Thursday, January 31, 2013

Apple 128GB iPad available starting Tuesday 5th of February.

According to the Apple site, the new iPad 128GB model will be available in black or white from the 5th of February.

The Wi-Fi model will be $869 and the Wi-Fi+Cellular will be $1,009.

Keep in mind the 128GB of memory isn’t fully available to the user.

It is interesting the new iPad model has been announced just days before the Microsoft Surface Pro, which includes 128GB model, is released. Again quite a bit of memory in the Microsoft Surface Pro isn’t available to the user.  

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Microsoft Office 2013 release date rumoured to be January 29 2013.

According to what I’ve read on the internet, Microsoft Office 2013 will be released for general consumer and businesses on January 29th 2013 in America. Checking the Australian Microsoft Online Store Office 365 is currently marked as out of stock. I suspect this means it is yet to be released in Australia.

When considering Office 365 there are a range of options so it can be confusing. The best approach is to determine what you need and review the options that meet your needs. Microsoft appears to be pushing their subscription model and it does appear to be good value for money, but the only problem is you don’t own a licence and once you stop paying you have to assume you no longer have access to the software. Many of my clients are still using Office 2003 and if you spread the purchase price over nine years, Office 2003 has been very cost effective for them.

The Microsoft Online Store provides a good amount of information on the software options available and is worth reading. Keep in mind the prices in the online store are recommended retail and some retailers may offer discounted software.

Kelvin  Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.


Nexus 4 still out of stock on Google Play Store.

The announcement that Harvey Norman is the exclusive distributor/authorised reseller for the Nexus 4 is a bit of a concern. Until recently I could find the Nexus 4 on the Play Store using an Android based tablet. Now I can’t find any of the Nexus range using the Play Store on the tablet.

I’ve included the following link which was found using my Windows 8 based notebook and is included here for others who may be interested in the Nexus 4.

Nexus 4... Read More

My concern is, will Google phase out Nexus devices from their Play Store using local reseller partners and as a result the price ends up getting bumped up considerably. On the Play Store the Nexus 4 with 16GB is $399 plus delivery (currently out of stock), but Harvey Norman’s price will be considerably more at $496. The price on the Play Store for Americans is $349USD (sales tax needs to be added) so even at $399 Australians are paying more than Americans. One American wrote they purchased the Nexus 4 16GB unit including sales tax and delivery for under $400 and given the exchange rate we should be able to just as good in terms of pricing.

This just gives me a bad feeling that Australian consumers may be locked out of the cheaper price with large Australian retailers negotiating exclusive rights. I could be wrong and the Nexus 4 may yet still become available on the Google Play Store, but I don’t think this is looking good for Australian consumers.

For me this puts me off Harvey Norman and buying anything at Harvey Norman. First Harvey Norman lobby hard for the GST threshold to be removed or lowered for those buying direct from overseas and now selling products at much more expensive prices that Australians could previously purchase the Nexus 4. I’ve purchased a lot of expensive products from Harvey Norman over the years but this is starting to put me off Harvey Norman. Whilst I’m probably jumping to conclusions I’ll wait and see what happens. Only time will tell.

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coles Mastercard offers instant $10 off your Coles Supermarket shop.

I was asked about the $10 off your Coles Supermarket shop offer when using the Coles Mastercard. This is a major benefit that is being promoted but you need to read and understand what the offer is really about. The offer isn’t $10 off, it is $10 off when you redeem 2000 Flybuy points.

Flybuy users already can get $10 off by using Flybuy dollars so the major feature of the Coles Mastercard currently being promoted isn’t that big a deal. The one difference is it would appear you can get the $10 off instantly without having to go to the effort of going online before you shop and converting points to Flybuy dollars.

To me however this major feature of the Coles Mastercard isn’t a particularly good reason to get a Coles Mastercard. Review the features of the card compared to your existing card or another card you are considering and you may or may not find the card to be a better option. I’m not saying the Coles Mastercard isn’t a good card or not, but just that the offer of $10 off instantly (which still requires using 2,000 points) isn’t as good as it first appears because people may mistakenly think it is $10 off without the connection to using 2,000 points. For those who wish to have the convenience of using the points instantly rather than first redeeming a reward online, the convenience alone may be worthwhile.

Kelvin Eldridge
Helping local businesses with cost effective local advertising.

Update: I was contacted by a member of the Coles team and asked if I could add the website address to make it easier for those interested in a Coles Mastercard. I'm happy to add the link as they've been very helpful and we're happy with the Coles Mastercard and their service.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Alert: eBay Group Deals: $600.00 NEW iPhone 5 32GB Black / White Unlocked. Check this and other eBay Deals items on sale.

Today I received an email with the subject “eBay Group Deals: $600.00 NEW iPhone 5 32GB Black / White Unlocked. Check this and other eBay Deals items on sale.” Most people have probably received many of these fake emails over the years. What I thought was interesting is the iPhone offer is now 33% off. If I recall correctly many of these emails for years ago had ridiculous prices. As the price becomes closer to the real price this type of ad make trick some people so please be on your guard when receiving any offer via email.

The technique I use is to hover my mouse over the links. I use Outlook as my main email client but pressing down on a link for an extended time when using an iPhone will display the link in a new dialogue. I’d recommend not clicking on a link as visiting the site could simply be another trick designed to infect your computer with malware.

You should delete this type of email if you receive one.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Doncaster Computer Repair

If you need assistance with your computer and live or work in the Doncaster area, then give me a call at Online Connections. I live in Templestowe which is just five minutes up the road. Being local I’m able to respond quickly and be at your home or business often faster than you’ll wait on a telephone support line. There is no call-out fee or fixed minimum charge so you only pay for the time it takes to fix your problem.

Unlike large support organisations you deal directly with me so you receive consistent high quality support and not a different person every time you have a computer problem.

I look forward to being of assistance.

Kelvin Eldridge
Doncaster computer repair

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Peninsula link opening Friday morning

According to a news report tonight the Peninsula link will be opening on Friday morning between 4am and 6am. The report also said sections of the link will be progressively opened.

With much of summer still to go it will be interesting to see how much time is saved using the Peninsula link. I look forward to testing out the new link sometime this summer.

Kelvin Eldridge


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to avoid others using your online presence (e.g. your blog) to promote themselves at your cost.

Today I received a comment on my blog that looked fairly legitimate. Just so you know I’d say 95% plus of comments I receive on my blogs are from spammers attempting to place a link to their site in some way. Often the link is not obvious. The following comment was posted on my Australian English dictionary blog today.

“Hi there! Have you ever dealt such a situation when a person has robbed you online and took your personal ideas? Can't wait to see your answer. “ by Nicole the writer.

Had I accepted the comment this would have linked to a site which is a WordPress blog. The articles on the blog look legitimate. There are no contact details on the blog titled “Silly Secrets”. No name, nothing. As best I can tell this blog has ads provided by WordPress and it would appear the only purpose is to get people to the site in the hope they click on ads, which in turn generates income for the creator of the blog. The problem here is the blog spam this person is generating only exists because WordPress provides a mechanism for the spammer to make money.

I’m more than happy to receive legitimate comments, but filling up other peoples’ blogs with irrelevant comments is equivalent to spamming people. Spamming is general illegal but at this stage there appears to be no mechanism to stop blog spamming. If WordPress cut out the source of revenue for these spammers their activities would soon cease.


It should be kept in mind blog spammers could have a range of reasons to put links on your site. It could be as simple as trying to make money, to redirecting people to phishing and other malicious sites.

To protect your users and your reputation you can do the following:

1. Don’t automatically release comments on your blog.
2. Review each comment.
3. Some comments look very legitimate and it can be hard to identify spammers but you should make the effort.
4. Often blog spammers put a link in the body of the comment.
5. Often blog spammers use their blog profile link which is a link to another site and this link is often not apparent in the comment you see. It only becomes apparent if you look for it using the blogging software or check the comment on your blog after you release the comment.
6. Search Google for a short section of text to see if the same or similar comment has appeared in another blog. Keep in mind spammers use software known as spinners. Spinners automatically generate blog spam by replacing words automatically so the same basic sentence or paragraph is automatically changed to use different words. In this case the first search I used was too long and yielded no results. Then I searched for “took your personal ideas” and found another entry the same on a different blog. A quick check using a search engine will often reveal that most comments you’re receiving are blog spam.

In the past I’ve seen the same comment on tens of thousands of blogs and every day I receive dozens of blog comments which are spam.

Some people when they set up a blog are happy to start receiving comments. The first comments are often compliments and so they accept it. But using compliments is a common technique used by blog spammers. We all love praise, but as they say, false praise is no praise at all.

Take the time to review comments. It does take effort, but the end result is you’ll have a higher quality blog which others will read and trust. When I see blog spam in a blog I visit, the message I get is the owner of the blog doesn’t really care and personally I’d prefer to do business with someone who cares.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Alert: Jetstar Check-in Details

Today I received a number of emails with the subject “Jetstar Check-in Details“ and an attachment “”. The attachment is malware. You should delete these emails.

Users of Jetstar and Qantas (as are many well-known businesses) are common targets with emails containing malware or phishing scams so please take care.

Also this malware is not currently detected by most of the antivirus programs commonly used in Australia including the program you are probably using. New malware is likely designed to get past antivirus programs and is unlikely to be detected for up to 48 hours. The only protection you have is common sense. Don’t open attachments unless you are expecting the attachment from a person you know and don’t click on links in emails. With links open your browser and go to the site.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flybuys - Earn 50 BONUS POINTS when you download the flybuys Toolbar

Today I received an email from Flybuys offering 50 bonus points if I install the flybuys Toolbar, plus a point for every two searches. As a computer consultant I regularly suggest to customer to remove unwanted toolbars. Most toolbars people have installed got there without deliberate intent by the user and once there, they’re not quite sure how to remove them. Some toolbars trick people into installing them.

The main reason toolbar makers want you to install their toolbar is when you search using their toolbar (which often also hijacks the default search engine) is when you click on ads they make money. Often the toolbars don’t display search results you’d receive if you used the search engine such as Google Australia, so results can sometimes be unexpected.

The flybuys offer however offers you direct compensation for installing the toolbar. The question you need to ask is whether the offer is worth the effort and whether you are happy with the functionality.

You receive:

50 bonus points.
Up to 100 points per month.
Using the figure that 2000 points equals 10 flybuy dollars each point is worth approximately half a cent. Thus the bonus is worth 25 cents and the points each month 50 cents. In the first year this could be worth up to $6.25.

In return you give:

Screen space in your browser.
Change to using Yahoo. (Over 95% of people in Australia currently use Google.)

I decided to test the toolbar. I received an installation error “Internet Explorer raised Unhandled Exception” installing under Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10. A concern because since something didn’t work correctly you wonder if anything has harmed your computer. After the error the toolbar appears to function normally. The temperature is not currently working for me but generally I prefer using the Bureau of Meteorology site for weather information.

Yahoo will receive your search information and a third party organisation FreeCause also receives your search information. Exactly who gets what information is very hard to determine by you as a user. You can read the privacy policy information for each site but you have to ask yourself is it worth the time for the small amount being offered.

A couple of features I thought were interesting, is you can immediately see your points total and each time you reach a point for searching you are alerted and you can see how many points you’ve accumulated.

I’ve often felt that giving all your search requests to a single search company such as Google means they know a great deal about you. If you kept the address area set to search using Google and the toolbar to search using Yahoo, you can easily send half your searches to each and reduce the amount of information each company has on you. In addition I find Google and Yahoo often provide different results and having two search engines easily accessible may assist in finding better information.

Personally I’d suggest to clients to keep their browser as free as possible of third party toolbars. If there is a specific reason to install a toolbar then go for it, but otherwise a clean computer is faster and easier to maintain.

I hope this article helps others to determine whether or not to install the Flybuys toolbar. Really at the end of the day the benefit is around $6 a year and that isn’t a great deal of money.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Alert: Pictures of Prime Minister of Australia Son Naked - The Australian

Today I received an email with the subject “Pictures of Prime Minister of Australia Son Naked”. This email is an obvious fake and I do hope no one falls for it. The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, has no children.

The link ( ) is interesting to me as it shows how easy it is for people to infect their computer. The link is to a folder which would normally be associated with WordPress, which is blogging software installed on many sites. WordPress is commonly hijacked to perform what is known as drive-by attacks. That is you visit a site that has malware installed and you infect your computer. The owner of the site is often not aware for some time that their site is being used in this online blogging.

I hope curiosity didn’t get the better of you.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you require computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Papa Loui's Pizza & Pasta menu trial now finished on JustLocal

Every now and again I run a trial for a local business to show them how I can assist their business on the internet. The result is nearly always the same. Even though the page/site is used by hundreds of customers the business in the end they really aren’t interested.

In the case of Papa Loui’s Pizza & Pasta the log showed dozens of people a month using the online menu. Small local business however don’t seem to understand all that is required is to gain a single new customer (or lose an existing customer to a competitor) would pay for a single page menu site on the internet.

I continue to look for local businesses who value how I can help their business. If you own a local business in Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Doncaster, Doncaster East, Eltham, Montmorency, or Lower Plenty, and would like a low cost presence on the internet, including local promotion, please feel free to contact me.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for a low cost presence on the internet for your business.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Alert: Your Telstra Email Bill - 6859945087136

Recently received a couple of emails with subjects similar to “Your Telstra Email Bill – 6859945087136”. These emails include an attached file “Latest Telstra” which contains malware. You should delete these emails.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Alert: Qantas Customer Services - The seat requests have been added

Today I received a number of emails with the subject “The seat requests have been added”. These emails include attachment “your booking” which contains malware. You should delete these emails. Qantas users are a regular target for malware and scammers. Where possible go to the Qantas site and check any information via their site. Do not trust emails which appear to come from Qantas as most are fake.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Alert: Payroll Account Holded by Intuit

I started to receive a number of emails with the subject “Payroll Account Holded by Intuit” early this morning. I received similar emails across multiple email addresses which indicates this is a large spam/scam attack. The email is poorly worded and is an obvious fake. The log in link goes to various domains with one being a Russian domain. Whilst I don’t know anyone whose uses the legitimate service, I felt it was appropriate to warn others to delete these emails.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Should compulsory voting go?

At the last state election I was surprised to hear there is one law
which wouldn't be enforced, or more specifically, unlikely to be
enforced. It is compulsory to vote in a Victorian state election and it
doesn't matter what your age is. However during a briefing for
independents it was said the law would unlikely to be enforced for
those over 70 and I have to say I was very surprised.

To me having a law which isn't enforced and actively disregarded by the
government is a law that doesn't make sense. All it does is add
confusion and cause stress to elderly.

The wording on the voting information sent out for the last local
government election was equally confusing and led people to think they
didn't have to vote. My initial reaction was "what the" when I read the
information which implied voting was not compulsory. I then saw another
young person who read it the same way as myself so it just wasn't my
reading of the material.

To me compulsory voting enables the major parties to easily determine
the safe seats and thus they can focus on seats which are marginal.

In the Bulleen electorate 86.47% voted for Labor or Liberal. There were
4.84% informal votes. That leaves less than 10% of the votes for anyone
else, making it close to impossible to be elected you aren't a Labor or
Liberal party member. If I were to advise anyone wishing to stand as an
independent I would have to say, do the sums and determine a seat where
the chances of being elected are greater. The implication of that is
don't waste your time on safe seats and to me that isn't good for the
majority of Australians. As consumers we buy brands and the Labor and
Liberal brands are entrenched into us all from a very young age. We
appear to be educated to vote one way or the other most of our lives.
Nothing much will change if we continue to vote for a party and not a
representative that puts our interests first before a party. Members of
parties have to put the party first so your interests will always come

Compulsory voting makes it very easy for the parties with their large
marketing budgets to focus only on a small number of marginal seats. If
compulsory voting was removed every seat potentially could be seen as a
marginal seat and every representative would need to work harder to
ensure they were elected.

We shouldn't have laws which are put into place that the government
doesn't actively enforce. Voting if it isn't enforced for over 70s
should be optional, otherwise we send the message that the law is silly
and one if law is silly, then how many of our laws are silly.

I should state I am in favour of optional voting. To me it means it is
much harder for the political parties, and all areas get treated equally
rather than a few marginal seats benefiting. The outcome may not differ
in terms of party representation, but if it did, my hope is that it
would mean people are voted to represent the people first and the party

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Alert: You have been sent a file (Filename: Paypalsales-823596.pdf)

I've received a number of emails with the subject "You have been sent a file (Filename:". These are most likely malicious emails and you should delete them immediately. The link in the email will most likely take you to an undesirable location.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.
Assisting residents and businesses in Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and surrounding suburbs.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Alert: Receipt for Your Payment to

If you receive an email with the subject "Receipt for Your Payment to" it is most likely a fake. I received one today. The link in the email to the PayPal site isn't legitimate and will take you to another site.

You should delete this type of email.

Don't click on links in the email. Open your browser, go to the site and check the information on the site if you are concerned.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

What are the tattslotto numbers?

Only getting one or two numbers each time you enter tattslotto on a Saturday night. That was my problem as well.

I decided to create a system which would improve my outcome from tattslotto. Now I am guaranteed to get at least two numbers and with a little luck I’m closer to winning a prize. The system wins a small prize 70% of the time. I’m wondering if others would also be interested in the technique I’ve developed.

If there is sufficient interest I’ll produce a system which will enable others to use the system I’ve developed. If you’re interested send me an email and I’ll keep you informed.

Kelvin Eldridge