Google replaces Marketplace

on Wednesday, 07 March 2012. Posted in Google Android

 
Google Play

 

Play Anywhere

All your entertainment in one place

Google Play is your one-stop shop for all your favorite entertainment. With over 450,000 apps, millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies, Google Play has something for everyone. Before you decide what you want, sample a free music or book, view app ratings, reviews, and screenshots, or watch a movie trailer. Google Play is a more connected, powerful experience.

More info https://play.google.com/about/features/

 
 
 
 
 

New workshop at Edison Road

on Wednesday, 22 February 2012. Posted in F8 IT Solutions

We are happy to announce we are all moved in to our new office at Edison Road, which is off Rabans lane. 

Broadband is not the fastest in the world, but we knew this already before looking at the office. Three of our clients are on Edison road, and all get roughly 3-6mb depending how clean the lines are. Saying that, the reliability of the line since 25th of Jan is fantastic. We are getting a second line fitted end of this week, which will be dedicated to email and VOIP phones, so should have a nice amount of redundancy and keep phone calls crystal clear.

We have had a lot of fun looking for offices, some of the ridiculous made up charges they wanted for IT bits and cabling that we full well know the real costs of, or rental of broadband. 5 quid per network point from one, £400 a month for broadband from another, oh and lets not forget the energy saving light bulbs in one office, that gave off dingy red glow making it look like something better suited to Amsterdam!

We are still keeping the address at Gatehouse way, as this is our primary postal address and useful as it is manned all day. 

I love Virgin Media

on Sunday, 15 January 2012. Posted in Virgin Media

I can't help but be a Virgin Media fan boy. Service I receive is faultless and leaps and bounds above anything I have ever seen via a BT line. Costs a fraction what others pay. So recieving this email was rather lovely.


Good news - we're giving you even faster broadband, for less.
You're already getting the UK's fastest widely available broadband, and starting this summer we'll be starting the roll-out to boost your speeds from up to 100Mb to up to 120Mb. We'll also be lowering the price of your broadband package in April to match the price of our 50Mb Broadband XXL packages.

These are nice extras we do to make you smile. We call them Virgin Media tickles, and we only give them to people we know and like - our customers.

Our ongoing commitment to offering the UK's fastest broadband.
 Virgin Media offers the fastest broadband speeds in the UK*, as proven by Ofcom for three years in a row. And we're committed to keeping it this way. Which is why we're upgrading our award winning fibre optic network over the next 18 months.

As part of this upgrade, you may have seen we'll be doubling many of our customers' broadband speeds. But, because you already get our fastest broadband, we're upgrading you to up to 120Mb and giving you a discount instead.

So whether you love streaming HD movies, ruling the gaming world or downloading tunes in super quick time - you'll soon be able to do it even faster and for less.

You don't have to lift a finger.
 The 120Mb upgrade kick off in the summer and will have a slightly different roll-out schedule to our other work. We'll let you know nearer the time when to expect your broadband speed boost. In the meantime, see what you can do with faster speeds at virginmedia.com/evenfaster.

We'll be in touch in a few weeks with more details about your price reduction, so there's no need to call us, or do a thing – except keep enjoying what is already the UK's fastest broadband."

Kind regards,

Mark Davidson
Executive Director, Customer Care

Aylesbury Broadband Scam

on Monday, 19 December 2011. Posted in Cloud & Internet

A certain company is doing the rounds at the moment, in particular around the north west of Aylesbury, where broadband is notoriously bad.  They are claiming to have means of getting BT fibre services to customers fed up with slow speeds. These cold callers will tell you anything to get access to your information, and potentially broadband business.

Worth mentioning, before I go on, that unless you go to a mobile carrier, leased line or Virgin Media, you are going to be stuck with the same line as a normal BT customer, as it is a BT line in the ground! So anyone claiming to use BT phone exchanges and cabinets, but circumventing the fact it is not ADSL2 or Fibre enabled, is talking rubbish.

So, here is how the cold call goes. You get a confident chappy show up, who asks you if you are getting the fastest possible speeds on your lines, which touches a nerve, so you respond about something not being great, or satisfactory. They then ask for some personal details of the office, to do a line check, and to your surprise, they show you could get something now, or soon, that you thought impossible! If in fact you visit the website of theirs, you can enter your details and also find out that you can get an amazing service. Even though when tested on other sites, gives realistic expecations, of a modest broadband line at best.

ADSL2 is not even in the north west of Aylesbury, which is due to some technical problems with the local broadband cabinets, which interconnect to the Aylesbury exchange. Which has sadly meant nearly nobody gets more than 8mb, when other side of town gets 40mb Fibre and 100mb Virgin media.

Thank you for the clients who fed this back. As with most things cold callers tell you, if it sounds too good to be true.....

Google Plus Brands and Companies pages

on Wednesday, 09 November 2011. Posted in Cloud & Internet

google_plus_LogoGoogle+ has gained some traction, with numbers increasing dramatically week on week. The next stage of this service features brands and companies using the social network to self promote and create a place for customers to interact with the brand. We would highly advise all Google+ users with companies or brands, set this up.  The phase after this will intergrate a lot more Google Places, and would not surprise if all this will become one big melting pot for social, location and company directory services. 

 

 

Creating a Company page was very easy, and took less than 3 minutes. To start, sign up to Google+ or log in with existing personal credentials. If you are acting on behalf of a company that is directly owned by you, you may wish to create a new Google Account to keep things seperate.

Once logged in, Google has a small banner on the right hand side of the stream, which suggests adding a brand page. Click this and follow the simple guide on creating a brand page. We chose company page rather than places.

Rest is fairly simple, just fill in little snippets about company, including a picture, and you are done!

 

BT Problems 3rd October 2011

on Monday, 03 October 2011. Posted in F8 IT Solutions

Our customer on BT broadband lines are currently experiencing internet connectivity problems, this is effecting ADSL, ADSL2 and Fibre services. Areas currently offline on our monitoring system: Thame area, Aylesbury area, Brill Area and I would imagine all the connecting towns.

This blog will be updated and customers called once BT restores service.

UPDATE:

All locations appearing back on monitoring and users have notified us that internet browsing is back.

Turns out a big node at Birmingham went down, and users mostly came back between 1pm and 2pm. One client lost a static IP and most others seemed to just re-connect fine. When speaking to BT, apparantly 1 in ever 4 BT customers was effected (and judging by 45 minute queue I would agree!)

Dual screen benefits

on Wednesday, 28 September 2011. Posted in Sound and Vision

The prices of computer flat screens has dropped continuously since the shortage a few years ago. A gaming screen 22" can now be purchased for under £150, with ultra sharp IPS technology screens under £300.

With this in mind, I thought I would write a few suggested ways of adding increased productivity through using multiple screens on a single computer or laptop. Dual screen user simply moves the mouse cursor from one screen off the edge of the screen and it appears on the other. Windows or iOS pretend the screens are linked to one another yet both allow full screening over just one screen. This allows for the holy grail in multitasking, side by side, full screen documents.

Method 1 - Laptop screen & large monitor

Cost: No special laptop required, they all have monitor output. 22" Screen at between £80-£140

Duel-screen3

Large monitor plugged in to the side of a laptop, or docking station, the laptop can chose to display picture identically on both, on only one, or ideally, in dual screen display. If the laptop is positioned side by side to the monitor, you can have two documents open in full screen mode, enabling you to quickly and easily multitask between multiple documents or websites. The real cost is not the monitor, but the additional requirement on your desk, space wise. Wall mounted monitors can be a boon here, however it is advisable to keep both laptop and PC monitor as close as possible to avoid unnecessary neck ache looking far apart.

Method 2 - PC / Mac with two monitors

Cost: One additional monitor, or salvage spare(free) or purchase large 22-24" for £80-£200. A graphics card with two monitor outputs (£30)

Duel-screen

Depending on physical desk space, this is optimal setup for any heavy computer user. Adding twice as much desktop space for working on. This can literally double productivity, as a great deal of time on a computer is wasted micromanaging open windows and multitasking many full screen applications on a single screen. When using a new high quality screen, and a older or salvaged one, it is common to have the larger screen more prominent on the desk, with the smaller/inferior screen to the right or left, used to store colour pallets, email, chat windows and things that are not the primary focus of the user.

Duel-screen-pivot

 

 

The main concern with modern monitors, is that they are a 16:9 or 16:10 wide screen, and will take up a tremendous amount of desk space side by side. Also most documents are still created in portrait unlike the monitor. A little less orthodox is to have one screen portrait and other landscape, or two portrait screens side by side. Which effectively makes the screen very tall and modest width to suit most desks. Browsing websites is a real joy in a high resolution portrait mode, often fitting far more content than same screen in landscape can fit. 

Closing comments

I would highly recommend dual screen configuration to any heavy computer user, it simply is the very best way to multi task.  For a product demo, please contact us and we arrange a dual screen demonstration.

Google Ecosystem

on Tuesday, 23 August 2011. Posted in Google Android

Google Ecosystem

As many of you may know, I am a fairly big Google fan boy, and when possible encourage adoption of Android smartphones over Microsoft, Nokia, and on occasion Apple alternatives. Personally feel the iPhone is a superior phone on a fair few categories, but the price of the contract considering you are getting the same thing, data, minutes and texts, is hard to reconcile.

That said, I have to admit, a year on, owning a T-Mobile branded HTC Desire, I do feel a little left out in the cold by the whole Google ecosystem. The phone is powerful, without doubt, but due to it being bloated with T-mobile junk, I continuously had to fight with free memory on phone, having to remove apps to make room. Even after the 2.2 update when apps could now be partially or entirely stores on sd card as well as internal rom. An iPhone user does not have this problem, as the ecosystem is entirely controlled by Apple, no branded phones exist, only a vanilla Apple experience, which does not require special considerations when rolling out updates. This means everyone gets them at the same time, and they generally work first time.

I recently thought to root my phone, and allow a third party Android build on the phone, desperate to receive 2.3 update, which would allow my phone to integrate with the Voip system we have. The experience has been eye opening! Not just is 2.3 fantastic, the cosmetic changes of CyanogenMod 7 make the phone feel like it is all new and shiny again. Worst revelation, is the amount of free memory remaining, with a non-bloatware T-mobile OS, I have tons of free memory! Literally have installed everything I had before, and still not filled a third of the memory compared to my busting at the seams T-mobile branded version.

Have to say, I am very disappointed that these great phones are being bloated with software that can not be removed, and I in part blame Google for not taking a firmer approach with mobile carriers, to ensure a smooth upgrade cycle and better user experience. Don't mind bloatware, as long as it can be removed by a fairly non-technical person, then it is all fair.

F8 IT Solutions Ltd does not encourage anyone roots, or modifies a mobile phone, this is simply a post to highlight how with exactly the same phone, a very differing user experience can be gained if the mobile carriers and Google started controlling the ecosystem to favour user experience and conforming with a more 'pure' Google experience.

F8 Desktop Solutions

on Wednesday, 03 August 2011. Posted in F8 IT Solutions

F8 Desktop Solutions is now open for business. A home user branch of F8 IT Solutions Ltd. For all your home computer needs.

see www.f8-desktop.com for more details.

Operating System Market Share May 2011

on Friday, 24 June 2011. Posted in Windows OS

Microsoft is still dominating the operating system market. With Windows XP (2002) still accounting for the highest percentage of computer users.  Apple users may be much smaller in number, however the adoption rate of newer operating systems is far higher. Microsoft is clearly doing a fantastic job at keeping Microsoft users loyal, however they still have a terrible stigma with new operating systems being unreliable. In our experience, Windows 7 is the first operating system Microsoft has released, that just worked on launch. This is perhaps as Vista was a learning curve for the significant changes Vista introduced, and 7 took the best part of.

OS_market-share-may-2011

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