Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Seamlessly Replace a Computer by Copying These 3 Folders

The reason people often hang on to computers until they are outdated or fail is typically because moving to a new computer is tedious! There are a variety of personalized settings that need to be configured, each of which take time. Some examples of these settings are:
  • Power modes
  • Desktop backgrounds
  • Web browser favorites
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Screen resolution
There is also the task of installing proprietary software and configuring applications. In other words, it can be a lot of work moving to a new computer or laptop. All of these tasks are reasons why we avoid replacing a device for as long as we can.

Even considering all the work it takes, it is ALWAYS better to move to a new device before the existing one fails. This ensures a more seamless process, that data is not lost, and that application configurations can be compared so they are set up exactly the same. When replacing a computer, it is important to know the 3 folders that are most important to copy to the new device.

Seamlessly Replace a Computer by Copying These 3 Folders


Thursday, September 13, 2018

5 Ways to Speed up Your Computer

Slower response times on computers are typically inevitable. There are many reasons devices slow down over time. For example, when was the last time you removed software you no longer use? The answer is likely NEVER! Much like a home that gathers mementos from trips or special family events, kids toys and sentimental items that we struggle to let go of, computers can also get bogged down. 

There is of course a reason for this phenomenon. When an application or plugin is needed, we are motivated to get it so we can accomplish whatever it is we set out to do. Whether the application did not meet our expectations, we decided not to use it, or multiple types were installed to find the best fit, we often forget about the application once it is installed.

Luckily, this post covers 5 easy ways to speed up most devices before considering purchasing a replacement device.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

The Best Times to Backup your Smart Phone

Backing up a smart phone is important in order to protect all the data on it, but if you asked 10 people when they back up their phones, you would likely get 10 different answers. Most people start out strategically, running backups at regular intervals. Over time, people often find themselves going months without one. Not only do backups preserve our information, but they are also the best way to transition to a newer phone in the least amount of time. 

With time it gets easy to think nothing bad will happen. Emails can be downloaded again, many applications are not affected as their data is not stored locally. The most common things people lose are photos, videos and messages. Many people have suffered from a catastrophic phone loss, in which case if they had a backup it was a lifesaver!

From backing up regularly to losing a phone, the best times to backup a smart phone are clear.

The Best Times to Backup your Smart Phone

Sunday, August 26, 2018

How to Buy a Computer with Windows 10 Originally - Not Upgraded

Back to school is one of the best times to purchase new computers and laptops. Students' needs increase in tandem with each new grade and college students' needs are even greater so manufacturers provide better pricing to entice customers to buy. This makes it a great time for anyone else looking for a new computer to take advantage of these deals.

One thing to keep in mind while shopping is there will be amazing deals mixed in with deals that are not near as good. Some ways a deal is not as good as it seems are:
  • The computer has an older processor - released 2+ years ago.
  • There is a smaller amount of memory - at least 8GB is best.
  • The device was built with an older operating system and upgraded later - rather than coming with the latest operating system natively installed.

How to Buy a Computer with Windows 10 Originally - Not Upgraded

Just because a computer is running Windows 10, currently the latest consumer operating system, does not mean it came with it originally installed. Many computers with Windows 7 or 8 originally installed are still available for purchase. Whether buying online or from a physical store, inventory sometimes sits longer than we expect. Purchasing a custom built machine, which typically costs more and takes longer to receive, increases the likelihood that the most recent operating system will be installed but is no guarantee.

Why you should care what operating system was natively installed

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Most Important Sign that a Computer Has a Problem

One of the most common things to consider when it comes to owning computers, laptops and tablets, is when they need to be replaced. Nobody wants to replace a perfectly good device they could easily have used for another year or longer. It makes far more sense to wait until a new device is actually necessary. Not only does this save money, but it saves time setting up a new device and prevents electronics from filling landfills faster.

So how do you know what to do when? Waiting until a device crashes is obviously not the best answer. Recovering programs and documents is much more time consuming than planning ahead and migrating to a new machine. Compare it to losing your wallet. Do you know exactly how much cash you had? What credit cards and other identification did you also lose? Do you know the company phone numbers so you can report them missing? Is there a plan for replacing everything that was lost?

The answer is most likely not exactly. Which is the same answer you likely have for a lost or crashed computer. Rather than waiting until it is too late, or risking replacing a device too soon, use the most important sign that a computer has a problem as your guide to when it is time to begin looking for a replacement.

The Most Important Sign that a Computer Has a Problem

Many things can happen as a device gets older. You may experience:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

3 Printer Settings you Really Should Know About

Printer software varies greatly by manufacturer, type, and model. However, there are many settings that are universal. Some of these settings include, but are not limited to:
  • Paper size
  • Monochrome vs color printing
  • Printer sharing
  • Port type (USB, wireless, etc.)
  • Print resolution (the higher the number the greater the quality)
In addition to these settings, there are 3 printer settings you really should know about to get the best usage out of any printer.

3 Printer Settings you Really Should Know About

Print Spooling

Print spooling is the setting that controls when the printer begins printing each print job it receives. This setting has 2 options:

Thursday, August 09, 2018

RAM - What you Need to Know Beyond Size

When a computer device runs slow, there are a few main culprits that are often the cause. The task manager provides information about what is currently going on with a device and is a good thing to check as a problem is occuring. A couple of the components that often cause slowness are:
  • Memory/RAM - too little memory can cause the system to start swapping in use applications to disk, then from disk back into memory as requested, which causes noticeable lag
  • CPU - older CPU's typically have less cores with less threads which means there are fewer resources to handle requests so responses are slower
  • Hard drive - traditional hard drives use spinning platters to access and write information: this process is slower than solid state drives (SSDs) which access data on chipsets directly similar to RAM
This post specifically covers what you need to know beyond the size of RAM if you plan to replace or add RAM to a system as this is the easiest component to modify of the 3 that often cause slowness.

RAM - What you Need to Know Beyond Size

Listed below are some of the technical specifications to consider when purchasing additional or replacement RAM for a device. The purpose of this information is to help ensure the correct RAM is purchased and alleviate wasted time and money purchasing the wrong RAM. Most device operating systems will display the amount of RAM, but the following specs are typically only found on the stickers on the physical RAM modules.

RAM Iteration