Category Archives: Product Reviews

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 !

Speed up your cross stitch projects

Some friends of mine own and run an online cross stitch website and he has asked me to look at doing some free promotion for him. I don’t know the first thing about sewing or cross stitch so I asked him to compose a short article about his products. If you are into cross stitch then I hope you like the article. If you are not into sewing then look away now!

Speed Up Your Cross Stitch Projects

If you have ever been put off starting a large counted cross stitch project because the charts are too complicated or the aida fabric holes are too small to count, or maybe if you are just starting your first cross stitch, read on, this is for you.

If there’s a project you’d love to stitch and it’s not available as a stamped or printed cross stitch kit, don’t be disappointed. I’ve discovered a brilliant product which will make your stitching life easier. It’s called Easy-Count Guideline and claims to cut stitching time down by a third as well as making your fabric and chart much easier to handle, especially if you suffer from eyestrain as I do.

Easy Count Guideline is really simple to use. Following the instructions which come with your 100-yard spool of thread, you just ‘baste’ stitch a grid pattern into the fabric and away you go. The guide forms squares 10 by 10 holes apart, matching the grid pattern of your chart. It doesn’t matter what count aid you use.

Normally I’d stitch from the centre of the chart outwards, constantly rethreading my needle with different colour thread and having to count and recount where I’ve been. With the guideline in place I can now just complete all of the stitches, one colour at a time and anywhere on the chart. Believe me it’s much quicker this way!

The guideline is bright red and can be seen constantly throughout stitching your project. It is easily removed when finished, just slowly pull it out. As it is made of nylon it is not possible to stitch through the guide and accidentally fix it in place.

For ease of stitching I normally used washable aida with a pre-printed grid pattern. This does more or less the same thing, but I have always been wary of thread colours running or fabric shrinkage when washing the finished stitched project. Easy Count Guideline differs in respect that you can easily pull the grid pattern out of the project when completed, without affecting your finished work of art.

Easy Count Guideline seems so adaptable, can be used with all aida fabric and can assist with any size of project. It can even be added to a partly completed project to give you that extra confidence to quickly complete your design.

So don’t be put off by large projects anymore, don’t be disappointed that you have lost the will to finish a tough design – just make sure you always have a spool of Easy Count Guide in your needlework stash.

I wish this had been invented sooner; I’d have completed many other projects by now. Guess I have no excuse now, I had better get some of them completed, or should I buy a new kit? Decisions, decisions!

What every man wants for Christmas – My Top 10.

Ladies ! Are you stuck for what to buy your husband or partner for Christmas? Do you want to keep him happy or even win him back ! Here are a few ideas for you, from a mans point of view, that will keep him happy for ages and maybe even he will be so happy as to help with the housework as well !

So, here goes, here is my list in no particular order. Some are expensive but some are not.

1. A new flat screen TV. Men love watching a good film and of course sport on TV. So, what better to watch his favourite TV programmes on the latest wide screen TV. The good thing about this Christmas gift is that it is a double whammy, because as all women know, men love new technology and gadgets. Men will love unpacking the box and setting it up and they will spend ages deciding where the best place for the speakers is. After all that exitement it is then time to watch the TV. Action films especially look much better on a big television and if you turn the volume up it is like being at the cinema. Having this new “toy” will stop him going to the pub with his mates and he will become more romantic towards you as a result. The is the number one ideal gift.

2. Already have a big flat screen TV ? The answer is then to buy a Blue-Ray DVD player. These high definition DVD players are brilliant. The improvement in quality over traditional DVD players is incredible. Films come to life and the detail and clarity of the picture is infinate. Combine this DVD player with a cinema surround sound Hi-Fi speaker system and you will make his face light up with joy, and he will do the same everytime he sees his wonderful “little cinema system” sitting in the corner of the room.

3. A subscription to Sky Sports. As all women know, most men love watching sport on TV. We can get emotionally involved in any sport on TV regardless of whether it is our team and even if we have never seen the sport before. The reason for this is that all men secretly want to be sporting superstars, but because most men start drinking instead and also because they were discovering girls just at the age boys should be spending all the time training to be a sporting superstar, then most men failed to fulfil their dream. However, the “sportman” inside every man still lays dormant. So, if you can’t play sport the next best thing is to watch it on TV. Don’t forget as well, that it has been in mens genes since the stone age that we are competitive. Back then, we had to run for our lives from the dinasoars whilst we were out finding food. Since then we have always been good runners !

4. Golf Club Memebership.. Are you looking for some time to yourself ? Maybe you ladies want time to go shopping or take a visit to the beauty salon, but have always felt guilty that your husband is at home and you can’t justify spending the money. Well, what could be better than a golf club membership. Prices vary but on average I would say they cost about £600 a year plus possibly a joining fee. Bear in mind that playing a round of golf takes about 4 hours plus the time in the bar afterwards. This time in the bar is spent discussing every hole and where they went wrong, so it can be some time before they leave the bar ! You can allow, therefore, nearly a full day out for your husband or partner including the travelling time, which means that you will have plenty of time to wander around the shops.

5. Can’t afford the golf club membership ? How about a few golf lessons ? Most men spend more time telling their mates that next time they will play better and that they have discovered where they are going wrong. In practise though it is not possible to improve at golf without taking a few lessons. You can improve by playing more, but if a golf player can’t figure out where they are going wrong the only way you can improve is by having golf lessons. After only six lessons you can become a better player.

6. A case of wine I think this is a really good christmas present. Most men love a good beer but drinking wine makes them more intelligent. Well…it makes them look more intelligent !
6 reds and 6 whites is what is needed. If he doesn’t drink red wine then it is about time he did and its good for the heart meaning your beloved will live longer.

7. Another great gadget at number 7 on my list. Are you fed up with seeing all those old videos in a huge pile in your living room? Well, how about a VCR to PC machine ? This machine will convert all his old videos to DVD. It could be all your old wedding videos, holiday videos or even the kids Disney classics. It is a simple to use device which converts everything to digital format so that you can either store everything on a PC or burn them onto a blank DVD. This will keep your man busy for hours !

8. A Beer Machine This is every mans dream come true – beer for less than 50 pence a pint. Simply pour in the powder mix, add water and yeast and then wait for 7 to 10 days for it to ferment. This machine will even fit in your fridge and it will keep him and his mates happy for ages. Makes perfect beer for help in watching sport on TV !

9. T-shirts Men love t-shirts. It is because they are so versatile. In summer men love wearing t-shirts and in winter men love wearing t-shirts too. Some very tough men can wear t-shirts in winter without even a jacket but most men wear a t-shirt in winter underneath a thicker shirt. It is important that at least two buttons on the normal shirt are undone so that the t-shirt can be seen underneath. This, most men believe makes then look more rugged and manly !

10. A Nano-Copter. This is the worlds smallest and lightest radio-controlled helicopter. It can soar up to 10 metres and is great fun. Men love their toys and after gadgets something like this mini helicopter is brilliant and it will keep them amused for hours. It can be used inside or outside and it will amaze old men and boys alike. Any man would be proud to have this given to him at Christmas. This type of present makes us men wish that we had been fighter pilots in the RAF and makes us think that because we can fly a toy radio controlled helicopter then we must be able to fly a real one !

Buy presents for men. Click on the banner below.

Smartermail Professional 4.3

How to use Smartermail Professional 4.3

Smartermail is a powerful web based email system that can be accessed from any PC with an internet connection. Once installed you need to log-in to your email using your email address and password. See the screenshot below.

The first page you see after logging in is your “Today” page and you can also set up RSS feeds where you can see notification of any RSS feeds that you have subscribed to.

RSS Feeds page

RSS Feeds page

Click on the inbox in the left side of the screen and all incoming emails are displayed. Double click on any email to display it.

Smartermail has a powerful spam filtering system where you can customise the settings. In my case I have Smartermail set up to move all spam messages directly into a junk folder. The junk folder needs to be emptied on a regular basis.

An easy way to delete all your junk emails from your junk folder is to click “actions” and then click “Delete all messages in folder”.

My opinion of Smartermail Professional 4.3

Overall, I am impressed with Smartermail. It has many good useful functions and also the spam filtering is very good but still not 100% accurate as spam can still get through the filters. Other functions of Smartermail including archiving of mail in folders and a search facility to easily find an email. One downside of Smartermail is that I don’t like not being able to enlarge the email I am working on and you only seem able to work on the email within the preview window. An option to open the email in a seperate window would be useful. My overall rating is 8/10.

Ask for a review of your website or product

I am quite happy to carry out a review of your product or website and post it on my blog. All I ask is that if you want me to review a website that you make a donation using the Paypal button below and input your details including your email address and full details of what you would like me to review. All the reviews I do will be honest, professional and independent ones. If there is good or not so good feedback to give then I will give both. I have been building and marketing websites since 1996 and presently have eight successful websites under my control. One of my websites has achieved over £25M in sales since 1996 so I like to think I know what I am talking about ! I also know an enormous amount about SEO and online marketing, so I am sure that my independent review will give you very useful feedback about your website.

If you would like me to review a product please leave a comment for me with your contact details. You will need to send me the product so that I can look at it or use it and I will then post the review on my blog for my readers benefit.

You can donate as much or as little as you like and I will then contact you if I need more information and I will then do for you a detailed review and post it on my website with a link to your website.


Samsung ML2240 Laser Printer Review

Samsun ML2240 printer

I ordered a Samsung ML2240 from Amazon and the service was excellent as it arrived the next day. I bought the Samsung ML2240 Laser printer as a replacement for my old Brother printer. The reason being that to buy a new toner cartridge would have cost more than the cost of a brand new printer ! I didn’t want to spend ages looking for a new printer so I pretty much ordered the cheapest laser printer I could find and at £39 the Samsung seemed like a bargain.

My first impression of the Samsung ML2240 is that it’s quite small. Its about half the size of my old Brother one, but I suppose that’s progress for you !

The printer was so easy to set up. The whole set up process only took me about 5 minutes and that includes plugging the printer in and taking all the sticky tape off. The printer comes with one starter toner cartridge which is supposed to give about 700 prints. I installed the printer software and drivers from the CD and did a couple of test prints and I was impressed with the speed and the print quality. The only downside is that the printer is a bit noisy, but thats not too much of a problem.

At the same time I ordered the Samsung ML2240 from Amazon I ordered a printer USB cable. As seems to be the case with most printers these days there is no printer cable included so you have to order one. When I checked my order it transpires that the cable is going to be sent in a few days time which is a bit silly. Luckily I had a spare cable I could use on a temporary basis.

In summary, I can say that I am very pleased with the Samsung ML2240 and it is excellent value for money.

Use the Amazon link below to buy a Samsung ML2240 Laser Printer