Your Most Embarrassing IT Questions Answered – Part 1

Your Most Embarrassing IT Questions Answered – Part 1 One of my favorite TV shows right now is The IT Crowd, a British comedy about three IT workers stuck in the basement office of a big company answering IT questions. And while I can relate to a lot of what the characters do in their jobs, it’s the stupid situations they get into that I love the most. For example, the IT department’s manager Jen knows nothing about computers or anything IT related. It’s a running joke through the whole show. In one scene, she has an interview with another company and is bragging about her IT knowledge. The hiring manager asks her what the letters IT stand for because she always wanted to know but was too afraid to ask. Jen, of course, doesn’t know either, but she’s too embarrassed to admit it. And her coworkers aren’t very helpful: I don’t think anyone should ever feel embarrassed for needing clarification on computer basics. After all, technology changes are happening so fast these days, it can really be hard to keep up. And while you may feel tempted to assume you know what IT is all about, it can also get you into some tough situations down the line. So, here’s a quick list of IT terms and new technologies with their definitions. IT stands for information technology, Jen. Basically, IT is about using computers, software, applications and networks to store and share information – something we all do on a daily basis. It’s widely known that we live in the ‘information age’ because we are so dependent on information technology. An IT Department, like the one in The IT Crowd, is responsible for managing the computers, networks and other technical areas of the business. Smaller companies may choose to outsource these functions. Cloud computing is an example of information technology. It refers to storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet rather than your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just metaphor for the Internet. Although it’s nice to think of, your data does not live in the clouds in the sky, but rather server space in a data warehouse. With an online connection, cloud computing can be done anywhere, anytime. These days, data storage via the Internet is available for both consumers and businesses, for free and at a range of costs depending on storage needs. PC stands for personal computer used by a single person. Many people may see a distinction between PCs and MAC computers, though they are essentially the same. In the early days of the ‘80’s when PCs where first made available, IBM and Macintosh were the two big competitors in the personal computer market. PC described an IBM-compatible computer in contrast to an Apple Macintosh computer. Again, these days they are the same. They both use the same hardware components and Intel processing chips. Although Apple has its own operating system (see below), you can install the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Office software suite in an Apple computer – and vice versa with the Apple OS and programs. An operating system (or OS) manages computer hardware and provides common services for other computer programs. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a computer is useless without an operating system. The OS performs basic tasks like input from a keyboard, output to the screen and memory allocation. Most desktop PCs come preloaded with Microsoft Windows. Macintosh computers come pre-loaded with Mac OS. Large corporate servers may use Linux. Smartphones and tablet PCs also have operating systems to run applications and...

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Buy or Repair: Two Simple Rules

Buy or Repair: Two Simple Rules As a computer technician and IT guy, I often get asked, “Should I repair (or upgrade) my computer or just get a new one?” Sometimes, it’s obvious that the person is itching to buy something shiny and new. Other times they’re trying to hold on to what they have for as long as possible. Here are two rules of thumb that I offer up to clients: 1) Buy a new computer if it’s older than six years. High-quality computer will last you six good years before you’ll need a replacement. Just don’t buy the cheapest option out there. If your computer is younger, it can be upgraded and last up to five more years if it is a laptop and up to six years more if it is a desktop PC – all depending on how much you upgrade. At minimum you’ll spend $300 – 500 in upgrades to ensure your computer lasts six more years. The cost rises if you want even more performance. Simple upgrades may include memory (RAM), hard disk drive (or Solid State Drive), operating system and software. Upgrades are often a more cost-effective solution than investing in an entirely new computer. 2) If your computer does not have a dual-core processor, then buy a new computer. A processor is the heart of your computer and dual-core will give you more processing power compared to a single-core. It leads to faster speed and overall performance. How do you know which you have? It’s simple: • Click the Start button • In the box “Search programs and files” type CMD and press enter • In the command prompt window type “WMIC CPU Get /Format:List” and press enter • Find “NumberOfCores” this will tell you how many cores your processor has. If your computer is not working – or eventually gets to that point – give me a call. We can quickly rule out its age and processor type if that’s not the case, and I will give your PC a thorough check and estimate on repair costs. I can even give you some personal guidance on the best PC to purchase for your needs if you go that route. You may have a computer now that doesn’t really fit your needs. If you stop and ask yourself what you use the computer for and what you plan on using it for in the next few years most of the time you can come to a simple...

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Fujitsu A6010 15.4″ Widescreen Notebook – Win 7 Office 2010

For Sale – $175 + $35 US shipping if needed   Fujitsu A6010 15.4″ Widescreen Notebook – with fresh copy of Windows 7 with all updates as well as Office 2010 Item specifics Condition: Used Seller Notes:”No damage just normal wear and tear, few scratches” Type: Notebook Processor Type: Intel Core Duo Brand: Fujitsu Processor Speed: 1.6 GHz Product Line: Lifebook Graphics Processing Type: Integrated/On-Board Graphics Model: A6010 Memory: 1.5 GB Operating System: Windows 7 Hard Drive Capacity: 120 GB Screen Size: 15.4″ General Packaged Quantity 1.0 System Type Notebook OS Provided Microsoft Windows 7 Notebook type Thin-and-light (4-6 lbs.), Budget Screen type Wide-screen Processor / Chipset CPU Intel Core Duo T2050 / 1.6 GHz Number of Cores Dual-Core Cache L2 cache – 2.0 MB 64-bit Computing Yes Front Side Bus 667.0 MHz Chipset Mobile Intel 945GM Express Platform Technology Intel Centrino Duo Features Intel Wide Dynamic Execution, Intel 64 Technology, Intel Smart Memory Access, Enhanced SpeedStep technology, Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost, Execute Disable Bit capability, Enhanced Intel Deeper Sleep with Dynamic Cache Sizing, Intel Intelligent Power Capability, Intel Dynamic Bus Parking, Intel Advanced Smart Cache, Intel Dynamic Power Coordination Memory RAM 1.5 GB ( 1 GB + 512 MB) Max RAM Supported 2.0 GB Technology DDR2 SDRAM Speed 667.0 MHz / PC2-5300 Slots Qty 2 Empty Slots 1.0 Storage Floppy Drive None Hard Drive 120.0 GB HDD / 4200.0 rpm Storage Removable None Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM Read Speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD) Write Speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD±R) / 4x (DVD±R DL) Optical Drive (2nd) None Hard drive type Portable Environmental Parameters Environmental standards EPA Energy Star Min Operating Temperature 41.0 °F Max Operating Temperature 95.0 °F Humidity Range Operating 20 – 85% Display Type 15.4 in Max Resolution 1280 x 800 ( WXGA ) Widescreen Yes Features Crystal View Audio & Video Graphics Processor Intel GMA 950 Memory Allocation Technology Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0 Max Allocated RAM Size 128.0 MB Codec Realtek ALC262 Input Type Touchpad, Keypad Communications Wireless 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR Wireless Controller Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Interface Gigabit Ethernet Modem Protocols & Specifications ITU V.90 Max Transfer Rate 56.0 Kbps Battery Technology 4-cell Lithium ion Installed Qty 1.0 Capacity 2000.0 mAh Run Time 1.75 hour(s) AC Adapter Voltage Required AC 120/230 V Output 80.0 Watt Connections & Expansion Slots 1.0 x CardBus ( 1.0 free ), 2.0 x ExpressCard/54 ( 1.0 free ), 1.0 x Memory ( 1.0 free ) Interfaces 1.0 x Display / video – Output – 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15), 1.0 x Hi-Speed USB – Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T – 4 pin USB Type A, 3.0 x Modem – Input – RJ-11, 1.0 x Network – VGA – 4 pin FireWire, 1.0 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire) – Phone line – Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, 1.0 x Headphones – Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, 1.0 x Microphone – RJ-45 Memory Card Reader Card reader ( Memory Stick ), ( SD Memory Card ), ( Memory Stick PRO ), ( xD-Picture Card ) Software Software Included Microsoft Office 2010, AVG 2013 Free Edition, Firefox, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, All Windows updates Miscellaneous Embedded Security Fingerprint reader Features Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately) Compliant Standards FCC Part 68, FCC Part 15 B, FCC Part 15 C, UL, FCC Class B certified, CE, CS-03, RSS-210, cUL, ICES-003 Class B Dimensions & Weight Width 14.2 in Depth 10.4 in Height 1.5 in Weight 6.0 lbs...

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Why Cloud Storage Is a Must Have

Why Cloud Storage Is a Must Have Cloud storage is ideal for companies that want an easy and reliable data backup solution, have employees or contractors that work offsite from the main office, or would like to reduce costs by paying for only the data storage they need. Most cloud solutions enable you to access the most recent copy of all your files from any device without the hassle of emailing them to yourself or sticking them on a USB drive and carrying it around with you. Cloud also provides a secure, off-site backup of your important data. Here are a few examples of cloud storage solutions that many small businesses are taking advantage of for document storage and backup: DropBox. This free cloud storage service acts like any other folder on your desktop and lets you easily sync documents, photos and videos between computers, share them with others, and create backups. It integrates easily with Windows and other platforms. It’s definitely a must have for anyone who needs to make their files readily available to multiple users or computers. Office 365. Want secure, anywhere access to email and calendars, Office Web Apps, web conferencing and file sharing? Office 365 cloud storage is perfect for your small businesses because it is an affordable subscription service that is easy to use and that works with your existing hardware. Because Office 365 is a subscription service, you pay only for the number of users you have each month and not for software and licenses you may not be using. Microsoft SkyDrive. If your company has deployed the new Windows 8 recently, you may be already enjoying the benefits of a SkyDrive cloud storage. Windows 8 offers a built-in SkyDrive app. With it, you can view and browse the files you’ve saved to SkyDrive.com. You can also install the free SkyDrive desktop app and automatically sync your files across your computers. Google Drive. As Google’s version of DropBox, Google Drive cloud storage also allows you to click and drag files to a folder located on your desktop and store them online. The service features 15GB free online storage and the ability to buy more storage such as 100GB for $4.99 per month. However, if you’re looking for a new service to sync and store files across multiple devices and the cloud notes a PC World review, SkyDrive would be the better option. You’ll also have an easier time managing online documents and you get free remote access to your home PC while you’re on the go. Mozy. This online backup system allows you to manage multi-user environments, schedule automatic backups, and monitor the health of your backups from the convenience of a single web-based admin console. SugarSync. A longtime PCMag.com Editors’ Choice for file synchronization, SugarSync allows you to synchronize your files as you work on them on which ever computers and mobile devices you choose. A Web account serves as a backup method for getting at your files when you’re using a shared or borrowed device, like a computer at an Internet café. File synchronization and data backup through the cloud is mandatory these days for every business and even personal computer users. You’re probably not even aware of how much data your company consumes and how easily these files could be lost or corrupted without the proper backup system in place. Blue Diamond PC offers personalized consultation to help you select the best cloud solution for your needs. We can then work onsite or offsite with you install these services in your computing environment and train you and your staff...

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