All posts tagged computer

Google Docs

Google Docs AppGoogle Docs is my new favorite thing out there on the cloud! Google does everything and they do everything well! Basically Google Docs is the answer to Microsoft Office, but it’s all on the cloud. The applications are on the cloud and the the data is on the cloud. As long as you have an internet connections you have everything you need for creating office type files!

Obviously there are some strong pros and cons for cloud computing in general, but over all I really think the good far out weighs the bad! The only real downside is making sure you have an internet connection and trusting the source to be always available. So let’s say you do a large presentation on Google Presentation. You are going to give this presentation to a large crowd out of town. You get there assuming there will be an internet connection but there isn’t. You are in some trouble. Or worse let’s say you do have an internet connection but for some reason Google’s servers are down and you can get to it. Scary stuff.

The Good 

The good news is, at least for Google, they are almost never down! I mean it does happen but it is really really rare, and very short if it does happen. I feel very confident trusting my office files to Google. And really other then a pressure situation where you need it for a presentation then if they were down for a short period it wouldn’t really effect you all that much! And let’s be honest, in a presentation situation like that Google being down is comparable to you forgetting to pack the CD with the presentation, or that CD getting destroyed on the plane or some other physical issue like that. I’d rather take my chances that Google can come through then worrying if the baggage handlers can take care of the CD!

The App

I’m really excited now too that I found out there is a Google Docs app that I can install on my Android phone for free. It of course is a little more limited in functionality then the full version you will see on your computer or laptop, but when you are on the go and not near a computer it really is awesome! It’s best if you just need to view one of your documents to find out some information or review. You can edit your documents but because of the screen size limitations it is a little clunky. I would only really try to edit Google documents on my phone in emergency situations.

The other thing I use the Google Docs app for on my phone is to share documents. Google Docs is really slick when it comes to collaborating with others on the same documents. You can grant someone access based on their email address and you can both work on the same document at the same time! Or instead of emailing someone a document and then later after revisions emailing it to them again (and everyone being confused because they are working off an older version), you can just grant them permission to view the document. Saves on clogging up everyone’s email boxes and you know everyone is always viewing the latest version of your document. Awesome stuff!

Cell Phone Software

When it comes to software for cell phones there are really two main areas that you are talking about. One is the operating system which is the software which makes you phone run and handles main functionality. The other main area when it comes to software are the apps that you can download and allows you phone to do any number of specialized functions from games, to tracking, to books, and many more.

Smart Phones

First it’s important to note that we are talking about what have been come to be knows as smart phones. Sure all cell phones have some kind of software that is running them and are their operating system, but once you get your phone it is what it is. The software for a cell phone is really only interesting if you can customize it and change it. If you can’t do anything with it then why bother thinking about it.

Operating Systems

When it comes to operating systems you are a bit limited by what phone/carrier you choose. Really there are only two real operating system choices these days. You are either going with the Iphone which is an Apply product and comes with their operating system, or you are going with an Android powered phone which is a Google operating system. One key difference is that Apple make the Iphone and the operating system. Google has going a different route where they make the operating system and allow manufacturers to use it. Because of this there are many more phones that run Android. However Iphone was first and has something of a cult following.

Periodically phones will push out an update to the operating systems. This is often to fix known bugs, but it could also be adding new functionality as well. If you know there is a new released OS update you can usually look on the menus on your phone and find where you can download it right away. However if you don nothing the phone manufacturer/carrier will push the update out eventually and you’ll get it that way.

Smart Phone Apps

Apps really really are the sexy software when it comes to smart phones. Really it’s apps that have made the smart phones so popular and so much more like a computer in your pocket then just a phone.

Both Apple and Google went with a similar theory in that they opened up their OS to third party programmers to be able to create apps for end users of the smart phones. Apple keeps a little tighter control on what actually becomes available to end users by screening the apps and offering them through the App store (this is a format they are very used with dominating with their experience with Itunes). Google tends to micro manage quite a bit less. They have their own “store” on the Android phones, but you are also able to download from websites and other outside sources.

 

So make sure to check back to this blog often as we’ll be reviewing and suggesting apps that are either fun, functional, or increase your productivity!

How to Increase Internet Speed

If the wheel falls off your car you get out and see that it’s missing and know what to do or at least who to call to get going again. When you internet connection slows everything looks the same except for you raising blood pressure!

It’s the question that almost anyone and everyone that used a computer has asked at one time. How to increase internet speed? There are two reasons this is such a burning question. One is because it is just so frustrating when your connection is bogged down and you just want to get something done and move quickly. The second reason is that there are many reasons why an internet connection will slow, so it happens often.

The other difficult part about a slow internet connection is that, like almost everything involving your computer, it is so intangible. If the wheel falls off your car you get out and see that it’s missing and know what to do or at least who to call to get going again. When you internet connection slows everything looks the same except for you raising blood pressure!

So take a deep breath and check out the list below of possible culprits and solutions.

  1. The wire coming into your house. This is good an bad. The good news is that it’s nothing you did. The bad news is that you can’t control the issue. Depending on if you have FIOS, cable connection, or DSL, you could sometimes be sharing your internet connection on a hub for your entire neighborhood. If all the kids on your block are downloading the latest viral video while you are trying to get your work done, it’s going to slow. You can either slowly slog through it, or wait until later when activity slows. At least knowing that is the issue should at least calm you a bit. If you are still frustrated give the internet provider a call and vent a bit!
  2. Time of the day. Again this is one of those things you aren’t going to be able to control. Depending on your time zone the internet tends to be busiest after people get home from work until bed time. This has gotten even more true in recent years now that movie and television streaming has become so popular.
  3. Your wireless router. Ah, now finally here is something you can control. If you are hitting the internet through a wireless connection, then you possibly might have an older router that is slow. Research the speed of your wireless router and speed of your wireless card in your computer/laptop. If your computer can handle more then pony of the cash and get a new wireless router.
  4. Multiple uses in your home. Similar to the issue when you are sharing your internet connection with the neighborhood, no matter what your set up is, you are definitely sharing your internet connection with the people in your home. Especially if you are moving along fine and there is a sudden drop off, check with the people in your house and see if one or more connections are downloading big files. Now ground them, and your internet connection will speed up again 🙂 **If you have a wireless router make sure it is password protected. You could have unwelcome visitors on your internet connection **
  5. Issues on your PC/Laptop. Overtime you collect many many unwanted files on your computer from internet use. Also your computer can become bogged down with files that don’t involve the internet but slow down things in general. To solve this issue you have two options. First you can back up your files, format your entire computer, reinstall your operating system and other software, and then restore your files. Option two is to use some web based cleaning applications that promise to clean your computer of unwanted files and speed things up. These can really work wonders however you also need to be wary of what you use. There are services out there that mask themselves as an application to speed your internet but are really just installing spam. Do your research and find a reputable application that is really going to help.

So the next time your internet screeches to a halt try to stay calm. Take a deep breath and review the list above. Before you know it you’ll know how to increase your internet speed.