Help Your Computer Live Forever (Almost) With This Easy Tricks

We’ve all been there. That moment when your computer freezes, and it feels like your world is about to implode. You’re half way through a project, and you haven’t saved it. Or, worse, you haven’t backed up your computer at all! Laptop and PC problems can happen without warning. The only way to prevent them is by maintaining good system health at all times. In this post, we’ll show you how.

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Don’t eat or drink near the computer

You’d think we wouldn’t even have to mention this point, but you’d be surprised how much damage this causes. Naturally, water damage is very harmful to your computer. Spilling drinks over the keyboard, especially sugary drinks, can destroy the system. It will leak into the motherboard and cause irreversible problems. The same is true for small grains of food. Over time, they build up and cause damage.

Update your software

You know that annoying little thing that pops up in the top right-hand corner now and then? That’s your system reminding you to make the necessary upgrades. They’re there for a reason, and it’s crucial that you upgrade them quickly. These updates are designed to speed up the software, and clean up any problems. It will keep your computer healthy and help keep data safe.

Keep the power cables tidy and neat

If you’ve ever had to replace a power cable, you know how expensive they can be. They can break without warning, leaving you stranded with nothing but battery power. The cables are built to last for a good few years, but they will eventually break. Extend their life by keeping them neat and tidy. Try to avoid rolling over them with your chair too.

Clear out system clutter

Your laptop or computer only has so much memory and operating power. After regular use, this memory and processing is eaten up with data and storage. Every few weeks, it’s worth purging your system of unnecessary clutter and junk. Clear your internet caches, temporary files and your recycle bin. Delete any files you no longer need, or transfer them to a hard drive.

Turn it off and put it to sleep when not in use

Many computer users have a bad habit of leaving their laptops on overnight. It’s easily done and we’re all guilty of it. The truth is your computers need sleep, just like humans! Their operating systems need the chance to switch off and unwind. While switched on, they monitor and store temporary files all the time. Switching off will wipe that temporary memory clean and start afresh. It will stay fast and efficient.

Make repairs immediately

We all put off repairs longer than we should. But, when it comes to computers, the faster you repair, the better. Expert PC repair is easy to find, and often cheaper than you think. Computer problems have a habit of causing knock-on effects. Don’t let things get worse, just get it fixed!

Unfortunately, our electronics won’t last forever. But, with a little extra care and attention, you can certainly squeeze an extra few years out of them.

 

Mechanical Keyboards: Should You Go And Make The Switch?

Most people don’t give a second thought to the keyboards they use with their computer systems. Some of them feel “cheap” and “plasticky.” While others have a soft, satisfying touch.

Modern computer systems don’t come with keyboards that offer much in the way of feedback these days. Old-school PC users might remember hardware built by IBM. And, to be precise, the IBM Model M keyboard.

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I realize that I’m starting to show my age now! But I remember using that same model of keyboard when I first started using computers. Fast forward to the 21st century. I had (wrongly) assumed that such mechanical keyboards were no longer “in fashion” in the computer world.

As it turns out, there is a strong following of users that prefer the tactile touch of mechanical keyboards. Of course, not everyone wants to use a keyboard that doesn’t have a “Windows” keyboard button on it.

Nor do they want to use one with a PS/2 or Serial connector on it. These days, it’s all about USB connectivity, don’t you know!

Are you are considering getting a new keyboard for your home or office PC? If so, should you make the switch from mainstream to mechanical? Today’s blog post will help you to find out the answer to that question.

So… Just what is a mechanical keyboard?

If you’ve never had the pleasure of using an IBM Model M keyboard before, you might not know just what is a mechanical keyboard.

In a nutshell, today’s mainstream keyboards have rubber “domes” underneath each key. They work in tandem with plastic membranes. They are cheap to produce and buy, and they are spill-resistant.

Mechanical keyboards use physical switches to determine which keys got pressed. Each key uses a plastic base, spring, and a stem. They produce that familiar “clicking” sound with every key press.

Are mechanical keyboards getting popular?

In a word, yes. For example, go to the Google website and search for “Mechanical Keyboards UK.” You will find a plethora of companies advertising and selling such devices.

Many consumers are getting bored with the lackluster choice of keyboards on the market these days. It seems there is a trend for getting “back to basics” due to the growing amounts of people buying mechanical keyboards.

Who uses mechanical keyboards?

It might surprise you to learn that the biggest users of mechanical keyboards are the gaming community! And, as you might expect, such keyboards are available in a range of colors and styles.

Scores of gamers prefer the “retro” feel of mechanical keyboards. And there is also another practical reason this group of people is making the switch. PC-based games often use keyboard shortcuts.

Sometimes it is hard to know when a key get pressed mid-play as gamers seldom take their eyes off the display in front of them!

What are the downsides to mechanical keyboards?

If you need a keyboard that gets used for plenty of typing work each day, mechanical keyboards are the wrong choice for you! They make an audible clicking sound. If you touch-type with such a device, it can sound like you’re using a typewriter!

The Best Ways To Back Up Critical Data In 2015

For many people, personal and corporate data is vital. At home, you’d feel devastated if you lost your cherished family photos and prized music collection. At work, critical data loss can often prove to be catastrophic for companies.

To help combat such problems, most people realize that a good computer backup system is a must. When you back up any files, it is important that you can restore them fast and with no issue when you need to do so. There’s no point having a backup system in place if it doesn’t work well.

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As you are reading this blog post, I am going to assume that you’re worried about losing any crucial data from your home or work computers. But don’t worry; you can still set up an efficient data backup system. Want to know how? Keep reading to check out these top backup options for computer data in 2015!

External hard drive

Do you only have to worry about one computer system? If so, and you use a desktop or laptop, one cost-effective way to back up your data is to use an external hard drive.

They don’t cost much money to buy and, to all intents and purposes, are “plug and play” devices. You connect them to your computer system via USB cable, and they show up as an external drive in Explorer (Windows) and Finder (Mac).

The only caveat with external hard drives is that you need to use some backup software to make a copy of your important files. Most people prefer to use the operating system’s own backup software as it’s free. For Windows, there is a “Backup” app. While for Mac users, Time Machine is the way forward.

External hard drives are portable. That means you can carry them around with you and store them anywhere you want. For those that want drives with low footprints, you can buy 2.5-inch devices. One benefit of these smaller drives is that you don’t need an external power supply to use them.

USB flash drive

Walk around any office or home that uses computers, and you will find at least one USB flash drive on a desk somewhere! As the name suggests, these devices use flash memory rather than mechanical hard disks.

They are also quite small, with some folks opting to attach them to their key rings! It’s no secret that they are so small and lightweight. They are sometimes preferred over external hard drives. The price of flash memory has come down in recent years. So it’s possible to buy large capacity flash drives without paying a fortune for them.

You can buy USB flash drives up to 128 GB in capacity. If you need more space, you can always buy more drives. Otherwise, an external hard drive might prove to be a better option for you.

The only downside to USB flash drives is that it’s easy to lose them. If you’re the sort of person that loses things like pens, notepads and even money on a regular basis, a flash drive might not be a good idea!

DVD disc

The beauty about backup programs is that you can use them to store data on a variety of formats. DVD discs are a cheap and popular way to backup data. If you use rewritable DVD discs, you won’t need to keep buying DVDs to backup your data with.

With disc-based backups, you have the option of backing up data as a straight copy and paste process. Or you can save your data to an ISO image file which you then “burn” onto the disc.

Blu-ray disc

Sometimes you need to store more than 4.7 GB of data on a disc. If you have this problem, DVD disc backups aren’t for you. Instead, you should consider Blu-ray disc backups! The beauty of Blu-ray discs is that you can store 25 GB on a conventional single-layer disc.

You also have the option of storing up to 50 GB of data on a dual-layer disc and 100+ GB on a BD-XL. Before you go out and set up a Blu-ray backup system, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Blu-ray discs and drives are more expensive than DVD discs and drives. You also need to buy specific software to burn onto Blu-ray discs. For instance, you can use this software to burn Blu-rays.

And if you want to read any data on a Blu-ray disc, the computer you use must have a Blu-ray drive attached to it. Still, despite those caveats it’s a versatile way of backing up large data!

NAS (Network-Attached Storage)

Do you have more two or more systems to back up at home or work? If so, life would be easier if you had a device that you could use on your network. The good news is that there is a device right up your street: a NAS “box”!

In layman’s terms, a NAS box isn’t much different in operation to an external hard drive. Instead of plugging into a USB port on your computer, a NAS box connects to your computer network via Ethernet cable.

NAS devices at the cheaper end of the market only have one built-in hard drive. But if you’re prepared to spend more money, you can get one that allows you to install multiple hard drives.

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With a multi-drive NAS box, you can set up something called a RAID array. In a nutshell, RAID allows you to spread any data across multiple drives. There are plenty of configurations available. The simplest one enables you to mirror a primary drive. You can also “stripe” data across multiple hard disks.

It might sound like complicated stuff. But NAS drives have setup software you can access via a web browser that makes it easy to manage. Are you planning to get a multi-drive NAS device? If so, I recommend learning more about RAID configurations so that you can find a suitable one for your setup.

 

Easy Ways To Improve The Tech In Your Office

In any business, it is important to have a core of contemporary technology. If you want to stay ahead in the world of business, you need to ensure that you pay close attention to new tech advancements. Tech is vital to any company. It is easy to fall behind and ignore any technology issues you might have. All modern businesses rest on technology, though, and so that is a problem. If you are not at the forefront of gadgets and software, you will struggle to survive in the global market. Here are some easy ways to improve the tech in your office.

Use tablets not notebooks

In every workplace, people need to take notes and make lists. If people use paper notebooks at the moment, it is time to make a change. It would be much better for the company if everyone used tablets to make their notes. When you write things on a tablet, you can share it with the entire team in seconds. That means that nobody has to waste time typing up the minutes from the meeting because they will already have them.

Have an internal person manage your server

If you have a Windows server, you might have to deal with an external company for support and management. It would be best if you could get someone in your company to manage your server for you. That way, you will get quick tech support whenever you need it. Choose a reliable, tech-savvy member of your team to get windows server certification. Training courses are available all the time, and so the process is simple.

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Back everything up (all the time)

When you are working on large products, you need to remember to back things up throughout your day. You might have the best technology, but sometimes things fail. If you find that your computer crashes when you are in the middle of some work, you could lose all your work. Instead, ensure that you use a cloud system to backup all your work so that you don’t lose a thing.

Synchronize your work

One thing that few businesses do these days is synchronize the work. New technology allows companies to work in sync with one another. That means that you don’t have to bother with transferring information or files. Instead, you can all work on the same files at the same time. There are various apps and programs you might want to use so that you can work together with ease.

Use apps for scheduling your day

If you have trouble keeping up to date with everything you have going on in the office, it is wise to get a scheduling system that you can all use. You could use Google Calendar, but there are similar, lesser known apps that you should try. Using a synchronized calendar, you can allow everyone in your office to see the daily schedule. That means that everybody will know what is happening at all times. You can assign jobs to people using the calendar as well. If you have software developers working for you, it might be best to develop a system unique to your business.

Update your software on a regular basis

Software develops so fast these days, and so you need to ensure that you keep up to date with it at all times. That means that you need to make sure that you get regular checks and support from a technology agency. If your gadgets are old, they will be slow and useless. Talk to a tech company about packages so that you can update your devices as often as you need to do so. That way, you can ensure that you are always ahead of the game.

 

 

4 Simple Ways Of Using Your Computer To Earn A Living

If you’re not suited to working traditional jobs, you’ve come to the right place. Getting up at 7am every morning and spending an hour or so commuting to work isn’t for everyone. Using the bulk of your day to make money for other people can be rather disheartening. For that reason, you need to start looking at the possibility of making money online. There are thousands of different ways you can achieve that goal; you just need to select the one that works best for you. Presuming you’ve never thought about doing that before, the suggestions below might be useful. They have all been proven to work time and time again. All you have to do is make the decision to get on board. In most instances, you can reduce the time you spend working a lot by moving towards the internet.

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Web Design

Anyone with qualifications or experience in custom web design could make a lot of cash from home using their computer. Just build a website promoting your services, and then use social media and Google Adwords to attract custom. Of course, you’ll find it much easier to win contracts after you have lots of testimonials from satisfied clients. So, it might be a good idea to run a cheap introductory deal to build your portfolio.

Freelance writing

Freelance writing is one of the simplest ways of earning a living online. Web design companies and marketing agencies don’t have the time to come up with all the necessary content for their projects, and so they tend to outsource the job. While having good English skills will work in your favor, there are lots of tools available online that can help to improve the work you produce. Google Docs has a fantastic spell checker, but you might also want to use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway. Those tools help to ensure your text is easy to read by pointing out potential grammar issues.

Affiliate Marketing

Presuming you already have a website that achieves high levels of traffic, you could earn a living from affiliate marketing. That is where you place a code on your website and allow the network to send relevant ads. Every time one of your visitors clicks on the ad and makes a purchase, you earn a small commission. To be honest though, you’re going to require millions of hits every week to earn a good wage.

Graphic design and catalog production

Lots of business owners all over the world require graphic design jobs. Many of them also outsource the job of creating digital and physical catalogs. The only trouble with getting involved in this marketplace is there is a lot of competition. The MatrixCMS catalog production service is used by thousands of big brands all over the world. So, you’ll want to focus your efforts on providing services for smaller companies with low budgets. If your skills are advanced enough, you could even design games.

You should now have a good idea about some of the simplest ways to earn a living from your computer. All you need is a strong WiFi connection, lots of time and enough motivation to see the jobs though. Once you build a reputation for yourself; making money will become much easier.

Top 8 Tech Solutions Every Company Needs

Gadgets and tech are continually saving us time and making our everyday lives more efficient and easier. They entertain us, keep us safe and help us to reach our destinations in good time. The same is true for the world of business too. Whether you are an international company or a start-up, the market is full of tech solutions designed to make your life easier and your business more efficient. Here we look at the top eight tools every company needs to invest in.

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  • Tablet

 Obviously which one you choose will be heavily influenced by whether or not you are a PC or a Mac user, and what’s the norm in your industry. Tablets are great for meetings with clients and staff; they are easy to carry around and help you to get your point across efficiently. They are also great for video conferencing and make working remotely a breeze.

  • Phone

 Whether you run a company with four people or forty, make sure all company issued phones integrate seamlessly with your operating system. Mobile contracts with unlimited data plans allow staff to hotspot their work phone when they are outside of a WiFi zone so they are never out of contact. Your office phone system needs to be integrated and easy to use as well. Mitel 5000 London can supply a variety of office phone systems designed to work across multiple locations and link thousands of staff.

  • Conference Camera

 Skype and Lync have opened up the business world to video conference calling. Unlike the traditional webcam, a conference camera makes sure everyone in the room is on the screen at once.

  • Multi-Device Keyboard

 Increase staff efficiency with this clever device. A full-sized keyboard that connects to up to three devices, it allows you to type on your computer and cut across to answering emails on your tablet with just the flick of a switch.

  • A Cloud

 Make sure your company’s documents are backed up and securely stored with a cloud device.

  • Google Analytics

These days, it’s all about number crunching. Google analytics tracks the amount of traffic your website generates, where it lands from and which countries it is viewed in. It shows percentage differences and even plots graphs so you can visually quantify your website’s performance.

  • Apps

Apps for business are many and varied. It pays to know which ones to get and which ones not to bother with, especially since you can waste hours sorting the good eggs from the bad. The good ones allow you to sync calendars across the office, invoice customers and communicate with both clients and staff.

  • Printers

Gone are the days when the ability to print, fax and copy was the height of sophistication. It’s a brave new world, and printers are now producing everything from 3-D models to high resolutions photographs. Make sure you invest in the best printer for your business. Consider running costs and warranties as well as functions and do your research, the expensive ones are not always the best.