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.

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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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October 2016: How to use LinkedIn strategically.

LinkedIn is a great tool for getting your profile out in front of potential employers. And not just a more staid version of social networking. The fact is, LinkedIn is a great tool for what are perhaps the most important aspects of searching for a job-networking and online presence.

First of all, you can put your work profile up there for the world to see. While you still should send targeted resumes for positions you want to apply for, LinkedIn gives everyone a snapshot of your capabilities. So if a potential employer is just looking around before he or she even posts an opening, you’re out there. Here are some tips for using LinkedIn to its greatest advantage:

1. Avoid overused keywords just as you would on a resume.

Some of the overused buzzwords to avoid are:
– extensive experience
– innovative
– motivated
– results-oriented
– dynamic
– proven track record
– team-player
– fast-paced
– problem-solver
– entrepreneurial

2. Take advantage of LinkedIn apps like:

– WordPress
This app will synch your WordPress blog posts automatically with your profile. It offers a filtering option if you don’t want to share every entry with your LinkedIn connections-you can just use a special LinkedIn tag.

– Events
The Events application adds a box to your profile that shows what events people in your network are attending. This helps you find events based on your industry and job function. You can sort by most popular events, search for events, and create new ones.

– SlideShare Presentations
With this app, you can share presentations and documents with your LinkedIn network and upload portfolios, resume, conference talks, PDFs, marketing/sales presentations or even a video of yourself.


Summarised by the TechSupport team from an article by Toni Bowers posted on TechRepublic.

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September 2016: Five must-have open source productivity tools

You don’t have to turn to proprietary software to get your work done. Here are five feature-rich open-source alternatives.

What do we need to produce our work? We must produce documents, we must be able to create/manipulate images, we must manage money, and we must be able to communicate and schedule. These constants dictate that we have sound tools to handle those tasks. Don’t think Microsoft (and other creators of proprietary software) hold a monopoly on productivity. The open-source community has done a great job of creating tools perfectly suited to help you get your job done.

1: LibreOffice

LibreOffice is an open-source equivalent of Microsoft Office. It includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, and database tools. All the tools are compatible with their Microsoft Office counterparts and strictly follow open standards. LibreOffice is free of charge and is available across all platforms (Mac, Windows, and Linux).

2: Evolution

Evolution is to open source what Microsoft Outlook is to proprietary software. A groupware client with email, calendar, tasks, contacts, and notes, Evolution will help keep you connected and organized. Evolution is available only for the Linux platform. But if you need to connect Evolution to Exchange, there are tools available to allow that to happen.

3: GIMP

GIMP is one of the most powerful image editing/creating tools on the open-source market, offering similar user-friendliness to Photoshop. Some of the tasks you do with GIMP might take a few more steps than Photoshop requires. But in the end, the job gets done.

4: Scribus

Scribus is the easiest and most powerful way to create PDF documents in Linux. And this open-source tool isn’t just available for the Linux world. You can also enjoy the freedom of creating PDF (and editable PDF) documents on Mac and Windows. With a simple interface and all the features you’d expect in a PDF creation tool, Scribus will help you to get the job done quickly and easily.

5: GnuCash

GnuCash is the flagship personal and small business accounting software. Although it’s only a single-user tool, it can easily handle the management of small business finances. GnuCash is a double-entry accounting tool, with checking, savings, stocks, assets, expenses, and more. GnuCash offers scheduled transactions, transaction matching, financial calculations, and importing, among other things.

The open-source community has nearly every tool you need to get your work done efficiently. And that list of software grows every year. Soon, you’ll have no reason to work outside of the scope of open source in your office.


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

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