Thursday, August 31, 2006

Myspace Fakes - and verified celebrities

After a few days of looking around for my friends on myspace - most of whom I must say are not present (maybe they have something better to do with their time than online social networking) I came accross an account with Mr T listed as one of the friends, how amazingly cool - someone is friends with Mr T.

I instantly wanted to add Mr T - but after looking at his profile I soon became aware he wasnt the realy Mr T. Grrrr! This intrigued me though. How many fake celebrity profiles are there on there? After a quick search I soon found many Mr T's and quite a few Kelly Brooks (I had quite a thing for her in my teenage years). Obviously most celeb profiles are fakes. It still looks good to have these people listed as friends - but I feel a little let down that they are not the real deal. Some people have gone to a great deal of effort to make these profiles look authentic - and Im sure these people get a lot of pleasure out of posing as their favorite celebrities. But surely there must be a way of authenticating these accounts? To make sure the info you get is accurate. I know you can join their official fan club - but wouldn't it be nice to have all fan clubs in one place.

Well now there is. Click Here for a verified celebs list. Unfortunatley the only person I knew who was on the list was Gary Bucey - a man I once heard described as an actor whose face had the intensity to make babies cry. I have added him as a friend.

My unverified celeb friends include - Lucy Pinder (what great boobs), Borat (although Im sure he's the real deal) and Bill Hicks - who has been dead for quite a while now - so I doubt its him. Although I wouldnt put it past him.

Are you a faker? what experiences have you had? Is it against the T & C - does anyone care?

Little Miss Sunshine

Well, last night, I got to see a prescreening of Little Miss Sunshine. On my way to see it I knew very little about it. To be honest it sounded like a screen adaptation of a Roger Hardgreaves book (Author of the Mr Men & Little Misses Series). I wasn't expecting much but I was pleasantly suprised.

The film focuses on a disfunctional family on a road trip to a beauty pagent in California so that 8 year old Olive can compete. The Father is obesessed by success - and pushes his daughter too hard despite his own failings. His mother is pro-honesty and feels that Olive shouldn't be shielded from some of lifes less pleasant moments. The gay uncle who recently failed in a suicide attempt comes along along with a heroin snorting grandfather and a mute older brother.

The trailers give little or no indication of how funny this film is. It is dark comedy and also a feel good movie if thats possible.

Keep an eye out for the grandad - he is by far the funniest character in the film and I could despite his constant crude comments I could not fault one bit of his advice.

This is a must see film.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I have just returned from four days in cornwall. In a little place called Hayle. Just outside of St Ives.

I had a great time. The beaches are clean and the golden sand stretches for miles.

There are lots of local pubs I recommend the Copperhouse in Hayle - a friendly pub with an open mic night that I thoroughly enjoyed - and good nightlife in St Ives. I recommend the ISO bar.

At night outisde of town it is so quiet - that a city boy like me actually found it hard to sleep.

Seagulls are a a bit of a pest round there - and noisy in the mornings. On a clear night you can see so many more stars than you can in London.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Google crawled my site and blog

Hooray, Google finally crawled my site and blog. Although it hasnt crawled all the pages I have a good set of pages on there. In fact I am now top search result for masters of creation. although that isn't a big feat in itself. Im going to see how high I can get up the ranking for the term "viral email" A search term that has over 27,000,000 results.

I will keep you posted as to my progress.

A handy tool for finding out how far up or down the rankings you are is:

Friday, August 18, 2006

One girl in a big city.

After a couple of weeks of blogging I have actually managed to recruit another blogger.

As she is blogging anonymously I will call her by her blog name "One girl in a big city".

I'll be keeping a close eye on her blog over the coming weeks - hopefully we can help each other develop our blogs for the better. I'll be interested to see what sort of audience it attracts - and if its more popular than mine.

Does a lifestyle blog generate more money via adsense than a computing blog?

Who knows?

I've tried to diversify with a blog about my pets and a holiday im going on but it hasnt made it more popular - I've been visited by a couple of randoms and most of my friends have read it. I still haven't had many visitors though. Im sure as content builds and I start getting listed in search engines that I will attract lots of new people....

You can visit One girl in a big citys blog by clicking here

Rant about - don't use them

I have made many purchases online in my time - and every transaction that I have ever made I have been satisfied with - bar one time I order two PCs from dell - got billed for two and only one turned up. Thats another story though - I can assure you that one had a reasonably happy ending.

On the 28th of June 2006 I placed an order
with Excite IT after searching Froogle and getting the best price from them. (£159.41)

I paid by debit card. (A mistake apparently). Via a service called nochex. Im told funds were released to Excite IT on the 1st of August. A week or so later my AMD dual core CPU had not turned up. Concerned by this I went back to the website to try and get a contact phone number. But could find none. This concerned me greatly. However, I was not at the pulling my hair out stage yet. I emailed Excite IT the following email:

Re: Order Number - XXXXXXXX

I have still not received my order. Can you tell me when it will arrive.


I received the following reply:

Dear Garry

Today I have spoken direct with our supplier of this item and have been informed they have now declared the item discontinued and stock currently is none obtainable.
At this point I urge you to consider an alternative item which I will make sure arrives with you immediately.
Failing this I will honour your request to cancel and refund your order if that’s your final decision.
I would of course completely understand under the circumstance if you wish to do so but I do ask that you take advantage of my services as I am here rectify this situation for you as swiftly as possible.
I anticipate your response
Kind regards
Customer service
Excite I.T

The item is apparently discontinued? this is a brand new dual core chip. So I wrote back:
Other suppliers stock the AMD chip - its new out? - how can it be discontinued.Can you arrange for an immediate refund.

I got this reply:

Dear Sir
As our supplier is not able to provide us with an ETA for this CPU I could only assume that it was end of line.
If I am incorrect in my assumption, I apologize.
You will be happy to know that your refund request has been authorized and is now being processed for you. Please be aware we are running a little behind due to necessary expansion of our offices and fulfilment operation. Due to this refunds can take up to 3 - 5 working days to process. We apologize for the inconvenience caused however once this process is completed you will receive an e-mail confirmation from our payment provider Nochex. Once you have receipt of this mail your funds have been released. Please allow 24/48 hours for you bank to process this payment on your behalf.
We apologize for any delays. If you feel you have waited longer than this time please do not hesitate to contact us on
Once again we thank you for your patience

Service Desk
Excite IT.

3 to 5 working days! This is the digital age guys? surely you can do better than that. I waited another 10 days. Then I wrote this:
It has been 10 days since I requested a refund. I still do not have one. This is a major inconvenience for me. Please make the refund immediatley - or I will be forced to report this matter to my credit card company.
I got this reply:

Dear Sir / Madam
Have again forwarded your Email to our accounts department, this time you should receive a confirmation of refund Email from NoChex within the next 3 working days at the latest.
Our apologies for the delay.
Kind regards
Customer services
Excite I.T

Now - I'd had enough. Who were excite it? and why do they keep fobbing me off? why do they not publish a contact number - and where are they registered.

On their site it says their address is:

Excite I.T. Ltd Unit 16
Eckland Lodge Business Park
Desborough rd
Market Harborough
LE16 8HB

This directory lists their telephone number as:
Customer Service: Tel: 0845 4502321 Fax: 01536 760075
However, I have tried this several times and it has just rung and rung. What next I thought. So I did a whois on the domain name - to see who the registrant was:
Domain name:
Registrant: Excite I.T. Ltd
Registrant type: UK Limited Company, (Company number: 5235682)
Registrant's address:

39 Valley Walk
NN16 0LU

This is a residential address as far as Im aware. But still no luck actually speaking to anyone.

I finally phoned my bank - and have disputed the payment. But still may not get it back.
So in conclusion, Don't ever use this company - they are the crap. If anyone has any further information and can let me know how to get in touch with the owner - or can tell a similar story please comment here.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blogging, Bearshare and Adaware

Well, Ive been blogging for about a month now - and Ive had hardly any visitors - or comments - I had to turn off the email me section after getting inundated with porn ads. I wish people wouldn't do that - I will go and find porn when I feel the need - its not as if its hard. Oh - a little tip for all you people who like free things - including porn - but mostly movies and music - even sheet music, software - everything. Firstly it's illegal in most countries to use so you have to have a total disregard for copyright law. Why not download bearshare - from - get the ad supported version and then download adaware from lavasoft - and most of the ads will go - bar the odd pop up whilst you are running the software. I've had limited success with bearshare lite (which of course I only use for wholesome legal activities) as it doesnt always connect correctly. Anyway, once you have done that then have access to just about every popular movie and song ever made. Torrents are good if you want high quality DVD rips - is a very good sites for torrents - although you will have to download a torrent client. I use bitlord - which can also be downloaded free.

Anyway, I digress, the point was no one has come to my blog. Am I blogging about the wrong things? I thought I'd try and blog about things I knew about - issues and problems I had had of a technical nature - as I figured other people would probably have these issues too. I have spared you from the mundaneness of "I got up at 8.30 and had a cup of tea, the weather was slightly overcast. My heart sank as I realised that I only had 5 minutes before I had to leave for work.... I wonder if that girl with the nice boobs will be in the bakers again? Some feedback please? positive or negative - from anyone.

Google & Writely

This morning I awoke to find an email I had been waiting for . I had finally been invited to join the writely beta test!

The general standard of new google services is very high and had been impressed by their spreadsheet program - and blown away by gmail.

However, after a couple of attempts at writing a letter I got bored. It is just a glorified HTML editor. Not much different to the one you use to post your blog. Ok you can collaborate and share online. But its not really any different to wordpad - a resource that comes free on most windows machines.

The other day google convinced me to move over to the firefox browser - at home. I did this and logged into writely for the first time. The first thing I tried to do was copy and paste from the windows clipboard - I pressed the print screen button to get myself a screenshot - and then tried to paste it into writely. However, Firefox doesn't allow the browser access to the clipboard - by default. I'm not sure if this is a setting that can be changed. I hope so.

So, attempt 2. I load up writely again - in IE6 this time. And try and paste from the clipboard - this time I did not get an error - although the image did not display - despite creating a box for it in the editor.

Eventually I got bored and gave up. Writely is in my opinion lackluster, although I must agree the price is right - and you can do your work wherever you have the net and a compatible browser. Although I'm not too sure that's important in a world where you can fit your own operating system onto a keyring these days.


Recently my cousin announced that she was getting married. The date has been set for next spring and we are all of to the island of Cuba for the wedding. We will be staying for two weeks in the Sol Palmeras hotel. I am really excited about going but have been a little concerned by the recent reports about Fidel Castro's failing health.

I am intrigued by the prospect of visiting a communist country - as I've never been to one before. Im not even sure how they work? Surely anywhere where there is a currency one man can accumilate more than another? Everybody obviously doesn't have the same - so where are these ideals actually put into practice? And what is likely to happen to this communist haven if their leader dies and the new one opens up cuba to the USA.

I've done some research and it seems that capitalism has entered Cuba by the back door - western products are now available over there - mainly as a result of the collapse of the soviet union. Afterwhich Cuba had to find new sources of income. That new source of income has been tourism. - and with the western tourists have come western money and western ideals.

Im on a resort for the holiday - a long way from havana - but as I am there for two weeks I think i will make the effort to go. I also might visit Guantanamo - im told they do day trips there - although maybe its not right to visit something I don't really agree with - either way I'm not going to change whats happening there.

Apparently Guantanamo Bay is leased off of the Cubans in an agreement signed well before the start of Castros rule. The lease cannot be changed without the permission of both parties. Fidel agreed to honour the agreement - and apparently each year the US government writes a cheque for $2000 (originally 2000 gold coins) for the land - but the cubans never cash the cheque. I wonder what would happen if the new regime does not recognise the US claim to the land? They probably lack the ability to do anything about it. Fidel once cut off water and electricity to the base once - but now they make everything they need themselves.

Anyway, Castro seems to be getting better now. According to the pictures released anyway. Although some people have told me that he is already dead - one website i read said he had been replaced in 1981 with a CIA clone - although you would have thought the US embargo would have ended by now if that was the case. I'll be keeping a close eye on how things develop out there and hoping that nothing spoils my holiday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Around 4 months ago - i bought myself a lionfish and named him Alsan. I'd set up my first marine tank. I invested in some live rock - and was away. I had mixed the water solution a week earlier and let the tank get settled with the living rock before adding Aslan. Using reverse osmosis water bought for £8 per keg.

For the first couple of weeks I fed him on frozen bloodworms. Which seemed to go down quite well as long as I put the lump in frozen so he could bite chunks off of it. If i let it melt first - the bits just fell to the bottom - and he didn't seem too keen to eat them. This seemed like a very expensive way to feed him as a pack lasts a couple of weeks and costs a couple of pounds. I know that doesn't sound like much but when you have as many fish as I do - buying food is an issue.

I read on the internet that they like beefheart - which on visiting my local butchers I found out was a whole cows heart - obviously. I'm a litte squeamish - so I got the butcher to chop the organ into chunks about 1 x 1 inch. There was so much meat I couldn't believe it - this heart must have been bigger than my head - and I have a big head.

Four months later and im only on chunk four of about one hundred. Considering that it only cost me £3 for a whole heart and that he is bigger and healthier than ever before I think this was a great purchase. I still supplement his diet with the occassional bloodworm cube - as it can't be easy eating the same thing every day.

Multiple Domains

Since becoming a full time (ish) mortgage consultant and the death of my brother. I have really let the web hosting / design business slip. So many domains that customers let lapse have been kept running on my server and I have been paying the bills on them.

This was just a drain on my resources. However, I have a plan to put things right. Firstly Im going to take all the domains off of automatic renewal.

Secondly Im going to either mirror my main site - or add additional content to each domain - in an effort to improve my overal performance in google.

I have been reading about googles search algorythms and it seems that links on front pages of top level domains can do wonders for your rating.

I have around 7 unused domains I will keep you posted as to how they improve my ranking.

However, nothing is going to improve my ranking at the moment - as google just hasnt crawled my site in months. Ok fair enough I didn't update it for two years - but hopefully now that I have added a huge amount of new content - it should pick it up. I am also going to go through and add alt tags to all of my images - and meta data to all pages. Hopefully this too will improve my ranking.

Elance & outsourcing.

I work for an Independent Financial Advisers in east London. We have around 25 workstations at 3 different premises.

I am solely in charge of all these computers - and to be honest not much goes wrong. Our ADSL router periodically freezes up - sometimes certain domains become inaccessible. Quite often Sometimes there is a paperjam, A fuse blows, or someone forgets their password. All in all a very undemanding IT position.

So to further my career I trained as a mortgage adviser - this has taken more and more of my time - and I have devoted less and less to computers. The network virtually runs itself.

However, over time storage has become an issue for our small business - we have 3 times more filing cabinets than people here. And we have been looking for a digital storage solution. After bad experiences with several off the shelf packages - and even a bespoke IFA solution. We decided to try outsourcing the work - after friends of mine in the web design industry had had good experiences with outsourcing to foreign web designers.

After all our failed attempts at going digital - and our office bulging at the seams we had to do something ... We started saving all paper files as PDF files in a folder system - it wasn't really searchable. - and we could do very little with it. But it did mean we could move the paper files off site. We needed some file management software - and although I probably had the skills to write it - I had neither the time nor the inclination.

After reviewing a few different websites - I finally Settled on Elance to place the description of the project and await bidders. Bids varied between $1000 and $8000 USD. We finally decided on . It was a combination of their low bid and the quality of the English in the correspondence from them that really sold it to us - and with only a 30% deposit down - we were more than willing to give it a try.

Things are going well, contact has been consistent - and we are nearly there now. I will let you know how well the finished article turns out.

Blog Stats

Do you know whats really missing from blogger - its some decent statistic tools to see how many visitors you had - how many were new visitors - how many were returning.

To a small extent you can use the adsense reports to track visitors to your blog - but it doesnt give much in the way of detail.

I have just signed up for bravenet - you can see their counter at the bottom of this page.

I can thoroughly recommend them - the stats page is great - and its quick and easy to install. The only downside is that its another set up usernames and passwords to remember.

To get a bravenet counter for your website:

click here.

Building A New PC

I have to be honest - before last week - it had probably been nearly 3 years since I built a brand new gaming PC. But after being approached by a friend to build one for them - I happily accepted the challenge.

I bought the Asus A8N32 motherboard and an Athlon 64X2 4400 Dual Core Socket 939 CPU. Used an old ATX case - and bought a SATA 250GB HDD - I'd never fitted one before - but how hard can it be - after all I do have my A+ qualification.

There are so many RAM options about these days - but I was confident that I had bought the right memory after going through Crucial Technologies and telling their site what my motherboard was.

All the parts arrived within a week. And I never had to leave my flat to buy them - isn't the internet great!

I screwed the motherboard into the case - and placed the chip the right way round in the socket - (you can tell which was as one of the corners has a little mark on it that is different to the other - on both the motherboard and chip) - now be careful when siting the chip - they are delicate - and also fully open the socket before fully closing it - this ensures the chip sits correctly.

I then added the RAM - read through the motherboard guide to see which sockets to put the DIMMS go into - different rules depending on the number - I had 2 1GB chips - and placed them in the two blue sockets.

I powered up - but there was no POST test and no signal to the monitor .... ! Oh no! It was back to the drawing board - after some looking around on the net - i found out that a lot of modern motherboards actually require 2 power supplies - one is the standard wide power socket - and the other is a little square one ... I put this in and also hooked up the graphics card directly to the PSU - thats a new one on me - they always got powered off the motherboard in my day.

This time I powered it up and got the bios screen. Time to install the CD roms. As the HDD was SATA - I figured i could place the two CD drives on different IDE channels - for max speed. I set the jumpers to Cable Select - as opposed to Master or slave and started the machine up. All drives were immediatley reconised - and I was putting Windows XP Home before I knew it.

I knew it couldn't be that hard.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Microsoft IE7 Vs Firefox

I run both the firefox and microsoft internet explorer browsers on my machine. Im running the IE7 beta on my machine. The tabbed browsing is a great feature thats been available on firefox for a while now. Its good to see that microsoft is catching up in that respect.

For everyday web browsing I find that firefox is great. It gets rid of all those annoying pop ups.

However, when it comes to my place of work firefox is completely unusable. Most of our business to business applications rely on proprietary microsoft technology. ActiveX controls and whatnots.

You can download firefox from here if you are interested. Its quick and easy to install - and does offer a better browsing experience. It also uninstalls very easily and doesnt fill your machine up with advertising - or push you to try their other products - something which microsoft is often guilty of.

Australian Bearded Dragons.

I have had two australian bearded dragons since early this year. Rasputin and Chardonnay. I don't know how exactly how old they are - but when I bought them they were around 7 inches (18cm) long.

Since then they have both grown a lot raz is 14 inches now! - Chardonnay about 12 - in fact they have become a little fat. Raz has grown quicker than Chardonnay - and does seem to eat the lions share of the food - as they currently occupy the same vivarium.

It is my plan to create a much larger vivarium sometime next year which they can both live in.

I have some more photos on my website - and also of my aquariums.

When I bought them I knew very little about lizards. But was immediatley fascinated by the way they watched intently at anything that moved. They also love bobbing their heads - and sometimes when they fight over food they puff out their beards.

I find it very hard to tell if they are happy or sad as they show little emotion - but think that if they are sitting still they are probably quite happy where they are. It is possible to mesmerize my lizards by stroking them correctly.

I feed them a mix of crickets locusts and chopped fruits - oh and also the occassional moth who is stupid enough to be attracted towards the tank lighting.

Does anyone know how long they live for? - or what size I can expect them to get to?

Is it likely that they will mate? what are the signs that this will happen?


Is anyone a member of

It was easy enough to create my myspace profile - and then I added friends. However, with Orkut it appears someone has to invite you. With my Gmail account - I bought it of someone for £2.10 back in the days when invites were worth something. I just wasnt willing to wait two weeks.

However, Im not sure wether it is worth joining orkut. Could someone invite me so I can check it out. My email address is:

probably not a good idea to advertise it on the net. But i forward it to which has an effective filter.

Poker Odds Calculator

Does anyone know of such a piece of software that works in realtime and plugs in or sits on top of your online game. So that you can play and be confident when the odds are for and against you. Im pretty good - but Id like to see if I could win consistently playing purely mathematically.

Are they allowed by the online casinos?

And do any of them offer affiliate schemes. Id like to recommend one on my website - a good one if poss.

Website Progress

I have had adverts on my site for one week now. From a range of advertisers - including google adsense, commission junction and Tonight I passed the $25 mark. I find it annoying that google doesn't show my earnings in my local currency and im concerned who determines the exchange rate when it comes to depositing funds in my account. Does anyone have the answers to these questions?

The funny section that i created has attracted a lot of visitors after I hounded all my friends to forward a link to all their friends. I sent different links to different people. For example, an email with a link to a page with a car joke on it - for my motor enthusiast friends. Or a page with a pair a kitten on for the girls. Some of the emails must have been forwarded as a have had over 600 impressions each day since then. Im glad they are doing the rounds and hope they grow in popularity. We will see.

I have signed up to a range of online directories. Submitted a few comments to forums and groups linking to the site. Only where i felt it was relevant. I.e. linking to the david hasselhoff soap dispense on a fan site. No one has replied yet. I realised it may not be appropriate to post to forums indiscriminantly after receiving a spam warning on my first attempt.

Google hasn't crawled my site in nearly 4 months. My attempts to upload a sitemap have thusfar failed. I will keep you posted if I find an effective online tool. This frustrates me as Im sure this would be a great source of traffic for my site.

Im hoping to still be accepted for a few casino affiliate programs as i hope to expand the gaming section of my website to include lots more about online gambling. Not only an interest of mine - but certainly where the money seems to be in online advertising.

I checked for their top rating affilate words - as google wont tell you what theirs are - but you can bet they are similar. It turns out they are all gambling related, pornography related - or diet drug related. Well I know very little about diet drugs (phentamine - was the top paying). Suprised I didnt see viagra up their anywhere really. Anywho I digress. I know little of diet drugs and don't really wish to lower the tone of my site with lots of porn. That can be for another site! So I have decided to focus on gambling in one section.

I was reminded by one of my friends that although that its a highly contested area - and i might get good returns for something a little more niche. I'll have a think about content. Maybe ill start a blog about my two bearded dragons or aquariums - there are already lots of pictures on my site .

Friday, August 11, 2006

Copyright Issues

I am not all that clued up when it comes to copyright - but where does the law stand if I want to publish a song on my website that is a parody of another copyrighted song?

I am using no samples - just the basic chord structure - and the words have been changed.

Am I violating any laws?

Does anyone care?

How does bob rivers and twisted tunes get away with it?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My Website

In addition to running this blog I have recently added adense to my website - and wow! It actually seems to work. Im not allowed to discuss the specific amounts that I have earned - apparently that is against the google terms and conditions - but it is more than paying for all my hosting costs.

I have never attempted to promote my site - it is just a mishmash of things that I like on the internet - or have been emailed.

The Address is:

I am always open to suggestions on how to develop the site - if there are parts that people like. Why not visit and have a look for yourself.

I just wish I knew a bit more about the people who were visiting the site.

If you have come from there - please leave me a comment. The furthest away I have had an email from is the south of Spain. Can anyone beat this - I live in London, England.

XDA Exec 3G

This march I upgraded from the XDA IIi to the XDA 3G exec. As i am on the O2 max tarriff, the upgrade was free - and bundled along came double minutes and texts for the first 6 months.

First I'll detail whats better about the Exec.

1. It has a full qwerty keyboard
2. It can close to protect the screen from scratching.
3. Its 3G
4. You can charge it from a pc - using just a mini USB cable....

Sounds much better doesnt it. However, when its in your pocket, and you have it closed - it is almost impossible to answer the phone in time. If dont want to know who is on the other end before you answer - then yes it is - but it takes far too much time to open - twist its lovely screen round and wait for the menu to load up with the caller id - and the answer the phone button.

Also note that if you recieve this phone as an upgrade from O2 - as I did - that they didnt send me a 3G sim - just a regular GSM sim - I was walking around using for 3 months without being able to video call - or get other 3G services - although I have never actually received a video call.

I couldn't even tell the difference speedwise between the two models - and I feel the battery life was actually slightly better on my old one. I only really wanted it for the outlook integration - and I think next time I may go for an SPV model. And maybe someone with 24 hour customer support. Any suggestions?

Canon Digital Ixus 55

After a recent flood that destroyed most of my personal electrical equipment. The insurance company provided me with brand new digital camera. I was so excited as I opened the box to find my Ixus55 in there.

The picture quality was amasing - you can check out some photos i took in my photo gallery: (only the photos from july 06 are on the new camera)

Ive had the camera two weeks - and having the camera set to maximum resolution and Superfine quality I soon filled up the 1Gb memory card that I had bought.

I could not fault the video mode - (with sound) ... nor the plethora of little filters and effects. The Battery life is excellent - there is little point getting a digital camera without a rechargable battery.

However, I awoke one morning to take photos and found that my camera can no longer take photos during daylight. They come out fuzzy - I have reset all settings to default. At night - when the flash is on - things are much better - but the overall quality of the photo has dropped dramatically - I find this particularly odd as I the viewfinder displays with perfect clarity. I line up the perfect shot and snap! out comes a out of focus over exposed excuse of a picture.

I am not a happy bunny.

My old Canon Ixus broke twice in three years although the second time was water damage. Has anyone else found canon products fragile? does anyone know of a more durable alternative?

Im currently in the second day of waiting for a phone call back from my insurer. I will keep you posted.