Archive for February, 2011

Unsolicited Post from Domain Renewal Group

28 February 2011

Today I received a very professional looking letter from the “Domain Renewal Group”.

Quoting one of the domain names registered to me, they say “Registering your name with is will ensure you retain exclusive rights to it on the web, and now is the time to transfer and renew your name from your current Registrar to the Domain Renewal Group. Failure to renew your domian name by the expiration date may result in a loss of your online identity making it difficult for your customers and friends to locate you in the Web.”

The back of the letter has a “Registration Agreement” in very small print. Under Limitation of Liability they say ” YOU AGREE THAT WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY (1) SUSPENSION OR LOSS OF THE SERVICES(S)…”

This company is sending out unsolicited mail that which can be a seriousĀ  nuisance. Not only do they charge well over double what you should be paying, but if you agree to transfer to them it could create new problems as to who provides your email and web hosting.

Most companies you register your domain with will automatically renew your domain. If for some reason you do not have auto renew turned on, or your payment details have expired, they will notify you by email well in advance.

Letters like these should be shredded and not given any further thought.

They are a waste of good resources and can take advantage of those that do not know better.

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Alternative to Windows Live Sync – DropBox and Sugarsync

27 February 2011

Windows Live Sync was an excellent and completely free tool that could synchornise documents between computers.

Sadly on 31 March 2011, Microsoft will be stopping this service.

They have already launched Windows Live Mesh to replace it. This release has been a massive disappointment. Live mesh does not support Windows XP, has serious effects on computer speeds and is susceptible to crashing.

Fortunately, there are alternatives out there. The two that have interested me the most are: Dropbox and SugarSync

There are lots of different articles reviewing the two and different sites select different winners (see links below). Both synchronise and backup multiple version of files across computers (PC and Mac) and allow access on mobile phones/IPAD’s.

In summary:

Dropbox is far simpler to use, integrated into Windows/Mac and reportedly faster. The biggest advantage is it’s simplicity.

SugarSync is more sophisticated, more features and cheaper. The biggest advantage from my perspective is, Like Live Mesh, it can support folders in any location.

If you are happy to store your files in one location, I would personally recommend Dropbox.
If you need to syncronise files in various locations then go for SugarSync.

You can (as I do) use both, but this will reduce computer performance.

Various reviews of both:
http://www.groovypost.com/howto/review/sugarsync-vs-dropbox-alternative-you-never-asked-for/

http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/shoot-out-dropbox-vs-sugarsync/

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/sugarsync-vs-dropbox-the-battle-of-the-cloud-storage-titans/

 

Privacy on Facebook

27 February 2011

Let’s face it – Facebook is not private.

Once you are on Facebook, you are exposing yourself throughout the Internet. But you can control it.

I’ve read stories about people losing jobs as a result of activity on Facebook.

Here is what can be done under Facebook privacy settings:

It is possible to control who sees what by categorising friends.
It is possible to stop people tagging you on.
It is possible to remove yourself from Facebook search (useful for celeb’s)
It is possible to turn off all those Apps!

There is plenty more, and here is an excellent well written article to read about this subject.

Furthermore, Facebook has a privacy setting called “Instant Personalization” which recently came into effect. It shares your data with non-Facebook sites and is automatically set to “Enabled.”
Go to Account>Privacy Settings>Apps & Websites>Instant Personalization>edit settings & un-tick the box at the very bottom of the page marked “Enable.”

 

File items in Outlook

27 February 2011

If you have over 20 folders in Outlook, it can be difficult to find a folder.

I would like to recommend Simply File by TechHit. I use this in Outlook 2010 and it supports 2007 and 2003 versions as well.

It provides an easy way to navigate through Outlook and file sent email also.

Printers with their own email address

27 February 2011

A new generation of printers were launched by HP a few months ago which could change the way we work.

HP have called it EPrint technology.

The printer connected to the internet and is given its own unique email address.

This lets you and other users send emails directly to the printer to print.

The advantages:

Print from your mobile phone or IPAD.
Print from a computer without having to install the printer on it.
Send things to print offsite.
Use this facility with clients instead of Fax.

One example of such a printer is the HP Officejet Pro 8500A

In addition to “EPrinting”, this printer can has a 50-page sheet feeder, print double-sided and offers wireless printing/scanning, offers fax

Windows 7 SP1

27 February 2011

Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Windows 7.

The install process does not seem to be excessively long and i recommend installing.

This is done through “Windows Updates”.

Blackberry sync issues

27 February 2011

Often we are faced with Blackberry cable sync issues with Outlook.

There are two things in particular to avoid:

1. Always ensure that your contacts have at least a name or company name. While Outlook will let you have a contact without a name, Blackberries cannot deal with that!

2. If your contacts have email addresses, ensure that the “email” field is populated before “email 2”. Similarly, ensure “email 2” is populated before using “email 3”. Once again, Outlook can allow you to have “email 2” without “email” being filled in, but Blackberries do not cope with this logic.

For more information on point 2, see this article to see how to scan your contacts for this issue.

Personally, I think RIM (Blackberry) should make their phone software more malleable and mirror the capabilities of Outlook. People use Outlook in all sorts of ways and RIM should take this into account.

 

Checking Latest Software Versions

27 February 2011

Lately we have been testing a “software inspector” called Secunia PSI (Personal Software Inspector).

It works on any version of windows analyzing every piece of software installed. It then tells you what needs updating.

I have not find it to be the easiest software to work with but it is very useful and totally free.