New Technology

Reviews of new technology, help and advice in relation to new technology or services.

Online Passport Renewal….

Recently I had cause to renew my passport – I thought I had better get it up to date as it was due to run out the early part of next year. Whilst researching the most efficient way to do this I came across the option now available to renew online and was pleasantly surprised at how easy and straight forward it was – I thought I’d take you through the process this month. Read this entire article »

iOS 11 – Available Now For iPhones and iPads…

Are you lucky enough to be the proud owner of an apple iPhone or iPad? Then you probably have been receiving messages about a new operating system. It’s called iOS 11 and it’s free to download if you have an iPhone 5S or an iPad mini 2, Pro or Air or newer. This month we will look at some of the advantages of this new system but also some of the things you should check before you decide to press the upgrade button. Read this entire article »

Sonos – great quality gadget speakers for the home

Those of you that know me well, know that I am a gadget freak through and though – if it’s got a screen or flashing led’s then I will be interested in it!

This month we look at the growing trend in wireless speaker technology. More and more of us are using our mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) to listen to music. The problem is that the speakers that are integrated into these devices usually are not of great quality. Adding a wireless speaker to your device will give you both better quality and a longer battery life (because the tablet isn’t having to use its battery to play the music). Read this entire article »

Book your medical appointments online with Salut App

A couple of years ago, we wrote about the Generalitat Valenciana website pages that help you book your medical appointments online. Although the website worked, it was, however ‘protected’ with some digital certificates that caused problems for so many people that for many it was simply unusable.

Now there is a new and more friendly option if you have a smartphone or tablet – which I know many of you do. GVA + Salut is a mobile app that our regional governers have created to help make booking online easy – well easier anyway! The app, understandably is only available in Valenciano or Castillano, but its much easier to use than the website. Read this entire article »

Amazon Echo Dot – amazing voice recognition device

Well we have a new gadget / toy / essential piece of equipment (delete as appropriate) at BlueMoon Towers this month. Her name is Alexa and as an experiment in voice controlled, computerised assistant its pretty good, and is about the size of a black or white puck.

Amazon have created a thing called the Echo Dot. It is a small (and cheaper) version of the Echo which is a speaker that sits in your home and connects to your Internet connection and spends its life listening to its activation word. Once it hears this word it will attempt to interperet what you say afterwards and do whatever you instruct it to do. Read this entire article »

Easily update the programs you use regularly…

We all have programs on our computers that we want to keep up to date and either don’t have the time or feel a little nervous about updating them because we are afraid of what might happen. Alternatively, perhaps you have a need to install a bunch of useful programs after you have refreshed your computer? If either of these describe you, then I have the easy and safe answer for you – Ninite!

No, thats not a typing mistake, and I’m not wishing you a great nights sleep – it’s the name of a company that you can use to update or install your critical applications, nice and easily. Read this entire article »

Making Your Wireless Signal Go Further…

Many of us nowadays use our computers, laptops, tablets, phones and even other devices wirelessly. It’s convenient and simple to connect our devices to wireless networks (well it is if our Internet Service Provider give us a nice simple password to use, eh?) and we use them on more and more things in the home; the problem is that the signal strength, when combined with our concrete walls here on the Costa Blanca, sometimes can be an issue – so what can we do about it? Read this entire article »

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

This month we look at what is causing some issues for people all over the Costa Blanca who are running Windows 10 but not managing to get up to date with all the Microsoft updates.

We use our computers regularly, and expect things like Antivirus, Malware and Windows updates to simply happen in the background. Our only involvement usually is to get annoyed when we want to close our machines and get the “installing 1 of 10 updates” message, meaning that we can’t be sure that everything will be fine the next time we come to turn on the computer to check our email or get up to date with Facebook. The point is that we rely on the computers to just look after themselves and most of the time this is fine, however back in the summer Microsoft released a large update and its size is causing some people a real problem. This month I show you how you can be sure that you are on the latest update and what to do about it if you’re not. Read this entire article »

Microsoft Office…

Office 365

Many of us are accustomed to using the Microsoft Office package. Whether we took the time and expense to purchase a copy or have a pirate copy installed that “came with the computer”, it’s a great tool and one many of us would find it hard to do without for business purposes. Yes of course there are alternatives in the form of OpenOffice, Corel Office and others which serve the purposes of home users, but when it comes to professional business tools it’s hard to find a decent alternative to Microsoft Office. Read this entire article »

ISS (International Space Station) – wanna see it?

As you probably already know I do like to look up every now and then and recently I saw an article online about the International Space Station that fascinated me. Did you know that it’s the largest artificial body on orbit around our planet and that you can see it without any fancy equipment, all your need is a dark night and your eyes!

The ISS orbits the earth once every 90 minutes, travelling at a velocity of 27,600 km per hour (about 5 minutes a second)! It is permanently inhabited with scientists and zipps round at about 400km above our heads. It’s a common mis-conception that the ISS stays in place because of a lack of gravity, in fact it’s more accurate to think of it as constantly falling over the horizon of earth, it’s essentially in a constant `free fall`around our planet. At 400 tons it’s not a small thing but because of the millions of pieces of space debris also orbiting the earth, the ISS does need to be able to move to avoid the larger pieces – having your tin can punctured by a piece of rubbish moving at over 27,000 kmph would seriously negatively impact your day I would imagine! In order to move the ISS to avoid contact with these objects the crew use a team of people on earth whose job it is to track each of the items that are large enough to cause serious harm (around half a million of them), once an item is identified as being on a collision course (or a possible collision course) then the thrusters and gyroscopes on the ISS come into play to move the ISS out of the way – all of this is controlled from the ground, the guys in the “tin can” don’t have to do anything, although sometimes if a smaller object has hit the solar panels they may be called upon to perform a space walk to investigate and repair things outside. Read this entire article »