Samsung Galaxy S2 upgrade to Android 4.1.2 Jellybean

I have just successfully upgraded my Samsung Galaxy software to Android 4.1.2 Jellybean and this is how I did it.

Firstly, I was thinking of upgrading my Samsung Galaxy S2 to a Galaxy S3 or even an S4 when my two year contract expired, but after I was quoted expensive upgrade prices I decided to hold off and I reverted to a basic £12 a month deal until prices hopefully reduce a bit.

I like my Samsung Galaxy S2. It’s in great condition but the software is looking old now and I really wanted the latest Android software to run on it. The new Instagram video App needs at least Android 4.1.2 to operate so that reason alone is a good one to upgrade.

Anyway, this is how I upgraded my Samsung S2 GT I9100 to Jellybean 4.1.2. It was a very simple process but it took me at least an hour, but I think it’s well worth doing because the new software is a big improvement.

First, I connected my phone to my PC using a USB cable and I opened Samsung Kies on my PC. I was prompted to update to the latest version of Samsung Kies and this took two attempts before I had the latest version. I then backed up my phone using Samsung Kies and this took about 15 minutes. You can restore the settings of your phone if something goes wrong using the “restore” function of Samsung Kies.

Once I had done a back up I just followed the prompts to upgrade the firmware on the phone. Prior to completing the upgrade you have to unplug your phone from your PC and connect it again and this completes the installation of Android 4.1.2.

When Android 4.1.2 is installed your Samsung S2 will restart and there are several settings to go through before it is installed correctly. The whole process was quite simple, although I did nearly give up when Samsung Kies froze when I was updating to the latest version of Kies. I’m glad I tried again because I’m really pleased with the upgrade to Android 4.1.2.

The only negative so far is that my phone contacts were filled with hundreds of contacts that I didn’t want so I went into the settings and put a tick in the option to include only contacts with a phone number and that sorted the issue but there are still duplicate contacts in my phone contact list that I will need to sort out manually.

Android 4.1.2 Jellybean is smooth and fast with no lag that I can see. It is easy to use with several new features that I’m pleased about. Reports say that battery life is extended but I’m still testing that and I’ll update this post when I have more information.

Upgrade your Samsung Galaxy S2 to Android Jellybean and you might not need a new phone !

Feedback wanted on new online travel tv show

Zamboogie TV is a brand new online travel TV show and it has just released its first ever episode. The show is presented by Becky Hayes and it is produced by Jay Rozanski and his team at Oxyfire Meida Creative.

Included in the first episode are features about holiday fashion, how to get fit for your holidays, a Munich Vlog, a luxury 5 star hotel in Fuerteventura and other travel tips.

Please watch the video and “like” it ….Thanks


Effective methods to engage students in the classroom.

I’m doing a presentation at Huddersfield University soon and this is my PowerPoint.

The presentation is about the importance of motivating and inspiring your students with engaging activities in the classroom. It’s also about using feedback a teacher obtains from students and saving it in a digital format so students can use it outside the classroom. Saving information is important so that students can remind themselves about the class session and also so they can use the information in their assignments to help them improve their grades.

If you have any comments please let me know.  

Heated roads e-petition

A few years ago I posted an article on my blog about how heated roads could be the answer to snow chaos and since then I have lots of comments about what a good idea it is.

The technology to heat our roads is available and I think we need a trial to see if the idea works. It is impossible to heat all our roads but surely the motorways and important A roads can be heated to avoid snow chaos when snow falls.

I have set up a government e-petition to ask for a trial of the heated roads technology and I need 100,000 signatures before it can be debated in parliament.

Please sign my e-petition by clicking here

How to make waffles !

I have just discovered how to make waffles after my daughter bought me a waffle maker for Chrsitmas !

Time Magazine describes the waffle as one of Western civilizations finest achievments. It seems that the waffle can be traced back to ancient Greece but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the waffle became popular as bakeries competed with monastries for a tastier version of the waffle.

I always thought that the waffle was an American invention as I have visited various brances of The Waffle House there. Many may think that the waffle is similar to a pancake and they would be right, apart from the fact that the waffle uses tastier ingredients and is flavoured with more than just lemon juice and sugar.

Waffles Here is how I made waffles:

Imgredients (serves 6)

250g plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

460ml buttermilk

2 medium eggs

                                                                            1 tsp vanilla extract


Stir the plain flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Combine the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract and the add to the flour. Mix the batter until smooth in a food mixer or similar and then leave to stand for 30 minutes.

Lightly grease the waffle pan and then place on a medium heat and pur 2 tbsps of the batter mix into each well of the waffle pan. Cook until the underneath is light brown and then flip overand cook the other side

Serve the waffle with summer fruits and cream or maple syrup or anything similar to suit your taste.

Enjoy !



The Singularity – The Answer to the Conquest of Space ?

There was an interesting article in The Sunday Times last weekend about how human life is evolving. This was an article about what has become known as the “singularity”. This is the time that a computer will be able to think like a human brain. It is estimated that the singularity will become a reality by about 2030 or 2040.

Once this milestone is reached scientists are saying that the content of a human brain will be able to be downloaded onto a computer. The significance of being able to do this cannot be understated. This will effectively mean that we will be able to live forever. After all, when you consider that humans are essentially a brain, with a body  to carry it around and once it’s possible for a computer to be a brain then we might not need a body!

All this doesn’t sound like much fun to me but it is said that many scientists are in a race to make sure that they live long enough so that they can take advantage of this huge advance in computer science.

Another interesting suggestion made in the article is that this move towards singularity is how we are meant to evolve as a species. It’s possible, the article says, that aliens haven’t contacted us because their species has not been able to solve the problem of inter-galactic travel and have subsequently died out.

As humans it is also very likely that we won’t be able to solve the same problem to enable us to explore the universe and avoid the natural destructive forces around us. However, it’s also possible that it will be machines and the vast computer power that we are developing that will solve the travel problem and mean we can escape the confines of our small galaxy.

Would I want the content of my brain downloading to a hard drive? As long as there is a secure back-up in case of a hard drive failure I could be tempted !

How to live a long happy life

What’s the secret to a long and happy life? If I knew the answer I would be a rich man. Every day new research is released telling us what to eat and what not to eat. It’s a minefield because there seems to be so much conflicting information and it changes constantly. Everything in moderation is my take on things. I also believe in cherry juice to stay healthy, although I don’t have any eveidence of that yet !


Researchers have identified common traits of resilient people, and here is the list of things they have come up with. None of the things on the list are to do with the food we eat, it’s all about our mental attitude to life. Here is the list.

1. Adapt to change easily.
2. Feel in control of their lives.
3. Are able to bounce back after difficult times.
4. Have close, dependable relationship.
5. Remain optimistic even in the face of challenges.
6. Can function well under pressure.
7. Have a sense of humour, even under stress.
8. Have a sense of confidence and strength in themselves as individuals.
9. Believe that things happen for a reason.
10. Can handle uncertainty or unpleasant feelings.
11. Know when to turn for help.
12. Like challenges.
13. Enjoy taking the lead.
14. Have hobbies and others activities.

I guess the moral to the story here is to adopt a resilient mindset to live a long and enjoyable life.

Sources: “The common traits come from the article”  Are You Resilient?, Readers Digest, August 2009, Page 158, Sari Harrar and Debra Gordon

My failed potato crop !

My attempt to become self-sufficient in potatoes has failed miserably ! About 3 months ago I planted 3 growing sacks with potatoes and had high hopes that I would have a good supply of home-grown potatoes ready for Christmas. I looked after them well but it seems our wet weather has taken its toll. About a month ago all the leaves went black and even to my inexperienced eye I knew that things were not looking good.

home grown Potato cropAnyway we decided that maybe potato blight was a problem and we cut off all the offending leaves. This was against my better judgement but anyway it happened. So, yesterday, the potatoes were dug up and whilst not expecting much I was shocked as to how bad the crop was. It is difficult to describe the end result but I can only say that they are small, very small infact! See the photo opposite. The largest was the size of a marble and the smallest the size of a pea!  

 I don’t think that I will try growing potatoes again. In fact I think that any attempt at The Good Life is doomed to disaster as far as I’m concerned so in future it’s supermarket vegetables for me !

As a consolation though it seems that it has been a bad year for potatoes in the UK due to the wet weather. This video about this years potato crop was on the BBC website.  


Online education gathers pace

Excellent article in The Guardian asking the question Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university.

We all buy books and listen to music online. Online shopping is causing our high streets to be ghost towns. Newspapers are going online as paper versions struggle to sell. Is education next? I think the answer is yes and within 10 years Higher Education will look different to what it is now. High tuition fees will mean it is inevitable that online universities will proper.

Teaching though is not just about university lectures it is also about learning from those around you. The Guardian article is well worth a read.

Personally, I think a combination of online and face to face might work best (blended learning) but the juggernaut of online learning is now gathering pace and it will be interesting to see where it ends up.

Take a look at the online universities below. They have already signed up tens of thousands of people. All the courses are free. I quite fancy taking the online computer programming course myself !   


Windows 8 update problem on HP laptop

My daughter bought a new Windows 8 HP laptop last weekend from Currys and I was looking forward to seeing the new operating system in action. The desktop looks totally different to any other Windows software and it will take a lot of getting used to and involve a lot of learning on how to find things that we have all taken for granted for so long. Things like looking at your Device Manager and My Computer will take some finding !

However, a few days after buying the new Windows 8 laptop there is a problem. The HP laptop wants to update the operating system which begs the question why was the laptop sold with an old version of Windows 8. It shouldn’t need to update so soon after being bought. But there is an even bigger problem in that the software won’t update correctly as it gets stuck at 13% updated and then goes no further. The laptop eventually re-boots with an error message and the process starts all over again.

To make matters worse, Curry’s, where the laptop was bought,have the wrong help line telephone number on their purchase documents. When I called them I was directed to another number – bad customer service Currys !!

I eventually got through to someone at KnowHow and he knew all about the problem. He said we needed to update the anti-virus software and if that didn’t work we needed to update the audio and video drivers !

The problem is that its impossible to get to the desk top now as the software constantly wants to update. It looks like Windows 8 still has teething problems so beware.