Monthly Archives: March 2009

Google Street View

I’m not sure what it is that they put in the water over at Google HQ but whatever it is, I want some. Such a large percentage of my articles have been devoted to the material that Google relentlessly produces that, without them, I genuinely doubt I would have found sufficient interesting content to keep this article going over the last eight years. To top it all they go and release “Google Street View”.

I can practically imagine the meeting in which an employee stood up and proclaimed “let’s drive specially modified cars down every street in the entire world and create a three dimensional virtual representation that anybody can then browse at home for free”. In any other company you would undoubtedly be ridiculed but at Google this idea was taken on board and followed through so over a period of two years practically every major city in the … Read the rest

Google Docs

Google Docs has been around for some time now but until recently I’d never managed to find a use for it in my life and my lack of experience with the service means I’ve not felt confident enough to recommend it to readers.We are currently going through the process of getting another shop up and running in Newton Abbot which has necessitated several people working on the same few spreadsheets (costing exercises, proposed time sheets and so on) from several different locations.Google Docs has worked out perfectly for this task.

To get started, set up a free Google Account (if you don’t already have one) at there you will now be able to create an online Document, Spreadsheet or Presentation.As well as then giving you access to these documents from wherever you are in the world, you also have the added advantage that you can choose to share Read the rest

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Of all the technologies found in a modern computer, I would have to say that over the past decade the device that has done the least to raise its game is the humble hard drive. It could be argued that over the years they have enjoyed significant increases in capacity, have become a great deal faster and a fair bit smaller, but for some time now it has been clear that the main storage device for your computer is also its biggest bottleneck.

My first hard drive held 20MB and I’m currently using one which holds 1TB so although I can admit that a 50,000 times increase in capacity is a substantial development, this doesn’t deter from the fact that the technology involved has remained very much unchanged.A hard disk relies on a number of spinning discs, referred to as platters which are then read by a read-and-write head; the Read the rest

Bundled Software #2

This week I received the following e-mail in response to my article last week regarding useless software which is ordinarily bundled with any new computer.

“Hi Chris, I’ve got a couple more suggestions for you…

Avoid: Microsoft Office 2007

Why?: Its annoying interface is a step backwards in usability and as usual Microsoft have put even more bloated junk in thereWorse still, they attempt to up sell features like SharePoint to get the customer into expensive server software.

Superior Alternative: 3 ( which is available for Windows and now natively for MacOS X and Linux. It’s free and does the job perfectly well and it’s compatible with all current and previous Microsoft Office formats.

Avoid: Microsoft Outlook Express

Why?: Like Internet Explorer, it’s prone to security vulnerabilities and it wouldn’t think twice about e-mailing everyone in your address book if the user were to Read the rest