The ads are here. I hate ads!

Edit 24/5/12 – Ads were removed ages ago.  If you want to support this site, please become a client of mine (for Computer Services or Financial Services), or contact me to make a donation.  Thanks.


I hate advertisments.  Sorry if you hate them too, but I need to use every income stream available to me at the moment.  I’ve tried to make them subtle; no flashing graphics, no lurid colours.  I’m hoping they’ll generate a little income for me as I get the the visitor numbers up.

I only get a few pennies when an ad is clicked, so I’m not expecting to get rich.  But please take a look at the ads from time to time, and if there’s anything that genuinely interests you, please go ahead and visit the advertiser’s site.



PS. Please don’t click multiple times in the hope of sending me cash.  Google is wise to that and will cancel my account if such ‘abuse’ takes place. Ta very much.

T-Mobile ‘Fair Use’ policy – my verdict

Here’s an update on the T-Mobile mobile broadband (on my mobile phone) saga.  I received a nice email as a result of my letter to their customer services.  It informed me that my speed would not be reduced in December because my usage in November did not break their 1GB limit.  I don’t understand that, because (apart from the last few days of November) my download habits were the same in November as they were in October, and in October I used 4.27GB!


They did clarify that if I exceed the 1GB limit in the future, the speed would be reduced from the advertised ‘up to’ 1.8mbps to 64kbps (a 96% reduction in speed) for two weeks.  If I went over the limit again after that, it would be a permanent reduction.


So, is the ‘Fair Use’ policy fair?  No!  There is no way to monitor your data usage on the phone, and there’s no way to see it on their ‘My T-Mobile’ online service.  So, how are you supposed to know whether you’re getting close?


Since this all started, a voluntary code of conduct for ISPs has been introduced, part of which states that an ISP will make ‘timely’ contact with a customer to warn him or her that he/she is approaching their limit.  I don’t know whether T-Mobile has signed up, so Google if you want to find out.


What would be fairer is to say that (with adequate warnings) if someone exceeds the ‘fair use’ limit, then any data in excess of that limit would have the speed reduced.  In other words, 1.8mbps for the first 1GB of data, and 64kpbs thereafter.  Otherwise we’d be paying for 1.8mbps each month, but getting only 4% of that speed.

Of course, all ISPs should be banned, yes banned, from advertising ‘Unlimited’ broadband when there are limits as imposed by a ‘fair use’ policy.  If the normal speed is limited (ie 1.8mbps), and the amount of data is limited (to 1GB), then I ask; exactly what part of the service is ‘unlimited’?

T-Mobile update, and podcatching software for Windows Mobile 6.x

Customer services told me that they can’t deal the matter further, and suggested I write to their customer services department in Doxford.  Sent the letter yesterday.  Will let you know the result.

What she did say on the phone is that the 64kbps speed will last two weeks, but if I subsequently exceed the data allowance then they’ll make it permanent.  I’ve asked for confirmation or clarification of the policy as I can’t find it on their site.

My phone, an MDA Vario III (HTC TyTN II) uses WiFi or HSDPA mobile broadband.  If I leave WiFi on, when I leave the house I get an annoying popup every time the phone finds a WiFi connection asking if I want to connect.  So, I’ve been using the mobile broadband exclusively.

What was putting me way over the data allowance was downloading audio and video podcasts overnight.  I use the excellent Beyondpod, a “free, open source, RSS feed reader and podcast manager (podcatcher) for Microsoft Smartphone and Pocket PC. ” 

I’ve set BeyondPod to download new podcasts at 4am daily.  What I didn’t know (and there was no way to find out) is that the podcasts used 4.27GB in October.  The T-Mobile ‘fair use’ amount is 1GB.  1GB = approx eight one-hour audio podcasts or less than three video podcasts a week.  I think it was October that I found the video podcasts, and BeyondPod will have downloaded some older podcasts too.  In any case, three hours worth of video podcasts isn’t that much.  That’s without any surfing too.

The day after my call to T-Mobile about their ‘fair use’ letter, BeyondPod released a new beta version.  One of the features of this new version is an setting that prevents the downloads if the only data connection is mobile broadband.  In other words, it only downloads if I’m connected to my home broadband via WiFi.  I also found a button on the keypad that toggles between WiFi and mobile broadband, so all I have to do is remember to toggle when Ieave or return to the house.  Even if I forget, BeyondPod won’t download the podcasts if the phone is set to mobile broadband.

In summary, I’ve worked out a way of reducing my mobile broadband usage considerably.  I’ve told T-Mobile about this in my letter.  Now I’m waiting to see whether they’re going to take a ‘fair’ view of my situation.

T-Mobile mobile broadband ‘Fair Use’ Policy: Fair or unfair?

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, but I hope that’s behind me as I look forward to the new week ahead.  More on that another time.


This is just an unplanned post about some ‘discussions’ I’m having with T-Mobile about their ‘fair use’ policy on their mobile broadband.  This isn’t the broadband USB dongle that I plug into my laptop, it’s the surfing I do on my mobile phone.


They’ve written to me to explain that in October (2008) I exceeded the amount of data that they think is a ‘fair use’ of their service.  The letter explained that if I continue to exceed that amount in November then they would cap the speed to 64kbps (just over dial-up speed).  The problem is that the letter arrived on the 24th of November, by which time I had probably already exceeded their fair use allowance again.  Basically, I feel like I’ve been stitched up.


I’ve got over a year to run on the contract too, so I’ll be paying the full amount for a ‘broadband speed’ service, but will have little more than dial-up speeds.  Surfing at those speeds nowadays is not practicable.


Okay, so I exceeded the fair use amount in the contract (there are other issues too, but I won’t complicate things at this stage).  The thing is, there’s no way to monitor how much data I’m actually using.  The first I know about it is the letter I receive, and by then it’s too late to do anything about it.

I’ve had a lengthy phone call with them tonight, and will be faxing them a letter tomorrow to try to resolve the situation.  This is T-Mobile’s opportunity to show whether they are ‘treating customers fairly’.

I’ve got a new Website

Almost by accident I started a website to support my IT Consultancy business. You can find it at

Edit: I am no longer using the site for my IT business.  There is some worthwhile content there, but I will not be updating it.  At the time of writing, I am planning setting up a new site for that business.  If you want to be told when the new site is ready, please leave a comment including your email addess or other contact details, and I’ll get back to you.  Your comment and details will not be posted on this website.  Thanks.