I bought the Amazon Echo earlier this week on a bit of a whim. Amazon had reduced the price from £149.99 to £99.99, but that's still expensive of course. I thought that this was a permanent reduction, but checking the Amazon site today it has reverted to the higher price.
Set up was fairly painless using the app on iOS. Reviews of the said app weren't great, but this perhaps relates more to accessing content than the set up process. Having signed in with your Amazon details you first need to connect to the Echo's WiFi network, which appears in the available WiFi connections in iOS Settings. This done you need to connect to your own WiFi. At this point I did have a problem in that Echo failed to connect to my BT Hub, which was literally right next to it. The Amazon help information recommended that I switch Echo off, and then power up again. After this going through the process worked.
Having spoken to Alexa and tried a few simple commands, next I set up the two 'Skills' needed to communicate with my recently installed HIVE system. This was painless, and I've tried asking Alexa to increase the temperature. This worked, although while the new temperature was shown on my iOS HIVE app, it didn't alter the target temperature on the physical thermostat. Time will tell how this will perform in practice, but not while the weather is still warm enough to not need the central heating.
Peter Sarstedt will always be remembered for one song, but what a song. It will be engrained in the memory of most of us who first heard it in 1969, and will continued to be played as one of those ageless ballads that enter our emotional subconscience, never to be forgotten. A simple but beautiful tune, certainly, but the power of the song is in the lyrics. We can easily imagine the two street urchins growing up in Naples, and can visualise a beautiful woman who rejected her past while rising to the top of society, but who could never forget her humble beginnings. For me, who has always been fascinated by things French, such references as the Boulevard Saint Michel, and Juan les Pins were the icing on the cake.