Yearly Archives: 2006

Recap on the year Part 2

google-buys-youtube

Last week we looked back at the applications that I featured in Click over the past year and I thought it would be worthwhile to follow that up with some of the biggest technology developments of 2006 as to get an idea as to how things have changed over the past twelve months.

I feel that the most fundamental change this year has been a fairly substantial mainstream shift to the use of modern day technology.A large amount of the population now use iPods, DVD Recorders, SatNav systems, camera phones and the such daily but additionally, as well as the Internet being the tool to purchase most this stuff it also dominates pub conversations across the country.Long gone are the days that such gadgets and such interests were the realms for geeks only, you could now almost say that technology was becoming ‘cool’.

The main growth area this year would Read the rest

Recap on the year

Bittorrent

I had every intention of writing an article this week somehow linking computers and Christmas however as the two really aren’t related in any way, shape or form I have once again given up on this idea and decided to do something completely different.Close to the end of the year I thought it might be handy to recap on some of the best links to free software that I have featured in Click in the past year.

Firefox 2.0www.getfirefox.com – Fantastic web browser that is small, fast and secure – still beats Internet Explorer hands down in my opinion.

Thunderbirdwww.getthunderbird.com – A powerful e-mail client from the same people that released Firefox.Offers advanced junk mail blocking, anti-phishing protection.

Skypewww.skype.co.uk – One of the most popular VOIP (Voice Over IP) programs, this application can be used to make free calls to other Skype users around Read the rest

Speech Recognition

speech-recognition

I am one of those fortunate enough to be able to touch type although having seen many people struggle with a keyboard I thought it was about time to discuss using Speech Recognition to ease the burden faced by the two finger typers left in this world.In addition to helping those not familiar with using a keyboard Speech Recognition can also be extremely useful to people that through disability physically have trouble typing.

Fortunately getting set up with Speech recognition is completely free for those that have the popular Office XP installed on their machine and to get started simply requires finding a suitable microphone.Although a standard desk microphone would be sufficient it would certainly be worthwhile investing on a dedicated headset.These can be purchased relatively cheaply through many computer stores or pop in to Refresh and I’d be happy to hook you up with one for next to nothing.Read the rest

Playstation 3

playstation-3

Those who are looking for a new console this Christmas will be given the choice of either the Microsoft Xbox 360 console or the soon to be released Nintendo Wii.Things aren’t that simple however because there is also the Playstation 3 due to be released early next year raising the question as to whether it’s worth holding out for the Sony offering.

I haven’t had chance to play on this machine just yet as it is not currently released in the UK however it is available in the United States so this weeks article will focus more on talking about the technical details of the machine as reported by our overseas friends rather than my own personal experiences.There are also two versions of the Playstation 3 available in the US although at present I am unable to ascertain so to whether both versions of the console will be available in Read the rest

Plasma vs. LCD

plasma-vs-lcd

Just recently I heard the news that the key makers of Plasma TV’s have banded together to fight the rising popularity of LCD TV’s.It is fairly unprecedented move but understandable when you consider that LCD has taken over the market for TV’s smaller than 40inches and are now starting to encroach on the market for larger screens.I thought with Christmas around the corner and a new TV being on many wish lists that it would be an idea to take an objective view as to which technology would be best to unwrap on the big day.

There isn’t enough space in this article to go in to the actual working of the technologies used in both types of TV so we’ll leave that for another week.For today though I thought it would be best to have simple bullet points simply explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Screen SizeRead the rest

MySpace

myspace

Up until now I have put off talking about the popular friend network myspace.com as the whole idea of what seemed to amount to nothing more than an online popularity contest didn’t really appeal to me.After being hassled by a couple of people to sign up I have now made the leap and created my own profile and so far have found the whole experience pretty rewarding!

Unless you have had your head well and truly buried in the sand it is unlikely you haven’t already heard of MySpace as Alexa are currently ranking it as the fifth most popular site on the Internet.You may well be like me however and be in need a little push to actually set up an account.

The idea behind MySpace is simple; you create a profile describing yourself and your interests and then go off in search of any of your other friends Read the rest

UltraVNC

UltraVNC

Just over two years ago now I reviewed a piece of software called PC Anywhere as a solution for those that wanted to control any number of PC’s remotely.Rather naively I thought that when it came to remote control that this software was pretty much the best it got however just recently we’ve had computer repair company move in to a room in the Refresh building and they kindly introduced a piece of software called UltraVNC.They use this software for fixing customer problems without having to even leave the building and I thought this would be of interest to a number of my readers.

I personally have use for such a program as there are several computers in the office that all have different e-mail accounts and applications installed on them and it can sometimes be helpful to be able to control any computer from the one machine.Home users who Read the rest

AVG 7.5

avg-75

I’m still genuinely amazed by the number of my readers who are still using paid for anti-virus programs after I have recommended time and time again a completely free solution.I’m assuming the reasoning is that the public believe that a free version of an application as important as a virus checker would be substandard and offer inadequate protection hence why I’m here today to try and change this perception.

I think there’s no better way to change this perception than to ask a home user to look at the typical anti-virus software of choice used by IT professionals.Rather than using the larger commercial applications these people often choose to use products such as AVG and this is for more reasons than simply cost.Many in the industry are very much under whelmed by the quality of many of the larger paid for solutions and without singling out individual products I can Read the rest

Rockstar Classics

grand-theft-auto

Those that read Click will know how much I love free software although up until now very few of my articles have focused on gaming due to the fact that this series was intended to be educational and so concentrates more on applications and utilities.This week however I thought we’d take a break from the serious stuff as I’ve just discovered that several of my favourite old school games have been made available online as legal, free downloads.

All three games that I am going to look at today are available on the website www.rockstargames.com/classics/ and are manufactured by the games producer Rockstar.This particular company made it big and hit all the headlines back in 1998 when they released game Grand Theft Auto and this is the first game I’m going to look at today.

Grand Theft Auto

GTA allowed the player to take on the role of a criminal Read the rest

FireFox 2.0

firefox-2

Last week we discussed Internet Explorer 7, the latest browser offering from Microsoft, and decided that whilst long overdue did go some way to addressing the functionality gap between the rather dated IE 6 and newer alternatives such as Opera and Firefox.

Not wanting to be outdone Mozilla today released the latest version of its browser, rather imaginatively entitled ‘Firefox 2.0’ which once again ups the stakes in the long running browser wars.Since I have talked about features such as tabbed browsing many times in the past I will today focus purely on the differences between version 2 and version 1.5.For those of you that missed my review of 1.5 towards the beginning of this year please remember that it can be found on the free Click archives website at www.computerarticles.co.uk.

The most apparent change in the new version of Firefox is the interface which includes new shaped glossy Read the rest

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