The Tech Guy Blog

Print Wirelessly With Your Chromebook in 2021

Unfortunately, Google has killed their Cloud Print service (like many of their projects) at the end of 2020. Other products like directprint.io and PaperCut are possible alternatives. But see if your printer is still compatible by going into your Chromebook's advanced settings, click "printers" under "printing", and check if the printer can be added. Both devices must be on the same WiFi network in your home. If things aren't working out wirelessly, use a USB cable to connect to the printer.

Automatically Turn On PC After Shutdown During Remote Work.

A lot of us are remoting into our work PCs these days (for safety WFH reasons), but what do we do when our computer inadvertently shuts down and can't be rebooted without a physical power button press? Take a look at the BIOS settings and search for power management options. Locate a setting for "Reboot/Restore On Power Loss" or something similarly named. BIOS settings depend on the manufacturer of the personal computer, so you might have to wiggle around for the exact name of the option.

Don't Use a "Free" or Super-Cheap VPN Service

A VPN is a way to mask an online user's physical location, which is a great way to maintain privacy and security....while also allowing one to watch TV & Netflix in another country (Japan)! VPNs do what "incognito modes" in browsers don't. However, you don't want to sign up for a super low-cost or free VPN service, as those can be quite suspicious. They have to be making money somehow, and it is likely by selling user information (sort of the antithesis of what VPN users want).

Brilliant Ideas Aren't the Key...the Implementation Is.

If you're thinking of a million-dollar idea but need someone to program it, there's a risk or three. The programmer could technically rip off your idea and write the app/code himself/herself. Another issue could be the programmers you hire can totally **** the bed attempting to make your idea come to life, resulting in wasted time and/or money. The brilliant idea is not the key, since ideas are a dime a dozen. The key is implementation and execution. Learning to code will give you an advantage on the road to success, so you have more control in bringing your plan to fruition.   

Make a Backup Copy of Your Strong Passwords

First of all, get a password manager such as Lastpass (TWiT sponsor), 1Password, or Apple's Keychain. Any password manager is better than no password manager. Secondly, it might be a good idea to create a backup (like your important computer files) of those strong passwords in case something goes wrong with accessing your vault of account information. Maybe make a USB key of passwords and store it in a super safe and secretive location at home just for worst-case scenarios regarding your master password.

Allow the Relevant Permissions for Your iOS Apps Requesting Access

If an application needs to share Photos and Video to an iOS device, it needs to store the files in the Photos album of your device in order to work. On an Apple device, the permissions will be granular. If you want to send a picture through an app like Facebook Messenger, you will get a pop-up asking for your permission to access your device's photos. That is normal, so don't freak out. If an app is asking for permissions to certain areas of your iOS device (like Contacts, Location, etc.) that don't seem to relate to the app's function, be wary.

Click Show Package Contents to Access Your Photos in iPhoto

If you recently bought a new Macbook to replace a much older Mac, you may have trouble restoring old backups of photos and video stored in iPhoto from the elder machine. Pictures in iPhoto are stored in a blob called the "library". You have to right-click on the icon (which is secretly a folder) and select Show Package Contents, then you can find the original photo files (possibly sorted by year) that can be copied to your backup location.

Replacing Vs. Repairing Your TV

If your home television is not working anymore, you may question whether to buy a new screen or call up the classic "TV Repairmen" (a lost art). While the fix might be easy with a little digging, anything complex may cost way too much or be too troublesome to get repaired. Televisions are pretty inexpensive these days so a good approach is to find great deals on a quality TV. A good, relatively cheap brand is TCL, though Samsung, Hisense, and LG are also reliable. Just don't hang the Television over a fireplace!

Use Edge Instead of Internet Explorer

If you are a Windows 10 user and browsing the web, you should stop using Internet Explorer. At least if you're not forced to for work reasons. It is outdated and insecure at this point, but luckily there is a much better alternative by Microsoft. Their "Edge" browser can import your settings/bookmarks from IE and provide more security. It is also much faster than Internet Explorer and behaves much like Google's Chrome browser. You can read PDFs in Edge built-in, instead of using Adobe Reader.