Tech News Blog by Crown Computers : San Diego Computer Support and Small Business IT - Crown Computers San Diego
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Amazon Glacier

Amazon now has a web service called Glacier, that is a cheap back up and cloud storage solution. Let's see how it compares and if it is right for you!

How it works: They offer space called a "vault" that you can store your data for a small amount of time or for decades. The data is "archived", and each "archive" is assigned a unique archive ID that is used to retrieve the data.  You can store any kind of data in any kind of format.

Pricing: Amazon boasts that it charges $0.01 GB per month and you pay what you use only. There are no set up fees. To obtain your datat it costs $0.05 per 1,000 requests.  It is meant for data that is infrequently accessed and long lived.  So maybe your pictures? The volume of storage billed in a month is a based on the average storage used throughout the month.

 

Check it out yourself and if there is data that you need to store and not reallyl access then this may be right for you!

http://aws.amazon.com/amazon glacier

 

Published in Blog
%PM, %25 %053 %2013 %17:%Oct

iPad Air Quick Review

 

Apple showcased it's newest addition to the family, the iPad Air. Here is my quick review of it's specs and features.
 
Features
Light as a feather... is what Apple is boasting about with this latest model. It is 28% lighter, 20% thinner and 24% less volume. Coming in at a small 1 pound from it's previous version of 1.44 pounds. It offers a 9.7 inch display and over 3.1 million pixels for an overall eye appealing experience. 
 
Built-In Apps
It has the standard iPhone apps we come to know and love but they have added some fun and work friendly apps such as, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
For more on these Apps and what they do, visit the Apple site. 
 
Performance
Built with what sounds like a new fighter jet, an M7 processor and an A7 chip are what keep this tablet boasting power. Don't let this fool you though, they have also integrated efficiency to save for battery life, which is about 10 hours.
It offers up to 2 times more Wi-Fi and more LTE bands for those who want to add to their cell phone service.
 
Pricing
                                     16GB               32GB            64GB          128GB
Wi-Fi                              $499               $599              $699            $799
Cell                                $629                $729             $829             $929

 

Published in Blog
%PM, %25 %037 %2013 %16:%Oct

Cordless Earbuds.. a dream come true?

 

..and they are cheap?! Well don't go flocking to the store just yet. Let me first tell you about how these came to be and how you truly can get your hands on some. I plan to so I can show you guys how they work.
 
Greenwing Audio, started the prototype called SPLIT, and plan to see it through it's final stages. Split is still in it's prototype/beta phase and not fully mastered but you can still get some to try out and even maybe offer some input as to how to make it user friendly.
Here's the gist: Earbuds that are TRULY cordless that are basically run by two individually mini circuit boards to act as though they are connected. It is so precisely synced that you cannot tell that they are running independently.They are the size of a penny, about 1 inch.
Inside the circuit board is a crystal clock and accelerometer. They can be charged using a USB plug in. 
 
As mentioned before, these are not on the market just yet but you can pledge and depending on your pledge amount score some of these buds. Your pledge will fund the overall goal of this team to make it to the big leagues and get a real prototype going to the market.

 

Published in Blog
%PM, %25 %037 %2013 %16:%Oct

What to expect in Windows 8.1 update

 

Windows is releasing it's next free update in about a week or so. It should be easy to follow and smooth, but should you require any help or run into any issues, don't hesitate to contact one of our computer consultants to get the job done. Here is what you can expect from the update.
 
Option to boot from desktop
In my experience with a new windows machine, the option to view your desktop has always been there so this was never an issue. However, you now can boot your computer FROM the desktop as opposed to the tile screen. This just saves me a step and I guess it is easier and familiar. I guess Windows heard all those complaints about an old favorite. 
The return of the START Button also comes back on both tile screen and traditional desktop; but with a twist. It allows you to return to the previous screen, and with a right-click of your mouse you can see more options.
 
You can customize your Apps
In this version you now have the option to choose which apps/programs you want as your default. While Internet Explorer had many updates in the past not everyone is on board with this search engine. I know I prefer Google due to it's manageability. I log into my email and go from there. So you now can make sure that you only use Chrome, Firefox, etc. Among other Apps you can customize are the email, video player, music player, and photo viewer.
 
Disabling "Hot Corners"
Windows has a feature that allows you to press and hold corners of the screen using touch pad or mouse to reveal more options. This function can now be disabled.
 
Tile Size Customization
Tiles on the new screen can now be changed to three options for your viewing pleasure: Large, Wide, Medium, and Small.
 
App updates and Grouping
You can now group apps that are similar for easier tile keeping. Now if you have 5 apps that are for your photo editing you can group these into a new tile. Best way to think of this is folder on your desktop. Same concept just fancier wrapping.
Also now you can set up automatic updates for your Apps to schedule.
 
And lastly, what would a new update be without a slew of new background pictures and colors

 

Published in Blog
%PM, %25 %034 %2013 %16:%Oct

What is Airdrop in iOS7?

 

If you are like the many out there, you were forced to join the new operating system that Apple pushed out. I see both sides of the table when it comes to liking the new operating system. On my phone, iPhone 5, it works great and actually seemed to enhance my experience. Also, it works great on my IPAD. It doesn't work great however, on iPhone 4 or 4S. It locks up on the 4 series and just is over janky. I even tried to downgrade back to iOS 6 but the almighty Apple has denied that option now. 
Because of this, I guess it's time to learn all the tips and tricks and what your new operating system can do! That is, until you can get the new Galaxy.... totally not advocating this though :)
 
So iOS7 has a short cut menu feature that if you slide up with your finger a control panel with shortcuts comes up. 
This is where AIR DROP is enabled or edited. AIR DROP is similar to the "CLOUD" functionality in that you can share items over a network.
If there is another IPHONE user nearby that has AIR DROP enabled, you two can "share" pictures, contacts, and video. 
I've tried it. It's easy and quick but nothing to write home about. I am so used to messaging pictures and video that it is just more of a shortcut to share info.
But I say use it, that way at least you know your using the new operating system to it's full potential.
 
You can turn this function off however, that way it doesn't constantly search for a buddy in the area and kill your battery.
 
 

 

Published in Blog

Do you ever find yourself without your smartphone charger or if you do have a charger but no outlet?

This has happened to me countless times and the following item has made a world of difference. And it works all during the car ride home!

It is called the Revive SOLAR RESTORE.

It works with Apple, Samsung, Nokia, HTC, Motorola, and Sony just to name a few. 

It can only charge only 50% of the internal battery, but on most phones it can provide a full charge for most phones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLIFJKOPEsc

Published in Blog
%PM, %11 %036 %2013 %16:%Oct

Tips to conserve laptop battery

Just some quick daily tips to conserve laptop battery.

  • If you are using Office Suites, turn off the auto-save function. They keep saving at regular intervals which make your computer work faster
  • Devices that plug into a USB port such as a mouse or keyboard definately drain battery life. You should remove or shut them down when they are not in use.
  • Wi-Fi is a definate battery killer, same as USB devices, turn it off when not in use. Like if you are just using your laptop to watch a DVD or listen to music.
  • Becareful with a dvd or cd thought, just having it inside the drive can run your laptop when it is not necessary.
Published in Blog
%PM, %11 %026 %2013 %16:%Oct

HOT TOPIC: CRYPTOLOCK Malware

There has unfortunately been an ongoing trend with some of our client malware issues that has stumped our consultant the the IT community as whole. While having Anti-Malware is your best bet, this sneaky malware goes undetected and it isn't until AFTER it is installed that our consultants see it. It is deep rooted in machine file systems that even if our consultants remove and reformat it is still infected. It isn't until you pay the ransom that it will allow the files to restore fully. This is a HOT issue as rumor has it, it may have affected the FBI and NSA.

Crown Computer Consultants have been working dilligently and for long hours trying to put out these fires. The current threat is called CRYPTOLOCK. 

PLEASE READ THIS FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THIS MALWARE THAT IS A HOT ISSUE!

This current threat will scan your computer files and attach itself to over 50 file types, which if you can imagine, is a lot of files to weed through. It then demands that you pay anywhere from $100-$300 dollars to fix the issue. PLEASE do not freak out or click anymore. CALL us immediately so that we can rectify or if you can follow a few steps to avoid getting this installed on your computer.

  •  Do not click on anything you are not familar with in your email or attachment. Malware is meant to be hidden so it can be in the form of something familiar like your Facebook, twitter, or bank statement. If in doubt, don't open it.
  • If you are sent a link, hover your mouse over and if the link seems encrypted with a bunch of numbers, don't click it. Again if you do not know who sent it,find out or do not click.

Published in Blog
%PM, %04 %014 %2013 %16:%Oct

Crown Computers in the Community

Crown Computers and its consultants prides itself in community outreach. We always try to provide where we can and support when we can. We recently had the privilege of attending a good cause by Alpha Project. Alpha Project is a non profit human services organization that serves over 4,000 men, women, and children each day. Services offered include affordable housing, residential substance, abuse treatement, supportive housing for people with special needs, basic and emergency services for the homeless, transportation assitance, mental health counseling, employement training, preparation and placement, HIV/AIDS education, outreach and prevention, and community services. See more at http://www.alphaproject.org/about-us/

They hold an annual golf tournament in which we participated, attended, and donated.

Sean, our CEO had a blast. 

 

Published in Blog