Looking for a low cost (but still great) smart phone?

Nokia-Lumia-520-front-pngThere is a newish, low cost Windows phone out, the Nokia Lumia 520 for $179 (no contract, not locked)

It has a great Sat-navigation included for free plus you get your email on your phone and all the other things you would expect. The only limitation with windows phone is the "smaller" apps like Westfield shopping guide or blue mountains tourist info at aren't typically available for windows phone but hopefully this will come in the future, and all the everyday staples are well provided for with the exception of Google services.

For $179 outright purchase price that's pretty cheap for a 4" screen size smartphone device with:

  • phone
  • Sat-navigation
  • music player (ipod)
  • PDA (email, calendar, contacts)
  • basic camera
  • game console
  • video player
  • MS office mobile
  • eBook reader
  • Audio book player
  • and its expandable by MicroSD card for those really big music, photo or video collections.

Things have come a long way in recent years once upon a time you had to buy all these devices separately, that's a lot of functionality for a pretty small price.

This is a great phone if you don't want to spend too much (for a personal prepaid phone account for example) and great for teenage kids as well (these are very tough and relatively inexpensive).

If you want a high end device, windows phone comes in higher price tags as well for such features as wireless charging, up to 6" display, and massive 41mp digital camera.

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Want your start menu back? - Start8 from Stardock!

I suggest you upgrade to windows 8.1 and get your start *button* back, secondly learn to use windows 8 how it was designed, ask me for a 2 minute demo for your light bulb moment. But, if after that you still want to get your old start *menu* back then have a look at this product.

It's $5 per PC so it won't break the bank.

Their blurb:

The Windows® 8 start menu returns with Start8®! Download the world's most popular Windows 8 start menu.

  •    Add the best Windows 8 start menu to your desktop
  •    Windows 7-styled start menu enhanced for Windows 8
  •    Pin Modern applications to the Windows 8 start menu
  •    Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop



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Do you need to consume a lot of web based textual material, if you like it to be read for you (like an audio book) then have a look at the free (or paid) service from

Sign up for a free account, email the link for the web page and they will send you back the link to the audio in 10 minutes or so. This is available in a number of different formats:

  • Streaming via the link in the email (Just click and listen)
  • RSS (subscribe to your personal “podcast”)
  • Phone app (including your Windows phone)
  • Download the MP3 file


There are a few limitations on the free version as follows:

  • 30 Articles per day maximum
  • 4,000 words
  • Random voice gender

In the full version you can also do things like send PDF’s and have them converted/read.

One final thing to consider is that it’s a computer generate voice and it does very well based on my experience but it’s a bit hard to listen to for long periods (over say 20 mins at a time) and there is also some content which doesn’t lead itself to being computer-read such as content with a lot of numbers, non-english words or perhaps industry/profession specific words. For example I don’t know how well it would handle Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis which is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, causing inflammation in the lungs."

Happy listening


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Nokia 1020 smartphone with 41 Megapixel camera

Once again leading the rest of the world in smartphone technology another windows phone has had its product launch in the last couple of weeks.

The Nokia 1020 is on its way, complete with 41 Megapixel camera, yes 41mp!

It’s hard to believe not only is it an extremely high resolution image but the excellent quality sensor, low light capability and image stabilisation make this not only unique but so far ahead of the rest it’s hard to believe and that’s not only the camera either. Even my Nokia 920 has wireless charging as standard, NFC (Near Field Communication to allow for visa payments via paywave/EFTPOS), it even works with gloves (for the ski field) and has a host of other unique features.


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Wi-Fi not quite reaching all areas?

If you find that your Wi-Fi network is not quite reaching all areas in your home or business? Have a look at this product its a Wi-Fi extender, it takes the signal received from your existing Wi-Fi hotspot and relays and amplifies it so that you can get more coverage. (model number F9K1106au)




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Digitalwelcomemat provides IT consultancy and services for business customers on the NSW Central Coast in Australia.



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