Yearly Archives: 2003

Christmas shopping online

As my last article before Christmas, I had big plans of somehow tying the subject of Computing and Christmas together but unfortunately the two don’t seem to compliment each other too fashionably so instead I have opted to answer a couple of readers questions.

I regularly read your article in the H & E and although as one of the older generation and not being very conversant with all the IT technology/terminology I find it very informative and helpful.I have been able to use my son’s computer whilst he has been away and have decided to purchase a system however my concern is that I am unsure whether to purchase via one of the large companies or would it be more sensible to use a smaller reputable local company who are able to give me local back up if required?I’m not Read the rest

Handsfree Kits

I realise that last month a stated that I would be reviewing sites that would save people money on the run up to Christmas but as one of my readers helpfully pointed out, I had completely neglected to cover the new legislation coming into effect that bans the holding of mobile phones whilst driving.Whilst this article is primarily concerned with computing I do like to think that I cover other areas relating to technology in general and of course mobile phones are one of them.

The new law that came into effect at the beginning of the week basically allows the Police to issue on the spot fines of £30 to anybody caught holding a mobile phone and that could rise to £1000 if convicted.This is obviously a fair amount of money and so it makes sense to look at means Read the rest

Duty Free Perfume

How fast the last year appears to have gone; It seems only weeks ago that I was looking forward to the start of summer and as I sit here, Christmas is looming just around the corner with barely a month left until the big day and although I have no idea how many shopping days that equates to, I’m sure that at least one of you has been bored enough to sit down and work it out already.

I thought that a good idea over the next couple of weeks would be to recommend sites that could be of help to you when buying presents for loved ones as there are plenty of savings to be made online.One such site I stumbled across recently after feeling absolutely fleeced by shopping for aftershave in Torquay is www.dutyfreeperfume.co.uk.

Although the site name Read the rest

FT.com

I would not by any means call myself an ‘investor’ although I do have a few hundred pounds invested in relatively high risk penny shares that I like to monitor more for fun than financial gain.Over the past few months there is one site that I’ve found myself heading back to over and over again and that is the website for the Financial Times (www.ft.com)

Since it is such a useful resource and as there may be people reading who take the stock market far more seriously than myself I thought I’d take the time this week to discuss exactly what advantages this site could offer you.I’ll focus on the free areas of the site rather than the subscription areas and first and foremost has got to be the stock quote engine which gives you up to the minute Read the rest

Digital Camera

I’ve always been a fan of digital cameras as the way I see it they are helping encourage amateur photography in the lives of so many people as you no longer need a great deal of equipment to take fantastic photos; all you need is a semi decent digital camera, a computer and a good quality printer to get started.I have always held off buying one though as the way that I see it the only pictures that I would ever take would be when socialising and previously when I have taken a digital camera out it has felt as though I was carrying a bag of sugar in my right pocket which is not what you need when out on the town for an evening.

A friend suggested I looked at the Konica Revio C2 and whilst it doesn’t have Read the rest

New EU Legislation

This week Brendan Hanrahan requested that I give my two cents on an article that the Guardian published recently regarding new EU Legislation that would make downloading files or making copies of files, even if you are completely entitled to do so, illegal.The main thrust of the legislation is to prohibiting public access to devices that can be used for playing legitimately acquired but copy protected CD’s or DVD’s on your PC.

Let me just take a minute to explain how the current system works; you may notice that certain CD’s in the shops will now not play on PC’s and as such they contain appropriate warning messages stating this on the packaging.The system works by providing random spikes of data on the CD which a Hi-Fi would ignore but which would render the CD unreadable to the internal CD drive Read the rest

Windows Longhorn

Let’s take a moment to gaze into the future – The year is 2005 and Microsoft is releasing Windows Longhorn to the world; the operating system that will take over from Windows XP.Of course I’m not a fortune teller so I can’t predict exactly what the Operating System will be like however Microsoft have released a number of preview versions so this week I’ll be taking an educated guess as to what it is that we can expect.

“Longhorn” is actually the codename for the next incarnation of Windows and it is highly unlikely that the Operating System will be called “Windows Longhorn”; knowing Microsoft it will probably be something highly original such as Windows XP 2005 or Windows XP2.

To be quite fair I didn’t really have the inclination to install the ‘Alpha’ (early preview) release on one of my Read the rest

Computer Help

Once again, many thanks for all your kind letters and requests for help; please note however that I can only reply to letters that I print in the Herald Express as I don’t have time to reply to each one individually.I received this letter a couple of weeks ago which got my thinking and I would honestly like the viewpoints of everybody reading on whether you would find such a scheme useful:

I am writing to you in order to warn other people of a problem we’ve had; there seem to be several smart young men with pretty good computer skills who are setting themselves up to help home-computer owners with lesser skills.We have just had a CD burner part installed, so that it doesn’t work and stands out proud from our tower and the young man, a friend of a Read the rest

Remanufactured toner

I’ve talked before about ways to get the most from your inkjet printer but now that we’ve started selling compatible toner cartridges on our website it seemed like a good time to recap exactly how much you could be saving by making a wise choice for your printing needs from day one.

When it comes to inkjet printer cartridges a lot of people are at a loss as to what to buy or they just assume that all printers irrespective of make or model cost approximately the same to buy replacement cartridges for when they run out of ink.That is not the case and the public should be cautious about what to buy should they wish to benefit from cheaper running costs in the long run.Let’s take the four major printer manufactures; Epson, Canon, HP and Lexmark and see where they Read the rest

MSN Add ons

So, you took my advice a couple of weeks back and downloaded MSN Messenger 6 on to your PC, you’ve had a play around, added a number of friends to your contact list but now what?I’m not quite sure how I managed but I accidentally stumbled across the site www.mess.be which contains dozens of add ins and customisations for this fantastic little program.For those of you who are still somewhat unsure, MSN Messenger is a program that allows you chat to friends and even complete strangers over the Internet in either text, audio or audio/video conversations.

Most of the stuff on the add in site is ultimately useless but if you’ve got a few minutes to spare and use MSN Messenger on a regular basis then it is certainly worth checking out.For those of you who haven’t yet downloaded the latest Read the rest

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