Thursday, 26 March 2015

Remotely like another bit of Pi

We now have 2 x Raspberry Pi B and one new Raspberry Pi 2.

The 2 is set up in the lounge and one B is set up in the kitchen for the "chef".  So far, the 2 is ok, but I find it is slower than the B,  running Kodi.  There could be reasons for this. More research is needed. Another post for another day.

We have only one keyboard remote.

There are, however, android devices used at Lamas HQ.

To avoid having to attach a mouse, also, to avoid getting up from the chair, an app called Yatse works quite well.  It is a download from the Google Play store, which controls the Pi using the wireless network.  (There are probably some for Apple but I have no Apple devices portable or otherwise and don't get involved with Apple.)

It can also be useful when He gets all " my precious " over the remote controls.

It has to be running on the same wireless network and, if you have more than one Pi, you can also set up both devices on the same remote app and switch between them when necessary.

There is a set up wizard that makes it all easy to get it up and running and most of the information required, (IP address, webserver port) is found in the settings, system information on the Pi itself.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Web Searching and Private Parking Tickets.

A Google search, depending on the terms that are typed into the search box, can return many results or just a few.

We have to then make sure that the information provided is up to date.

Within the last 12 months I was lucky enough to receive a Parking Charge Notice, which is not to be confused with Penalty Charge Notice.

A Parking Charge Notice is issued by a Private parking company and Penalty Charge notice is issued by a traffic warden for the council or police.  They do, however, both look similar.

The car park concerned was not a council run site but a privately run site.  It was pay and display.  I had parked in the car park some time previously but no parking restrictions were in place, at that time. 

I parked up, like we all do, checked how much for how long and paid the tariff.  I paid little attention to the rest of the notice.  I returned to my car at about the right time, but for very good reason I was delayed actually leaving the car park.

Had I spent this time actually reading the extremely small print on the parking signs, I would have been aware that the car park was monitored by cameras. 

I Didn’t.

About a week later I received a notice that I owed a rather large sum of money to a private parking company.  In my opinion, my reasons for not leaving the car park were entirely justified and I decided to appeal the ticket.

My quest to find information about the appeal to this obviously started with a Google Search.  (Sorry, went a bit Ronnie Corbett there!)

The results from the search provided me with varying advice, including 
  • Pay up
  • ignore
  •  write a strongly worded appeal but don’t ignore

How did I know which information to follow?  

A Google search provides information based on advertising and how popular the site is.  I wanted to find the most up to date information about appealing a parking ticket.

Firstly, I changed the parameters of the search

Click on search tools and click on Any Time and select a period of time, Past 12 months, Past Month or even enter a custom range.  You can then sort by relevance of the information to the search term or you can sort by date.  You can also filter sites by country.

This will limit the results to the most recent information.  In the case of parking tickets issued before   2012 the advice, at the time, was to ignore them.  But this is no longer the case. 

I used a fantastic site that gave well informed advice and I was able to appeal the ticket and get it cancelled.

If you are interested, it was a MoneySavingExpert forum.  I do still drop in there from time to time, as the information and recommendations do change. Here’s a link to their “Newbies” information.

which is a good place to start should you ever be in the same position.

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