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I recently got the privilege to assist an elderly member of the community in his first steps with the computer as a part of my volunteering through a UK charity called AbilityNet.

AbilityNet’s mission is to make a digital world accessible to all. Through it, they offer support services for a wide range of users. From older or disabled people looking for help with their technology to digital professionals advocating for accessibility best practices within their organisation.

As a part of the adjustment for that person, I decided to introduce them to ChromeOS Flex.

ChromeOS Flex is an operating system provided by Google, which is very similar to these on branded Chromebooks, but without access to the Google Play Store and not backed up by the Android engine. This system can be installed on a variety of devices making it more accessible for people who need stability and simplicity.

Windows and macOS can be overwhelming for people who never used computers, this is where Chromebooks fit perfectly.

Google integrated a lot of accessibility features into this system allowing it to adjust them to the needs of users with its users in mind.

There is one problem, however.

How do you introduce somebody, who lived his life without a need to integrate into technology?

Read More about Using a Computer for True Beginners: Browsing the Internet with ChromeOS Flex
Barclaycard - a playground for fraudsters
Read Time 7 min.

I am quite a tech-savvy person and I know how to spot fraud, and how to protect myself from losing money to fraudsters.

To my surprise, I recently discovered 3 unauthorised transactions on one of my credit cards which is issued by Barclaycard.

Because I am using this card to pay for my balance transfer and nothing else, I have been logging into the app only once a month to pay a part of it.

Just last month, when was time to pay it, I noticed that the outstanding balance was higher than what I calculated that I needed to repay. I have looked into a statement and noticed that for the last months, from September to November, each time on the 8th, I have been charged for Amazon Prime £8.99.

The funny thing is, that I already have Amazon Prime, for years, but I am paying it annually and not from Barclaycard. I don’t have Barclaycard added to my Amazon account.

Because these transactions are not displayed on my Amazon account, I haven’t been able to sort this out with Amazon itself and need to contact Barclaycard.

Before that, I raised claims about unauthorised transactions for all three transactions.

As a precaution, I cancelled my Barclaycard and requested a new one with a new number as I thought that with a new number, no more new transactions would happen. Below I will show how wrong I were in that assumption.

Namesco is raising domain prices, so it's time to move to Cloudflare and save!
Read Time 4 min.
Prices of everything are still rising, and people and businesses are looking everywhere they can to save. Domain names used for emails and websites are not the type of service where you can save, however, any price rise is not pleasant to see. For years, I have been tightening up some of my domains by registering them with Namesco ( Namesco is one of those companies that imposes an additional fee on every domain if you decide to transfer it away.
Google Photos in the Apple ecosystem (on iPhone and iPad)
Read Time 5 min.

If your daily digital life relies on Google Services, once you become an iPhone owner this may not change. I was a long-term Android user before I changed to the Apple ecosystem.

Even though Apple is offering their equivalent of what Google offers on Android, I never found a better alternative for storing pictures than Google Photos.

Google Photos for most of the typical users is unreplaceable due to the Storage Saver option. Thanks to that we can store all our photos and do not pay too much for the storage. At some point we will need to pay Google to store them, however as they are compressed, they consume less space than storing them in full resolution in, for example, Apple Photo Library.

The first thing that I do when setting up my iPhone is to download the Google Photos app from the App Store. This is what I recommend to my friends who switch from Android to iPhone, however, there is one thing that needs to be remembered.

Travel to Poland with eSIM and Orange Flex
Read Time 7 min.

After five years interspersed with the pandemic and market instability, I flew to Poland to visit my loved ones.

A lot has changed since my last visit. My children need to be connected to the world to a much greater extent than in the past. Personally, I have also become accustomed to having the Internet at hand, always where I need it.

While in England most people with Wi-Fi at home have it at quite reasonable speeds, in Poland it varies depending on where you go.

Upgrade Windows 11 Home to Pro
Read Time 2 min.

Recently, I had to put into use a computer that was delivered with Windows 11 Home version by default. Since I need the professional version in the environment where I need to use it, I decided to upgrade it.

Once you have purchased the product key, the easiest method is to go to Settings > System > Activation and enter the Pro version key in the Change product key section.

Unfortunately, although I have used this method before on other computers, this time I received information that the product key provided cannot be used to upgrade the currently installed system.

I decided to check whether I would be able to upgrade Windows 11 from Home to Pro using the method of updating Windows 10 Home to Pro I described earlier.

Trying LycaMobile on EE Network (as a GiffGaff user)
Read Time 18 min.

I am a long-term GiffGaff user. I don’t remember for how long now, it was something around mid-2012. For years I constantly recommended GiffGaff due to great prices per monthly bundle (goody bags) and prices for calling abroad. Nothing has changed. I still recommend this to everybody who wants a bit of saving and great value for money, but I am always looking if there is something better.

Virgin Media joining the gang and will start increasing prices in mid-contract
Read Time 3 min.

As a Virgin Media customer for many years, I have always appreciated the fixed price guarantee that I get when I sign a contract. There are no hidden fees or price increases, and I can be confident that my monthly bill will stay the same for the entire contract term. In the month before my contract ends, I will be able to negotiate a new contract or switch to a different provider if I find a better deal.

Unfortunately, Virgin Media has decided to join the trend of other companies and raise their prices. They have notified their customers that their pricing terms will be changing.

As explained by them, price increases are being attributed to rising inflation, which is currently at a 40-year high in the UK.

Anyone Can Create an Apple ID with Your Email Address without Your Permission
Read Time 7 min.

Imagine waking up one day to 11 unread emails from Apple asking you to verify your Apple ID. Someone has just created an Apple ID with your email address on their new iPhone!

The Rapid Security Response update for macOS broke compatibility with OpenCore Legacy Patcher
Read Time 1 min.

Recently, I wrote about giving my friend’s MacBook Air from Mid-2013 (A1465) a new life by installing macOS Ventura (13.4.1) on it.

Although this laptop was still working well, it was not compatible with the latest macOS from Apple. However, the OpenCore Legacy Patcher gave it a new lease on life by allowing it to run the latest macOS.

After installing any OS updates on unsupported hardware, you should be prompted to install post-install volume patches (also known as root patches) on your first boot.

By installing Rapid Security Response Update 13.4.1 (c), the system froze at the Apple logo and progress bar at approximately 35% of the loading process during the first reboot.

Thankfully, the solution was not too complicated.