Monthly Archives: October 2013

Top Android Apps

Following from my “What does the tech expert do?” post the other day. I thought I would post some insights into what I run on my indispensable Android Tablet. Firstly to make life easy I ditched the standard operating System and replaced it with CyanogenMod. Its great and much better than the stock Samsung Android operating system. Performance and battery life are both very much enhanced. So what apps are indispensable on this device. Well for a start the standard Google stack is a great baseline. After that these are the pick of the bunch from those that I have installed:

  • Office 365 – Great for complex Microsoft Office documents!
  • Office Suite Pro 7 – A great office suite.
  • DriveDroid – Boot computers from your Android device! Great tool has helped me out a number of times.
  • National Rail – I am especially fond of the “get me home” – has saved my bacon on a number of occasions!
  • Piwik – Website monitoring on the move!
  • Whatsapp – Essential messaging app, probably needs very little introduction.
  • WordPress – Website management and blogging on the move. An essential app for me.
  • Twitter – Needs little introduction, but I do like the ability to manage multiple twitter accounts.
  • Facebook – This one definitely needs no introduction!
  • Link2SD – Excellent app for managing applications on an SD card.
  • Owncloud – I love owncloud! Its so much more secure than Dropbox and the addons extend its usage so well. I say this eats Dropbox for breakfast! I’m a little peeved that they have started charging for the Android App though.
  • Momento Database – Great tool for customised databases on the move great for capturing leads and much more!
  • Photoshop Express – Excellent photo editing.
  • Meta Trader 5 – Excellent trading app!
  • Bloomberg – Best market news ever!
  • Entrepreneur – Investment and private equity news – quality!
  • MD Scan – Mobile document scanning, brilliant tool!

Wordoid – A cool tool!

I was looking for inspiration for some names for an upcoming project the other day, when I cam across Wordoid. This is a cool tool for creating short memeorable names and is available at http://www.wordoid.com I found it so useful I thought it would be a good thing to give it a plug here.

So what does the tech expert do?

I was chatting to a mate of mine the other day who also runs a small business. The question he asked me was this: “What does a tech expert use to run his business?” I thought I would transpose my lengthy answer which was delivered over two pints of London Pride into a blog. So here goes. Phones I use an iPhone 4s and a Blackberry Curve to have two mobile lines. I am actually not happy these days with either phone and will soon be ditching one of my lines. I will not be replacing the Blackberry. I will replace the iPhone with a Samsung Galaxy S4. Tablet – I’m very happy with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. Especially since I installed Cyanogen on it. Laptops 3 of em! 1x Toshiba with a 15.6 screen that never leaves the house. A great Lenovo with a 12.5 screen and an Acer Netbook which provides sterling service when I am travelling. I like to travel as light as possible and the Acer works a treat. Usual configuration on all over these is Windows 7, Office 2010 and Adobe CS5 along with a few techie tools. I swear by Firefox as a browser. I swear by SanDisk for all memory cards and memory sticks. I have a stack of Excel spreadsheets for bookkeeping statistical analysis and complex calculations such as valuations and complex environment sizing. I have a backup to My office that runs Portable Apps. This a great tool for creating an office on a memory stick :- ) Online tools I keep a lot of stuff in the Cloud. Here’s the real good stuff that I use.

  • Piwik – I use this for monitoring my websites.
  • Gmail – I divert most of my email addresses here.
  • V Tiger – I use this for customer management.
  • Squirrel Mail – I use this for webmail on 1 domain.
  • Net2Ftp – Excellent web based ftp tool.
  • Tiki Wiki – Use this a information dump works really well
  • Owncloud – Great tool with fantastic plugins. Eats Dropbox for breakfast!
  • Seopanel – Excellent web based tool for monitoring search engine exposure
  • WordPress – I love WordPress for creating websites in fact nearly all of my sites now are on WordPress. I used to swear by Joomla but WordPress is now so much the better tool.

So there we have it a quick overview of what the expert chooses.      

Introducing The Mobile Fone Network

I own The Mobile Fone Network. It is a price comparison site which lists over 2,000,000 great value mobile phone deals in the United Kingdom marketplace across all networks. The website is here: http://www.themobilefonenetwork.co.uk

Talks and Presentations and Press Clippings

There is a new section on this website called Presentations and Talks. Where able to do I will be posting slideshows and videos from presentations I have given. I will also post some of my press clippings on this page. Please check back for more additions shortly.

In praise of Piwik

Piwik is a cool tool that for me replaced Google Analytics as my website monitoring tool of choice at the weekend after Google decided that they did not want to provide me with any useful data anymore. Piwik now monitors all my websites and produces far better data and reports than Google Analytics ever did. I used to have a selection of complex spreadsheets to take data from Google Analytics and manipulate the data to produce the information and reports that I and my clients wanted. Not any more, they are now available straight out of the box. After Google admitted that they were hiding keyword data I could not even rely on the data they provided. Now I and my clients can have absolute confidence in the data. Thank you Piwik!

So long Google and thanks for all the fish!

So I am going to have a major rant at Google’s expense! In 18 years in the technology trade it can be said that it is more likely that it would be Microsoft or Dell that would be on the receiving end of such a rant.

So why Google? Well they have really annoyed a lot of people recently especially in the technology trade. First there was the Hummingbird update which they rolled out without telling anyone and then there was the change to Google Analytics, again without telling anyone. To get keyword data or location data from Google Analytics you must now pay Google the princely sum of £150,000! They did this without telling any one and it has been in place since the beginning of September 2013.

I am not the only one who is irked by this. So many SEO and internet professionals have taken to their own blogs and other blogs to vent their own spleens with one professional publicly quitting the industry.

As many readers of these pages may know I own and operate a large number of websites. Because of these updates and Google’s policy I have been forced to explain to customers that I cannot give them reliable analytical data between 1 September 2013 and today! I have also had to spend an entire weekend changing my hosting infrastructure and all of the websites to ensure my data is accurate!

Thanks a bunch Google!