Google Maps – out of this world!

So, many of you realise that I have a keen interest in things “not of this world”. Here is more computer based astronomy stuff for you.

Most people will be aware that Google have mapped pretty much most of the planet we live on, Google Maps and Google Earth are great applications that can be used for many things from simply looking up places on the planet to using your phone as a satelite navigation tool for getting around.

What many people won’t be aware of is that Google haven’t stopped just mapping our planet, but they have been merrily mapping our satelite (i.e. the Moon) and Mars (the red planet) and the rest of the nights sky. Read this entire article »

Easily update the programs you use regularly…

We all have programs on our computers that we want to keep up to date and either don’t have the time or feel a little nervous about updating them because we are afraid of what might happen. Alternatively, perhaps you have a need to install a bunch of useful programs after you have refreshed your computer? If either of these describe you, then I have the easy and safe answer for you – Ninite!

No, thats not a typing mistake, and I’m not wishing you a great nights sleep – it’s the name of a company that you can use to update or install your critical applications, nice and easily. Read this entire article »

How to easily share your tablet pictures with your computer…

Nowadays many of us have phones or tablets with cameras in them. We happily snap away taking pictures and probably give no regard to where they are stored and whether they are safe. If you have received a nice new tablet or phone for Christmas and want to make sure you keep hold of your pictures then this month’s article is for you.

Most people, in my experience, have a computer as well as their tablet or phone, one of the ways in which you can ensure that you keep your pictures safe is to regularly copy them over to your computer or laptop and then make sure that they are backed up using whatever normal backup system you use. If you want more information about backups then have a look on our website and do a search for “backup” and you’ll find loads of helpful articles on the subject. Read this entire article »

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

This month we look at what is causing some issues for people all over the Costa Blanca who are running Windows 10 but not managing to get up to date with all the Microsoft updates.

We use our computers regularly, and expect things like Antivirus, Malware and Windows updates to simply happen in the background. Our only involvement usually is to get annoyed when we want to close our machines and get the “installing 1 of 10 updates” message, meaning that we can’t be sure that everything will be fine the next time we come to turn on the computer to check our email or get up to date with Facebook. The point is that we rely on the computers to just look after themselves and most of the time this is fine, however back in the summer Microsoft released a large update and its size is causing some people a real problem. This month I show you how you can be sure that you are on the latest update and what to do about it if you’re not. Read this entire article »

Microsoft Office…

Office 365

Many of us are accustomed to using the Microsoft Office package. Whether we took the time and expense to purchase a copy or have a pirate copy installed that “came with the computer”, it’s a great tool and one many of us would find it hard to do without for business purposes. Yes of course there are alternatives in the form of OpenOffice, Corel Office and others which serve the purposes of home users, but when it comes to professional business tools it’s hard to find a decent alternative to Microsoft Office. Read this entire article »

Zwift – the future of cycling indoors!

As you probably already know, I have a penchant for cycling and this month I managed to mix one of my favourite sports with my other love – computers!

Zwift is a piece of software that allows you to connect your bike, an indoors trainer and your computer, the most sensors you have, the more the integration works. If you have a smart trainer (one that connects to your computer) then Zwift will change the resistance based on the terrain that you are cycling through!

Ok I hear you ask, you live in Spain, why on earth would you want to cycle indoors? Well that’s a good point and at first I thought the same thing, however there are some days when its either too windy, too rainy (not many haha) or too hot to safely cycle outdoors, so this system gives you an alternative. Its’ quick, easy and really handy if you have room to have it set up perminantly like I do – I can finish work and be on the bike cycling around Watopia (the name of the island that you cycle around in Zwift) in a matter of a few minutes without ever leaving the house. Read this entire article »

Windows 10 – so what is going to happen at the end of July?

Earlier on this month I had a question from a customer asking what would happen at the end of July when the free upgrade to Windows 10 finishes. If you have a windows computer, running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 then you couldn’t have help but notice that Microsoft have been trying pretty hard to “encourage” you to upgrade to Windows 10. If you haven’t noticed then I suspect you haven’t had your computer turned on!

The offer for a free upgrade started last July and has been available for the past 12 months, and increasingly during this time Microsoft have resorted to some pretty effective, and wrong methods in my opinion, to get Windows 10 on your computer. A few months ago they made the update a “recommended update” which means that it will automatically be installed unless you specifically stop the automatic updates. Read this entire article »

Got Business Premises? Then get a Facebook Router!

If you have a business here on the Costa’s then you should already know about the power of Facebook, especially if you market to the ex-pat market here as most brits here on the Costa Blanca are very familiar with Facebook, they use it for everything from finding local businesses, rating the service that they have received to catching up with friends and family here and back “home” in the UK.

I would go as far as to say that retired people here in Spain are much more “teched up” and familiar with how technology and Facebook work than their peers back home; of course this ability, I think, comes from the need to use technology to keep in touch that wouldn’t be necessary back in the UK. Whatever the reason, if you’re a business owner then you should know that your core customers use social media. Read this entire article »

Ransomware Viruses

We are seeing an increase in this type of computer compromise, so this month I thought that we should spend some time looking at ways in which you can protect yourself from this new and worrying form of virus.

Ok, so first let’s define what we are talking about – ransomware is a type of virus that will encrypt your files (documents, emails, pictures etc.) and then ransom you usually 100’s of euros to get them back. There is no reliable way to get your data back directly once it has been encrypted without paying the ransom. Paying up has two downsides, firstly you’re losing money and secondly in some cases you are handing over your credit card details to criminals. Read this entire article »

Wunderlist – a great collaborative list-making app

I love making lists! I make lists of things I need to do for work, home, personal life and my business life. It is how I “get things done” – or at least how I like to kid myself that I am at least mildly efficient. Therefore, you can imagine my utter joy when I learned that I could combine my love of things technical with my obsession with making lists!

I needed to keep a list but also share and collaborate that list with someone else. My previous solution would have been to write (or type) the list out and then simply hand it to the other person and say, “here, add your stuff”. However, that simply would not have worked in this instance, as we wanted to add things as we thought of them and we also wanted to complete tasks on the list and ‘tick’ them off in real time as they were done so that the list would be up to date all of the time – I found Wunderlist! Read this entire article »