The last dozen computers that I've worked on all had two things in common: They were all incredibly slow and all had severe malware infections. A coincidence perhaps? I think not. When I encounter a sluggish system, I immediately suspect malware. It's what I habitually remove from computers when I repair them.
There is a new phishing scheme currently circulating on the Internet. Its objective is not just to steal your money but your identity as well.
The last time we spoke, I warned you of the demise of Windows XP and the upcoming end of its support from Microsoft this coming April. I've since gotten many emails and questions from concerned clients and readers who were confused as to what they should do. So let's address that.
This spring Windows XP will be 13 years old. Considering my car is almost that old, it's not a big deal except for the fact that my car won't get an infection, but XP might.
In the world of computing, the biggest headache used to be a virus. By definition it is a self-replicating piece of code in the form of an application that destroys data on your computer and spreads rapidly.
What do you get when you cross a mobile phone with a tablet? A phablet; really, that's what the new hybrids are called, and you'll be seeing them on store shelves soon in 2014, if you haven't seen them already on YouTube.
When I was a kid, I would create things in my dad's workshop that would revolutionize society. They were futuristic and impressive looking - only they didn't do anything.
Got an old computer and you're not sure what to do with it? Put it in the kids' room or the basement? Give it to Grandma?
Computer cookies, just as baked cookies, contain small bits in them. Instead of chocolate chips or raisins, computer cookies have in them bits of data. Usually innocuous and helpful, cookies may on occasion be detrimental to safe computing.
When you buy your next electronic gadget during the next few months, whether for yourself or a gift, chances are the salesperson will ask if you want to add an extended warranty to the purchase. You're under pressure to decide in a few seconds whether or not to spend about 15 percent of the device's value to protect it. I almost always decline these offers.
Every afternoon when my mail gets delivered, I can't help but notice how few junk letters I receive. I get a couple of bills, a magazine, the occasional package and maybe a solicitation from a local business or two. That's it. A few years ago I got piles of paper every day. The bulk of junk mail today is sent electronically.
Back in the day, if you wanted Internet access, you needed an Ethernet connection; you were tethered to a cable. Then came wireless Internet or Wi-Fi. It's also called WLAN or Wireless LAN, which is Wireless Local Area Network. The technical term for it is 802.11, which is the set of standards for wireless in the 2.4-5 GHz frequency bands.
The last three computers I worked on all needed to be retired, replaced or used for target practice. There comes a time when it's simply no longer cost-effective to keep your old XP relic running, no matter how much you like it.
This summer I spent more time with my camera than my computer. As a camp photographer up in the mountains of White County, I shot more than 20,000 photos. To make them look good, I had to edit them quickly and judiciously -- good enough for parental scrutiny.
My dad was into gadgets. He liked to be on the cutting edge of electronics. OK, this was the late 1960s so nothing was really small or cheap yet. But when pocket calculators initially arrived on the market, they were about three-quarters of an inch thick and about the size of a cellphone.