Getting the checked luggage in the right size

I’m going from London to New York and was in need for a good and reliable suitcase with a hard shell but was unsure about the max dimensions and weight allowance for my flight (in this case it’s Norwegian Air so I hope the experience in their new Dreamliner will be great!). Turns out, there is no set standard but instead they are grouped based on the general price and service level, with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways being more generous than rival airlines.

American Airlines
British Airways
Virgin Atlantic
Weight (Kg)                                   23                                   23
Length                                   90
Width                                   75
Height                                   43
Total dimensions
L+W+H (cm)
                                158                                 208
Total dimensions
L+W+H (inches)
                                  62                                   81

In my search for the right bag I decided to stick to 158 cm/62″ max circumference limit as I do not want to limit myself to only few airlines nor I wish to pay the oversize luggage fee. And so I have found this bag by Firetrap, which is sold in Piccadilly Circus in Lilly Whites / Sports Direct mega store for £45 which is a reasonable price for a 29″ size.

I will get chance to test it in action early in October so if it fails, I will make a post about it.



The Strangest Secret


This is something I came across a while ago and found very profound and inspirational. It is The Strangest Secret audio program by Earl Nightingale. At some point, parallels are drawn and quotes given from the Bible but his story would appeal to all believers and non believers. It will take you roughly 30 minutes to go through.


Video. You have a video version below.

Transcribed. Further below you have the transcribed version. Reading it yourself will allow you to go through the ideas at your own pace and read it aloud in your own voice. Personally, I have sent a copy of this to my Kindle for offline reading.

Continue reading

How to make your iPhone work faster

Just the other day I was unhappy about the iOS new feature called Parallax which makes those fancy zoom in and out of the apps and folders. Little research and I found the way to turn it off but you must be running at least iOS 7.0.3 when the option to switch it off was introduced. It’s called “reduce motion” and I strongly recommend you give it a try, especially if you run iOS 7 on iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 which are less powerful devices for such a new and resource hungry software.

EVO Magazine – 3 issues for £1 plus Free EVO mug

Got an email in my inbox this morning – a promo to get EVO magazine three monthly issues for just a pound. I have tried Dennis Publishing magazine offers before and this is a great value, especially if you like to read magazines about fast cars.

Find details below  to order your three copies for £1 and, unless you decide to continue subscription after the promo period is up. don’t forget to cancel the service as well as your Direct Debit. Note, this offer is within the UK only.

evo magazine is just as passionate about performance cars as you, that’s why every issue is packed full of news, rigorous road tests of the latest models, and stunning photography – an essential read for everyone who appreciates a true driving experience.

So why not take up this limited time offer –  try evo for just £1PLUS, we’ll also send you this fantastic EVO Mug as your FREEwelcome gift.

Click here to order >

In each issue of evo you’ll discover:

evoRadar – the latest news, analysis and interviews
evoDriven – the newest cars, road tested to the limit
evoFeatures – global driving adventures, in-depth technical analysis, unmatched group tests, supercars in spectacular locations
evoTrips & Travel – comprehensive road trip guides plus events calendar
evoTrack & Racing – updates from the world of trackdays and motorsport

Don’t miss out! With this subscription offer, you can experience the thrill of driving delivered to your door for 3 issues at a cost of£1. PLUS receive a FREE EVO Mug.

But hurry – this offer is valid for a limited time only!

Best Wishes

Geoff Love 
Publishing Director, evo

P.S. This offer is only guaranteed for the next 7 days – click hereto order!

Your great £1 offer:

3 issues of evo for £1(worth £13.20)
SAVE 12% on the shop price if you choose to continue your subscription
Receive exclusive collectors edition covers not available in the shops
FREE delivery of evo to your door before it hits the shelves

How to convert US (MM/DD) to UK (DD/MM) date format in Excel?

The system at work is using US date format and whenever I export any data into excel I have faced challenges since Excel does not know how to treat date column if it’s entered in different format.

Hence I have sourced only a rather simple solution – read below.


Insert US date format values in Column A and in Column B you will get respective UK date format values. Drag cells down to as many as need.

Formula for cell B2:


Hope this helps!

Need a longer than standard length macro and with ‘if this then that’ conditions?


If you have ever tried to record a macro only to later discover that you’re getting ‘macro too long’ error message, you should consider to split a big macro project more that 1,400 lines) into several parts.  Once you record separate macros (or, alternatively, you can record the whole thing and later cut it manually in code into several macros – requires more than just a very basic skills and so not recommended for novices) you need to make a new macro which will ‘call’ part A, B, C etc. one after another to execute the full project.

In below example you can see visual basic command ‘call’ + [macro name] repeating several times – this runs each macro within the bigger picture. I have also used ‘If’ condition – you can set the criteria in the master macro file (xlsm – macro enable spreadsheet) and then using the drop down menu use your own way to customise your report.

See the example code below.

Sub Big Project()
' Big Project Macro
If Range("l16").Value = "Yes" Then
 Call Project_Presorting
End If
If Range("l12").Value = "Yes" Then
 Call Project_PartA
 Call Project _PartB
End If
If Range("l12").Value = "No" Then (this condition excludes option of running macro called Project_PartB)
 Call Project_PartA
End If
If Range("l18").Value = "Yes" Then
 Call Project_Part C
End If
End Sub


2013 -> 2014


Happy New Year 2014!

First half of January is usually when typos happen in hand writing, as ell as when you enter December’s (last month’s) date in date+month format by default it will give you 2014 so also potential for an error.

On the personal note, 2013 was a great year – I got married, quit smoking and passed several accountancy exams. This along with other ventures I’ve started is just a beginning of my journey however a good legwork has already been made and should bear some fruits this year!

Some of this year’s resolutions: eat junk food less, exercise more, read more. Also, write more interesting and ‘wise’ posts 🙂

Wish you all a great, successful and eventful Year 2014!


Minimal Wage Comparison (Between USA, the UK and Latvia)


I read an article about staff wages in USA for a Walmart employee, inappropriately called ‘associate’, which made me want to do a quick comparison as I was wondering how much different exactly are the wages between the three economies I follow.

So in my example I have chosen minimal hourly rates assuming it’s 40 hours per week. And I’ve shown the difference in hourly rates as well as gross and net income comparison.

  • All figures are re-stated in British Pounds (GBP) and values are up to date from respective official websites.
  • Rates: US: $7.25; UK: £6.31 (aged 21+); Latvia: Ls 1.203.
  • Deductions (all mandatory): US: Federal Tax, Social Security; UK: Income Tax, National Insurance; :Latvia: Income Tax, Social/Health contributions.


  1. The most obvious conclusions I can draw is the level of taxes levied on even the most basic salary (and that’s as stated before 0 when one’s employed full-time, 40 hours a week).
  2. Another interesting figure is the contrasting difference in net wages between two developed countries and yet a person in UK would get £525 per month / £6,305 per year more than similar employee in US and that’s given the similar standard and cost of living.
  3. Likewise, in Latvia net wages is only £270.61 a month / £3,247 a year less than in United States but considering the much lower cost of living it seems that the purchasing power in this example is in favour of minimal wage worker living in Latvia, not the one in US.

Another important aspect worth noting is that in the EU (so in Latvia and the UK as well) employees are guaranteed to get 4 weeks paid holidays every year where in US the state or federal law does not dictate such requirement (although it’s common to give paid or unpaid days off the more senior you get in your career).

The reason for this article was to give a ‘snapshot’ comparison and I hope someone will find this useful and insightful.


p.s. Happy Thanksgiving to all those on the other side of Atlantic from the UK!

£5pm Phone Contract (SIM Only) – Offer Expires Sunday, 10th November


I finished paying my £35/month 24-month iPhone contract in January and had since switched to £12.90 per month SIM only, 1 month rolling contract which gives me 200 min, 5,000 texts and unlimited data. This works great for me since I don’t need a new, shiny, cutting edge smartphone – my iPhone 4 with some jailbreak does almost everything the new iPhone 5S does.

But today I’ve found even better deal for SIM only contract. It’s a 12 month contract on T-Mobile for £11/month byt ou also get free £70 Amazon voucher which makes it equivalent to £5 per month plan. This plan will give me 500min, 1GB data and unimited texts plus unlimited London Underground / Tube Wi-Fi access. Click on this moneysavingexpert’s link T-Mobile and enter voucher code MSESIMO (valid only until Sunday, 10th November). This is available only to new customers, sorry T-Mobile’s existing customers.

How To Use Windows 7 For Free

This one’s kind of old but I think some night not be aware of it, so here it goes.

If you “happen to be using” free version of Microsoft Windows 7 and after six months you start getting messages stating that your Windows is not genuine, what do you do to get rid of these notifications?

Some people would go the lengths of getting specific software to do the job, but I have found much easier, quicker way.

Just run your Command Prompt (as administrator, option available when right-clicking the icon) from your Start menu. And then type “slmgr -rearm” and hit enter. Next time you restart the computer it will work like new. What this command does it resets the Windows 7 timer by 120 days. So this means you might need to do this twice a year but I’m sure it’s worth the “effort”.