Wireless Keyboard – Recommendations

We received a call recently from a long-time customer who wanted to upgrade his wireless keyboard.  That was all the push Chris needed to do some research for a new toy!  But, before I reveal what his new favorite is, let’s talk a little about the different features you might look for in a new wireless keyboard.Wireless Keyboard - Logitech Craft

Mouse:

First, you need to decide if you want the keyboard to be paired with a mouse. The benefit is that you would only have to use one USB port on your machine.  The downside is that not all keyboards come with a mouse, and you may decide that the wireless keyboard you really want, doesn’t have a mouse.

Ten-Key:

What’s your preference?  Using the numbers along the row above the letters, or do you prefer to use the number pad off to the right of a standard keyboard?

Media Keys:Wireless Keyboard - Duragadget

Do you want to manage additional tasks from your keyboard?  I like that I can control the volume from my keyboard, I can open a window to send a new email, I can open a new browser window, and so much more.

Backlight:

Do you often work in a darkened room?  You may want to consider a backlit keyboard.  The laptops that Chris has been designing recently all come with a backlit keyboard which is useful when you’re working in bed next to your sleeping spouse.  If you primarily use your wireless keyboard at your desk, you probably don’t need a back light.

Size:

How big of a keyboard do you want?  Do you want a portable one that clips onto your tablet?  Should it be foldable to fit into your backpack? Or do you want a full sized wireless keyboard that you can leave on your desk?

Tactile Response:

Clicking?  Silent?  If this is important to you, make sure you know ahead of time what the keyboard will do.wireless keyboard - logitech MK 320

Ergonomics:

If you have issues with carpal tunnel or spend all day typing, you may want to look for a keyboard that has a special design to keep your wrists in the proper position while typing.

I have a laptop.  I don’t need a separate wireless keyboard!

That’s what I used to think.  But my laptop is on the small side and the keyboard is too.  My fingers were constantly confusing keys and mis-spelling words.  Worst of all, the heal of my hand would accidentally touch the keypad and the mouse would go flying to a different part of the screen.  It was very frustrating.  I’ve since learned that I’m not the only one to experience this.  I solved this by purchasing a wireless keyboard which is the size of a conventional keyboard and works really well for me.

(As always, any links may provide a small commision to us, with no increase in price to you.)

Geek For Hire Recommendations:

  • Chris’ new favorite keyboard is called the Logitech Craft.  It has a funky knob on the top left side which allows you to adjust images in Photoshop or Illustrator. It has a backlit keyboard and (WHAT?!) can manage up to three devices from the single wireless keyboard!  It’s compatible with both Mac’s and PCs.   This one retails for $199, but Amazon currently has it priced at $175.  I’ve seen it on other sites at prices ranging from $179 to $199
  • The wireless keyboard I had been using for the past few years suddenly died last month.  I purchased a Logitech MK320. and I am loving it. It came paired with a mouse which means only one USB thingie.  That’s important to me because my laptop only has three USB ports.  It has a separate ten-key which I like.  And, as I mentioned above, I can manage more than just typing with this device! The keys are big enough that my fingers to confuse the “m” and the “n”.  Overall, I really like it and loved the price.  It retails for $40, but Amazon currently has it priced at $22.  Other sites have it for around $25.
  • And, only because I wanted a pop of color for this post, I took a look at a keyboard for kids.  I like this Duragadget keyboard because it looks like it’s great for learning, and it has some very good reviews.  Amazon has it for about $35.

Please forward this to your colleague who constantly has spelling mistakes.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is normally $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

When Should I Turn Off My Computer?

When I got my first computer, I would turn it off every time I left my office for more than a half hour. A few years later I would turn it off when I left for the day. Now, I’ll turn it off a couple of times a week. Why the change? Have you ever wondered: When Should I Turn Off My Computer? You might wonder how often you need to turn off your machine, or if you even need to turn it off at all!

Here’s what Chris says:

“I really wish Gail would turn her machine off more frequently!” When Should I Turn Off My Computer? Not as often as you think. Hint: Don't just puss the power button

Do I need to turn off my machine?

The short answer is Yes! When you turn it off the machine will clean itself, reorganize files, empty the trash, install any updates, and generally make itself faster and more efficient for the next time you turn it on. Other reasons to turn your machine off include saving power.

It’s really a balancing act. The process of turning your machine off and back on takes its toll on the mechanics of your computer. But leaving the machine on all the time does the same thing. If you use your machine constantly throughout the day, by all means, leave it on. If you access your machine from a remote location, then you definitely need to keep it on most of the time!

When should I turn off my computer?When Should I Turn Off My Computer - windows start button

Every couple of days save all of your documents, close all of your applications, and turn the machine off. Leave it off overnight, or just for a few minutes.

If you use it for only an hour or two at a time, then you should turn it off when you are done. If you know you won’t use your machine all weekend, you should turn it off.But, if you use your machine all day long, there’s really no need to turn it off every day. Turning your machine off once a week should be sufficient.

Remember, when you turn off your machine, don’t do it with the power button. Use the off button on the screen menu. This allows the machine to shut off gracefully.

General computer health & Well-being:When should I turn off my machine?

Some other things you should do for the general health and well-being of your machine are:

  • Always use a surge protector. These help even out any power spikes so that they don’t damage your machine. We also advise that you use a UPS (Universal Power Supply). This is a battery backup system that protects your equipment from power surges, and provides a limited time of battery life. This is helpful when you’re in the middle of working on a project when the power goes out. It gives you enough time to finish up and save everything. (There is an annoying and frequent beep to let you know that you are using battery power.)
  • During lightning storms, you should turn off AND unplug all of your electronics. Even a surge protector can’t always help protect your equipment if there is a nearby lightning strike.
  • Uninstall and delete any programs that you are no longer using. Even if you’re not running a program, it may still be processing in the background.  This will undermine the efficiency of your machine. (Yes, we can help you with this if you don’t feel comfortable choosing which programs to uninstall.)
  • Keep your machine clean! Periodically open it up and remove all the dust and pet hair that have accumulated. Dust tends to accumulate on the fan, which is there to keep your machine cool. If too much dust is there, the fan won’t run properly and your machine will overheat. (We can help you with this too!)
  • Finally, When Should I Turn Off My Computer?  At least once a week!

Please forward this to your colleagues who ALWAYS leave their machine running.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is normally $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

How to Use your iPhone’s Health App

It’s true.  You can now use your iPhone’s Health App (and equipment connected to your iPhone) to track many of your body’s functions.  For example you can track your heart rate, the Oxygen saturation in your bloodstream, or the number of steps you walk.  If you have the iWatch, it can also track how far you swim, how long you stand, and other activities.

How to Use Your iPhone's Health App with Sleep CycleActivity

The iPhone’s Health App will automatically track your steps, flights of stairs climbed, and how many miles you’ve walked, but you do need to always have your phone with you in order for the data to be accurate. If you synch your iWatch with your iPhone, you have access to additional data that is much more accurate.

Mindfulness

There are a number of apps that you can connect to your iPhone’s Health App to help you meditate and practice mindfulness.

  • Calm: Calm has a few options available for free.  Most of the meditations require a monthly, annual, or lifetime subscription.  Calm also has bedtime stories to calm you down and help you to get a more restful nights sleep. Calm is rated 5 stars with 1482 reviews.
  • 10% Happier – Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: 10% Happier also has a few meditations available for free, with an option to purchase a monthly or annual subscription.  It also has a meditation to help you wind down for sleeping.  10% Happier is rate 5 stars with 676 reviews.
  • Headspace: Guided Meditation: Like the other two apps, Headspace requires a paid subscription to gain access to most of the meditations.  It is rated 5 stars with 592 reviews.

Try them out and see which one works best for you.  You may find that you don’t even need to sign up for a paid subscription

Nutrition

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any great apps to track your food intake.  The iPhone’s Health app does allow you to manually enter data which is very easy to do.  If you take vitamin supplements, you can also enter the amount of Vitamin A, B, etc., that you are consuming. Don’t forget to drink lots of water every day!

Sleep

Getting a good nights sleep is very important to your overall health. And collecting sleep data is the first step in understanding how your productivity is impacted by your sleep.  I looked at several different sleep apps, but only Sleep Cycle seems like it will work well:

  • Sleep Cycle doesn’t require that you place the phone under your pillow.  Instead it uses the microphone on your iPhone to track your sleep sounds to determine when you are sleeping and how deeply.  It even records you when you snore!  Sleep Cycle is rated 5 stars with 1340 reviews

Have you learned more about tracking your health with your iPhone? If you found this helpful, please forward it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you sign up.)

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Mac OS Malware – What you need to know

It’s finally happened.  Mac’s have finally reached that magic threshold where more and more people are purchasing MacBooks and iMacs.  The “bad guys” have recognized that and are writing Mac OS malware, viruses, and ransomware.  Yes, they are specifically targeting the Mac OS.  They’ve had years of practice on Windows machines.  They know Mac users are a bit more discerning, so their malware needs to be even more subtle to trick those Mac users.  Their products look like the real thing – a real email from Dropbox, a real pop-up from Adobe.

It’s a jungle out there, so don’t think you’re immune just because you have a Mac!mac os malware

Two versions that are targeting Macs are MacSpy and MacRansom.  MacSpy does the usual data scraping, browser history harvesting, etc. MacRansom is a straight-up ransomware.  The cost to retrieve your data is about $650-750.  You can read more about them in this article from Dark Reading.

Another Mac OS malware that’s spreading is installed when you think you’re installing an Adobe upgrade.  You do get the upgrade, but you get a “snake” program as well.  For anyone interested in reading more, check out this article.

Another Trojan, named OSX/Dok, is also relatively new and spreads it’s program through a sophisticated phishing email.  So far, it seems to be targeting primarily European Mac users.  Checkpoint says that:

“This new malware – dubbed OSX/Dok — affects all versions of OSX, has 0 detections on VirusTotal (as of the writing of these words), is signed with a valid developer certificate (authenticated by Apple), and is the first major scale malware to target OSX users via a coordinated email phishing campaign.”

Have you learned something about Mac OS malware? If you found this helpful, please forward it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you sign up.)

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iPhone 6 Touch Disease

Have you heard about the newest malady to affect the iPhone 6 and 6+?  It is something dubbed the “Touch Disease”, which affects the touchscreen of your iPhone.  You’ll notice a flickering grey bar and then your touchscreen will stop working.  This has primarily been impacting iPhones which are almost two years old.

This issue was reported by iFixIt on August 23rd in a blog post.  They did provide an image of the flickering grey bar at the top of the phone:

iphone 6 touch disease image from iFIXit

Gizmodo thinks the problem appears to be a part of the “Bendgate” issue:

“The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus flex more than other phones, which causes all of their guts flex too. The soldering beads connecting the chips to the logic board can’t handle the long-term repetitive stress of your back pocket”

Engadget reports that:

“Weirdly enough, replacing the screen isn’t a proper fix. The gray bar will creep onto a new screen even when it’s been swapped out because that’s not where the problem resides. It’s a problem with the Touch IC chips inside the phone, which separate from the logic board in a manner similar to the one that some claimed caused Microsoft’s Xbox 360 red-ring of death. They must be replaced for the problem to completely go away, and Apple’s in-store Geniuses are not equipped to do that kind of soldering work. Hence, the quandary. In a YouTube video cited by iFixit, repair specialist Louis Rossmann predicts that this “touch disease” malady could turn into a class action lawsuit if enough customers make a stink. “

MacRumors assures us that:

“The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are not affected by the same issue as Apple strengthened the body and changed the position of the Touch IC chips in those devices.”

Bottom line?  If your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus is still under warranty and you start to experience any of these issues, take it in right away for replacement. If it’s not, try not to store it in your back pocket or any place where it could flex easily.  Also, learn how to use Siri to open apps and to use its voice-to-text functionality. This may help tide you over until you can replace your phone or get the innards soldered properly.  Here’s a link to my blog on Top 10 Ways to use Siri.

And, I hope it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway!  Make sure you keep your iPhone backed up!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Wearables

I ambled down the rabbit hole and stumbled across this old PC Magazine article from 2008.  In the article, they look at futuristic devices introduced in movies and show how those ideas have come to fruition in 2008.

  • There’s the transformer cell phone.  Watch the Youtube here.
  • There’s the hoverboard and another Youtube.
  • And there’s this poor substitute for the universal translator/ babel fish and its cringe-worthy video.

The only gadget from the movies that has really taken off is the wrist watch communicator.  In just the past few years watches that alert you to phone calls and texts, track your steps and heart rate, and allow you to search the Internet, have evolved into wearables worth the investment.

Here’s my Fitbit  telling me that Chris is calling:

20160705 fitbit

Aside from the FitBit and the Apple Watch, other wearable gadgets available today include:

Thync: The first wearable for relaxation and energy  The Thync works by signaling nerves on the head and neck to act on the brain’s adrenaline system. These nerves then activate your body’s natural state of Energy or Calm.

Then there are Blacksocks Plus. These are truly wearables with a twist!  From their website:

Imagine your phone could communicate with your socks. Your phone would know:

    • which socks belong together,and could help sort them out,
    • how often you have washed your socks,
    • when your socks were produced,
    • when you ordered your socks and
    • when your socks were dispatched.

Your iPhone can also tell you if your black socks are no longer properly black and help you buy new socks.

If only they could tell you if it was the washer or dryer that stole one of your socks!

Coming out later this year are Jewelbots.  This adorable bracelet is aimed at teaching young girls to code.  The gender gap among boys and girls in science and engineering classes continues to widen, and the number of technical jobs continue to increase.  Getting our girls interested in the sciences at a young age, and keeping their interest through high school and college is so important!  Jewelbots is a just one step on this path.  For more info on this issue, check out Girls Who Code.

 

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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iCloud – Valued Apple Feature or not?

iCloud

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about Apple’s iCloud recently.  iCloud is something many of us have been using for years.  But are you sure how to best take advantage of it?

If you have multiple devices – an iPhone, iPad, and iMac, for example, you can listen to your music whether you’re at home, a coffee shop, in your car, or on a trip.

If you don’t have an Apple computer, you can still access some of the iCloud features from your Windows computer.  Head over to www.iCloud.com and sign in with your user ID and password.  Some of the features available at the website include Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Photos.  Access to your music is not available here.

20160621 iCloud image

The “Find My iPhone” feature is available at the iCloud website.  Take a minute now to sign in.  Navigate around the site briefly, but especially take a look at the “Find my iPhone” feature so that if you do lose your phone, you’ll know how to use it.  (Make sure any folks in your family who are challenged in the area of knowing where their possessions are, have this feature turned on!)

When you sign in to the iCloud, your user ID is probably your email.   If you’ve forgotten your password,         it’s relatively easy to reset it.  Remember that the password for your iCloud account is different from the security passcode you may have set up to access your iPhone or your iPad.  If you have set them up to be the same, please change one of them now!

Another feature I’ve just learned about on the iCloud is the ability to share photos with other people.  When you click on the “Photos” icon, your pictures appear.  At the bottom of the screen there are three buttons – Photos, Share, and Albums.  Your Photos shows all the pictures you’ve taken from a given point in time organized by date.  Albums arrange your photos by different categories like Selfies, Panoramas, Videos, and Screenshots.

To share photos, click on “New Shared Album”.  Give it a title, and select who to share it with by entering their emails.  Once the structure is set up, you can then add photos to the album.

If you need help setting up your iCloud properly, check out Apple’s Help pages or the Genius Bar at the Apple store.

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

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Q&A with Chris Eddy (iMac’s, PDF’s and Windows 10)

Question:

I’m currently running window 7 professional on my work laptop.  Windows 10 want to upgrade computer software.  I have office 2003 and ms project software  2010 and I’m wondering if windows 10 compatible with these programs?  Also since I’ve been rejecting windows 10 computer seems to constantly upgrade software (daily) and is running slow.  Any way that not upgrading to 10 can be causing this?

Answer:

I think you should decline the W10 upgrade because W7 works fine for you, I don’t think that W10 has enough new and different and better stuff that you should run right out now (metaphorically) and get it.  Also, I’m seeing occasional strangeness with W10 becoming unresponsive or very disk intensive for long periods of time, and have seen occasional filesystem corruption after things like a graceless shutdown which causes the machine to require serious startup repair (not the automated one), but W7 would have recovered from that in stride.

Question:

An associate recommended PDFMerge as a great program to take individual pdf pages and be able to combine them into a document. I went to the website www.pdfmerge.com and downloaded it. …. Well now every pdf on my laptop is a soda pdf. This was not what I intended – will this cause me problems since they are no longer adobe pdf’s? Should I have you change it all back? Worried about this change. Recommendations?

Answer:

This is an easy thing to change.  Go to the file using Windows Explorer, right click on the file name, go down to “Open With”, select the Adobe Acrobat Reader program, and make sure you put a check in the box to use this program for this file type in the future.

Question:

Do you have an opinion on the iMac all in one?  The 21.5 ” most suitable for my space and I’d like to connect it to a TV and be able to watch TV at same time as using computer – is that possible or a pipe dream?

21.5" iMac

Answer:

In general, I like the iMac.  And, in a nutshell, yes.  But you’ll need an “Apple TV” device, which is a white hockey puck sized thing that connects to the house network and to the TV.  More here: http://store.apple.com/us/question/answers/appletv/can-i-use-apple-tv-to-mirror-my-imac-on-my-tv/QCFJP9Y472HAJP9YP

Do you have a quick question about your Mac or PC?  Send us an email to support@geekforhireinc.com

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted! Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Windows 10 – Once more

It’s almost like it’s Groundhog Day. Again.  (The movie, not the holiday.)  Yes, we are still getting calls from customers who have upgraded to Windows 10 and immediately began to experience issues with their machine.

What are some of the issues?  Here’s a sampling of some of the questions we’ve received:

  • I can’t find any of my files! They all seem to have disappeared!
  • I can find my files, but my computer won’t let me open any of them
  • My applications don’t seem to work properly anymore
  • My computer can’t find my printer, or the network
  • I’ve got the dreaded black screen (or blue screen)
  • My computer won’t boot

The problems go on and on.  I am guessing that there are plenty of times that someone upgrades to Windows 10 with zero problems.  Those are not the people who call us!

We still have the same advice that we did in February:   https://geekforhireinc.com/windows-10-update/

  • If you have a Windows 7 machine, don’t upgrade unless you have a serious business need.
  • If you have a Windows 8 or 8.1 machine, you should be okay to upgrade, although you may still experience some issues
  • If you have a Windows XP or earlier machine, don’t (DO NOT!) upgrade.  Consider purchasing a new machine with Windows 8 or 10 already installed.

If you’re planning to upgrade do this first:

  • Back up your data.  Use an external Hard Drive if you have one, or upload to the Cloud
  • Make sure you have a list of all the programs and applications that you use.
  • Make sure you know what all of your passwords are, especially if you have asked your computer to remember them for you.
  • Make sure you know what your WiFi Router password is.

Please let us know if you experience any issues with your upgrade.  Call with any questions!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted! Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Review of the Word Flow keyboard for iPhones

Smartphone Keyboard

Last week Chris introduced me to a new keyboard app for the iOS. He thought it might help me have less.carpel tunnel symptoms while typing.  I’m trying it out by typing this blog with it. It is called Word Flow and was developed by Microsoft.
 
Mostly it is doing okay. It has good predictive skills, though not all that much better or different than the standard predictive text that comes with the standard iPhone.  It only has four punctuation marks available; period, comma, exclamation point, and question mark. (But, really, how often do you use a semi-colon?!)
 
One issue that I am experiencing is that when it thinks I’m done with a sentence, it will randomly throw in a period! Another issue is that it doesn’t “know” the shortcuts I’ve programmed into the phone to get a jumpstart on the predictive text.  For example, when I type “bou”, the iPhone will complete the word “Boulder.  Word Flow doesn’t do that.
Here’s an example of what the keyboard looks like and the predictive text errors:
Word Flow

Word Flow

 I think that for people who are one handed typers or thumb typers , this will be a great product.  For people like me who are used to typing with both hands and more than two thumbs, there aren’t a lot of benefits. 

As a person who is very much concerned with security and privacy, I did take exception to allowing Word Flow access to my data.  Take a look at the verbiage for the “permissions screen”.Word Flow Full Access Disclosure

“Full access allows the developer of this keyboard to transmit anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard.  This could include secretive information such as your credit card number or street address.”

Ummmm, no.  I think that is part of why the shortcuts I’ve programmed into my iPhone aren’t working with this app.

If you think this might be right for you, take a look at this, more positive review.

What keyboard are you using with your smartphone?  Is it the standard one that came with, or another app that you’ve installed?  Let us know what you are using, which phone you have, and how the keyboard is working!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted! Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial