The Wired Office Blog



 

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.

 
 


 

End of life for Windows 7 and your options

 

For those with laptops who did not get a disk with their system the Windows 7 ISO downloads direct from Microsoft servers are no longer available to the public and free mainstream support for Windows 7 is also no longer available – as of January 13 this year.

End of mainstream support for Windows 7 means you cannot call Microsoft for free help if your system is broken. Because mainstream support has ended means extended support phase had begun, so you will still receive critical system patches and security updates and all security related updates via the usual update service will continue for the time being.

We provide a local service in Perth Western Australia, and a remote service to login and fix your computer anywhere in Australia for standard support fees. Contact us for remote support pricing or to book a support session online. We provide Microsoft Certified technical support and you can pay by credit card or paypal. We can remove malware, carry out a security scan, fix slow computers without the need for an onsite technician.

 

 
 


 

Keeping your iphone or android charged on the road

pqi

 

These 5200mAh charge bricks can get pretty expensive. I’ve seen them around for $99, the incase 2500mAh power brick at Apple store is currently selling for $49.

The thing to remember about power bricks is the power comparison to what you are charging. The ipad rechargeable battery is 11,560mAh while the iphone 5s is 1,570mAh. In our testing we found the PQI will save our ipad from crashing in the middle of the day but don’t expect a full charge or multiple charges.

However, with the iphone 5S we could charge 4 times on a single full charge. The blue power meter LED on the face of the PQI has 4 LEDS to indicate the charge level. 4 LED lights usually does mean 4 full charges.

We liked it so much we have been using it for months now and we are so happy to recommend it we are giving it away FREE to anyone who joins our exclusive email list and book a support or repair call to the end of March (2015).

Please note this offer is subject to stocks availability and cannot be backordered, exchanged or replaced with other offers.

 
 


 

Dust is the enemy of computers.

dust-computer

Computers attract dust because of the negative air pressure, fan systems and no filters in your average generic computer case. The examples in the pictures might look like computers that are 6 or 7 years years old, but both are generic systems,  less than 2 years old and suffered hardware and hard drive failures as a result of dust.

Dust affects a computer in various ways:

  •  The dust creates a blanket or insulating layer that makes computers run at elevated temps – running at high temps reduces lifespan by up to 70% especially in workshops and factory settings
  • dust creates ESD (electro static discharge). We see many computers with dust build up every year that did not survive a power surge.
  • dust makes the computer fans noisy and ineffective to keep temps down and maintain air flow

A computer with no build consideration for dust is a problem for offices everywhere, worse in workshop settings and can be very uneconomical because hardware or computers need replacing too often or short of expected life span. However, the two computer interiors in the image above are from home offices in the suburbs. Cleaning dust from a computer using canned air is not advised because most types of canned air are not air, but chemicals that create air pressure which in our experience can also be hazardous to the frail electronics of computers if turned on an angle. Vacuum cleaners are probably the least effective way to clean dust in a computer.

Minimizing dust build up in computers.

In heavy dust prone areas dust safes are available that are expensive, imported hardware. But for small home based business, workshops and trade shops dust can be minimised with the concept of positive air pressure. This is possible with small tower PC’s (laptops are more prone to dusty demise and cannot be cleaned easily).

positive-pressure

Using a particular type of case with modified fan systems and dust filters we are able to significantly reduce dust build up. The dust filters are very easily removed for cleaning every 6 months or so. The cases (chassis) are small (mid towers)  and light and cost no more than our custom build model with SSD advertised on our new computers page.

VSP-5000

In Perth or anywhere in Australia contact us to place an order or for more information. We specialise in small business and the home/home office IT settings.

 

 
 


 

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.

 

 

 

 
 


 

Simcity Special Edition free for a limited time.

simcity

The original SimCity was released in 1995, with various updates to 2000 and beyond. They are giving this game away to little kiddies everywhere and I can assure you it will keep them entertained for hours. Download the original SimCity over at Origin Games.

 
 


 

The cordless office dream in 2015 – Intel Skylake

skylake590Intel chipset releases and upgrades are referred to as Intel Tick-Tock. To keep pace or ahead of competitors Intel seeks to release upgrades or new technology approximately every year. Last year the Tick was the 4th generation Haswell (code name) nanotechnology (14nm). Last year we built all our custom built towers using the Haswell chipsets and CPU’s. Early 2015 we are going to see the new Broadwell chipsets which is a Tick, the Tock will come with the new generation Skylake which will have design and substantial performance improvements. Other IT writers have technical blogs which discuss the architecture and technology of Skylake, but this blog writer focuses on what the technology means to you.

So, on to the dream of the cordless office.

cables-mess590

Some aspects of cordless technology have been around for quite a while, wifi networking, wireless printers, wireless mouse. The advance in cordless technology comes from the work of Rezence™, the wireless transfer technology based on the principles of magnetic resonance (Intel is a key industry partner).

The future standard for wireless charging and power is called “Rezence”.  We are going to see laptops placed on a charge pad where they will be charged with no other user effort. Computers will have wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, wireless monitor, wireless printer. Current technology works in the 2.4GHz or (less common) 5GHz range, Rezence™ and WiGig™ work in different frequencies.

For those who use desktop computers or extended displays for laptops the HDMI or digital cable will be replaced  by WiGig (WiGig won the Popular Science Best of What’s New Award in 2014) and we can expect wireless display connectivity by late 2015 to early 2016 according to some industry sources. Various wifi charging pads are in the shops now and have been for some time but there has not been enough interest to deploy this technology on a mass scale because it is first generation. Rezence™ is next generation technology.

 

 
 


 

Can’t afford a a lawyer? Try this.

lazylaw2

I sent an email to a lawyer once with a legal question, it wasn’t complicated and as it turned out the lawyer was not able to help me. Regardless I was charged a fairly substantial amount for the lawyer to peruse the email. These days things are a little different, law graduates are driving taxis and waiting tables, or getting creative like Kate Horman from www.thelazylaw.com (originally called the lazylawyer.com), and Fiona McCord from www.baselegal.com.au

 

Both services offer fixed price legal advice or service with templates you can buy for typical small business legal matters. I found this information in the Melbourne AGE newspaper and wanted to share it.

 

 

 

 

 
 


 

The best of free media servers

plex590

Media servers are software programs that allow you to stream your movies, home videos, photos and music to devices on your network from your choice of storage such as a NAS box or an old PC. If you have a modern DLNA certified TV you can select media server from the menu and start watching movies over the WiFi channel or Ethernet.

One of the best free media servers around hands-down is the Plex Media Server. You can view movies for example not as lists, but as images complete with extensive metadata collected from an online database including synopsis, cast and crew, even trailers. If you are streaming to a DLNA TV brands such as LG and Samsung have the Plex plugin, others like high end Panasonic TV’s have a link to media servers where you will see a list with thumbnails too small to be useful.

Upload your camera photos and home videos from cameras and smart phones and watch via live streaming on your TV. There is also a Plex app for ipad and iphone but this is not free.

One of the really clever features under the bonnet of the Plex server is its ability to transcode video on the fly. You will not be bombarded with incomprehensible messages about codecs or file not supported. If a file is unable to play because of codec incompatibility Plex will transcode in the background.

plex-app590

The hardware you will need.

Hardware specific to network attached storage and media storage is a subject big enough for its own post. You can in theory use a laptop as a media store or an old computer with decent specs, but you will need lots of storage space for a collection of movies, music, photos. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can fill up a hard drive.

SSD drives are still in the expensive range so if we are talking about electrical/mechanical hard drives choose your drive carefully. The new HGST technology or NAS /Storage specific drives are best. You can buy 3TB up to 6TB capacity drives.

Hard drives containing movies need maintenance so don’t wait until you are on the verge of losing your precious data, use our local or remote support service to carry out annual checks on the integrity of your data file systems.