We will have fibre in “12 months”!

Though to be honest I will believe it when I see it!

Those who have been following my FTTC fibre journey will know that I was one of the first people in my area to get fibre back in October 2010.  I was impressed with the 40Mb download speeds.

Really fast…

I was less impressed when I moved house in 2012 and having moved (literally) just down the street I was back on really slow ADSL. So for nearly the last five years I have had an ADSL connection that struggles to get to 1.5Mb download speed!

The story of the fibre journey of cabinet 25 connected to the Worle Exchange has been one of mis-information and downright confusion.

Back in 2015 I outlined the story so far…

Still no fibre

I have written previously about my woes with fibre before, when we first moved house and lost fibre and then my initial investigations into why I couldn’t get FTTC and back in 2012 writing about the confirmation of no plans to upgrading cabinet 25.

It would appear that BT Openreach decided initially that cabinet 25 wasn’t commercially viable, as a result passed it over to Connecting Devon and Somerset. Then at some point BT Openreach changed their mind about the commercial viability, so when Connecting Devon and Somerset came to plan to upgrade the cabinet, they found it was part of a commercial plan, and under the rules they adhere to, they weren’t able to upgrade it. Now we are in a situation where BT Openreach are saying that it is under review with no indication of when or even if it will be ever upgraded.

In May 2016 there was an article on the local paper.

Well, that’s a surprise…

According to the report in the local Weston Mercury, BT Openreach had changed their mind and would be upgrading cabinet 25 to fibre so that we can get FTTC.

In theory we were supposed to be getting fibre by March 2017… then it all fell apart and BT Openreach backtracked on the date!

So last week when I checked the BT Openreach linechcker I was surprised to see that the fibre journey which had been stuck on “We are exploring solutions” for years had moved along to “Design”.

According to the BT Openreach website this means

You’re in a fibre plan and we’re looking at the existing network in your area to see how we will design the upgrade. You can’t order a fibre service today but typically it’ll be available to your premises within the next 12 months.

So we could be connected to fibre in less than 12 months!

We’re drawing up our network plans and assessing the best way to bring fibre to your area. We currently deliver fibre to you in two ways. Sometimes we use a combination of fibre and your existing copper line to deliver our Superfast network (Fibre to the Cabinet). At other times we connect fibre directly to your property (Fibre to the Premises). We often need permission from the local authority while also considering the wishes of your community in terms of look and practicality. At the end of this design process, we’ll have a blueprint in place for delivering fibre to your community.

Possibly we might even get FTTP (fibre to the premises) but I think I am just blue sky thinking there!

I keep getting Calendar spam notifications…

If you use Apple’s Calendar app you may have been getting iCal invitations which are obviously spam, I have and so have many others including BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones.

The result is that your calendar starts to fill with invitations that are obviously spam, trying to sell you stuff!

The problem arises twofold:

Firstly you are unable to actually block these notifications, so can’t stop them coming in.

Secondly you are unable to delete the notifications, if you decline the notification then the spammer will get a receipt that your calendar is authentic, so you get a lot more spam notifications.

This all means that very soon the calendar becomes unmanageable and unusable.

The first thing to do is to set up your Calendar app to ensure all notifications of events come as e-mails and not as notifications in your calendar inbox. This is not as simple as it sounds as you can’t do this in the Mac or the iOS application, you need to do this on the web.

So go to iCloud.com in a web browser, this needs to be on a computer and not on your iPhone or iPad.

icalscreen01

Select Calendar and then click the cog in the bottom left hand corner and select Preferences…

set Calendar invites to go to your email instead.

In the Preferences window select Advanced.

set Calendar invites to go to your email instead.

Under Invitations change Receive event invitations as:  from the default In-app notifications to Email youremail@icloud.com. Though the dialogue says Use this option if your primary calendar is not iCloud you can also do this even if your primary calendar is iCloud!

There are two options for getting rid of the spam notifications.

You can create a special spam calendar that you can then add the spam notifications to, and then delete the calendar.

Create the new calendar and the tap on the spam invitation and tap calendar and select your new spam calendar. You can after doing this delete the new spam calendar along with all the spam notifications.

The method I used (which was before I knew about the previous method) was to decline the spam invitation (I was lucky that I only had two or three) and then delete that calendar merging the events with an existing (or you could create a new) calendar.

Hopefully Apple will release a fix for this in the near future.

So how do I do that then…

One of the issues when using a new laptop or a new operating system, is remembering how to turn on everything you use regularly or sometimes turning them off.

I download images from my Flickr collection quite a bit, probably more so than using Photos or iPhoto. With a new Mac laptop I was getting very slightly annoyed that after downloading the images, they would open in Preview. I knew on my iMac I had turned this off, but could I remember how, no I couldn’t. I had done it a fair few years ago now, as I had migrated my settings to the new iMac (and I think I even did it before that one too).

I did do a quick Google search and saw that it wasn’t a Preview setting, but was a preferences setting in Safari. I was using search terms such as stop Preview opening downloaded images but I suspect a better search term would have been  stop Safari from opening downloads.

So from the menu, Safari -> Preferences.

Click the General tab if isn’t showing already.

Preferences

At the bottom is a check box, which says: Open “safe” files after downloading. “Safe” files include movies, pictures, sounds, PDF and text documents and archives.

I do like how Apple puts safe as “safe” which means they should be safe, but should be treated as “safe”.

Uncheck the box and Safari will no longer open files automatically.

Preferences

What I usually do is if I do want to open them, say a PDF, is I drag the file from the Downloads folder onto Preview in the Dock.

Wifi on the tube

On the tube

Finally managed to sort out getting wifi access on the London Underground through my Three account on my phone. You need to set it up above ground, which I did, but didn’t quite get my password right, so when I was down on the tube, it didn’t work the first time. After resetting my password I was able to connect to the underground wifi.

It only really works at the stations on the tube, not in the tunnels. However with the short time between stations you can still do stuff like read web sites, do the Twitter and send e-mail.

What I find it most useful for is tracking train times as I return to Paddington after working in London.

Going through the ink…

Though modern printers are cheap as chips, the ink costs are usually astronomical. My new printer is no exception, though one reason I did purchase it was because it had separate ink cartridges rather than the usual one black and one colour that lower end printers have.

The Canon MG7752 printer comes with, what are called, setup cartridges, I have no idea how different these are to the regular ones, but having got the printer at the end of March they started to run out this month, July.

Canon MG7752

As well as regular document printing, it is also used quite a lot to print photographs, the second 6×4 paper tray makes that simple and easy to do from either the Mac or from the iPhone.

The printer has two black cartridges, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and also uses a specialised Grey cartridge too.

The printer can take regular cartridges, which I am assuming contain more ink that the setup ones. There are also XL high yield cartridges which according to the marketing hype deliver twice the pages of a regular cartridge.

The first setup cartridge to run out was the double sized black cartridge which is used for black and white output. This lasted from the end of March to the beginning of July, just over three months. The colours started to run out in the third week of July starting with the Cyan, followed by the Magenta, then the Yellow and then the Grey. The other black cartridge still has ink in.

I bought XL versions of the colour cartridges so it will be interesting to see how long they last. Challenging to measure effectively as the printing usage patterns in the house vary quite some bit. However by posting this post I hope to have some kind of record of how long the cartridges last.