Microsoft Office 2010: The best new features in PowerPoint

For anyone that has ever presented to a group, you know it is essential to be well prepared and have the right props.  For many, PowerPoint is the prop of choice. Creating your presentation in PowerPoint allows you to gather all your thoughts and ideas in one tool.  You have many slide choices and can move, cut, paste and organize to create a coherent flow of information without leaving the program.  Adding graphics, diagrams, video and sound is easier than ever. With just a little time investment, PowerPoint will make you look like a presentation guru! When creating the perfect presentation, be sure not make your slides too busy or add too much glitz.  If you want to use sound and video, make sure to add at a place in your presentation where it will complement your message.  Video can be a great introduction or it can be used to clarify your points.  Don’t use sound or video in … [Read more...]

Hard Drive Basics: Data in Motion

Today’s electronics go with us everywhere and keep us connected.  We are accustomed to using our electronics while moving, but not all devices are designed to be used on the go. Hard drives have moving parts and that is an important point to remember. As a refresher, let’s simply look at how a hard drive (sometimes called a hard disc) works.  The drive includes a platter to hold the data, a head to read the data and electronics to control the process.  The platter is mirror smooth and stores the magnetized data. If you have never seen the inside of a hard drive, the surface looks like a mirror.  The head is attached to an arm that rides just above the platter surface.  If the head touches the platter, damage and data lose almost always occurs.  The electronics control the storage and retrieval of data. Servers, workstations and desktops are stationary units.  You should never move … [Read more...]

Getting the Most From Your IT Budget

Especially during tough times, we look to trim our operating budgets.  Efficient use of our valuable resources is just smart business and there are many ways to manage costs without sacrificing performance.  Below are a few ideas that you can use immediately with a minimum of time and investment. Recycle software licenses – It’s worth the effort to record all software purchases so you can easily transfer and upgrade licenses.  Start with an inventory of all existing software and then be sure to update as you add and replace licenses.  Often software licenses can be harvested as hardware is retired.  When purchasing, compare the cost of transferable to non-transferable licenses.  Be sure to keep the necessary documentation with your master list in a file.  To save paper, use electronic files. Optimize printing – Start with evaluating what you print and eliminate unnecessary or … [Read more...]

Net Neutrality – Who should control the Internet?

In its most basic and simple form, network neutrality states that all Internet traffic is equal.  Streaming video, large downloads, online gaming, cloud computing applications and email would all be treated the same. There would be no differentiation between personal and commercial use of the Internet.  The idea of equality is wonderful in theory, but doesn’t survive in practice.  The Internet is a shared resource used for many purposes and like it or not, the Internet is a commercial enterprise and the providers have to be able to control their network. That doesn’t mean that the providers can engage in unfair business practices.  Comcast’s throttling of BitTorrent users didn’t go unnoticed.  In fact, it sparked a firestorm that still rages.  The Court of Appeals gave Comcast a victory with its decision to vacate the FCC order, but this could be a Pyrrhic victory if it advances the … [Read more...]