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This is Scott Lavelle's Blog

Thursday, 14 May 2015 11:47

Windows 10 - Free Upgrade Clarification

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

win10start.pngIn my last Blog entry, I speculated about the ongoing costs of Windows 10 after the initial Free for the First Year Free announcement.  Well, there's more, and it's good news.

Friday, 24 April 2015 11:44

Windows 10 - It's Coming and it's Free

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

Windows 10 Start MenuMicrosoft started their "Technical Preview" program for Windows 10 back in October, 2014.  We've been running the various new builds of this (on the Fast track) on several Virtual Machines here at the office to get a taste of what it's like prior to its official release, expected to be some time this summer.  

Anyone was able to sign up for this "beta" test, but it is highly recommended that you don't use this OS on a computer that you expect to work all the time.  Since this is beta software, it WILL fail sometimes as the bugs are worked out.

In our technology driven society the need for training would seem obvious. Most companies provide some kind of handbook, tutorial, or even on-the-job training for program and process changes.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:00

Feed Your Mind

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

One of the things I feel very fortunate about is that I was introduced to technology at a young age and at a depth that both interested me and challenged me in ways I didn't know something could. I attended a computer summer camp at UC Santa Cruz leading into my Freshman year in high school and had the opportunity to take two years of programming classes (in the BASIC and Pascal languages) in my Junior and Senior years. This was between 1982 and 1985.

Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:00

Password Protection – a Necessary Evil

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

Everyone uses passwords to access all sorts of information on their computer, online, at the bank machine, and many other places. One of the most common complaints we hear is that people have to remember too many passwords and as a result they tend to use the same one for everything. To make things worse, that password is often not a very strong one, leaving them vulnerable to loss of data, identity theft, and hijacked online accounts.

Thursday, 16 October 2014 09:00

Windows Efficiency: Keyboard Shortcuts

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

The mouse was a fantastic invention. Back in 1981, the first one was introduced for use with a Personal Computer; in fact, you can go as far back as 1964 to find the first prototypes, invented by Douglas Engelbart. Today, you can hardly get a computer without one and some features require a pointing device of some kind to access. But most features can still be accessed by keyboard alone, and many are more efficient when accessed via keyboard shortcuts. This month I share a few of my favorites with you.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 09:00

Office 365 – For Home and For Business

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

Microsoft is listed as the #35 company in the world for 2013, according to the Fortune 500, but sometimes their product branding can be unclear. There are two different services that they offer and both are called Office 365, but the two are almost completely different from a feature set. In this article, I will describe each and what the appropriate uses are for them.

Thursday, 02 October 2014 09:00

Should I Buy a New Computer?

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

With the prevalence of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and even convertible laptops that turn into tablets when needed, you may ask "Should I buy a desktop computer?". The answer depends on a number of things, but is mostly dependent on what you use your computer for. A few reasons why you might still want to have a desktop computer are business office use, gaming, specialized applications, or an interest in upgradable components.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 09:00

Tech Forecast: It's in The Cloud

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

In a recent survey by Wakefield Research commissioned by Citrix, one thousand Americans were asked about their understanding of Cloud Computing [1]. The end result showed that while more than half claim they never use it, 95 percent of that same group actually does use it, and on a regular basis. So I hope to clarify a few things about what exactly cloud computing is.

laptop-mode.jpgIt's the first time in 7 years.  I got a new laptop - and it was no easy task trying to come up with an appropriate option.  You see, I'm pretty picky about the technology I use and I want it to last a long time.  After all, I DID have my last laptop for 7 years - and it still actually works quite well.

What I had before was a Lenovo Thinkpad X61 convertible tablet.  For its day, it was a quite capable little device.  Fairly lightweight, with the first generation of Core2 mobile chips, upgraded to 4gb of RAM and a 128gb SSD to make it quite fast - even running Windows 8.1 (update 1) with fast boot times and overall great performance.  So why did I replace it?  Well, the Thinkpad screens of this time period had issues with the adhesive that holds the screen cover on.  The glue strip that sits beneath the bezel on it breaks down over time and seeps out of every opening on the front of the device as well as allows air bubbles to get under the glass that covers the LCD screen.  There are a LOT of these bubbles on mine at this point, which is distracting.  Also, since I do a lot with websites and graphics, I need the screen to look good and translate colors well, which this screen was no longer doing.

Saturday, 20 April 2013 10:00

Five things to love about Windows 8

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE

windows-8-start-menu.jpgIf you get a new PC, odds are that it will have Windows 8 installed on it. Some have loved it and others have been critical. Here are 5 things that are really great about this new Operating System – things you can actually use in your daily routine.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013 17:36

The New Office 365 Home Premium

Written by Scott Lavelle, MCSE


When it comes to business, we often recommend (and setup/configure/support) Microsoft Office 365, but now Microsoft has officially announced the availability of Office 365 Home Premium.  This comes in conjunction with the newly announced Office 2013 Suite.  There is new pricing out for both choices, which includes the option of an online subscription for $9.99/month or $99/year.  For many households, this will be a good deal. 

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