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Complete IT Blog                              

How to do Print Screen on a Mac

James David - Sunday, November 13, 2011

There is no print screen button on macs but when you learn how you will see it is useful.

Here are the three ways to do a print screen, or screen capture, in Mac OSX:

1. The simple “print screen button” capture:

  • Press the Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 3 all at the same time
  • You will find a capture of the screen on your desktop named ‘Picture _’

2. Capturing a selected portion of your screen:

  • Press the Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4 all at the same time
  • You will see the cursor change to +
  • Drag a box around the section you want to copy and release the mouse
  • You will find a capture of the screen on your desktop again named ‘Picture _’

3 . Capturing from a selected application window:

  • Press the Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4 all at the same time
  • You will see the cursor change to +
  • Press the spacebar
  • The cursor will change to a camera. Simply click on the window you want to be captured.
  • Again the capture of the screen will be on your desktop named ‘Picture _’

Hope this was helpful in explaining how to do a print screen on an Apple mac.

 

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IT Support: Contract It Out, Or Keep It In-House?

James David - Friday, August 19, 2011

How to handle IT infrastructure and support is one of the core considerations of any small to medium business (SMB). So how do you handle it? Should you manage your own IT support internally, or contract it out?

The answer, as always, is going to be different for every business, and in the modern IT environment, it will almost certainly involve a mix of the two. There are some recent technology developments, however, that make taking advantage of some degree of managed services and outsourcing beneficial to a small to medium business.

Cloud computing, managed services, and mobile devices are bringing huge productivity and feature gains to SMBs. Previously, the technology that these services provide was only available to large businesses that could afford to run, manage and support the servers, networks and components in-house with a specialised IT team. Cloud computing and managed services bring these technologies to the little guys affordably, reliably, and with the flexibility and support an SMB demands.

These days the humble corner store can afford to have all the benefits of a Microsoft Exchange server; like email, contacts and calendars synced across multiple devices with powerful collaboration and sharing tools, and advanced networking, without building, managing and supporting either. Managed services and cloud computing help SMBs punch above their weight.

So what do you need to consider when assessing your tech support situation?

Be innovative and entrepreneurial! You know your business; the little details that no-one else knows. How can you use technology to create competitive advantages and efficiencies, or solve problems? Speak to an expert who is plugged-in and will help you understand emergent technologies, their benefits, potential pitfalls, implementation, and support.

Some basics:

  • How many people is your business employing, how much internal IT knowledge do you have, and of what quality is that knowledge? Google Apps, a simple maintenance agreement, and contracted IT support may be all you need.
  • What does your business do? Innovative technology use can create competitive advantage, solve problems and make doing what you do faster, more reliable, and more efficient in almost any business, but some industries will benefit more than others.
  • What is your existing IT situation? What needs to be supported, developed, upgraded, or made redundant?
  • What technologies do you plan to use? How are you going to find out about your options, make a technology plan, implement it, and support it?

Finding the right IT support mix for your business is always a challenge, and is something that must be assessed continually, especially in the fast-paced modern IT environment.

How are you handling your IT support, and what have you learned from doing it?

 

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Raytheon Sarcos goes green with its second generation exoskeleton

Seth Reinhardt - Friday, October 01, 2010

Going green doesn’t necessarily mean buying a Prius and living on Fair Trade organic millet mash. Raytheon Sarcos’s second generation exoskeleton suit reduces power consumption by 50% in comparison to XOS 1 and doesn’t sacrifice any of its style or strength. Enjoy this video of the suit in action for your dose of future technology on a Friday.

The XOS 2 is a wearable robotics suit – think Iron Man or the mechanical suits in Avatar, only real. The second generation version is said to be lighter, more durable, more fluid in movement, stronger and more efficient to run. You get strapped in and can effortlessly make use of all of the suit’s strength and durability.

Dr. Fraser Smith, VP of Operations for Raythen Sarcos, sees two variations of the suit being used – a combat version and a logistics version – and estimates its employment by the military within five years for the tethered version and eight to ten years untethered. He talks of using the current suit to lift a 200lb (90kg) barbell, so you can imagine how that will increase over the next 10 years and the incredible practical applications this will have in the workforce.

For now it’s an inspiration, an example of the crazy things we can achieve with technology. It’s another piece of technology pulled from the sci-fi movies I watched as a kid and made real. Personally, I am waiting for the hoverboards from Back to the Future, but this will do for now.

My question is – how do I become a test engineer that gets to run around in futuristic robot suits all day?

 

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Online backup services and making your technology work for you

Seth Reinhardt - Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Online backup services keep your important data safe and secure in case of emergencies and are a vitally important service for small businesses. But protecting your data is not all they will do for you.

Do all the things you’ve always done, when, where and how you want to.

By the release of their 2010 second quarter results, Apple had sold just over 51 million iPhones. This equates to a considerable number of people walking around with much of the productivity capacity of their office computer, in their pocket. And that’s not counting people who prefer Android smartphones or the legions of businesspeople who swear by their blackberries.

What I’m saying is that, these days, we don’t work with a single centralised device. The desktop PC is no longer the focus of our work environment. Laptops, tablets and smartphones allow us to break free of the office and work wherever we want, whether that is in a client’s boardroom or under the warming touch of a pleasant sunbeam. And it’s fantastic - I don’t want to be couped up in an office all day if I don’t have to be and I want to add value to my interactions with clients by increasing my capacity to work productively and collaboratively outside of the office. I also want my important documents to go with me when I leave my desktop and I want them to be back there once I walk out of that client’s boardroom.

That’s something an online backup service can provide. Not only will they ensure that your important data is backed up automatically, conveniently and securely, but once it is, it will be online waiting for you, wherever you may need it. Some services can even provide online syncing, so that you can set your backup up as you like it and then all but forget about it. It will, quietly and transparently, make sure that the most recent versions of all your files are synced automatically on all the platforms you use, ready for you when you need them.

I changed to an online backup service, and I can never look back. I do a day’s work on my desktop, get home to my laptop and everything is there just as it was in the office. On a recent trip I was sitting in a taxi on the way to the airport and needed to share a file with a collaborator. All I had to do was open the browser on my smartphone and head to my backup website. Two minutes (and a kilometre of Sydney traffic) later it was done.

Technology doesn’t just let us do new things, more advanced things or better things. It enables us to do all the things we’ve always done, when, where and how we want to. It gives us flexibility and convenience and takes care of important tasks in more efficient, effective and secure ways than we could do them manually.

It gives us time, our most precious resource, to be the best we can be.

Give Complete IT a call on 1300 732 850, or head to our contact page here, to talk about what you want your technology to do for you.

 

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Making upgrades easy

Seth Reinhardt - Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You can do incredible things with your computer, but can your computer keep up with you? An upgrade could be just the kick in the pants your PC needs.

Get the most out of your desktop or laptop.

One of the best things about running a desktop PC is that when it starts to struggle to keep up with what you want to do with it, or your needs change, it is easy to upgrade without starting from scratch! The hardest part is choosing what hardware is going to give you the biggest benefit in what you want to do.

Components like RAM, hard-disks, optical drives and graphics cards can be changed simply and affordably. Best of all, most of them can be changed independently of each other and won’t require a fresh install of your operating system.

If you’re a gamer, or planning on becoming one, a quick, easy and affordable graphics card upgrade can be all that you need to run games smoothly and with all the eye-candy turned up. If you are getting into Photoshop or Lightroom, working with big Excel or Word documents, or managing a sizable Access database, a RAM upgrade could make a big difference to your productivity.

Even your CPU and motherboard can be easily upgraded. Think of them as the platform on which everything else is built. They just have more influence on the other parts in the system and so changing them may necessitate other hardware upgrades, like new RAM or a new graphics card. They do, however, offer the most general-use speed, as well as substantial performance upgrades for some applications.

Complete IT offers a computer upgrade service in which we will evaluate your computer and your specific needs and then advise on what components will give you the most benefit and whether or not it would be more cost-effective to do a full rebuild. We will then procure the hardware for you, perform all necessary backup, installation and setup procedures and make sure everything is running its best before we leave.

Call Complete IT on 1300 732 850, or head to our contact page here, and we’ll help you get the most out of your desktop or laptop. Get the most out of your upgrade and make it easy and stress-free with Complete IT.

If prefer the DIY approach to PC upgrading, head to our online store for great prices, fast, secure shipping and premium service.

 

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Fix your computer without leaving your house part 2: maintenance and prevention

Seth Reinhardt - Friday, September 24, 2010

Earlier in the week James talked about that hopeless feeling you get when you turn your computer on and are faced with a fault of some kind. Even the most mundane faults and instabilities can be frustrating and time consuming to deal with, which is why we offer troubleshooting and hardware repair services. Let’s talk about how to avoid these situations in the first place through general good practices.

Even the most mundane faults and instabilities can be frustrating and time consuming to deal with, so what can you do to avoid them?

First of all – heat. Computers generate a lot of it and have to work hard to dissipate it. Keeping your desktop or laptop out of the sun, in a cool location and with plenty of breathing space will help it stay cool. Be particularly careful using laptops in bed or on a surface that will cover up their ventilation.

Dust is a big contributor to heat in a computer. If your desktop lives on the floor, or is just generally outside of a controlled environment, it is going to end up full of dust sooner or later. Dust does two things that computers don’t like. It bears particles that can conduct electricity and it impedes a computer's ability to cool down – it insulates. Computers are always happiest when they are cool (and not short circuiting), so keeping them free of dust will extend their lifetime and reduce the likelihood of a hardware fault. You can reduce the amount of dust that gets in a computer by keeping it in a clean environment, off the floor. If your computer has been around for a long time, it could be time to seek preventative maintenance.

Clean power is important – buy a surge protector and use it for your computer and monitor. Daisy chaining power boards together may work fine for most of the time, but may also result in cooked components. High quality surge protectors protect your gear and some brands even offer insurance if something does go wrong. Also consider shutting down and unplugging your gear if you are away for a few days: it not only protects your gear while you aren’t around, but it’s environmentally responsible as well.

On a related note: the hibernate modes in Windows Vista and Windows 7 work very well. They reduce your power consumption and running costs, are kind to the environment and are snappy to get back to desktop when you need to use your computer.

If your computer is showing signs of instability, such as being slow and unresponsive, or generally instable, give us a call on 1300 732 850 and take advantage of our troubleshooting service. If there is an issue with your computer, we have years of professional servicing experience to draw on in finding it and resolving it quickly and efficiently before something goes properly wrong. We also offer IT home tuition, in which we demonstrate good habits that will keep your computers running their best.

 

 

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Fix your computer without leaving your house

James David - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

That feeling when you turn on your computer, ready to work or read your emails and all you are presented with is a black screen and some cryptic beeps is terrible. That jarring shock as the screen goes blue and everything breaks down when you are in the middle of something is worse.

The computer was working yesterday, nothing has changed, it just doesn’t work.

A broken down or misbehaving computer is an incredibly frustrating thing to deal with, especially if it is the primary computer in the household or is used for important work or schoolwork. Part of the problem is how utterly mystifying it is. The computer was working yesterday, nothing has changed and unless you know exactly what you’re doing, there’s nothing really to tell you what’s wrong. It just doesn’t work.

And then if you have to deal with sending parts or the whole computer away, it gets worse. The process is usually long-winded; involving multiple phone calls, emails and trips to the post office and often taking days or weeks to reach a satisfying conclusion.

Thankfully, you don’t have to deal with any of that because quality professional IT support is always available.

Complete IT offers an on-site computer repair service in which our experienced technicians will come direct to your home or office and fix your misbehaving machinery on the spot. If your issue is too complex to be fixed then and there we will take it to our offices for repairs, bring it back to you in perfect order and then make sure that it is set up and running flawlessly before we leave.

Stress-free, timely and friendly: the way IT support should be.

Give us a call the next time you are in need of a computer wizard, or any time you would like some friendly advice, support or assistance.

James David

Your IT Implementation, Planning and Support Specialist

Complete IT

 

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Toddler-proofing your iPhone or iPad’s App Store account

Seth Reinhardt - Friday, September 17, 2010

It is very easy to buy something on one of the various app stores. A few taps on your iPhone, iPad or Android and you’ve spent a couple bucks and are most of the way done with installing your new software. But if you have toddlers running around, it may be a little too easy.

A few days ago the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story on a toddler who managed to rack up a $50 bill for apps from Apple’s app store. This is something that I have been thinking about because my four year old nephew recently discovered his parents’ iPhones and is always on the hunt for new “memory games”. He is currently a huge fan of Angry Birds and Pocket God, but this is subject to change by the second.

iPhone app store restrictions

This is all good and harmless. However, if he asks one of us for a new game and we put in the password and download it, the phone remembers the account information for a while. This means that he can then quit out of the game, head back to the App Store and spend $1, 199.99 on BarMax CA. And this would be irritating.

Some apps also use in-app purchases to drive their revenue. And while Apple’s user interface is fairly simple, the UIs in the apps themselves are often a lot more ambiguous and complex. If my nephew is anything to go by, toddlers learn how to work these phones by doing; which means pushing every button - the bigger and shinier the better - in the app and then seeing what happens. With in-app purchasing enabled, this can easily lead to surprise invoices from Apple.

So what can you do to prevent your toddlers racking up big bills from the App Store?

  • Turn off in-app purchasing by going to Settings > General > Restrictions > Allowed Content > In-App Purchases OFF
  • Set your devices to not remember account information, so that your account information will be required for any App Store downloads or purchases
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and 3G data when they are using the devices, so that the App Store can’t load. Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data OFF or Settings > General > Network > Wi-Fi > Slide to OFF
  • Put restrictions on your App Store and iTunes account (this will cause them not to show in your device until you remove the restrictions). Settings > General > Restrictions > Allow: Installing Apps/iTunes OFF

Have you had any surprise App Store invoices from your kids? Was it an app you ended up enjoying? Let us know in the comments.

 

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You can do amazing things with your computer!

Seth Reinhardt - Tuesday, September 07, 2010

And we can show you how!

Modern technology allows us to do amazing things. The only problem is learning how to operate it in the first place!

Computers and mobile devices have made huge strides in user-friendliness in recent years and computer confidence is now well within anyone’s grasp. Sometimes you just need a helping hand to get you going.

Take advantage of powerful new software, start your own website, or just give your kids a good understanding of internet safety and basic computer use.

Complete IT offers a range of affordable and very useful services for home users, of which our IT home tuition service is just one. Have you just bought your first computer, a new device, or some new software? Are you planning on returning to the workforce or starting a new job and need to brush up on some software and computer skills? Want to know how to photoshop your best friend into a giant burrito? Maybe you want to take advantage of powerful new software, start your own website, or just give your kids a good understanding of internet safety and basic computer use. We are here to help.

Knowing how to properly run and maintain your computers and electronic devices can save you a lot of trouble in the future. Especially if we’re talking about a family computer that gets a lot of use, for many different reasons, from people of varying skill levels! Our IT home tuition service can teach you how to properly maintain your devices. It can also teach you how to improve your internet security and keep your information safe by avoiding viruses and security threats.

Despite recent advances in user-friendliness, one aspect of our daily interaction with technology seems to just get more and more complex: getting our ever-expanding array of devices to communicate happily with each other. Want to know how to setup a secure wireless network, use your smartphone to provide an internet connection for your laptop or get your camera to output straight to your LCD? Give us a call and we can help you get properly set up and teach you how to do what you want to do, and maintain everything you need, yourself.

Or if DIY isn’t your thing, give us a call and we’ll do it for you!

Head to our contact page or call us on 1300 732 850 to talk about how we can help you make the most of the technology in your everyday life.

 

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Three tips for basic digital camera ownership: look after your images

Seth Reinhardt - Friday, September 03, 2010

Compact point and shoots and camera phones are so prevalent these days that nearly everyone has access to a decent digital camera. Even digital SLR (DSLR) cameras, once thought only for professionals or ‘pro-sumers’, are becoming mainstream and both Canon and Nikon offer some excellent and affordable entry-level models. The number of Canon 550Ds hanging around my family gatherings is quite surprising.

But how many people know how to get the best out of their digital camera, and how many are following good practices to make sure that their images are looked after, or even used at all?

film

I studied photography when I was younger and shot all of my images on film. I even practiced the arcane arts of developing my own images. Shooting on film meant that the images I took, or wanted to take, were tied to a consumable that was used up after 36 exposures and which, being a uni student, I couldn’t afford to replace indefinitely. So I had to think about each shot I took.

Now I can hold down the shutter few a few seconds, take 20 exposures and not think twice!

So it is very easy to generate a lot of images very quickly, but then it is important to look after them as well. And that is what prompted me to write this post. Pull your images off your device’s memory! And then back them up as well!

My top tip for new digital camera owners is to regularly connect your camera, smartphone or whatever it is that you shoot with up to your computer and copy your images across! If it is something, like a smartphone, that you just carry with you everywhere and shoot when the mood strikes, set a regular routine, say once every two weeks, when you pull your photos off. If you are going out and shooting something specific, pull your images off as soon as you get back. Once you have your images safely on your computer, preferably backed up, you can clean your camera’s card and start filling it up again!

My second tip is to develop and use a logical file structure for these images. It entirely possible that you will go out and capture 300, 500 or a thousand images with a point and shoot or DSLR, so you need a file structure that will help you find the images you want. Break things up into years, months and even weeks if you shoot a lot. Then within those folders create a folder named after the event you just captured and the date of the shoot – Barnabys’ fishing trip 260810. If you are going to manipulate your images, create a folder for the originals and a folder for the finals.

folder structure

If you want to spend a little money to save yourself a lot of time, not to mention give yourself a powerful post-production and editing to tool, go and get Lightroom 3; it’s fantastic, or some equivalent software. It will help you get your images off your card and onto your computer, as well as organise and access them. If you want to get more into fine-tuning and post-producing your images, Lightroom 3 will give you some very powerful tools to do so.

Finally, a tip that I give for almost anything I talk about. Back your images up! Whether you use a DVD, an external hard drive, an online backup service or a cloud service like Dropbox, protect your images by backing them up. You must be taking these photos for a reason, right?

Bonus tip: storage is cheap and you most likely have plenty of spare space, so don’t automatically delete images that you think are bad just because they have some technical problem; like poor focus or exposure, or because the subject matter is doing something strange. Keep them, you may find something you like about them in a few years!

 

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