So I got to spend some passenger time in a car we don’t get in the USA, the VW up, Jeans Model! The kicker is in the name, the seats actually wear a faux blue jeans material, quite odd but then in Europe you can get a car called the Cactus, the Citroen C4 Cactus, that basically has bubble wrap on the doors that supposedly protects it against door dings …. strange and it seems that some of these European designers have been at the Colorado green stuff while coming up with these bizarre designs.
So the UP is a city car, a car designed for the city of course and what this really means, who knows. It’s not super small and seems to have a little less interior room that the Audi A2 we normally roll around in on our DE vacation. It’s seems to be well made inside, of course you get the ice cream box plastics but the vertical side of the dash is covered in a nice piece of solid shinny plastic that adds a nice touch of fun to the black somber VW interior. The boot is postage stamp sized of course BUT get this the bloody thing comes with park sensors, WOW now their’s a concept. Why not make those things standard in every car! They are optional most of the time it seems in the US and most people have never heard of them but I think after a backup camera they are in the top 3 useful tech items we should all have on a new car. You can actually buy a Bosch kit on Amazon for $200 that is probably the same brand that most cars use but you’ll need to drill into your rear bumper to install the bloody thing so it’s quite a pain in the end. There is also the usual VW radio nastiness with no Bluetooth but only an old AUX jack from. 2008 – Christ, come on a Bluetooth chip is probably only $5 in bulk, put it in all your blood radios VW!
We only got up to 140Km/h and it seem to ride well and was quiet. My theory is that all cars in Germany sound quiter as the road material is less course than in the US, heck it’d better be if it’s designed to have you fly by at 300KM/h. Overall not too bad of a car and for 12K Euros it’s probably nice than the cheapest car in the US as of 2017 the Nissan Versa Sedan for $13.3K.
June 2017 – T-mobile’s European free unlimited data speed test is shown below. Not too bad. The test was performed in Germany and my phone shows an LTE connection. They say you’ll get 3G speeds in 140 countries and as you can see this is about what I got but it seems to be a lot faster than good old 3G. You will also have to have a compatible phone obviously with to the mobile you have a GSM enabled phone. Also I am using the latest and greatest iPhone 2016 model 7+, an older phone might not be as snappy. Of course, where they will really get you is the $.20 per minute incoming call fee – a simple work around i.e. turning on call forwarding before you leave the USA – call forwarding to something like a Google voice number – will help alleviate this problem. Search the inter-webs and you will find stories of folks who have got caught by five dollar per megabyte data fees, ouch, thousand dollar phone bills, ouch again, so do your homework before you leave.
When I first looked into T-Mobile’s unlimited European data plan I scoffed at it but having used it for the past week I must say it’s pretty useful, you don’t have to swap out the Sim card for a local European cell phone company, you don’t have to port forward your telephone number, and you can mostly use your phone like you did minus the voice calling part – at a pinch it’s only $.20 a minute not crazy but still wise to avoid.
Packing ones Apple TV when traveling makes sense for all kind of reasons and having the Plex app makes it even more useful. Well, I opted to bring along my old 3rd gen appletv, don’t want to loose that fancy remote right! One simply plugs in one end of an HDMI cable to Apple TV other into back of hotel room telly and you’re off to the races. Content specifically Plex is streamed via airplay from the Plex app on one’s iPhone. This was deployed within the first 10 minutes of me being in the hotel room and worked fine. I even set up a Apple TV password that I added to the device at home. Don’t want folks streaming the naughty stuff to my Apple TV right!
All worked fine, streaming Plex content from my software based Plex server sitting on my Mac mini that was connected Wi-Fi to my router at home across the internets to the Marriott Wi-Fi network then to my phone and to Apple TV, phew……. it all worked seamlessly even 720 P HD movies. But a day or two later I ran into an issue, only my brand spanking new I phone 7+ could connect to the network everything else my iPad air2, a MacBook Pro, MacBook air, and Iphone 6S plus could not see the Apple TV. Hmmmmm….
I tried the usual stuff, even went into the network settings of the AppleTV and changed the DNS server. There’s also a tweak to spoof the Mac address and get it to connect to the network. The interesting thing was that the AppleTV could not I believe see outside the wi-Fi network, I think Marriott was blocking the device but obviously it was on the same network as the iPhone as this Apple TV third-generation does require it to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network has the device you are airplaying from – 3rd gen does not have the pier to Pier I believe that the new fourth generation onward Apple TVs have. I resigned myself to the fact that the perhaps Marriott was blocking the device on the internal network now. As even my iPhone 7 could not see it. By chance I ended up going into security settings on the appletv turning password off but just I checked the option to verify device. I tried to connect and my iPhone was back in business and now all the devices instantly saw it – some kind of bug?
Not sure, but in summary if you’re having problems with airplay turn password off and check the verify devices option.
Online bullies and old white retired men everywhere are a little pissed off today as they’ll have to look elsewhere to post their comment about the Boulder City Council or the infamous rightsizing project, a global scandal that will go down in history books as one of man’s biggest blunders. I too am a little sad.
Spotted this pickup truck south of Leipzig. First time I’ve seen a Sangyong branded car. On further research I discovered that this is not a Chinese brand but a budget South Korean automaker. We all know that as of 2016 the Chinese don’t have the means or perhaps desire to build a car that will pass modern safety crash tests so I’m glad I was wrong. But strangely Germany has some lax safety standards such as allowing quads to drive on the roads and allowing the use of crappy micro cars powered by lawnmower engines on the public roads too!
Seems like Sangyong had a deal with Mercedes Benz to license some of their old models. On the wikipedia page for the models they produced one can see a bizarre array of old Benz models morphed into newer looking ones. The white pickup truck with what seems like a Merc front grill is one such example.
Spotted this cool little coffee cart in Leipzig Germany at the races. Strange thing is that these type of vehicles can be legally driven on public roads, strange. I have spotted cars with lawnmower engines on the roads here.
So while things boil out of control in Eastern Ukraine, tens of thousands still die of malaria and the Middle East, well, it’s a right balls up, Boulder CO too is facing its very only crisis. First we had a consultant hired by the city using the F-word in public, yes that’s right and now this ……. rightsizing! Continue reading Boulder RightSizing – a solution to the contentious issue!