Thursday, June 30, 2016

TPG home phone and telephone not working. "Number you have dialled is not valid. Please check the number and call again."

A couple of days ago our home phone with TPG wasn't working for a few days. A Telstra technician was required and fixed the problem. Now just a couple of days later the home phone and internet are not working again.

I called TPG support and they informed me the problem was Telstra was having problems and the problem should be solved by 7:30 pm. On the TPG site they only refer to a third party and the outage for the home phone being from 1:42 pm to 7:30 pm and internet being 1:42 pm to 11:30 pm.

From the TPG site, the "exchanges Belgrave, Melton, Scoresby, Sunbury and Templestowe may experience Internet and home phone connection difficulties".

Hopefully this may assist others who are in a similar situation.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, June 27, 2016

Petrol Price Melbourne has been rewritten based on feedback.

One of the best things about developing software is watching others use the software. The responses and feedback are invaluable to help improve the software.

I initially wrote Petrol Prices Melbourne as a simple single page alert. An alert so people could share when they spotted petrol prices hiking. Given that's only around every 3-4 weeks, for much of the time the web app didn't have much use.

Now whilst buying petrol before the price hike can save a considerable amount of money each year, knowing where to buy better priced petrol at other times can also save a considerable amount of money. I decided to make Petrol Prices Melbourne even more useful.

Petrol Prices Melbourne now shows maps of prices submitted by the public. You can see the prices for all petrol stations or just those around you. There's even a handy comparison helping people to work out the cost of buying at a cheaper place that is further away.

Based on feedback, I changed my initial approach for the maps to show only today's submitted prices, to also show petrol stations from the previous day. The date and time the price was submitted is provided. Prices from the previous day are obvious as the marker is faded. Seeing the information for a petrol station is even easier with the information provided by pressing or clicking on a marker.

Submitting petrol prices is now even easier allowing people to press or click on a marker in the submit section. All Shell, Coles Express and BP service stations within approximately 100 km of Melbourne are present, as are all the petrol stations around Templestowe. More petrol stations will be set up in future. If there's a petrol station you'd like to submit prices for, drop me an email and I'll set it up.

A new feature I added today shows the cheapest petrol stations around Melbourne from the prices submitted.

Thank you to everyone for your support and feedback. Whilst I save money using Petrol Prices Melbourne, it is even more pleasing when I hear others are saving money as well.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Facebook forcing messenger app on users.

Today a person said they could no longer use messages on Facebook using the website on their mobile phone. The person was only given the option to install the Facebook Messenger app which they did not want to do.

From what I've read and seen, there's people who do not wish to use the Facebook Messenger app. I decided to see if an earlier trick I used with Facebook might work and it did.

The technique is to use the link

Whilst not ideal as it gives you the desktop version of messages, it does allow you to get around Facebook trying to force you to install Facebook Messenger app. The person was quite happy with the technique even though they needed to zoom in.

If you're not a fan of installing the Facebook Messenger app, then perhaps give the above link a go.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Useful maps added to Petrol Prices Melbourne

New features added to the Petrol Prices Melbourne web app.

Since the web app was designed to log submitted prices, the prices are now shown on two maps. A map showing nearby petrol stations and a map showing all submitted petrol stations.

The reason the maps have been made available is if you know a petrol station has a better price, and it is conveniently located to you, then you can save money on your petrol purchases.

Markers for petrol stations on the maps are coloured coded to make it easy to find the best prices. The map showing nearby petrol stations shows details for up to 10 petrol stations. Included is a handy calculation showing the cost for 50 litres of petrol plus the estimated cost of petrol for a return trip. Obviously it's even better if the cheaper petrol station is already on your way.

Petrol prices are entered by the crowd which means you and me. If we enter prices the maps become useful resources and that will help show the maps useful.

Often we buy petrol from the same petrol stations. I was quite surprised recently to find Shell/Coles Express prices, even with the discount voucher was more expensive than other nearby service stations offering better prices with no discount.

The Petrol Prices Melbourne web app is located at The maps are available via the menu, but can be found at for the nearby petrol stations and, for the map of all petrol stations submitted.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Cheapest petrol prices in Melbourne.

Today I topped up my tank. Prices for petrol are currently around the 130 mark, but I saved $6.36 by purchasing petrol at 107.9.

I've decided to create a MyAnswers solution which shares the techniques I now use which could potentially save $300-$500 a year or more for us on petrol. The solution is available at

I've received good feedback that my posts to social media using the web app on petrol price hikes have helped others, which is very pleasing. Sometimes you wonder whether or not what you do makes a difference, but then when you hear it does, it really makes it worthwhile.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, June 06, 2016

kJ to cal often searched, but isn't what people really want.

A while ago I wrote a kilojoules to Calories converter. I notice many people searching for kj to cal, which I don't think is what people really want.

The problem is the difference between using a small c as opposed to a capital C at the start of the word calorie or Calorie. It is very unusual for the use of a lower case or upper case letter to make such a difference, but in this case it makes a huge difference. In fact a difference is a factor of 1,000.

It is important to note that 1,000 calories equals 1 Calorie.

What people are really searching for is kJ to Cal. Most people are probably trying to convert kilojoules in food to Calories. Calories is the unit of measure often used for food and often referred to by those dieting. The lower case calorie is one thousandth of a Calorie.

Not realising the difference between calorie and Calorie is very common. If you search the internet the two terms are often used as the same, and more often than not, the correct term should be Calorie.

Now you know there's a difference between using an upper case or lower case c, you'll easily spot when people are using the wrong capitalisation.

I've made notes on the kilojoules to Calories calculator which hopefully will assist people. You can find the kilojoules to Calories calculator at Domain names aren't case sensitive so you can use upper case or lower case. But when we're talking about food and energy,  the use of upper case or lower case when referring to Calorie or calorie really does matter.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Petrol prices in Melbourne jumped to 134.9 cents per litre yesterday. May still be some lower priced petrol around.

Yesterday I sent an alert to Facebook and Twitter on the petrol prices price hike. I use the web app I wrote Petrol Prices Melbourne which can be found at to alert family friends. You're welcome to use the web app as well to help those you know.

When prices go up what I find is the first day only a few go up and we don't quite notice. The next day which in this case was yesterday, perhaps around 20-30% will have gone up. Today it's probably around 80%, but that does mean there's still pockets of petrol at the lower prices of around 107.

At the moment I still see pockets of lower prices fuel at some petrol stations in or near Templestowe, Ringwood, Glen Waverly, Hallam, Falkner, Hoppers Crossing, Frankston, but there's no telling for how long.

As the time from when the petrol price hikes there is a period of up to four days where there are still petrol stations around with lower prices, but they become harder to find and it may not be worthwhile trying to detour to get the cheaper petrol. In the Petrol Prices Melbourne web app I've provided a tool which helps you work out the cost of petrol, for the extra distance you need to drive to get the cheaper petrol. Factor in your time, wear and tear on your car and it may not be worth it.

Kelvin Eldridge