Saturday, June 30, 2012

Existing Nokia mobile smartphones won't run Microsoft Windows Phone 8 software

If you’re thinking about purchasing a Nokia mobile smartphone using Windows Phone 7.5 software you may also wish to consider that it won’t be upgradeable to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 software when it is released. There will be what has been described as a cosmetic upgrade to Windows 7.8.

Kelvin Eldridge


Friday, June 29, 2012

Google Chrome browser now available on Apple iPhone in Australia

I read that Google have released the Chrome Browser for iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

I opened up the App Store only to find it wasn't there. Strange I thought. I then worked out how to get the App and installed Chrome on my 3GS iPhone. My first impression is it works well.

Here is a screenshot of my favourite site

From what I read Apple only allows other browsers to use their rendering engine so expectedly the layout of the actual page was the same as for the Safari Browser. It also means the same limitations of Safari will apply. For example the upload button to upload a file such as a photo to a site is disabled in Chrome as it is on Safari.

One feature I did like straight away was the tabs button. It is a good sign when you immediately find something you like as that encourages you to explore further.

A restriction Apple applies is you can't make other browsers the default so this will tend to push people back to Safari due to convenience.

Google Chrome is available in the App Store.

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

Google Nexus 7 tablet Australian availability

The Google Nexus 7 tablet has now been announced. It is available now for per-order by Australians on the Google store with delivery stated as 2-3 weeks.

There is an 8GB model for $249 and a 16GB model for $299. Given the current exchange rate these prices are dearer than the US prices and Google could have been a bit more aggressive with their pricing. At least however Australia has been included in the initial launch.

The Nexus 7 is a seven inch tablet which will come with the latest version of Android 4.1 (also known as Jelly Bean).

If there is one thing I would have liked to see in the tablet, it would be a HDMI connector to connect to a larger screen.

I have an Acer A200 tablet with Android 4 which I find to be flaky. The issues appear to be related to the Android software (mostly with the browser) so hopefully Android 4.1 is an improvement. I'd recommend testing a unit before ponying up the money.

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Apple iPhone celebrates 5th anniversary on Friday the 29th of June

Where does the time go. It just seems like yesterday that I first went into an Apple store and tried out the first iPhone.

Tomorrow the Apple iPhone celebrates its 5th anniversary.

My first experience with the iPhone as I said was at an Apple store. Five years ago we didn't have Apple stores in Australia. I was on holiday in Hawaii celebrating a milestone birthday. My wife left me in the Apple store and I waited for a chance to try out the new iPhone.

My first experience wasn't good. The iPhone locked up shortly after I started using it. That for me was a good outcome. I waited until the iPhone 3GS arrived two years later and used the iPhone as a portable computer. The iPhone has limitations for me, but overall it has been a very good device largely delivering on expectations.

As an example I'm using an App to write this blog entry but really I'd just prefer to use the browser and blog directly on the web site. The browser isn't good enough, but then again I don't think any of the mobile browsers are quite there yet. We really have to work within the limitations of the device.

The original iPhone if I recall correctly wasn't quite suited to the Australian network, but it has certainly come a long way.

Do you remember when you first got to check out an iPhone?

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Microsoft Surface tablet announced

Microsoft have announced their Surface tablet which is a modern tablet able to run their new Windows 8 operating system. This is a good opportunity to contrast the approaches used by Apple and Microsoft.

The problem I find with Apple iPads is they tend to be walled in devices. To me they are an appliance. But when Apple announced their products they had pricing and started taking orders. That is the product was close to being ready to ship and shipped shortly after.

Microsoft on the other hand will produce what I see as a restricted device in their non-Intel tablet and a more open device, but more expensive, in the Intel based tablet. There is no pricing and no delivery schedule. This to me is really bad marketing. We saw Microsoft announce the Slate device (if I recall correctly around two and a half years ago) and nothing significant reached the market. This doesn’t endear confidence.

In addition, the media are writing this may simply be a strategy to get other equipment manufacturers to lift their game and produce better and more innovative products. In other words the implication is Microsoft’s product isn’t a long term product but just a means to an end.

Microsoft really needs to provide substance with their announcements. No product, no schedule and no pricing. As a consumer that gives me no confidence. I am interested in Windows 8 tablets, but only if they provide a better computing experience.

I find Android tablets to be flaky, Apple tablets to be too restrictive. There is no way I can currently use a tablet to replace a computer. A tablet is currently an additional device and not a replacement for a portable computer. The Microsoft Surface tablet running the full version of Windows 8 may potentially provide the tablet experience I’ve been waiting for so I can replace my ageing netbook. But only if the tablet lives up to the hype of being a more portable computer device with the same or similar functionality of notebooks and not the current crippled experience offered by existing tablets.

The only thing we can now do is wait and see what Microsoft actually delivers with the Microsoft Surface tablet.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections


Friday, June 22, 2012

Alert: Beware of App Store fraud - News alert - Consumer Affairs Victoria

Interestingly a couple of days ago I read online that Consumer Affairs Victoria issued an alert to consumers using Apple’s iTunes store and App store with regards to “fraud” and “counterfeit or ‘cloned’ apps”.

The following is the original link where the page has now been removed.

You can read more information on the The Register site

Whilst I’ve not personally experienced an Apple App Store account being hacked and no one in my user base has let me know they’ve had their account used by others, reading the online forums does indicate it is happening and is a concern.

One word of caution I would issue, is think about the username and password you are using with the Apple App Store and your other online accounts. In a lot of cases people use the same email address and password to access all their online accounts. The problem is if one account is hacked, all of their accounts are then potentially exposed. Because of the very large number of people using the Apple App Store all a hacker needs to do is obtain a list of usernames and passwords from a hacked site and then test the list against the Apple App Store. Once the hacker knows a username/password combination works they can sell it. According to the Consumer Affairs article “Online hacker forums sell access to iTunes accounts for as little as $33 – promising the each password can net a fraudster thousands of dollars in credit”.

If you are using the same username/password across multiple online services you should review what you are doing. At a minimum, use different passwords for different online services. That way if one service is hacked your username/password combination won’t work on your other accounts. For example 25% of Australians have a Facebook account so one in four Australians, if they are using the same email address/password across their online services, their Facebook account can be access if one of the services they use is hacked.

It would be even better is to use a different username(email address) and password for each service. Yes it is less convenient, but the inconvenience may well protect you and save a lot of grief down the track.

Consumer Affairs Victoria even though they have now removed the article for their own reasons, felt it was worthy enough to post the article in the first place and to me that is a sign there may be sufficient cause for concern.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, June 17, 2012

ANZ: "Please try enabling JavaScript, or click to open the link via the active browser tab." message when trying to log on

A client was having a problem accessing their ANZ bank account using ANZ’s site. When trying to log on they’d receive the message: “Please try enabling JavaScript, or click to open the link via the active browser tab.” Initially I thought this should be a fairly easy problem to fix. It turned out to be a difficult problem and required a considerable amount of research time.

The message provided by the ANZ site had no relevance to the problem. I’ve found over the years users are often given help guidance by programs that is misleading or not relevant.

The solution to this problem is now available to clients in MyAnswers solution 2224 under the Internet Explorer section.

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

Friday, June 15, 2012

MyAnswers: Log on button on ANZ site doesn't work using Internet Explorer 9, Windows 7.

The following MyAnswers solution 2224 is now available:

Log on button on ANZ site doesn't work using Internet Explorer 9 (64 bit) on Windows 7. On sites some links work and others don't. Right click on a link and open in new tab ends up with a blank page.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Olympian's photos of sex with wife stolen by staff at computer shop

When I read about a Sydney computer shop allegedly taking copies of personal images from a customer’s computer that had been given them for repair, there is little wonder that people start to not trust repair businesses.

INTIMATE photographs of an Australian Olympian having sex with his wife were stolen by staff at a Sydney computer shop after the prominent star brought his machine in for repair.... Read More

The problem is if your computer dies you need to be able to trust the business with your important data and the Sydney business shows you just can’t trust some businesses. People shouldn’t have to be concerned that businesses can take copies of their data without permission in this way.

If as is reported this isn’t against the law it should be. Whilst the article mentions the law covers situations such as when a password restricts access, then does that really make a difference if you have to give the computer business your password?

If you are concerned about the potential inappropriate copying of your data you have a few options. The first is if you can find someone who you can trust then deal with them. Obviously if you don’t know someone that doesn’t help.

A couple of options are: to remove the hard disk before putting the computer in for repair and pay for a new hard disk. Another is to be present whilst the computer is being repaired.

Because I perform onsite support of computers the computer doesn’t have to leave the person’s home or business premises. For some tasks, when it is may be easier and more cost effective to take the computer back to base, the choice is always the client’s.


Trust is earned and once damaged is rarely repaired. Companies like the business in Sydney should be named if indeed they are doing what they’ve alleged to have done. Even if it isn’t illegal, it isn’t right.

I’d never heard of a business doing this before but once you know a business does this, you can be sure there are others doing the same. Now you know you can factor this knowledge into your decisions and take appropriate action.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Approximately 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords made public

It is important if you are using an online service that you understand large onsite services will be under constant attack. Make sure you’re happy that if the site is hacked and your data exposed, that you minimise the risk to yourself and business.

Many people use the same password and username across multiple sites. Unfortunately many sites now use your email address as your username so all that is needed is the password and your account on another site can be accessed.

Many years ago I recall video stores had a problem with passwords so it was wise to use a different password at different video stores. In the case of video stores, anyone who worked at the store would have access to your password and video stores often had poor security and staff turnover. The world hasn’t changed much, except now we have online accounts. If a site is compromised your account can be compromised and often that means your username (email address) and password can be determined. Then they can be used to access other sites.

If you have a LinkedIn account and your password has been published LinkedIn will reset your password. I’d suggest if you have a LinkedIn account it may be time to review the passwords you are using and if you are using the same password across multiple online services, think about using a different strategy.


There are also a number of sites which will enable you to check if your password is one of the passwords published. I’d highly recommend you do not use those site. There is nothing to say they aren’t sites simply designed to collect passwords. Don’t be tempted to check your password using a site. Just change your passwords if you are concerned.

Kelvin Eldridge

Australian dictionaries for open source projects

I get the occasional request for dictionaries for open source projects. I just want to let people know I no longer support open source projects.

I had hoped that by helping others, others would assist me. All I found is the open source projects and the users took the material I provided and nearly all gave nothing back. Firefox was the worst example, not only taking the work but also changing the licence against my wishes. Google Chrome was not far behind. A link from Google to my project would have greatly assisted, but instead simply took my work consisting of hundreds of hours of effort and included it in their project.

All projects need to do is to link to the developers’ sites so the developer gains for their efforts. Instead the projects take the material, include it in their projects where users have no idea of where the material came from and who is putting in the effort.

As a developer/consultant I make a living from developing software and providing computer support. Open source did not provide a means to generate income even though my work ended up  being used by hundreds of thousands of Australians.

I now only focus on producing dictionaries for clients. They are the people who help me pay the bills and I’m very grateful to my clients for their support.

My apologies to anyone for any inconvenience.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, June 4, 2012

Make sure your spelling is correct when doing presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Recently I attended a trade show where a number of people gave presentations. One person was a leading business coach and I’d guess they were being paid a very healthy fee to present. As I sat listening to his presentation and reading his slides there it was. A spelling error.

The problem is once you see a spelling error in the presentation your mind immediately wanders from the presentation.

To be fair, this wasn’t completely the presenter’s fault. None of us are perfect spellers and we tend to rely on our spellcheckers to pick up typos and spelling errors. In this case the presenter was obviously using Microsoft software for his presentation, because the spelling error is an error in the Microsoft spellchecker dictionary.

I produce an Exclude file which can be used with Microsoft Office products. The Exclude file helps people to determine if they are using the preferred Australian English spelling. There are thousands of Australian English words which can be spelt two or more ways and Microsoft’s spellchecker dictionary correctly enables people to use their chosen spelling. It is just that most people don’t know there is a preferred Australian English spelling. In addition, there are a number of errors in the Microsoft spellchecker dictionary which are also corrected with the use of the Exclude file.

Given the cost and time involved of preparing for the presentations and travelling to multiple cities across Australia, for just $10 this error could have been avoided.

For those who are interested the word used was “fulfillment” which is the American spelling. This spelling is allowed if Australians are using Microsoft software, but the correct spelling is “fulfilment”.


You can obtain the Microsoft Exclude file from the JustLocal site ( or use the direct link

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator and maintainer of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Microsoft's Windows 7 to Windows 8 upgrade offer on new computers.

As mentioned recently on the Online Connections blog, Microsoft usually makes an upgrade offer to purchasers of new computers so they can obtain the new operating system when it arrives and sales of existing machines don't dry up while people wait.

Microsoft have now made the following announcement.

"Beginning June 2, 2012, Microsoft will roll out the Windows Upgrade Offer in 131 markets, including the U.S. and Canada. Consumers who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs through Jan. 31, 2013, can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 (U.S.) during the time of the promotion."

I would suggest waiting until you have a firm offer in writing and make sure you get an "eligible" PC, whatever that may mean.

My own preference is if you can wait for a new computer, then I'd prefer to wait. In fact I'd even suggest wait a while until after new computers with the new operating have been on the market for a while. That way you're likely to know about any serious bugs. I also prefer to get a computer I know has been designed with the operating system in mind and not an older computer. Keep in mind the latest Intel processors are also being released now. Having the latest processor with the latest version of the operating system is a good place to be, if everything works as it should.

I remember Windows Me and advised all clients not to buy it. Windows Vista was also a sluggish operating system and where possible clients stayed on Windows XP. I'm hoping Windows 8 isn't a dud by having its dual nature with Metro.

For those who need a new machine now, this is a timely offer. Personally I'm not going to be in a hurry and will take my time with a new purchase.

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