Tips & Tricks

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Which Web Browser – Safe Surfing

There are a lot of topics in the realm of the internet and computers which can spark heated debates between computer techs.  I like to call them “Ford vs. Chevy arguments” because, in the south at least, there are lots of guys who like one and despise the other.  Web browsers are no different.  There are staunch supporters of Firefox, Safari and Chrome.  The one opinion that most techs agree upon is that Internet Explorer is the pits.

I really hate to disparage anyone about their technology choices, and for years I’ve told people to use what they know.  If you like your browser and it works like you think it should, then stick with what you know and like.  To some extent I still agree with this advice, but… C’mon, you knew there was going to be a “but”  …but, with all the problems I’ve seen my customers have with Internet Explorer, and with the recent developments which sparked Microsoft to release a security patch (even for it’s now dead XP operating system) I am starting to change my tune.

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Upgrading Windows: The Cheap Way

Well, we’ve reached the end… It’s been a good run while it lasted, but it’s time to say your final farewells to Windows XP.  Windows XP was released a mere 13 months after its predecessor Windows ME, which was widely considered one of the worst operating systems of all time.  In contrast, Windows XP is still considered one of the best, or at least most favorite, operating systems of all time with a longevity stretching almost 13 years.  Microsoft typically only supports its products for 10 years, so XP’s EOL (End of Life) has already been pushed back due to customer demand.

You may be unaware that Microsoft has scheduled Windows XP’s EOL for April 8th 2014.

Windows XP End of Life Countdown
Click here to see a countdown clock
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QoS: Prioritizing for Speed

Slow InternetHave you ever noticed that your WiFi internet connection is slower when your kids are playing Xbox or your spouse is watching Netflix?  Nearly everyone has experienced this phenomenon, but most people don’t realize that there is a very simple solution to this problem called QoS.

What is QoS?

QoS Stands for Quality of Service and, in relation to computer networks; is a method by which your router can throttle the connection speed of devices or applications on your network based on priority.  Prioritizing for speed means that you’ll never have to wait for a speedy connection to complete your online tasks.

How can I benefit from QoS?

Once QoS is configured, your router can effectively balance the distribution of bandwidth (speed) between devices connected to your network.  So if you want to download a file for work while your spouse is watching a movie on Netflix QoS can make sure neither of you gets left with insufficient bandwidth.

 How do I setup QoS?

lifehacker.com has a great tutorial on how to configure QoS.  Each router is different, and some do not have QoS capability.  If you find you’re having trouble with QoS, or any other router configuration, remember Install Heroes.  Call and we’ll come to the rescue!

Search Tricks: Find a Specific Word

SearchThe internet is literally a wide world of information, and sorting through it all can be difficult if not impossible.  This post will be the first in a mini-series on “Search Tricks”.  Before you know it you’ll be searching like a pro.

Email

Scenario:  You know you had an email message where you were talking about classic cars with your college buddy, but you can’t seem to find it anywhere and it’s driving you nuts.  Well don’t strap on the straight jacket just yet, there is hope.

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Computer Errors: What can you do?

Error Message

So you’re working on the computer and you’ve been interrupted by an error message and you’re not sure what to do.  Here we’ll discuss two things you can do when this happens.

First things first

In the event that you call a computer tech to help resolve your problem it will be beneficial for the tech to see exactly what your error message looked like.  This first tip will help with that conundrum.

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