AltrinchamPC

iPhone 6 repairs ahead of the game

iphone 6 repairs Remember Altrincham PC & Mobile if your new iPhone 6 gets cracked or damaged. iPhone repairs since the birth of the iPhone.

Are you still running Windows XP?

Pic 2 RIP XPWhat happens after Windows XP support terminates on 8th April 2014 What does this mean to you? Getting directly to the point, this means that Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows XP. Those ‘Windows Updates’ all though annoying asking you to restart your computer, are very important to the security structure of Windows. The updates are for fixing any bugs and protecting your computer against possible hacking attempts as cybercrime is still on the increase. Does my antivirus not protect me from attacks? Attacks come in many ways, certainly Antivirus and Firewall software will still protect you to some degree, but any new vulnerabilities that may compromise your security of Windows will not be addressed by Microsoft. What happens to my Windows XP computer after the 8th April 2014? On the 9th, you are not going to suddenly get attacked with no protection, so in essence nothing will noticeably change on your computer, however, over time software support such as Internet Browser will start developing issues with loading certain web pages and Antivirus programs may stop supporting Windows XP. Microsoft own Antivirus software (Microsoft Security Essentials or MSE) has been extended until May 2015. What do I need to be aware of? After the 8th April, cyber criminals will know it’s the end of Windows XP and yet still aware that there are still 33% of Windows users running XP (according to figures in 2013). This is a big opportunity for them to find a way of hacking the system knowing that Microsoft will not be there to counteract any attacks. When should I upgrade? Well unfortunately the time is now, although I wouldn’t worry too much about the deadline, it’s certainly something that you should consider doing in the next 6-12 months. Will my computer be good enough to run the latest Windows? The minimum specs for Windows 7 and Windows 8 are below:
  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
If you are unsure of what specification your computer holds, give us a call and we will gladly assist you over the phone. You should also note that certain hardware could be incompatibly with later versions of windows and although it specifies a minimum of 1GB of memory is available, it really needs 2GB to run adequately. What version of Windows should I upgrade to? Microsoft will try and encourage you to upgrade to the latest Windows 8.1, however you may have heard the rumours that Windows 8 isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Windows 8 is very much designed for touch screen devices although as long as you know how to navigate it, it works well with non-touch screen devices too. Windows 7 however is still the much preferred operating system and has years of life under its belt until Jan 14th 2020. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog, if you want any advice or would like a free quotation on upgrade Windows then please give us a call on 0161 928 3636.

Our custom made SmartAPC picture & video frame

SmartAPCThis week we made a customised picture & video frame from a hybrid laptop upon special request from one of our customers. The unit was a gift for an elderly family member who lacked the technical skills of using the computer and social sites such as Facebook but still wanted to keep updated with his family photos and videos. Now his family can automatically send new videos and pictures via a smartphone or computer device and have them appear in his picture frame without having to press a button. With the SmartAPC unit we included in the follow feature:
  • Upload pictures and videos from anywhere in the world via any smart device instantly
  • Remotely controlled, WiFi, Internet
  • Automatic powers up and down at customizable times
  • Wirelessly control media
The SmartAPC turns itself on at 9am in the morning and switches itself off at 8pm at night which automatically adjusts for DST.

So how did we build this unit?

Well most of it was pretty simple, all you need is;
  • an old laptop with  a 15.4″ screen with a wireless card or dongle
  • a picture frame that can accommodate the 15.4″ screen
  • Some brackets and screws
  • A glue gun
First off you need to take separate the laptop screen bezel so you can turn around the LCD. Depending on the laptop sometimes you can just twist the screen around once its separated from the base, in other instances you may need to remove the screen bezel and back altogether. SmartAPC1Once you have the screen reversed you can now look at fixing the LCD to the back of the picture frame. This image was one our first attempt so it’s a little messy, but you can tidy this up afterwards. The back wont be seen so it’s not a major issue if it doesn’t look too tidy. Once you have the laptop in place, secure it down using a glue gun and brackets to hold the back panel in place. The brackets are particularly important if you choose to hang the unit on the wall. NOTE: Pay special attention to where the fan is on the laptop. You should really use a laptop with a side vent so that air can still pass through, or if not you could modify the back of the picture frame to suit. Finally, all that was left to do was to install the software. We used a free slideshow & video player application to view media placed in to a free Dropbox (cloud storage) account. An automatic start and shutdown app was installed and then we through in a remote desktop program in case we ever needed to look at the operating system without taking it off the wall, and a remote control program for flipping between pictures and videos for the client.

So what did we achieve from this?

A happy senior customer who gets to see his family every day, as Mastercard would say … “Priceless”. SMARTAPCOFF      

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