Monday, 30 September 2013

passport renewals

It was time to renew the junior Lamas passports.  So, Lamas Network division sat down at the PC and began the laborious task of filling out the forms online.  He had their old passports, mine and his and was merrily typing away.

"How much is it?" I asked.
"Dunno it hasn't said yet.  What's IPR?"
"Wassa what who?"  I replied.  Looking over his shoulder.
I looked at the URL expecting to see a .gov address.
"What site are you actually on - passports are a .gov site," I said

" ...  " was his reply.  He was on question 9.  "I did a search".
He showed me the search.

The top Google result for passport renewal he landed on was not the renewal site for the government passport agency, but a 3rd party who Review applications on your behalf prior to submission to the government passport agency.

A similar thing happened to a friend while she was renewing the family EHIC cards, all the info was duly entered for new cards and then she got a screen requesting payment for the processing fee.  It was then she realised that she was not on the correct site.

The point of all this is be aware who you are actually giving your info to.  Make sure the site you are on is the right one.  I am not saying that these 3rd parties are trying to scam you, they are offering you a service for which you will be charged over and above any charges that you were expecting to pay.  In the case of the EHIC cards these are issued free by the NHS.

In case you were wondering the cost of a kids passport, (when dealing directly with the passport agency) is £45.00.  It will last them just 5 years.  An Adult passport is £79.00 for 10 years.

Enjoy the summer weather we seem to have (this week).  Lamas dog seems to be spending all her time laying on the grass, alternating position based on how hot she is and whether or not shade is required.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Microsoft Starter Edition Not working?

Had a phone call from one of my extremely important clients yesterday.  (My sister!).  She was working from home and could not get her laptop to play nice with Microsoft Office Starter edition.  It is a version that came with her Laptop and is enough for her, she is not interested in more that Word and Excel.

It was working ok last week she told me and could not understand why all of a sudden it did not want to work. 

As a quick "get you back up and running as I have to go out" fix I got OpenOffice up running for her.  While I was out I did a quick search on the internet to see if there was anyone else with the same apparently sudden issue.

There was.

It appears that the most recent round of Microsoft updates changed all her file associations.  The icons appearing in windows explorer were different.  It seems that it was looking for a different version of Office and was kindly offering the purchase of the full licence showing the window below - sneaky!

I was able to sort her laptop out later on so that she was able to use her Starter edition again and be more productive on her work from home day.

The website I found useful - it is much more eloquent and detailed that I could hope to be was :

Have a good day, everyone.  I am off to walk the newest addition to the Lamas team, Lamas Dog!

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