Say Buh-Bye to 2020!

Some thoughts about your tech options as we head into the unknown of the New Year

Beginning of 2021 Newsletter

Personal Computing and Threats
The BEST protection is a proactive approach to calamity:  BACK UP your important stuff and keep your software handy that would need to be reinstalled.  Assume your tech will fail.

Security

Comcast/Xfinity is pulling the plug on its free, branded Norton Security Suite.  Not to worry, Windows Security is already installed and will run once Norton is uninstalled.  Norton will offer pop-up promotions to get you into a subscription - and those deals vary widely. Caveat Emptor: don't simply allow it to choose an option for you.

Also, I recommend occasional running of the free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program


Hardware
Good printers and webcams have become scarce in the current pandemic as work and school at home have driven up demand.  I have long recommended basic monochrome laser printers as very reliable and relatively inexpensive option for printing and leaving big color printing needs to the well-equipped shops at Staples & FedEx and the like.  

 

Logitech is finding competition for quality webcams as they struggle to keep up with demand.

Warranties and Costco
The LG Gram is the lightest 17" laptop I've ever seen.  Costco sells it and most Costco computer purchases are backed up with their Concierge service, including a 2nd year* on top of most manufacturer's 1 year warranty.  I believe that, very recently, Costco has greatly expanded *extended warranty coverage.  Do consider Costco for membership or - like me - find a friend with a membership.  

I have always recommended monitors, laptops, and PCs that have 3-5 year manufacturer's warranties as a protection for your tech investment dollars. 

Also, use a credit card that offers extra warranty coverage, especially if Costco isn't a viable option for you.

Bluetooth 
This limited wireless technology is incredibly convenient -- and then terribly inconvenient when it doesn't work right.  Isn't all tech like that?!  I have some decent Bluetooth devices and the newer ones (ver. 4.2) are not connecting well with my older laptops.  Yes, Virginia, even your Tech Guy struggles with some tech.  He's only human, after all.

Zoom, Meet, Teams, etc.

These apps have made work-from-home, family-virtual-get-togethers, virtual-exercise-classes a reality and are incredibly convenient.  But they do require a certain amount of familiarity to use them as a participant or even more experience when holding the role of event leader/planner.  

Quality audio is essential to making any virtual event a positive one.  So, consider options for webcams, microphones, earbuds, headsets, and, yes, Bluetooth.

In Conclusion...  

Soon we can say, "Buh-bye" to 2020.  These are but a handful of thoughts for 2021.  I won't be sending many newsletters, but I will keep posting quick tips on my Facebook Page for Help for the PC.  See you there.

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