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About those LinkedIn Endorsements…

thumbs up by .reid on Flickr

I would like to start this post by stressing on the fact that I really, really like LinkedIn. If I had to be present on only one social network and leave all the others, it would definitely be LinkedIn.

I’ve been there since 2009, and though this is not really a long time, contrast this with my brief presence on Facebook, which I left after only one year. I deleted my account five years ago and could not run away fast enough. This is another story entirely, but suffice it to say that I couldn’t take the childish posturing and narcissist behavior for very long.

And yet, even LinkedIn sometimes introduces features that look like a great idea at first, and then turn out to be a minor annoyance – only to become, with time, downright irritating.

I am talking, of course, about LinkedIn endorsements. Continue Reading →

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Cool tool: PDF to Excel Free Online

table by ilovebutter, on Flickr

Here’s a hypothetical scenario: your boss needs you to create some charts regarding the sales data of the last five years.

But all you have is a printed document with a few tables: the soft copy of the spreadsheet is nowhere to be found, and the sales charts are needed for a report that the CEO wants yesterday.

Quick, what do you do? What can you do?

Continue Reading →

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Another PDF Converter: FreePDF Creator for Windows

143of365[NTR23] by ntr23 on Flickr

There are multiple PDF converters available online. It is however always convenient to install a PDF converter on your PC, and I have already introduced you to PrimoPDF a while ago. I should note here that we are exclusively discussing a PDF converter for Windows, since Macs come with a built-in PDF printer.

An alternative to PrimoPDF that has been brought to my attention is FreePDF Creator from The installation is very straightforward: just head to the website and download the software. After downloading the executable file (which is about 12 MB), double-click to install the converter. You need to supply a name and email in the installer, and you’re good to go. Continue Reading →

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Project Planning Pro for iPad: Planning and Scheduling at your Fingertips

Project Planning Pro

If your daily work includes the creation of project schedules, a safe bet is that you make use of Microsoft Project or Oracle Primavera. These two competing products are the mainstream, and their new versions are more powerful than ever.

What if you just needed a small application to quickly prepare and modify a small project plan that you can carry with you in the field while leaving your notebook in the office? How about using your iPad for more than playing Angry Birds? This is where Project Planning Pro comes in.

I have discovered this neat little software more than a year ago, and below is my long overdue review. Continue Reading →

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Tales from the Tech Attic: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

ZX Spectrum by Marcin Wichary, on Flickr

Today is the 30th anniversary of one of the most famous home computers of the 80’s, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

Tributes are surfacing on the Internet, and a couple of must-read articles are by the BBC and the tech site The Register.

This machine and several similar ones by Atari, Amiga, Commodore, and others, were used at home by tech geeks everywhere, much before the ‘Mac or PC’ era, and the ZX Spectrum is special to me because it is at the origin of ‘The Tech Bug’. Continue Reading →

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Tales from the Tech Attic: CASIO PB-1000 ‘Personal Computer’

Casio PB-1000 Opened

What piece of obsolete technology is gathering dust in your attic or closet?

Let’s go back in time to an earlier age in computing. Not to the prehistoric era, mind you: I would then have to tell stories about the Sinclair ZX Spectrum which was the first computer that my brothers and I used, back in 1984. This will be the subject of another post. Let’s just go back only 22 years, to the year 1990. Continue Reading →

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Taking A First Look

Windows 8 CP - Splash Screen

Last week, Microsoft released a ‘beta’ version of their next Operating Systems, logically called Windows 8. Dubbed ‘Consumer Preview’, the beta of the next Windows reached one million downloads in 24 hours. To say that this release is eagerly awaited is a gross understatement, but why is Windows 8 so important?

The most important feature of the next Windows is the much-touted ‘Metro’ interface. Microsoft is looking at the success of the iPad and the iPhone, and is preparing for the unification of its interface across all platforms. Whether you plan to use a Windows 8 phone, a Windows 8 tablet or a PC, Metro is what you will get – and at the same time, the famous ‘Start’ button used since Windows 95 disappears.

You might be surprised that I am reviewing a new version of Windows since, as you might know by now, I have switched to the Mac two and a half years ago. However, there’s no escaping Windows: I still use it at work, and my significant-other’s laptop runs the excellent Windows 7, which Windows 8 will eventually replace. That said, consumers rarely install Windows themselves: they usually buy a new PC and use whatever version of Windows that comes pre-installed. When the time comes to upgrade, they do not install a new version of the Operating System: they buy a newer machine, and the cycle continues.

What if you wanted to try Windows 8 for yourself, and check out the new interface and applications that Microsoft has included, bearing in mind that the final released version might be quite different from the ‘beta’ release? Is it necessary to dedicate a PC to that end? Is it possible to try the ‘touch’ features of ‘Metro’ – on a PC? Continue Reading →

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Under The Hood: Getting a Self-Hosted Blog

Domain Names by ivanpw on Flickr

Should you get a self-hosted blog?

In part 1 of this series, we discussed selecting a blog platform and buying a domain name. We moved on to WHOIS security and domain name mapping in part 2, and briefly made a case for self-hosted blogs.

A self-hosted blog will provide you with maximum freedom, but you will need to pay for hosting, take care of backup and security, and install the (free) blog software. In addition to that, getting the blog software will allow you to checkout how the blog will look like, and even try your hand at churning out blog posts before you even register a domain name – by installing the software on your own computer. Continue Reading →

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Under The Hood: Setting Up a Blog – Part 2

Typewriter by aprillynn77 on Flickr

In part 1 of this series, we discussed selecting a blogging platform, or blog provider, as well as acquiring your own domain name from one of the numerous domain registrars. Now that you have a blog that you access using a user name and password and a domain that you pay yearly fees for, the next step is to point your domain name to your blog. So how do you do that? Continue Reading →

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Under The Hood: Setting Up a Blog – Part 1

Under the hood by juliaklarman on Flickr

How to setup a blog?

Let’s go under the hood. The building up of The Tech Bug blog was for me – and still is – a learning experience. If you want a blog, a lot of information is available on the Internet to help you, and a whole lot of books are dedicated to the subject.

Numerous websites deal with the why and the what of blogging, advising you on why you need to have a blog, what to write about, how frequently you should write and so on. What I am aiming at here is to help you with the how.

Much like any other article dealing with technology or certification, I will outline simple steps that you can apply immediately to prepare the setup that will help you get a domain name, select blogging software, and concentrate on producing content. I should probably stress on the fact that these steps will be accessible even to a non-techie, so that you can get technical matters out of the way as soon as possible. Continue Reading →

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