Archive for August 2012

FAA Reconsidering Onboard Electronics Policy

imageIf you’ve flown anywhere on a commercial airliner in the last 20 or more years, you know that at take-off and landing they always tell you to turn off all electronic devices (because they’re afraid your Game-Boy will make the plane crash.)  Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

The good news is that the FAA has decided to take another look at the policy and see if perhaps it can be easier to use our electronic devices during flights.

Here’s the bad news, the FAA is going to form a new committee to look at it, so who knows how many years it will take for a decision to come down. 

If you want to read more, C/NET has an article on it here:

Upgrade to Windows 8 for $15. Should You?

If you bought a new computer with Windows 7 since June 2nd, you’re probably eligible for an upgrade to Windows 8 when it comes out in October for only $15.   If your PC is a little older, you can still upgrade to Windows 8 for only $40, which is still a bargain.  The question is – should you?

Windows 8 is quite different than the Windows you’re used to using now.  The initial screen is composes of large tiles rather than small icons and are more closely linked to your online accounts. 

My experience with the beta versions of Windows 8 so far is that most of my clients may want to wait to see what the next version or Windows brings us in a couple of years.  If you’re currently running a computer with Windows XP, you need to upgrade in the next 18 months because Microsoft is ending support for XP in 2014, so getting a Windows 7 machine NOW might be the best upgrade to make.

Windows 8 isn’t horrible, and underneath the tiled interface is a more familiar Windows 7 interface, but when you’re happy with something, you may not want to have to learn how a new operating system works.

If you’re still running Windows XP, consider getting a new computer in the next few months with Windows 7 – that way you’re good for many more years.

Oh Happy Day, Oh Happy Day! The Updates Have Arrived! how time flies!  Yes, it’s the second Tuesday of the month and Microsoft has blessed us with LOTS of patches for your Windows operating system.  Some of them are classified as CRITICAL, so be sure these updates are installed.  Hopefully your system is set to automatically update, but if you want to check, click on the start button, go to “Programs” and toward the top you should see “Windows Update”.  Click on it and click on “Check for Updates” to see if you need to install them.  The “optional” updates are just that – optional.  But the important and critical updates need to be installed as soon as possible to keep your systems safe.  And as always, be on the lookout throughout the month for updates to Adobe Reader, Flash and Java.

Remember, the bad guys are constantly checking your doors and windows (figuratively) to see if they can get into your computer, don’t let them.  Do those updates!

The Future of Technology (a Scary Thing)


Computer Terminology

imageAre you terrified of your computer? Do you feel out of place and overwhelmed when your friends or coworkers start spouting reams and reams of technical jargon that you will never understand? Then this article is for you! We’ll help you get over your fear of technical terminology by tickling your funny bone. We’ll start with some definitions that SHOULD be true, and we hope are entertaining:


486 – The average IQ needed to understand a P.C.

State-of-the-art – Any computer you can’t afford.

Obsolete – Any computer you own.

Microsecond – The time it takes for your State-of-the-art-computer to become obsolete.

GUI (pronounced gooey) – What your computer becomes after spilling your coffee on it.

Computer Chip – Any starchy food stuff consumed in mass quantities while programming.

Keyboard – The standard way to generate computer errors.

Mouse – An advanced input device to make computer errors easier to generate.

Floppy – The state of your wallet after purchasing a computer.

Hard Drive – The sales technique employed by computer salesmen.

Laptop Computer – A device invented to force business professionals to work at home, on vacation and on business trips.

Hard Drive Crash – A typical computer response to any critical deadline.

Power User – Anyone who can format a disk from DOS.

System Update – A quick method of trashing ALL of your software.

Deal: Canon Wireless All-in-One Printer for $69

imageLike it or not, school is approaching and you might be thinking about getting a new printer.  Now’s a good time because Best Buy has this Canon Pixma MX432j on sale for only $69.  It prints, scans, copies and faxes.  It can produce photo quality printing as well as high resolution scanning, has an automatic sheet feeder for scanning or faxing multiple pages at a time.  Best of all, it’s wireless.  You don’t have to plug it into your computer – all you need is an electrical outlet.  It connects wirelessly to your router, just like your laptop.  Now ALL your computers can connect to it from anywhere in the house.  You can even print from your iPhone, iPad or Andoid device.

It’s available in most of the Austin Best Buys, but you can check online first before going to your local store:

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