The NatWest Card Reader, part deux (I didn’t change banks)

My last post on the subject (a fraction over 10 years ago!) garnered a lot of comments for what was essentially just a rant, and it turned out to be somewhat unfounded and sensationalistic.

I’m still with NatWest, their online banking is still very good and their app is the best, and I’ve rarely had to use the card reader and not been able to find one.

What has surprised me is that NatWest still haven’t improved the crazy wastefulness of the packaging.
There are still many layers of unnecessary cardboard and plastic, though the bubble wrap is gone.
Interestingly, the new card reader isn’t branded.

 

I lost my old card reader a while ago, and have been using a Barclays one instead, since they’re functionally the same. I prefer the weight and layout of the Barclays one, but it recently decided that its battery was low and stopped me from using it, making itself useless, instead of warning me.

So, I’m still with NatWest as my primary bank, and will probably stay with them for at least another 10 years.

Unless my tiny BitCoin investment rockets beyond its current £60 value that is…

10/GUI


10gui.com

This is as much an HCI concept as it is about the GUI.

I think a multitouch pad would be great.
5 fingers, i.e. one hand, would be plenty though, and having one hand remaining on the keyboard allows for faster resumption of typing long text.

My HTPC keyboard already has a simple multi-touch action, two finger to scroll, and I’m sure moving up to five fingers would be perfectly achievable by most users. In fact, in the video above there were only s few times when you’d have to use more than two or three fingers.

I think this is all fantastically interesting, and discussing the subject with people who won’t just shoot down the unknown/unfamiliar will lead to some great things.

I wish I could be more involved with this area of research and development.

Leaving Bitopia

Prior to the big move, I’m leaving my current job at Bitopia at the end of the week.

Last Friday, all the staff went to watch Saints beat  Castleford Tigers.
At the end of the evening I was surprised and honoured to be presented with a personalised and autographed Saints shirt by Paul Sculthorpe.

Paul Sculthorpe presents me with a personalised autographed Saint shirt
Paul Sculthorpe presents me with a personalised autographed Saint shirt

I’d like to thank Christian for arranging it all for me, and Steve, MD of Bitopia, for paying for the evening!

Recommended: iammoving.com

iammoving.com was recommended to me by the estate agent who advertised the house we’re moving to in August.

After registering, for free (though I would pay for the service), you select the organisations you need to notify from a large, categorised list, and provide your account number (or whatever detail is appropriate).

You can then send each message individually, or send them all at once.

Unfortunately, some companies still require that age-old ink on paper malarkey. In these cases, a preformatted letter is made available to print.

iammoving.com is ‘in association with Royal Mail’, which makes sense because it could save them from thousands of undeliverable/redirected letters.

RAC

The RAC have impressed me.

Whilst driving to my fiancée’s parents’ at the end of last week, the car conked out (while on the M6 Toll).
Fortunately, the power simply seemed to dissipate rather than instantly disappear, so I was easily able to slow to stop by an SOS box.
I have a mobile phone of course, but the SOS box allowed me to give a very precise location.

Calling the RAC was straightforward, just a matter of answering questions and confirming my own and the vehicle’s details.

The RAC man (an ex F1 engineer, apparently) arrived within 20 minutes (better than the estimate given on the phone), having called my mobile to let me know that he was a couple of minutes away.

He identified the problem simply by listening to the engine for a couple of seconds, and confirmed it by replacing the dead coil (a transformer that supplies the power to the spark-plugs).

I’d be very happy to recommend the RAC to anyone considering them (or their competitors).