Monday 12 July 2010

Ecotek PowerBoost - VW Passat TDI Turbo Overboost Limp Mode Problem

I recently had a problem with my VW Passat TDI 140 that was going into limp mode with the error Turbo Overboost problem. It appears that this can be due to the VVT vanes of the turbo getting carbon deposits and sticking. By using the Ecotek PowerBoost product that is sprayed directly into the air intake this is meant to clean the deposits from around the engine components and restore power and economy.

So far the car has been running much more smoothly than before and the turbo overboost limp mode problem has not yet reoccured.

Monday 5 July 2010

Best Jailbreak iPhone Apps - PDA Net Review

With a jailbroken iPhone the option to install a much wider variety of iPhone apps is available. One of the best that I have seen is PdaNet which allows you to use your iPhone for tethering without paying the extortionate additional charges that mobile networks try to charge. Orange, O2 and Vodafone in the UK all charge various amounts from £5 to £15 per month to allow you to use the bandwith that you have already paid for to tether your iphone to your laptop.

The bandwidth included with my contract is 1Gb per month, I rarely use more than 500Mb so it seems totally wrong to be required to pay an additional fee to actually use this spare bandwidth on my computer.

PDA Net allows you to do just this. You need to download the iPhone app and also install the client on your laptop. There is a free version of the app that allows any website other than https. By paying for the app you can access any websites from your laptop.

I have been very very impressed with Pda Net and would highly recommend it to anyone with a jailbroken iPhone 3G or 3Gs.

Poor Web Design (Or How not to design a website)

I always dispair when searching for a product or service online and come across a website that is so poorly designed that it defies belief. It appears that web site designers completely lose sight of the purpose of a website and make it so hard for a potential customer to navigate the site to find out information.

Ultimately the question is this - what is more important - a pretty looking site that is impossible to navigate or a site that provides all the information for a customer.

The primary failings in websites I have seen recently

1) Missing or flash based navigation
2) Flash sites with extended intro that cannot be skipped
3) Entire sites that are "under construction" for many months even years in some cases
4) No easy way to go back to previously viewed pages or navigation that reloads flash intro pages if you click the "Back" button
5) Poor Google optimisation so site is effectively invisible.
6) Multiple Windows loading for pages on the same site

These are just a few examples but one site that sums up many of these points is Autosparx - I was looking for a fitter for a car audio system and they are in my local area. The website looks very flash - in Adobe Flash - so won't be visible on iPhone or iPad but is very slow and not easy to navigate round when the flash intro is so long and of no use to customers.

Leonard D Anklebiter has written some more design hints that may be of use to budding web designers or those that consider actual website users after everything else. You can view his web site design tips at LDA Design.