Just for Fun

Tech Quick Tips: 4 Ways to Increase Your Laptop Battery Life and Charge

1. Keep the Vents Clear

Never ever sit your laptop on a couch cushion, or on a mattress, or anything soft that hinders airflow through the little slot on the bottom and sides of your machine. Those vents can suck up dust and debris, clogging up the fans and causing your laptop to work harder. And, the harder the machine works, the more battery power it is going to require. If you hear a loud buzzing (like a fan spinning really fast), or your laptop base is so hot you could cook an egg on it, chances are you should consider moving to a tabletop or hard surface to work on.

2. Keep the Screen Brightness Down

When you do not need the screen brightness cranked up, turn it down. The screen is the number one battery drain on any mobile device, including your laptop. Adjusting this setting through the Power Options will prove beneficial, I promise. If you are using Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10, type “Power” in the search field by the power menu. Click on “Power Options,” and notice the slide bar at the bottom of that window, aptly named “Screen Brightness.” You can adjust accordingly from here. Make sure to keep the backlight to a minimum.

3. Hibernate and Sleep

While you are in the Power Setting menu, you can tweak your Power Plan to help optimize battery life. Two settings to note are the “Choose when to turn off the display” and “Change when the computer sleeps” commands. These are listed on the left-hand side of the window and can also be accessed by clicking the “Change Plan Settings” link in the middle of the same window. In this menu, you have the ability to tell your computer what to do when it is plugged in, and when it is not plugged in. When you are just running on battery power and are not hooked up to any outlets, adjust the display to turn off or dim after a short period of time. Essentially, you want your laptop to hibernate and sleep sooner when it’s inactive and not being charged.

4. Unplug When Charged

When the battery is full and the laptop is not in use, unplug it from the charger. Generally speaking, and according to Battery University, a battery will give you 300 to 500 full discharge cycles or charges. Keeping it plugged in can significantly decrease the amount of charges that this battery can take. Keeping that juice flowing when the laptop battery is full can be damaging to some batteries. Battery University even recommends operating your laptop between forty and eighty percent battery life to get the most life out of the battery.

Download the PDF here.

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What is the Financial Impact of a Ransomware Attack?

The reason for ransomware’s popularity boils down to one thing: economics. Without the proper defenses, cybercriminals can extort hundreds – sometimes thousands – of dollars from SMBs by encrypting valuable data and demanding a ransom be paid to restore the data. Below, see the rise in the average ransom amount by year (in US dollars).

Let Bluetowne help you ensure your company’s data is protected with the highest level of security as part of your overall IT strategy. Reach out at info@bluetowne.com or 843.352.0130.

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Silicon Harbor has become a tech landing spot for some weary city dwellers

CHARLESTON, S.C. — It may be 2,740 miles away, as the crow flies, but Charleston seems like a million miles away from the hustle, bustle and stress of Silicon Valley.

An idyllic beachfront on the Carolina coast, drawing 7 million tourists annually. Horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses with roots to the American Revolution. Fort Sumter in the distance, a reminder of where the first shots were fired in the Civil War.

And yet the economic formula is decidedly 21st Century after decades of relying extensively on the military, automotive and textile industries. The focus today is on high-wage jobs in an affordable, lifestyle-friendly setting.

Welcome to Silicon Harbor: Home to more than 250 tech companies employing 11,000. This port city has quietly become the No. 1 mid-sized U.S. metro area (500,000 to 1 million) for IT job growth, adding 4,000 jobs the past five years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Read more from USA Today.

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Tech Quick Tips: 3 Microsoft Office Hacks You Never Knew You Needed

With Microsoft Office You Can…

1. Edit PDFs

Your PDF files open by default in Adobe. But, what if you want to edit them? You cannot do that within Adobe Reader, and the Adobe software that does let you make changes to PDFs is not cheap. Microsoft Word to the rescue!

Launch Microsoft Word. Attempt to open a document like you normally would by selecting “File” and then “Open.” On the bottom right of the window that pops up, click the drop-down menu. Choose “PDF”, and then browse to the file that you wish to edit. Once you open it, you can make your edits. You may lose some of the formatting in the process, but it’s nothing that you cannot overcome.

2. Collaborate in Real Time

With Microsoft Office, you and a colleague can edit the same document or spreadsheet at the same time. This feature is actually built into Office 2013. No magic needed. It’s a little bit of a process, but will pay off once configured.

First, save your document, spreadsheet, or presentation – whatever it may be within the Microsoft Office suite – to OneDrive. Once the document is saved, select “File,” “Share” (on the left side of the screen), and then send out your invites.

If all goes accordingly, your colleague on the other end will now be able to review and edit your work in real time. You may need to adjust your Microsoft Office settings in order to do this, but you can always request help from Bluetowne, if you have any trouble.

3. Ignore Reply-All Email Annoyances

Have you ever been included on one of those spam email threads that have absolutely nothing to do with you, but someone (or multiple people) keep on hitting the reply-all button? Ignore these frequent annoyances with Outlook!

Select the chain of messages. Then, in the top of the Outlook window, to the left of the “Delete” button, you will see “Ignore.” By choosing this command, any future messages will now be sent straight to the Deleted Items folder, helping you cut down on inbox clutter.

If you use Microsoft Office at home and at work every day, these time-saver tips may be just what you need to kick productivity into high gear!

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How Managed IT Services Align with SMB Business Priorities

Despite the need to embrace technology and IT innovation, most SMBs lack the necessary vision, strategy and resources. However, partnering with a managed services provider like Bluetowne can help SMBs address these challenges to achieve strategic growth that aligns with their business’ priorities – including the top SMB business priorities that are depicted below.

With Bluetowne’s Managed IT Services you’ll be free from necessary, but time-consuming tasks. Tasks like monitoring and managing your IT infrastructure, performing server maintenance and updates, and remediating end-user issues. You’ll be free to focus the right people and resources on the right things. Your strategic initiatives will fall into place all while increasing efficiency and productivity.

Let us know how we can help!  843.352.0130 | info@bluetowne.com

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10 Reasons Why You Should Follow Us

You’re only a few clicks away from staying informed – so please connect, like, follow – and have a conversation with us across all of our social media platforms!

 Facebook

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Team Bluetowne Gives Back to Ronald McDonald House of Charleston

Team Bluetowne had a lot of fun serving dinner to the families at the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston last night! We feel honored to participate in such an amazing cause, and to help make the journey a little easier for families with children in the hospital.

The Ronald McDonald House opened its doors 33 years ago as a home away from home where families stay while their children undergo extensive medical treatment. Today, the House is able to serve 32 families every single night.

Here, parents and children lead a life as normal as possible during their traumatic times without the financial burden of costly hotel and travel expenses. The Ronald McDonald House offers these families’ comfortable beds, hot meals, a caring staff, and a four-legged friend, Gardy, all just steps from the hospital.

There are many ways to get involved as a volunteer, including preparing a meal or donating items off of the House’s wish list.

 

 

 

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Pokemon Go and Bluetowne Adding Years to People’s Lives

pokemon_go_logoA Microsoft study concluded that Official study by Microsoft and Stanford researchers: is adding a huge number of steps to people’s lives compared to before they started playing the game.  The researchers estimate that Pokemon Go has added 144 billion steps to U.S. physical activity. That’s 143 roundtrips to the moon.

That’s funny, because a Bluetowne study concluded that its Managed Services offering is giving clients a huge amount of their time back compared to before they partnered with us.  Researchers estimate that due to immediate phone and chat response times and the ability to remote control in to remediate issues, clients are getting 1,397,482 seconds of their time back every month.  That’s enough time to pick up a new hobby.  (Like playing Pokemon Go.)

Official study by Microsoft and Stanford researchers: https://goo.gl/X7folb

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Try This Ultrathin Keyboard for Your iPad

Logitech has created an aethetically pleasing companion keyboard to go along with your iPad.  The keyboard also doubles as a protective cover.  This is a must-have accessory for frequent travelers.  Here is a review and recommendation by Lauren Goode from our friends at AllThingsD…

Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad

Bluetowne will be testing this keyboard out before the end of the month.

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