The death of the PC

On February 28, 2013, in Uncategorized, by RENEMosley23

Recall the time when your only choice for connecting to the Internet was to boot up your PC or laptop? Well, those times are gone. You have more solutions than ever before to access the Internet, anything from your smartphone to your tablet to your video-game console. And this, as much as anything, is sending PC sales into a downward spiral. Web site Business Insider has declared this the end of the PC era.

Are PCs outdated?

PCs aren’t sitting on store shelves gathering dust. People are still purchasing them. But they’re not purchasing them in the numbers they were in the past. Remember when PCs were the must-have electronics item? That’s far from the situation today. People today prefer mobile devices. That’s where you’ll see the shortages come the holiday shopping season. When people today want to check directions, send and receive e-mail messages and see their favorite TV shows, they’re turning to smartphones and tablets. They’re not depending on the PC. That’s why it’s little surprise that in their story Business Insider, quoting numbers from research firms IDC and Gartner, show that PC sales have remained flat since 2009 while the number of smartphones sold has easily overtaken PC sales.

Tablets are Hot, Not PCs

If this is the end of the era of the PC, what era is it? The numbers increasingly indicate that we’re now in the era of the tablet. Business Insider’s story quotes numbers from Gartner, Strategy Analytics and IDC showing that consumers today are buying more tablets than they are PCs. And consumers aren’t happy to have only one iPad . The numbers as of July of 2012 show that 32.3 percent of U.S. report that their homes have two iPads, while 10.1 percent had three. That’s rather impressive demand for a product that’s still relatively new.

A dreary future for PCs?

PC makers shouldn’t depend on a brighter future. As outlined by Business Insider, citing numbers from Nielsen, about 40 percent of consumers who are older than 13 would like to purchase a tablet in the next six months. That’s far more than the 19 percent who want to buy a computer. If you think that’s bad, consider that young consumers, especially, seem to be weary of the PC. According to Business Insider, more than 75 percent of young consumers are interested in a tablet within the next six months. Just 30 percent of young people are interested in buying a computer.


BYOD and 3-D printing lead 2013’s tech trends

On February 20, 2013, in Uncategorized, by machijeas2323

Here’s a truth about technology, one that makes a lot of people shudder while others celebrate: Everything we understand about it today will undoubtedly change tomorrow. Recall the days when faxing represented cutting-edge tech? Those times are gone. But look at e-mail. Is e-mail ready to go the way of faxing? The ever-evolving nature of technology is a fact that CIO Magazine highlighted in a recent article checking out tech trends that could change the way you do business in 2013. Here is a look at a number of the big changes that CIO Magazine predicts will hit businesses this year.

Hospitals and BYOD

Last year, according to CIO Magazine, the BYOD movement took hold in small businesses across the country. This movement, standing for bring your own device, allowed more employees to bring their laptops and tablets to their offices, get connected to a secure network and handle their tasks using their own devices. The advantages? Employees work faster when they’re working on their personal devices, increasing their productivity. And businesses cut costs by not having to provide desktop computers for all of the workers. This year, CIO Magazine predicts, more companies will embrace BYOD. We’ll even see employees at hospitals and other highly secure businesses working on their personal iPads and laptops.

3-D Printing Continues to Soar

3-D printing took off last year, with a growing number of businesses turning to high-tech printers to fashion plastic parts and device components. This year, 3-D printing stands to turn into an even more common tool among tech-savvy businesses. 3-D printing is an amazing technology. And organizations who recognize this will stay a step ahead of their competitors.

The End of Passwords?

Is your password your street address? Is it your wife’s name? Soon, according to CIO, you won’t need to worry about how lame that is. Companies are prepared to embrace biometrics as a security measure, the magazine says. Biometrics lets companies make use of the iris of employees’ eyes, their voices or their fingerprints as security for these workers’ computers and online accounts. With biometrics, hackers will no longer be able to access your company’s information by simply guessing that your top salesperson uses the name of his dog as a password.


This remains a challenging economy for the people who own small businesses. It’s tough to bring in customers, to convince them to purchase your products or services, in an environment where unemployment remains at nearly 8 percent. The good news? Small business entrepreneurs do, because of improving technology, have a greater number of tools to help them attract and retain customers. One such tool? Square. This credit-card processing service allows companies to easily close credit-card payments just by using their smart phones or tablets and the tiny Square credit-card reader. But Square isn’t all benefits. You’ll also have to pay an added fee with every sale you make with it. You’ll have to choose if the benefits of Square outweigh these extra costs.

How it works

The Square reader connects to the audio port of your smart phone or tablet. Whenever a customer wants to purchase a product or service using a credit card, you merely swipe the card through the reader. Or, manually enter in the credit-card number . The app that powers this, Square Register, is free. You can get it from the App Store or from the Google Play shop. Once you do, you’re set to begin accepting credit-card payments.

The Biggest Positive of Square

Square is incredibly simple to operate. That’s why it’s perfect for overworked small business owners. There is no lengthy instruction book to pore through. There aren’t any complicated installations. This is why Square has grown to become so popular among business owners. A recent story in USA Today reported that more than 800,000 customers are using Square today. The system is also straightforward for consumers. With it, even the smallest of business entrepreneurs can accept credit-card transactions. You won’t have to send your customers to the corner ATM for cash.

The Downside to Square

There is a major drawback with Square: the cost that business owners must pay to use the service. Every time business owners swipe a credit card through the Square Reader, they’ll have to pay 2.75 percent of the transaction to Square, Inc. Each time owners must manually type in credit-card numbers, they’ll pay 3.5 percent to Square, Inc. Another potential drawback? In its review of the service, Entrepreneur Magazine said that the company should boost its customer service. Human-provided technical support was lacking, according to the magazine’s review.


Here’s a quick quiz for the people who own small businesses. Do you know what big data is? You’ve probably read about big data. You’ve probably even read that people businesses who study big data can use it to forge a more powerful relationship to customers and gain an advantage over their competition. But as a small business owner you’re busy. You need to hire three more employees . You need to approve your product’s new marketing plan. And you also need to find a new location that will better serve your growing business. This doesn’t mean, though, you can dismiss big data, and here’s why:

Defining Big Data

Here’s what you need to know about big data: It can help you operate your small business more efficiently. That’s because it can tell you what your core customers want, the things they don’t have and just how many dollars they are ready to spend to get it. John Weathington, writing for the technology blog TechRepublic, states that big data are huge amounts of information that is moving quickly. The good news? This data is freely accessible. The difficulty? It’s tough for small business owners to access and analyze these big quantities of information. But if you have this info at your fingertips? You have huge edge over your competitors.

Big Data In Action

Knowing the definition is one thing, actually using big data to attract new customers is another. Fortunately, CIO Magazine recently took a look at three companies that market themselves in part by highlighting their ability to use big data to help their clients make smarter choices. Consider Financial Engines. This financial firm, as CIO writes, relies upon large financial data sets and advanced analytical tools to help customers successfully plan their retirements. Because the firm has access to retirement statistics, trends and data, it has little trouble grabbing new clients.

CIO also points to a business called Exmobaby that sells baby pajamas that have built-in biosensors. These sensors send health data from babies to their parents. You can bet this use of data sets — the health information from babies themselves — attracts parents who want the best for their infants. Then there’s the start-up Parchment, which analyzes databases of student information — everything from grade point averages to SAT scores to college-acceptance data — to aid their clients, students, choose and apply for colleges. The edge that this company provides? It helps students apply to those colleges statistically most likely to accept them. Big data, then, helps both businesses and consumers. It will help consumers make better choices, and it helps those organizations who provide this data gain new business.


When you consider the technology that your small business needs to thrive, what springs into your mind? Cloud storage? Contact-management software? Social media pages? Tablets and smartphones for your salespeople and other staffers? What about printers? You might think that printers have become obsolete, going the way of fax machines before them. But you’d be wrong. Sure, we are all looking forward to the day when business goes fully paperless. With e-mail, cloud storage systems, social media sites and tablets which can be as powerful as miniature computers, we’re closing in on that day. But we aren’t there yet.

Can’t turn away business

As writer Paul Mah with Small Business says, business owners will frequently encounter potential clients who demand real paper trails of their transactions. These customers are either unable or unwilling to move toward a paperless business model. Small business owners today are rarely in the position of turning away any customers, even those who refuse to get accustomed to new technology. It’s important, then, for small business owners to purchase the appropriate printer. Fortunately, Mah provides some choices.


First, you’ll want to determine whether you require a multi-function printer. Such printers, as their name suggests, do more than simply print. Additionally they scan, photocopy and fax. Such printers make sense for businesses that perform these other functions. However, these printers, because of their many functions, are usually more expensive. If your company rarely faxes or makes photocopies, a unit dedicated solely to printing might make more sense.

Laser vs. Inkjet

What makes more sense for your business, a laser printer or perhaps an inkjet printer? You’ll need to consider several factors in making this decision. Does your organization print loads of documents? Then you might consider getting a laser printer. These printers are more pricey. However they produce crisp and clean copy, and they are also sturdier, able to better endure large demand. But what if your small business only has to print documents occasionally? Then an inkjet printer might make more sense. These printers are less costly than are laser printers. Technologies have improved enough so that the documents they create look more professional than in the past. The downside? If you do print an excessive amount, you’ll spend a lot of money on replacement cartridges. As Mah writes, choosing the right printer for your small company is far from a hopeless task. With simply a bit of research, you’ll find the right machine for your company and its unique printing needs.


Working out of the office can be frustrating–especially when you want to access a key file on your desktop computer and that computer sits many hundreds of miles away. Fortunately, iPad owners can access several apps that enable them to remotely connect to the files and data in their laptops and desktop computers, no matter how far away from them they might be. Known as remote-access apps, these tools come in a wide variety of price points. They also target a wide variety of iPad users, from those focusing on business to those that are more interested in watching movies and listening to music. Here’s a look at three of the best remote-access apps available today for iPad users.

GoToMyPC: Citrix, the organization behind GoToMyPC, is a veteran of the remote-access business. In fact, GoToMyPC is much older than the iPad itself. This means that GoToMyPC has ironed out the bugs typically related to remote access. This is the reason the service earned a solid review recently from PC Magazine, whose editors praised this particular service for its usability and intuitive controls. As the name suggests, iPad users – through an app – can remotely access their desktop and laptop computers with this program. They can open Word documents, access Excel spreadsheets and comb through the contact lists stored on their remote computers. The only real negative? The price. This is a fairly pricy service, costing, in general, $9.95 a month or $99 a year. If you are a more typical iPad user who’s not on the road too often, you might prefer one of the lower-priced remote-access apps available.

SplashTop Remote Desktop: SplashTop Remote Desktop qualifies among those lower-priced apps, priced at just $4.99. According to a recent review by CNET, that price is a bargain. CNET’s editors praised SplashTop for being simple to use and effective. Additionally, they cited its capability to recover movies and music stored on your remote computers. It is a service that most other remote-access apps can’t take on.

LogMeIn Ignition: Elliott also tested LogMeIn Ignition and gave it good reviews. It is a bit more expensive than is SplashTop Remote Desktop. But it comes with a feature that may justify the additional expense for business users: You can use this application to remotely wake a sleeping or shut-off PC, a job other remote-access apps can’t do. It’s also possible to use this app to copy or move files from a remote PC to the iPad, another feature that other remote-access apps can’t duplicate.


Peripherals to improve your Windows 8 experience

On February 1, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Kovalsky09

You purchased the new Windows 8 operating system mainly because the system’s new touch-screen capabilities intrigued you. There’s just one problem: Your older computer isn’t a touch screen. You still open files, look at the Web and manage e-mail messages using an old-fashioned mouse and keyboard. And what if you utilize a tablet running Windows 8? Then you’ll be lacking the many mouse- and keyboard-controlled options that come with the system. Don’t give up hope. Traditional laptop and desktop users can still enjoy many of the touch-screen and gesture-based features found in Windows 8. And tablet users can enjoy the keyboard- and mouse-based features. You just need to invest in the right peripherals. Fortunately, PC Magazine recently ran a feature story outlining some of these must-have Windows 8 add-ons.

Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard

If you’re running Windows 8 on a tablet, you will want a high-end mobile keyboard for when you want to replicate the desktop experience. The Microsoft Wedge may be your best option. This is because it’s not only a solid keyboard, it’s one built exclusively to cooperate with Windows 8. The keyboard includes several built-in Windows 8 functions to enable you to tap completely into the power of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Logitech T650 Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad

There’s a reason why the editors at PC Magazine named the Logitech T650 Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad their top choice for Windows 8 computer mice: This touchpad replicates all those nifty touch-screen features of the operating system for users that are still computing on traditional mouse-and-keyboard-powered desktops and laptops. If you desire the complete touch-screen-enhanced Windows 8 experience, you’ll want to invest in this peripheral.

Kingston DataTraveler Workspace

Need to take your Windows 8 experience traveling, but you would rather not lug a laptop on the plane? Then it’s time for you to invest in the Kingston DataTraveler Workspace. This nifty device appears to be an ordinary USB drive. It actually contains Windows To Go, a portable version of the Windows 8 operating system. With this device, that fits in your pocket, you’ll be able to boot up Windows 8 on any computer of your choice.