Archive for the 'Smarter Computing Tips' Category

 

Do you have an email spam problem?

spam

 

Spam in your inbox is one of the most annoying things about daily computing. There’s the occasional car yard or real estate agent testing the illegal inbox style of marketing, these types can be managed easily enough by reporting them to the ACMA spam database because it’s not just you you’re batting for, but the bulk of email spam does not come via legit email addresses (fake email addresses).

There are methods to deal with spam without tearing your hair out. If you are a small business attending to spam everyday there are solutions based on your situation. Call us for online help to setup a anti-spam system. We will log in to your computer and get your spam problem sorted out in no time. Send us an email or call today!

 
 
 

Why you shouldn’t delete dodgy emails!

xmas2016

 

Christmas is just about here and this year you can expect to see a flood of dodgy emails using fake invoices, and bills from energy providers and the like. This last year has been one of the worst ever for fake emails.

I have seen many people is small business spend 30 minutes each morning deleting spam and junk emails. This is a good way to ensure your junk emails continue to grow exponentially. Most junk and spam emailers use the same tools as email marketers to track what happens to emails when they are delivered.

They can tell who (which addressee) opened it and read it, who clicked on it to get to a link or deliver a virus or spyware, they can even tell where your mouse traveled on some emails.

The email that opens only in the reading pane will not register generally but it is a good idea not to delete the email as this tells the spammers what you did. If you right click the email and send it to junk they will not know what you did. Using this management method for spam it will reduce over time down to just about nothing. If you are not a live target they will quickly lose interest. It is tedious at first sending individual emails to the junk folder but the Microsoft junk email filters are state of the art and will work for you.

 
 
 

How to Backup ipad and iphone photos and avoid the storage dramas

qnap

The hot topic at the moment is how to backup my ipad or iphone photos. There’s limited storage on ipads and iphones and those photos and family videos can grow out of control in no time. You can back them up to a PC of course but these days not everyone has a PC at home, preferring to use tablets and ipads. Also it is an inconvenience to plug your ipad into the laptop, open itunes and configure what you want synced to itunes and what you want stored. This is not a safe backup for irreplacable family photos because a drive in a PC or laptop offers no redundancy. It is also something people get into the habit of putting off, until the day you find you have 5% space left on the ipad and it’s time to panic. Are you relying on icloud to backup your photos? Remember icloud is a photo streaming service with limitations. It only backs up the last 1000 photos, these days people have much more. Videos are not backed up in icloud. icloud also states in its disclaimers that photos in photo stream will be deleted after a given time. If you want a reliable, safe backup you will need more than icloud.

Qnap and The Internet of Things (IOT)

internet-of-things

Qnap is a network attached storage solution for home and SOHO users. This NAS system has many functions as part of its commitment to the coming IOT environment. It offers a range of apps in android or IOs to backup IOs device photos and store them in a protected RAID array on the NAS (if one of the multiple drives fail it will alert you and you simply replace the failing drive), there is an app for viewing your photos via direct streaming, keeping your ipad free of space hogs like photos and music. As part of the IOT you can run security cameras, upload to an FTP server to keep security images safe. You can use the device as an entertainment center on your TV.

No PC or laptop at home? The QManager app lets control the device from your ipad or iphone. The Qnap range has too many features to mention here and is one of our preferred NAS solutions. Call or email today for pricing and answers to your questions.

 
 
 

No caps lock light on your keyboard?

Some of the new Microsoft keyboards do not have a caps lock light which can be annoying as hell but there are a couple of easy to apply workarounds.

  1. Enable a caps lock sound.

in the Ease of Access center you will find the toggle switch to enable caps lock sound. In Windows 10 or Windows 7 and Windows 8 type “ease” without the quotes into the search box in the lower left of the desktop.

ease

You can turn off “always read this section aloud” before continuing. Scroll down to “turn on toggle keys” and also select turn on toggle keys by holding down the num lock for 5 secs. Click apply, then ok and close the remaining window. Now you have caps lock sound enabled. You can toggle off and on using the num lock key for 5 seconds.

2. If you prefer a visual display for caps lock go the Microsoft Keyboard Center, down the 32 or 64 bit bit version of the Keyboard software. It’s a free download and will display a caps lock pop up in the lower right hand side of the desktop.

 
 
 

How to do a reverse image search

map-reader

You might be wondering why you would want to do a reverse image search.

You might be wanting to check if anyone is using photos off your website, or who might be using your own mug shot displayed in business websites to impersonate you. You can keep tabs on your own images with reverse searching.

You may have an image you would like a better resolution of or to locate the original creator of the image. You can also use the search to carry out detective work.

Recently I was looking at a very unusually well priced campervan advertised on a forum at a popular Australian camping website. The owner claimed the low price was only due to the family wanting a deposit for a home and needed an urgent sale. It was all very convincing until I downloaded the image and carried out reverse search to discover the original owner had shown it for sale prior at a much greater price. As it turned out the ad was a scam and the ad was gone by the end of day.

You do not need any keywords or any other query to carry out the search, only the image.

There are quite a few image search websites, including google image search, but 2 of my preferred sites are:

www.tineye.com

www.imageraider.com

 
 
 

How to fix laptop overheating and shutting down

temp

 

One of the big problems with laptops is their design. Some are designed so you cannot access them easily to view and clean dust, lint, fur and the like from the interior.

Dust accumulates over time and is often impossible to remove without a tear down of the laptop. You can find videos online on how to do this if you enjoy tinkering but beware not to use cans of air you find in tech stores because these are not air but chemicals that create pressure. Some will contain a refrigerant which is released when the can is tilted at certain angles. The gas from these cans is known as highly toxic so if you must use them be sure to wear a good mask in confined spaces.

Can you use a vacuum cleaner? The problem is access, there is no easy doorway you can open to clean dust from everywhere, and if you disassemble the laptop you must be careful not to let the nozzle touch anywhere and be sure to keep your antistatic strap on.

We have safe methods for cleaning laptops with overheating problems caused by dust buildup,  often within a standard one hour session. If you are in Perth’s northern suburbs drop it off to our workshop and pick it up the same day or next morning.

 
 
 

The best and worst of hard drives in 2015 according to a large data center

I remember back in the early years we tech people used to refer to Seagate drives as the technicians choice. I’m not really sure where or how that preference for one drive over any other started because I always found all non-enterprise hard drives to have a potential to fail, and in servers I have seen my share of hard drive failures in expensive enterprise class drives.

There are some new technologies around now. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies or HGST drives (since 2012 owned by Western Digital after a buyout from Hitachi HGST). These are innovative technologies fast becoming know for their reliability. The new 6TB storage drives are filled with Helium.

So, the best and worst of them all from the Backblaze data centre who kept detailed records of all their hard drive failures.

HDD-failure-rates

 

It is important to have a good maintenance plan for hard drives to keep your drive in top performance. Call for onsite maintenance or bring your computers to us at least once a year for a good check up and maintenance.

 

 

 

 
 
 

How to roam the world with Google.

 

google

 

If you are searching for antiques on Google Australia you will generally be restricted to Australia. If you add Australia to the search “antiques” you will find results defined by key terms instead of location.

Google, Microsoft and Apple like to keep us in our place but a neat little trick in Google is to firstly type the country code:

google.co.uk

then after the country code back slash /ncr

no country redirect will let you search for antiques in the UK.

 

 
 
 

How to edit PDF in Word 2013 and about time!

It was only recently that we could start saving Word documents as PDF’s by using the save-as menu. To edit that PDF we needed to go back to the original Word document and do a new save-as. Not too hard but awkward if you do this sort of thing a lot. Now thanks to public feedback improvements to Office 2013 include being able to open and directly edit PDF documents inside Word 2013.

After editing or reformatting a PDF’s content you can save-as a docx file or as a PDF. When the PDF document is opened inside Word 2013 the structure of the file is retained including tables. The enthusiastic presenter in the video above will show you how.

 

 

 
 
 

How to resolve cannot delete email on iphone imap account or email keeps reappearing after deleted

Over at Apple iphone forums there are a lot of people with the issue of being unable to delete emails on an iphone in an imap account. When trying to delete mail a message may pop up “unable to move to deleted items” or similar. The emails may appear to be deleted but will reappear the next time you open the email client on the iphone.

The problem is related to the iphone deleting the emails locally, on the iphone and not on the server. If the server receives no instructions to delete email it will re-populate in the client.

If you go to the mail settings on the iphone you may not see imap folders other than the standard inbox, and this could be why the default settings to delete from the server are not working.

If you have this specific problem, and bearing in mind there are no standardised settings for uniform imap across all providers, try this:

go to settings >mail >account >advanced

if you see you only have deleted locally (on my iphone) available try turning off SSL and remove any prefix for the IMAP Path Prefix setting.

Not all mail providers and ISP’s have IMAP mail SSL in place at this time, and not all (smaller) ISP’s have IMAP services available.

If you are located in Perth WA and in small business, tradesperson, professional and would like a reliable way to sync mail via imap, calendar and contacts between office desktop and mobile devices such as laptop and iphone, we charge a standard 1 hour support charge to set up and configure this for you.