May 23 2010


Category: eShopping,ReviewsTeknovis @ 19:54

I recently received a good recommendation for CafePress, so I decided to buy some t-shirts as presents during the week. I am delighted to report that my order arrived very promptly, and that I am very happy with it.

The two things that particularly impressed me were:

  • I can shop in Euro :)
  • The company seems very Web 2.0 friendly (check the blog)

Next I will treat myself to some nice t-shirts :)


Apr 08 2010


Category: eShopping,ReviewsTeknovis @ 19:06

I have fallen in love with a new eCommerce company! It is called Moo, and it prints all types of business cards!

I received my MiniCards in the post today, and I am really impressed! They are so nice that I do not want to give them away!

Like many Web 2.0 companies, Moo makes great usage of its blog and other popular social networking sites.


Mar 20 2010

“Cloud Application Architectures” by George Reese

Category: Cloud Computing,ReviewsTeknovis @ 08:02

I recently read Cloud Application Architectures: Building Applications and Infrastructure in the Cloud by George Reese.

"Cloud Application Architectures" by George Reese

"Cloud Application Architectures" by George Reese

It was a very enjoyable read, and it was quite an easy read. I think that it is a great place to start reading about Cloud Computing.

The book focuses almost exclusively on Cloud Computing in the context of Amazon Web Services (AWS). This suited me, but it may not be to everybody’s liking.

My only criticism of the book was that it did not go into enough detail. In particular, there is a lot of focus on EC2 and almost nothing about the other services. That is a pity, because I would have liked to have read the same type of material about S3, SimpleDB, and SQS.

Also, despite the focus on EC2, I felt that some fundamental aspects were not described even though the author referred to them extensively. For example, many pages were dedicated to describing the AMIs, yet it is not described anywhere how to create them!

In summary, I think that this book is a great introduction to Cloud Computing. It describes what it is, and when it can be used advantageously. Finally, it really put me in the mood for starting to play with AWS :)


Aug 30 2009

RTX DUALphone 3088

Category: Hardware,ReviewsTeknovis @ 17:30

I just finished a conversation with a relation who lives abroad. I used Skype on my computer, and the she used her new RTX DUALphone 3088. I bought this phone for her, and it is actually the third RTX DUALphone 3088 that I have bought in the last few weeks for relations abroad :o

RTX DUALphone 3088

RTX DUALphone 3088

The relations that I bought these phones for are all competent Internet users. For example, they would know how to find, download, install, and use Skype, but they would not know how to configure a home broadband router. All three of them with able to use their new phones within a few minutes of opening the boxes!

All three relations are absolutely delighted with the phones to date, and two of them are now using Skype for calls to landlines also!

Perhaps the biggest advantage of these phones is that they plug straight into a broadband router, and that they do not require either a computer or a WiFi connection.

My only complaint with the phone is that it does not support Skype chats. However, the phone automatically updates its firmware, so hopefully this functionality will appear soon!

I found the RTX Skype Dualphone 3088 review – part I review very useful when I was deciding to purchase this phone.

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Jun 30 2009


Category: Internet,ReviewsTeknovis @ 17:25

I came across a new search engine today called Searchme. I tried a few known searches on it, and I think that the results are not as good as the results on Google :o However, I really like the interface! It is very useful to see the rendered target page, and it is very easy to transition between results. However, perhaps this is just a novelty, and it might be too slow in reality.

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Jun 25 2009

OpenOffice One Month Later

Category: Reviews,Software,Windows MobileTeknovis @ 13:06

It has been exactly one month since I installed OpenOffice, as described in OpenOffice First Impressions. Since then I have been using Writer for all of my word processing requirements. I had a few occasions to create new spreadsheets using Calc, but I did not need to use any of the other applications. The documents that I was working with were all relatively simple, and I was using both the Windows version and the Linux version equally.

I am very happy with using it to date. I have not had a single problem, or found any features lacking. I am also pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to transition to using it :o

I am using the OpenDocument format to save all of my files. The only downside to this is that I cannot open these files on my Windows Mobile PDA :( Furthermore, I cannot find any OpenDocument readers for Windows Mobile. I did not originally envisage this problem!

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May 25 2009

OpenOffice First Impressions

Category: Reviews,SoftwareTeknovis @ 23:09

I installed OpenOffice (yes – I know it is officially called on my main computer today. My main reason for wanting to try it is that it offers the potential of providing greater interoperability between my current Windows installation and my future Ubuntu installation. I also prefer the philosophy behind the OpenDocument format compared to theĀ Office Open XML format.

The installation process was very straight-forward. However, there were two minor issues that annoyed me:

  • The default dictionary in my installation was English (Eire). Unfortunately, this did not seem to suggest any corrections for my incorrectly spelt words :( Luckily English (UK) works perfectly :)
  • A quick-launch module is loaded when the system is starting up by default. I hate these quick-launch applications that run permanently! Luckily, it can easily be disabled!

I will update my blog again after I have used it for a while!

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May 21 2009

Vodafone Ireland Mobile Website

Category: Mobile Computing,ReviewsTeknovis @ 17:28

I regularly use my PDA to access Vodafone‘s Irish website ( I normally do this using a WiFi connection, and I often do it while I am abroad. The main reason I access the web site is to send free text messages.

However, accessing the website on my PDA is really awkward! Indeed, it is one of the worst web sites that I have ever experienced on my PDA! This is particularly surprising when you consider that Vodafone is in the mobile market!

My reasons for disliking the web site, and in particular the My Vodafone portal, are:

  • The layout of the web pages is not suitable for narrow screens.
  • Some of the web pages rely on JavaScript to provide the functionality.
  • Images are used for navigation and functionality, and no alternatives are provided.
  • Popups are used! Even on a desktop this is problematic since so many browsers now block popups!

Ideally, it would be nice if Vodafone developed a mobile version of its portal! This could be used as a value added service to drive data revenues!

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Apr 28 2009

eflow Website

Category: Internet,ReviewsTeknovis @ 22:46

Tonight I had to use the eflow website for the first time. I am lucky that I do not have to ever suffer the M50! This is a motorway that almost circles the capital city (Dublin), and it is the busiest road in Ireland. There is a toll to pass one bridge on the motorway, and until recently you could pay the toll at the bridge using cash. I have never understood why you could not pay using your credit card like most of the EU! Recently a barrier free system was introduced, and infrequent travellers must now pay the toll online within 48 hours.

This morning some Spanish friends of mine arrived in Ireland. They rented a car at the airport, and the set-off for the west of Ireland. I was talking to them this evening by phone to determine if they had passed the toll bridge on the M50. I know that they travelled on the M50, because they told me that they were on a road that looked like a motorway except everybody was parked. Yup – that is the M50 :( However, they were not sure if they crossed the toll bridge.

As a precaution, I got the registration number of their rented car, and I visited the eflow web site. My expectation was that I should be able to enter the registration number, and that the website should tell me what was due. This however is not possible!

Indeed, the website is so bad that I can enter any random Irish registration number and pay for any small number of trips!

So I paid the toll in the end for the rented car, even though I am not sure if it was due or not.

Next I thought that I would phone eflow to try and confirm if the toll was due or not. Unfortunately, eflow only advertise a 1890 phone number. I detest these, as I describe in Say No To 1890!. The national number provided on SayNoTo1890 went to voicemail because it was after 17:00 when I phoned, even though the eflow website states that customer service is open until 23:00 :(

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Feb 01 2009

Lily Lolo

Category: eShopping,ReviewsTeknovis @ 10:31

I have a few female family members and friends who have all recently bought cosmetics from Lily Lolo. They were all very happy with the web site, the value, and the goods! The positive comments regarding the web site are especially significant since some of these females are not very technology savvy!

So I thought that I would give Lily Lolo a positive review on their behalves :D


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