Slimming World – Thai Green Chicken Curry – Review

Recently I started to review Slimming World frozen ready meals that are exclusive to Iceland in the UK. These form part of the ‘free food’ range where all ingredients are considered free and you can eat as much as you like.

I recently reviewed the Aromatic Chicken Noodles and whilst it was a nice enough meal it did not impress enough that I would come back for repeat purchases. Lets move onto something more exotic.

Thai Green Chicken Curry Packaging

Like all Slimming world frozen products the packaging is well designed and comes with the instructions on the reverse so that if you like it you can make your own using fresh ingredients.  I like this aspect.


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Slimming World – Aromatic Chicken Noodles – Review

Here is a review of the Aromatic Chicken Noodles frozen ready meal. This is part of the Slimming world Frozen meal selection available exclusively from Iceland. In slimming world speak all the ingredients are categorized as ‘free foods’.

Slimming world packaging

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Script – Encryption

Encryption related Scripts

Create a service master key

Create Master Key Encryption By Password = 'MyPassword'

Create a Master Certificate

CREATE CERTIFICATE MyCertificate WITH SUBJECT = 'My Certificate'

Backup Certificates to files

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SQL Server Encryption (TDE)

The following is basically a keep safe for myself of useful Encryption related scripts that I use on a daily basis when dealing with MSSQL Servers TDE Encryption.

If it’s any use. Feel free to copy and re-use any parts

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Installig SQL 2008R2 SP3 failed – Crytographic Error

Installing SQL Server 2008R2 SP3 should be a relatively easy and trouble free experience. In recent months I have updated over 50 instances with no issues.

Most of the time it’s a brainless repeatable process. Script logins, Backup databases, run  updates, test etc..
Then comes along something that causes me to think.

I was recently upgrading a batch of instances. I had my plan together and was running through the motions.

3 of the servers went through without a hiccup but e 4th failed almost immediately. Thinking it was something as simple as the server needed a refresh I performed a restart but came upon the same issue the second time.

Opening up the logs I was confronted with the following:

 Overall summary:
  Final result:                  The patch installer has failed to update the following instance: MSSQLSERVER. To determine the reason for failure, review the log files.
  Exit code (Decimal):           -2068053019
  Exit facility code:            1212
  Exit error code:               997
  Exit message:                  The patch installer has failed to update the following instance: MSSQLSERVER. To determine the reason for failure, review the log files.

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Android Kitkat 4.4.4 on the HP Touchpad

Some time ago in the HP firesale I purchased a 32GB HP Touchpad.


I liked WebOS and had no issues using it however after migrating from an iPhone to a android powered phone (Something I feel was definitely an upgrade) I was delighted to see that some clever people had ported Android to the Touchpad.

In it’s initial incarnation it was a modified version of CyanogenMod 8 and later CyanogenMod 9. There was always something that did not work perfectly such as bluetooth sometimes dropping out or the camera not always working but for a internet and mail surfing tablet it was excellent.

Well those clever chaps (mainly JC Sullins) have been working tirelessly and have ported kitKat 4.4.4 to the HP Touchpad.

HP Touchpad Running Android 4.4.4

HP Touchpad Running Android 4.4.4

Unlike the previous port that sat side by side to WebOS and allowed you to dual boot the new installer allows you to completely uninstall WebOS and have all that lovely memory partitioned for Android usage.

This is important for a number of reasons but the main one is the ability to install more and now slow down.

I will not go into writing install instructions here as the amazing people at liliputing have done a great article already that can be located here.

Installation is easier then ever in that you don’t have to install much on your PC or have much of a technical background. Just click and wait. Yes there are a few downloads to perform but thats about it. The trick is a new client side tool called TPToolbox. This will replace existing installs or reformat the Touchpad completely ready fro a new OS install.

Worried about stability?

Don’t be. It’s as stable as any Ipad or android tablet I’ve used and seems to being a whole new life to my Touchpad. Yes the hardware is getting a little old now but the Touchpad is still higher specified than some of the chinese imports or lower end of the market and is by no means a slouch.

It’s so good I have purchased an additional second hand additional unit for my kids to use.



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BikePark Wales – 1st Year Anniversary


Time to post a updated review on BikePark Wales now that it’s been open for 1 year.

BikePark Wales is possibly the UK’s best mountain biking center. It’s a purpose built facility in the heart of the Welsh valleys.

The center hosts a large number of trails for all skill levels. They even have uplift facilities where they have between 4 and 6 vans constantly taking riders up the 20 min drive to the top of the valley.

I first went to BikePark Wales in it’s opening month back in August 2013. I think it was the second weekend it had been open. The trail center was clean and tidy and the trails were in perfect condition. It was a very wet weekend and whilst I was covered in mud and freezing for 2 days I could not stop smiling. It was probably the most enjoyable time I have ever spent on a bike.

I returned in April 2014 expecting the trails to be a little worn. When you think that 200+ riders had been using each trail multiple times a day in all weather conditions you’d forgive them looking a little tired. In April they remained looking and feeling new.

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Review: WinForce 5000mAh 2s 30C Battery

I thought it was about time for another review. What better thing to review that a Lipo battery on a budget? Here is my review of the WinForce 5000mAH Lipo battery that is widely available from eBay.

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Review: BTY AA 2500mAh 1.2V Ni-MH Rechargable Battery

Rechargeable batteries are a great way of saving money. Especially these days where electronic devises are everywhere.

I’ve used many makes of battery from expensive top brands to unbranded imports.

My recent purchase was 24 BTY batteries purchased from a seller on eBay. I have no connection to anyone selling these batteries and this is a completely independent review.

Quite often imports from Hong Kong are unbranded products re-branded to be appealing to Western buyers. It’s prudent to take any brands and rated capacities with a pinch of salt and deciding if you want to take the risk or not.

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Traxxas Rustler

Another eBay purchase of mine. The 2WD Traxxas Rustler.

 A stock picture of the Rustler in action

£35 including delivery. 🙂

 The car was sold as spares or repair due to the transmitter battery cover being missing. As I’ll be using my own transmitter anyway this is not an issue. The car looked like new.

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