Monday, January 23, 2017

Nearest Train Station and Tram Stop web app now available.

As you know if you've been reading my blog, you'll know I write web apps for those things that interest me. I never know what the next web app will be, but when the idea and interest comes together, I create a web app. The apps help me and hopefully they'll help others.

I recently found the data for train station locations was available and whilst the train stations are shown on the map applications, because they're small they're often difficult to find, particularly if you don't know the area. I decided to put together a web app which would show me the train stations and in particular the nearest train stations. Hence the web app is called Nearest Train Station.

I then found the tram stop information was also available so decided to extend the web app to cover tram stops as well. I may further extend the web app to cover bus stops as well if I find this serves a need.

Now I have a convenient web app which will show me the nearest train stations and tram stops. I can then use the web app to open Google maps right at the station or stop. At that point I can use Google maps to provider train or tram timetable information.

The Nearest Train Station web app will hopefully make my life a little easier and hopefully it will assist you as well. You can find the Nearest Train Station web app at https://www.NearestTrainStation.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.NearestTrainStation.com.au

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Original Windows 10 release now reaching end-of-life on March 26, 2017

How times have changed. In the good old days you got your computer, or installed the updated Windows operating system and you'd many years of upgrades. That has now changed.

Microsoft is releasing updates more quickly and only supports the current two versions after a given period. Windows 10 came out in July 2015 (version 1507), next came Windows 10 Update (version 1511) in November 2015 and now we have Windows 10 Anniversary update (version 1607) released in August 2016. Basically a little over a year and the original version is no longer going to receive updates. To me that's a bit bizarre and many Windows users may not be aware.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2017/01/19/windows-10-v1607-media-now-available/

There's no problem if you've continued to update your version of Windows, but some people may not have. If you haven't updated your version of Windows 10, it's now a good idea and time to consider updating your operating system.

The way I quickly tell which version of Windows 10 is on a computer is the following.

Windows 10 original. No power button on the full screen Start Menu at the top right.
Windows 10 Update. A power button on the full screen Start Menu at the top right. Also clicking the Start button now brings up a menu.
Windows 10 Anniversary. When pressing the Start button a pop-up menu appears with the tiles to the right and a column which is largely empty at the left. This column now has a power button.

Given that I wasn't aware of Microsoft's change of approach with more rapid releases, to making versions of their operating obsolete, I suspect many other people won't be as well. If you're thinking of the good old days, when a Windows operating system was released and about two to three years later a service pack came out, meaning two releases would be supported for many, many years, that approach by Microsoft has well and truly gone.

I summary, as best I can tell, the original release of Windows 10 will no longer be serviced (that is receive patches or security updates) on March 26, 2017. It is recommended anyone with the original release of Windows 10 to update to a more recent edition.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Monday, December 19, 2016

Looking for a GST calculator without installing an app.

If you're looking for a GST calculator for your mobile phone, but don't want to install yet another app, you can easily add the Australian GST Calculator to your home screen for quick and convenience access.

By using a GST calculator that is a web app instead of a native app all you are adding is a link and icon to your home screen. No app is install so very little of the valuable space on your mobile phone is used. The Australian GST Calculator is a web app. All that means is the Australian GST Calculator is a web page design to work well on a mobile phone.

To add the Australian GST Calculator to your home screen all your need to do is to go to the site www.AustralianGSTCalculator.com.au and select the option in your web browser to add the site to your home page for quick and convenient access. You don't need to give permissions as none are needed and the web app can't access things on your mobile phone like native apps can.

So if you're looking for a GST calculator, check out www.AustralianGSTCalculator.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.AustralianGSTCalculator.com.au

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Netgear routers R6400, R7000, R8000, R7500, R7800, R8500, R9000 may be at risk of being hacked.,

US-CERT's top tip: Hack your crap Netgear router before miscreants arrive • The Register: Netgear routers R6400, R7000, and R8000

If you own one of the above routers it may be worth reading the above article.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Update: 20/12/2016
Received the following security update from Netgear.
http://kb.netgear.com/000036386/CVE-2016-582384

Is your Windows 10, 8 PC falling off the 'net?

Is your Windows 10, 8 PC falling off the 'net? Microsoft doesn't care • The Register: Embarrassed Redmond keeps mum on how it managed to break DHCP

Perhaps it is just a coincidence but one client was not able to connect to the internet. Shutting down their computer and modem didn't fix the problem, but then later selecting Restart fixed the issue they'd had for a few days. Perhaps it was this problem which Microsoft appears to have caused with an update. If you're having troubles connecting to the internet keep this issue in mind.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Update: 15/12/2016
Received and update which gave the option to restart. The patch according to this article (http://m.theregister.co.uk/2016/12/14/microsoft_windows_10_dhcp/) KB3206632 was included in the update. I've not personally been affected by the issue.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

One day to go before the free upgrade to Windows 10 elapses.

A final reminder to those who are using Windows 7/8/8.1. The 29th of July is the last day for the free upgrade to Windows 10.

Before doing an upgrade I do two things. A full system image backup and a separate backup of my data. You never know when something may be wrong with computers.

Over the past year most computers have upgraded with minor issues that can be resolved. Things like incompatible programs that leaves remnants that then have to be removed manually. A few computer have not been able to be upgraded. The worst was recently. It was a HP8100. After installing Windows 10 the video card driver, USB driver and Ethernet driver all didn't work. Very difficult to work with a computer when so many things didn't work. Worse was HP did not provide any new drivers for Windows 10. The outcome was a restore to Windows 7. So the upgrade doesn't always work, but probably around 90% of the time it does.

Is it a big deal if you don't upgrade. Not really. The computer you have will continue to last for some years and when you're ready you can then update your computer and operating system. Whether you upgrade or not is based on your own needs and desires. I personally would lean towards upgrading particularly if you have a Windows 8/8.1 system. Windows 8/81 will end up being like Windows Vista. The operating system people preferred to skip.

Good luck if you decide to upgrade.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Latest web app Share My Location highlights subtle differences in iPhone browsers.

I've recently released my latest web app Share My Location which can be found at www.ShareMyLocation.com.au. As part of testing I found an interesting difference in iPhone browsers I'd not noticed before.

The Share My Location web app needs to remain open for you to continuously share your location with someone else. On my ancient iPhone 4 I have Safari, Opera and Chrome to choose from. Most times I use Safari. I decided to test what would happen if someone opened a new tab and the result was interesting.

Safari suspended the activity from the background tab, but Opera and Chrome did not. This could be useful when someone is sharing their location and wants to use the browser to perhaps catch up on the news whilst they travel. Perhaps even check out a public transport timetable. In this case Safari would stop sharing the location, but Opera and Chrome wouldn't and would thus be better to use in this situation.

It makes sense for Apple to suspend activity and that would reduce battery usage. Browser makers make choices and most of the time we're not aware of the choices and compromises. By luck I stumbled across a useful bit of knowledge that makes Share My Location more convenient for Apple device users. In this case it is as simple as using another browser.

Desktop browsers do not suffer from this limitation, but of course desktop browsers usually don't have access to a GPS.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.ShareMyLocation.com.au