Does Operating Systems Matter

Operating Systems

I have been working with computers since the early day’s of DOS, yes we didn’t even have a graphical user interface. When you wanted the computer to do something most of the time you would have to be able to write a program and then do the project.

Then came Apple and Windows with their pretty point and click graphical user interface. You wanted to open an application you simply double clicked on it and it opened. What was even more impressive was the fact that you could have multiple applications opened at the same time. Which I believe was the beginning of giving all of us a little OCD. This is because we could be working on one project and quickly switch to another application and look at the news. You may do this today? You are working on a large project and you open another tab and check your email or facebook?

At one time the operating system meant that you choose it because of the application you are used to using. Such as running Microsoft Windows because you are a Microsoft Office user. Or using a Mac because you enjoy using Final Cut Pro. Or you might have been a FREE type of person and you went with Linux?

In today’s modern computer world the operating system is really the less important thing on the computer. Why is this? Easy most software vendors have found that programming for the web is the best choice for their applications. I am working on a large database program now and after careful consideration, I decided to write it for any web browser. Why would I choose to do this? I am like the big guys. I want my application to work on any operating system as well as any device that may could be invented for years to come. As long as there is a way to view the Internet I can adjust my program to run on that device.

We see in schools today most of the daily work is done inside of the browser. We have Google Suite and Office 365. Kids take their tests using a web browser. Teachers are teaching from the web browser. So you can see that the operating system basically boils down to what you want to look at all day.

One last thought of today’s post. This is why when Google released the Chromebook it is such a great hit. Because people who use a computer know that the only place they will be spending their day is inside of a web browser and most people choose to use Google Chrome so why not buy a full function laptop for a few hundred dollars and put the saving into some other form of technology.

Mac’s In Business

Mac Computers

When I first started my career in the computer field it was all about the PC and the Windows operating system. We would go into a business and set up a Windows Server and Windows Workstations and install Microsoft Office. Mostly everyone in the office was familiar with Windows because that is what they had at home.

Today’s business world is changing. If you are in the IT field now you may walk into an office thinking you will be troubleshooting a PC issue and find an entire office full of Mac’s?  Will you be ready to take on the challenge or will you be running for the door?

I relate this back to our children going to school. I have found more and more school districts using Mac’s in their classroom rooms for one purpose or another. I also see more young people going to college and taking a Mac Book with them. They might also be carrying an iPad and an iPhone. Students become comfortable with using the Apple products and when they leave school they want to stick with the platform.

If you are reading this and you are a technical person I would suggest to start learning the Apple ecosystem.  If you really want to support the Apple clients pick up a Mac Book or to start maybe a second hand newer Mac Mini and begin to learn what makes an Apple computer tick. Chances are you have an iPhone in your pocket right now and maybe even an iPad?

So you may be asking am I a Mac guy? Well, I use Mac’s at home as well as work. But I also use a lot more Windows machines at work then there are Mac’s. But I enjoy both for different reasons. I would like to hear your take on this subject.

 

The Power of Google Suite

We all know that Google Suite is the tool for educational institutions everywhere. I think this is because Google started off on the right foot when the allowed all educational institutions to use Google Suite for free. When Microsoft first got into the game they were trying to charge per student. Microsoft then wondered why everyone was not running to 365? I know working for schools for over 20 years that they are strapped for funds. If you can teach typing, spread sheets and presentations for free how can you go wrong? I am with a new school district now and find myself deep into Google Suite once again. I am also proud to say I am a certified Google Admin. Today I will dig into renaming accounts using the balk tool GAM or Google Administration Management. 

Our school still teaches Office and will continue to do so since students need to learn more then one tool. Think of it this way, in shop class we don’t only teach the student to use a hammer. Schools have also embraced Google Chrome books but that thought will be a post for another day. 

Google Suite Or MS Office 365

Google and MS Office

I remember not long ago we were talking about Mac or PC, before that we talked about Netscape Browser or Internet Explorer and longer before that we were talking about Beta or VHS tapes. Now we get a new debate that is on the minds of every technology person and director in the world. Should we be using Google Suite or Microsoft Office 365? We are now talking about more then cloud storage we are talking about the applications people use everyday. As a long time manager of Google Suite which use to be Google Apps I understand how to manage the platform. And with a Chromebook I find it the perfect match for schools either K-12 or Higher Ed. But then you need to listen to the students. Still today most high school students grew up using Microsoft Office. If you introduce Google Suite into your Elementary schools you have a chance to allow those students to grow up in the Google Suite fashion. But what would you want to use for your business? Both of these services act and work almost the same. We can use any computer platform we want and be able to access all of our documents and spreadsheets anywhere and at anytime we have an Internet connection. I have seen a lot of colleges moving over to Google Suite, I would like to ask colleges that have made this move one simple question. Why? I think as a person who has been working in education for almost 20 years I enjoy change. I really believe that if you are in the technology field and can’t change you might need another line of work. But we as people working in education have to make the correct decision for the students future. If you are reading this and you have made the choice let me know why you made the choice you did? My last question is would you just supply both and allow your students and staff choose which one they would like to use?

Programming

Visual Studio

Programming should not be a scary thing. Learning to write code is a great way to really begin to understand computers. I started writing coed years ago because at that time there were not many programs out that would do what we wanted them to do for our business. When I took my first computer managers job for a private school I used my coding skills to take a work process from 5 days down to 5 minutes. Coding allows you to become a problem solver. If you work for any company in the field of IT it will bring some value add to your skill set. Coding is also one of those skills that once you learn it you will be able to go back and code again. You don’t have to code everyday to stay sharp at it. I know coding is not for everyone. I am currently working on a large inventory project and connecting my code to MySQL back end. For me coding is relaxing and it passes the time away. But more then that coding will allow you to evaluate a companies process and maybe come up with a way to stream line it and save man hours with your coding skills? Best of all you can download Visual Studio Community Edition for FREE.

Clean Your Computer So It Runs Faster

CClenaerMalwarebytes

Your computer needs to be treated just as you treat your car. You need to preform regular maintenance on your computer. I heard that there was a tool that has been being sold for about $20.00. You don’t need to buy anything. There are so many FREE tools on the Internet that will clean your computer and get raid of all the junk from your machine.

I am asked over and over by everyone. “How does this stuff get onto my computer?” Remember these words of wisdom. When you or your kids play these so called FREE games on the Internet these web sites put stuff onto your computer. These small programs are known as ADWARE. We often hear and see computers with pop ups all over the screen selling you this or that. Also when you visit shopping sites they put what is known as SPYWARE. These little programs watch what you buy and will start popping up ads or at the very least when you return to these sites they will push whatever items you bought in the past. So even people I meet who say they never go to questionable web sites can still get junk on their computers.

The FREE tools that I show at the top of this post will keep your computer running fast and smooth. Use the links here to make sure you get the correct ones. There are knock off sites out there trying to sell you these FREE programs.

CCLEANER: Install this cleaner and run it at least once every three months. Or anytime you think your computers is running slow. It finds and removes all types of adware and spyware. If you want continued cleaning you can buy the paid version but in all my years of using it I have never used anything more then the FREE version.

MALWAREBYTES: I also run this FREE tool after running CCleaner. I have found that there might be something that one of the programs don’t catch that the other will. And being they are both FREE why not use them both.

At the end of the day we all want our computers to run as they did when we first brought them home. And don’t ever think that you have to many pictures, or to many programs. Those things do not slow down the computer. It is all of the junk we run into on the Internet super highway.

Chrome Box

Chrome Box

This little guy will do so much for you and do it fast! The ASUS Chromebox $159.00 is a powerful little desktop computer. I have been running one of these and doing all of my computing with it. Why is it so different? It does not run Windows or OSX. It runs only the Chrome Operating System. And it is only getting better and more powerful. There are now stand alone application. I have found FREE photo editors, remote desktop programs, money programs. And yes you have all of the powerful Office application, Docs, Spread Sheets and Presentation software. You also get FREE 100 GIG of storage of Google Drive. This means all of you files are stored online on Google servers.

I have been putting this little box through the paces. I now have two monitors connected to the box so that I can do twice the work. I have plugged USB microphones into the box to record audio for podcasts. I have also found a FREE screen casting program to allow me to do a lesson about the Chrome desktop. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=147DqJm8MaY&list=UUVu39bEcGeY0F7k24IA5zxw.

If you would like to buy one use this link and pick up yours today.

Online Office Applications

365 and Google Apps

If there is one thing that I have found out over my years of computers is that the file you want never seems to be reachable. While that is all changing with the help of a little catch phase “The Cloud”.

Many schools are turning to either Google Apps or Office 365. These online services allow you to work on documents, spreadsheets and presentations where ever and from what ever computer or device you might be working on.

Look back to not that long ago we all carried flash drive or thumb drives. Did you ever get the sick feeling when you are suppose to present and your trusty flash drive is laying at home on your end table? Well no more. Now that we can log onto a site and have access to our working documents from where ever you have an Internet connection. Life just got a little easier and have 24/7 access to your work.

Deciding which one to use is really a personal choice. If you have been using Microsoft Office for years you might want to choose Office 365. If you are someone like me that can adapt and learn new things then choose Google Apps. Or some people might choose to use both.

And remember both of these work on IOS and Android devices. This means when you are in a taxi or on a bus you can make those last minute touches on your work before getting to work.

The bottom line is for you to cut your ties with your computer and move over to the world of “THE CLOUD!”

 

Syncing Folders and Files Across Clouds

Automator

 

I was thinking this morning, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to sync or upload your files or folders to the cloud without having to go into each service or folder to do so? Let’s face it. If you are like me you might have more then one cloud based storage service. Google Drive, Drop Box, iCloud or OneDrive, you might even have some that I don’t. But if you have any of these what do you use them for? The second part of my issue is that I have files and folders all over the place. My thought this morning was this. How could I save all of these folders and files to all of the cloud services at one time? I found a quick and simple answer in using Automator. Now I know you might be asking what is this Automator? It is a Mac program that allows you to automate curtain tasks. Playing with it for a few minutes I was able to write a work flow that allows me to drop a file or folder onto the small Automator app I built and my files or folders send directly to Drop Box, Google Drive and One Drive. What will be my next step?

I want to work on a Windows application that will do the same thing as this little Automator workflow. But let’s face it. With all of the FREE cloud storages in the world why would you not have your files and folders backing up somewhere? I will keep everyone up to date and let you know what I can come up with.

Learn Elements 12 And More

I have been putting in many hours working on my new training site that I have been telling everyone about JTC LEARNING. I built this site to enable me to setup easy to follow courses on topics such as Photography, Computers and Podcasting.

If you tried to signup in the past and were having trouble it was because of the way the site was processing orders. For some reason it was not processing them at all.

GOOD NEWS! The site JTC LEARNING is now running and processing your orders.

You can now signup for learning Photoshop Elements 12 from importing your pictures into the organizer to working with the editor. I am still adding more video content to this course but you can jump in now and follow along as we build.

Because you are a friend and registered for these daily emails I am offering you a $5.00 discount off the purchase price if you act now. Please use the coupon code jtc5. Before you check out you will see where it asks for this code.

Please visit JTCLEARNING.COM and click on the Courses link at the top of the page. Then select Photography, simply select Photoshop Elements 12 and begin your signup and check out to begin learning how to photo edit using this great tool!

JTC Learning