30 April 2014

InDepth - the toughest iPhone case

I've got a very special iPhone case for you all today - the InDepth iPhone 5/5S waterproof and weatherproof case. 

This isn't a pretty case to be left in your handbag – although they do look very smart - these are the toughest cases on the market – especially designed in Australia for the tradesmen, the adventurers and the active people who need a case that can take some hard knocks.  This case can take being driven over, taken on a swim, buried in dirt and survive the inevitable drops. 

The InDepth case makes your iPhone resistant to water, dirt, impact and snow. 

There are also some great accessories that you can attach to the case – a floating lanyard, adhesive mount, bike and bar mount, and a bottle opener belt clip.

You can buy an InDepth case here for $99.95 including free Express Post within Australia.  There is also an iPhone 4/4S case available for $89.95.

Would you like an InDepth case?

It’s all very well me telling you about this case, but unfortunately I can’t give it a really good trial – I just don’t think I could be tough enough on it.  So, I’d like one of my readers to take on the job of giving it a really good test run – and you get to keep the case too! 

If you or your partner think you could give an InDepth case a good workout just leave me a comment below telling me what you think makes you (or your partner) the perfect ‘tester’.
I'm going to ask the winner to let us all know how the case performed by answering some questions that I’ll provide.  I’ll then publish the review (and some pictures, I hope) on the blog. 

Competition Conditions:

  • This competition is a game of skill.
  • The prize is an orange InDepth iPhone 5/5S case with belt clip
  • Submit your entry in a comment at the bottom of this post.  
  • Follow Techie Mum on Facebook here – if you don’t already.
  • This competition is open to Australian Residents only.  
  • The competition is open for one week – from 30 April to 7 May 2014
  • You must own or have access to an iPhone 5 or 5s to trial the case
  • You agree to trial and review this case by answering the questions I will provide – within two weeks of receiving your InDepth case.
  • No responsibility taken for damage to your iPhone while using this case
  • The winner will be announced on Thursday 8 May 2014 on the Techie Mum blog, Facebook page, and Twitter. 
  • The winner will be contacted via the blog or by email address where one has been provided.  The winner has four days to reply, otherwise the prize will go to the next best entry.

This giveaway has now ended - the winner is Karen Edwards.  I will be featuring Karen's review of the InDepth case in the next few weeks.

14 April 2014

App review: Eggy Subtract to 20

Special Offer - only until 16 April!

If you've been hanging around Techie Mum for a while you'll know that I love the Reading Eggs apps.  I've used quite a few of these brilliant educational apps over the years for my boys.  Adding to the collection is a new maths app – Eggy Subtract to 20. 

Designed for children aged 4-7 this app teaches subtraction skills using six interactive games – feeding monsters, throwing subtraction pies, snowboarding, helping Teddy climb the rope, finishing Dr Shocks subtraction grid, and a memory game.  Within each game there are two or three levels to complete, and as each activity is completed there are rewards to unlock.  Reading Eggs apps make learning fun with bright animations and catchy music.  Whilst the apps are created in Australia you have a choice of accents – Australian, English and American.

Eggy Subtract to 20 is compatible with iPads and iPhones and is $3.79 from the AppStore.  Although you’ll get it a bit cheaper for the next two days.  There’s a special offer on just for the next two days (until Wednesday 16 April) – all Reading Eggs apps (except the fabulous Targeting Maths range – damn!) are reduced to $2.49.  

I've reviewed some other Reading Eggs apps:

05 April 2014

Goodbye Windows XP

In October 2001 Windows XP was released and over the years it has become the most used computer operating system in the world.  In the 12 years since there have been three new versions of Windows released - Vista, 7, and 8/8.1, but there are hundreds of millions of computers all over the world still using XP – actually 18% of Windows PCs. 

If you’re one of them, you should spend this weekend thinking about what you’re going to do after Tuesday – because on 8 April Microsoft will cease to support Windows XP.  While XP is still a great operating system there could be some problems if you continue to use it after that date. 

Hopefully I can answer your questions about what it means to you:

What will happen on 8 April 2014?

On that date Microsoft will no longer offer any kind of technical support for Windows XP.  That means there will be no more automatic updates from Microsoft – of most concern is no more security updates. 

Support is also ending for Internet Explorer 8, which is the default web browser for XP. 

Without those security updates your computer could be exposed to malware, viruses and other security threats.

Will my computer still work?

Yes, the end of Microsoft support will have no effect how your computer works.

Should I buy a new computer?

If you've been thinking about it, then yes.  Now would be a good time to buy. 

If you've been hearing terrible things about Windows 8, then let me reassure you that it’s not that bad, it’s very fast, and if you bypass the modern tiled start screen there’s a familiar XP/Windows 7 style desktop.  It has also been rumoured this week that a future update will reintroduce the Start Menu. 

Most of the software that you used on your XP computer (unless it’s very old) will still work on Windows 8, or this could be a good opportunity to negotiate with the salesman when buying your new computer to see what software they can throw in - a one year subscription to Office 365 would be good!

To help you move your files from your XP computer to a new one, Microsoft has a free tool – PC Mover Express.  This tool will copy your files, music, videos, email, user profiles and settings from your old PC to your new computer running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.  

If I don’t want to buy a new computer what can I do?

  • Use a more modern web browser – like Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.  They are both free to download and will be supported on XP computers until at least 2015.  This will help to stop your computer being exposed to the most common threats.
  • Keep your internet security software up to date.
  • If your computer is suitable you could install a new operating system on it - you can still buy Windows 7 installation disks.  To check if your computer can run Windows 7 download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. 

If I buy a new computer is there anything I can do with my XP computer?

Yes, you’ll have no problems at all if you are not connected to the internet, so maybe keep it as a backup computer or for the kids for games or basic programs. 

Have a think this weekend about what you're going to do if you still have an XP computer and if you have any specific questions pop them in a comment below.

01 April 2014

Techie Mum How-To Guides

Something I've wanted to provide my Techie Mum readers for a while now are guides to performing certain techie tasks, how to use particular software, and to help you learn more about your techie devices. 

To coincide with the 10th anniversary of the launch of Gmail my first Techie Mum How-To Guide is now available.  You can download my Gmail Basics guide from the Guides & ebooks page on the blog. 

I'll be adding more guides regularly.  Topics that will be added very soon are Outlook Contacts and PowerPoint for Images.

If there is a topic you would like to know more about just leave me a message.   I'd also love to hear what you think of my guides.