Getting The Most Out Of Your Computer

happycomputerGetting the most out of your computer doesn’t have to be a huge task.  The more you know about how your computer works, the better it will run!  Read on for some tips on how best to operate your computer as well as some tricks you can use in order to get it running like never before.

The best thing that you can do is to ensure that you’ve got all the updates installed on your computer.  Allowing your software (and hardware) to automatically update is a great idea, and something that you should strongly consider.  For example, when you first install Adobe Flash there is an option to enable automatic updates.  Always select this option.  It’s too easy to put off updating your software and many viruses and malware can intrude through holes in these types of software, especially Flash.  Ensure that Windows is allowed to update, as well as your internet browser.

Another thing that you should definitely do is to sweep for malware and spyware on a regular basis.  There are a lot of criminals out there that want your personal info – and it’s too easy for them to sneak a program onto your PC without your knowledge.  I highly, highly recommend that you run scans with software such as Spyhunter 4.  If you’re wondering what that program does, the folks over at We Hate Malware will give you all the information you need.

If you’re struck by a virus and it has crippled your computer, then a good program to rehabilitate it is Reimage.  This program has the ability to fix installations of Windows on the fly without the need to reinstall the entire operating system.  This is a great fix for people who haven’t backed up their data and can’t afford to reinstall Windows.

And that brings us to another great point – always backing up your data.  This is probably one of the most important points that I can make.  If you don’t currently back up your data then I definitely recommend that you start a habit.  The easiest way to do this is to sign up for a cloud backup service such as BackBlaze or CrashPlan.  These will back up your data automatically so you don’t have to really think about it or remember to do it.  Whenever you’re connected to the internet your files will be backing up.  You can also manually control these settings if you only want to back up from certain places (or internet connections).

Another thing to do is to update all of your drivers.  Newer drivers can often boost performance and improve bugs as well as increase or fix compatibility issues.  For example, after updating the battery driver in my new Surface Pro 4, the battery life improved markedly.  It’s a mystery why the device shipped with old drivers but I digress.

Another secret to improving computer performance is to uninstall any unnecessary programs that you don’t use.  Go through the add/remove programs menu and see if there are any programs that you use that you don’t really need anymore.  Also, don’t install programs you don’t need.  Unless they’re quite necessary I always avoid installing new software.  Unfortunately the more software you install, the slower your system will eventually get.

 

 

The Surface Pro 4 – Do You Like It?

surfacepro4mineI recently bought a new Surface Pro 4 from Microsoft in order to replace my laptop.  My laptop was actually working fine, however I’m on the go a lot, and I always have to take my laptop with me when I travel.  So, an extra 2 pounds adds up to a lot when you’re schlepping a lot of gear.

I read a lot about some potential bugs when the Surface was first released, however I have to say that I’m completely happy with mine!  I really like it quite a bit.  My old Lenovo T420s did not have the best screen.  The colors were extremely washed out and the contrast was low.  It was not pretty at all.  That was fine because I only used it for work, which consisted mostly of web publishing and writing and fiddling with Excel spreadsheets.

However after getting my mitts on my new Surface I have to say, the display is a thing of beauty.  I am now more likely to want to watch web videos simply because they look so good on this display.  Wheres with the T420s I rarely watched web videos because they just didn’t look that great.

The computer itself is like a tablet but it has the soul of a regular Windows computer – which is super important to me.  I need to be able to compute as normal when I’m traveling.  That means that I couldn’t use an iPad…it was too difficult to exchange files, move between programs, and publish online.

Plus, I’ve been using Microsoft my entire life.  I have a lot of PC software, and plus I’m just used to it.  I am actually rooting for Microsoft with their new Surface Book and also the continuation of the Surface Pro line.

Despite the bugs at launch I think that many people are quite happy with their new tablets.  It’s very nice to finally have something that I was hoping the iPad could be years ago.

Do you have the new Surface?  What do you think of it?  What do you use it for?

Charge It With Style

Whether it’s your tablet or your smartphone, your favorite tech gadget is so cool that it deserves something better than the standard, plain charging cable. Fortunately, many tech companies make it their mission to one-up the basic charger in favor of cables that are faster, more practical, and just better-looking.


nightcable

For Your Bedside

Every time you disconnect your device from the charge cable and lift it off the nightstand, the cable slips away and disappears into that dark crack between the nightstand and the bed. It’s annoying, because you know you’ll have to go hunting for the cable the next time you need to plug in your tablet or smartphone. With the Night Cable, a cleverly designed knot near the mini-USB end weighs the cable down, holding the cord in place on a surface such as a table or dresser. The cord is about 10 feet long, coated in braided fabric for comfortable handling.

For a War Zone

If you work in a rugged environment, charging your device can expose it to damage. While you can enclose your device in a hardy case like those from Otterbox or Lifeproof, the charger cable usually remains unprotected. However, with the MOS Spring Cable, you have a charger tough enough to withstand being run over by a car. It features super-strong synthetic polymer in a weave that allows for enough flexibility.

For Multitaskers

The Epiphany onE Puck, as its name suggests, is a round device resembling a hockey puck. You can sit your mug of morning coffee on it to keep the drink warm and plug your smartphone into the provided port to juice it up.

Another multitasking device charger in the Electree, a sculptural device shaped like a bonsai tree. Its “branches” hold tiny solar panels that collect energy, which it then outputs via port to charge your smartphone.

For Campers

Taking a camping trip? Consider investing in the PowerPot. When you use the PowerPot to boil water over your campfire, the pot collects heat energy from the boiling water and converts it to usable electricity. Just connect your smartphone according to the instructions, via the provided heavy-duty cable.

For Road-Trippers

Grab a couple of Ray Solar Chargers the next time you head out on a family road trip. Stick them on the car windows that are getting the most sunlight, and these gadgets will provide enough juice to keep your devices going for hours.

For Soccer Fans

There’s a lot to love about the Soccket, an unusual type of soccer ball. Here’s the kicker─ you can use it during a backyard game with friends and then harvest the stored kinetic energy in the form of electricity.

No matter what your lifestyle may be, there’s a cooler way to charge your phones and tablets. Explore the possibilities and try out a new charging method that will wow your friends─ and recycle energy at the same time.