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Your emails: Internet connected junk

We want to hear what you think. And to prove it, we’ll be publishing your best emails each Friday. Send your messages to

Make sure to check back every Friday lunchtime for our letters to the editor – and get involved by sending your emails to

We’ll feature the best on this very page at the end of each week, with Nick’s and the team’s replies.

Bonaverde Coffee machines

I was one of the original funders way back and eventually when the company went bankrupt they sent me a machine from their supply in the US. The problem is the machine won’t work unless you have raw coffee beans with the bar code. I was wondering if you have heard whether there is a way to get the machine to work without buying the coffee from Bonaverde which no longer exists. Basically I have a heavy nice looking coffee machine which I could probably use as an anchor. Help.

— Dale

If the machine was this one, it uses an RFID tag to program the machine to roast the beans appropriately. Unfortunately, each RFID tag can only be used once, even if you had any. Unfortunately for you, this machine is now junk and is a great example of what happens when manufacturers pretend to offer a benefit which is actually a restriction. As you prepare your new anchor for use, perhaps take some satisfaction in the fact you aren’t alone.

Brilliant advice

Thank you for suggesting cleaning your phone daily and how to do it. So helpful – absolutely simple and not involving throw away wipes. I guess I wasn’t sure if that would be adequate but I’m on to it now! Thanks.

— Sara

No problem, we’re glad you found it useful.

Acer Chromebook 514

I have been looking at this Chromebook for two days now reading the pros and cons and wondering as it will be my first time with a Chromebook. There are no HDMI slots which I am accustomed to, as I sometimes like putting it on my 50 inch TV. What can I do?

— Michelle Ellis

If you still think this is the Chromebook for you, the easiest way to fix the connection problem is to buy Google Chromecast. This plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and will ‘cast’ whatever is on your Chromebook’s screen onto the TV via wifi, for about £25-30. You can read more about it here. Alternatively, this Chromebook model has two USB-C ports. If your TV also has a USB C port, you can connect the Chromebook directly to the TV using a USB-C cable. If not, there are USB-C to HDMI cables which will do the job for you, for about £20.

Question about phones

In the current lock-down it is hard to know who you can trust to give you clear and honest advice before you consider buying a new smart phone. I can’t even get into a local shop to ask. And there is a lot to look at out there which takes time and a bit more knowledge about smart phones that I don’t have.

I currently have on a sim contract a Samsung Galaxy J3 (6) – 2016.

At first it was fine but then I started to have regular problems with a lack of memory space. I suspect it is because there are too many apps on the phone but if I try to delete some of them to create more space I am told that if I do so it may cause problems with other apps? 

It is especially a problem with using WhatsApp. This is a problem as in my voluntary role Whatsapp is one of the best ways to work with, contact and support the often vulnerable people I need to contact.  

Where can I get advice or guidance I can trust before buying the best phone for my needs? Whilst money is not a big problem I obviously don’t want to spend more than I actually need. 

— Alan Marriott

Well, we’d like to think we fit all your criteria for trusted advice! Yes, it’s time for a new phone, and we’ve tested a bunch in your price range here. We’ve listed five there that meet your criteria for price and performance as well as what brands are good and bad. We hope it helps.

That’s it for another week. Thanks again to all the people who emailed in, and keep emailing in to continue the conversation. Stay safe!

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