The Tech Guy Blog

Windows 7 Is Still Fine To Use Offline

If you still insist on using your Windows 7 computer and are scared of using it thanks to Microsoft's lack of continued support, it is still okay to use it offline. If you don't take it on the internet, you significantly lower your risks to catch anything harmful for the PC. Plus, most of your permanent applications will still work as long as there is electricity to power the computer! However, you should still be sure to back up important files onto an external hard drive, as staying offline means no access to cloud backup services.

Get a Chromebook/iPad Over Windows for Browser Usage

If you do most computer work in the browser, get a Chromebook or iPad instead of a new Windows PC. It's not worth plunging into the complicated and frequently clumsy predicaments (such as being unable to update or upgrade) Microsoft creates if you rarely need the desktop features of Windows 10. On iPad or Chromebook, you'll likely save money and probably be more secure in many respects. There's a chance that Microsoft will be moving everything to the Azure cloud in the future anyway.

Go For a Solid-State Drive When Getting a New Desktop PC

When you are buying/building a new desktop PC with any kind of stamina, make sure it has an SSD instead of an HDD. Solid-State Drives are a massive improvement in speed and durability from regular hard drives, Best of all, prices of SSDs have fallen drastically, so getting a 1TB drive is plenty and still affordable. Also, don't get a "hybrid" configuration of SDD and traditional, it's more worth it to go all-in on solid-state.

Check Out RadioLabs for WiFi Antenna Solutions

If you are looking to lengthen the range of your WiFi using an external antenna that can aim in a particular spot, check out RadioLabs.com (Leo's favorite source for WiFi antenna solutions). This can solve issues that Mesh Wifi would not, so for large home areas try a product from RadioLabs. Make sure to include the "S" at the end or else you'll end up at a different podcast website!

 

Don't Buy Windows Computers That Have No Room for Updates

If you are a Windows user, do not buy a personal computer/laptop with so little storage that it can't easily download the latest Microsoft updates because it can't fit them. Even if they're super cheap and tempting. It makes very little sense when Microsoft is pushing out such massive updates while PCs exist with such small hard drives. Windows 10, version 2004 has system requirements of 32GB or larger!

"Scan" Your Physical Photos With an Easel + Tripod + Digital Camera

If you have a bunch of photos you want to scan, Leo actually recommends getting an easel, tripod, digital camera, and good lighting. Put your picture on the easel, snap a digital photo, rinse and repeat. Modern cameras are so high-resolution that they can take pretty good photos of pictures when angled right. An alternative is to ask a service like ScanCafe, which takes mailed photos and scans them for you. Costco also has a scanning service of their own, where you can bring your pictures to them before they convert them.

Use Youtube Unlisted Links to Share Your Videos With Others You Know

If you want to share a video with friends and family members, but not have to worry about file formats and codecs (NTFS, FAT32, etc.) that may be incompatible with their computer/device, upload to Youtube. You don't even have to make Youtube videos public, as there are a couple of options that keep your upload out of public searchability. "Private" allows ONLY the person logged into the account to view the video, most likely you (the uploader). However, "Unlisted" allows the uploader to send a simple link out to acquaintances, who can then watch it on their screens without being logged in.

Windows Disk Clean-Up Tool for Thumbnail Restoration

If you are using Windows 10 and can not see the thumbnails for your photo files (or otherwise), try rebuilding the thumbnail cache. There's a little-known program called the Windows Disk Clean-up Tool that can do the job. Select "This PC" > [Your Drive] > "Properties" and finally check the "thumbnails" option (while unchecking the other options) to rebuild the icons next to your files' names. It may take a while, but just wait it out and you should be good to go. Not everyone names all their files descriptively, so it's really handy to keep thumbnails visible!