Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

one two , one two ladies and gentlemen

August 11, 2014 Leave a comment

More testing I’m afraid, hopefully these changes will sort everything for the first game of the season next week.



Categories: Technology


August 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Moving to a new domain was not as easy as I thought and I seem to be getting some odd results linking from other blogs. So just testing here. Move on ……………………


It's here !

It’s here !

Categories: Technology Tags:

2012 in review

January 2, 2013 Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Technology

Windows 8 Second Impressions

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Windows 8 is like something that has never been before. To some its 2 oS’s in one, to  others its a mess. To me it needs time to be appreciated for what it is. I’ll admit I have been harsh on it before here exactly one year an a day ago, but I kept an open mind and after using the full release as my main machine I’m starting to see the benefits.

In the market there are two key interfaces. First up is the traditional desktop, all icons, and file manager and full control. To me its nearly always how I work, but I’m a techie. This has been used to drive huge profits for both Microsoft (all version of Windows), and Apple (all the OS’s since day dot).

The other way is also trumpeted by Apple and now Android. The app. There is no OS to speak of for the user, just loads of icons, that fire up applications, and when your done you go back to the beginning. This key change here is the move to touch based control from keyboard and mouse. You have probably seen enough 3 year olds with Ipads to know how easy this is to pick up !

Before I begin, here be a warning. Do not do an in place upgrade from Windows 7. It will not work, unless you are lucky. Took me 1/2 a day to recover from this. Start afresh and save time.

All MS has done is to combine the two, no more no less. This seemed to be a bit weird, but once you get used to it makes sense. If I want a rich outlook experience I fire it up, and work away, and integrate with SharePoint, and all the rest. If I want to quickly check emails, without mucking about with a web client, I just tap mail on the start screen. Simples. If I want a full active x rich web experience with toolbars, etc (not that I do, but some do), then there it is, and if I want a quick browse that’s there as well, with no fuss. So in all, its should be the best of both worlds (should).

The metro interface seems a little superfluous at first, and I spent most of my time in the desktop, pretending it was Windows 7, but then I noticed that more and more I moved across to the metro interface just to check x and y. With the active tiles sometimes I didn’t have to click anything !

My main annoyance last time around was the inability to close metro apps easily. Task manager sort of spoils the experience. Until I found the corners. The corners are everything in metro. Top left brings up the last app you had open. useful for jumping around, and importantly, the app you have just left becomes the “last” app. Bottom left is the best in my opinion. You get the start menu link, but more importantly if you move the mouse straight up along the left edge, you get all the open apps, which you can navigate to,  and you can right click and close as you feel fit. Still not as good as a big X in the corner, but easier than before.

Top and bottom right, do the same thing, they open the “charms menu”, basically settings, search, start, devices and sharing. This can be a bit fiddly but fear not Windows button and C are your friends. Then use the arrow keys and return to select. This is also context sensitive so if you are in an app and do this, you can search within an app. E.G. in IE, you get the internet search box.

Having used this for over a week now, I find that I don’t need to make the move to a touch device. This is opposite to what I originally thought. This OS is spot on for a laptop, and the fact it goes like a train helps.

Another tip is, when in a Metro app, it can be a litte frustrating at the lack of option buttons, and configuration choices. Just find a bit of blank desktop estate and right click. A pound to a penny you get what you need. Some of the apps needs sorting (Evernote – I’m looking at you !), but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The app listing on the left. Too useful.


So there you go. The second impression. Better than the first.

IOS6 3GS and Maps

October 13, 2012 Leave a comment

After a successful post going through my experiences of upgrading the 3GS, I was presented with an opportunity to give the much maligned maps a real time run as a Sat-Nav.

As most of you may know, the maps facility on the 3GS is slightly downgraded in so much as there is no voice instruction, so you  are left with the maps. This is not an issue as i hardly ever use the voice instructions on the one built into the car either.

My journey was about 30 miles around the M25 and then 5 miles home, so not that tricky. For those of you not in the UK, the M25 runs in a 140mile loop around London.

It located my location quickly and gave me a route just as quick. Instead of getting voice,  you get a signpost with an instruction  eg drive here for 15 miles or turn off at junction 2 and head towards London on M2, etc. So detailed enough, but may not be too much help if you are not familiar with the route. I imagine it would be easy to get a turning wrong.

As you hit your next turning, a dark circle appears on the map, highlighting you have a move to make, which is already detailed on the screen. So far , so good, but if you are making several quick turns is can get out of sync, or just not update. This I imagine will be the biggest issue. Having used the 4S, it seems to be a lot better in this respect.

There appear to be a bug, because if the phone orientation is changed, normally from portrait to landscape, sometimes the map doesn’t appear on the screen. and you just see your little blue dot travelling across a screen.

My next test is to see if this works without recourse to using 3g, eg can it just use GPS? Next week in America will tell me pretty quickly. I assume not, but I will update here. As a warning a 40 minute journey took 20% battery. So the advice is to take a charger on your travels if you intend to use this a lot.

Would I throw away my Sat-Nav? No. But if stuck I would use this. Now Apple just need to work on the accuracy of the data! see here

Left !, No Right !, Do what you want !

Categories: Apple, Software, Technology Tags: , , , , , ,

IOS6 and Exchange Calendars (now fixed)

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Edit of a doc I published back in early Oct 2012. This is now fixed by using IOS 6.0.1.

New edit. Looks like IOS 6.1 and exchange do not play well together!


This happened earlier in the week, when it appeared i had cancelled a meeting , when in fact i had been nowhere near the invite except accepting it, some weeks ago. This was also not my invite, therefore i have no way (usually) of cancelling it !

So with this odd behaviour i thought no more until one of my key suppliers sent me the following today. They are a big firm with many idevices of varying ages, etc. I also have to assume a company of this size will be taken seriously by both Microsoft and Apple. Please read the release below:

IT continues to investigate the Apple iOS 6 calendar issues outlined below, and we are working with Apple and Microsoft to resolve the problem. Because there is no change at this point, you should continue to handle meeting invitations using your PC or Mac instead of your iPhone or iPad. There is no estimated resolution date. IT will continue to update you in the meantime.

We have learned that the new Apple iOS 6 has caused intermittent and inadvertent deletion of Outlook meetings from calendars. This is a global issue not specific to us, but we have received several reports of calendar items being deleted from our calendars. The issue at times occurs intermittently when a meeting is sent to a DL, and a user who has upgraded to Apple’s iOS 6 (either via an iPhone 5 or by upgrading a current iPhone) deletes the meeting. The meeting appears to have been cancelled by the person who deleted the meeting, who now appears to be the meeting’s organizer.  This has also occurred without any user actions.

We have elevated this issue with both Microsoft and Apple but there is currently no resolution. Both software vendors are suggesting that users only handle meeting invitations using their PCs or Mac Outlook clients, versus managing appointments on your iOS device (iPhone and/or iPad) for the time being. We will continue to provide updates every morning until there is a resolution.

So there you go, leave alone your idevice if you want to manage your day. Along with maps, this is rough ride time for Apple.

Update 16/10/2012. This has no fix in sight, and Apple and MS are still saying use outlook and don’t manage your diary using your £500 phone. Amazing !

Stop. Dont go there ! Or you might never know you were supposed to be there.

UPDATE: 06/12/2012. This apparently has been fixed by an update in IOS update 6.0.1 Currently in testing.

UPDATE: 18/02/2013. OS testing obviously not a hot spot for Apple right now. Apparently IOS 6.1 causes Exchange 201 to misbehave and in extreme circumstances stop working. Not mentioned in the link is the fact that apparently 6.1.1 is not the fix, as that just for batteries on the 4S. Madness.  More new here :

Macbook Pro RAM upgrade

October 9, 2012 Leave a comment

I have an early 2011 13″ Macbook Pro Laptop. Great piece of kit, but now i’m getting more into photography, and I like playing with my toys. Therefore I decided the 4GB factory RAM had to go, and £60 to got me 16GB of the finest DDR3 1300 Mhz RAM. Fitting it was quite easy, but slightly different from a PC, therefore I thought I’d document it here for anyone whose not sure. Although Apple don’t like you in their mobile kit, this generation is the last one where you can get in, so lets do it. First, make sure it is switched off and not plugged into a power source, then flip it over onto its front, so the base is in the air. Like this:

Base of the Macbook

You need to remove 10 screws with a small phillips screwdriver (I used one from a Jewellers set). WARNING: these fellas are small so be careful. There are 4 at the top, 4 at the bottom ,and one in the middle of the left and right hand side. There are two types of screw. So I could get them all to be in the right place for screwing back in, I put them down about 3 inches  away from the hole perpendicular to the case. This means they end up surrounding the case. Once they are all off, you can just lift of the thin base cover. Once off, you should see the picture below:

Naked Macbook. Note screws below the screw holes.

The small green rectangle in the piccie above is the memory. This has to come out. In order to remove a memory stick, apply light outward pressure to the small grey plastic clip which is holding in the the memory stick. Once the holding clip clears the stick it should pop up to about 30 degrees. You should then be able to gently pull the stick out. It is held in a slot, with a key about 2/3 rds from the left, so some firm pulling but no yanking should get you the first stick.

One out one to go.

This is where the Mac differs from a PC. Normally on a PC, the RAM slots are next to each over, not on top of each other, but as you can see, its not exactly empty in there!. Pop out the next one using the same method. I was concerned that this may need removal of the battery, but it didn’t. Slightly tight to get out, but not too much trouble.

Empty ! All Done

Then get your new RAM. Once you have them to hand, reverse the process. Pop back in the first stick. The key to this is to make sure the stick is fully in the slot, and then push down from 30 degrees back to flat. You should hear the click, as the clips secure the chip.

First one in ! Note the lugs over the edges !

Then pop in the second. Because the slots are off centre, this is impossible to get round the wrong way.

Once they are both in, pop the lid back on (with all the screws !). Tip for putting the screws in. Due to the “industrial design ” of these products (see awkward), the screws go in at a slight angle so they are flush with the case.

Thats it! Switch on, and if all goes well (it may take longer to boot, as it needs to check more memory on startup), login, and click the apple icon on the top left of the screen. Click  About this Mac. You should see something like this:

Well done !