10 Tech Tips from Pogue's TED Talk - NSI, CT

By Tom McDonald | May 8, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Connecticut based NSI offers Complete IT Support for Your Business, serving CT, RI, MA, NH,VT,NY, NJ. –  Your technology, well managed with NSI TotalCare. 

New York Times Tech columnist David Pogue shares 10 tips for computer, web, smartphone and camera users in less than six minutes in this video from TED, February 2013.  In this quick and entertaining talk, Pogue points out that we are handed computers, and told to get to work with no standardized training or testing.  He goes on to share ten tech tips that almost everyone is “supposed” to know, such as:

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Lenovo Leads as Most Reliable Laptop Brand with Asus Trailing Close Behind

By Tom McDonald | Jun 15, 2011 10:05:00 AM

RescueCom has released their quarterly report outlining the top 5 Laptop brands based on quality. Lenovo laptops ranked highest with a score of 254, followed by Asus with 242. Toshiba took third with 164, followed by Apple with 149 and HP with 122.

RescueCom is a computer repair center and has been recording their data since 2006. They determine each brand’s reliability rating by looking at 3 different factors:

  • Looking at each brands market share in that given time period compare to the percentage of repair calls for that specific brand
  • Component Quality used within the laptops; the better the quality of the components the less likely they are going to fail
  • Likelihood the customer will need a third party support on their PC; a lack of manufacturer support sends more customers to third party vendors for support
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15 Run Commands to Help You Become a Power User

By Tom McDonald | Jun 10, 2011 10:28:00 AM

A power user is someone who uses the advanced features of the OS that a "normal" user wouldn't need access to. For many power users, getting to the right menu's and utilities as quickly as possible is a must have. Below is a list of 15 Run Commands that every power user should be acquainted with.

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Increase Mobile Productivity with PortableApps

By Tom McDonald | May 23, 2011 4:13:00 PM

Hate having to sit down at someone’s PC just to find that they don’t have a common program you need in order to finish the job. PortableApps has you covered by allowing you to download and install a wide array of common programs onto a flash drive. PortableApps has a large library of preconfigured applications ready for install that can be taken anywhere with you. All you have to do is download the installer and choose any of the apps that have already been configured; this then installs them onto any flash drive you want and al the files are configured to work without needing any files from the Windows OS. Meaning that any app you use from the flash drive will run without needing to first install it on the computer your using, and it also won’t leave behind any data when you leave.

PortableApps has both Chrome and Firefox as supported web browsers, allowing you to configure your browser with all the extensions and settings you need without having to mess with your friends/clients computer. What makes this even more powerful is people with privacy concerns who need to access a public computer, but would rather not use the web browser installed on the computer in fear of having their person info stolen.

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How to choose the best PSU (Power Supply Unit) for the money

By Tom McDonald | May 9, 2011 3:49:00 PM

Buying a power supply can be a daunting task for many PC builders, the prices and rated capabilities range widely and there is little in comparable specifications. To make matters worse the power supply doesn’t affect performance in any direct way. Buying a $200 dollar power supply won’t make your computer run any faster compared to a $50 dollar supply, this leaves people with the unfortunate task of trying to not spend more money than they need to, as this money could be better spent on other components, but at the same time not buying a power supply that will underperform.

Brand is Key

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12 Android Apps to help with your Productivity

By Tom McDonald | May 6, 2011 3:09:00 PM

Looking for the some Essential Android apps for your phone, well look no further we have a list of 12 apps to help improve your productivity throughout the day.

Google Docs – Google has finally released a mobile version of their Google Docs program giving people mobile access to their uploaded documents and the ability to edit them from their mobile phone. One of the more unique features is you can take a picture of a word document on your phone and Google will analyze the text for you and put it in a word document for you.

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Intel releases the world's first 3D transistor

By Tom McDonald | May 5, 2011 3:05:00 PM
What is being called one of the most significant transistor design changes since the 1950’s, Intel has officially created a 3D transistor. Now many companies are jumping on the 3D bandwagon making 3D phones, tablets, and TV’s; but Intel’s new transistor design finally completes a design goal of CPU manufactures for the last decade. Every year or 2 Intel or AMD has a die shrink, which is creating smaller transistors in the CPU, allowing them to place more of them in a smaller area and lowers heat and power consumption. The problem with this is that you can only shrink the transistors so many times before you hit an size so small that you can’t physically shrink the transistors anymore. This hasn’t happened yet, but looms over the horizon forcing both Intel and AMD to start planning on how they are going to over come this obstacle.

Intel’s new Tri-gate design uses a 22-nanometer process with a "fin" jutting up from the base giving it a third dimension. This small improvement over Intel’s current 32nm Sandybridge CPU’s will give their upcoming Ivybridge CPU a 37% increase in speed while still using the same amount of energy as the Sandybridge CPUs. This new breakthrough is Intel’s next move as they try to enter the mobile market that is dominated by ARM cpu’s that use extremely little power, something that Intel has not been able to compete with before. These new CPU’s should be available to consumers in 2012 with pricing and models information not being released at this time.

IT Guide for Small Business Owners
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What is e-ink technology? And how does it compare to LCDs

By Tom McDonald | Apr 19, 2011 4:32:00 PM

The Kindle took the market by storm and in June of 2010 the electronic editions were outselling hardcover books, by January of 2011 they were outselling paper back. This trend shows that e-readers are the way the industry is moving and while books aren't going away yet, as prices of e-readers drop, more and more people are finding the convenience of e-readers as a major selling point. But the real question is how do these devices work? They have battery life measured not in hours, like many smart phones, but rather in weeks and are fully visible in daylight, making them seem like magic compared to their LCD brethren.

The first thing to notice is that e-ink works nothing like a normal screen on a monitor or phone. An LCD screen is made of millions of dots that all glow Red, Green, and Blue. Each pixel, dot, is made up of these 3 colors and using various mixtures of these colors you can form the wide range of colors that your screen displays. The problem is that these displays generate light; this light fatigues your eyes over time and is hard to see when in direct sun light. Because of this LCD screens use a lot of power and can't be easily used when outdoors.

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Comparison between open source and closed source software

By Tom McDonald | Apr 8, 2011 2:03:00 PM

With Android and iOS being the top 2 OS’s in the mobile market many analysis compare the two by looking at the software model that Google applies versus Apple. Google’s Android is considered an Open Source mobile OS, while Apple’s iOS is considered closed source and each has its own benefits and issues. Google uses an open model, which means that they release the source code for the mobile OS, the source code is the code in English before it compiled into 1’s and 0’s, this gives developers the option to look deeper into the code and alter things as they wish. By having an Open Source software program, you allow developers to alter large amounts of the code to their own preference. Apple’s Closed Source iOS does the opposite, they don’t allow developers to change anything that deals with the operating system itself, and gives developers an API which is set of tools that lets them develop programs for the iPhone, but restricts what they have access to.

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Advantages to having an open model

  • Larger Developer Support – As its open source anyone can develop for the platform, giving it a much larger support for developers and gives them more of a feeling of ownership as they can alter whatever they like.
  • Customizable – In a closed source scenario, developers are given only options to change what the original developer chooses, but having full control lets them customize the look feel and even features of the software giving it much more possibilities
  • More Secure – Open source is much more transparent than closed, this means that anyone can look over the code, by having thousands of people reading through your code, bugs and vulnerabilities are located much quicker and submitted for fixing, it also lets you know if the bug has been fixed as you can check the code after each release.
  • Extended Community Support – As a product ages the original developer might move on and stop developing leaving the product to age with no new fixes or features, but if its open then usually the community takes over and continues working on it allowing the usable life of the product to be extended well beyond what the original developer intended.
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