Children are never too young to learn a tech skill

Today I gave my 8 year old son his first experience of sound engineering as he helped me rig up the lighting and sound equipment for events at school. By the end of the morning he could tell the difference between XLR and DMX and loved using the sound desk.

As a teacher I believe the amazing capacity that kids have to learn new skills and we must never underestimate what they can do.





Advent 2012

It is that time of year again and the countdown to Christmas has begun. I don’t know what Christmas means to you - a celebration with the family, a deeply significant and religious event or a time to get all the gifts on your Amazon wish list.



iTunes 11 is here

iTunes 11 arrived earlier today via updates.

I am really please with it and was really excited to see how easily it is to download and stream previously purchased times (especially videos)

Check out the review

What's in my dock?

I’m fascinated by seeing what apps people run on their Macs.

Here is the latest screenshot of my Launchpad Screen.

whats in my dock

A couple of quick recommendations

  • RapidWeaver for web design
  • Wunderlist - an excellent to do list app
  • VMware Fusion - used for running Windows 8 on my Mac

Upload screenshots of your desktop or dock


People who inspire me on the web

I get often asked about my inspiration to start a review website. Do I do it to get free stuff or do I genuinely have a passion for the technology I use?

I have been on the internet since the early days in the mid 1990s when I was at University and using Linux. My first attempts at websites were really poor and although I have taught the occasional ICT lesson about web design I really never thought about why I would even want a personal site.

My first hosted site came four years ago and it was really just a site for my family and friends but really it was a poor quality and then I came across two really influential social media gurus.

Chris Pirillo and David DiFranco

If you ever want a lesson in how to build and use social media in really effective ways that build communities and share a common purpose both Chris and David have demonstrated this over many years.

I have learnt from them that …..

  • Social media builds community and engaging with this community is central to success
  • Developing communities and being successful takes time and needs good content that will engage
  • There will be criticism, knock-backs and people who want to rubbish you just because you are popular

I have learnt so much from watching and learning by their example and really understand that success (however you want to define it) does not come over night. Having good role models is important and these two guys are excellent!


I've bought an Android Tablet

Despite being a massive Apple fan and loving my iPad (1st generation) I bought an Android tablet last week. My first impressions are positive and am getting used to Ice cream sandwich.

Watching my unboxing video here.


Is Apple right to keep updating iPads?

So within 6 months we have gone from the iPad 3 to the iPad 4.  I was really surprised when this was announced earlier today at the Apple Special Event.

There are obvious hardware performance improvements and don't get me wrong, I think improving technology is great but ....

As a user of a now obsolete first generation iPad will the pace of change be such the iPad2 and possibly 3 will now become obsolete and no longer supported soon?

With tough economic times still here and ahead of us and with the desire of most Apple fans to keep upgrading are we now being (forced) into a very short refresh cycle?

Is this an issue of profit for Apple or a genuine desire to innovate and develop?

I would love to know what you think.

My Google Adsense account has been deleted

Well with no warning I got an email today …


With little comeback with this looks like I’m screwed!

Cheers Google!

What happened with YouTube just now!

I had a nasty shock just now on YouTube when it said I was no longer a partner and that I was in bad standing.

As someone who takes this very seriously I couldn’t work out what had happened - had I done something wrong or uploaded something with matched content.

After looking on Twitter for others it looks like it might have been a Youtube issue and it does seem to have resolved itself now.

What's on my Mac?

Check out this video showing some of the great apps I run on my MacBook Air.


Should live news ever be live?

Should live TV news be live?

I was very interested (and saddened) to see the news article about a man in Arizona who committed suicide after a police chase. Fox then accidentally showed the moment live on TV where the man shot himself in the head committing suicide.

It appears that normal safeguards in place to prevent this kind of footage failed due to human error.

This poses for me two very interesting questions.

  • The first being should live news be actually show live without any buffering?

  • Secondly, if live police chases are going to be used by networks for both entertainment and to provide a short-term ratings spike should they be shown in their full entirety with no editing?

I have not seen a live police chase on TV, the closest I came to it was the 24 hour footage of the man hunt of Derek Bird in 2010. Watching a police chase as entertainment poses moral questions about if we should be watching it in the first place.

What do you think? Should live TV really be live?

I'm now a reviewer for Sennheiser

I won a competition yesterday and the prize ....
To be a reviewer for Sennheiser!
This will involve reviewing headphones prior to release and blogging about them.

The video review I used was of my new Finepix camera.

I look forward to receiving my headphones and reviewing them.


Do the numbers count?

I’m just about to hit 10,000 views on my blog and I just had my first YouTube video with 10,000 hits in less than 24 hours. I always said that I’m not concerned about the numbers but as I’ve passed these two miles stones I’m well pleased!

Please subscribe here -->

Blog -->

All I need to do now is increase my following on Twitter and I will be happy (Joke)

It’s not about the numbers but about decent content.

New camera

After nearly eight very happy with my Fuji FinePix S5500 camera I decided it was time to upgrade to something newer.  I really love Bridge cameras, the functionality and design of aDSLR but with a single built in lens and electronic view finder.  Without wishing to spend too much money on a camera I settled for the FinePix S2995.

Watch the following video for  a review of this camera.


My favourite piece of tech

I entered a competition today which wanted to know my favourite piece of technology.

The answer had to be my original iMag G3 which started my whole love of Apple and Macs,


I got hit by a scam!

I don’t believe it!

I got hit by a scam this week through an email and actually downloaded a virus onto my wife’s PC.

I’m waiting for my Raspberry Pi and I know that it will be delivered by DHL. When I got an email from DHL saying that it had been dispatched I got very excited. The only problem was that the tracking code was not recognised? Attached to the email was an attachment which pretended to be a text document - it wasn’t. It was actually an executable which infected the PC. A quick bit of virus eradication later and it was gone.

The moral of this story is that even tech savvy geeks like me can easily fall for a scam when you are excited about something being delivered!

Take care out there and watch out for malicious emails pretending to be from DHL.

More details are available here from DHL.

Don't feed the trolls

I realise that as soon as I write this I will probably unleash a torrent of hate from the very people I am thinking and reflecting about.


Or more accurately those people who hide behind their computer screen and cause havoc on the Internet.

It starts so easily ...


Hitting the dislike button on YouTube
Writing a negative comment on YouTube
Making a negative and personal comment on Facebook

Where does it end ...

  • Obscene messages being left on tribute sites for people
  • Vile rumours being spread
  • Careers and lives ruined
  • Damage to self esteem and trust in others
  • Suicide?

Have I been a victim?

Yes - I have had some very negative comments left both on YouTube and my Blog.

How did I feel?

To have horrible messages left about a video I spend ages recording and editing left by someone who has uploaded no content was hurtful.  Being called quite nasty names because I left a positive review for a video was a shock.

Has it happened again?

Yes - I think that as soon as I started to get more popular on YouTube / Blog the negative and hate comments started increasing - so this will probably will be the future.

How can I deal with it?

- as easy as it sounds, ignore it. 
- don't reply to any comment - don't feed them!
- don't take it personally.
- share what is happening with a friend and don't bottle it up.

This is an interesting article from the BBC News on how websites will be forced to identify trolls.