Saturday, 17 December 2016

Why do I keep having to update? ...My computer's just the way I like it!

Why do I keep having to update? The simplest answer to this question is money... Tech companies such as Microsoft and Apple aren't making any money while they're not selling you stuff. But wait a minute it can't be all about profits! ...can it?

The more palatable explanation is the progressive tug-of-war between hardware (your physical tech) and software (the programming that runs your tech). Here's the scenario... Tech company improves the speed and efficiency of its product hardware... then the software designers say "hey we can do new stuff with this extra processing power".... The software guys get to work on updates which take advantage of the new improved hardware... Then the hardware guys say... "Hey we can make this software run faster with this new processor"... Then (yes you guessed it) off we go again!

It has to be said... These days you'll probably replace your computer because it's software is out of date rather than it having physically broken down, certainly in the case of a higher end computer your hardware will more than likely outlive your software.

How long will this keep happening? Moores law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years, the truth is we have already way surpassed this and will continue to develop new technologies and manufacturing techniques in to a future which we would today struggle to imagine.

Gordon Moore

Of course not all updates are to do with upgrades for the sake of upgrades... The majority of minor updates usually contain bug fixes and security patches with a few design tweaks and new feature roll-outs.

In summary it's a fact of life that every few years you will replace your computer for a newer, faster model as you probably do your phone or tablet. My advise is to just strap in and enjoy the ride in to the future! See my post on Backup

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Hit the road Jack!

Do you have unwanted software on your PC or Mac? In most cases the answer to this problem is probably yes. In this post I'm going to show you how easy it is to blast those old programs away.

Ok let's first look at removing programs from the PC - In Windows the method is to go to "Control Panel" then (in category view) under programs click on "Uninstall a program", once the window has populated simply click on the program you wish to uninstall and then from the menu at the top of the list click "Uninstall/Change" and follow the prompts in the wizard. That's it, you're done!

Remember! When a program is installed on a PC files are often installed in many different places and registry entries are made, so if you tried to just delete the program as you would any other file you'd probably start getting error messages when you start your PC due to the program trying to run as instructed by a line in the registry. Don't just delete program files! Always use the correct Remove Programs tool.

Now for the Mac - Macs are a bit different as you'd expect. Apple say all you need to do to uninstall a program or application from a Mac is to delete it from the Application folder in your finder, this of course goes right against the rules for a PC, on a Mac this is perfectly safe to do. Another method I prefer is to use a third party application such as "AppClean" (which is free), which searches for related files and folders to the application you're trying to delete therefore leaving in most cases nothing behind on your system.

That's it! You will have now gained space back on your harddrive and may have even sped your computer up. Hope this post helped... Have fun! The Computer Wiz

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Just Browsing...

A Web Browser is a program or App which allows you to browse websites on your computer or other internet enabled device. Your device or operating system will have a default (go to) browser set right out of the box, for example Microsoft Windows 10 uses "Edge", Apple MacOS Sierra uses "Safari", and Linux Ubuntu uses "Firefox" ...BUT ...The bowser you use is ultimately up to you, you can choose from the browsers available to your operating system. My personal favourite browser on the Mac is Safari, and on a PC I find Google Chrome to be quite nippy.

There are a few features, or tools common to most browsers ...Let's take a closer look!

The Search Box, or Address Bar. Usually the Address Bar and Search bar are unified nowadays, in other words you can enter a direct URL such as " (Uniform Resource Locator - Web Address 😏) into the bar or a search phrase such as "Computer Wiz".

A Search box within a website such as Google will just give you search results, it won't go directly to the site entered.

Home Button, this pretty much does what it says on the tin... Click the button and wherever you are on the web you'll be taken back to your home page faster than Mr Spock can beam from the Starship Enterprise to the alien planet below.

Back & Forward Buttons, this is how we navigate backwards and forward through web pages on the internet.

Tabs, probably one of the best modern browser innovations. Tabs allow multiple web pages to be open at once in one browser window. For example you could have hotels for your holiday up in one tab and flights and car parking open in other tabs. Open and close tabs as you need them.

Favourites or Bookmarks Bar, (named either, let's go with bookmarks bar) keeps all your bookmarks accessible at the top of your browser window.

That's covered the basic features common to most browsers, the browser you finally decide to settle with will probably be chosen for it's key features, for me I prefer Safari on the Mac because my favourites sync across all of my devices and I love the "Reading List" feature which is kind of a temporary bookmarks feature. See my post on Eco Systems.