Google launches new web application

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ON Tuesday Google launched its newest free webbased application. Now you can create presentations online.

Google has quite a number of webbased applications available, from a writing application, which replaces Word, to spreadsheets to replace Excell. Now you can also replace your PowerPoint application.

These online clones have a number of advantages and obviously some disadvantages.

The advantages are that it is free to use. You can access your documents from any computer with an internet connection. You can easily collaborate and share your work and know that the application will constantly be improved.

The disadvantage for me is that you need to be online to create a presentation or document.

This application allows you to upload your current presentations and edit it. You can save the files online or on your computer. To try it, go to: http://docs.google.com.

I am amazed at the exorbitant prices that some of these mainstream software packages still have today, if you consider that the main competition offers these applications for free through large companies like Google or through open source projects like OpenOffice.

In most countries universities and other government institutions have adopted these opensource packages, but the uptake in South Africa has been extremely slow. I think it is the fear of having to try something now.

OpenOffice also released their updated version of the programme on Tuesday.

If you want a complete suite of applications that include presentation software, writing tools and spreadsheets, you can download it for free.

It is very similar to the Office Packages that we all know with one big difference – its free.

To download it go to www.openoffice.org.

 

Make Podcamp happen in Bfn

Training Course

I am working on the idea of a national Podcamp, which will bring North and South together, in Bloemfontein.
All the people in New Media – online video, blogging, podcasting and online companies – will come together in Bloemfontein and have an UnConference.

This is a place to meet one another (and maybe collaborate in the future) and share ideas.
Podcamps are always free and the costs are covered by sponsors.

The Podcamp will go hand in hand with many technology exhibitions which will also be free to attend. As with all ideas there are people who think that Bloemforntein is not the right place to have a national Podcamp. They say that nobody from Johannesburg or Cape Town will actually come all the way to here.

I wish to prove them wrong. If you are a company involved in New Media, an individual who is working online, a software developer or just interested in the things taking place online, please let me know.

With the necessary support from you, I can make sure that PodcampSA is held here in Bloemfontein. Otherwise I will probably have to give someone else the opportunity to arrange it in Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Let’s show the guys from the main centra around South Africa that Bloemfontein is up there with the best of them.

Training Course

 

World Wide Web in years to come

Liberty Life

THE World Wide Web was made available to the public for the first time on 7 August 1991. Could it really only be 16 years ago?

Even though the web was first started in 1980 it was only meant to be a method for scientists around the world to stay connected and to collaborate on projects.

It is almost impossible to compare the web of 1991 with the powerful World Wide Web that we know today, let alone compare it to the web of 1980. Today’s internet is a network of powerful systems working together as a unit.

Through this elaborate system of connected machines our lives have changed to the extent that we would almost be helpless without it. Waiting for about a month to receive a letter from the UK, in 1991, to receiving an email in a few minutes or seconds from the same person today.

The question is of course what things would look like in another 16 years. Or even in 5 years time. I will take the risk in predicting that in five to seven years’ time the majority of the population will have access to the Internet and our dependence on it will have increased to a point where we only rarely need to leave our homes. We will do everything online. Obviously this could not be true of all occupa­tions but administrative tasks and managerial tasks will probably be done online.

If you want to take a look back at the way things on the Internet were a few years ago visit the Internet Archive.

Click here to visit the Internet Archive to see how websites have changed over the past few years.  Just enter the domain name of the website!

 

Open source software free for all

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THE whole world is moving to open source software. Every week I read online about another government moving over from proprietary soft­ware to some type of open format. Even the South African government has announced that they will start to implement open source software in the future.

 
Programmes like OpenOffice which has a spreadsheet (like Excell), a presentation component (like PowerPoint), Writer (like Microsoft Word) and other components are available online and is free to download, use and distribute.

 

These programmes are used more and more in business and yet for some strange reason I have not seen any institution which offers training programmes for these applications. In a year or two most government departments will be using these free programmes and the users would have been trained on commercial programmes.

 
Is it not time that schools, universities and other training institutions install these free programmes and start to train students to use them? The advantage is that students/users are able to download and install these programmes on their own computers legally. Students usually do not have thousands of rands to spend on software packages and using free software will empower these students to reach new heights.

 
As an example I can can give you Mark Shuttleworth. When at university he used free open source software to build the company which he sold for millions.

I know that many people feel that if they do not pay for a product it is of poor quality, and this may be true in many cases, but with the Open Source Community growing each and every day this is no longer the case.

Facebook

I LOVE Facebook! If you are not a member yet you should go join immediately.

I never quite get used to any of these social networking websites. I play around with them for a while, and many of them are here one minute and gone the next. Well not the case with Facebook.com. Started by college students to be able to network with their friends on campus, this website will connect you with friends you have not seen or spoken to in years.

At first I just went through it and did not quite know where to begin. Then I started searching for people I have not seen for years. And sure enough I found some of them. I was immediately hooked. Because of the fact that you have to approve your friends who add you to their network you have full control of who lists themselves as your friends.

This can be a valuable tool both in your personal life as well as in business. PodCamp Cape Town also created a Facebook group and daily more and more people join. This is a great way to distribute information to all the members of the group and a great way to build a network. When you join a group you will probably get into contact with people who share many of your views.

There are hundreds of fun applications and plug-ins that you can add to your profile and it will keep you busy for hours. You can post your photos, videos, thoughts and send emails to your friends. It is a one-stop gathering space for you and your friends.

Sign up today for a free account and give it a try. Hey, maybe even add me as your friend.

 

Pownce

Kevin Rose is known in the web community as an innovator. His first big poject was Digg.com which was a huge international success. Digg is a social information website where you are able to submit “news stories” and other readers are able to vote or “digg” your story. The more “diggs” your story receives the closer it will come to being listed on the front page. if you succeed in reaching the front page of digg you are assured of a few hundred thousand hits that day. Because users constantly submit stories to digg you are assured that there will always be new content to read. If you have not visited Digg.com please go there today.

Kevin Rose has now started a new project, simply known as Pownce. Pownce is still in beta but you can join when you receive an invitation. I was fortunate enough to receive my invitation earlier this week and after hearing many great things of this website I was not dissapointed when I finally got a chance to play around with some of the features. it is a way to send messages, files, links and events to your friends. You create a network of people you know and when you share “stuff” you share it either with all of them or with individuals.

I like the fact that you can download a small application and have complete control of all the website features on your desktop. No need to revisit the website each time. Through this application you can also chat easily with your friends and I know we have so many chat clients available these days, but for some reason this one just feels smoother.

If you want to give it a try and you do not want to wait for an invitation or the beta period to end before you join please send me an email. I still have a few invitations to give out and would love to hear what you think.


iPhone launced



Die hele wêreld sit in afwagting vir vandag se groot bekendstelling. Die iPhone word uiteindelik vandag in die VSA beskikbaar gemaak.

Die afgelope paar maande is dit al waaroor die Tech-gemeenskap op die web kon gesels. Daar is groot verwagtinge op Apple om ‘n uitsonderlike produk beskikbaar te stel, maar niemand weet nog regtig wat die iPhone gaan bied nie.

Apple is bekend daarvoor dat hul produkte uiters gebruikersvriendelik is en dat tydens die ontwerp van hul produkte die gebruiker se ervaring prioriteit is. Gaan die iPhone voldoen aan al die verwagtinge wat bestaan?

Van die GPS tot die iPod, videospeler en ander web en rekenaar funksies is baie van die dienste reeds beskikbaar op selfone soos die Nokia N95. (Indien enigiemand weet hoe om die GPS op die Nokia N95 te aktiveer laat weet my asb, want my diensverskaffer weet nie).

Apple het ook aangekondig dat gebruikers YouTube videos direk op die iPhone sal kan kyk. Die vraag is net of jy nog ‘n oproep sal kan maak na ‘n paar videos, want die batterylewe van die iPhone is nog ‘n raaisel.

Daar word verwag dat duisende entosiaste vandag voor die Apple winkels in die VSA sal begin tou-staan om van die eerstes te wees wat die iPhone sal besit.

Ons in Suid Afrika sal maar ‘n paar maande moet wag om presies te kan sien waaroor al die opwinding gaan aangesien die iPhone moontlik oor ‘n hele paar maande in Suid-Afrika beskikbaar sal wees.

Apple verseker gebruikers egter dat die iPhone ‘n deurbraak in die gebruik van ‘n selfoon is, indien ons kyk na Apple se geskiedenis is ek geneig om hulle te glo.


Free State Adobe Usergroup Started

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 Adobe Photoshop is in my opinion probably one of, if not the best graphic design software available at the moment. With the advances that has been made in the latest release of Photoshop a new standard has been set.

Photoshop is however only one of a variety of creativity software products that is produced by Adobe. The products give you a way to unleash your creativity in the fields of photography, video, web design and graphic design.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Adobelive event which was held in Johannesburg and I also invited interested readers to join us at the event.

We quickly realised that there was quite a bit of interest in these products in the Free State and that as a designer it is often very difficult to stay up to date with product changes, design trends and tips and tricks when designing. You can always join groups in the larger cities but it will take huge effort to attend these events.

On Tuesday, with the support of Adobe, we launched the Free State Adobe User Group. The idea is to give each and every professional and amateur designer, photographer and video producer who uses Adobe products to have a place to share ideas and also gain new knowledge from other users. Joining the group is free of charge and is aimed at building a community and stimulating exploration and discussion between the members.

I would like to invite everybody who is interested in attending some of these informal discussion sessions to send me their contact details. I will then be able to add you to the emailing list and I will let you know when we will have the next meeting. Adobe will also get top designers from all over the world to join us and share their secrets.

Training Course

VOIP now has voice in SA

GET YOUR FREE 087 NUMBER NOW! CLICK HERE!

FINALLY VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is getting a voice in South Africa. For a while now we have been able to make calls over the internet using services like Skype and Yahoo messenger. But we have not really been able to replace fixed landlines or cell phones. You were also not able to have your own VOIP Telephone number. Finally there is a service available in the form of FreeTel which was launched last month that offers you this and much more.

Now you can get your own online phone number. These 087 numbers enable users of landlines and cellular phones to dial your VOIP number and get in touch with you.

If you have friends who have also registered for the service and installed the software you can chat with them online. The subscription to the service starts at under R30 per month.

If you want to phone a friend on his cell phone all you have to do is “charge” your account with a desired amount. Even friends and relatives overseas can have their own 087 number making it easy to contact them.

All you have to do is go to www.my087.com and register online. After you have received your confirmation email you download the PC softphone to start using your TelFree 087 number. Your subscription includes online call record, account, conference, voicemail and lots more.

But that is not where this service stops.

You can also have an entire business network of phones on this network and you can purchase handsets to enable this and make life a little easier and cheaper.

Visit www.my087.com and get your free number today and join the communication revolution online.

Ontmoet dalk só ‘die regte een’

meet

EK het ongeveer ‘n jaar gelede ook ‘n rubriek geskryf oor hoe jy jou lewensmaat op die Internet kan ontmoet. Die onderwerp het vandag weer opgekom met ‘n gesprek wat ek met ‘n vriendin gehad het.

Sy is vas oortuig daarvan dat ‘n mens eerder maar aan ‘n slegte verhouding moet vasklou, want waar op die aarde ontmoet jy op 30 ­iemand. Dit was vir my duidelik dat ek weer hierdie onderwerp moet aanraak.

Daar is baie plekke op die internet waar jy mense kan ontmoet en daar is honderde mense hier uit ons streek wat reeds geregistreer het vir van hierdie dienste. Jy leer ken die persoon voor die tyd op die internet en daarna kan julle mekaar vir ‘n koppie koffie ontmoet. Tradisionele plekke soos ‘n klub en kroeg is seker vir baie mense die ideale plek om iemand te ontmoet, maar ek wonder of dit werklik so ‘n goeie plek vir ‘n langtermynverhouding is.

Kliek hier om te gaan loer by een van die grootste dienste waar jy dalk net die regte een moontlik kan raakloop! Indien jy iemand sien waarin jy belangstel en met wie jy boodskappe wil verwissel, kan jy aansluit. Jou persoonlike kontakinligting – soos jou e-pos-adres – word nie aan die ander persoon bekend gemaak nie. As jy dan later besluit om jou inligting aan die ander persoon bekend te maak kan jy dit self stuur.

Dis net belangrik dat jy onthou dat daar baie maniere is om mense te ontmoet en dat daar duisende mense daar buite is wat ook op soek is na “die regte een”.

 

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