Got an old computer with Windows 7? It can still be a productive machine for someone! For those who are adventurous, you can convert it into a Chromebook - a computer that only runs Google Chrome. This is accomplished through a free program called CloudReady. Bonus: most computers feel a lot faster as Chromebooks than they ever did running Windows. This would be considered a “moderate” difficulty DIY project, with the risk that if the conversion doesn’t go over properly, the computer may no longer function at all.
Learn more here.
OR, would you like to donate your computer and not have to go through a technical process? That is where local nonprofit Disability Partners (located on New Leicester Highway in West Asheville) comes in. You can donate your old computer to them, they will erase the machine, install a working operating system (Windows 10 or CloudReady), and provide the computer to a local individual with a disability. Contact them at (828) 298-1977 (please allow 2-3 days for them to return your call due to increased demand and changes in their office protocols due to the pandemic).
Remote support for your new computer purchase & more
Buy a new computer remotely the hassle-free way with ADL at your side.
We are continuing to accept appointment requests for remote support via phone and TeamViewer. We are not providing in-person service at this time. However, we are able to offer our signature White Glove New Computer Service to take care of your new computer purchase and setup.
Pre-pandemic we would normally provide an in-person tutorial or data transfer for the new machine, but at this time those services are provided remotely via phone and TeamViewer. Considering purchasing a new computer? Try it the hassle-free way with an experienced, compassionate techie by your side every step of the way!
Click here to book an appointment.
ADL Tech Tip
Wanting a new computer? Wait for prime season
We keep an eye on the computer industry and convert that knowledge into practical advice for you. Considering a new computer purchase? Market inventory is currently low due to the back-to-school rush of buying computers. However, we are entering the prime season for manufacturers to announce their latest computers, in plenty of time for the holiday season.
Photos from the Trail
Jensen and Beth spent their honeymoon hiking the John Muir Trail in California. Enjoy some photos from the trail!
Jensen and Beth at their wedding on Max Patch Bald.
Thank you to all for the well-wishes!
We had an amazing honeymoon hiking 150 miles on the John Muir Trail. Our romance started in 2016 when we hiked 100 miles of the JMT together on what might be considered our second date. For our honeymoon we finished the trail. Today, we have wedding photos to share. Next time, we will have photos from the backpacking trip.
See more photos here.
You are welcome to donate to our registry: https://www.zola.com/registry/jensenandbeth
ADL Tech Tip
Disconnecting from technology completely on a regular basis is one of the most effective strategies for being productive with your tech when you do choose to use it. While a three-week backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail is an extreme example of this, even taking a couple hours with your cell phone and notifications silenced can be tremendously rejuvenating. As someone who spends large amount of time with technology, take it from Jensen… breaks from technology are not a luxury – they are absolutely necessary to keep your mind sharp and balanced.
Click here to learn more about how disconnecting can make you more productive.
Apple dropped a big announcement at its recent World Wide Developers Conference. Apple’s Macs are officially transitioning from using Intel chips to using Apple’s own silicon chips, which they've already been doing on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Apple will release the first Apple Silicon Mac later this year, and plan to transition their entire lineup over the next two years. It appears that moving to custom chips will allow Apple to create faster, more power efficient computers. It will also allow Macs to learn new tricks, such as running iPhone apps side by side with Mac apps.
New operating systems are coming out, too. The new Mac OS will be called Big Sur. Like its predecessor, Catalina, the new Big Sur operating system will not run your older 32-bit applications. If you are still running Mojave or an earlier system, and you are unsure if you have 32-bit apps, book an appointment with Jensen to assess your system before making the switch to a new operating system.
Is your device compatible? See the charts below:
Jensen on BlainesWorld Radio Show
BlainesWorld Radio host Blaine Greenfield interviewed Jensen on his show June 24. Jensen appears in the second half.
Click here to see the interview.
Treat your group to Jensen's remote Internet Safety and Security Class.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
We have been giving an updated Internet Safety and Security Classremotely! This presentation is designed fit all audiences regardless of tech savvy (we all want to be safe on the internet), and for remote presentations is typically 30-60 minutes in length, depending on your needs. Recent presentations include Kiwanis Club of Asheville and the Asheville business networking community.
Would your community group like to have Jensen as a speaker? Please get in touch!
Click here to contact us.
ADL Tech Tip!
Always keep a backup browser set up on your computer.
Web browsers are finicky creatures, asked to perform all sorts of acrobatic tasks to properly display web pages. Sometimes, a web browser doesn’t work properly. Before getting into troubleshooting or even calling ADL, your best bet is to try the same site on a different browser. The site may well work better, and save you a bundle of time. This is why we always recommend that you have a second web browser installed and ready, even if you rarely use it. Your backup web browser should be one of the “big 4”:
We’re all frustrated that we can’t meet face to face. “Social distancing” is not fun, but it’s so necessary at this time to keep us all safer and healthier. So, what do you do when your tech links to the outside world start acting up? Call us for remote help.
We’re pleased to report that we’ve been having great success helping people with their iPhone questions, and iPhone screen sharing has been working like a charm, along with Mac and PC remote support. You will need TeamViewer to receive remote help. Please download it by clicking the links to your devices below:
Not sure whether your needs can be handled remotely? Reply to this email with any questions, or click here for other ways to contact us.
Where you get your news really does matter in a time of crisis
Misinformation machines have gone into a frenzy with the Coronavirus. Learn how a small scientific study was misinterpreted by a national health minister, and the army of misinformation experts that magnified the resulting misleading message about the safety of over the counter pain medications. Where you get your news from matters!
Click here to read the story.
Tech Break: Tub Time!
Take time away from your screen, and let the healing powers of water soothe your muscles
Have a bathtub? Use it! A hot bath is a great cure for muscle tension & stress. Let your head and neck float freely in the water, and feel tension melt away. For an extra relaxing experience that your muscles will thank you for, dissolve 2 cups of epsom salts in the water.
Don't have a bathtub? No problem! Use your shower's water pressure directly on neck, chest, and back muscles.
FIrefox is the most privacy conscious of all the major web browsers.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Have you tried the Firefox web browser?
Firefox is the most privacy-conscious of the major web browsers. Google Chrome has risen in the ranks by being speedy. However, researchers have found that users of Chrome inadvertently share more information with advertisers than users of Firefox, due to the way the web browser is designed.
This makes sense, as Chrome is made by Google, who make the lion’s share of their profits through advertising, while Firefox is maintained by a nonprofit collaborative. Furthermore, Firefox is speedy enough that most users won't notice any difference.
Click here to learn more.
Working from home? Protect your #1 asset
With all the talk about Coronavirus lately, more people are working from home, or soon will be. If you're among them, please keep this in mind:
The number one asset to your ability to be productive is a speedy internet connection. For most folks, this means a WiFi system running at its best, combined with a quality internet connection that is running as it should. This isn’t always as simple as it may seem, and small things can impact the connection.
Just last week we did some in-depth troubleshooting to discover that a faulty cable was damaging our client’s ability to be productive on their home WiFi.
Do you need help setting up or troubleshooting your home internet connection? Click here to contact Asheville Digital Lifestyle today.
News Flash! Apple Updates iPhone Cleaning Guidelines
Apple now recommends wiping iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices with70% alcohol or Chlorox Wipes. Please keep in mind that different phone screens have different technologies, so always check with your manufacturer first. But for Apple devices, it’s now officially okay. Click here to read more from Apple.
Technology is supposed to help us, lower stress, and make life more enjoyable. However, is there such a thing as too much tech? An Atlantic reporter visiting the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas came away with that feeling. There are so many gadgets out there, to ostensibly help with virtually any problem you may have, but where is the line between solving a problem and adding additional complexity to your life? From smart toothbrushes, to computer aided meditation, to smart toilets, there is a gadget out there for every need. But, how do we find balance between the latest in technology and the things that will actually improve your life while keeping it simple and easy?
I have been keeping up with computers and their associated gadgets since age 5. I was one of the first users of the Palm Pilot, which brought handheld computing to everyday people (my first Palm perished in my pocket during an especially intense Coney Island roller coaster ride). I am always interested to understand the latest technological advances and how they can help our everyday lives. However, there is a lot of “beta” (low quality/not ready for mass consumption) technology out there, and there are plenty of devices that simply don’t do enough for us to justify the expense, inevitable effort spent troubleshooting when it doesn’t work, and rare earth metals that are necessary to build computers of all shapes and sizes.
I consider it my responsibility to keep up with the latest technology and use my understanding to guide people regarding what’s worthwhile and what’s not. It’s based on each person’s values as well as the quality and design of any given device. For example, many people are seeing value in smart speakers and assistants such as Alexa or Siri, which they use to ask questions without having to sit at a computer, or control the home temperature and lighting. However, some people see these assistants as intrusive and invasive to privacy. Anytime I give a recommendation to a client, I always combine my knowledge of technology, with my understanding of each client’s personal preferences, to give you the most valuable advice possible.
ADL Tech Tip: Windows 7 is obsolete – Your computer may be, too
If you're still running Window 7 on an aging PC, it's time to get a new machine.
By now, you've no doubt heard about the demise of Windows 7. Does this mean your old Windows 7 computer will stop working? No. What it means is that Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft.
Don't get "bewitched" by the lure of Black Friday deals too good to be true!
If we could give you one bit of advice as we go into the holiday season, it would be to keep your wits about you when it comes to technology sales. Especially where Black Friday is concerned. Oh, and don’t be in a hurry to adopt the “latest and greatest.” Unfortunately, consumers become the beta testers for new technology (at their own expense), and when things go awry, the results can be time-sucking tech support headaches with device manufacturers. Better to wait, we like to say.
Here’s a great New York Times article about why waiting is the best approach when it comes to new gadgetry. Here at ADL, our goal is to provide level-headed advice to help you get the most joy and productivity out of your technology. Often, this means helping clients make decisions about which tech to use that is going to work reliably, and has been tested by many others before you to ensure it is as easy to use as possible with a lower chance of frustration. Generally, we take a cautious view on recommending a product that has just leaped onto the market with little use in the real world.
Of course, if you’ve already gone out and purchased the latest in interesting gadgets, we are happy to support you in that journey! Just watch out for Black Friday, because that’s often a time when the computer industry takes its worst functioning, least reliable products, and discounts them to bargain basement prices to get rid of excess inventory. If a Black Friday deal looks too good to be true, it may be!
Be particularly wary of:
The bottom line: Don’t be in a hurry to own “the coming thing.” Chances are good it will get you both coming and going!
Need help with new (or even old) tech gear? Click here to make an appointment with Jensen.
ADL Tech Tip: Content at your fingertips
Here’s a great tip for “cord cutters.” Roku Channel provides a rotating selection of live news and other entertainment. You don’t even need a Roku player to try it out. Click this link from your computer to find out what's on the Roku Channel.
Your wireless printer is like a canary in a coal mine for your wifi system.
Wireless printers like a canary in a coal mine. It will be the first thing to act up if your wifi router is not working well. If your wireless printer is not printing, a quick reboot of both the printer and wireless router may help. The printer has its own little operating system, so be sure to understand how to check for firmware updates and do so on a quarterly basis or when the printer is having an issue. If you have an inkjet, understand how to clean the print heads and perform other maintenance that is required to ensure the printer will print with high quality.
Asheville Digital Lifestyle can do a checkup on your printer whenever we come out to help you. An on-site checkup is always the best way to troubleshoot a recalcitrant printer. However, if you are looking for remote help for your printer, the manufacturer may be able to guide you through some basic problem solving at no cost.
Catalina is here! Don't hurry, some of your apps won't work.
Your 32-bit apps will not work in the new Catalina OS. Photo by Apple
MacOS Catalina has been released! As with all major Mac updates, it’s not a bad idea to wait a month or two to install the update. This will also give you time to check to see which of your apps may need an update to work in Catalina, since this release includes major changes under the hood. Some older apps are considered “32 bit” which means they will not work at all in the new Mac operating system.
How do you check to see which of your apps may not make the cut? Click here to find out. Some apps that are 64 bit may also have trouble in Catalina if they have not been recently updated by their developer.
Still not sure if your apps will work in Catalina? We can take the guesswork out of this via a remote or in person session. Click here to make an appointment.
ADL Tech Tip: Bring back a closed tab
Do you know how easy it is to reclaim an accidentally closed tab? On PCs, simply press Ctrl + Shift + T to reopen the most recently closed tab and get back to what you were doing. On Macs it's Cmd + Shift + T.
By now you must have heard that come January 14, 2020, Windows 7 reaches “end of life.” What does that mean? Essentially, it means no more updates or support from Microsoft after that date. Your operating system becomes “orphaned.” It will continue to work on your computer, but without support, it could expose you to serious security risks. It’s not worth it. Windows 7 has been faithful for more than a decade. That’s an amazing accomplishment in the Operating System Universe. Now it’s time to move on.
Many people have the misconception that it’s easy to upgrade an existing computer to Windows 10. Even when Microsoft was offering a free Windows 10 upgrade (which has long since been discontinued), there was a strong probably that a machine not built for Windows 10 would malfunction after the upgrade. Even in cases where a computer works okay after a Windows 10 upgrade, purchasing the license and the work to perform the upgrade costs hundreds of dollars that would be better spent on a new computer, designed from the ground up for the latest version of Windows 10.
Click here to read more about the Windows 7 “End of Life.”
If you’re ready to take the leap for parting with Windows 7 and purchasing a new machine, Asheville Digital Lifestyle is ready to help. Make an appointment to assess your needs and we’ll find the right system for you.
Change is in the air for Macs as well, with MacOS Catalina about to be released in October. Catalina supports Macs sold in 2012 and newer. We’d recommend that you wait a month or two for any glitches to be ironed out before diving into Catalina. It’s also important if you use any programs not made by Apple, to check whether they are fully compatible with Catalina before making the leap to the new operating system.
Time to Whoop it Up?
Photo by Whoop
We are testing a new fitness platform called Whoop! Many people are familiar with Fitbit, which has popularized the idea of fitness tracking, and the idea of getting to 10,000 steps daily. It turns out that while most people can get behind the idea of staying active, the 10,000 step idea was actually created by a Japanese marketing company!
Whoop takes a different approach, eschewing steps and focusing on Strain vs Recovery, giving advice on whether you should “push it” and work out harder, or take it easy to let your body recover. Jensen is testing the technology as an aid to building fitness and improving his soccer game as his team, Watershed Ale House, hits the next level of competition, after getting 1st place in their division and being promoted to the 3rd division in ABASA’s Open League.
Watch for future updates about Jensen's experience with Whoop.
Jensen Gelfond is the Owner Asheville Digital Lifestyle, helps people use their technology more effectively and joyfully.