Tag Archives: Slingbox

To empty my Brain

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With the long hours I do presenting and training, continually calibrating with the participants and translators, working out my next move, my future moves, my language, I need space in the evening as I am exhausted, my brain needs to relax and switch off.

A participant once said I am like an actor whilst I train, but on top of that, I am the writer, the producer, the director, the theatre manager, the stage manager, sound engineer and catering manager. It is true.

But I love my job.

In the evening, I could have a relaxing meal and conversation with someone I know, or take a wrap, Simit or sandwich back to my hotel room.

I can switch-on the TV, but mostly there will be only two English language channels, CNN and/or the BBC. Once you have seen the news once, that is it, I do not wish to see it again, and again, and again.

If the hotel has free internet access, then I have a great solution. Slingbox.

Slingbox from Sling Media, is a way I can watch British TV anywhere in the world for free, it will change the way we watch TV in the future I am sure, the same as VoiP and Skype have changed the way we can telephone the world at very cheap prices or for free.

Slingbox is a box full of electronics looking like a block of chocolate, that connects to your satellite or cable TV box in your home, then to your broadband connection, not your computer but the router. The Slingbox is then given its’ own internet address, which is secure, that then allows you to access and control your satellite or cable TV box, downloading the TV signal to your computer logged onto the internet anywhere in the world.

You can control which program you wish to watch, in fact it is just like having the home TV controller in your hand.

The main trouble for this is if someone else is watching a program at home and you want to watch another channel. But that can be fun.

You can get the Slingbox here  

My Computer Oh Poo Poo

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Handle off mug

No matter where I go in the world, things happen. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Monday night after finishing the English NLP class with NLPGrup, I returned to the apartment in Taxim Tunel, and after a while at 8:30pm, I felt hungry, and decided to get my usual wrap from La Cantine. Plus I needed milk and some Cornflakes, for my breakfast.

On returning, climbing those steep stairs, I had nothing to, as others were out enjoying themselves, perhaps drinking, relaxing, maybe deciding to stay with friends overnight, leaving pets and their family to fend for themselves. I decided to watch the SlingBox TV system. (clink to find out more)

As I watched, I wanted a cup of tea, unusual me late at night, and I had one tea back left. I sat back and enjoyed a hot cup of tea, British style, with milk.

With half my cup of tea left in my hand, the handle, a metal handle collapsed, and the remaining cup fell to the table, and my computer, some of the liquid finding its’ way onto my computer keyboard.

Handle off mug

My heart beat at double the rate, I could feel it. My reaction was to say words not allowed on the internet, I had a vision of sick deer.

What do I do.

I had to keep calm, so Oh Poo Poo, came to mind.

So what could I do?

Nothing, it had happened I had to be calm to deal with the situation, my Oh Poo Poo helped me to quickly clean-up the mess, but my new computer. The keyboard was not working.

I went to bed, with my attention on Mustapha so that I would sleep, a hard day was to Tuesday, there was not point in crying over split milk, my computer keyboard was dead. I hope my insurance will cover the damage.

The next day, I cleaned more of those internal parts I could access, I do not wish to break and seals on the computer, these could invalidate the warranty or insurance policy.

I got most of the keys working, but not all.

Oh Poo Poo.

Not Again

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Golden Horn Bridge, Istanbul

The evening did not start well.

I walked down to the ferry terminal after a long day of training and having to cross the Bosphorus from Kadikoy to Beşitaş (Asian to European side of Istanbul), and saw the ferry at the quayside. I raced to the gate only to see it closing majestically with me on the wrong side, and I watched as the ferry glide out of the port.

Once back in Taxim Tunel, I brought a wrap from a little corner café, La Cantine, (now closed), run by a French couple, plus a freshly squeezed orange juice. I was to have a relaxing time, watching British TV on the computer internet through Slingbox.

Slingbox is a great device that plugs into the back of say a satellite or cable TV box, that is then connected to the inter net router at home. Through the inter net connection in whatever country I am in, I can access the Slingbox back home and watch British TV, not only that, I can control the channels I want to watch.

The apartment I am staying in is on the forth floor, with a spiral staircase. Now I am used to running up stairs, but these seem so steep, everyone that climbs those stairs, has to rest half way up. They are a killer.

Spiral Stairs, Tunel Flat, Istanbul

Spiral Stairs, Tunel Flat, Istanbul

I got to the door, gently holding my orange juice, my mouth watering at the prospect of eating my wrap. But the key would not turn.

Not three months earlier, I had returned back to the apartment to notice on the tough climb of the stairs, that there were pieces of metal laying by each flat door. I knew something was wrong.

On reaching my door, there was no point in trying to turn the key to open the door, there was no locking mechanism there, and the door was firmly shut and locked.

There was no-one in the whole building, I do not speak any Turkish. Oh Poo Poo. I called an ex employee who came to my aid, plus my translator Asu. We called a locksmith plus the police, only to find that yes we had been burgled. I had lost money, a camera.

Asuman Yildirim

Although I did not enjoy the experience, who would? I found the police here in Istanbul perhaps one of the most friendly I have encountered, even though we had to communicate via a translator.

The horror of that experience returned as I tried in vain to turn the key.

But I had Mustapha. I had the previous experience to draw upon. I called the same locksmith.

On his last visit he made sure that no-one would be able to break-in again. He was good, so good, that he took from 8:30 until 11:30pm to get in. That will teach him. Perfectionist. (Ho Ho). He had to used brute force.

Once in, it was realised that no-one had entered, it was the failure of the door locking gear. New door I think.

So by mid night I was in bed, knowing that 8am the next morning I would be picked up by car to get to the Eastern side to take the English language participants further along the process I do for easy learning.

8:10 am I get a phone call, asking if the car had arrived, as the person calling the General Manager of NLPGrup, Selva, could not reach the driver, his phone was off.

Only thing for it was to quickly catch the Tunel train and the ferry.

Walking down to the ferry terminal I passed under a bridge that crosses the water of the Golden Horn, and was amazed at the number of people standing on either side of the bridge fishing. There was not any spaces left. I would not like to sail a boat under that bridge. Looking around the Golden Horn, it seemed that the whole population of Istanbul had taken-up fishing.

Golden Horn Bridge, Istanbul

Golden Horn Bridge

There must be some great memory skills in Turkey.

As we sailed across the Bosphorus I sat in the cold morning air on the outside deck, the sea was awash was quite a swell, and as we entered each trough, the ferry created a spray of salt sea water, refreshing my face, my mind.

As we moored the other side, I noticed how clam the water became, and realised that was the state I was in. Very calm, whilst all about me was in turmoil.

We need to learn this art.