Archive for the ‘IT’ Category

Off site backups

September 19, 2007

I though maybe a serious post.  I was recently quoted £5,000 for offsite storage of backup media i.e. a couple of tapes.  I asked how much it was to retrieve it on demand – answer “well, that would depend”.  What is wrong the a bank safety deposit box, is it not secure enough?  ” I don’t think banks have fire suppression”   Me: “I don’t think this is a good deal” 

Small business get guys like this calling all the time, they don’t have a clue about SME business requirements.  What about an offer that suit our budget?  I love offsite storage, but I have not yet heard of one offer that has been properly positioned.  Have you?


Google analytics

June 25, 2007

I recently watched a video podcast by Robert Scoble about paid search engine marketing. I recommend it as a primer. Watch it here.


Open Source usability

June 8, 2007

Recently at the non-profit we needed a package to manipulate images for our latest project (which I might talk about sometime in the future). Somebody mentioned that we just use GIMP, at which the poor sod that had to do the work shuddered, it would save the organisation a couple of hundred pounds but his face said it all, he was horrified.

I am a big GIMP fan, it has huge power for a free application, however, I also recognise that it one of the most unfriendly applications I have ever used. Considering that the competition costs several hundred pounds, i.e. PhotoShop and PaintShopPro, there is a great opportunity to improve the interface and sell it as a low cost alternative to people that don’t want to spend loads of money.

A few years ago during my time as Business Manager at University College London I got myself involved in a great project called, which was set up to involve usability professionals in open source projects (nobody argued with the principle that many Open Source apps could do with major design improvements).

I was already interested in usability of open source applications. Eventually though I could not find a way to make collaboration work with the university and I moved on. However, I though I would do a search on “gimp usability” and I came accross the blog of a GIMP programmer and noticed that openusability have arranged for a usability person to help the team. Also, an article last year on NewsForge brought up the subject and the comments about the package are fantastic reading, there is a lot of passion out there. Will  it be possible for a usability person to make the changes, read the history and user experiences in those comments and make up your own mind. I think that the barriers to change are more political than design or technical. A usability person can’t change that. But maybe I am wrong, and I hope I am, let’s hope the openusability inspired project works out, read the latest on m+mi works blog


Great tool for prototyping

June 7, 2007

I have discovered a great firefox extension for prototyping called platypus. It allows you to remotely, add and manipulate elements of web pages without needing access to the source or any other technical garb. I will post a couple of screenshots showing how I have put it to good use. Why did I not know about this when studying for my Masters??

Backups for small business and non-profits

June 4, 2007

I have written a draft of an article to help CEOs and others to check that their IT teams are doing correct backups. Please let me know what you think.

I have published it through Google Docs & Spreadsheets:


One of my teams commended in national awards

June 2, 2007

logo.jpgMy IT team has been commended for ‘Most Effective Use of ICT’ in a UK non-profit in the ICT Hub 2007 Awards.  The ICT Hub is funded by the UK government Home Office as part of the ChangeUp framework, which was established to encourage non-profits to be more effective.  I am really proud of my IT team, they are fantastic guys with big futures in IT ahead of them.