Finally! A way to use Twitter

These tools make Twitter make sense.

Everybody talks about Twitter.  Some people claim to love it, others hate it.  Some claim to be able to use it effectively to bring their organisation's message to market.  If you ar

finally a way to use twitter

Moving your website to another host and another designer

"We are no longer that happy with the company who designed and maintains our website.
We are starting to look for a new host/maintenance provider but I wondered if we are likely to run into any problems moving away from the person that designed the site. Am I correct that we own it since we paid him to create it so it's a case of having it moved to a new host and getting a SLA for the maintenance?"

Why Skype Hates Google Maps

Skype is a great way to communicate for free over the internet.  Free, good quality calls, real time video calling and real time chat functions make it a fantastic tool for today's budget strapped charity.

Skype also comes with a neat little plug-in for Firefox, which highlights phone numbers on any web page you are viewing, figures out the country they are in and allows you to launch a call with Skype to that number by clicking on it.

So far so good.

However, as I discovered recently, this plug-in breaks Google Maps.  If you have the plugin installed and try to search, Google Maps hangs, claiming to be "Loading".  Forever.

 So, for me, anyway, there is no contest.  Given a choice, Google Maps wins hands down.  Skype's handy plugin is disabled (Choose Tools>add ins>Skype>disable) and all is well with the world.

Thankyou to http://techtipdaily.com for the solution to that mystery!

Virtual volunteering

Virtual volunteering at its simplest definition is volunteering over the internet.  It can take many forms and use many tools, so you may wonder how an organisation can make the most of that which virtual volunteers can offer?

Virtual volunteering is - from a management and motivation point of view - little different from traditional volunteering.  The volunteer requires a project which is sufficiently interesting to keep them entertained and motivated.  They require feedback and careful handling by management.  They require an end result which gives them the payoff they need, be it the feel good factor, CV boosting experience or simply fun or satisfaction.

Make your own social network in a flash - for free!

{mosimage} Ning is an online tool which allows anyone to create a social network.

Imagine a private facebook for the employees of your organisation.  Or a myspace for your supporters.  Or even a bebo for the people who came to your annual conference.  Ning makes it possible, in a matter of minutes.

To create a network, all that is required is a proposed web address, an email address and a password, but from there your options spread.  All of the usual social networking tools are available.

Network members can:

  • edit their own profile
  • upload pictures
  • customise the look of their home page
  • set their own privacy settings
  • set their own alert settings
  • track conversations on the forum
  • upload video or audio
  • keep a blog
  • start discussions
  • comment on other articles


How do I update my website

"We have a website and are anxious to have access to it so we can update it ourselves on a regular basis. A couple of questions, is it necessary to go on a course for this? I have been told we need a contents manager system?"

 This does depend a lot on how often you intend to update your website, add new articles and such. You mentioned you have an exsisting website you want to update. A website is usually hosted on a server on the internet and the usual way to access it would be to log into the server with FTP (file transfer protocol) the files held there is your website, depending on your update needs you may not need a CMS (content management system) you may just need to be shown how to log onto your hosting provider and change the files.

There are a number of programs available to connect to an FTP server. Filezilla is one of the better ones and is available free at http://filezilla-project.org/. You can then edit the files with something as simple as word (however this is limited). If you wish to edit the site directly you may wish to use a porpose built HTML editor Bluefish available here: http://bluefish.openoffice.nl can connect to the ftp server and edit the files directly. This would be your best option without a CMS.

Advantages of a CMS are that the over all look of the site will stay constant as you change and edit the articles and content of the site, administration of users privilages and other such features is a lot easier in a CMS system.

To decide what you need, I would recommend trying the above method out and reading more about these CMS systems:

one of the most popular is Joomla!, available here: www.joomla.org 

Another popular one is Drupal, available here: drupal.org

Both are freely available ( open source and licenced under the GPL) and have a lot of information on their site.


Cormac O'Loughlin

Foundry Information Technology Ltd. Highrath, Maddoxtown, Co.Kilkenny. www.foundryit.ie Tel. 00353879333050


Website from scratch - where to start

"We are interested in starting a website from scratch... where should we start? What can you suggest?"

Well a lot would depend on your level of technical know how, and what the purpose of the website is.

However as a starting point I would direct you towards this site: http://cat.xula.edu/tutorials/ . The first few tutorials cover HTML (a markup language for web pages) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS, used to describe how a page will be displayed). The last tutorial 'Planning Your Website' is definitely worth a read.

In terms of tools for writing websites there are a huge number, but a simple text editor will do the job. When you feel you need more convenience have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_editor. Personally I've found Amaya and Bluefish good editors.

Other things to consider include;

Website hosting :


W3C Accessibility guidelines - quite dry but worth studying once you know the basics:


I hope this gets you started in the right direction, if you've any other questions don't hesitate to ask.


Anntoin Wilkinson


Foundry Information Technology Ltd. Highrath, Maddoxtown, Co.Kilkenny. www.foundryit.ie Tel. 00353879333050

Standard and Basic vews in Gmail

"Recently my google email won't open in standard view, but it will open in basic html. Why is this and what is the difference between these two views?"

 Basic view is a slimmed down version of Gmail, with less features.  It's designed to allow people with old/esoteric web browsers still access Gmail.

Google explain it quite well here:


Standard view and basic HTML view


To see if your browser is on Google's buddy list,see this article, which lists all browsers which can do Standard View and those which must use Basic View.


Supported browsers

 If your browser is on the supported list but will only do Basic view, it would be prudent to make sure it is updated to the latest version and if that doesn't work, reinstall the browser, or try a new one.  

Maybe this is your opportunity to try out the brand new Google Chrome ?



Adobe 8 Pro files missing

"I am using Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional. Recently it will not allow me to cread a pdf. I have tried running repair and have totally installed the software but it keeps giving me a message stating pdf maker files missing. Any suggestions?"


This problem seems to have surfaced since the release of windows vista. if you are trying to create a pdf from a microsoft office document and recieving the error "PDF maker files missing" it looks like the pdf maker macro is in the disabled list in Office itself.

Encryption Software

"I need some advice regarding encryption software. Staff have been advised to password protect any documents they save to their memory sticks but to ensure total security we would like to install encryption software but I don't know much about it. We would need at least 10 licences but ideally 20 if it was affordable.  Any recommendations?"

Truecrypt is an open source software program easy enough to set up and will create an encrypted volume (folder) where sensitive material can be encrypted and stored. This is encrypted to military standard, and only requires the user to enter a password once per login. The encrypted volume then looks and acts as a drive in "my computer".

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