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Everything posted by s4dreamer

  1. R32 - First impressions

    Picked up my R32 from Exeter yesterday and had a 240 mile drive home . Traded in our old V6 4-motion for the new car, so my first impressions are largely based on the differences between the 4-motion and the R32. Firstly then, the looks: Both cars are 5-door and black, so the bodywork differences are quite subtle changes when viewed from the side - wider side-skirts and a deeper front valance. However, the wider sills do add quite a lot of impact, strangely enough. It's the wheels that make the biggest visual difference though - only 16" on the 4-mo and 18" on the R32. I've no idea how I'll wash them, but they do look luverly and a good match for the car. From the front, the difference between the two cars is most noticable - the very deep front valance and spoiler set the car apart from the 4-motion, and indeed the Anniversary GTI. It definitely gives the car a more aggresive appearance - perhaps a little close to being "Max Power'ed", but not quite From the rear, the first things you notice are those massive "drain-pipe" exhausts. The rear roof spoiler is very subtle, and whilst adding to the overall look of the car, does not take it too far. Inside, there are some obvious striking differences. Aluminium trim around the centre console and door trim - looks superb and far, far better than the fake wood trim in the 4-mo. My wife approved of this as well. But it's the seats which are most visually outstanding, with their bigger thigh bolsters and the huge side bolsters, they really look the part of a performance car. Not only that, but they are extremely supportive and almost comfortable In the rear, it's more of a bench seat, which I found surprising. I sat in briefly, and didn't find them that comfortable. Not only that, but the rear seets don't really offer any side support at all. So, if you want to throw the car around, don't do it with rear seat passengers. That said, the kids said it was comfortable in the back. On the comfort front, although the front seats are extremely supportive, after a 4 hour drive, I was quite stiff when I got out - particularly my left shoulder and both legs. Whilst I suspect the shoulder problem was because I didn't have the seat rake set quite right, I'm pretty sure the leg stiffness was because there is no extending seat squab like in the A4 sports seats to support the backs of my legs. As a comparison, I drove to Cornwall last summer in the A4, taking around 5 hours, and got out with no stiffness at all. Driving... The first thing you notice when you start the engine is that deep rumble from the 3.2. This is actually quite a lot louder than the 4-mo, which you can barely hear when the engine is idling. I assume that this is because of the exhaust system. It does sound rather nice though, and doesn't seem to have that edgy rasp that the 2.8 has when revved (which I didn't like). As I drove out of the dealers, it was immediately noticeable that the steering is much improved over the 4-mo - even on those huge 18" alloys. Turn-in, even at low speed, is much more positive. Point it where you want to go and plant the "go" pedal The suspension is much stiffer than the 4-mo, but having said that, it isn't harsh. Whilst you feel bumps more, this could be because the tyres are much lower profile than the (16") 4-mo. But the engine is the true revelation. A slight touch of the throttle and you surge forward, and before you know it you're over the speed limit. Around town, it is very comfortable and easy to drive, which I was quite surprised about. I'd heard some stories about it being difficult in 1st, and whilst I did have a kangaroo hop after filling up (with Optimax ) at the services, it was a one-off. Let's hope my wife copes okay On the open road, the car handles like a dream. Very flat and poised on the motorway, but it's the engine which makes it worthwhile. Press the accelerator slightly at 70 and the needle gently pushes up toward 80. However, press it some more and 80 comes rushing up . But that's not the end of it - you can really feel the engine urging you on "push me, push me". It just wants to go and go. It was all so effortless and without any sense of stress as in some cars. The torque difference between the R32 and 4-mo is considerable and very noticeable. Whilst the R32 can't match my tractor for torque, it makes up for it by being lighter and being able to deliver the available torque over a wider range. On the downside, as many have mentioned before me, the exhaust is boomy between around 2200rpm and 2800rpm. It's only when the engine is under load, but it does get tiring if you are having to drive at around 60mph on the motorway. I'm quite puzzled by this noise as it's obviously resonance rather than the natural sound of the exhaust, but I can't imagine why the VW engineers would set it up like that. I know some of you like it, but to me it's an annoying "boom" rather than something which should relay the character of the engine to you. If you want to know what it should sound like, take a drive in the 4.2 S4! Anyway, we'll see how it goes as the engine loosens, and how annoying it is for my wife, who'll drive the car as much as me, before attempting to do anything about it. Also, on the way home, the traction control light came on whilst I was going up the (wet) ramp from the M5 onto the M42. Unfortunately, it stayed on for the rest of the journey home. Something which I'm not too happy about. I'm hoping it was a one-off glitch - we'll see. Overall though, I'm very happy with the car and look forward to putting it through its paces on the twisties through North Derbyshire.
  2. Gonna buy an R32

    Just found out today that VW are going to produce a 5-door R32, so it makes the car appealing for the wife for running the kids around. Woohoo! Spoke to a dealer and they said they have one car unallocated out of next year's 4 car allocation, so once I've negotiated down the deposit they want from £1k to £500, I'm going to get my order in. Can't wait.
  3. In our VW dealers. An absolutely stunning looking car from the front - with a very nice looking chrome grill and the slightly curved front end which has been translated into the new Golf (instead of the very square fronts of the old Golf, Passat, etc.). Inside, it is massive - the driver's seat was well back, but I sould still sit comfortably in the back. Most things worked with a reassuring solidness, but the innovative cup-holders in the centre console were a tad dodgy. Neat, but the mechanism seemed a little cheap for a £50k car. Seats seemed comfy enough, but as the car's battery was disconnected, and everything is electrically operated, I couldn't adjust them to a normal driving position. Looks okay from the back - not as good as the front, but still okay. Couldn't figure out how to get into the boot though. Tried pressing the VW logo (as you do on the new Golf), but it didn't move. Probably electrically operated like the rest of the car. Overall, it seemed like a nice luxury barge, and if I had £50k-odd to spend on a car, the Phaeton would be up there on my list along with the new A8 and the V10 Touareg. BTW, I have seen a black Phaeton on the road and they look very, very nice.
  4. Yerk! cr*p fuel economy

    Just filled up and found that my car did under 29mpg on the last tankful - that's down from 32mpg, on the previous tankful, which was down from 35mpg on the one before that! I have not driven any differently, and the only obvious change is that the weather has got slightly colder. I've not added the Millers this time, just in case it is the cause. At this rate of consumption, I might as well be driving a petrol-engined car
  5. TSN/RS246 Monday 17th April

    I'd love to be able to make it, but I'm overwhelmed at work at the moment, and it doesn't look like bank holiday Monday will be too much of a holiday
  6. Hotel/apartment recommendations in Paris

    Thanks Mac, but getting my wife above the first flight of steps on the Eiffel Tower would be a feat in itself! I think we may just admire it from a distance
  7. I'd like to take the wife away for a long weekend in Paris later in the year. Can anyone recommend a good hotel or apartment, near the centre, which isn't going to break the bank ?
  8. Hotel/apartment recommendations in Paris

    Thanks for all the tips guys - I'm saving the info up.
  9. Hotel/apartment recommendations in Paris

    Thanks guys - keep 'em coming (the personal recommendations that is, not the dog turds )
  10. Original R32 Alloy - Only 67?

    IIRC, European R32's were shipped with both Ronal and OZ wheels. Not a bad price, and I could do with a couple of these myself, but don't have the spare cash at the mo. Besides, Mauvey will up the price to beat me anyway
  11. cheap [hardcopy] photo procesing?

    We use the local supermarket and have had no problems with them at all.
  12. Best place for mobile phones

    I got my SIM-free K750i from FonePlanet, but they were rather slow in delivery (although they did part-refund the delivery charge in the end). You could also try OneDayMobile - they're probably one of the cheapest around, and delivery is included. Carphone Warehouse often also offer good prices online, and you may be able to get them to match another online price, which is also helpful 'cos then if the phone goes wonky, you can take it into a shop.
  13. Open source equivalent to Outlook?

    Oh and with respect to the calendar, Firefox used to have a premlinary calendar implementation in it, but that appears to be no more. See here[mozilla.org] for details of the work going on in this area.
  14. Open source equivalent to Outlook?

    You can specify multiple outgoing servers in Thunderbird - it's just that they didn't make it terribly intuitive to add them. Bring up the "Account Settings" window and scroll to the bottom of the account list on the left-hand side. At the bottom should be a line which says something like "Outgoing Server (SMTP)". Click this and in 1.5 you will see a list of SMTP servers to use. You can add/edit or remove servers in the list. Once you've added a new outgoing server, click on the account you want to change and (again in 1.5), the outgoing server is shown in a selection box at the bottom of the preferences. If you're not using Thunerbird 1.5, why not? (Just kidding). In previous versions, the UI for adding a new outgoing server was slightly different as was the UI for selecting which server to use for an account, but they are still reached by pretty much the same method I've given above. Keep up the good work!
  15. SecurID

    The battery in my SafeWord card is still going now after over 7 years! Because these systems are time-dependent, the servers normally will check for tokens within a time range if there's no immediate match (if that makes sense). So, normally, it's very difficult for the token-generator to get completely out of sync. I agree with Chris in that it is probably a clock issue on one of the servers (assuming you have a replicated SecurId server) - or you have a faulty card. BTW, I assume when this fault happens, you've generated more than one token to try to log in ?
  16. Visa for Israel

    Thanks for the replies guys, but my travel agent has said that I don't need one unless staying for over 90 days (thankfully!).
  17. Visa for Israel

    As a UK citizen, do I need a visa to visit Israel (on business).
  18. Online diary

    Not tried any other than at work, but try Googling for "free calendar" too - that may get you a bit more.
  19. Very 'newbie' broadband questions

    I don't think it'll make much difference whether your USB port is v1.0 or v2.0 as it will still be faster than your broadband connection.
  20. Transferring iTunes?

    I don't think that using "Add Folder to Library" is the best way to go in this case because Mills hasn't yet installed iTunes on his PC, and he already has the library. As he has already got an iTunes organised library, it should be enuff just to tell iTunes (via the "Advanced" tab in prefs, I think) where the library is.
  21. Transferring iTunes?

    Copy your music library to the external drive (or CDROM or whatever). When you get home, copy the music off the external drive onto the internal one. Then, fire up iTunes and either set the library location to be the new location or import from that location (I think the former should work best though).
  22. Arhhhh code

    [ QUOTE ] So, can anyone tell me why this isn't working when PHP is installed on the server ... <font class="small">Code:</font><hr /><pre><td class="bottom_center"> <?php include('footer.php'); ?></td></pre><hr /> and the footer.php is uploaded [/ QUOTE ] Surely, it only needs to say: <font color="blue"><? include('footer.php'); ?> </font> ? However, for it to be executed, the web server needs to know that it's PHP and not plain HTML, so you either need to name it with a .php suffix or (as you did): .phtml
  23. Audi R8

    Does anyone else think there's more than a passing resemblance to the Bugatti Veyron in the external design ?
  24. Intel Processors Confusion...?

    Thorburn's biased Tom - AMD 64 is more than fine in a laptop (the Turion chips are the mobile equivalent).
  25. Intel Processors Confusion...?

    Yeah, I've been confused about that for a while too!