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OCT
02

Should I Buy a New Computer?

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.

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910 Hits
SEP
30

Do You Learn Better Outside of the Office?

Over the last ten years technology has made it possible to learn many different things from the comfort of your own desk. Whether it's having better access to training documents, streaming video from an archive, or joining a webinar or online class we have the ability to pick up new skills left and right.

This instant access to so much knowledge is great, but do you have the time to access it and gain the mastery you need? Most of us do, however constant interruptions can make it difficult to get the total sum of time you may need to complete a webinar or online class. Sure, you can block out time on your calendar to participate in an online class; you won't have other appointments or obligations scheduled in that window. But will you get an unexpected call or email? That is very likely.

When you're trying to learn a new skill, especially one in an area that you don't normally practice in everyday, it may help you learn more effectively if you leave your desk or office and go to a classroom. Opting to gain knowledge away from your day-to-day life gives you room to focus without the normal interruptions that cross your desk.

Make sure you get the most out of your time away from your desk by turning off your cell phone or putting it on silent. If your class is using computers with web access, resist the urge to log into your email to check-in. Wait until the class' allotted break time to check your phone or email. Not only will these things allow you to focus on your class, it may even clear your mind to come up with new ideas or find a solution to an issue that has been eluding you.

With your new understanding you will return to your desk refreshed and with a mastery of the skill that would have taken much longer to gain if you had been fielding phone calls and emails while trying to learn.

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1166 Hits
SEP
23

Get the Most Out of Training by Scheduling in Advance

Many jobs require continuing education to remain licensed. Doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, engineers and even teachers all have to prove that they are keeping their skills sharp.

Unfortunately, due to busy schedules a lot of us put off that training until the end of the year – a time that is already busy with holidays and deadlines. Scheduling your continuing education classes in advance can give you a number of advantages.

1. Best choices for classes and locations. Certain professions require a specific number of course credits every year, but don't require the course work to happen in specific niches. This means if you work primarily in a niche there may not be a tremendous amount of courses available for you. Registering for those courses early guarantees you a spot in a class that will be both useful and go toward you credit requirement. Some classes are offered at multiple locations. Signing up early gives you the best chance at a class near your home or office, rather than having to travel an hour more.

2. Lower Registration Fees. Many training classes offer an "early bird" savings that can sometimes be as much as 50% off the registration fees. For expensive classes this can be a huge savings. Take it when you can!

3. Take Pressure Off of Yourself. If you are required to complete a specific number of hours annually, planning them throughout the year takes the pressure off you. You can plan your workload and meetings with plenty of notice so that you can focus and get the most out of your class.

4. Leave Room for Re-scheduling. It happens to all of us. Sometimes even the best laid plans develop a kink. Scheduling your classes earlier in the year gives you flexibility in case something comes up. You will have time to reschedule the class, or even retake it if need be.
Putting a little bit of foresight into scheduling your continuing education can reduce stress and save you money. That helps make for a successful training experience.

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1097 Hits
SEP
23

Tech Forecast: It's in The Cloud

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.

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1010 Hits
SEP
16

What to Look for in a Training Class or Seminar

Here are some tips to help you decide whether a seminar or training class is right for you:



• Timing: Is it an all day event? A breakfast or lunch learning session? A cocktail hour? If a growling stomach can distract your focus, make sure you select a session that either provides food, or is at a time of day when you can make sure you have already eaten. If the event is on a week day, make sure the time is conducive to your schedule, or book it far enough in advance to take a day off or make other arrangements to free up your time.
• Location: Is the session being held in a location that is convenient to you? Is there parking nearby? If the location is not close to home or work, that may be another reason to consider taking a day off. Do you like to dive in and get your hands dirty in a training class? Ask if the location has Wi-Fi so you can bring your own computer. Even better, do they have computers you can use?
• Materials: Will you get hand-outs or workbooks at the session? Should you bring business cards? Most course descriptions will tell you if you have to bring something to successfully complete the course as well as what materials the course includes.

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2498 Hits
JUL
05

Review of New Microsoft Surface Pro 3 - Great Laptop Replacement

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.

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1620 Hits
APR
20

Five things to love about Windows 8

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.

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Recent Comments
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Nice blog dude :-)
Thursday, 03 October 2013 07:51
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JAN
29

The New Office 365 Home Premium

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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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1303 Hits
JAN
04

Getting Organized in 2013 with Microsoft OneNote

New Year's Resolutions

Most of us make New Year's resolutions and typically they include something about starting the new year out by getting organized. That thought usually includes going paperless because as we start the process of getting organized, we find the paper notes we have taken throughout the previous year(s) and are overwhelmed. Microsoft has a product available called OneNote and if you have ever used a spiral notebook, you can use this.

With Microsoft OneNote you can have multiple notebooks, dividers within the notebooks and pages within the dividers - sound familiar? Within your notebook(s) you can gather and organize text, digital handwriting, pictures, audio and video recordings - just to name a few. How many times have you misplaced that scrap of paper you made a note on, or searched for that website you can't remember the name of that had something really interesting on it? I know, I sound like a commercial, but honestly I'm not getting paid for this! I just cannot believe how much more organized I am since I started using this software.

Let me give you some examples. When you are on the Internet and come across something interesting that you want to refer back to, you can snip the item into your notebook for easy retrieval at a later time. Maybe you are pulling together some research for business, or accumulating ideas for a vacation. Have you ever been in a meeting or class, tried to take notes but fallen behind? With OneNote you can record the meeting and it keeps up with the notes you are typing in sync with the recording. This allows you to go back and fill in where needed. There are also templates you can apply to your notebook pages. Legal practice notebook, Student notebook, Wedding Planner notebook - just to name a few! You can watch a DEMO and try OneNote 60 days for free at this Microsoft website: Try Microsoft Office 2010.

Get organized in 2013! It couldn't be easier. If you need help, please contact us. We have workshops in our training center regularly, or we will provide one-on-one training.

 

 

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1080 Hits
JUL
02

Split Screen in Excel 2010

When dealing with large amounts of data in an Excel worksheet, you often need to use the Split Screen item on the ribbon or menu. This option divides your screen into 4 sections and allows you to scroll through these sections while keeping other sections of your worksheet visible.

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5916 Hits
JUL
02

Freeze Panes in Excel 2010

When dealing with large amounts of data in an Excel workbook, you often need to use the Freeze Panes item on the ribbon. This option allows you to keep a certain area visible as you scroll to other parts of your worksheet. You can freeze rows, columns or both rows and columns.

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13735 Hits
APR
30

Why should you take Training Classes?

For my first blog, I wanted to open a general discussion of why you should continue your education by taking training classes. Of course you can look on-line and find many statistcs and formal studies on the topic, but what does common sense dictate?

The first thing that seems obvious to me is so you can stay competitive in the job market. Things around us are changing very rapidly and though we cannot keep up with everything that is out there, we can educate ourselves on the things that are directly related, or that compliment, our career path and interests.  By dong this, you may have that extra something an employer is looking for that will set you above the other candidates either for a new position or a promotion within your current organization.  The second thing to consider would be how training can keep you motivated. To learn new things keeps your mind engaged. If you are engaged in what you are doing you will be motivated to complete it effectively, especially if you have a new innovative way to do it. Keeping the brain active is healthy! Finally, I would say that you should take training classes to learn. You may take a class on something you thought you would love and find that you don't really care for it. You've still learned something and when someone you want to interact with talks about it, you will be able to have a decent conversation with them. On the other hand, you may branch out and find a new interest; wouldn't that be great?

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918 Hits
APR
30

Joomla! 2.5 migration (upgrade)

Q: What is Joomla!? 
A: It's a Content Management System for your website - and the ! is part of the name.

Q: What is the 2.5 upgrade? 
A: An important "migration" from the old 1.5 version for security, continued support, and loads of new features.

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  1213 Hits
1213 Hits
FEB
19

QR Codes

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From Wikipedia: A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers, camera telephones, and to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

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FEB
19

Google - The Beginning

googleblocksI was given a copy of an article today out of the review section of the Wall Street Journal. I don't spend a lot of time reading the paper, but the nearly full page view of Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google's co-founders) on the front with the headline "Google: The Beginning" grabbed my attention. So I sat down and "read the paper".

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1145 Hits
FEB
18

Free AntiVirus for Your Business or Home

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Which AntiVirus Software Should I Use?

I often get the question "which AntiVirus or AntiMalware software should I use?".  It's a difficult one to answer because there are so many new threats introduced each day and none of the packages out there are going to catch everything.  There are a lot to choose from as well, and some of what's out there purporting to be antivirus programs are actually viruses themselves.

 

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1601 Hits
FEB
18

Windows Small Business Server 2008

I did a short presentation this morning about Windows Small Business Server 2008. Whenever I talk about the number of things that this system brings to the table, I get really excited for the small business owner with whom I'm potentially going to be working because it's so common to come across offices that have a lot of technology investments but aren't utilizing them to improve their business processes and boost their overall productivity. Instead, they (and often their employees) feel unproductive, and sometimes even "beaten" by their computers. They believe "this is just the way it is with computers".

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872 Hits
FEB
14

Small Business Server Overview

If you were at my presentation on April 21, 2010 and would like an electronic copy (pdf) of the document I handed out, here's a link to Microsoft's website where it came from:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/B/8/A/B8A6537E-A709-414C-9F5D-0EAE781A6F6D/SBS%202008_Datasheet.pdf

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1445 Hits
JAN
14

Windows 7 Dual Monitor Window Pinning

I have uploaded a new video showing an interesting new feature of Windows 7 and that is "pinning" windows to the sides of the display. This is a useful feature that allows you to quickly and easily place two windows on the screen side by side for comparison, copying and pasting data, or many other reasons.

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5503 Hits
NOV
23

Windows 7 - A Video Introduction

Rather than write a bunch of text for something that is very visual in nature, I decided that I would capture some screen recordings of a few of the new features in Windows 7.

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