Shut the Front Door - Powering Windows 10 Down

Shut the Front Door

Have you ever just wanted to shut everything down.   It has been a long day and you just want to power off, hit the road, and forget today ever happened.

Well, there are a couple of shortcuts to powering down your Windows 10 system without just pulling the plug.

This Combination Feels Altered.  Alt + F4

You can directly shut down your window PC by pressing the key combination Alt + F4.  This immediately brings you to the Shut Down Windows screen and defaulting to “Shut Down”.  However, you can change this to Reboot if you wish.  Just hit OK and your computer will shut down.

Run Down

You can also use the RUN command to shutdown.  Open Run program from pressing Win + R keyboard button. Type shutdown /s and press enter for shut down your window machine.

X Marks the Spot

This method works in Windows 10 only, but is perhaps the most fun.  Press the Windows Key and the letter “X” and the start menu will go directly to “Shut Down or Sign Out” and just choose “Shut Down” and your machine will power off.

I am sure you wish to try all these ways to power off your Windows computer and feel that rush of power. 

Happy Computing.

Can a Chromebook Replace Your Laptop?

Can a Chromebook Replace Your Laptop?

With many offerings out there for significantly less than the price of a true fully-fledged laptop, the Google Chromebook is a tempting thing for many people, but can it really replace your workhorse completely, or will it fall short when you need it most?

Google has recently made the Google Play Store available for Chromebook users, with recent software updates making it possible to natively run Android applications on the hardware. This can be great for some apps, but for others it doesn’t work right just yet. Some applications work flawlessly with the mouse and keyboard approach, while others still require touch input to function. On higher end Chromebooks this is a non-issue, since they offer touch screens inaddition to the more traditional style inputs, but lower end devices that do not include this feature will just not work.

There are a plethora of productivity applications that can be found through Google Play, such as Microsoft Office applications and others, but these are much less full featured than the true desktop versions. This might not be a problem for some, while for others it could make them basically not worth their time.

One thing about these thin clients that people may or may not know is that they can be hacked to allow you to run Ubuntu Linux on them, meaning that if Chrome OS just isn’t your cup of tea you can actually change that around to be more usable, if you are fairly tech savvy.

What do you think about these inexpensive devices and the potential they do (or don’t) offer?

Read more about this topic here.

Windows Vs. Macs

There is, in the industry, still a cold war between those that love Mac versus those that love PC's.  Some of the discussions have become quite heated.  Yet, if you talk to the real professionals in the field, they will rightly point out that each has it's place in a business.   Each has it's strengths and each it's weaknesses.

I don't want to talk about how they look.  Mac beats out PC's by a long shot in terms of sleek lines and minimalistic yet elegant architecture.  You do not buy a business computer based on looks.  You buy it based on what it can do for your business.

So let's look at what a they bring to your business:

PC's - All PC devices that run Windows Operating System

One recent advantage with Windows devices is that they offer such variety to users. You can have laptops and desktops (with the option of a touchscreen if you want), dedicated gaming rigs, ultra-thin models, or a device that converts between a tablet and PC.  More options are coming out all the time; and since restrictions on third party manufacturers of these products is loose, you have true variety in choices.

Another advantage is that there is still more software out on the market written for Windows than for OSX.  Though this gap is quickly closing.  

One feature of Windows PC's is that they can run legacy programs much better than corresponding Mac machines.  In the business world, there are several applications that were written ten or more years ago that Windows can run in compatibility mode or use an overlay such as .Net Framework or Citrix to run such programs in a modern Windows 10 machine.  Several businesses have mostly Mac machines but may retain one or two Windows machines to run these Legacy Applications.

The other large advantage that PC's give over Mac's is security.  Though again this gap is closing quickly.  However, security is also the PC's Achilles Heel. Statistically there is far more chance of contracting a virus or malware when you use a PC. This is offset by the ability for a PC to apply several layers of security:  from the login, to individual applications, to security templates that can lockdown almost any aspect of the Operating System, User Interface, File Access, Network Access, etc.  Security in a PC can be as loose or as tight as your business requires; from machine to individual file.

Businesses that require secure, backward compatible, application rich machines still turn toward PC's in their purchasing decisions.

MacBook, MacBookPro, MacBookAir, MacPro, iPads, Tablets

Now let’s not forget the benefits of an Apple computer to your business.

First and foremost, Apple products are close to being ready to use as soon as you unbox them.  Their user interfaces are intuitive and the learning curve for using one is very shallow.  Most users in a couple of days learn how to do the basic tasks they need to do.  This is in contrast to the PC’s, which have a steeper learning curve.

Apple products are built to last.  The rule of thumb for PC’s is that they need to be replaced about every three years.  Mac’s can stretch that to about four or five (depending on applications.)  The track record for reliability and repair costs over time also favors the Mac’s.

The Mac OS is optimized for 32 and 64 bit performance with no legacy code.  What this means is that it runs a comparable application much faster than on a PC.  Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, AutoCad, and many other drawing or modeling programs are best run on an Apple computer.  

Again, let’s not forget security.  Mac’s are less frequent targets of attack by viruses, ransomware, spyware, Trojans and the like.  Since there are still far fewer Macs than Windows PCs out there, Apple's platform simply presents a smaller target for attackers.  Not many viruses have been written to compromise the Linux shell (the operation system language) than the Windows shell.  That is not to say you don’t need to protect your Mac’s just like your PC’s.

Consumer reports also rated Apple Computers and the support for them in the top 5 for the last decade.  Customer service, RMA returns, Apple Repair has always rated quite high in comparison to PC’s.

So if your business has a need for graphic intensive, design or production multimedia or CAD/CAM applications, with a reliable and sound architecture, and smaller learning curve, and cost of deployment, then choosing a Mac is the right choice for your business.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both platforms.  Most companies choose a few of each, since they have different needs in different areas of their company.

Regardless of which you choose, ZenIT can help you decide, purchase, setup, and maintain both machines.  We can tell you what you may need and help you use the computers you choose to the greatest benefit to your business.



Windows 10: A Sharing Story

When setting up Windows, the usual process involves skimming the EULA's and accepting the terms, clicking a lot of Next, Accept and Connect buttons, usually helping you get started quickly. With Windows 10 however, the process is a little different.  
When setting up a new Windows 10 PC, if you look closely enough, there are now options to 'Customize' about every preconfigured setting on the machine. This ranges from sharing Update data with other PC's on the internet to improve the update process as a whole, to sharing your type data with Microsoft to improve web browsing. But what does that all mean? 
With Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a new platform for updates and information sharing from computer to computer, behind the scenes. By default, your computer will share issues and successes it has with updates, send diagnostic data to Microsoft for a better experience in the future, and it will even send certain location data for better advertisements on your web browser. 
If this sounds scary to you, find out here how to disable most of the tracking features on your Windows 10 PC: