inbox waiting for me when I get into the office, and feel as though I've not been away at all.

This is definately the future - and for me one of the best advances yet which will help to combat congestion on the roads. I very good reason to train rather than drive.

And the cost - well 4.95 for 1 hour ten minutes.

GNER.co.uk > Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

After much deliberation I decided to go for the Nokia Advanced Car Kit, and I'm delighted with it. The kit includes a cradle which charges the phone, as well as patching it through to a hands free system, which includes a loudspeaker and microphone.

The clever bit comes with the Bluetooth element of the kit, which means that my mobile still connects even if I leave it in my pocket. It also works with my wife Katie's phone, which is different to mine, and will not fit in the holder.

The other plus point is that the phone holder can be easily changed if the phone is replaced, as there is a removable connector at the base of the holder. This has long been one of my main gripes about car kits - changing your phone meant changing your compete car kit.

An unforeseen problem was with my car - apparently the Volvo XC90 has a wiring harness that uses a multiplexing unit. Instead of lots of wires there is fibre harness that sends signals to which unit has to be powered. This means that without the kit to "break into" this from Volvo, the kit has to be fitted with its own speaker, instead of the sound going through the sound system. And Volvo won't supply them, or at least the guy fitting my kit said so.

The sooner car manufacturers get it together with car communications and hi-fi the better! I hear BMW are producing a car with an Ipod docking bay - come on Volvo, lets have some help with this one!

Nokia - Nokia Advanced Car Kit CK-7W