Welcome

True digital professionals are hard to find; those that have experienced all of the tech advances, bubbles, crashes and failures yet have kept their skills up to date, remain focussed on success and can deliver results.  Having worked with tech as a hobby (coding, gaming, graphics) since 1985 and professionally since 1993, my experience is considerable.

Even though I’m 100% employed, I like to keep my skills up to date as a UN Online Volunteer and some projects at no cost for continual professional development.  If you’d like to have a chat about working with me, please contact me.

My Expertise

  • Electrical Installations

    I achieved an EMTA Award in Domestic Electrical Installations in 2005 and a City & Guilds BS 7671 Level 3 Certificate in the Requirements of Electrical Installations in 2008 in order to design cabled infrastructure for networking and to understand the assessment process for similar qualifications.  

  • Accountant

    I have a BA (Hons) Accountancy & Finance from the UK and trained professionally as a Chartered Accountant.  I’m up to date with all aspects of financial accounting and company law.

  • Information Technology with a Masters Degree

    I have a Master of Science (Information Technology) from the University of Liverpool specialising in Web Development, Databases, Networking, E-Commerce, Security and MultiMedia.

  • Hospitality Educator

    I qualified as a Certified Hospitality Educator in 1996 in the AH&MA professional development programme.

  • Apple Teacher with Swift Playgrounds

    In January 2017 I completed the Certified Apple Teacher with Swift Playgrounds qualification in all OSX and iOS applications.

  • Energy Efficiency for Domestic Heating

    I qualified with a City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Energy Efficiency for Domestic Heating (England and Wales) in 2005 in order to design and participate in the assessment process for these skills.

  • Drone Pilot

    I’m an experienced, ethical and fully insured drone pilot for gathering media in 4K and high quality photography with GPS and data mapping for marketing purposes and for inspections of impossible or difficult to reach structures, within legal and technical limits.

  • Change / Transformation Manager

    Since starting in tech, every position has involved a large degree of change or transformation to whoever I’m working with, sometimes painfully for those involved.  As a result, complex change is a normal part of life for me.  I’ve learned a great deal about aligning the ultimate objective of the change with proper change management for those involved, especially in getting people involved and working towards the same goal.

  • Product Manager

    I spent 2 years managing an artificial intelligence software product, written in LISP / LISL, for page layout for publications in the publishing industry.  Being responsible for taking it from 1 installation to making new revenue in excess of £100,000, I achieved this target and surpassed it by 1,000%.

  • Webmaster

    I arranged hosting and hand-coded my first HTML website in 1995.  Since then I’ve managed all aspects of many creatively designed, high-performance, secure, e-commerce, SEO optimised and complex web sites with media, copyrighted content and handling the entire workflow.  From 2007 this grew into mobile and database applications.

  • Trainer / Coach / Mentor / Faculty

    I’ve spent over a decade as a visiting and full-time trainer / faculty member at several higher education and professional training organisations.

    I’m fully capable to expert level in under graduate, post graduate, professional and executive education in my specialist areas and am comfortable in face-to-face, blended and online environments with international professionals and students (experience with ~100 nationalities).

    My approach uses enhanced teaching with technology, flipped classrooms and mentoring style for deeper and personalised learning.  Student feedback and ratings are excellent.

  • Director

    I worked in my own companies both running them and working with clients as necessary for many years.  I handled all of the strategy, legal, people management, financial planning and reporting and regularly was hands-on with training and technology matters.

  • Startup Founder

    I have started several businesses.  The earliest one was at the age of 15 as a DJ and since then I’ve started businesses in:

    • training for electrical, gas and oil engineers
    • web hosting, web and mobile applications development and training
    • seo and digital marketing
    • property investments
    • financial projection services
    • startup coaching and investments
  • Head of Information Technology

    I moved into professional information technology as a support engineer dealing with hardware troubleshooting, LAN ethernet based networking, virus / spyware removal and data recovery.  I progressed to management during this time and also started doing some application training in spreadsheets.

  • Accountant & Auditor

    After graduating from University, I trained as a Chartered Accountant in the UK.  This was a useful time and enables me today to fully prepare, audit and interpret financial statements.   Despite this useful time, I found my technology skills appealed to my employer, our clients and to myself more than being an accountant/auditor and despite a useful and happy time with this employer, I decided to focus on technology and moved on.

My Blog...

  • Code Surfing

    Taking JavaScript as our example, at the very basic level, it is possible to require that JavaScript is enabled to view the page and then, assuming this is turned on in the browser, disable the right click option to view the menu and hence the option to view the source code. Unfortunately this protection does […]

  • Client-Side Versus Server-Side Scripting

    There are various advantages and disadvantages of client-side scripting and server-side scripting. The main advantages of client-side scripting, with scripts such as JavaScript, although JavaScript can be used for server-side scripting (Tmunotein, I (2004)), are performance and usability, whilst the main advantages of server-side scripting are compatibility and complexity. For client-side scripting, once the content […]

  • Effective Database Design in Complex Systems

    Effective database design in complex systems is the skilled balancing and compromises taken of three aspects; design standards, processing speed and information requirements (Coronel, Morris & Rob (2009)). Database design standards are subject to the technology used, which dictates required technical standards, and best practices, which is gained by the designer through training, experience and […]

  • Big-O notation and traditional grade school algorithms for addition and multiplication

    Big-theta notation is used in the analysis of an algorithm to give an estimate of run-time complexity and hence a measurement of performance.  An algorithm to add two numbers together each having N digits assuming Hindu-Arabic positional notation of digits can be written in many ways, two amongst them being; by splitting the digits into […]

  • Palindrome Algorithm

    Given that a palindrome is a string that is identical when reversed (e.g. “evil rats on no star live”), I have made the following assumptions: The input string will be greater than two characters in length (i.e. 3 or more) to allow only true palindromes The input string can consist of any character, however only […]

  • Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

    A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is a private network of telecommunications devices that share one or more connections to the public network. Historically a PBX was a collection of physical cables that connected telephones to a switching mechanism that communicated with the public network and this evolved into different types of telecom devices (e.g. fax […]

  • Star Schemas

    Star schemas are a common data model used in data marts and warehouse databases where a central table of “facts” is used which are viewed in terms of dimensions (a perspective on a given fact, such as time) and each dimension table contains the attributes of that dimension. For example, if a fact was a […]

  • Helper Applications

    A helper application is “an external program that may be called by a web browser to display content that the browser does not display on its own or by using a plug-in” Chapman (2009, p690). An example of this is when, in some browsers, a non standard web file type is requested for viewing, such […]

  • Distributed Databases

    A distributed database is one stored at multiple locations on a network that usually appear to users and applications as a single database. In a distributed database system a user, usually via the application interface, can seamlessly, subject to permissions and locks, access and modify the data in the databases at any network location. In […]

  • Query by Example (QBE) & Structured Query Language (SQL)

    Query by Example (QBE) and Structured Query Language (SQL) are industry standard languages for querying data to obtain information from relational database systems. Query by Example (QBE) was developed in tandem with SQL in the 1970s by IBM (Zloohf) where the technique of using search terms was used to filter data based on data content […]

  • Problem Solving Techniques

    Although formal problem solving techniques, such as those used in the programming languages SPARK or Ada, have not yet found widespread usage (Glenn Brookshear, J. (2009)) most algorithm developers use informal problem solving techniques, usually concerning the use of test data and considering expected results and adjusting the algorithm as necessary and re-testing. From experience […]

  • JavaScript Validation of Form Fields: Email Address

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd”> <html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”> <head> <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ /> <title>JavaScript Email Address Validation</title> <SCRIPT LANGUAGE=”JavaScript”> function ValidateEmail(form) { // check for invalid email address format if (/^w+([.-]?w+)*@w+([.-]?w+)*(.w{2,3})+$/.test(form.email.value)){ // if no invalid characters then pass validation alert(“The email address you have entered has been validated successfully”) return (true) } […]

  • Software Piracy

    Dorrell’s article on Copyright Levies (2005) summaries copyright tax law and the issues with decriminalising piracy as “free for personal use” and the difficulties in policing this in addition to how commercial use may be decided upon and calculated and distributed. Having said that, from the perspective of a piece of information or a product […]

  • Dynamic HTML

    According to the World Wide Web Consortium (2003) Dynamic HTML describes “the combination of HTML, style sheets and scripts that allows documents to be animated”. Well implemented dynamic HTML (DHTML) techniques that are cross-browser compatible enhance the user’s experience often guiding them through processes such as forms, navigation and e-commerce by, amongst others, the indication […]

  • Browser DOM Event Handling

    It is in the commercial/success measurement (e.g. gaining market share) interest of browser developers such as Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Opera and Safari and others for their browsers to be able to understand all code parsed on all web sites and balance this requirement with their own objective; to become the most popular browser. These goals […]

  • Copyrights, Patents & Trademarks

    Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks are primary ways of protecting intellectual property rights however they each serve a different purpose and are enforceable in law in different ways in different countries, especially with regards to software. Copyright was not law, in the UK, until 1709 in the UK, when Parliament passed the “Statute of Anne” which […]

  • Language Development

    Developments in language are not uncommon, especially with the advent of new technology that enables the entry and production of information faster. The earliest typewriter, first patented in England in 1714 but not used widely until the 18th century, allowed the printing of text on paper and standardised and speeded up the publication process. When […]

  • Microsoft Lumia 535 v iPhone 6 Plus (Seriously)

    It may seem like a strange comparison, but today I was forced to do it.  My iPhone 6 Plus developed a fault and as the only warranty service is at least a couple of hours away from my location, I had to mail it in.  As a result I didn’t receive a temporary replacement and […]

  • Bye for now Apple Watch

    In summer 2015 I bought an Apple Watch to see what the fuss was about or if there should be more fuss made about it.  I don’t wear a watch normally, I have my phone for telling the time. So, first impressions were that it wasn’t particularly attractive but it was new tech and I […]

  • Circuit and Packet Switched Networks

    A circuit-switched network is one where there is a dedicated connection between source and destination, such as a telephone line designed to handle voice calls, which is dedicated to a particular single application for the duration of the activity. These were designed in the late 1900s, according to Copeland (2000), however in computer networks a […]

  • A Sample Customer Data Protection Policy

    As an ethical company that operates in accordance with data protection and privacy laws and best practises, it is important to us that you feel secure that your personal and sensitive data is in safe hands. Our data collection and retention policies for customer information are fully compliant with national data protection laws and all […]

  • The Disruptive Power of Google Glass

    Google Glass was introduced as a beta product in 2013 in to explore the technology’s potential, not as a completed product.  This technology was intended to be the next evolution in mobile computing as a “deeply integrated self-tracking tool” (Johnson, Becker, Estrada, & Freeman, 2014) aimed at the displacement of smartphone and enhancement of smartphone […]

  • Functional Database Dependencies

    A functional dependency exists when one attribute is related to another and one of the attributes determines the other. Functional dependencies can be full, partial or transitive, depending on how the derivation of the attribute in question is formulated. Full dependencies exist where an attribute is determined entirely by another (e.g. a student telephone number […]

  • UK Data Privacy Law

    UK data privacy law is governed by the Data Protection Act (1998) and its application is overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who, like other European Union member states, is based on Directive 95/46 of the European Union (Directive 95/46/EC) which is related to the protection of individuals from the misuse of data. There […]

  • Flashback: A Useful Screen Recording Multimedia Application for Windows

    A multimedia application, as its name suggests, can take many forms and the tools used for deployment often require the use of many tools. Even industry leading applications such as Adobe’s Creative Suite, which attempt to provide all of the tools that the multimedia publisher may need, cannot possibly cover all aspects of what a […]

  • Electronic Monitoring of Employees

    In the 1920s Frederick Taylor first considered the use of observation (time and motion) to assess an employee’s ability at work in order to increase efficiency and reduce wastage (cost). Taylor monitored workers’ actions and drew conclusions regarding their quality and speed as to whether the worker in question was positive or negative (when compared […]

  • Digital Evidence & Forensics

    “Digital evidence is widely regarded by judges, juries and law enforcement as valuable, accurate and impartial” (Kessler (2009)). Locard’s Exchange Principle (1910) states that “every exchange leaves a trace” and is a founding statement of forensic science, digital or otherwise. Forensic evidence to secure criminal a conviction has become commonplace in the last twenty years […]

  • Pseudo Code

    Pseudo code is intended to be programming language independent to allow the reader to understand the algorithm without specific programming language knowledge: procedure FlavourConcensus while (no single flavour has been chosen by 10 people) do ( if (this is the first round of questions) then (state that our aim is to reach a consensus) else […]

  • IPv6

    An area of interest for me is the adoption of IPv6 which “Internet2 is working to realize the potential of IPv6 for the global Internet community.” Internet2 (2010). Without the adoption of IPv6, there will eventually be no possibility to add further network connections to the global Internet, with a direct impact on eCommerce. IPv6 […]

  • Database Management System (DBMS) Design

    The starting point of every purchase of a client/server DBMS is to define the objective and design of the whole system as these dictate the considerations required to ensure information system success. This, of course, is always subject to budgetary constraint and acceptable specification and performance compromises often result from the ideal solution. In my […]

  • Data Mining

    Data mining is the term for the algorithmic techniques, similar to that used in artificial intelligence and other neural networks, used in the automation of data analysis by the use of specialised decision support processes and tools. The aim is to allow the data mining tool to discover relationships and other useful information that can […]

  • Statistical Multiplexing

    Statistical multiplexing, such as used in packet switching, is based on estimations of activity and therefore the likely packets that will take place over a communication medium (Chandra (2003)). As these estimations change over time the communication medium may be used by many packet sources and destinations and the transmission of packets is subject to […]

  • Mainframes

    Many computing professionals over the age of 30 can remember the days of the mainframe at University. Systems that required large specialist air conditioned rooms, support technicians and systems that were, in comparison to the non-technical user base of today, only intended for those with specific requirements who had the skills to use the system. […]

  • Intelligent Agents

    “The mind is to the brain as software is to hardware” (Rapaport, 1996) In the early days of artificial intelligence, despite hardware needing basic software to operate as the quote above illustrates, intelligent agent implementation attempts were often hardware based where some form of physical sensor and actuator were involved. Over time these became more […]

  • Bitmap & Vector Graphical Formats for Web Applications

    There are many widely accepted bitmap and vector based graphical formats for web applications, largely based on the application reading (and displaying) the graphic at the recipient’s end. This is not to say, however, that we are limited to only the widely accepted formats as “you just need a MIME type so that the format […]

  • Transport Protocol Services

    Kurose & Ross (2010, p92) list the four classes of services that a transport protocol can provide as “reliable data transfer, throughput, timing and security”. The reliable data transfer service is one that guarantees the delivery of data between source and destination in applications that require such a guarantee. An example of such a data […]

  • Virtual Reality Techniques in Browsers

    It is not accurate to state that the uses of virtual reality techniques are non-existent in the user interface of Internet browsers. There are moves in the standardisation of such techniques in areas such as X3D “an XML-based language for representing 3-D objects and scenes” Chapman & Chapman (2009, p710) where browsers, with the advent […]

  • TCP Session Hijacking

    Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) hijacking (or TCP session hijacking), which is considered to be a relatively old attack that does not occur a great deal today, takes place when an attacker is able to access information contained in the TCP packet between server and client and thereby take over the connection. Harris & Hunt (1999) […]

  • Home Network Design

    On a daily basis I use Windows Vista Business on a part dynamic, part static TCP/IP based network with DHCP controlled by a Netgear Router on a 5Mbit WAN cable connection, which offers the LAN (up to) a gigabit Ethernet connection and IEEE 802.11n (Wireless-N) connections. There are 2 x 2TB (Terabyte) Buffalo TeraStations (Linux […]

  • Application Gateway

    An application gateway is used to connect a particular type of application over a network connection to one or more specific hosts that serve the purpose of the application when the router may or may not allow that type of data transfer. Therefore an application gateway working with a router filter could stop a direct […]

  • Multicast

    Multicast is intended to keep the computing overhead on the source computer and network at a minimum by passing the data onto other hosts for duplication and distribution, where necessary, and implies that a data set only needs to be sent once from the host (potentially the system can have multiple data hosts contributing to […]

  • Lossy and Lossless Graphical Formats

    Multimedia data is, in this context, any collection of data from images / graphics, video, audio and text and since their widespread use it has been important to use compression/decompression techniques to enable the fastest possible transfer speed over limited (and variable) speed connections whilst maintaining either full quality or acceptable quality to the recipient […]

  • Routers & Routing Algorithms

    Routers organise and distribute network traffic both with a local area network (LAN) and externally. In order to do this each machine on the network and any access externally must communicate with the router by the use of an IP address. For example, on my home network my router has two IP addresses: an internal […]

  • Safe Harbor Data Protection EU & US

    On the introduction of the European Union’s (EU) data protection laws, e-commerce between the EU and the United States (US) was severely affected as, by EU standards, the US was deemed not to have sufficient data protection laws and therefore data transfer was barred (for many other countries too). This resulted in a system being […]

  • Data Warehouse v Data Mart

    The data warehouse versus data mart debate is driven by benefit to the organisation and is often evaluated on the basis of scale. A data mart represents a subset of data whereas a data warehouse represents the organisational or enterprise view as a whole. Essentially the data warehouse represents every information aspect regarding the content […]

  • Online Ambush Marketing

    Online ambush marketing has been around since the popular adoption of the Internet in the 1990s and takes many forms of “increasing the chances that you will see the wrong ads at the wrong time without your consent” Laudon & Traver (2010, p480). The term ambush marketing implies that it is seen as a negative […]

  • Red Queens: DVDs versus Video-On-Demand

    A Red Queen is an evolutionary concept that exists when “a set of interacting species reaches an evolutionary equilibrium at which all their rates of coevolution exactly balance each other.” (Rosenzweig, Brown, & Vicent, 1987).  In technological terms, this means that competing technologies often result in two product leaders that have to run to keep […]

  • Wireless Network Modes

    A wireless network can operate in one of two modes: infrastructure or ad-hoc. Infrastructure mode implies that each host that is connected to the network via the wireless device uses network infrastructure for services whereas ad-hoc mode implies that network services are provided by the host itself. For example, in infrastructure mode on a network […]

  • I was just about to leave DropBox

    I’ve been paying for 200GB on DropBox for two years now at $199/year.  I use about 90% of my available space.  I also paid for PackRat, their unlimited undo service, just in case of a disaster.  I really need about 2TB to hold all of my data but that was too expensive (plus my hard […]

  • JavaScript Validation of Form Fields: Integers

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd”> <html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”> <head> <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ /> <title>JavaScript Validation of Form Fields: Integers</title> <SCRIPT LANGUAGE=”JavaScript”> function ValidateNumber(number) { // setup list of acceptable characters var Valid = “0123456789”; // setup variable for checking each character var input; // for each character input (up to the length […]

  • Programming Language Levels

    Machine language, also called machine code, is a set of instructions, usually, but not always, represented in binary digits, which presents data to the processing functions of a computer in a way that enables the fastest possible throughput given resources. Low-level symbolic programming, or assembly language, is the next step above machine language where mnemonics […]

  • X3D

    X3D is “an XML-based language for representing 3-D objects and scenes” according to Chapman & Chapman (2009, p710) and as such is very well suited over the Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) to Internet applications for three reasons, according to Bullard (1999) as quoted by Cover Pages (2006), why VRML did not succeed in its […]

  • Tablets in the Classroom

    Tablets in the classroom enhance… Presentations become interactive when every student has the use of a tablet in the classroom allowing engagement by different media. Course Resources can be much more varied than textbooks.  Mobile apps, rich multimedia and interactive books can all be used to enhance the student experience. Instant Communication, or feedback, is […]

  • DropBox, this may be goodbye

    I’ve been a paying DropBox user for a few years and have regularly sung its praises and recommended it to others, I tried all the major cloud storage systems and always came back to the DropBox apps for performance and usability. Last week I decided that I need to be able to edit documents on […]

  • DropBox Incorporates All Hard Drive Locations Easily With MacDropAny

    Do you, like me, want to have things stored in your huge new DropBox space (or other cloud service) that are not in your DropBox folder?  Meaning you can incorporate other locations on your hard drive or external storage into DropBox, without affecting the space it takes up on your hard drive? Have a look […]

  • Video Format Choice

    In order to decide upon the format, encoding, quality, bitrate, keyframes and the method by which the video clip will be viewed in any online media presentation, we must first consider the target audience’s requirements. These requirements are screen resolution, browser requirements, compatibility (e.g. lack of support for Flash on target devices) and bandwidth limitations. […]

  • Basic Encoding Rules (BER)

    Basic Encoding Rules (BER), Kurose & Ross (2010, p798-799), ensure that byte streams sent over a network are sent correctly if the object has been defined using ASN.1. The BER encoding of the quoted text would use a 4 at the beginning to indicate that the data is an octet string, followed by a 4 […]

  • Machine Language

    Machine language is a group of commands executed by the central processing unit (CPU) and is the lowest-level representation of a computer program. It is easily understood by the CPU and is often represented in binary or hexadecimal digits, making it extremely difficult for humans to read quickly (if at all). Assembly language is similar […]

  • Software Maintenance

    Software maintenance is often overlooked in the design and development process when, due the funds and resources it takes, it should be considered equally as important as design and development. Maintenance is often also taken to mean the alteration of code (or other system parts) to remove bugs inherited from the software design and development […]

  • Google Chromecast, BBC iPlayer and Apple TV

    I received a month ago, in the UK, a Google Chromecast.  I should mention before I begin that I already have an Apple TV.  There are lots of blogs about how Google Chromecast streams media to your TV, if it has an HDMI port, however, and maybe I didn’t research widely enough… The primary reason […]

  • Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

    Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is an operating system, programming language and database independent Application Programming Interface (API). ODBC allows database management systems to be accessed by any application using the SQL language without regard to how the data is being handled. This is performed by the use of a database driver, which acts as middleware, […]

  • Colour Correction in Monitors & Print

    “Image fidelity refers to the ability of a process to render an image accurately, without any visible distortion or information loss.” Silverstein & Farrel (2004) The process of copying a piece of artwork to a computer screen, in its weakest form, would be either translating the image (from email, storage, internet, etc.) from a graphics […]

  • If Information Wants to Be Free . . . Then Who’s Going to Pay for It?

    This quote from Kaser (2000) rightly states the position we are in with regard to copyright. Creators of relevant works were largely unprotected by law until 1709 in the UK, when Parliament passed the “Statute of Anne” law protecting copyright of books and other written work, this was adopted in the USA in 1790. This developed […]

  • Is HTML Dead?

    HTML was developed as a standardised approach to information mark-up and new versions have certainly been developed over the years to increase complexity, readability and to take account of the increasing use of graphics and presentation techniques. However if we compare XHTML, which the World Wide Web Consortium has focussed its effort on since 1999, […]

  • The Deep Web

    The Deep Web was estimated at “500 times as much information as traditional search engines ‘know about’” Kay, R. (2005) and that Google’s index of 8.2 billion web pages was “the tip of the iceberg” with the Deep Web accounting for over 840 billion pages from the top sixty Deep Web providers alone and growing […]

  • What is Information Technology?

    The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) (n.d.) defines information technology as “the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware”. This influential association could be expected to provide one of the most complete definitions of information technology (IT) and while their definition is vague enough […]

  • Quality of Service (QoS)

    “QoS is one of the most important issues in networks in general, and particularly so in the Internet and other IP networks.” CodeIdol Labs (2009). The four pillars of Quality of Service (QoS) are additional components that are added to the existing Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure to support “perfectly synchronised transfer of packets of different […]

  • Local v Distributed Databases

    In a local database the data resides in a single location (e.g. a single machine) whereas many locations can be used for a distributed database yet these are presented as a single database to the user/application by the use of a database management system (which also handles any internal complexity). The key advantage of a […]

  • Database Connectivity with the Internet

    Internet applications have connected to online databases for many years and it is becoming more and more common for sites to connect to databases too to serve their pages through content management systems. As a result database connectivity is an important part of designing any Internet based system. In my experience using MySQL and PHP […]

  • Dynamic Page Capacity Calculations

    Dynamic page capacity calculations are essential to estimate the level of requests than e-commerce system can handle.  As “web traffic is completely unpredictable, which can make it difficult to estimate how much traffic your servers can handle” Posey (2002) it is important that different testing levels are performed to estimate whether your e-commerce system is […]

  • Network Adapters

    A network adapter or network interface card/controller (NIC) may be wired or wireless and allow a network device to communicate with other devices and applications on any accessible internal or external network connection, Kurose & Ross (2010). On wired NICs there are different types of connections; however the standard is generally now an RJ45 type […]

  • Microsoft Access Relational Database

    In my personal experience I have never used a Microsoft based relational database except Access when first learning about relational databases. Having been schooled in PERL, I often used flat file for simple databases (therefore an extremely dependent data structure design), MySQL databases for larger web based systems or Oracle for large enterprise based multi-site […]

  • The Domain Name System (DNS)

    The Domain Name System (DNS) is the method by which hostnames are translated into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in the application layer to enable network requests to find the correct destination for that request. As people, in general, prefer descriptive unique hostnames rather than having to use unique numbers as with an IP address, the […]

  • Hashed v Indexed Database Files

    Using a random (hashed) file allows access a specific master entry according to the value of the entry’s search field (or master key) directly regardless of the location in the data. Hashes usually use a division-remainder algorithm to determine a record’s position (records with same position are grouped in lists). Using an index file is […]

  • Machine Independence

    Machine independence implies that any program can be used on any machine (regardless of the version, machine language or assembly language). In reality it is used more to mean that a program can be used on two or more machine types but not all machines types. Take, for instance, the Pascal programming language. This is […]

  • Random Nonces

    Random nonces (numbers used once) are used in SSL handshakes to provide protection against the SSL communication being eavesdropped on and replayed. If an attacker was to attempt to record such a handshake and then to replay the signal in the hope of achieving the same response as the original signal then this will not […]

  • XHTML Document Object Model (DOM)

    We have seen from our discussions last week that standardisation brings about great advantages in terms of cross-browser compatibility however browser developers maintain differences in those standards for competitive and other reasons. The XHTML Document Object Model (XHTML DOM) is no different this respect and the W3C (2005) define it as “a platform- and language-neutral […]

  • Internet Governance

    Governance of the Internet, and therefore eCommerce as they inextricably linked, until the mid 1990s was largely based with bodies in the United States (US) as those systems were developed originally for the use of academia and military in that country. Since then, global widespread adoption of the system for eCommerce has presented many issues […]

  • Network Address Translation (NAT)

    Network Address Translation (NAT) allows a group of network connected devices behind a NAT capable router to connect to other external network services such as the Internet using a single Internet Protocol (IP) address (i.e. all devices appear to have the same IP address to any external device or service). IF we assume that the […]

  • Triple Data Encryption Standard (3-DES) and Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)

    Triple Data Encryption Standard (3-DES) and Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) are encryption algorithms used to transform clear-text communications into “ciphertext” Kurose & Ross (2010, p691) that can be transmitted between source and destination over a network that presents potential security (e.g. eavesdropping) threats whilst remaining confidential and maintaining data integrity. DES uses symmetric key cryptography with a […]

  • Typed Programming

    A programming language is “typed” if, for one type of data, functions or calculations cannot be performed by another type of data, hence the meaning “type” from data-type rather than type in the written/keyboard sense. For example, “abracadabra” is a string of text and it would not make any logical sense to, say, divide this […]

  • Web Multimedia

    The web (and web multimedia) became commonly used in the early to mid 1990s (in countries with decent communications infrastructures), nearly three decades after the birth of the Internet, largely for viewing text and light graphics due to connection speeds being far removed from what they are today. From my own personal experience, a 14,400 […]

  • Governing for Enterprise Security

    Julia Allen’s 2005 article on the CERT Coordination Center’s web site defines governance for enterprise security as “setting clear expectations for the conduct (behaviors and actions) of the entity being governed, and directing, controlling, and strongly influencing the entity to achieve these expectations.” As my experience focus has largely been on software product integrity in […]

  • Middleware

    Middleware is software or an entire system of hardware and software that connects components of a system (applications, databases) or entire distributed systems together acting as a facilitator, translator and/or adapter.  The aim of middleware is to allow disparate systems to interoperate with each other as a single system to achieve features that would not […]

  • Entity Relationship Modelling & Normalisation

    Entity relationship modelling and normalisation is the second step in conceptual database design, after data analysis and requirements gathering, according to Coronel (2009). Using a “top-down” approach, high-level requirements are developed (business rules, entities, relationships, attributes and keys) and initial entity relationship diagrams drawn followed by normalisation. This is often the starting point to new […]

  • Mobile Wireless Connections

    It is possible for many types of devices to have wireless connections to the Internet and to physically move in their environment, there is a difference between a mobile device and a mobile connection with the distinction being whether the device uses changing connections to remain connected to the Internet or not. Hence if a […]

  • Operational & Decision Support Databases

    Operational databases are designed to follow processes dictated by their objectives according to business rules. In essence this means that operation databases follow prescribed procedures and produce and store data that fulfill the operational business objective. Operational data changes constantly (and therefore does not exist in a single state for a long time), is low […]

  • Database Locks

    Locks are used in a database management system (DBMS) to attempt to ensure that no conflicts arise during the processing of data (transactions). Locks are represented by a variable for each piece of data that indicates its current status which informs the DBMS the types of processes (if any) that can be carried out. Taking […]

  • What is a bot?

    A bot is an automated piece of software that is resident on a compromised host which is usually intended to fulfil a purpose that is malicious in intent. The nature of the bot is that the owner of the compromised host is unaware of its existence and it also protects the bot’s controller from identification. […]

  • Cyber Bullies

    Bullying has existed for as long as creatures have had to stake out their place in any social system and before the civilised world started considering equal human rights was treated as a part of life that we just had to deal with. Electronic bullying or cyberbullying is a form of harassment mainly associated with […]

  • Evaluating A Suitable Database Management System (DBMS)

    In order to effectively evaluate suitable database management system (DBMS) products at the highest level for data warehousing, the following factors must be taken into account: Budget – the over-riding decision, are their sufficient financial resources in place not only to licence the DMBS but also to purchase all of the required hardware, networking and […]

  • Network Link Layer

    The link layer offers services to the network layer that allow delivery of packets from source to destination point to point (hosts, routers, etc.). In effect the link layer ensures (or guarantees) that the network traffic is delivered by controlling the flow of data whilst correcting and communicating errors. The link layer does this by […]

  • Multimedia v Graphical User Interfaces

    Historically multimedia interfaces were quite different to graphical user interfaces (GUI) and certainly required set of skills with some commonality and some differences. When the personal computer became widespread and GUI’s were first developed (e.g. Macintosh and Windows) these were new and different ways of interacting with the system, software and devices with many different […]

  • Data Modelling

    A data model essentially attempts to describe a real life system in simplistic and logical terms with data at its heart. Every system has rules on how data moves and is used but these rules are open to interpretation based on the involvement in the system of the person in question and their own logic […]

  • Is JavaScript Irrelevant?

    In a web environment, JavaScript enables the publisher to perform certain in-page interactions, validations and calculations in the client-side browser that are not as easy to achieve on the server side with the same performance and interactivity that the user experiences. None of these functions are essentials for a web site to function however more […]

  • So Long Logmein Free – No Free, No Pro

    News today that LogMeIn have announced, without warning, that their LogMeIn Free service is no longer available from today (here is their blog link).  This was their email: Important changes to your LogMeIn Free and Ignition account. As of January 21, 2014, LogMeIn Free is no longer available. To continue using remote access, you will […]

  • E-Commerce: Small v Large Business

    When e-commerce was in its early days, it paid dividends to be the first company to make the move online according to Laudon & Traver (2010, p117), whether large or small. However in today’s complex e-commerce world with many companies vying for position in an effort to be found in searches of any kind, technique […]

  • Video Game Ratings

    In the UK we have a rating system for electronic games and this is overseen by the communications regulator OFCOM however games are awarded classifications by the same body that classifies movies, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), however this body only examine games if they have “human sexual activity” or “gross violence”. A […]

  • Turing Test

    This Turing interrogation was demonstrated, without the mention of Turing, in the movie Bladerunner (1982) where simulated people (“replicants” with advanced artificial intelligence), in addition to real people, could be subjected to what was termed a “VoiceComp” test where a series of linked questions were asked of the test subject in order to provoke subconscious […]

  • Chess Board Algorithm

    The basic data structure for representing a board configuration during a chess game as homogenous in order that it was possible to identify all 64 squares (8 x 8) uniquely by row and column.  However during a chess game it is possible for any chess piece of any colour to be in any square and, […]

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