A bit of a mish-mash today – 3 different snippets…
A decent, cheap printer
I don’t normally tend to recommend equipment, just because what people need out of it is different. One person might want something cheap, another wants something ruggedly built and another something that is fast – and so on.
But I recently needed a new printer for home. Nothing fancy, just a basic inkjet printer. When I’m printing photos I tend to get them done by a company like Jessops (you can still get them to print your photos online and post them to you, by the way). So I don’t use a printer at home much.
And I’m really impressed with the one I got: it’s a HP deskjet 2510. I got it on Amazon for about £40, including ink. The quality isn’t the absolute best but it’s pretty good, even for photos (the trick is to use decent paper). And as an extra bonus it includes a scanner.
I’m not saying it’s the best out there or for everyone. But if you’re after a cheap home printer that does a good job, it’s worth a look.
The least useful button in Windows Live Mail
If you have Windows 7, there’s a good chance you use Windows Live Mail for your email. If you do, you might have noticed a button marked “Work Offline” with a picture of a globe and a red cross.
It’s not something you’re likely to want – it disconnects the program from the internet. But in theory if you press it, it’s replaced by a “Go online” button that you can click to reconnect to the internet.
Except it doesn’t – due to a bug, it won’t reconnect. So you can’t access your emails. Turning your PC off and on again doesn’t help. (Nor does glaring at it or a stern voice…)
Luckily, if it happens to you, there is a way to sort it out. Close down Windows Live Mail. Start up Internet Explorer. It’ll go online and a yellow box will appear at the bottom. Close that with the cross in the top right hand corner of it, then restart Windows Live Mail. It should go back online and the problem is fixed.
Then be careful not to click the button again!
(You might be able to guess who accidentally click on the button while typing up an email the other day…)
You can use Google for what?
You can use Google for all sorts of things. There’s the search engine, which is what they started with. But they also have maps, directions, email, online word processors… all sorts of things.
But recently I was reading about something new that the search engine itself can be used for.
Not just by going to it and typing something in. This is different. This is something researchers have used it for by looking at what people have been searching for in different areas.
For example, if you look at http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends#pn=p9 you can see what people have been searching for recently in the UK – what’s popular at the moment.
But it’s possible to break it down into smaller regions, for example by town or county. And to look at terms to do with particular topics.
For example, it turns out that if you spot an increase in the number of people searching for “estate agents” in a particular region, chances are house prices will go up in about a month.
Searches for terms to do with flu help researchers track the spread of flu outbreaks. It can be done more quickly and cheaply than by using hospital data.
It’s not something you’re likely to use at home, but it’s a good example of yet another clever way the internet can be used.
Well, that’s all for now!