Author Archives: Toby White

About Toby White

I'm a doer!

Averaging 25 mpg in an old Mercedes

I recently had to sell my old Mercedes 190E. I had it for nearly 3 years; bought in late October 2014, because I liked the shape and I had been hunting on eBay. I think I liked the shape, albeit I didn’t really know what I had gotten myself into. I had my mk1 MX5 which was the same age, but that was an import car and this was a UK model car and the previous owners hadn’t given it much love!

Amazingly, there were no advisories on the previous year’s MOT, so I was in a bit of a shock when the MOT came up and it failed on quite a number of things.  At the time I needed the car and wielding a credit card I naively paid for the repairs. I considered myself to be a caretaker of the car I guess, silly in hindsight. It was an old car and I thought it should be repaired and maintained. I wanted to keep it on the road. That was an expensive MOT!

I then continued to drive the car for some time, but considering it had probably been driven now harder than it had for a few years it started to show some signs of wear and tear. Driving above 50mph became a bit harrowing, and the car would shake violently.  The order of this account is a little hazy now, but the events were correct.

The garage came back with a long list of parts on the underside of the car that had worn out – a lot of suspension components and bushings, so yep, I went ahead and told them to replace and fix.

The car at this point was driving quite well…. I had previously been up to Middlesbrough with my Dad to pick up some parts, and I’d painted and replaced the front wings of the car as they were rusting quite badly. What I hadn’t realised was that parts of the car around the spring mounts were also rusting quite badly and these had to be welded at one of the MOT tests to pass.

I also had to replace the EHA valve as quite a lot of petrol was leaking out due to the cracked plastic on the previous unit. Hard to find anywhere, but finally found it on Amazon (also quite expensive, but solved the problem).

The following year the car required an exhaust bracket welding underneath to pass the MOT but nothing serious.

And then this year it failed on quite a considerable amount, bits and bobs under the car that I would deem as normal wear and tear, around £600. But also a lot of welding on the opposite side of the engine bay. The mechanic tapped a section of the driver side inner section where the coolant, and washer bottle are located, and the screwdriver went straight through. Something I had failed to spot. They had quoted £1700 to fix. Emotionally, my head wanted to pay for this to be fixed, but luckily my Dad talked some sense into me.

I have never got as emotionally attached to a vehicle like I did with this, the car had character, it had been on the planet as long as I had and me and my girlfriend had been on some good  adventures with it – that probably adds to the utter feeling of regret at letting this one go…

And the best bit? It consistently got 25miles to the gallon! And to think that in 27 years we have only just managed to get over 50 from a petrol engine, shows just how slowly things have come on?


Bad Flavors!

Withflavorsout much warning from, my original non blog site is defunct!

Looking at the Twitter feed it looks like many people did not receive an email to see the site was shut down, so I have had to make adjustments.

My domain now permanently redirects to /blog (this site). I have added a Contact form also. This is mainly due to me being lazy and not wanting to spend time adding a landing page; I cheated in the end anyway, adding the previous site in an iframe rather than paying for the Flavors Premium subscription to add a domain etc.

Let me know if there is anything else you want to see here specifically?


Apple TV Review

Apple TV


I’ve now been using my Apple TV for four months. And so far it has been an absolute pleasure. I have previously used the “smart” feature of my Samsung Bluray player. This was okay, but not great and clunky and probably coded using Java or something else clunky.

Apple know how to do UI really well, and at the end of the day, you just want a nice and smooth and easy to use interface when watching TV. I get really grumpy when I see bad UI and for something you use to access and view catch-up TV and other video on demand such as YouTube, it’s all about the apps, number and availability of apps and quality of the apps and since tvOS has been released the Apple TV  now has access to that too.

I’m a big Apple fan (if you hadn’t noticed), and to quote their UK site – – “Apple TV keeps getting better and better“. And in my opinion it really does. It’s just great, really great.

Yes you can buy cheaper, but like  all things, sometimes cheaper isn’t always better.

So far I have found a nice app called SlimLibrary which integrates nicely with Logitech Media Server (see HiFi) but I need to do a little bit more work to get that working.

The only negative I can think of at the top of my head is the fact it doesn’t have a dedicated audio out, an optical out, or co-ax  so I can connect it and have a separate input for playing audio on my amp (me getting finicky).  (Edit: in the time I wrote this I did a Google and found the following courtesy of iMore:

Apple TV remote

This isn’t an extensive review, but you can find those elsewhere… this is more along the lines of I like it, I think it’s really cool, the remote lasts for 3 months on a single charge and uses the Lightning connector to recharge, and you should get one if you are considering a set top box!

Talking about the remote, the Siri function works really well for selecting what you want and is a really good substitute when typing passwords if you don’t mind saying them out loud. You can also use your iPhone or iPad as a remote which is neat.


Thanks to my girlfriend for this great gift 🙂