Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

Feel free to email me at:
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Also check out my 10 Quick Facts for more sites I run.

Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Bush Spira D1 5.5 Review

Mobile phone technology has come on a long way in the last few years, and while Samsung and Apple like to fly the flag for technology, other companies are making lower cost tech that really has a lot of bang-for-buck.

Bush, through outlet store Argos in the UK have forayed into the tablet and mobile phone market in the past, but have just started a new assault on the public by releasing a couple of new Android mobile phones with the Spira C1 5 and the Spira D1 5.5. This review looks at the latter Spira D1 5.5.


First off, this a 5.5” phone almost identical in size to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It sports a fabulous IPS display at 1280x720 resolution, which may not be 1080p or 2k, but looks very impressive close up. The screen is bright, and while not as bright as a Samsung panel, it comes pretty close. Colours are also a little more subdued than a Samsung, but a lot of people will appreciate that.

The Spira D1 comes with 1GB of ram, a Mediatek ARM-64 processor clocked at 1Ghz and just 8GB of internal memory, 4GB of which is left for the user to install apps. As standard the phone comes with a 16GB Micro-SD card, which of course you can move apps to to save phone space.

The Spira D1 can take two SIM cards, and you can allocate which SIM to use for each task, such as for mobile data, texts or calls. This is a very nice feature, and one that more and more lower-end phones are doing, while more expensive phones seem to be ignoring the feature altogether. SIM slot 1 can handle 2G, 3G and 4G SIM’s while SIM slot 2 only handles 2G. The phone is unlocked to any UK network

The camera on the D1 is a 13 megapixel shooter, and the front facing camera is a 5MP. The camera performs admirably for general shooting, and the front facing camera does a good job on Skype calls and selfies. For the money, the camera is very impressive… And at this point I must point out that the 5.5 version of the phone is only £129.99, plus comes with £10 free credit on a Lebara SIM.

There are three hardware keys for the usual Android navigation which light up when touched, a volume rocker and power button. There’s a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port. The entire build feels solid, and the phone has a nice weight to it. The speaker is on the back of the phone, although the sound from it is loud and well balanced, sounding nicer than many more expensive phones out there with more bass and clearer mid-frequencies.

The battery is only a 2400mh but seems to last well, although it does take a while to charge up to full capacity.

The phone runs Android 5.1 with no custom overlay. This is pure Android at it’s very best, and because of this it runs very smooth on the phones specifications. The phone comes installed with all the Google Apps you’ll ever need, plus very little else, and the only bloatware is the Argos application, which for some reason doesn’t actually work on this device. That said, everything that was tested on the phone worked perfectly without hiccup and programs such as Facebook, Google Photos and various games just worked. Pure Android at it’s finest.

The Spira D1 5.5 cost just £129.99, is unlocked to any network, has a great screen, pure Android 5.1 Operating System and a quad-core processor. Although it only has 8GB memory, it comes with a 16GB memory card which you can move applications to. It has some great looks at comes with a screen protector, soft case and £10 free credit.

If you’re phone usage is low and you’re not one for downloading tons of app’s, then this could potentially be the mobile phone for you.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Election 2015

It’s not often that I get involved in politics on my blog, however, this coming election on May 7th 2015 in the United Kingdom deserves a mention for a number of reasons, most notably public apathy and general vote wasting.

At a time when we need strong leadership, a strong vision, and an even stronger leader, the leadership debates on television have opened our eyes to the Party Leaders. However grey the line is between each party, the public needs to think about their votes now more than ever, in order to ensure that the next Government is the sole Government, not joining other parties just to get in power.

We’ve seen the demise of the Liberal Democrats, who foolishly chose to partner with the Conservatives in the last election. Nick Clegg is now just a laughing stock to many, unable to stand by his ideals under the pressure of the much more dominant David Cameron led Conservative party.

This election, please do not waste votes on the lesser parties, however much you may want to be a rebel in voting UKIP, Plaid Cymru, SNP or (cough) The Green Party. Our country IS going to have either a Conservative or a Labour Government in this election, so make every vote count.

Just because your town or city may have always been Labour, Conservative or which-ever Party it is now, don’t not vote, don’t squander your vote on someone you know want get into power. Use your vote to cut a clear line between the two main parties. Use your vote so the United Kingdom can have a decisive party leading, with one leader, one set of policies and one vision for its people.
Our country has gone through many years of some of the worst cuts and austerity measures in our lifetime. We have unacceptable levels of taxing. Unemployment is artificially inflated when in fact it is rife among the young and the old. Wages are stagnant. Housing is in crisis with too many people in it for the money as opposed to offering a real “home”. Our armed forces are crippled. The NHS is a crippled shadow of it's former self. And to top it all, the rich get richer as the poor get poorer.

This is not a party political broadcast on behalf of any party, its just me trying to reach out to you (the reader), in the hope that regardless of who you have voted for in the past, this time you will make your vote count.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Streaming Movies In Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast -  An Introduction
Google’s Chromecast is an awesome piece of technology. It’s a simple streaming box that can be used to stream audio and video to your TV from your PC or mobile device. What this article looks at is streaming video from your Android Phone to your Chromecast with perfect results.

There are a lot of movies apps that work with the Google Chromecast such as Netflix, Now TV, Wuaki, Amazon Prime etc. All of these work perfectly fine, but many people want to stream movies and TV shows for free. A lot of people use XBMC, but there’s a better alternative for your movies when it comes to streaming quality.

It Can Stream
Chromecast has the ability to mirror your Android’s device to your TV, meaning that anything it plays is also on your TV. While this sounds good in practise, applications that are not specifically made to work with Chromecast can sometimes play with some annoyances such as the odd flicker, out of sync audio or minor defects.

Ideally, an app such as XBMC (or Kobi as it is now known) should be able to play on your phone or tablet and be able to stream to your TV. Sadly, the authors of XBMC have not tweaked the program to work with Chromecast, and you cannot change the default XBMC video player, so it is not always a complete success when streaming.

Watch Movies & TV Shows With Show Box
Along comes Show Box, a simplified version in the spirit of XMBC. No complicated add-on’s to get it to work, simply download the app and click on the film or tv show you want to watch and it works! Getting it to stream to your Chromecast you’ll need to download BubbleUPnP, which when set to Chromecast allows perfectly smooth streaming.

It really is as simple as these 3 following steps:

  • Click on “Show Box” App
  • Click on the fim or TV show you want to watch
  • Click “Watch Now”

As easy as 1,2,3! Now you can watch the shows you want, on your big screen using your mobile device. Show Box has been taken off Google’s Store, although a quick Google search will take you to the site where it can be downloaded from. BubbleUPnP is a free download on the Google store, and as well as being used with Show Box, you can load up videos stored on your device into it and stream them in perfect quality.

Buying A Chromecast
The great  thing about Google’s Chromecast is the fact that it is very cheap. At full price it’s just £30 from Google and other retailers. I bought it from Wuaki.TV for the price of the Game Of Thrones box-set which was £23.99 and a free Chromecast. At present, some retailers such as Tesco are selling the Chromecast for just £18! It’s the bargain of the century, and in this world where everyone owns a mobile device or tablet, it’s the perfect combination for your TV.

As well as casting from your mobile device, it can also receive casts from your PC’s Google Chrome browser. This means on your TV you can view websites, listen to music and video and more, all with the touch of the cast button!