Allan J. Smithie

Allan J. Smithie is a journalist and commentator based in Dubai.
Allan J. Smithie has written 347 posts for Everything Express

News: XP eXPires

While Microsoft has extended the end-of-life deadline Windows XP several times under consumer pressure, not least from Enterprise customers, we have reached that line in the sand. The party’s over. Officially, Windows XP is now dead, but it’s not gone. Choose your stats carefuly; conservatively, between 20 and 27% of computers connected to the Internet … Continue reading

How-to: Diagnose an SD Card that’s stopped working

It never ceases to amaze me how resilient is the humble SD card. They take heat, cold, damp, weight, an infeasible amount of weight, bending and mistreatment. And, unlike most of your other electronic gadgets, magnets and magnetism don’t affect SD cards; the amount of electro-magnetism it takes to corrupt the bits on EPROM flash … Continue reading

How-to: Fix Windows 8.1 Upgrades

Microsoft recently released Windows 8.1, the upgrade to Windows 8 that added features and addressed some of the user’s pet hates (no, that didn’t include the Fischer-Price ‘Metro’/Modern-UI non-desktop). Depending on how important you consider boot to desktop, SkyDrive (OneDrive) integration, and an updated UI, with dynamic Snap for multiple apps and sharing the desktop … Continue reading

How-to: Check Compatibility with Windows 8.1

It’s here: Windows 8.1. Boot to desktop, a Start button, and more user friendliness. But – is your software and hardware compatible with Windows 8.1? Windows 8.1 is an upgrade with serious issue for a significant number of users. And there’s no option to back-out to Windows 8. Affected users are stuck with it or … Continue reading

How-to: Avoid Dangerous Email Attachments

Email. It can’t really be ‘dangerous’ can it? Short of some bad news giving you a heart attack, no. But email attachments can harbour all kinds of nasties; trojans, worms, rogue executable code and other viruses. How do you know what’s safe to open? Even from people you know? The trouble is, any type of … Continue reading

News: Some XP Security Updates after April

It looks increasingly likely that Windows XP users will still get some security-related updates after April 8, 2014. We all know Microsoft wanted a clean start with Windows 7, then 8, now Windows 9, but it simply cannot ignore the huge legacy of Windows XP the company’s core user base on the desktop. Depending on … Continue reading

How-to Decide What NOT to Post On Facebook Part II

Over-sharing on Facebook: if you didn’t see the critical list of things NOT to share, check back on Part I. That was just the tip of the iceberg. Timing If you are supposed to be at work, posting five status updates and four photos before coffee break is going to show up in your timeline … Continue reading

How-to Decide What NOT to Post On Facebook Part I

Can I stop you for a moment to talk about a particularly modern, Western habit? Over-sharing. Not content with talking indiscreetly in lunch queues, on instant messaging and in email, people are habitually sharing all manner of personal information and opinions on Facebook without a second thought. Why? Facebook has garnered a hideous reputation for … Continue reading

Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 $380 A thin, light tablet that looks like a stretched out Galaxy S4 with a 1280×800, 8.0-inch screen that is good for a TFT, but not even close to a Nexus 7. Which makes $380 a hefty price tag for a device that’s so very 1998: calling all  stylus-lovers, you too … Continue reading

Review: Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z Tablet $500 If you want a 10-inch tablet that’s light, waterproof (up to a point) and performs almost as well as an iPad, Sony’s Xperia Z may be it. The 1920×1200 display may not be as good as the iPad’s Retina but it knocks spots off the competition. With  a Qualcomm Snapdragon … Continue reading

Review: Microsoft Surface RT

Microsoft Surface RT $350 Remember the first Surface RT a few months back: ads full of clicky covers and no description of what the heck it was? For $500? Now with a prices cut of $150 down to $350, this may be worth another look – but take note – this is NOT the Surface … Continue reading

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