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SEARCH: Basics

Basics: 6 Things To Look For When Buying A New Laptop Or Desktop Computer

ShoppingCartWhen you’re in this business of fixing and maintaining technology – one of the most common questions you’ll be asked is “What do I look for in a new computer?”. While I’m usually obliged to ask for more about the prospective computer in question – sometimes the brand names come up and sometimes it’s just a general question because the customer wants to buy a new one. Coming to me (the IT Guy) is a good step and a worthwhile use of time, but without me, what kind of stuff can you do to find the computer that’s best for you?

Basics: The Secrets To Being A Great Customer

Computer-RageWe’ve all been in tech challenged situations asking for help from the tech expert. You may be overwhelmed by a problem and just want ot to work. You want to just get this thing fixed and move on. You want to explain what’s happening, but you’re no technology expert, right? Well, I want to let you in on a very important little secret. How you describe your issue and the questions you ask are essential to correcting your issues. Here, let me show you how to master this very important skill.

Basics: How To Repair A Water Damaged Phone Or Computer

Phone-in-ToiletThe worst thing that can happen is often the easiest thing to do. Namely, I speak of the damage that comes from getting your computer, phone or other electronics wet. Apparently, the most common way to destroy a phone is by dropping it into a toilet (though, you want to take “studies” with a grain of salt). If you’re a heavy mobile phone user, at some point you’ll drop your phone or device into some liquid substance at some point. I had the same thing happen to my laptop, and I wanted to share how I managed to return the laptop to a working state.

Basics: IP Addressing on a Computer Network

tcp2_0202Many times I talk to people inside my industry and outside – thinking about getting into the industry; they tend to be lacking in knowledge of TCP/IP and proper IP Addressing conduct. I often go into offices that have been previously set up and find the network is 150.150.150.0, or all of the hosts on the network are directly connected to the Internet. While these practices all work, this industry is begging for consistency and there are recommendations as to the proper use of IP addressing to simplify your network management. Have you ever wondered why a network’s hosts might be numbered 10.x.x.x or 192.168.0.x?

Highlighting the Good: Teksavvy

Teksavvy Logo

One familiar refrain amongst all Canadian Internet users when talking about service levels is “There’s nothing we can do”. We’re resigned to bad connections, routing devices that appear untested, over-priced services, and systems that are truly hellish. Big companies operate as if they were monopolies. In fact, you don’t have to go far to find horror stories. If you even look at the history of my blog, you’ll see that I write much more about negative topics than positive. The challenge, I find, is surfacing the good stories, so they can also compete for attention just as much. This is a story about Teksavvy.

My Advice To New Technology Workers

Hi folks. I’ve been away far too long with no updates. For that, I do apologize. I promise to work harder on giving you more thoughts and ideas from the edge of whatever this is. Today, I thought it might be interesting to show you something I sent to someone who is interested in getting involved with technology. I had sit down with him to discuss what I do, and possibly get him thinking about what he might do. I don’t often find myself being asked for advice, so that was cool. What follows is our brief email exchange (and my advice to him) for better or worse.

Free Canadian Tax Software Done Well – StudioTax

StudioTax from BHOK IT Consulting

Taxes are the bane of every Canadian’s existence. When it’s time to do a tax return, many are hit again with costs for software (or the rather unfortunate need to pay a tax preparer). There are better ways though. If you are a person with a willingness to take on taxes yourself, free tax software is out there. One you should be aware of is StudioTax. Let’s take a look at what makes this so great.

First Look: Small Picture’s Little Outliner

little-outliner-3I’m interested in what Dave Winer does. He’s been a part of innovations that are the foundation of the Internet. Sure, I don’t exactly agree with his view on comments, but I think he’s an amazing innovator and high on the list of people I’d love to sit down with in person. When he released a new tool, Little Outliner, I wanted to take my time to understand what it was, how easy I might learn to use it, what others might think of it and generally let the idea sink in. It’s important to let these things sink in when taking a look.

Questioning Gun Ownership

Guns-1

Like any efficient (and possibly dangerous) technology, the ideas behind their use and control can be incredibly polarizing. Recently, I came face-to-face with that polarizing effect when I asked a seemingly simple question of Micheal Moore (the documentary filmmaker):

And, to be clear, I was lazy for replying to a tweet about Piers Morgan, because my question had nothing to do with him. Ultimately, Moore stopped answering questions with the #bowlingforcolumbine hashtag and did not answer mine. Well, after that tweet, I was hit with replies left and right from those who seem to support my implied position and others who were clearly pro-gun. Read on for for a look at how this panned out.

Review: Samsung Chromebook Series 5 – Ready For Business?

Samsung Chromebook Series 5Opening the box, this Chromebook felt very light. So light that in some ways the screen and body felt almost too plastic. The screen itself is bright, but very thin and some may think this is too flimsy. The keyboard is nice, large and feels great when typing. I didn’t find myself accidentally hitting buttons and causing issues and the trackpad stayed out of the way (for the most part). The included USB port was useful for adding a wireless mouse to the mix and detected the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 I tested without issue.

Truly, this is a Google ecosystem device – so you’ll find better integration and power when you use a Google account (on Apps or merely just a free Gmail account). Other options for mail access are possible, however, the integration you should expect is little more than accessing web mail. In the future, I’d like to see every mail provider offer an HTML5 web mail interface – making the ChromeBook a great option for that future.

With a Chromebook Series 5 in hand, it’s time to test and review this new and intriguing option from Google’s engineers – here’s what I thought of it.