PC

30 Second Tips - Scroll On Webpages

This is the 46th post in a series called 30 Second Tips. My goal is to show you how to do some neat stuff in 30 seconds or less!

While surfing the web on your Mac or PC, you can easily scroll down by pressing the Space Bar. If you want to scroll back up the page you can press Shift + Space Bar.

This should work in Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

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Tech Terms Explained - RAM

This is the 1st post in a series called Tech Terms Explained. It is my goal to help you gain a better understanding of the various tech terms that you may come across.

Random Access Memory (RAM) is the short term memory of a computer. The RAM temporarily stores all the data required for the operating system and software to function.

Pictured above are RAM modules.  The top one is typically found in laptops and the bottom one is typically found in desktops.

Pictured above are RAM modules.  The top one is typically found in laptops and the bottom one is typically found in desktops.

When a computer is powered off, all the data stored in RAM is lost. This is in contrast to a hard drive which will store files long term even when the computer is powered off.

I like to share the following analogy with people when I try to explain what RAM is and what it does.

RAM is like a freeway. Everything that is running in your computer goes on the RAM freeway. Sometimes too much stuff is running at the same time, and there is a traffic jam in the RAM and your computer slows way down. Adding more RAM is like adding more lanes to your freeway. A nice wide freeway with lots of RAM will help everything run as fast as possible.
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You will experience less "traffic jams" on your computer when the amount of RAM is higher.

Since starting my business in 2011, I have seen clients with computers ranging from 256 megabytes (MB) of RAM all the way up to clients with 16 gigabytes (GB) of RAM. I personally have 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM in my MacBook Air.

If you were purchasing a new computer in 2013, I wouldn't recommend any less than 4 gigabytes (GB). The majority of people reading this blog post probably wouldn't benefit from any more than 8 gigabytes (GB).

If you feel that your current Mac or PC is slower than you would like, perhaps you could benefit from adding more RAM to your machine. This is one of the least expensive ways to make your computer faster and can often extend the useful lifespan of the computer. It typically cost between $20-$80 to purchase additional RAM for most computers.

I have helped numerous clients increase the RAM in their computers. Here is what one person had to say after I helped him increase his RAM.

“Mike helped upgrade our Mac with new ram and a new operating system this past month. It’s like having a new computer.
— Ray N. from Farmington, MN

To find out how much RAM you have on your computer you can follow the instructions for Windows and Macs.

30 Second Tips - Strong Passwords

This is the 38th post in a series called 30 Second Tips. My goal is to show you how to do some neat stuff in 30 seconds or less!

A strong password is a great way to prevent cyber criminals from getting access to online accounts. The majority of people use weak passwords because they are easier to remember. I am going to show you how to create stronger passwords that are easy to remember.

To get started you should create a sentence like the following:

My dog Fido is 5 years old & I like to vacation in Colorado!

You then take the first letter of each word or the number/symbol and create your password.

My dog Fido is 5 years old & I like to vacation in Colorado!

Your password would be:

MdFi5yo&IltviC!

This password would be extremely difficult to guess and it has all the attributes of a strong password.

  • Length
  • Capital Letter
  • Number
  • Symbol

All you have to do is remember your secret sentence and say it under your breath as you type your password.

Here is another sentence you could use to create a strong password with this technique:

@ the Wal-Mart I was going to buy 8 Hershey bars?

Your password would end up being:

@tW-MIwgtb8Hb?

If you would like to learn more about Staying Safe In A Digital World I would encourage you to check out my community ed class by the same name!

5 Things - Week Ending 7/13/12

This is the 16th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

THE PHONE STACK

Russell Brandom:

It works like this: as you arrive, each person places their phone facedown in the center of the table. (If you’re feeling theatrical, you can go for a stack like this one, but it’s not required.) As the meal goes on, you’ll hear various texts and emails arriving… and you’ll do absolutely nothing. You’ll face temptation—maybe even a few involuntary reaches toward the middle of the table—but you’ll be bound by the single, all-important rule of the phone stack. Whoever picks up their phone is footing the bill.

This is brilliant. Using your cell phone to talk or text during the middle of a meal is extremely rude to the people that you are with. This game allows you to be rude to your friends for a price. I challenge you to try this next time you are out with a group of friends and see what kind of reaction you get from people. I bet some people will balk immediately because they know they can't make it through a meal without checking their phones.


Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipment Growth Was Flat in Second Quarter of 2012

Christy Pettey:

HP continued to lead the U.S. PC market, as it accounted for 25 percent of PC shipments in the second quarter of 2012. Among the top 5 vendors in the U.S. PC market, all but Apple experienced a decline in shipments (see Table 2).

2Q12-2Q11 Growth (%)
HP -12.7%
Dell -9.5%
Acer -14.1%
Toshiba -19.5%
Apple +4.3%.

These numbers included desktops, notebooks, and mini-notebooks but not media tablets like the iPad.

In my opinion, one of the major reasons that the PC industry is seeing their sales decline is because of the dominance of the iPad. The halo effect from the iPhone and iPad seems to be working well for Apple as they were the only major computer manufacturer to see growth from last year.


Mobile 3.0 arrives: How Qualcomm just showed us the future of the cell phone (and why iPhone sucks for this new contextual age)

Robert Scoble:

In the future my cell phone will know I ordered a pizza. Will know when I get in my car. Will know who is in the car with me. And will give me contextual data that will make my life better. For instance, on my todo list I might have put “pick up a hammer at the hardware store.” It will know that Round Table Pizza is near the hardware store. It will know I have an extra 15 minutes. It can use Waze to route me to the hardware store first, tell me to pick up my hammer, and then head to Round Table to pick up that pizza. All while measuring how many steps I took (Nike Fuel points!) and telling me who has crossed my path. Oh, Joseph Smarr, who works at Google, is also at the Round Table? Cool! (He lives in Half Moon Bay too so this could happen at any time).

I am all for technology helping to make our lives easier. I can think of numerous times that had my phone reminded me to do a certain thing at a certain time when I was near a certain place that it would have been extremely useful. We can do some of this now on our smart phones but it doesn't quite work perfectly.

The author takes a dig at Apple because they currently don't allow developers of apps have access to the bluetooth and wifi radios. I am sure that in the future Apple will relax these restrictions once they have come up with an acceptable solution that won't compromise privacy and battery life.

Some of the stuff our phones will be able to do in five years will blow our minds. I can't wait!


Disruptions: Life’s Too Short for So Much E-Mail

Nick Bilton:

Just thinking about my e-mail in-box makes me sad. This month alone, I received more than 6,000 e-mails. That doesn’t include spam, notifications or daily deals, either. With all those messages, I have no desire to respond to even a fraction of them. I can just picture my tombstone: Here lies Nick Bilton, who responded to thousands of e-mails a month. May he rest in peace.

Email is broken. Someone close to me had approximately 100 emails in their inbox after being away for a week and only five came from real people. What a joke!

If you are buried in lots of junk email check out a blog post I wrote a couple weeks ago for some advice. Clean Up Your Email Inbox


Waze

A couple weeks ago, I purchased an iPhone 4S and one of the first apps that I downloaded was Waze. Waze is a fun, community-based GPS traffic and navigation app for iOS and Android.

I have been using a TomTom that is a few years old and Waze blows it out of the water. The maps are way more accurate because they are constantly being updated and I love the fact that it can show me traffic jams, gas prices, accidents, and the locations of cops.

Waze is free and will continue to get better as more and more people use the app. I would highly encourage you to check Waze out if you have an iPhone, iPad (need 3G/4G connection), or Android smartphone..


30 Second Tips - Find Text On A Webpage

This is the 23rd post in a series called 30 Second Tips. My goal is to show you how to do some neat stuff in 30 seconds or less!

The other day I was trying to find a particular person's name on a website. Most people would scroll down the page until they came across the name they were looking for. There is a much easier way to do this and I am going to show you how on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Mobile Safari.

If you are using Internet Explorer you can visit Microsoft's website for instructions.

Chrome

Click on Edit >>> Find >>> Find... or use the keyboard shortcut Command + F on a Mac or Control + F on a PC

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Type the word(s) that you are looking for. You can press the Up/Down Arrow buttons to highlight the next or previous instances of the word(s).

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Firefox

Click on Edit >>> Find or use the keyboard shortcut Command + F on a Mac or Control + F on a PC

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Type the word(s) that you are looking for. You can press the Next/Previous buttons to highlight the next or previous instance of the word(s). You can also press the Highlight all button if you want to have all instances of the word(s) highlighted.

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Safari

Click on Edit >>> Find >>> Find... or use the keyboard shortcut Command + F on a Mac or Control + F on a PC

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Type the word(s) that you are looking for. You can press the Left/Right Arrow buttons to highlight the next or previous instances of the word(s).

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Mobile Safari (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)

Tap the Google Search box.

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Type the word(s) that you are looking for. Tap the Find "word" on this page button.

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