Archive for September 2014

Speed Isn’t Everything

image2 months ago I was getting at best 14 Mb/s (14 Megabits per second) of download speed.  I recently was upgraded by Time-Warner Cable to 100 Megabits per second as you can see from the image on the right.

Guess what – I can’t tell the difference.  I’ll provide the caveat that yes, there are times that I need to download BIG files for my clients and that’s when the speed difference is very noticeable.  But when we are talking about just going from web page to web page, I can’t say that I’ve noticed a difference.

So unless you’re doing a lot of downloading of large files, don’t necessarily feel like you need to upgrade to get a better Internet.  If you’re getting 10 Megabits per second, you’re probably not going to notice a faster speed just going from web page to web page.  This is plenty fast for streaming movies from Netflix in HD.

You can pay for a car that can do 250 miles an hour, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to actually benefit from it. is a good place to go to see what your download speed is (best from a hardwired desktop system.)  If you’re getting close to 10 Mb/s, then you don’t really need to pay for more as a normal user.

Save your money, give yourself a bigger birthday cake or something.

Connect Your Phone/Tablet to Wi-Fi with a Barcode!

imageI can’t believe I haven’t heard about this before. posted an article about this a year ago.  If you have an Android phone or tablet, this is absolutely the easiest way to connect to a wi-fi network.  I’ll get to you Apple folks below.

What you’ll need is 1) a barcode scanner app (ZXing’s Barcode Scanner in the Play store is one of the best, and free.)  2) You’ll need a QR code of the network.  This is easy to make and so whenever you want to share your wi-fi network with someone, all they have to do is scan the QR code.

To generate the QR code, go to  Enter the name of the network (the SSID), the password and the Network type (of encryption – WEP or WPA) hopefully you’re using WPA or WPA2.  You can leave the other settings alone and click on “Generate”.  What you get will be something like the QR code you see above.

If you scan it, you’ll see I created a fictitious network called “TEK-CHIC QR TEST” with a password of “MonkeySeeMonkeyDo”.  Scan it, click on connect and IF this network existed where you were, you’d be instantly connected.

So what you say?  How about you create the QR and then PRINT it out.  Whenever someone comes to your home and would like to connect to your network, they can just scan the QR code and they are connected – you don’t even have to tell them the password!

OK, now for you Apple folks.  Unfortunately Apple won’t let you just scan a code and change wi-fi settings. BUT, you can scan the QR code and copy/paste the information in (at least you won’t have to type it all in.)

If you don’t have a barcode reader on your Apple device, then you can try QR CODE READER by Scan to read the QR codes.

You Might Want to Stop Using Google Chrome

I won’t get into the technical reasons, but starting next year, you may be seeing notices in Google Chrome saying the website may not be secure, even though it really is.  This could include your bank or any secure site that starts with HTTPS://……

If you’re going to continue using Chrome, you’ll need to be aware of the differences between a site that is secure and one that really isn’t.  At this point, I’m not sure how you’re going to know the difference.  You might want to consider switching to Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari.  The issue Google is pushing isn’t an issue until 2017, and at that time, it will no longer be an issue.

Microsoft Will NEVER Call You. I Promise. years ago I wrote the article below, and you know what, people are falling for it because they are still calling.  They called one of my clients today – he was smart enough no to fall for it and called me right after. 

Microsoft won’t call, so hang up if they say it’s them.


If Microsoft Calls – Don’t Answer!

This scam has been going around for at least a year now and I’ve written about it before, but this week in 2 days I had 2 clients tell me that they got a call from “Microsoft” saying they’ve detected a problem with their computer.  I promise, Microsoft will NEVER call you to tell you there is a problem with your computer.  The people calling are overseas and will attempt to frighten you into going to your computer and downloading a file from a website onto your computer, they will then ask for your credit card number.  These are BAD guys, don’t do anything they say.

If you want to have fun and play with them by wasting their time and money, then you can play along to keep them on the phone but DON’T actually do anything on the computer or give them a real credit card number.  Make one up.

If you don’t want to waste YOUR time, then just hang up on them and if you can, just block the number so they can’t call you again.

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