Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Alert: Important information from the Nokia Developer website team

I received an email with the subject Important information from the Nokia Developer website team on the Monday and have subsequently read a news item. It does appear a Nokia site has been hacked. Nokia was quick off the mark letting its users know which is good.

What did concern me was the links in the email weren’t from Nokia but from a marketing group. Given that anyone with the mailing list could now send fake emails on behalf of Nokia I think companies using third parties to send emails out on their behalf should reconsider using third party organisations in this situation.

The bottom line is if you have registered with Nokia as a developer to use their forum you should now treat emails with greater caution.

Kelvin Eldridge
Contact Online Connections for assistance with your computers.

MyAnswers: Office365/Office 365 gets the thumbs down.

The following MyAnswers solution 2155 is now available:

Office365/Office 365 gets the thumbs down.

I initially started the review of Office 365 with the aim of seeing whether or not I could recommend it to my clients and new clients. My focus is on micro and small business so I'm always looking for tools and services which can help those businesses. I hope others find the information useful.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge

Does open source create a leech like mentality and hurt those working in the computer industry?

There is no doubt that obtaining free software is a bonus for people, but what if you’re the one putting in your energy to improve the software. As the builder of the Australian English dictionary I put in hundreds of hours only to find almost no return for my efforts. I tried all the usual ways to raise money from a distribution fee, a donation link, or thinking that perhaps people would use my professional services once they knew my work, but in the end, there is probably over a million people using my work and almost nothing to show for it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I put myself into that position. I naively believed that if you give to others then others will give to you. One person from the Ubuntu project was happy to pay $9.95 distribution fee so he could include my work into Ubuntu. He believed there were 20 million users and that I would benefit. I saw no traffic to my site or any business from Ubuntu users. The Firefox project took my work and gave nothing back. Google included my work in their Google Chrome project. A link from Google would have been worth its weight in gold, but instead any reference back to my work was buried deep inside the project. Every project took what they wanted and gave nothing back.

For me the saddest aspect is I did exactly the same. I took the work of the UK dictionary project at the advice of the OpenOffice.org project lead and used the from the OpenOffice.org project never once thinking about the people who put the work into the UK dictionary. I then gutted the dictionary from 120,000 words to 70,000 and built a better Australian dictionary for my clients (at my cost) and then made the work available to Australian users. It was later when I realised what I’d done that I wrote to the developers offering to help them if I could in some way.

Firefox was the worst for me because my work was converted to a different licence against my wishes. Google was a disappointment because I asked that they add the ability to select Australian English so I could make my work available, but in doing so they then just incorporated my work.

The problem I see with open source is it takes from one group of people to give to another. It doesn’t support those who are contributing. Until open source projects do, they will continue to churn through the people it uses which is not a good long term strategy. This approach means there will be a constant brain drain of the people contributing. People will come and go because in the end they are not rewarded. With commercial software those who contribute get paid which helps the project grow and those who are contributing to also grow.

I hope that by sharing this experience others working in the computing industry will see my contributing to open source as an example to follow thinking they’ll benefit. I haven’t. I’ve consumed a very large amount of time with no return on the time invested. I hope that by being open if one other person makes a better decision than I have, that will be a good outcome.

Kelvin Eldridge


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is blog spam a legitimate marketing technique?

Today I received blog spam from Toronto First Class Limo, Limos Rental Toronto, King’s Pastry, Homes and Castles (Century 21) and Airport Auto Rental. These sites appear to maintained by Asian Web Media a division of GloXtar Inc.

Blog spam is where other companies submit comments with the intent of having their site appear in other company’s blogs. In the past links would appear in the text but now companies have their site included as the author.

I consider this inappropriate and not a way to endure your business to others. I’d even be certain these businesses have not bothered to find out the marketing techniques of those whose web marketing services they retain. In addition the registrars in control of these domains appear disinterested in the activities of those registering domains, whereas if these businesses are legitimate, a single warning would likely result in the companies ceasing their blog spamming.

We can see ISPs in Australia do not wish to take responsibility for those who use their services fighting tooth and nail so those who breach copyright aren’t their responsibility, but in the end if ISPs and registrars actively discouraged law breakers, the internet would be a better place for everyone.

If you have a blog don’t automatically release comments. Manually approve each comment and help keep blog spam from reaching the public. It takes some work but if others don’t take responsibility then it is up to you.

Kelvin Eldridge
Need help with a blog. Contact Online Connections.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Alert: Work Offer Inside

I treat unsolicited emails as potential malware, but I suspect many people don’t based on the large number of people who get scammed. For me it is a real shame these people are scammed and I wish they had the knowledge to see the scam in advance.

Today I received a typical unsolicited work offer email. For those who are unemployed and looking for an opportunity it would be easy to be enticed. After a while any offer can end up being a good offer. But I suspect not in the case of unsolicited offers. I decided to review this email.

The email is about an offer for someone in Canada. I’m in Australia and this email was sent to an email account that most likely was harvested from the internet. I don’t give out the email or use it in any other way. Scraping the internet for email address is the first sign that something isn’t right.

The email has an address which implies it is a Canadian site. When I checked where the email was sent from it was sent from Costa Rica. Further investigation shows the domain has a contact in Russia.

Chances are emails like this are only a ruse to get detailed contact information which may potentially be used for identity theft.

A general rule is don’t respond to any unsolicited email. If you interested in doing work approach the business directly yourself and not as a response to an email.

Kelvin Eldridge
Contact Online Connections for computer support


Friday, August 26, 2011

Monthly and Annual peak sun hours for locations around Australia

A figure I tend to think is quite useful when thinking about a solar system is the amount of peak sun hours around Australia as compared with the number of daylight hours. From what I’ve read the peak sun hours is the number of hours you can use to determine the amount of energy your solar system will generate.

I found this very informative document I thought I’d share with others. It provides the annual peak hours around Australian but also useful information such as the efficiency based on the orientation towards the sun and also the tilt of the panels. This information gives you a better understanding of why a solar system only provides a certain amount of electricity and also how that varies over the year.

I’m still not sure how much energy is generated each day compared with the peak sun hours. I can’t help feeling even though there is a percentage efficiency drop electricity would still be generated. I hope to make some rough measurements in the near future which will help me clarify this.

Also the information about how a shadow over a small section of the panel can have a dramatic effect to the amount of power generated was useful. That now makes a bit more sense and isn’t what I would have expected.

The other useful figure was how a stand-alone system produces less power due to the losses associated with other components of the system. For when I did some calculations with regards to charging batteries some time ago, I’ve found you usually have to factor in a loss of around a third of the power. Very interesting information indeed.

I hope others find the information useful.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Alert: IMG (Offers) Image Marketing Group

I continue to receive emails to email addresses I don’t make public from this group so I’d highly recommend you delete emails from this group as they’d be considered spam. I’ve previously unsubscribed but that had no effect.

On checking they’ve changed their email address but lately appear to be using the email address admin@optin-marketing.info.

The good thing is that whilst the company uses a consistent email address you can add it to your spam filter. If you have control of your email at the mail server you can add the email address at the server and for a while you’ll be free of these pesky emails. That is until they change their email address again.

If you need help blocking your email at your mail server and have access to your mail server you’re welcome to contact me.

Kelvin Eldridge
Having problems with your computer then drop us a line.

Easy low cost photo books

I recently produced a photo book of our holiday and couldn’t help feel that others may be interested in creating their own photo book.

The problem I’ve found in the past is the time involved in creating a photo book can be days, and if you have a lot of photos, you have to cut the number of photos back otherwise the photo book could easily cost $200.

I’ve now created an approach which enables me to automate creating a photo book from a large number (small number as well) so I can create the majority of the photo book in a few minutes and then dress the photo book up with the final touches. I produced a photo book containing 410 photos on 134 pages in under an hour for around the cost of a standard 20 page book.

If there is interest and I can find a way to make my program available to others I’d be happy to consider the options.

For example:

Would you be interested in attending a short course which would enable you to learn the software (it is very easy) and ask some questions?

Would you prefer a do-it-yourself approach with printed or web based instructions?

If you are interested let me know and if there is enough interest I’ll put something together.

For me the ability to put together quickly and at relatively low cost some photo books opens up some great possibilities.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for support if you have a computer related problem.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Software backup programs for Windows 7, Vista and XP.

I’ve done a great number of hours of research on backup programs over the years and I found it very difficult to find a good program for those using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. The leading brands I felt weren’t good enough. They generally failed or had terrible performance.

For my small business users and individuals my requirements for a backup program isn’t rocket science.

Here is what I wanted:


1. A copy of the files and folders. I’ve found any user can retrieve a file or folder when it is a copy, but most struggle with restoring from backup when a backup program makes a special file.

2. To be able to run a process to copy multiple folders as users’ data is often stored in a couple of areas. A basic copy isn’t good enough.

3. When I copy the folders to an external drive I want to create a new folder to store the data so I have a different backup each time. I’ve found copying over a previous copy a recipe for disaster.
4. Easy to run.
5. Easy to add new folders to the backup.

I decided it was time I wrote my own simple backup program. I could then place this on a user’s machine and they could run the backup program to copy  their important folders and files.

I’ve now created a backup program which is a DOS batch file. It is easily edited to meet the needs of the individual, fast, can copy to a nominated drive letter, very low cost and is launched by clicking on an icon. Each backup creates a new folder which has the date and time as part of the folder name to store the data.

I’m very pleased to say I can now provide my batch backup program to clients as an additional service. I’m happy to provide the batch backup program for $9.95 per user plus any time involved in tailoring for each user if you don’t wish to do this yourself.

Kelvin Eldridge

Why installing solar panels may not be a good investment.

I have to be frank, but I'm really struggling with investing in solar panels and here's why.

I read that in Melbourne the average amount of sunlight for solar energy production per day is 4 hours. The average solar panel kit is 1.5kWH and whilst a basic installation until recently was around $3,000, with the reduction of the grant it is now around $4,500.

The first concern I have is by taking a grant I am in effect taking other people's money.

The second is if the government instead invested in large scale developments (I've read two are underway) then the savings from building on a large scale means no government grant would be required to achieve better returns.

I've read the amount of energy used in making the solar panels takes about 7 years to break even.

The basic installation when I reviewed information provided at a meeting run by the local council wasn't what I'd end up paying. There were potentially other costs. There is also a maintenance cost and the inverter if it dies, is very expensive to replace.

But let's forget about all the above and just do a quick financial review. Using the Energy Cost Calculator and my current energy retailer's price of around 21 cents per kWh, a 1.5kWh system would generate 6kWh's per day or roughly a saving of $469 a year.

At current prices that's around 10 years just to pay back the money I invest. In 10 years if I left the money in the bank I'd have increased the money and if I applied the money to a mortgage the savings off the loan would have doubled the money.

Now to complicate things more, there is an attractive rebate for energy you pump back into the grid. But for most people that won't be very much as their base load may even exceed the electricity the panels generate. But worse, by putting in the panels you go on a split tariff system that charges a higher rate for two thirds of the day and a lower rate for only a third of the day when usage is lowest. Overall the tariff change will increase your electricity costs.

The picture I'm seeing is you gain some savings but that is reduced by the increased costs due to the higher tariffs.

It is hard to get an accurate idea of how much better off you'll be, but if I'm to go by the 11 people in the local area who appeared in the newspaper, the savings for them only averaged around $200 a year.

For many that means installing solar panels may never end up paying for themselves.

For those who justify installing solar panels because it is environmentally good then perhaps think about the very large scale projects which can achieve a better result at a lower cost for the benefit of everyone with no grant required.

Installing solar panels just doesn't make sense.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of solar energy and have been for decades. I just think we need to make sure we're doing things for the right reasons and in the most appropriate ways.

The approach I've been taking is energy reduction which has reduced our electricity usage to around 40% of the average. I’ve found a number of ways to save money which pay for themselves in a few months to under and year. I'm also investigating the appropriate use of solar energy where there is a better payback so I have definitely not given up on solar.

Kelvin Eldridge

PS. If you have verifiable savings with your solar installation you'd like to share with others, please feel free to contact me with the information. So far people haven't been jumping up and down to brag about their savings.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are you paranoid that your computer might be infected with malware?

If you’re paranoid that your computer might be infected with malware you probably have good cause. The problem is there are so many businesses out there, both legitimate and not legitimate, who try to change your computer without you quite realising what they’re doing or why.

It could be as simple as installing Acrobat Reader where you end up with the Google Toolbar installed. Acrobat most likely makes money by bundling Google’s Toolbar, Google gets to monitor the sites you visit which helps them make money from advertising and you’re computer just gets another piece of software installed it doesn’t need. That’s a legitimate business tactic although one I wish they didn’t use.

Next you have the site which changes your default search engine as I’ve seen with Firefox users. The search engine looks like Google but it isn’t. The site creates a front end to Google’s search engine so it makes money if you click on ads. You’ve been tricked and you’re browser has been hijacked. Because Firefox makes most of its income from Google, unlike Internet Explorer, where it is easy to change the default search engine, the average user will have difficulty removing this search engine and my logs show quite a few people reaching my site have been infected or tricked. You might just be starting to think the world is conspiring against you.

Then you have the malware writers. It can be as simple as visiting an infected site and your computer is infected. One person I know had their mortgage offset account cleared out of thirteen thousand dollars.

If you have shared computers and your children frequently search the internet (who doesn’t) then you run the risk of your computer being infected and often you won’t know it has occurred. The problem is if you then do things which require a username, password or pin number, that information could be recorded and sent to others without you knowing. To be quite frank, I advise all my family not to use any computer other than mine to do internet banking because I can’t be sure their computers haven’t been infected. I know they have in the past.

As a result of talking with a concerned client, I decided to investigate and see if there was a way to boot a computer from a CD and provide the user with a secure environment. As it turned out I was able to locate software used by American soldiers whilst overseas and can now make that software available to clients at a relatively low cost. The only tricky aspect is getting your computer to boot from the CD when a CD is present. This is a standard feature of most computers but isn’t generally known by the average users. Unfortunately changing the setting can vary from machine to machine, but once set up it works like a dream.

I can see a number of possible uses.

1. You want to do your internet banking and want to make sure you start your computer and know that even if it is infected, you’re session is secure. That’s exactly what the software can do. It doesn’t require anything from your hard disk and doesn’t update your computer. Every time you start the computer using the CD everything is clean.

2. Your children have infected your computer as a result of surfing the internet and that cost you a bucket of money to fix and you’d prefer not to go through that again. When your children want to surf the internet get them to boot their computer using the CD and they can surf the internet to their heart’s desire and even if they do comes across malware, only the current session is affected and once the computer is restarted the malware will be gone.

3. You own a business and don’t mind letting your staff surf the net or do their online banking during breaks but are concerned they could infect your computers, or worse, an infected computer clears out their bank account leaving you potentially liable. I’ve read this cost one business around $10,000 in legal fees. Give staff and CD and let them boot the computer. Your computer is safe and so are they.

4. You want to use a friend or relation’s computer whilst travelling to do internet banking. Yes. I’ve been there. The ANZ screwed up my automatic payments when I went overseas so I was forced to use a computer I didn’t know to make payments and it was really stressful. The secure boot CD would have given me peace of mind.

5. How many times have I had to fix a business computer after a staff member has worked on the weekend and brought in their child and the computer was used to occupy them. Yes. Very costly. Boot the computer with a secure boot disk and the computer can again be used to occupy children without concern or pressure they could do something wrong.

There are many uses for a secure boot disk. Clients are welcome to contact me if you’d like a secure boot disk. There is a small charge for the disk ($9.95 plus postage if required) but if you need support to set up your computer so it can boot from the CD, there would also be a small charge for the time involved.

For me this is a great opportunity for clients to minimise the risk associated with the internet. Nearly all malware infections now come from the internet. If you use a secure boot disk when accessing the internet the chances of infecting your computer are greatly reduced.

Kelvin Eldridge


Monday, August 22, 2011

Facebook 'Like' button declared illegal in Germany

I personally doubt if many people realise how their use of Facebook and features such as the Like button are used by the companies who have access to the information.

FACEBOOK'S famous "Like" button has been declared illegal under Germany's strict privacy laws by data protection officials.... Read More

People often don’t care if they’re actions are being tracked. Most don’t care if the government and authorities have access to their information and the general attitude is, “I don’t do anything wrong so what does it matter”, thinking only good people can get access to their data. But if the Homeland Security of America’s information is correct, where 3 in 100 people aren’t allowed onto an aeroplane because they’re dangerous and 10 in 100 are stopped before boarding then we need to keep in mind that bad people also work in these companies and have access to the information.

It amazes me that people use a feature such as the Like button for a business. Have you ever noticed with banks and other companies all the good offers are used to get new customers and existing customers don’t get much. Telling a company that you like them means they have you and they don’t have to work hard for your custom. The business will be focusing on getting new customers and that isn’t you.

Short term I expect to see the Like button being used to get new customers with special offers, but long term once they have you the benefits will reduce over time and since loyal customers generally remain loyal, a business can increase prices without losing a customer. Using a Like button is giving away your negotiating position. Remember it is basic human nature. We try harder to get the things we want rather than the things we already have.

So whether you’re concerned about your privacy, how your information is being used by others, who your information is being sold to, or just reducing your bargaining power, you should really think about social networking and features such as the Like button. I for one think people should if possible aim to keep things balanced and fair.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, August 19, 2011

Alert: Just In Time For Father's Day - DadShop

I received a couple of marketing emails today. They were sent to two different emails. I’ve never heard of the business before.

My initial thought was this was spam and the company has possibly scraped my addresses from the web. But the problem is it is hard to know. According to the email I’m receiving the email because of one of the reasons they provide in the email.

You have received this email from DadShop because you could have subscribed via one of our network shopping sites or purchased from us before.

Personally I think it is a marketing mistake for a business to use email addresses collected via another business as there is no way of knowing if it is true and that creates distrust. I’d find it very hard to deal with this business given the amount of fraud that occurs on the internet.

I find some people I send emails to have simply forgotten that they’ve corresponded with me and in each case I’ve been able to let the person know what our discussion was about to assure them they’ve previously dealt with me. But I do keep in mind people are busy and we often don’t remember businesses we’ve contacted. An email out of the blue from an unknown business isn’t a good idea. If you bought a product from Woolworths and then received an email from DickSmith how would you feel. Even though they’re from the same group of companies we don’t expect our information to automatically transfer from one company to another.

I  checked the origin of the emails and they were from the United States. Again this is not unusual because they could be using a marketing service. I’d personally prefer to see emails being send from within Australia to add credibility to the emails.

A check of the domain name and the ACN number does not show up on the government’s ABN site. Neither does the company name appear.


At this stage I’d be concerned with using this site to purchase products and services. If you’re thinking of buying from a company you should be able to trace the company’s details to government registers to give you confidence in dealing with the business. Even if you can trace the business information to government databases it doesn’t mean it will be a good business to deal with, but at least you know they’ve gone through the required procedures.

As a general rule my approach is if you receive an email out of the blue that you don’t know I wouldn’t deal and I’d unsubscribe from their mailing list. The problem I find with people is they tend to be easily taken in from scammers and dealing with people you don’t know that you haven’t initiated is opening yourself up to being scammed.

If you’re sending out emails to others then consider how you’d react to your email if you received it. Put yourself in the recipients position and you’ll better understand how they’ll react and hopefully improve your response rate, or at least your recipients are less likely to be put off.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au (An Online Connections service.)

HP to discontinue HP webOS TouchPad Tablet which has just been launched in Australia.

I wrote in an earlier blog post a while ago I couldn’t see a compelling business case for the HP webOS TouchPad tablet, but even I didn’t think HP would have planned to can it so quickly. The problem to me is HP kept webOS devices under wraps and if anything, probably lost momentum so when it was released there wasn’t the demand required. I felt they had one trump card up their sleeve if they decided to use it. If they had made webOS available for purchase for old PCs at low cost a lot of people including myself would have bought a copy to give it go. Once the tablet devices came out there may have been an enthusiastic early adopter market ready for the tablet. But that all now appears to be history.

If you’re thinking about buying a HP webOS TouchPad tablet keep in mind there now doesn’t appear to be a future for the device. Quite a pity really.

In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward. ... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Critical alert: Telephone call from scammer purporting to be from Service of Windows Operations James Stevenson. Issue: Illegal copy of Windows.

Only moments ago I received a call from a person called James Steveson who said they were from Service of Windows Operations a section of Microsoft. He informed me  they had detected an illegal copy of Windows on my computers. He wanted me to go on my computer. My computers are legitimately licensed so I knew immediately the caller was a scammer.

I asked for his telephone number so I could call him back. He provided an address of 75 Ressdale Street but I was not able to obtain any further information and I’d be certain this information isn’t legitimate. By asking for the a number to call them back on this would provide an ability to trace the caller. The caller knows this so hung up.

I reported the information to Optus (my telephone service provider) but it requires three calls for them to take action. There does not appear to be anything in place to protect consumers so each consumer has to effectively look after their own interests.

In this case the caller appeared to be using the telephone directory information to contact me.

Should you receive any unsolicited call from overseas letting you know you have a problem on your computer it is almost certainly a scammer.

Please take care.


Kelvin Eldridge


Are you missing out on up to 40% of your potential search engine traffic?

I recently helped a client with their web site. They’d set their site up using an overseas hosting company and a .com domain and thought everything was OK. When searching using Google they were first in the search results which is what they wanted. But when searching Pages From Australia their site was nowhere to be seen. Because 30-40% of Australians search by selecting Pages From Australia that meant potentially the client was missing out on 30-40% of their internet traffic.

Because how you set up your site on the internet could cause you to miss out on up to 40% of search engine traffic it is important to consider your options carefully.

For the client I was able to use techniques which resulted in their site appearing first in the Google search results for Pages From Australia. An overview of the approach I used is documented in MyAnswers solution 2152.

Kelvin Eldridge

Google search results now different for each person

There are many limitations I’ve found with Google search results over the years, but more recently the results have started to become less useful. People often ask me for assistance with their computers and sometimes I suggest they search for a particular phrase because I know the site will appear in the search results.

For example recently I was assisting a client with their Search Engine Optimisation strategy. I said the quickest way to find an article on my blog was to enter a particular phrase and my blog entry would appear in the results. For me blog entry always sits on the bottom of the first page of the Google search results. To my surprise the client couldn’t find the page in their results so I had to send them a link to the post via email. How strange I thought!

In hindsight I’ve now become aware of what is happening. If you have signed into a Google service then Google is adjusting your search results so you no longer see what others see. For some that might be good, but for me it isn’t. Google thinks I want to see my own sites high in the search results and that just isn’t the case. I’d prefer to see what everyone else sees so I can use that information to help others.

I’ve read that Google will be using their social networking service, Google+, and incorporating your contacts shared information into your search results. Now again that might be good for some, but for others I suspect it won’t offer much value. As Google filters information more and more you’ll find you’ll see less results from people you don’t know and those are the people who know things you don’t know.

Over the years Google has changed the search results page. If I look at a Google search result I see so much information I don’t need. I don’t need a map to appear every time I search. I can use Google maps for that if I want. I don’t need a list of businesses like a directory to consume a lot of the page. I can use a directory for that. I certainly don’t need my own pages to appear on the first page if they don’t usually appear on the first page. I know what they contain so I’m not getting anything new.

Now when I search I need to log off Google services so I can see the results I think others will see. I say I think, because if they’re logged onto a Google service they won’t get the same results. Add this to Google’s geographical filtering which can change results for people located as close to each other as Melbourne and Geelong and it starts to become much harder to feel you’re getting the information you’d like, rather than the information Google thinks is what you want.

So the tip today. If you’re searching log off your Google services first and you’ll get search results without the extra filtering.

Kelvin Eldridge

Local businesses need to start thinking of their customers as potential suppliers

When people ask me about JustLocal and what I’m doing, I have a couple of examples I share to highlight the issues I’ve found and if people start to think about them I’d like to change the situation a little.

I ask people do you refer others to businesses you’ve used and the answer is more often yes.

I then ask these questions.

Do you shop at the local businesses?

The answer is always yes.

Do they know you at the local businesses?

The answer is often yes.

Has a local business asked what you do?

The answer is always no.

Has a local business given you any business?

The answer is always no.

Why do I ask these questions. The reasons is simple. This is the same experience I’ve had. I regularly refer people to businesses I’ve used. I use the businesses regularly and say hello to the business owners. They never ask what I do and it has been 15 years since a local business that I purchase products and services from has given me any business.

Local businesses I have no doubt add valuable services and facilities to the community. But if the only purpose of a local business is to profit from the locals and then spend their profits elsewhere, what they are really doing long term is damaging the local community and not making it stronger. As people realise local businesses by their actions are only there to profit off the local community, the loyalty of locals will, if it hasn’t already, disappear, and people will see the best action for themselves is to look after themselves. Why not, everyone else appears to be.

To me this is a sad outcome. As a business I look at my customers as my potential suppliers. If I can pass on work or referrals to my customers and I believe it is appropriate and ethical to do so, then I’m happy to help those who help me.

To all local businesses I ask you to start asking your customers what they do and if they can provide a product or service you need then take a chance. Get a local to provide the product or service and if that local is one of your customers even better. You’ll not only help strengthen the local community but you’ll also build loyalty.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Alert: Tips on pumping petrol try it you might be saving money

A thoughtful family member passed on an email with the subject Tips on pumping petrol try it you might be saving money. I find if you receive an email that encourages you to pass it on to large numbers of people it is generally a hoax of some type and you should hesitate before sending it on.

The best thing to do if you do receive such as an email and feel like sending it on, then do a bit of research first. In this case I took the subject of the email and copied that into Google Search. I found the following page which provides further information.


From the information provides is shows that saving money using the suggestions made will generate negligible savings for the time involved.

The intent of this type of email has no harm but simply to get people to take action and virally generate traffic by passing the information on. Those taking action based on the information will most likely be wasting their time.

For me the concern with this email is it appeared to have been faked and was adjusted to be from Melbourne where the sender and their contacts are located. That is a real concern to me. This is targeted viral marketing and whilst this email’s content may have no real value it is a concern that it is targeted. The change in location gives people a feeling the information content is legitimate. The changing of the location and also the word petrol is used whereas the other versions for America would use the term gas. Localising the information for the language of a country is unusual, but localised it further for the geographic location of the recipient  raises some warning signs with regards to future hoaxes, and viral spam marketing.

If you receive information of this type I’d highly recommend you do not forward it on to others. Whilst in this case probably the worst outcome is people will waste some of their time for little return, in other cases the content may be harmful.

Kelvin Eldridge


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Computer Technician or Computer Support Professional. Do you really need one?

I am constantly surprised and disappointed at companies providing professional services. The general rule is if a cost can be passed on to a client or is incurred by the client, the professional services organisation doesn't try to save the client money, in fact, they'll often cost the client more money than they otherwise need to spend.

Sometimes I really don't like to call myself a professional because to a degree I'm ashamed by how most other professionals behave. To me a professional tries to look after the interests of the client and puts the client's interests before their own interests to make sure the client gets the best possible advice they can be provide.

I decided some time ago to start recording problems clients were having as the same problems were experienced by others and sometimes that could be months or years down the track. Remembering a solution to a problem a few months later can be hard, but trying to remember what you did two or three years ago is even harder. By recording problems and solutions I didn't have to reinvestigate the same problem and work out the solution again. Often for new customer having the same problem, all that was required was to send to client the solution to fix the problem. This could be a saving of minutes to hours, but in all cases clients save money. I now make those solutions available to the general public for less than the minimum time interval for using my services. Some problems have taken hours to resolve so the savings can be very significant.

I call the solutions MyAnswers and the solutions are available from http://www.myanswers.biz/. The following is a list of the categories I cover.

If you need a computer support person then perhaps next time first check to see if I've already created a solution. All solutions come with a money back guarantee so there is simply no way you can lose. If it doesn't work for you for whatever reason you can then still retain my services or the services of another computer support person.

As a professional my aim with MyAnswers is to reduce the cost to clients where I can and to save money for clients where I can. It really isn't hard to be professional.

Kelvin Eldridge
PS. If you do need a computer technician or support person to assist you we provide personalised service as well.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Google to acquire Motorola

Tonight I read that Google is to acquire Motorola.

Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility ... Read More

I find this to be interesting news and I’d be guessing, but I suspect it might have a very interesting effect on Samsung and LG. Up until now Motorola was just another Android player and now it is “THE” Android player. If you were Samsung or LG what would you be doing. Wouldn’t you want to hedge your bets. If they do the only card left to be put on the table is Microsoft’s operating system.

Samsung and LG need some form of leverage to keep the playing field level and running a dual Android/Microsoft strategy might give them that leverage, or at least give them a backup plan. Personally I think a Samsung device with a Microsoft tablet operating system (Windows 8) would be interesting to review.

If you’re considering an Android device will Google’s acquisition enter into your thoughts. Perhaps, but then again, perhaps not. I expect mobile phones and tablets to largely have a life expectancy of around two years. You could buy what you want today and as long as you don’t over invest, you’ll still end up getting two years of use out of your device.

This has certainly changed the goal posts as they say, and it will be interesting to look back in two years to see what the players are up to.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Office 365 and Google's cloud services could be reducing the security of an organisations information.

A number of years ago I was asked to quote on a some work for a company offering security services to a major company. Through our discussions I was quite surprised the email address was the same address used by the user to remotely access their computer services. In fact they were very proud of their systems and the ability to log in from anywhere in the world. To me I felt this was a significant exposure. With the email address known publicly the only piece of information required to access their systems was a password. To me that was too big an exposure.

Fast forward about ten years and in my review of Office 365 I’ve been struggling to set up a user and use what is known as an alias as the public email address. From what I can see the user’s email address is their username. Once again the only piece of information required to access a user’s information is a password. I can’t find a way where the users email address is not shared.

Once I realised this I started to realise this is true for the majority of the online services and how people use them in general. Google’s services use the email address as the username. Again all that is required is the password and you have access to all the material stored online.

To me this simply isn’t good enough. The username to sign on and administer or use an account should in my opinion not be a public email address.

There is little wonder so many peoples’ online accounts are getting hacked. If hackers need to determine both the username and password this reduces the chance of being hacked considerably. Giving hackers half the information is significantly increasing your exposure.  Recently quite a few hacked password databases have been made public and it is surprising how many people use similar or easily determined passwords.

With email my actual account username is not made public and all the public ever see is an alias. This is a much safer way to work. With cloud services now offering your spreadsheets, your documents and your systems as well as your email, the amount of information you are now starting to share online has increased significantly and you should make sure you are fully aware of the exposure.

If all that stands between your information and a hacker is a password, then I’d be worried.

Kelvin Eldridge


Flakey Jake's Doncaster East

We ordered fish and chips from Flakey Jake’s tonight and as usual the food was quite good. One of the things I find missing from local businesses is the ability to access their menu online. A while ago I sponsored a couple of sites for local businesses (as an example www.BoltonFishShop.com) to measure the interest by locals looking for their site or service. The response has been very positive and it shows there is good interest by locals.

Unfortunately locals don’t let the businesses know how handy having access to an online menu is, so they don’t see it as a good investment. The problem for the businesses is it becomes easier for consumers to buy from large businesses because they have their menus available online.

All it takes is to keep one customer happy and a low cost web site can pay for itself. An online menu can be up-to-date whereas a printed menu often has old prices. I’ve seen a number of customers complain about unexpected pricing and that’s not good for business.

My measurements show the amount of traffic a local business receives would easily pay for a site, particularly sites such as the sites I’ve built for the local businesses. On the other hand losing a customer because it is easier to buy elsewhere costs the business valuable income.

I would have liked to have been able to check Flakey Jake’s menu online, place the order from home and then pick the order up saving 10-15 minutes waiting time. If others feel the same way please let the owners know.

Kelvin Eldridge

PS. If you have a local business and would like a low cost presence on the internet, please feel free to contact me. Not only am I able to produce a low cost site but each time have achieved a great presence in Google for the business.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Computer repair Melbourne (Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham area)

If you're having a computer related problem and need someone to come out and fix your issue you can contact  Kelvin (that's me) at Online Connections. Based in Templestowe (for those not sure when that is think of Doncaster Shoppingtown) I service the local area. I prefer providing a personalised service to clients rather than remote support.

I've found the problem with remote support is it often takes longer to walk the client through setting up the remote support than it does to drive out and fix the problem and that costs clients more money. Many problems are easier to fix where you can see the problem and work with the client.

One problem I fixed recently for a client was causing their internet connection to fail many times a day. They'd had assistance from the ISP and new equipment sent out which didn't solve the problem. No one had been able to fix their problem. When I attended I could see they had set up their equipment in a number of areas which was causing multiple problems. A visual inspection made it easier to identify and fix the issue which had plagued them for some time.

My own experience with many of the companies telephone based support services is they haven't been very good. I won't name names, but I've had one telco support person give advice that was simply not related to the problem and a leading hardware company's support person had senior management on their knees under the desk trying to identify a problem I'd already identified and isolated and all that was required was to log a fault. More often than not you'll spend the first twenty minutes waiting on hold for the call to be answered. 

More and more I'm finding customers who've tried everything with their ISP contact me because the ISP has simply not been able to help and I've been able to walk into the client's premises or home and fix their issue.

If you prefer personalised cost effective service then you're welcome to give me a call.

Kelvin Eldridge

Robots put a million people out of work

Whilst I don’t think anyone is happy with the transfer of local jobs going overseas, if there is one gain in all the pain it may be the lost jobs being taken up overseas and help to move many millions of people out of poverty. It doesn’t help the person who loses the job locally, but on a global scale there is at least some gain for people worse off.

When I read the following article it makes me think is it really worth it.

iPad maker to replace 1 million staff with robots... Read More

We seem to be doing more and more using less and less people. This may be great for large companies to maximise their profits but it makes wonder in the long term how good this is for our society.

Already I’ve seen from my youth, where 20% of people went on to tertiary education, has now become close to 100% percentage going on to tertiary education because there are no jobs for younger people. Even then many of those who come out of tertiary education end up for a couple of years doing jobs we would have done in our teens.

I don’t know the answer but unless we recognise something is happening around us, we’ll never even know the question.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, August 12, 2011

Alert: Competitive Printer from China

I received an email with the subject Competitive Printer from China and thought I’d advise people to take care. There are a number of things which flag this email as suspicious.

The From field is picasawebalbums-noreply@google.com and this email appears to have nothing to do with Google.

The email is unsolicited referencing a business directory I’ve never heard of which if legitimate, has most likely scraped my email address from my site as I’ve never listed in any business directory. I don’t have to. JustLocal is better than any business directory I know and that is where I promote my business.

I’d highly recommend if you’re contacted out of the blue by any service provider that is a generalised mail out, to discard the offer. Had the company been in Australia it may be in breach of the anti-spam Act. Any business that does not take into account the laws of the country they are marketing too is a company to be wary of.

I’d highly recommend that you delete this type of email and contact a local supplier or make your own enquiries using reputable online information that you can verify.

Kelvin Eldridge

Doncaster Shoppingtown. Local computer support for local residents and businesses.

If you live near Doncaster Shoppingtown and need your computer fixed or have a computer related problem call Online Connections. We’re local (based in Templestowe). Being local means we don’t have to charge travel time or charge a minimum fee. You only pay for the time required to fix your problem which saves you money.

Call Online Connections on 0415 910 703 or via email at sales@onlineconnections.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aquarena Doncaster or is it Aquarena Templestowe Lower?

As a local to the area I am fascinated by some of the quirky addresses that I find in the area. Aquarena is located at 139-153 Williamsons Road Doncaster according to the YMCA site who manage the centre. But if we do a bit of searching we find Manningham Council who owns the centre has a page which refers to it as being located in Lower Templestowe.

Now if you were looking for Aquarena in Doncaster and didn’t know the area you probably wouldn’t find it easily because physically it takes up a very large area in Templestowe Lower.

I have no idea why YMCA and Manningham Council list the Aquarena in different suburbs. I don’t know about you, but I find that very quirky.

No matter whether you think Aquarena is located in Doncaster or Templestowe Lower, there is one thing you can count on. If you need computer support in either of the suburbs, Online Connections can help, is local and doesn’t charge a call out fee cutting the cost of computer support. If you need assistance with your computers contact us via email at sales@onlineconnections.com.au or call 0415 910 703.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Templestowe Primary School, residents and business. Local computer support now available from Online Connections.

I’ve found over time a lot of people think their Windows XP computer has become too slow and end up purchasing or thinking about buying a new computer. After I clean up the computer for the person the decision to buy a new computer because of performance is often no longer an issue and the family can decide in their own time whether or not they want a new computer.

Even if you buy a new computer a Windows XP computer makes a great second computer. Connect it to your home network either via a wired or wireless connection and families tend to have less arguments as to who gets to use the computer.

If you don’t have a wireless network this can be a great investment. Often children want to use the computer to stay in contact with friends. With a wireless network they’re often able to stay in contact using an Apple iPod Touch or their mobile phone. This has quite a few benefits. The computer doesn’t get used as much which saves power, it frees up the computer for the heavy duty work such as assignments. Because the family has more ways to access the internet there tends to be less contention and arguments.

If your computer needs a cleanup, isn’t working as it should, or you’d like to have a wireless network set up, then give me a call. Online Connections is local. We have a policy of not charging travel time or a call out fee for locals since there is very little travel time involved. Our approach means easy problems (for us) can be fixed quickly at a lower cost.

Call us now on 0415 910 703 if you have a computer problem.

Kelvin Eldridge


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Doncaster East Secondary College, residents and business. Local computer support now available from Online Connections.

To make it easier for those in Doncaster East to find computer support I’ve set up the site www.DoncasterEast.com. If you’re looking for businesses in the Doncaster East area you can find those advertising on the Doncaster East page www.JustLocal.com.au/3109.

To make it easier to find a local business for those in Doncaster East, I also include over six hundred businesses with web sites in Doncaster East and the adjoining areas of Doncaster, Templestowe and Warrandyte in the search engine for Doncaster East. By using the search engine you can now search only those businesses with a local presence. Google provides the technology behind the search engine but with advantage of only local businesses and their sites being searched. Click here to search for products and services from businesses near you. You can also use the Search menu option from the JustLocal page www.JustLocal.com.au/3109 to access the search engine.

Kelvin Eldridge


Hacked WordPress blogs distributing malware

I have an approach to news which I’ve found works well for me over the years. If I read something in the news that doesn’t affect me or anyone I know then it is often hype designed to market a product or service. But when I know someone, or someone I know knows someone that it’s affected, then I consider the threat real and action needs to be taken.

This year a number of people I know have had their sites hacked. In one instance I assisted a client with their WordPress sites which had been hacked (I had nothing to do with the site as I generally don’t recommend the use of WordPress for a number of reasons). Whilst it was possible to remove the offending code the sites would be reinfected and the hosting company was required to remove the offending code as it was outside of the client’s control.

Today I read the following article.

Hackers are abusing thousands of independent WordPress sites to litter Google Image search results with code that redirects users to servers that attempt to infect them with malware
... Read More

What I found interesting about this article was the hackers are using Google Images to distribute malware. Those using Google Images to find images, will from what I see in many instances have almost no warning they are going to a site which may be distributing malware. This approach makes sense for hackers. Google scans sites to present images. It costs Google nothing for the content and the content links to the sites it was obtained from, which could have been hijacked.

The problem I find with people using WordPress is often they install the software on their own site and then think that is the end of it. Most will probably never upgrade their installation and as holes are found that means an ever increasing number WordPress based sites and left open for hacking.

Another client of mine recently had a site set up by a graphic designer using WordPress. I have to admit I did raise an eyebrow. This client is now either going to have to maintain their own site which they won’t as they don’t have the knowledge or skills to do it, or the graphic designer will need to do it and generally they aren’t interested in regular IT admin work which doesn’t generate an income.

If you’re considering a blog for your site do get some professional IT advice. Anyone can get a site for $5 a month, add WordPress for free and think they’ve done all they need to, but the reality is the work is just beginning. The client who required support incurred a bill of hundreds of dollars for support, exposed their customers to malware and had their site listed on Google as containing malware for a period of time which would not have happened had they used a different blogging approach.

The lessons here are:

- If you’re using images from the internet then perhaps think about how those images were obtained and potentially the sites they link to.

- Think about using images from sites that have been designed to distribute and share images as their core business.

- Think about the blogging software you’re thinking about using and the work you need to do to maintain it. If you install it on your own site are you skilled to maintain it.

- Think about your customers who visit your site. The decisions you make also affect them.

- If something is free on the internet there is a reason it is free and the site is making money somewhere else which may not always be in your best interest.

- Always be vigilant on the internet.

- If in doubt when searching on the internet think about a more secure approach which reduces the risk to you.

The internet is one of the wonders of the modern age, but do take care when using it.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, August 08, 2011

Doncaster East Secondary College computer repair and support

If you go to Doncaster East Secondary College, live in Doncaster East and require computer support you can now obtain local computer support from Online Connections. Because Online Connections is local (based in Templestowe) there is no call out fee or travel time. You only pay for the time it takes to fix your problem.

This great offer is not only available to students, but also to local residents and businesses.

Kelvin Eldridge


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Who else has been tricked by the McDonald's $4 lunchtime meal deal

I saw the ads on TV so decided to get a $4 lunchtime meal deal yesterday from McDonalds. They show a range and mention a $3 saving so I thought why not. Now as with ads you have to be a bit suspicious. In this case the suspicion was justified. There are a range of meals and the $3 saving if you read the fine print is off their individual prices and not their regular meal deal prices. I certainly didn’t see that on the TV ad and I think that is misleading.

Of the meals listed one meal saved just 20 cents of the regular meal price. The medium sized cheeseburger meal saved about 80 cents and the Angus burger meal saved about the same. Certainly nowhere near the $3 expected.

Had I know this in advance I’d have given the lunchtime meal deal a miss and picked up a KFC meal for $5.95 and saved some money. There are some good deals around for lunchtime meals and I don’t consider the McDonald’s offer particularly good. Comparing the offer to individual prices to make the offer seem better I don’t think is a particularly good way for them to promote their products. Certainly disappoints me and makes me think twice about trusting their promotions.

Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Is the issue of buying from overseas without paying GST a red herring?

We all know the economy is soft but I can’t help feel the supposed concern by retailers may or may not be real. Perhaps it is real or perhaps it is media beat up.

Productivity Commission recommends removal of online tax-free threshold... Read More

In my business I take the attitude if I’m not competitive (including the extra value I bring to a sale) then my clients should look to buy elsewhere. I don’t expect them to pay more just because I’m a nice guy. But buying something from overseas isn’t as clear cut as just adding GST.

First if you buy from overseas you usually pay in another currency and there’s a cost to convert the money. You do see an exchange rate fee from the bank but there is also a cost that is never shown which can be up to 6%. Next time you buy something from overseas use the current exchange rate and check it for yourself what you thought you’d pay and what you actually ended up paying. You aren’t getting the current exchange rate we see promoted on TV. Add the hidden charge plus the bank fees and you’ll find the GST advantage is nearly gone.

If Australian retailers made people aware of the real cost and the risks of buying from overseas they’d have educated consumers and I find by sharing knowledge with my customers they are able to make better decisions. Try taking a product back that doesn’t work that you bought from overseas. Good luck with that.

The GST I think is a red herring. Perhaps Australian retailers should look at negotiating better terms with the overseas based companies they currently buy from. Perhaps it is the margins Australian retailers like to maintain. But given exchange rate charges alone nearly wipes out the GST saving the GST isn’t making much difference. One thing consumers often don’t factor in is the delivery charge. This is standard practice to separate out the delivery and packing charge. Often a company can make good money on their delivery and packing charge. I know one well know computer company that charged more for delivery of a computer in Australia than many retailers would get from selling a computer. Educate customers on the total cost and the risks. I find educated customers are the best customers.

I don’t know about you, but I think changing the situation with GST on purchases from overseas is a red herring. What do you think?

I can’t help but think buying local makes sense in many cases. You can generally see and touch the product. You get the product immediately. If there is a problem you can return the product or get assistance. If the saving by buying from overseas including the added cost of converting money and delivery far exceeds the risk, then it makes sense to buy from overseas. As to the GST difference that wouldn’t make much difference as to whether or not I bought from overseas.

I suspect what will be happening is many people who never considered buying from overseas will now be thinking about it because the GST issue is now in the media. This will make people think it is cheaper because they won’t consider the total cost. That certainly isn’t going to help the plight of retailers.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, August 05, 2011

Templestowe Medical Centre for sick computers now live

The other day I went to the doctors in Templestowe and thought if I had a sick computer where would I take it or who would I call. I provide computer support to people in Templestowe and the surrounding area and I thought for many people I am their computer doctor. If the computer gets a virus infection I fix it. If the computer is running sluggish I fix it. If their network is not working I fix it. Now calling myself a doctor is a bit over the top, but to some I am their computer doctor.

As part of running JustLocal I also want to show local businesses how easy it is to set up a web presence. My approach is to lead by example so I decided to promote the computer doctor aspect of my business with a single page site to show others how easy it is. The site is http://www.templestowemedicalcentre.com/. All that is required is a single page promoting your business and you have a web presence allowing people to find you.

Now for me this is fairly easy stuff but I wanted to run through the entire process to show clients the steps involved and how easy it is. One person I trained a while ago to set up their own site is now going out showing others how to set up their sites. The person has basic office computer skills like most people so really they only needed two things. Software to help them create their web page and the knowledge to set it up. I provided the knowledge and they purchased some software and learnt the software themselves. For them the best part is they rarely need to call anyone about their site and they can modify whenever they want. That saves them hundreds in supports costs every year. I get the occasional support call when they want to do something don't know how to do it..

If you have a sick computer and live in Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Doncaster, Doncaster East, Eltham, Montmorency or Lower Plenty call me. I don't charge a call out fee. I offer a money back guarantee and because I'm local I can usually get to your place the same or next day.

If you have a business or a venture you'd like to promote on the internet I'm available to help. My presence on the internet is exceptional and I can help you obtain a better presence. Most others will sell you services which are based on hype and pretty average knowledge. I can show you how to check their presence and you'll see if they can't do it for themselves then what hope have they to do it for you. My presence is proof that what I do works and I'm prepared to back it with a money back guarantee.

I believe every small business or even individuals wanting to sell a product or service could benefit from an internet presence. It really doesn't have to cost much and for most people all they need is the knowledge and they can do it themselves.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, August 04, 2011

CleanEnergyFuture booklet received in the mail

I received the CleanEnergyFuture booklet in the mail and thought I’d read it. What concerned me was it really felt like the government is really pushing too hard the idea of what people are going to get back financially. Over 70% of the pages contained a message about what we were getting. Somehow I think the government is trying a bit too hard.

There are a couple of interesting things I noted. First they say there won’t be any profiteering as they’ll be doing what they did for GST. The difference was GST was easy to monitor as it was added at the end of the calculation and was very transparent. Price increases with the carbon tax won’t be transparent at all. Many businesses work out their prices by taking their costs and multiplying by a percentage markup. Since the carbon price increase isn’t separated businesses have no option but to use the percentage markup approach and that means markup is applied to the carbon tax. This doesn’t happen once, but at each level in the distribution channel. It could easily happen 3-4 times.

We now find the GST added 2.5%. Now we get hit with another supposed 0.7%. The base cost for living in our society as a result of government charges continues to increase. Interesting how the average annual inflation rate between 2001-2002 and 2009-2010 is 2.9 per cent and my latest water rates have increased probably in the order of 10-15% and other utilities aren’t much better. This base cost of living is going to be a cost on our society that never goes away. Those hardest hit will be those trying not to depend on the government welfare system and I don’t think that is fair.

A good way to get a feeling for how much the carbon tax will add to your direct utility bills is to check the bill. We use about 40% of the average electricity usage for a household (yes we’ve reduced our usage) and we’re producing approximately 1 tonne of carbon a quarter or 4 tonne a year. An average family would thus use about 2.5 times this which is 10 tonne a year. For the electricity bill alone that would be $230. Using the figure that gas is about half electricity the amount the average household for gas and electricity should be paying around $300. Gas and electricity as just part of our costs and probably amount to 10-15% of our household spending. So what about all the other things we buy which will go up due to the carbon tax. The government calculations start to look a bit shaky.

I really don’t see why the government needs to give back money that they’re effectively taking away in the first place. Surely they could work directly with the 500 companies to put into place limits and have the companies put into place carbon offset plans. Why is it we are being compensated? Shouldn’t we be looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint and if higher prices is what is required to change our behaviour then why does the government not want that behaviour to change.

The government has sent out a well produced brochure on What a carbon price means for you, surely there is more to it than what we get back in our pocket after they’ve taken more away from us in the first place.

JustLocal is all about helping to build a stronger local community. To encourage people to buy and work locally. A carbon tax simply raises the burden on all of us. The minimum we need to earn to live in our society. This burden needs to be kept in check. Once in place these taxes are never removed. Once this carbon tax becomes part of a larger trading scheme how much will the price of carbon then be and will the compensation keep pace with the increased prices and inflation. The government hasn’t in the past so I don’t see why the future will be any different.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Photo book album, the easy way

I don’t know about others who create photo book albums, but what I found was organising all the photos from a trip takes a lot of time and often photos I wanted included don’t get included because as the pages increase so does the cost.

For some time I’ve wanted to put together a photo book album of our trip to Europe and last night I submitted our European trip photo book album for printing. Actually it is more like a magazine rather than a hard cover photo book. I wanted a soft cover and I wanted to open the book like a magazine. The book has a total of 410 pictures, a massive 134 pages and I’m quite excited to see how the final product looks.

Oh, did I mention that unlike the enormous amount of time it takes to create a photo book album I decided to write a program to lay out the photos for me. The bulk of the photo album book is now automated and all that is required is to spend a little time on the front and rear covers. Perhaps the most interesting fact is the price. The photo book in comparison will cost less than a 24 page photo book album and even less than the cost of printing off the pictures at a low cost self photo printing service. This approach means I’ll end up with a photo book with all the pictures I wanted to include for a very reasonable price.

If photo books interest you let me know. I’m not yet sure if I’ll release this product for others but if there is enough interest from clients I’ll seriously consider making the photo books available to others either as a product or service.

Kelvin Eldridge


Monday, August 01, 2011

Electricity Power Usage now available on MyAnswers

I’ve now added a new section to the MyAnswers site where I’ll list the devices I measure and their power usage figures. The following is a link to the page.

Electricity Power Usage... Read More

By using the power usage figures and the Electricity Usage Calculator you can determine the cost of each device on a daily and yearly basis. By identifying devices which use a lot of power over a period of time you can make significant savings in your electricity bills. I think many people will be surprised when they find out which devices are costing them the most. It isn’t always the most obvious. Better decisions can be made when you have better information.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Computer repair Doncaster, Templestowe, Templestowe Lower Doncaster East, Eltham, Lower Plenty, Montmorency - Beware of telephone scammers

I read this article where people are receiving calls from people offering unsolicited computer support over the telephone and another article where one in twenty New Zealanders are falling for the same scam at around a cost of $200 each.

The scam involves a cold telephone call from a computer company who claim to be offering to clean up one’s computer. The name of the company was so complicated that I didn’t catch who they were.... Read More

When I read this it amazes me. There is really no reason for anyone to deal with any computer support person over the telephone. We offer businesses and residents of Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Doncaster, Doncaster East, Lower Plenty, Montmorency and Eltham onsite computer support with no call out fee and a money back guarantee. There is no need for remote support and for people to provide others access to their computer. You meet the person who will fix your computer.

Dealing with a person unknown is always a bit of a concern, but to deal with someone who rings out of the blue, who you’ve never met, have no idea of the business or even if they’re from the business they say they are is simply a disaster waiting to happen. I feel really sorry for the people who fall for these scam artists when all they really need to do is to find someone local they can trust.

If someone rings you from out of the blue your scam radar should be working overtime. The only reason someone will ring you is to profit from you. So look after your own interests. They are certainly looking after theirs.

Please take care when receiving any unsolicited telephone call or unsolicited email offering your computer support services.

- Kelvin Eldridge