BT Premium Email Price Increase

This is Money website has recently reported that BT are to increase the cost of their email service to their ex-customers who still wish to use the service, from £5 per month to £7.50 – at the time of writing this post, 17th July 2018.

I regularly help people with their email and every time I see the BT inbox I wonder why it is so bad, design wise. Naturally if you use BT mail then you may be using it with Outlook or Thunderbird – the two most popular email clients. However, the price increase pushes it to a wopping £90 a year – more than Microsoft charge for  their whole office suite.

There are options, you could simply stump up £7.50 a month or there are the free services from Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft Outlook. There is also a fabulous paid option called Fastmail.

There are no adverts in Fastmail and the user interface and mailbox are so clean, crisp and tidy that I cannot find anything close to it – I have been a faithful user for three years. I do also have accounts with Gmail, yahoo and Outlook etc but having those is just an extension of my job. My everyday mail platform is Fastmail.

All of the free services will offer to import your email for you (you will need to know your password) and also your contacts, but we live in an imperfect world so these systems do not always go to plan, you may need some extra help.

Should you create a new account elsewhere then upon first login there is often a wizard to take you through things but if there is not or you somehow get rid of it then there are settings in these webmail services from where you can get everything set up and import your BT mail and contacts.


Backup Photos and more with Google Drive

Google Photos App
The Google Photos Ap

It is always important to have a back up of your photos and while that trusty external hard drive is faithfully doing it’s job it can decide to simply say goodbye and quit It’s job without warning. The best way, in my view is to have your stuff backed up on an external or internal drive and also in the cloud and my favorite application for this is Google Drive, specifically Google Photos.

Before we get you set up I will briefly explain two options, I think these are very good. One is that you can have free unlimited photo storage on Google – yes free. At the time of me writing this, to get free unlimited space you need to allow Google to reduce the size of your pictures slightly while still maintaining a good quality before they are uploaded to the cloud. I have found out that this ‘good quality’ is actually around 16Mp (megapixels) – not to be sniffed at. There are still many of us taking photos of less quality these days.

However, if your pictures are bigger than 16Mp and or you want them to be kept in their exact size then you can have 15Gb of free space on Google cloud and once it’s used just purchase more, it’s not expensive, I don’t think and personally I pay Google £1.50 a month for an extra 100Gb.

Google photos does more than just back up your photos, it is a whole new photo experience. Want a panorama? Just take three photos (possibly four) and the ap will back them up to Google’s cloud where the magic happens. You will be notified that a new panorama is available and given the opportunity to save it. Google also creates little movies for you, so if you have been to an event – a wedding perhaps then Google will create an album for you and let you know when it’s ready.

Another impressive feature about Google photos is that it uses a thing called ‘image recognition’ – put simply it knows what a cat picture looks like just as it knows what an architectural picture looks like, so, the next time you want to search for a picture of your pet or an old holiday snap just try typing in something about what the picture/pictures contain.

Google Photos Search Box
Google Photos Search Box

You can also free up space on your phone (Android & Apple) or tablet by accessing the menu (The three horizontal lines in the left of the search box). In this menu is an option to free up space. The ap will calculate how many pictures it has backed up and how much space can be freed up.

Google Photos menu
Google Photos menu


Vintage computers supplied

Windows 98 computer
Windows 98SE computer

If you still want to use that old software program but can’t because it just won’t run on Windows 10, or maybe you just don’t want to run it on a modern computer. Also there is the problem of modern photo editing suites and office software now being a subscription model, for the occasional user that can be unaffordable.

These vintage computers are sourced on demand and because of web standards these computers are unsuitable for internet use. Whatever software is required it is sourced from stock or other online places. So how about transferring files? USB drivers are included so that modern usb flash drives (memory stick) can be used on them so you can transfer files to your modern machine for use.