April 2017: Cloud Computing - A blessing or a Curse?

There’s no doubt that cloud computing has made a huge splash in our technologically ubiquitous society. Its benefits help businesses with productivity and give consumers more convenience about back-ups and data storage. Still, there are a few issues that should be addressed for anyone, whether a business owner or average Joe computer user, before making the jump to any cloud computing solution.

Reduced Control

The popular concept of cloud computing involves offloading and archiving pertinent files and data to an off-site 3rd party company which guarantees virtually 100% uptime and secure access anytime anywhere. The problem is that you’re basically having another entity hang on to your confidential information which reduces the amount of control you have over that information. In addition, you have no idea where your information is being stored.

Legal Issues

Using cloud services also presents a potential legal headache for both you and the hosting company. For example, cloud service provider Dropbox recently experienced a security breach in which all accounts were accessible by entering ANY password for approximately four hours. While Dropbox was able to rectify the issue promptly, one of their users is now filing a lawsuit for the security issue.

Solutions

While there is zero way to completely prevent any type of cloud service issue, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the chance of having one of these issues compromise your confidential personal or business information.

i) Adopt a “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket” approach which means only uploading the pertinent data that needs to be accessible to the necessary company personnel.

ii) You can also specify exactly, which employee(s) are allowed access to your cloud servers and make them aware of the heightened security involved with such access. (Increased accountability with updated IT security access/policies)

iii) You can also use a 3rd party encryption program such as True Crypt and encrypt all information before uploading it to your cloud service. This provides additional security to what the Cloud service provider offers as your data would be useless if intercepted (in any way) by unauthorized parties. (unless they can break through  the encryption)

iv) You can also save a copy of all your confidential information on your own secure personal or company network which provides an alternative access point in case the cloud service goes down for any reason.


Summarised from an article by Mark Tiongco published in Geeks.com for WOUGNET Tech-SUpport.

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February 2017: Update to iOS 10.3 but Back Up Your Phone First!

Update: Apple's update to its newest operating system, iOS 10.3, is out and available for download. It's free, but before downloading, make sure your mobile files are safe and sound, just in case.

It's essential to back up your iPhone and/or iPad every time you update the device's software. New releases are not without their flaws. Follow this guide on backing up, restoring, and updating your phone and tablet.

Who Can Update?

How to Back Up on iTunes
How to Back Up on iCloud
What's the Difference Between iTunes and iCloud?

Backup Tips

  • If you don't have enough storage space to back up, then a window reading "Not Enough Storage" will pop up. Reference this tip sheet on what to delete on your iPhone to make some more room.
  • Selecting "Encrypt iPhone Backup" will encrypt the information stored on your Mac and require a password to restore a new or existing device from a backup. Don't forget your password, because you will not be able to recover the data without it.
  • Camera Roll photos will not be restored to an iPad from a backup if they were taken with an iPhone or iPod. The reverse is also true: Camera Roll photos taken on an iPad will not be restored from backup to an iPhone or iPod Touch.

How to Update to iOS 10

The iPhone 5 and later, iPad (fourth generation and later), and iPod Touch (sixth generation) can run iOS 10. Unsure about the device model? Plug it into your computer, open iTunes, and the model, as well as the currently installed version of iOS, are listed under the Summary tab which has a phone icon in the top left. You'll also need to know the device's passcode in order to update. iTunes will prompt you to unlock the phone or tablet once it's connected.

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If iTunes is your preferred method of backup, then connect your iPhone or iPad to a Mac or PC. You can only back up a device on one computer. Once the device is connected, click on File > Devices > Back Up to begin.

Alternatively, you can access the "Back Up Now" button under Summary in iTunes. Double-check your work by clicking the iTunes top menu > Preferences > Devices tab. You should see the name of the device and the time of backup.

On your device, open the Settings app, select iCloud, and tap Backup. Turn on iCloud Backup. After this option is selected, the device will automatically update when it is connected to the Internet via WiFi, the screen is locked, and it's hooked up to a power source. To do it manually, go to Settings, then iCloud, select Backup, and tap Back Up Now.

If you have a lot of photos or videos in your Camera Roll (1GB or more), then iTunes Backup will be the best option. If you don't connect the device to a Mac or PC frequently (or ever), then iCloud will be your best bet. You can restore data to a device from anywhere with a WiFi connection via iCloud Backup. However, iCloud will not back up media not purchased through iTunes.

On the device, update by opening the Settings app, tapping on General, and selecting Software Update. You can also connect the device to a computer and find the software update button next to the backup section.

Now that you're all backed up, discover all of iOS's greatest tips and tricks.

Source: https://www.popsugar.com/tech/How-Back-Up-My-iPhone-31831815?ref=43541098

WOUGNET TECH TIPS

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January 2017: How to Make Your MacBook Run Fast

I once saw a parody video of "things no one ever says," and one of them was "I love buffering." How true is that? Nothing makes me more frustrated than to see that awful little hourglass or spinning rainbow wheel, letting me know my computer is taking forever to load something. Get rid of that stress in your life and keep your important files safe with tips ahead on how to make your computer run faster — and feel like new. 

  1. Organize your desktop: Create folders of what you use the most, and place any documents in them. Throw anything unnecessary into the trash. 
  2. Clean out the trash: People usually forget to empty their desktop trash, even though it could be a reason your computer is running so slowly. Delete it! Go through and make sure you're not losing anything important, and then clear it out for more storage space.
  3. Back up what you want to save: Whether you prefer to use the Cloud, Google Apps, or a USB, always back up pictures, files, music, and anything else that can clog up your computer. This will not only keep things safe, but it will also make your computer more of working space and less of a storage device. Think of your computer as a desk, where you want to get work done, and not a shelf or drawer to store stuff on.

Visit WOUGNET TECH tips for this and many more tips

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December 2016: Five free DVD authoring tools.

There are plenty of reasons you might want/need to put together a DVD, from personal to professional uses. But without the right software, creating those DVDs would be an exercise in futility. For those on a tight-as-nails budget, these five free DVD authoring tools that are not only spot on for your spending limit, they are also fairly easy to use.

1. DVD Styler

DVD Styler is a cross-platform (Windows, Linux, Mac) authoring tool that allows you to convert your footage into a DVD-friendly format, but also create professional-quality DVD menus. The ability to create menus is especially important when creating marketing materials or products for your company. DVD Styler also features: Slideshow creation, add multiple titles and audio tracks, multiple supported video, and audio formats. DVD Styler is open-source and has a fairly shallow learning curve.

2. DVD Flick

DVD Flick aims to be as simple as it is powerful. This particular take on DVD authoring supports over 45 video formats, over 60 video codecs, and over 60 audio codecs. DVD Flick also allows you to create menus as well as subtitles for your DVDs. With DVD Flick you can create chapters and alter the aspect ratio of the final product. Another nice feature is that DVD Flick will automatically calculate the bitrate of your project to make sure you can easily keep an eye on quality loss.

3. Bombono DVD

Bombono DVD may have an odd name, but it’s the ability to easily author DVDs makes up for it. Available for Windows and Linux, Bombono DVD offers plenty of features that should have you authoring professional-quality products or materials for your business in no time. Bombono DVDs feature list includes: Video viewer, WYSIWYG menu editor, drag and drop support, built-in transcoding, motion menus, subtitles, and more. With Bombano DVD you can author to folder, create an ISO, or burn directly to disk. You can also re-author by importing from DVD disks. NOTE: The Linux version of the Bombono DVD is free. The Windows version will cost you $24.95 USD.

4. DeVeDe

DeVeDe is a Linux-only DVD authoring solution that requires a minimal amount of dependencies to do its job. Outside of the GUI dependencies, DeVeDe requires Mplayer, Mencoder, FFMpeg, DVDAuthor, VCDImager, and Mkisofs. DeVeDe features include: Create DVD, VCD, SVCD, China Video Disks, MPEG-4 ASP; output to images or video formats, subtitles, audio shift, basic video editing, and more. DeVeDe supports a large range of formats and automatically converts source material to DVD-compatible formats.

5. Video to DVD Converter

Video to DVD Converter, by Koyotesoft, offers the smallest feature-set of the group but is still a solid entry. This app does exactly what the title implies – it converts your video files into a format compatible with DVD players. The feature set includes: Wide range of supported formats (such as AVI, DivX, XviD, MPEG, MP4, VOB, WMV, and more), convert output (MPEG) to the aspect ratio, bitrate, NTSC, or PAL, burn ISO-compliant DVDs (4.5GB+ DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW). The user interface makes Video to DVD Converter incredibly easy to use.

Bottom line,  if you’re looking for a tool to help you create DVD’s for your company, look no further than one of these. Although some are a bit more bare-bones than others, they all do an outstanding job – especially, given the cost. Add in a solid video editor and you’re sure to create professional-quality marketing material, training videos, and products for your business.

Remember, these aren’t editors; you’ll need your completed clips ready to use. If you need a free video editor, look no further than OpenShot.


Summarised by the TechSupport team from an article by Jack Wallen on TechRepublic.

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November 2016: How to start, stop, or restart print spooler in Windows 7

Overview

How to manually start, stop, or restart the Print Spooler Service

  1. Open Administrative Tools by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Administrative Tools.
  1. Double-click Services. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  1. Right-click the Print Spooler service, and then click Properties.
  1. On the General tab, next to Startup type, make sure that Automatic is selected.
  1. If the service is not already running, under Service status, click Start, and then click OK. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

A print spooler is a software that temporarily stores print jobs on the computer hard disk or in memory until the printer is ready to print them. If you've been waiting an unusually long time for a document to print, or if you see an error message about the print spooler, spooler subsystem, or spooler resources, you might need to change and then restart the Print Spooler service on your computer.

To do this, we recommend that you save your work, and then restart the computer to restart the Print Spooler service. If you don't want to restart the computer, try these steps instead.

To change or restart the Print Spooler service

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

Summarized for TECH SUPPORT WOUGNET.

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