Notifications, blank Edge, why rebooting works

Tech Talk #143 – Nov 21, 2020 Turn off your notifications Whether it’s your phone, tablet, or computer, notifications can cause a constant stream of beeps, boops, and ringtones at all times of the day. By default, notifications are on for built-in apps and anything you download from the App Store or Google Play. Think about it. Do you want or need your device (phone, tablet, or computer) continually letting you know that someone somewhere

DVDs gone bad, Apple charges

Tech Talk #142 – Nov 7, 2020 Before USB drives (also called thumb drives, USB sticks, and other less family-friendly names), most people backed up their computers and photos on CDs or DVDs. The U.S. Library of Congress and the Canadian Conservation Institute have each published a study estimating the useful life of data stored on CDs/DVDs at two to 100 years, depending on the disc's storage conditions. Ideal conditions were room temperature, 50% humidity,

Clearing Windows caches

Tech Talk #141 – Oct 24, 2020 In its widespread non-technical use, a cache (pronounced cash) is a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place. In the technical world, a cache is either specialized hardware or a specific software location that stores recently used data. Programs can access cached data quickly the next time the data is needed. Clearing your caches can help with troubleshooting computer issues, free

Liquids and laptops

Tech Talk #140 – Oct 10, 2020 Whether it's water, soda, wine, or coffee, liquids and laptops don't mix. At least, not successfully. If you spill some liquid on your laptop, the first thing to do is turn it off by holding down the power button for at least 10 seconds and unplugging it from the wall. If you can remove the battery from your laptop, do that. Now, open the computer and put it

Smishing?

Tech Talk #139 – Sep 26, 2020 Remember when we were young and innocent, and the only thing we had to be on our guard about was phishing emails? You know, the emails from scammers trying to get your login credentials, social security number, credit card info, or some other personal information? Did you ever wonder why it’s called phishing or spelled that way? Way back in the 90s (that’s the 1990s, not the 1890s),

How to remove your data from your smart home speakers

Tech Talk #138 – Sep 12, 2020 For years, it's seemed that when we went bought the latest, fastest computer or phone, as soon as we got it all set up and working, there was suddenly something newer and faster than what we just bought. It happens with smart speakers, too. When you get a new computer or phone, you need to remove all your personal information from your computer or phone before you sell,

What the heck is Microsoft Edge?

Tech Talk #137 – August 29, 2020 Remember Internet Explorer? There were eleven versions of Internet Explorer from 1995 to 2013. Since it was the default internet browser in the most popular computer operating system, Internet Explorer was the most used browser in the world for many years. Eventually, Internet Explorer had competition, first from Mozilla's Firefox browser and then from Google's Chrome browser. Both Firefox and Chrome supported new web standards that Internet Explorer

Affordable computers

Tech Talk #136 – August 15, 2020 Do you need (or want) a new Windows computer but don’t want to spend a bunch of money? If you mostly use your computer to check email, do some shopping, and stream videos, you don’t need a whiz-bang computer that’s capable of landing a man on the moon. Mainstream computer manufacturers like Dell, HP, ASUS, Acer, and the rest all make Windows computers for under $500. But what

Password terror and a better way

Tech Talk #135 – August 1, 2020 The first half an hour passed quickly. Oh, what fun we had. The job of removing the old computer gave way to the excitement of opening boxes and setting up the new machine. Turning the computer on for the first time, marveling at how fast it boots up. Seeing how much smaller it is than the old computer and how fast! How quiet it is! And just look

The flavors of Microsoft Office

Tech Talk #134 – July 18, 2020 Retail - purchase A boxed copy of Office Home and Student 2019 retails for $150 and includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. If you need Outlook or Publisher, pick up a copy of Office Professional for $439. Either way, you get a boxed copy of your version of Office for installation on one computer, with a DVD install disc and everything, just like old times. What you won't get