Saturday, November 10, 2018

R2BC - Hi Tech

Goodbye old TV
Here are my highly technical, digital, and magical (well it's magic to us) Reasons 2B Cheerful this week. The R2BC linky is over at Mich's Mummy from the Heart.

Internet And Waste Of Time
I was paying far too much for my internet because it was a package arranged a few years ago which I'd never updated. So I spent about two hours talking (well waiting and talking) on the phone to one company who offered me a good deal. I was already using their router so they told me to call the other company who was providing my internet and cancel it. The other company would apparently inform them and then they'd take over.

So I called Company 2, who I'm already with, and of course they had a better deal for me. So I went with it. They arranged to send me a new router at a very inconvenient time but we fixed it so that the fed-ex guy would meet me at my college. That went smoothly.

Then Company 1 called to ask why I wasn't going with them after all. I said I preferred the deal at Company 2. "How much are you paying there?" "None of your business. And it's not just the money, it's the content of the package." Seriously, if they couldn't give me their best deal after two hours on the phone the day before, I wasn't interested in a sudden new deal only available after you sign up with another company. So she said I had to return their router to the office near the Central Bus Station.

Next day after school I made the significantly out of my way trip to the office near the Central Bus Station with the old router, only to be told that it was mine so I didn't need to return it. I remembered that they'd charged me for it years ago but I assumed that I was being charged for the previous router which I never returned. (Because I didn't know I had to until I noticed that I'd been charged £4 a month for over a year to pay for it.) Turns out, they were charging me for the new router.

It's all double work to get anything done here. But I had my new router and connected to it with no problem. Although we couldn't understand why DD's computer wouldn't connect to our new internet. Luckily she'd been upstairs to a neighbour with her laptop and the neighbour had put in her own wifi for DD and never deleted her password. That might be stealing but DD was given it and we only used it for a couple of days with the intent of sorting out our own internet issues asap.

And after all that, I'm saving about £10 a month.

Smart And Not So Smart
I finally bought a smart TV. I spent a silly amount of time worrying about how I was going to get it home (in a taxi of course) and up the stairs (no clue). In fact I put off buying it by several weeks for this reason. In the end I couldn't put it off any longer as I'd been promising DD that we would get it. I thought I'd have to buy the smallest tv in order to manage it. I don't know what happened to me that the obvious thing, to get it delivered, just eluded me. Of course you get it delivered. I think it was because the last thing I bought in that shop was a vacuum cleaner and, though it wasn't heavy, it was a hassle getting the bulky box home in a taxi and up the three flights of stairs.

Anyway, I chose a bigger TV than I'd originally planned to buy because, if you're already going for a cinematic experience, it's a shame to have a piddly little tv. It's 40" but the living room is only 3 metres across so that's like a giant screen if you live in a big house. I paid, in 10 installments which makes it practically free, and they said they'd deliver that same day between 2 and 3pm. It was Friday and I got a call from the delivery man asking if he could come earlier because it was an early Shabbat (an hour before sundown at just after 4pm).

Hanoch (That's Enoch in Hebrew) arrived with the TV at 12.45 and set it all up for me. Turns out I wasn't even connected to my new internet. (I was using the ethernet - what is that even? I've never heard of it before.) Hanoch called Company 2 for me and got me all sorted out with a new user name and password. He was great. I didn't even mind that I had to look at half his bare bottom as he bent down to fix the legs onto the TV. A cracking experience ;)

We signed up for Netflix. A friend showed me some of the programme and movie options a few weeks ago and if it was only for me, I'd have gone for the BBC Movies and UK TV package. However, DD has friends who don't know English well enough to watch movies without subtitles. Netflix has everything subtitled in Hebrew and some of the children's films are even dubbed in Hebrew. (How annoying is that? It brought back memories of watching the badly dubbed Bel and Sebastion on TV when I was a child.)

It's pure magic. The only downer is that I can't figure out how to change all the movie descriptions to English. I'm not sure it's even possible. And I don't think we're getting to see the full range of entertainment on offer. I'm going to have to explore it a bit more.

Cost of Netflix: about £10 a month.

My Baby Laptop
As a bonus item this week, my baby laptop was resurrected. About two years ago I bought myself a small laptop that I could take with me to work and other places if I needed to work outside the house. It's a lovely little laptop - same as my main computer just in miniature. Then DD's tablet broke and my old laptop (the one before my regular laptop) was rubbish to use. DD was distraught and I finally gave in and let her use my new baby laptop. It was less than six weeks old! And suddenly it didn't work. There was a light  behind the screen but nobody was home inside.

DD swore to me that it just stopped. I was heartbroken. I kept meaning to take it to get fixed. It was under guarantee in the UK as I'd bought it when we were in London, but the contract specifically said that the guarantee is void if you take it abroad. And anyway, we weren't in London, we were in Jerusalem. I couldn't deal with it so I just put it away in the cupboard.

Luckily I didn't declutter it as DD admitted to me a couple of weeks ago, that she'd actually spilt water on it and that's why it broke. She was too scared to tell me at the time because she thought I'd go mental. Which of course I would have done. But I'd also have seen if it it could be dried out instead of just putting it away.

This week I got out my baby laptop and it works! In fact I'm using it now. So that's £100 I didn't spend getting it fixed. Hooray! And a laptop for taking to work which I was sorely missing and causing me to waste loads of usable time whilst, e.g. waiting for DD at gymnastics twice a week and during three free periods in a row at school on Thursdays.

Facebook Marketplace
On Friday afternoon I put on facebook that I had a 10 year old TV and DVD player to give away. On Saturday evening my friend's son came to pick them up. DD and I quickly went through our DVDs and gave her a bag of about 30 that we don't need anymore. We kept about 10 favourites that we can watch on our laptops (not the baby laptop) but I think even these are on Netflix or some other streaming website.

So that's another empty drawer in the living room, one sleek TV instead of a little tv and DVD player on the side, and a plate of biscuits that my friend sent with her son as a thank you.

All in all, a very technically satisfying week.

Update: I ate all the biscuits so now I hate myself.


  1. We have had some very similar experiences lately! I finally bought a Smart TV (only 32") about a year ago - I got the make that I wanted and stayed within my budget. I paid for delivery and set up and it was worth every penny!
    I spent time on the phone a few days ago going over my Internet and Cable TV pkg. as the combo I had been on had expired and my bill went up $50/month! Renegotiated a few things and knocked $40 off plus got some extra credit. But honestly - as you said - it's back and forth - then they told me that I needed a new router and it would be $49 dollars for a service call - NO - got a credit back for that as well!
    I have had Netflix for about a year now and love it - it costs about $10/month here and it is worth every dime. You get much more than they initially show you - if you mark a few as to your liking then that shows them what you prefer and more things will pop up. Also, if there's a show or movie that you are looking for just type it into the search box and you may find it that way as well. I love all the British shows I get now! I believe you should be able to switch languages - but some of the programs that I get (Icelandic, French, Spanish etc.) are in the original language and I get sub-titles. Enjoy!

    1. Yes I noticed that if you search for a movie its name appears under the keyboard and if you click on that, you get a whole lot of suggestions that are "similar" to the movie you wanted. However, the movie itself isn't there. I don't know if that's because it's not on Netflix or because I don't know how to conjure it up.

    2. If that happens it means that the movie isn't there I'm afraid. But the fact that you've searched for it may mean that it will show up if it's added at a later date. Since you are from the UK have you watched "The Crown" as yet? I've watched seasons 1 and 2 and have really enjoyed it. There's also about 18 seasons of "Poirot" and 19 seasons of "Midsomer Murders"!!! :-) Let me know what you like to watch and I can make some suggestions if you like.

    3. Ah thanks for that information. The crown is first on my list when I can get the tv to myself. And yes lease, suggestions will be very welcome. xxx

    4. .Bodyguard - a 6 parter that just finished in the UK - I binge watched it but it does include Arab terrorism so may not be your cup of tea
      .Line of Duty - intense but very realistic police procedural. I think there have been 4 seasons (each is 4 or 6 parts I believe) - excellent acting.
      .From Iceland - "Trapped" - excellent mystery - 6 parter
      ."Call the Midwife"
      You will find lots and lots of different shows from different countries - give something new a chance - you may be pleasantly surprised.
      Have fun.

    5. Oh yes, I definitely need to see Call the Midwife. I think I'm about 10 series behind and I want to see them all from the beginning. Thanks for reminding me. I'm more into period dramas than police stories or thrillers.

  2. Well it sounds as if you've been very productive and yay for saving money on the internet, so you can enjoy a bit fo Netflix. Mich x

    1. I know, it took me long enough to get round to it. ;)

  3. It sounds as though the process of organising all this was a bit frustrating, but what a great result! And I think you deserved the biscuits xx

    1. LOL, now I deserve to sit down and watch something on Netflix but I've not had time yet.

  4. I love how you could theme your reasons this week - how clever and some great reasons to be chirpy for sure. I must look into Netflix - was not sure if it was just UK or not before your post and my daughter keeps asking for it so thanks #R2BC

    1. My friend showed e a UK TV package that I think belongs to the BBC and I would have chosen that if we didn't need to have Hebrew subtitles for DD's friends. I'm giving then all two years to learn English properly and then we'll switch, tee hee hee.