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How to Connect to a Computer Remotely
If you ever find yourself needing to access a computer remotely--either attempting to connect to a desktop computer at work or need to assist someone with their computer from afar--this primer is for you. Whether you have a Microsoft Windows PC or an Apple Mac, let's take a look at the basics you'll need to know.
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How Machine Learning is Redefining Real Estate Search (8/24)
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM PDT By teaching computers how to interpret the visual world, multiple listing service photos are starting to unlock a treasure trove of listing data previously thought to be unavailable. While, historically, the amount of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage primarily guides searches, these numbers may soon just be a starting point. What if other selection criteria could be the size of the backyard, the quantity of natural light, or the vastness of the view? Recent advancements now make it possible to analyze listing photos, automatically identify hundreds of new features, and provide thousands of additional data points, giving consumers the ability to search at a new and unheard of micro-level. Machine learning is unlocking home search in a way that no pre-2016 homebuyer has ever had. Find out how you can stay ahead of the latest innovation. Register now!
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Will the Last PC User Please Turn Out the Lights?
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Microsoft Takes on Apple with Hybrid Tablet/Laptop
Microsoft's Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet went on sale today, but you might have trouble finding the former. The 13-inch Surface Book sold out within five days during a pre-sale period earlier this month, and only limited quantities are available for today's retail launch. The Surface Book is Microsoft's first-ever laptop, and the company envisions it as a direct competitor to Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro. In fact, Microsoft called the Surface Book the fastest 13-inch laptop ever made during a live event earlier this month, and pitted it against the MacBook Pro in a speed test. The most notable difference between the two computers is the Surface Book's hybrid design. The Surface can function both as a laptop and a touch-screen tablet, a convenient combination for real estate professionals who use tablets for limited, on-the-go tasks and a separate laptop or desktop computer for more involved tasks. So how do the two machines really compare? We broke down the specs of each in the table below:   Surface Book 13-inch MacBook Pro Price Starting at $1499 Starting at $1299 Operating system Windows 10 Pro OS X El Capitan Screen size 13.5" PixelSense display 13.3" Retina display Resolution 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) 2560 x 1600 (227 PPI) Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB options 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB options Processor Intel Core i5 or i7 Intel Core i5 or i7 RAM 8GB or 16GB 8GB, configurable to 16GB Weight 3.34 pounds 3.48 pounds Battery life Up to 12 hours Up to 10 hours Graphics Intel HD graphics; i5/i7: NVIDIA GeForce graphics Intel Iris Graphics 6100 Camera(s) 5.0MP front-facing camera, 8.0MP rear-facing camera with autofocus and 1080p HD video recording 720p FaceTime HD camera Audio Dual Microphones, front and rear facing; Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby audio Stereo speakers, Dual microphones USB ports Two USB 3.0, full-sized SD card reader Two USB 3.0 Other ports Surface Connect, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort SDXC card slot, HDMI port, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack Warranty 1-year limited 1-year limited
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Is It Time for a Backup Battery?
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Does your computer start very slowly? It could be your HDD.
Is it stressful when your computer initializes slowly? Do you feel like you are wasting essential time waiting for your computer to be ready for you? Are you asking yourself, Why does it take so long to start my computer? The Boot Time When you turn on the power switch of your computer, the internal computer program (boot loader) of your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) runs self-tests, locates devices, finds, loads and starts your operating system. This all needs to be completed before you can begin accessing your programs, devices and applications. The average boot time of a fast Hard Disk Drive (HDD) of 7200rpm is about 45 seconds to one minute. But most computers don't come with 7200rpm HDDs unless requested. Enter the Solid State Drives (SSD). These have revolutionized how quickly our computers read and write. The average boot time of a Solid State Drive (SDD) is about 8 seconds to 20 seconds. That's a whole lot faster! These drives have been out for years, so why do we choose to talk about it now? In the past, the cost efficiency for what you were getting was not good. During 2005-2007 the prices would average about $3/GB; a decent SSD of 250 GB was over $750. Why get a 250GB SDD for $750 when one could get a 3TB HDD, at that time, for about the same price? Today, SSDs are about $0.47-$0.50 per GB, so they are moderately cost-efficient for the performance you are gaining.
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OS X Yosemite and iOS 8
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Why It’s Important to Back Up Your Data
One of the most important things for your business is your data. Programs and applications can be reinstalled, but once your data is lost, it's extremely hard to recreate. This is why we strongly encourage clients to back up their data and have a recovery plan. Losing your data can paralyze your business. It's better to take the time to prepare for an unlikely disaster than to look back and wish you had done something before. Things happen, and regardless how careful we are, we can fall victim to some unfortunate circumstances. In case of data corruption/deletion, having a current backup can have your office functioning again in minutes vs. days and weeks of having to recreate and re-enter data. Backing up your data will protect against: Viruses Theft Accidental deletion Computer crashes Physical damage to hardware Natural disaster Fires
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Laptop vs. Tablet: Which Should You Use?
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iPad vs. Microsoft Surface Pro for Real Estate
The real estate industry has struggled with supporting the tablet needs of real estate professionals. Until now, the iPad has reigned supreme as the leader among real estate professionals. Now Microsoft has a legitimate contender in the race that deserves serious consideration among real estate professionals. It is called the Surface Pro. About Microsoft Surface Pro The Microsoft Surface is a tablet like the iPad. It offers touch screen computing like the iPad, and is similar in size (weighs 300 grams more than the iPad, or about 30% heavier). The Surface Pro is clearly the more powerful device in terms of computing power and memory. However, the key feature is that the Surface Pro runs the full version of Windows 8 that you may be running on your desktop today. Moreover, every application that you use in real estate will work 100% of the time. You will not run into any glitches with any of your business software because you are using a tablet instead of a desktop. You have access to the full MLS, forms, Internet, and all of your mail, calendar, and documents are mirrored seamlessly across your computers. Of course, the Surface Pro runs full versions of Microsoft Office including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. It also runs popular business software like Adobe Acrobat Pro and QuickBooks. Everything works exactly the same as it does today on your computer. It even has a camera like the iPad and offers apps for your favorite site like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Pandora, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Skype, Netflix, and more.
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How to Clear Autofill in Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox
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Cloudy With a Chance of Disaster
Apple introduced iCloud to the world of consumer computing. The service promises to provide access to files, such as music and photos, from multiple devices. A radio advertisement touts the benefits of an online payroll system that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and is so easy to use that even a boy operating a lemonade stand can use it. The concept behind iCloud and software that is accessible anywhere is not new, but is part of a rapidly growing technology platform called the cloud or cloud computing. Cloud computing gives both consumers and businesses the ability to use software applications and input and access data on any number of devices anywhere in the world. Cloud computing is generally the ability to remotely access software and data from off-site servers and other hardware through the Internet. It is divided between public and private clouds. A public cloud services multiple clients and customers, and a private cloud, similar to traditional outsourcing that is controlled by the user, services only one or a limited number of clients and customers. Application software offered in the cloud, or software as a service (SaaS), runs on servers located off-site or in a remote location--the software does not reside on the desktop or local computer or server. Netbook computers are designed to operate SaaS because they don't need a hard drive, but instead merely need access to a browser and the Internet to operate the SaaS application. Many of us are already in the cloud with Google's Gmail, Yahoo mail, Facebook, Flickr, and Google docs. The number of business applications is rising rapidly. The economic and other benefits cannot be ignored, particularly in stressed economic times. There are several potential drawbacks, especially for business applications, however, that need to be addressed before fully embracing and launching the concept.
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Windows 8: Learn the New Windows
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The Minimalistic Gmail Cheat Sheet
There's a lot of great things about Gmail--it's free, it offers tons of storage, it integrates with Google Chat and other Google services. You can even call someone's phone number without leaving the Gmail interface. But did also you know that you can navigate Gmail almost entirely without a mouse or trackpad? It's true. Those crafty folks at Google have built in a ton of shortcuts that empower emailer users to work as efficiently as possible. We recently found a wonderful infographic that provides an overview of Gmail shortcuts, complete with a description of what each shortcut does and an illustration of where these results appear on your screen. Of course, you can always type Shift + ? within Gmail to bring up a list of shortcuts there, but Looking for more tips and shortcuts to make your online life run more smoothly? Check out the following articles: 10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Will Simplify Your Life 7 Internet Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Online Productivity Facebook Tips and Tricks
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Hackers Use Social Media to Avoid Detection
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7 Internet Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Online Productivity
We recently published an article highlighting 10 keyboard shortcuts that make life easier. That post was so popular that today we're letting you in on some shortcuts for surfing the World Wide Web: 1. You don't need the http:// portion of a web page When typing an Internet address, you do not need to type http:// or even www. in the address. For example, if you wanted to visit My Computer Works, you could just type mycomputerworks.com and press enter. 2. Quickly move between the fields of a web page If you're filling out an online form, e-mail, or other text field, you can quickly move between each of the fields by pressing the Tab key or Shift + Tab to move back a field. For example, if you're filling out your name and the next field is your e-mail address, you can press the Tab key to switch to the e-mail field. 3. Use Internet search engines to their full potential Make sure to get the most out of every search result. If you're not finding what you want, try surrounding the text in quotes. For example, if you were searching for 'computer help' this actually searches for pages that contain both computer and help, and not necessarily pages that have computer and help next to each other.
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10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Will Simplify Your Life
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To Buy or Not to Buy: An Extended Warranty Story
To buy or not to buy, that is the question. Whether 'tis safe for thou to protect one's investment or tempt thy mistress known as fate! Although not quite as poetic as Shakespeare's Hamlet, an extended warranty can either make your story a woeful tragedy or a joyful comedy. A tragedy that you did not purchase the warranty and just outside of the manufacturer's warranty your hard drive takes a rest--never to be awoken again (or maybe it was all fun and games till someone tipped that half-full glass over your laptop). One could truly write an epic about the many shortcomings of computer technology. Thou need only read our reasons as to why you should purchase a warranty to avoid such woeful tales. 1. Thou hardware is not of the gods Much like we mere mortals, our computer hardware has a life, though much shorter than our own. Sometimes its life is much shorter than others, and when it breathes its last breath, your computer will let you know in a truly dramatic fashion. Warranties cover normal wear and tear, meaning two, three or even four years from now, depending on the coverage you purchase, your computer can still have its parts replaced.
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What's Inside Your Computer?
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Windows 7 or Windows 8: Which to Choose
Windows 7 was Microsoft's big hit after the complete miss known as Vista. With the release of 7, Microsoft showed that it is not ready to hang up its hat. Now with Microsoft's newest release, Windows 8, some parts of the operating system are old hat but some portions are a whole new bag of tricks. By this point you're wondering what the new changes are and what hasn't changed, or maybe just which version works better for you. Interface The first change is in the Windows 8 user interface (the user interface is what you see and interact with on your screen.) There's some similarities to 7, but it's still very different because it is geared more towards touch screen PCs. Windows 7 had support for touch, but not as improved as Microsoft's newest version. This change is personified in the new start menu. Now dubbed Start Screen, this interactive menu shows your choices now on tiles. These tiles give you an easier and quicker way to access the programs you want. A further improvement has been the on-screen keyboard and hand recognition. A Windows 8 touch enabled PC is not required for this to work. There are peripherals made by Microsoft, Logitech and other companies, such as touch mice and track pads that allow users to use the touch based properties of Windows 8.
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4 Troubleshooting Tips from a Non-Techie
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Start Your Real Estate Business With a Strong Internet Presence
Setting Up Your Real Estate Website Your website will be an active part of your marketing efforts and key to your success as an agent. Hire a business that specializes in website design and support to work with you as you get started. You will find all sorts of people who do website design, but take the time to find a business with experience in designing for real estate agents. Real estate websites should be user-friendly, include a MLS site link with a search feature, in addition to providing high quality content and features designed to bring potential buyers to your services. A well designed website will lend an air of authority to your business. When a potential client clicks on your website, you want them to be able to find listings, information about the communities, links to MLS listings, as well as information about you, the agent, and any partners you work with in securing loans and making sales. Whether you're a newly licensed real estate agent or a pro with years of experience, prioritizing work is a smart business practice. Your training is in real estate—your time and energy should be devoted to promoting and building your brand at the same time as you work with clients. Let a computer expert deal with your computer and technology needs.
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Facebook Hoax
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Apple Unveils iPad Mini
Apple Inc.'s new iPad is small in size but not low in price — and that's got consumers grumbling and Wall Street worried. By launching a 7.9-inch iPad Mini that is as thin as a pencil and as light as a pad of paper, Apple threw itself into the market for smaller tablets currently ruled by its rivals. But with a higher-than-expected price for the device, the technology giant may run into difficulty stealing customers away from Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Fire HD or Google Inc.'s Nexus 7. The iPad mini starts at $329. Many analysts and consumers had hoped to see a starting price of $250. Investors appeared to be disappointed, sending Apple's shares down $20.67, or 3.3 percent, to $613.36 on Tuesday after the company announced the new tablet at an invitation-only media event held at the California Theatre in downtown San Jose. Apple's stock has now fallen about 12 percent since it released the iPhone 5 on Sept. 21. Apple, which in the past had resisted making a smaller iPad, sought to emphasize that the Mini was not inferior to its 9.7-inch device, which was unveiled in 2010 and has since dominated the tablet market. "It is every inch an iPad," Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told the crowd moments after introducing the long-rumored device. "The full iPad experience. There's less of it, but no less to it," the company later reiterated.
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Tech Talk: iOS 6 Disappointing, but Worth Downloading
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Yahoo! Reports Mac Closing the Gap on PC
Last week, this headline caught my eye as I was opening my Yahoo! email: "Gap between Mac and PC sales the smallest in 15 years." According to the article: "Currently, PCs are outselling Macs by a ratio of about 20 to 1. That's a huge lead, but Apple has been steadily closed the gap over the last decade from its 2004 low of 55 to 1. When you factor in mobile devices such as phones and tablet computers, the PC vs. Mac gap closes to a mere 2 to 1, with Apple likely to draw even within the next year or two." This news was closely followed by a glowing report of the iPad from Consumer Reports. Together, they reminded me of an article I wrote almost a year ago. I'm going to republish it here. Since this article was written, I've invested in a MacBook Pro of my very own, and it is the love of my life. Switching to Mac: A Love Story I have been an entrenched PC user all of my life. Right or wrong, I've been very vocal about my objections to Macs: They're unnecessarily expensive. They're unrealistically exclusive. They're difficult to use. And then, yesterday, my PC crashed – for the tenth time. As one of my fabulous teammates valiantly went to work on my crippled Sony Vaio, I was allowed to maintain my productivity with a borrowed MacBook Pro. And so it began. After a fair amount of groaning and griping, I went back to work. I was pleasantly surprised to find all of my favorite Microsoft Office programs already installed. I could still use Word! But when Word opened, I saw that it looked different. "Ha," I thought, "Here's confirmation that switching to Mac is going to be difficult." It wasn't.
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Are You a Mac? Are you Sick?
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3 Reasons to Install Software Updates (And How to Do It)
Our Director of Development is a patient man. Here’s a scenario we play over again and again. Me: “Chris, it’s pinwheeling again!” Chris: “Did you install your updates?” Me: “Oh . . . uh . . . never mind.” You see, I have a very bad habit – I don’t install my computer updates. And I’m not alone. The ever-patient Chris has educated me about why it’s important to install updates and even how to do it. If you’re tired of your computer running slowly and, oftentimes, freezing-up, I highly recommend you follow these steps. But first, let’s talk about why you should install your updates. Why Update? Simply put, software updates are essential if you want to keep using your computer. Despite all the Q.A. testing that goes into developing software, problems are inevitable. Over time, these flaws rear their ugly heads and the software developer must fix them. How? Well, if it’s not time to release the next version, they provide an update. Even if there isn’t a problem with the software, an upgrade may be required in order to give you access to cool new features. Updates may provide “plugs” for security holes that appear.
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Real Estate Technology: PCs Are Going Away
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Using Technology
The history of the Internet is a story of inverse proportion; as technology accelerates, the barriers to it—both monetary and technological—shrink. During one of my CRT presentations, I lead off by asking, “Who has been using email since 1971?” Only once has someone raised their hand. And while you may be wondering who would be naive enough to think that they could have been emailing since then, the lore of the Internet traces the first use of email back to the summer of 1971. So now, I ask you, "Why weren’t you using email back then, or even in 1991?" I lead off with that example because it clearly demonstrates what I’m discussing: technically, there was nothing to prevent people from sending email back in 1971. If you look at a timeline of the Internet, you can see that many of the services that we take for granted today and which we often perceive as only a couple of years old have actually been around for quite some time. Many times, a “new” technology merely refers to an old technology with a new label, a sign that it has reached the mainstream. But because technology takes some time to enter the mainstream, most people either aren’t aware of what’s possible or consider the cost too unreasonable.
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