You may have seen Vista advertised on TV. We'd like to offer you some completely independent advice. Do not upgrade your existing computer to Vista. If you do want to try Vista, you should buy a new computer with Vista pre-installed. The computer must have 2 GB of Ram. Most are being sold with only 512MB - 1GB only, so be prepared to pay an extra $200 for that extra RAM, as you will need it. Having tried it in-house, we found it still has many bugs that may affect your ability to print, to connect to the internet, and to download media files. We noted that just downloading a customer's FLASH file caused it to corrupt (something to do with Digital Rights Management). However, the file was not pirated and was in fact a unique design provided to us by the customer's designer.
There are several other bugs in Vista, and when support issues arose, there was no one who had the expertise to help us. My best advice is please wait at least 6 months before purchasing your next computer and when you do, make sure it has lots of RAM, and a dedicated graphics card.
There are now many offerings for broadband around. If you don't have broadband and are looking to get it, our best suggestion is to look for smaller, rather than bigger broadband providers. When you need to call for support, smaller outfits are more likely to provide you with friendly, intelligent and personal service and all the skills you would expect from a help desk (although they may limit this to standard business hours).
We suggest you do not get a GOLARGE plan unless you want to download extremely large amounts of media files. You will enjoy your internet experience most if you aim for a $40 or more, 3 gigabyte plan with a guaranteed bandwidth service. The GOLARGE plans suffer from dropped or slow connections throughout the peak hours of the day.
Vodafone and Telecom both offer broadband packages for your laptop or normal computer. We have only tried one of these, but we noted issues with the installed usage meter, which did not accurately reflect their billing department's usage meter. Mobile broadband has extremely high fees for excess usage, so you should call their helpdesk for a sanity check on your usage at the 3 week mark of your billing cycle. The speed of mobile broadband is much slower than fixed line broadband connections, and there are many weak spots where there is no coverage. You will want to ensure you can return the equipment within 30 days if it does not suit your needs. Also the price of this service, although cheaper now, is only about $10 cheaper than buying 2 broadband connections. Our verdict? If you need to show people websites on the move, in cafes and at tradeshows, then get mobile broadband. If not, then spend just a little more and buy two fixed line broadband connections - one for house and one for bach, as 1 gig plans are only $30 with most providers.
Skype is a great way to call people all over the world, and it costs nothing as long as you both have broadband and skype installed. For a competitive price, you can also make calls to landlines, however in NZ, this is only competitive for international calls. The quality is quite good most of the time, but not perfect. So perhaps use your phone for really important calls. You can now buy special VOIP telephone-like handsets that can plug into your computer. This is preferable as it can sometimes feel weird talking to someone with headphones on, or non-private on speakers. Skype also has video conferencing if you both have webcams.
Disclaimer. This advice is purely Reubens personal advice. We do not sell or resell any broadband services, nor computers. We just thought you might like some independent advice.
You may have heard the story about hackers who infiltrated hundreds of ihug customers' websites recently. We can assure you that our servers are very secure and are updated regularly with the lastest security patches. We also don't use Windows, so are less prone to an attack.
With regards to backups, we make daily backups of your websites, photos and data. The backups are located on-site for faster recovery, and we also have geographically remote backups for in the case of major fire or catastrophe. In addition, when you make changes to your pages, a backup of previous versions is also kept automatically (you may have seen the "backups" tab).
In the event of a major catastrophe, we will automatically restore your website to the previous days copy, with no fee for this service.
However, if you have accidentally deleted 1 page or 1 photo, then a $20 fee may be charged to retrieve those items. If you need a database restoration, eg shopping cart products or orders, then the fee is $150, as that restoration job is much more difficult. In all cases, please respond as quickly as possible. We can restore webpages and files easily if you notify us within 24 hours of any error. After a few days, the files may be permanently lost. We can restore data up to 28 days.
The WebWidgets Team
Posted: Fri 16 Feb 2007