Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Team Viewer and Logmein, the winner is?

Team Viewer and Logmein are two of the many programs out there that will let you remotely access your computer while your away from home. Some might ask why you would want to do this. For me, its my way to provide support for my family since I moved so far away and since I've started my new job, it is the way I support remote users all over the country. Lets not mention its a great way to get some stuff done on your personal machines when you have the occasional downtime at work. 

I started this blog article way back when Logmein was free and easily the best option out there for daily use. You could have as many linked computers in your account as possible. Then they cut it off the unlimited access down to just 10 computers. I was easily able to handle almost all of my computers as well as my relatives computer. This was the program I lived in for years. Sometime late last year, they finally closed down the free portion and made option a pay only option. However they basically cut off the free option in one day and gave the users a 1 free week trial. It wasn't a very nice thing to do but that's how it goes. 

I had used programs like Join.me which is great but isnt the same as Logmein. (Logmein owns Join.me) I had also used Team Viewer for the occasionally trouble shooting issue for the remote users I had. The whole 2 of them. So of course I remembered that and loaded two test computers. While you cant mistake the difference between Team Viewer and Logmein, they basically provided the same functionality accept Team Viewer is free. (For Now) Both support clients. Both support multiple computers. They both support multiple passwords needed to login, just incase some accesses the program, they would still need a pass to the computer they are trying to login at to access it. One noticeable difference is that Team Viewer supports sound, (atleast on PC not sure of mac) and Logmein does not.

Obviously the big difference between the two is price. Team Viewer is free (for now) and Logmein has a yearly fee. If Logmein offered a reasonable lifetime price, I would have probably paid it. That being said, when I arrived to my new company, I was very happy to see they used Logmein to support all the remote branches. It makes life very easy to support the users with there various questions. Team Viewer does support a corporate pay version. I'm sure that would be great as well, but because I enjoy the Logmein interface just a little more I would have to recommend Logmein if price wasnt an issue and you have a lot of users to support. 

That being said, FREE is better especially in this instance, check out Team Viewer if your like me, the remote IT support for your friends and family or in a pinch and need to support a user who cant get Join.me or Logmein to work. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I'm back (again) but in Houston!! Review of Aereo streaming local tv service

In January I sold the house in San Diego and moved out to Houston where I had a nice relaxing I.T. job waiting for me. The only downsides besides moving away from friends and family is that I'm traveling twice as far and traffic is twice as terrible. ( I wont mention the weather issue) But the people are way more engaging and generally nicer. But this is not an update on me just letting you know why I haven't written in so long. 

Since I've moved to Houston, I have essentially been living TVless. Now that I'm settled and in a routine I wanted to address this. I have been staying with a friend and I didn't want to add to his cable bill and get a box. Some might ask, why don't you just torrent your shows. The WiFi in the house isn't the greatest and speed isn't a concern to my friend, so I don't want to bog down his network with constant streaming or downloading. (And I would never torrent) 

In San Diego I had read about a service called Aereo. It sounded like a great idea. Basic cable that you can get on your smart device. Another step closer to cutting the chord. However it didn't have enough channels for me to consider it a viable option. Since I'm now in a place where I have 20 or so days between my friends house and escrow closing on my house. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give Aereo a try. 

Upsides so far
1. The setup process is simple. However you need a credit/debit card that has a local billing address tied to it to complete registration and initial billing process.
2. DVR to record shows
3. Aereo probably offers the best web DVR setup I've used. Its much simpler and more responsive than Uverse of Cox Cables online interface. 
4. You can access live video from your web browser via phone or computer
5.1 month trial/test period (which is perfect for my needs)
6. Price 8.99 monthly 
7. Smooth 4g LTE Playback (smart device)
8. Smooth Wifi Playback (pc & smart device)

Downsides so far
1. Limited amount of channels (but I knew that going in) and its really not a downside but I would kick cable if they offered more. 
2. No App for smart device
3. Having to use a card located with a viable zip (that is how they keep subscription local)
4. One DVR channel at a time. (You pay extra for an additional channel for simultaneous DVRing)

As you can see the positives out weigh the negatives, for the cord cutting people this service can be a great alternative especially during football season. You would only have to find different options for Monday and Thursday night football. I'm definitely in the early stages of using Aereo so if I find any issues along the way I will make sure to post an update. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I have multiple email accounts but Mac Outlook 2011 only lets me have one out of office ;(

If your like me, you have multiple email accounts. However if you want to use outlooks out of office assistant, you can only use it for one particular email account.

This is how I managed to get around this annoying issue.

Click on the Mail, towards the bottom left of your Outlook
Then Click the organize tab towards the top
Choose Rules, once the drop down appears click Edit Rules

Then choose the particular email type.  For example Exchange, Pop, IMAP

Edit the Rule Name with whatever you want. Example “Vacation Message”



Click the Reply Text button in the middle and edit your out of office message.

Then hit ok and send a test email.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Old Macbook rebuild!

So I was asked to wipe and reinstall Snow Leopard on an old (white) Macbook. I was tasked to making sure it was wiped because of all the crude emails that were sent to the machine, and since it was on its way to a new home for a pre-teen I had to make sure the crude emails weren't ever going to see the light of day again.

So here is what I did.

Start up the mac book and hold down C
This will take what seems like a couple minutes but you will boot into a recovery screen.
Choose US if your in the united states or your appropriate country.
Do not click next. If you do go back or start over

From there Choose Disc Utility. This is a tab at the top of the screen.

From there choose the hard drive

Click on the erase button

Then choose security options.

From there choose what secure erase option your are comfortable with.

Since I had plenty of time to get this done and a relatively small hard drive, I choose the 7-Pass Erase Option.

Once you choose your option follow the next prompt and proceed. In my case this took 4-5 hours.

Once the erase process is completed, put in Snow Leopard disc

Follow the prompts and install. With the information that was needed and installation of the OS. The process took 30-45 minutes.

From there you will have a clean OS. For this user I will recommend not updating to the newer OS versions as they will only slow down this older machine even more. They will be able to do the basics on it and you cant beat a free laptop!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What I use to keep my PC from the sickness!

So recently, I have been getting a lot of questions about virus removal. Since we live in a world were people click on random sites, popups and emails that they have no idear who there from, I thought I would write an article

So I thought I would write an article on how I "try" cleans infected computers.

First I start with downloading what I need.
I go to http://ninite.com/
I'm assuming since you have a virus your a windows user.
Find the area called Security (should be in bold)
From there click (check) next the following. Did I mention there free?
:Essentials
:Malwarebytes
:Spybot 2

From there click on the Get Installer
Depending on your browser, accept/run and let the programs install.

If you are using Norton Antivirus, you probably will be asked if you want to uninstall. I have Norton and would uninstall in a heart beat. However if you just paid to renew your subscription, Stop the installation and only install Spybot 2 and Malware bytes
From there after all three are installed

Once installation has complete, Microsoft Security essentials will update and start a quick scan on its own.
Following Completion, start Walware bytes. If your database is out of date, you will get a pop up telling you to update.
The update should take seconds
After the update is completed, Perform a full scan.
This can take some time.

After the scan is complete you will see a screen asking you to view the infections. Make sure you remove any infections you find by click the check mark next to them and then click the remove button.

Now on to spybot 2..
Make sure not to walk away because spybot needs more manual attention
As a good practice, Updating should be the first thing you do.
Click update two or three times. Once it is updated, the last time you try and update will be super quick
Click Immunization
Choose Full Immunization
Then Choose Apply Immunization
After scan complete close out
Click on system scan
Start Scan
A Pop up shows "Clean Temp items" I always click yes
Once scan has completed, click show scan results
Choose Fix Selected

This should remove any malware or virus issues found.

Now if your unable to download and install anything try booting to safe mode. Depending on your computer maker there can be a different button to tap at startup
For instance click on f12 continuously at startup.
You will have these options
:Safe Mode
:Safe Mode with Networking
:Safe Mode with Command Prompt
:Enable VGA mode
:Last Known Good Configuration
:Directory Service Restore Mode
:Debugging Mode
:Enable Boot Logging
:Start Windows Normally

Try and login using safe mode with networking

Then follow the steps above.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How I get the most of my iPad 1

If your like me,your house is getting smarter. WeMo light control, Nest thermostat and soon Nest Protect, and iVideon home surveillance system. As my home gets smarter your gonna need a device that can control your home when your home. While I can do this with my Smart Phone, the battery life really doesn't allow me the multitasking between browsing, email and monitoring all my smart devices. Why buy a new IPad for this. Why not use an original iPad 1 for all of these things

Here is what I use my Original iPad for.

1. Nest- I control my home thermometer with my iPad. When the summer months hit and it gets warm, I dont always want my Nest kicking on the air condition. While you can program the nest to whatever temp you want. Sometimes you wanna kick on the AC while your cooking and dont want to walk the 10 steps to the device while the stove is on.

2. WeMo- Sometimes I want those lights to shut off and I don't want to get out of bed to do it. With a couple taps, the lighting in your house can easily shut off without you having to move from that comfy spot in your bed.

3. iVideon - Monitor the other rooms in your house. This allows you to monitor your webcams or old reused anroid devices with this app. Monitor your babies room during the day or have a low cost surveillance system with this app and your iPad.

4. Craftsman Assurelink Garage Door Opener - Open your garage door with this app. You ask why would I use this? If its late at night, and you think you forgot to close the garage door. Check the app to see if you left it open instead of gettin out of bed

5. BOT Home Automation - See and talk to visitors with this device and an app

6. Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote - I have done a review on this product, and I cant tell you how much I really love this product. If you misplace your phone, the iPad makes for a fantastic backup!

So this is just a sample of what you can use an original iPad for. An old iPad will will do the trick and works great managing all your smart devices. I would love to hear what you guys use your old hardware for!

Extras

AirServer - Not only do your have the ability to airplay to an apple tv, but with this you can Airplay to a PC or Mac Mini. For me this is huge, you can push youtube videos to your Mac Mini/HTPC without ever picking up a keyboard.

Owletcare - Have yet to use this, however this is a fantastic idea. I know I was paranoid a time or two about SIDS.. If there is a device that can help me sleep a little better knowing my little girl is breathing, than it would be worth a look

Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter - Attach this to your sound system and play Pandora or Spotify over Bluetooth.

Some video players

VLC player

Belkin @Tv

Air Video

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ultraviolet and Cinemanow movies freebie

Always on the look out for that which is free & on the first day of our government shutdown what can be better than getting 10 free digital movies? Click on this link. Sign up for a free account unless your already a member of CinemaNow or Ultraviolet and choose 10 flicks. They're older flicks but who can say no to Big Trouble in Little China?


 
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