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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. […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Don’t let dust bunnies slow you down

An interesting thing happened when I was looking for a topic for this month’s column. Two friends of mine had an issue with their personal computers randomly turning off in the middle of doing various things. I took that as a sign that maybe others were having the same problem, and that this month’s topic […]

Wi-Fi is the FBI here?

Last month I gave you ways to know when you were surfing online securely. Continuing in that vein, this month I wanted to address another common security issue found in many people’s homes. I’m talking about the lack of a password on your wireless network. I know what you’re thinking. What’s the worst that could […]