Printer Ink Rip Off

Is it really such a new problem?

We are IT resellers, and we’re often ‘pig in the middle’ as far as printer ink is concerned. Customers ask us for advice on network printers – after all, we have to make them work on their systems.

The really difficult bit is inks (or equivalent).

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Microsoft Teacher Boot Camp

Better Late Than Never

I managed to get along to the first day of the teacher boot camp in Reading in August. I’ve been meaning to write something about it since then.

In addition to the specific materials, ideas and products which  we worked with, there were a few technologies also added in during general discussion. Here are just a few of them.

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WordPress and Free Software Session

Part 1 – The WordPress Bit

We had a great session today looking through some features from and free utilities and ideas from Google and from Microsoft. To round off a very useful session we got a dormant twitter user up and running 🙂

Here are the links and notes from the session. (Some of these are elsewhere on my blog, and some go out to other web sites).

Blogging in school?

Make sure you check this box – someone needs to be in charge of comments. On the dashboard, select settings, discussions and tick this box-


Want your blog to look like a web site?

For your blog to have a ‘static’ front page, and still be able to your blog posts, make a new PAGE called Posts then select this option in dashboard –> settings –>reading


I don’t want search engines to find my blog

Dashboard –> settings-> privacy


Use the second option and simply give your blog address to people. if you use the third option remember that you’ll have to define the users to WordPress (may take a bit of effort).

How do I get that Tweet button on the blog post

The new sharing option appears to have replaced this (in the time between showing it today and writing this blog!).


In the dashboard below the settings menu there’s a whole tab called sharing. Please could someone look a this post and tweet it!

Is your disk filling up?

And you don’t know why?

Pocket digital cameras can quickly create monster video files. The original video of the Canadian Freight Train is 221Mb – from a pocket digital camera!

You could always browse your way through Windows Explorer and just figure it out – or you could download a fabulous free tool called SequoiaView and let that help you figure it out.

Here’s a pretty picture of my disk usage. I’m about to replace my hard drive anyway – that will be a future blog post – so it’s time to clear out the junk. But where is the junk?

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Windows Live Writer Manual

Blogging Made Easy

I’ve been making use of Windows Live Writer to make this blog, and many others, for the last 6 months. Thanks to Ray Fleming from Microsoft for introducing me to this great FREE 🙂 🙂 utility.

As I’ve tried to introdce it to other staff and customers – I’ve had the question – is there a user manual?

There is now. Please feel free to download a copy – please let me know how you feel I could improve it.

Windows Live Writer manual release ver1


That’s Right – Children Want to Programme

They certainly want to make games.

kodu start screen microsoft labs
Kodu Welcome

Matt Maclaurin ran a fantastic workshop on Kodu at CAS10 on Friday. Whilst I watched what he was showing – I couldn’t help thinking –

Is this the answer to the teachers who say – "After MyWorld, what now?"

Some quick notes from Matt – Kodu is a completely new language and is free to download from

The design philosophy behind it is that it can be teachable by anyone – it’s very creative and visual. Usage so far suggests it’s a great tool for storytelling, and looks like it could be great for literacy.

Kodu example text

My experience of it so far is that it looks a bit sensitive to the PC spec. / graphics card and RAM and you may need to tweak the settings to get the best out of your PC.

But – wow!

Producer 2007

Another reason for no more YAPP

In a  security bulletin issued today with the catchy title of MS10-016, Microsoft just happened to also mention that there’s a new release of Producer.

Now, it’s a little while since I looked at Producer, but I do remember it was pretty good. You can download it here it’s not too big.

This is one of those bits of software that you really want to run well.

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Is this the ultimate search?

Once again Richard Byrne has hit the spot!

On his post today he introduced mashpedia.

My pack has just arrived for the Lake Vyrwny Half Marathon in September – so I mashpedia’d Vyrwny. The results are here –

If you mashpedia anything – just keep scrolling down.

Free Maps?

Geography and ICT – just made for each other

In addition to BING having the OS links, the OS themselves have a direct website to their maps.

On Line Maps has a lower overall resolution than the best level in BING, but the cleaner interface may make teaching and learning easier. The page has ‘Crown Copyright’ stamped quite nicely in the bottom corner, so maybe I shouldn’t copy an example 😦

If you have a map on disply, scroll down the page to see –

Ordnance Survey map tools for pupilsFollow the link for education takes you to Mapzone

Mapzone - now you're talking

Mapzone may well be a post all on it’s own – it looks such fun (and it’s educational).

Easy Peasy Map Reading – follow that link and scroll down the page for class sets of this brilliant leaflet – here’s a snippet from it.

Ordnance Survey map tools for pupils

Fantastic Google Resource

On his fantastic blog Richard Byrne has produced a fabulous booklet showing great ideas with Google. The online booklet uses a viewing system that caused me a few problems, but here it is as a pdf – google for teachers

He shows many ideas – including mind mapping with Google – like so

Clicking on NASA gives ..

The wonder of the wonder wheel