Saturday, March 29, 2014

MyAnswers: A new approach I used to remove the NewNextDotMe malware.

The following MyAnswers solution 2457 is now available:

I developed a new strategy to remove the NewNextDotMe malware. The problem is new malware comes out every day as a slight variation of existing malware to bypass most of the antivirus programs. This approach enabled me to find the program to remove the malware using standard free software so it may be possible for end users to remove their own malware using the same approach.

Click here to obtain the solution.

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Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blogger error bx-hg9hg2 whien using Internet Explorer 11 under Windows 7.

I found recently that using Internet Explorer 11 under Windows 7 to write posts in Google Blogger had become quite frustrating. I received the error message bx-hg9hg2. Checking the internet I see this is very common.

If you read the browser support documentation for Google Blogger you'll see Internet Explorer 9 and 10 are supported but Internet Explorer 11 is not. Google has stated they'll only support two versions of browsers and were very quick to drop support of Internet Explorer 8 even though it is the latest version of Internet Explorer support on Windows XP.

Google can of course to choose to support whichever platforms they decide to choose. If Google didn't have their own browser I'd be fairly sure all versions of Internet Explorer from 8 to 11 would be supported. By not supporting Internet Explorer this is the stick approach to get people to use Google Chrome. Firefox is often suggested but keep in mind nearly all the income Firefox makes is from Google and changing the Firefox default search is often not easy for casual users.

In MyAnswers solution 2455 I'm documenting tips to work around this problem. This post was written using Internet Explorer 11 under Windows 7. The image however was loaded using the Opera Browser. I've not found problems when using the Safari browser on a MacBook Air.

I use Google's services but this apparent behaviour is a real concern to me. Why haven't Google got around to supporting Internet Explorer 11 fully for Blogger. It makes me worry as to whether or not Blogger will continue into the future. If a company only focuses on its own products and not what the customer is using, then it is time to factor that into your future decisions.

I'm happy to use the browser of my choice, but I'm not happy being forced to use a browser as part of what I perceive as a strategic business decision.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Should I get an Apple tablet, an Android tablet, or some other tablet? This is just for fun.

Recently a question came up which comes up often and I felt it was time I share my experience others. The question usually goes along the lines, I'd like a tablet for myself, I'd like to get my partner a tablet, or my partner would like to get me a tablet. The tablet will be for fun and there is no specific requirement from a business point of view. Which tablet would you suggest?

The quick answer is either. If you got a gift without knowing I'm fairly sure you would simply enjoy the gift and enjoy whichever brand you ended up with. Life is short so just enjoy the technology for the pleasure it brings.

Since the question was more about spoiling yourself, or purchasing for a partner, or the partner purchasing for you, then the easy option is to stick to the two main brands which are Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy.

As long as you separate pleasure from business it doesn't matter. Each device will be fun. Each has strengths and weaknesses.

If it were a business decision I'd first suggest working out your requirements. I'd suggest creating a list of pros and cons for each device and put a weighting of how important each feature was to the client. I'd also in particular rate the physical features of the devices so that people could clearly keep in mind the subtle differences. But this isn't usually a business decision, but a fun decision. The only question is, is it this easy to separate business from pleasure? Will the additional device somehow creep into business use later and thus a little more thought may have ended up with a more useful business device as well as giving pleasure. I suspect usage creep more than likely will happen.

My own experience with tablets is the following.

I wanted to use a tablet for presenting my JustLocal service to potential clients and for training clients with online services such as blogger. I purchased an iPad 2 and the WOW factor was there. Fantastic device. Absolutely terrible camera at sub one megapixel which Apple really didn't make obvious, but sharing pictures at high resolution and on a large screen with family and friends was worth the experience alone.

However an Apple iPad doesn't give you the full experience of the internet. I suspect the terse words on Flash by Apple was more about Apple keeping a development tool off Apple devices which would allow apps to be developed without having to go through Apple's store, where Apple gets a 30% commission.  That's just my suspicion. So the iPad didn't do Flash and so quite a few sites didn't work. I then found whilst training people that Apple's browser didn't work with Google blogger and didn't work with other sites. So I was stuck. I could show people the output but not how to enter the information. When it came to training I'd have to use an old Acer netbook as well as the iPad. I was stuck using and carrying around two devices to do the one job. I reluctantly took the iPad back to Apple as I found it wasn't suited to my business needs and to Apple's credit they provided a full refund. No hassles, even though I was outside the return period. To me that was impressive.

I next bought an Acer A200 tablet which ran Android 4.0 and included a free upgrade when available to 4.1. The Acer A200 uses Google's operating system. Now I'll have no problems I thought. How wrong was I. Google's own services such as Blogger and Gmail gave a terrible unworkable experience. I found the hardware to be good but Android severely lacking. The Acer is rarely used now but it has had a second chance at life for one member of the family playing Candy Crush. It is also good for sharing the occasional photo. Not a good purchase decision.

Apart from a very poor experience with an Android device a major concern is with operating system updates. I had an iPhone 3GS and the operating system was updated multiple times until recently where it now sits with iOS 6. In general Apple has shown an easy upgrade path, but they did obsolete some tablets faster than expected. With Android I now assume you can't upgrade an Android device. You buy what you get and if it gets an operating system update that's a bonus. The problem is it is up to the manufacturer of the device to provide the update to Android and the two devices we have which are Android, will never be updated again. Within a year of purchase there's been no updates.

From a user point of view I find Apple devices easier to use and Android a bit clumsy in their design and more difficult to find options. However I feel Android may provide more options. Android is winning in market share, but isn't winning yet in actual usage as an internet device. My stats show even though Apple devices (tablets and mobiles) may now have lower market share, far more people use Apple devices to access the internet. In terms of security I'd be far happier doing my banking on an Apple device where people only download a few apps than using an Android device. That's more about Apple's controlling nature which normally annoys me, but in the case of banking provides confidence. I've never used an Android device for banking but have no problems using my iPhone for banking.

As a result of my experience if someone asked which device I'd recommend, with no background of their needs, I'd suggest an Apple device over an Android device. But I'd also suggest that people seriously consider their needs first. What suits one person's needs is different from another's.

In summary, if you just want a device for fun then it doesn't matter which device you choose. They're both fun. But take a moment to think about the future as well. Will you use your device for business as well as pleasure? Then if it is really to have fun, just have fun. Life is short and you deserve to spoil yourself every now and then.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 901 703 for IT support.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

MyAnswers: 64 bit version of Microsoft Windows 8.1 full version DVD not able to be read by Acer Aspire 5253G.

The following MyAnswers solution 2454 is now available:

When installing Microsoft Windows 8.1 full version I could read the 32 bit DVD in the Acer Aspire 5253G, but not the 64 bit. This is how I solved the problem

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Red dog watch out, here comes black and tan dog.

Today I had news from a client which pleased me for the client and also that I'd been able to assist.

The client is Herding Dog Training. When I met Charlie from Herding Dog Training he was using YouTube to promote his herding dog training service, but was not getting anyone business. I asked, "why is he sending his clients away from himself and not to himself?" He didn't understand what I meant. I explained he was sending all your clients to YouTube and once there, off they'll trundle to check out whatever interests them. I suggested, why not set up a single page site and direct clients to his site instead. The site could include links to his YouTube videos, and explain more about Charlie his services, rather than just promoting YouTube.

Charlie's site now regularly generates business and that business has lead to him being on the front page of Town and Country Farmer this month, with more opportunities in the pipeline.

The site I built is I set Charlie up so he was in control of everything and not locked into me. He is free to use any service provider, obviously I hope that he continues to use my services, but that is his choice. He is charge of his site, domain and hosting. There is no lock-in.

I included search engine optimisation for the site, but the way I help clients is to give them a boost with my internet JustLocal presence. Rather than wait for weeks to be seen on the internet, the client site is often live and visible to the search engines with 24-48 hours, complete with a  good ranking. I don't promote this service because Google is fickle and as a consultant if I can't guarantee results, I provide the service as part of what I do for clients.

Congratulations Charlie and thank you for the opportunity to assist.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.