Neon Panda – Beautifully better websites & brands

Penarth-based Brian Jones and the Concept Bathrooms team of local craftsmen are understandably proud of their 10+ year bathroom specialists history and reputation; for producing top quality work, from start to finish, in a friendly, cheerful and totally trustworthy manner.

When Brian isn’t hard at work designing and installing wonderful wet rooms and beautiful bathrooms around the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan areas, he can often be found out walking his 2 beautiful rescue greyhounds!

All work involving gas appliances is carried out by our Gas Safe (CORGI) registered, and British Gas trained, engineers.

Have you noticed the striking yellow and black Gas Safe Register logo around this site? Unless you have a particular interest in the subject, you many not know that what was once CORGI is now Gas Safe Register.

We hear so many horror stories about sub-standard (and even dangerous) work carried out by plumbers and gas engineers in the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan areas that, naturally, we like to shout about the fact that all our gas related work eg. boiler installation and repair is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. He is also British Gas trained. This short movie explains more.

End of the road for Windows XP…

If you are still using Windows XP be aware that Microsoft support for this Operating System will end on the 8th April 2014. That’s not a bad run considering Windows XP is now 10 years old!

So now is the time to make sure your Windows XP installation is fully up to date.

By now you should have Service Pack 3 installed. To check if you have, right click on My Computer and select Properties. Under the System heading make sure it says Service Pack 3. If it lists Service Pack 2 or even Service Pack 1 its time to update your Operating System to SP3. (If you need to install this update it probably means you do not have Automatics Updates enabled).

How to get Service Pack 3

The easiest way to get SP3 is to turn on Automatic Updates which will download SP3 when it’s available for your computer. You only need a few clicks to begin the installation and the rest of the process should be automatic.

To turn on Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:

Click Start, and then click Run. Copy and then paste (or type) services.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.

In the Services console, right-click Automatic Update, and then click Start.

Close the Services console.

If you do not want to wait for Automatic Updates you can install Service Pack3 by using Windows Update at the Windows website.

Click start, All Programs and select Windows Update. This will take you online to the Windows Update section of Microsoft’s website which will check your PC to see what updates you need to install. If it selects Service Pack 3 download and apply it.

Problems installing Service Pack 3

Occasionally Service Pack 3 refuses to install and if that happens to you these are the steps you need to take.

Method 1: Exit all open programs, restart your computer, and then try to reinstall Service Pack 3

Sometimes an installation of SP3 is unsuccessful because a previous operation was not completed for some reason. By restarting your PC, you close any pending computer operations and restart the process. Once your PC is up and running go to Windows Updates http://update.microsoft.com to reinstall Windows XP SP3.

Restart your computer and check if the installation was successful.

If the installation is successful, you are finished.

If the installation fails try the next step.

Method 2: Temporarily disable any antivirus, antispyware and third-party firewall programs

Installation failure may occur when a third-party program, such as antispyware, holds a file open or when it locks a file that the Windows XP SP3 installation program needs. Before you try to reinstall Windows XP SP3, follow these steps:

Exit any open programs, and then restart the computer.

After the computer has restarted, disable any antivirus, antispyware, and third-party firewall programs that may start during the start-up process (these steps may increase your security risk). You can usually do this from the program notification area. The program icons typically appear in the lower-right corner of the computer screen. To disable a program from the notification area, right-click the program icon, and then click an appropriate option to disable the program.

Once you have disabled the software go to Windows Updateshttp://update.microsoft.com to reinstall Windows XP SP3.

Restart your computer and check if the installation was successful.

If the installation is successful, you are finished.


Buyers Guide to Laptops (2011): An Honest Summary

This morning, I logged onto our Penarth Computers Facebook and noticed a deal for 50% Off a Samsung RV5-10AF Laptop at “Stone” (a company I have never heard of). Original price £718.00 reduced to £359.00. Then I noticed something, Intel Dual Core T3500 Processor, a Celeron processor first introduced over 3 years ago.

Before I continue, let me summarize processors in today’s market (2011). The processor is the ‘brain’ of the computer, it’s the one component that cant be changed/ upgraded. Currently, there are two manufacturers of processors for laptops, Intel & AMD. Intel have the upper hand in the current market, their processors perform better, faster and for a longer period of time. Their latest technology is the quad core processor, the product range is titled the i3 i5 & i7 (sometimes called the iSeries). These processors are from todays marketplace and todays technology, meaning they are new to this year. The ‘Celeron’, ‘Pentium’  & ‘Intel Core 2 Duo’ processors are the old generation of processors, those that have been around for anything upto 3 years previously.

The easiest way to summarize processors is in 5 levels from low to high (1= Low & 5 = High)

Level 1: Celeron (From £230.00 – £399.00)
Level 2: Pentium (From 299.00 – £399.00)
Level 3: i3 (From £350.00 – £499.00)
Level 4: i5 (From £450.00 – £699.00)
Level 5: i7 (From £599.00 – £1299.00)

To explain the situation with the ‘Groupon’ deal through “Stone”  as simply as possible, this laptop is an old model and at it’s original price of £718.00, the company should be shut down for adding over 300% markup to a product. Reduced to £359.00 it’s not so bad, you can pickup a Celeron processor in PCWORLD stores for anything between £250.00 to £399.00. However, if you were not aware of the levels of processors and their prices, you could very easily pay the £359.00 for a laptop that has come to the end of it’s market lifetime, and when companies like “Stone” are misleading customers by adding 50% Off to a massively overpriced product to begin with, it’s no wonder why they sold all 357 of these laptops within 24 hours of advertising with Groupon.

It’s disgusting that a company can mislead customers like this with the use of such voucher schemes that are designed to save people money, not mislead them. My advice to anyone buying a laptop is, get yourself an Intel i3 processor at the very least! They are in the same price range as the Celeron and Pentiums that have been around for years already, so why waste your money buying an old model product when you can get a current, better performing and better value product for the same price.

Cardiff is THE place to be…

Cardiff, what a great city to live in!

Capital city to Wales, Cardiff has some of the best business ventures available across the country. Some of our clients / affiliates are listed below, we highly suggest you have a look at their site’s to see what they can offer you.

Direct Coach Hire LTD – Coach & Minibus Hire specialists for the whole of the United Kingdom and EU.

Euro Pipe Services LTD – Cast Iron Rainwater Suppliers to the general public and building trades

Brake Reline Services LTD – Brake & Clutch Reline specialists of all vehicle types based in Cardiff

Neon Design – Web & Graphic design / marketing company based in Cardiff Bay.