Sunday, February 8, 2015

Shutting Down, Sleeping or Hibernating?

Plugging in...
Some computer users think that shutting off their computer is as simple as closing the lid, or logging off. Unless someone has modified the settings, these actions usually put the computer to sleep, which is fine, if the computer user occasionally shuts the computer OFF or restarts it. Occasionally, like, once a week.

There are times when, for lack of a better description, the computer gets confused by everything it is being asked to do. Though it usually listens, and reacts appropriately, sometimes the internal confusion is just too much and it won't behave. The most common "won't behave" scenarios are trying to use the Internet and it won't connect, or email won't come, and email won't go.

First line of defense? Shut the computer off, not sleep, not hibernate, not even restarting. Just shut it down for about 30 seconds. There's a lot of maintenance that goes on behind the scenes when a computer is turned off. When it sleeps or hibernates regularly, the computer doesn't have the opportunity to clean up, maintain, put things in order, etc. It will take you less than five minutes to shut down, wait and turn it back on. It may immediately fix the problems you were having... or not. If "or not" is what happens, the problem may require some assistance from, say the Computor Tutor. Otherwise, you have solved the problem yourself, pat on the back there.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, have you shut it off and turned it back on, and is it turned on?


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A [Complimentary?] Cable Modem Upgrade

Plugging in... 
Comcast provides many services, the internet being just one. If you are a Comcast customer with internet service, frequently referred to as your ISP (Internet Service Provider), Comcast periodically provides a complimentary, updated modem to their clients. Often the newer modem has more services built in, like WiFi. In the good, old days, neither Comcast nor Verizon provided wireless services. The clients, you and I, had to buy our own wireless routers so we had TWO black boxes taking up space on our tables and/or desks.

Today, the Tutor worked with a recipient of an updated Comcast cable modem with built-in wireless capabilities. Previously, the client had their own Netgear wireless router for their wireless service. Both of these routers were active and in place when the Tutor arrived.

The Comcast modem installed reasonably smoothly. The desktop computer connected to the Comcast modem wirelessly and the internet worked as it should. But the Netgear wireless modem was still attached to the Comcast modem, for no apparent reason other than Comcast did not complete their installation by removing the unnecessary Netgear wireless router, though the client mentioned the technician did "talk" about the extra Netgear modem.

That oversight by Comcast shouldn't have presented any issues, other than an unnecessary electrical device using unnecessary electricity. However, isn't there always a BUT, or a HOWEVER?? The client had two additional devices using the wireless connection, an iPad and a wireless printer, neither of which were changed to work with the NEW Comcast wireless settings. Both were still connecting to the old Netgear router. So what, the reader might be asking? Aside from the client had to HIRE the Tutor to solve the overlooked wireless problems?

Since the computer was connected to the new wireless and the printer was connected to the "old" wireless, the computer could no longer communicate with the wireless printer (they both have to be using the same wireless settings). The iPad was still connected to the "old" wireless and worked fine, and it printed. But when the Tutor connected the wireless printer to the Comcast router so the desktop computer could print, the iPad couldn't print. The iPad was connecting wirelessly through the "old" router, and the printer was on the "new" wireless router. Once the Tutor reconnected the iPad to the Comcast wireless settings, all the technologies found each other and worked as they did BEFORE Comcast installed the upgraded modem.

Does any of this remind you of a song: the iPad's connected to the Netgear, the Netgear's connected to the Comcast, the printer's connected... I think you get the drift.

So, Internet customers be aware: know what wireless devices you use and ask the technicians who are doing the installing to make sure ALL OF THEM connect to the new wireless settings before they leave.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - are they plugged in, are ALL devices on the same wireless settings, and are they turned on?