2014 in Blogs

They say you shouldn’t look back.  You’re not going that way.

It’s a valid point, but anyone who says that clearly needs to brush up on their Wes Craven movies.

I’m starting the year by looking back at the most popular TSG blogs of 2014. It’s sort of like those annual ‘Most shocking celebrity moments’ countdowns. With less Kim Kardashian.

By pure coincidence I’m sure, the most popular blogs tell a tale of the kind of year 2014 was for the technology industry.

We had public outcries. Remember when no one could download iOS 8 in September because of its size? And the panic over the Heartbleed bug in April?

We also had technology giants making some surprising moves. Apple gave people choice, Microsoft skipped an entire operating system, and both of them did the unthinkable: they worked together.

Take a look back at the year that was with our most popular blogs. There are also some posts in this countdown that weren’t necessarily related to topical news, but they cast an interesting view on the way we use technology today. May I refer you to Lewis’ post on whiskey (that post had a head start from the beginning), Duncan’s opinion piece on how far technology can take your company before actual human beings make all the difference, and Paul Ince’s superb ‘History of CRM’ video. It’s worth it alone to see him in shoulderpads.

We remain as dedicated as ever to this blog, and this year we’ll be changing things up a bit by bringing you more video diaries, more panel discussions, more thought leadership articles, and we’ll be telling you what we really think to all the big releases in 2015. Strap in.

10: First Look at Windows 10

How lucky is that? Number 10 is all about Windows 10. Good job it wasn’t number 9 otherwise it might not exist. Yep, Microsoft decided to go from Windows 8 straight to Windows 10. For reasons that are still unclear. Here’s our COO’s view on the initial demonstration by Microsoft on what we can look forward to, and why it’s such a big step away from how Microsoft have been doing things in the past.

9: Inside Apple’s new Office

Microsoft and Apple: not the biggest fans of each other, right? Right. Except in 2014 they found a few ways to play nicely together, the most surprising one being a fully fledged, touchscreen version of Microsoft Office developed especially for the iPad. Something which probably wouldn’t have happened in the past, but Microsoft have a new, uber keen, CEO who hasn’t been afraid to break the previous ‘talk to the hand’ approach with their competitors.

8: From ZX81 to Windows 8.1: A Coder’s Tale

Everything is right with the world: a blog that references Tolkien is in the top 10. But it’s not solely for that reason – this is a really interesting post from our Chief Architect Simon Jenkinson that’s bound to stir a few memories. It even got Microsoft fan girling on Twitter about it.

7: iPhone, iPay, iWant

In September Apple announced two new iPhones (a slightly bigger one and a much bigger one), a new way to pay for retail goods, and what everyone had been waiting for: the Apple Watch. Have a read of what Steve thinks may be next for technology giants as this news was unveiled.

6: Don’t Panic! Heartbleed Bug Explained

Perhaps the biggest security story of 2014 was the Heartbleed bug. Every media outlet picked up on it, and the myth that spread was that cyber criminals the world over were going to get access to all your online passwords. Our Technical Support Manager and all round tech ninja Mike Tudor cut through the headlines and explained what the bug actually did, how vulnerable you might be to it, and what measures businesses should take.

5: High Tech Whiskey

Not just an excuse to write about whiskey at all…this is an account by Lewis Boyd, an account manager in Scotland, about how a 200 year old distillery was adopting modern technology to drive efficiencies and productivity, in an industry which likes to keep things traditional.

4: Is this the IT Manager’s Biggest Nightmare?

So what keeps your IT manager up at night? Is it that guy who insists having his password set to ‘password’ will fool everybody? Possibly. But in the era of colleagues having multiple devices to access sensitive corporate data, how do you keep track of all that? Our National Technical Director Paul Burns takes a look. Make sure you spare a minute to watch the video from Sophos – comedy gold.

3: Are you Ready for a Story?

Did you know CRM started out as a little animated rolodex? Neither did I. This is a wonderfully funny video (or ‘a healthy dose of British humour’ as our American friends described it) from Paul Ince about how far our CRM software has really come.

2: Technology Doesn’t Replace Talent

Just missing out on the top spot is this rather opinionated piece on how technology can only take you so far. You can have the most intelligent dashboard containing vast amounts of data, but if you don’t know how to interpret that data, or even ask it the right questions in the first place, it’s chocolate fireguard territory. A compelling read this one and it even spawned two sequel blogs.

1: How to Download IOS 8 Without Wiping Everything

Well, how about that. The most popular TSG blog of 2014 wasn’t actually written by TSG. I do hope that’s not a sign….

One of our customers, Garden Buildings Direct, got in touch with us in September and said they would love to work on a blog with us, being big fans of technology themselves. It just so happened that Apple released the storage eating iOS 8 at this time, and blog author Shaun wrote an exceptionally helpful blog about an Apple loophole which would use only a fraction of the original storage asking price. And we are all better off for knowing this.