Windows 10 fixes – scanner

I switched to Windows 10 fairly soon after it became available and found that everything pretty much worked straight ‘out of the box’ some older software was obviously not going to be compatible, but an awful lot just worked without any problems.

One thing I will say is that the Windows 10 ‘apps’ are virtually useless for a desktop although probably if you were using a Windows phone, they would be fine. For instance, I tried the ‘7-Zip’ app (my preferred software for compressing files) and it was useless. I the downloaded the ‘proper’ software (NOT via Windows 10 app store), and it worked fine.

My latest problem is that my HP scanning software suddenly stopped working – I don’t know what prompted it, but I have an ‘all-in-one’ printer scanner and the printer was working fine, but when I opened the ‘HP Solution Centre’ via which I normally scan my documents, it immediately closed itself and refused to work.

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Now I’m not talking about MS Access or MySQL databases, I am talking about keeping contact details for your clients and contacts. Every now and then (without spamming) it;s good to let your ‘audience’ know that you are still around and available…

Your database might be as simple as your MS Outlook address book – so it’s important to firstly know where you can find all the email addresses/phone numbers etc.. that you need – and that you maintain that database, back it up and fill it up with as much relevant data as you can.

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Social Media


Social media is a great way to promote businesses and engage with your clientèle or audience. That doesn’t mean that ‘Facebook’ is for every business, so take a look at what ‘Twitter’ and ‘LinkedIn’ can offer for your business.

My general rule of thumb is that face-to-face public dealing companies should use Facebook firstly and then Twitter secondly. Business-to-business companies should (I think) use LinkedIn and/or Twitter depending on their resources. Resources are important because Twitter is more demanding of your time in my opinion. It’s not really OK to occasionally take to Twitter, you should really be able to almost constantly monitor it, and be prepared to engage daily. Facebook is fine for occasional engagement and I have seen LinkedIn used as both fairly passive, and also very vigorously when it comes to updates etc..

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Directories and services


I mentioned before that I use ‘Hot Frog’ directory, and I get quite a bit of local business through it although I am not set up primarily for local users on my ‘cassette2cd‘ website.

I am also on ‘FreeIndex‘ for the same cassette to CD service, and as well as being a free directory listing (no doubt ‘no-follow‘ – see my previous post) FreeIndex also has a section where clients can leave a review. Now it’s unlikely that your clients will make a bee-line for this, but it is something you can promote to your clients through a badge-link on your site or providing a link in emails etc..

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Slider WordPress plug-in

I manage a WP site which, in the past had the notorious ‘Revolution’ Slider plug-in – I say notorious because (before I was managing it!) the plug-in was exploited and the site was hacked through it.

The problem is now fixed, and I have started to look at how we might use the plug-in, and honestly have been really impressed with it and it’s many features. However, not only has the plug-in been exploited in the past, but its also a plug-in you have to pay for… So my task has been to look for the best free equivalent.

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‘do follow’ ‘no follow’

These are expressions that relate to links between websites, whether they are linking to your site from an external site, or relating to a link within your site going to a third party. For instance, you may want to link to a client, or a supplier may want to link to you.

The ‘follow’ status is used by indexing ‘bots’ (Google mini-programs that ‘spider’ the internet looking for links between sites) as an indication of whether any ‘kudos’ form the link should be shared from the source to the target. For instance a ‘do-follow’ link from a renowned site can be beneficial in terms of the way your site is viewed by a search engine. In most cases, links are ‘no-follow’ because Google regards the overuse of ‘do-follow’ links as generally a negative indication possibly flagging up a ‘link-farm’ trying to ‘game’ the indexing process.

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Web directories

Although most generic web directories only offer ‘no-follow’ links (especially free submission web directories), I have found that trade directories which are geared towards ‘locality’ of the business has bought in a fair proportion of business since I started using them. I use one called ‘Hotfrog‘, I believe the original Hotfrog is based in Australia, but it now has a worldwide presence.

Services like Hotfrog allow you to place a business profile on-line, list your services, show some photos and all for free (although of course there is a ‘paid-for’ version which gives you a higher profile). Naturally, many domains will be registered with DMOZ open directory as a minimum, but there are a bunch of free directory services out there which may be a good fit for your site.

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Computers of the future

I have viewed the rise of the computer from before the PC (Personal Computer) was widely available. I probably used a computer for the first time in about 1981. Many times since, I have wondered about the rise of the computer, and specifically about how the PC and media such as music, film and TV etc.. would end up being integrated (as they are starting to be now with the latest devices). In those first days, the internet was really only for proper geeks – who knew where we were headed..?

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Submission Contact Forms plug-ins for WordPress

contact form plug-in

I have built a few sites lately where I have needed to use some sort of submission or contact form – in the (HTML) past, this would have required a lot of code and a whole load of testing – with WordPress of course, it’s another plug-in… but which one?

There are dozens to choose from, and I am not saying my choices were inspired at all. I actually used a different contact form on each site, and am pleased to report my findings, both successful in their own way.

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Spell Check for WordPress plug-in

Well there I was updating a WordPress site when I realised there was no spell-check function in the page editor. When did this happen? a bit of research suggests that this functionality was removed in WordPress version 3.6.

It’s pretty important to do your best to make sure that your website is not full of spelling mistakes. I recently edited a site and found five spelling mistakes in the first page I looked at, in only about three paragraphs of text. My personal feeling is that you can get away with the odd error, but a proliferation of errors will put seeds of doubt into your visitors’ mind regarding the authenticity of your site and the validity of your products/services.

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