Avoiding Bad Travel Advice

The internet is rife with bad advice. Much of it is accepted because many of us like the idea of saving a dollar or finding an advantage. But bad advice often goes unrecognized until something goes wrong.

  • Couples have booked a window and aisle seat in the hope of the other seat being left vacant. As airlines try to fill seats this will usually not work, so the couple end up separated.
  • Currency exchange. A generation ago we used traveller’s checks, or waited till the exchange rates were good. This is outdated advice, because the transactions fees are considerable. ATM and credit cards are far less expensive. Get an account that works at your destination.
  • Pack everything you might need. Over-packing is an issue. At worse, if you forget something you can buy it at your destination.
  • Package deals being cheap. Sometime this might give you what you want, or you might pay more for something that wasn’t what you wanted. Hit or miss.
  • Public transport is the cheapest way around. This wouldn’t be too bad if you have no set schedule. But if you miss a flight because of public transport it is a disaster. Sydney airport shuttle services get you there on time. And you can relax on an early morning departure or late flight home.
  • Book everything on the net. This works well for reputable flights and our Sydney airport shuttle. But there are tourist scams were you pay for a hotel that does not exist, or for a tour that is cheaper when you turn up in person.
  • Take your own food on the plane. Mixed feeling here. Food tastes flat at high altitudes, so it’s not the fault of the airline’s chef. Sure, take some non-perishable snacks if you wish.
  • Booking a two part plane journey and leaving at the first stopover. People sometime try this because it can (sometimes) be cheaper than a direct flight to the stopover. But it inconveniences the airlines, and you cannot collect your luggage.
  • Most electrical devices won’t work on the power system in another country. An adaptor plug is no good as it won’t change the voltage. Electrical devices are heavy anyway, so just take one camera/phone and find a recharge option.
  • Hotel glasses and other items are often unclean. Either wash or avoid.

Shuttle Service Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport Transfers to and from your flight prevent so much hassle. Be on time, avoid any potential problems with public transport delays, and relax from the moment you leave your front door.anytime shuttleep149064



Opinions vary. Some people believing that portable devices such as iPads and laptop would replace all Home and office PC; others believe that portable devices were an addition to the standard PC. Of course, different individuals make their own decisions. Some acquired portable devices and stopped buying PCs; others bought both PC and portable devices. Either way, PCs have not disappeared.


Computer Shop, Rhodes, Burwood, Concord, Homebush, Strathfield

There was a 10% decline in PCs at one point, around 2013. Some blamed this on the unpopular windows 8, others on the increasing popularity of alternative and more portable devices. But the 10% was not beginning of a steady downward trend. Instead, PCs lost part of their market to other devices, but still kept about 90% of what it previously had.


The PC may benefit greatly from windows 10. One of the design criterion for windows 10 was cross compatibility with many devices. This meant it would be easier than ever to do work on a portable device and copy it to the PC at home, or vice versa. This suggested that the PC was the main computer and the portable devices were additional units. But while many people copy this pattern it is too easy to just use the portable device and forgo anything else. If our portable devices have internet connections and all the software we need, why bother with another device?


Windows 10 may have increased compatibility across devices, but making windows 10 free for older PCs (with windows 7 or better) may have had some drawbacks. PC sales may have slumped because people continued to use their old model PCs. The old model would run windows 10, so why buy a new model PC? The PCs were being used; lower sales were misinterpreted to mean that PCs were less popular, when really people just continued to update the software and not the machine hardware.


Having old PCs updated to windows 10 may have increased sales of portable devices. People knew their new portable devices were compatible with the old PC, and that was a rather good selling point. Again, PCs were still used, window 10 was being used, and portable devices were selling. But old PCs were doing fine on windows 10, so they weren’t often replaced.


Computer Repairs, Rhodes, Burwood, Concord, Homebush, Strathfield

It is odd to say this in an age when technology advances so fast, but it can be cost effective to repair computers rather than replace them. If your PC or other device can run windows 10 then it’s doing fine and worth keeping.

Do you need a new computer? Then buy a refurbished one. Most refurbished computers can download and run windows 10 for free. They might be a little slower than the latest model, but otherwise they’re fully compatible and a total bargain.


elite computer

Underwater data centres make a lot of sense. Half of the world’ population lives a few hours travel from an ocean. If land real estate prices are high then we remember that the ocean floor has little competition for space. As long as servicing is not an issue, which is a question still under investigation, underwater data centres should prove useful.

Microsoft has unveiled Project Natick, an underwater data centre on trial for 4 months. This first centre has been positioned about a kilometre off the West Coast of the USA. As with other projected underwater centres it should provide quick and inexpensive data access for those using the cloud. As more and more computers make use of the cloud for data storage there will be a need for far more data centres.

The initial Natick project looks promising, but is still a smaller sized experiment. If it proves viable the future commercial data centres will have twenty times the storage capacity. The target lifespan of each centre should be about twenty years, but they will be retrieved and upgraded every five years.

One of the major issues with computers and data centres has always been cooling. Power to the machines causes heating that will quickly prove destructive if not compensated for. But underwater data centres should sat naturally cool because of the environment, removing a problem common in other data centre situations. The other major issue is supplying that power. But in accordance with environmental principles these data centres are intended to be self-sufficient, probably using wave and tidal power.  The environment at 30 feet below the water surface, where data centre Natick present is, looks to be quite stable; temperatures should stay consistently cool and tidal forces should be regular.

In the near future Microsoft hopes to have underwater data storage facilities installed and operational within 90 days of request.

ELITE COMPUTERS – A Few Windows 10 Features

Computer Repair and Updating

It’s easy to update from windows 8 to windows, 10; it’s even free. But it’s not so easy to get use to the new operating system. Yet windows 10 is designed to be a longer term solution; if we are going to get accustomed to an operating system this looks to be the better bet.

Clear hard Drive: this was once a third party app. Now you can go to the start menu ‘storage’ section of the settings app. This will show you the files and folders on a drive and how much space they occupy. There are more powerful tools if you want to pay for third party programmes, but this inbuilt one is quite good.

Uninstall Apps: It used to be a nuisance if you wanted to uninstall an application, unless you paid for a third party programme.  Now you can right click any app on the start menu and select uninstall. If you can’t find the app you want to uninstall, just click all Apps at the bottom of the start menu.

Pin any app to the start menu. Most people know about this, but it’s a good idea for anything you use on a regular basis. It’s also good to have the old start menu back.

Keyboard shortcuts; There are more of these than ever. Including:

Win+Q or Win+S: Open Cortana (personal assistant)

Win+I: Open Windows 10 Settings.

Win+A: Open the notification centre.

Win+Ctrl+D: Create a new virtual desktop.

Win+Ctrl+F4: Close the current virtual desktop.


There is more than a little written about the privacy issues on windows 10. If you are concerned, simply change the settings.

To minimize what is sent to Microsoft.

Settings > Privacy.

Scroll to Feedback & diagnostics.

            Under Diagnostics and Usage Data select Basic.

Now only minimal information is sent to Microsoft; hopefully nothing compromising.

Fingerprint recognition capabilities. Your machine may or may not have the hardware for this, but the operating system is ready for it. This might be the end of passwords.

Computer shop

One of the biggest regrets we have with fast moving technology is the missed opportunities. Individuals update their synthesizers, phones and computers knowing there was untapped potential in the devices that never got used. We can avoid this, at least to some extent, by familiarizing ourselves with the systems; it also helps to search the internet for other people’s experience and recommendations. We will never know every detail of our machines, but a little extra knowledge will be useful on a regular basis.

What is Quantum Computing

Early October 2015, and researchers at the University of New South Wales have built a logic gate that looks to make quantum computers feasible. But what is a quantum computer?

We know a classic computer uses bits of information, either ones or zeros (on/off, true/false, depending how you notate them). These bits are process by a variety of logic gates; logic gates take two bits of information and give a one bit response; An AND type logic gate takes two bits of information and outputs a ‘one’ (on, true …etc.) if both inputs are one, and outputs a zero under any other circumstance. And OR logic gate takes two bit and out a ‘one’ if either input bit is ‘one’. There are also NAND, NOR, XOR, NOT gates. All classic computing uses complex combinations of these logic functions.

In the past bits in classic computers have consisted of voltages between zero and a set higher value, usually 5 or 10 volts. A zero bit was represented by a zero (or near zero) voltage; a one was represented by a higher voltage. With enough bits a complex pattern of ones and zeros could be represented. With 2 bits there were 4 representations; with 3 there were 8 representations. It there were N bits there were 2 to the Nth combinations.

Quantum computers are different from classic computers in several ways. One difference is that where a classic computer has exactly one state amongst 2 to the Nth possibilities the quantum computer simultaneously has many states, up to 2 to the Nth power. The initial state of the quantum qubits (quantum bits) represents a piece of data; these are applied to a series of gates know as a quantum algorithm, and the resulting state (one of 2 to the Nth possibilities) is the outcome. Because of the non-deterministic nature of the quantum algorithm this outcome is only considered correct within a certain probability.

The new development at the UNSW is the invention of a logic gate that works with qubits. This has basically been the last major hurdle in building a quantum computer; all the necessary building blocks for operational quantum computers are now here.

The benefits of quantum computers are numerous. Their massively increased speed is one factor. Massively increased speed means programs can now be much more complex and still produce results in a reasonable amount of time. Programs to predict the weather once took several days to run, by which time the weather conditions had already come and gone. Modern computers caught up with this at least a generation ago, but faster computers would allow more complex programs and quicker calculation results. Computer models for the human body, very useful for medical research, are now quite feasible and potential quite complex. Other applications and models are numerous. And because quantum computers use tiny particles such as photons for their qubits, and equally tiny logic gates, their size is much smaller than any present technology.

Now that we have Window 10

Apparently there are 75 million devices running windows 10, which is quit something when you remember that it was only officially released a month ago. Xbox gamers alone have clocked up 122 years’ worth of play in this time; I’m not sure if that’s impressive or something to worry about. On a lighter side the Cortana, the digital assistant, has told more than half a million jokes to anybody who asked. Some of this comes from individual’s trying to ask the most bizarre questions they can think of; but it turns out that if you want a legitimate joke you just have to ask for one.

On the downside Chrome browsers are having some compatibility problems with windows 10. Apparently they aren’t too extreme, but years of trouble free chrome use it is frustrating to have to deal with slow response times and erratically streaming video. Chrome is apparently working on ironing it out, but simply reinstalling the browser might help. The fact that people still prefer chrome with its windows 10 teething problems over other browsers say a lot about customer loyalty and Chrome’s generally high ranking performance.

Of course the other browser option is the new edge browser, supplied in windows 10. Apparently far better that Internet explorer (which always had a mediocre reputation) the only ostensive downside to the simpler looking edge is the lack of a few favourite features form the past. But wait, apparently the Settings on the menuhas an Import favourites form another browser option. If you choose your old browser and click import you look like you might be in luck.

Wi-Fi still caused problems in windows 10, though this is no different to earlier windows systems. The situation can be improved by disabling Wi-Fi sharing; else, you will have to reboot.

Actually, disabling Wi-Fi sharing is one of the things we were advised to do the moment we had windows 10 up and running, the others were to customise the start menu, choose ‘notify to schedule restart’ in ‘advance windows update options, and check out the action centre. Action centre given you all your notification in one place, which everybody seems to like and prefer to the tile system on windows 8.

Windows 95 really was about 20 years ago today, and that was based on MS-DOS, something dating back to 1981. But those looking for a similar layout , a familiar user interface, will see that some things have stayed consistent up till windows 10, even if they had to be changed back again after the less popular windows 8. One feature we might take for granted is the start-up sound; for whatever reason it became iconic. 20 years ago the Windows 95 still had MS-DOS under its new User Interface. I can’t vouch for how much is left of this under windows 10, but a familiar UI suggests it has either endured, or was significantly influential in developing what we presently have.

Computer Shop Strathfield

Can you imagine a life without computers? I actually know more people who live without a personal car than a personal computer. Of course they use public transport, but we all have public computers in our life too. Banking, library loans, most retailing, even the public transport systems have used computers for decades.

Schools have had some computer integration for more than a generation. Children adapt to them quite easily, showing that computer use is not so much hard as just different to what we were formally use to. Like a foreign language it is only difficult when it is foreign to you.

Buying a computer is both simple and tricky. A decent computer is now cheaper than ever; you can buy a HP for a few hundred dollars, faster and with more Memory that dreamed of a decade ago. The slightly more difficult part is buying something that suits your needs. But even this is no so much the computer as the software you run upon it. As long as you have a current operating system you can use the latest software; and even the operating system can be updated as long as your machine is not too old.

Refurbished computers are a tempting proposition. But the quality varies. A second-hand computer sold straight from the previous owned (EBay, gumtree …etc.) may or may not be good. Avoid these unless you know enough about the computer to assess the quality yourself. Many second-hand computers are simply restored to factory pre-sets, without any maintenance. Problems can quickly make your purchase a regretful one.

Factory refurbished computers are a much safer bet, and often have some guarantee. They have been completely overhauled and inspected by a qualified technician, and will operate like new. Their only shortcoming is that they use the technical standards from when they were current technology; they are the product of the time they were built. Of course this is often not a cause for concern. If you just want to use a word processor and surf the net an older computer might be more than enough. And it will probably run a more current operating system than the one it originally came with. Many people use older computers for anything from music recording to photo-shopping. Free from viruses these computers can happily run for a decade or two.

One advantage with a refurbished computer is finding reviews by others with the same model. New computers are more advanced, but unproven in the field. Trying Goggling a computer’s model number and see if it has overheating issues, or lacks a certain vital feature, or has any other peculiarities. A little research can show if a certain model is reliable and appropriate for your situation.

If you are part of the world today you are interacting with computers. Enrich your life with a computer system of your own. Visit the Elite computer shop, Strathfield.


One of the big decisions about going to the Cloud is whether to use an in-house or an external system. Those who prefer the in-house approach have the unenviable task of setting up a system themselves, or hiring some external group to set it up. In the past this has proved time consuming and entailed many detailed decisions. Inevitably somebody had to think of a better way.
The Hewlett –Packard Helion Rack is designed help a company set up a private, in-house cloud much faster. HP creates each system and sets it up at the business site. As these systems use the same Openstack for running infrastructure services as HP’s own public cloud, so the package has the benefit of both experience and years of practical application.
Mid-sized businesses looking to deploy their first OpenStack cloud system will probably be the main target for these rack systems; sizable departments within larger corporations may also be interested. The HP Helion rack system is well suited for developing new cloud type applications, and is designed for computationally heavy workloads.
One of the selling points of the Cloud has always been the convenience and ease-of-use (along with expandability and cost). But this ease-of-use is at the user’s end, not the party creating the system. Like complex search algorithms or guidelines for creating web content any creator of a computer system is forced to go to great lengths to create something that works to the user’s benefit; a complex and flexible system that interfaces easily with the complexities of the human mind and its requirements. A pre-packaged Cloud-in-a-rack may well pass this convenience and ease-of-use to the purchasing company. The hard work is already done by the designers, so the new owner need only specify how they want the system customised to their needs.
Individuals familiar with HP’s Public cloud systems may have an advantage here as this quick to install Private system runs in a near identical way. Of course it will be extremely secure, and customisable.
The HP Helion rack will be 42 standard rack units in size (a little under 188 cm) and is designed to easily accommodate added storage facilities and other external devices. It should be available in May 2015, with prices varying with the system configuration. The lowest price system should comfortably support 400 virtual machines.


Cloud – “A model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (for example, networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction”
US National Institute of Standards and Technology

Cloud is not so much a technology as an approach to using technology. It provides massive IT related facilities through the internet, allowing customers to expand and reduce their storage space, data requirements and services as needed.
Public Cloud is a service that anybody (with internet and means of payment) can access. They are a shared infrastructure on a pay-as-you-use system.
Private Cloud uses a similar delivery mode to public cloud, but only for a select group of users, like the staff of a company. It can be considered much safer as the private cloud is behind a firewall and the companies own security systems.
Hybrid cloud (public and private that are linked) also exist, as do community clouds, a system shared by several group but not the public in general.

What are Cloud prices like?
You can store data on the Cloud with fast access time for about 25 cents per gigabyte for one month, or as an archived file for about 1 cent per month, archived files have slower access, but sometime only by a few seconds. You pay to upload and download information to those files.
Services on the Cloud can cost anything from 10 cents per hour to more than a dollar per hour.
How is software licencing affected by the Cloud?
This is a good question, whose answer is still in the process of being worked out. Previously, before the Cloud, a customer paid retail price for the software, even if they hardly used its potential capabilities. Cloud is potentially more flexible, and should allow individual and companies to only pay for services as they are used, and pay less if they only use a small part of the service’s potential. At the moment this is still being worked out. The software and its licencing are less flexible than what the cloud is capable of.
What about downtime and access of data?
Many cloud servers guarantee between 99.9% and 99.95% uptime, calculated over a year. This means no more than 4 to 8 hours of downtime (offline with no data access) in a 12 month period. But fine print in contracts sometimes means more downtime can occur that the provider will not take responsibility for. Really, there are no complete guarantees. But as even non-Cloud computers and other internet services occasionally don’t work, so we cannot expect perfection.
Will my application perform differently on Cloud?
Quite probably, but it depends on which cloud provider you have. Find one that works for you and runs services that are appropriate for your company. You may have to ask a lot of questions here and do a lot of reading, but there are appropriate providers out there for you somewhere. It helps to think of the situation as offering a lot of different options, and to think of cloud as upgrading your business operation. As such, you don’t have to follow the same procedure as you had before; look for a Cloud provider that offers a new and improved situation.
If you have Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) you may have a lot flexibility over what applications you wish to run. However, the method of charging for this may vary. With Software as a Service (SaaS) you might only pay for software/applications as they are used; with PaaS you probably have to pay the full software price upfront.


Software defined storage is a programmatic approach to setting up and using storage. It allows you to use storage and expand by rational prediction of your needs. It is not a product, it is an approach made possible through connected hardware and software products. The details are not particularity important, but the connections between parts are quite loose.
Storage space is an issue in some ways. But as storage space becomes increasingly cheaper people tend to think the problems will solve themselves. There is some truth to this. Data does increase exponentially, but hardware manufacturers know this and are quick to produce larger capacity storage media because they know there is a growing market, and a profitable one at that. It is to their credit that the prices decrease as the capacity and performances increase.
If we’re on the Cloud we tend to think this is a pseudo problem; cloud is supposed to expand as the requirements increase. Well yes, if it has the software defined storage approach. Your data will accumulate, and if it’s anything like the past the increase will not be linear. We use to deal with megabytes. Now we buy Terabytes drives. The software defined storage approach should track this so we need never trash old customer files and always keep every email we ever received. We can be sure this will not level out in the future, but continue to expand even if your company stays at its present size forever (we actually hope your company does improve). The elastic approach of software defined storage predicts how this will expand so we need only buy the storage space we need. Yes, cloud can expand to accommodate our needs, that’s part of the appeal. But we need to know what are needs are, that’s part of the problem it wishes to address.