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Long term data storage

I’ve had a few people ask me just recently what method I would recommend when planning a long term backup strategy. One elderly gentleman in particular was creating a family time capsule that he wanted his children and grandchildren to be able to view many decades from now.

The question isn’t as easy as you may think. You may imagine that the data could be burnt to CD, locked in a cupboard and that it would last forever however unfortunately this isn’t the case. There are literally hundreds of suitably stored but physically decayed CD’s from my teenage years which I could use as testament to that.

Therefore I’ve made a list of common formats one would usually consider for archiving a large amount of data so you can pick the most suitable one for your needs:

Hard Disk - When used on a regular basis a hard disk will … Read the rest

WordPress 2.8.5 – Part 2

Last week we were looking in to the powerful WordPress editor. Those that missed my last article can view a copy either at the Herald Express’s website (www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk) or on my own online blog (www.computerarticles.co.uk).

To recap, WordPress (www.wordpress.org) is an open source application which gives home users the ability to quickly and easily create an online blog, a term used to describe a website which provides an ongoing chronicle of information. After covering the basics last week we’ll now start to uncover the more advanced features that really make WordPress stand out from the crowd.

The term ‘plug-in’ is used to describe a small piece of software written by either the WordPress authors or a third party which provide additional features not found on a standard installation. If a blogger finds that WordPress doesn’t cater for a particular requirement of his then in … Read the rest

Google PageRank

I often trump Google as being my Search Engine of choice and one of the main reasons behind this is due to the relevancy of the results that it returns.Most would just take these results for granted but I believe that sometimes it’s nice to know what factors contributed to a page being recommended to me.If you have a website then a basic understanding of Search Engine processes will set you in good stead as understanding how they recommend sites is the first step to learning how improve your own positioning in the results.

Allegedly there are currently around 150,000,000 websites active on the Internet and, as such, getting them in to any kind of order isn’t a particularly easy job.In order to catalogue websites in to their database the search engines employ the use of computer programs known as ‘spiders’ which follow links from one website to another, documenting Read the rest

Google Toolbar

As many of my readers will know, Google is by far my favourite search engine and a free tool that has been available for all users of Google for some time now certainly deserves a mention in Click.The Google toolbar which is available from http://toolbar.google.com/ is a small utility which integrates and becomes an add in for Internet Explorer which adds a number of features to your browsing experience.Some of which I’ve highlighted below:

-Pop up blocker: By far my favourite feature; quite simply the Google toolbar sits in the background and prevents websites from popping windows up whilst you’re browsing the Internet.These windows are more than likely to contain adverts and they’re also more than likely to annoy you so this is definitely something worth activating.Of course, if you do want a website to be allowed to pop up Read the rest

Web 2.0

Possibly one of the most useless phrase that’s currently doing the rounds is ‘Web 2.0’.I call it useless as the term implies that there is a new version of the World Wide Web available, and that us fools left using the old Web 1.0 should probably catch on and make the switch; fortunately this isn’t the case.

The term was coined by O’Reilly Media 2.0 back in 2003, and was popularised by the first Web 2.0 convention in 2004 and then a series of successive conferences.Eventually it become adopted by the wider community however when a customer of mine asked me earlier today to define exactly what Web 2.0 meant I was stuck; hence my sudden need to write this article.

I don’t feel bad for not knowing how to define the standard as even Tim O’Reilly, the man who is credited with creating the term seems to describe it Read the rest

Cooliris

Cooliris is a free add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer that enhances the way you view content on the hundreds of currently compatible sites. It is essentially a rather flash looking graphic user interface with a few nice features.

The main draw is the impressive way it presents you with an endless wall of images from your chosen page and allows you to browse them by dragging the page and then enlarging the picture/video of your choice. My description does not really do the effect justice, by comparison it is somewhere between Sci-Fi style smart boards found on CSI/Minority Report and the album selection method on iPod/iPhones. Although this may not seem particularly useful at first, once you begin to play around with the features including the add-on really begins to shine.

While hundreds of sites such as Facebook and Myspace are compatible, I would imagine most people would use … Read the rest

Moneysavingguide.com

A few weeks back I took a look at the uswitch.com website which allows you compare various utilities and products to allow you to select the one that best suits your needs at the keenest price.Keeping on the theme of money saving we this week feature the website www.moneysavingexpert.com which is a little more diverse in the advice it gives to help you out financially.

The site itself is completely free to use and rather than being paid for by advertising revenue it is financed by intermediaries such as the aforementioned uswitch.com.The content of the site falls into several main headings which I have outlined below:

Articles – This includes an archive of the articles all written by the man behind the site, Martin Lewis.Over the years he has written hundreds of them and everyone well written and full of common sense ideas so it’s certainly worth taking the time Read the rest

File Sharing.

I’ve recently downloaded the latest version Kazaa Media Desktop; an application that I’ve been using for quite a while now to search for files and download files over the Internet and since I’m quite impressed by the way the program is shaping up, I thought I’d give you all a run-down on what the product has to offer.

Kazaa is somewhat similar in style to the now defunct Napster in the way that you could simply log on, type in the name of the music file you were looking for and then download it straight off of another Napster users hard drive.Kazaa builds on this idea by offering a number of additional features such as the ability to search for pictures, videos and software files and whilst I obviously don’t condone piracy, the application is decentralised which means that it will Read the rest

Firefox Extensions

Many of my Click articles end up with me banging on about how good Firefox is and how all my readers should consider using it as their main browser over Internet Explorer which is bundled free with Microsoft Windows.Since one of the main arguments I use is the large amount of third party add-ons that are available I thought this week I should probably corroborate that thinking by naming a few of them.

Add-ons (otherwise known as extensions or plug-ins) aren’t pieces of software in their own right but rather small bits of code designed to integrate with an existing application in order to extend its capabilities in one way or another.Firefox like many other browsers on the market encourage users to take advantage of this facility so that they can extend their browser in a way that suits them.

I’ve picked a few of the most popular plug-ins available, Read the rest

Google Healthcare

Several years ago I wrote about the NHS Direct (www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk) website and the assistance it could offer with regards to checking up on any medical symptoms you may experience, without the need to necessarily see a doctor.Over the past years not only has this website been extremely popular, but doctors now regularly encounter informed patients who have ‘Googled’ their symptoms before booking an appointment.Whilst there are concerns about patients developing hypochondria or misdiagnosing themselves, few can argue that this kind of access to medical information isn’t a good thing.It seems therefore fitting that just recently that two of the biggest technology companies, Google and Microsoft appear to be in a position where they can make a significant impact on the healthcare sector.

To take matters one at a time, Google has recently invested in the genetic profiling company ’23 and me’ which is a privately held biotechnology company, Read the rest

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