Saturday, September 29, 2012

MyAnswers: Does Apple maps in iOS 6 have street view?

The following MyAnswers solution 2254 is now available:

Does Apple maps in iOS 6 have street view in Australia?

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Red light camera fine, but picture shows you already in the intersection. How come the fine?

I’ve just been analysing the pictures of a red light camera fine and what surprised me is the red light camera pictures don’t show you actually breaking the law. They show you after you’ve broken the law and it can only be deduced that you broke the law.

For a lot of people this won’t make sense. How can they possibly fine you when you were already in the intersection?

Two pictures are taken and based on the position of your car, you can easily determine the average speed you were travelling and using some basic maths,  estimate your position before the picture was taken, when you actually broke the law.

I’ve read people complaining the amber light has been reduced in terms of shortening the time it is on and if you check the roads, the sensors are now in front of the stop line, in where people would consider they’d be in the intersection. Both make it easier for people to get booked and the cynics amongst us will say, raising revenue for the government. None of us like being booked so the best thing is don’t go through a red light.

Some common sense tips are: reduce the speed as you approach a light. If you are caught with the front of your car over the stop line just stop. Don’t proceed through the intersection or you’ll get snapped. Be prepared to stop as you approach lights. Sadly, and I say sadly because I think this creates a dangerous situation, If you have to brake hard (I’ve found lights now change very quickly) and a person runs up the back of you, it will probably cost you more in time and money getting your car fixed than the fine, but for some losing their licence due to having too many points will cost far more.

Personally I think reducing the amber time is a mistake. For those who like to obey the law the longer amber period will provide plenty of time for people to stop and leads to far more relaxed driving. There is enough stress on the road without having to put people under greater pressure by reducing the timing of lights. Unfortunately there are those with a heavy foot which means they’ll feel they have more time to race through. It is understandable watching people’s behaviour why the government continues to tighten things done, but unfortunately it does mean a lot more average people end up paying fines and some losing their licence. Again I do think people feel the government is doing this to raise revenue and that creates an us and them attitude where the government is thought of as ripping us off. One local business owner even said to me they’d prefer the government raise taxes through fines as they’re leaving them alone. The government should consider rewarding people for good behaviour. If you continue to use a stick and not a carrot to control people, you end up with very angry people in our society and that’s not good for any of us.

Next time you approach a red light just drive appropriately and chances are you’ll save yourself some money and arrive safely.

Kelvin Eldridge

UPDATE: The amber timing for 8 red-light camera locations around Melbourne have been set incorrectly. The question is will the government automatically refurnd the fines and demerit points. For more information including videos of the before and after timing of the traffic light visit

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Patricia Bernard interview in the Assegai magazine by Renée Purdie

I just read the Patricia Bernard interview in the Assegai magazine by Renée Purdie and thought it was thoroughly enjoyable and candid. I enjoy reading interviews where people share their experience openly and we can all learn from their experience.

Patricia Bernard is a famous Australian author. If you’re considering a writing career the interview is a good read.

Thank you Patricia and Renée for sharing this interview.

You can read  Renée’s Assegai magazine at


Kelvin Eldridge
Enjoying helping people to share their passion.

Alert: eBay - I will open a dispute and give you negative feedback JQDSRXSQPX

Today I received an email from Leesa which had the subject “I will open a dispute and give you negative feedback”. The body of the message is they’d purchased an item and hadn’t received it.

The reason I thought I’d comment on this email is it is what is called a phishing email which uses social engineering techniques to trick people into clicking on the link. If you click on the link which looks like a link to eBay, you’ll end up on a page which is designed to look like an eBay login page. The page is actually a form created using Adobe Flash.

The social engineering technique is to worry people and trick them into making a mistake. People don’t want to get negative feedback on eBay. I recall one person who was devastated when they received their first negative feedback, so people do take feedback very seriously. The more serious the more easily they could be tricked.

Also this is an example of a site which has been compromised to deliver a scam. The domain was registered in 2002 by a family and their main page has a page for each of the family members. I suspect a person has hacked into their site and planted the malicious code on their site. I’ve written to the owner of the site to let them know.

If you receive an email like this you should delete the email. Don’t click on the link. It is designed to collect your eBay login details. If you have been tricked immediately change your password on your eBay account and anything else which a scammer may use to access your account. For example many sites use hints to help you recover a password. Not sure how eBay security works but you should review any information you’ve provided on your site and perhaps any contact you’ve had with others. I don’t know how the creators of this phishing attempt intend to use an eBay site. You should seek assistance from eBay as to what you should do.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for assistance with your computer.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Monday, September 24, 2012

MyAnswers: Electricity Smart Meter data may be a privacy and security exposure.

Over time as I read information about technology as part of my consulting activities, I read quite a bit of information about privacy and security issues. Apart from making great dinner time conversation, I find many people are simply unaware of just how much information is being collected on them and how they may be being monitored.

Quite often I too am quite surprised at the level of monitoring. In the age of Facebook, Twitter and Google, many people are so used to publishing so much information about themselves online it is hard to think anyone really cares about privacy anymore. However if you want to find out the private information of all the people who want us to share our private information, you’ll generally find they rarely share anywhere near the same amount of information as others do. We are encouraged to share information because it makes others money. Our privacy is their collateral.

I decided that as I find interesting information regarding privacy and security information I’d share the articles and also add comments and examples so people can appreciate how the information will relate to them. Hopefully with a more knowledge people will be in a better position to handle their privacy as they wish, or at least be better informed.

The first article is the MyAnswers solution 2251 and is now available:

Smart meter data collected from electricity meters may be a privacy and security exposure.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Refrigerator Energy Usage and cost to run

When looking at saving energy around the home, the devices which are running all the time are devices worth reviewing. I’ve estimated our refrigerator uses about 40W per hour. Plugging 40W into the Energy Cost Calculator shows our refrigerator is costing us around $80-$100 a year.

In this modern age it is almost impossible to live without a refrigerator and its convenience, so for me, there isn’t that much I can do about our refrigerator in terms of reducing energy.

However, many people have a second beer fridge in the garage, or in our case, we had a small freezer. After reviewing the small freezer electricity usage we reviewed what we were stocking and found we were keeping items in the small freezer for many weeks at a time, yet we go to the shops every week. So we decided why stockpile when there really isn’t any need to.

By turning off the small freezer we saved around $70 a year.

Using a power meter I was able to determine the power used by various devices around my home and other people’s homes. I now provide a section in MyAnswers for Electricity Power Usage which I’m happy to share with clients, family and friends. Once you have the knowledge a small change in how you do things can end up saving a considerable amount of money. I read the average daily usage for power is around 20kWh per day. We now use around 6.5-7kWh per day which means we save around $1,200 a year. That’s cash in our hands. Another way to look at it is you’d have to earn nearly $1,800 to pay for that extra electricity, or nearly two weeks of your working life each year. I know I’d personally prefer to use the money towards a holiday rather than give the money to the electricity company.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Assegai magazine launched as a free PDF available online

Congratulations to Renée Purdie on launching the Assegai magazine to showcase the work of talented creative people. If you’re looking for a good publication to read on your iPad or Android tablet check out the Assegai magazine. Of course you can also read the magazine on a PC, Mac, or your mobile phone.

You can find Renée’s Assegai magazine at

Kelvin Eldridge  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apple iOS 6 maps test

Today I tested the Apple iOS 6 maps app. I used my current location and then a location in Sydney Road Fawkner.

Three routes were provided. The is another route I would normally consider, but route 1 which used the Ring Road, is the one I should use and was suggested. My only hesitation is the roadworks that have been going on for years.

I wanted to see if the turn-by-turn navigation was available and it was. At the start it was too slow and if I took its advice I would have missed a turn at a roundabout. It then started to pick up and kept pace with me. The instructions then for when to turn was good. Of course I knew where I was going so I wasn't really dependent.

When in Perth last year we left our hotel and a freeway was about 5km away. It was well after I'd turned into the freeway the app caught up so the app was no help in terms of location, but still a handy map. The maps were also out of date because we had to turn at an intersection where there were lights and the map had a roundabout.

In terms of traffic flow I lost confidence in the old app when I was at a dead stop on the Ring Road once and the app showed traffic was flowing well. The new app doesn't appear to show traffic flow.

Overall I find iPhone maps to be very handy. Apple is copping a lot of flack with their new app. For me it is just different. I lose some features and I gain others.

For example I felt the new app tracked me better and was clearer to read with larger text. Now whilst it didn't matter to me, the new app lets me use the maps in landscape as well as portrait. I noticed once the old app didn't do that.

I have no doubt there will be things I don't like and other things I do. Most people don't like change so expect to read a lot of criticisms. My suggestion is try it for yourself and make up your own mind.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Jetstar Airbus A320, a very uncomfortable plane to travel in is hurting Qantas' reputation

We recently flew from Bali to Perth (and then on to Melbourne). The section from Bali to Perth was on a Jetstar flight and the plane was an Airbus A320.

I have to say the Airbus A320 is the most uncomfortable plane I’ve ever flown on. I didn’t have a problem with leg room but the seats were extremely uncomfortable. They are far too upright and the recline is almost non-existent. The people behind me weren’t doing anything unusual but any movement was easily felt. Both my wife and myself thought the seats were the worst we’d experienced. As we stood up at the end of the flight a person a couple of seats behind me said, “they’d never fly Qantas again”. I couldn’t help but feel the same way. My Qantas loyalty has now all but gone.

Since returning I’ve spoken to three others who have flown Jetstar and the feedback is the same. Terribly uncomfortable seats. We travelled the Sydney to Bali leg on an A330 which I didn’t find as uncomfortable (about the usual level of discomfort). The irony, the leg between Perth and Melbourne on an ageing Boing 737 felt like luxury compared to the Airbus A320.

The problem for Qantas is they need to compete and Jetstar is their low cost carrier. However, as a consumer I don’t differentiate between Jetstar and Qantas. I booked on the Qantas site and had no choice but to fly some of the trip on Jetstar. My uncomfortable trip to me is simply a Qantas flight . Obviously the person behind me felt the same way. They didn’t say they’d never fly Jetstar again, they said Qantas.

If Qantas are going to survive in this age of discount airfares they need to make sure they reach a minimum level of comfort we expect when travelling. We all expect cramped conditions, poor legroom, but this time Qantas had crossed the line. Qantas has now just become another airline to us. It is no longer the preferred airline. To me that is a shame.

Kelvin Eldridge

PS. One person I spoke to said the lack of recline was their own fault as they’d booked seats over the exits for extra legroom. However the lack of a decent amount of recline also was an issue for me and I was in a normal seat. Another couple I spoke to were in business class. Their experience was the same so the extra money spent on tickets didn’t improve their experience.   

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Favourite or Favorite?

When using your browser you could be forgiven for thinking the spelling should be “favourite”. The problem is the user interface for a lot of software used in Australia uses American English spelling. Over time, because we see the spelling so often, we start to believe the spelling is correct.

You can often download a UK version of a browser which can be better, but it may still not be the best for Australia. Unfortunately, except for the Opera browser where I previously provided an Australian English spelling user interface, it is not possible to easily change the spelling used in the user interface.

For the time being, the best approach is to remain confident in your spelling ability and know the spelling is “favourite”.

If you are in doubt whether or not the spelling of a word is the preferred Australian English spelling, you can use the online tool I provide called Word Check.

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.


MyAnswers: Upgrade iOS 6 on iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. What to do before upgrading to iOS 6.

The following MyAnswers solution 2250 is now available:

Upgrade iOS 6 on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. What to do before upgrading to iOS 6 and how I upgrade an iPhone.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Turn off in app purchases on iPhone

It appears a lot of people are getting caught out with in app purchases costing them a lot of money.

The approach App developers use, is to give away an app for free and then charge for things as you use the software. It may be additional levels or items for use in the game.

The result is people who want a freebie instead of paying a dollar or two for a paid app, can end up spending tens of dollars or even more. So much for getting a free app.

In particular parents may end up getting charged for their children's in app purchases when using their phone.

You can turn off in app purchases and avoid unexpected costs.

Go to Settings, General, Restrictions and this section you can enable restrictions (you need to enter a pin number which you should record somewhere) and then you can disable in app purchases. Whilst In this section I'd suggest changing the setting for requiring a password ( for purchases) from 15 minutes to every time.

The iPhone defaults are set up to make money for Apple and the developers and you foot the bill. Change the default settings and you are again in control.

OK. My favourite tip. Switch on airplane mode whilst playing games. That way games which are free but use advertising, cannot download ads which may cost you money on your phone plan by using your data. It also stops in app and additional store purchases, but it isn't controlled with a pin, so children can easily change it back to off.

The main thing to know is you have a number of techniques available to assist you in not incurring very costly additional charges, sometimes in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dog training Melbourne

Interested is dog training classes which are a little different? Have you considered “herding dog training”.

Each weekend Charlie Brincat of Herding Dog Training runs classes in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

For more information visit Charlie’s web site at

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, September 17, 2012

Alert: Important Changes to Microsoft Services

Today I received quite a few malware emails to different email accounts. One group of emails were designed to appear to come from Microsoft with the subject “Important Changes to Microsoft Services”. Attached is a zip file “”.

The contents of the file is an executable program which is most likely malware. The anti-virus software I use does not currently pick this file as malware. Keep in mind it takes a couple of days for anti-virus software writers to update their software.

You should delete these emails as they  are nearly certainly malware.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter/Adaptor

Apple is about to make a killing selling adaptors with the release of the Apple iPhone 5. The 30 pin docking connector which has existed since 2007, has now been replaced by a more compact connector. The problem for Apple users is if you have existing equipment which uses the 30 pin connector, you’ll now either need to buy new devices or an adaptor.

There are two adaptors. The Lightning to 30-pin Adapter/Adaptor (0.2m), which has a short cable and the Lightning to 30-pin Adapter/Adaptor, which is a chunky solid unit. In Australia the prices are $45 and $35 respectively (USA prices $39 and $29 respectively but may not include tax).

One article indicated supply of third party adaptors might not happen this year. With an expected 40-50 million iPhone 5’s expected to sell this year, if even just 20% decided to buy adaptors, that’s a sales windfall for Apple of over $320 million dollars. Not bad really when you’re talking about an accessory made for probably a dollar or two.

If you buy an iPhone 5 you may wish to factor in your need to purchase one or more Lightning to 30-pin adaptors. Alternately, if you wish to wait, perhaps put the purchase off until third party adaptors come out.

What I find is often people think a lot about their main purchase, but often put little thought into accessories so when an accessory is suggested by the salesperson, it’s an easy sell with a very high margin. This is a good strategy for an Apple store to make more money on a sale. When buying consider all components of the purchase and not just the main item.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you require computer assistance.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

How much electricity does a TV use?

How much electricity does a TV use?

Answer: Probably more than you think. Much more.

Seriously though, people aren’t aware just how much a TV uses both when in use and when in standby. If you asked people how long their TV is on, you’ll probably find they significantly under estimate how long the TV is on during the day and night.

The good thing it is very easy to determine how much your TV is costing you and by changing some simple habits, you will save a considerable amount of money.

First if you want better figures to work with, check out my Electricity Cost Calculator page. On the page are a couple of devices I’ve used to measure how much electricity devices use. The power meters are relatively cheap and will easily pay for themselves many times over through the knowledge you gain.

Let’s take an example. A 50” LG Plasma TV. The LG Plasma uses around 360-400W when on. It can get as low as 260W if the screen is large showing a lot of dark areas in the picture, but usually runs between 360-400W.

First you need to get a good idea as to how long you use your TV for. Whilst people hate to do it, perhaps keep a log for a day or two if your usage is fairly consistent. You could also estimate. Say two hours in the morning as background company whilst getting ready for work or school. Perhaps from 4pm onwards from when the children come home from school until the TV gets turned off around 11pm. Maybe even a bit of midday TV. Let’s say with morning and night you end up using the Plasma TV for 9 hours a day and turn it off in standby mode for the rest of the time, which is 15 hours.

Let’s use the Electricity Cost Calculator and plug these figures in. We’ll go for 360W for the power and use my current suppliers rate which is the default in the Calculator. I don’t have time-of-day charging.

We get a cost of $292 whilst on and $9 whilst in standby. A total of around $300 a year. For many people that one TV costs more than 10% of their annual electricity bill.

Some tips to save money. Use a smaller TV where possible and for those times when you like the company of the background noise. Turn TVs off at the switch as standby can add up to be quite a bit over a year. I use a footswitch which not only turns off the TV, but all other devices which adds up to be quite a saving and is more convenient than turning things off at the wall switch.

Most people have 2-3 TVs around the home in standby. In additional they’ll often have a recorder of some type, set-top box, cable box and maybe even a sound system. All these devices chew through power when left in standby and can add up to a significant portion of the electricity bill. Turning a modern TV off doesn’t turn it off completely. The TV is put in standby more ready to start again when you press the on button.

You can get relatively inexpensive remote control switches to turn off devices, but the best switch I’ve found is the footswitch. It is convenient and relatively inexpensive.

The irony is we were all led to believe our flat screen TVs cost less than our bulky TVs, which was largely true if you replaced one TV with a flat screen TV of the same size. But with TVs increasing in size and dropping in price, we often have a number of large screen TVs. Add hours of video game playing using the TV as a large screen and you are talking of hundreds of dollars a year in electricity charges. No wonder the electricity bill seems to keep going up.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for assistance with computers (and sometimes other devices).
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Anthony Jude - ANZ mobile lender

I live in Templestowe and today received an unaddressed letter in the mail from ANZ. It was a pamphlet promoting ANZ’s “local” mobile lender. A search of the telephone number indicates Anthony is located in Blackburn, a number of suburbs from Templestowe.

Between Templestowe and around Blackburn I suspect there are hundreds of lenders, many running their own small business. Whilst I have nothing against ANZ or Anthony, the aim of JustLocal is to make it easier for local businesses to advertise to locals and harder for big business to swamp the market. For example there is no ANZ business in Templestowe (the branch closed a while ago) and Anthony doesn’t live in Templestowe. Thus even with the deep pockets ANZ has to advertise, ANZ couldn’t have advertised on JustLocal in Templestowe. Even if ANZ had a branch in Templestowe they would still be limited to four advertising spaces which is just as affordable for a smaller local business.

If you want to promote your business in your local area, without being squashed by the huge advertising budgets of big business, then consider advertising and promoting yourself on JustLocal.

Kelvin Eldridge 

UPDATE 18/09: I received a call from Anthony Jude and had a very interesting conversation. It turns out Anthony is a successful franchise owner and his franchise covers the areas of Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Doncaster and Doncaster East. The letter drop was done at Anthony's own expense and not by ANZ.

JustLocal has been designed to assist businesses like Anthony's. I'm pleasantly happy to admit I'd made assumptions in the above post which are not correct. Whilst Anthony does not live in Templestowe, or have a bricks-and-mortar presence in Templestowe, his franchise area does cover Templestowe and thus he would be welcome to advertise on JustLocal in the areas his franchise covers.

Thank you Anthony for taking the time to contact me and correct my assumptions. I wish you the best with looking after local businesses and residents.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Free backup software for clients updated for Windows 7

Most new customers I see don’t have even a simple backup strategy in place. After reviewing many backup packages, including backup built into the operating system, I decided they weren’t what I wanted for many reasons included slow speed and even surprising some were unreliable. I wanted easy to use backup software, backups that could be accessed without the original backup software available because when the computer fails, often the backup software has also been lost.

I wrote a web service which generates a script the user can use to perform a backup. The client can then create scripts by filling out the form should their backup requirement change, or I create the script with them. The web service is available as a free service for clients.

A couple of days ago a new Windows 7 user needed a backup and the web service created the script which didn’t work as expected. The backup service has now been updated for the specific Windows 7 files that caused the problem. When Windows 8 is released I’ll again test the web service.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Australian Apple iOS 6 release date

With the iPhone 5 release announcement just around the corner (rumoured to be September 12th), the question that comes to mind is when will Apple release iOS 6 for existing devices.

If you check an earlier JustLocal blog post on the release of iPhone 4S, the mobile was announced with shipping of product around 9 days later. The release of iOS 5 was 8 days after the announcement, one day before product shipped. I thought that was a good strategy. Whilst it does mean potentially lost sales from those who update their existing equipment, it also meant happy customers who could use features such as iMessage with new iPhone buyers. Having a large number of iPhone users talking about and upgrading their iPhones helps to promote the iPhone. Also the approach kept existing users happy which is a good thing.

The Apple announcement for the iPhone 5 is reportedly scheduled for the 12th of September. The shipping date has been rumoured to be the 21st of September (again 9 days), so a good guess would be iOS 6 will be available for existing devices on the 20th of September.  If I recall correctly, the pre-order date for the iPhone was on the Friday two days after the announcement which if the same schedule occurs again, pre-orders will start on the 14th of September.

I find it very interesting that Apple opened pre-orders on the Friday and started selling product on the Friday. I can only guess Apple have worked out the best days to release products and start taking order. Perhaps the end of week and weekend give people the best time to get their new devices.

Based on the iOS 5 experience I found downloads started about 9am Pacific time on the Thursday, which is 3am Friday in Melbourne Australia. However due to demand I found it was not possible to update iOS under late afternoon.

All the best with your iOS devices.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and surrounding suburbs.  

UPDATE: 18/09 While most of the above was pretty accurate for a prediction, I stand corrected on the iOS 6 update. The software will be available on Wednesday the 19th, one day earlier than I estimated.

MyAnswers: Is it practice or practise?

The following MyAnswers solution 2246 is now available:

Is it practice or practise?

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

MyAnswers: Can Apple find a lost iPod Touch given its serial number?

The following MyAnswers solution 2245 is now available:

A person I know lost their Applie iPod Touch. They think it may have been on a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne or the taxi. The question is, "can Apple locate an iPod Touch device given its serial number ccqdc38xdcpc?" I'll follow this up with Apple support.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Nokia with Microsoft Windows software, and why it is a concern for me

I used to be a diehard Nokia buyer. If it wasn’t a Nokia I wasn’t interested. But then Nokia started to fall out of favour. I found once I strayed from the hardware and wanted to use software on my computer I wasn’t happy. I purchased a cable kit and all it came with was a box and a cable. No software and if I recall correctly, no instructions. For the price I was very disappointed.

Fast forward and last year Nokia released their Smart Phone with Windows Phone 7 around September, if I recall correctly. I waited and waited. Towards the end of 2011 Nokia was heavily promoting their non-Windows phone in Australia on shows like Celebrity Apprentice and still not releasing a Windows Phone 7 product in Australia. It was well into 2012 before Nokia decided to release a Windows Phone 7 mobile in Australia.

It almost felt like we’d Australia had become a secondary market. If you read articles the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, China, India) group of nations is where the focus appears to be. Australia, we’ll get to you when we’re ready.

I tested Windows Phone 7 and found three simple tests with the browser that failed. To me Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 was not good enough for what I want. The issues I have relate to web page layout, location and transferring content to the internet.

Windows Phone 7.5 was released and the location information was fixed but the layout and transfer issues remained. Transferring content using the browser is still an issue with most mobile devices.

Now just few months after Nokia released their devices in Australia we find existing handsets won’t be compatible with Windows Phone 8. WOW. Talk about quick obsolescence. How could Microsoft bring out software that in less than a year would obsolete their leading hardware partner’s devices!

When Nokia and Microsoft bring out a mobile phone which is so quickly obsolete, and Nokia places Australia down the list in terms of worldwide priorities, it will take a lot for me to have confidence in them again.

Once a Windows 8 Phone is released I’ll again do my three tests. I’m hoping Nokia also reconsiders their timing with their Australian release. If the Nokia/Microsoft partnership continues to treat Australians as a secondary market they’re unlikely to gain market share in Australia.

The world has certainly changed since I considered Nokia and Microsoft as preferred suppliers of choice. That’s a good thing because Nokia and Microsoft now have to work harder to appeal to customers and can’t afford to rest on their laurels.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Power Consumption Calculator/Energy Cost Calculator

Many electrical devices have the power usage printed on them. For example we have a bathroom light which has three lights each consuming 50W. That meant every time the light was turned on it was using 150 watts. I’d estimate the usage of the light is perhaps around an hour per day.

Using the Energy Cost Calculator and entering 150W for 1 hour per day shows me the light was costing me around  $13.55 a year. Once I realised this and the lights blew (which they did quite quickly) I replaced the lights with 35W globes. Now at least I’d reduced the power usage to 105 watts which would work out at $9.49 a year. There was also a light in the light/fan/heater unit in the middle of the roof which had a 60W light and I replace that light with a 40W globe. Now that light is used most of the time reducing the three light usage to much less.

If I use the single 40W light 75% of the time and the triple light (105W) 25% of the time, I could save even more with very little effort. The cost would be $2.71 (40W for 45 minutes/day) plus $2.37 (105W for 15 minutes/day) for a total of $5.06 a year.

From an initial cost of $13.55, to $5.06, a saving of around 63% was easy to achieve by simply understanding the cost and making small changes. Imagine saving 63% per cent off your electricity. I don’t think anyone would complain about that.

When reviewing your power consumption consider both the length of time you are using the device as well as the power of a device. Considerable savings can be made once you know roughly how much your devices are costing you and then consider your options.

Kelvin Eldridge

MyAnswers: Should I remove Java off my computer?

The following MyAnswers solution 2243 is now available:

Should I remove Java off my computer? I've read there is a serious exposure at the moment.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Should I remove Adobe Flash from my computer

Yesterday I attended a client. They were concerned their screen had changed and perhaps they had done something wrong. They were notified of an update for Flash which they installed. The problem is the update also installed Google’s toolbar which they didn’t expect.

I consider the packaging of software from other companies such as Adobe does with Google products to be a mistake by Adobe. All you need to do is to start confusing users and people will ask, “do I really need this software on my computer?”, which is the question I am now faced with. At that point Adobe starts to lose customers and that is a bad business decision.

I checked my logs for one of my sites (which is mostly Australian users) and based on the statistics, around 18% of people access my site don’t have Flash installed. With Apple’s anti-Flash stance, mobile devices and tablets now generally don’t support Flash.

Until now I would have said keep Flash installed. However this week installing the Flash update myself I found by default the Flash update would have installed Google Chrome. If you don’t want to install Google Chrome you need to take action to deselect the option and a lot of people don’t read the additional information on the screen. A day later a client is confused as a result of the Flash update installing other software. People shouldn’t be confused as a result of an update. In some cases because of the confusion the update is costing people real money because they require support. Support to remove software they didn’t want or need.

In the near future I suspect people will start to remove Flash by default. That way there will be one less update they get prompted for and an update which is now updating their system with unwanted software. I’m going to remove Flash from my system for use with Internet Explorer and see what the impact is. You remove the software via Control Panel. There is often two versions of Flash installed. Adobe Flash Player Plugin and Adobe Flash Player ActiveX. The ActiveX version is for Internet Explorer. The Plugin version is for other browsers.

Remove the ActiveX version and Flash will be removed from Internet Explorer. As a backup you may wish to have a second browser installed (for example Opera) just in case you wish to view pages that require Flash.

If you find you can’t live without Flash, then you can go to the Adobe site and reinstall Flash.


If you go to a page which requires Flash you’ll get prompted to install Flash. So you don’t keep getting nagged every time you visit a page you can select additional options and select the option “Never install software from Adobe Systems Incorporate”.

Longer term however it would appear Flash will have a limited life. The problem is people now regularly use both mobile and desktop versions of browsers. Mobile use is increasing and mobile devices don’t generally support Flash. Adobe have stated they won’t be support mobile versions of Flash. A business with Flash on their web site means already over 18% of potential Australian users can’t use their site as designed and this number is increasing.

If you have a site designed using Flash, then you may wish to consider redesigning the site to remove Flash. Not catering for 18% of potential users is a bad business decision and this number is only going to grow. Tourism sites in particular should move quickly. I’ve already been impacted by tourism sites and when mobile if you can’t access a business’ site, you’ll pick another business to use.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you require computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Dog Training Melbourne

With the weather in Melbourne now turning the corner and Spring definitely in the air, if you’re looking for an activity for yourself and man’s best friend, consider herding dog training. Charlie Brincat runs regular herding dog training each week conveniently located in Melbourne’s East. No need to travel for hours when Charlie is a short drive away.

For more details visit

Kelvin Eldridge
Helping to strengthen local business.


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Adobe Flash 11.4 update opens browser for download

Today when I started the computer I received the usual Adobe Flash update. What I thought was unusual is Internet Explorer opened and took me to the page to download Adobe Flash. Normally people will click on the download and install the update. Next time you get this type of update, pause for a moment and read the screen.

The problem is companies like Adobe not only install their software, but they also install other company’s software. In this case if you just accepted the install, you’d also end up installing the Google Chrome browser.

I regularly visit clients who have installed software and toolbars without knowing how they did it. Earlier versions of Google toolbars for example caused issues with using a Google search designed for American users and not Australian users, so people would get results they didn’t expect. The pop-up blocker on the Google toolbar would cause sites not to work resulting in a technical support call. Earlier versions of Google Chrome also damaged links in Outlook emails so there is good reason to be careful with the software you install as a result of a free download.

Adobe gets paid by Google to trick people to install software they don’t realise they’re installing and people then end up with software on their computer they may not want or need. The software industry is full of this type of trickery and unfortunately for the average user, it ends up slowing their computer down, confusing them, and often resulting in an unnecessary support call.

Next time you get the option to install software from the internet, make sure you read the information on the screen. Deselect any options presented that you don’t want. Most computers I see have been “infected” with legitimate software which can cause the computer to operate in an unexpected way. Free software often comes at a price, you just need to find out what the real price is and make sure you know what you are receiving. If you’re receiving free software or a free service then keep in mind you aren’t the customer. The customer is the organisation paying the money and that often means your interests aren’t being given the top priority.


Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Alert: Four steps to global Facebook success

With Social Networking being highly promoted as a way to build business, it may be easy for people to fall for the malware which comes attached to an email with the subject: “Four steps to global Facebook success”. The email contains an attachment ( which contains malware. You should delete these emails.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you require computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and surrounding area.

Alert: Vodafone Hutchison Australia: Your Account Balance

Today I received multiple emails across a number of email accounts with the subject: “Vodafone Hutchison Australia:  Your Account Balance”. The emails contained a zip file attachment (, the number varies) which is malware. You should delete these emails immediately.


Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.