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Monday, 27 June 2011

"Cloud Computing" and how it works Computing Applications part 3

HI all almost forgot i need to bring you part 3 of "Cloud Computing i put the wrong HAT on. For you to have Cloud Computing it all about APPS YEP it sad but APPS are all over the place. So here's the tech.
Who's Who in Cloud Computing
Well it is the usual bunch some of the companies researching cloud computing are big names in the computer industry. Microsoft, IBM and Google are investing millions of dollars into research. Some people think Apple might investigate the possibility of producing interface hardware for cloud computing systems.
The applications of cloud computing are practically limitless. With the right middleware, a cloud computing system could execute all the programs a normal computer could run. Potentially, everything from generic word processing software to customized computer programs designed for a specific company could work on a cloud computing system.
 Why would anyone want to rely on another computer system to run programs and store data? Here are just a few reasons:
  • Clients would be able to access their applications and data from anywhere at any time. They could access the cloud computing system using any computer linked to the Internet. Data wouldn't be confined to a hard drive on one user's computer or even a corporation's internal network.
  • It could bring hardware costs down. Cloud computing systems would reduce the need for advanced hardware on the client side. You wouldn't need to buy the fastest computer with the most memory, because the cloud system would take care of those needs for you. Instead, you could buy an inexpensive computer terminal. The terminal could include a monitor, input devices like a keyboardand mouse and just enough processing power to run the middleware necessary to connect to the cloud system. You wouldn't need a large hard drive because you'd store all your information on a remote computer.
  • Corporations that rely on computers have to make sure they have the right software in place to achieve goals. Cloud computing systems give these organizations company-wide access to computer applications. The companies don't have to buy a set of software or software licenses for every employee. Instead, the company could pay a metered fee to a cloud computing company.
  • Servers and digital storage devices take up space. Some companies rent physical space to store servers and databases because they don't have it available on site. Cloud computing gives these companies the option of storing data on someone else's hardware, removing the need for physical space on the front end.
  • Corporations might save money on IT support. Streamlined hardware would, in theory, have fewer problems than a network of heterogeneous machines and operating systems.
  • If the cloud computing system's back end is a grid computing system, then the client could take advantage of the entire network's processing power. Often, scientists and researchers work with calculations so complex that it would take years for individual computers to complete them. On a grid computing system, the client could send the calculation to the cloud for processing. The cloud system would tap into the processing power of all available computers on the back end, significantly speeding up the calculation.

While the benefits of cloud computing seem convincing, are there any potential problems?
Check out the final part 4 of "Cloud Computing" coming soon.
Thanks again.
Vince (The Mad Hatter we love Green IT)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Had a hard drive fail on your PS3

Had a hard drive fail on your PS3 or need to upgrade to a bigger drive.

I had it happen to me hard drive fail on my PS3 and i also need to upgrade my grand daughters systems as well to a bigger HD 500GB. Here come some tips on how to upgrade using a memory stick.

If you are upgrading to a bigger disk make sure you format it first as a FAT32 file system which you can do on your Mac or PC.

You may also need a SATA + IDE HDD docking station to do this which you can get from Maplins and if you data on the disk if you are doing an upgrade always back it up first see instructions on you PS3 for that.

You will also need a memory stick 512MB or 1GB to install you PS3 firmware which you can get from Sony.

Download the latest PS3 system software here.
This is the operating system software for your PlayStation 3. It controls everything, including what types of content and which features you can access on your PS3.

As well as keeping your PS3 in top condition with the latest security updates, Parental Controls and display options, updates often increase what your PS3 is capable of. New settings, new features and new functionality can be included in an update; as the system software evolves, only a PS3 with the latest update installed will be able to make full use of these enhancements.

Each update is numbered so you can quickly see what the latest version is - the higher the number, the more recent the update. For example, 1.60 is more up to date than 1.50.

To find out which version of the system software you currently have installed on your PlayStation 3, navigate through the Home Menu of your PS3 to the Settings category. From here select [System Settings], followed by [System Information], and you'll see the PS3 system software version displayed here.

To find out what the latest available version is, you can look for, and download, the software at, from the PlayStation 3 Help & Support section of the site.

You can update the system software by any of the following methods:
System Update - If your PS3 is online, the most straightforward way to update the system software is using the PlayStation 3 itself. Navigate to Settings on the PS3 Home Menu, select [System Update] and then [Update via Internet] and your PS3 will check if you have the latest version. If not, it will download and install it for you.
PC Update - Visit for the very latest version of the update data. Follow the on-screen instructions to download to your PC.

To transfer the update data to your PlayStation 3, save the file to a PS3 compatible storage device such as Memory Stick, 
Memory Stick Duo, USB drive or PSP.

Before starting, use your PC to create a folder named 'PS3' on the storage media or USB device. Within the folder, create a folder named 'UPDATE' (This folder name is case sensitive and must appear in all capital letters). Once the UPDATE folder has been created, download the PS3 system software update to this location.

Once the update data has been saved, disconnect the storage device and connect it to your PS3 via the slots under the slot cover or the USB connectors depending on the device you're using.

Once connected, navigate to Settings on the PS3 Home Menu, select [System Update] and then [Update via Storage Media]. Select the connected device and your PS3 will install the update data stored there.
Download the latest firm ware you see this on the right of the page.
So here's the Tech
This tutorial will show you how to install retail PS3 Firmware from a memory stick/memory card.

1. Download the PS3 Firmware that you wish to update to. A list of all the retail Firmware can be found in the 
PS3 Downloads section of this site:

All Firmware files will be named PS3UPDAT.PUP, there is no way of telling which f/w is which by the name of the .PUP file.

2. While that file is downloading, on the root of your memory stick make a folder called "PS3" and then make another folder inside called "UPDATE"

Then once the file has finished downloading, place file on your memory stick with this file system layout. it into the update folder, as the example shows below.
4. Then plug your memory stick into your PS3 and go to Settings & ; System update.

5. Then press install via storage device:

6. Click on the correct device and 
the PS3 should automatically recognize the file and begin the update feature.

Your PS3 console will now be up to date with the latest PS3 Firmware and features! 

That's it forks from the Mad Hatter Vince Bailey.
This tip will save you hours of work also the whole process takes 30 mins and your PS3 is read to go.

"Cloud Computing" and how it works part 2

Cloud Computing Architecture

When talking about a cloud computing system, it's helpful to divide it into two sections: the front end and the back end. They connect to each other through a network, usually the internet. The front end is the side the computer user, or client, sees. The back end is the "cloud" section of the system.
The front end includes the client's computer(or computer network) and the application required to access the cloud computing system. Not all cloud computing systems have the same user interface. Services like Web-based email programs leverage existing Web browsers like Internet Explorer or firefox. Other systems have unique applications that provide network access to clients.
On the back end of the system are the various computers, servers and data storage systems that create the "cloud" of computing services. In theory, a cloud computing system could include practically any computer program you can imagine, from data processing to video games. Usually, each application will have its own dedicated sever.
A central server administers the system, monitoring traffic and client demands to ensure everything runs smoothly. It follows a set of rules called protocols and uses a special kind of software called middleware. Middleware allows networked computers to communicate with each other.
f a cloud computing company has a lot of clients, there's likely to be a high demand for a lot of storage space. Some companies require hundreds of digital storage devices. Cloud computing systems need at least twice the number of storage devices it requires to keep all its clients' information stored. That's because these devices, like all computers, occasionally break down. A cloud computing system must make a copy of all its clients' information and store it on other devices. The copies enable the central server to access backup machines to retrieve data that otherwise would be unreachable. Making copies of data as a backup is called redundancy.
I Computed Lonely as a Cloud
Although cloud computing is an emerging field of computer science, the idea has been around for a few years. It's called cloud computing because the data and applications exist on a "cloud" of Web servers.
You've Been Virtually Served
Most of the time, servers don't run at full capacity. That means there's unused processing power going to waste. It's possible to fool a physical server into thinking it's actually multiple servers, each running with its own independent operating system. The technique is called server virtualization. By maximizing the output of individual servers, server virtualization reduces the need for more physical machines.

Grids, Clouds and Utilities
Cloud computing is closely related to grid computing and utility computing. In a grid computing system, networked computers are able to access and use the resources of every other computer on the network. In cloud computing systems, that usually only applies to the back end. Utility computing is a business model where one company pays another company for access to computer applications or data storage.
What are some of the applications of cloud computing? Keep reading to find out.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mobile web App's vs rich App

Takeaway: One of the very first questions we face when we begin planning to build an application is whether to do mobile web or rich app development.
As a mobile developer, I get asked my opinion on mobile web vs. rich app development quite often, and understandably so. For most mobile developers, this is one of the very first questions we face when we begin planning to build an application. And to be honest, there’s really no “correct” answer to the question. If I absolutely had to break it down to a couple distinct criteria, the decision would likely be based on the following:
  • OS/Hardware-specific feature requirements
  • Development budget
  • Development timeline
  • Target audience
Before I get too much further, I feel I ought to explain that a vast majority of my mobile development experience has been with Android, so you’ll likely find that most of my examples revolve around it. With that in mind, let’s carry on.

OS/Hardware-specific feature requirements

HTML5 and native mobile browsers are quickly getting to the point where the gap is quickly closing between what can be accomplished from inside a browser vs. what can be done from a native (rich) application. However, there is still one significant feature that separates the two in my opinion: push notifications.

I’m not very familiar with the push notification system for iOS, but I have implemented Cloud-to-Device Messaging (C2DM) for Android several times, and it is incredibly useful for server-to-device communication. You can use them to get a device to “call home,” start a process running on the device, or even deliver a short message. The only feature that comes close to this in HTML5 is the WebSocket. But if the user closes the browser, your channel of communication is severed.
Another reason why you might choose to build a rich app is because your requirements demand a long-running service that persists in the background. A background service may be needed  for indefinite location tracking, device monitoring, or lengthy calculations/processes.
One of the features I like most about Android as a developer is the way intents were designed. Intents allow you to not only integrate other applications into your own, but also integrate your application into others. A good example of the prior scenario would be launching a thrid party barcode scanner application from within your own app and receiving a UPC code back. As far as the latter situation is concerned, many apps will allow you to “share” content with other apps, so it’s possible to get your app to appear in the list of possible choices (for instance “sharing” a place from within Google Maps). This unique interoperability is definitely a very strong case to build a native Android application over a web app.

Development budget and timeline

I doubt there are very many developers out there who’d disagree with me when I say that mobile web development is grossly cheaper than developing a native rich app. Granted, 95% of my development experience is web development, so it’s fair to say that it’s what I know best. However, the fact that you can develop once and automatically target every web-enabled platform is quite a powerful one. Compare this to developing, say, an Android, iPhone, and Blackberry app separately, and it’s easy to see the advantage here.

As far as development timeline is concerned, I don’t think I need to say much more. Obviously developing one web app is quicker than developing multiple rich apps, so let’s move along.

Target audience

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m an Android fanboy. So when I first started doing mobile development, I completely neglected iOS and only focused on Android. No wait, let me try that again. I completely thumbed my nose at iOS and all my iOS-using friends. It didn’t take me long, however, to realize that if I was really serious about being a full-time mobile developer, I simply could not ignore one of the top two mobile OSs, no matter how much I disagreed with Apple’s philosophy or believed in Android’s success.

So, the easiest and quickest thing for me to do was develop a mobile web site for my iOS-toting friends. The result was actually quite impressive, as I had created a nearly identical copy of my Android app for the web using webkit transforms via some javascript I found/borrowed/modified for my own purposes, to create independently scrolling areas (something that is not easy to accomplish with mobile web).
At first, my peers were pleased that they now had a way to use an app they had been begging me to port for months. But as soon as the novelty wore off, they quickly realized that the mobile web version just wasn’t quite as slick as a native rich app could be. Even though they could create a bookmark on their home screen to make it appear as a native app, the differences were still noticeable (namely the lack of push notifications, which I get around by sending emails).


Now I’ve presented a select few arguments on both sides of the case. Clearly there are a lot more factors that go into this decision, but I feel like the ones I’ve mentioned have been the biggest determining factors in my own personal choices. There really is no right or wrong answer at this point, and at the rate the mobile tech industry is evolving, everything I have just said may be moot tomorrow.

As things stand today, I feel that the best approach is to target both mobile web and rich apps if all your determining factors allow for it. But this is clearly a subject that will need consistent reevaluation as time progresses. Eric Schmidt himself has been quoted as saying “HTML5 is the way almost all applications will be built, including for phones” so I’m confident in saying this is a topic to keep your eye on.
On a final note, I encourage everyone reading this article to watch this video if the subject matter discussed piques your interest. It’s the Android vs HTML5 session from Google I/O and I discovered while writing this article that it was uploaded to Youtube, as it was not streamed live from Google I/O. Hopefully I have answered a few questions for you, and if not feel free to sound off in the comments!
By Kyle Miller

The Mad Hatter is back I found this article which i thought may be interesting as Apps are HOT and the big talking point.

Vince (The Mad Hatter)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Got a beef? about Web sites

10 things that will annoy the hell out of your Web site visitors
This is a good set of tips

Takeaway: It’s easy to get caught up in the implementation details of a Web site design project and lose sight of the hands-on user perspective. Calvin Sun airs a few user experience grievances that can alienate site visitors — permanently.
A hard-to-use Web site can be just as deadly to a business as a rude front-line service person. Once a visitor leaves in disgust, getting that person back can be next to impossible. Here are some potential irritants to watch for. Note that in many cases, the issue can be avoided without having to do special coding. Simple changes in text/instructions to the visitor alone are often sufficient.

1: Nonexistent instructions regarding case sensitivity

Tell the visitor explicitly if input must be case sensitive. Having to press that [Shift] key with your left pinky finger may not be a big deal, but it’s an effort nonetheless. Such instructions are particularly important if you require any kind of CAPTCHA input.

2: Having to guess at formatting of dates, phone numbers, or social security numbers

Be sensitive to input that is associated with special formatting, such as dashes in Social Security numbers or telephone numbers or dashes or slashes in dates. Tell the visitor whether the special characters must be provided — or must not be provided. Nothing is more annoying than entering a date with the slashes, only to find that you’ve run out of space. Equally annoying is when you enter the data without those characters, only to be told that they are required. The best option is to preformat the form. If doing so requires too much development, at least tell the visitor, via instructional text, the required format for the entry.

3: Transaction “false positives”

In medicine, a “false positive” refers to a test that says the patient is ill when the patient really is fine. In the world of Web pages, I use “false positive” to refer to a situation where a visitor thinks a transaction is complete, but it really isn’t.
A few months ago, my daughter called and said, “Daddy, where is the money that was to be transferred to my account?” I told her I was certain I had performed the transfer and that I recalled clicking on the bank Web site’s Submit button, but that I would go back and check.
Yes, you guessed it: When I did a test transfer, and arrived at the place where I previously clicked Submit, the Web page did not execute the transfer. All it did was take me to a subsequent page that asked me if I REALLY wanted to do the transfer. In other words, I erroneously thought that by clicking Submit, I had made the transfer.
Be careful about how you label the action buttons. Specifically, be aware that labels such as Submit might lead visitors to think that clicking on the associated button will perform a transaction. If it doesn’t, they will be upset later to find out they were wrong.

4: Transaction “false negatives”

Watch out for false negatives as well. You don’t want visitors to click a button, thinking they will not execute a transaction as a result, only to find that they really DID execute that transaction.
Continental Airlines uses a screen that has a button labeled Continue to Purchase. The first time I saw it, I thought that clicking it would take me to a screen that would show a summary of my proposed purchase and ask me if I really wanted to make the purchase. However, when I clicked that  button, the Web page actually purchased my ticket and charged my credit card.
A better label would have been simply Purchase, along with a text that said Clicking will purchase the ticket and will charge your credit card.
Avoid similar misleading labels on your own Web sites.

5: Misleading “Contact Us”

I wish I had a dollar for every time I clicked on a Contact Us link, only to see an email form pop up. When I click on such a link, I am looking for multiple ways to contact the organization, and email is only one of those ways. If you have such a link, make the result more than an email form. Take them to a page that shows physical address, phone number, and fax number.
Providing a link to an email form is fine, but label it appropriately as Email Us, not Contact Us.

6: Disabled backward navigation

He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston,
He’s the man who never returned.
The song “MTA” tells the story of Charley, a man who gets onto a Boston subway. However, because he has too little money, he can’t get off, and he rides forever on that subway.
Your visitors will feel like Charley if the Back button is disabled once they enter your site. They will be annoyed at having to remember and retype the address of their previous site. If you do really want to disable the Back button, make sure you have a good reason for doing so.

7: Blanking out an entire data entry form due to one small error

In Greek mythology, King Sisyphus was ordered by the gods to push a huge boulder to the top of a hill. However, every time he almost reached the top, the boulder would slip from his hands and roll all the way to the bottom. For all eternity, Sisyphus would have to push that boulder.
If you have lengthy data input forms, how does your system handle errors in one or more fields? If it blanks out every field on that form, your visitors will feel like Sisyphus, and they’ll justifiably feel angry. When an input error occurs, try to save as much of the other valid input as you can.

8: Incompatibility with non-computer devices

Your Web pages possibly may be accessed by smartphones as well as computers, so make sure your pages can still be used by them. In particular, if you use drop-down lists, be sure that every item on that list can be chosen via the phone. For example, I no longer use on my iPhone because I can select only states from Alabama to Kansas.

9: Primrose path links

The Web site provides for reviews and rankings of physicians and attorneys. In particular, it allows attorneys to endorse other attorneys. One day, I was looking at my own profile and saw the Endorse this Attorney link next to my photo. Of course I clicked it. But when I did, I got a screen that said You cannot endorse yourself.
Such a link is what I call a “primrose path” link, because it leads nowhere. Rather than have such links, consider having logic that instead grays out or otherwise disables the link, depending on the context.

10: Failure to provide default responses

The 80-20 rule states that large effects can be the result of small things. For example, 80% of complaints come from 20% of your end users; 80% of your visitors visit 20% of your Web site; 80% of the time a given field will have only 20% of available options entered.
This last example illustrates the benefit of using default entries when appropriate. For example, if most bank transfer requests are “immediate” requests rather than “future scheduled” requests, consider defaulting the field accordingly. Your visitors will appreciate this feature. Of course, every Web page and every industry will have a different situation, so you will want to analyze your Web page data before making a decision in this regard.

Additional Web design resources

Article By Calvin Sun

Apple cloud vs. Google cloud

Hi all The Mad hatter again remember that Apple have been using cloud tech for a while now with mobile me, and if you have an iPhone like me. Then this is nothing new Apple is just making mobile me better.
Have a read below
Takeaway: Google and Apple are taking fundamentally different approaches to cloud computing. It’s important to understand the differences. Here’s a quick summary.
At the end of TechRepublic’s live commentary of the Apple WWDC keynote on Monday, after Apple had unveiled iCloud, I had a conversation with the participants in our live chat in which I explained that Apple’s cloud was a “store and forward” cloud as opposed to an “All your base are belong to us” cloud. Goofy Internet memes and technical jargon aside, that’s a pretty good description of the difference between the Apple cloud and the Google cloud — even though I was half-joking at the time.
Let’s look closer.

The Google cloud

Google’s entire strategy and approach to the cloud is based on the future, and not the Internet as it is today. Google is betting that the world will have low-cost, ubiquitous Internet access in the not-too-distant future, including fiber connections in offices and homes and super-fast mobile broadband in virtually every nook and cranny of the planet.
It is building its cloud for that world, and it’s hoping that by the time it has its application stack refined and running like clockwork that broadband will be everywhere. That’s absolutely necessary, since all of Google’s apps are connection-dependent and all of the data is stored on Google’s servers in the cloud. You’ve got to be online to take advantage of many of the best features, like simultaneous editing of Google Docs where you can see your co-workers’ edits happening in real time.
I love Google’s optimism about the future of broadband, but it’s not going to magically happen on its own solely based on free market forces. There are too many places where it’s just not financially profitable to deploy high speed access — and probably never will be. In order for Google’s vision to come to light, there will need to be more competition in the big markets and much stronger public-private partnerships in the smaller markets.
Google has started talking about making critical apps available offline, especially for Chromebooks. The company has already taken a few baby steps in that direction with Google Gears. However, the fact that offline access is an afterthought and not an intrinsic component of Google’s solution tells you where offline and local syncing rank on the company’s priority list.

The Apple cloud

Apple’s approach is not to use the cloud as the computer-in-the-sky the runs all the cool stuff. It doesn’t want or need everything to happen in the cloud. Instead, it views the cloud as the conductor of Grand Central Station who makes sure all of the trains run on time and that they make it to the right destinations.
With iCloud, announced on Monday at WWDC 2011, Apple uses the cloud to orchestrate data streams rather than control them. This is the cloud as a central repository for apps, music, media, documents, messages, photos, backups, settings, and more. A decade ago, both Apple and Microsoft talked up idea of the Mac and the PC, respectively, as the central hub of our digital life and work, with a variety of devices relying on it to coordinate content. On Monday, Apple clearly stated that’s no longer the case. For it, iCloud is now the hub.
“We are going to demote the PC to just be a device,” Steve Jobs said.
In this way, Apple is taking an approach unlike Google (which essentially mimics the old mainframe approach). Instead, Apple is doing something similar to what the popular startupDropbox does. It is allowing users to sync their personal data and media purchases from their computers and mobile devices up to a personalized central repository. Then, that central repository on the Internet syncs all of the data and media files back down to all of the user’s devices, so that all of them have the same data. Users no longer have to worry about constantly managing their files and music libraries in order to keep them up-to-date across a bunch of different machines and devices - a computer, a tablet, and a smartphone, for example.
Geeks, technophiles, and IT pros tend to love this approach because they still control their own data and have local copies of everything. However, syncing can also get a little complicated, especially if you choose to not automatically sync all of your devices (to save on performance and bandwidth). It remains to be seen whether mainstream users and business professionals will grasp the syncing concept and easily make it work.
Still, Apple’s approach is probably more practical for the Internet as it exists today. But, in a world with ubiquitous ultra-fast broadband, will syncing still matter in 5-10 years? That will depend on whether users prefer to have local copies of their data for performance, security, and peace of mind.
Naturally, there have been heated debates about Apple iCloud in social media since WWDC. The most poignant comment I saw came from Lessien on Twitter, who said, “In Apple’s vision, the cloud makes native apps better. Others see the cloud as a substitute for native apps.”

Final analysis

All that said, let me try to boil this down into two sentences that shouldn’t surprise you. For Google, the Web is the center of the universe. For Apple, your device is the center of the universe.
Can they both be right?