The Tech Guy Blog

Try Age-Appropriate Online Computer Games to Bond With Your Kids!

If you want to connect with your children over long distances, try playing an online video game that's both appropriate for kids as well as fun for adults! Certain videogames like Factorio, Brilliant, Words with Friends, Animal Crossing, and especially Minecraft are great for cooperation and brain stimulation. Setting up a Minecraft server doesn't require an expensive PC, and it fuels creativity via its building mechanics. Just make sure they have the computer literacy to log in!

Expect to Spend At Least $1000 for a Good Computer These Days

The less you spend on a computer, the more likely it'll break. Go for the higher-end Pro/business-grade model because the hardware will be better and won't get frustrating early down the road. The computer you want is close to $1500 to $2000...unless it's a Chromebook. We all need to reset our expectations for Windows and Mac products. Overall, it's gonna cost more than you wanna pay, but it'll be worth it in the long run. If money is especially tight, a Chromebook refurbished with some DIY upgrades could also work out.

Try to Avoid Using OLED as a Computer Monitor

Jeff, a listener from San Francisco, advises to not choose an OLED display for use as a computer monitor. Burn-in can be a scary issue when it comes to modern computer interfaces, which often leave menus/images still for long periods of time. It can be replaced under warranty if one is lucky, but maybe go for a 4K LCD display instead. Preferably a big screen that can be utilized as a 4-in-1 canvas for multiple windows.

For a 1st Computer Purchase, Try an iPad!

If you have yet to buy your first computer, you will want to have a specific purpose upon finally receiving or buying one. Having a purpose will drive motivation, fun, and gratification while also building other computer skills in the process. A nice choice for a computer newbie would actually be an Apple iPad, which is only $329 and relatively easy to navigate. From there, your understanding can translate to other computer operating systems like macOS or even Windows. Avoid old laptops though, as troubleshooting and sluggishness will frustrate you more than necessary.

Wait Until June Before Upgrading Your Mac

If you've got a Mac and are thinking about upgrading to a new model now, just wait a bit longer. Apple teased their next Worldwide Developers Conference for June 7, 2021. "WWDC21 will offer unique insight into the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS" according to Apple. So just hang on to see what new models wield the powerful M1 chip (which is currently only on the Macbook Air, Macbook Pro 13", and Mac mini) as well as a possible physical redesign. If speculation comes true, these new devices will be worth waiting for.

Be Mindful When Hotspotting on Your Phone

Most cellphone devices now and days allow you to use it as a mobile hotspot to connect various devices and get internet access. However, be careful how often to use it, as you can use up a lot of data quickly depending on what you do. Most carriers have some form of unlimited data, so that is technically not a problem. But after you use a set amount of data, they will throttle your data speeds, so be mindful of your usage while hot-spotting.

Shutterfly Offers Unlimited Free Photo Storage

Since Google Photos is going to end their free unlimited photo storage in June, you may be looking for a new cloud to back up to freely. If you're a Prime member, Amazon has unlimited storage via the Amazon Photos app. However, Shutterfly also features an unlimited free photo storage service, complete with sharing abilities. It doubles as a convenient place to draw from when creating personalized Shutterfly gifts to be printed.

The 5 Things to Do With a New Router...

Here are the five things you need to do with a new router ...

1. Change the SSID and the default password.

2. Turn off WAN Administration (this allows administering the router from the outside)

3. Turn off Universal Plug n Play (UPnP)

4. Turn off WPS WiFi Protected Setup (one button log in)

5. Turn on Encryption and select WPA3 or WPA2. Do NOT use WEP. It's not secure.