Kudos to Mapyx (Quo)

29 March, 2016

Mappyx Quo

I’ve had so many different PC-based mapping systems over the years that I must have bought the entire OS calendar several times over, and therefore I was reluctant to do so again when installing a mapping system on my new Win10 desktop over the Christmas holidays.

My most recent purchase (other than Viewranger, which I use on my iPhone) was Quo, which I’ve had since 2009. I found it a bit unwieldy when I first began to use it, but then I could say that of each of the systems I’ve used. When I put in a bit of time to get my head around it I began to really like it.

Prior to last Christmas I’d not used it in anger for quite a long time, and my spirit quailed a little at the idea of trying to extract the data from the old PC and somehow transfer it to the new one.



I dug around on the Mapyx website, though, and found instructions, and duly carried them out.

Despite my efforts, I couldn’t quite work out how to get all of my old map data loaded. I knew I’d bought the 1:25k Lakes at some point, but no amount of scrolling could get it to come up. I emailed Mapyx and they replied as soon as the holiday was over, confirming that they’d now merged my two accounts under what’s now my email address and sending download links for all the old data.

By that time, though, the Christmas holidays were over, and I’d moved on mentally to new things. It wasn’t until last week, in the hope that I’d be able to get out and do some interesting walks over the Easter holiday, that I took another look in my Inbox and ran all the installation files.

I still couldn’t get the 1:25s up and running, but extensive past PC-trauma-related experience had taught me to suspect User Error, and indeed so it turned out to be. I’ve just come off the phone from Mapyx, and in the space of less than 60 seconds they had my Lakes 1:25s up and running again. I’d simply forgotten to load them. Doh… They also happily rang me back to solve the problem, as calls to their number from my phone cost almost 10p per minute.

Unfortunately it’s still foul outside–not only very wet but also bloody freezing, which always feels like cheating to me–so Piglet and I won’t be embarking on any ambitious project today. I think, though, that I might just nip over to the Mapyx site and purchase some nice 1:25k Yorkshire Dales tiles to go with my existing collection, as I’m nurturing a ‘Three Peaks’ plan but without an indication of where the walls lie I’m always hovering on the brink of lost…

Deep Joy! A computer thingy seems to have worked :)

8 December, 2015

7 years ago I invested in two 1TB HDs and set up a RAID 1 array for what was then my new PC. I made a backup and it’s been running away in the background ever since.


That PC has now bitten the dust (well, almost — it’s too old to update and still running on XP) and so I’ve had to buy a new one, all bright and shiny with Windows 10.

Was dreading the process of data transfer, but then I remembered my RAID 1 array… I’ve plugged it into the new PC and it seems to see everything! Joy, joy, joy!!!

Will take it back upstairs and do a final backup, and hopefully that will save me about two weeks 🙂

Edit: oh, drat…forgot about work!

Back to work

Well, will hope to get it all sorted this evening 🙂

Fantastic streaming video app for iPad/PC — Air Video (£1.99)

4 December, 2012

Wow! I’ve just bought Air Video for my iPad (at the massive cost of £1.99), downloaded (free) and installed Air Video Server on my WinXP PC and am now able to stream–converting on the fly–videos from my PC to my iPad! I’ve only tried one so far, but it worked instantly, even when I carried the iPad down to the kitchen (the XP PC lives upstairs). I can’t recommend it more highly!

I was a little confused when I first went to the proggy on the iPad after downloading it because I didn’t know I needed to download the PC software too, but a few minutes puzzling and a quick Google produced the solution.

1. Download the app to your iPad.
2. Download the server software (just Google Air Video Server and choose the appropriate one) to the computer where your videos live.
3. After installing the server software, add (very intuitive) your video folder(s).
4. Return to your iPad and click on the app. You should now see your other computer listed as a server. Click on it (with your wee finger) and you should be able to browse your folder(s) for videos.
5. After selecting one there’s a choice to convert it or stream on the fly. I went for the latter and it worked perfectly: no stuttering or any kind of delay.

Fantastic! I can’t remember when I was last so excited by any kind of new computer proggy. This means I can make bread in the kitchen while browsing through my extensive selection of documentaries and stuffs on the iPad 🙂

p.s. Do you like documentaries too? If so, scroll down and see the links (bottom right) to online documentary sites where you can get all sorts of fantastical goodies: legitimate and free.

Help? Transferring Audible files from Macbook Pro to non-Mac MP3 player

23 July, 2011

I’m wondering whether any of you have found a solution to this problem.

I’ve been using Audible books for years with my little Creative MuVo V100 MP3 player. I use that device because it takes AAA batteries, which are necessary when I’m off walking without access to charging facilities.

I’ve recently started using a MacBook Pro, and I’ve found that there seems to be no way to get Audible files from the Macbook onto my non-Mac MP3 player, because Audible haven’t written a version of their Downloads Manager for Mac users, assuming, it seems, that all Mac computer users will also be using a Mac MP3 player and that they will therefore be able to transfer files via iTunes. iTunes doesn’t see my non-Mac MP3 player, though, so unless I dig out my netbook for transfers I can no longer use Audible files. Simply copy/pasting them from the Downloads folder onto the Creative doesn’t work, as the Creative can’t see the files I’ve transferred (which I assume is something to do with copyright protection).

I’ve rung Audible twice about this, but on both occasions the assistants I spoke to declared that they’d never come across the issue before, and conceded that they had no solution to offer. They were helpful, and said they would bring the issue up internally, but I’ve no idea whether that route might eventually lead to the release of a Mac version of the Audible software.

I’ve searched the net for solutions, but have come up with nothing. Can anybody help?

BTW, the little Creative is one of the most useful and durable products of any description that I’ve ever bought. I’ve got about 3 of them–I kept buying new versions as they came out with larger capacities–and I’ve been using them for years and years in all weathers with absolutely no problem at all. They’ve been soaked and dropped and scorched by French and Corsican sunshine, but they all keep working faultlessly on a steady diet of AAA batteries. Very highly recommended for backpacking (and everything else).

Impressive technical support from startech.com

2 December, 2010

I’ve been having a problem with external hard drives (used by me for storage) dying, with attendant and tragic loss of data, so I had a look into storage and decided to set up what seems to be known as a RAID 1 array.

There are several different kind of RAID setups, but the idea of RAID 1 is to have two identical hard drives, where anything written to the first is immediately and automatically mirrored to the second. This way I hope I will always have a copy of my data, so if one of the drives fails my piccies, videos and other goodies will be safe and I can simply replace the dead drive with a new one, at which point the mirroring will start again.

It’s possible to set this up inside the computer but for a number of reasons (mainly because I didn’t have sufficient internal HD slots) I decided to buy what’s called an external hard drive enclosure for my two new drives, which would be connected to the PC via a USB cable. The user sees one of the drives in Windows Explorer and uses it just as they would any other drive. The enclosure takes care of the mirroring.

Having had a look around I decided to get this one, made by Star Tech, and a couple of these Seagate Barracuda 1Gb hard drives. I bought them all from More Computers, and they arrived yesterday.

It was quite easy to set up the drives in the enclosure, but I always find that doing anything that involves messing with computer innards generates a wee frisson of excitement because there’s always the possibility that I might do it wrong, or accidentally fry something vital by touching it in the wrong place. Basically, it’s simply necessary to mount the drives in the trays that slot into the enclosure, so I got out my cunning computer tool kit, unscrewed some things, removed some bits of plastic, mounted the drives, screwed them into place in the trays and slotted the trays back into the enclosure.

The problem began when I carried my pile of new goodies upstairs to the computer, plugged in the enclosure and connected it to the PC. All the lights came on, followed by a gratifying low grumbling sound which seemed to suggest that something was happening with the new drives. However, I couldn’t see my new drive in Windows Explorer, and the manual wasn’t detailed enough to provide any clues about what to do next.

By this time it was about 9.30pm, and far too late for a telephone call to Star Tech, but I went over to the Star Tech website in the hope of finding a forum where I could get some information. I couldn’t see a forum, but I did find an invitation to have a Live Chat with somebody in technical support. Whoohoo! I clicked the Live Chat button and within less than a minute a really helpful bloke arrived, and over the course of the next 30 minutes or so he got my new toy up and running. (The problem turned out to have been that the new Seagate drives needed to be initialised and formatted before I could see one in Windows Explorer.)

I’ve used this Live Chat thing before on the Novatech website, but having somebody available at Star Tech to sort my problem out at a moment’s notice far exceeded my expectations. It’s a pity the manual isn’t more detailed, but the Live Chat made up for that.

So, many thanks to Star Tech: take a Gold Star 🙂

More Computers — Anyone used them, because…?

1 December, 2010

I’m just wondering whether anybody has any experience of More Computers. I ordered some stuff from them yesterday, and paid almost £10 for next day delivery, but I didn’t receive the promised despatch confirmation email yesterday evening, and there’s still nothing this morning.

I started ringing them just after 9am so that I could be sure whether I have to spend the whole day waiting in for a courier of not, but have now spent two separate periods of 15 minutes on the phone listening to a recorded promise to be put through to an operator soon. The online tracking feature doesn’t work because I haven’t received an order number, not having received a confirmatory email. Despite all this, Paypal confirms that the payment was completed at about 11.30am yesterday morning.

I used them because I see that they won a PC Pro award for good customer service last year, but I’m wondering whether anybody out there actually knows them. I hope I’ve not just wasted my money.

Edited to add: Well, I’ve finally heard from them that my things are en route via City Link for delivery today, so that’s a relief.

Further edited to add: The parcel has arrived, so in the end it was pretty good service. I think the snow in some other parts of the country must simply have taken them by surprise yesterday afternoon. All’s well that ends well, then. Thanks, More Computers 🙂