I’ve got a number of Android devices including the original 2012 Nexus 7 , WiFi tablet. Some months ago Lollipop was presented as an update and I installed it. This followed if I recollect by a further increment to 5.1.1 . Wow what a mistake. The unit went from a having a fast response to a complete lemon , all in space of a few button clicks on my part. With a forth coming flight in mind I decided to revisit and see if I could improve it’s performance in any way. (The Lollipop update’s poor performance is well documented on the Web). I first considered installing an alternative (to Android) ROM in the hope that this might improve matters. I decided that for me the simplest route might be to install the previous KitKat (4.4.4) release as this ran sweetly on the device.

Reading some of the blogs there seem to be two techniques in doing this. (a) a long hand method (b) Quicker,  using the Nexus Toolkit see http://www.wugfresh.com/nrt/

I decided on the latter and followed the instructions on this fine article:


You’ll need to download the appropriate image file for reflashing, so take care in identifying your model correctly via the Toolkit. Just be aware he article images seems to reference an earlier release of the Tookit in the images, however  the instructions worked for me seamlessly. You obviously need to concentrate and focus on all of the commands. So don’t do this unless you feel reasonably confident.

On returning to 4.4.4 I was slightly shocked to see that the Tablet was already downloading Lollipop! The version I’d just erased… I followed this article and appear to have now disabled the Google Update Service. OK, I’ve only just done this but things seem back to normal now and I can sensibly use the Tablet once more. You need to Root the device before being able to disable the Service. Another fine article here: http://goo.gl/E9MZP5

I must add I’m not qualified to answer specific questions on this process, but can tell you with care it seems to work. Good luck and hanks for reading.


Just visited the Fox Talbot exhibition at the Science Museum here in the UK. Two pictures below. One shows the queues outside Natural History Museum,  the other the Science Museum. There some what different as you can see. Can you tell which is the Science Museum ? (Answer below)  Perhaps this is more a reflection of the quality of the museum rather than the subject matter.

The left image is the queue outside Science Museum

How disappointing , that Google have decided to end support for this program. Some of you may never have used it. But I’ve always found it a really fast and easy to use program for storing and managing my photographs. It’s particularly quick for exporting images at reduced sizes , say when you want to put an image on ebay or similar. One major annoyance for me is that you can’t seem to fill the screen with an image other than by selecting the the ‘slideshow’ mode. (Press the ‘Play’ icon at the top of the screen. My copy is still working on Windows 10 , but wonder how long they will keep it running? Maybe somebody can tell me.

I continue to check out some of the other free applications. Fastone image viewer I suppose is my other favourite. Download here: http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm

Benefits are it has some better editing tools and handles full screen mode much more readily. They’ve just released a new version too. It’s slower** (for me ) to load than Picasa , I suppose that’s my biggest gripe. A little bit more awkward to quickly export images too. But still a great program , especially as its free.

Another interesting contender (for me) is Nomacs, found here http://nomacs.org/

It’s very fast and does full screen mode beautifully. Haven’t quite got to grips with all of it’s menus yet but definitely worth a try. You might like it!

** AMD budget quad core, 8G RAM , Win 10 Pro 64 , SSD boot  drive


I’m indebted to help from Cubify support in helping me with this update. I’ve recently acquired a slightly used example of this fine little printer and realised that the firmware was now out dated (2.07) and replaced by 2.08 I understand the last release for this model. I made a foolish mistake regarding the cable . There’s a ‘B’ type socket at the rear of the printer. The user guide shows this but doesn’t make clear the cable type (for me this was missing with my example). You just need a standard ‘A’ to ‘B’ USB cable to carry out the the upgrade.When I ran the configuration program I was presented with the wrong file name. It should be 208.hex. You can get this from Cubify if needed or if you are really stuck I can send my copy. I’m not entirely clear what the benefits are supposed to be as there’s no change log. However other sites report great improvement to the printing. Check this video link for the best explanation. https://goo.gl/J4BXod

Good luck.


I’d forgotten about this and didn’t mention for any RX100 MkI readers. But Sony have released a new version of firmware 1.1 for the original RX100. I’ve actually carried out this update without problem. Not so apparent to me now of the benefits but I’d guess it’s worth doing. Details and software here: http://goo.gl/OMQsgh

I must confess I’ve only recently read the details about Cyberlocker. How cunning it is in terms of detecting your country and choosing to encrypt your files or not. What I’ve only just realised is that should it enter your PC by what ever means , it will encrypt not only your main C: drive or equivalent but any attached USB drives. I’ve historically used a USB drive as a simple backup system for the main data on my PC. I leave it powered and connected all of the time my PC is powered on.

Well I’ve now changed my mind about this. In fact the best way to protect one self of course is to back up and then disconnect your USB drive. Friends have been suggesting this for years but it’s just too dam impractical for me. So I’ve bought one of these remote controlled mains sockets. See image below. I can simply now only turn the drive on when I wish to make a backup then quickly turn it off without almost lifting a finger (well apart from pressing the button). These are readily available in the UK for <£7 on the likes of ebay etc. I reckon this is £7 well spent. Of course there are other brands that I’m sure work just as well. If you want to understand more about Cyberlocker there are plenty of good links to explain more about it for example https://goo.gl/oPChrm


Thunderbird updated for me and many others yesterday to Version 38.1.0 . Unfortunately there seem to be some problems with this new update. For me the reply stopped working or worse inserted the addressee in the earlier email ! As a quick fix I’ve reverted to an earlier version of Thunderbird which seems to be working as before. To do this  removed  the current version from the Control Panel (Windows) and then installed the earlier version. Earlier versions of Thunderbird can be found here: http://goo.gl/Iya2Kq

You may also wish disable the updates see this link http://goo.gl/CS5H1p

Hope this is of help to my readers