Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hailstones in Templestowe

Never thought we'd have a white Christmas but we were all excited to just see the hailstones coming down.

Have a Merry Christmas.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

President: Anne Peter-Budge, Secretary: Betty King, Treasurer: Raelene Trotter

One of the longest serving auxiliaries of The Royal Children's Hospital, Templestowe Auxiliary was formed in 1939, with one member celebrating an amazing 70 years' service to the auxiliary.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.
No problem too small.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Skippy spotted in Duxson Drive Templestowe




In October a local resident was amazed to see a kangaroo in Duxson Drive Templestowe.

I'm always amazed at the variety of wildlife we see in Templestowe.

Thank you for sharing the photo.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

VicRoads updates turn times at Hawtin Street and Foote Street Templestowe

A number of residents have expressed issue with the recent upgrade to Foote Street near Hawtin Street, which was done to give priority to buses. The problem in the upgrade is it is now very difficult for local residents to exit Hawtin Street and turn right into Foote Street.

The problem is VicRoads removed the median strip which enabled cars to move into the centre of the road and then move into the Foote Street lanes heading West. Now cars have to try to dart across up to across five lanes of traffic which is near impossible and very dangerous.

Initially turning right from Hawtin Street into Foote Street was banned altogether. This has now been changed to ban turning right between the hours as shown on the sign.

I checked the road today and I believe VicRoads have done a terrible job with the upgrade. If you check the picture of the road you'll see there is still room for a median strip, but because of the large kink in the road markings there is no longer room for the median strip.

All that would be required is to reduce the angle at the start of the bus lane and straighten the lane so that it marries in better with the kerb in the centre of the road and there could be enough room for cars to exit Hawtin Street and move safely into the middle of the median strip.

However I don't see this happening as our government appears only interested in their own assets which is the public transport system, at the expense of the 85% of residents in the area who do no use public transport.

Public transport isn't good for short trips to any of the local shops when it costs $2.90 for a zone 2 metcard and a trip to the bank in Doncaster Road, which takes about 8 minutes by car, takes around an hour by bus.

VicRoads' preferential treatment of buses over the needs of the 85% of local residents who drive on the roads, has produced a very poor modification to the road system for the majority of users. Bicycle lanes have also been removed in both directions and now with the narrower roads, it is only a matter of time before a serious bicycle accident occurs on Foote Street.

A final observation is VicRoads now allows cars to do a U-turn just after the median strip ends and well before Hawtin Street. This is a good change but I feel the road is so poorly marked that if you didn't know about the changed line markings, you wouldn't know what you could or couldn't do.

Whilst this looks OK in the picture, the gap is only small, there is no indication you can do a U-turn. The arrow has not changed and there is a no U-Turn sign facing the driver on the next median strip. The road markings should be updated with a more obvious arrow indicating a U-turn can be made, perhaps a sign at this point indicating a U-turn, but I also feel the gap needs to be widened to make it more obvious.

In summary, even with the changes performed by VicRoads, this is a very poor result for hundreds of local residents. The shortest route from Hawtin Street in peak times is to turn left and then do a U-turn close to the crest of a hill, a poor location for the U-turn. Alternately to exit Hawtin Street at the Northern end into Porter Street and wait in an often long queue of cars who are taking the short cut through Hawtin Street to go to Eltham. I recently exited with around 4 cars in front of me. Not one was using the left lane and all wanted to go North to Eltham. The left lane in Porter Street was empty but it was not possible to exit Hawtin Street easily with the cars using Hawtin Street as a shortcut. Those exiting Hawtin Street in peak times will now travel an additional 600-800 meters and face extended delays. All because of the bus being given priority.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Free firewood Templestowe




Looking for free firewood Spotted this pile in Whitehall Court, Templestowe.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Some apple varieties grown by John Mustafa at Petty's Orchard are more than 100 years old

The Petty family founded the farm in 1853 and managed the orchard until Parks Victoria bought the property in 1981.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Thieves target unlocked cars in Templestowe

Manningham Crime Investigation Unit Sgt Doug Beare said 16 unlocked cars had been burgled in the past two days.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Templestowe surgeon Paddy Dewan

BELEAGUERED paediatric surgeon Paddy Dewan has won his latest court battle against misconduct allegations.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Gunnar Rasmussen knows that keeping students safe online is not just about the students.

As principal of St Charles Borromeo Catholic Primary School in Melbourne's north, Rasmussen says educating teachers and parents about cyber safety is vital.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

The report by the EPA on the water quality in the Yarra from 2009-2011 found swimming was not safe at Templestowe

ONLY TWO locations are safe for swimming in the Yarra River out of a dozen locations monitored for water quality, a report by the Environment Protection Authority reveals.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

THE Bulleen Boomers owe Manningham council more than $150,000 in unpaid rent

According to Ms Wilson, the Boomers should be paying monthly rent of $629 plus all outgoing costs for the Sheahans Road facility, and $2323 plus all outgoing costs for the Templestowe Leisure Centre stadium. ... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Power outage Templestowe

The power in Stradmore Avenue Templestowe went out about 15-20 minutes ago. I checked around the street but there was nothing obvious which may have caused the outage. Possibly an issue on an nearby street.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Principal Gunnar Rasmussen

Among those getting it right is St Charles Borromeo Primary School, in Templestowe the first school in Australia to earn "eSmart" status.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Templestowe resident Naida Gross

Patrick Burtscher, director of the Nordic Academy, speaks passionately about the sport he has helped establish in Australia... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Electric fire warning sign to be installed in Foote Street Templestowe

MANUALLY operated fire danger signs could become a thing of the past, with the state government set to roll out electric signs next month.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aboriginal artist Marlene Young Nungurrayi is preparing for an exhibition at Templestowe's Mia Mia Gallery

MARLENE Young Nungurrayi sits comfortably on the floor adding white dots around the swirls of earthy colour that fill the large canvas.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Accident at corner Williamsons Road and Foote Street holding up traffic

At the intersection of Williamsons Road and Foote Street in Templestowe there has been an accident with a truck where the front of the truck has been pushed in and glass from the windscreen is on the road. The accident is in the West lane of Williamsons Road heading North just before Foote Street. The traffic was banked up before the hill and it took us about 10-15 minutes to get through.

Traffic has been reduced to a single lane. There are three police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck on the scene. The second vehicle wasn’t present.

Kelvin Eldridge

www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for local computer support in Templestowe and the surrounding area.

Police arrested and charged a Templestowe man, 27

The pair, arrested on Monday, November 1, at 1am, is alleged to have caused more than $30,000 damage by striping wire from sites in Templestowe.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

POLICE will ask the courts to permanently take a Templestowe 20-year-old's car

POLICE will ask the courts to permanently take a Templestowe 20-year-old’s car after discovering the P-plater has incurred 59 demerit points.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Templestowe RSL member Ron Twining's thoughts will be with his family on Remembrance Day.

TEMPLESTOWE’S Ron Twining takes pride in his family’s service to Australia.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Gregory Amore, 21, from Templestowe

Gregory Amore, 21, from Templestowe is one of four finalists selected for the nationwide Electrolux Fashion Apprentice competition this month.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Templestowe mother Staci Mariolis

When I read this article I thought it is always good to see people chipping in and helping others. However, then I couldn’t help feeling is there really a need for this service. Every teenager usually has one or more of their parents, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles and friends which I would have thought would be able to chip in and help out. Perhaps this is a sign we need to start thinking about what is important to us and perhaps help each other a little more.

LEARNER drivers in Manningham have the chance to jump streets ahead in road safety.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Templestowe Bendigo Bank sending community funds out of the area.

When I read this article I couldn’t help feel Bendigo Bank Templestowe should be looking for ways to assist residents and the local community in Templestowe rather than sending money out of the area. Giving such large amounts to Manningham Council feels the Bendigo Bank is raising money on behalf of a local government body. There are many people who are suffering in the local area in one form or another who could benefit with some assistance.

At last week’s meeting, councillors voted to enter into an agreement with the Doncaster East and Templestowe Bendigo Bank community branches to receive the funding for works on the Sheahans Rd and DISC (Donvale Indoor Sports Centre) facilities
.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cr Grace La Vella said there was "no case to answer"

THE parents of Cr Stephen Mayne have declined to comment after their son voted in favour of a contentious development in their Templestowe street.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Templestowe photographer Joshua Holko

IT took hours of waiting, kilometres of hiking and more than 6500 presses of his camera’s shutter for Joshua Holko to compile his 24-photo folio of Iceland’s landscape... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Renewed interest in life drawing has boosted classes at Manningham Arts Centre.

MANNINGHAM Arts Centre in Templestowe has a new lease on life drawing classes.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Manningham Council asks for speed limit cuts

Manningham Council has asked the authority to reduce the speed limits from 70km/h to 60km/h near the intersections of Anderson and Foote streets in Templestowe, and Doncaster and Williamson roads in Doncaster.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Doncaster rail hope

A FEASIBILITY study starting this week is the “critical first step” in getting a train to Doncaster, says Doncaster state Liberal MP Mary Wooldridge.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Repco GearUP USB Car Charger Kit Universal gets the thumbs down.

Recently I purchased a Repco GearUP USB Car Charger Kit Universal which is a USB car charger kit which plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter and has two USB sockets for charging. Normally I stick with products I can purchase from my suppliers, but in this case because of the low value of the item, I decided to purchase one of these units on special for $9.99, reduced to half price.

I plugged the cable provided into my iPhone and the adaptor into a portable 12V battery designed to jump start a car and also provide power to accessories plus a number of other features. To my surprise and disappointment the iPhone 3GS reported it wouldn’t work with the device. I then plugged in the cable which came with the iPhone and it worked. Next I decided since it was a dual USB charger to plug in the iPhone 3GS and an Android mobile phone and charge both at the same time. Instead of the iPhone being charged, it was still losing power over time, whilst the Android phone did start to charge. I worked out you can only charge one device at a time.

It wasn’t worth the trip half way across Melbourne to where I purchased the unit, so like many people who purchase products that don’t live up to expectation, this one will probably end up in a draw and I’ll purchase a reputable product through my computer suppliers.

I didn’t expect to receive what I’d consider a substandard product from Repco, so I didn’t mind taking a chance. But from now on I’ll stick with the products I know and trust.

How many computer related devices have you purchased that don’t measure up to your expectation and end up in the draw?

At Online Connections I generally stick to devices and brands which have proven themselves across my client base over time. Often that doesn’t mean paying more. A good product can cost the same as a poor product. Marketers will often use the line “you get what you pay for” to encourage you to buy a particular product. To me what is important is the product proves itself in the field. Those are the products I’ll recommend to clients.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/
Call 0415 910 703 if you require assistance with your computer.
Serving Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ilona Anthony Templestowe




Two new shops recently opened at Templestowe Village. You can now find Ilona Anthony located at the rear of the Bendigo Bank.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trish Gallagher of Templestowe

Trish Gallagher of Templestowe in Melbourne’s east was selected from more than 400 quality entries as ninemsn’s new guest Food blogger... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Designer Samples Templestowe now open




Today I noticed a new shop called Designer Samples had opened and was having a Grand Opening.

You can find Designer Samples behind Bendigo Bank in the recently completed shops.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Domino's Pizza Templestowe/Doncaster East

The other day I decided to try the new Domino’s Pizza store next to the Pines in Doncaster East. I received a leaflet and noticed they call this Domino’s Templestowe even though it really isn’t in Templestowe.

I found the staff to be friendly and the service efficient. The pizzas are Domino’s usual standard although I did feel the slices looked a bit small compared to other medium sized pizzas I’ve had.

The family doesn’t get terribly excited over pizza but I’m OK with pizza. I purchased a super supreme and a capriciosa. Both to me were quite good. As an IT person we have a reputation for pizza so that makes sense.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer or mobile device.

Janet Knoop is a member of Doncaster Templestowe and Spinners and Weavers

PEER into the past and celebrate Manningham’s inaugural Heritage Week with more than 30 activities, including exhibitions, lectures, workshops and events.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Adam Bianco is preparing to play the romantic hero in Sweeney Todd

The Templestowe thespian has been honing his wooing skills to play Anthony, the lovelorn suitor of the bloodthirsty barber’s daughter.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Melissa Cakes and Bar Templestowe site hacked

It appears the Melissa Cakes and Bar site has been hacked. Based on the information available from Google this occurred sometime before the sixth of October.



I've advised their contact email address. If anyone reads this and is at Melissa, please let them know.

If you operate a site make sure you have a strategy in place in case your site, or even your hosting company is breached. I recently read of one hosting company which hosted 70,000 sites, was breached and I've known a number of people who've had their site hacked. It is important to be prepared.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

VicRoads bus lane makes Foote street and Hawtin Street intersection dangerous for locals.

It was very obvious before the bus lane roadworks were started, the change was poorly designed and now the intersection is more dangerous. The costly bus lane will make little difference during peak periods due to traffic banking up in Williamsons Road.



Now local residents can't turn right into Foote Street even when it is safe to do so.

Allowing vehicles doing a U-turn east of Hawtin for those needing access to Pinewood Road area makes sense and has been suggested by locals I know.

Having to now turn left from Hawtin into Foote Street sends people to do a U-turn at another dangerous section of the road near the crest of a hill.

The best solution is for the median strip in Foote Street to be widened as it was. This is unlikely to happen due to the government giving priority to their own bus network over private vehicles.

All residents accepting letter drops in the area were made aware of the dangerous nature of the changes before the roadworks started. No one expressed concern. People in the area, because they didn't take action, will now be faced with further inconvenience.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cars smashed in Templestowe thieving spree

The events included a church group gathering near Church Rd and Porter St and an athletics competition in Rieschiecks reserve.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Matthew Pereira

Living in Templestowe, I ride 30 kilometres each way to work at the RMIT Bundoora campus, and, depending on which route I take, the journey is between 45 minutes and an hour and a half.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems.
No problem too small.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tree sculpture corner Atkinson Street and Mahoney Street Templestowe




I remember the council trying to save this tree on the corner of Atkinson Street and Mahoney Street. Unfortunately it looks like they couldn't save the tree.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Magpie Swooping Templestowe Westerfolds Park




Now I'm not a fan of bicycle helmets but I'm glad I was warring one when this Maggie swooped me four times. All you hear is a whisk as it goes past.

This magpie was at the entrance to Westerfolds Park on the corner of Porter Street and Anderson Street.

Take care. I found keeping an eye on the magpie stopped it from swooping.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Road closure in Porter Street




A while ago I read that part of Porter Street in Templestowe was closed due to the bank of the Yarra collapsing in Templestowe.

As you can see the section of road is still closed.

The section of road is between Milne Street and Anderson Street at the southern side of Westerfolds Park. This is a small tributary which runs into the Yarra.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Friday, October 7, 2011

Templestowe Park Primary School Twilight Open Day

A leaflet for the Templestowe Park Primary School Twilight Open Day was left in my letter box. For those interested the details are:

Twilight Open Day
Friday 14th October 2011
4pm to 6pm
Templestowe Park Primary School
399 Church Road
Templestowe 3106

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you need help with your computer, network or mobile device.

POWER is back up and running in Doncaster and Templestowe after a mass blackout

A fault at United Energy’s Doncaster sub-station saw 10,000 customers lose power for up to two hours.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Thornbury, Templestowe men facing people smuggling charges

AT least one of the alleged key players in a global people-smuggling operation was made an Aussie after slipping into the country illegally a decade ago. ... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Number plate recognition devices would be used in main thoroughfares

Acting Sergeant Shannon Elston, from the Nunawading Highway Patrol, said number plate recognition devices would be used in main thoroughfares such as Bulleen, Thompsons, Warrandyte and Doncaster roads.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Jenny Wong, of Templestowe's Flying Dragon Chinese Restaurant

Jenny Wong, of Templestowe’s Flying Dragon Chinese Restaurant said their soup used imitation shark fin because the real product was too expensive.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Manningham Uniting Church (formerly Templestowe Uniting) 2011 Fete

I received a leaflet yesterday for the Templestowe Uniting Church Fete. The details are:

Saturday 8th October – 9am to 2pm.
104 Atkinson Street, Templestowe.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require computer assistance

A brief summary of JustLocal for Templestowe residents and businesses.

I wanted to share with others in Templestowe what JustLocal is about. I’m a computer consultant with a large amount of expertise across a range of computer related disciplines. I find the best way to show others is by example.

What I did is what anyone with a small amount of assistance can do. The difference between myself and others is I assist people and charge for my time. I share my knowledge so people aren’t tied to myself or my services. My hope is that by looking after their interests they’ll appreciate the services I offer. I’ve found it to be an approach which works well because others don’t work that way.

To  explain JustLocal for residents and businesses in Templestowe, I decided to build a web page. For any business this is very easy to do. If you can design a single page brochure to promote your business, your brochure can be reproduced with minimal time and cost as a web site to let others in your area know your business exists.

In this case I decided to register the domain for www.Templestowe.biz, set up hosting space, point the domain at the hosting space, create a web page and then upload the web page. In a couple of hours the page was live on the internet. I literally just set this up and it is live within minutes. You should however wait usually 24 hours to make sure the domain has filtered through the internet.

I have a number of low cost approaches I can show people how to set up a presence on the internet. Some approaches they can maintain themselves with minimal technical skills. All that is required is some basic training and some support when required. Other approaches require a little more training and some software.

With some basic training and support you can literally have a web presence up within 24 hours and your only out-of-pocket cost could be the domain, which costs around $10-$30 a year depending on the domain you wish to use.

I’d encourage every small business to get a presence on the internet. It looks so much more professional to send out emails for a business using yourname@yourbusinessname.com (or .com.au) than yourname@gmail.com or yourname@hotmail.com. By using a domain every email you send out helps promote your business. I find people do check out your web site based on your email address.

A lot of people put thousands into a web presence and the only business that makes money is the web developer. I believe people should start small and as your investment generates business for you, then reinvest some of that money and evolve your presence.

If you don’t have a web presence and want something to get your started give me a call. My aim is to use my skills to help others cost effectively promote their business on the internet.

If you just wish to read a little more about JustLocal then visit www.Templestowe.biz.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you’re local require assistance with a web presence.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Best antivirus. Virus removal. Antivir, Virus scanner

A fairly common problem I get calls for is the removal of malware from a computer. I ask people how they received the virus and in a lot of cases they don’t know. In the past I found the infection was an email attachment, but more recently the infection has not been associated with an email.

One customer was tricked into thinking their computer was infected when a pop-up message appeared as they were browsing the internet. They went ahead and paid their money to have the problem removed, which in turn actually infected their computer and provided the scammer with their credit card details. Pretty scary stuff really.

I thought I’d share this article which shows that around 85% of infections are now caused when browsing and of the 85% just five programs result in 99.98% of infections. If the information is correct it means all people need to do is keep five programs up-to-date and that could significantly reduce their chances of being infected. Unfortunately whilst that sounds logical it isn’t. This will help with malware which isn’t new, but new malware will find exploits in programs which have not yet been patched so people are still exposed. The lesson here however is keep the programs updated if they’re installed on your computer.

The programs are:  Java JRE, Adobe Reader/Acrobat, Adobe Flash, MS Internet Explorer, Windows HCP (Help) and Apple Quicktime. The first three account for 85% of abuses by malware. Interestingly Internet Explorer is only 10%. Just applying the updates for five software packages when they are ready may reduce your chances of being infected considerably.

For clients how want to feel more protected, I provide a disk which is based on software made available to American soldiers. The software allows you to boot your computer from the disk and protects your computer from being infected. This is a great option for those who are worried their computer may be infected but still want to do their online banking or pay bills. Great for those who are travelling and would like to connect to the internet on a family member or friend’s computer, but are concerned that it may be infected. Great if you want your children to be able to use the computer but not risk infecting it. Great if you want staff to use a work computer and not risk infecting it. If clients need a disk contact me. There is a small distribution fee of $9.95 plus postage if required.

It now makes more sense why people don’t know how they infected their computer. The flaws in unpatched software enable people to infect their computer just by visiting a site on the internet. It has happened to me. I once searched using Google, went to a site, and the site infected the computer using a vulnerability in Internet Explorer SP1. That vulnerability was patched in Internet Explorer SP2.

What is also interesting is a lot of people push alternate browsers in the belief they somehow provide a greater level of protection. From the article this doesn’t appear to be the case. Based on the percentage use people using browsers to the percentage being infected, it appears to be fairly consistent across the browsers. The other browsers will most likely be exposed to the same issues because they use the same applications. You shouldn’t necessarily think that changing your browser will give you any greater level of protection. You’re most likely better off making sure your software is kept as up-to-date as possible.

Another more drastic approach might be to also disable or even remove the programs giving you the greatest exposure. I wouldn’t like to suggest that because of lost functionality. That would have to be a choice each person makes for themselves. For example I don’t have Java JRE installed on my computer and haven’t noticed any issues for a long time. When it was installed I did notice quite a few infections in the cache which was a concern. Doing without Acrobat Reader would be hard and a lot of sites still use Flash. Both Flash and Adobe Reader can be fairly easily disabled until you need them, so that is an approach which could be used.

Whether we like it or not, when we are on the internet there are a lot of people who have a lot to gain by infecting our computers. We need to make decisions and take action which minimises our risk to an acceptable level.

If you’ve infected your computer and live within 10kms of the Doncaster/Templestowe/Eltham area and need assistance, you can contact me on 0415 910 703. As part of cleaning customers’ computers I also install free antivirus software which I’ve tested for over a week that has shown to be better than other common free software and also the commercial software I’ve tested.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ALASTAIR and Gail Pritchard are unravelling climate change riddles for seniors.

The Templestowe grandparents founded A Grand Stand for the Environment in 2006 to unite older residents keen to learn more about the issues and give them a way to express their concerns about the world their grandchildren will inherit.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Templestowe resident Mal McDonagh called for police to release more details about the source of the scam

I don’t know about others, but sometimes it is frustrating that more information is not released on scams and when and where skimming devices are located.

The problem may be if the police release too much information then others can copy the crime. It may also be that for some businesses it may damage their trade and it isn’t their fault. They’re a victim as well. However without knowledge we can’t protect ourselves so too many people needlessly get scammed and have to go through the trauma. Personally I’d like more information because the police can’t be everywhere and are usually only involved after the event.

Templestowe resident Mal McDonagh – whose card was stopped and reissued by the Commonwealth Bank last Tuesday after someone spent $104 in a Macy’s Department in the US – called for police to release more details about the source of the scam.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Monday, September 26, 2011

Alert: Re: Scan from a HP Officejet #658992

They say curiosity killed the cat, but the modern equivalent would be curiosity infected your computer.

I noticed a number of emails recently with the subject Re: Scan from a HP Officejet  #658992 or similar. These emails contain an attachment which is a zip file. The zip file I checked contained an executable HP_SCAN_Z520131___dollÔÇ«fdp.exe. The file has an icon which makes it appear to be a PDF.

There is little doubt this is malware. Microsoft’s Security Essentials is usually very good, but like all anti-virus scanning software, they are unlikely to identify recently released malware. Malware writers are most likely going to check their work against the common anti-virus products before releasing their malware, so that leaves a window of a few days where the anti-virus software won’t help curious people. In this case Microsoft’s software does not detect malware.

If you’re curious about an email you’ve received from someone you don’t know, don’t be tempted. You really will infect your computer and it is costly to repair. Please delete emails you aren’t sure about. It isn’t worth the risk or the cost to get your computer fixed.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you’ve infected your computer and need it fixed.
(Covering Melbourne Eastern to Northern suburbs within 10km of Templestowe)

VicRoads roadworks at Willaimsons Road and Foote Street scare locals.

A neighbour mentioned that she now feels scared when exiting from Hawtin Street onto Foote Street. A couple of days ago I exited Hawtin Street and moved into the median street on Foote Street to turn right. This is something I’ve done for years and there was always room for two cars to exit Hawtin Street, pause in the median strip and then turn right into Foote Street.

Now with the changes to the road, it will be nearly impossible for locals to exit Hawtin Street and turn right into Foote Street. The median strip has been reduced significantly in width so it is no longer possible to move into the median strip. You now have to wait until the traffic is clear and move directly from Hawtin Street, crossing six or seven lanes. A very dangerous situation created by VicRoads to allow for a bus lane.

The problem is road changes are being made for buses in the area which cater for 15% of the local population (according to Manningham council) at the detriment of 85% of locals. Not only has it made it more dangerous for drivers, but the bicycle lane has been moved quite a distance east. The two east bound lanes in Foote Street are now significantly narrower and it would be hard for two cars to pass a cyclist. Luckily the bike lanes aren’t well used because if they were, that section of the road is now very dangerous cyclists.

The problems are even further exacerbated with parents using Hawtin Street in the morning and afternoon to drop off and pick up children at Templestowe Park Primary School. Of a night travellers heading north use Hawtin Street to bypass the traffic in Williamsons Road. The local-traffic-only signs have been removed and replaced with expensive and ineffective speed humps.  A continual flow of traffic from Williamsons Road with the slip lane turning left into Foote Street, and the right-turn priority arrow cars turning right into Foote Street, means there is a very small window of opportunity to exit Hawtin Street. Now trying to use that small window of opportunity and then get across two lanes, plus up to five lanes, to get into the left hand lane to go to Doncaster Shoppingtown, it will nearly be impossible.

This was all done so the bus could get a slight advantage, which in peak-hour traffic will see them join the end of the traffic shortly after turning right.

One option I have is to turn left out of Hawtin Street, drive up the hill and then do a U-turn near the crest of a hill where it is impossible to see the oncoming fast moving traffic. To head north along Hawtin Street (to sit behind the cars trying to avoid Williamsons Road), to exit left into Porter Street (which is often blocked with traffic) and then turn right into Williamson Road to head up to Doncaster Shoppingtown. Whilst possible and for safety reasons probably now desirable, it does add a significant amount of time with the extra delays caused by the traffic.

The main reason for writing this post was to let locals know the median strip has now been reduced so it is no longer possible to move across the first two lanes. I did that and to my surprise the new design has reduced the median strip size and I wasn’t aware of that change. It means a car can no longer use the median strip area.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer.

Bill Wakeling - Four Days of Fear

Author Bill Wakeling has written a political thriller fiction novel about the assassination of an Australian prime minister.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Coles Home Insurance using Google Maps View to check properties

I recently compared home insurance and decided to obtain a quote from Coles Home Insurance. I’m comfortable with technology but the process didn’t go well because at the end it didn’t go through and I had to call their number. What I did find interesting was as part of our conversation I determined Coles Home Insurance were using Google Maps View to check out our property. Unfortunately the Google vehicle didn’t quite get to pass our place (which normally I would think is good) so all we could see was a partial view.

If you want to see which roads Google Maps covers, drag the man over the map and the roads covered will turn blue. Part of our street was missing.

As a result the insurance needed a supervisor’s approval who wouldn’t have been available until the following week. I decided to renegotiate with my current insurance company as I was put off being left in limbo and Coles Home Insurance isn’t a service I’ve had an experience of with claims. I’m happy to pay a little more knowing I was looked after previously.

A couple of tips with home insurance. Ask if they will review the premium and also consider the excess you are prepared to pay. By doing this I was able to reduce our premium by over $200. Not bad for the cost of a telephone call.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au  
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer, tablet or mobile device.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Traffic delay Foote Street near Williamsons Road

Just got held up heading west along Foote Street between Church Road and Williamsons Road.

Detoured back to Church Road as traffic wasn't moving. Most likely as a result of roadworks and only one lane open.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

He said it was cheaper to call a vehicle "Templestowe" but house it somewhere else in an existing station.

AMBULANCE Victoria has denied response times to Manningham are suffering despite a nearby 24-hour fast-response paramedic unit temporarily moving 7km farther away. ... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fix computer. Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Doncaster, Doncaster East, Lower Plenty, Montmorency, Eltham

If you have the skills, fixing your own computer is the best and most cost effective option. But for those without the skill (or even just the knowledge to fix a particular issue) I can assist people and businesses in Templestowe and the surrounding areas ( Doncaster, Doncaster East, Templestowe Lower, Eltham, Lower Plenty Montmorency). I’m happy to fix the problem and share what I’m doing, so you’re able to fix your own problem should it occur again.

Many people are reluctant to call a computer support person and will take hours to try to fix the problem themselves, when the problem may be fixed in a matter of minutes. Sometimes all it takes is someone who knows what they’re doing to advise you and the problem vanishes immediately. For example one client recently had a problem with Outlook which took six minutes to repair and another Outlook problem was fixed in around fifteen minutes. Because I don’t charge a set fee, a call out fee (for locals), but only charge for the time it takes to solve the problem the cost was minimal. Some problems are difficult and take longer, but at all times you’re in control as I keep you fully informed and you can see what I’m doing. Some workshops fix problems in a matter of minutes but still charge you a hefty fixed fee because you don’t see what was done.

No longer do you have to sit on the telephone for half an hour or waiting for support. No longer do you have to have a long conversation trying to explain your problem over the telephone. No longer do you have to worry about giving someone you’ve never met remote (and may be located overseas) access to your computer. Now you can book a time and be at your place when it suits you. You get to talk and meet a local you know will be around should you have another problem.

If you need help with your computer give me a call on 0415 910 703.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Home-buying frenzy wanes in Manningham

HOMEOWNERS in Templestowe and Doncaster are waiting close to three months to sell their homes, with estate agents claiming “frenzied” buying across Manningham has stopped.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Templestowe computer support, repairs and assistance

To make it even easier for people to find and use my computer support services via the internet I’ve now set up the site www.TemplestoweComputer.com. Those that know me will know to search for Online Connections and they’ll find www.OnlineConnections.com.au listed first in Google, but now it is as easy as entering the suburb, the word computer and adding .com to the end.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer.

 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pin board now added to Online Connections

When I walk into a local business I notice one thing, or should I say I generally notice one thing that is missing. A few businesses have a notice board where their customers can add their business card and that way the business helps their customers. I think that is a great idea. I also notice some businesses will help their customers by putting a few business cards on their counter. That way the business gives back to their customer that really doesn’t cost them much but generates a lot of good will.

Since I don’t have a counter or a wall for a noticeboard I can’t help my customers in this way, but I do have a web site and can provide a virtual pin board. Whilst my virtual pin board has been around for a while I decided to give it more prominence on my site. I’ve added Pin Board to the main menu and to the left side menu.

I’m happy to refer my customers to others. It is only because of them I have a business and I can support my family.

If you have a local business do think about helping your customers by helping to promote them. They’ll appreciate the help and it is good for business. If you only have a web site then consider doing what I’m doing. I do think the days where we help each other, rather than a business just providing products and services for profit, will become the norm rather than the exception.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A BUDDHIST group has submitted plans for a $1.5 million temple in Templestowe.

The temple, proposed for the corner of Fitzsimmons Lane and Summerhill Rd, would stand 10m tall and have classrooms, a prayer room, kitchen, dining area, office, library and caretaker residence.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TEMPLESTOWE double bassist Andrew Moon

TEMPLESTOWE double bassist Andrew Moon is heading into his 19th season with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Petty's Orchard's John Must

Petty’s Orchard’s John Mustafa said about 60 per cent of his apple and pear crop had been struck by black spot, which develops when crops remain wet for too long and is exacerbated by humidity.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Local search using Google Custom Search no longer available from JustLocal pages

As part of a trial I added a local search feature to JustLocal where locals could search for products and services from local businesses. This isn’t required for JustLocal as JustLocal provides single click access from a postcode page to the site of the business.

The feature used the Google Custom Search but unfortunately I’ve found this service isn’t reliable enough and the results provided were inadequate, often not providing a business even though the business provided the product or service. I also found issues when adding sites.

I’ve decided rather than to continue to provide a search feature which I don’t feel is up to standard to remove the search option from JustLocal.

The aim of JustLocal is to provide a portal to quickly access the sites of local businesses. By doing this we promote the site of the local business, and the consumer or business using JustLocal to find products and services, obtains the latest information by going direct to the site of the business.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
(An Online Connections service.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's believed a black Audi sedan travelling west struck the 90-year-old local man as he crossed Reynolds Rd

Meanwhile, an elderly man has died after being hit by a car in Templestowe on Thursday.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Pizza Hut Templestowe temporarily closed

I noticed on the Pizza Hut site today the Templestowe Pizza Hut is temporarily closed. No mention is made as to why or how long.

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Templestowe man was struck by a black Audi sedan travelling west whilst crossing Reynolds Road near Aumann Drive

A 90-year-old man is fighting for his life after being hit by a car in Templestowe yesterday. The Templestowe man was struck by a black Audi sedan travelling west whilst crossing Reynolds Road near Aumann Road about 5pm.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Would you like the preferred Australian English spelling to be available for Microsoft Office?

If you’d like the preferred Australian English spelling to be made available as a spellcheck dictionary for Microsoft Office please make the effort to add your voice.

I’m currently in contact with Microsoft and to their credit, they are taking my request for assistance to make my work available with Microsoft Office and passing the request through their channels.

For Microsoft right now I’m a lone voice with a request. If you’d like my work to be available with Microsoft Office please help by adding your voice by making a comment on this blog post. I’ve tried this on a number of occasions over the last five years so this will be the last attempt at making the preferred Australian English spelling available to Australian Microsoft users. It is now or never so please make your voice heard.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Need help setting up email on your mobile phone?

One of my clients wrote this to me.

I have an Iphone and can't work out how to get emails happening - is this something you could help me with? I have been back to Telstra shop but they are bloody hopeless.

Generally the people at the Telstra shop are sales people and their skill with technology will be quite varied. We can’t all be good at everything. In addition to work out how best to set up the iPhone, you need to first work out what options you have available. There services you are currently using will limit your options and I find people need a small amount of training to understand what can and can’t be done. Unfortunately every option currently available has a number of trade-offs and people are usually restricted in the options they can use based on their previous choices. The result is a compromise and people need to be aware of what the compromise entails.

I find it is much easier to help people set up the smart phone if they are present. Working with them over the telephone where you need to step them through the menus can be quite time consuming. In the case of this client I assisted them over the telephone and what I couldn’t see was the iPhone 4 suffers from the “death grip”, where if held in a certain way the signal strength drops considerably and connectivity can be intermittent or drop out completely, was making support more difficult. I’m happy to assist people with telephone support but generally it can be more time consuming and thus more expensive for some problems.

If you need assistance with setting up email on your mobile phone, tablet, or in fact any computer, I’m happy to assist.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if your need assistance with your computer.


Paul's collect-a-cap organisations your can donate your caps to.

The Paul’s collect-a-cap promotion appears to be a good way to community groups to raise much needed funds. The amount for each cap is reasonable and all people need to do is to collect the caps from products they already use. Paul’s would probably also like you to switch the product you buy and if you do and it doesn’t cost you any more then why not participate.

If you would like to collect caps but don’t for example have children in one of the participating schools then you can probably donate your caps to one of the local groups. That way your caps end up helping others.

The following are community groups that are currently registered in the area to participate.

Marcellin College – Bulleen
Gum Nut Gully Pre-School - Doncaster East
Ss Peter & Paul's Primary - Doncaster East
Beverley Hills Primary School - Doncaster East
Templestowe Heights Primary - Templestowe Lower
Templestowe Valley Primary - Templestowe Lower
Eltham North Primary - Eltham North
Glen Katherine Primary School - Eltham North
Monty's Licensed Supermarket – Montmorency

This list may grow in time as others participate so you may wish to check the Paul’s site for other groups in your area.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you need help with your computer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MyAnswers: Office365/Office 365 gets the thumbs down.

The following MyAnswers solution 2155 is now available:

Office365/Office 365 gets the thumbs down.


I initially started the review of Office 365 with the aim of seeing whether or not I could recommend it to my clients and new clients. My focus is on micro and small business so I'm always looking for tools and services which can help those businesses. I hope others find the information useful.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

School council member Lisa van Gelderen

TEMPLESTOWE Park Primary School students enjoy their new play space, custom designed for prep children... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Easy low cost photo books

I recently produced a photo book of our holiday and couldn’t help feel that others may be interested in creating their own photo book.

The problem I’ve found in the past is the time involved in creating a photo book can be days, and if you have a lot of photos, you have to cut the number of photos back otherwise the photo book could easily cost $200.

I’ve now created an approach which enables me to automate creating a photo book from a large number (small number as well) so I can create the majority of the photo book in a few minutes and then dress the photo book up with the final touches. I produced a photo book containing 410 photos on 134 pages in under an hour for around the cost of a standard 20 page book.

If there is interest and I can find a way to make my program available to others I’d be happy to consider the options.

For example:

Would you be interested in attending a short course which would enable you to learn the software (it is very easy) and ask some questions?

Would you prefer a do-it-yourself approach with printed or web based instructions?

If you are interested let me know and if there is enough interest I’ll put something together.

For me the ability to put together quickly and at relatively low cost some photo books opens up some great possibilities.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for support if you have a computer related problem.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Girl crashed her bike and that somehow the brake lever pierced her upper left leg at Candlebark Park Templestowe

Advanced life support paramedics and a single responder intensive care paramedic were called to Candlebark Park at about midday.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Software backup programs for Windows 7, Vista and XP.

I’ve done a great number of hours of research on backup programs over the years and I found it very difficult to find a good program for those using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. The leading brands I felt weren’t good enough. They generally failed or had terrible performance.

For my small business users and individuals my requirements for a backup program isn’t rocket science.

Here is what I wanted:

 

1. A copy of the files and folders. I’ve found any user can retrieve a file or folder when it is a copy, but most struggle with restoring from backup when a backup program makes a special file.

2. To be able to run a process to copy multiple folders as users’ data is often stored in a couple of areas. A basic copy isn’t good enough.

3. When I copy the folders to an external drive I want to create a new folder to store the data so I have a different backup each time. I’ve found copying over a previous copy a recipe for disaster.
4. Easy to run.
5. Easy to add new folders to the backup.

I decided it was time I wrote my own simple backup program. I could then place this on a user’s machine and they could run the backup program to copy  their important folders and files.

I’ve now created a backup program which is a DOS batch file. It is easily edited to meet the needs of the individual, fast, can copy to a nominated drive letter, very low cost and is launched by clicking on an icon. Each backup creates a new folder which has the date and time as part of the folder name to store the data.

I’m very pleased to say I can now provide my batch backup program to clients as an additional service. I’m happy to provide the batch backup program for $9.95 per user plus any time involved in tailoring for each user if you don’t wish to do this yourself.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Why installing solar panels may not be a good investment.

I have to be frank, but I'm really struggling with investing in solar panels and here's why.

I read that in Melbourne the average amount of sunlight for solar energy production per day is 4 hours. The average solar panel kit is 1.5kWH and whilst a basic installation until recently was around $3,000, with the reduction of the grant it is now around $4,500.

The first concern I have is by taking a grant I am in effect taking other people's money.

The second is if the government instead invested in large scale developments (I've read two are underway) then the savings from building on a large scale means no government grant would be required to achieve better returns.

I've read the amount of energy used in making the solar panels takes about 7 years to break even.

The basic installation when I reviewed information provided at a meeting run by the local council wasn't what I'd end up paying. There were potentially other costs. There is also a maintenance cost and the inverter if it dies, is very expensive to replace.

But let's forget about all the above and just do a quick financial review. Using the Energy Cost Calculator and my current energy retailer's price of around 21 cents per kWh, a 1.5kWh system would generate 6kWh's per day or roughly a saving of $469 a year.

At current prices that's around 10 years just to pay back the money I invest. In 10 years if I left the money in the bank I'd have increased the money and if I applied the money to a mortgage the savings off the loan would have doubled the money.

Now to complicate things more, there is an attractive rebate for energy you pump back into the grid. But for most people that won't be very much as their base load may even exceed the electricity the panels generate. But worse, by putting in the panels you go on a split tariff system that charges a higher rate for two thirds of the day and a lower rate for only a third of the day when usage is lowest. Overall the tariff change will increase your electricity costs.

The picture I'm seeing is you gain some savings but that is reduced by the increased costs due to the higher tariffs.

It is hard to get an accurate idea of how much better off you'll be, but if I'm to go by the 11 people in the local area who appeared in the newspaper, the savings for them only averaged around $200 a year.

For many that means installing solar panels may never end up paying for themselves.

For those who justify installing solar panels because it is environmentally good then perhaps think about the very large scale projects which can achieve a better result at a lower cost for the benefit of everyone with no grant required.

Installing solar panels just doesn't make sense.

 

Now don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of solar energy and have been for decades. I just think we need to make sure we're doing things for the right reasons and in the most appropriate ways.

The approach I've been taking is energy reduction which has reduced our electricity usage to around 40% of the average. I’ve found a number of ways to save money which pay for themselves in a few months to under and year. I'm also investigating the appropriate use of solar energy where there is a better payback so I have definitely not given up on solar.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

PS. If you have verifiable savings with your solar installation you'd like to share with others, please feel free to contact me with the information. So far people haven't been jumping up and down to brag about their savings.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are you paranoid that your computer might be infected with malware?

If you’re paranoid that your computer might be infected with malware you probably have good cause. The problem is there are so many businesses out there, both legitimate and not legitimate, who try to change your computer without you quite realising what they’re doing or why.

It could be as simple as installing Acrobat Reader where you end up with the Google Toolbar installed. Acrobat most likely makes money by bundling Google’s Toolbar, Google gets to monitor the sites you visit which helps them make money from advertising and you’re computer just gets another piece of software installed it doesn’t need. That’s a legitimate business tactic although one I wish they didn’t use.

Next you have the site which changes your default search engine as I’ve seen with Firefox users. The search engine looks like Google but it isn’t. The site creates a front end to Google’s search engine so it makes money if you click on ads. You’ve been tricked and you’re browser has been hijacked. Because Firefox makes most of its income from Google, unlike Internet Explorer, where it is easy to change the default search engine, the average user will have difficulty removing this search engine and my logs show quite a few people reaching my site have been infected or tricked. You might just be starting to think the world is conspiring against you.

Then you have the malware writers. It can be as simple as visiting an infected site and your computer is infected. One person I know had their mortgage offset account cleared out of thirteen thousand dollars.

If you have shared computers and your children frequently search the internet (who doesn’t) then you run the risk of your computer being infected and often you won’t know it has occurred. The problem is if you then do things which require a username, password or pin number, that information could be recorded and sent to others without you knowing. To be quite frank, I advise all my family not to use any computer other than mine to do internet banking because I can’t be sure their computers haven’t been infected. I know they have in the past.

As a result of talking with a concerned client, I decided to investigate and see if there was a way to boot a computer from a CD and provide the user with a secure environment. As it turned out I was able to locate software used by American soldiers whilst overseas and can now make that software available to clients at a relatively low cost. The only tricky aspect is getting your computer to boot from the CD when a CD is present. This is a standard feature of most computers but isn’t generally known by the average users. Unfortunately changing the setting can vary from machine to machine, but once set up it works like a dream.

I can see a number of possible uses.

1. You want to do your internet banking and want to make sure you start your computer and know that even if it is infected, you’re session is secure. That’s exactly what the software can do. It doesn’t require anything from your hard disk and doesn’t update your computer. Every time you start the computer using the CD everything is clean.

2. Your children have infected your computer as a result of surfing the internet and that cost you a bucket of money to fix and you’d prefer not to go through that again. When your children want to surf the internet get them to boot their computer using the CD and they can surf the internet to their heart’s desire and even if they do comes across malware, only the current session is affected and once the computer is restarted the malware will be gone.

3. You own a business and don’t mind letting your staff surf the net or do their online banking during breaks but are concerned they could infect your computers, or worse, an infected computer clears out their bank account leaving you potentially liable. I’ve read this cost one business around $10,000 in legal fees. Give staff and CD and let them boot the computer. Your computer is safe and so are they.

4. You want to use a friend or relation’s computer whilst travelling to do internet banking. Yes. I’ve been there. The ANZ screwed up my automatic payments when I went overseas so I was forced to use a computer I didn’t know to make payments and it was really stressful. The secure boot CD would have given me peace of mind.

5. How many times have I had to fix a business computer after a staff member has worked on the weekend and brought in their child and the computer was used to occupy them. Yes. Very costly. Boot the computer with a secure boot disk and the computer can again be used to occupy children without concern or pressure they could do something wrong.

There are many uses for a secure boot disk. Clients are welcome to contact me if you’d like a secure boot disk. There is a small charge for the disk ($9.95 plus postage if required) but if you need support to set up your computer so it can boot from the CD, there would also be a small charge for the time involved.

For me this is a great opportunity for clients to minimise the risk associated with the internet. Nearly all malware infections now come from the internet. If you use a secure boot disk when accessing the internet the chances of infecting your computer are greatly reduced.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

   

Senses Templestowe

The local shops at Templestowe have certainly changed. When we first moved a little over 20 years ago I remember there was a small supermarket near where this now the pedestrian crossing. I can’t remember the name. The supermarket was replaced with Sammy’s which was an Italian restaurant and we had some good nights there over the years with friends.

A few years ago Sammy completely refurbished the restaurant. More recently Sammy’s has been replaced with the Senses restaurant.

Templestowe Village is certainly known for its restaurants. I do miss the variety or stores which were present when we first moved into the area, but like life, everything changes over time.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you have a computer problem.

Templestowe Park Primary School site links to American dictionary site

When I see a local primary school linking to an American based dictionary site dictionary.com it concerns me. I’m passionate about the Australian English language and in particular the preferred Australian English spelling. I found for many years I was confused with the spelling of many words but I didn’t know why. I’ve been fortunate as I now understand more about the language and the evolution of our language. I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching the preferred Australian English spelling. To see a local school link to an American resource is a real concern and disappoints me as it can make it harder for young students.

If you look up the word curb you’ll find the meaning of the word which is not the meaning in Australia. I could go through many examples but using a reference which is primarily aimed at an American market to me shouldn’t be on an Australian’s schools web site.

I know teachers are skilled professionals and have their beliefs in the best way to teach young people. For me having access to Word Check, a product I created, which gives me the preferred Australian English spelling of a word, is a tool which could assist anyone wanting to check if they are using the preferred Australian English spelling and check the meaning against a UK based authoritative resource.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Melissa Cakes Templestowe Lower for Sale

MELISSA CAKES, 43-45 PARKER STREET TEMPLESTOWE LOWER... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Helen Sadler and her mother, Mary Sadler, are helping historian Robin Drooglever

TEMPLESTOWE’S Helen Sadler and her centenarian mother Mary Sadler are helping Bulleen historian Robin Drooglever to write a book about Australia’s involvement in the Boer War.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.

Thomas Saunders will play for Victoria in October

FIELD hockey trophies are not in short supply at Tom Saunders’ house.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Critical alert: Telephone call from scammer purporting to be from Service of Windows Operations James Stevenson. Issue: Illegal copy of Windows.

Only moments ago I received a call from a person called James Steveson who said they were from Service of Windows Operations a section of Microsoft. He informed me  they had detected an illegal copy of Windows on my computers. He wanted me to go on my computer. My computers are legitimately licensed so I knew immediately the caller was a scammer.

I asked for his telephone number so I could call him back. He provided an address of 75 Ressdale Street but I was not able to obtain any further information and I’d be certain this information isn’t legitimate. By asking for the a number to call them back on this would provide an ability to trace the caller. The caller knows this so hung up.

I reported the information to Optus (my telephone service provider) but it requires three calls for them to take action. There does not appear to be anything in place to protect consumers so each consumer has to effectively look after their own interests.

In this case the caller appeared to be using the telephone directory information to contact me.

Should you receive any unsolicited call from overseas letting you know you have a problem on your computer it is almost certainly a scammer.

Please take care.


Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.

Local businesses need to start thinking of their customers as potential suppliers

When people ask me about JustLocal and what I’m doing, I have a couple of examples I share to highlight the issues I’ve found and if people start to think about them I’d like to change the situation a little.

I ask people do you refer others to businesses you’ve used and the answer is more often yes.

I then ask these questions.

Do you shop at the local businesses?

The answer is always yes.

Do they know you at the local businesses?

The answer is often yes.

Has a local business asked what you do?

The answer is always no.

Has a local business given you any business?

The answer is always no.

Why do I ask these questions. The reasons is simple. This is the same experience I’ve had. I regularly refer people to businesses I’ve used. I use the businesses regularly and say hello to the business owners. They never ask what I do and it has been 15 years since a local business that I purchase products and services from has given me any business.

Local businesses I have no doubt add valuable services and facilities to the community. But if the only purpose of a local business is to profit from the locals and then spend their profits elsewhere, what they are really doing long term is damaging the local community and not making it stronger. As people realise local businesses by their actions are only there to profit off the local community, the loyalty of locals will, if it hasn’t already, disappear, and people will see the best action for themselves is to look after themselves. Why not, everyone else appears to be.

To me this is a sad outcome. As a business I look at my customers as my potential suppliers. If I can pass on work or referrals to my customers and I believe it is appropriate and ethical to do so, then I’m happy to help those who help me.

To all local businesses I ask you to start asking your customers what they do and if they can provide a product or service you need then take a chance. Get a local to provide the product or service and if that local is one of your customers even better. You’ll not only help strengthen the local community but you’ll also build loyalty.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dominic Chambers

Templestowe’s Dominic Chambers who was Australian Junior Magic Champion last year... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Doncaster Shoppingtown area computer repairs

If you live near Doncaster Shoppingtown and you are after someone to help you with your computer or computer related problem, then consider calling Online Connections. Online Connections is local (based in Templestowe) so you get friendly local service and best of all, there’s no call out fee.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Living Room Templestowe (Templestowe Living Room)

Sometimes I think I’m not the best person to do a review of a restaurant, but then again I think those getting paid or free meals to do a review probably won’t do much better.

Over the years I’ve dined a number of times at the Templestowe Living Room. The latest was a coffee for a business meeting. I’ve met with groups, had meals with neighbours at the Living Room. Overall the experience has been fairly good. My worst experience was when as group of neighbours we went there for dinner. On that occasion I was waiting for my meal as I was socialising with the group. As it turned out no one had asked for my order and I’d assumed my wife had placed the order for me. I thought, things happen. They quickly put together a bowl of rather tasteless pasta and I don’t really think for the quality it was worth the cost.

It is easy to become tarnished by one bad experience which is why I perhaps think I’m not a good reviewer. Would I give them another go? That answer is yes. We all make mistakes and part of that mistake was mine. Perhaps the waitress should have made sure the number of meals equalled the number present and if not, made sure someone was ordering. Perhaps putting together a rushed meal that was fairly tasteless wasn’t the best way to handle things. Perhaps I should have been paying more attention.

The LivingRoom is a pleasant restaurant in Templestowe and generally I haven’t been disappointed with the quality of the meal or the service.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au/3106

Parking fines at Templestowe Village

I was walking through the rear of the shops at Templestowe Village and noticed the vehicle detection technology was now installed behind the shops and not just in front of the shops. Initially the test area at the front of the shops had a very restrictive 15 minute parking limit which was later increased to 30 minutes. Those who don’t live in the area may not realise the detection technology has been installed so if you have friends visit or meet you at a restaurant you should let them know.

Parking fines at Templestowe Village increased from $24,120 in 2009-10 to $72,420 in 2009-10 after vehicle detection technology was installed there in February last year.... Read More

At around $60 a fine this would equate to around 1,200 parking tickets.

- Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/

Veronika Drago

Perhaps surprisingly, Drago doesn’t come from a political family. She was born and raised in Templestowe, the daughter of a construction professional.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Melissa Templestowe (Melissa Cakes). How the place has changed over time.

We were talking recently about how I helped Nick at Barnacle Bills. I met Nick initially as the owner of the Templestowe Milk Bar. Nick was the only local business owner that asked what I did and as a result ended up asking me to do some work for him. That was  14 years ago. I’m always amazed at how the local businesses never ask what we do and look for ways to use the services of their customers’ businesses. One of the aims of JustLocal is to encourage local businesses to think about using the products and services of their customers first before looking elsewhere. My policy is to use the services of customers as a first preference and then look further afield. But I digress. What has this to do with Melissa you might ask.

When we first moved to the area Melissa Cakes was a Barnacle Bill’s franchise. I didn’t know the initial owners but Nick purchased Barnacle Bill’s franchise. Later he converted the business to a La Porchetta franchise. I still have a copy of the menu I did for Nick in 1997. A glass of Coca Cola and a cappuccino were both $1.20 each. Pizzas came in three sizes which were small medium and large. A large pizza today would probably have been around the same size as the medium and cost at little over $5.

The business subsequently changed hands and Melissa Cakes is now the current business.

How things change over time.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
www.JustLocal.com.au/3106


Monday, August 8, 2011

JustLocal search engines now cover surrounding postcodes

In order to make the JustLocal search engines for the postcodes covering Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Doncaster, Doncaster East, Bulleen, Warrandyte, Eltham, Lower Plenty and Montmorency of great use to locals, the search engine for the postcode now includes businesses in the adjoining postcode areas.

What this means is those in Templestowe can now search from over 900 businesses making it easier to find products and services in Templestowe or the surrounding area.

It was felt the number of businesses we have been able to identify as having web sites in the area would not provide enough variety in the results returned for the search to be really useful. In addition we were asking people in an area to search up to seven different search engines and logically that will simply not happen.

Let us know how you go with the new approach.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au