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Showing posts from 2017

How to Maximize your Productivity with Google Apps

Google is a fantastic productivity source for getting work done all in one Google account. With Google Drive, Calendar, Sites, and other apps, keeping track of what you need to do can be easy if you know how to maximize your experience.

1. Make a personal homepage for keeping track of daily plans
Homepages aren't as popular as they once were, with most people just using a search engine for their homepage, like... Bing I guess. If you need to keep track of what's due every day, you might want to consider making your own personal homepage with Google Sites. Google Sites can be used to make websites for the whole world to visit, but you can also set it up so only you can view it. You can put specific Google Calendars on the page, a Google Presentation slideshow of a to-do list, or whatever helps you be the most productive.

2. Create multiple calendars for specific tasks
We all have different categories for events that have due dates, or appointments to keep track of, so instead of …

Tips to Make Your Computer Start Faster

We live in a world where if it doesn't happen instantly, it might as well never happen. The same goes for your computer, which is why most of the world seems to not use them anymore. Smartphones and tablets are in because they're lightning fast, but your computer may not be. Here are some helpful tips to try to speed up that old Windows machine.
1. Replace your Hard Disk Drive with a Solid State Drive If you bought a low-end computer, chances are it came with a HDD, or Hard Disk Drive, which is a mechanical spinning drive. Just like anything that moves, over time, it will degrade. Not to mention many low-end machines come with really slow hard drives to begin with. If your computer is easy to upgrade, consider purchasing a Solid State Drive. Your phone and tablet have one, which is part of the reason why they're fast. I bought one on Amazon for $40, and while it is tiny at 60 GB, the speed increase in dramatically fast, especially at startup.
2. Consider Upgrading the RAM Th…

T-Mobile's REVVL Line is Unnecessary

T-Mobile has brought back carrier-exclusive phones in a positive way with their REVVL line. Unlike other carrier-exclusive phones like the Droid and Pixel line from Verizon, where the goal is to entice consumers with flagship phones, the REVVL line are T-Mobile's own budget-friendly phones for consumers who don't need the latest and greatest, but are still looking for decent features. The REVVL phones feature a fingerprint scanner, large screen, and a low price starting at $150 for the REVVL and $200 for the REVVL Plus. They're decent phones, but why do they exist?

There are plenty of phones in the budget category that work well, like Motorola's Moto E and G line. There are many good reasons to choose a Moto E or G, and one reason is that there's plenty of examples of people using them, based off how many reviews there are online. Because you aren't locked to a specific carrier, a greater amount of people will use them. The T-Mobile REVVL on the other hand is s…

Chrome OS vs Windows 10 on a 10 Year Old Laptop

As a college student, it's nice to have a laptop to throw in the backpack for notes and work. The downside is the amount of stress being placed on said laptop, because a backpack isn't the safest place for anything, let alone fragile laptops. So I decided to have a dedicated laptop just for backpack-ing. However, I don't have the cash for a brand new one, nor do I want to risk damaging a new one, so I use a 2008-ish Dell Latitude D630 I had lying around, as I spoke about here. However, at that point, I was using Windows 10, which ran pretty well. Now I'm giving Chrome OS a try. How does it stack up?

Now this isn't full-on Chrome OS, but rather Chromium OS being developed by NeverWare for their CloudReady operating system. Installation is simple with a USB flash drive, and I could've dual booted, but this solid state drive is just 60 GB, so I decided against that. Compared to Windows 10, startup is not as fast, and that's only by a few seconds. The overall u…

HP Deskjet 2655 Review: How Bad Can Budget Be?

We live in a darn-near paperless world, where email reigns, text messages replace the passed-notes, and phone reminders take over for sticky notes. However, there will be that one time you need to print that random thing, and a printer will come in handy. When you just need a basic wireless printer, how bad is buying the cheapest one?
I've decided to test this out. I purchased an HP Deskjet 2655 for dirt cheap, $25 on clearance, which is less than the cost of some printer's ink cartridges. It's not the smallest printer, but it's very light. In the package includes the USB cable, which doesn't come with many printers, the power cable, and the instructions. Since the printer does not have a touch screen, you will have to plug it into a computer for setup. You can visit 123.hp.com/dj2655 for the link to the drivers and instructions, but if you have Windows 8 or 10, I recommend going to the Windows Store, and downloading an app called HP Smart, which makes the installa…

Dell Latitude D630 Review: 10 Years Later

As a college student, it's very helpful to have a laptop to take from class to class. Whether it's for notes or research, the convenience alone of keeping organized digitally is something I find very helpful. However, I didn't want to take my daily laptop, the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, for a few reasons. It's a pretty pricey laptop with lots of breakable parts, like the touchscreen. Plus, it has no removable battery, so should the battery crap out, it becomes useless. It's also light and thin, which is great, but that also raises the question of durability. So what's the solution? You may be surprised that I carry around, and enjoy using a laptop originally certified for Windows Vista. It's the Dell Latitude D630, which could very well be 10 years old. I did not buy it new back then, I bought this from a seller on eBay who refurbished it a bit. They gave it a new keyboard, and cleaned it up. Or, this lived its entire life docked on a desk. I don't know what li…

One Quick Trick to Make Windows (Possibly) Faster

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A few years ago, I bought a used Dell Latitude E6510 with an Intel Core i7, and 8 GB of RAM with the intention of having a fast laptop. On paper, it sounded like it made sense. However, when I turned on the laptop, it was far from fast. I figured maybe this could be a slow hard drive, which it was. I was looking around in all the harder to find spots to see if something weird was wrong with the computer, such as a bad driver being installed. I then noticed when I hovered over the battery icon that the power setting was set to power saver. I did a quick Google search and found that, yes, that can slow down your computer!

To change this, or to see what your Windows power setting is set to can be found in one of two places. One way is to press Windows key and X. If you're running Windows 8 or above, a menu will pop up in the bottom left corner, and you're going to want to press Mobility Center. I believe on Windows 7, pressing Win + X just brings up the Mobility Center, but I do…

Which Streaming TV Box Is Right For You?

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We live in a smart world, where everything needs to be connected. We have smartphones, smart homes, and smart TVs. However, what if your TV isn't smart, or maybe not smart enough? That's where a streaming box comes into play. A streaming box allows you to connect to the internet to play content from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, and iHeart Radio just to name a few. So, when you're shopping for a good streaming box, here's a list of the major ones, and the pros and cons of them. I'm excluding boxes that handle over-the-air, or cable like Channel Master, and TiVo because streaming is only part of the goal there, and I'm excluding Android TV boxes because those are developed by third-party folk.
The Major PlayersRoku - Of all the companies on this list, Roku is the only one that solely makes streaming boxes, and they've been doing so since 2008, starting out as a Netflix box. They've evolved over the years to allow more content, and even beat …

BlackBerry 10: A late look at the aging OS

I remember writing about BlackBerry 10 way back in 2013, where although I was impressed by the polish of the operating system, I was also at the time very much into Windows Phone, and felt that BB10 was merely just playing catch up with Microsoft. Had I not been so much in love with the Lumia 920, or 1520 that I had at the time, who knows, maybe I would've given BlackBerry a whirl at the time, because they were mighty purdy. Fast forward a year from 2013, and BlackBerry wasn't doing much better at adding users to its platform. Finally, in 2015, BlackBerry announced the Priv, the company's first Android device, thus sending a signal that BlackBerry 10 is no longer the BlackBerry's priority. So how does BlackBerry 10 run in 2017, in a world where Windows Phone can no longer maintain a market share above a full percentage point?

Let's first talk about the device itself. The phone of choice is the Q10. Why? Because what is a BlackBerry without a physical keyboard? Now …

Microsoft Should Release Windows 10 S for Free

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Microsoft has decided to compete with iOS and Chrome OS in the education market with Windows 10 S, which is a new Windows RT. It is marketed as a streamlined OS built for performance and security, which basically just means that you can only run Windows Store apps, thus everything from the store must be safe, so there's no need to worry about viruses and other scary things. However, because everything you would do with the software gets touched by Microsoft in some way, be it the web browser being locked at both Edge and Bing as the search engine, and that all your apps come from Microsoft's Store, you'd think Microsoft would want to make this operating system free. Here's a couple reasons why they should.

It will cut down on people using alternative operating systems. Sure, some people use Linux because they want to try it, or because they just like it, but some people just need to run any kind of operating system because either their hard drive died, or the computer …

Third-Party Apps You Get Installed on a Fresh Windows 10 Installation

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There's a fantastic feature of Windows 10 that makes reinstalling Windows a breeze. On one of my laptops, I had a hard drive fail. Not a problem, it was a horrendously slow HDD and I was interested in letting it scream with a SSD. The only issue was at the time, I didn't know that Windows 10 saved information about the motherboard so I could reinstall Windows 10 as easy as installing Ubuntu. Or MacOS. So for a year I was running various flavors of Ubuntu before I realized that today, on May 6th, 2017, I could just throw Windows 10 on a USB Drive and be back in Redmond. Well, it worked. Now here's the fun part: I get to see how much crap Microsoft throws your way on this Windows 10 Pro fresh installation. In this list, I'll only be including apps that aren't made by Microsoft for the benefit of the user, or that just have no reason to be preinstalled. Also note, that I have not personally entered the Windows Store to download anything, these are all apps that decid…

How to enable YouTube Dark Mode and Material Design

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YouTube has gone through many redesigned over the past 12 some odd years, and here's another one coming your way. It's less of a major redesign as we've seen in the past with the One Channel layout, and the Channel 2.0 from 2009, but more of a UI redesign to follow in line with Google's Material design language.

The new redesign changes some settings menus, and even adds a new Dark Mode feature for folks like me who fall asleep to videos at night, and would prefer a darker screen. If you're an avid Google user, it makes using YouTube within Chrome look seamless, which is always nice.

The New YouTube is not enabled by default, but if you want to try it out, you can turn it on here, where it gives a preview for what to expect, and brags about how futuristic it is, and whatnot.

Revision3 Is No More

In 2005, Revision3 started life as a new media company, designed to fill the gap left by TechTV's acquisition and closure. DL.TV and TWiT.tv also started the same year, with a greater focus on technology programming. Revision3 focused on tech, but also branched out to more unique types of content like Scam School with Brian Brushwood, Penn Point with Penn Jillette, and many, many others. Revision3 positioned itself as a destination that syndicated through other services like iTunes and YouTube. In 2012, Discovery Communications acquired the company, and started a network of other new media channels, while also becoming a YouTube network, and signing established YouTubers. Throughout the years, the shows associated with Revision3 started to go independent, along with Philip DeFranco's shows, and on March 31, 2017, the network was shut down, with the website redirecting to Seeker, a Group Nine Media company, formerly known as Discovery Digital Networks.

Revision3 was one of the …

Moto G5 Plus Review: The "Flagship Killer" Killer?

With the Samsung Galaxy S8, and LG G6 arriving soon, as well as iPhone 7, and Google Pixel being on the market, there's a lot of choices when it comes to picking a smartphone. What isn't so much a choice is the price that flagship phones command. The Samsung Galaxy S8 starts at $749, and that price is similar to the rest of the flagships. Financing that over two years, or even paying in full, is quite a lot of money, especially if you're like me and you see the next new phone and get antsy about 6 months into the now old phone. OnePlus has been proving for the past few years that you don't need to pay the flagship price to get the flagship specs, but at $439, it's still a bit of money to put down. Motorola is here to change that.

Motorola has been introducing phones at lower than average prices since about 2013 with the Moto X, and especially with the Moto G line of phones. Since 2014, the Moto G has offered a midrange smartphone at lower than midrange prices that …

Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows: Another Chance at Windows Phone

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There are very few phones that I have had that I have absolutely loved. The Note 7 is very much on the list, but my various Windows Phones absolutely make the top of the list. I started my love of Windows Phone with the Samsung Focus back in 2011 or so, when it was just a mere penny for a two-year contract. Back when Windows Phone 7 was the only different and exciting platform, at least to my eyes. I switched to an iPhone after almost a year due to me shattering the screen. But there was always that desire for the iPhone for the fact that apps were just there, and everyone was on iMessage. I then decided to switch back and get the Nokia Lumia 920. Windows Phone 7.5 was a good step, but Windows Phone 8 was gorgeous. However, my first 920 accumulated dust in the front-facing camera somehow, which was covered under my warranty, and my second 920's vibration motor stopped working. AT&T very nicely upgraded me for free for being delightful, I can only assume, and I got the top of …

LG V20 Overheat and Battery Drain Issues

Let me just start out by saying that I miss my Note 7. I showed up both launch days for the dumb phone, and besides my old Nokia Lumia 1520, there's very few phones I miss. The Note 7 is definitely high on that list of great phones of mine. So after I had to turn it in, I was debating whether or not to just get an S7 Edge, or the at-the-time upcoming LG V20. LG at that point in time had released the G5 earlier which wasn't very good, and they had some issues with quality, but I figured why not. The V20 had features I wished the Note 7 had, like the IR Blaster, the second screen, and not as important, but nice to have, a removable battery. Having had this phone since late September, I can say that in the beginning, it was a great fast phone, but after about four or five months, things started to go downhill.

First issue I encountered was the battery not going further than 92%. Nothing would get it to go higher. I just figured that maybe it was when I was charging the phone, bei…

AT&T Offers a Low Speed Unlimited Data Plan For Some Reason

T-Mobile has done a lot of good for the wireless industry by forcing the large two to bring back their unlimited data plans. The other three wireless carriers brought back only one unlimited data plan, and that was for high-speed data. AT&T, offering the most expensive high-speed unlimited data plan saw an opportunity to lower their price, so they did: $60 gets you 3 MBPS speed unlimited data. And to that I ask, why?

The people that would most use an unlimited data plan also do not want to be capped at speed. Being a former Cricket Wireless user, I know how annoying it is to be speed capped. I went from AT&T to Cricket Wireless with the assumption it would be the same service, just with a different name, and different way of buying phones, and boy was I surprised. Yes, the same great coverage from AT&T was the same, and the, at the time, Nexus 6P worked great as expected, but the speed was a significant decrease. The phone would show 4G LTE, but I would experience speeds r…

How to Access Secret Chrome Menus and Commands

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If you're a Google Chrome user like me, you know that to control Chrome, it isn't done through an option panel, but rather a chrome:// URL. So, if you've ever wanted to know every single chrome:// page, here's where you can access it.

Open up Chrome, and type in chrome://chrome-urls. On the page, you'll notice it just looks like a '90s web site, but it's not meant to look cool, it's meant to be functional. On the page, you'll probably see familiar places like chrome://apps, and chrome://settings, but you'll also see a lot of different functions used like chrome://print, which is the print dialogue that shows up when you go into the menu to print. It doesn't do anything because there's nothing underneath to print, but it's cool to see how Chrome works by using the different chrome:// pages. Going to chrome://dino lets you open the page when your network gets disconnected to play the dinosaur game. You'll also notice some commands…

Android Auto Review

When Android Auto was first announced way back in 2015, along side Apple CarPlay, I didn't fully understand why anyone would want this as a feature. If your car's infotainment system works well, it should do everything fine without needing your phone's interface. However, that's the huge issue with infotainment systems: a lot of them suck. So Google, and Apple, decided to save automakers the trouble, and design a system that works every time your phone is plugged in to your car, giving you complete control over your phone through your radio, without distractions, giving you access to your music, maps, and the controlled text messaging complete with voice commands. The question becomes, is Google better than my automaker's infotainment system?

Comparing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto isn't like choosing between which trim level to get when buying a car, you either have one or the other. Yes, phones can be switched easily, but for most people, they use the same p…

Sling TV Review

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I am an incredibly indecisive person. I have a very difficult time just picking one thing because I'll almost immediately have buyer's remorse, even if I'm just trying to pick a show to watch on Hulu, which makes it even harder as a cord cutter. It's where cable TV shines to allow you to, if you wanted to, watch a show on-demand, or a live channel that picks the show for you. I wish Hulu and Netflix had that feature, to allow you to pick if you want to marathon a show, or arrange a schedule of shows to just auto-play for you. Until then, regular cable channels will do. But what if you're a cord cutter who misses your favorite channel, or maybe you don't want to cut the cord, but the cable bill is simply too high? That's where Sling TV and other competitors come in.

Before I decided to go with Sling, I wanted to see what the other services had to offer. The first place I looked was, believe it or not, the cable company. I wanted to see if the services onlin…

Misleading Website Builder Prices

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Over the past week, I've been trying to revive GeekOnIn by finding a home for it. When the site first started in 2012, I was using Blogger at the time, and it worked just fine, but I wanted to find a different home where I could add more features to the site. I got a good deal on a web host, and used WordPress, which I love. Over time, the host I was using went out of business, so I moved to Tumblr, which just didn't work well. The idea of using Tumblr was to have an easier system for guest posts, but Tumblr is just not designed for blogs, the way I was looking to set one up anyway. This last happened in 2014, and since then, a lot has changed for web makers.

Initially, I was searching for a web host, and just found that for what I wanted to do, they were just too expensive for a monthly plan, and every time I thought I found a decent price, it was the discounted price they advertised if you were to prepay for 4 years in advance. After I found that out, I was less than enthus…

Does Anyone Really Need Unlimited Data?

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The answer to that question is yes, there are people in the world who do need more data than your average bear. Some people are on the go all day, some people work in places with no WiFi, or maybe they don't have internet at home. Whatever the case, there is a need for it, but for everyone else who has access to Wifi most of the time, is there a need for unlimited data?

I've been a mobile user for a very long time. When I first got my iPhone 3G way back in 2009, unlimited data from AT&T was just $30 a month. Think about that for a second. AT&T certainly thought about that price, and as more people got data plans, the mobile industry raised prices for data plans quickly. When I switched to Cricket, I had a 5 GB plan, which I even tried to use as often as I could, but I was always afraid of running out of data, so I never tried too hard to use up my data. Then when I switched to T-Mobile in August, the skies brightened, because I had a 6 GB plan with Binge-On, which all…

How to add a Windows 10 app shortcut to your desktop

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With Windows 10, Microsoft is in an ongoing battle with developers to try to get more companies to develop Windows 10 apps, you know, the kind you get from the Windows App Store. The Windows 10 apps are designed so that no matter what device you're on, whether it's a traditional PC, tablet, phone, Xbox, or Hololens, it's the same app everywhere. One thing traditional computer users might want to do is add a Windows 10 app to the desktop, or place it in a folder, so they have easy access to it. Although there isn't a way to do this by right-clicking in the start menu, there is one work-around that will create a shortcut of the app you want.

First, pin the app to the taskbar. You can do this by right-clicking on the app in the Start menu. Once the app in pinned to the taskbar, right-click on the app in the taskbar while holding down the shift key. Select "Create Shortcut." A window will pop-up asking if you want to add it to the desktop, click yes, and there i…

Coming Soon...

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It's been a while, but we're finally starting to dust off all the cobwebs. GeekOnIn started out life in May of 2012 as a new community to find fellow Geeks. Initially we started using Blogger for the articles, and Google+ for the community site. We eventually brought that all in to WordPress, until March of 2014, when the host we were using shutdown. We then switched to Tumblr, and then went on a hiatus in September of 2014. It's been almost three years since the last post was made, but now we're starting over, and hopefully we'll be getting ready to relaunch soon! Stay tuned, and if you're interested in writing for the blog, let us know at anthony@geekonin.com! We hope to see you here soon!