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TIME FOR A COMPUTER CHECKUP?

YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE TO BUY A NEW COMPUTER

HOW GOOD IS YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION?

Does it take forever to access the Internet?  How long does it take to bring up a website?

Sick computerBefore you run out and buy a new computer, the problem might not be  your computer but your Internet Service Provider (Time Warner, Cablevision, Verizon, etc)  The first thing you should do is go to www.speedtest.net to test whether your Internet provider Provider is providing you with adequate service.  When you get to the site, click on “Start Test.”  When completed, you will see Download and Upload speeds.

The Download speed should be at least 7 mps and the Upload speed should be at least 0.7 mps. If you are performing the tests from a wireless computer, the results could be less.  In any case, if your results are lower, one of the following might be happening:

1.  You might have a defective modem (or router if you are using wireless)

2.  The signal from your Internet Service Provider to your location might be weak.

3.  If your wireless computer is far from your router, you might need a signal booster.

In the case of points 1 and 2, contact your service provider and they can run some tests from their offices.

A weak signal will have an impact on any computer, Desktop or Laptop, old or new, PC or MAC.  If the speed test demonstrates an adequate rate (or if it is corrected by your Internet Service Provider), then the problem could be the computer. If this is the case, a maintenance check is the next step.

If you have any questions about this or any other technology issues, you can reach me at jblue@bluetutor.com

WHAT IS FIOS AND DO YOU NEED IT?

verizon-fios-logoWikipedia describes Fios as a bundled home communications service, (Internet, telephone and TV) operating over a fiber-optic  communications network. This means that you are using one dedicated line into your home or apartment.  In the case of an apartment, you are no longer sharing cable with the rest of the tenants, therefore dealing with varying speeds depending on how many people are watching TV or accessing the Internet at the same time.  In the greater NYC  area, Verizon is the service provider offering a Fios package.

Is the service for you?  As always, there is not a standard answer and it depends on your specific needs.  Chances are that unless you are  currently using a bundled package from your cable company (Time Warner, RCN, etc), you probably have separate providers for your telephone, TV and Internet.

Before making a decision, keep in mind that Verizon Fios is not available in all areas.  The first step is to determine what you are spending for your current services (Internet, TV and Telephone).  I recently switched from my local cable company to Verizon Fios and was able to reduce my bill for all three services by nearly 50%.  I was able to keep my existing phone number, increase the number of premier TV channels and enhance my Internet access speed substantially.

As indicated above, while my result is not uncommon, the decision whether or not to switch will be based on availability, your current usage and cost.

If you are interested in finding out more about fiber optics and if this program is right for you, give me a call (917 921-4518) or send an e-mail to jblue@bluetutor.com.

Never Forget Anything Again!

Evernote-logo 7  Reasons why you should be using Evernote

1.  It’s in the “cloud”

2.  It can be accessed from any computer or mobile smartphone

3.  Keeps me organized

4.  I can enter notes, things to do, and anything that comes to mind from home, office, a restaurant, taxi, etc.

5.  I don’t have to carry little scraps of paper around in my pockets or briefcase

6.  I can do a search to find where any item is filed

7.  It’s FREE!!!


Need to Access Your Files on the Road? Try Dropbox

Dropbox logoDropbox allows you to access your files from the road, from any computer and mobile device such as an I-Phone, I-Pad, or blackberry.  No need to run back home or to the office to retrieve documents.  Dropbox is the ultimate “cloud application” for the road warrior.  Works with both Windows and MAC based computers.

Here’s why you should be using Dropbox:

  • Up to 2GB of free storage.  $9.99/mo for 50GB, $19.99/mo for 100GB.
  • Sync any size and type of file, documents, pictures, videos, audios, etc.
  • Saves any changes when working on files in Dropbox.
  • Share files with friends and business associates.

I have set up folders in my Dropbox account the same way they are organized in my computer.  I never have to worry about getting a copy of my passport, driver’s license, medical claim forms, etc.  Writing a book?  Simply upload it into Dropbox and work on it from any computer or smartphone.

It’s a Mobile World! Are you prepared?

Internet access through mobile phones is expected to represent around 50% of total Internet usage by 2014. (Gartner)

Do you Own a Smartphone?

smartphonesBy definition, a smartphone is any mobile device that combines functions such as telephone, e-mail, Internet access, contact information, and calendar.

The three major suppliers of smartphones are Apple’s I-Phone, RIM’s Blackberry, and Google’s Android.

Here are the facts about the growth of the smartphone market.

  • The Earth’s population is app. 6.7 billion
  • There are 4.6 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide. (U.N. Telecommunication Union)
  • in 2009, smartphones accounted for 172 million (14%) of all mobile phones sold, a 23% increase over 2008. (Gartner)
  • During Q2 2010, smartphones represented 62 million (19%) of mobile phones sold, an increase of over 50% on Q2 2009. (Gartner)
  • Estimated sales of smartphones are expected to reach 500 million in 2012. (Morgan Stanley Research)
  • Sales of smartphones are estimated to exceed those of PCs in 2012. (Gartner)
  • Global smartphone sales are expected to reach 2.5 billion during the 2010-2015 period and that Internet use via smartphones will increase 50 fold by the end of that period. (Coda Research Consultancy)
  • At the end of 2009, 97% of all Americans were using mobile phones. (Pew Research Center)
  • During Q2 2010, sales of smartphones accounted for 25% of the US mobile phone market.  By the end of 2011, the percentage of smartphone sales is expected to exceed 60%. (Nielson)

Will your current mobile phone permit you to be a player in the new Mobile World?  If you want to learn more about how to become a true “Road Warrior,” give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at jblue@bluetutor.com

Time for your Annual Technology Checkup

Most likely, you make sure that you have an annual physical exam.  Those of us who schedule a checkup on a regular basis are concerned that all our parts are in good working order.

With technology playing such an important part of our daily lives, doesn’t it make sense to make sure that your technology supports your needs?  Whether or not you use technology for business or personal use, keeping current could make you more productive and probably save you money.

Here is a partial list of items that you should be thinking about:

Man Thinking– Is your computer slowing down?  If it hasn’t had a maintenance checkup in the past year, it’s time to see whether a simple exam is necessary or you should consider replacing it.

– If you are in the market for a new computer, should you consider a MAC or PC?

– Will one of the “latest and greatest” new gadgets such as the I-Phone, I-Pad, netbooks, etc. make your life easier?

– Do you have the right tools to stay in communication and to access information while traveling.  Do you have the right mobile devices (computer, cellphone, etc.)?

– Have you looked at your telephone bills recently?  Should you be considering using one of the many Internet based services?

– Are all your important files being backed up?

– Do you have someone to call if you have technical issues?

Being proactive will make you more productive and probably save you money.  Don’t wait until something goes wrong.

How about scheduling that technology checkup now!!

Career in Transition? Re-entering the Job Market?

Have you recently left corporate life either by choice or the result of downsizing? Looking to start a new business or re-entering the job market?  Have you developed a technology strategy to support your efforts?

The computer skills needed to set up a new business are different than those used in corporate life.  If you are looking to re-enter the job market, you will most likely be asked about technology that you have not used in your personal life.  Most likely, you will need to make sure your computer and other hardware is up to date.  What about maintenance?  Do you need to brush up on your basic computer skills?

Technology plays a major role in our lives, both personally and professionally.  Take a few minutes and review where you are:

1.  Do you have the right office environment?  If at home, do you have a private area to work?  Do you have your own computer?  If space is a problem, consider a laptop.  Multiple computers at home can be handled by a wireless network.  Have a good all-in-one printer, scanner, fax, copier.  Be sure your wireless network is secured.

2.  Are you an efficient road warrior?  Do you have the right tools to stay in communication and to access information while traveling.  Do you have the right mobile devices (computer, cellphone, etc.)

3.  Do you have someone to call if you have technical issues? If you recently left corporate life, you no longer can pick up the phone and yell “help.”

The list goes on, however what’s most important is that you have a plan which includes insuring that you have the right equipment and basic skills to support your efforts.

If you are interested in a more detailed discussion about technology and career transition, click on the first item on the right under The Net Radio Program Podcasts to listen to my radio show with commentary and an interview with a former corporate executive who has made the transition.


10 reasons why you should back up the data in your computer

Your documents, pictures, music, videos, etc, that are stored in your computer are important to you. Do you have a backup system? Here are some reasons you should be backing up your data.

Computer Crash1. What if your computer crashes and you can’t start it.
2. Your home/office burns down
3. Your computer has been stolen
4. You left the computer in a restaurant, hotel, etc.
5. Coffee, soda or other liquid has been spilled on the keyboard of your laptop
6. The computer has been dropped
7. A virus has wiped out the hard drive
8. Malware, short for malicious software, has permitted someone to infiltrate your computer system without your consent
9. You have inadvertently erased an important file.
10. Someone else who uses your computer has deleted files

The list goes on. Before disaster strikes, make sure you are backing up ALL your important data onto an external hard drive and explore many of the online backup options that are available.

If you have any questions about what method of backup is best for you, do not hesitate to contact me.

Are You Part of the Communication Revolution?

facebook logoThe latest research estimates the number of Facebook users globally is approaching 500 billion. Facebook is adding 5% new users per month. Over 20% of the world population with online access have Facebook accounts.

In the United States alone, the number of Facebook users now exceeds 125 million, more than double over last year. That’s more than 35% of the population and 75% of people with online access. Believe it or not, 40% of users are over 35 years old and the biggest increase in users is 55 and older.

linkedin logoLinkedIn members total nearly 70 million. ComScore estimates that Twitter is now attracting 190 million visitors per month and generating 65 million Tweets a day.

Why the explosive growth? First of all, nearly everyone is turning to the web to research products and services. The Web has become both a time and money saver. Most importantly, however, is that Social Media sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter have brought the world together. The world of Social Media has changed how people communicate and interact, how governments talk to people, and transcend geographic borders. Facebook, in particular, permits you to reconnect with people from the past, both personal and professional. It has been the most effective tool in communicating with family members and business associates and sharing photos.

twitter logoFor businesses, Social Media permits companies to reach millions of customers without expensive marketing campaigns. However, establishing an effective and attractive Web presence involves outstanding content that will draw customers to your website. Communicating your message requires effective use of Social Media sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, etc. A single click can spread your message to hundreds of thousands, and even millions instantly.

youtube logoTo gain a better understanding of how you can become part of the Communication Revolution, call 917-921-4518 or e-mail jblue@bluetutor.com. In addition, I invite you to listen to my podcast, Social Media, which is listed on the right.

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