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Readers Questions

It’s time once again for me to hand over to one of my regular readers who has a few handy nuggets of information he would like to pass along to us.

The big story in the computer world this week is the fuss that has been made over Google’s plans to introduce an online storage scheme. This came out in the media after notes from a Google company meeting were inadvertently published on the internet, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4782108.stm . The only surprise here is the fuss because there is currently no shortage of online storage facilities, with Streamload www.streamload.com being a popular free service with paid upgrades. The fuss may be due to Google’s size and the fact that it already has encyclopaedic knowledge about its users’ computer habits.

Also in the news this week comes the revelation that many people now spend more time online than they do watching the television, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4784518.stm. This fits me to a tee since I spend very little time watching Coronation Street etc compared to using my broadband connection.

Also from BBC news, an old e-mail hoax has resurfaced. There have been rumours that free webmail services like Hotmail and Yahoo! are about to end and charge a fee for their services, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4778046.stm. There is a bit of truth in this since there are plans to introduce “premium” e-mail services which guarantee rapid delivery and a receipt confirmation, which could be useful for business users who do not want their inboxes to be bogged down with adverts for fake Viagra and get rich quick schemes. However, free webmail supported by advertising looks safe for the time being.

Finally, you can always learn something new while computing and a while back I learnt that you can use animated GIFs as desktop wallpaper – It certainly makes a change!

Finally, someone gave me a business card the other day that said on the reverse “Business cards are FREE at www.vistaprint.co.uk” and obviously being interested in all new computer things I checked out the website. The Vistaprint website contains a set of free templates for business cards and it allows you to create your own card online. There is one downside in the fact that you do have to pay £3.62 for post and packing but for 250 cards printed in colour this cost is certainly still reasonable.

Ian MacMillan

Once again another really useful contribution from Ian and a few websites for you guys to check out when you have a minute. I have seen a sample of the business cards that Ian bought into the shop and they are of a good enough quality although the VistaPrint advert does have to be on the back of the business card but for personal users this really shouldn’t be a problem. Remember that I welcome contributions and suggestions from all readers so if you have any tips of your own to pass along then please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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