Do You Need Tech Help?
The phone rang indicating an unknown number. As is my practice, I ignored the call. If it was important, the caller would most likely leave a voicemail message. Indeed, there was a message.
Upon listening to the message, I realized it was yet another similar request starting with, “I got your name from ________ , who indicated that you could help me with my computer, mobile phone, Internet, etc.”
Before taking on a new client, it is important to determine in advance whether or not I can help them. The following is the process I follow:
– Return the phone call and discuss the client’s needs. If I could not help them, I didn’t want to waste their time or money.
– If we jointly determine to move forward, before setting up a meeting, I discuss my fees and ask them to compose a list of topics they are interested in addressing.
– At our first meeting, we discuss their needs and set priorities.
– I evaluate if their existing equipment supports their needs. Perhaps simple upgrades/maintenance is necessary. If not, I recommend and assist in ordering and installing a new computer, mobile phone, etc.
Once we are ready to tackle the prioritized list of projects, we discuss my rules:
– Initially, each meeting lasts only one hour. I have found my clients tend to feel overloaded after an hour.
– Only one topic will be discussed per session.
– The client should have a separate notebook and take their own notes.
– Once I have demonstrated a task, its up to the the client to take over and practice with my supervision.
– If follow-up meetings are scheduled, we first review the work of the previous meeting to make sure that there are no questions before proceeding with a new task.
– I indicate that I am available via phone or e-mail to answer questions between meetings at no charge.
I do not prepare notes or work with a standard list of recommended equipment. I often meet many people in the course of a day and personalize their hardware and software to fit their needs.
From The Desk to My Hand
It was the middle of 1982, and as my business partner and I were making our way through The Netherlands Schiphol Airport, we decided to stop by the local Duty Free Shop. One of the busiest stores in the terminal, they carried some of the most recognizable brands and designer items. As we made our way through their many aisles, we stopped at a new department featuring some of their latest products.
Our eyes were immediately drawn to a new electronic device which was getting a great deal of attention. And there it was, the Commodore 64 computer, the first of its kind. Up until that time, my partner and I had never utilized any technology for our business or personal lives. So, without hesitation, we both lined up and each purchased our first computer. We both struggled to learn how to use it and had no idea how this simple computer would start a revolution that would change our lives and how businesses would operate in the future.
For the past few years, I had been hopping around the world with only telephones and faxes (very expensive!) as a means to communicate with business partners. All meetings were conducted face to face. I was making monthly trips to Europe and at least 4 trips a year to the Far East. There were several instances when I would fly to a country, meet with associates in the airport to sign agreements, and hop on the next plane home.
As the ‘80s moved forward, Microsoft introduced their first Windows computer, while Apple launched its initial Macintosh unit. Companies started to provide their staffs with desktop computers for word processing. Computers started to pop up in homes. The Age of Technology was in full swing, and in the mid nineties, AOL started offering Internet access through telephone lines. However, it would take time before any work could be done away from your desk.
Moving through the ‘90’s, technology gradually crept into our lives. Computers became more powerful, and laptops became a necessary accessory. Toward the end of the decade, handheld devices started to enter the market. The blackberry became a staple as a pager, email provider, and a rudimentary means of access to the Internet. Starting in 2001, Apple entered the handheld market with its first iPod, offering music and other features, such as the ability to listen to books through Audible. The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 was a game changer. Google’s Android followed shortly thereafter, in 2008. Starting in 2010, tablets were introduced by both Apple and Google.
All of a sudden, we became a mobile society. No longer were we tethered to our desks. We were able to communicate and access information on the road. As we moved through the decade, it was possible to leave our computers at the office and home. Phones and tablets became mainstream, as handheld devices outsold computers. It is estimated that in 2021, the number of mobile devices operating worldwide stood at almost 15 billion, up from just over 14 billion in the previous year.
I have been writing this document on a number of different devices from several locations. In the past, this could only have been accomplished by saving the file on a “flash drive” and transferring it from device to device. Now, with the advent of “cloud storage,” it can be accessed on any computer I use, as well as a phone or tablet.
Growing up, television was still in its infancy. Listening to the radio was mainstream. We now have “Smart TVs” with Internet access. Why go to movies with the advent of “streaming?” Isn’t it ironic that radio has returned in the form of podcasts which lets us enjoy programs similar to how we relied on radios 70 – 80 years ago?
I often look at my life through a prism of “pre and post technology’s infancy.” I have written about my overall discomfort with corporate life, particularly the travel that was involved, prior to the Internet becoming mainstream. Having made the decision in the early 90’s to change careers, what would have happened if I hadn’t recognized the potential of the Internet and decided to be a computer tutor and technology consultant? At 52, where would I have turned. I had a successful corporate career, but needed another challenge. Looking back to nearly 30 years ago, the world of technology offered me the opportunity to pursue a second career, which has been rewarding and exciting.
As I complete this article from my handheld device in the park, thank you Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Case, and the many others who have made this ride so enjoyable.
Why you should consider the Cloud based version of Microsoft Office
Want to use Microsoft Office on the Road?
Are you spending more time out of your home or office? Would you like to be able to work on your documents from your mobile devices?
BY EDWARD MENDELSON. “The title above says Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium$94.99 at SoftwareSpeedy, which is Microsoft’s name for one of its many varieties of Office 2013—the subscription-based variety that you download from the cloud and use on your disk in exactly the same way youve used earlier versions of Office. The difference is that the new Office is designed to make it as easy to store documents in the cloud as it is on your disk, and Microsoft is pushing the idea that with Office 365, you can now edit Office documents anywhere—on any Windows-based desktop or tablet, on a Windows phone, in a Web browser, and even on your Mac, because your Office 365 subscription lets you have Office installed on five devices at any one time. This means you get Office 2013 on your Windows machines and Office 2011 for the Mac on your OS X machines. Office 2013 is an impressive upgrade to the worlds most powerful office application suite, with new features so smoothly built in that it requires almost no new learning or training. Office 365 is the best argument Ive seen for moving documents into the cloud without any compromise in features and flexibility compared to desktop-only applications”.
via Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium Review & Rating | PCMag.com.
Best Idea to Save on Mobile Data Plans
Shouldn’t content prividers have to pay to increase their viewership instead of penalizing consumers who run the risk of exceeding their data limits by streaming their content?
ESPN eyes subsidizing wireless plans. ESPN, the cable sports channel majority-owned by Walt Disney Co., has had discussions with at least one major U.S. carrier to subsidize wireless connectivity on behalf of its users, reports the WSJ. Under one scenario, the company would pay a carrier to guarantee that people viewing ESPN mobile content wouldn’t have that usage counted toward their monthly data caps. The talks come as Americans are watching more video delivered via mobile phone than ever before. Users in the fourth quarter were averaging five hours and 23 minutes of usage per person per month, according to Nielsen.
Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
How about it YouTube, Netflix, etc?
Is It Time For You to Get a Tablet?
Apple introduced the mini iPad yesterday as the tablet wars heat up. Sales of tablets worldwide, with displays in the 7-inch range, are expected to double this year to 34 million units, and to double again in 2013, to 67 million units, according to IHS as reported in the Wall Street Journal.
So much to choose from: Amazon’s Kindles, Barnes and Noble Nooks, Google’s Nexus 7, etc. and more to come in the weeks and months ahead.
Which one is right for you and what are the differences? As I have indicated many times in the past, it depends on your needs, preferences, comfort level with the device, and budget.
The Wall Street Journal offers a price and feature comparison of the most popular tablets.
According to a recent report in CNNMoney, PC sales will decline in 2012 for the first time since 2011. This is in part to the explosive growth of the tablet market as detailed above.
Many of my clients who have never used a computer have embraced tablets for simple web browsing, e-mail, reading, shopping and viewing videos and pictures, to name a view.
IBM reports that by 2013, there will be more mobile devices than people in the world. Isn’t it time you entered the Mobile World?
If you have any questions about tablets, or any other technology issues, please do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 of by e-mail at email@example.com. You can also access my BlogTalkRadioShow by clicking on the link below.
Are You Using a Secure Wireless Network?
What is a secure wireless network?
What You Need to Know
CHILD OFF TO COLLEGE THIS FALL? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
As a parent, do you have the basic computer skills to maintain contact with your college student? Does your technology support your efforts, and do you have the most cost efficient systems in place?
The following are some points that you should be thinking about before the move-in date:
– Will you need to upgrade either your equipment or services?
– How do you determine your child’s equipment needs while in college?
– Does the cell phone provider that you use at home (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.) have a strong network at your child’s school?
– What can you do to keep your communication costs down?
– What are the most cost efficient ways to stay in communication with your child in college?
– How do you keep in contact with your child who is studying abroad without incurring large telephone charges?
– Has your child’s school granted you online access to key school resources?
– Does your child know how to reach you 24/7?
The chances are that your child may be more up-to-date on the latest technology than you. It is important that you discuss a strategy to communicate in a cost efficient manner. If your child is studying thousands of miles away, or perhaps in any country, you do not want to incur telephone charges that approach the cost of tuition!
Most universities no longer provide phones in their dorms. The use of cell phones and other mobile technology tools has significantly enhanced our ability to maintain our relationships with our children in college. Are you prepared?
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WANT TO EXTEND THE BATTERY LIFE OF YOUR iPHONE?
Did you get a new iPhone for the holidays? So many features to learn!! Not only can you listen to your music, but how about the videos that you can watch with either your wi-fi connection or from your cell phone carrier (Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint)?
Most likely, you are finding that the battery life of your new smartphone is much shorter than on a standard cell phone. The reason for this is with a smartphone (iPhone, Android, blackberry), the amount of data (e-mail, Internet access, media) consumes significantly more energy than a conventional cell phone that only is used for telephone purposes.
Streaming music or videos from the Internet are the major source of decreased battery life. Applications of any type that are running in the background such as Facebook, news and weather updates, etc, also impact the life of your battery.
Below is a link that has some useful tips about extending the life of your smartphone battery:
If you or someone you know needs to brush up on basic computer skills, requires help choosing the right computer or any other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.
HOW GOOD ARE YOUR TECHNOLOGY SKILLS?
Looking to start a new business? Are you in the job market?
Chances are that if you previously worked for a company and had an assistant, many tasks were delegated and support was just a phone call away. Whether you are starting a new venture or looking for employment, your success will depend on your basic computer skills and having a technology plan that supports your efforts.
The majority of Baby Boomers did not start their professional careers in the digital world. The way we communicate and acquire information has changed dramatically. Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are now part of our personal and business lives. Cell phones have made us more mobile and reachable everywhere. Everyone uses Google to find people, places and things.
Set some time aside and take an inventory of your basic technology skills. Are you able to retrieve and save e-mail attachments, search through past e-mails? Are you able to type and format documents? Are you able to locate your documents? Are you able to make educated decisions about your equipment? Do you know how to use a smartphone? The list is endless.
Individuals and companies that have not embraced technology will find it very difficult to compete in today’s global and wired world.
If you feel you need to brush up on your basic computer skills or want to understand more about the world of technology, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at email@example.com. If you are in career transition, feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.
HERE COMES YET ANOTHER SMARTPHONE
Last week it was the iPhone 4s, and now, the new Motorola Razr. With a new smartphone being introduced almost daily, making the right choice can be a daunting experience. Here is the link to an article in Mashable comparing the best selling models.
While my earlier blog of October 5th, http://bluetutor.com/?p=1008 explains the mobile phone war in greater deal, below is a summary of important facts to consider before buying.
1. Make sure you select the right provider (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc) – Not all providers are created equal. The name of the game is coverage. Are you experiencing dropped calls or poor reception? Check with your neighbors to see which provider works best for them.
2. The three major smartphones are RIM’s Blackberry, Apple’s iPhone, and Google’s Android. They are all different and comfort level means a lot. Not all providers offer the same models. The iPhone is an attractive phone with lots of apps but you better be comfortable with the touch screen. The Android phone’s market share has increased steadily and it offers a choice of using the touch screen or a slide out keyboard while Blackberry’s market share has reduced significantly with the advent of both the iPhone and Android.
3. Once you have decided which provider works best for you, go into a store and play with the available models. Make sure you are comfortable with the weight, size, and screen. Touch screens are handy but not not be right for everyone. If not, you might want a pull out keyboard.
Mobile technology is growing. Within the next couple of years, more people will be accessing the Internet on a mobile device than with a computer. Choose wisely!!
If you have any questions about this or other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in career transition, feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.