Posted by admin on Sep 30, 2013
Like most computer users, you have probably already migrated to some sort of mobile device… a laptop, tablet or even a smart phone. Does that mean your old desktop PC is destined for the scrap pile? Well, that old computer – even though past its prime – is far from useless. In fact, for some jobs, it is the perfect tool. Here are six reasons to keep that old clunker around.
Dual Monitors: Yes, you can set up dual screens on your laptop, but the external one is usually much larger than the built-in screen, and so easily navigating between the screens can be a bit of a pain. Just pop a dedicated video card into your desktop (if it does not already have one), connect two monitors, and you are off with double the productivity!
Raw Power: Mobile devices sacrifice speed over battery life, desktops don’t. So if you are a power user, your programs will probably run faster on a desktop. Now, if your desktop is 10 years old… or older, forget about what I just said.
Expandability: Notebooks are not easy to fix or upgrade. Their compact form means that most components are soldered together. About all you can effectively upgrade is the memory and the hard drive. In a desktop, everything is fair game. In fact, you can basically strip it down to the bare components and start over if you want.
File Storage: In many cases, your desktop has more storage space than your mobile device. And if not, you can easily add an additional hard drive. You can even backup your data from your laptop or smart phone to your desktop.
Better Productivity: Using the touchpad can be a pain for some notebook users, not to mention that the keyboards are usually more compact. If you are a touch-typist or do a lot of mouse work, then a full sized keyboard and standard mouse can be a lot more productive. Yes, you can connect a USB keyboard and mouse to a laptop, but you are losing the convenience of the laptop.
Remote Access: If you leave your desktop powered up all the time, you can have your own computer in the cloud. Use one of the various remote desktop tools that are available, and you can access your programs, documents, and even printers from anywhere in the world.
Posted by admin on Sep 20, 2013
Amid rumors of layoffs and a possible sale of the company, BlackBerry announced some good news Wednesday: its growing BBM instant messaging service will be available for Android and iPhone devices in the next several days. BBM is one of the high points of the failing BlackBerry legacy business, with recent growth in BBM users mainly in Europe and Asia. Until now, BBM has only been available for BlackBerry devices. BBM has 60 million monthly active customers who send and receive more than 10 billion messages a day, BlackBerry said. Messages are quickly read in seconds, which BlackBerry said is an indication of how engaged BBM users are.
BBM will be a free download in the Google Play store for Android on Saturday and in the Apple App Store for iPhone on Sunday, BlackBerry said. “With more than a billion Android, iOS and BlackBerry smartphones in the market, and no dominant mobile messaging platform, this is absolutely the right time to bring BBM to Android and iPhone customers,” Andrew Bocking, executive vice president for BBM at BlackBerry, said in a statement.
In addition to BBM text chat, users can share files such as photos and voice notes. BBM lets a user know that a message has been delivered and read and shows when a friend is responding. Up to 30 friends can join in group chats and share photos and schedules. A function called Broadcast Message allows users to send out a message to all their BBM contacts at the same time. BBM relies on a unique PIN to authorize a user, which BlackBerry maintains is more secure than giving out a phone number or email address to a new contact.
The Android download will be available at 7 a.m. ET on Sept. 21 for Android 4 and later. For iPhones running iOS 6 and iOS 7, BBM will be available in the App Store at 12:01 a.m. local time on Sept. 22. Later in 2013, BlackBerry is expected to unveil BBM Channels to allow for conversations between users and communities. The conversations can be organized around common interests, brands, celebrities and more. BBM video and BBM voice calling are also planned for Android and iPhone in a future version, but BlackBerry didn’t disclose when.
BBM isn’t yet available for Windows Phone smartphones, and BlackBerry didn’t indicate when, or whether, that would occur. Windows Phone recently overtook BlackBerry as the third-largest smartphone brand shipping globally.
Posted by admin on Sep 14, 2013
Nonprofit organizations will be able to sign up for Office 365 for free or at a reduced price as part of a new program Microsoft launched Tuesday. Properly certified nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 41 countries can apply to the Office 365 for Nonprofits program. Microsoft expects to offer the program in 90 countries by July. “Nonprofits are seeing more and more the advantages of cloud computing, but they often can’t access it because of costs and other reasons,” said Lori Harnick, general manager of Microsoft’s Citizenship & Public Affairs group. While Microsoft has had a software donation program for years, this is the first time it will offer Office 365 in this manner, she said.
Customers can subscribe to the Office 365 Enterprise E1 plan for free for an unlimited number of seats. This plan, which normally costs $8 per user, per month, includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and the browser-based Office Web Apps. For an additional per user, per month charge of $2, customers can get the full Office ProPlus productivity application suite streamed down and installed on users’ desktops. Exchange Online Archiving costs $1 per user, per month extra. Customers also have the option of signing up for Office 365 Enterprise E3 at $4.50 per user, per month, a reduction from the regular price of $20 per user, per month.
Following Google’s lead
While it’s a good move to cater to nonprofits with Office 365, Microsoft is following rival Google, which has had a free nonprofit edition of its Apps email and collaboration suite since 2007. ”My take is that Google Apps for Nonprofits was doing very well in the market, and Microsoft needed to combat Google’s inroads with a more attractive Office 365 no fee offer,” Gartner analyst Matt Cain said via email. However, a difference is that Apps for Nonprofits is only available in the U.S., England and Wales. In addition to giving Office 365 a competing offer among nonprofits against Google Apps, the product earns Microsoft points for corporate citizenship, according to TJ Keitt, a Forrester Research analyst. ”It provides organizations performing public services an affordable tool for communication and collaboration,” he said via email. Moreover, this nonprofit offering expands the pool of people exposed to Office 365, potentially creating future customers for the paid editions, Keitt said.
Posted by admin on Sep 10, 2013
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