Sunday, 14 May 2017

Samsung Galaxy A3 - Pros and Cons

So, as you may be aware, I have got a new phone. This phone arrived on Wednesday last week and it is a Samsung Galaxy A3. In this post, I will be talking about the phone and giving a basic overview and review, mainly so that you can see if the phone is worth it.

So, I must say, I do like this phone. Yeah, I prefer Windows, but the simple fact of the matter is that the choice is limited when it comes to Windows Phones - my provider doesn't even offer Windows Phones on contract anymore. So, that is why I got this phone. I will talk you through the pros and cons of this phone, from the point of view of a Windows Phone user of 3 years. So lets get started!

The first thing I want to discuss is the main 'pro' of Android itself, not the phone. As this is something that should definitely be considered when you buy a new phone. So, what is this pro, you may ask. Well, it's the choice. With Android, you can get phones from a variety of manufacturers and each phone is unique and has its own pros and cons - essentially, you can find the right phone for you.

The second 'pro' is probably the most obvious advantage of Android and that is apps, as Android has more apps available for it than any other mobile operating system - sorry Apple fanboys! With Android, you can get an app for pretty much anything and everything. I have downloaded some apps that are free on Android. To get the same functionality on Windows, I would've had to pay (and did) - in particular, the bus times app - there is a free one from the bus operator themselves for Android, but on Windows  had to pay for a third party app - which has now been discontinued.

The third 'pro' is the most simple, in my opinion, as all it is is that people don't take the piss out of you for having a Windows Phone, because people did take the piss! And considering its a Samsung, people don't take the piss out of you for having a 'cheapo' brand of Android phone, because there are certainly plenty of cheapo Android phones.

Well, there are some cons. The main one being that my new phone is incompatible with all of my old charging cables. This is because the phone uses USB Type C for its charging and data cable. However, I guess this will be less of a problem in the future as more manufacturers switch to USB Type C for data and charging.

Another con, although this will depend on which phone you had before the Galaxy A3, is the positioning of the volume controls. On my old phone, the volume controls were positioned on the right, but on the new phone they are positioned on the left. This means that it is going to take some getting used to before I stop accidentally trying to press a button on the right that isn't actually there.

In addition to the above con, if you are switching from Windows, you will have to get used to the fact that the back button is on the right as opposed to the left - but again, this will just take some getting used to and so time and then it won't really be that much of an issue.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The shambolic state of the NHS

You may already know that the NHS is in a shambolic state. I do. Especially after the way they NHS have treated me lately. To explain how I feel, I am going to quote one of my latest Facebook statuses.
When I first went to the doctors, the doctor essentially turned me down and just prescribed me ibuprofen. She didn't even listen to all of my symptoms. She heard the word headache, gave me pain killer and then told me to get an eye test and then essentially told me to fuck off. So I did, I got an eye test, and that went fine - my eyes have got slightly, but not much worse. 
After my eye test, I feel better for a week. Ok then, I’m getting better then. Clearly not. The next week I became ill again, same old headache shit. This was two weeks before half term, and so I was hoping that I would be better by half term. How wrong I was, I was ill over half term and also on the first week back to school. I then went to the doctors, this time getting a much better doctor. He checked my blood pressure, my eyes, and my heart, all fine. He then asked if I wanted referral to Good Hope Hospital for a second opinion, ok then, I thought, good idea. 
So, over the next week, the headaches start occurring less and with less severity. I thought great, I'm getting better. It's like, I am still getting headaches now - and they certainly aren’t as bad and aren’t occurring as much as they were. Sometimes the painkiller works and sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes just having a drink with caffeine works. However, I am still experiencing other symptoms. Anyway, last Friday, I received a letter from my GP about the hospital referral, telling me how to book an appointment. Well, so I go to book an appointment and they gave me three options - Good Hope, City Hospital and Sandwell General. All three are fully booked and I have a minimum 15 week wait until I can get an appointment. 
The NHS is being destroyed, it's being starved of funding, people who need to get hospital appointments are unable to (and, in some cases, doctors appointments too). This needs to be sorted, and fast, because it's not fair. People have to suffer with increased anxiety because they are worrying about their health and can't be seen to.

As you can see, just from my story, that the NHS is in a terrible state - it's being starved of funding, waiting times are too high, and some of their doctors don't actually care about their patients. This needs to change, and quickly, because otherwise the NHS will be irreversibly damaged - and we don't wan't that, do we?

Final Product Mockup

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Now that is what I call great customer service

Well, you may have seen my previous post where I am talking about phones. This is going to be another post about phones. In particular, my experience with Virgin Mobile and upgrading early.

So, as I said in the previous post, my phone is diabolical. For a phone to require a restart three times within two hours is just shambolic. I mean, come on... do you want your customers to be loyal and buy another phone off you in the future? Well, the good news is that I won't have to deal with this shambolic phone for much longer. Why? Virgin's amazing customer service.

So, we rang up Virgin because, as you may have read in the previous post, I cannot afford to buy a new sim free phone. The phone I wanted was (and still is, at the time of posting) on Virgin as part of a £19 contract. Now, the contract didn't suit me so I chose to upgrade to the £22 contract - which includes more data. Now, this had to be done on the phone as Virgin do not offer the facility to upgrade early on their website. Now, this post is about customer service, you say? Yes, it is, at the end of the phone call we were told that they would not charge us a cancellation fee on my existing contract because they like to keep their customers happy. Now that, is what I call customer service (I'm looking at you BT).

So congratulations, Virgin, your customer service is amazing!

Monday, 8 May 2017

I need a new phone - and a rant about phone prices

So, well, I will admit it - my phone is shit. In the past I have denied it when people have told me that my phone is shit, but I will admit it now: It's shit! So, I need a new phone... hmm.... where do I start. Well, the first thing I need is a budget, and I have one - £150 approx.

Ok then... so what do I do next? Well, that's simple, I take a look online. And what do I find? More shit. There are no phones within my budget that are decent, and there aren't even any cheap Samsung phones available within my budget. So, as far as I am concerned...


As far as I am concerned, this simply isn't fair - and it's certainly not the right thing to do either. The phone manufacturers should make cheap phones, and they shouldn't be as good as their expensive phones, but if a phone OEM makes a cheap phone and the customer likes it, that means that the customer will be more likely to buy that manufacturers more expensive phone(s). It's that smple.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Exams, exams and more exams!

Well, the day I write this I have two weeks until my first two AS Level (Year 12) exams. That's 14 days. Not long at all. And well, I know people who are in Year 11 and doing their GCSEs - and they've got exams even before I do! Hell, some people have been doing exams this week! So, you may be asking yourselves, what on earth is this blog post about? Well, that is simple....

Good Luck!

No matter what exams you're doing, no matter how many exams you have and no matter who you are, I wish you good luck with all of your exams. I know what it's like to go through the exam period, I've already been through it once with my GCSEs. For me, this exam period is my second - and it certainly isn't my last, and it probably isn't your last either. So, anyway, below is one of the things I have been saying to someone, who shall not be named, who has been constantly worrying about a particular exam.

Walk into the exam and, in your head obviously - don't want to be disqualified -, say to yourself "I am going to do my best, whatever grade I get on results day, I am going to do my best". Say that and it'll put you in a positive state of mind for the start of the exam, and boost your self esteem during the exam. I didn't do this last time, and while I passed with 7 Cs and 3 Bs, I couldn't take the subjects that I wanted to take at sixth form. So, what did a friend of mine say on results day, well, something very similar to that. I'm not going to give you the exact words he said, but it was along the lines of "Be proud, you've done your best, while you may not have met the criteria for the course, you have gained skills and knowledge along the way, I am proud of you". What he said is basically what I have said above, but he said it after the exams - so a past tense "do your best".

Final Products

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

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Evaluation Question 2 - How does your media product represent social groups?

Evaluation Question 3 - What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Evaluation Question 4 - Who would be the audience for your media product?

Evaluation Question 5 - What did you do to attract/ address your audience?


Front Cover

Contents Page

Double Page Spread


A younger audience member (aged 17)
The magazine really does appeal to me, the layout and design doesn't look too old fashioned and it is simple. There are a variety of artists featured in the magazine, some of which are like more than others. However, the use of these artists shows that there are a variety of genres featured in the magazine. In addition, the choice of clothing for Nate really does appeal to me. It is modern and is the kind of clothing worn by a lot of people in my age range. In addition, the use of a Spotify voucher also attracted me. This is because I do not have a CD player and prefer to stream the music that I listen to, as it's easier and cheaper. Therefore, this voucher will attract people to the magazine.

An older audience member
I'm not a fan of the genre of the main artist featured in this magazine, however, the other artists do appeal to me. In addition, even though I don't like the genre of artist that Nate is, his clothing on the front cover is kept simple which means that it certainly isn't a turn off for older members of the audience. I like how the magazine includes a variety of genres, and that the genre of the artist featured on the front cover can change based on the issue. This means that it does appeal to people of many ages. In addition, while I don't use Spotify as my main way of listening to music, the voucher still attracted me as I used Spotify to 'try before I buy', meaning I listen to an album on Spotify and then decide whether I will buy the album or not. 

Evaluation Question 6 - What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Evaluation Question 7 - Looking back at my preliminary task what do I feel I have learnt in the progression from it?

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