The Information Safety Net

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Backing up your data is probably one of the most important things you can do if you own a computer. Yet so many people never back up their data, and the ones who do may not do it consistently.  Sometimes, we just have too much on our plates to concern ourselves with another routine, sometimes we're just lazy, but other times, we just don't know where to start. Sometimes it takes a major loss of valuable data to kick a person into the mindset that data backups may even be necessary. In fact, some people will lose everything and still not take future precautions. Even worse is when some people fall into the mindset of "It couldn't happen to me!" Whatever the reason is, it's important to know that there are backup solutions meant to fit in with busy schedules, many of which require no effort on your part. 
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Tags: backup and recovery, mac, pc

The Silver Bullet for Computer Speed

Posted by Bob Blackon Fri, Mar 15, 2019

If I asked the average computer user “What part of a computer makes the biggest difference in speed?”, what do you think the answer would be? Most people would argue that the Central Processing Unit (or CPU) would determine that. And in a lot of cases, this might be correct – the CPU does determine how fast a computer gets basic jobs done… Others might say the amount of memory affects the speed. Once again, this is not bad information – after all, how much Random Access Memory (or RAM) you have influences the workload that your computer can handle. Back in the 90's and early 2000's, CPU designs were taking huge leaps ahead, and programs, even basic ones, were using more memory with every new version. That computer you bought even a couple years ago would soon feel sluggish and outdated, as technological improvements would continue to drive the market forward.

 

In the span of twenty years, computers have gone from the steam locomotive to the jet airliner in terms of how powerful and sophisticated they are. However, there is one component that everyone neglects – one that hasn't grown at the same rate of speed as those above: the hard drive. Most modern hard drives are still very similar in design to their predecessors from the 80's. Although they have continued to increase in storage space, modern hard drives haven’t gotten a whole lot faster. While most components of a computer are electronic in nature, a hard drive is still mechanical – it relies on physical moving parts and a spinning disk to read and write information. Every time your computer starts up, loads a program, or opens a file, the hard drive is tasked with finding and reading that data. Multiply this by thousands of individual files to be read and you can see where a slowdown occurs. The CPU and RAM don’t have this limitation – they can read similar amounts of data in the tiniest fractions of a second. We call this a bottleneck – where one slow car on the off-ramp leads to an entire traffic jam. Your computer can only go as fast as its slowest part.

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Tags: computer performance, windows 10, mac, apple, microsoft, SSD

Catching the Perfect Firework Photos

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Sun, Jul 01, 2018

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many people are already planning to visit their local Fireworks displays. Many of those people, whether they know it yet or not, will want to photograph the event. Here are some tips to help you get the right shots, even if your digital camera happens to double as your phone.

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Tags: photos, camera

Breathing New Life into That Old Mac

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Wed, May 23, 2018

A question we get asked fairly often is, "How long is my computer expected to last?"

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Tags: upgrades, computer performance, mac, apple

Choosing the Right Amount of Storage for Your Smartphone

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Fri, Jan 19, 2018

One of the situations we see far too often these days is when a user runs out of storage for their data. With digital photos and videos being taken at ever-higher qualities and resolutions, it's most commonly a case where a person's camera habits fill up their phone's space. Even when that isn't an issue, it's very easy to simply install too many apps, buy too many movies, or have too many songs - and you're back in the same predicament. It's important to consider how much storage you should be looking for depending on your habits, and what types of storage options may fit your case best.

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Tags: mobile, apple, google, photos, android, ios

Have You Been Struggling with Your WiFi?

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Thu, Sep 28, 2017

We've all been there at some point before - sometimes your computers, televisions, or tablets just don't seem to get a good connection in certain rooms of your house. Whether you're just trying to check your email or browse the web, or you're streaming HD Netflix videos, that ever-present "Poor Signal" notice can be a huge annoyance. For some, this is easilly remedied by a better router or a WiFi extender. For some, however, the solution is not so simple.For those more difficult cases, a new WiFi system has been making its rounds into the consumer market lately: Mesh WiFi. If you've never heard of this technology before, it's not surprising; Mesh has only been widely available in the consumer market for a short time. Whether you've heard of it or not, however, you've definitely used it somewhere before. Most large businesses and public locations, from Hotels to large Retail Stores and Sports Stadiums use Mesh to acheive their massive and contiguous WiFi networks; in such places the same WiFi signal is available throughout the area, and remains strong wherever you go. 

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Tags: wireless, extend wireless signal, wifi

Choosing the Right Amount of Storage for Your Digital Needs

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Thu, Aug 24, 2017

One of the situations we see far too often these days is when a user runs out of storage for their data. With Macs and PCs, storage is definitely on a higher scale from many other devices out there, but many of the problems are the same - too many programs or too much data can quickly fill any storage you may have on your computer. Just as many underestimate how much data they can accumulate in a couple years with a smartphone, many underestimate how much can be accumulated over the life of their computer, which in some cases can go beyond a decade. Although most will never make it to that ten year mark, most systems are kept for several years anyway, and thus the storage needs can far exceed even the most extreme cases elsewhere.

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Tags: cloud storage, backup and recovery, mac, pc

How Smarter Apps Can Help Keep Your Family Safe on the Road

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Thu, Jul 06, 2017

When we think of smartphones and driving, the first image that unavoidably comes to mind is that of someone texting while driving. We've all seen it happen, and even the law agrees that it is a tremendous risk - any cell phone use, even besides texting, is illegal for young drivers. Even with this fact however, the distractions and bad habits still seem to get the better of many - even following the law's entry into practice, we continue to hear about terrible and preventative accidents all the time. Fortunately, there are plenty of countermeasures and software dedicated to assisting parents with promoting safe driving habits for their children.

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Tags: android, ios

Long Term Support: When Your Mac or PC Might Get the Axe

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Mon, Jun 05, 2017

As many users of older Macs and PCs are probably aware, there is a rather finite amount of time most companies will continue to support their software products and operating systems.

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Tags: operating system, windows 10, windows 7, windows 8, mac, apple, microsoft

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Deceptive Search Results

Posted by Joshua Chanceyon Thu, May 18, 2017

We've all been here before: We run into a problem, technical or otherwise, and we're unsure how to proceed, so what do we do? We search the internet for answers. In our search, we come across a number of results that look promising - some of them may even fit the bill exactly, and we think we have our answer. But one thing many people come across, sometimes without even knowing it, is a false search result - a listing that's either mostly unrelated to what you're actually searching for, or worse, a listing that is meant to deceive you into believing it's what you're searching for, with malicious intent.

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Tags: virus, scam