Learning XML Free

One of the modules I have opted to take this year at uni is Web Services.  Having had a hand in updating websites and creating a few, I figured this would be a good opportunity for me to look at ways I can learn more about one of the main voluntary work tasks that I “fell” into a few years back.  There are the usual requirements to do coursework, classwork, study for an exam etc etc.  As I have discovered the bulk of webservices all seem to centre around XML and applications.  Having done some digging around on YouTube I came across these videos from Adam Khoury.  If you get a chance they are well worth checking out.

I also did a bit of checking up on free xml editor programs and decided to go for CAM Editor, which I then downloaded to my computer so I can get on with the business of setting up XML files and validation files.  Hopefully I’ll even be able to write WSDL files which will work in the coursework that I am doing with a fellow student.  One thing is certain, I never dreamed I would end up doing any of this kind of stuff.  It never ceases to amaze me what God will do with our potential if we will overcome our fear and let Him.

Save Money – Avoid These Scams

Recently I received a phone call from someone who informed me that my operating system had errors in it.  I told the person on the other end of the phone I didn’t believe him and was not interested in what he was selling.  He went on to tell me that he had all my information and proceeded to tell me my name, address and the type of operating system I had.  I asked him if Microsoft was aware that he was calling people to inform them that there were problems with their operating system, to which he responded by putting the phone down.

Up and down the country people are being taken in by this type of call.  Whether these people say that there is a problem with your computer, operating system, or that there is a virus in the area they are all after one thing – your money.  A couple of years ago one of my less computer savvy friends got woken up by this type of call around 8am on a Saturday morning.  She thought the person was being really helpful and followed the instructions she was given to download certain things and allow the caller access to her computer.  The following day I checked out the settings and informed her that the people she had thought were being ‘helpful’ had helped themselves to £70 of her money, and taken over her computer in the process.  Armed with her bank details they could then go ahead and do untold damage to her bank account.  Thankfully, though devastated, she stopped her bank card and the payment of £70 and never heard from them again.

If anyone calls wanting you to download anything on your computer to help it run better, ask them their name, company, phone number, then thank them and let them know you will be passing their details to the fraud squad!!  My friend wishes she had done so as it cost her another £50 to have her computer restored to factory settings.

Free Microsoft Software for IT Students

There are many perks to being a student including student discounts, access to expensive equipment for studying purposes, long holidays and more.  Possibly one of the best things is the cut price and even free software available from vendors such as Microsoft who like students to get to know their products.  One such website which offers free Microsoft Software is Dreamspark.com.  All you need to do is create an account, verify you are a student and then download the products.

So, if you are studying full time or part time, don’t miss out on free software – it’s a unique opportunity to find out what products suit you best.

When Your Computer Needs To Be Fixed – Cheaply

There are times that either you don’t have time to fix your computer, or it’s beyond your expertise and you need to call on a professional. If you live in Motherwell you can check out the PC Repair Shed at 115 Milton Street, Motherwell ML1 1DQ. Tel: 01698 266780 where your computer can be recovered with much of your data also being recovered for a fraction of the cost of many of the major PC Stores. However, if you live in Chapelhall, Holytown, Salsburgh and Calderbank why not check out JMC Computer Solutions who can assist with a variety of technical issues.

When You Forgot The Password…..

…so often we can just click a link that says “forgot password” and fill in our email address which lets whatever website we are trying to log into send us either our password, or let us change it to one that we should remember better next time.  How wonderful it would be if we could all use one simple password and know that all our information would be secure.  It would certainly make life a lot easier.  However, the one password you really don’t want to forget is the one that lets you into your computer.  Forget that and all you are left with is a problem.  Are you going to pay a lot of money to have your computer wiped and restored to factory settings, losing all your information in the process.  Find out how you can reset your Windows Password quickly and cheaply – sign up for my free newsletter here and I’ll show you a tool which can make all the difference to chucking away a perfectly good computer, spending a fortune to have your data recovered, or being able to unlock it within minutes.

Driver Update Nightmare

Windows updates, security patches and more are vital to maintaining security for our computer systems, but so often we ignore the importance of keeping system drivers up to date.  On occasion I have been called on by friends to help out when their computers have required to be recovered.  More often than not these people have not been able to provide the recovery disks that they got with their system.  Anyone who has to recover a system with any type of recovery disk or hard drive partition knows that trying to track down drivers manually takes time.  The good news is there are a few driver support programs which can help speed up the process.  Why not sign up for my newsletter for more information on some low cost and at times free tech programs which can help save you time and money.

IT Techies and Would Be IT Techies – Don’t Miss This Fantastic Offer

If you are an IT Technician wanting to update your knowledge but can’t afford full price training – Wowcher are doing a great offer on an IT Technician Training Course covering Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA and more for the fantastic price of £89 instead of £699.  This deal is only available for the next 24 hours and you need to sign up to receive Wowcher emails.
Having done Cisco and Microsoft stuff as part of my university degree, and if I wasn’t in my final year I would seriously consider this offer.   We all know how fast our training goes out of date so even if you just need a refresher course get it now while you can.  In the meantime I have to go meet someone for coffee.

Dropbox is COOL!!!

Having used Dropbox for a couple of years now I have to say it is one of the easiest file sharing tools that I have discovered for which you do not required an account with google or yahoo or even windows live.  A generous (ok not for video files), 2GB space is available for FREE!!!!  My favourite part of it.  As some of you will see from previous posts I am so into apps and programs that are free, and dropbox has got to be my favourite.

Ok, so how can someone like me get so excited over a little box that lets me put files onto a webserver?

Simple – I can set up an account for the church media laptop and drop (hence the drop bit of the name dropbox), my powerpoint files for the service into the box, (hence the box bit of the name dropbox).  Also I can set up sharing folders which allows me to put files that I want to share with others into them so they can download them on their computers – at another location and even at another part of the world.  If I accidentally delete a file from my dropbox folder on my computer, I can go into the website and undelete it.  Yes, with all the medication I take I do need this facility, especially when I delete the wrong powerpoint file minutes before the service.  Thankfully I haven’t done that yet but come close a couple of times.

So do yourself a favour and download Dropbox – a must for sharing files less than 2 GB with anyone who doesn’t want a windows live, google docs or yahoo account.

Errors Antivirus Programs Can’t Always Fix

We’ve all had it happen.  Our computer runs really slow but when we run the Antivirus Program it comes back clean and the computer continues to grind away until it does stop completely.  At this point most users find they have to call on a friend, brother, or repair shop to get their computer up and running again.  Sometimes these people come, seem to run a few tests, take it away for a few days and return it back to you working as fast as it was when it first came out of the shop.  As we know there can be many reasons for a computer to run slow and grind to a halt which cannot be fixed, however, a few years ago my voluntary work boss – my Pastor – was frustrated with his computer because all these windows kept popping up.  Even when he deleted the program he had downloaded still the browser windows would re-activate and no matter what he tried he couldn’t fix the problem.  By this time I had begun University so he asked me what I could do.  First thing was to research the problem and find a possible solution.  Since then I fell in love with the solution I discovered and have used it many times since.

Nowadays it is recognised that when visiting some website there are short pieces of code and small programs called spyware, adware and malware which download onto a user’s computer without their knowledge.  Some of these small programs are designed to find out the type of sites you visit and searches that you undertake in order to send adverts to your browser that reflect what you have been looking at.  Some of the programs however come under the heading “Spyware” or “Malware” and are designed to steal information from your computer and send it back to the person who inserted it into the website.  Whatever the reason for them, these programs can all be very damaging to your computer and cause it to slow down and eventually crash.  The only program that I found to remove these programs and clean up your computer – including the ones that you have clicked on to download a free scan and now won’t be deleted unless you part with money – is SuperAntiSpyware.  Even better – it has a free version which you can run on a regular basis.  The Pro version has real time protection and scheduling in with it, but the free version does just as good a job though you need to run it manually.  In the same way as most of these programs it is free to non-commercial users, but I can highly recommend it for commercial users to purchase as it will save the tech department and computer users some rather big headaches!!!!

The Difference Technology Makes to the Disabled

When I opened my eyes this morning I knew I was in for a tough day where pain is concerned.  Instead of taking the usual hour to get up I had to take extra time as my hands wouldn’t work too well.  Of course I study at university on Tuesday afternoons and evenings, with a couple of hours break in between.  For me, Disabled Student’s Allowance has made a huge difference to my capability to study and pass my modules.  I have been provided with equipment which allows me to record lectures – a great tool when I can’t write a note to save myself.  Also there are various programs available to me on my computer which assist me as I go about writing documents, emails and other things.  Assistive Technology means I don’t have to type, instead I can speak into a program and most of the time the computer understands what I am saying and types it in.

With various other programs there is the option of having lectures transcribed into text, documents read out to me, stuff scanned into the computer can be changed through software which recognises characters.  In fact I don’t know where I would be without all these tools.  At University I also get a specialised chair which makes sitting down less painful than it would otherwise be.  Every piece of equipment, software and support I receive has been vital to my success so far.  In this next semester I can face all knowing that I have the tools I need to study, so hopefully I can pass my exams.  I wonder if they could give me a better brain…….