Tag: ChromeBook

Backups Don’t Have to Be Hard or Confusing

diagram of cloud and mobile devices

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I love articles by How To Geek because they often cover basic information that my clients should know.  The articles are written very clearly but sometimes I make them even simpler by providing a shorter version and definitions of technical terminology.

I’ve talked about backups many times, so I think most of you will be able to understand this article as it is:  What’s the Best Way to Back Up My

If you know me at all, you will know that I recommend Chromebooks and Google Drive as the best solution for most people.  My second choice for simple and secure would be an Apple iPad and iCloud backup.

As they say in the article: “Everyone loses data at some point in their lives. Your computer’s hard drive could fail tomorrow, ransomware could hold your files hostage, or a software bug could delete your important files. If you’re not regularly backing up your computer, you could lose those files forever.  Backups don’t have to be hard or confusing.”

Please just make a decision and do it!  And check monthly to be sure it’s working.

If you need help, you can make an appointment here or call 760-348-8867.

Let us know what you use for backups in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and for sharing with others. 🙂

Enjoy!

Mardi

 

 

Tablet VS Chromebook

tablet and chromebook.jpeg

I received this question recently and thought you might be interested too…

Question:  Hi Mardi,  Thank you for always sending these healthy tips for the computer.  My question is what is the difference between a Tablet and a Chrome Book?

Answer:  Tablets are lightweight so they are easy to carry around but they are mainly for “consuming” information.  Any amount of typing with touch screens can be very, very frustrating.  You can get keyboards for them and then they are more like small laptops, but the screens are very small for doing much in the way of work and you have to buy a fairly expensive model in order to get the processor speed of a laptop.

A Chromebook is a laptop computer that does almost everything online so it doesn’t need a hard drive.  That makes it nice and lightweight like a tablet but it comes with a regular full size keyboard attached.  It’s better than a traditional laptop because it doesn’t need maintenance, backups or  antivirus programs.  It’s really trouble free. It’s also much less expensive than traditional laptops.  Good ones are less than $300.  The battery charge lasts a long time too, because it doesn’t have a hard drive with cooling fans.

If you are going to do any amount of work, like spreadsheets, or documents or blogging, you will be happier with a Chromebook than a tablet because of the full size keyboard and larger screen.  You will need to learn how to use Google docs but it’s pretty easy, and they are free.  All your docs will back up to the cloud automatically.  The other Google apps for the Chromebook like the photos app, are great too.  You need a wifi connection for Chromebooks because they work off the internet, but you can download some things and work offline when necessary.

If you only need a small lightweight device for travel to watch movies, youtube videos, check your email and calendar, a tablet will work, but, again, the screens are pretty small.  I think of a tablet as a larger version of a smartphone without the phone.  lol

My clients who have switched to Chromebooks love them because they are so trouble free and easy to use.

Let me know if you have any other questions or if you want me to help you buy one online. (I don’t recommend the HP Chromebook at Best Buy because mine stopped working on wifi after 18 mo.  My daughter’s HP Chromebook is still working fine, though and  been a couple of years.)  I have a Toshiba and I like the ACER that one of my students has.  Let me know what you decide to get.

If you, or people you know, are considering a new computer or mobile device purchase, please contact me for a complimentary consultation which I’m happy to do.  Buying the right equipment is the key to making your techie Life simple, easy and fun.  Let’s schedule a time to discuss the best purchase for your needs and budget….

 

Are you wondering if you should upgrade your OS?

There are major changes happening with computer and mobile gadget operating systems and it’s my mission to make it easy for you to keep up and enjoy the many benefits.

One of my clients received an email from Microsoft offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 and she wanted to know if I thought it would be better or worse than her Windows 8.1.
windows 10

I told her, that it’s too soon to tell.  I recommend that people wait until it has been on the market for at least a year to give them a chance to correct any problems.  There are always bugs and fixes that need to be done with any new software.

There are many improvements and some neat new features, but we’ll shall see….

If you are interested in knowing about the new features of Windows 10, Click here.

 Yosemite

Apple also has a new operating system for it’s computers. It’s been available for quite some time and Apple has issued several important updates.  It’s called OS X Yosemite and it has a lot of cool new features.  If you want to learn more about it click here.

Chromebook

I’m still really enjoying my Chromebook.  A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows or Mac OS, Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud and they are much less expensive than other computers.

If you are thinking about buying a new computer, smart phone or tablet, you might want to consult with me first. In my tutoring, I have the opportunity to play with many kinds of devices so I can give you some good information about their advantages and disadvantages.  I’m proud to say that many of my clients have saved a lot of money and avoided a lot of frustration by consulting with me before they purchased.
If you buy a new device, have me give you an orientation so you can get up and running quickly and easily. I read the owners manuals and take online classes so you don’t have to.  (“It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.”  LOL)

If you found this information helpful, please share it.  

 

Enjoy!

Mardi

Avoid Printer Drama

Do Moon Phases Affect Printers?

 

Do the phases of the moon affect techie gadgets?  This past week was so full of printer drama that I had to wonder…

Here are some tips that will help you maintain peace in your techie world:

  1. If you need to move your printer, be sure to turn it off first.  Shut it down with the off button rather than just unplugging it.  Printers are are actually computers and they need to file everything in it’s proper place before shutting down.  If you just unplug them, they may wake up very confused and not be able to connect to your wifi again.

Note: your printer may look like it’s off, but only be sleeping.  If there is a light on anywhere, it is just asleep.  Use the on/off button to turn it off.

  1.  Sometimes there are minor power surges or mysterious techie hiccups that confuse our machines.  The first line of defense is always to reboot them. (turn them off and then back on)  If your printer loses its wifi connection, turn it off, wait a minute or two, and then turn it back on.  Hopefully, it will find the router and reconnect on its own.  If not, you will have to go through the setup process again.

Note:  I’m not a certified Technician, I’m an Instructor and Peace Maker.  For technical issues and installations, I refer you to my friends at Desert Cow Computers.

  1. Hp is offering an “Instant Ink” service with some of its new printers.  These printers connect directly with HP, let them know when you need new ink cartridges, and HP mails you ink cartridges automatically.  You pay a flat monthly fee, depending on how many pages you print each month.  Unused pages roll over to the next month.  HP description of program   It looks like this service is less expensive than buying ink at the store.  Review I have one client who is on the program.  We’ll let you know how it goes.  If you are using this service, I would love to hear from you.

Chromebook Update: I am not happy about printing from my Google Chromebook without a “cloud-enabled” printer.  I didn’t buy a cloud-enabled printer because I had just bought a new printer last year and thought it would be a good idea to test the alternative method offered by Google.

My Chromebook has to print via my old computer which is connected to my printer via my WiFi network.  Therefore, my old computer has to be on in order for my Chromebook to print. I find this very inconvenient.

Fortunately, I can access docs from my Chromebook and smartphone, so I don’t need to print very often.  Have me show you how to do this.  It’s great!

If you buy a Chromebook, you may want to buy a cloud-enabled printer for it.  If your current printer is connected directly to your computer and is not on a wifi network, you will definitely need to buy a cloud-enabled printer.  Fortunately, you can get one for less than $100.

By the way…I’m really enjoying my Chromebook in all other respects.  It’s a great solution for a lot of people and I highly recommend it.  I carry it with me during the day and can get a lot more accomplished between appointments than working from my smartphone.  I’ll be delighted to share it with you at our next appointment.  

Pre-purchase Consultation Questions

One of my services is consulting with people to help them choose the best computer or gadget for their individual needs.  So much frustration can be avoided by buying the right product in the first place, and I have already test-driven quite a few of them in order to pave the way for others to have a more pleasant experience.  See my previous posts for the gruesome details.  LOL

Here are the questions I use for my consultations.  Please forward this to your friends and relatives so they will have it when they are considering a computer or gadget purchase.   They will thank you for it.

1. What is your budget?

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

5. How much battery life do you need?

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low, Medium or High)?

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, etc.)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer, Blue Ray ROM/Writer, etc ?

12. Please tell me about the brands that you prefer and the brands that you don’t like and explain the reasons.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell me any additional information if needed.

Additionally… you should consider available support options in your area. If you buy something abroad, will you be able to have it fixed near where you live? Does the warranty apply? How quickly do local accredited technicians fix laptops?

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