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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mac OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” available now!

Yesterday at Apple's quarterly earnings results, Apple dropped the bomb that its new OS, “Mountain Lion” would be releasing today, July 25th. Priced at $19.99 ($10 less than its predecessor) and available through the Mac App Store, 10.8 brings features that continue to bridge the gap between mobile desktop operating systems. All the 200+ new features can be found on Apple's website, though unfortunately, those who found themselves unable to upgrade to Lion would be in the same boat here, as the download requires either Snow Leopard (10.6.8) or Lion (10.7). With Windows 8 releasing only three short months from now, the stakes are high for a battle royale in the digital world.

Which operating system are you more excited for: Mountain Lion or Windows 8? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Apple

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: Getting started with iCloud: Part 1

Description: iCloud is a great feature that allows wireless syncing between all your devices. Have a picture on your iPad that you want to see on your iPhone? No problem. Have contacts from your iPhone you want on your iPod touch? No problem. This guide will explain the basics of iCloud, and how to set it up.

Section 1: What is iCloud?

iCloud is Apple's proprietary cloud storage solution. It allows for wireless sync to the cloud, or Apple's servers, that allow for access across multiple devices. It's built for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), but it is also available on both Windows and Mac machines as well. This not only saves space on each device, but it also eliminates the risk for data loss. No matter what state the device is in, just sign in, and all personal information, as well as documents, settings, calendars, etc., will be automatically synced back to the device. This is quickly becoming the standard in storage options due to its failsafe methods.

There are alternatives as well: Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive to name a few. These all have their benefits, though none are as tightly integrated into the OS as iCloud. Apple has created an ecosystem with iOS, and iCloud has been neatly tucked deep inside of it to make it incredibly easy to sync, back up and restore any personal information.

Section 2: Why do I want it?

It is common knowledge that backing up data frequently is a good idea. Until now, the only method of doing this is with an external storage device of some kind; more specifically, an external hard drive or flash drive. While there are generally no problems with external media, it comes with the risk of hardware errors, thus possibly causing data loss. Also, it's limited to one machine at a time, meaning, to get all the data back across multiple devices, it would require restarting the process for each device by itself.

With iCloud, it's all automatic. It requires little to no input from the user. Whatever is stored on one device is almost immediately accessible from another. Everything from music, movies and TV shows, to calendars, reminders and contacts. It's all there. No syncing. No cords. No hassle.

Section 3: Okay. What's the catch?

iCloud, like most consumer products, is not completely free unfortunately. At the start, it grants 5GB of free storage. On average, this is enough for most items, but the more content that is backed up (namely large files such as movies and TV shows), the quicker that space will disappear. This is when it becomes time to purchase additional space.

Apple offers three different yearly subscription options for additional storage. On top of the standard 5GB given for free, the options they offer are: $20 a year for 10GB of additional space, $40 a year for 20GB of additional space and $100 a year for 50GB of additional space.

Section 4: What are the requirements?

Not all iOS devices are compatible with iCloud. In order to run it, a device must be running iOS 5 or later. Devices that ship with iOS 5+ have iCloud built in. Older iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPhone 3G or iPod touch 1st and 2nd generation are not supported.

On Mac, it must be running OSX 10.7 (Lion) to work, and for Windows, it must be Windows Vista or Windows 7. XP is not supported unfortunately.

If you meet these requirements, watch for part two of this series later this week to learn how to configure iCloud on all your devices!

For more assistance contact Technical Support here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

“iPad Mini” rumors in full swing

"iPad Mini"

Just as Google/ASUS’s Nexus 7 begins its assault on the tablet market, early reports indicate that Apple is preparing a smaller, 7 to 8-inch version of its widely popular iPad tablet to combat with the likes of the Nexus and Amazon's Kindle Fire. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple's parts suppliers in Asia are readying for “mass production” of a tablet, with a form factor smaller than that of the current iPad models. While these are still rumors with no official announcement from Apple, from a market standpoint, this would be a smart move for the Silicon Valley giant to make. While the iPad holds the top spot in tablet sales, Amazon's Kindle Fire is also quite a hot item, in large due to its $200 price tag. And with the Nexus 7 becoming widely available (also with a $200 sticker), Apple is beginning to see some serious competition in the tablet game. The entry level iPad 3rd generation (newest model) retails for $500, but if Apple was able to cut a hefty chunk out of that by offering a smaller, “mini” version, that would put them among the ranks of the Fire and Nexus, and may win over quite a few minds (and wallets), once again reasserting their dominance at the top of the mountain. One things for sure. When manufacturers compete, we all win. 

Source: WSJ

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Microsoft announces Windows 8 release date

Yesterday, Microsoft officially unveiled the release date for its next operating system. Looks like Friday, October 26th is when you’ll finally be able to get your hands on the Windows 7 follow-up. Windows President Steven Sinofsky made the announcement yesterday during Microsoft's sales meeting. This date holds true for both new PCs and upgrades, though there’s still no mention if this includes Microsoft's tablet, Surface. Seemingly, we’ll have to wait a little longer for that...

Source: Microsoft

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: How to connect to a network printer using Windows 7

Windows 7 can "discover" printers and other computers that are on the same network.


Method 1: Using Network discovery to find and install a printer resource available on the network.
  1. Click Start and then click Devices and Printers

    Devices and Printers

  2. Click on Add a printer

    Add a printer
  3. Click on Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer

    Add a network

  4. Click on Have Disk and insert the disk or CD that came with your printer.

    Have Disk

  5. Select the printer model from the list and click Next.


    Windows should install the printer software and or drivers on the computer.
    If you have more than one computer/laptop on the network, repeat the process on each system.

  6. Once installation is done you can change the default printer to use or select the printer from within your print menu of your application.
Note: Make sure all the computers and printer are on same network or connected to the same router. If you have more than one printer configured on your computer make sure you select the appropriate printer before you are start to print.

You can also watch a video about this topic. Click here to watch the video.

For more assistance contact Technical Support here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Overview

Description: This is an overview or informational document on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. In this document we will provide a brief look into Jelly Bean and some of the features.

  1. Here's a look at the lock screen

    lock screen

  2. The default home screen (after installing Chrome)

    default home screen

  3. The contents of the "Google" folder by default

    google folder

  4. The apps drawer, with a few custom apps installed. On this first page is the Currents app, a news application that will be detailed after the Google app. The Google app is not just another way to get to Google Search, instead it brings up the Google Now app.

    apps drawer

  5. Google Now utilizes what are called Cards to provide for you various information, including (in this example) the weather. The app is intended to watch, for example, when you leave for work and give you an estimate on travel time - automatically. Also, if you are travelling it may give you updates on traffic or flight delays based on recent searches, navigation or heading. It will also give you sports scores and updates based on teams that you follow.

    Google Now

  6. An Example Card estimating travel time.

    Example Card

  7. Another Example covering a basketball game


  8. The Currents app shows news outlets, tapping on a new outlet will bring up categories


  9. Tapping on a category will bring up individual stories

    individual stories

  10. Showing individual stories

    individual stories

  11. The Play Music app has been updated. The primary features are automatic activation of Google Music access and a refreshed Recent tab, showing cover art of recent albums. Additional UI features and optimizations have been implemented in the Music app.

    Play Music

  12. The Gallery application is much unchanged, but with some UI optimizations and beautification.


  13. A look at the second Apps drawer with some key apps highlighted

    second Apps drawer

  14. Google Wallet is intended to be a payment system for physical in-store purchases, using credit cards

    Google Wallet

  15. Play Movies opens a Movies section of the Play store in a custom app, allowing for rental or purchase of movies, as well as playing videos that have been downloaded to the device.

    Play Movies

  16. Play Magazines will open the Magazine store, where you can buy and subscribe to magazines.

    Play Magazines

  17. The Google+ application has been updated to include a clean new interface, as well as support for Events.

    Google+ app

  18. Play Books has been updated as well

    Play Books

  19. The YouTube app includes a Pre-load feature, to download videos for viewing without an internet connection.

    YouTube app

  20. The Channel Feed screen has been updated as well

    Channel Feed
For more assistance contact Technical Support here.