How Many Areas The IT Infrastructure Does Cover in Westchester?

How Many Areas The IT Infrastructure Does Cover in Westchester? Information technology is not only supporting end users and companies but there is a lot going on in the background and many people working behind the scenes.There are so many different areas depending upon the type of infrastructure the IT has to deal with: 1- FIRMWARE Firmware is a software component that allows hardware to run smoother and safer.It maybe a web or website component or there may be content databases.There’s an infrastructure and underlying infrastructure that the IT runs to update firmware. Our clients in Westchester all benefit from our support that includes updating firmwares in their workstations. Unlike traditional software, which can be easily updated and modified by the end user, firmware is more deeply embedded in the hardware and is designed to provide essential functionality to the device. It is essentially a set of instructions that enable the hardware to perform specific tasks. 2- NETWORK COMPONENTS Most commonly a corporate network cannot be secure if it does not have multiple firewalls configured in a failover cluster. For a firewall to operate properly, technical support from the firewall brand is crucial in assuring an optimal delivery of its performance. In addition, routers can cooperate with firewalls to route the traffic through managed switches to different networks so that network flow is optimal and secure. Routers of our clientrs connect different Westchester locations for optimal redundancy. 3- HARDWARE In the age of the cloud services, where big data centers host most of the IT infrastructure, hardware is reduced to a minimum and mostly consists of single workstations that are managed by Active Directory and are linked to databases. 4- CLOUD SERVICES Cloud services span from backups to offering SaaS. For example, virtual machines created through VMware and Citrix allow users to have very redundant systems where basically there is no downtime and company resources are always available 24/7. 5- DOCUMENTATION IT is not only made of solving technical problems but there is a lot of writing involved. A successful IT department cannot live without articles written to document all the processes involved in creating, setting up, configuring software for users. 6- IT COMPLIANCE IT compliance refers to the adherence of an organization’s information technology practices, processes, and systems to established laws, regulations, standards, and policies. The goal of IT compliance is to ensure that an organization operates within legal and regulatory boundaries, follows industry best practices, and mitigates the risks associated with the use of technology. Examples include GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). IT compliance also involves identifying, assessing, and managing risks associated with technology use. This includes conducting risk assessments, implementing controls, and establishing procedures for risk mitigation. 7- VENDOR MANAGEMENT Companies often rely on third-party vendors for IT services. Managing and ensuring the support from vendors is critical to maintaining the overall security and integrity of the organization’s IT environment. In Westchester, usually vendors are managed by the IT company that procures the necessary hardware to the users. 8- SECURE FILE TRANSFER AND AUTHENTICATION MECHANISMS SFTP provides a secure channel over SSH, while FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure) combines FTP with TLS/SSL encryption. These protocols offer a secure alternative to the traditional, less secure FTP (File Transfer Protocol). In the financial sector transfering files securely is part of the compliance policies the company the company has to follow to avoid being fines by regulators.In addition, strong authentication mechanisms are crucial in preventing unauthorized access. Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security, requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification before initiating or completing a file transfer makes the company network safer and less prone to attacks. Westchester County stands at the intersection of tradition and innovation, with technology serving as a driving force for progress. The county’s commitment to smart city initiatives, connectivity, education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability cannot be implemented without top notch IT management and procurement. The right set of skils are the ones that matter in the technical world that has to deal with performing tasks in the back end to make the front end running without glitches or expensive interruptions.

How Many Areas The IT Infrastructure Does Cover in Westchester? Read More »

Educating Users In Westchester: How Many Network IP Addresses are there?

Educating Users In Westchester: How Many Network IP Addresses are there? It’s very frustrating to see a user that tries to connect from home to the company’s network but he can’t. Let’s find out what went wrong with this user who has been living in Westchester for a while then he brought the corporate equipment with him in a country located outside of the US. The help desk in Westchester set up his desktop and laptop in the office, installed the corporate software and tested all the connectivity after having installed all the Windows and Office updates. The user went back home in the US and had no issue in connectig to the Internet and accessing the corporate resources. His Internet speed in the US was 200 Mega download and upload which was enough to let him have a steady connection and work with no issues.   What Are the Network Issues the User is Experiencing?   1- The user cannot connect to the corporate network after he moved outside the US. 2- The company’s firewall did not block the country where the user went to live 3- The help desk can remote in into his machine with no issues and can access other websites but cannot connect to the website of the company he works for.   If You Need Network Support Contact Sandanotech In general terms, even if a user moves out of the country where he works, it does not mean that the network he connects from is different from the ones his company uses in the US. Home routers are almost the same in every part of the world. Every home router has a DHCP server that assigns IP addresses to the devices connected to it. Furthermore, all home routers translate the private IP addresses which usually are 192.168.X.X into a public IP address through a feature called NAT (Network Address Translation). NAT converts the private addresses into one unique public IP address that changes periodically because ISP setup home connections to have a dynamic public IP. On the other hand, companies prefer to pay for a static public IP addresses because they have servers and other resources employees remote into that allow to use always the same static public IP.   So what happened to this person who all of a sudden he could not connect from home is that his ISP removed the NAT feature from the router he was using and his private address was not allowed to connect to the company network because the company does not allow private addresses to access its resources. He called his Internet Service Provider to find out why that happened bu he will get a response one day or another. We had to explain to him in plain English and without too many technical terms that his IP belonged to a private class of IP that cannot be converted to a public IP and that, as per company policy, cannot be whitelisted in the firewall. For the sake of informing our readers, private IP ranges are the following: Class A. Ranging from to, it is for large networks and has 8 bits for the network and 24 for hosts.Class B. Ranging from to, it is used for medium networks and has 16 bits for the network and 16 for hosts.Class C. Ranging from to, it is for smaller networks and has 24 bits for the network and 8 for hosts. Therefore, because the user had one of these private IPs, he was unable to access the company resources although he could access the Internet and other websites. I guess the ISP removed the NAT feature believing that home users just use the Internet and do not access VPN or other resources remotely. In any event, after having analyzed the event logs on his computer, we saw that the connection to the corporate network was refused because his private IP address was not allowed by the company’s policy.

Educating Users In Westchester: How Many Network IP Addresses are there? Read More »

Lessons I have Learned While Providing IT Support in Westchester

Lessons I have Learned While Providing IT Support In Westchester Supporting a company or a single user in Westchester has one thing in common: computer networks are not only made of appliances such as firewalls and servers but they are made of people who are in need to know and require support for their activity to keep moving. After several years helping people and businesses get the most out of the technology they have paid for, I can tell you that for me computers are a tool not only to educate users but also to establish relationships. I have highlighted below what for me makes sense while providing support as IT consultant and the way I would approach the users having issues even before diving into technical matters. 1-KEEP CALM AND BE PATIENT Users are usually showing up at the help desk or make phone calls agitated or angry. It’s necessary for the computer technician to stay calm and keep feelings cold. Remaining cold will help diagnose the issue and absorb the anger of the customer. 2- THINK HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM BROADLY FIRST By saying that the approach to a technical issue should be more broad will help to have a larger picture about the problem and then can bring to exclude some other solutions that may not be appropriate. For example, if a customer complains that he/she cannot print, that does not mean that the printer is broken, but it can be the computer not having a driver or having a virus etc etc. 3- NEVER BLAME THE USER FOR THE COMPUTER ISSUE I saw colleagues of mine answering to the user with a tone such as, “I told you, you should have done such as such”. That tone is arrogant from a person who speaks from a pulpit and makes the user feel bad. It support should only be supportive and guide user to learn how to solve minor pc issues by himself, instead. 4- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR MISTAKES There is nothing more direct and honest than saying to your boss or to the user that you are sorry and that was IT mistake. That will generate a sense of relief in the user and will make you appear more humble in front of your boss. If a technical mistake is attributable to the tech, a mea culpa will erase all the bad feelings about it. 5- SPEND TIME EDUCATING THE USERS Users call because they are having problems and if the tech support in charge is patient, he can educate users not to click on dubious attachments and to be more careful while running or downloading programs. Educating a user is big part of a successful IT company that operates not only in Westchester county New York, but also nationwide. 6- SHARE AND LEARN WHAT IS SHARED WITH YOU Unless IT is a solo shop, being part of a successful team is what matters. Sharing intelligence and information is the way to go. If you leave your team mate with a knowledge gap because you know more than he does, that for me is not what is called working as a team player. 7- DON’T MAKE USER WAIT IF YOU CAN HELP NOW It’s very frustrating for someone who is looking for help to see that help is not on the way and that the solution is not coming soon. Efficiency and a decent speed will add professionality to an IT service that tries to compete with others in the same market. 8- DOCUMENT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN Working with computers and servers means dealing with networking and virtualization issues. Very often software conflicts can deal a blow to the productivity. IT is also a lot of writing and storing the right documentation that can lead the next technician to solve the problem much faster. 9- GO IN PERSON AND AVOID REMOTE SESSIONS IF YOU CAN If a client is very close and he/she is not too tech savvy, I recommend paying him/her a visit rather than calling or sending instructions via emails. Human touch is always better than a cold remote session that may be fast in solving the issue but can still leave user with unanswered questions. 10-FOLLOW UP WITH THE USER it’s always important to follow up with a user because, as I said above, what matters is a relationship and not a cold approach.  

Lessons I have Learned While Providing IT Support in Westchester Read More »

What Can Go Wrong During a Computer Support Session

What Can Go Wrong During a Computer Support Session As a professional in the computer support industry living and working in Westchester,  I have encountered my fair share of unexpected hitches and common pitfalls during tech support sessions. IT people do not have a magic wand and cannot even expect customers to use the tech lingo. Very often, however, what the customers describe is or too generic or refers to something else. We cannot blame the suer for that, because we are there just trying to help and to offer a decent service. From hardware malfunctions to software bugs, technical issues can arise without warning, making it vital to be prepared for any scenario. Common pitfalls during computer support sessions include miscommunication with the customer, lack of technical expertise, and not being able to effectively troubleshoot issues. These challenges can be frustrating for both the customer and the technician, but with the proper approach, they can be resolved efficiently. It’s important to understand that computer support is a complex field that requires technical expertise. Troubleshooting computer issues is not just a matter of following a set of rules, but rather a combination of knowledge, experience, and creativity. Sometimes, the solution to a problem is not obvious, and it takes a bit of trial and error to find the right approach. UNDERSTANDING THE COMPLEXITIY OF COMPUTER SUPPORT During a computer support session, effective communication is key. Unfortunately, communication breakdowns can happen all too easily. When they do, it can be frustrating for both the customer and the support technician. In this section, I will discuss some common communication pitfalls and strategies for troubleshooting. Common Communication Breakdowns One common communication breakdown is using jargon or technical terms that the customer may not be familiar with. This can lead to confusion and frustration on their end. It’s important to use plain language and explain technical terms in a way that is easy to understand. Another issue that can arise is when the customer is not clear in explaining their problem. They may not have the technical vocabulary to accurately describe the issue, which can make it difficult for the technician to diagnose and fix the problem. In these cases, it’s important to be patient and ask clarifying questions to get a better understanding of the issue. Finally, communication can break down simply due to a poor phone or internet connection. This can make it difficult to hear or understand each other. In these cases, it’s important to be patient and understanding, and to try different communication methods if necessary. Effective Troubleshooting Strategies When troubleshooting, it’s important to stay calm and focused. If you become frustrated or flustered, it can make the customer feel dismissed or ignored. Instead, try to stay positive and assure them that you are doing everything you can to help them. It’s also important to be systematic in your troubleshooting approach. Start with the most obvious and common issues first, and work your way through the possibilities until you find the solution. If you’re not sure what the problem is, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a colleague or supervisor. Finally, remember that effective troubleshooting often involves trial and error. It’s okay to try different solutions, even if they don’t work at first. The important thing is to keep trying until you find what works. Scenario Effective Response The customer is yelling and using profanity “I’m sorry that you’re feeling frustrated. I’m here to help you resolve the issue as quickly as possible.” The customer is refusing to follow troubleshooting steps “I understand that this is frustrating, but these steps are necessary to diagnose the issue. Let’s work through them together.” The customer is demanding a refund or compensation “I’m sorry that you’re unhappy with the service. Let me see what I can do to resolve the issue for you.” You Can Contact Sandanotech in Westchester If you feel that you may need technical support or network monitoring, please  contact our support number in Westchester and let us know your needs Click Here In summary, dealing with difficult customers is an inevitable part of computer support. By remaining calm, actively listening, providing excellent customer service, and utilizing effective communication strategies, you can handle these situations with grace and professionalism. There are specific examples of computer sessions, remote and in person that went wrong for lack of communication or lack of means on both ends. Having worked with our clients for almost 15 years here in Westchester NY helped us build a set of issues we can all learn from. Let’s discuss what happened during those sessions so that companies can communicate better with IT support and computer technicians can be more prepared when receiving a request for computer help in Westchester county New York. COMPUTER WILL NOT TURN ON If a user calls saying that the computer does not turn on, and a session is remote, the help desk should ask if the user can unplug the power cord, push the power button for 30 seconds to drain the last energy out of the device and plug the power cord back on. Sometimes tech support, however, fails to ask if the monitors are turned on as well, because it happens sometimes that the computer is on but the monitors are turned off or unplugged. USER CANNOT LOGIN If a user forgot the password to login, a system administrator will user Active Directory to reset the users’ password and prompt him/her to create a new one. If it’s a password for a website or an application, the tech support can solve the issue by logging in with admin credentials. If instead the user forgot a password for a local standard account, the local admin account can reset the password for him and create a new one.    

What Can Go Wrong During a Computer Support Session Read More »

How Far Can Tech Support Go in Providing IT Services in Westchester NY?

How Far Can Tech Support Go in Providing IT Services in Westchester NY? Computer support encompasses a spectrum of services aimed at ensuring the optimal functioning of your devices. From troubleshooting and resolving technical issues to offering guidance on software installations and updates, the goal is to provide users with a smooth and hassle-free computing experience. Providing iT services can be directed to: – Small and medium businesses in Westchester – Single home users who can also run a SOHO (Small Office Home Office). Home users usually cannot afford complex IT services because they usually don’t run complex systems. Usually a worker owns a laptop or uses a work laptop to connect to the company resources via a VPN. Small home offices have more machines connected to the network and may need to share files and folders locally or through the cloud. One of the main needs of this type of setup is printing and backups. Once home users and small offices have been visited for the first time, future contacts can be dealt through remote support sessions if issues can be resolved remotely. HARDWARE SUPPORT A complex topic like hardware support requires a lot to talk about. For example, there is a fine line between the generic term “my computer crashed”  because the issue can be hardware related or software related.  Ageing can be a determinant factor in deciding to keep or replace a device, whereas software conflicts can cause hardware to overheat and crash. The landscape of hardware support is very broad and we have already explained our clients in Westchester what can cause hardware failure. DIAGNOSING SOFTWARE MALFUNCTIONING Users sometimes have to deal with corporate software that does not interact properly with other software. We have seen antivirus that conflicted with VPN and Citrix that created issues for users such as applications not firing up. THE ROLE OF CYBERSECURITY In light of companies constantly being attacked by hackers a good and professional managed service provider will provide, among its services, cybersecurity and users training. Users’ education is a pillar of cybersecurity because there is no software or resource that can replace the keen eye of a well educated user. Coaching users to detect scams, phishing attacks and bogus websites is an excellent way to run a well oiled network. There is not that much that IT support can do if a network is attacked by ransomware and sometimes we have been called by users in Westchester after that ransomware incidents already happened and there was no backup in place to restore data and files from. CAN USERS TROUBLESHOOT NETWORKS AND DEVICES? Some users are more tech savvy than others but they do not have the experience of the tech support. Techs that work in the help desk can detect immediately if an email is fake or if a phone call requiring a password reset may require further scrutiny. A computer that does not print is not a difficult issue to fix but an uneducated user who has clicked on a malicious attachment can be a big problem. If events as such happen it means that users have learned only the 50% of what they should learn to stay safe in the business network and the IT department has done only 50% of the work in reaching out to the users with cyber training resources.  SHOULD DATA ALWAYS BE BACKED UP? The answer is yes, because data backup and recovery services involve backing up important data and recovering lost or corrupted data. This type of computer support service is essential for protecting against data loss and ensuring business continuity. Data backed up regularly can be very handy when for example a single file is needed or an historical version of a file can help someone of the team gauge historical information provided or, even worse, in case of ransomware, the data have to be restored from the most recent point in time. FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING FOR A COMPUTER SUPPORT PROVIDER When searching for a computer support provider, it’s important to consider several factors: Expertise: Look for a provider that has experience in your specific industry or technology needs.Reputation: Read customer reviews and testimonials to determine the provider’s quality of service.Response Time: Choose a provider that offers fast response times and 24/7 availability to ensure minimal downtime and disruptions.Pricing: Compare pricing between different providers to ensure you are getting a fair and competitive rate for the services you require.

How Far Can Tech Support Go in Providing IT Services in Westchester NY? Read More »

What Does an IT MSP Do in Westchester County NY?

What Does an IT MSP Do in Westchester County NY? Information technology IT support has really evolved quite a bit since the 90s because businesses have decided to focus more their core business. For this reason companies who decided to expand their activities have decided to outsource some of the IT support services to other companies who specialize in computer networking and technical support in Westchester. What does an MSP actually do and how does it help businesses? Ultimately how do you as the MSP business owner make money? An MSP is a high tier IT company that provides remote and onsite services to small and medium businesses located in Westchester county. A MSP provider takes care of network management and monitoring data and backup, Recovery Security Services cloud services and management help desk and technical support and I.T Consulting and strategic planning. In addition to the core services there are plenty of other services that can be added by a Managed Service Provider, such as delivery of computer parts or other type of hardware. A relevant part of service that the IT consultant can offer as a provider is the help desk. Let’s say a consumer can call saying he’s having having computer issues or that the printer is not working my or computer is running slow, the help desk can help solve the issue remotely or in person. Lately however, the msp has evolved into cloud service provider (CSP) as many companies have been moving their infrastructure to the cloud. On the users’ side a prime example of the migration to cloud services is the implementation of Office Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. These services eliminate the need of hosting applications and software in local servers and increase redundancy as those applications sit on huge data centers. Also, MSP rely heavily on remote management and monitoring software rmm; these are tools are provided to help desk support in order to be able to remotely log into your desktop and be able to look at different software or patches software updates that are on a company’s system or be a proactively alerted and monitor issues with your organization. Generally they provide many other services such as being able to procure new laptops or devices for you or handling your mobile needs. Microsoft Intune is the Mobile Device management interface that handles the setup of mobile devices in a coporate environment. Backup implementation and engineering is another crucial set of skills that MSP need to have in order to succeed with their clients. MSPs really want to make sure that company’s data doesn’t just exist in one single location that there are multiple copies of data online. Key principle here is that data have integrity data accessibility and confidentiality. When MSP and CSP negotiate their services with their clients, a good practice would be to draft a SLA, also known as service level agreement. There are many different pricing models that are involved in msps and a very common one is no longer in providing it services on a per project basis which are kind of one time. Nowadays IT consultants in Westchester focus more on a flat rate per device or per user. If for a company the bigger cost is the software, MSP can bundle services together to cut down costs and offer a better service. Contrary to common belief, outsourcing IT services can significantly contribute to cost savings. Managed IT services operate on transparent pricing models, allowing companies to budget effectively while enjoying top-notch IT support. Build your software package as MSP with your customers’ needs in mind and do not overload their network with software or services he does not need. Listen first and act accordingly. If a company thinks the MSP as a business extension, the benefits will be many: from flexibility, to upgrades and negotiations, all will run smoothly.  Lastly, as I always have users’s brain and hearts in mind, a factor that I consider in choosing the right provider is the proximity. It is always better to rely and pay for a service that can come on site when needed than outsourcing the IT services far away and only get remote support.  

What Does an IT MSP Do in Westchester County NY? Read More »

Ode to the IT Support in Westchester

Ode to the IT Support in Westchester In the heart of Westchester’s gentle embrace, Where the Hudson’s whispers weave a tranquil grace, A troubadour of technology, silent but strong, Offers IT services in a digital song.   Beneath the sycamores and the azure sky, Where data streams flow, and electrons fly, Westchester’s IT guardian, a sage with a key, Unlocks the mysteries of the tech symphony.   Through the rolling hills, where the sun does kiss, A troubadour troubleshooter, in moments of bliss. In the heart of technology, where emotions unfurl, Westchester’s IT services, a compassionate swirl.   With circuits as verses and screens as the stage, The troubleshooter dances on the digital page. In the language of motherboards, secrets unfold, Westchester’s IT services, a tale to be told.   Each click and each hum, a heartbeat sincere, In the realm of connections, where anxieties clear. The troubleshooter’s touch, like a comforting hand, Westchester’s pc services, emotions understand.   “Computer Repair,” the troubadour’s song, In every keystroke, emotions strong. In the hush of the workshop, where dreams unfold, Local computer help, a tale to be told.   Amidst the rolling hills and the riverside, The troubadour troubleshooter stands as a guide. In the realm of pixels and wires’ gentle hum, Westchester’s IT magic, a harmonious strum.   From the sunrise that paints the landscape gold, To the moonlit tales that the troubleshooter’s told, In Westchester’s embrace, where technology weaves, IT services thrive in a tapestry of leaves.   Laptop support, like a guardian’s caress, In the digital haven, where worries compress. With every click and every gentle stroke, The troubleshooter whispers, “You’re not alone.”   Each node a heartbeat in the rhythm of code, In the vast cyber expanse, where emotions erode. Yet, the troubleshooter stands, a digital guide, Network support, where human and tech coincide.   When your laptop falters or your desktop weeps, In the local sanctuary, where empathy seeps. Computer repair, a troubadour’s embrace, Where technology meets a human face.   Amidst the routers and switches, where packets shine In Westchester county, computer networks work just fine With every connection, a story unfolds, In the realm of networks, where emotions are bold.   Through realms of Wi-Fi, where signals confide, Tech help soothes frustrations like a tranquil tide. In the heart of Westchester county, where networks entwine, Local IT services are considered divine.  

Ode to the IT Support in Westchester Read More »

7 Free Windows Productivity Tools you May Want to Consider

7 Free Windows Productivity Tools you May Want to Consider Using the computer the way most of us does it does not take into account that there are many productivity tools that can enhance our daily lives and make us more productive. Some tools that I will describe in this article help better understand some hidden computer features you may not want to tamper with; others can take our tasks to a new level and make us look like computer professionals.Productivity is the most important aspect of our digital life. There are many different types of software that can be used to help increase productivity. Windows has a few that are free, and they have some great features as well as being easy to use. Here are some free tools you may want to consider while working with mouse, programs, and files: 1- FILE LOCKSMITH File Locksmith is part of Microsoft Power Toys and it can be downloaded for free from here. When you delete a file accidentally or not, Windows can tell you if the file is in use by another program. But if the file or folder is in use by a set of programs it may not tell you that it’s in use. File locksmith tells you if a folder is in use by a program so that you can determine if it’s worth deleting it or not. The most useful feature of this program is the one that shows up after right clicking “ What’s using this file”. You can also select an entire directory or folder, and it will scan all files and subfolders in that one, and tell you which ones are being used by what programs. So you can see for each process, it has an End Task option. It also says like the process ID, the user, and it will also show you other files being used by that program, like if you selected the directory with multiple files in there, maybe multiple of them are being used by one program. What’s also nice is this tool will tell you if a System account is using a file. 2- TEXT EXTRACTOR Text Extractor is a useful if you ever need to copy some text that you can’t highlight and select for some reason. If the text it’s in a picture, or if it’s part of a UI element in Windows you can highlight the text in it and Text extractor will copy the text to the clapboard. With this, you can just use the shortcut and then click and drag over whatever text you want. Text Extractor will use optical character recognition to extract the text and put it onto the clipboard. It may struggle when the font is really small or if it’s a highly compressed image but it’s works ninety per cent of the times. 3- AWAKE As the name implies, Awake keeps the computer awake, that is from going to sleep. What basically the program does is that it changes the power plan of your computer. Instead of going to make changes in the control panel or in the settings of your computer, Awake takes care of making those changes for you with few clicks. It also can keep awake the screen of your computer which is a task that is different from idling the screen. The utility may come handy when for example you run a server or you have tasks that require the computer running 24/7, such as backups or file transfer and synchronizations. 4- COLOR PICKER Similarly to Text Extractor, Color Picker can be enabled by using the shortcut Win+Shift+C. Those three keys will show you a little box next to your mouse and cursor. With your mouse and cursor, you can hover the image and the program will show you the color beneath the cursor with its hex properties. Once you find a color you like, you can simply click and it will bring up the bigger color editor. On the right, there’s this little color bar. At the center is the color that you picked, and then on the left and right, it’ll show a couple shades lighter and darker. If you right click after the selection of the color you are focusing on, you can export the list to a text file. 5- FILE EXPLORER ADDONS This program gathers multiple other programs under its name. The addons provide the ability to see previews and thumbnails of more file types than default. For example, if there are several different source code files actually that can be previewed, PDF, geometric code, and other extension files can be previewed by toggling the button “On”. 6- HOSTS FILE EDITOR The hosts file is a text file with notations related to the way your computer talks to the network. It requires you to know networking before changing the parameters of that file. If you’re not familiar with the host file, it basically lets you manually enter DNS entries for your computer, which means it will link an IP address to a domain or a host. And this tool simply gives you an easier GUI to be able to manipulate the host file, because normally you just open it with like notepad or something. Thanks to the utility, you can add an entry to the file, and you can enter the IP address and its host. You can also toggle it on and off, which will simply add a comment symbol to either comment it out or not, depending on whether that entry is enabled. Be cautious before modifying this file and learn more about DNS in general from my article here. 7- MOUSE UTILITIES Like the File Explorer addons, Mouse Utilities is a set of tools that enhance the productivity of your mouse cursor. The utilities include Find My Mouse, Mouse Highlighter, and Mouse Pointer Crosshairs. In Find My Mouse, you can set the shortcut to a few different things, either to press the control key twice

7 Free Windows Productivity Tools you May Want to Consider Read More »

Should I Remove the Crapware from my PC or Laptop?

Should I Remove the Crapware from my PC or Laptop? Every time we get a new computer, besides being excited for having purchased a new device, we begin using it immediately without being aware of the software that already comes with it. Users usually do not go beyond transferring files from the old machine or from a previous backup and do not care of the programs that have been preinstalled by the computer manufacturer. But, do you know what will happen to the new computer after few weeks? Annoying messages begin popping up prompting to subscribe to Mac Afee, Microsoft Office, and other software.This article will try to answer the question whether the preinstalled software should be removed or not and if yes, what type of products should be used to do the job. 1- BULK CRAP UNINSTALLER Bulk Crap Uninstaller is a free program that is very easy to use. After you have finished the installation, the software interface lists all the programs that should be removed in alphabetical order. More advanced users can also tick a box that will display system components. Bulk Crap Uninstaller will also show a tag with “No Remove” to let users know that it is recommended not to remove the programs that display the “No Remove” tag. After having uninstalled the program from the computer, the software will continue to deep clean your machine from leftovers, which are located in the registry. The software will select which registry entries will be deleted as leftovers and with the click of a button the leftovers are gone. 2- BLOATBOX Bloatbox is another free program that you can download from GitHub. After downloading the zip file, you can run the program as administrator by right clicking with your mouse. The program has a nice little interface where you can clearly see all the apps that are listed on the left-hand side. The apps listed on the left are all Microsoft apps that Bloatbox will uninstall. If you don’t know which ones you want to remove or add you may not be aware of everything that’s listed for removal. On the right-hand side, when you select the apps under the tab “Remove Apps” that feature will automatically remove pre-installed Microsoft applications that are commonly not used so you can go ahead and click on yes to remove them. After the programs have been removed, Bloatbox will prompt user about the programs that have been successfully removed. An advanced feature of the software is for PowerShell users. Below the menu Apps and Features, there is a link called “Optional Features” that will allow users to remove the leftovers from the registry using PowerShell. After having removed the unnecessary programs, the software will prompt user to reboot the system. The new desktop that shows up after cleaning will display three icons that can be manually dragged into the recycle bin. 3- WINDOWS 10 DEBLOATER Similarly to Bloatbox, the Windows 10 Debloat tool can be downloaded from Github. Once the zip file has been downloaded, open the zipped file drag the folder onto your desktop with the folder on your desktop double click on the folder and navigate down to the Windows 10 Debloater GUI. We first need to think about which options we’re going to use. Starting off with Cortana, if you don’t want this in the Windows search at the bottom left, you have two options, enable or disable. Other Windows features that can be enabled or disabled are Edge PDF and Dark Theme. On the lower part of the interface, Windows 10 Debloater has another section called “Other Changes Fixes” which includes the uninstallation of One Drive and the disabling of Telemetry and Tasks. The software allows users also to unpin tiles from the start menu, but I would not recommend disabling the telemetry feature as it can create issues to your computer. Removing bloatware reg keys is also a more advanced option which you may wish to experiment around with again, although I would back up the registry first. If you decide to go the route of removing the bloatware registry keys, you can revert the changes by using the restore point that you can setup at the beginning of the session. The customize block list is a feature that is strictly related to the Windows programs users would like to remove. If you wish to keep any of these items, scroll down go through this list and start unchecking the items in which you wish to keep. For the most part most people don’t like having any of these installed. If you’re not entirely confident what a certain app is leave it alone entirely as you could run into instability in your operating system. All in all, you may also consider removing manually the programs that come with the new computer after having considered the following: The Bottom Line Removing unneeded programs from your computer is part of good house keeping but if you are not a computer savvy person you may run into issues for having uninstalled programs that are really needed to make your Windows computer work. I would just get rid of Xbox, antivirus and some other programs after having conducted a research on what actually these programs can do for you. Therefore, proceed with caution!

Should I Remove the Crapware from my PC or Laptop? Read More »

What Will Be the Top Technology Trends in 2023?

What Will Be the Top Technology Trends in 2023? What can we expect from the next 10 years? We will see a true change in how we relate with our peers and with machines. The past few years have been a breathless ride for the world of tech, from development and artificial intelligence to virtual and augmented reality. There’s never been a better time to be a technology enthusiast than right now. The next ten years will usher us into a new era of connected, intelligent technologies that will have an unprecedented impact across all industries. 1- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Artificial intelligence (AI) is generating a lot of buzz these days. While AI has existed for several decades, it’s recently been thrust into the mainstream with its growing use in self-driving cars, virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa, speech recognition technology like Google Voice, and many other applications. In 2023, AI will enter the mainstream. There are already apps that have AI embedded in them. In addition, the no code environment means that anyone can design new AI applications without any knowledge of programming. Artificial intelligence will be also sold as a service and companies that store your data can simply switch on new AI capabilities and this will change all our business processes.Although companies already use smart algorithms to search the internet, buy things online and find our way around when we travel, AI is becoming essential like water and electricity in terms of how it will change human society and hopefully make our lives easier or better. Some of the key trends within AI that are worth watching very carefully are natural language processing and machine learning, as well as the generation of synthetic content. 2- METAVERSE TECHNOLOGIES Virtual and augmented reality will make a giant leap forward in 2023. Currently VR and AR technology are mainly used in the gaming industry. However, by 2023 we might see a trend for people to use technology for social interaction and other purposes. An example of virtual reality is when we communicate with our friends and family. Through VR, robots will be making their presence felt in our daily lives in the form of AR devices bringing down the cost of these technologies in 2023. In 2023, technologies like virtual and augmented reality will reshape our organizations and will increasingly blur the lines between the physical and the digital world. Companies now need to start to think about more immersive content and create a more immersive world of work. Companies such as McDonald’s are thinking about opening a digital restaurant. With VR customer employee relationships will be significantly refashioned. Someone may be asking, “Is holding meetings in a virtual room better than Zoom? Can customer support use augmented reality to help customers fix problems and help them assemble things?”. 3- A PROGRAMMABLE WORLD The year 2023 will see an increasingly digitally editable world where we can change the real world by manipulating it with computers performing complex tasks in real time. In a digital world, companies can create a digital twin that is a digital copy of a real world’s object. Let’s take, for example, a race car Formula One race car. We can design this car in the digital world and run it through digital simulation and test it using digital wind tunnels and then we will be even able to 3D print this car. 4- WEB3 TECHNOLOGIES Another powerful 2023 trend will allow financial companies to re-architect trust using blockchain technology. Ledger technologies that allow us to store things and record things in the blockchain will be refashioned and will create a new approach to the entire supply chains and financial industries.Banking world and insurance companies use middlemen: with the Web3 technologies those trust functions will be redeployed by performing trust functions without these middlemen. Organizations will continue to use non-fungible tokens (nfts) that allow us to record digital ownership of things. Web 3 technology will allow us to manage our digital identity.When we send money to friends or family, banks and companies like PayPal make sure we are who we say we are and act as a safety net and anti-fraud gateway. New payment verification services help us feel safe about giving our financial information to businesses to store and process. All these systems are currently centralized which means that we could still have problems if the companies that run them don’t manage them well or don’t act in our best interests. When people talk about trust in 2023 they will ask about the idea of decentralization. This means taking control of an organization or process away from any central point of ownership by using decentralized networking built on consensus and encryption. Blockchain will achieve this and more by storing data and running programs that are spread across multiple computers and can’t be changed by anyone who isn’t supposed to. 5- LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES Lithium metal batteries have every chance to change the balance of power in the car market. Their energy density is equal to a one-kilowatt hour per liter of volume which is almost twice that of lithium-ion batteries according to MIT technology review. Thanks to these batteries, electric cars charge much faster and, more importantly, the charge lasts 80 percent longer than with lithium-ion batteries. The startup Quantum Scape which develops lithium metal batteries conducted its first test in December 2020 and after successful trials it has already struck a deal with Volkswagen which will begin producing electric vehicles with these batteries in 2025. Skeptics argue that the test results are still too early to be considered successful they were carried out on single-layer cells while in real batteries they should be multi-layered and in mass production this can lead to unforeseen risks. 6- WIFI 6 AND 5G WIFI 6 and 5G new are new standards of communication that can help communicate and work at high speeds. In addition, these new frequencies will contribute to the development of the Internet Of Things, artificial

What Will Be the Top Technology Trends in 2023? Read More »