Thursday, 18 October 2018

Yet another laptop

Yes, you read the blog title correctly - I have acquired another laptop. It's a rarity for me too - it's a HP and not a Dell. I would've bought myself a Dell of the same spec but they were actually way out of my budget in comparison to this - even though I was looking at laptops from 2015.

Anyway, I am now the owner of a HP EliteBook 840 G2. It's a nice laptop given its age, and the keyboard is surprisingly good given that it's a HP, as I am not normally a fan of HP keyboards. Although, I will say, the home, page up, page down and end keys are in a layout that I am not a fan of really.

Anyway, a full review will be coming soon - right here on my blog. So keep your eyes peeled!

Monday, 1 October 2018

OnePlus 6 - The best phone I have ever owned

Hello all

You may remember that a few weeks ago I was talking about DHL and them delivering my phone. Well, I got my phone last Friday and honestly I am so happy with it. It is the best phone that I have ver owned in my life. It is fast, it looks great, the camera is amazing quality and it's a really enjoyable experience.

I had known for over a year that when I had the money I was going to buy a OnePlus. Once I got my job, I knew it would be one of the first htings I bought, especially considering the fact that I was having issues with my old Samsung and its charging connector. As it was my first payslip, I hadn't worked for a full month and therefore didn't get a full month's pay. As a result, I was unable to buy the top of the line model with more RAM and storage space, but for me I am very, very pleased with what I purchased.

The phone came almost a month after I ordered it, due to delivery issues, and when I new that it had arrived, I was extremly happy because I knew I finally had a quality phone. I was correct. This is genuinely the best phone that I have ever bought...

It runs so smoothly and quickly, and it never freezes up or lags - issues that I had with my previous phone very frequntly. I also love how good the camera is. The quality is superior ii every way over my old Samsung, and  am very pleased that I bought this phone. I would highly recommend it to everyone.

Another thing I really liked, was the fact that I didn't even need to buy a sceen protector or a case - the phone came with a case and a screen protector already fitted. As well as this, the charing cable is a lot more sturdy than the charging cables I had with phones that I have owned in the past.

So, when you're about to get your new phone, I really think that you should pruchase this pone as it is honestly such an amazing experience in every way .

Leaving school and the world of work

Hi all

Just thought i'd post a little article about eaving school and the world of work, and how it has gone for me so far. I left school officially in May and had my last exam in June. I started work in August, when I got myself an apprenticeship.

So, what's it like? I found it quite easy actually. Maybe that's because the apprenticeship does have a classroom part where we are at the training academy/college once a week for training. We also have exams there and my first one is just over a week. So I am going to be doing some revision over the next week.

When you first start, you may find it to be a little bit daunting, however after a week or two it's fine, especially once you have settled in with your working enviroment and your colleagues. You'll feel at home very quickly, and feel as though you can easily ask your colleagues for help - especially considering that fact that you are a new employee but also because you are new to the world of work.

I do have some tips for you here...
  1. Be prepared.
  2. Don't be shy - ask if you need help, as it really does help.
  3. If you want to keep in cotnact with people from school, then do so - they may be interested in what your job is and you may be interested intheir job or what they are doing at university.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Starting up my YouTube channel again?

Hi all.

If you've bee on my YouTube channel over the last few months, you may remember that I said I was hoping to start it back up again at some point. Well, I still am, but I need your help and advice.

For me to start it up again, I need ideas fo videos to actually create. I work on a budget, so anything that is going to cost me a lot of money isn't possible - but I really need your ideas. I could continue with the Windows History series, however I am having issues with finding a microphone that is decent enough for screen recordings - so, that's something else I could do with some recommendations for. If you can suggest one - please do.

So, please let me know what you want. Your suggestions are valued, and if they are for things I can physically do, I will do my best to actually try to create the content that you want me to create.

Thanks,
James

Saturday, 22 September 2018

When your coursework becomes a meme

Hey all!

As most of you know, I did A Level Media Studies at school. The media blog is available online, and all of the posts are also available on this blog. Anyway, my sister was looking for my trailer on Youtube, when she came across a video that effectively turns it into a Plantsbrook meme. Below, I will embed the original video and the 'meme' version.

The meme version is based on one of my characters, that is also a deputy head and was my media teacher - Mr Farr.

Original


Meme

Thursday, 13 September 2018

DHL lost your delivery? How to get a quick response.

This post is largely related to the previous post on this blog.

Anyway, DHL Express has a complaints page when you can contact the main customer services manager at DHL online. We did this last night, and she responded very quickly. The next day we had a call from DHL saying that the parcel had been marked as unretrievable and that hopefuly we will be able to get a new one shipped. On top of this, they have offered to refund all of the charges incurred whilst calling them.

Anyway, it's really easy to contact DHL's Customer Service manager. The screenshots below show you where to go.






Wednesday, 12 September 2018

DHL Express - do they really care

On the 31st August, I ordered myself a new phone. It was due for delivery on Wednesday, which then changed to Tuesday. Anyway, Tuesday comes and I get an email at around 16:38 - my phone had been signed for (obviously but a relative, as I was at work). Anyway, when I left work at 17:00, I checked and it turned out that it hadn't been delivered. When I got home I called DHL to see what was happening and they couldn't get hold of the driver.

Anyway, for the rest of the week, I called DHL once a day to find out if there had been any updates - but nothing. I kept getting told I would have to wait - even though I had spent £476 on that. On top of that, the calls cost 7p plus a 63p connection charge per minute. By the end of the week, we had spent £24 on phone calls (as the line is not a normal free line). On Monday, I was told again that the driver wasn't in work. The call dropped as I hit my limit although they did call me back to allow us to finish the call.

DHL need to realise that this is completely unacceptable. I have spent my hard earned money on a new phone to find that it has been given to the wrong person and therefore I have to put up with ages of investigations.

One thing though, I do commend their call centres as I have never been on hold for more than 2 minutes whilst waiting for someone to pick up. I guess there's one thing that's good about them.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Dell Latitude E6440 - first thoughts

Those of you that have seen my Youtube channel will know that I am quite fond of buying second hand laptops. Well, I hadn't bought one since 2016, but the tea incident (see my last post) gave me a reason to buy a new one. I chose a Dell Latitude E6440. I am fond of Dell Latitudes, I've owned second hand ones - a D410, an E6400, an E6510 and an E5400 - and my main laptop is actually a Dell Latitude 5000 series. I know that they're reliable and easy to maintain, which is the  main  reason that I went for one. Anyway, my first thoughts are below.

The first thing that really sprung to mind when thinking about writing this post is the keyboard. I love it. I'm actually writing this post using the laptop for that very reason. I find that it I can type very quickly on it - quicker than on my main laptop in fact. In additon, like my main laptop, this has a backlit keyboard. I have actually found the backlit keyboard on this one, even though it is at least 3 years old, to be better than the backlit keyboard on my main one. This is because there isn't as much space for dust to get between the keys, meaning that the light shines through well. How do I kjnow this, when I have only owned this laptop for three days? Because this keyboard is definitely the original keyboard, because it has some wear on it, yet there is no dust behind the keys and therefore the backlight shines through they keys very well. I think this keyboard is a pleasure to use.

The next thing I will talk about is probably specific to mine. The screen. For the last two years I have grown used to full HD 1080P screens on my laptop. This one has a 1366x768 screen. I am not knocking the laptop for this, I am just saying that I am not used to it - and I know there would have been options for better screens on this laptop if purchased from new.

Build quality. I think this is a very solid machine. There's one crack on it, and a couple  of marks on the top, but that's to be expected with a heavly used maching which this clearly is based on the fact that it has a well worn keyboard and trackpad. I really like the materials that Dell chose for this laptop, because it has a really nice feel on youyr arms and hands when they are resting on the palm rest of the computer. This means that you can type for ages and still stay comfortable. In addition, it also feels extremely sturdy. I comparison to my main laptop, it is quite a bit heavier and thicker - but that's to be expected as it is a few years older and this has an E bay (for optical drives) which my main one does not have - in addition my main one doesn't have an optical drive it all. Whilst discussing that it is important to nore that this also has an E series docking/port replicator connector on the bottom, allowing it to be connected to the docking statioin that I bought for my E5400 and E6400 back in 2015/16 0 which  hasn't seen any use for a while.

Performance is hard to comment on, considering it is a few years old and therefore it is obviously going to be a bit slower than brand new laptops. What I will  say though, is that considering it's age, it is still very quick and snappy. I have had a few slow downs here and there, but that was resolved by closing and re-opening my web browser which was clearly using a lot of memory.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this laptop if you want a nice second hand laptop that is still usable now.

Below are the specs for my system.


Be careful with your stuff - don't spill tea on your laptop

This is a little story of mine, with which I hope to ensure that nobody else has the same problem that I had.

Last Sunday, i was on my laptop as usual. I was about to go to bed, so I was saying goodnight to people on Facebook and then getting ready to hibernate my computer, which is what I normally do with my laptops. I had a cup of tea on one of my desks, which I hadn't completely finished drinking and as I went to bed, I left the cup on my desk. I thought nothing of it at the time, but the next day I would realise what a bad mistake this was.

The next morning, I woke up at half 6, ready to go to work. It turns out that I had left something at my dads, so I had to go there first before going to work. Anyway, when I got up, and was rushing about, I noticed that my laptop was covered in tea. I thought to myself "that wasn't there when I went to bed, so how did it get there?". All day I was wondering who had done it, and i  was worrying at work that it wouldn't work when I got home - especially considerin the fact that it cost my £950 to buy the laptop.

Anyway, I got home and I was too nervous to turn it on. I did eventually, and it worked, but by this point I had already spent £142 on a second hand laptop to use as a backup (infact, that is what I am writing this blog post from, because I think that the keyboard on this laptop is absolutely fantastic - more to come later (I hope to make a video on this computer at some point, if I can fit it in around my work schedule among other things).

Anyway, needless to say, I will not be leaving a half full cup on my desk again, because that is what caused this. It turned out that my mom had picked the cup up, and tipped it upside down whilst carrying it out of my room. This resulted in the laptop being soaked in tea - obviously something that isn't ideal.

Anyway, I hope that you learn from my lesson so that your laptop isn't damaged by tea, coffee, etc.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

A Level and GCSE Congrats

Last week, I recieved my A Level results - like everyone else in England and Wales. A week later, Yr11 students collected their GCSE results.

I would like to congratulate everyone who has sat any exams and recieved their results. The main thing is that you try your hardest and remember that it's your result and that you should be proud of your results - whatever it is. There's always  help if you didn't get what you want, and need to change future plans.

So, congrats all!

Monday, 30 April 2018

Final Products

Trailer


Poster


Magazine




Evaluation Question 4 - How did you use new media technology in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

Link to Prezi

Click the image to view

Evaluation Question 3 - What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Audience Feedback 

Video


Survey 

Survey

Survey Responses

What I have learnt from my audience feedback

Powered by emaze

Question 2 - How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

 Introduction

 Throughout the creation of my media products, I have tried to ensure that the combination is effective. The first thing that I have tried to do is to ensure that all of them are clearly identifiable as School Run. The main thing that has definitely allowed for this is the use of the same logo across all three products - the theatrical trailer and the print products. In addition to this, the same characters are seen wearing exactly the same costumes in all of my products. This makes the characters themselves clearly identifiable, both as the character and as a character of the film. The production and distribution companies are also visible on all of the products, again linking the products together and therefore providing an effective combination. In addition, one of the star reviews mentioned on the poster refers to a review that the article in the magazine would be about if it was written - again showing a clear link between the products.


Video


Audience Feedback

Evaluation Question 1 - In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Made with Padlet

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Audience Feedback

Rough Edit 5

1. The trailer, in my opinion, is very good. It is what I would expect. There's two different pieces of music and their is narration and there are also titles that hint at what the trailer is about. The main issue with these titles is that they don't distinguish why this is all happening and they also don't distinguish which side the teacher themselves is on. The action clearly becomes more intense, as everything is very fast paced and the music is a lot more epic than at the start. The film logo is at the end, which means that I know what the film is called, however it doesn't look very professional and the logo itself looks to be quite low quality. The credits at  the end provide all of the information that I would be interested in, particularly the main actors, the director and the producer. Overall, I think that it is quite a good trailer, although there are a few things that could be changed in improved.

Magazine Mockup 9

 1. In my opinion, the magazine is really good. The image makes it clear what School Run involves and what genre it is. The fact that it says from the makers of One Day pulls me in straight away because I have heard of One Day and therefore I will definitely be interested in school run. I find that it's not to cluttered but also doesn't have excessive blank space and therefore it looks as I would expect it to. The content that is shown on the front cover, saying what films are reviewed and which actors are interviewed makes me more interested,  because I am fans of films that the actors are in, and I have also heard of some of the films that have been mentioned on the front cover.

Poster Final Draft

1. I like the poster on the whole. I find the layout to be very good, and the contents of it are what I would expect on such a poster seeing other posters. The fact that there is a weapon clearly visible, and that a balaclava is worn makes it clear that the film is an action film, whilst the fact that the other character clearly has their mouth covered and a gun pointing at their head means that it is clear that it is a hostage film. In addition, the clothing worn by the hostage makes it clear that it is set in a school.


Friday, 16 February 2018

Cuts cuts cuts! But still higher taxes

Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police think they have the right to up council taxes significantly, whilst cutting services.

The police, for example, are closing and selling many police stations - yet they managed to afford to spend millions on refurbishing Lloyd House and providing a plush new office for the police and crime commissioner, David Jamieson. They shouldn't have done this. Instead, they should've sold off Lloyd House and Mr Jamieson should've kept a normal office.

The council are just as bad - cut cut cut cut cut - but more taxes. Libraries, children's centres, offices, bin men - the lot - the council want to cut them.

There's one way out of this of course - vote for anyone but Labour at the local elections. See how they like it.

Magazine Mockup 5


Thursday, 8 February 2018

Film and Production Company Logo Feedback

Film Logo

1) The film logo is good, but it seems more basic when compared to the Slick Motion logo. It is fitting, with the use of the gun and also very school like colours, but it seems that it was made a lot quicker than the Slick Motion logo, and it seems a lot more rushed in comparison to it.

2) I can see where the idea comes from. The use of the gun confirms that it isn't called School Run because it's about a real school run, but that it's about 'running around a school'. It confirms the action nature of the film, because otherwise I would think that it is just a comedy film about the school run.

Production Company Logo

1) I like the Slick Motion logo. It is very sleek and modern, but it also incorporates the older 'film reel' image. This means that it is a very good mix of 'now and then'. In addition, the sleekness of the logo really fits when the name 'Slick Motion', as 'Slick' is a word that I would associate with being very sleek.

2) The production company logo is very good. It looks the way it sounds - slick - and also harks back to previous decades, using the film reel to represent the fact that it is a film production company. It's modern and very 21st century, and in some ways you could say that it is very refined. I could see it being used alongside many films of multiple genres, and not just the action genre that school run is.

Magazine Mockup 2


Thursday, 4 January 2018

Inspiring Print Products


Posters

 



There are a number of things about theses posters that inspire me, mostly however is that at least one of the main characters is used for the main image and that they are often holding a weapon of some kind. I feel that I should replicate that.
In addition, the fact that the majority of them contain credits means that I am definitely going to include them.