Archive for the 'Smarter Computing Tips' Category

 

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 8type “ease” without the quotesinto 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 easilyto 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.

 
 
 

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

Over at Appleiphoneforums 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 thisfor you.

 

 
 
 

How to create a keyboard shortcut to your favourite program

shortcuts

 

I tend to use the Windows 7 and Windows 8 embedded snipping tool a lot for partial screen and image grabs. I tell my customers to use itto capture the error message or blue screen error diaglog so I see exactly what the error relates to.

To get the snipping tool up you can type “snip” into the search box off the start orb or start key on the keyboard (that’s the one with the flag lower left). Snipping tool will appear, from here you can click or press enter to launch the tool and take a screen grab, or right click and pin it to the taskbar.

I have been using it off the taskbar but with so many items on the taskbar I prefer to ctrl+alt+S to launch.

To do this for snipping tool, or any other program, first of all test the ctrl+alt+theKeyYouWantToUse to make sure you are not overriding another shortcut.

then:

1. search for snip to bring up the tool in search area, right click, >open file location

2. right click the exe file associated with snip and create a shortcut

3. go to the desktop to the shortcut you created and right click >properties

4. in the shortcut key field enter the key you want to use, in this case I used the letter S

Now ctrl+alt+S will open the snipping tool.

 
 
 

Why surge boards don’t work on computer equipment

You dont need to wait for a power blackout or a thunderstorm to damage your computer, power fluctuations and unseen surges through the mains power or through ADSL /Phone lines can do incremental damage or catastrophic damage to delicate computer electronics, hard drives and network cards.

One of the issues with power boards is that in a surge event they will shut off the power to the board, causing the computer to shutdown. In technical circles this is known as unexpected shutdown and is a common causes of disk failure or data loss. The event is logged in the systems error reporting and is an important area of risk management for data.

Surge boards are not cheap and the high cost can give you a false sense of security. If it costs this much it must work, right? Wrong. Surge boards that suddenly interrupt power to your computer often cause problems rather than the intended purpose of protecting sensitive computer electronics.

The solution for the office and home.

An uninterruptable power supply that offers true sine wave technology was something that only large enterprise could afford, but units have now become smaller and affordable. The most important part of good UPS technology is the line interactive capability. This straightens out the sine wave to deliver clean power, along with the ability to switch to backup battery when the power fails. If the power is not restored within a specified time you can shut down your computer gracefully.

UPS for home and small office

Protect Computer & ADSL Line to 750VA

 

There are many brands of UPS for the office or home available through technology outlets such as computer stores but few with capable and reliable Line Interactive Technology.

You can protect your PC equipment and ADSL line with a good quality UPS for around the same cost as a premium priced power board. We can install a UPS with Line Interactive Technology (for $171 at the time of writing) during a standard service call.

Book an onsite computer service today and ask for a Upsonic Line Interactive UPS installation. It takes around 10 minutes and could save you from unnecessary power related data loss or component failure.