Sunday, May 28, 2017

BigW has a special on a E8372 4G Wi-Fi USB mobile adaptor.

I recently purchased an Optus 4G W-Fi USB mobile dongle from Big W which is currently on special for $20. The normal price is $69.

The reason I purchased this device was I'm planning to move from ADSL to 4G for internet access and this device gives me the ability to have a Wi-Fi hotspot in the home and also take my larger internet plan with me.

A word of warning. BigW had a couple of these units and the SIM card had expired in 2016. That means the 4GB of data which lasts for 14 days wasn't available. They tried to sell me an additional $2 SIM card with no data. I suggested that perhaps they should simply drop $5-$10 off the price. They took $5 off the price. For $15 that was an excellent price for a 4G W-Fi/USB dongle.

The next surprise is I currently have a SIM card with 14GB of data I using for test. It uses the Vodafone network. I decided to see if I could unlock the device since it expired so long ago, but Optus required a mobile number, and since it hadn't been activated I didn't have a number. But that's where I received a very pleasant surprise. The device wasn't locked. It worked immediately. I was planning and still may use it with the Optus network, so being unlocked wasn't necessary, but it was great that it was.

If anyone is looking for a 4G Wi-Fi USB device the E8372 works well and at $20, it's a very good price. If you're lucky enough that the unit is unlocked, even better.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Apple MacBook Air mini displayport to hdmi adaptor.

Most of us with computers need to purchase accessories, such as cables, every now and then. My MacBook Air (now a few years old) is an excellent computer. Very light and portable. The 11.8" screen most of the time isn't an issue. However sometimes I'd like to connect to a larger screen.

I already have an Apple TV (the older model) which works well for entertainment. But this time I wanted to connect to a larger monitor via HDMI. The Apple site has a Belkin 4K mini DisplayPort to HDMI adaptor for $49.95. We all know Apple's prices aren't the cheapest, so I decided to check eBay.

The item I purchased was a mini displayport to HDMI adaptor for $2.95. It works a treat. Does what I need and at $2.95 it's loose change and an easy decision. Of course you're always gambling when it comes to purchasing products on eBay. I've had some devices (not computer related) simply melt, so there is a risk. Most devices are OK, but you need to know your exposure and know your risk.

For example I purchased a SD card reader from the Apple store for $45, for a relatively new iPad Air 2, and for that device I wasn't prepared to take a risk. The Apple MacBook Air is over three years old, paid for itself, so for me there doesn't feel like there's much risk.

What's important is you know you have options.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

GST Calculator for Australian businesses.

The GST Calculator is available for Australian businesses to use when calculating GST. Whether you need to add GST, or to determine the GST component of the GST inclusive price, the GST Calculator is available for Australian usage.

A handy method to add the GST Calculator to your Desktop is to drag and drop the icon, which appears in the address bar of your browser to the left of the site address, to the Desktop. In Apple's Safari you first need to click on the site address for the address to be highlighted and then you can click and drag the icon. For Google Chrome you can click and drag the circled i, as thought it's an icon.

You can find the GST Calculator at

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Apple iPhone iOS feature Wi-Fi Assist is turned on by default. You may wish to turn it off.

Recently I helped a person set up their new iPhone 6S. Yes, it's an older model now, but the 16GB model was being sold at a very good price.

When setting up an iPhone there's a number of settings I suggest people turn off until they know what those settings do. One feature that is a particular concern and is turned on by default, is Wi-Fi Assist.

Wi-Fi Assist lets the mobile phone use the often expensive and more limited mobile data allowance if Wi-Fi connectivity is poor. That's a really poor idea. If Wi-Fi isn't working, you really don't want to automatically start chewing through the more expensive mobile data. Turn the Wi-Fi Assist option off to avoid surprises with your mobile bill.

Will this really help. Perhaps. If Wi-Fi drops out and you have mobile data enabled, then your mobile phone is probably going to use the mobile data anyway. This for example may happen as you move away from the Wi-Fi access point. If your ISP service for you Wi-Fi access point however stops working, and you're still using the Wi-Fi access point, this is when you'd expect to lose access to the internet. Not convenient, but if you're watching a movie via Wi-Fi and the internet drops out, automatically switching to mobile data could consume quite a lot of data before you may even be notified by your ISP.

Do turn this option off, unless it's really what you want to do.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.