NEW banner3 Dont pick any host, pick the RIGHT hostIf you’ve checked out the looooong long list of web hosting providers across the planet, you may have noticed there’s nothing much that differs between their offerings; massively competitive pricing models, easily accessible control panels, unlimited space and bandwidth (on some offerings), 24/7 support, 99.99% uptime, super fast servers and many many more…

However, much like any service provider it soon becomes apparent who offers the best customer service, who views you as a small fish in a big pond and those few who view each of their fish as equal sized fish.. Offering unparalleled support and advice no matter how much money you spend with them.

Some of the biggest\global firms truly offer dreadful customer service support. I won’t start naming them here as without the full context it would be unfair.

At the opposite end of that scale, are those few who go the extra mile.. Those with the correct vision, morels and goals.. The ones who treat each customer in just the same way, regardless of your hosting package or your site’s traffic.

One that has truly stood out the crowd for me, and has stepped up on many occasion over the last 7 years of my blog posting and ‘web development’ career, is one who I make sure I recommend to anyone who asks when they are just starting out or when their hosts are consistently disappointing them.

This company proved to me that my business means a lot to them, and nothing is ever too much to ask. During which time my site has gone from strength to strength and my hosting package has rapidly worked its way up to where it is now.

6 years hosting with them would make you think I must have paid an absolute fortune for such service. Well you couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I am enjoying the benefits of a pro package today, I once was a very small fish in a somewhat large pond. Back in the day when I’d post every few weeks, and the only visitors where my friends and family. At that time I was more than happily using their free hosting offering. Giving me all the power I needed to really get my teeth into web development, allowing me to dabble with many a CMS, forum, e-commerce solution, development language and more.

For all the time I was a small fish in a big pond I never once felt that way, the cPanel made me feel like I had control over every aspect of my personal space.. Sometimes too much control! To which the helpful team came to my rescue to rectify my mistakes. With never a derogatory comment passed!

From there my site has gone from strength to strength and today has 60+ unique hits in a month, from all corners of the globe. Serving up downloads, blog posts, media content and more… Non of which have ever been an issue on my super fast web host.

Since then I have migrated several of my friends sites over to the host, and can often be found plugging them during mind map stages of young entrepreneurs.

Now to put you all out of your misery…. The host who has looked after me since day one, and will continue to do so until something better than the internet comes up, is FreeVirtualServers

I chose FreeVirtualServers on the back of a recommendation from another one of their customers. All I can say is, I am so pleased I did. They’re pricing model is extremely competitive, and where most in the market scrimp and save on the customer friendly side of the business FreeVirtualServers really beat expectations.. Not many hosts would aid getting your site back online over the christmas period, one year FreeVirtualServers did that, just for me… Just for a blog that received few visitors and had little content. All that from their UK-based support centre!

I seriously can’t recommend them enough, and urge you to check them out. Even if you just want to dabble, you’ve nothing to lose with their completely free hosting packages, and for those of you who are more serious about your online presence…. I’d highly recommend you check our their Pro hosting packages.

I see my relationship with FreeVirtualServers and who knows, maybe one day I will be on their reseller package! If you do decide to sign up with them, be sure to mention my name Mike Hudson, and the URL of my blog!

Why put up with the rest, sign up with the best…..
Recharge Dont pick any host, pick the RIGHT host

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automator 5121 300x300 How To: Use Automator to show/hide hidden filesThis blog posts is one of the several guest blog posts to Posted by one of my readers Thomas Hazlett, Thomas has converted the terminal commands in my earlier post Show hidden files in OS X 10.7 or 10.8

  1. Launch -> /Aplications/Automator
  2. Select what type of workflow you would like. I feel a service is a good choice for this so go ahead and;
  3. Select -> Service
  4. At the top of the window there should be 2 combo-boxes.
  5. Select -> no input
  6. Select ->
  7. Drag -> Run shell script; from the left panel to the right and enter the following:
is_shown=$(defaults read AppleShowAllFiles)  if [ $is_shown != "YES" ]  then  defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES  else  defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO  fi

(You may have to retype the quotes around the “YES” in the if statement).

8.   Below that Drag -> Ask for confirmation and enter a message to the effect of “Do you want to relaunch finder? This will cancel any file transfers etc.”Under that,
9.  Drag -> Run shell script and enter killall Finder
10.  Save it, naming it whatever you want it to appear as under the services submenu of the Finder menu.
11.   With Finder in the foreground, click Finder in the top left -> down to Services and click your newly created Service.

Thomas Hazlett is from and still lives in Belfast, N. Ireland. He is currently studying with the Open University towards his BSc in Computing and IT however has decided to take a year out to work on his own projects; start a blog; and spend more time doing home renovations. You can find more about him at

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archive How to: Turn terminals recursive zip into an applicationThis blog posts is one of the several guest blog posts to Posted by one of my readers Thomas Hazlett, Thomas managed to stumble across a neat way to turn OS X’s terminal recursive zip function into an application, using nothing but the built in OS X Automator application.

The below example essentially allows you to drop a folder onto a pre-compiled automator application and get back it’s zipped output. With one major benefit, it skips the inclusion of all of the OS X indexing files (.DS_Store etc) normally included when you use the context menu to create your archive.

The below example was built for OS X Mountain Lion, but can easily be adjusted for OS X Lion and earlier installs..

To achieve this snazzy little tweak:

  1. In Automator select new application (Launch Finder > Applications > Automator)
  2. Add a Shell script to your newly created app
  3. Pass input as arguments
  4. Now in the area provided input the following bash script:
filename="${1##*/}"  cd "${1%*/*}"  zip -r "$filename".zip "$filename" -x */.*

Essentially, input file/folder including path is $1. Some simple string operations to extract necessary data. Quotes are required to allow for spaces in the pathname.

zip -r (recursive) OUTPUT INPUT -x (exclude) [ I have chosen to exclude all . (dot) files but this could be changed to a list of specific files, i.e. for ds_store files, replace */.* with */.DS_Store ]

Now – to make the icon slightly less dull, all you need to do is load an image into your clipboard by using cmd and C, and then using Cmd and I to display the applications attributes, then using Cmd and V to set the icon from your clipboard image.

Thomas Hazlett is from and still lives in Belfast, N. Ireland. He is currently studying with the Open University towards his BSc in Computing and IT however has decided to take a year out to work on his own projects; start a blog; and spend more time doing home renovations. You can find more about him at


Screen Shot 2012 08 17 at 20.21.40 300x97 Mark Esho shortlisted to win Entrepreneurs of Excellence award

Just wanted to post a quick message of congratulations to my web hosts managing director Mark Esho, for his shortlisted entry into the ‘Entrepreneurs of Excellence’ award …

Recognises individuals who have best demonstrated managerial expertise in assembling resources, creating an organisation, decision making under uncertainty, being forward looking, and creatively solving problems.

I have been working with FreeVirtualServers for several years now, and I find there passion for customer service unmatchable by their competition!

I am yet to come across a member of the FreeVirtualServers team who are either unprofessional or unable to solve my problems. I don’t regret the day I registered with FVS and I am pretty sure I will be working with them for many years to come..

You can read more about the awards ceremony over at

Cheers Mark, I hope you win!

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parallels desktop 7 mac 300x279 Save 25% on Parallels Desktop 7 for a limited timeSo.. You’ve got your shiny new Mac! You’re finally a Mac convert.. You no longer need your old slow Windows machine? Or is that not the case….?

Despite what we do sometimes there is truly no escaping the clutch of Microsoft’s ‘monopoly’. Many applications are yet to be ported over to OS X, and even more games besides. But wait.. When you find that one app that requires Windows, you do have to dump your mac, you don’t even have to bootcamp.. All you need to do is bag yourself a copy of Parallels Desktop 7 and you’ll be reunited with your windows applications in no time at all.

What’s more, if you buy your copy of Parallels Desktop 7 before the 19th of August you’ll save yourself 25%! You have to admit its a pretty good deal..

So what is Parallels Desktop?

Parallels Desktop for Mac is the most tested, trusted and talked-about solution for running Windows applications on your Mac.

Unlike other applications on the market, Parallels Desktop boasts the fastest ever start, stop and resume for it’s virtualised machines. It’s also fully compatible with Mountain Lion. So is the perfect addition to your new Mac purchase!

You can download your copy with 25% off until the 19th using this link alternatively check out Parallels press release for more information by clicking the link below.

Continue reading “Save 25% on Parallels Desktop 7 for a limited time” »

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