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Monday, December 19, 2016

Tech News: Amazon makes it's first drone delivery in England

We've all seen the commercials. 
Amazons cute little drones (I prefer the term quad-copter myself) delivering a package to an Amazon Prime customer within minutes of ordering on the company's web page.

The online retail giant conducted it's first drone delivery test on December 7th in Cambridge England. Delivery to the customer took just 13 minutes from the customer ordering online, and the drone flight from the company's fulfillment center, to the customers residence. The delivery falls under Amazons "Prime Air" trial.* In case you're wondering the order involved an Amazon Fire Stick and a bag of popcorn ;-D

Check out Amazons Prime Air Trial web page for more info on this cool delivery service.

* Amazon is only currently testing the drone delivery service in England. Currently FAA regulations prohibit commercial flights in the US, however Amazon is working with the FAA to seek it's approval in the US. 

Creating and using a System Restore Point

System Restore Points give you the option of going back in time. Since Windows ME ( goes back that far), Microsoft has made it available to users to create System Restore Points in Windows.

Call it an insurance policy if your system starts to go buggy and doesn't work as expected. There are to options for creating Restore Points - Automatic and Manual.

Enabling Restore Points:

1. Choose Start→Control Panel→System and Security.
Under the System link, click Create A Restore Point. You can also get to the System page by typing “System” in the Start menu’s Search box and selecting System from the results list.

2. Click the System Protection link in the left panel and ensure that the C drive Protection is turned on.
You can adjust how much disk space you want the Restore Points to use. You also have the option of Deleting a restore point. if you find you don't have enough disk space and you need to create another one.

3. Click Apply afterwards. Once you click Apply you enable Windows to create a Restore Point anytime a significant change in the operating system occurs. IE - new drivers or a Windows update is installed.

4. IF you need to create a Restore Point manually, simply click Create and give a name to the Restore Point.

Going Back In Time

Now lets say your system goes all weird on you. It's slow or certain programs freeze since your last update. You could use the "Reset This PC" option within Windows 10, but that would take some time. Instead use a System Restore Point to undo the changes that have made a mess with the Operating System.

1. After clicking Next, you'll be shown available Restore Points listed by date created and whether they were created by the system or manually.

2. You can also select Scan Affected Programs. This gives a list of all programs that have been installed since the creation of the last Restore Point.

4. Select the Restore Point and click Next and the click Finish.
Windows will then uninstall any drivers, programs, updates or registry entries after the last restore point was made.
Restore Points do not touch the User folders within Windows. All your music, photos and/or documents are not saved nor deleted. If you need to back those up, I would recommend a USB drive.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Remote desktop software

If you're needing technical support or assistance for a computer issue, and the tech is just too far away to be in person, often they will (or should) offer remote technical support.

Remote support is where you allow the technician access to your computer via a secure internet connection. 
The tech can then examine, diagnose and resolve your issue without having to drive to your home or business. Sometimes it's an easier way to go for both the customer and the tech. 

WARNING: DO not simply give remote access to any person on the phone.Use caution and ensure you personally know the technician or person who you are talking to. Most certified technicians are bonded, and are professional. Pay attention to the screen and what the technician or person is doing. 
Scams exist where a "tech" (usually with a heavy Indian accent) will cold call you informing you that your computer has a dangerous virus and needs to be removed remotely. Be very leary of these type calls and do NOT allow remote access. Here's an example:
Technical support scam 

There are about a dozen remote desktop programs available with various access protocols. Some like LogMeIn and GoToMyPC utilize a web based platform. Others such as TightVNC and TurboVNC use the Virtual Network Computing/RFB protocol.
Some programs are compatible with Windows only. Others can be used within Linux and OSX as well.
I've found that one of the best remote programs out there is Teamviewer

TeamViewer has a great GUI  and is easy to navigate. The on screen menus are out of the way, yet accessible An excellent screen-sharing and file-transfer app that can be used for business collaborations is available. There are two different versions. A licensed paid version for business and a private personal version free for noncorporate use, it gives users precisely the tools they need to share screens securely, send files with a minimum of hassle, control access rights, and even flip which user has control.
It's a secure connection and access is made by the user providing an access code and password.

I highly recommended it.

This article orig posted 8/6/12 @ 3:32pm

Quick Windows hint: Erasing the past with CTL+Z

It's bound to happen. You just downloaded an important file and you move the file from the Downloads folder to your Documents folder.
Whoops...That wasn't your Documents folder! 

Instead of spending the next 15 minutes looking for that rascal. Use this rarely used keyboard shortcut that undoes your last action - CTL+ Z thereby "erasing the past".
Too bad there isn't a CTL+Z for things we've done in real life!

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