Tag Archives: Couple Of Minutes

WordPress 2.8.5

wordpress

It’s been a year now since I was first properly introduced to WordPress and started using it to create an online archive of my work. Over the last 12 months I have grown to appreciate the power and flexibility of this piece of online blogging software and feel the need today to go in to a little more detail.

WordPress is a free and open source publishing application which gives home users the ability to quickly and easily create an online blog using their own domain name. Blogging, the term used to describe the maintenance of a website used to chronicle information has become incredibly popular in recent years as more users realise that the Internet provides a global platform which can be used to broadcast their ideas or opinions.

For most, the prospect of coding a website from scratch is not just a daunting but potentially impossible task, and so it is down to worthy applications such as WordPress to make blogging accessible to the masses. Undeniably a small amount of technical knowhow is required however the process of the initial installation couldn’t really have been made any simpler.

Begin by registering your domain name (for example, I chose www.computerarticles.co.uk) and sort out a hosting package. The hosting of your blog shouldn’t cost more than around £25 a year and you may want to use the same company for this that you used to register the domain.

With this process complete, download the WordPress application from www.wordpress.org and upload it to your web space before running a single installation file which will configure the software to work with your web host and allow you to set up initial settings such as a user name and password. Someone with a basic knowledge of setting up a website should be able to complete the process in a couple of minutes however even basic users should find they are able to complete the installation in around 20 minutes by following the step by step guide online.

Once installed you can begin adding content by way of a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) text editor which allows you to quickly and easily knock out an article using features such as bullet pointing, text alignment and text effects without having to worry about getting your hands dirty by doing any coding.

So far this is all fairly basic stuff however WordPress comes in to its own when you start to play around with some of the settings relating to the look and feel of your new blog. The theme selector for example is an incredibly powerful element of the software which allows you to automatically style your site in a set fashion by choosing one of over one thousand themes. Don’t assume that these are all incredibly similar and that every WordPress site will look the same. The theme you use will radically change not only how your blog looks but also how it feels; for example, the entire navigational layout of the site can be changed simply by selecting a new theme.

Updating the blog and providing additional functionality for both you and your users is also easily achieved but unfortunately I’ve reached my word limit so this will be continued next week.

 

 

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges. They supply a range of compatible and original printer cartridges at low prices, including the Epson T0611.

BT iPlate

iplate

I’ve been writing just recently about slow broadband connections and discussing common methods used to improve line speeds. This week I was pointed in the direction of a little device which claims to potentially increase the speed of your broadband connection for just under £7.

The BT iPlate is of potential use to broadband customers that have more than one telephone socket in their home. It consists of a small plate which is installed in to the master socket and works by attempting to reduce interference picked up by any extension wiring in your home.

It works by cutting out the ‘bell wire’ cable on your line; originally this would have been used by older telephones to allow a physical bell to ring however modern day handsets have a ring feature built in and, as such, it is now redundant. Ideally, (but somewhat impractically) the bell wire would be removed from your home by a BT engineer as it now only serves as a conduit for line interference.

By using the iPlate the bell wire is choked, therefore potentially improving the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of your connection which in turn should have a knock-on effect on the line speed.

The iPlate is only suitable for customers who have the most common BT NTE5 style master socket; these consist of a split face plate with a single phone connection. The bottom section can be unscrewed independently from the top of the socket which should have the BT logo embossed on it.

It is NOT suitable for master sockets which display the BT OpenReach logo, have two phone connections, or don’t have a split in the faceplate. Also, ensure that you are examining the master socket and not one of the extension sockets.

Installation is simple; you unscrew and remove the lower section of the master socket, install the iPlate in its place, then reinstall the lower section of the master socket on top of the iPlate. From start to finish this process will take no more than a couple of minutes.

Before installation I would recommend performing a speed test using a website such as www.speedtest.net as this will allow you to gauge whether or not there has been any marked improvement. Leave a couple of days before testing the line post installation as it can take up to 72 hours for the exchange to acknowledge that your potential speed is faster. This limiting factor is referred to as a ‘bRAS profile’ and is designed to stop traffic bottle necking at the exchange as a result of it attempting to transmit data faster than your line can physically handle.

Fortunately our home doesn’t have a bell-wire or any extensions as we ripped out the old line when we bought the house and a single socket was then installed in a different location with none of the redundant bell wire reconnected. As such, I have been unable to test it personally but the general independent consensus is that although it doesn’t make a difference in all home installations, there is the potential for many users to make quite considerable speed gains with 1.5mbps increases proving relatively common.

As I said, the theory is sound and for £6.63 including delivery (www.shop.bt.com) or free if you’re a BT Total Broadband customer (visit www.bt.com to order), the iPlate has got to be worth a punt. Of course, if your wiring isn’t a factor that is influencing your line speed and you achieve nothing then simply pass the device on to a friend.

 

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who are a company that supply a wide range of cartridges to the UK market at incredibly low prices including the Canon CLI-521M cartridge.

Anti Spy ware and Virus Checking

With all the Christmas and New Year celebrations and work that has resulted due to Christmas sales, I’m struggling to get everything tied up and so I thought it would be nice this week if I were to reprint an article I wrote months ago which many of my readers found particularly helpful but also many of you also missed. This essential piece of software mentioned below really should be downloaded and installed by everybody reading this article along with the free version of the AVG Anti-virus checker which I’ve also been recommending in the past year.

Quite a common complaint submitted by readers is intrusive software which often installs itself onto their systems with no easy way to remove it. Quite often the software contains questionable content such as pornographic links and it can be quite concerning if the computer is shared with other members of the family as there is often no way to delete the links that have been created. I managed to find a nice piece of software called ‘Spybot Search & Destroy’ removes any such questionable software and tries to prevent it from re-returning.

Once you’ve started the program you should scan your system for spyware & adware which takes a couple of minutes to complete and the program then displays a list of the problems that it found on your system along with the option to automatically repair them. It’s surprising how much rubbish many of you will have running in the background constantly as I keep a regularly clean out junk applications and the program managed to detect at least a dozen or so rouge applications installed on my hard drive. By removing them you can free up valuable system resources and also make your computer slightly more pleasant to use and an important point to note is that the software does make a backup as it goes along so if you find that certain programs won’t work anymore then you can always restore your system to how it was previously. Once you’ve cleaned out all the rubbish which has then the program has the option to immunise your system which installs preventative measures to help prevent rouge software from installing itself again.

If you head to https://security.kolla.de/ then the file is 3.5Mg in size so even on a 56k connection it should only take 10 minutes or so to download and the best news is that it’s completely free of charge although the author does ask for a donation if you find it helpful and the free AVG virus checker should be downloaded from www.grisoft.com. To conclude, one of the most annoying areas of the modern Internet is the large number of programmers on the Internet who believe that it is acceptable to install useless software on to your computer without your permission and without any easy way to uninstall just so they can make some quick money. Much of this software exposes you to constant pop up advertising without your permission or tracks your browsing habits so I personally believe that any program which tries to kerb this abuse has to be worth installing.

Computer cleanup

A niggling computer problem I’ve been living with recently just got a little too much and so the last 15 minutes have been spent looking for a solution which I thought may have been of interest to the majority of you. Specifically, the problem I was experiencing was a nasty piece of code called ‘Lop.com’ which meant that whenever an incorrect website was typed in to the address bar that the website lop.com would appear filled with adverts. So, for example if I misspelt Google and typed in www.goagle.co.uk rather than www.google.co.uk then I would be subjected to blatant advertising rather than the screen that used to come up saying that the page could not be found.

Quite a common complaint submitted by readers is intrusive software which often installs itself onto their systems with no easy way to remove it. Quite often the software contains questionable content such as pornographic links and it can be quite concerning if the computer is shared with other members of the family as there is often no way to delete the links that have been created. Although this wasn’t the problem in my case, I imagined that a program to remove ‘lop.com’ from my computer would also be able to go through and move other offensive software and so after doing a search of the Internet I managed to find a nice piece of software called ‘Spybot Search & Destroy’ which I promptly downloaded and installed on to my system.

Once you’ve started the program you should scan your system for spyware & adware which takes a couple of minutes to complete and the program then displays a list of the problems that it found on your system along with the option to automatically repair them. It’s surprising how much rubbish many of you will have running in the background constantly as I keep a regularly clean out junk applications and the program managed to detect at least a dozen or so rouge applications installed on my hard drive. By removing them you can free up valuable system resources and also make your computer slightly more pleasant to use and an important point to note is that the software does make a backup as it goes along so if you find that certain programs won’t work anymore then you can always restore your system to how it was previously. Once you’ve cleaned out all the rubbish which has then the program has the option to immunise your system which installs preventative measures to help prevent rouge software from installing itself again.

If you head to https://security.kolla.de/ then the file is 3.5Mg in size so even on a 56k connection it should only take 10 minutes or so to download and the best news is that it’s completely free of charge although the author does ask for a donation if you find it helpful. To conclude, one of the most annoying areas of the modern Internet is the large number of programmers on the Internet who believe that it is acceptable to install useless software on to your computer without your permission and without any easy way to uninstall just so they can make some quick money. Much of this software exposes you to constant pop up advertising without your permission or tracks your browsing habits so I personally believe that any program which tries to kerb this abuse has to be worth installing.

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