HELP!

Categorised as a rant, but in realty it is a plea for help and answers.  The subject?  Well what do you think it is?  Dear readers it is of course my pet bug bear, technology.

Not of once the bumbling internet connection, but instead emails.  Over the past few days I have had a really weird experience in that my emails have been going haywire.  Somebody told me it was a likely cyber-attack from Islamist insurgents, but come on that specific to me?  I really doubt it they have larger targets in their sights.  The problem is that my main work email has frozen on my MacBook.  As of yesterday afternoon I no longer receive emails on this computer – the one on which I am currently typing my blog.  I can get them on my iPad and iPhone (4S) and even my aged MacBook but not this one, it seems to have chosen to freeze the receipt of mails from info@bellaugello.com account.

So I have to read my emails on the old MacBook.  Now you would think thatI could reply to them from there, but NO! I cannot.  For some reason, although configured identically (from the ‘settings’ screens  from what I can see) the old MacBook will not send because of SMTP problems,  it now will not even send mails using my private address.  Ok so onto the iPad, receiving mails on all accounts but unable to send on the business one, because every time I press ‘send’ I instantly receive a message telling me that the message has been ‘rejected by the server’…  So to the iPhone.  It, well until I started writing this post still receives and sends.  Of course the mails are not syncing 100% so I have to refer to two computers and the tablet when reading and replying.  Of course some mails came in a day or so ago so are not on the phone, I have to forward them to the phone by another email account, to enable me to reply, it is all VERY TEDIOUS

Add to that that the iPhone has ridiculously small keypad and I definitely require my glasses to type and every email is torture.

I have tried exiting the mail programmes, turning the computer off and on again, done countless resets all to no avail.  I’ve even tried cancelling the tasks in the activity screen, no change, zilch, diddly squat..  Not happy.

Does any kind technological reader have any sensible suggestion as to how to resolve the issues?

 

In the meantime sincere and profuse apologies for the inconvenience.  If, of late you have sent me an email to which I have not replied then could I ask you to paste your email address into a comment to this post and click the send button?  I will find a way or replying.

Answers by carried pigeon to Tech Support Bellaugello Gay Guest House, Umbria, Italy…

iPad – iPhone – Samsung Tablet or PC

Just occasionally I am sufficiently conscientious to study my hit count on the Bellaugello website.  Google and others give me a reasonable indication of how many people have looked at the site for Bellaugello Gay Guest House, where they come from, for how long they were on the site and which pages took their interest.

Part of the analytics also provides me with data on what type of computer or tablet or smartphone you guys are using to view my website.

It reports a significant number of you use iPads, closely followed by iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets.  Now at the moment you all see the website in the same format, that generated principally for PCs with large screens.

So, a question to you tablet and smartphone users:  Does it irritate you that in order to read the Bellaugello website or my Blog you have to expand the screen?  Would you prefer that the site and blog were formatted specifically for your gadgets? Would you like it more user friendly, tabs leading to droop down menus and photos? Simpler cleaner lines

Do let me know….

The sun is back after the rains

Last weekend the weather was really terrible.  however the rain was much needed and nobody with a large umbrella seemed to mind the soaking.  Today we are back to sunshine, the air is clean and refreshed and the autumn colours are just turning those honey golds so characteristic of Umbria.  Although not blogging I have been up to a few things, so to give you an insight of my days here goes;

I want to cover the pool and garden at Bellaugello Gay Guest House with a wireless internet signal, let’s face it everybody now has an iPad or Kindle.  I have been out researching WiFi antennas.  The proposed antennas are quite small and discrete.  I am told they have a range of up to 5kms – should be more than adequate!  I just need to clamber onto the roof to find the best point for the antenna and how we can discretely run the cable.

The other day a frenetic beeping of a van horn signalled the arrival of a box of samples for a new range of soaps and gels from Erbolario Toscano for me to test.  I would like to keep the Arran Arromatics lavender products we currently use, but I have big problems with the carriers not delivering so am looking at alternatives.  Erbolario Toscano is a high quality range of products using olive oil which is produced near Lucca in Tuscany.  Lightly fragrant and with an attractive artisan packaging, traditional Italian, the soap is really good I am really inclined to go with them for the suites for next year. (make the place more Italian hehe!!)

I am looking at an iPad mini.  I am a keen reader, I read in bed to send me to sleep however before the iPad mini  had thought to buy a Kindle Paperwhite.  I checked the reviews and was convinced, Paperwhite is the right model, the price is not bad and the book selection more than adequate, with the advantage that I will be able to buy English language books here on an Italian Amazon account.

Ok so proceed to buying process – NONE available in Italy until FEBRUARY 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!  British Amazon has delivery for w/c 14 December aargh.  I heard on the BBC Brian Sewell being interviewed about his latest autobiography and I want to read it now, by February I will have lost interest.  Three months wait I think not.   So I thought why not an iPad mini?  I have other Apple products they could all sync together.  Ok they are more expensive than a Kindle but they also do more, I could use it for music in the dining room, checking emails and blogging, stream movies and yes, read books – oh I can justify it on many levels!  Delivery 2 weeks – that is reasonable, BUT NO ENGLISH FILMS on iTunes Italy so NO point in paying more. I REFUSE to watch Skyfall with Daniel Craig dubbed into Italian

Continuing on the same theme, I am looking at replacing my computer.  As an Apple man of long standing, indeed I have never owned a pc and still have trouble working on one I thought to a desktop iMac.  Wow how the prices have shot up starting €1,400…..  Anyway it must be done so onto my Apple account to discover delivery….   NOVEMBER are we not already in November?

A friend of mine in the UK has a company car.  Last spring his company car was due for renewal.  His car of choice is a Mercedes and being of precise nature he specified color, trim, wheels, engine etc and returned to work in hot anticipation of the new baby arriving.  Scheduled for late July in time to drive over to Italy for a holiday at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, the car when it finally arrived in late August was wrongly specified, and Mercedes wanted another two whole months.

What is it with the world?  One used to be able to go into a phone store and choose a new phone pay a few pounds and take it home straight away. I can remember walking onto a car dealer’s forecourt and choosing the car from a selection and having it ready to be driven away the next day.  A ten month wait for a Mercedes!  I know times are hard but have Mercedes suffered so much?  I have visions of the workforce reduced to one man assembling the cars under the light of an incandescent bulb hehe!  Yes, I did wait 7 years for the delivery of my Morgan sports car but that was in the 1980’s and very much hand made.  I remember DVDs played any language – buy them in Paris, Caracas, Lisbon or Berlin, they all had a choice of languages, so why in this modern day and age can the Apple Store not have original language films in all countries?  And have you seen their ‘original language’ bookstore on iTunes talk about un-navigable

And to why I have not been blogging lately.  It is all Apple’s fault. I have updated my software to a Mountain Lion, all singing but not all dancing it is now inordinately complicated to upload photos onto my blog.  What was previously a simple process of finding the photo, choosing and uploading is now impossible as the small dimension extensions have magically disappeared.  Now to upload a small format photo I have to export it from iPhoto and put it on the desktop, so duplicating it and taking up more disk space and then find it again and upload to WordPress, and as to videos, no way have I mastered that.

To give you and example, recently we went up into the foothills of the Apennines behind our local town of Gubbio, within 20kms you find yourself in the Monte Cucco Regional park a wonderful place for hiking, well marked tracks meander hills and valleys  that are like entering a land that time forgot.  Stupendous scenery, isloated villages, smoke curling limply from soot blackened chimney pots, old men (and some cute younger ones) standing outside the only bar, I expected the only cigarettes available to be Gauloise untipped.  Here and there a lonely church or ancient monastery clinging to a craggy outcrop high up on the valley wall, and Chianina cattle wandering freely in the upper pastures, their bells jangling.  It was all happily reminiscent of the film “the Sound of Music”.   I half expected a Christopher Plummer lookalike to come tripping gaily down the mountain.  But no it is actually 2012 and amongst all this nostalgia there was a 3G phone signal, and with my iPhone camera I could take video and record sound which I di to upload  through my WordPress app.  But no, the video would not upload to my phone, and back at home synced with computer it still does not upload, indeed iPhoto mucked up the format, and I wasted hours trying various ways to share the delightful sounds with you all to no avail.  To my mind technology should be simple and efficient.

Back to business, I am making a few alterations to the dining room and kitchen at Bellaugello and was out shopping for internal doors yesterday.  I need two plain doors, smooth un-remarkable.  The quote came in this morning €187,00 + iva each and that is just the doors, no handles…..  My friends in the south of France posted recently on Facebook photos of delightful antique double doors for their drawing room that they picked up in an architectural salvage yard, cost €300,00 including brass handles and finger plates.  To add insult to injury there is a lead in time of ten weeks for these unremarkably dull but expensive flat doors.

Ok this has turned into a rant which was not the intention, I leave you with a photo of one of the cattle, you will have to make the sound effects yourself, just hit a saucepan lid or two together to imagine the delightful sounds from the bell, I am off to string two empty baked bean cans together, I need to speak with my neighbour over the hill!