Installing Windows on a Virtual Machine

Installing Windows on a Virtual Machine Running a Virtual Machine with VMware is a very fun and helpful thing to have on your computer. You can run multiple platforms if you choose, have great flexibility on how you would like to set up the virtual machine, and is a great tool for IT students to practice with. The first thing you will have to do with your new virtual machine is install an operating system (as you would with any new pc). In this example, we will install Microsoft Windows. If you notice below, I checked off Microsoft Windows as the operating system as I was setting up my virtual machine. Below is how the Virtual Machine looks before it is powered up. For this example, I am downloading a trial version of Microsoft Windows that I am not going to activate, but it will work for this purpose. I downloaded it from the Microsoft site, using a flash drive (at least 8 GB). I used an old 8 GB flash drive for my install. For a small flash drive combined with my slow laptop, the download can take a very long time. Something else to note… This process will erase everything on your thumb drive, so make sure you move your data off of the thumb drive beforehand. Booting up from the thumb drive, Windows will take over, and the process will look like any other Windows install. Again, I am not going to register this install of Windows, so I clicked on the “I don’t have a product key” box. This is where it asks to be...

Sharing Files With Dropbox

Sharing files with Dropbox A quick and easy way to share files using the Cloud is to use Dropbox. Once installed, it is easy to use. Drag and drop files and share with whoever you would like. This can include linking to Text, Email, and Social Media. I will walk you through installing, running, and sharing a file with this how-to guide. Install Dropbox The first step is to install Dropbox on your computer. This is easily done by going to Dropbox.com, and clicking on “Download” After downloading the Dropbox program, it should show up in your bottom tray. When you open the program, it will give you the option to open your files, which will look something like this. This will be the location to put your shared files in. To select a file to put in the Dropbox, simply right click on that file, and choose “add to Dropbox”, as I am doing in this example. From this point, clicking on the file will allow you to share it with a group, social media, or individual people. In this example, I will share this photo with my Student account, via Email. I have clicked on the file that I wish to share. Click on the Share tab to open up your options for sharing. I am going to choose Specific people. After typing in my School Email address, I will log on to that Email to see what happened. You can also use Dropbox to share files on most Social Media platforms. Adding Dropbox to Microsoft Office is an option to make sharing files...

Uses for an old laptop

Uses for an Old Laptop Do you have a laptop that is a bit on the old and slow side? It was once a star, but age is brutal to us all, and now it just sits in your basement, eating your food & watching cartoons all day, dreaming of the glory days. It is pretty much just taking up space at this point. Put your foot down & let your old laptop know that it has to get a new job in the next Month, or it is going to the computer recycling center. If it refuses to look for something on its own, here are some ideas. Fix it up- Does the old boy have the “bones” to put time and money into some upgrades? Maybe you have a child that is entering High School or College and will need a laptop that doesn’t need to be state of the art. Invest in some extra ram memory, a better hard drive, etc… Boom… Instant new laptop. Do your homework first. In our world, a new laptop computer is probably about the same price, or even less than upgrading an old laptop. Make it a Server- If it is still in fairly good shape, but too slow for what you need, you can make it a home server. You can connect your printers to your old laptop and set up a network to your new one. You can have a central hub for your devices, print from any networked printer, do file sharing and do back-ups. You can purchase software, such as Windows Home Server, but that is...

Gmail Plugins

Gmail Productivity Plugins How do you use Gmail better? While I never thought this was a problem in my life, I can honestly say that I could be doing my daily Gmail things better. I am going to examine several Gmail Plugins that should help your productivity, if you choose to use them. Some of these products overlap in the things that they can do, but there is hopefully one out there for you. Task Management Plugins Task Management is an important process in the business world. The ability to link Task Management to your Gmail account can do wonders for your productivity, freeing up time to spend on more important things in your life. Boomerang- This product is mostly used for scheduled email sending and reminders. It allows you to schedule emails to automatically send in the future, so you can write an email now, and it will send it whenever you want. Boomerang can also postpone incoming emails, by making them disappear from your Inbox into a folder, then bringing it back to the top of your message list at a certain time. It is also the only reminder service that can alert you if you do not get a reply to a message. SortD- SortD can organize your Gmail inbox into a series of To-do lists. You can name the lists according to your needs. You can drag and drop emails and put them into an appropriate list. A cool function is that you can rename the email, so it will make sense when you move it. ToDoist- This is one that I started using. ToDoist...

Setting up Media Streaming and File Sharing  with Windows 10

What is media streaming?  This involves taking different types of media content (photos,music,videos) and being able to stream them to different devices inside and outside of the home.  These devices can read media that is stored in a different location without transferring it to their main memory.  Some of these devices include gaming systems, tablets, personal computers and other devices with streaming capabilities. What is file sharing?  File sharing sharing is the ability  to share different files on a network. For example, word documents and powerpoint presentations. How does it work?  The wireless router connects all the different network capable devices that are available in the home.  The data is stored on a personal computer or server in a central location.  All of the devices can access these files twenty four seven.  For example, if you had a Roku in one room and a PS4 in another, both of these devices could play the movies that are on the media server. Lets get started . First make sure you have an AC compatible wireless router (Netgear AC2300),computer or NAS (Network Attached Storage Device) and devices to access the data   As you can see in the picture the router is surrounded by all the different devices.     Once you have the wireless network setup with the internet, the next step is to find a spot for the personal computer that is going to hold all of the files.  Just to let you know, when using a desktop or laptop for a media server it’s going to consume more power then using an NAS, plus it won’t have as...

The Best way to Configure a Virtual Machine

This is guide will attempt to teach you how to setup a virtual machine for best performance.  Depending on the software, some vms will work better than others.  I am using Vmware Workstation and it requires a 64 bit operating system with a 1GB of available disk space for the application.  I recommend 8GB of RAM on the computer to make sure the VM doesn’t slow down.  Now let's get started… start  by opening Vmware and click on create new virtual machine, then select typical and click next.  Now input how to install the operating system.  I am using  Windows 10 ISO you can also use a CD if you choose. Step two is to input all the different operating system information.  This can  be done after the OS is installed. it’s up to you.  After that step click next and this box will show where the VM will be located on the computer's hard drive.  Also this is where you can name the VM. Step Three is the hard drive settings.  Make sure to add enough space for any other  applications that will be added to the OS.  Windows 10 will need around 10GB.  With this setting I like to stay at 30GB or more.   The next section for best performance from a virtual machine is to  select “single” instead of “multiple files”.  When it uses a single file to create the hard disk it’s easier and faster for the operating system to access data.  The downside is that it takes up the full amount of space that was assigned to it.  On the other hand, when using multiple...

Apple TV4K Unleashed

Apple TV has been around for more than a decade and every few years Apple adds more enhancements to make the experience better.  Apple has two different models… they are Apple TV 4K and Apple TV.  The  differences are the 4K version gives you the choice of purchasing a 32GB or 64GB version.  The regular Apple TV just comes in the 32GB model.  Another difference is, the 4K version is for 4K compatible TVs and has a video output of 2116p instead of 1080p which the older version has.  Apple has upgraded the new Apple TV4K with a A10x fusion chip and a gigabit network connection.  This helps watching high resolution content online and playing different games from the app store.   Lastly, the two versions are very similar when it comes to functionality, accessing content and how the interface works.   Now it’s time to switch gears and talk about Apple's new Apple TV4K.  The first enhancement is “high dynamic range” or HDR for short.  This technology helps to deliver blacker blacks and whiter whites to make the picture look more realistic and fly off of the screen.  This works by adjusting the colors to make it look more realistic.  Another nice feature that goes along with HDR is Dolby Atmos.  This is a new format of sound quality that  gives it more of a three dimensional effect.  To utilize this you need to have a Dolby Atmos receiver and speakers. The Apple TV4K remote is special because first of all it is rechargeable, which eliminates going to the store and buying batteries.  The second feature of the...

New Features of iPhone X

iPhone X- New Features Apple has released its 10th anniversary phone, called the iPhone X (Ten). While I do not own one yet, My Wife & Daughter do. From what I have seen on theirs, and some of the research I have done, I my have one sooner than I think. I am going to explain some of the new features of the iPhone X, and why it is causing me to think about getting rid of my measly iPhone 6. The first thing that jumps out is the look of it. It is one of the best-looking phones I have ever seen. It is a completely innovative design, where the screen fills the entire surface of the phone. It has a glass over aluminum body, with a bezel-less 5.8-inch OLED display, and a top notch for the camera. Something else Apple users will notice right away on this version is that there is no “Home Button”. The new design offers lots of new gestures, and ways to maneuver around, but the biggest one of all is how you unlock your phone. You unlock it using your face. Apple’s new technology, Face ID, is used on the iPhone X. It works using the camera system in the notch at the top of the display. Glance at the iPhone X and it illuminates your face with an infrared dot array, allowing the infrared camera to identify it. It even works in the dark. Apple claims that it isn’t confused by hairstyles, hats, or beards. It has worked for my Wife and Daughter. According to Apple, there is a 1 in...

7 Essential Computer Repair Tools

When getting ready to fix a computer, there are seven essential tools that can be used to make sure the technician stays safe and the job gets done.  Most of these are hand tools and they come in computer tool kit.  They range between twenty to fifty dollars depending on what is included in the kit.   The first tool is an ESD wrist strap that helps  ground the technician and protect the computer from static electricity.  This is used to prevent static electricity from shorting out different parts of the motherboard.  The best way to to discharge yourself is to touch the metal part of the computer  case.The second tool is a screwdriver that comes with removable tips.  This tool provides more options when taking apart a computer and finding many sizes/types of screws.  Some of the more common types of screws you will find are flat-head, phillips-head, torx and hex.  Also, most screwdrivers have a magnetic head which helps with small screws. The third tool is a needle nose pliers.  This tool can be helpful in a few different ways. First of all, if you drop a screw into the computer case this is the best way to fish it out. Sometimes cases are magnetic and screws seem to stick on the bottom or the sides.  This pliers is also used  to work with small parts. For example, when changing the jumpers on the motherboard or an old hard drive.  Lastly, some needle nose pliers have an area closest to the handle where it can be used to cut wire. The fourth tool is a multimeter.  This device...

How to Set Up and Configure a Wireless Network in a Secure Manner

   Did you recently have internet installed in your home?  Do you need a little help getting it  set up?  This is a “how to” guide on how to make sure your wireless network is safe and secure.  The first step is to make sure you have all the equipment you need to get the job done.  When setting up a wireless network at home, consider how large the house is and if you want to have internet outside.  There are different kinds of wireless technologies you should look at. The different wireless security protocols are WEP, WPA and WPA2.  WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) was created in 1997 to keep wireless networks secure but, due to it’s 24 bit vector it was easily hacked and broken into.  By 2003 WPA(WiFi protected access) came out and went up to 128 bits encryption which made it five times more secure.  The next year in 2004 WPA2 came out a new tech that would replace RC4 and TKIP(Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) with CCMP and AES which used a different algorithm that made  stronger authorization and encryption. These routers were some of the top rated routers on Best Buys website.  Starting from the left, the RangeMax N600 dual-band wireless-n router has 802.11n wireless technology which  is capable of 300Mbps and range up to 300 feet.  Also it has WPA wireless protocol  This router would be good for medium homes with limited amount of internet usage.   The next router is the AC1750 which works up to 1750Mps and has the range of 300 feet and the security protocol WPA2-PSK .  If you’re looking to...