Sunday, December 21, 2008

Coca Cola is proud to announce our new Christmas Promotion

I've received the email with the subject Coca Cola is proud to announce our new Christmas Promotion quite a few times. This is definitely an email with a malware attachment. OzEfilter allows me to delete the email at the email before I receive it. If I accept the email, the anti-virus program I use identifies it correctly as malware and removes the attachment.

For me there is not issue, but I've written this blog entry because I've received many of these emails, and others may not be protected in the same way.

Take care with Christmas promotions. You may end up with an unwelcome gift. 

- Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, December 19, 2008

Get the gift of search this festive season from the Google AdSense team

I just received an email with the subject Get the gift of search this festive season from the Google AdSense team.

Now here is the problem. I've never received an email from Google using this mailing address. There is actually not a single link to Google in the email.

Now this might not be unusual and this email may be bona fide. Many businesses use mailing list services.

However what I don't like about mailing list services, is they track your activities and they can apparently track the activities of others you may forward the emails on to. I really don't want to pass information on to others where they are not aware they are being tracked.

For me it doesn't matter how good this information may be, it is straight into the bin. This could easily be a phishing email and since I can't readily tell, I'd prefer to be safe than sorry.

Safe computing practices is often the only thing that will save you from malicious emails. If in doubt, hit the delete button.

Have a festive season and don't get tricked by the festive season emails.

- Kelvin

Important Security Update from Microsoft – "out of band" critical update for Internet Explorer

Thursday morning I woke to hear on the radio, Microsoft was issuing a patch for Internet Explorer. Weird I thought. We have the situation where flaws in software is a major news item. Being in IT however this information is important for my clients.

Friday night at 7:12 pm an email arrived at my mail server which I picked up later that night. It was titled Important Security Update from Microsoft – "out of band" critical update for Internet Explorer.

I checked all the links in the email and all links pointed to valid Microsoft sites. There was nothing in this email which made me feel it wasn't bona fide.

I would advise all clients to make sure their Windows update is enabled and to download and apply the latest updates. In particular the security updates.

Also take care with this type of email. Since so many people receive this email, and I suspect that would include virus writers, there is nothing to stop a virus writer creating a fake letter and circulating it. There is no need to click on any of the links in the email and you can always go to the Microsoft site if you want further information.

The main thing is you need to apply the updates available from Microsoft. If anyone clients require assistance please contact me. I will be visiting client sites on Friday to ensure computers are updated. I get a feeling it is going to be a long day.

Take care.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, December 18, 2008

FREE Australian English spellcheck dictionary for Google Chrome

Want to use Google Chrome, but prefer to spell using "colour" and not "color", then download V2.2.2 of the Australian English spellcheck dictionary for Google Chrome.

Unfortunately at this stage Google Chrome does not support Australian English, but the patch we provide gets around the problem for now.

You can find the Google Chrome dictionary via any of the following:

1. The Australian English spellcheck dictionaries can always be found from the front page of JustLocal (

2. Go directly to the dictionary project via and then go to the page for Google Chrome.

3. Go directly to the page for the Google Chrome dictionary. (Please note these pages may change as we reorganise. You will always be able to find the page via options 1 and 2.) 

Please enjoy.

- Kelvin Eldridge

UPDATE: 23 July 2009
Support for Google Chrome has been withdrawn as a result of actions by the project.

FREE Australian dictionary for, Firefox and Thunderbird.

As a result of your support and feedback I've decided to release version 2.2.2 of the Australian English dictionary file free for, Firefox and Thunderbird users. I hope to make the dictionary file available for other projects shortly.

I'm doing this because both the Firefox and project are distributing hacked versions of this file. By hacked I mean they have been updated without following the proper procedure. This has resulted in spelling and other errors being introduced.

These faulty files will no doubt spread through the Internet which is a concern. The only files you can be sure which haven't been hacked, are those direct from my site.

Use the FREE files available from to replace the faulty files. They are the latest and best free files available.

Version 3 is also now available for FREE to clients and customers of JustLocal, Online Connections, and those using the products and services from Virtual Profit Sharing partners via the JustLocal site.

Again thank you for your support.

- Kelvin Eldridge

UPDATE: 23 July 2009
Support for the projects has been withdrawn as a result of actions by the projects.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is the Big Mac index missing an important variable?

The Big Mac index which is produced by the Economist, is a light hearted way of comparing the purchasing power of currencies across the world.

In travelling I find the price of a Big Mac when converted to Australian dollars, to be a good indication as to how expensive things are in other countries. Once you convert the price of the Big Mac from the local currency to Australian dollars and then work out the ratio, you get a good idea as to how much more expensive the country is compared to Australia. Of course if the price is less, that country is less expensive than Australia.

But wait. Is there a factor missing?

On my trip to the States a number of years ago I was sure the burgers were bigger in the USA. So I've decided to post this topic and others are welcome to add their information.

The cost of a Big Mac in Melbourne Australia on Sunday 14th December 2008 was $4.25 and the Big Mac (without any packaging) weighed 212 grams.

According to a reliable source (thanks RenĂ©e) has a friend who weighed a Big Mac in Austin Texas and found it was 8 ounces exactly (227 grams).  Our gut feeling was right. Big Macs are bigger in the USA.

If you want to join the Big Mac weigh in, please weigh the Big Mac without any packaging, but don't let that extra lettuce escape. Also include the price for the Big Mac, your currency and if possible, the current price in Australian Dollars. On our Fun With Search page we show how to convert between currencies using Google.

I will keep you posted as people send me their Big Mac weigh in results.

Bon appetit.

- Kelvin

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Streets of Templestowe starting with "B".

Continuing with a map of the location for each street in Templestowe, the following are the pages for the streets starting with the letter "B".

Bali Hi Boulevard, Bamfield Close, Bantry Grove, Barnacle Mews, Beale Court, Beavis Court, Bebs Court, Bedervale Drive, Beecroft Crescent, Berkefeld Court, Berwick Rise, Berwyn Crescent, Beverly Hills Drive, Bindi Close, Birchgrove Crescent, Blyton Court, Bramber Court, Bray Court, Briar Lane, Briarfield Court, Bronte Rise, Browning Drive, Burleigh Drive, Burns Court, Byron Close


- Kelvin Eldridge

Heading to Surfers Paradise this summer.

Recently I had a trip to Surfers Paradise and booked everything over the Internet. You would think this would be easy, but a search for Surfers Paradise accommodation in Google returns one to two hotel sites on each page, with the rest being businesses promoting their services. With over a hundred places to stay, I would have to probably visit over two hundred pages. Even then I would have to visit each hotel's site to see what they had to offer.

I thought wouldn't it be great if I could just search the web sites of the hotels.

I couldn't, but now you can.

I created a search engine which only contains the 100 plus accommodation providers and allows you to directly search the hotel sites. If a gym is important to you, search for gym and see which hotels promote a gym. Perhaps a late stay.  Perhaps you are looking for conference facilities, just type in the word conference.

Give the Surfers Paradise search engine a go and see if it helps you find what you are looking for you next trip to Surfers Paradise.

Happy holidays.

- Kelvin Eldridge

PS. You can also find the Surfers Paradise search engine at JustLocal.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Streets of Templestowe starting with "A".

Recently I provided pages with a map of the location for each street in Lower Plenty. The following are the first pages for Templestowe which are the streets starting with the letter "A".

Adella Place, Albert Street, Aloha Gardens, Amberwood Court, Anderson Street, Angeltop Terrace, Annan Place, Anthlin Court, Apple Blossom Court, Ashcroft Avenue, Athenry Terrace, Atkinson Street, Aumann Drive, Austin Place, Azure Court

- Kelvin Eldridge

Australian English spellcheck dictionary for Firefox 3.1 beta.

For those Australians interested in testing the beta of Firefox 3.1, you can now install the Australian English spellcheck dictionaries for Firefox. 

If you are looking for the Firefox 3.1 beta download page, you can find it at the following address.

If you prefer a different browser, you can find the Australian English spellcheck dictionary files using the following links for each of the browsers. 

Internet Explorer 7/8 Beta
Opera 10 alpha
Google Chrome

- Kelvin

UPDATE: 23 July 2009
Support for Firefox has been withdrawn as a result of actions by the project.

Just when I'd given up on Opera, Opera 10 alpha is released.

I had decided not to release further Australian English dictionaries for Aspell, since Aspell has not been maintained for the Windows environment for years. My main reason for releasing Aspell dictionary files was Opera 9 uses Aspell, but unfortunately the spellcheck implementation isn't very good and thus not worth supporting.

Now Opera 10 alpha has been released and uses the same dictionary file format (Hunspell/Myspell) as the other projects I support, making it much easier to support Opera users. Talk about a back flip.

On the dictionary page you can now find Australian English spellcheck dictionaries for Opera 10 alpha and also the Australian English language user interface file. This makes Opera 10 alpha the most Australianised browser.

Our testing so far indicates that whilst there as some issues in Opera 10 alpha, (it is alpha after all), it is quite stable. This post was created using Opera 10 alpha.

If you love Opera and prefer using Australian English, check out the dictionary page.

- Kelvin

UPDATE: 23 July 2009
Support for Opera has been withdrawn as a result of actions by the company.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Anti-virus software

From an IT consultant's point of view, the anti-virus software market is a hard market to recommend to client. No software will fully protect a client, and the leading software sold by many retail stores, is not software I would suggest. Every anti-virus software I've tested or come across with clients, and that is most of the commonly available software, has not protected one or more computers, resulting in infected computers.

At this stage the software I suggest subject to people using coming sense with their emails, and in particular emails with attachments, is the Computers Associates software.

The software above is the anti-virus software, but I prefer getting the anti-virus plus spyware version as having both in the one packages makes things easier. Purchasing the three user version represents good value for money.

For overseas buyers one interesting quirk I found is the cost of the software if purchasing in America in US dollars, is the same amount as Australian dollars. With the exchange rate that means Americans can possibly save 20-30% by purchasing from the Australian site. The same may apply to other countries. Of course it probably does mean support may be an issue, but we've found over the years we haven't used CA support. The other anti-virus companies we have used have not been very good, so we tend to solve our own problems, as I'm sure most people do.

If you have a bad infection on your computer, often the most cost effective thing to do is to save all your data to external media and then reload the operating system.

I and my clients also use OzEfilter which is software I wrote. OzEfilter enables me to delete unwanted emails at the mail server and this approach stops infected emails getting near my computer.

Using an anti-virus plus spyware program, OzEfilter, and good old fashioned common sense, I've found to be the best protection against malicious software like viruses and spyware.

Interestingly I've found quite a few people who don't even realise their computer is infected. Pop-up messages when not browsing the Internet, keyboard or mouse not working, and the lights on their ADSL modem indicating constant traffic, are some of the symptoms of an infected computer which people don't realise. Downloading the trial version of CA anti-virus is a good way to check a computer. It won't fix the problem, but it may let you know you have a problem.

- Kelvin Eldridge

PS. The Computer Associates anti-virus software above is 29.99 GBP/39.99 EURO when purchased from the UK site. According to Google's exchange rates 29.99 GBP is 67.37 AUD and 39.99 EURO is 78.91 AUD. The current price purchasing from the Australian site for Computer Associates is 39.99 Australian dollars. That's up to a massive 50% saving over the EURO price. The price on the US site is 39.99 USD which is 60.64 AUD. If you are in the United States of Europe buying from the Australian site could save you 30-50%. You should be aware banks and credit card companies will charge for the exchange rate, but there are still good savings to be made by buying from Australia.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Street maps for Lower Plenty Victoria 3093

How handy is it to have a single page map when you need to pick up or drop off the children?

We decided to create a single page map using Google maps for the streets of Lower Plenty, which places the street you are interested in, in the middle of the page and can be easily printed on a single page.

Some other useful ways to use the maps are: to direct someone to your home for a gathering, perhaps a get together at the Lower Plenty Hotel, a round at the Heidelberg Golf Club or the Rosanna Golf Club, or to have someone pick up the children at the Lower Plenty Primary School. If you are looking for real estate to purchase or rent, a one page map can make things easier.

I'd be interested in finding out if you find a useful way to use the maps.

Alma Street, Amberley Way, Anthony Close, Barongarook Court, Beckett Court, Beleura Grove, Bolton Street, Bonds Road, Byron Avenue, Carisbrook Crescent, Cavanagh Road, Charles Street, Cheval Court, Cheverton Road, Cleveland Avenue, Coral Court, Devon Court, Edwards Street, Gees Court, Geoffrey Court, Glenauburn Road, Gwenda Court, Harcourt Place, Havelock Court, Henty Road, Karafili Way, Keating Court, Kett Street, Lakeside Drive, Lees Road, Leslie Court, Lincoln Drive, Longs Road, Lynwood Crescent, Maida Court, Main Road, Maskell Crescent, Montpelier Drive, Old Eltham Road, Palamino Court, Panorama Avenue, Para Road, Philip Street, Prosperity Road, Rangeview Road, Riverhill Drive, Roseburn Court, Rosehill Road, Sapphire Court, Sidwell Court, Stawell Road, Symes Street, Towyn Close, Tyalla Close, View Road, Woodfull Road, Yardie Court, Yarra Hill Close, Yarrowee Road

Please enjoy.

- Kelvin