Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How to Get External USB Drives to Work With Macs

External USB drives are used for a variety of reasons, including:
  • Holding copies of files in case a device were to crash or get lost
  • Storing files because a device is low on space
  • Providing quick access to files when the original device is not portable
  • Transferring large files that can be rejected by mail servers
External USB drives are extremely useful. They are reasonably priced, compact, and easy to transport. Additionally, USB drives are fairly universal, connecting quickly without requiring additional software. However, not all USB drives natively operate with full functionality when connected to Mac devices.

How to Get External USB Drives to Work With Macs

There are three file format types supported by Windows machines. The original, FAT, or File Allocation Table, was followed by FAT32, a 32-bit version of FAT, and finally by NTFS, or New Technology File System. In the simplest of terms, each of these protocols are to digital devices what a table of contents is to a book. This means these protocols know where all the information on a drive exists, and without them, it can be impossible to find files without the use of forensic tools.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

When you Should Use Firewalls, Content Filters & Anti-Malware Software

Firewalls, content filters and anti-malware software are all items implemented to protect hardware devices and the data on them. To understand when you should implement any of these types of protections, it is important to understand how they work. Like a bicycle, car and a bus which fulfill similar purposes, these devices have similar goals but accomplish them in very different ways.

By better understanding how each device works, it is easier to decide which are best to implement to meet your particular needs.

When you Should Use Firewalls, Content Filters & Anti-Malware Software


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Why the Keyboard Stops Working When Moved to a New Computer

Setting up a new computer is exciting - no unwanted software, faster hardware, and increased storage! What is not to like? When people replace computers they often also upgrade the monitor, even when the existing one still works. The reason for this can include:
  • Wanting better resolution, refresh rates or other benefits
  • Bigger screens are continually available for cheaper prices
  • Needing port connections that match the new computer
There is one piece people rarely replace when getting a new computer: THE KEYBOARD! 

It is important to note that the mouse is also often not replaced. The reason for this is because we typically purchase wireless keyboards and mice that best meet our particular needs. This may be only preference or for ergonomic fit. Additionally, keyboards and mice often last much longer than a computer, and the technology behind keyboards and mice changes much less rapidly than computer hardware.

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