New SatNav

A week or so ago my trusty TomTom Go 500  finally gave up the ghost after almost 6 years of reliable service (see “A New Toy for 2006). As the picture shows, it was a “sturdy” device and much deeper and heavier than the latest ones:

Mine had got rather bashed about over the years and was gaffer taped to the windscreen mount but the final straw came when it refused to find any address in Southampton! It just said “No navigable route available”. The time had come for a replacement and I decided to stick with TomTom as a manufacturer.

Google to the rescue; I found a great offer on a shiny new TomTom Via Live 120 European version which had all the new bells and whistles and was a lot smaller and lighter than the original – it was also a lot cheaper at £152, the original costing over £250 if I remember correctly. In addition the Pixmania website (which offered the best price I could find) also had a “flash” on the product picture stating “£30 Cashback”, so a total price of £122!

I ordered and paid for the Via and it arrived a couple of days later, then the truth set in! There was no sign of any cashback claim paperwork? I called Pixmania who immediately denied all knowledge of the promotion even though the picture with it was still showing proudly on their site. After a week of waiting for them to decide what to do, I contacted them again today and they responded with “there is no offer on our site and unless you can provide a screenshot the matter is closed” (or something similar).

Fortunately I had taken a shot at the time of purchase, although the item is still shown with the “flash” today, so I sent them a copy a few minutes ago and await their response…

Pleased to report that it works very well though so at least TomTom have lived up to expectations – it even knows where Southampton is 😉


Some years ago I bought a couple of JVC car stereos during a visit to Tottenham Court Road. These were pretty remarkable at the time as they included MP3 CD players as well as the normal AM/FM radio facilities and, of course, the ability to play normal CDs.

Both sets are still working well but the other day I decided to move mine from the car into an ’05 plate Citröen Relay van. When I first connected it in to the Toyota I needed and ISO adapter as the wiring arrangement on the JVC complied with the then new ISO standard and of course the old Carina didn’t – simple enough and it cost about £5.

When I took a look into the wiring on the Citröen though, I found that although all the connectors would fit the JVC without the adapter, our French cousins had decided to stray from the standard wiring and again I need to buy another adapter this time with a couple of additional “flying” leads to ensure a permanent supply to the stereo. In fact the changes are so subtle that even the car stereo specialist seemed confused by the arrangement and was/is far from sure that the part I finally agreed to order was the right one for the job. More later methinks……….

Adding Images to Posts

The single thing which causes most problems or the WordPress users I know is uploading and positioning images in their posts. Hopefully I have found a solution which will make things quite a bit easier – it’s called “Freebie Images” and is a WP plugin – you can get it here.

I just installed it and it shows up nicely as a panel in the WP “Add New Post” dashboard. From there it’s just a case of:

  • Searching for a suitable picture from the included stock library
  • Dragging its thumbnail from the panel into the post
  • Finetuning the result

So far it looks a very useful tool – I’ll report back after a few more tests….