A visit to Scotney Castle a 14th century gem.

Despite the cold weather today, we made use of our National Trust memberships and visited  Scotney Castle, built in the 14th Century by Roger de Ashburnham, Conservator of the Peace in Kent and Sussex. It is located near Lamberhurst in Tunbridge Wells, which is in the beautiful garden of England (Kent). 😉

scotney castle 1~2

The castle is situated on 750 hectares of beautiful rolling green hills filled with sheep and cows. There are lots of trees and plants in amongst the sculptured gardens. There is even a quarry, which has the footprint of an Iguanodon, left here over 100 million years ago.

Sadly we saw very little flowers, but were told that it is most beautiful in early summer, so we will definitely be visiting again.

Continue reading A visit to Scotney Castle a 14th century gem.

Windows 10 is dead on my 2008 iMac.

I don’t know what Microsoft did in the latest updates, but it has totally fracked my Windows 10. I use to be able to leave my windows running indefinitely and it would work just fine when I logged in, but ever since the update, I have noticed it is dead to the world. Nothing works, or it is working so slowly that the only way to get anything done is to hold the power button in and reboot, then wait 10 to 15 minutes for it to stop reading or indexing and then its good to go. It is unreal. Does it not know I am looking at the Surface Pro 4 i7? At this rate I will have to replace my old iMac from 2008. :-)

OSX version 10.10.3

Continue reading Windows 10 is dead on my 2008 iMac.

How to see unread email from your favicon or bookmarks bar?

Do you use Google’s Inbox web client on your PC and get a lot of email? I do and I found a very useful Chrome extension today, which allows me to see an email notification count of unread email via the Favicon.

inbox notification

The Favicon is the tiny graphic to the left of the tab name, or the little icon you see on your favorites bar.

inbox notification 2

The advantage of this extension is that I don’t even have to have Inbox open to be able to see that I have unread email. :-)

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they are gone.

Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen by Bas Luhrmann. This is a pretty shitty song or tune as Bas just talks throughout, but the words are such great advice to anyone growing up.

Check out the lyrics below.

Continue reading Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they are gone.

A visit to Ightham Mote a 14th Century Manor House.

We joined the National Trust today. We have been members before, so thought we would give it another go.  It cost us £99 for the two of us for a years membership, which is not bad when one considers how many National Trust historic houses, castles, mills, gardens, coastlines, forests, farmland, moorland, islands, castles, nature reserves, villages… and pubs there are around our lovely island.

Our first visit was to Igtham Mote, which is an outstanding 14th century moated manor house located in Kent near the village of Ightham.

We got to see the bottom half of the house as that was the only part open at this time of the year as well as the lovely gardens. We will definitely go back in March, when the rest of the house is open to the public and the gardens are starting to bloom. Definitely worth a visit even if one is not a National Trust member.

Flashing stock ROM on Samsung Galaxy Tab S (SM-T800).

A few months ago I wrote about ‘Flashing BlissPop ROM Lollipop 5.0.2 on Samsung Galaxy Tab S (SM-T800)‘. I’ve upgraded this ROM a few times since then, but something went wrong recently, which has caused the sound to not work in all video playback across multiple apps. It is quite odd. Anyway I decided the best way to troubleshoot the problem was to flash a stock Samsung SM-T800 ROM and go from there.

I downloaded the firmware from SAMMobile . They have quite a few country versions, but I picked United Kingdom.
SamMobile SMT800 downloads

After I downloaded the firmware, I grabbed the latest Odin3 v3.10.7.exe and bin file, which needs runs in Windows 10 (and previous versions of Windows).  Here are the steps I followed.

Continue reading Flashing stock ROM on Samsung Galaxy Tab S (SM-T800).

Look at the impressive EE fibre speeds.

On Monday we said goodbye to our SKY broadband and telephone package. Our broadband package really sucked. It was a 15MB SKY broadband package but we never actually got more than 7MB download speed. The upload speed was atrocious at under 1MB. Running PLEX media server to stream movies was impossible as the speed was too slow.

Now we have EE fibre. They told us we can expect download speeds between 30MB and 50MB and upload speeds of 5MB to 10MB.

The router supports both 2ghz and 5ghz channels, where 5G is the much newer faster technology. Regardless, I have tried both, and the results are staggering.

Above you can see some of the speed results I am getting using Wi-Fi in my house. There is one result in the list which was taken in Angel, London, that is LTE speed, but the top two I got this evening using both channels. Very impressive speeds, 5 times better than SKY broadband. EE rocks! Happy days streaming PLEX movies.

A Coupé Ninja PIM066 case for my Raspberry Pi 2.

There is a wide selection of cases available for the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, and many cover up this wonderful piece of technology. So I decided to keep it simple and have gone for the Coupé Ninja PIM066 case from the Pimoroni.com website. It was £8.50.


It protects the top and bottom of the board with a transparent cover. The 4 USB ports & Network port stand above the cover, while the AV and HDMI ports are flush with the cover. The SD Card is easily accessible.


I think it looks pretty awesome and I feel a lot better carrying it around.


Next project for my Raspberry Pi…. Install and host a WordPress website because why the hell not?

Hello world, Bowen got a Raspberry Pi.

I bought a Raspberry Pi model B+ starter kit yesterday.


It came with a full-size USB keyboard, mouse, Wi-Fi Dongle, 4 port USB powered hub, HDMI cable, and standard USB cable and an 8GB sdcard containing NOOBS.

I set it up today, which was dead easy, but to be honest having all the wired hardware (keyboard & mouse, HDMI cable and power cable) plugged in, made the tiny Raspberry Pi board a little messy.

My solution: one Bluetooth dongle + the Ranger Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.


I was going to do a review on this incredible keyboard/mouse/pointer and then remembered I did a review on it a year ago. (See the link above).

Continue reading Hello world, Bowen got a Raspberry Pi.

Hello Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

Did you watch the Microsoft Windows 10 Devices event? It was a draw dropping spectacle.

Check out the thousands of tweets covering the events over at twitter, just search #windows10devices.

Two devices grabbed my attention. Take a look at the awesome videos below:

The Surface Pro 4 : Syklake Core M, i5 and i7, Windows 10, new keyboard and pen. 12.3″ PixelSense screen, pixel density of 267ppi, up to 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage, two USB 3.0 ports, fingerprint sensor, 8 megapixel front camera. Full technical specifications here.

The Surface Book – The Ultimate laptop has a 13.5″ PixelSense Display, 6 million pixels, 267 DPI, NVIDIA Accelerated graphics, NVIDIA GeForce GPU, High speed GDDR5 memory, 2x USB 3.0 , Full size SD Card, Precision glass trackpad, 5-point mutitouch, Integrated backlit keyboard, Machined magnesium body, Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge, 6th generation Intel Core processor, Up to 16GB RAM & 1TB storage, Thinnest and lightest Intel Core i7 PC, Muscle Wire Lock. At around about 55 seconds into the video comes an awesome surprise. Full Technical Specifications here.

The big question is will either fit in the docking station I bought for the Surface Pro 3? If yes, then I have until my next trip to the US to decide which Windows 10 device I will be getting.

Edit: One answer found already via Arstechnica.com

NEW YORK—Microsoft gave its Surface Pro tablet an upgrade today. Surface Pro 4 has the same shape and size as Surface Pro 3, but it now sports a Skylake 6th generation Core processor.

The tablet also has a larger screen; what was a 12-inch 2160×1440 screen is now 12.3 inches with a 267PPI display. The larger screen has been incorporated without changing the overall dimensions of the system, so it remains compatible with the Surface Pro 3 Dock.

That is music to my ears,

Take a look at what the Bowens are up to.