Ian Blyth – It's Just a Thought

My thoughts and opinions

Archive for the ‘IT’ Category

Smartphone v Nokia

Posted by Ian Blyth on 25 June 2007

I have been using a Windows based Smartphone for a while. The original one was not that great with a need to recharge every night but the C500 was superb. I like the ability to plug into the USB port and get all my mail, contacts and files automatically synched. If you have Exchange server with SP2 you also get the ability to get push e-mail without the expense of a Blackberry server and monthly charge.

I recently got a new phone with my contract as my PDA/phone was too heavy to carry around socially although great for work. The new phone is a Nokia E65 which can also synch with Outlook but with it’s own software. The one thing that I remembered from my original Nokia that I had years ago was the ability to set an alarm and switch the phone off. This is such a great boon. I am in Seattle at the moment and I am 8 hours behind UK time. If I left my Smartphone on for an alarm there was always a risk that someone would call me as early afternoon in the UK is the middle of the night.

If the Smartphone could do that it would be great. I am not sure why it can not.

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Fractals

Posted by Ian Blyth on 19 April 2007

I like these pictures. http://content.techrepublic.com.com/2346-10877_11-56937.html. Here is one example.

They remind me of when I was a kid with Spirograph but now done with computers in 3D and nicer colours. And it seems that you can create them with various software packages. The highlighted one Choascope) is a free program for Windows. Got to their web site as well to see other examples.

“Webshots member sandyckatoused Chaoscope to create these beautiful fractal images. According to the Chaoscope Web site, the program is a “3D strange attractors rendering software.””

I think the Chaos Theory is great. The butterfly’s wings etc.
 

Posted in Fun, IT | 1 Comment »

The 20 Most Annoying Tech Products

Posted by Ian Blyth on 17 April 2007

There is a good list of IT products that have annoyed people over the years with the carpet bombing AOL CDs getting the no 1 spot.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,130638-page,1/article.html?tk=pr_20MATP

They have taken the top 10 and added 10 more from the list. What I liked was the summary of how to annoy people.

14 Surefire Ways to Annoy Users
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,130638-page,6-c,techindustrytrends/article.html

The ones that I hate.
Foisting other software on me when installing something I want. I had to install Apple Quicktime as my new camera does MOV movies. And it tries to install iTunes at every opportunity even though I do not have an iPod and no desire to have one.
Providing a free version but continually nagging to upgrade to the pay for version. I have uninstalled a few products because of this.
Assuming that this little program is in control of my PC and can take over all my settings, put itself in start up without asking and bury its settings deep in the registry so that I can not find them without a lot of work.

In general the ones that seem to violate this are the media players and IM applications although I have found firewall vendors and AV vendors to be just as bad.

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Free game from Microsoft

Posted by Ian Blyth on 8 March 2007

I was checking on Windows Updates and there was a critical download for Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) so I installed it as normal. At the end of the install there was a check box to go to the web site. Normally I would uncheck this but today I left it. On the web site they are trying to preach the advantages of WGA but what caught my eye is that there is a free game for download. I am happy to be bribed to install WGA as all my computers are genuine anyway. If you like these type of games it may be worth a look.

“Match-Up! is a fun new game for Windows XP that tests your memory and matching skills. Flip the cards and match the images while racing against the clock. ”

http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/Default.aspx?displaylang=en

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Spam? What spam?

Posted by Ian Blyth on 22 February 2007

I hear a lot about spam and what a problem it is but I don’t seem to have much of a problem with it. I have 4 main e-mail accounts – Google, Hotmail, BT Internet and work. And I rarely get a spam message into the inbox of any of them. There is spam coming through but it goes into my spam folder which I check every now and then to make sure a real message has not been trapped by the filter. so why is there so much noise about the problem of spam?

If your e-mail provider does not have a good spam filter complain or change providers. If you do not want to change providers then there are many spam filters for mail clients. I understand if it is a dial up and each spam costs money but more and more people are on broadband and it is unlikely to push them over the limit. It would be good if there was a method to make spammers pay for each e-mail. Then they would have to do an ROI to see whether the response they got and therefore sales matched the cost of sending. Which is what companies who post out letters have to do today. If it is not cost effective then they will stop. The law of supply and demand will kick in.

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IBM Ads

Posted by Ian Blyth on 26 September 2006

The IBM TV ads were great. All you needed to say to someone was two blue bars – top and bottom and they said IBM – even if they had nothing to do with IT. Great advertising. 

Shame about the recent set in the magazines– the ones in white with characters called Gil and Ned. You know these were US ads as UK advertisers would not use people called Gil and Ned. Well I hope they wouldn’t!  

What made me smile was a recent one about a department that is frozen – literally. But it is just a metaphor for hard coded and inflexible systems and therefore being locked in. And the answer is to use IBM – to avoid being locked in! This definitely swings it to being done in the US. In general I have found Americans don’t have a great sense of irony. More’s the pity. The irony of it is funnier than all the supposed humour in the ads.

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