Archive for February, 2011

Windows 7 laptop making phantom device insert/remove sounds

February 25, 2011 1 comment

Something strange is happening to my laptop.

Every minute or so, I get the ‘duh-DUH’ two-tone sound of a device being unplugged. Then the same again, 3 seconds later (ie. unplugged – not inserted – BOTH times). Just before it, my machine/pointer freezes for a split second.

It could be a hardware/software issue, so, for the record:

Hardware: HP Elitebook 8440p, 8GB RAM, MS mouse in the USB and that’s it
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

I have had some issues with a USB modem recently – Vodafone E505(?) by Huawei, which royally messed up my USB drivers: if I plug it in, then any USB device inserted afterwards isn’t detected. However, I think I may have had this problem before this… just that it’s becoming more frequent.

Nothing in any event logs, as far as I can see; annoying; I’d have thought device insert/unplug would be an obvious candidate for logging.

I’ve also just noticed that sometimes the sound doesn’t occur for almost 5 minutes.. and sometimes there’s only one, rather than a pair in sequence.





It seems it was my mouse. I have a basic MS Optical Mouse, that I admittedly bash around a bit. I unplugged this, and, an hour later, not a peep from my laptop.


Categories: Uncategorized

BUPA Complete Health Check – review

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Working as I now do for a major multinational, I get all sorts of minor perks and offers. One of those is a BUPA Health Check as part of my annual benefits package, paid off in monthly instalments. I’m at an age where I thought it might be worth checking how I was doing, and so booked myself in.

It starts with an extensive questionnaire, which you can file online. Any concerns, family history, specific problems, diet, exercise regime, etc. Maybe 150 questions?

The booking was sorted out at short notice, for 2 weeks’ time. When I got there, at the Docklands/Canary Wharf centre at BUPA Marsh Wall, they were quick and effective.

The check is 2 hours – the first is general checks and samples by a… Nurse? Mine was an ex-fitness instructor, but she was very efficient. Height, Weight, Waist, ECG, Body fat check, Blood, Urine, Sight, Blood Pressure, Lung Capacity, Hearing (in a soundproof chamber), all in an hour.

Then I saw a doctor, who took me through my results. She did a quick exam – 10 minutes, maybe? The rest was taking me through my questionnaire and results. The blood tests weren’t in due to a problem with the machine, so she’d send them to me.

And… That was it.


Was that really £400, maybe more? To be honest, they didn’t uncover a single thing that I didn’t already know. I’m healthy – I’m not old enough for a lot to go wrong. Cholesterol, Blood pressure, Body Fat, BMI, were all almost exactly as I expected. My eye diagnosis was less precise than an optician, as you’d expect, but that’s fine. The ear test was new to me and interesting, but that’s about it.

As for the doctor – she took me through parts my questionnaire on the computer system. I eat veg once a day. That’s fine. I exercise 2x a week. It should be more. Etc. Etc. It really was nothing more than the various government campaigns (5-a-day, 20 mins exercise a day, and all the rest) would give you.

Hoping for a personalised service? Well, not really. They’re working to a 1-hour clock, and it’s quite tight for that – although the doctor had some time left. I wanted the health check to get a break from the staring-at-the-screen form-filling approach that I get at my GP’s, but it wasn’t really that different. Just different forms.

So, would I recommend the BUPA Complete Health Check? Well – if you’re fat, unfit, suffering various ailments and don’t know it, and need a doctor to tell you… Then Yes! But if you’re well aware of your health problems, or what you SHOULD be doing, then all this will do is confirm them.

Categories: Random