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.)

Cryptocurrency – How To Use

When I read last month that the State of Ohio has begun to accept tax payments in Bitcoins, I knew that the legitimacy of cryptocurrency has turned a corner.  Normally I see the use of Bitcoins limited to investing or collecting ransoms for reasons varying from malware placed in my computer to last week’s example of a bomb placed in my office building.  This act by Ohio sets a whole new precedent. Frankly, I expected to see this first in a state which has legalized recreational marijuana, not in a state which has only just started to offer a medical marijuana program.

Cryptocurrency

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer:

“On Monday, Ohio became the first state in the nation to accept the cryptocurrency, bitcoin, for 23 different business taxes ranging from sales tax to severance taxes on oil and gas…..a business signs up through OhioCrypto.com, enters their tax payment information then pays through a third-party processor, BitPay. BitPay then converts the bitcoin into dollars that are deposited into the state’s accounts. There is a minimal fee, 1 percent, for the transaction compared with 2.5 percent assessed when businesses use credit cards.”

Where could I use Cryptocurrency?

Well, if you lived in Ohio, and ran a business, you could obviously use it to pay your taxes.  You can also use Bitcoins to pay for your vacations (CheapAIr and Expedia), Food (Subway and PizzaForCoins), Technology (NewEgg, Microsoft, Dish), Jewelry at Reeds, and coffee (Starbucks will be accepting Bitcoins in 2019).  Here’s a partial list of companies that accept Bitcoin payments.cryptocurrency for coffee

How would I do that?

First off, you’ll need to set up a Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency wallet.  There are a number of different kinds and brands of wallets available.  Here are two articles that explain how to choose a wallet that will work well for you:

Be sure to understand the fee structure, privacy, and security prior to setting up your own wallet.  Read the fine print!

Taxes:

In the US, the IRS considers Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies to be a form of property.  This means that each transaction must be recorded for gains and losses and filed with your tax return.  (This article has an overview, but please ask your accountant for more detailed information.  Hey, at least the Bitcoin tax payments would be deductable!

How much does a Bitcoin cost?

Like other currencies, the price of Bitcoins fluctuates. After hitting a high of about $15,000 last year, Bitcoins are currently trading around $3,500.  Here’s a graph of Bitcoin prices over the past three months:

Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin trading

Bitcoins are used outside of the United States too.  Countries with very high inflation rates see Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies as a “stable” form of currency.

 

Please forward this to your colleagues that might be interested in using CryptoCurrencies too. Did I forget some critical advice, or do you have questions?  Let me know in the comments below.

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 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 $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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Location Privacy and your Smartphone

There was another article this week about Location Privacy and “Services” on your smartphone. I have services in quotes because I don’t think the entity being served is the person using the phone.

According to this article, Smartphone applications can and do gather and collect location information on individual smartphones.  Then they sell that data.  Marketing firms can find out who is in the ER and sell that list to Legal Firms, or who is at Victoria’s Secret and sell it to Macy’s. Privacy, especially location privacy is on its way out.

Most smartphone users don’t really lock down their security settings, sticking with the default settings that came with the phone. When they add a new app to their phone, they may not think to check what data they are sharing with the app developer.  When the app asks if they can access the users location, they may think it makes sense to share their location, without know what the app will do with that raw data.

What do Marketing Firms really need to know?

As I read through the article, I found the whole thing very disturbing. Should anyone really know that one woman, a middle school teacher, went hiking, goes to the gym, visited a dermatologist, and stayed overnight in another home? While location data is supposed to be anonymous, the specificity of the data means that companies are able to track the location of  a smartphone down to the minute.  From the article:

“Elina Greenstein, an executive at the location company GroundTruth, mapped out the path of a hypothetical consumer from home to work to show potential clients how tracking could reveal a person’s preferences. For example, someone may search online for healthy recipes, but GroundTruth can see that the person often eats at fast-food restaurants.”

By tracking the smartphone, you can track the person. If you can connect the smartphone location to a home and work, you can figure out the person, and track all of their other activities.

Why would you want to share your location information?

There are lots of reasons to share your location.  Getting good traffic information is one.  Getting the weather is another.  But once you’ve checked the forecast, do you really want The Weather Channel (owned by IBM) to continue tracking your location?

What should I do?

I take location privacy very seriously, so here’s what I do.  About once a month I go through my list of apps and see which I’m sharing my location with. I turn off location sharing for any apps that don’t need my location to provide a service; social media accounts for example.  Then I make sure that I am only sharing my location with apps /WHILE THAT APP IS IN USE/.  (I do need to remember to close down the app when I’m done.)

How do I ensure my location privacy?

For the iPhone, click on the “Settings” icon, then scroll down to “Privacy”. Click on “Location Services”, and then scroll through each of your apps.

location privacy - iphoneI borrowed a friends Android phone to see how she would do this.  Again, click on “settings”, then “apps”.  At that point, you need to open each app to adjust the location sharing setting. Once you’ve opened the app, click on “Permissions” and adjust the location privacy settings.

location privacy android

Please forward this to your colleagues to help keep their online privacy safe too. Did I forget some critical advice, or do you have questions?  Let me know in the comments below.

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 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 $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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Privacy Issues and the Marriott

With the latest breach at Marriott, it’s time to take a look at your personal information.  What are you sharing?  Who are you sharing it with?  When a business asks you for info, do you just hand it over, or do you give a little push-back? What online privacy habits do you follow?

First of all:

If you have stayed at any Marriott Hotel in the past FIVE YEARS, you should immediately ask your bank(s) to cancel and reissue your credit and debit cards.  Marriott has reported that this breach began in 2014 or earlier.  Remember that the Marriott brand includes many different hotel chains like St. Regis, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Westin, and more.  (Click here for all of the Marriott branded hotels.)

Online Privacy Issues & the Marriott Brand

Marriott Brands

Next:

Check the Marriott website to see how they will support you if your information was stolen.

Then:

Change your login information on all Marriott sites where you have an account.  While Marriott has said that only Starwood has been compromised, it might be safe to assume that the breach was broader than they currently are aware of.

What if I haven’t stayed at a Marriott hotel in the past 5 years? Do I still need to worry about protecting my Online Privacy?

These kinds of data breaches will continue to happen as the “bad operators” become more skilled in their craft.  Get into committed habits with your online information right now.  Here are some good steps to take:

  1. Create a new “throwaway” email address using Gmail to use whenever someone asks for your email address but you’re not sure about their levels of security.
  2. Make a list of all of your bank accounts. Are you using a different password for each one?  Today is the best day to change all of those passwords AND to use a different password for each.
  3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication for all of your accounts with sensitive personal information.
  4. Make a list of all of your online billing accounts. Same deal here – change to a unique password for each.  Keep this list current and change your password every month.  Don’t reuse passwords!
  5. Do you have subscriptions where you have created an online account? Things like magazines, wine, prescriptions, clothing, etc.  Review all of them to see if you need to make changes.  If they have credit card info, follow the steps above.
  6. Of course, check all the Travel sites that may have your info, and follow the steps above.

What should I do going forward?

I think we all know that this will not be the last time there will be a major data breach and our online privacy is compromised.  There might even be a time when we say “Remember that time when they only stole data from 500,000 accounts at Marriott?”  Changing your password doesn’t help if the hacker already has your credit card info.  Whenever anyone asks for your email or credit card info or birthday or any other private information, think before you just hand it over.  Here are a few steps to take:

  1. Use your “throwaway” email when signing up for anything on the internet in the future.
  2. Consider getting a separate debit card for all online payments. Fund it every week with just enough cash to cover your weekly expenses.  If that data is compromised, your exposure will be limited.
  3. When you purchase something and they ask if you would like them to save your billing information, think PRIVACY, and then click on the “No Thank You” box.
  4. Keep a complete list of everyone who has your credit card info – this includes your banks. Change your password on those accounts AT LEAST EVERY MONTH!

Please forward this to your colleagues to help keep their online privacy safe too. Did I forget some critical advice, or do you have questions?  Let me know in the comments below.

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 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 $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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Mesh Router – Getting WiFi Throughout Your Home

I’ve been hearing a lot about mesh routers recently and I wanted to learn more about them. Basically a mesh router will allow you to more ease-fully access the WiFi signal in your home or yard, even in the “dead zones”.  In the next few paragraphs I’ll tell you why you might want a mesh router, when you don’t need one, and other benefits.

What is a Mesh Router?

A mesh router is made up several devices that allow you to place them in strategic areas around your house to improve your WiFi signal.

Why would you want a Mesh Router?

Ubiquiti Amplifi Mesh Router

A mesh router will generally have a primary unit and two or more secondary units that can be placed in strategic areas in your home.

  1. You have radiant heating and it’s hard for the WiFi signal to pass through floors.
  2. Your home is more than 2500 square feet.
  3. You spend a lot of time in your yard and need to access your internet from anywhere.
  4. You have walls made of brick or other material that inhibits the WiFi signal from passing through.

When is a Mesh Router overkill?

Not everyone needs a Mesh Router.  They are a bit on the expensive side, and if you don’t really need one, why do it?

  1. Your home is under 2500 square feet.
  2. You don’t have any problematic architectural features that could block the signal.
  3. You only have a few “dead” spots that can probably be solved by placing your current router in a different spot, or getting a new router with a larger range.

Additional Benefits of a Mesh Router:

  1. You want a higher level of security that you may not be able to get with a traditional router.
  2. You have IoT (Internet of Things) devices that you want to connect to your network. (Refrigerator, Security system, etc.)
  3. You want to create a separate guest network for your house guests.
  4. Mesh routers seem fairly easy to set up, even for a non-technical person.

I hope you learned a little about Mesh Routers, and what the benefits would be for you in your home.  If you have any additional questions, please comment below!

Was this helpful?  Please forward it to your colleagues!

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 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 $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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Great Tech Recommendations

I once heard that Black Friday was so named by the accountants at retail stores; back when accountants kept paper records and used red ink for losses and black ink for profits.  It was said that the Friday after Thanksgiving was usually the first day all year that retail stores made a profit.  Anyone else have a better theory?!

Regardless of the silly theories, just about every day, Chris makes suggestions to our customers and friends about helpful technology.  I’ve looked through some of his past emails and pulled out a few of the products he has recommended over the past few months.  With Black Friday coming up, you may be able to get some great deals – Take a look! (Note, some of these are affiliate links.)Black friday - bob ross ornament

WiFi Router:

Chris likes the Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 Router.  It has built in protection against malware, it can prioritize your traffic, it’s compatible with the Echo and Alexa, and has built in parental controls.  It generally lists for $200.  Amazon has it for $167.

External Hard Drive:

When you want to make sure all your data is secure, an external hard drive can’t be beat.  Make sure you get one that is big enough to hold all of your data.  Chris likes this one from Western Digital.  One or two terabytes is generally enough space.  If you take a lot of photos and videos, get a bigger one.  The 1 TB generally lists for $80.  Amazon has it for $55.

Blue Tooth Speaker:

We’ve had this JBL speaker for a while now and really like it.  Not a huge discount here.  It lists for $82 and Amazon sells it for $78, but it’s a great speaker.

Battery Pack:Black Friday - External Battery Pack

A portable charger that you can carry around with you can be a lifesaver. The more we use our phones during the day, the more we may have to recharge it mid day.  I got this one a year or so ago and love it.  It will charge my phone several times before running out of juice!  This one is about $25 from Amazon.

Holiday Ornaments:

If you’re looking for something fun, you can’t beat Think Geek.  The best place for all things geeky and fun.  They’ve got Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Star Wars, Rick & Morty, Dr. Who, Marvel, etc. etc.!

Best Black Friday Deals:

Most of the tech stores will have special Black Friday deals all week, so check which outlet has the best deals for you.  Also, you should be able to order online and not have to deal with the craziness in the physical store.  You can try Staples or NewEgg for any of these products as well.

Black Friday Geek For Hire Coupon!

The best deal of all?  Purchase an hour or two with the geek now at a 20% Discount – you can use it later or give it as a gift! (Purchase before “CyberMonday”.  So, November 20-26, 2018).  Fill out our Contact Form with your details, and I’ll mail a coupon to you. Tired of helping your mom/dad/aunt/friend with their computer and network issues?  This is a perfect holiday gift for them!

Was this helpful?  Please forward it to your colleagues!

 

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 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 $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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

iPhone Shortcuts and Tips

The other day I was watching a friend use her iPhone and I was surprised that she didn’t know a few iPhone Shortcuts and tips that I take for granted! I showed her some of these tips, and thought, well maybe she’s not the only one who doesn’t know about them.

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario 1:iphone shortcuts

You’re texting with a friend and decide it might be easier to have a verbal conversation.  You might switch from the texting app to the phone app, look up the contact, and then press the call button.

OR…

You can tap the little round button with their photo or initials, and then tap “Audio” or “Facetime”.iphone shortcuts - email

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario #2

You’re reviewing your email, and you’ve received an email with a link.  You tap the link and it opens up in Safari.  When you’re done reviewing the page, you close Safari, and reopen your Mail app to continue reviewing emails.

OR…

You look at the top left corner where it says Mail, and you tap that to quickly return.

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario #3

You want to take a photo so you turn on your phone, find the Camera App, and open it up.

OR…

From the lock screen, you quickly swipe from right to left which automatically opens the camera app

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario #4

Your coffee is brewing and you want to quickly set a timer. You open the Clock App, select Timer, and then set the timer for your perfect brew.

OR…iphone shortcuts notifications

You swipe up from the bottom and select the little timer icon and very quickly set the proper amount of time.

iPhone Shortcuts Scenario #5

You’ve been in a meeting and want to see what notifications you’ve missed while you were out of touch.  You open each app separately to see what emails, phone calls, texts, and other messages you’ve received.

OR….

You swipe down from the top of your screen to see all of your notifications at once.

iPhone Shortcuts from the Swipe Up (Control Center) screen

You have a slew of options for quick access from the Swipe Up screen.iphone shortcuts swipe up

  1. Turn Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplane mode, and Cellular Data on and off
  2. Restart or pause your music
  3. Adjust the volume
  4. Adjust screen brightness
  5. Lock the screen so that it won’t turn sideways unexpectedly
  6. Turn on your flashlight
  7. Open your calculator
  8. Take a photo
  9. Click the little moon so that your phone is in “Do Not Disturb” mode

(By the way, you can customize what appears here from Settings.  Click on “settings”, then “Control Center”, then “Customize Controls”.

Was this helpful?  Please forward it to your colleagues!

 

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 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 $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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Electronic Recycling and Buy Back Programs

I received an interesting email the other day from Staples telling me about their recycling program.  I always assumed I could walk into any big box store with my old electronics and pay a fee to recycle it.  This email told me that I could bring it there for free.  That made me start to wonder what other options are out there for our customers, not only to recycle, but also, to possibly get a discount on on their next purchase.  We frequently get calls from folks wondering about electronic recycling.  Here’s some helpful info:

What to do first:

Once you’ve decided to get rid of your older devices, you must remove all of your sensitive data.  Deleteelectronic recyclinge all of your apps, all of your contacts, your emails, your texts, photos, etc.  Many of the Electronic Recycling Programs say that they will do this for you before they sell it to someone else, but why take the chance?  (Yes, we can help you with this if you’d like.)

Why do you want to Recycle your Electronic Devices:

Many of the components in our electronic devices are toxic, so it’s really important to make sure they get recycled properly. If you just toss your laptop battery in the trash, many of those toxins will leach right into our water supply!

Electronic Recycling Options:

You have a  whole bunch of options for getting rid of your old stuff

Sell It

Rather than electronic recycling, you can try to sell your old phone, tablet, or computer.  You could start with eBay or Craig’s List.  You can also try buy-back programs at places like Best Buy, Amazon, AT&T, Sprint, Staples, and Apple.  You’ll get a little less money for your device, but it’s really easy to do, with much less hassle than finding a buyer, shipping it, etc.

Donate It:

Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc

Give It Away:

Put the item on your local Facebook page, or post it in your local Freecycle group.  But, please make sure that you have removed all of your personal data first!

 

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 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 $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.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Trialing VPN – My First Impressions

I have been trialing VPN.  Chris installed NordVPN on my phone and tablet a few weeks ago so I have had a chance to use it and get comfortable with it. I’m still trying to figure out why I really need it.  Why would anyone be interested in what I am doing on the internet?  Chris has reminded me that it’s not just what I search for, but also the information that I transmit.  So, sure, once I log into Facebook, they will know what I click on and the posts that I read, but they won’t know that a half hour ago I bought pink Ugg boots at Marshalls.

Here are my initial impressions from trialing VPN:trialing vpn

  1. On my phone, Chris had to make some changes so that my phone stayed logged into the VPN.  For the first few days whenever I moved from one WiFi location to another, or from WiFi to cellular, the VPN would drop and I would have to reconnect it.  Now the VPN is persistent even as I drive or walk around.
  2. I like that I can connect to a VPN almost anywhere in the world.  Chris has experimented with connecting in the UK.  Then he can see what is on the BBC that is not available in Colorado.
  3. There are times when the VPN seems to slow things down, especially on my phone and tablet. When that happens, I disconnect and then reconnect to my WiFi and that seems to help.
  4. There have been times when I cannot send email from my phone when connected to the VPN. We’re still trying to figure out what that happens.  In the meantime, I turn off the VPN, send the email, and then reconnect.

We like NordVPN:

Are you trialing VPN? What are your impressions?  Please let me know in the comments below!

 

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 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 $119/year ($59 for students!), but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Any links to products or services in this post may be affiliate links. If they are, we may receive a small commission when you click on it. Rest assured, your price will be the same!)  If you’d like to receive our newsletters in your email, please click here.