dj_jay_smith

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  • Location Wiesbaden
  • Nationality British
  • Hometown UK
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1975
  1. Should I keep my UK driving licence?

    As @Sir Percy B says, if it is the old style they you don't have to do anything, but sometimes now car hire companies etc. won't accept an old paper licence   I changed my old style to a UK photocard style in 2006, and used my parents address. But when this expired last year then I exchanged it for a DE licence.  This was really incredibly simple, and the Beamter didn't even blink.  Although it took a couple more weeks to process compared to my German wife, who renew hers at the same time.    The disadvantage of the UK licence is actually when you want to rent a car in the UK.  You have to 'prove' that you don't have any points, which used to mean carrying around the paper part.  But now means that you have to go online to get a "licence check code" and give this code to the car hire company.  But the code is only valid for 21 days, so you might have to do this multiple times per year.   The only disadvantage I've had with the DE licence is that sometimes the car rental company will print off your contract agreement in German, when you might want this in English (or another language).     I would say that if you are not planning to go back, then take the plunge and change it!
  2. Narrowing down a major

        I recommend 2 websites for you;   1)  Lingoda.com - where you can take courses online and work towards a certificate.  They have different options available, but if you use this code YWPCM4 you can get 50 Euros off your first month.  What I like about this site is the flexibility, I can arrange lessons around my life.   2)  Duolingo.com - this is good for working alone.  But it is not structured according to the CEFR standard, but will at most get you up to B1.  
  3. No internet and no Vodafone support in english

      The larger companies are actually probably worse and regardless of the company you will be dealing with a call centre who are often just outsourced.  In fact some of these call centres deal with different companies from different sectors, from different countries in the same location.   Call centre work is also not very nice, they have very strict targets to meet and a difficult case means that they might not meet their hourly target so it is easier for them to terminate the call and move to the next one.  Because they know if you call back you will deal with somebody else, possibly in another call centre, possibly in another country!   If you leave your desk then you have to enter a code which determines why.  Lunch break, toilet break, etc.  And they are monitored and if they are spending too long away from their desk, or taking too long to deal with calls then they can be dismissed for poor performance.   It's is also not like an office environment where they can try and find somebody who speaks the language.  If they look up they will see 50 - 100 other people all busy talking on the phone, and as soon as they finish another call is put straight through to them.  So they don't want to waste time on you and risk not meeting their target.  
  4. Store transferred too much money - now wants that + fees

      If I was you I would say that I never received such emails.     I would also say that you didn't realise that they had paid twice, and that you have not received any letter via post informing you of this and asking you to pay the money back.  You will gladly pay the money back (and do so), but not pay any fees as it is clearly their mistake for which you are not responsible.   I would not argue on if the fees are legal or not, but the fact that it is their mistake, not yours, and you have not been responsible for the causing the problem.   And I would do what @engelchen suggests.
  5. VAT return from Amazon

    You said       Plus, as I said above.  If the product has been used, then you are anyway not eligible.
  6. VAT return from Amazon

    @El Jeffo is correct.  You are not eligible for a VAT refund.     And    I guess that you didn't buy an expensive camera and didn't use it.  So then this is another reason why you are not eligible.     To help others that might find this post in the future, VAT refund information for Munich airport can be found here; https://www.munich-airport.de/media/download/bereiche/immo/infoblatttaxrefund.pdf   The goods must be transported in your personal baggage (doesn't matter if it is checked baggage or hand luggage, but can't be shipped).  
  7. BER - Berlin Brandenburg Airport

      Then I hope the Pareto Principle does not apply here the same as it does in SW development.  Where the last 20% of the effort takes 80% of the time!
  8. Dell Alienware 15 for sale

      Yes, as I said earlier for our applications performance is critical, not space.  If you want space then HDD is always cheaper.  Although, now that you can get 15TB SSDs then you can store more than via HDDs, but that would be costly!     The 60TB SSDs you refer to aren't available on the array we use, with 15TB being the biggest drive for SSD and 8TB for 7.2k HDD.  I'm not even sure if the 60TB drives are even commercially available.  The launch last year was just a demo version and I can't find confirmation of a commercial launch.
  9. Dell Alienware 15 for sale

      For a single drive as you use at home then there is not comparison.  But I was talking about enterprise level SAN arrays (like you get in the data centre). For example: The following offers the same level of performance (83,000 IOPS);   Option 1 -  An array with 288 HDD drives this uses 24U of rack space Weighs 290 Kg Uses 4.4 Kw power Cost ~250,000 USD     Option 2 - An array with 10 SSD drives this uses 2U of rack space Weighs 36 Kg Uses 0.7 Kw power Cost ~150,000 USD   So even though the price per disk for option 2 is about 20x higher, because less disks are needed then option 2 actually gives better performance, for much less money, and needs less space, less power, and weighs less.      
  10. London congestion charge for foreign cars

    If I was you I would challenge it.   1)  Tell them that it was a last minute urgent trip, so not possible to register 14 days in advance.   2)  Tell them that you are not a native English speaker (they don't know, and you live in Germany after all) and when you read that " your vehicle is not effected " on their website (include printout) that you thought you didn't need to do anything else and that there website is unclear and confusing, especially for not native English speakers.      3)  Apologise by saying that you didn't mean to make a mistake, and you tried to do the best you could and read the information online.  But it was confusing and you thought that you were compliant.  Say that you will happy pay what is due, but don't think that you should not be fined as it is not your fault that the website in so confusing for none native English speakers!   4)  (Maybe) Explain that you changed the  GÖ to GOE as this is standard for writing such characters without the umlaut in Germany (quote this or better https://blogs.transparent.com/german/writing-the-letters-%E2%80%9Ca%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%9Co%E2%80%9D-and-%E2%80%9Cu%E2%80%9D-without-a-german-keyboard/) And that there system should understand and know this, or accept Umlauts.   (BTW:  I always apply the logic of just changing the umlaut character to an none umlaut version for the Dartford crossing, and that has always worked for me).  
  11. Dell Alienware 15 for sale

      I understand what you are saying but a lot depends on the application(s).   We mostly use SAN arrays, and for some of our applications then performance demands are high, so if we go the HDD route then in order to meet these performance demands we need massive arrays, configured using RAID 1, which are very expensive.  Because as you probably know, each HDD only provides limited IOPS/bandwidth (regardless of the capacity).  With SSDs, then we can have smaller arrays with just a few SSD disks, configuring them using RAID 5, the arrays are therefore physically much smaller and use less energy. And now SSDs have larger capacities than HDDs, and the price has fallen (although gone up slightly in the last year) then the total price is much lower and performance is fantastic.  So actually we get a better price/performance ratio.   SSDs also have other advantages such as Data de-duplication, adaptive read/write which are not possible on HDDs.  (And reduce the wear on SSDs even more). Other applications we have are latency critical, so for these we have to use local SSDs in the server as there is no other option.   Our customers used to complain about SSD reliability, but not anymore.  As long as they have a good support agreement in place, then this is not an issue for them anymore. I read a report (was it google?) which that said that most SSDs will either fail within the first few months (within warranty), or last for a very long time.  Although they tend to fail in batches, based on their age.  So you might not get a failure for ages and then get 20 in a month, and then no more failures for ages again.
  12. Dell Alienware 15 for sale

      Not in the systems which my company recommend to our customers!  We have been offering SSD only storage for 12 - 18 months, and recommending SSDs for several years. We only suggest SSD + HDD if there is a lot of "cold" archive data to store, or where price and is more important than performance.
  13. Tips on traveling in New Zealand and Australia

    It's been 19 years (OMG!) since I went to New Zealand, so I can't give you any tips on very specific things to do as too much time has gone by.  But I will tell you the route we took driving around, which took about 3 weeks, which was a pretty good itinerary covering most of the major sites and areas.  You can then decide how much time to spend in each place; We concentrated on the south island     Auckland Rotorua - smelly but nice for a night or two!  Wellington   Ferry to Picton Kaikoura - I will never forget the stunning sunrise over the pacific hitting the snow capped mountains behind us.  Good place for whale watching. Timaru Dunedin  Invercargill - from here you can go to Bluff point, the most southerly point in New Zealand Queenstown Franz Josef Glacier Greymouth - take the train from here to Christchurch.  This is one of the most stunning rail trips in the world, across the Alps Christchurch   I missed out a few places where we just overnight-ed as there was not really anything there.   Place where we didn't get a chance to go due to lack of time but recommended are also; Fiordland National Park Bay of Plenty Napier / Hastings Bay of Islands     We booked hotels in the 3 big cities, and B&B the rest of the time.  In most cases we booked just 1 day in advance, or even on the day, so we could stay flexible.  
  14. Tchibo SIM card

      2 months is under 40 Euros.  Isn't it just easier to pay this relatively small amount and avoid any potential issue and problems in the future?  As you never know what might happen.  Although you might not plan to come back to Germany, maybe you will get a job offer that is amazing, or be sent by your current/next company due to your "knowledge and experience of Germany".  And then you might find yourself unable to get credit, because of this small debt.   if it does go to Inkasso, and they do decide to track you down then it will end up costing you a hell of a lot more than this, as you will end up paying all the fees and interest accumulated over time.  
  15. Do typos and grammar errors in messages mean anything?

    I think somebodies grammar skills don't have anything to do with how they feel about you.  It could be a number of things;   Well educated or not, they might be lacking skills in English.  Especially grammar. They might not think that grammar is the most important issue when trying to communicate feelings. Their English might not be as good as your think.  (when I met my German wife she spoke English with an English accent but still made a lot of mistakes.  The number of mistakes were double when she wrote!) Grammar mistakes are more obvious in written form than spoken form. They are in such a hurry to send a message to you because they are so excited, that they don't check properly before sending Auto correct keeps changing things.  This can be especially bad on a phone.  I got frustrated last week when after 3 mins I couldn't write the correct sentence in my phone because of bloody auto correct!!   On the theme of auto correct.  If you are trying to write in a language which is not the primary language on the phone (or browser on the desktop), then this will be even worse. They are writing to you at the end of a long day, when they are tired, and make more mistakes. They are just careless.   Rather than asking strangers on an internet forum, why don't you ask them directly.  Or, when they make a mistake, make a joke out of it, and see if their knowledge is actually lacking, they just made a mistake.   And don't forget that many native English speaking people make plenty of grammar mistakes.  Even more when they are tired and in a hurry.  I'm sure there be plenti off mistake on these message about me grammar that me did made.