Thanks to modern technology and the continual stream of innovations that we’re exposed to, the world is pretty well equipped for the geek in all of us. What a time to be alive, right?
We’ve had the likes of virtual reality move into the mainstream, coupled with augmented reality games like Pokemon Go. Then there are the live dealer games at various casinos, who also offer creations like the Pharaoh slot available at MansionGroup, which has all sorts of new technology behind it. Chuck in introductions like satellite navigation systems for our cars and the never-ending improvements in our smartphones and it’s clear to see how far we’ve progressed. We’ve barely touched the surface there, too.
Gadgets are certainly another thing that is progressing year on year also. So, without further ado, we thought we’d go through a few of the standout gadgets of the year so far.
Zendure SuperTank USB-C portable charger
Do you travel around with your laptop and require a portable power bank? Look no further than the Zendure SuperTank USB-C portable charger. Measuring at 4.7- by 2.9- by 1.6-inches this little power box will have you sorted for hours, especially with its 27,000mAh battery. It can power up the likes of a 15-inch MacBook Pro and an iPhone XS, alongside other devices such as a fitness band or Bluetooth earphones. It also features a PD-enabled USB-C port and two USB-A ports, which is perfect for charging multiple devices. A neat little power bank, really.
Transitioning from an ordinary office chair to a dedicated gaming chair is an investment of a lifetime. It means that you’re not only focusing on your comfort, but also on your health. In the same way you assemble the best gaming components for the best experience, so should you invest in a chair that matches the gaming PC build.
The ideal gaming chair is determined by several factors, most importantly, user comfort and wellbeing in the long run. Chairs come in different modes focused on either height, width, and supported weight. With the variety of gaming and office chairs in the market, pick one that delivers utmost quality in terms of the above mentioned factors, without necessarily paying top dollar for your acquisition. So, what should you consider before buying that gaming chair?
Height – The height of a chair determines the ultimate level of comfort you will enjoy while sitting on the chair. The best height is where the user can comfortably place their feet on the floor without hanging, and his knees are near-level with the sitting space of the chair.
Modern chairs are designed to allow users to adjust to their convenient heights, therefore, it is important to establish that the adjusting capacity is well within your comfortable height before buying.
Comfort – Comfort when sitting is such a broad prospect. A chair that is not within the required height is considered an uncomfortable chair, but there are other elements of comfort that need to be checked as well.
Buy a chair that is made with high-density foam, and preferably of pure leather. Pure leather makes your chair soft and incredibly appealing in appearance.
Flexibility – When choosing a gaming chair, the level of flexibility is paramount. The chair should give you the freedom you desire to adjust it to the required levels. At times you will need to rest your arms on the armrest, or recline the chair to a sleeping angle whenever you need to relax. Ensure that you check out some of these factors before making the purchase.
Design – The first thing that strikes you in a gaming chair is the design. Design refers to the positioning of different aspects of the chair, for example, how armrests are placed, the curve at the back, and the size and shape of each element. Creativity permits that designers can introduce new designs to the market, but primarily, ensure that you pick a design that is as appealing as it is comfortable.
Back support – Given, most gamers spend a lot of their time in a sitting position, it is important that you invest in a chair that offers a health support for your back. There are numerous health issues associated with sitting uncomfortably for long hours, therefore, ensure that the acquisition you make addresses the comfort of your back even when sitting for long hours.
Cost – From a business point of view, the cost of your gaming chair should not overshadow your other gaming equipment. However, invest wisely in a durable chair that provides comfort and safety for the user in the long run. Durable and well-designed chairs may attract high costs, but luckily a chair is a one-off purchase.
Running a successful business is no small task. In order for you to get your company to the place you desire, it can be wise to take time to think about where you could be making adjustments to your current operations. One of the easiest ways to get your company ahead is by considering your current marketing strategies. By adjusting your plans and finding new ways to promote your brand, you can get your business noticed in no time. To get started, take a look at these simple marketing ideas aimed at boosting the profile of your business.
First and foremost, you absolutely need a functional website for all of your marketing endeavors. Crafting a strong online presence begins with the website associated with your company. If it has been a few years since you gave your site any attention, now is the perfect time to make important adjustments to the style and function of your pages. To get started on this goal, you may want to look into SEO. Search engine optimization helps you gear your web assets for success by making them more relevant to consumer search trends.
To use SEO to your advantage, simply begin researching the most relevant keywords in your industry. If you run a plumbing company in Colorado, for example, you may discover a relevant phrase is something like “burst pipes in Denver.” Researching the most appropriate keywords and phrases can help you adjust the copy on your site to be more relevant to the search habits of consumers. A few simple tweaks might be all it takes to get your business into the spotlight on major search engines like Google.
While having a solid website is a must for your marketing endeavors, you also need to consider more modern tactics. Social media has totally reinvented the way most businesses and consumers go about their online transactions. Sites like Twitter and Facebook have made it easier than ever for businesses to engage with their customers in interesting and relevant ways. To get started and see success from each social media post, you need to think about the type of content you are sharing on your various channels. What you share has a huge impact on your success.
The goal is to share engaging content that consumers will want to click, read through, and share with their own followers. This can be tricky, especially if you run a business that does not seem too exciting on the surface. While it might require a bit of work on your end, finding the best way to craft content can be a huge boost to your success. Create a content calendar and start planning your posts in advance. This will help you monitor your success as you continue and reduce the odds of last-minute posts.
Partnerships and Influencers
Working with other professionals may also be a great option for your business. There are a number of other companies out there that probably have the same general brand philosophies as your own business. Partnering with businesses that are not direct competitors can be a fantastic way for you to get more attention for your company. The right partnership can create some publicity that will help your company get noticed and increase your overall brand awareness along the way. If a partnership isn’t for you, there are other simple ideas to consider.
Influencers have become quite popular on the internet in recent years. Though these individuals are usually far more impactful with younger audiences, the right influencer can make a huge difference to your social media streams. The idea is to hire someone with a big social media following to promote specific products or services you offer. You pay the influencer either with cash, gift cards, or products from your business, and the influencer is tasked with creating content for your social media channels. This is an easy partnership that can produce nice results.
Work at Your Own Pace
Running a successful business can easily be an overwhelming experience. In order for your company to get ahead of the competition, it can be wise to explore your current marketing endeavors. Make the right adjustments to your current processes and discover how you can take your business to the next level with a few simple changes.
Running an online business might seem daunting if you don’t know where to begin. You want to have a setup that will encourage growth while covering all of your bases at the same time. Here is what you should know about establishing an online company so you can be successful well into the future.
Have a Website and Make It User-Friendly
Make it easy for potential customers to find out more about who your company is and what you have to offer with a website that is user-friendly. If you have an online business, a website is a must, even if you use another platform to facilitate sales. Your website can give customers more information about your company, policies, how you got started, and give people a way to contact you. This is important to do before you even consider marketing or other types of outreach since it gives customers a base they can always return to. This vapor store is an example of a website that makes it easy for customers to navigate.
Have a Marketing Plan
Marketing is important no matter what type of business you have. This allows you to build your company and makes it possible for new customers to find you. For online businesses, it is important to focus on new ways to market to consumers, such as using social media, blogging, and updating often enough so people view your business as active. Of course, you can always market in more traditional ways too, such as taking out an ad in a print magazine that is a niche to your industry. For example, you could advertise in a hemp magazine if you sell CBD.
Offering Support Online
Offer support to your customers so they can easily reach out to you if they have problems. This could involve providing chat support online or even a toll-free phone number where they can contact you. Outreach via Facebook messenger is another way that consumers can instantly talk to you if they have a question or problem.
When setting up an online business, it is important to keep a few key points in mind as you work toward success. Have a website and make it user-friendly, so potential customers get a feel for your business and what you offer. A marketing plan can keep you targeted to help you grow your business while having a platform for customer support ensures your current consumers will return.
Are you looking for ways to preserve vital paperwork? Paper can only last for so many years, even when you preserve it well. This is one reason why people are digitizing their most important documents.
If you read on, you’ll learn how to digitize and why it matters. We also included some options for digitizing other than scanning. Don’t forget to read until the end for some great tips on saving digitized files.
1. What Is Digitization?
Digitization is the process of converting something analog into a digital format. This can be anything from paper documents to images. Digitize something and it becomes a binary code that computer systems and electronic devices can understand.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to understand it. The computer reads the code that it can read first. The computer will then convert it into something you can see and understand on your monitor.
You won’t even know that it became a mess of 1s and 0s on the way back. The analog and other items you converted will remain with you still. However, you also get a digital copy of that item.
2. Which Paper Files Are Most Important?
Before we delve in, let’s talk about what most people consider as important documents. These are the typical documents that the government issues. These are also documents used for identification.
That includes certificates for birth, marriage, and divorce. Identity documents include passports, drivers’ licenses, and Social Security cards. Don’t forget your health insurance cards, immunization records, and prescriptions.
Other important documents include property deeds, insurance policies, and vehicle titles. Make sure you keep digital copies of any wills, trusts, and tax returns. Tax returns should back to the last three years.
Make digital copies of bank account numbers and credit cards. Scanned copies of credit cards should include the issuers’ contact information too. Finally, digitalize a copy of your home inventory.
Business owners should have business documents digitalized as well.
This is a short list of very important documents. If there are more which you think are vital papers, make sure to get a digital copy of them as well.
3. Benefits of Digitizing Your Documents
Now, you already have these documents kept safe. You might ask, why bother? Well, digitizing has many benefits.
This includes securing digitized papers in a place where dampness, fire, or other destructive elements can’t reach them. Plus, converting them into digital files helps tons in space-saving. Nowadays, electronic storage is scalable and very affordable.
You have a smartphone with you at all times, don’t you? Copy these files into your phone. Better yet, think of how convenient it will be for you to keep these files in a cloud you can access any time.
You’d be able to access these documents even when you’re on the move. Plus, you can find these documents with a quick search query. It won’t take you hours to look for them.
A 2018 study found that the average enterprise wastes $2.5-3.5 million per year. Where did they spend all that money on? They spent it all on searching for information and re-creating lost documents only.
To fix that problem, most offices went paperless. It allowed them to cut back on costs and time. Also, it’s an eco-friendly solution.
4. How to Digitize Your Important Papers
Now, let’s talk about how to digitize essential paper documents. We have various approaches. The first one is to scan them.
For this, you can use a desktop scanner or a multi-functional device with a built-in scanner. You can find many types of scanners on the market. They come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate all paper shapes and sizes.
Some models can scan in black and white only while others can scan in color too. Scanners units also have varying speeds, resolution options, and capabilities. Choose one that will suit your scanning needs best.
Scan documents at 300 dpi at least. If possible, save them as a PDF file. If you can’t scan to a PDF, scan papers to an uncompressed TIFF.
After you scan these documents, you can view and edit them in software like Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you’re using Apple products, Adobe PDF Editor is the best free PDF editor for Mac. Make sure you use programs that can read the file format extensions of your digitized files.
Let’s say you have only a handful of paper documents and you need not invest in a scanner. Your next best option is to digitize them with an app on your phone or tablet. The Google Drive app has features that allow you to scan and save documents on the drive.
You can also use the Dropbox app. It’s easy to use but only allows five users. For iPhone users, try Evernote Scannable.
5. Tips on Scanning and Storing Digitized Documents
You’ve got your scanner and your files ready. Are you ready to go digital yet? Before you scan away to your heart’s content, let us give you some pro tips first.
Before you start the scanning process, take inventory of the papers you have. It’s easy to get lost once you start, especially if you have loads of them. If it’s possible to discard some, assess all the documents first to see which ones aren’t that important.
If you plan to scan many more papers, be smart about it. Sort your documents into categorized folders once they’re digitized. Trust us when we say finding them later will be much easier.
Are you scanning bills or tax returns? Be careful in naming each scanned file. As much as possible, use a clear and consistent file-naming system.
If you don’t have the time to do the scanning yourself, you can pay for document imaging services. They’re the best option for bulk file and image digitization. They’ll scan copies and index your documents for you.
Let’s say you’ve got all the files digitized, named, and categorized. There’s many more to go but you find yourself running out of space fast. How will you cope?
Use cloud services to bring your storage capacity up. If you depend on your computer’s storage for bulk files, it might not survive it. However, don’t delete them all from your local storage yet in case you need backup files.
Finally, keep the paper copy safe. Some places might demand a paper copy instead of a digital file. In case you find yourself in this situation, at least you know where to find the document.
Take Advantage of the Digital Times
There’s no telling what can happen to the physical copies of your documents. To ensure they’re kept safe and out of natural disasters, convert them to digital files. This way, you can keep both physical and digital copies with you.
Follow these tips to learn how to digitize your most important documents. Did you find this post enjoyable and educational? If you want to read more posts like this, feel free to see our other guides.
There are literally hundreds of computer files and formats that exist. It becomes impossible to understand and remember all of them. Hence, we are going to look at a broad classification of files, understand the major file types and how they are used in computers. Here is a breakdown of the file types.
A broad classification of files and file types
System files are files that are crucial for the functioning of a computer. These usually include hardware drivers, DLL files, configuration files and basically everything that includes the Windows registry.
Altering these files can cause severe damage; hence these files are usually kept hidden and are read-only. Hence it is a rare occurrence for users to accidentally delete or modify these files. Some examples include .bak, .dll, .dmp, .sys and .tmp.
Recovery tip #1: Lost system files could mean dysfunctional operating system. However recovering the system files will not repair the system files. Hence when you have deleted or lost system files the best way to get back your operating system to function normally would be to refresh or reinstall Windows operating system.
Program files are the folder where all the third party applications are installed by default. For certain applications, it is mandatory that the applications be installed in this directory. But it is not always the case. You may also be given the choice to download applications in a folder of your choice.
Recovery tip #2: The program files directory is designed for an organized and predefined way of having all the required files in one place. The program when operated, folders of program files are accessed for opening the application. Hence reinstalling the program would be the best way to recover program files.
Maybe you’re a contract graphic designer doing small, one-off projects for local businesses. Or, an in-house professional responsible for overseeing all graphic creation in a large corporation. Regardless, you can always be improving your craft.
Read on as we go over a few more advanced graphic design skills that will substantially improve your ability to communicate your message in the medium.
1. User Interface Design
At first glance, you might think this doesn’t apply to you. Perhaps your work focuses on something where ‘user interfaces’ seem worlds away from your final product.
Consider this; regardless of what your final product is, the odds of it ending up within a user interface are virtually guaranteed. If you make a graphic for an article header for a local newspaper, for example, that graphic will likely end up in the online version of the publication.
And like it or not, that makes it a part of the user interface of the website.
Knowing how to design with that type of presentation in mind already makes this a useful skill. Designing user interfaces directly, meanwhile, makes it substantially more worthwhile since the available pool of work for those who can do both is much larger.
Further, user interface creation is one of the more lucrative ways to apply the skills of a graphic designer. Per Indeed.com, user interface designers make, on average, more than doublethe income of a traditional graphic designer.
Every day, hundreds of people have their smartphone hacked, exposing important data like contacts and even credit card details to criminals that prey upon poorly protected phones.
Whenever your phone connects to the internet, it is at risk from hacking by data thieves that target phones in particular, as they contain nearly all of our important information such as passwords, emails and even the login details to online banking apps.
Fortunately, there are a few steps anyone can take to protect their phones from harm and recover their data if their smartphone is damaged or locked my malicious software.
Use a Virtual Private Network App When Connected to Public Wi-Fi
When you are using public Wi-Fi, such as when you are at a hotel or café, your phone is at risk of being hacked by someone else using that network. Some data thieves are known to connect to these networks regularly in order to steal credit card information from shoppers and tourists.
Use an App to Securely Back Up All of Your Smartphone’s Data
Sometimes when a phone is hacked, it can suddenly become corrupted and unusable, trapping your files like your phone numbers and personal photographs on the device. There are apps available that can back up data to an online cloud service, but sometimes they can be missing important and more recent files.
Use a Password Manager to Encrypt and Generate Your Passwords
Our passwords are gatekeepers to a lot of our sensitive information such as emails and bank accounts. Too many people rely on using the same password, or maybe two or three, in order to log in to all their different accounts.
Password managers use encryption algorithms to generate complex passwords for you, and store them in a ‘digital safe’ in an app on your phone and online on a secure server. The password manager will auto-complete passwords on all your accounts, or they can be copy-and-pasted from the app to the login form. This means you have only one password to remember, the one that logs you into your password manager, and you can let it safely and securely do the rest.
We keep a large amount of sensitive data on our phones, and not just banking details and contact information. Your phone probably has hundreds of photos of friends and family, as well as pictures from social media accounts. This information needs to be protected, not just from theft, but also from accidents and problems with a smartphone’s components. With a few apps and the help of professionals, anyone can protect the data on their phone, and recover it if the worst happens.
No matter how large or small your business is, part of your success relies on balancing time, convenience, and expenditures. In some cases, that means you may need to outsource certain tasks because committing in-house resources to them doesn’t provide enough benefits to offset the cost in terms of time and manpower. One area you may want to consider outsourcing is your IT management. There are several potential advantages you may enjoy when you switch to a managed service provider. Here are some of the most important ones.
When your business grows, your IT needs may change. In many cases, a company’s IT needs evolve simply based on advances in technology and new industry-related requirements. That is why scalability is so vital. With a scalable architecture, you can ensure your IT structure and resources will be able to handle your company’s needs as they change. Building this sort of system with in-house resources is often extremely challenging, but most managed IT support services are designed to provide scalable solutions.
2. Reduced Costs
While you may have to increase your budget initially to pay for the managed services contract, chances are you will save money over time. Managed service providers can give your business the IT support it needs without requiring you to pay for all the hardware and network elements yourself. Additionally, you can avoid paying for upgrades every time there is a technological breakthrough, as most MSPs provide cutting-edge technology as part of their service.
3. Improved Productivity
When you don’t have to assign IT tasks to your staff members, you can keep 100% of your employees’ creativity, innovation, and focus on your company’s core mission. Outsourcing your IT support can ensure your in-house team has the time and energy to perform their roles well, making your business more competitive and successful.
4. Better Security
Security is one of the most important aspects of IT. Keeping your network secure is easier when you have experts focusing on security and compliance tasks. A reliable managed service provider should dedicate the resources to make sure your network and data are safe. In most cases, having an MSP will also reduce downtime related to security issues.
Outsourcing your IT support may provide numerous benefits for your business. You can rely on a managed service provider to handle security and build a scalable solution that meets your company’s needs. When you hire experts for your IT support, you can remove that responsibility from your in-house employees, giving them more time and energy to focus on their unique jobs and goals.
When it comes to running a business, it is easy to get so caught up in production that you forget to rely on the basics to get you through. Delegation, respect, and asking for help sounds simple, but it can be hard to do when you are focused on everything that goes into a successful business. Use the following tips to get yourself back on track.
Delegate for Efficiency
It can be extremely tempting to try to do it all yourself. You may feel that if you ask others to handle certain jobs, they won’t complete them to your satisfaction. This results in you having the mindset that it is better to do it yourself. This attitude will waste your time and energy. Pass jobs along to your employees that aren’t vital for you to do. Once you get used to letting go of the smaller tasks, you will have more time to focus on more important matters. Continue reading