Posts in "Reviews"

Tovo Infusions in Chennai Review – Basically it’s an Indian Nandos

Tovo is a fairly new restaurant in Chennai on RK Salai just opposite the Woodlands and Savera hotels. I had the opportunity to check it out one Sunday evening with my wife and our friends. I didn’t read any reviews about the place before hand, I just knew that it was vaguely related to fusion food – whatever that means.

Having dined there, I can tell you that what it actually offers is chicken and it’s basically Indian version of Nandos.

Continue reading

Life in Chennai is Now Uber

Taxi services. Little has changed in the last 50 years. You call up the taxi company, ask for a taxi to pick you up and you wait patiently for them to arrive.

Only it’s not always that simple in Chennai, especially for a foreigner (although I consider myself more of an almost-PIO nowadays).

You call up the call-centre, wait patiently to be connected to an operator, explain where you want to be picked up from, explain where you want to go, request the car type, listen to stupid special offers and finally, the taxi is booked. Then the fun really begins. Under normal circumstances, the driver calls you up 30 – 60 minutes before hand to know from where he needs to pick you up.

This will forever be a mystery to me because you’ve just told the call-centre where you want to be picked up from so how hard can it be to pass this on to the driver? Based on experience, it’s apparently impossible to do.

Taking the time to be the wingman to the hapless driver as you guide him in can be a mild inconvenience in the evening, but if you’ve got a 7am flight to catch, getting a 4:30am phonecall isn’t really what you need – unless you’re the type of person who takes an hour to get ready.

The biggest problem is that explaining the directions to a local driver is nigh on impossible for a foreigner in Chennai. Locals barely see more success. It doesn’t matter if the conversation is in English or Tamil, it always goes a little something like this…

We are in T-Nagar, no tee, tuh, not dee. No T-Nagar, like Pothys and Saravana stores. Yes, Pothys, no no, wait I don’t want you to come to Pothys. T-Nagar, yes, near to Gardenia Hotel…Gar-den-ia, err, oh, the old name is Empire Residency, ok? Good. After Gardenia Hotel…what? Yes Empire Residency, take the third right next to the bike garage, then keep going until you reach the chicken shop and take the next left after that and find the Homely Nest apartment block which is opposite the flower lady. How much time?

It’s always five minutes, so there’s no point in asking. There will be an exchange of three or four more calls as the driver iterates his way ever closer until finally you get the call that he is there and would you mind awfully hurrying up.

Even when you are not the one trying to give the directions, it’s still utterly exhausting just listening in on someone being the wingman. This is why I’m so happy that Chennai has gone Uber over the last month.

Uber is an American company looking to radically change the way we book taxis and give you awesome rides in Mercs, Jags and Beemers for a fraction of the price. Having ubered (yes, I’m verbalizing Uber, move on) to the office a few times and used the service to get around the city, let me tell you: it rocks!

Instead of spending countless phonecalls explaining your location, Uber uses this amazing piece of technology called GPS, which everyone in the world knows about except Chennai taxi companies.

You fire up the Uber app (available on Android and also some fruity phone) and GPS (or cell phone tower triangulation if you are inside) locates your exact position in the city.

Uber Pick Up Location

Of course, if you want to have a different pick up point, you just move the pin to location you want. The process does assume some degree of map reading ability, but I’m not here to point fingers.

Once the pin is set, you can then see the location of all the available Uber cars in the city (err, zoom out if you see no cars) and it tells you how long you need to wait to get your driver (Uber doesn’t call them cabs). If you are happy with everything you tap the confirm button and the driver is alerted.

Now here’s the clever part, Uber drivers are not given fare meters. Wait? What? Shock! Horror! Instead they are given an iPhone with – wait for it – GPS! Hhomygod. Srsly? The innovation we can do nowadays with 40 year old technology, it clearly baffles the minds of Chennai’s current crop of taxi companies.

The location of the pick up (ie. you) is marked on the driver’s map so they simply drive to the pin and you are told exactly how many minutes away the car is on your phone.

uber driver coming

Once picked up, a quick tap on the driver’s phone app tells Uber that the meter has started and GPS tracks the route along with the time.

Now after the base fare of Rs 50 (with a Rs 100 minimum fare), Uber charges just 15 rupees per km which is really cheap compared to the other taxis in the city, even compared to autos! There is a small catch though, they charge 2 rupees per minute so if you are gridlocked at Gemini Flyover or at the Tidel Park junction, you might feel the pinch, but hey, you’re in a frickking Jag so quit your whining already.

The pricing structure means I can take a Mercedes car home from office and pay less than what I would for an Indigo from NTL. Clearly there are massive cost savings from not having a call centre and all the staff that are required to run it 24 hours a day. If I was any of the traditional taxi companies I would be petrified of my business becoming irrelevant like, right now.

At the end of the journey, the driver taps his app again and the meter is stopped. There is no exchange of money, your credit card (which you entered earlier) is charged automatically and off you go on your happy little way.

For corporates, a full email invoice is sent with the route shown on a map, the number of minutes used and the distance travelled. For data nerds like myself it’s a little bit of nirvana from your ride home.

Uber Receipt

Uber Chennai is finally a taxi service that any expat can use and at a price point that beats regular taxis.

Hello Uber, good bye NTL, Milliondots, Fastrack (and Calltrack, and Taxitrack, and Metrotrack, and every other taxi service in Chennai that thinks ‘track’ means taxi or something).

There are of course a few limitations with the service. Uber is an on-demand service. You can’t pre-book a taxi to pick you up at a specific time and there are no package deals available. In addition, during times of great demand, like after Dublin or Pasha kicks out on a Saturday night, Uber employs what’s known as price surging where the fare can be double or triple the normal cost (you are informed about this before hand though).

Shameless plug: Listen in, if you want to try out Uber for yourself, use this promo code when you book your first Uber and you’ll get Rs 300 credited to your account: 4sk9w (I also get Rs 300 credited to my account if you use it, just so you know!).

The Attraction of the Netbook

About a year ago I followed all the other geeks and nerds in this world and bought myself a netbook. I’d seen the hype and exposure they got over on Engadget throughout 2008 and made up my mind that I wanted one 🙂

Incase you are still not sure what a netbook is, it’s like a mini laptop, reduced keyboard size, very low technical specifications and very, very cheap for what it is. As you might infer from the name, a netbook is designed specifically for browsing the Internet and not too much else.

NetBook Vs Laptop

The black machine in the picture below is my work Laptop, a 15.3″ screen and since the company gave me an unlimited budget, I set it up like a gaming rig which makes it insanely quick (even two years later) but unfortunately it’s bloody heavy and not convenient to cart around. The cute white thing is my netbook, grossly underpowered but I probably use it more than my laptop.

dell xps 1530 vs asus eeepc 901

eeepc vs dell

my work and play laptops

In the photo below you can see some deformation in the top left of the underside of my netbook. I’m not entirely sure what happened but I assume the battery was charging and resting on something circular, which somehow melted it – although I don’t even know how that’s possible….

A deformed eeepc

The reason I wanted one was because they looked really cool and my work laptop is the size and weight of a fridge so it’s not convenient for lugging about except to the office and back.

The thing with netbooks is that they are pretty much all the same in terms of technical spec. They all have the same processor and same amount of memory. The reason for this is that they nearly all run Windows XP and Microsoft, being desperate to get rid of the thing (although not quite as desperate as getting rid of Vista), imposed technical limits on the type of machine XP could be installed on.

For that reason, even now, with Windows 7 out, netbooks are still run on Atom processors with 1 GB of RAM and an Intel Integrated Graphics Accelerator (which is a fancy name for something that doesn’t do too much).

The chief selling point of netbooks are that they are small, light, extremely portable and have a very long battery life – and what traveling businessman or self confessed nerd could say “no” to such a thing!

Back in December 2008, I bought the Asus EeePC 901 (the Eee stands for education because these things were originally designed for kids in poor countries to use) for £250. It had all the usual specs with a 9″ screen and a fantastic 7 hour battery life – that’s about 85% of the time it takes me to get to India!

After a year of using this netbook, I have to say it’s probably my best purchase ever. I knew that it was going to be useful, but bloody hell, I didn’t think it would become like an extension of me.

Even now, after a year, there isn’t one single thing that I would change about it and I use it virtually everyday for several hours. Whether it’s sitting in bed (and writing this blog post), crashed infront of the TV, on an airplane or train, not only does it still have the ability to turn heads, but it’s so damn convenient.

Sidenote: I was coming back from India in October and I had this netbook out, watching movies on it and no fewer than 3 people stopped and asked me about it – it’s that good 😀

The small form factor might put a few people off given that the keys are about 2/3rds the size of a normal keyboard, but unless you have ham fists and podgy fingers you’ll be touchtyping away within hours of using it. To me, the smaller keyboard makes no difference whatso ever – but I have been informed that I have girls hands, a fact that I strenuously deny and put down to unbridled jealousy 😀

I’ve used my netbook to write reports, articles, blog posts, budget reports and keep track of my finances, literally, when it comes to light admin and “office” related tasks, there’s nothing it cant handle.

Watching movies on it is awesome aswell, the Asus EeePC range produces an incredible sound from such a tiny box, I remember a friend conceding that the speakers were louder than their full sized Dell laptop!

However, there are things you can’t do on a netbook that you can on a full sized laptop, chief amongst them are multi-tasking. You definitely can’t have dozens of different applications open and expect to be able to work efficiently. At the most, you will be able to have 2 or 3 different applications open, for example I have Opera (the best browser) and StarOffice (awesome free alternative to MS Office and doesn’t require half the amount of power to run) open right now, but if I opened another app, then I’d start to see some lag.

Naturally, you can’t do photo editing (I can crop photos, like the ones above using GIMP) or play the latest games on it either, although I installed DOS-BOX and got loads of late 90’s / early 2000’s games to run decently enough.

If you are literally going to:

  • Browse the Internet
  • Chat on Skype / Use IM
  • Write documents
  • Do things in a spreadsheet
  • Watch movies (non-HD)
  • Listen / Manage your music
  • Manage your photos

Then you seriously wouldn’t go wrong with a Netbook. I can’t imagine how I would cope without it now as it goes with me everywhere! Not only that, but laptop batteries generally get weaker over time, but amazingly, my Asus EeePC 901 has kept going well and I still get 6 1/2 to 7 hours battery life out of it. With WiFi turned on and Internet browsing that does reduce to around 3 to 3 1/2 hours though.

I’ve got an SSD drive which is way more power efficient and quicker than a standard hard drive – XP boot up time is just seconds. The down side is that you have a smaller storage capacity (about 15% compared to a HDD) but the upside is a faster and longer lasting machine.

Even if you need to do more taxing things, then obviously a more powerful laptop is required, but you can’t rule out a netbook, simply because it is so portable.

I love it when I’m on a plane or train and people get out ridiculously large laptops (like my work one) that weigh a tonne, and simply use it to watch a film or write a Word document. I get out this tiny little thing (the netbook!), which can be shoved in the top of your rucksack and proceed to do everything that people with laptops are doing – and I can’t help but stifle a smirk when their battery gives up after a couple of hours and I still have another 4 hours left!

I can get a train to the airport, and use my netbook, sit in the departure lounge, using the netbook, get on the plane and use the netbook and there will still be a couple of hours of battery left at the end of the journey!

Beware of Cheap Laptops

Some people I know have said they don’t see the point of buying a small netbook for £300 when you can get a full sized ‘proper’ laptop from just £399 now.

This is something that catches most tech illiterates out, the cheap computers are going to be not much better than a netbook. For a start, they run Windows 7 now, which is very resource intensive, and the cheap laptops provide you with just enough power to run Windows 7 and very little else.

Cheap £399 laptops is why Windows gets a bad name for being slow, clunky and unstable – the hardware it runs on is barely enough to support it…but I feel that is a rant for another day 😀

Don’t buy a cheap laptop, especially not from a supermarket!

Future of Netbooks

I got the Asus EeePC 901 from my current favourite online retailer, eBuyer. I’ve generally found them to be cheaper than elsewhere, especially the ripoff merchants also known as supermarkets. It has a 9″ screen which has a resolution up to 1024×768 which I’ve found to be perfect for everything and have never wished that it could have a bigger one (steady!).

Unfortunately, it seems that that the trend is leaning towards larger screens and I’m not sure if you can even get a 9″ one anymore. The smallest that Asus do are now 10″, I’m not too sure how much that affects the size of the netbook though as I haven’t seen one, but if I find a 9″ one to be perfect, I’m sure 10″ is going to be fine.

With the onset of Windows 7 which has a version specifically built for low powered computers, the technical restraints have largely been removed, meaning that netbooks can become more powerful, while retaining their portability and convenience. However, a more powerful system is likely to come at the expense of a reduced battery life, and how can you smirk at people when your netbook only lasts for one hour more than their laptops?!

The next logical evolution in netbooks is to take their portability to the next level and bring in 3G cards where you can pop in a sim and access the Internet just like you do on your phone, and with the introduction of the new Nokia Booklet (I think it will be next on my list of things to buy – once they’ve upped the power and specs of course!), this will just be around the corner.

I’m sure they could make netbooks a whole lot more powerful than they currently are, but to be honest, there is absolutely no need, it already does everything 90% of computer users will require anyway.

Netbook Buying Tips

If you are going to buy a netbook, here’s some things to consider:

  • Virtually all netbooks have the same hardware meaning there is very little difference in terms of performance
  • The cheaper netbooks have smaller batteries, so one of the deciding factors should be the battery life – do your research!
  • If you go for a setup that’s different to the Atom N270 / 1GB RAM / WinXP be aware that the battery life will be significantly reduced
  • I’m more than pleased with my 9″ netbook, if you go for anything larger, you may lose some of that portability
  • Storage space or performance and long life. If you need storage, get one with a traditional hard drive. If you want performance and long life, choose an SSD. I put backup everything on an external hard drive anyway.
  • Shop online rather than offline, it’s always cheaper 😀

Well, I hope you found that informative and helps you decide whether a netbook might be for you. Thanks to Tom and William for inspiring me to write this thoroughly nerdy post!

Slumdog Millionaire…Review

Well, this is not exactly a review, more my thoughts on the movie which I saw the other day. Crammed around a little laptop.

In the west, the movie seems to have had an overwhelming response. Loads of awards, nominated for oscars…all sorts. In India, the reception has been, umm, a little different and possibly less than positive.

About the movie, it’s a good film, well made. It’s not a hollywood meets bollywood film. It’s a hollywood (or is it British) film set in India. The production value is western and the editing is western.

In some places the film is completely unrealistic. For example at one point the two kids are on a train and they get knocked off…rather conveniently just outside the Taj Mahal. A western film in India without showing the Taj Mahal is like a scene in Paris without the Eiffel Tower or a scene in New York without the statue of liberty.

So anyway, yeah, the Taj Mahal makes a guest appearance.

The next unrealistic part is the little kid, who skipped school and never made any indication before that he could speak English, suddenly develops a well spoken middle class English accent.

The film is a bit gruesome in places, just like much of Danny Boyles’ work. Who can forget the baby scene in Trainspotting or the thumbs in the eye sockets in 28 Days Later.

In India, the film has been criticised because it shows ‘poor people’ – and if you hadn’t heard already, there are no poor people in India – especially if you are from the wealthy or upper middle classes! You can drive around all day and not see any poor people 😉 (I could write at length on this topic!)

There is a little dance at the end of the film which is a nod to bollywood, but let’s be fair, the dance scene isn’t a tiny little patch on any bollywood film.

Overall, the movie gets about 7/10.

I’m A Winner!

I never win anything. Even if I enter a competition where everyone’s a winner. I’d come last. It’s something I’ve learned to accept and get on with.

However, that all changed this morning when I received a text message from informing me that my recent review of the Lemmings Return game for mobile phones had won the monthly contest and my prize was a free game. Yeah, ok, the games are only worth £3.99 each, but it’s a start. Maybe I can review the free game I get and win the July review contest and get another free mobile game. I’m thinking the new monopoly game.

If you like playing games on your mobile (or if you are so bored on your daily commute to and from work) then check out for hundreds of games for your phone. They even have some freebie games like Snake and Doom.

So I guess you are probably wondering what amazing piece of literally I penned to win the monthly review competition. Well wonder no more, I’ve added it below:

Continue reading

Windows Vista & The Memory Monster

My friend bought a new laptop the other day after his old died on him (shows a blank white screen on startup – anyone have any ideas?). So he toddled off to the local PC World to have a look at the laptops. I seem to remember a time a few years ago where desktop PC’s took up the floor space and laptops were confined to one or two rows. Now laptops dominate the floorspace.

While browsing the laptops, I came across a Compaq Presario with the following spec:

1. 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor
2. 2 GB RAM
3. 120 GB HDD
4. 256 MB Shared Graphics
5. 15.4″ Widescreen LCD
6. Dual Layer DVD +/- ReWriter
7. Vista Home Premium

All that for just £599 – an absolute bargain. Since I’m still using a beat up old Compaq with a PIII & 256MB RAM I knew that they make good sturdy laptops; which is more than can be said for the Toshiba my friend was using. So eventually after a bit of umming and ahing he took the plunge and bought the new Compaq (and I don’t know how I walked out without one, I was this close | | to getting one myself). He got a right touch on it too, getting £20 knocked off for signing up to their ‘care’ plan – which was free and can be cancelled at any time.

So he gets it home and spends the necessary hour or two installing and setting it up (I want to know, can you really take a Apple Mac out of it’s box and be on the internet in 5 minutes? Is it really that easy?!) we both noticed that it seemed a little…sluggish.

He had installed the latest version of Zone Alarm and Webroot’s Spy Sweeper and removed a lot of the none essential components and software. Even with 2 GB of RAM the system just seemed a little slow – like 1/2 second too slow, just enough to notice it. We timed the start up time and it came to 2 minutes to start up Vista with the ZA and SS installed. By contrast, my crappy old laptop which runs XP professional on a mere 256 MB RAM and hasn’t been tuned up, scanned or defragged in centuries, started up in 1 1/2 minutes.

The situation was even worse for shutting Windows Vista Premium down, it seems to go on for an eternity. This is for a brand new machine with Core 2 Duo and 2 GB RAM remember.

I called up another friend who had just bought a top of the range desktop PC and he said that just running Vista and Norton AV his computer takes up 1 GB of RAM…and that’s when it’s idle! I can’t see how you can buy a machine and run Vista normally with less than 2 GB.

I’ve been seriously considering buying a new laptop, and as I said earlier I was so close to getting one the other day. But after seeing the (non) performance of Vista…I think I’m gonna pass. If I do get one, I will have to find a company that still ships a machine with Windows XP or else I might have to be forced to uninstall Vista and get a copy of XP myself.

Update: I’ve done some further reading and research. It seems that start up and shut down times on Windows Vista that can be timed in milleniums is a common complaint amongst users. Some point to driver problems or software incompatibility.

The Problems With GoDaddy: Part 2

This is a continuation of the post I made on 26th June which you can read about here. I’m carrying on by explaining what I think is wrong with the GoDaddy website, interface and ordering process.

Messy & Confused Website

In an attempt to offer every internet service under the sun, the GoDaddy website is mishmash of information. Assume you want to purchase a domain name. You assume they are all $8.95 or lower because that’s what the pretty image above the search box says. You notice some * marks above the prices which usually means there are some terms and conditions involved. After searching on the page you find that the * mark could mean that the domain costs $0.99 or $6.99 or maybe $5.99. It could even mean that there is a $0.22 ICANN fee added to the final cost. Who knows?!

So you type in the domain you want (and maybe get a little confused by the plethora of domain extentions that are available) and choose the .tv extension because your site will be about a TV show.

Continue reading

The Problems With GoDaddy

GoDaddy is the largest registrar of domains according to with over 18m domains registered and nearly 21% market share (Disclaimer: I couldn’t find another source to back up this data or when it was valid from so take it with a pinch of salt).

Given that they have such a massive market share and are the dominant force in domain names, why can’t they provide a half decent service? The website interface is the worst I’ve ever used, the domain managing platform doesn’t work in Opera browser, the usability of their software falls woefully short and that’s all topped off with the worst online shopping cart experience in the world.

If you have any experience with domains and hosting in the past 6 months, you can’t have failed to hear about the astonishing story about – at one time claiming to be the 3rd largest domain registrar on the internet. If you haven’t had the misfortune to read about the RegisterFly fiasco, then take 30 minutes to read through some articles on – an unofficial customer complaints site.

Continue reading

Instant Article Submitter Review

Instant Article Submitter Review

Name: Instant Article Submitter
Author: Xyberwidget, LLC (Jeff Alderson Rod Beckwith)
Price: $97
Description: Instant Article Submitter will automatically submit your site to over 200 article directories. It will manage all your article campaigns.
Ease of Use:
Setup Time:

This product does exactly what it says it will do, and once it has all been set up, it will submit your article to all the directories in its database. This saves so much time as I think it does in 30 minutes what it would probably take you 3 hours, maybe more to do.

If you have ever done article submission before, then you know how tedious it is to keep copy and pasting the same information over and over again. The beauty of IAS is that you simply need to copy your iformation once and let the script do it’s work.

I have tried three methods of contacting the authors of Instant Article Submitter to offer suggestions and ask some questions – all emails were returned as undeliverable. On this front, the support has a lot of room for improvement. They could definitely do with some sort of online help desk.

I must have spent about 4 hours going through and signing up to each article directory which seems like a hell of a long time when you are doing the same thing over and over. I think there should be some sort of global setting which tells the script use default login unless otherwise specified.

The website promises regular updates of the article database. I have had this software for 3 months now and there have been no updates that I am aware of – at least my software hasn’t found any new updates when it checks online. This is rather annoying because some article directories have disappeared, and I know that there are dozens more that haven’t been added. To compound matters, there doesn’t seem to be the option to manually add new directories yourself.

Finally, if you were hoping for a submission process that you can leave running in the background while you go and watch your TV show to come back and have all 200 directories submitted to, think again. There seems to have been no "timeout" function built in that will tell the script to move to the next directory if it doesn’t succeed with the current directory after a set amount of time.

Personal Opinion
I know I have put a lot of negative things about the product, but these are things that can be improved. Whether Xyberwidget LLC (of Traffic Equalizer fame) will is yet to be seen.

I have found this software incredibly handy for submitting articles. I can take out 30 minutes a day to submit a new article to over 200 article directories – spending 30 minutes a day to get maybe 300+ one way links to the website of my choosing sounds like a damn good deal to me!

Even with the flaws I have outlined above, I will continue using this software daily until something better comes along. And if it doesn’t…I’ll build it myself!

Instant Article Submitter – $97
My Rating:

$167 For a Free CMS…Are You Mad?!

The other day I received an email from Michael Rassmussen promoting a website called Rapid Niche Websites.

It claimed it could use the power of wordpress (a free blogging software) to create killer mini affiliate sites. It would have the impact of a mini affiliate site, with the flexibility of a blog.

So I started reading through the sales pitch, and in the end I gave up with dispair. Everything that Jeff Walters was talking about as a benefit is freely available in the open source CMS called Drupal

Check out this comparison chart…

Rapid Niche Websites ($167) Drupal (Free)
Look like a niche website Drupal looks like a website anyway
Behave like a website Drupal is a CMS for websites
Click your mouse just once or twice, and you’ve added affiliate and Google adsense adverts to your site Drupal has the ability to add links and adsense in the menu as standard
Make building a new site an easy and very quick process Drupal installs in 5 minutes or less
Get high search engine rankings Drupal themes all have the correct tags for SEO built in as standard
Your content is stored in a flexible database Drupal stores all data in a database
It’s super-easy to search for information Drupal has built in search function
Change the look of your site using freely available themes Drupal can also do this
Add new web pages Drupal has a online text editor to add your content to webpages
Avoid any double-work to keep your site updated Drupal offers this as standard
Add new content – and WordPress automagically updates the site’s menu Drupal…yeah you get the idea
You’re not restricted by software installed on only one computer Ditto
You can add fresh content from any computer on the internet Ditto
Get others to help populate and keep your site up to date Ditto
You can add in new features Ditto
Your site automatically broadcasts any site updates to the world Ditto
You create new niche sites in hours I use drupal to do the same and have astonishing CTR’s on adsense
You can password protect certain areas of your site Ditto
You can get remote support from anywhere in the world Ditto

OK, so the comparison chart isn’t too easy to read, but basically I think this software Jeff is selling for $167 is a bit of a turkey.

It’s like paying £25,000 for what you think is a brand new hot hatch, and getting a Ford Fiesta with go faster stripes stuck down the side.

(apologies to my US readers who will no doubt have no idea what a “hot hatch” or a “Ford Fiesta” is. Remember guys, Google is your friend!)

In my opinion, keep the $167 in your pocket, and choose the far superior option of Drupal instead.

Sites using drupal…

The Onion
Our Media

My sites using drupal…

Core Exercises – One of my many many niche sites running drupal. Zero modifications made to this script, it’s the same script you can download from drupal. The CTR on adsense is double figures. You DO NOT need to pay $167 to get a niche site.

And finally… – Yes! This very site has been created in Drupal which shows you the true flexibility of this free, but powerful piece of sofware.

New Yahoo Home Page

Have you had a chance to check out the brand new Yahoo homepage preview yet? If not, then it is located at you will need internet explorer 6 or firefox 1.5 to view it.

This new homepage makes use of one of the latest web trends: AJAX.

If you check out the content box on the right of the preview page, where it says mail, messegner, weather etc, if you hover your mouse over any of the options, the box dynamically changes shape and new content appears. This is fantastic use of AJAX to make a dynamic, user orientated web page.

Personally, I absolutely love the new yahoo homepage, I think they’ve done a really good job on combining aesthetics and usability with the latest web technology.

AJAX is something I want to get more involved with and use it more on my sites as it does have an element of ‘coolness’ (read: geeky), but only when it’s used right.

SEO Blog Builder

I finally got SEO Blog Builder to work late last night and I just checked up on the progress on the test blog and everything seems to be going according to plan.

So far it has posted random news feeds based on the keywords I supplied it. The news feeds sometimes don’t make an awful lot of sense, but most are readable and give good snippets of news for anyone looking.

You do have to provide your own feeds though, so you need to search on the internet for RSS feeds. I use Yahoo and BBC for my news feeds, but I will experiment with others.

You also have the opportunity to scrape…err, I mean post search engine results a la Traffic Equalizer.

Finally you can upload any articles you have (for all those with private label articles sitting on your computer) and post them at random intervals.

There’s more settings and twiddly knobs (ok, so they’re virtual twiddly knobs) than you can shake a stick at, but the manual is pretty detailed and top notch for a marketing product. In the end though I had to print out the manual (all 67 pages of it) and had to study it offline to fanthom out the script.

As I said though, I finally go the script working and it’s made seven posts to the blog. My next task is to set up hundreds of these buggers!

I will keep you updated on the earning success that this product has made me, as that’s the biggest thing everyone is concerned with right now!