Press coverage

Talk to your vendor

Talk to your vendor

Written by Richard Adams on Thursday, 23 August 2018. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro magazine

This letter was written by Alan Ingram (Technical Director) and published by PC Pro magazine in their August 2018 edition (issue 286).

I read your article on document management (see issue 285, p102) with interest, as I run an IT consultancy specialising in data capture and workflow. Eddie Ginja recommended that “business should identify exactly what the business need is”, which is good advice, but he goes on to recommend creating a list of requirements, what you want it to do and how much you want to spend; this is the point at which I would urge engaging with likely vendors.

All too often, we vendors are given soulless lists of requirements and asked to put a tick against the ones we can do.

All too often, we vendors are given soulless lists of requirements and asked to put a tick against the ones we can do. If we tick the right boxes and it progresses, more often than not we find the list of features was created without any real understanding of what technology can offer or how best it can be used to meet the business objectives.

That’s a shame, as it’s that guidance that companies such as ours provide. Engaging with vendors gives customers the opportunity to plan a better solution and allows vendors to prove their worth even before money has changed hands.

PC Pro letter of the month

PC Pro letter of the month

Written by Richard Adams on Tuesday, 09 January 2018. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro magazine

This letter was written by Alan Ingram (Technical Director) and published by PC Pro magazine in their March 2018 edition (issue 281).

Having read your excellent articles in last month’s edition (issue 280) it’s clear to me there is a common thread that links almost all of the world’s problems.

Tim attempts to justify a £1,000 phone that costs that much only because people like him will pay it (p7), Barry laments the subscription model but the fuels it with his own cash (p27) and Nicole is scared by the power of social media but convinces herself it makes no difference whether she opts out or not and instead ask for government meddling to save us from, very literally, ourselves (p28).

These are all genuine problems that have only one solution: vote with your feet!

In a capitalist world the only way of guiding the market is by the individuals, each and every one of us, making a stand. Let’s be honest, even if we don’t buy the latest smartphone, succumb to the easy subscription or engage with the fake façade of social media, there are many alternatives, whether that’s the OnePlus 5T, Serif or simply talking to people.

Other than the last of these, they will still all garnish our lives far more plushily than would have been possible even a few years ago. Let’s take the good from technology but also sacrifice a little and reject the things we know deep down are wrong. Just because everyone else seems to do it, we shouldn’t think it’s okay for us to follow like sheep.

Read the full PC Pro letter.

Crazy phone prices

Crazy phone prices

Written by Richard Adams on Thursday, 07 December 2017. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro magazine

This letter was written by Alan Ingram (Technical Director) and published by PC Pro magazine in their February 2018 edition (issue 280, p30)

What is it with phrases such as “against the iPhone X, suddenly the iPhone 8 seems quite reasonable” (see issue 278, p3)? The fact is, it isn’t reasonable and it’s £100 more than the last model.

It has a faster processor or a better camera, they will say, but the advancement of technology should provide those without increasing manufacturing costs. Dell charges much the same for a PC now as it did 10 years ago, when the £269 iPhone was born. And if Ford applied the same rate of inflation as Apple, a basic Mondeo with specs similar to the 2007 model would now cost £65,000.

I decided long ago that Apple isn’t for me, but the worst of this is that same mentality is allowing Google to make what would have been considered ‘evil’ pricing only a couple of years ago seem reasonable (the Pixel 2 is nearly £300 more than the last 5in Nexus).

Apple can do what it wants, and there will always be people queuing up to pay huge premiums for its product, but this isn’t what attracted us all to Android. So, isn’t it about time we started voting with our feet? If not, where is the addition of £100 for each new version going to stop?

Read the full PC Pro letter.

Think Different (please)

Think Different (please)

Written by Richard Adams on Monday, 07 August 2017. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro magazine, Information Technology

This letter was written by Alan Ingram (Technical Director) and published by PC Pro magazine in their October 2017 edition (issue 276, page 28).

Why is Jon Honeyball obsessed with Apple? In issue 275, he tells us all about Samsung's desktop-on-a-phone idea, which it pinched from Microsoft. Both seem to have done a good job, but neither is apparently acceptable, and Jon is waiting for Apple to have a go instead.

Apple is the company that just spent $5 billion on a donut for its new HQ but can't seem to innovate even the simplest of commodities, like a new Wi-Fi router to replace its defunct AirPort range. It seems that all 100,000+ of its employees are too busy designing the all-new iPhone to think up anything new, so he may be waiting some time.

Read the full PC Pro letter.

Wireless in the real world

Wireless in the real world

Written by Richard Adams on Wednesday, 01 July 2015. Posted in Press coverage, PC Pro magazine, Information Technology

This article was published in PC Pro magazine in July 2015 (issue 249, page 114) and features comments from Alan Ingram (Technical Director).

Around a year ago, PC Pro received an email from reader Alan Ingram with a plea for help. He wrote:

One aspect of Wi-Fi technology that seems to have been forgotten about is point-to-point connections. I’m responsible for two sites that employ point-to-point Wi-Fi to link buildings. Both have challenges of distance, line-of-sight and so on. But after a lot of messing around, the best solution I came up with has been a pair of Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 running DD-WRT connected up to D-Link ANT24-210021dBi directional 11g grid antennas. This gave me a reasonably quick connection (a little of 20Mbits/sec) over a few hundred metres, even when line-of-sight was iffy at best.

However, this kit is now seven years old. With VDSL I could theoretically achieve similar speeds by routing the data halfway around the country via a consumer-level broadband connection to each building; there must be a better solution now?

The problem seems to be that most of the advances in Wi-Fi are around MIMO, which require a router looking like a Christmas tree, with more and more antennas. This doesn’t lend itself well to directional antennas from what I can gather. Has there been a wireless standard or router since 802.11g that’s designed for single antennas, that allows for better stability and throughput than 802.11G?

Alan is Founder and Technical Director at ePartner Consulting Ltd in Lightwater, Surrey, a company that’s heavily into areas such as business process management, workflow automation and data capture. The company uses its site-to-site wireless link mainly for things such as VM replication, where Alan reports that the initial copying can take days.

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