When is the last time you rebooted your computer? Many people aren’t sure. It’s easy to get into the habit of just putting your PC into sleep mode when you’re not using it, then just wake it up and you’re ready to go. No waiting for it to start up. [Read more…]
One constant in just about every home and office is a Wi-Fi router. Being connected is a necessity these days no matter where you live or what type of business you’re in, and the wireless router is the “grand central station” that all your computers and devices use to get online. [Read more…]
Many gifts that show up under the tree this holiday season will include technology like computers and laptops. And while they may come with the option for an extended warranty, they don’t come with peace of mind that they’ll be protected from viruses, malware, and other online threats. [Read more…]
No matter how large or small your business is, you’re just as much of a target for online threats and cyberattacks. In fact, small businesses are typically targeted often00 because many hackers find they have less security protecting their network than larger enterprise companies. [Read more…]
Time is quickly running out for Windows 7 and those still using the operating system. Microsoft is ending support as of January 14, 2020. [Read more…]
Common urban myths would have us believe alligators live in sewers or people put razor blades in kids’ candy. Common misconceptions about computers are just as persistent. Here are several IT myths debunked for your benefit.
#1 A slow-running computer has a virus
A virus can be to blame. Spyware or other malware can also cause a computer to slow down. However, there are also many other reasons your computer might run slower:
- You may have a lot of programs that start up when you boot up the computer. You could remove or disable programs that start every time.
- The computer has gone into power save mode every night, but you haven’t rebooted the computer in a long time. We recommend restarting your computer once a week to keep it running well.
- There are many programs running in the background. On a Windows PC, you can go into task manager and see what is running and the computer resources in use.
- A security utility is running. If it’s an antivirus scanner, let the scan finish first, then see if your computer speed improves. Routine scans are necessary to maintain security, but when they run on older computers it can really slow them down while it’s running.
- Temporary files or other junk are taking up too much hard drive space. Your computer needs at least 200–500MB of free space on the hard drive to be able to move and manage files. An annual clean-up or tune-up should ensure that you don’t have too little free space to operate properly.
- Your computer doesn’t have enough RAM to run programs within memory. If your computer has to swap information on the hard drive to get enough memory to run programs, it’s going to work slower. Computers with only 4gb of RAM these days fall into this category. 8gb is almost a must and more is always better.
- The computer is old. You may need to upgrade to a computer that can handle current software needs without slowing to a snail’s pace. Or you can upgrade what you have by adding a fast SSD hard disk to replace your older mechanical hard drive. That can keep your computer running super-fast and keep it out of the landfill.
#2 Macs don’t get viruses
Many Apple owners believe their Macintosh computers are immune to viruses. Not true! Macs do get viruses and can get malware infections; they are simply targeted less than PCs. Why? There are many more computers running Windows, which means a bigger, easier target for cybercriminals.
As Apple’s market share rises, the threat to Macs is growing. Apple works to protect its users from malware, but you still need to use caution with downloads and when clicking on links from unknown sources.
#3 My Windows registry needs cleaning up
Registry cleaning companies will say that scanning your Windows registry can speed up the computer and avoid error messages. The cleaner finds unused registry keys and any malware remnants for removal.
But let’s consider the fact that Microsoft has not released its own registry cleaner. Why not? Because it’s really not necessary. Worse still, going in to clean your registry (when you don’t know what you’re doing) can actually do serious damage. This was an issue years ago back when Windows 98 and Windows XP were still prevalent, but it’s no longer the case.
#4 My laptop battery needs to be dead before I recharge if I want it to last longer
This was once true. Nickel-cadmium batteries suffered from what was called a “memory effect.” If discharged and recharged to the same point several times, they would remember that point in the future and not go further.
Now, however, laptops typically come with lithium-ion (or Li-ion) batteries. They don’t suffer from this memory effect. In fact, they function better with partial discharge instead of letting the battery run down to zero. We still recommend that new laptops should fully discharge and recharge 3 times when you first start using them to increase battery life.
#5 I don’t have anything hackers would want
Cybersecurity should be a priority for everyone, not only large companies and government agencies. Let’s put it this way:
- Do you have any money?
- Do you have an identity that cybercriminals could use to access money or sell for money?
- Do you work anywhere?
Hackers have all kinds of ways to profit from your data or from hijacking your computer’s processing power. They can turn your computer into part of a bot network or use your information as a bridge into a business target’s system.
Keep all your computers at top speed with the best security measures in place with the help of our experts. Contact us today at (732) 747-0020 or visit www.tworivercomputer.com
Time for What Matters: Essential Windows Shortcuts
The average person spends 90,000 hours at work. These hours can cost us sleep, affect our mood, and cause us to gain weight. Oh, and work can cause stress, too. We can’t give you a “get out of work free” card, but these essential Windows keyboard shortcuts will help you save time. Some of us LOVE the keyboard shortcuts, while others use the right-mouse button click for these functions. We’ll focus on the keyboard shortcuts in this month’s TechTalk.
By gaining efficiency at your computer, you may find you have more time for what matters. At work, this may be devising new innovations or getting out in the field to visit a customer or vendor. At home, these shortcuts can free up time to play a board game with the kids or do some serious NetFlix bingwatching!
So, try these out and see if they make sense and save you time also. We know they will, so try them out!
Ctrl + C to Copy
Use your mouse cursor to highlight the particular text/table/image/file that you want to copy. Once you highlight the area you want, press the Ctrl and the letter C to perform the “copy” function. See Ctrl + V to Paste below for the next step.
Ctrl + X to Cut
Think about X marking the spot in the text where you want to cut words, an image, or a website address. Drag your cursor over the selection to highlight the particular text/table/image/file (or a part of it). Once you highlight the area you want, press the Ctrl and the letter X to perform the “cut” function. The highlighted area will disappear or “cut” from the page. If you don’t want it at all, the cut function is another version of delete. Therefore, you do nothing more. But if you want to move or paste the selection elsewhere, this is your first step. See Ctrl + V to Paste below for the next step.
Ctrl + V to Paste
With this simple shortcut you can place the information you just copied (Ctrl + C) or cut (Ctrl + X) anywhere you want. The important thing to remember is that the paste function only holds one selection in memory. So, if you cut a phrase from one place, don’t get distracted by an image you want to copy or other text to cut. You want to paste what you have first, then go back and copy or cut the next thing so as not to risk risking losing anything.
Ctrl + Z to Undo
If only this shortcut was available in real life. We could retract that thing we inadvertently said to Uncle Steve, or take out the salt we put in a recipe instead of sugar, or avoid leaving the house for the gym without our running shoes. This would truly be amazing!
Still, Windows users are able to undo their most recent action with this key combination. Whichever Windows program you’re in, you can use Ctrl + Z to reverse your last action. So if you deleted something by accident…inserted something by accident…or just decided that the colors you just picked or the font change you just made in your resume don’t look good, then just Ctrl+Z to “undo” it. In fact, you can keep hitting Ctrl+Z and undo the last bunch of changes you made.
Alt + Tab to Switch Screens
There are many things you can do with Windows. Perhaps you’re multitasking and you have a PowerPoint open, as well as an Excel spreadsheet, and Internet Explorer, too. By pressing Alt and then the Tab key, you can switch between tabs or screens. If you hold down the Alt button while tapping Tab, you’ll scroll through all screens. I will press and hold the Alt key and tap TAB without letting go of Alt. All the open windows appear in a nice grid. Keep holding Alt and then tap TAB to move the highlighted box to the program you want to switch to and release the keys to open it! This is my favorite and I use it all the time. Perfect for going back and forth between 2 programs.
Ctrl + F to Find
This is another one we’d love to see in the real world. Using the find shortcut calls up a pop-up box where you can enter text or numbers. You can use this shortcut to find what you’re looking for on a Web page, in a PDF document, or in your rough draft of a speech. In fact, you’ll be able to see how many times your search text appears and easily toggle from one selection to the next.
Ctrl + Mouse to Zoom
Forget your reading glasses? Having a tough time locating the right tiny file on your desktop? You can zoom in with this shortcut. Using this shortcut on your desktop makes files and folders larger. In your internet browser, this function zooms in on the page. You can leave it zoomed in or zoom back out when you’re done. So, press Ctrl key and hold it while you scroll the mouse wheel, but move slowly or things will shrink or expand too quickly on you!
Want to know more about Windows and technology to streamline processes? Our experts can help you find the right computer solutions for your home or office. Contact us at (732) 747-0020 today!
Every software product has a birth...and a death. They fitting call the death part "end of life". Windows 7 will become EOL on January 14, 2020.
Your only options for your existing Windows 7 computer are to upgrade it or replace it. PCs tend to last about 3-5 years in a business and about 5-7 years in home, though your results may vary. Economy brand computers don't last nearly as long as more robust "rocketship" computers do. It comes down to what you spent when you bought it. Deciding on whether or not to upgrade it or replace it depends on you...and the computer. Above all...don't panic. The Windows 10 interface is very similar to Windows 7 in its "look and feel" so it's not a big learning curve.
If the computer has "good bones", meaning a multi-core Intel processor (i-3, i-5 or i-7) and 8gb of RAM, it is a candidate for the upgrade. You need to be happy with the end result, so starting off with a good foundation is key. Sometimes we see PCs that have good bones may also need more speed, so a hardware upgrade may be necessary for you to be truly happy. Give us a call or click the link below to check your Windows version. You can also click the button below to contact us to see if your PC is upgradable or not. We can offer advice on what new computer to pick and how to make a smooth transition to the new Windows 10 operating system.
Your old computer is beginning to slow down. So, you invest in a shiny new laptop. The clouds part and the sun shines down on this bright and lovely new device. Everything will be faster and easier. Only, from the first day you got it, the new laptop is really lagging behind. Why is it running so slow? One of these might be the reason.
#1 Not enough computing power.
In many cases, the laptop doesn’t have enough RAM (Random Access Memory). RAM is the computer’s main memory. This helps your computer do more at once. Information from the operating system, application programs and data are kept here, when in use, for quicker processing. In this case, more is always better, but never the total answer to why things are slow.
RAM is like the computer’s short-term memory, while the hard drive is the long-term memory. Just as the human brain can’t hold everything in short-term memory, RAM can get overloaded too. When this happens on your laptop, the computer processor needs to go to the hard drive. This slows things down because hard drives are slower than RAM.
Resolution: You might see 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or more of RAM available. How much you need is going to depend on what you plan on doing with the computer. For a laptop with Windows 10, we recommend at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB is more comfortable for a better experience. Not all laptops will let you access the RAM to make an upgrade…they may solder it directly to the main circuit board. When you can, though, upgrading memory can be a quick and affordable way to get a boost in performance.
Another reason the laptop might be slow is the processor installed inside. That’s the computer chip that completes all the instructions you give it. Intel and AMD are the manufacturers we see the most of. The more you spend, the better the processor will be and that equates directly to MORE POWER. Think of it like an engine in a car. A car or truck with a V8 engine is the most powerful (and most expensive), then the V6 (more middle of the road) and the V4 (for economy). Then there’s variations like turbo and hybrids, but the brute force of a fast processor will always win the day!
Resolution: None. These chips installed are determined when the laptop is purchased and CANNOT be upgraded.
#2 Mechanical hard drive.
Often it’s a single part that is letting you down. With a less expensive computer, manufacturers skimp. While it’s less common these days, some laptops will come with a mechanical hard drive. Especially those under $500. You might think of this like a record player with a needle reading the vinyl album. Since something is moving to find data, the laptop runs slower than it would with a Solid State Drive (SSD), which has no moving parts. Think of the difference between and old floppy disk drive and the new USB flash drives. The floppy disk required a mechanical “heads” to read and write the data onto the magnetic media inside the plastic case. A USB flash drive, or thumb drive, uses solid state storage that’s super-fast and has no moving parts to slow you down.
Resolution: In many cases, a mechanical hard drive can be easily upgraded to an SSD. However, some super slim laptops have limited upgradability. The cost to value ratio is very high with this kind of upgrade and you won’t be unhappy if you do this. Whether it’s a new laptop or one you’ve had for a while, an SSD upgrade makes it 8-10 times faster right away!
Retailers like to tout all the bells and whistles that come with their laptops, especially those units bought from the big box stores or from TV shopping networks. So, when you turn on your laptop for the first time, you may notice there’s already a lot of software preloaded. Much of it you’ll probably never use. Maybe there are toolbars you don’t need, games you’ll never use, or stock widgets that you couldn’t care less about. These examples of bloatware slow down your computer.
The third-party applications are a revenue source for the manufacturer, but don’t always help you. Microsoft, for instance, sells a line of computers that come without any pre-installed third-party software. Computerworld reported those PCs “start up 104% faster, shut down 35% faster and have 28 minutes more battery life.”
Resolution: When you get a new laptop, check out the pre-installed software before you add your own. Determine what the existing software will do and uninstall anything that you won’t want.
If your laptop is slow on the first startup, this may be due to system updates finishing up. For instance, a Windows 10 automatic update to bolster the security of the computer. You can’t do much about these, but look on the bright side, your laptop security is current! Be patient and allow the updates to finish. That may be all you need to make your new laptop run as it should.
Improved speed is a main reason to invest in a new laptop. Don’t let a lagging laptop disrupt your productivity. We can help with a slow running laptop.
Instead of wasting valuable time waiting on a slow computer, give us a call at (732) 747-0020!