My Free Advice

My advice on technology, Gadgets, Software, Software Devlopment and the world at large.

How to save a little with your online purchases

I love Quidco

This Is My favourite online discounting site.  They offer a discounts on a wide range of retailers everything from Insurance to home Electricals. Before I purchase anything online I usually check on quidco to see if there are any cash back offers.  If you use this service for all you regular big bills i.e. car insurance, home insurance, electrical purchase etc. you will receive significant cash back.  I usually use the cash back to allow me to buy more Gadgets.

GSM Sockets Control Power From Your Phone

Recently I have purchased a GSM Socket.  With the intention of using it to turn on an off my boilier.  I will keep you posted on my progress.

Android MK802 TV Stick with Linux

A while back I purchased one of these devices on eBay.  I was interested in the possibilities of writing apps for TV use primarily.  After initially be slightly disappointed with the stability of the device I updated the software and things improved considerably.  The device is never going to be the fastest but it does let you surf the internet and watch the BBC iPlayer.  I have noticed recently that a lot of new versions of the device have appeared on ebay,  Has anyone had any experience with devices such as the MK809IV?

Anyhow last night I started reading about installing Linux on the MK802.  The process seemed fairly straight forward but I have yet to get it to work.  I will try again over the weekend and keep you posted on how I get on.

Halifax Bank Statement Analyser

I bank with the Halifax and have started development of a windows application to allow me to download and analyse my spending habits.  The application will import the bank statement files that can be easily downloaded from the Halifax website.  This data will be stored in a sqlLite database and allow the user assign a category to transactions.  The categories will be defined by the user.  If a transaction is categorised once the system will automatically choose that category for any new transactions from that retailer.  For example all transactions from my local grocery store will always get a category of 'Food'.  This system will allow me to know what I spend money on and how much I spend with local retailers.  Would anyone else find this application useful? 

Raspberry Pi

Recently I purchased a Raspberry Pi which has truly amazed me with the incredible array of possible applications that I could use it on.  To name a few currently rattling around in my head:

  • Garage door opener
  • Remotely control heating via the time clock
  • Remotely control Byron remote plugs
  • A message board broadcaster for the elderly on their TV
  • Various industrial shop floor data collection applications including the use of barcode scanners
  • Budget time clocking system using rfid cards
  • A remote door opening device
  • etc.... etc.... etc... the potential is endless

Any of your suggestions would be welcome...

If you would like to purchase a Raspberry PI Please check out this link