Is there a future in UK heavy industry?

Just heard a discussion on Radio Scotland regarding the sad closure of the steel plants in Motherwell and Cambuslang. An American from the University of Strathclyde made the point that these industries are dead and we should let them close, leaving them to the Chinese and Indians. This is crazy. As a country we need to hold on to our critical industries.

We need quality steel for the oil industry and, as offshore renewables have the potential to become a major UK industry, our use of steel is not likely to reduce. We’re making more cars in this country than ever before, many of which require special high strength steels. Chinese steels are of such low quality that the oil and gas industry can’t use them.

When we lose our ability to make our own steel we will never get it back and will rely on foreign imports from that point on.

One reason why the Chinese can undercut the Europeans is that they don’t have the same environmental restrictions as we do. In short their steel is filthy and is causing huge environmental damage to the steelmaking areas of China. We are allowing them to kill our domestic industries by dumping millions of tonnes of low quality steel, the production of which has had a horrific effect on the environment. It’s hardly a fair fight is it?

One guy on Radio Scotland made a great point that in the 1970’s when Rolls Royce went bust, rather than close the factories, the Government stepped in and financed them until they finished the development of their new jet engine family. This became a massive success and as a result we still have aero industry in this country with tens of thousands of highly paid jobs and Rolls Royce is a word leader the world in the production of modern jet engines.

Seeing the bigger picture is what Government is supposed to do. Finland, Italy and France still have huge shipbuilding industries because they invested in new technology and that investment has been paid back many times over.

Heavy industry is not industry of the past. It has a future in the rest of the world, why not here?

New website for Gift Voucher Solutions

Gift Voucher Solutions offer restaurants and hotels a simple and commission free way to sell gift vouchers to their customers directly on their website. The system is easy to install and users get the money into their accounts instantly without paying commission.

As well as building the website, JMD developed new branding which has been taken through to their stationery, promotion materials and social marketing channels, as well as their customer facing portal.

See the website here –

Phone and laptop battery myths explained

What to know more about how to take care of your phone and laptop batteries? Interesting story on lifehacker about modern battery technology. It’s good to know that leaving your phone charging overnight isn’t (contrary to popular opinion) doing it any damage.


New website for Award Winning Lanarkshire Garden Centre


Gouldings Garden Centre in the Clyde Valley has just won the titles of Best Indoor Retailer in Scotland and Best Outdoor Retailer in Scotland at the recent GCA Awards in Dundee. They also came runner up in the Best Garden Centre in Scotland category.

JMD have just built them  a brand new website, have a look here.

What’s best: Windows 10 or Apple OS X El Capitan?

Apple and Microsoft both have fresh new operating systems to plug and the age old question of what’s best rears it’s head again. Here are a couple of reviews taken from both sides of the divide:
MacWorld Review
Windows Central Review

Unsurprisingly, longtime Mac and PC users have their favourites (as can be read on the reviews above) and now that I’ve tested both I’m still firmly in the Mac camp.

Windows 10 does look like a great upgrade but my Windows 10 installation has ground my laptop almost to a halt and needs to be reinstalled which is never a good sign. However the reason I got to thinking of this was dealing with a customer today who was using Windows 8.

Talking over the phone I asked him to go to his website webmail. It’s just a simple matter of typing /webmail at the end of your website address in the address bar at the top of your browser and should take no more than two seconds.

However Microsoft in its wisdom has chosen to hide the address bar for some inexcusable reason. The chap I was talking to was not particularly technically minded and what followed was an incredibly frustrating episode which should have never happened (there’s no easy way to get round this as something like a webmail entry page is not indexed by Google so you can’t just type it into a Google search). Why hide the address bar in a browser? Why?

Until Microsoft stops doing really dumb stuff like this I don’t think any fair minded person who has used both platforms can really say they are ahead of Apple for most people.

El Capitan is a solid upgrade. It looks pretty much the same but there are useful tweaks everywhere. It seems to be a bit snappier too which is always welcome. I can’t see me ditching the Mac for my main workstation any time soon.

Starfish Construction website

Starfish-WebsiteI’ve just built a website for Starfish Construction.

Based in New Stevenson, near Motherwell, Starfish are specialists in building cladding solutions.

See the website here.

City Merchant Restaurant Glasgow


JMD has just built a new website for the Glasgow restaurant City Merchant.

City Merchant offers a delicious range of classic dishes with what they call a ‘Scottish twist’. The food really is delicious and I would recommend City Merchant to anyone who loves great food.

The staff are brilliant too and there’s surely something on the menu to suit every palate.

Have a look at the website for yourself.

iOS 9 Ad Blockers

If like me you’re an iPhone/iPad user and are sick of being tracked by advertisers when you’re browsing, the upcoming iOS 9 update should be just the thing for you.

Apple will introduce a feature in the upcoming iOS 9 update that could dramatically cut down the amount of adverts and tracking code that gets downloaded when you visit many websites.

You’ll have seen before yourself. You search Google for something like a wardrobe and the next thing you know just about every website you visit has wardrobe ads appearing everywhere.

It’s really annoying but it’s also costing you money. The tracking code that gets downloaded when you visit these sites uses up a LOT of your data allowance. In many cases the tracking data is two or three times the size of the actual webpage. This can hugely slow down the page loading time, make the page a lot more prone to becoming unstable or crashing and it uses up a lot of your mobile data allowance.

It will be interesting to see how publishers will react to this too as advertising is more or less the only source of income most of them generate.
Will we see access being limited to those not running Ad Blocking software or will the publishers be forced to stop injecting so much tracking crap into their pages?

Who knows but it will interesting to see how this develops.

Concrete Garages Scotland

concrete-garagesNew website just built for Concrete Garages Scotland in East Kilbride. They are Scotland’s largest provider of versatile concrete garages. and operate throughout the whole of the country, highlands and islands included.

During the development of the website I got to know a fair bit about these buildings and I have to say I’m really impressed at the value and quality on offer. Of course I would say that (!) but if you are interested in this sort of thing I would definitely check them out (lovely East Kilbride showroom too).

Have a look at the website if you’ve got a minute.

Do you have a pair of UGG Boots that have seen better days?


Scottish Drycleaning specialists William Munro, based in East Kilbride, are celebrating their 150 year anniversary this year. As one of Scotland’s premier names in the industry they are renowned as being innovators in dry-cleaning.

They have developed a unique system for cleaning UGG boots without damaging them, the only such system in the UK.

JMD has built a website that allows them to offer a UK wide UGG Boot delivery service. Simply sign up, pay and they’ll send you a delivery bag or box to put your boots in, post them and a few days later your boots are back almost as good as new!