Must have Feature for GMail Users: Image Uploader

Do you use Google’s fantastic GMail service? If you do you have probably in the past tried to insert pictures into your e-mails only to discover that you needed to upload them on to the internet and provide HTML links to them and all sorts of other complicated silliness that can be a little overwhelming for the average user.


Do you use Google’s  fantastic GMail service? If you do you have probably in the past tried to insert pictures into your e-mails only to discover that you needed to upload them on to the internet and provide HTML links to them and all sorts of other complicated silliness that can be a little overwhelming for the average user.

Fortunately Google realised this and released a ‘Lab’ plugin for the web interface in G-Mail that allows you to upload and insert images straight from your computer into your e-mail. Continue reading “Must have Feature for GMail Users: Image Uploader”


What are ISO files and how do I use them?

An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .iso.

Article first published as What Is An ISO File And How Do I Use Them? on Technorati.

Wikipedia defines an ISO file as:

An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .iso.

To expand on that definition further, an .iso image is much like a .zip file. You can think of it as a container that holds all the files and folders contained on a CD or DVD but unlike a .zip file an ISO is not compressed. ISO files are useful for keeping backups of CD’s and DVD’s and for storing the contents of CD’s or DVD’s on portable hard-drives or uploading and downloading them on the internet. Continue reading “What are ISO files and how do I use them?”

My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM

Article first published as My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM on Technorati.

Does your computer frequently jam up? Do you seem to be getting a lot of blue screens? You may have faulty memory.

In this article I will try to explain how to diagnose your own faulty memory modules. The process is relatively simple, can save you money and can also be a valuable learning experience if you haven’t had much to do with computer repair before.

The first part of diagnosis is of course being able to recognise the symptoms, which include:

  • The computer freezing up to the point that there is no mouse or keyboard input possible at all.
  • A ‘blue screen of death’ followed by immediate shut down or restart.
  • A failure to boot often accompanied by a series of beeping noises.
  • Crashes during memory intensive tasks such as photo or video editing, gaming etc.
  • Crashes and restarts during Windows installation.

I had the misfortune of experiencing some of these symptoms a few weeks ago when my computer began to freeze during different tasks especially while listening to music on Winamp for a while or within about 5 or 10 minutes of playing World of Warcraft or OFP: Dragon Rising. Luckily for me the fix was easy, all I had to do was remove the side cover from my PC and apply a bit of pressure on each of the memory modules to ensure that they were seated in the DIMM slots correctly. If you don’t know what a memory module or DIMM slot looks like then click on the image above left.

If you suspect that you have faulting memory then ensuring that the modules are pushed properly into the slots would be the first thing that I would try as this is normally the problem 20% of the time. Make sure you check the conditions of any warranty you may have on your PC first as removing the side cover and tampering with components may void it. Continue reading “My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM”

Starcraft 2: The Complete Noob’s Guide

A list of resources for Starcraft 2 beginners.

A good list of resources for Starcraft 2 Beginners at the end of the article.

After playing through the (thoroughly impressive) Starcraft 2 campaign lately I decided that I was ready to give multiplayer a go. So I fired it up, logged into my trusty battle.net account and joined the practise league. The addition of an unranked practise league was a pleasant suprise as I had a sneaking suspicion that my Win/Loss ratio would be well in the negative range after a few games.

I decided to stick with the Terran as I was already familiar with their units from the campaign missions. I was paired up with ‘Nathan’. As the timer ticked over and the game began Nathan informed me that this was his first time online and that I should go easy on him. Needless to sayI was wiped off the map in less than 25 minutes by a giant fleet of Motherships. My poor 50 or so strong batallion of Marines didn’t stand a chance.

I think Nathan may have been a bit dishonest or maybe he was just an RTS natural or Korean or something. Feeling a bit disgraced I moved on to another game. In an effort to prevent the same thing from happening again I concentrated a bit more on air defense but the next game only lasted 15 minutes after another so-called ‘first-timer’ sent a column of Siege Tanks through my base.

This brings me to my first piece of advice. Starcraft has a replay feature. Use it! If you get completely annihilated make sure you save the replay and watch it back. This way you can see exactly what your opponent did to get himself in a position to completely trample your inferior efforts. Continue reading “Starcraft 2: The Complete Noob’s Guide”

Mythbusting – The ‘Free’ iPhone Offer: A Simple Guide

Research into freebie websites. Scam or legitimate?

We’ve all seen them before, those adverts on the internet offering you completely free Apple iPhone’s, XBox 360’s, iPad’s, Laptop computer’s and limitless other types of expensive gadgetry. They seem to be everywhere. Over time I think my brain has trained it’s self to subconciously ignore ads like that out because I am a self confessed skeptic. If someone offers me something for free I ask questions.

Unfortunately we live in a society where nothing is ever truly free, there is always a catch. As this article will demonstrate there is a of course a catch with these free offers but it isn’t as bad as you might expect. With a little research you can protect yourself from the scammers and take advantage of legitimate offers. Continue reading “Mythbusting – The ‘Free’ iPhone Offer: A Simple Guide”

Hacked in under 5 minutes: How to protect your wireless LAN

I went to my parents house last week to investigate a problem with their internet connection running at prehistoric speeds only to find that some cheeky hacker had cracked the security code (64-bit WEP Key for the geeks) and was using Mum’s internet connection.

I will admit, as embarrassing as it is that it was me who set the wireless modem up! I guess I got a bit lazy and rushed through the configuration thinking that no one would really bother trying to hack the connection. The house is located in a sparsely populated area on a 5-acre block of land, surely they wouldn’t even be able to pick up the signal without some kind of powerful external antenna! Well, I could not have been more wrong. Continue reading “Hacked in under 5 minutes: How to protect your wireless LAN”