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Dig to the Truth about Phishing

My humans bring me to work with them every day; they wouldn't have it any other way. Unlike my humans, I can sit in on meetings, listen to ideas and think about solutions to problems and then I can go take a nap: they can't. Life is good that way. But you know when life isn't good? When a customer comes in angry because they got scammed and wakes me up from my nap - it really raises the fur on the back of my neck. 

You see, I know the various methods hackers use when they are on a phishing expedition and my human's customers need to be watchdogs about it. I'll let you in on a little secret I have learned in this business: if it looks suspicious—it most likely is, but sometimes it can look 100 percent legitimate. 

You may receive a message from what looks like your:
  • Bank
  • Credit card company
  • Google
  • Microsoft Office 
  •  Web design company
  • IT company
  • PayPal
  2733 Hits

How to Filter Data in Excel 2018

Sometimes when you're working on a project on an Excel spreadsheet, you don't need to see all of the information. It often can be more helpful to only show a certain category of data. For example, if a corporation had a massive list of every order they have in the system, they may only need to see the pending ones - which is when it might be helpful to filter data.

Well luckily, Excel can help you temporarily hide all of the information you don't need – see below for instructions on how to filter the plethora of data on your spreadsheet. 

  1319 Hits

Sniffing Out the Benefits of Windows 10

Microsoft tried to do too many things, too soon with Windows 8. Its desktop "tiles" resembled those used on a tablet or phone, but they confused people. Tablets were trendy, but crossovers were like genetically modified cats (the horror!); nobody knew quite what to do with them.

After being swatted on the nose often enough over Windows 8, Microsoft introduced Windows 10 this year. It's the first true hybrid version of an operating system that shares the best features of a computer, a tablet, a smart phone, and an XBox One. Think of it as the Labradoodle of the tech world: loyal, friendly, easy to bond with, but without the endless shedding and whatever it is that makes people sneeze.

  3489 Hits

Sit, Stay & Listen Before Buying Your Next Laptop

As someone with hypersensitive hearing, it's easy for me to hear beyond the words of a conversation, which means that if someone is really happy – or really frustrated – I know about it pretty quickly.

Sometimes people sound frustrated when they bring their new laptops or tablets to a meeting, and they've forgotten a cord, can't find a file, or find out their new device isn't compatible with their existing software. Business people like it when their applications work, when they can see the screen, and when they don't have to plug it into the wall to make sure it runs during an entire meeting.

  4217 Hits

Windows 10 - Free Upgrade Clarification

win10start.pngIn my last Blog entry, I speculated about the ongoing costs of Windows 10 after the initial Free for the First Year Free announcement.  Well, there's more, and it's good news.

  2816 Hits

Windows 10 - It's Coming and It's Free

Microsoft started their "Technical Preview" program for Windows 10 back in October, 2014.  We've been running the various new builds of this (on the Fast track) on several Virtual Machines here at the office to get a taste of what it's like prior to its official release, expected to be some time this summer.  

Anyone was able to sign up for this "beta" test, but it is highly recommended that you don't use this OS on a computer that you expect to work all the time.  Since this is beta software, it WILL fail sometimes as the bugs are worked out.

  2605 Hits
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Three Reasons to Make Training a Priority for Your Business

In our technology driven society the need for training would seem obvious. Most companies provide some kind of handbook, tutorial, or even on-the-job training for program and process changes.

  2456 Hits

Feed Your Mind

One of the things I feel very fortunate about is that I was introduced to technology at a young age and at a depth that both interested me and challenged me in ways I didn't know something could. I attended a computer summer camp at UC Santa Cruz leading into my Freshman year in high school and had the opportunity to take two years of programming classes (in the BASIC and Pascal languages) in my Junior and Senior years. This was between 1982 and 1985.

  2666 Hits

Password Protection – a Necessary Evil

Everyone uses passwords to access all sorts of information on their computer, online, at the bank machine, and many other places. One of the most common complaints we hear is that people have to remember too many passwords and as a result they tend to use the same one for everything. To make things worse, that password is often not a very strong one, leaving them vulnerable to loss of data, identity theft, and hijacked online accounts.

  3003 Hits

Are Your Passwords Secure?

This spring we learned about the Heartbleed bug and that in light of the bug, reminded that we should change our passwords. All of them. Immediately, if not sooner.

Changing a password can be overwhelming because we all want to make sure it is something we can remember. Changing *all* of our passwords is even more daunting.

  3468 Hits

Windows Efficiency: Keyboard Shortcuts

The mouse was a fantastic invention. Back in 1981, the first one was introduced for use with a Personal Computer; in fact, you can go as far back as 1964 to find the first prototypes, invented by Douglas Engelbart. Today, you can hardly get a computer without one and some features require a pointing device of some kind to access. But most features can still be accessed by keyboard alone, and many are more efficient when accessed via keyboard shortcuts. This month I share a few of my favorites with you.

  4601 Hits

Office 365 – For Home and For Business

Microsoft is listed as the #35 company in the world for 2013, according to the Fortune 500, but sometimes their product branding can be unclear. There are two different services that they offer and both are called Office 365, but the two are almost completely different from a feature set. In this article, I will describe each and what the appropriate uses are for them.

  2548 Hits

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.

  2283 Hits

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.

  2405 Hits

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Review - A 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.

  3281 Hits

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.

  3461 Hits

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. 

  2621 Hits

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.

  9262 Hits

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. Be sure to click on each video to view the tutorial!

  18076 Hits

Google - The Beginning

Google logo

I 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".

  2610 Hits