Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Story of Fitbit and the Battery

Plugging in... 

There once was a client who bought a Fitbit, promptly forgot about it and left it doing no one's fitness tracking for six months. When the client remembered the little gadget, the battery supplied with it was "dead". Should be an easy fix, right? Go to the store, buy a battery, come home, put it in the Fitbit and voila, fitness tracking begins.  Except...

The new battery appeared to be "faulty". The Fitbit gadget was still dead as a door nail. The battery was inserted properly, according to the handy, dandy little diagram provided with the Fitbit. Was it just bad luck that the new battery was also non-functioning? We battery buyers have no idea how long a battery is sitting on a shelf before we purchase it.

The Tutor was asked to take a gander and lo and behold, the battery was inserted properly, but there was one tiny, little thing the Fitbit owner forgot to do. The battery, about the size of a quarter, had a piece of protective tape across the entire back of the battery, and it wasn't obvious to the Fitbit owner.  It was not bright in color, it did not have "REMOVE ME" in large letters on it, nor did the battery packaging direct the purchaser to remove said tape before inserting the battery.

So once again, Reading is Fundamental is the takeaway. We users must take care to read, turn things over, and examine closely before assuming failure.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, is there TAPE across the underside, and is it turned on? 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bigger is NOT Always Better

Plugging in... 

What started as a simple use of the free Nitro PDF reader, a competitor of Adobe Reader, became a bit of problem when using two monitors, one a laptop, the other a larger monitor connected with a cable to the laptop. Seems Nitro doesn't behave when using two monitors and the company has known about the situation for several years, promising a fix.

The problem:  when one opens a PDF to read it using Nitro, Nitro Pro or Primo PDF readers, the opening of the program changes the screen resolution on the monitor to 640 x 480. That might not mean anything to the reader (you), but to the computer monitor it means WICKED BIG and not filling out the screen. It is not a zoom feature, so one cannot just make it smaller. Hence, one cannot see every part of the PDF in order to read it. Yes... it could be printed. However, the Tutor's client needed to fill in the PDF form on screen. Hmmmm.

Each monitor and video card that it is connected to has something called native resolution or recommended resolution - the clarity and size best suited for viewing on said monitor. One does not have to use the recommended settings, but the manufacturer is making a strong suggestion for a reason. Who knew (or gave permission to) Nitro would change the resolution and make it totally unsuable? We know now.

The solution: we opted out of these readers, downloaded and installed the free Foxit Reader and the PDF world was right once again. 
ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on? 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Windows 10 Updater Beware

Plugging in... 

Not that the Tutor isn't in favor of the new Windows 10 operating system from the Seattle Microsoft forces. The updater (that would be YOU, the user) needs to be a bit proactive in making sure ALL their toys play well under the hood of Windows 10.

The Tutor became aware of a Windows 10 "nightmare", so said the client this week. Although the upgrade went smoothly, meaning no computer crashes, two very important pieces of hardware no longer communicated with the upgraded computer: the office wireless printer AND a piece of hardware that performed computerized skin analysis. The Tutor was having a casual conversation with the receptionist at said facility and learned of the two woes.

The Tutor's advice was to call each company and ask if they had a solution for running under Windows 10. They both did, and the office, after two weeks of struggling with various other tech support people who were not successful in aiding them, was fully functioning once again. Their other option? A Windows 10 upgrade can be downgraded to what the computer was running prior to the upgrade. The hitch? The downgrade must be done within 30 days of the upgrade.

The best course of action when thinking (and the Tutor means thinking, not doing) is to check with the manufacturers of ALL the other computer-like things that may be affected: other computers, printers, scanners, GPS devices, digital cameras, etc to see if they are providing a "driver" (the software) that allows them to talk to the new Windows 10 guy.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, is it COMPATIBLE with the computer, and is it turned on? 


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

iMapping and Popping Email Accounts

Plugging in...

iMap: Internet Message Access Protocol
POP: Post Office Protocol

We've been "pop-ing" emails for years and being a bit cranky about not having the ability to delete an email on one device (computer, phone, tablet, watch) and have it deleted on all of our other devices (an oversimplified definition of POP email). Some email programs addressed our CRANKINESS and began offering an iMap style of email which can (it's a choice) delete the email on all devices, if deleted on one (an oversimplified definition of iMap email).

Switching over from POP email to iMap email requires some work by you, the user or me, the Tutor. An existing POP account cannot be changed to an iMap, one must create a new email account using iMap settings and if emails were saved in the POP email account, one must manually move them to the new account. The more one has to move, the longer it will take AND if there are saved pictures, it will take even longer.

NOTE: Not all email programs offer iMap and not all allow the movement of saved emails from one account to another.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on?