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Have you ever wondered where your cash comes from? And I don't mean the cash machine or the till of a shop. The fiver in your pocket could have had a fascinating history before it came into your mundane possession. It could have travelled the globe (or Britain, at least!) - it could have been used by the rich and famous! Yes, Michael Buerk could have used your £20 note to buy a brolly in the Debenhams sale. Kylie could have used your fiver to buy the Posh Spice album from the bargain bin in Woolies (unlikely, perhaps). Or, and this is where it gets really exciting, your note could have been in the possession of a fellow Ciao member! PhilRoots may have been fondling your fiver, Trampus toying with your tenner or TallTone twiddling with your twenty!I can already tell you must be excited at the prospect, but the question is - how would we ever know, Jon? Surely it is not possible to find out? Surely we will forever be in a state of not knowing, leaving us sadly unfulfilled and without meaning in our lives?
I am pleased to say that help is at hand! For we now have doshtracker.co.uk - a website designed to answer the question "Where has my money been?"I will present the rest of the opinion in handy question and answer style:
WHAT IS THE WEBSITE ADDRESS OF DOSHTRACKER.CO.UK?doshtracker.co.uk
ARE YOU SURE?Yes.
HOW DO I USE DOSHTRACKER?Well, ideally you will have a note that you have obtained from a cash machine, shop, major drugs deal...anywhere really. Doshtracker asks you to input the denomination (£5, £10 etc.) and serial number of the note. The serial number is to the right of the Queen's head and in the form AB12 345678. You are also asked for your postcode, the county you are in, and any comments you have on the state of the note. The last three digits of the serial number and your postcode are kept confidential.
If the details of the note you have entered match up with an entry someone else has already made...woo hoo! You can see just where your note has been, though unfortunately not who was in possession of it!ARE THERE ANY FLAWS IN THE SYSTEM?
Well, just a couple of minor ones! The chances of any note you type in actually having been entered before seem incredibly small. Even if everyone reading this opinion started entering all their note serial numbers into doshtracker I doubt it would make much difference. According to the website, 26,077 notes are already registered on doshtracker (over 1000 by one person alone!). But how many notes are there circulating in the UK? Call me Pessimistic Bob, but I'm guessing it's quite a lot more than 26,000. My rough estimate would be a trillion billion trillion. Give or take a few trillion billion.So the likelihood of meeting with much success on doshtracker seems somewhat limited unless loads of people suddenly start registering their notes. And why would they? People on doshtracker have entered hundreds of notes each and had no joy.
SO WHAT'S THE POINT THEN? EH?Well, it is quite an interesting site to see, especially if you are a bit sad. It is well laid out and has news about where doshtracker has been mentioned in the media (Daily Mirror and Radio 5, amongst others).
You can also register to become a member of doshtracker which basically means that all the notes you have entered will be stored under your username. Unfortunately when you click on a username the website tries to show all the notes the user has typed in at one time, so if they have typed in hundreds the page can take a while to load.There is a useful FAQ page for doshtracker virgins and some info about the history of the site and how it came into being.
IS THAT IT?Nearly, yes. The most interesting thing for me is reading what people have written about the notes they have entered, some people seem quite anal about it and display trainspotting-type characteristics - they go to great lengths to describe the condition of each and every note. For example:
£5 - It was change from the Moss Chemists in Tescos in Isleworth, I bought some paracetamol for 39p if you're interested. Like most £5 it's in really bad condition.£20 - Bloody big red mark on left side, creased as well, received in Doncaster.
£5 - Worn, no marks, found this baby on floor outside pub, if you lost it tough, it's going on a pint tonight.I mean, was the note from Doncaster covered in blood? A bit worrying to say the least!
So in summary, doshtracker is a good website with an interesting, if somewhat flawed idea. If everyone gets typing their notes in now, though, it might just work!
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