DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test Launched By DPS Computing

DPS Computing

DPS Computing Limited is proud to announce the release of its inaugural software product and web based application DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test (ITT).

DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test (ITT) is suitable for a wide range of people and businesses.  From learner drivers to experienced drivers and from self employed driving instructors to driving schools.

So, what are the features in DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test?

Fully updated with the 2012 revision banks from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA)

Well for a start it’s fully updated with the 2012 revision banks from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).  The Driving Standards Agency is the government agency responsible for setting the theory test for learner drivers throughout the United Kingdom – so their revision banks are by far the most useful to practice with.  And DPS Computing Limited obtained a license for these revision banks a little while ago.  Since then, we have created DPS Drive – ITT and have gained approval for the web based application to be released.

Never do the same test again – random selection of questions means a unique test every time

Familiarity of doing the same test over and over again only has limited usefulness when revising for your theory test.  The best way to truly test your knowledge and allow the driving theory to sink in is to try different random tests again and again.  This way you are testing your understanding of the driving theory and not that you can recall the answers to certain questions in a certain order.

This is of vital importance.  As the DSA do not publish the ‘official’ theory test questions any more, there is no way to practice the ‘real’ test before you actually take it.

Approximately 1000 Questions!

You can be asked anything relating to driving theory on your theory test.  So, it’s best to cover everything.  And that’s why we have included every single one of the questions from the revision banks provided to us by the Driving Standards Agency, giving you the best possible chance of successfully revising for your theory test and passing first time.

Completely FREE updates – major and minor

Forget about paying for the latest version.  Every update to DPS Drive – ITT, including bug fixes, minor updates and new major version releases are provided to you completely free of charge – for the entire duration of your license.  No need to worry about not having access to the latest questions and application!

A picture can say a thousand words…

Sometimes pictures help to visualise things and understand the questions more fully.  Every picture provided to us by the DSA with their revision banks is included in DPS Drive – ITT in the relevant questions.

Web based application

Web based application.  Forget about the majority of technical problems you can encounter with traditional software.  These are mostly eliminated by the DPS Drive – ITT web based application concept.  Less errors, less setup time, more practice, more value for money :).

Accessible 24×7

Want to practice at 4am?  That’s no problem – DPS Drive – ITT is available 24 x 7 x 365 – so its there when you want and need it!  However, we wouldn’t recommend staying up till 4am practicing on the day of your theory test! ;).

Unlimited uses – try as many tests as you want

Honestly, we’re being serious!  Practice until your fingers drop off!!  OK, maybe not that much practice – but you know what we mean! ;).  Just remember, don’t be sharing your log in details – our security systems are primed and monitoring 24 hours a day – and we don’t want to have to cancel your license! :(.  By all means recommend it to a friend though – after all, its only the equivalent of £2 / month.  And what can you get for £2 / month these days?!

Review the correct answers

Now there’s no point answering the questions and not knowing whether you got them right or wrong….. right? ;).  Get a review at the end.  ITT will turn into the teacher and give you a tick or a cross to tell you whether you got it correct or incorrect and also give you the correct answer to the question.  Neat :).

Control your test

Only have 5 minutes spare?  Just select 10 questions.  Want to practice a test as long as the real deal?  That’s no problem – select 50 questions.  The final summary screen will tell you how many you got right and wrong and your percentage.  You will also be shown the current Theory Test pass mark and percentage for reference.

You can select to answer 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 or 50 questions.  Scale your practice test to your practice time available!

Personalised area on DPS Computing to access your products

We’ll provide you with your own nice area to access DPS Drive – ITT.  The other great thing is that future DPS Computing web based products and services that you order will also be available from the same area.  We’ll lend you your own little part of DPS Computing – we like to be the caring, sharing type!!

FREE technical support

Don’t worry, there’s free technical support available with DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test.  No £1.50/minute premium rate phone lines here!  Drop us an e-mail, use the contact form, call the office, Facebook us, send us a tweet, G+ us – free technical support provided in all the ways that you can contact us!

FREE personalised branding for driving schools / instructors & businesses

Add a spot of branding to your pupils / users areas – we’ll happily add your company logo to the DPS Drive – ITT page for your pupils and users.  (Business/Driving Instructor/Driving School licenses only – obviously ;)).

Knowledge and Understanding text

Well its one thing to know the correct answer (or not know it!!).  But why is the correct answer correct?  Don’t worry, each question includes the knowledge and understanding text from the DSA revision banks so that not only do you know what the correct answer is but you also know why it is the correct answer.  Aids your learning and ensures that you go into theory test fully prepared!

DPS Drive - Interactive Theory Test (ITT) - Home Screen / Main Menu

So there you have it!  The most comprehensive and up-to-date theory test package available on the market.  And all for a bargain price.

Currently individuals can gain 6 months access to DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test for only £12!

Driving schools, driving instructors and businesses can gain access to DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test for 10 pupils / users for only £20 / month!

The best price for the best quality – make sure you don’t miss out on this gem.  Order it now or view the details of DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test on our website.

Blog Posts – How Long (Or Short) Should They Be?

Blogging tips

Many people are now blogging on the Internet, and have been doing for many years.  At one time, having your own space on the Internet was the reserve of multi million pound corporations or enthusiastic IT professionals.  Even when web hosting became more accessible and affordable, the issue that not everyone could program a website was still the overriding factor.  However, when blogging platforms took off,  scores of companies ready to host them sprung up and have them set up for you with no technical knowledge required.

Nowadays, blogs can be installed with a few clicks from most web hosting providers by using auto installers such as Fantastico De Luxe or Softaculous – which are either provided as standard or available for an additional add on fee for month (just to throw in some shameless advertising 😉 – DPS Computing’s Linux web hosting packages include Softaculous 100% free of charge!).

The questions….

Question Mark - PuzzleAnd for as long as blogs have been around there has been a number of questions floating around based on a common theme – how long do my blog posts have to be?  How short a blog post can I get away with?  Is it better to write a long blog post or a short blog post?  Is it better to post many short blog posts per day versus one large blog post a day?  Basically, all the questions boiling down to the issue of length – blog length that is!

Considering this question has been around a while, some might consider it strange that there has yet to be a definitive answer to it.  The reason why there isn’t a definitive, universally agreed upon answer?  Well that’s because its a very hard question to answer – and it all probability far too generic.

We’ll try to cover these questions and our answers followed by the justification of our answers.  Of course there will be people and pages that agree with us, and those that have an alternative view.  As has already been said, there isn’t a truly definitive answer.  However, we’ve based our answers on fact and knowledge, so you won’t go too far wrong by taking them into consideration when asking yourself questions about the length of your blog posts.

How long do my blog posts have to be?

Number 1Well, quite simply they don’t have to be any particular length.  There’s no rules set in stone about the length of blog posts.  Perhaps a better question to ask would be ‘how long should my blog posts be?’.  And the answer to this one isn’t easy.

Our best advice is your blog posts should be as long as they need to be.  We know what you’re thinking now – ‘very helpful indeed!’ ;).  But hold on a sec, it’s more helpful than you may first realise.  What we mean by this answer is that you shouldn’t, for example, start a blog post and think ‘this blog post needs to be 465 words long’.

Once you’ve decided on a topic to blog about – and you’ve decided it is a) worthy of blogging about and b) in keeping with the topics and themes of your blog – you should go ahead a right a concise yet informative article.  Go into detail, while remaining concise.  Put yourself in your visitors shoes.  Read the article back to yourself at the end.  If you were the one asking a question about the topic of your blog post would you understand the answers given in your article?

At the end of writing your blog post, sure you’ll have a word count.  Is it all that important.  Well not from the ‘my blog post needs x words in it’ point of view.  The one thing to consider relating to word count is, is the blog post that you are writing ‘blog-worthy’ (by the way, if ‘blog-worthy’ hasn’t been coined yet, we are duly coining it here – with all appropriate references to be made to this article in the future blog-worthy Wikipedia entries! ;)).

What do we mean by blog-worthy and how does it relate to word count.  Well, if you’re word count is really low (we’re talking 50-150 words – if it’s not even 50 words its definitely not blog-worthy – I mean, come on, 50 words is barely a sentence!!) you need to ask yourself a couple of questions:

1.  Is the topic viable?  In other words, is the topic notable enough that it deserves your time and effort creating it?  Should it be part of another, more general blog post?

2.  Is your knowledge of the topic sufficient to right a blog post that is worth reading?

Usually if you’ve got a really low word count, one of these two things are the culprit.  Unviable topic or insufficient knowledge.  Either way, it’s a good idea to abandon blog post now!  Or broaden the topic, or conduct some more research (as appropriate).

How short a blog post can I get away with?

Number 2Well.  You can ‘get away with’ a blog post of 1 word.  It all depends on your definition of ‘get away with’.  If by ‘get away with’ you mean make a valid blog post, then you’ll be able to do this with a title and a word in the body of the blog and that’s it (in most blogging software).

Is this a good idea?  Definitely not.  When was the last blog post of one word that you read that blew you away?  For example:

‘Cheese’.  Now you wouldn’t find that an interesting blog post now would you?  You might do if it was an entire 1,000 word blog post on your favourite cheese, but not just with the word ‘cheese’.  Get the idea?

Now, if we take the meaning of ‘get away with’ to mean ‘get away with to a decent / acceptable standard’ that’s a whole different ballpark!  There’s many numbers banded about – the most popular being 300 words.  And we’d probably agree that anything less than 250ish words probably means that the post falls into one of the previous two questions above in the previous answer.

We usually have a minimum of 300 words on our blog posts – but as stated previously, we don’t have word count rules – the blog post flows, the words get written and then we see how long it is.  We write our blog posts to be useful, informative and concise – not to fit a certain word count criteria!

But don’t forget, when thinking about the answer to this question, remember to think about the two golden questions to ask yourself (from the section above – viability and self-knowledge!).

Number 3

Is it better to write a long blog post or a short blog post?

Well, neither is better.  As we’ve said before and we’ll say again, don’t write a long blog post.  Don’t write a short blog post.  Write a quality blog post.

Is it better to post many short blog posts per day versus one large blog post a day?

Number 4Well, there are mixed views on this.  As we’ve said, don’t forget, quality – and not a certain word count – should dictate blog length.

Some say, that search engines such as Google encourage shorter blog posts by now taking into account the ‘recency effect’  – i.e. how often is the website updated and when was the last time it was updated.  The reasoning behind this is that you can be more ‘recent’ by posting shorter blog posts, multiple times, without it taking any more of your time up.

This is true.  But equally, in the same way, you could post multiple large blog posts a day – and we think that the extra content (and probably extra usefulness!) will lead to more traffic for your website.

Just remember you can never blog too many high quality posts.  Our concise answer to this would be to blog as often as possible and let the content of the post dictate the length – i.e. no arbitrary word count aims!

Conclusion

Size doesn’t matter!  For the most part.  Don’t let size dictate your blog posts.  Let the quality do that.  Blogging isn’t supposed to be a chore – although I’m sure some people will think it is from time to time!  Hopefully you’re blog is set around a topic that you know extremely well and have an excellent interest in – these two things combined will ensure the best mixture for the perfect blog!

As long as your article is 250+ words (in our opinion), you can’t go far wrong (size wise).  Remember the golden rules and golden questions – you won’t go far wrong if you do! :).

Blogging Image: SEPBlog.
Question Image: horiavarlan.
No.1/No.4 Image: jontintinjordan.
No.2 Image: indi.
No.3 Image: PhilP.
Blog post Image: roland.

FTP & Transferring Files From Your Computer To Your Website

FTP Status

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and it’s secure alternative SFTP (understandably meaning Secure File Transfer Protocol) is without doubt one of the most popular ways of transferring files from your computer to your web server (i.e. your website).

In days gone by, there were a number of ways to avoid using FTP/SFTP.  Most notably was during the ‘Frontpage generation’.  Anyone remember Microsoft Frontpage?  Well, for those that don’t, it was like a very basic Dreamweaver.  You could install ‘Frontpage Extensions‘ on your website and then upload your file directly from Frontpage using these extensions.

Why is Frontpage bad?

However, there were (and still are) many downsides to this.  First and foremost is security.  Frontpage extensions cause a whole load of security issues for your website and your server.  Most shared hosting providers won’t enable or allow you to have Frontpage extensions – but if you’re in control of your own server (i.e. have root access) then you would still be able to use them.  However, as Frontpage has reached its End of Life (EOL) now and is no longer updated, it is of course no longer recommended to use them.

Secondly, there’s crap.  What have Frontpage and crap got in common I hear you say?  Well Frontpage likes to crap…… as in place crap in every folder throughout your entire website (that’s those annoying _vti folders that some of us fondly remember!).

Thirdly, and finally, there is a better easier way!

Scary FTP?  A protocol for all systems…

For so long people have been scared by FTP.  For reasons unknown!  But it is really simple to use and there are many clients available out there for all operating systems including Windows, OS X, Linux and many many more – in fact, if you can find us an operating system without an FTP client, we’d like to know!

FileZilla logo

A common FTP shaped theme?

FTP was also supported in Frontpage, but the extensions usually got most of the attention.  The successor to Frontpage was Expression Web.  This was a slightly updated Frontpage.  It still included Frontpage extensions but the focus was changed to neutral again – no particular bias towards the extensions or to FTP.  And then you have newer, more superior and professional products such as Adobe Dreamweaver.  Dreamweaver supports FTP/SFTP – and thankfully, and obviously, doesn’t support Frontpage extensions!

See a common theme?  FTP/SFTP has survived through the times, the developers and the products.  It is now the standard in transferring files between your computer and your website.  And it is fast and efficient – especially if you are using a good FTP client (such as Filezilla).

The trusty old file manager.

There is of course another option which is still available and included in most web control panels.  That is ‘File Manager’ – you’ll notice them in control panels such as cPanel and Plesk.  However, one-file-at-a-time uploads aren’t really that productive.  They’re useful for changing the odd picture or the odd script here and there but not when you’re about to upload 100 new pictures or 1,000 new pages!

(Very short) Conclusion.

So FTP, FTP, FTP all the way (preferably SFTP – to add the bit of extra security to the transfers!).

FTP Status Image: dougww

DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test Gets Green Light, Release Imminent

DPS Computing

DPS Computing Limited is proud to announce that it’s first piece of software, the web based online interactive theory test application, DPS Drive – ITT, has gained approval from the Driving Standards Agency and is now cleared for launch.

Final preparations are being made ahead of the launch, which is expected to be within the next 24 hours.

David Smith, Managing Director of DPS Computing Limited, said – “I am really excited about the imminent release of DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test and I am sure that it will make the impact that we want it to on the market, with free updates, a bargain price and easy access for customers.  When compared with many other products on the market or in the shops, DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test is more comprehensive and more up to date – leading to an all round better experience and value for money for the customer.  With the inclusion of the ‘Knowledge and Understanding’ text, which was previously only available in official DSA products, DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test is crammed full of all the information that a learner driver needs to successfully revise for their theory test.  Not only that, I am sure it will also become an invaluable resource for experienced drivers, newly qualified drivers, driving instructors and driving schools alike”.

DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test contains approximately 1000 questions and is available from £12 for 6 months access.

The application is a web based application, which will be accessed from the DPS Computing Limited customer area and, as an online application, will provide convenient access for customers as well as stability.  Also, as DPS Drive – Interactive Theory Test is an online application, it reduces technical issues associated with traditional software and allows almost universal access, no matter how the user chooses to access the application.

A further press release will be made upon release.  Stay tuned! :).

DPS Drive - Interactive Theory Test (ITT) - Home Screen / Main Menu

Converting a YouTube Video Into An MP3 File – A Quick Guide

Now firstly, before we go any further with this, we need to make one thing clear! ;).  You should only download (covert) a YouTube video to an MP3 file if you are permitted to do so.  This could either be in the form of direct permission from the copyright holder or if it is in the public domain.  You shouldn’t download or convert any media file which you are not legally entitled to do so.  DPS Computing Limited does not condone copyright infringement or piracy under any circumstances.

[/LegalDisclaimer] ;).

Right, so…. your mates band has uploaded a video of them at a recent gig and they’d like to have an MP3 audio track of the performance.  They’ve uploaded it onto YouTube but what should you do now?  Well, it is actually that difficult (usually!) to convert a YouTube video to an MP3 file and download it.  We’ll go through the steps here:

1.  Go to YouTube (obviously! – note that this guide will work for most other video sharing websites as well).

YouTube - Homepage

2.  Search for the video that you’d like to download as an MP3 file.  In this case, we’re using our promotional video as an example – hence we search for ‘DPS Computing’.  Click on the video required in the search results.  You can also click a direct link from another website or bookmark (if you do this, skip to step 3).

YouTube - Search - DPS Computing

3.  Pause the video.

YouTube - DPS Computing - Promotional Video

4.  Open a new tab in your browser (keep the one with the YouTube video in open also!).  Go to http://www.video2mp3.net/ (or another similar website – there are loads listed on Google).

Video2MP3 - Media Converter - Homepage

5.  Copy the URL for the YouTube video (in the other tab).

YouTube URL - DPS Computing - Promo Video

6.  Find the relevant box to insert the YouTube video URL into (see below).  Paste in the URL that we just copied.  You can also select Standard or High quality.  Obviously ‘High Quality’ will produce a higher quality MP3 file – but it will also take up more space.

Video2MP3 - Media Converter - Convert URL

7.  Now, click the ‘Convert’ button.

Video 2 MP3 - Convert URL - Convert Button

8.  After you have clicked ‘Convert’, the conversion will begin.  A percentage counter will count up to 100% to show you the progress of your conversion.

Video2MP3 - Converting

9.  When 100% is reached you will be provided with a link which you can right click on and choose ‘Save As…’ to save the file to your computer.

Job complete!  :).