Friday, February 26, 2016
Click or tap for http://www.groovypost.com/howto/automatically-backup-windows-10-mobile-data-onedrive/
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Willow Valley actively promotes such internet dependent use of computers by residents by offering courses in iPads, which increases resident dependence upon internet. But even much normal printing nowadays goes via the internet cloud.
Worse, the Amazon all-voice Echo, invaluable to the less mobile seniors, must transfer voice patterns to the cloud and send instructions back instantly. It cannot work with timeouts.
The problem is the cabling.
Worse, the old cabling is RG6 which loses signal as opposed to RG11.
SeniorTV found a drastic 27db drop in signal from my connection. The technician was surprised that it worked at all. Coax was designed as a one-way medium.
(Would it not be simpler and cheaper to put everybody on WiFi as already in the public areas?)
Saturday, February 20, 2016
There is no substitute for a qualified proper cable tester to run down internet connection problems.
However, Comcast has a help site with many pointers which also apply to our local Willow Valley Senior Internet system if you are tech oriented.
Skip down to check your modem signal levels. Of course, it will take a qualified technician to deal with any issues.
Don't connect your computer direct to your modem and unless you want to welcome malware into your system.
Friday, February 19, 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Willow Valley, our retirement community, provide services of every imaginable kind, including computer training, with one shortcoming.
There is no computer help desk, even on a fee for service basis.
With all the benefits of computers in Internet to seniors, a help desk is needed.
Simple tablets can provide enormous help to those with vision, hearing, and mobility problems, and to those confined to bed.
It can keep seniors connected to the outside world. It can keep them far more able to help themselves than otherwise.
Presently Willow Valley will hook you up to Internet. It will turn on the switch. But if anything goes wrong, it is entirely up to you to fix it whether technically qualified or not.
It is up to you to choose, buy, install, and service the equipment you will need.
Either that or go outside to some questionably qualified support person and high cost helper who probably cannot deal with the complexities and age of Willow Valley's computer grid.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Right now, with a "stick" plugged into TV or display monitor, you can do all the big screen stuff anyway on large screen with your smartphone. The new Windows phone now has the full capability to run Windows 10 built in.
But don't confuse the new smartphones with the old ones, which frankly were terrible. And don't associate the plans with extremely high costs. (Those contract plans are still offered for the uninformed.) The old phones were a pain to use just for phoning (and there are better ways to communicate than phoning).
There is no reason any more to need to go use a computer that takes up a lot of space, costs too much, and is too complicated and slow and full of old parts and wires to be reliable.
Is encryption safe? (YES!!) Tap or click http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/encryption-care/ for more information. But do your own investigation before opining that it is not safe.
Is Windows 10 less safe? (Getting better.) Tap or click for http://betanews.com/2016/02/05/microsoft-windows-10-will-keep-you-safe-and-this-is-how/
Do I need a VPN for safety? (Companies use it.) Tap or click or http://lifehacker.com/5940565/why-you-should-start-using-a-vpn-and-how-to-choose-the-best-one-for-your-needs
Which OS os most secure, Windows or Mac? (Neither, ChomeOS and Windows Phone.) Tap or click for http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/decrypt-os-security-showdown/
Will malwarebytes keep me safe? (No.) Do your own research on internet to see why not.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
The cabling in this building is coax R6 as opposed to the better R11 and much more appropriate for computers, 10-base-2 ethernet designed for the purpose and used in new construction here. When WV obtains a newer cable tester, the coax cabling will again be checked for proper signal levels.]
Recently I have noticed frequent dropouts (timeouts) in my internet service at Willow Valley. Dropouts occur when the server at the provider's site does not respond.
It works like this. My computer sends out a request to internet. If there is no reply after 16 tries or 4 seconds it gives up. It may try again and again. Essentially, my computer will "lock up" for many minutes.
It is a serious problem. With limited mobility, I rely on my smartphone for phoning and my phone uses WiFi where available and therefore internet. Indeed, I use internet for all phones so that I can be reached instantly anywhere.
That does not work with dropouts.
Worse, however, recently my phone was bricked during an upgrade as connection was lost during a dropout. I had to get a new phone.
Appealing for help to MIS here, I was advised that my dropouts problem was WiFi and that Wi-Fi is not supported by MIS. It was questioned as to whether I had a problem at all.
(In my opinion, if the internet service provider is not providing reliable service, I am not getting what I am paying for. I see this problem with no other provider here, such as hot spots and DSL.)
That response has been the answer in the past whenever I have had a problem. Indeed, I have replaced WiFi routers five times without any resolution of any problem.
I made the point to MIS that Willow Valley has been actively offering many courses in iPads which require WiFi for two years.
MIS was unaware that this training was being done. There is a disconnect. Indeed the responsibility for computers is badly splintered. The internet responsibility is yet a third party. And cabling is yet a fourth party. Cabling here is littered with splitters, a known cause of delays and dropouts.
When I was a company officer and MIS director, I had ALL responsibilities to develop, broaden and maintain systems, and I think that is essential in any organization. I don't think anything else can really work without users being shunted from one party to the next. I could make no excuses. That arrangement is what makes quality control WORK.
So we have dropouts.
This time I replaced my modem, only to have problems continue. I now started to watch logs. (The ISP should be doing this.) These showed problems. I then checked Kiosks to find frequent signal delays and a probable endemic systems problem.
Living earlier in another retirement community, I found similar problems. I suggested there that maybe they needed fiberoptics, but the management told me that nothing could be done to get it installed. Period!
Get this... I went to Verizon myself!! Surprisingly, their engineer came right out, and we figured out together how to do it without digging up the streets. Bottom line: They installed fiberoptics. Lumberton campus of Medford Leas now has fiberoptics.
To solve problems like this requires: recognition of need, leadership, communication, and coordination, a big order. Dependency on computers, cell phones, and internet is only going to grow.
For example, Penn Medicine, which took over our local hospital, is working on ways to connect seniors better for services, especially where not offered locally.
I have long been an advocate to keep seniors better connected. My senior help website gets lots of interest. Willow Valley itself has a mission to keep seniors connected as well (separate from other MIS activity), and does a good job of it up the point of tech support, for which it requires users to provide their own..
Without reliable internet this cannot happen. I see too many seniors frustrated with no place to go when problems occur, and asked to resolve tech problems on their own or with expensive outside help. Often they just give up.
There are other problems. Those who use Windows now are newly exposed to serious privacy, security, and functionality problems best resolved by using virtual private network. But VPNs require reliable connections.
For now, I have indicated some alternatives. One is DSL or phone company based service. Another is Comcast, but expensive, and uses our old cable grid. Another is cell access, via hotspot or more recently cell phones directly. All these are described elsewhere on this site.
I ought to note that in its business system, Willow Valley does not use the slow satellite based system it provides for residents, which has known problems with latency or dropouts. Still, there is technology to make satellite reliable, including simply providing enough capacity.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
I remember when it took reels of tape to record a few minutes of music. Yes!!
The old tech was incredibly duplicative. It needed to be cut down to size without losing quality.