Friday, 30 December 2016

Health Dangers from Display Screen Blue Light

Recent studies have shown that the blue light emissions from displays and screens. (see the article from Harvard Universaty link below)

Basically, the blue emissions affect chemicals in the brain which stop you from sleeping. This means that we have to have about 2 or 3 hours of blue light free time before going to bed. However that is a disaster for our new gadget way of life. Not being able to use our phone, tablet, computer NO..NO IMPOSSIBLE....SO, if you are having trouble sleeping.......PUT THAT PHONE DOWN!.....

Relax, there is an answer,  f.lux (  is a piece pf software which removes the blue component from your computer on a schedule set by you. 

Monday, 6 June 2016

JPEGs and PDFs

Working with JPEGs and PDFs - Getting your messages out there

First a couple of definitions:

JPEG stands for 'Joint Photographic Experts Group', which is the name of a body which set the standard on how a photograph is compressed and stored. 

PDF stands for "Portable Document Format" which is a format where files are presented independently of any particular application software or system. 

Both of these formats have their own particular use and features. It is useful to understand how and where these types of files can be used. 

JPEG's can be uploaded to Facebook, just like any other photograph, where as PDF's cannot. So if you have just created a poster for an event in WORD or some Desk Top Publisher (eg Pageplus) just as I do, then a conversion to JPG is needed to get your message on your Facebook page. 

PDF's can be used to send via email as all computers usually (I say usually!) have a PDF Reader such as ADOBE ACROBAT. So everyone can read the poster you have just sent. This is particulaly important like in the case of using PAGEPLUS because not may will have this. What about if my poster is in WORD you ask? Yes you can send it in WORD format, but if you have used any non standard FONTS which you recipient does not have, then to poster may not look as you would like it and there is no way to tell beforehand. 

So converting to and sending in PDF is the best way to distribute your message.
PLUS, PDF docs cannot generally be altered. (though there are some programmes which allow this, but usually paid for versions and most people do not have access) 

How do I convert my poster to PDF and JPEG?

All programmes usually have an option to save as in PDF Format, WORD does and Pageplus calls it Publish as...  Once in PDF the file can then be converted into JPEG using one of the FREE on-line converters, I have used:  in the past and it seems to work OK.

A word on Pageplus, this is a Desk Top Publisher and I have been using a version of this since the age of floppy discs 20 years ago, it is now upto version 18 (called X8) and costs about £80. Having said that there is a free version called Pageplus SE, it is not a trail version but it does not have all the features. Much better in my opinion than Microsoft Publisher. 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Going Mobile with WINDOWS 10- Lumia 550

Oh no-disaster lost my phone.......well not so much of a disaster, it is my Windows demo phone......what do I do?  Go buy a new one!!!!!!

Having to purchase a new Windows 10 phone for demo purposes within my classes after the loss of my old Lumia. I opted for the LUMIA 550 and eventually got it from Carphonewarehouse based in PW World at Crown Point. I had checked out the other various suppliers around and on-line, but the deal I managed to get was very good. The phone on its own unlocked is priced at £99, but if you get it as a PAYG with £10 top up, it is £61 and the thing is that it is also unlocked, so the £10 EE PAYG SIM can be sold or given away or used anyway. 

Microsoft LUMIA 550:
An excellent phone for the price, screen as large as my iPhone 6, only downside is the number of apps that are available in the windows store, nothing like the Apple of Google ones, but it is a smart phone and good value.

The SIM:
The included SIM was from EE and this is like any other PAYG service. However, I am opting for a SIM from GIFF GAFF which is a PAYG service with the option to buy a monthly 'Goody Bag' which is a number of differently priced packages of calls, texts and data.

So, if you fancy a windows device give the LUMIA 550 a go, if you need a cheap not contracted service try GIFF GAFF
Click the link below to go get your free SIM Card

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Office LENS - Great image and document capture tool for your phone or tablet

Office LENS part of the office suite from Microsoft is free and comes as an app for your phone or tablet. It allows you to use your phone camera to capture docs, photos, business cards and whiteboards and save on various platforms, eg, Onenote, One Drive, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook etc depending on the content of the image.

Great app, especially because it is free to download and use. Try it out!

If you do try it out, please leave a comment here on how you found it.

Below is a link to Microsoft's support site for OFFICE LENS

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Why do I need good WiFi coverage all over my house?

The previous post is about extending your WiFi around your house, but why do I need it?

In terms of a laptop or tablet, when your WiFi becomes weak of disappears, then your internet stops working and you soon know. However, just recently there have been some updates on mobiles phones which can catch you out!

1. Facebook has a setting which allows it to play videos while you are just scanning your timeline. This is OK in WiFi zones, but the setting default is to play these in both WiFi and 4G (or 3G) areas as well. After buying a new iPhone 6 the data usage went up dramatically, so much that it went over our limit and started charging additional sums.

So check your FACEBOOK SETTINGS (not phone settings) and make sure the video is set to WiFi only (also check after a software upgrade). It also happens on Android and Windows phone also I believe.

2. The new IOS upgrade for iPhone 6, has now a new setting called WiFi Assist. This is a feature that allows the 4G to kick in if your WiFi signal becomes too weak. For example, you may be streaming video in you house and then if you move to a weak WiFi area, then the streaming drops on to 4G without your knowledge and racks up a large data usage.

So check your iPhone settings (only on iPhone 6, not seen it on 5) for the WiFi Assist switch, it is right at the bottom of the 'MOBILE DATA' setting option in SETTINGS. See screen shot on left.

Is your WiFi not making it?

In certain circumstances that your WiFi signal may not reach parts of your house, this could be that your house is too big, or in my case, a certain part of the office was shielded by a couple of walls. 

So what is the solution? A WiFi Extender?

There are several versions and manufacturers of these. One such is made by TP-LINK, I happened to see one in 'Staples'.it was about £12.50 which seemed a good price, although it was a 150Mbps version (the 300Mbps was about £28).

Setting it up:
The instructions enclosed with the item (no searching on the net?) seemed quite straight forward with 2 methods described:

Method No 1 was to use the WPS button on your router access point. I have a Virgin Super Hub 2 and tried this button, but could not make it work!

But not to worry, the instruction described method No 2, which was connecting the extender to your computer with an Ethernet cable. However, although the instructions seem straight forward, I did have a little bit of trouble getting it set up, but works.

So if you have a WiFi black spot in your house, then the inexpensive WiFi Extender is the answer for £12 or £28 take your choice.

Friday, 17 July 2015

WAZE - Super maps on your phone

One of the best map/sat nav apps for my iPhone is the Apple Maps app itself, it is always upto date and very smooth in tracking my location. Although I do like Google maps the Apple version seems much smoother. However, just recently someone introduced me to WAZE, which is a free map app with the option to join up with friends. It also includes Safety Cameras and other road hazards free of charge. It has a very nice 3D display and auto changes colours during the hours of darkness. Give it a try.