Archive for July, 2017

 

The perrenial problem of ipad photo storage (solved)

 

ipads and iphones do not have a lot of storage space so you can run out of space quickly. You already know this so lets get on to what we can do about it for the sake of brevity. I’m not going to talk about google photos because we are here today talking about storage, not editing, cropping, manipulating photos. We are talking about where to safely store your photos.

Backing up photos to highly unreliable external hard disks (and let’s not even mention backing up to notorious DVD’s) is probably the worst way to storage precious photos for most people. As a data recovery service our advice has always been to have very important data (photos) in at least two places. This might be on your computer or laptop hard drive and an external drive. On an ios device this might be the device plus itunes on your computer or laptop. All these above options are fraught with problems, confusion, and failure points.

Regarding ipads and iphones you could use icloud. I’ve never been a fan of icloud because it costs money to get real storage space, and photos are connected to the ios eco system with minimal or no support for editing tools like Lightroom or Photoshop. icloud also backs up all photos and I cannot micro manage them.

Now that google has created google Drive, a user friendly free app for iOS, backing up your photos is a no brainer. In Drive you can back up photos from the iOS app, and/or on your computer in Google Chrome, or using the Backup & Sync app for Windows you will find on the Google Drive website storage space. Once in the web space on Chrome you can also choose to turn on Google Photos and choose to upload only into Google photos. In the iOS app you will see the setting for upload image quality, from original hi res, the so-called High Quality but compressed image which reduces the file size dramatically, so you won’t get good quality prints from these uploads.

I personally don’t use Google Photos. But I do create sub folders to quickly and easily find the photos I’m looking for. Otherwise you might end up with a wall of photos and not very good search capabilities, especially for photos with generic names from a camera or iOS device.

The safety and security of your photos is mostly reliant on your password. Make sure you setup your mobile phone number as verification at your Google account, and choose a good password that is not in a dictionary, unlike Kirsten Dunst who apparently used the name of one of her cats who is a celebrity himself on her facebook page.

We offer a service to set google drive up for you via online support anywhere in Australia.

 
 
 

How to get Microsoft Office for Free

 

We’ve found a lot of customers over the last couple of years are not aware of the free Office 365 offering from Microsoft. If you are a small business you’re out of luck, this offer is for non-commercial use only. For homes who only occasionally use Microsoft Word or Excel it’s available free at Office Online.

The only downside is you will need to open a browser and it will not be as fast or convenient as having Office 365 installed on your computer. With the new subscription service from Microsoft for Office not a lot of people are happy to pay an annual fee to only use Office occasionally.

To get started.

Because Google’s Chrome browser is the most popular browser in use today we will setup the Office extension in Chrome.

  1. firstly, go to Microsoft and setup a OneDrive account
  2. then visit the chrome web store to download the Office extension

It really is as simple as that. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.

 
 
 

Are you getting the internet you pay for?

ISP’s have been shortchanging their customers for years, not delivering the internet speed they pay for, or throttling connection speeds to their own end when dealing with congestion and other issues. Often, over the years, I have seen businesses and domestic customers getting sometimes 1 or 2mbps because, among other reasons, they are too far from the exchange. But then why do they pay for premium speeds the connection can never even get close to? It is a good question and a fair question.

Australia’s average broadband speed was rated 56th in the world according to this report at the Sydney Morning Herald and the ACCC launched an enquiry. IT guys have known about this since the beginning of the internet post dialup. It’s been a gravy train for ISP’s who promise something most often different to the reality. If you are paying for say, 10mbps, why should you be paying the same amount for 1mbps?

Recently, some of the larger tech news websites and newspapers online have been presenting internet health checks purporting to do all kinds of magic tests, cashing in on the movement, but you will find many of these tests do little more than run average speed checks.

If you want to test your connection with industry standard testing protocols use the m-test labs Network Diagnostic Test which attempts to determine what problems limit speed, such as congestion. The results are easy to understand for network newbs.

No duplex mismatch condition was detected.
The test did not detect a cable fault.
No network congestion was detected.

Another part of the gravy train slash maximise profits business models is data allowance. Bigpond has been one of the biggest offenders of gouging customers with premium type plans and restricting how much they can download each month. You can get unlimited data plans under fair use policy at many Australian ISP’s such as Amnet in SA and WA, and many others. Do your research. I switched to an ISP who charges $50 a month for unlimited internet, and I switched my phone to an Australian firm who charges me $25 a month for exactly what I was paying $79 a month for at Telstra.

These days the updates coming out from Microsoft for Windows can be almost half the monthly data allowance for some users in lower level plans. Use the test above as a starting point to be aware of what you are paying for. If you are not getting anywhere near what you are paying for contact your ISP. But keep in mind other reasons for internet speed issues may be:

  • a faulty or outdated router
  • misconfigured wifi where wireless is your local network
  • wifi signal interferencence from neighbours can dramatically affect internet performance
  • malware installed on your router or computer

First of all, ask your ISP what speed you should be getting, what speed they see you as receiving before it hits your router. If the speed does match the test result it may be available to you after looking at the issues shown above.

Remember we offer safe remote login support for many issues including malware cleaning anywhere in Australia 7 days a week. Need help to run these tests? Just call.