More juice for your laptop’s batteries

Are you worried about your PC laptop’s battery life? You want to roam free around the room without having to plug your computer unless it’s absolutely necessary? Here are a few tips you can follow to max out the juice you can get out of your laptop’s battery before having to resource to the electric cord.

  1. Change your power plan. This is the easiest way to save battery life. On the bottom right corner, you can left click on the battery icon and go for the balanced option. Or, if you really feel like saving, right click on the icon and go to power options. There, you can choose a better power plan or make your own.
  2. Nowadays, most laptops have LCD screens. These are great because they allow a better definition and a sharper image, but they are responsible for 43% of your computer’s energy usage. Don’t worry though. There are ways you can save some battery life just by tweaking on your screen settings a little bit. First of all, adjust the screen brightness. Of everything you can tweak to improve your battery life, this one change alone can dramatically improve your battery life. Also, try to avoid any fancy screensavers that overuse the graphics capabilities of your laptop.
  3. Bluetooth and USB devices are also an unwanted power drain when extra minutes of battery life are precious. Each of these devices consumes power just by being enabled, and if you aren’t using them, you may as well disable them.
  4. Avoid overheating your computer.  Laptop batteries are always going to slowly lose their ability to charge over time, but when a laptop is constantly overheating or used in a very hot environment, your battery is going to die very quickly.
  5. Today’s laptops use Lithium batteries instead of nickel, but there’s a lot of incorrect information about how to charge or drain your batteries, so let’s set the record straight. Nickel batteries required being fully drained before a recharge to optimize your battery life, but Lithium batteries are the opposite—you do not need to fully discharge it before recharging, and in fact, if you fully deplete a lithium battery and don’t recharge for a while, it can become incapable of holding a charge.
  6. You’ll also want to make sure that your battery is not always fully charged. If your lithium battery is fully charged all the time, you will lose up to 20% of your capacity every year, no matter what you do. Make sure to discharge the battery sometimes, and if you spend most of your time plugged in at a desk, you would be better off running the battery down to half, and then simply removing the battery and storing it in a cool place.

Now that you are better informed, start taking actions towards a healthier computer. If it’s too late, We Are Here To Help You! Call Us Today!

Top 10 Time Saving Tips

The New York Times number one tech columnist, David Pogue gave quite an interesting TED talk to simplify our interaction with technology. Here are the top 10 time saving tech tips he shared with us:

 

1- Don’t scroll with your mouse. Use the space bar on any browser. Every time you hit it, your browser scrolls down one page. If you hold the shift key while you press the space bar, it will scroll up.

 

2- When you’re filling out forms on the web, you can hit the tab key to jump from box to box. Now, when you get to the popup menu where you put your state, you don’t have to actually open that menu. Just hit type the first letter of your state over and over until it gets to the one you need. This also works for months of the year and everything you have in those popup menus.

 

3- If the text on the website you’re reading is too small, there’s a very quick solution. Just hold the crtl key while you press the plus ­­­­sign and it will make the text bigger. To get the opposite effect, just hold ctrl key and press the minus sign.

 

4- Texting takes you longer than you’d like? This tip will definitely help you! Just hit space twice after you are done typing the sentence and forget about period and capital letters. The phone will do it for you!

 

5- Want to re dial your last call? Just hit the call button to get the number of your last call into the dial box, and then hit call again to make the call.

 

6- How tired are you of getting instructions on how to leave a message on your friend’s phone? There’s a way of bypassing those instructions and go straight to the beep. Every carrier has a different key, but you can learn them and save yourself from being annoyed one more time.

For Verizon, you just have to press *. For Sprint, press 1. For AT&T and T-mobile press the universal # key.

 

7- You can throw away your oxford dictionary now. Google can be your new dictionary! Just type “define”, followed by the word you are looking for and Google will show you the definition. You don’t even have to click on anything. It will just show you the definition as you type. You can also type in any airline flight and it will show you the status and other useful data as gate, ETA and such.  And finally, you can also use it as a unit and currency converter.

 

8- On every word processor, there’s no need to drag the mouse over a word with the right button clicked and slide over it. You only have to click over the desired word to highlight it. After that, you don’t even have to delete it. You can just type over it!

 

9- Do you know what shutter lag is? You sure know it’s annoying, but do you know how to get rid of it? Shutter lag is the time your camera uses to calculate focus and exposure before it actually takes the picture. You can forget about it by half pressing the shutter a few seconds before taking the shot. That way, the camera will pre-focus and you can kiss shutter lag goodbye!

 

10- A useful tip for your presentations. In order to momentarily stop your presentation and black out the screen, you only have to press the “b” key. Hit it again and the screen will go back to where it was. Hit the “w” key instead, and you’ll white out the screen. This works on Keynote, PowerPoint and every presentation program.

 

If you need more tips to help you skate through your usual tech related problems, contact PcMac Express Today!

 

Should you store your Data on the Cloud or keep it Old School?

Last year when apple released iOS 5, they brought a new feature to the table called iCloud which features work across the board with your Mac and PC as well.  iCloud lets you access your music, photos and documents from any of your devices (be it an iPhone, iPad or computer) without a complicated synchronizing process.
Once you sign up, you’re given 5GB of free iCloud storage, but you can upgrade it up to 50GB by paying the stipulated fee, of course. This is a somehow expensive service, and that will inevitably add up over the years of use.
Anyhow, Apple has made some exceptions to this 5 GB cap. They have agreed not to count music, apps or books that have been purchased from Apple. Although this is all well and good, most people do not, in fact, purchase all of their music and books from the Apple store, but from a variety of other sources. This, ultimately, pushes a user into a sticky situation because they are forced to pay Apple one way or another.

Nowadays it’s critically important to have a backup of your most important documents. And the amount of devices and options to store these documents have multiplied, making this process easier but also more important than ever.
Storing your backup documents in the cloud will also minimize the storage space used in all of your devices, including your computer.  As easy as this process might be, it requires a fair amount attention from your part. Contacts, calendars, mail, reminders, documents and other data is handled separately and has to be specifically backed up, instead of going through a general backup process.  Organizing your data in order to access it later is also vital to the procedure.

 Any backup strategy starts with the concept of getting the data back. Having everything organized in folders is not a bad idea. There’s a lot of different ways you could organize those folders, always keeping in mind that the best system to organize your data is the one that allows you to find the files you need in the least amount of time. Even your email can be organized in folders.

There’s also a very important issue to address here. Privacy is a key factor when you decide if and which cloud backup provider to use. Microsoft’s Sky-drive doesn’t have the option of encrypted storage, while Apple’s iCloud does. But even when the data is encrypted, the one holding the key it’s usually the cloud service provider. And a curious employee or a concerned government can easily get access to your precious private data. In any case, you face the question of how do they protect your personal information, and whether or not you should just go old school and save your private data in an external hard drive.  But that decision only belongs to you.

Backing up your information is easy as crucial, but you may have some doubts on how and what data should be safely backed up. We can help you on every step of the way, taking the time do it properly. Contact us and keep your data safe!