Fax me the details

Now, many folk reading this blog post may not remember the old trusted Fax Machine.

Basically, you’d write something on a bit of paper. Feed it through the machine, dial a number and hey presto – the message would be printed onto paper on the other side.

It’s got a brilliant history…

Now – I was very very young when the fax machines were around – and being honest, never really got to use them. Therefore the process I mentioned above is what I think would’ve happened – any older or experienced folk – feel free to correct me.

The great thing is – technology has helped us to transmit messages so much more quickly, easily and being able to save a few trees!

That’s right – the trusted email was introduced to the masses – computers were more available and the fax machine was no longer.

Or was it….

Well, the Health Secretary in the UK has told the NHS – that they have to stop buying fax machines by March 31st 2020.

The Royal College of Surgeons estimated there’s about 8,000 fax machines being used in the NHS! 

I just can’t believe we’re using them! – let alone saying we’ve got to stop buying them!!

In this digital era we live in… there’s so many options… firstly, the trusted email…

There are so many ways to communicate… digitally! 

Yes, there’s Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, so many more… In fact, many are moving away from email and using collaboration tools such as Slack. 

In a way… I’m glad they’ve finally decided to stop buying them. Any guesses on how long before they’re using an online collboration tool? 

Bal’s 2018 Christmas Tech Gift Ideas

Well, it’s nearly Christmas, we’re all getting into the festive spirit – Christmas parties, drinks, food…. and then realising…. we need to order some presents for family and friends! 

Don’t panic! I’m back again this year – with some suggestions of what you could buy… my Top 3 Christmas Tech Type of Gifts! 

Okay, let’s not waste time…. straight in at my Number 1, is my idea that will be great for anyone, anywhere and to do… anytime! Also – it’s not physical, so it doesn’t take up space, you’ll have something you can do it on… AND, they’ll spend hours on it!!!

  1. Netflix

That’s right! – If your family/friend/whomever you’re buying for… take them to the clouds! – well, let’s be honest, we don’t need physical dvd’s, or any storage device. Netflix offers so much content – you can watch it on your phone, tablet, TV, etc… 

And the prices aren’t too bad either! Now the best thing is – you can have multiple users!! 

Now, there is also Amazon Prime – that offer their streaming service, which is also good – but for me, Netflix just edges it to Number 1. 

2. Smart Watch

 Now, I’ve recommended this a few times – and will recommend again. 

Doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an Android (Samsung, Google, etc..) type of phone. There’s plenty of watches out there, that can sync to your phone. 

Also, you don’t need to get the ‘norm’. Armani and various other designer makes are also making ‘Smart Watches’ – for which, look much nicer. 

So be it the latest Apple Watch – with a whole host of features and health tracking…

Or the Samsung Smart Watch…

Smart Watch and tracking is a must. There’s also Fit Bit that offer a great health & fitness monitoring – so have a look at what type of person you’re buying for, what device they have already – and then purchase the type of smart wearable accordingly. 

3. Tile (Tracking Device)

Now – are you the type of person that leaves keys laying around, or misplaces the phone…. or just in generally, leave things here or there?

Well…. here’s the answer. A device called Tile.

It’s a small tracking device that you can attach to anything… keys, phone, camera, etc… and track it.

It’ll let you know location. It’ll make a beeping noise. It’ll alert you.


Now, in addition to the beeping and alerting – there’s so many other features such as being part of the ‘Tile’ network…. and then there’s changeable batteries (there’s a version with built in batter for 1 year) and for five extra bucks you can get the one with the changeable batteries – which is the one I would recommend. 

So a nice little present – you can also buy packs and there’s offers on if you search on Amazon. 

… And Finally,

I thought, why not include one last… final…. funny… idea for a present. 

Now… we spend a lot of time on our phones. Let’s be honest. 

And most of us, the screen isn’t the biggest. And for most older folk…. their eyesight isn’t the greatest. 

Therefore, I present to you… the Phone Magnifier! 

That’s right – simple yet so effective! – turns that little screen into a big screen! – well… a decent size! 

The back stand allows any phone to sit there. And then by magic… it appears on the large screen! 

You can find it on the usual shopping sites, Groupon, Amazon, etc… all different varieties are available… some made from wood! – which I would recommend, less plastic the better!

So folks… there you go. Hope you like my Top 3. I will be sharing more, as I’m radio over the next few days an will be sharing more gifts ideas… from the big and expensive to the cheap stocking fillers. All with one thing in common… using technology!

Monday Motivation…

I’m a firm believer that we all have ideas.

The problem is, only a handful of us will pursue our ideas… our dreams.

But why do the majority of us stop? Why do many of us think… it won’t work. It’s because people tell us it won’t work. People tell us, it’s a ‘bad idea’, or that…. it’ll never be successful

How do they know?

Give it a go. Because you never know…

Bal’s Friday Thought…

There’s many a times, where others have not shared the same vision as me, or understand my goals – instead of getting frustrated… I now tend to just focus. Alone.

10yrs since Woolworths…

It’s been 10 years since Woolworths left the High Street.

It was a bit of an institution. But the time had come to close it’s doors based on poor sales and customers, just not buying anymore. There were a couple of reasons – mainly, their music and DVD part of the business which  was so profitable wasn’t doing so good – because habits had changed, with on-line music available.

The whole business couldn’t have been held on just it’s famous pic’n’mix.

They had a lot of stores up and down the country.

What happened then, Bal?

Well – a new ‘shopping model’ appeared. Pound World/Land/Everything.

The stores that sold everything for a pound was a simple and effective model. Very successful  – and they bought many of the stores where Woolworths used to be, and set up shop.

But even today – they’re not doing so well. In July, PoundWorld announced they’ll close 150 stores of it’s total 335 stores with administrators looking for a buyer. Poundland isn’t performing too well either.

The High Street is changing. Shopping habits are changing. We’re shopping more and more online. But moreso, via our mobile devices.

As per a previous blog post – we’re in that phase of ‘Bricks and Clicks’ – where retailers need to have a strong on-line presence aswell as maintaining their high street presence, because we’re going through that ‘transition phase’.

In the future – we’ll have less physical stores for us to visit. They’ll be more ‘experience outlets’. Where we can go, and experience whatever it is we want to buy. Then have the ability to order on-line and for it to be delivered at home.

In addition – smaller outlets, for those essentials on the way home from work. Using technology to make it a quick and easy experience – similar to the Amazon physical store.

And as today is ‘Cyber Monday’ – how long that term will last, i’m not sure – because alot of the sales on Friday were on-line… means we’ll be more ‘cyber shoppers’ than before.

Bal’s Friday Thought…

How times have you been told you can’t?

I was always told it. Even now… on occasions, but don’t listen to them.

(More importantly… I had to have the Rock feature on my Friday Thought…)

Black Friday Deals… This Friday!

So… most of us (in Europe) will have got used to ‘Black Friday’ sales. It’s the Day after Thanksgiving and… it’s when everyone (nearly everyone), goes out shopping.

Now… the ‘Black Friday’ Sales have spread to across the world.

And here in Europe… we have them too.

In fact… they started earlier… Amazon and many other retailers started sharing some great offers earlier in the week…

For example, Curry’s had this fantastic offer on earlier in the week…

Now… like or loath them  – the sales, do offer some great value.

Whilst we have some high-street retailers offering discounted products… you’re best bet to find a bargain would most probably be on-line.

Amazon (and there’s others) start to prepare and entice folks in…

Now, there’s some guidelines I’d suggest you follow…

1. Do your Research! – Is it a good product? Have you read the reviews? Don’t just buy it because it looks good and it’s reduced in price (even if it’s got 70% off!). Look around the internet, read what people are saying about it – and if it’s worth purchasing.

2. Sign Up! – That’s right… sign up to newsletters and emails from your favourite retailers. That way, you’ll receive notifications before others of deals and offers that are available.

3. Don’t Worry! – missed out on an item? Didn’t get what you wanted? Don’t worry… we’ve got Boxing Day sales coming up… then you’ll have New Year Sales… and if you’ve followed Points 1 and 2 above, I’m sure you’ll find your item at a good price at some point in the year.

Well, I hope you have a great time shopping…!

Ella, Ella, eh… eh….eh…

A few years ago, I was on the phone to a friend, who is running a startup.

We were talking about various things, and he asked me how the weather is. I said, the weather looks ok – but I’m not sure because I haven’t been outside.

Then I suggested, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have an app that didn’t just tell you the weather but also suggested what to wear!

Anyhow… we didn’t do anything. Like most of the idea’s we discussed that day, we just parked it.

Fast forward a year or two later. And there I am, on the trusted laptop… and look what pops up!

That’s right- someone, somewhere (else in the world) had the same idea… but only went and developed it!

Brella – your personal weather app!

It not only tells you the weather – but tells you what to wear! One less thing I have to do!!

Yes Matt! – put your jeans and t-shirt on… the weather is good!!

Now for me – in London – it’d be, Bal… take an umbrella!

The point of this is, not app – though that it is a great idea, and I’m glad someone did develop it – but the whole point about, if you have an idea… DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Yes, I did use Caps Lock. Yes, I am shouting at you. Yes, I am making a point.

We all have ideas. But doing something about them – that’s what seperates the successful ones from the not so successful ones.

Now – whilst I’m a little upset I didn’t develop it… I’m ok with it.

Why Bal? – you could’ve made millions.

Not always about the money. But yes, I could’ve made a ‘few bob’, however, I’m already working on plenty of other ideas, have items in pilot stages and supporting other startups and companies.

Whilst having an idea – and working on it – stick to it. Don’t start a million and one things… and not finish anything off. Working on a handful – and finish them!

So, if you’d like to read more about the Brella app – have a read of this.. it’s by the developer. Great read… hope it inspires you….

https://medium.com/@mattbarker016/designing-brella-my-first-ios-app-852a53e04788

Bal’s Friday Thought…

I remember when I used to get stressed over the smallest things… but I learnt.

It wasn’t so much about not getting stressed – but being able to handle the stress…