Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Services’ Category


Are your parents getting a computer for Christmas? You should, therefore, expect a few calls for tech support. Right?

I’ve recently discovered a competitor’s website that is pretty handy for sending your parents any of more than 50 short computer how-to videos.  The videos are charmingly simple and concise.

If the videos prove insufficient, you can always contact Des Moines Tech Support.

Read Full Post »


Social Media BrandsIn my recent blog about dangers of social media I made reference to my IT work over the last twenty years. It wasn’t until after the blog was published that the significance of the time span hit me like a 2 x 4. Twenty years! How many of us remember that the first website was created only 20 years ago in December.

How did I pick that topic at this time? Was my subconscious directing me write on the subject because of the anniversary? Serendipity? Some unter-geek, genetic, internal clock awakening my limbic brain? I don’t know.

How interesting then to see a far more prescient, but related article by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, just published by Scientific American Magazine on the web: Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality

Berners-Lee assails the corporatization of the web, governmental threats to freedom of speech, and the `walled garden’ approach to social media sites.

The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.

He remains hopeful that OUR internet can be saved from itself and draws a line in the sand.

As long as the web’s basic principles are upheld, its ongoing evolution is not in the hands of any one person or organization—neither mine nor anyone else’s. If we can preserve the principles, the Web promises some fantastic future capabilities.   …

The goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.

____________________________________________________________________________________________
Bob Pauls writes for his company, Des Moines Tech Support, about appropriate technology and computers in business, education, and community development. You can follow Bob on Twitter @desmoinestech.  Bob’s e-mail address is bpauls@dsmtechsupport.com

Read Full Post »

Talking Tech on Turkey Day


Free ButtonAs a way of saying thanks to everyone, Des Moines Tech Support is providing free, telephone-based tech support to anyone and everyone on Thanksgiving Day from Noon to 4 PM.

Got a computer tech problem or question? Call and we’ll give you up to 15 minutes of free, professional help with no strings attached. No sales pitch, no hype, no money – just the answer to your needs during these stressful holidays. You don’t even need to give your name, phone or e-mail.

Happy Thanksgiving from Des Moines Tech Support!

Call 515-635-5621 and say you’re calling to Talk Tech on Turkey Day.

Read Full Post »

Hello, My Name is URL


Once upon a time websites didn’t exist … anywhere. As of October, 2010, there are an estimated 123,126,928 domains registered across the top-level domains (TLDs): .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ, and .US.±  
Each domain consists of at least one web page. Some domains are humongous. Take Wikipedia, for example. It has a minimum of 1.74 Billion {that a B for Billion) words spread across 9.25 million articles that are translated into about 250 languages.  Every one of those pages has a unique Universal Resource Identifier (URL) or web address.
To differentiate one page from another, especially in domains as large as Wikipedia, Google, and Yahoo, the number of characters needed to differentiate the URLs can become quite long and extremely difficult to memorize or even write to paper (i.e. old tech). If you are a Twitter user, you know the prevalence and need to shorten long URLs.
To make it easier on web users, over offer URL shortening services to shorten a long URL into an address much shorter.  Google just released its own URL Shortener. This French site lists 155 websites that offer these services. If you don’t know French, I suggest you use your Google Tool Bar translator or another translator.  Each site uses a mathematical algorithm to reduce common number, letter, symbol patterns of the URL into a single character. Think of it as zipping or compressing the URL using shorthand.
For example, below are two URLs: #1 is a real site with 77 characters; #2 is the short version with only 23 characters. They both display the same website content.
  1. http://www.peoplewhositinthedisabilityseatswhenimstandingonmycrutches.com/
  2. http://bit.ly/9H8aG4

How long can a URL be? There is some debate about what is possible in the real world, but imagine a URL of 256 characters or more and you make one typo… Arrgh).  No matter, what is important to understand is the potential danger of opening shortened URLs.

The danger comes from not knowing or even being able to guess what the shortened URL will do for you or to you.
Given the choice between these two URLs which would you definitely try to avoid?
You can tell by the language of the second URL as to the possible intent of the site. You have no warning from the first.
I am not saying to never click on a shortened URL. Personally, I do so all the time and I use shortened URLs in my e-mails, website, and blog because they have some advantages. Should you trust shortened URLs sent to you by friends and business associates because you know them? That’s a judgment call for you. It all comes down to your risk tolerance, trust level and experience with malware protection.
One way you might protect yourself is to use an URL lengthener service. They reveal the original URL. Just as social media sites such as Hootsuite incorporate URL shorteners, eventually they will also hopefully offer convenient URL lengtheners. Until then, proceed with caution.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Bob Pauls writes for his company, Des Moines Tech Support, about appropriate technology and computers in business, education, and community development. You can follow Bob on Twitter @desmoinestech.  Bob’s e-mail address is bpauls@dsmtechsupport.com

Read Full Post »

Super WiFi


In the ever-increasing diffusion of wireless technology into your lifestyle, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may this year authorize the first components of what will likely be dubbed Super WiFi.
Super WiFi radio frequencies are being carved out of the frequency bands used by older analog television.  This new set of frequencies will likely permit stronger signals which enable greater distances (50 miles) between devices and deeper penetration of signals into dense trees, building materials like concrete, drywall and glass. The Super WiFi standards will also probably boost transmission speeds closer to that of wired Ethernet.
WiFi was first introduced into the marketplace in 1999 and has been the foundation upon which wireless hotspots have proliferated. According to Jwire, there are now more than 321,000 WiFi hotspots in 144 countries worldwide. Most are in hotel/motels and restaurants.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Bob Pauls writes for his company, Des Moines Tech Support, about appropriate technology and computers in business, education, and community development. You can follow Bob on Twitter @desmoinestech.  Bob’s e-mail address is bpauls@dsmtechsupport.com

Read Full Post »


MiFi Hotspot for Mobile IP CommunicationsImagine walking into a tavern, pulling a small device out of your shirt pocket, laying it on the bar, and within few minutes having you and your four co-workers sharing a secure network connection back to the office. That future is now.

Check-out the Verizon’s MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot. The device enables a WiFi connection for five devices to share a cellular broadband connection to the internet. Any WiFi device can use the hotspot device: notebooks, netbooks, MP3 players, smartphones, cameras, PDAs, and more. No more need for redundant connections!

It incorporates password protection, VPN pass-through, CDMA authentication and identification, Dynamic Mobile IP (MIP) key update, and a NAT firewall.  That may sound too geekish, but the features are important for your data security Should you happen to lose AC power, it runs for up to four hours on an internal battery. This is pretty cool mobile tech for something weighing slightly over two ounces and only as thick as eight stacked credit cards,

Imagine the way this technology could help in various situations. How about using it for a student study group, a restaurant business meeting, a shared motel room with only one Ethernet connection and no motel wireless.

Expect to see this marvel of technology in your future, especially as the technology keeps improving.  I’m likely to get one for personal use to conveniently share a WiFi connection when I’m home or on the road, or just to have for personal use roaming nationwide with a broadband connection.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Bob Pauls writes for his company, Des Moines Tech Support, about appropriate technology and computers in business, education, and community development. You can follow Bob on Twitter @desmoinestech.  Bob’s e-mail address is bpauls@dsmtechsupport.com

Read Full Post »

Welcome


This blog is provided by Des Moines Tech Support, your source for on-site and remote computer consulting services in the Des Moines, Iowa metro area. With over twenty years of information technology experience no computer-related problem or repair is too big or too small for our staff. Let us be your #1 source for fast, professional assistance with any computer need.

Please read and offer commentary on these blogs. What technology topic would you like to talk about?

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: