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For $5/month per user, you can’t beat the value. Email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, cloud storage, and much more.  Including free 24/7 support.  And, if you have your own domain (url), it’s easy to use it for your email address, without disrupting your existing website. No more annoying advertisements. Built-in industrial strength spam and virus protections. Join the millions of individuals and businesses who have already made the switch – and kiss your office email & application support headaches…goodbye! Click here to learn more, or to sign up today.

Piedmont 2.0

Thanks for dropping by!

Just a quick post to expand on what we mean by “Piedmont 2.0” and what it means for you.

After 10 years, we’re shifting our mission (from web developer & hands-on IT support) to that of a consultant, teacher, writer. In the coming weeks, you’ll notice an increased focus on our online storefront (Loudoun Valley Online), as well as a new emphasis on Tech Tips intended to help you navigate the world of “technology.”  From PC’s to web browsers, from virus protection to securing your wi-fi, from fighting spam to new electronic gadgets — and any tech issue you have a question about.

(No, we’re not abandoning current customers; watch your inboxes for specifics on your existing Piedmont services.)

What do you want to know more about?  Hashtags? Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Social Media? Accepting payments online? Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)? Just let us know!

Logging into Google vs. Chrome

Sometimes, the “ease of use” inherent with Google’s products can be confusing.  Particularly when it comes to logging into your Chrome (browser) and the Google search engine (assuming you have a gmail account).

It’s well worth the 2 minutes it takes to understand the difference between the Chrome browser (which now has the lion’s share of the browser market) and the Google search engine.  Using both in tandem can produce big productivity gains; but not understanding how these two services interact can also generate concern, agitation, and frustration — not to mention calls for “HELP!” from the nearest IT person.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, here’s a short, easy-to-follow youtube clip that explains the differences and shows you how to navigate both products:

UPDATED APRIL 2018 – In addition to the YouTube clip below,
here’s a link to an easy-to-understand explanation from Google’s own forum.

 

Are you involved with commercial real estate, business development, or marketing, in or around the 1Loudoun project?  If so, you can own this premium domain name by clicking the graphic below which will take you to the auction site where it’s currently available.

1Loudoun is for sale

Using a Mac? Read & Heed!

Last week, Apple issued an update for IOS (9.3.5).  See the related article for how to check and make sure your iPhone, iPad have it)  Now, the gurus* at Sophos are alerting everyone to the same “megaexploit” vulnerability in Apple’s OS X operating system – the operating system behind your Mac.

OS X update

A brief description of what the vulnerability can lead to if not patched.

Click the snippet above or click here to jump over to the full article.


* By using,”gurus” we are by no means being sarcastic.  The folks at Sophos are one of our primary go-to sites when faced with security issues. 

Windows 10 Anniversary Upgrade

A picture (slide show) is worth a thousand words.  Here’s a synopsis of several well-regarded tech outlets regarding the latest “anniversary” upgrade for Windows 10. Including how to postpone and manage the update installation schedule.

(Click on any slide to link to the original article)

[huge_it_slider id=”2″]

 

 

 

Windows 10 Upgrade Deadline July 29

Let’s start with a quick caveat (e.g. CYA) from the “about this blog” page.  “… we cannot assume liability for any actions you take as the result of reading this blog.” There’s a reason for this: time is money.  And, even though most cases we know of have gone without a hitch, there have also been a few that didn’t.  And recovering the data and PC configurations took them (or their contractor*) several hours.

This graphic links to another good article from CNET about Windows10

This graphic links to another good article from CNET about Windows10

Our view on the looming deadline for a free upgrade to WIndows 10 is this: If you haven’t yet, and your system is meeting your needs, why bother? Consider the time/effort required, and then weigh them against the potential benefits. Sure, it’ll save you $120, but why? Here’s another perspective from our friends at CNET:

If you do decide to upgrade, we recommend backing up both your data (desktop, downloads, music, pics, documents, etc) as well as making a complete disk image (incase you need/want to revert back afterwards). Then, set aside at least a couple of hours when your pc won’t be used, to allow for the download, and another hour or so for the actual installation.

VISTA USERS:  Read this article from the NY Times.  We certainly agree with their approach and suggestions!


*Footnote: From the “about this blog” page: Since 2010, Piedmont has been focused exclusively on internet-based services such as websites, email, and social media.  However, we still get questions about pc’s, viruses, wi-fi, and various tech gadgets. PC Support and Tech Tips posts are intended to offer guidance and provide the benefits of our own experiences.  If you need assistance locating a PC repair outlet, please send an email to service@piedmonttechnology.net.

How to find Internet Explorer after Windows10 upgrade

We had two frantic calls for help in a single day from clients who couldn’t find their Internet Explorer browser after upgrading to Windows10.  “My bookmarks are gone!”  “I don’t like this ‘Edge’ browser!”  And so on…save IE to taskbar

Relax – despite Microsoft’s attempts to get you to use it’s new “Edge” browser, your trusty old IE is still there.  In this post, we’ll show you how to access it, and create a shortcut in your task bar (that small horizontal bar across the bottom of your Windows screen) so it’s only 1 click away.  Not only is IE there, your bookmarks and other settings will be there as well.

Start by simply typing (without quotes) “Internet Explorer” into the search box at the bottom, left (small rectangle that’s usually pre-populated with “Search the web and Windows”).  At or near the top of the results, you’ll see the familiar logo and the words “Desktop App.”  Simply right-click on that logo and select “Pin to Taskbar.”  You’ll then see it, along with other shortcuts, along the bottom of your screen:

ietaskbar

 

 

A compendium of thoughts, reflections, and suggestions regarding life online.

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For $5/month per user, you can’t beat the value. And it’s easy to use your own domain, if you have one, for your Google Apps for Work suite, without disrupting your existing website.

Caveat

While we do our best to offer easy-to-follow suggestions on maintaining your website, computer, smartphone, etc., we do not accept any responsibility for any damage or lost data you may encounter. All actions taken as a result of reading this blog are at the users’ own risk. Piedmont Technology strongly suggests that users make and test regular backups!