Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

The Kompo Club

17 Jun

I’ve recently renovated my Home-office.  New floor, new cupboards, bookcases, the lot.  Its so much better than the previous one.. and I can see out of the window from where I sit now ;0)

During sifting through the obligatory six and a half tons of stuff collected for no apparent reason, I came across a magazine called The Compo Club. Now, I say magazine – its 6 pages long and is a magazine that I published while I was at school. Its very faded because it was done on those old ‘bander’ copier things, way before photocopying was the norm.  I can even remember the smell of chemical coming off the paper 😉

It sets out to tell the story of a bunch of home computers, such as Beeby B, Spex and others. It brought back memories of all those home computers that were about in the 80’s – I had a ZX81 (still got it in fact), a Spectrum, and an Amstrad CPC464 with a colour monitor!  What did you have?

Anyways, I’ve added a link to a scanned version of the magazine here, for posterity.


Steve Jobs – The world is poorer without you.

06 Oct

We’ve known Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, has been ill for some time, but I am still shocked at such an early departure so soon after stepping down from Apple. Maybe, just maybe, his time there was what kept him going.

I read a post on Richard Bransons blog, quoting an advert Steve made back in 1997.

“Heres to the crazy ones. The misfits. The Rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in square holes. The ones who see things differently…. They are not fond of the status quo.

You can disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them…but you cant ignore them, Because they change things, They push the human race forward. While some may see crazy, others see genius. Because the people who are craxy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do”

This sort of sums things up for me. Without Steve, and Apple, we wouldn’t have the Mouse, the GUI, the essence of computing today. It doesn’t matter he didn’t come up with the original idea, he was the one that pushed it, drove it forward. And more recently, we wouldn’t have the smart phone, the concept of touch screens, the iPhone, which effectively started the revolution, and which has been emulated by so many. None of that without Steve to drive it forward.

And besides the technology, Steve has been a beacon to inventors, and early adopters, entrepeneurs and designers, the inspriation to college students and businesses alike. The idea of the family, both at home and at work. Apple has changed its home page to be nothing but a picture of Steve. That speaks volumes.

Couldn’t help having a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat when I heard this morning. My thoughts are extended to his family.  Finally you can rest now Steve. Thank you.


Shortcut symbols for Twitter messages

24 Oct

I’ve never been a fan of the shortcut stuff used in mobile phone text messages, you know (like using l8 for the word late). I’m from a generation that wants to write things out in full. Maybe thats the reason I hardly send any text messages. That and the fact that my fingers are too big for most phone keyboards 😉

My father in law has recently joined the Twitterati, and, knowing that I ‘do computers’, keeps asking for a list of what symbols and shortcuts are allowed. Fed up of being asked, I did a search on the ‘net and found an extract from the excellent Dummies series regarding Facebook and Twitter…

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Motoring Journalist

24 Oct

I’ve written articles for all sorts of media over the years, including for the motor industry. However, a lot of those are ‘offline’ articles, before the Internet really took off. However, I did come across a link to an article I’d written for The Independent newspaper, which is now online. Its only a short article, but heres the link.

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Vista and XP Search updates

09 Jun
When Vista was first released, I wrote an article for Microsoft about the new search mechanism in Vista. Well, there’s now an update to it, called Windows Search 4.0

The search engine in Windows Search 4.0 is a Microsoft Windows service that is also used by programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office OneNote 2007.

You can use this search engine to index a program’s content and to obtain instant results when you search in a particular program.

Windows Search 4.0 includes the following improvements:
Support for indexing encrypted documents of local file systems
Reduced affect on Microsoft Exchange when you index e-mail in online mode, and there is no local cache (.ost)
Support for indexing online delegate mailboxes
Support for client-to-client remote query to shared indexed locations
Improved indexing performance
Faster previewer updates for Windows XP
Per-user Group Policy settings
Windows software updates for Watson errors
You can find out more and can downloads updates for XP, Vista SP1 and Windows 2008 from