Monthly Archives: August 2014

The 5 Most Rugged Laptops

 

A lot of computers were built with durability in mind.

A lot of computers were built with durability in mind.

If you’re not the smoothest with laptops and you bring them wherever you go — no matter where that is, you’re going to want to find one that can live up to the challenge. Finding a rugged, all purpose laptop can be ideal for those that are constantly on the go – or even those that have a bit of a clumsy side to them. There are many different laptops out there that are not only rugged, but they exceed the expectations that you might have for a rugged, hard working laptop.

People have spoken, here are the results for the 5 most rugged laptops currently on the market.

  1. Lenovo Thinkpads — These are probably not your first choice when it comes to choosing a laptop but they are rated as one of the most rugged. The military even uses them when it comes to providing their soldiers with the necessary laptops that are built to last. They are sleek, yet durable enough to be dropped and not be harmed.
  2. Getac Laptops — These should have a lot said for them. If you’re into rugged laptops that were built for speed, then these are where it is at. You’re able to find them in different models, with different specs but all have that rugged, protected look so if you drop them – they are going to be safe. With vents on the back, instead of the bottom, they are less likely to overheat.
  3. The Panasonic Toughbook — With a lot of specs that you’ll love, these laptops provide a whole new meaning to being rugged. With rubber guards on the sides, you’re able to get the protection you need. Clear screens, different sized laptops and a whole lot of power packed into them – you’re going to love bringing these around.
  4. Gamma Tech Durabook — This are lower on the list because they are not as rugged as the ones above, but they provide much more protection than you would get from a normal, thin laptop. They have bumpers on the sides and the computer comes with some cool features such as a swivel screen. When they close, you’re unable to tell it is a computer, it looks more like a tough case.
  5. General Dynamics — This laptop is tough, heavy duty and provides all over protection when it is needed the most. You’re able to drop this on a hard ground and still be able to use it. The outside looks cool as well. You can close it up and just carry it along without having to worry about the thin material being ruined if something hits it.

All of these laptops are used by military professionals, law enforcement officials and many others that have tough jobs where needing a rugged laptop is essential. The best part is that you do not have to worry about being one of these professionals — you’re able to bring one of these laptops home with you.

Report Problems and Check Solutions Windows 8

Let Microsoft know where there is an error.

Let Microsoft know where there is an error.

Fix Windows 8 Problems Yourself

There are numerous problems that you might encounter with the software and programs on Windows 8. Some of these just need to restart themselves, while others might require more work on your end. If this should happen to you — you’re going to want to know what it is that you should do. You might also want to report these issues to Microsoft. That way, they will receive the problem and be able to update the system so you do not have them any longer.

Here are the ways to check for solutions to your common Windows 8 problems, as well as how to report them to Microsoft.

Report Problems and Solutions Center

Open up the Problem Reports and Solutions Center by clicking on the Start button. There, you will see the Control Panel. You will want to click on that and then System and Maintenance that is found in that panel. Click on the Problem Reports and Solutions button.

Look at the left panel and click on the Change Settings button.

Click on the Check for Solutions Automatically (this is recommended for all computers) and then click on OK. If there is a problem that is found on the system, you are going to be notified via a pop up box on your screen. They will let you know what the problem is and the necessary steps needed to solve and prevent the problem in the future. Microsoft might also let you know that they need more information in order to find or create a specific solution for your computer.

If there is a problem and there is no solution that is given to you, or you’ve already tried them all — a new pop up window is going to come on the screen. This is where it is going to ask you whether or not you’d like to send a notification to Microsoft letting them know about this problem that you’ve been having. You can either click ‘Not at this time’ or ‘OK and depending on what you’d like to do. You’re able to either send or wait it out until the next time it happens.

It is recommended that you send a notification over to Microsoft. This will better allow them to help you with the problem you’re having and even come up with solutions and fixes for the problem. Most likely it is a bug within the system that needs to be smoothed out.

How to Update Windows 8 to 8.1

How to Update Windows 8 to 8.1

Windows 8.1 is an upgraded version of Windows 8. It allows you to go to apps and play them much faster than you previously were. It was designed to help tablets and other touchscreen devices work faster than they currently do with Windows 8 on them.  Enjoy new features, like boot directly to desktop and the start button.

If you have a computer, tablet or other device that is currently running Windows 8, upgrading to 8.1 is free. It is a bit different than other updates you might have done in the past – this one comes from the Windows Store.

Preparing

Usually, if your computer or device is already set up for Windows 8, then you probably do not need to do much. However, there are some things to keep in mind prior to putting 8.1 on the device.

All of your files, desktop applications, setting and user accounts will automatically switch over – but, any apps that you purchased from the Window Store will not. You’ll have to go to the store to re-download them into the system. You will not have to pay again, though. Make sure to check the compatibility to Windows 8.1 on them.

There is a scan that is done by the system before it downloads. They check to make sure that everything is ready to go and that you do not have to worry about having to do something halfway through the download. A lot of times, you’re good to go.

If you do not already use a Microsoft account to log into your computer, it is recommended that you get one before getting 8.1. This is because it can help with many of the new features such as backing everything up on your computer using the cloud, see your contacts and download apps from the store.

You’re able to continue using the computer – even as the new update installs. This means it is not going to slow you down. If you do decide to go do something else, make sure everything is saved and closed down.

Your Computer or Device

Here are some things that should be done prior to installing the updates.

  • Back up all of your files on your computer. You want to make sure you have them once you make the switch.
  • Make sure there is enough space free on the disk to ensure that you can download this upgrade. If you do not, you’re going to have to re-do your computer to clean it out.
  • Make sure that your device is always plugged in. You do not want to lose power half way in between.
  • Make sure you’re connected to the Internet for the process. If you’re not, the process could take much longer.
  • Update all of your updates. Any critical or important ones should be updated before you put the new system into your device.
  • Turn off your antivirus program just for a short time. This is to stop the program from stopping the new software from being installed.

 

Getting the Update

Now you should be ready to download the free update from the Windows Store.

1. Go to the Start screen and then on the Store tile.

2. Click on the Windows 8.1 update within the store.

3. Click on Download to get it started.

4. The update will then begin downloading and installing itself in the background on your computer. You can use it to do other things in the mean time.

If something happens during installation, you’re able to go back to the Store and restart the download where it left off before it was interrupted.

Time to Restart

Once the download is complete and the first phase that comes with installation is complete, then it is time to restart the device. The download and first installation phase could take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours depending on the Internet connection and your specific device. Before it restarts, it lets you know that you have 15 minutes to save your work and close the apps. You can let it restart on its own or choose to do it yourself.

If you’re going to be walking away from your computer while doing this process, make sure nothing important is left running. You can lose all of your work by doing this. Save all your work and close out of everything, then walk away.

Restarting the computer and waiting for it to boot back up will take longer than it normally would. This is because it is downloading the new apps and updates needed to run the new system. It can go from 20 minutes to around an hour. Just be patient – you can’t use your computer during this time.

Welcome to Your New Windows

A lot of the start screen is going to look familiar to you once you’re ready to go. You can see all of your apps in the Store and check out which ones might be new to the system.

Now is a good time to re-install any apps that were deleted during the installation of the new system upgrade.

Enjoy Windows 8.1!

If you feel this is too much of a task for you, just contact a computer repair technician at IQ Computer Services.

5 Common Windows 8 Problems and How to Fix Them

5 Common Windows 8 Problems and How to Fix Them

Fix Windows 8 Problems

There are many smaller annoyances that can get on anyone’s nerves in Windows 8. The system has that polished look, but under all that polish, you’re going to find some of the smaller things that will push your buttons. Here are some of those things and ways that you can fix them. Take control of your computer or device again, don’t let Windows 8 run the show.

1. You Don’t Want That Lock Screen

Having a lock screen on a tablet, laptop or other device that you bring around with you makes sense. Putting one on your desktop might be a bit of an annoyance. Here is how you can disable Windows 8 lock screen and get back to work once and for all.

Search for “Run”, click to open the Run Command box. You can also move your mouse down to the lower-left corner of the screen, right click in that area and then selecting Run.

Type in gpedit.msc and hit Enter. This opens the Local Group Policy Editor. You will then want to go to Computer Configuration, then to Administrative Templates, Control Panel and Personalization. Double click on Do Not Display the Lock Screen. This will open up a new window. Select Enabled and then OK.

Your lock screen should be gone now.

2. I Can’t Have POP?

Windows 8 has a lack of POP email support in their mail app. This was something that I found irritating because most email servers are use this. Their IMAP server fits the cloud better, but if you do not have an IMAP system for mail – you’re not going to be able to use it with their system.

One of the best ways to fix this problem is to download the Thunderbird email app, this is through Mozilla. You can then use it on your desktop to receive POP emails. Outlook and Gmail are both able to be ran on this system. Just create a free account with them, add your emails and you’re ready to get going.

3. Bing is Not Your Favorite Browser

No problem! A lot of people choose to use Google as their primary. However, Bing is the strong point for Windows 8 and it seems to be on just about everything that you use. Not only that, but when you click on the Bing app if you want to search for something – it pops up the Internet Explorer. This is an annoyance for some if you like to use a different browser.

Just pin the Bing website to the start screen. Then go to Bing.com, click Pin This Site on the toolbar above and then Pin to Start. This fixes it all.

4. Your Resolution is Great, But Can’t Read it

This is a problem when you’re trying to do something on your computer. The software was made to provide more friendly text and graphics to tablets and other devices, but it is not necessarily the best for a computer. The 1080p resolution is a nice additive, but it also means it is harder to read. Since it is so sharp, squeezing it into such a small place makes it harder to read.

There is a way around this, however.

Right click on the desktop – anywhere is fine. Select Screen Resolution and then click on the Make Text and Other Items Larger and Smaller. You can then personalize these items to your own liking. If you like to touch the items on the screen – if you have a touchscreen – this can make touching them much easier when you make them larger. You can also choose a text type that suits your needs from the drop down menu that is given.

5. More Than One Account?

Perhaps you have a few different accounts, some for the computer, some for your Xbox and so on. You might have points on a few of them that you’re able to use. However, Microsoft lets everyone know that you cannot merge the accounts into one account that you use for everything. Life cannot be that simple. You have to create your account and use them separately for all of the things that you’d like to do. Unfortunately, there is no way around this one. This is the one that just cannot be won.