Thursday, 15 October 2009

Windows 7 vs Royal Mail

You should all be aware that Windows 7 is out on the 22nd October 2009. This has been planned for quite some time. However only recently the workers at the Royal Mail have decided to go on Strike on the 22nd and 23rd October 2009.

I don't know if you picked this up already, but the release of Windows 7 will be delayed even longer because of employees of the Royal Mail.

If it was me, I would personally look to employ some of the 2 million unemployed UK citizens (according to the BBC) and give them £4 an hour (cash in hand). This would put pressure on the fortunate Royal Mail staff that still have a job to "shut up" and "get on with it".

Remember this, there are over 2 million people that could replace you tomorrow. So don't cause grief to others expecting goods, money, travel documents and so on.

Also I was in charge at the Royal Mail, I would teach them a lesson by paying them 1 week later. Two can play at that game...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Apple users lose files

Anyone upgrading to the OS "Snow Leapord" may lose all their files when they login under a guest account.

According to the BBC "The problem, reported by more than 100 users on discussion forums, surfaced shortly after the OS's August release." Now that includes everything like pictures, videos, music and so on.

For those of you that are careful, I hope you ran a backup of your files as no OS is 100% perfect.

If you want to use a quick fix, backup the files in other accounts, delete the guest account profiles and then a new profile should work fine.

Final Note:
Tell your friends with the OS that you've heard of this great program called "iDelete". It only works when they login as a guest :)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Bolt gets new 200m world record in 19.19 seconds at Berlin

Athletics has become even more interesting because of this guy. Usain Bolt makes records and beats them yet again. Only recently he finished the 100m in 9.59 seconds (0.11 off the previous record at the Beijing olympics) and he slowed down, so more time can be taken off the 100m record.

Now he has done it again with 19.19 seconds. Again it's 0.11 seconds off the previous record he achieved at the Beijing olympics, when he finished in 19.30 seconds. This time I don't think he slowed down. The replay can be seen on the BBC's website: video of the race.

If everyone had a half second head start today, Bolt still would have won. That's how big the victory was. A video replay will show you how much of a gap he had over the second place finisher Alonso Edward from Panama (who finished in 19.81 seconds).

I'll try an post a link to just this race soon. Well done to the Bolt. Can he strike again, who knows?

Update: The latest video replay (from the BBC).

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Schumacher is back

Michael Schumacher is coming back to Formula 1 (F1). A recent article from the BBC reveals this news. This is because of a traggic accident that sees my favourite driver Felipe Massa out for the rest of the season. The BBC have a clip of what happened available here.

Unfortunate for Massa when he was guaranteed Qually 3, but who would have known this would happen. I wish him the best and hopefully Michael can rack up some points for the team in Massa's absence.

Monday, 27 July 2009

1000 Best Sites

Do you have a website? If so would you like everyone to know about it? If so then this is the website for you. You can upload your website to this site and say to others what makes it good. Search for other websites in your category or use this site to find interesting website that you would never have thought about visiting before.

You can also add your comments or rate the websites. See the best and newest sites from the homepage. This site is all about showing us all what you decide is good, not peoples reviews (where they are paid to publicize other websites). Because you decide, you have the power to rate a website both good or bad and say why. Your comments will not be removed (unless you swear or discriminate others).

A website that may be good this year may not be this year, so stay tunes and see how all the websites progress. Use this website as a resource for finding websites on the internet, today.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Windows 7 - Get your copy

Did you know Windows 7 is officially out on pre-release? Basically you can pre-order your copy today and you will receive a massive discount. The only downside is that you do have to pay in advance, but will your bank triple your money in 3 months? I think not.

With prices as low as 67% discount, what have you got to lose? It's a win win in my book so get your copy now or lose out later on. I feel sorry for some countries as you cannot pre-order the operating system. Unlucky for them, but I'm not going to lose out when I finally get a good opportunity like this.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Twenty 20 best team is Pakistan, how about the best man?

As a cricket fan, this was a must see tournament. Earlier you would write Pakistan off as they could hardly win a game. In the super 8's there was a major turnaround from this side as many would have seen their thrashing against New Zealand. That to me was significant as it showed that you cannot rule them out.

Beating both unbeaten teams South Africa and Sri Lanka showed us all that they really deserves their victory. The way they played showed that they did their homework. By bringing in Afridi earlier in the batting lineup definately made the difference with the scoring. Targetting different batsment like Dilshan with his unique manouver stopped Sri Lanka scoring their ideal run total. At the end of the day it made the difference.

If I had to choose a man of the tournament, it could have been many of the players in Sri Lanka or Pakistan with all the top 5 bowlers in the final and some of the highest scoring batsment. If Sri Lanka had one I would have said Dilshan. As Pakistan won I would say Shahid Afridi.

Would you agree to this? Would Umar Gul or the captain be your choice?

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Top Gear Stig is Michael Schumacher or is it?

As I saw this today, it had to be shared. Is this totally true or just a way to introduce Schumacher onto the show. The show wanted to keep this private for quite some time, but it's going to keep people talking (great for its ratings).

If you watched Top Gear on Sunday 21st June 2009, then you would have seen that Schumacher lift the helmet making us believe he is the stig. You can see some pictures of this from the daily mail. Alternatively, you can see a clip of this on the BBC website. You could also view the full episode of the new series on the BBC iPlayer.

If Schumacher is the Stig then don't forget that he helped Top Gear beat the German Presenters (Sabine Schmitz, Carsten van Ryssen and Tim Schrick) in the England vs Germany challenge when the stig beat the rally driver in the final race (Jeremy was pretending that it was James May to help Top Gear win the challenge).

If you think this is not true, or have any opinions to share about this, please share your comments.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Apple angers it's fans as well as me

Believe it or not this is true. I thought I'd add to my annoyances of Apple with another article I saw online from the BBC. This is along with comments I made to fellow colleagues at work.

Any company in business has the idea of making something that people will buy. That's great when it comes out, but then they decide how can we scam money off people with a small amount of effort? How about small tweaks?

Going back to the iPod it all started well apart from the fact Apple decided that Firewire should be the dominant method for transferring files from a MAC to an mp3 player. However by alienating Microsoft the mass market would go elsewhere.

Fair play when they realise we need to support MS Windows. This allowed the money to come in. Additionally PCI manufacturers made money for making cards with Firewire ports. When the third generation came out I decided to get an iPod. The best thing for me was that know one I knew what an iPod was let alone owned one. For me the 20GB iPod was worth it for the long run, but were expensive too. Owning one was nice for listing to music on my long walks.

Drawbacks of 3rd Gen:
- The cost of this model was £300. This is far higher than the 6th Gen model of 80GB worth £180 (much cheaper now).
- The battery life was awful. You should get 8 hours playback and would be lucky to get 6.
- The battery degrades quickly and Apple wanted £100 to replace and install a new one. I decided to by a replacement elsewhere and install it myself for £15.
- USB charging unavailable yet 4th Gen don't have this problem.
- When the 4th generation came out, Apple forgot about their customers and decided to to give us features they gave to the 4th gen model (they were possible to add to 3rd gen). Remember this: our money helped you develop newer models.

Coming back to iPhone owners:
Back when we owned early iPods that should last the test of time (yet support does not), Apple ignored us. Proof of this can be found online if you look for articles about 3rd gen iPod classic upgrades.

If you have brought an iPhone v1 and paid a costly O2 contract due to exclusivity, then welcome to my world (along with older iPod owners). Version 2 brought in 3G that should have been in version 1. Now version 3 offers other minor tweaks (like faster loading of games). If I was you, forget about the ridiculous price tag. Other phones offer great functions too, look elsewhere and don't get ripped off. Small tweaks and lots of money out of your pocket, it's your fault for encouraging this behaviour.

Outside of the Apple talk:
Why do people by a personal computer called a "mac"?
- Because Windows is rubbish.
- Programs are better on the mac.

This is a PC, not a mac. It is and always will be a personal computer. The dock is not great and you could be searching through a long (unordered list). Windows quick launch and start menu are great.

From a person that has use Windows, Unix, Linux and have used a Mac, the Mac is expensive hardware and software. If you want to do this properly, buy a computer and install the Mac OS (Leopard or whatever animal it is). At the end of the day you are paying a company that is using Unix / Linux source code and charging you a fortune. Many distributions of Linux do not cost any money and you can learn a lot from them.

Support Lifecycle:
If Apple are loyal to their so called fan base, then they should provide support for years to come. For example Windows 2000 is supported till the 13th July 2010.
- How long is the MAC OS supported for?
- How long is the MAC hardware supported for?
- How long is the iPod / iPhone supported for?

Final note:
This is about software installers (linking to my previous post). Why is iTunes 41.6MB (outside of the package of 74MB bundle) and WMP 11 only 24.5MB. Windows Media player offers so much functionaly and even sorts artists individually compared to iTunes Library (where multiple artists are not separated).

I know I've ranted from iPhones, iPods, Hardware and software, but feel free to have your say as all comments are welcome (minus swearing).

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Apple Software

Have you ever noted that when installing iTunes on Windows for your iPod you have some options of what to install. When you run the installer, some of us like to choose what should be installed.

In the installer, you can say not to install "software updater" and guess what happens after the install, it installs it anyway. Now if that happened with other software, we would all complain, yet with Apple software, nobody does. I thought I'd mention and let others pick up on this. Next time you install the software, see if you notice this too.

If you would like to remove it, please install CCleaner. There is an option to remove it, but beware as the next Apple software install will add it back even when you say no.

You will need to remember to stop the following services:
- Bonjour
- iPod Service
and remove the registry key in HKey Local Machine that is called iTunes Helper.

NB. This is on version 7 and higher in iTunes. Possibly earlier, but 6 was along time ago. As for Quicktime and Safari, please let us know.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Audio Blog

To make all posts more accessible on Blogger, I have added the ability to listen to all my posts by clicking on the link "((•)) Hear this post". This can be found at the bottom of each post. You will need flash enabled on your web browser.

Thanks to vozMe for this great service.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Rate My Motor

Do you like cars, bikes or other motors? If so then this is the site for you. Upload some pictures for your motor and shares some details with others. Let people rate your motor and see who comes out on top. It's all about keeping the hobby of motoring alive and you can share your thoughts with the motoring community online.

When uploading images, please try to hide the registration plate and only upload images that you own. If you like doing up your motor, upload the pics to show others how it is developing.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Rich - Poor gap shrinks

On a non-techy note, due to the recession, this had to be talked about. The rich are getting poorer. It's not just us poor people affected by the recession.

According to Philip Beresford who compiles the rich list, the number of billionaires has fallen from 75 to 43 with a total loss of £150bn.

On the up side, they are still rich and can afford their luxuries still. With all that is going on the gap between the rich and poor is finally dropping.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Conficker begins stealthy

Many of you may not know what Conficker is. This is a virus (worm) that runs on the Windows operating system (2000, XP, Vista and so on). Over the last few months this has been attacking many computers in industry.

Recent news about this is that it is updating. What's new in variant C is that it will take keystroke information and send this back to the attackers / creators. I would advise you to access secure data only if you are 100% clean of the virus.

Please have a read of the two articles from the BBC:
Conficker begins stealthy update
Q&A: Conficker protection

Windows Vista and Windows 7

I have recently read that Microsoft have given people the choice to downgrade Windows 7 to Windows Vista. Looking at the OS's I don't see why you would as personally I think Windows 7 is better and that we should bypass Vista.

This looks like Microsoft want more people to use Vista. Their excuse is that this will help to extend the lifetime of XP. I have seen that many businesses have moved the majority of computers to XP (from 2000) in 2007, only 6 years after XP came out. It's nice that Microsoft want us to move on, but a good OS stands the test of time. I would have to say XP is my favourite, but given 10 years, things move on.

I'm just glad that we have longer support for XP.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

IE8 and browser detection

Do you develop websites of your own? If so you may use browser detection methods to find out what the browser used and tweak your website to look nice in other browsers.

Finally moving to IE8 and bypassing version 7 I found that the browser is not detected using PHP. In IE 7 I could use the code:

if ( strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'MSIE 7') )
$browser = 'ie7';

This works for 6 and 7 by changing the number. However for in PHP IE8 reports:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; InfoPath.1; MSN OptimizedIE8;ENGB)

The work around in PHP I used was "OptimizedIE8". By tweaking my detection script, I added:

if ( strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'OptimizedIE8') )
$browser = 'ie8';

For those of you that like to avoid JavaScript and use PHP, I hope this helps. Others that use ASP, I'm sure you have something to combat this too.

If this still does not work on IE and my website then please let me know. Thanks.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

My ISA interest rate has dropped considerably

Slightly off techy, but with inflation at 0% money is on the agenda. If you have an ISA, you should look at the interest rates at the moment. They are down considerably for all bank accounts and worst of all ISA's.

Currently I have an ISA with Lloyds and back when I started this one, the interest was around 4%. Looking good and conveniently easy to commute to local branches, I saw this as a worthy investment. From recent years, my money didn't exactly earn much elsewhere so a new bank was on the agenda.

On a side note, late last year I had an account with Halifax. Unlike many that kept there money in Icelandic accounts, I decided with Halifax to get out while I had the chance. Guess what happened weeks after? The bank when bust and Lloyds have a stake in them. Lucky for me, that's where my money went.

Back on the matter, looking at today's interest rate with Lloyds, the shocking news for me and everyone out there is that the latest interest rate is 1%. This is above inflation, but not that good if you had an ISA for nearly 12 months. What a joke. Is an ISA worth all that bother, I think not now. I will be taking my money and using it for other purposes once I have the small interest. Only a couple of weeks to wait to find a better way to use it.

If your considering doing the same thing, what are you plans?

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Million Pixel Website

Have you wanted to advertise online but don't want to pay a fortune for the advertisement, then this website is to help you grow you website. Rather than creating another website full of adverts that annoy viewers, this website uses pixels that you can use to link to your site.

How do I advertise you may ask? You choose a range of squares (pixels) and create an image to upload to the website. Our viewers will see the wonderful images and if they like yours, then you will be fortunate enough to get more customers to your website.

All I ask is that you don't offend others by discrimination, swearing or other put downs. I will monitor this daily to remove adverts that I believe to be bad in some way.

Internet Nightmares

Having worked on a few websites now and using the internet before the millennium, I had to create this website. This website is to help us all voice our frustrations of other websites and make them more user friendly.

There is always something that annoys us about websites, whether it's the hotmail adverts on the right on the email, features removed on websites like monster preventing CV uploads for existing resumes (recently added back after complaints a month ago) or even websites that do not work with JavaScript (JS) off. Some websites use JS excessively and don't provide functionality with this off. Additionally lack of support for other operating systems like Linux / Unix (i.e. BBC iPlayer).

Voice your concerns here and help us all put pressure on the websites owners to improve there website or lose their customers.

Friday, 16 January 2009

ISP Nightmares

Don't you hate it when your ISP treats you as a nobody, or whether they lie to you and waste your time? Recently I had issues when different staff said different things and when I found the truth the only help they could give is that the correct department is only available during 09.00-17.00 Monday-Friday. That's no good when you work all week during the same hours. Not having internet access for a few days to use the out of ours support, what can you do?

Now lying to customers to get rid of them is bad customer service. It's not on and I won't take it standing down. Help us all share your bad experiences as these companies take our money and should lose customers if this happens again. Bad reputation is bad for their business, badly treated customers is bad for us. Who should suffer, us or them? You decide?