Screen capture software for Windows Mobile 5

Windows Mobile screenshot

Here’s a quick, easy and free application for taking screenshots on your Windows Mobile 5 device: Ilium Software Screen Capture.

As the website says:

Using Ilium Software Screen Capture takes just six simple steps:

  1. Start the program on your device
  2. Use the Options menu to define the key you want to press to take your screenshots
  3. Leave the program open – do not hit the Exit button yet
  4. Take your screenshots! (If you have sound on, you will hear a camera “click” noise when the screen is captured)
  5. To stop the program, open it again and hit the Exit button
  6. Find your screen captures in the My Documents folder on your device

Hardware keys

Screenshot of buttons assignment in WM5

You can easily find out which keys are which in Windows Mobile 5 by going to Start > Settings > Personal tab > Buttons.

On the Xda Orbit I’ve assigned Button 5 (Camera) to Screen Capture, as it seemed most logical to me: it’s for taking a picture!

New car insurance companies

Hastings soldier sitting in an armchair with a cup of tea

Remember back in January, Jane and I were experiencing problems with our [name of national car insurance firm]. Well, last month we finally moved insurance companies and it feels like an enormous relief.

I don’t like moving companies because of poor customer service, I’d much rather that the service improved because of customer feedback. But to be honest, in our experience things went from bad to worse the longer we were with them that we had to move, for the sake of our mental health, regardless of anything else.

Good service

We’d been with [name of national car insurance firm] since we bought the sleek, red Rover (as featured in the best-selling book Join Me by Danny Wallace, and now seen on tour with Solo Bass Steve) in 1999.

Back in the day they were great: helpful, courteous and understanding. We were easily recommending them to our family and friends.

In Inverness a cyclists hit our car, scratching the passenger-side body, completely removing the wing mirror in the process. We called our insurance company, they had it all sorted in a couple of weeks. In Edinburgh we managed to avoid mowing down cyclists but any time we called them — mostly to add a growing number of named-drivers to the certificate — we came away on the whole as happy customers. And then things started to deteriorate

Less than good service

Then we moved to Cellardyke, which in every other way was a wonderful experience. Jane bought a new car, and we moved to a new policy of theirs for owners of more than one car, which promised to save us money. But then there was a mix-up with Jane’s insurance application and despite Jane’s request to be phoned about it they instead e-mailed her.

At an e-mail address that she no longer had.

Which she’d already told them about.

That cost her a very anxious few days as they claimed that Jane had no insurance at all, even though she did. It was wonderfully complicated, but in the end all was resolved (by an understanding Customer Services Manager who recognized their part in that fiasco).

Or so we thought.

Then there was a three month fight about a payment that they claimed we’d not paid them, which we had; The Royal Bank of Scotland were absolute stars in helping us prove it.

The real low-point of that experience was Jane’s conversation with someone at Customer Services who said, “But of course you owe us money, Mrs Saunders!” At that moment we knew that we absolutely had to move companies.

It’s not that we think that [name of national car insurance firm] are a terrible company, we have absolutely nothing against them. We have experienced some great customer service from them, but over the last year or two our satisfaction with their service deteriorated to the point that it was causing us quite considerable anxiety.

Renewal

When we received our renewal notice in June that was the final straw. We both got letters saying (apparently) we were adding a new car to the policy. No we weren’t!

In my letter of 15 June it claimed that this addition “has reduced your payment by £47.30”. In Jane’s letter of 15 June it said “there is an additional premium due of £323.10”.

Which was it?! There only was one policy: one policy with two cars on it, the same two cars that we had on our one policy on 14 June!

Moved

Jane phoned around that day and got us a couple of new policies with different insurance companies:

Having phoned Hastings a couple of times with various queries I have to report that I’m very impressed with them. I felt valued as a customer (and as a human being!). I got through straight away, spoke each time with knowledgeable customer service advisors, and was off the phone in 5 minutes, each matter having been completely resolved.

Let’s hope I’m with them for a while.

Literally the middle of nowhere

Jane and I were looking online to see where we might spend a couple of nights this week. So we checked out the Visit Scotland website for accommodation in the Highlands.

Location/Map

We found a nice place called Braelangwell House on The Black Isle, clicked on the “Location/Map” button and were faced with this sorry excuse for a map:

A map, showing a box in the middle of nowhere

What possible use is that?!

(What is perhaps even worse is that on my main PC I can’t even see the map, in Firefox, IE or Opera! The site is telling me that I don’t have JavaScript enabled. I clearly do! Some terrible scripting there methinks.)

Getting there

So instead we turned to the “Getting there” page. It offered two options:

  • Getting there from the Information Centre
  • Getting there by Aeroplane

We’d want to get there by car … and not from the Information Centre (wherever that is!!).

We’ve booked elsewhere.

Greener electronics

Guide to greener electronics

I knew there was a reason that I liked Nokia and Lenovo so much: they’re greener than almost every other big-name electronics firms out there. But they still have a way to go.

I picked up this story back in April on the PC Pro website: Lenovo out in front in green race. It’s sat in my “to blog” folder ever since.

How green is your gadget?

It was referring to an electronics guide from Greenpeace where they assigned points (out of ten) to the major mobile and PC manufacturers based on their global policies and practices on eliminating harmful chemicals and on taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers.

In August 2006 Lenovo were sitting at the bottom of the league in a very sorry 14th place (of 14). Within seven months however, the Chinese company who bought out the PC-manufacturing arm of IBM, had managed to completely turn around their green credentials and were leading with 8/10.

From December 2006 to March 2007 the advertisers’ favourite Apple were bottom of the league on only 3/10. By June 2007 the situation was a little different: Apple had moved to a little over 5/10, making Sony the worst — having not moved at 4/10. While Lenovo had slid to about 7.5, with Nokia overtaking at 8/10.

Top 14

The standings as of June 2007 sit at:

  1. Nokia (8)
  2. Dell (7.3)
  3. Lenovo (7.3)
  4. Sony Ericsson (7)
  5. Samsung (6.7)
  6. Motorola (6.7)
  7. Toshiba (6)
  8. Fujitsu-Siemens (6)
  9. Acer (5.7)
  10. Apple (5.3)
  11. HP (5.3)
  12. Panasonic (5)
  13. LGE (4.3)
  14. Sony (4)

Something certainly to bear in mind when choosing a new PC, laptop, mobile phone or other shiny gadget.

You can read Greenpeace’s Guide to Green Electronics online.