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.
Windows 8 is great, if you are used to it or if you have a touch-screen laptop or tablet. But more and more of my clients are complaining that they just got a new PC with Win 8 installed - and they hate it. What they really want is that new computer loaded with their old operating system, Windows 7.
Since the early 1990s, I've had half a dozen desktop computers, five laptops, various printers, a couple of faxes, a plethora of dumb phones and a couple of smartphones. But just this week I got my first tablet computer. As I once initially thought, I had no need for a computer (my dedicated Smith Corona Word Processor was just fine for a writer), I also thought I didn't need a tablet. I was wrong.
Today's smartphones allow us mobile access to so much more information than ever before. We can take charge of our schedule, email, texts, social networking, computing, Web browsing, banking and more. But what if you weren't the only one that had control of all that sensitive information in your mobile phone?
I have been a fan of the Windows operating system since its inception. With Windows XP back near the turn of this century, things started getting better. Wireless and USB support were introduced and many enhancements were added with that edition. Improvements were made to the computer hardware, the operating system and software; it all began to run faster than ever before.
Too many computers that I've worked on recently have had insufficient protection. Some had anti-virus apps or Internet security suites installed, but they were not properly configured. Some were so outdated they were completely ineffective.
While recently attempting to print a document on a printer I've had installed for over a year, Windows suddenly advised me that I in fact, had no printer installed. I could see the Officejet across the room; I just used it the night before and my wife had printed something on it earlier that morning, so I knew it worked.
There are good places to go on the Internet for downloads and there are not-so-good places. Often when you think you are navigating to a certain website, you end up somewhere else, possibly on a rogue site. You have been redirected.
Anyone who uses a computer eventually gets error messages. These annoying pop-ups can often be intimidating, leaving the user frustrated. Google, at least has a sense of humor with their, "Aw snap, Google has crashed" and "Jim, I think he's dead." Most messages though, leave you exasperated, wondering what to do next.