Back Up and Running!!!

crying-man Last week my blog was offline due to an unfortunate mishap. I won’t go into the details on what happened. I’d rather just forget.

After a lot of hard work, sweat and tears, my blog is almost back to its former glory. I was lucky enough to find a backup that was made a few months ago using BlogEngine’s BlogML export tool. Hooray!

Even though all my posts are back on display, I have unfortunately lost some user comments and ratings. It saddens me to know that I have lost this valuable information, since hearing your thoughts makes this blog a more exciting read.

There is still some work to do, but I am glad to say the difficult part is over.

Mobile for 4 Year Olds? This Is No Toy!

firefly When the mobile phone first came out, not surprisingly they took the world by storm. Over the years, the mobile has evolved and it was only going to be a matter of time before a phone for a child would be released.

The Firefly mobile phone for four-year-olds has the ability to take pictures, video’s and play MP3 files while allowing parents to have full control. They can restrict who can be called from the phone, who can call the phone and control how much is spent. This is all well and good, but I am finding quite hard to understand why a child of four would ever need a mobile? Isn’t it the parents, teachers or guardians responsibility to ensure that the child is safe? Targeting a mobile phone for four-year-olds raises the question on where the parents responsibility is going.

I remember back in the good old days when I was a kid, my parents were definitely the over-protected type (and they still are). But they always made sure they knew my whereabouts and I was always in the company of an responsible adult to keep an eye over my mischievous ways. Have things changed so much since I was a young kid (I am 24 now) that there is now a need for toddlers to have mobiles? The answer is NO! Only the bank balance of mobile phone companies will be benefiting from this idea.

I have to admit the Firefly mobile phone makers have a very clever marketing team. They are just playing on the fear that all parents have. Losing sight of their child. If you don’t know where your four-year-old is, will he/she know? Four-year-olds rarely have information to impart of such significance on their surroundings that will help in locating where they are.

We have all been made aware of the health concerns on the impact of mobile phone radiation. We as adults know the consequences of prolonged use a mobile phone can have on our brains and have the freedom of choice to decide how long we wish use them. What about a child? They do not have the knowledge to make such a choice? A disturbing study by researchers at Örebro University Hospital in Sweden last year indicated that children may be five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones.

I could carry on moaning about this mobile phone. I can see no reason a child young as four to have a mobile phone.

No Internet Explorer In Windows 7

internetexplorer7 I was surprised to hear from one of the news sites today that the new version of Windows operating system, called Windows 7 will come without a browser. This gives the hardware manufacturer’s the freedom to choose alternative browsers such as FireFox, Opera, and Safari.

This is all well and good. Definitely a step in the right direction to show the European Union regulators that they are willing to change its “abusive” behaviour in the market. But there is one thing that perplexes me. What happens when someone decides to purchase a copy of Windows 7 themselves? How are they going to access the Internet without a web browser preinstalled to download one of the alternatives? If anyone knows the answer to this, I will be very interested to know!

The Google Chrome Comic Strip

I have to say that I am quite impressed with the way Google markets its own applications and services. Who would ever had thought of using a comic string to introduce the key workings of a specific application? Its a lengthy comic to say the least, consisting of 38 “fun filled” pages, which actually makes learning about the Chrome browser an interesting read.

Google Chrome Comic 1

Google Chrome Comic 2

But this does ask the question on why Google is releasing their own browser? I thought they had extended their search deal with Mozilla Firefox in return for setting Google as the default search engine. I guess this may cause an awkward relationship between the two in the future. But I suppose any attack against the dreaded Microsoft Internet Explorer browser can only be a benefit!

I have to say that the guy wearing the glasses on the left bares a striking (less cool) resemblance to me. :-)

You can view the full comic strip here.

Making my way through an MCTS book

Over the last couple of months I have been reading through the "MCTS .NET Framework 2.0 for Web Applications" book in order to gain the first of what would hopefully be one of many Microsoft certifications. After reading the first couple of chapters, I found it to be a little daunting to say the least due to the fact that there are many coding techniques to get your head around. At the same time I have found it to be very useful in understanding good programming practices. Previously when I coded anything my motto was along the lines of "as long as the website works..." Not a good motto...

I found the first couple of chapters were the most straight-forward and really showed me how much of a crap programmer I am. Even though the "MCTS .NET Framework 2.0 for Web Applications" book is very good I found that it lacked a bit more explanation in the more technical chapters as you carry on reading. So I decided to use a another C# book (unless you are going to read Visual Basic) to fill in the missing gap.

The book I recommend is Murach's C# 2005 book which you can purchase here. It teaches you all the basic C# features that have carried over from earlier editions of C# that you'll use every day and underlying OOP concepts and features like inheritance and interfaces that make you a savvy, confident developer. This way you can use the MCTS book as a guide on what you need to learn and the C# book for further info.The same author has also written a coding book for VB as well which will be worth a read for people attempting the Visual Basic coding format.

I just hope I have the energy to carry on reading...

Last Post Of The Year

logo_bullguard Well this is my last post of 2007. Even though I have not made many posts since I started this blog, hopefully next year will give me more time to pad this blog out.

Since I have created this blog entry, I might as well talk about something. Well a day or two ago my Bullguard Internet Security had expired and even though I have been meaning to purchase a new yearly license, it was not on my priority list. Normally, when your Internet Securty expires the only thing that you cannot do is get up-to-date virus definitions, which is not that much of a deal since your computer is still protected.

However, what I found with Bullguard was that the Virus Scanner,  Firewall, and Spam Filter was locked until I purchased my new yearly license. I found this to be quite annoying since I had to find an alternative Internet Security suite until my new version of Bullguard was posted.

This is only a minor grudge from a great piece of Intenet Security though!

Oh yeah! Happy New Year!!!

Broadband Speed Shock Horror!!!

A few weeks ago I was watching "The Gadget Show", which in the UK is a fun and informative show about gadgets (yeah the name of the show gave it away) and technology. Anyway, there was one episode which really got my attention. It was about the varied Broadband speed each household is getting around the UK. They believed that many people falling short of the "up to" speeds offered by their ISP, we're campaigning for the truth: advertised speeds reflecting what we're actually getting.

I decided to test their speculation out for myself by using one of these online "Broadband Speed Checker's". I used the following:

Get your own broadband speed check

How Does It Work?

The speed checker downloads a file from the server and measures how long your connection takes to download it. The size of the file will be different according to your line speed. The speed checker measures the speed at the time of the test so if your network is running slow at that time then speed checker will report a slow speed. This does not necessarily mean that your internet connection is slow at the other times.

My Findings

I currently have a 2MB internet conneciton speed that is supplied by NTL (well now under Virgin Media). I carried out the test and not surprisingly my connection speed was not 2MB it was around 1.5MB. I know that compared to other users, my connection speed is not too much of a reduction. But still I am quite angry that I am not getting exactly what I paid for.

Well what are you waiting for? Give it a go and you might be surprised that you didn't get what you paid for! Leave a comment and share your results.