Upgrade to Windows 10 or Stay with Windows 8

My mind is still trying to debate the pro’s and con’s of upgrading to Windows 10.  Just as I get used to Windows 8.1, here comes another upgraded OS version.

I am truly excited about Windows 10, compared to the lackluster feeling I got when Windows 8 came out, it appears the newest version will come with a feature called Windows Hello which is geared towards biometric authentication and fingerprint readers which is a great step to help thwart some of these hackers who mainly try to sneak by your password.

If you want to know more about Windows 10, read more about it here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/about

Even though I would love to race and jump on the Windows 10 bandwagon, I may have to wait to upgrade for the following reasons:  (1) I should buy a new touch screen laptop, I need to be able to afford one that can handle having the biometric identification on it, also I will need to purchase a fingerprint reader and ensure Windows 10 already pre-installed on it (2) Thinking about waiting awhile, because it usually takes Microsoft time to work out all the bugs that will be in Windows 10.

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Are you in a hurry to upgrade once Windows 10 comes out?  Is anyone else having the same dilemma?

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Online Backup Service or External Hard Drive Backup Dilemma

I am sure this is a dilemma that many people face; I am at the point where I have to decide soon, before it is too late. 

An external hard drive seems like it would be the logical choice, but after having three drives crash (one Seagate and two Western Digital Passports),  I have such a distrust in external backup drives, it gave me a false peace of mind that my data was safe.  Then, when I least expected it (less than two months later), it starts clicking and beeping like it is on life-support.  I don’t know if I will ever be able to recover the information off of them.   I just wish I could find an external hard drive that is sturdy and reliable; especially if it got dropped or bumped it won’t die on the spot.

I checked into Carbonite, $99 a year, is it worth it though?  Some of their ratings on various websites are both good and bad.  I have irreplaceable files such as 100+ GB of MP3s, genealogy files of our family’s history that was traced back a few hundred years, family photos (some of people who have passed on) and very sensitive work related files and personal information on my computer that I would not want to be seen by anyone but me.  I guess I have a fear of out of sight, out of mind when it comes to my data that I really wouldn’t have control of it, if I left it up to someone else to do the monitoring.

Update – I chose a Toshiba 1TB external hard drive, but as a backup to that I am considering purchasing three 128GB or 256GB USB Flash Drives, to backup my Documents, Music and Pictures Directory just as a safety cushion.

How do you backup your data, is there a certain method you prefer?

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Resting On Your Laurels

According to Cambridge Dictionary Online, “Resting on one’s laurels” means to feel comfortable because you have been successful in the past.  UseEnglish.com has it defined as relying on one’s past achievements, rather than trying to achieve things now.

How can a person possibly think they can succeed in their fields or in the job market by depending on their past to carry them into the future?  Your education and skills quickly get out of date; you constantly have to be learning new things to stay current.  When there are hundreds of people competing for the same job that you are, you have to be at the top of your game.  Kicking back and hoping that just a high school education and your past skills will be enough to get you through your future career path is not a good way of thinking.

Even I was complacent  with my current experience, education and skills, the thought of doing anything about it was still mentally in the far reaches of the back of my mind, it took a job recruiter who had the gumption to tell me right to my face, that I have great experience and skills, but I need to update them.  Right there and then a light went off in my head, and since that very moment I have been volunteering, returned back to college and received a degree in Networking Security to help round out my existing experience, watched YouTube and GCLearnFree.org videos to help brush up on my existing skills, as well as studying for the various CompTIA IT certifications.

You know the only saying still rings true, “You are never too old to learn.”  If you have a dream of being a doctor, a lawyer, an IT Network Specialist or whatever job you feel you were destined to be in; goals are just dreams without action behind them.  The best advice I can give you is stop sitting there, have faith in yourself, get out and do something about it.

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Can Online Tech Support Sites Still Be Useful?

I have done volunteer tech support for fourteen years on an online website, I have noticed over this past year or so the amount of people that have been asking questions has significantly dropped, which leaves me perplexed as to why?

It could be any number of reasons, such as people are far more computer literate than they used to be, and most colleges and universities require computer skills to graduate.  With employment, the more computer savvy you are the better chance you have of landing a better job.

These days’ people have family and friends on Facebook or at work who are their “Tech Buddy” who can help solve their computer problems (for free if they are lucky).  They also can find their answers to just about any error message by “Googling” it or going to the manufacturer’s website.

So where does that leave online tech support sites?  Is their role in today’s tech world still important or is the scope of what their all about going to drastically change?

Skype Keeping In Contact With Friends, Family and Job Interviews Too?

Of all the applications available, Skype has to be one of my favorites.  I use it primarily to keep in contact with my children now that they have moved out on their own.  It helps me not worry and miss them as much, especially since my daughter has deployed to Afghanistan.

It brings me simply joy such as my past birthday, I was able to Skype with my sister in Ohio and she was able to sing “Happy Birthday” to me and watch as I blew out the candles.  I haven’t been able to share that experience with her in a few decades.

Skype also enabled my friend Dan to see his critically-ill father that he hadn’t seen in ten years, I was able to establish a video connection from my computer to his niece’s iPhone when she was with his Dad at a New York hospital.  Dan was able to tell his father he loved and missed him.  Little did he know, that would be the last time he would see his father face to face (so-to-speak), his Dad passed away shortly thereafter.  Though he wasn’t able to be there physically with his father, Dan was glad he was able to say goodbye in his own way, which shows the human emotional purpose technology has in our life today.

There is no doubt, Skype is a great tool for communication with family and friends.  But one day I was surfing the internet for interesting tech articles, and I ran across this article on the perspective of Skype being used  for job interviews and video conferencing:  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1933214,00.html?xid=rss-mostpopularemail

“Hmmmm”, I thought.  To me it is okay for my friends and family to see me on Skype because they know me, I can be relaxed around them while carrying on a casual conversation or shooting the breeze.  But how would I feel and act knowing on the other end there was someone who wanted to interview me?”  It is a great idea, it would save time traveling to the interview and allow the convenience of preparation from home.  But in no way could I get away with sitting around in my pajamas with my “bed-head” hairdo and talk to an interviewer no matter how informal/casual they say it might be.  Wouldn’t that be a funny thought if I was wearing a business top, jacket and pajama bottoms, and they asked me to stand up or I had to get something from the other room that pertained to the interview and they saw me in my Betty Boop pajama bottoms (LOL).  Though pajamas will work just fine for an early morning phone interview.  I am almost sure one day I will get a request to Skype with an interviewer, so when that day comes I’ll just prepare, smile and hope they can’t see my nerves.

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How to keep current in a fast paced IT world

If you want to compete in today’s job market, you need to keep your tech skills up-to-date.  Below are some ways to help you stay ahead of the curve:

Enroll in computer classes at your local college, if need be fill out a form for Federal Student Aid or apply for a Pell Grant, it cannot hurt to ask, all they can say is either “Yes” or “No”.

Buy computer books and/or program software,  I usually buy it on Amazon, with the choice of either buying it new or used.  Make sure you check out the seller’s rating if you use the Amazon Auction or Ebay

If cost is an issue there is always free training available.  Check the computer subject you are interested in and try out the following sites: YOUTUBE , GCFLEARNFREE , MICROSOFT

Another way is to Intern/On the Job Training/Volunteer somewhere that can use your help and possibly you might be able to pick up a newly learned skill that you can add to your resume/job experience.

How are you keeping up with technology?

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Why aren’t there more women in the IT Field?

I was working at a computer company not too long ago and it still baffles me on why I hardly saw any women working in the more technical divisions of the company.  From the stats I have read online women make up only 13% of the IT field.

Why such a disconnect I wonder?  After all I have spent 20+ years in IT related jobs and I thoroughly enjoyed it (hardware, software and anything computer related).  But I realize not everyone will have the same interest in life or their chosen path of careers.

But it doesn’t stop me from wondering why?  Is it the intimidation factor?  Is it that they are just not as interested in computers as the opposite sex?  Or is it that teenage girls/young women are not being encouraged to pursue a computer related career and/or degree?

The only solution that comes to my mind time and time again, that it is crucial to mentor to these young women about the possibilities of an IT career and an IT degree.

How do you feel about it?  Do you see any progress towards more women in IT?

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