The Student Laptop Guide

I was at a local electronics dealer this weekend that shall remain nameless (rhymes with Rest Rye), and noticed a lot of middle aged people seeking out blue shirted sages asking for advice on laptops for their kids. Some wanted something to “type reports on,” some wanted something to take to college, and some just wanted something for basic Internet access. A lot of different answers were being handed out…both sound and cringe-worthy. When buying a computer for school, there are a few key areas one needs to consider. Keep these tips in mind and your school-bound students won’t end up with a frowny face: Read more of this post

The One Thing That Prevents Email Chaos

No Spam!Imagine getting invited to a party and looking forward to meeting a friend you haven’t seen in years. You have so much to catch up on after all that time…it’s going to be great! You plan your discussion subjects thoroughly in your head during the drive there. You pull into the parking lot and walk to the front entrance. Your friend appears across the room, and a smile spreads across your face. You reach out to shake his hand…and nine total strangers suddenly interrupt:

“Hey! How’s your mortgage? Want to refinance?”
“You look like you’re having problems – I have special herbal pills to fix that!”
“I’ve been trying to find you! A prince in Nigeria left you a ton a money!”
“Our store has SALES SALES SALES!”
“Do you want to pursue an online degree?”

All these people are preventing you from speaking with the person you want to reach. This is EXACTLY how email would work if it weren’t for a single technology: Spam Filtering. Read more of this post

Collaboration with Google Calendar – Make Scheduling Easy!

One of the best things you can do to organize time is employ a calendar, as many of us already do. While we tend to be fully aware of what our day ahead holds, those around us generally have no idea what our schedule looks like. Google Calendar overcomes this with easy to use share settings, allowing you to share the details of your calendar with friends, family, co-workers, even your entire organization. This makes communication and timekeeping much more efficient. Read more of this post

The New IT Department – Focused, Smaller, and Possibly Non-Existent

Are IT Departments Needed Anymore?IT Professionals aren’t as comfortable as they used to be.

During the technology boom of the mid-90’s, those working in IT were looked upon as the top of the food chain. They were amazing! They were miracle workers! They could accomplish anything using little more than their pocket protectors and some magic DOS commands.

Times are a changin’. PC’s are as user friendly as ever, cloud computing is replacing complicated office network setups, most hardware is to the point where you plug it in and it works…a lot of IT workers are starting to look like the Maytag Repairman. As a result, many small and medium businesses are focusing their computer staff on development, putting them on a contract basis, or getting rid of internal IT staffing all together. This is a great money saving idea in theory, but there is a flaw in the logic — with nobody running maintenance on the hardware, problems inevitably creep up and costly repairs can result. Read more of this post

New Look to Google Docs!

Last month, Google lets us preview their new revamped email interface with good results. The improvements in readability, functionality, and efficiency were evident right away. This week, the interface update is being applied to Google Docs (video). Read more of this post

New Gmail Feature – Preview Pane!

Currently, TOAST.net’s Gmail and Google Apps email accounts allow you to see “snippets” of your messages so you can figure out if they’re worth opening or not. However, sometimes a snippet is not enough.

Starting today, a new feature is available in Google Labs that allows for a full preview pane. You may be familiar with the preview pane feature if you have ever used Outlook or Windows Mail — it allows you to see your message in a “split screen” view, allowing you to sort through email faster.

To enable this feature, log into your email account, then head over to Read more of this post

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