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GeeksAKnockin | Portland Computer Repair | Oregon Tech Support - Part 6
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    Latest Blog Posts & News

    Important Alert: WPS is not as secure as once thought

      Posted Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    WPS, or Wi-Fi Protected Setup, was introduced in 2007 and was originally designed to help users unfamiliar with wireless security more easily secure their wireless network’s router and access points. However, it was recently discovered in December 2011 that it is actually quite easy to break through this type of security configuration with what is known as a Brute Force Technique. In this technique, a computer program submits a series of randomly generated numbers until it finds a matching PIN code for the WPS. From there, a hacker could then obtain the password to your network, change its configuration, and even prevent you from accessing your own network. This technique is used in a variety of hacking attempts, but there are usually protocols in place to lock down access after so many failed attempts. Unfortunately, the designers of WPS failed to build in this protection, and hackers can try as many possible PINs as they want. Below is a link to an article that describes this discovery in more detail and offers advice on what do to better protect your network.


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    How-to: Get the most out of Siri

      Posted Thursday, December 29th, 2011 at 12:36 am

    If you have an iPhone 4S, you’re most likely aware of your new personal assistant, Siri. Still though, a lot of folks are a little fuzzy on what it is and what it can do. This great feature utilizes fantastic voice recognition software that can perform a multitude of tasks, even when requesting them in a variety of ways. You can set an alarm by saying a specific time or even just by saying,”Please set an alarm for 19 minutes from now”. You can also set reminders, check the weather, find out when Paul Newman’s birthday is, find nearby gas stations, restaurants and more. You can even begin calls to specific contacts, or dictate and send them text messages. Also, if you add yourself as a contact, Siri will even call you by name. There are even hidden “Easter egg” functions still being discovered by users. For example, Siri will tell you jokes…even if at first it insists it doesn’t know any…

    In light of there being far too much to cover here regarding Siri, we’ve included a couple links from Apple that further explain these features, and there’s also a Frequently Asked Questions page. Even if you think you’ll never actually use Siri, after playing around with it and seeing what it can do, you might just change your mind. If you don’t have an iPhone 4S, there are rumors that Apple plans to bring Siri to some of its other devices soon.



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    How-to: Enable or disable address bar predictions in Google Chrome

      Posted Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Google, the company that revolutionized the Internet, has been having great success with their Internet browser, Chrome. It has only been available for a short while and has already surged in usage, rivaling the two renowned contenders, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Chrome is sleek, fast and free. One of the features they offer is a search bar integrated into the address bar. This makes searching a breeze and it even offers predictions on what search terms or web address it thinks you are entering. To some, however, the prediction feature is more of an annoyance than a benefit. Thankfully, Chrome makes it very easy to enable and disable this feature. Below is a link from Google Chrome support that explains these simple steps in detail.


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    How-to: Use iTunes 10 with iCloud

      Posted Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    With their newest release of iTunes, Apple has included access to an exciting new service known as iCloud. This service allows you to have all purchases made through iTunes appear on all your configured devices. It also allows you to backup data from your devices to “the Cloud”. While many have heard of iCloud, a lot of users are unclear on how it all works. Below is a link to a video tutorial provided by Apple that explains the process in detail.

    iTunes 10: iTunes in the Cloud

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    How-to: Print handouts of PowerPoint presentations

      Posted Thursday, December 15th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Microsoft PowerPoint is an excellent tool for creating slideshows and presentations with style. Whether it is a presentation for work or a slideshow of pictures for a family reunion, PowerPoint allows you to enrich your demonstration with pictures, video, animation and more. Sometimes though, your audience may want or need something physical to hold and use to follow along with your show. Good news, PowerPoint allows you to print handouts, providing your spectators with a tangible touch. Below are links to articles from Microsoft that explain this process in detail, just click on the appropriate version.

    Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

    Microsoft PowerPoint 2007

    Microsoft PowerPoint 2003

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    How-to: Backup and restore profiles in Thunderbird

      Posted Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Mozilla Thunderbird, brought to us by the folks who made the popular Internet browser Firefox, is a great alternative to email clients such as Microsoft Outlook or Windows Live Mail. It is simple, easy to use, and the best part is that it’s free. Like any email client, though, it is a good idea to backup important data. Below is a link to detailed instructions from Mozilla on how to backup and restore your Thunderbird profile.


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    How-to: Change the way Word displays revision marks

      Posted Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Microsoft Word has changed how we create and edit important documents, but sometimes, all of its revision marks may get in the way when you’re trying to imagine how the final document will look. Don’t fret though, Word allows you to change how these revision marks are viewed and handled. You can choose to hide, show, accept or reject these marks, and their suggestions, to your liking. Just don’t forget to review the end product before deciding it is finished. Below is a link to an article that explains these options in greater detail.


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    How-to: Create rules in Microsoft Outlook

      Posted Thursday, December 1st, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Outlook is a great product provided by Microsoft that allows users to store and organize their email. While it is largely used by businesses, many home users also take advantage of the multitude of benefits that Outlook offers. One of those benefits is the ability to create rules for managing how you receive your email. For example; you can have emails from certain senders, or emails containing certain keywords, go to specific folders or play specific sounds. Below are links to guides provided by Microsoft with detailed instructions on how to achieve this. Just click on the appropriate link for the version of Outlook you have, and follow the directions.

    Outlook 2010

    Outlook 2007

    Outlook 2003

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    How-to: Troubleshoot Internet Explorer problems

      Posted Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Problems browsing through Internet Explorer could be the result of many different factors. You might have a very out of date version, or it could be a problem with Internet Explorer’s settings, a spyware issue, an add-on conflict, or it might even just be an issue with your connection itself. Below is a link to an article from Microsoft outlining potential problems and issues and offers help on resolving them. This article does not cover all possible scenarios, but covers some of the most common minor problems.

    Note: Internet Explorer 8 is currently considered to be the latest stable version of Internet Explorer. If you already have Internet Explorer 8 you likely do not need to upgrade at this time.

    Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer Help & How-to

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    How-to: Add email accounts to Windows Live Mail

      Posted Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Windows Live Mail is a great free application provided by Microsoft. It is basically an easier to use, streamlined, version of Microsoft Outlook. It may not have all the features and functionality that Outlook does, but it is usually more suitable for the average home user and can be configured to work with a number of email account types. You don’t necessarily need to use Windows Live Mail if you’re happy with the webmail versions of popular email hosting sites such as Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail. However, some users prefer to keep copies of their emails locally on their computers for historical purposes, instead of the emails only being stored online. Windows Live Mail also allows you to manage your address book, create folders and add specific sound effects. Below are links to instructions for configuring Windows Live Mail to work with a few popular free email providers.




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