The NBN Has Arrived!

At last, it is here, with some customers already connecting in parts of Mittagong, Moss Vale and Bowral. See link below for the latest roll-out info.

NBN Roll-out Map

So what does this mean? Some of you may already have signed up and even been connected but for the rest of us we have to decide if this is for us, but please do not fall for all of the marketing hype and misinformation.

Firstly, you do not have to move to the NBN, well not for a while at least. If you are happy with your current ADSL or other connection, then stick with it. Although I do understand that the current copper network will be disconnected 18 months after an area becomes “NBN Ready” (sorry, I have no further info on this).

Secondly, if you do choose to switch then you can choose which provider you use (you don’t have to stick with your current provider). You can also choose which plan you want, what speed you want, etc. You can also bundle it with other services such as mobile phones.

So now some warnings.

Firstly, if you want to keep your current phone number make sure this is in any contract you sign with the provider otherwise you are likely to end up with a new, phone number with the old one disconnected.

Also, if you use any of the following services, then make sure you confirm with your chosen provider that they can provide these services before signing on the bottom line.

  • Fax
  • Back to Base Alarm
  • Phone based medical alarm systems (i.e. VitalCall)

Most providers will be able to provide these services but you need to ensure that they are in your contract before signing. Also, check with the provider of the alarm systems just to be sure!

Here is a link to the NBN Co’s FAQ page on these types of services:



  • NBN – National Broadband Network
  • FTTP – Fibre to the Premises (the premium system some people will get)
  • FTTN – Fibre to the Node (the 2nd rate system most of us will get which relies on the aging copper wires to our premises – homes, businesses, etc)
  • Fixed Wireless/Satellite – for those of you in remote areas, which is apparently 4% of the population (the 3rd rate system for everyone else)
  • RSP – Retail Service Provider (what used to be called an ISP. You can’t get the NBN from NBN Co, only from a RSP

For those technically minded here is the NBN Co’s glossary:

NBN Co Glossary

So, there it is in a nutshell, the NBN.


Online Data Backup

In an earlier post, “Online data Storage“, I tried to explain the difference between  Online Data Storage and Online Data Backup. I don’t think I did a particular job of it so I will try again here. I now have a much better understanding of the two so this attempt should be better!

Online Data Backup (ODB) involves creating a copy of your critical data on a server somewhere out there in “The Cloud”. The Cloud being the Internet (at least that is how I think of it). This copy of your data remains out there on someones secure servers until you remove it. You do not use this data in the day to day running of your business, it is there purely as an insurance policy against loss or corruption of the local data on your computer. [Read more…]

Smartphone security and data backup

With the continuing fall-out from the “News of the World” phone tapping scandal now is probably a good time to talk about security for your smartphone. If you have an iPhone, Nokia or HTC or any one of the other smartphones you should be treating access to this and it’s stored data the same as you would any computers you may own; in fact; taking into account the portability and size of your smartphone, you should be taking this security even more seriously!

Security on your smartphone goes far beyond having a PIN to access the phone, you need the equivalent of PC anti-virus & firewall software at least. And don’t forget about backing up the data on the phone!htc

There are numerous ways that “bad” people can access your phone. Obviously having physical access to it is one way and you may think that a PIN or password will fix this but remember passwords can be cracked. Also, don’t forget the media or memory card inserted into the little slot in the side or back that contains images, videos and other information. Of course your phone can also be remotely “hacked” as in the News of the World story where journalists were able to access a phone remotely and read the messages, etc stored on it.

[Read more…]

The Cloud

A while ago I talked about Online Data Storage (ODS) and referred to Online Data Backup (ODB). In the time since that post I have been testing offerings of both and have a much better understanding of how they work and what benefits they can offer us. But before I get into that I need to explain “The Cloud”.

Firstly a quick explanation and a bit of terminology (sorry about the jargon but you only need a basic understanding of this). You will be hearing a lot more references in the future to something called “The Cloud”. Briefly, The Cloud has been around for a long time and refers to services offered online (on the Internet). In fact if you have been using Microsoft Exchange services online then you have been using The Cloud. These services include data storage & backup and also software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, email, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and even accounting. The provision of online software services is known as Software as a Service, or SaaS. You can even rent hardware services (Windows servers, etc).

[Read more…]

Online Data Storage

I had an interesting discussion with a client today about computers, data storage and applications . It started as a discussion about online storage and backups and the idea of the “cloud” then moved on to online applications and moving entirely to the cloud. I won’t go into what the cloud is in this post, I’ll save that for later, but for now just think of it as “the internet”.

For a few weeks now I have been testing an offering called “Dropbox” which is an online storage system. I moved all of my business data to Dropbox so it is no longer stored on my desktop PC but is stored in the “cloud”. Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage for your data and offers plans for those with the need for more.
[Read more…]

WordPress and building a website

Well, that has been a step learning curve!

After loading WordPress which is a free website/blog design package on my Mac, the usual things happened such as needing to load other software to use it, in this case Apache web-server and PHP5 website scripting software, both also free! Don’t worry too much about the details but basically I had to set up a web-server on my Mac to allow me to develop and test a site locally. What I eventually realised was that I could install WordPress on my ISP/web-hosting companies site and do all the design & development there, thus avoiding all the problems of uploading the site when complete and ready to go live! It also negated the need for FileZilla ftp software on my Mac which would allow me to upload the website files.
[Read more…]