Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Making The Most Of My Mobile With Dual-SIM And Wi-Fi

Have you ever wondered why anyone would need a phone with dual SIM capabilities? I did too until recently. It's all about coverage and being in contact. Here in Australia Telstra has the best coverage, but there are places where the Optus network has better reception. Here at my home is one example where Optus is best, but when travelling the Telstra network generally gives better coverage.

 A dual-SIM phone gives me the best of both worlds. I have my main SIM with Optus on a Prepaid $30 Monthly+, which gives me unlimited calls & texts, 1.5GB data and $5 credit for overseas calls etc. My secondary SIM is with AldiMobile PAYG using the Telstra network ($15 top up with 365 days credit). I have set my Optus SIM to divert to my AldiMobile SIM when my Optus number is unobtainable, so as long as I am within range of either an Optus or a Telstra tower, I can receive calls.

To improve mobile use where WiFi is available, Optus have just introduced an app called WiFi Talk. This enables an Optus customer to make and receive calls and SMS to their Optus number via WiFi (call costs same as for cellular network), great for inside a building where the signal strength can be weak or non-existent. I now use it at home, it saves me wandering around near windows looking for a decent signal. With dual-SIM and WiFi I have maximised the useful coverage for my phone.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Mobile Phones

OK, this time I am being grumpy and I feel I do have something to gripe about. Eighteen months ago I bought a Nexus 5, I thought it was time for me to get a decent phone, and I loved it. It was a really great phone that did all that I wanted it to do and then some. Until Lollipop. After upgrading to Lollipop the WiFi stopped working. I contacted Google who replaced it under warranty - no problems, great customer service. The replacement phone was fine until the 5.1 upgrade and then the microphone stopped working. I again contacted the helpful friendly people at Google and a replacement phone was on the way although I did buy a bottom of the range Microsoft Lumia 435 to tide me over. Wonderful, the replacement Nexus 5 worked fine until I upgraded to Android 5.1.1 and then it started to randomly reboot. So, I thought, time to get geeky with it. I rooted the phone, installed a custom bootloader and then installed Cyanogenmod 12.1. It was much better but still rebooted occasionally. So this time I reinstalled KitKat 4.4.4. Better still, I had a useable phone again, but (not often enough for me to take a hammer to it), it still rebooted, but only rarely. Back to the Lumia 435 I bought as a backup. I have started using it quite a bit instead of the Nexus 5. I actually quite like it. OK, Windows has a poor selection of apps, but the phone does everything I need it to do and it performs really well. If this is Microsoft's budget phone, their better phones must really rock!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

ICC Cricket World Cup

Yes, Australia won the final and deservedly so. The celebrations continue, but what about New Zealand? May I interrupt the celebrations for a short minute to make an observation on the whole World Cup, not just the final? New Zealand won more matches during the competition than any other country, so hold your heads high Kiwis. Congratulations.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Cricket and Television

The quarter-final match between New Zealand and West Indies which I followed on Cricinfo, was an exciting match dominated by big hitting and a fabulous 237 not out by Martin Guptill, yet it was not broadcast on free television.  This is the ICC World Cup and Channel 9 did not screen the quarter final matches unless Australia was playing. Come on now, Australia has plenty of cricket lovers who would have enjoyed viewing all the quarter finals and I am quite certain the viewer ratings would have been higher than for the rubbish that was shown at that time on Channel 9 and on Gem.

I can understand the reluctance to show all of the pool play matches, but the quarter-finals are a bit special.  Australian television, get your act together, we can't all afford pay TV!

Saturday, 21 February 2015


Following yesterdays ICC World Cup encounter between New Zealand and England I have been considering the situation where the teams went to dinner break with England having only bowled 9 overs and New Zealand requiring 12 runs to win.

In this situation it is very obvious that New Zealand would win comfortably, yet if rain had occurred during the dinner break and continued where no further play was possible, the match would have been abandoned with the points shared.  Under the Duckworth-Lewis system for calculating scores in a rain shortened game, both teams need to have completed 20 overs.

In a game where the teams are forced to take a meal break, the team chasing runs should have a new option to reduce their number of overs remaining, therefore increase the number of overs played, so that for calculation purposes they could choose to have completed the required 20 overs.

Just a thought

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Few Days At Bundaberg

We have just got back from spending a few days away to try out our new caravan.  We went to Woodgate Beach hoping to spend some time there, but the caravan park was full up with Grey Nomads up from Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia all getting away from the southern winter. We then decided to try Bundaberg where we just managed to get squeezed in.  We had a good site and really enjoyed our time away.  The car pulled the caravan OK, but we will look for a bigger vehicle before we do any big trips away.
From now on posts about our travels will be on The Snail's Trails - my other blog.