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Windows or Mac?

From time to time, I get e-mails asking questions about Apple computers, and whether they’re better than Windows-based computers. This month I received a response from an Apple Macintosh user, who wanted to point out that I should spend some time in this column talking about “more than Windows.” In fact, he went on to say that Macs are “more ...Read More


Ask Ed

It’s been a little while since I’ve answered a question directly in this column—too long in fact. I just want to remind everyone that if you have technology issues, whether they are computer or electricity related, please drop me a line and I will do my best to get you an answer. You can also visit www.icl.coop and leave a ...Read More


Computer Shopping 103

In this computer shopping series so far, you have learned about the different kinds of processors and hard drives. Certainly, those two pieces are extremely important when purchasing a computer, but there are other parts to consider as well. Before I get started though, let’s take a moment to talk about an important word: integration. Unless you have it built ...Read More


Computer shopping 102

Last month, I wrote about which processor to choose when buying a computer. This month’s column will focus on the next major piece of hardware you should consider when making a computer purchase - your hard drive.  Before we get started, I want to be as specific as possible. When I refer to a “hard drive” I don’t mean the ...Read More


Computer shopping 101

Just the other day I was perusing some of the new computers on display at one of Springfield’s big technology chains, and I overheard a distressing conversation between a shopper and one of the store’s resident techies. The conversation was distressing because of the sheer lack of information being handed out by the store employee. I had a very difficult ...Read More


The trouble with Java (continued)

Last month I told you about the bug with Java you probably had installed on your computer. Since then, many of you have contacted me asking the same question: “I installed the latest version of Java on my computer, but now it says I have all of the older versions as well. What do I need to do now? My ...Read More

When installing or updating Java, look for added programs that Oracle includes as a “bonus” install. For instance, right now the Java install also includes by default, the Ask Toolbar. If you don’t want this toolbar, make sure you uncheck the box for it.

To Java or not to Java

In the past few months, Oracle has garnered much attention because of a security flaw in its Java plug-in for web browsers. The situation got so bad the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an alert advising you to actually disable Java on your computer. You can read the alert at www.us-cert.gov/cas/techalerts/ TA13-010A.html.  In it, DHS warns, “An attacker could ...Read More


Locating broadband services

Cooperative broadband service offerings were featured in last month’s magazine, and since then many of you have contacted me asking a variant of the same question, “If my co-op doesn’t offer broadband services, then where can I get service?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t very cut and dried, but I’m going to try to give you some resources to find the ...Read More


Extend your smart phone’s battery life

In last month’s column I promised a list of things you can do to conserve battery life on your smart phone in case of a power outage. The list below speaks to iPhone users specifically, but the principles apply to other devices as well. You might have to spend time looking through your phone’s settings, but you should find most ...Read More


Outage communication 2.0

Most of you have probably experienced what it’s like to be left in the dark during a power outage. You may even have been left without power for an extended amount of time due to some major storm. We all know what that can be like, but with the over 7.5 million outages from Hurricane Sandy still fresh in our ...Read More