Posts

  • The paradigm shift

  • The next “computer” you buy will be a paradigm shift, a change in the way of thinking.

    We’re already at a point where we can have a paperless office. The ability to scan to a searchable PDF combined with the ability to print to a PDF file and email, as well as “the cloud” providing instant online backup all means that there’s no longer any need to print a paper copy.

    The web is changing into something that is no longer a case of “mobile web” or normal web, it’s all about responsive design, one web that will work on any device.

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  • DVD Playback on Windows

  • One of the biggest annoyances I’ve heard about Windows 8 so far is that there’s no DVD support included.

    In a Windows 8 blog, Microsoft said:

    Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray.

    However, this is not a new issue and for now Microsoft seem to be giving away their Media Center Pack for free (usually charged around $10).

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  • Office

  • Gone of the days of getting a copy of Microsoft Office from dodgy Dave down the pub.

    Not only have Microsoft’s authentication techniques vastly improved making it harder to “skip over” that, but things have moved on a bit since technology has actually started catching up.

    Open source alternatives to Microsoft Office have been around for the best part of a decade now and have come on leaps and bounds.

    But that’s not all. We’ve now become so accustomed to being connected that there’s no need to download office software any more, no, it’s all online.

    Sure, the online tools aren’t yet quite as extensive as the traditional software packages but now Microsoft has started competing in this arena its only a matter of time before they start catching up.

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  • Calling all hackers

  • Are you a technology enthusiast? An engineer? Perhaps you’re a creative mind or just like making things?

    Well, here’s something for you!

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    There are hackspaces all around the world and now there’s one in The Potteries.

    A hackspace is a place for people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, art, can meet, socialise and/or collaborate.

    We’re a group of technology enthusiasts, engineers and creative minds that have started meeting on a regular basis in an effort to collaborate on various projects.

    As a group, Potteries Hackspace has been seeking a place to meet since it formed in 2010.

    Now, thanks to Randles (Garages) Ltd, the group are holding open meetings every Tuesday at 7PM at the disused site in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. You’ll find us in the old valeting bay of the former car dealership.

    Whether you’ve got a project you want to stuck in with, or even if you haven’t, anyone is welcome to come down and have a brew.

    It’s free to come along, there’s no obligation to donate but it is encouraged.

    What are you going to make?

    Find out more, visit: potterieshackspace.org

  • Startup problems are a thing of the past

  • Not so long ago, I had an arsenal of tools for managing windows startup applications.

    Traditionally I’ve used regedit to find certain applications and irradiate them from startup, but its not ideal as it’s easy to make mistakes.

    Instead, I’ve broached using msconfig, a built-in tool that allows you to disable certain startup items or services in a neat interface. The problem is that really that this tool puts windows into a diagnostic or “selective” startup. Not does it really go deep enough.

    Finally I started using something called StartupCPL which is a neat little Startup Control Panel, but alas, it didn’t go quite deep enough and seemed a bit crude.

    I then moved on to the “Sysinternals” solution called “autoruns“. This was re-enforced when Microsoft purchased the company in 2006. I’ve never looked back since… until now.

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