Smart TVs vs Dumb TVs

Hi Matt -

I can make a recommendation once we determine if you want a Smart or Dumb TV.

We like the Samsungs. LED is the way to go.

‘Smart’ simply means that the TV can connect to internet and make use of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon on Demand, Hulu & Pandora (among others). Many devices are ‘Smart’ these days including Blu-Ray players and dedicated media streamers (like Apple’s AppleTV, Google’s GoogleTV, Roku, Netgear Player, etc).

Netflix streaming doesn’t replace Netflix discs yet (the quality is often poor and not all titles on disc are available for streaming). Streaming is also internet-intensive, and your connection from Verizon is likely inadequate to maintain a high quality stream through any of the ‘Smart’ services. So making good use of the Smart features may also require upgrading your internet connection and switching to Time Warner.

The TVs themselves are more or less the same – same processors, same panels. The Smart TVs have more sophisticated color calibration tools, but rarely are they needed anyway.

We usually encourage clients to go for the Smart TVs anyway. They aren’t that much more expensive, they have a few extra input ports (sometimes useful), and they have all the capabilities & features you might need down the road.

hunter

On Mar 1, 2013, at 10:43 PM, wrote:

> Hi, Hunter, > > We’ve decided to get a bigger TV for our library. It appears that we can handle a 40″ — the opening in our bookshelves is 25.5″ high, so it could fit 40″ screen, which seems to be 21.9″ high (24.4 if you count the stand). The width is not an issue for us, since we are prepared to modify the wooden cabinet doors on either side of the TV. > > Would you be able to install it for us? > > I see that Samsung makes eleven different models of 40″ flatscreen TV. Four of them are “Smart TVs,” and we’re not smart enough to know what that means, or probably how to use it, or to need it. Do you have a recommendation about which Samsung model might be best for us? > > We basically watch Netflix movies, some news, occasionally some sports. (Our current TV is an LG, which seems fine, though I think the company misrepresented the product when it sold it to us.) > > Matt

“Windows Update Failed, Reverting Changes” –Solved

> From: “Chris O’Boyle”
> Date: February 1, 2013, 2:01:55 PM EST
> To: Hunter Greene , Jacklyn Matts
> Subject: “Windows Update Failed, Reverting Changes” –Solved
>
> I’ve seen this many times, (mostly on Lenovo Machines for some strange, maybe coincidental reason). It will download and install 40+ updates and then hangs at 30% while configuring, restarts, fails, and reverts changes. A frustrating waste of a person’s time for something that should happen on its own. But I digress…
>
> The problematic update is KB2647753 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2647753)
>
> If you run into this issue, just install this particular update by itself at first, then restart as necessary and install the rest afterwards.
>
> –Chris

iOS 6.1 Update Fixes Netgear WG102/302 Connectivity Issues

Yup. Apple put their tail between their legs and un-did whatever madness caused iOS 6 to be incompatible with Firmware Version 5.03 running on the Netgear WG102 and WG302 Access Points.

Downgrading to AP firmware 5.01 also resolved the issue, but this will likely be a more permanent fix.

Mag Safe Charge Adapter

Hi Paul -

If you want to use your existing chargers with your new Retina laptop, you’ll need this adapter:

http://www.amazon.com/MagSafe-to-2-Converter/dp/B008ALAHA4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358548783&sr=8-1&keywords=magsafe+adapter

hunter

Roku and AppleTV

Roku is much like an AppleTV – a small, HD compatible, network-ready media streamer. It can connect to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, etc. The only thing is can’t do is connect to the Apple Store (for movie, music, TV shows). AppleTV will also do Netflix & Hulu Plus.

They cost about the same, look about the same, function about the same.

What’s wrong with your internet connection?

hunter

On Dec 5, 2012, at 9:01 AM, Linda wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > Thanks for the feedback. > What is Roku? Is it comparable to Apple TV? Sorry, I’m not up on the tech equipment. > > Also, who would you recommend to fix our Internet port at home? > > Suns out, but still no snow… > > Linda >

Mac OS System Optimizations

Begin forwarded message:

> From: “Chris O’Boyle” > Subject: Re: Molly’s Mac Mini > Date: December 4, 2012 10:53:03 AM EST > To: Hunter Greene > Cc: Molly > > Sure thing. > > Hi Molly, > > First off, I’d like you to click the apple in the upper left hand corner of the screen and then click on “About this Mac”. Take note of the version and the memory here. Like Hunter said, if the memory is low (2gb or under) this could be a factor in the speed and the computer’s ability to multitask. To do some manual tidying up, a program like OnyX can be useful… > > 1. Follow this link: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/11582/onyx > Make sure to download the correct one for your version of Mac OS X that we saw in the ‘About this Mac’ info (“Download 2.4.8 for osx10.7″, “Download OnyX2.4.0 for osx10.6″, etc.). > > 2. Click OK. It will take a few minutes to download, but when it finishes, a window will appear telling you what to do next. Just open up Finder if you dont have the Applications folder handy, and then drag the onyx icon to applications to install it. > > 3. After you do this, go into that applications folder and click on the icon *while holding control* and click open. it will ask you if you’re sure, then click open again. Click OK then give admin rights with your password. (If you don’t think there is a password just hit enter). It will want to do an initial scan (you’ll see something about S.M.A.R.T. status) so let it continue. Agree to the terms and now you’re ready to use the utility. > > I tend to stick with just the maintenance and cleaning tabs to repair permissions, rebuild LaunchServices, and clean up temp files / caches. > > Best of Luck! > –Chris

iPad Storage & Update Question

Hi Beth -

The iPads do have a finite amount of storage, and it sounds like they’re all at maximum capacity. The only way to free up some space is to delete old Apps (movies, music & pictures take up space, too, but i don’t think you’ve accumulated much of those). There could be some Apps on there that you no longer need or want.

To check the storage usage, go to Settings->General->Usage. The iPad will list all the Apps & the amount of storage they are using. Sift through the list (start with the big ones at the top) and take note of Apps that you don’t use.

Then delete them. To do so, click the App in this list and then select “Delete App”.

You can always re-download previously purchased Apps without having to re-pay for them.

hunter

On Sep 24, 2012, at 1:55 PM, Beth wrote:

> Hunter, > I am looking at iPads that were left here over the summer with at least 83 updates to download. Of course when attempting to download the updates, I get the “there is not enough available local storage to download these items.” Now what the heck do I do? I am now officially sending up the Batman searchlight. Look for the bat logo in tonight’s sky! Augghhhh! > Beth

iPad & iPhone

Hi Chris -

Apple releases news about the iPhone 5 tomorrow.

No, earphones do not come with the iPad. It does have built-in speakers. Apple does make earbuds (among many others). Personally, I prefer the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones. They are more comfortable than buds and the sound quality is noticeably better.

You are correct – you do not need the 4G/Verizon/ATT capable iPads if you have WiFi internet. ATT & Verizon charge an additional cost per month to use their cell-based internet (this does not replace the WiFi but rather takes over when there is no WiFi available).

Cases are very popular (of which there are a plethora), as they not only protect the iPad but also double as stands.

I can see the iPad as an excellent tool for improving poor motor skills. We have installed dozens of them at local schools for special needs students.

The larger capacity models – 32GB and 64GB models are only needed if your brother plans to store thousands of hours of music or dozens of full length HD movies. Otherwise, the 16GB model is perfect.

There is some very basic setup required – you have to create an Apple ID for purchasing (even free content like Apps and Movies). Do you plan to bring the iPad out to him? Or does he have someone to help him with the basics?

Music is a tough one. Honestly, I think the Pandora App (pandora.com) is an easier way to listen to music these days.

I sometimes order them from Apple. Or BH Photo (bhphotovideo.com). BH is in NYC was they are usually available within a day or two.

hunter

On Sep 11, 2012, at 3:41 PM, Chris wrote:

> P.S. I forgot to mention the iPhone. I am interested as soon as it is out. I would love to be able to carry my address book and calendar with me. > > Also, do earphones or buds come with the iPad. To listen in the hospital, he will need them. And am I correct that the only reason he would need an AT&T or Verizon account for his iPad is if he is not near a wireless internet connection? Otherwise can he access everything on the internet? I want to purchase everything he would need to use his iPad fully. > > Begin forwarded message: > >> From: Chris >> Subject: iPad and iPhone >> Date: September 11, 2012 3:36:14 PM EDT >> To: Hunter Greene >> >> HI Hunter, >> >> As you may know, my brother recently had a major stroke. We have recently learned that an iPad would be good for his therapy and wish to give him one for his birthday. He may be house-bound for months after he leaves the hospital in mid-October, so it would also be a source of e-mail, music, entertainment, and possible a tool for working remotely. Given all that, what model and features would you suggest I buy? Could you also help set it up and load it with music if I send it here? >> >> Chris

>

Website Security Question

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Jacklyn Matts > Subject: Re: website security question > Date: August 27, 2012 1:41:49 PM EDT > Cc: Hunter Greene > > A few other options. > > Some vendors may support programs offered by the card issuer, but you will certainly find many sites that don’t. > > Verified by Visa -> https://usa.visa.com/personal/security/vbv/index.jsp > MasterCard SecureCode -> http://www.mastercard.us/securecode.html > > Also, you might check to see if your bank offers disposable credit card numbers. These are single use credit card numbers that link to your account, but will be approved only once. If your bank offers something like this, it’s a good way to keep yourself safe when using new vendors. It’s not necessary, however, for places like Amazon that have a well established reputation. > > Bank of America ShopSafe service -> http://www.bankofamerica.com/privacy/index.cfm?template=learn_about_shopsafe > Article about disposable CC numbers in general -> http://lifehacker.com/5831160/use-virtual-credit-card-numbers-to-shop-safely-online-keeping-in-mind-the-downsides > > The article also brings up my final point, which is that no amount of precaution will keep you 100% safe, either online or at a physical location. Unless you’ve traced the breach of your card’s security to an online vendor, it’s just as likely that it was stolen using a card skimmer, which can be designed to fit over an ATM without attracting attention or carried unnoticed in the hand of a waiter. > > -Jackie >

System Optimizations, Windows

Hi Georgia -

Our office is closed this week, so we will be unable to help you in person.

Here is some information to get you started should you want to tackle part of the repair on your own.

*****

The first thing to do is to uninstall any programs that aren’t needed any longer. You can do so by accessing the ‘Add/Remove Programs’ control panel (start->settings->control panel). Go through the list and uninstall anything you recognize as not needing. Also remove any security software (AVG, Norton, McAfee, Avast, Windows Defender, ClamAV, etc).

The second thing to do would be to download and run this program:

http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

It’s called CCleaner, and it can automate some of the cleanup process. You should run both the Cleaner and Registry options on the left – allow CCleaner to fix, delete or repair anything it wants.

After that, run Defraggler, also made by the same company:

http://www.piriform.com/defraggler

After that, check to see if the system has improved at all.

And finally, reinstall your security software. I recommend this program:

http://microsoft.com/security_essentials

It’s free from Microsoft and works very well.

Then run a ‘Full’ Security Essentials scan & allow it to clean up whatever it finds.

Lastly, install all pending Windows Updates (For both Windows XP & 7, a shortcut to access ‘Windows Updates’ is in the Start Menu under Programs).

The above procedure should take the computer 2-4 hours, perhaps longer if there are many Windows Updates pending. If the system does not appear to be any better, it’s possible a complete reinstall of Windows may be in order (sometimes trying to clean a system does not work & starting over is the only solution).

Lastly, it’s possible your system is suffering from a hardware malfunction, especially a failing hard drive. A failing drive will cause unpredictable behavior – poor performance, instability, random crashes. It’s also a very common problem, especially for a laptop.

Regarding your Apple devices. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed (http://itunes.com). If any of the devices are running iOS 5.01 or newer (you can checking in Settings->General->About), you can update the devices without a computer (from Settings-General->Software Update). The update process can take a long time and partially depends on the speed of your internet connection. On a slow DSL connection, it could take 2-3 hours just to download the software update for a single device.

Good luck.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.