How Apple has Changed the Face of Technology and its Users

How Apple has changed the world

When the McIntosh computers first came out over 35 years ago, they were way more expensive than DOS (disk operating system) computers, but nevertheless they took a chunk of the market right off the bat. It became “Mac” and had a very useful OS and interface, making it very user-friendly. With its mouse based screen control, the user only had to move things around and operate in sections or in blocks of space which came to be known as Windows.

Even though Mac did not make it big in the market at first, it actually influenced Microsoft with its Windows environment, which made it big when they proliferated the system in the marketplace. This is really interesting to know, it gives the impression that the two giants in the industry had started this spectacular connection that really changed the world today.

Leaving Mac behind

Computers, as introduced to the masses in the beginning, were mainly embraced by techies and nerdy types who seemed to exclusively understand the coding, programming and such. The early computers were not very sophisticated and they were much cheaper than the Mac, which is why the sales of TRS-80’s, Compact, Columbia and other similar brands began to leave the Mac behind in the market.

Despite the leading in sales that DOS based computer had (or with Microsoft OS), they still had their difficulties. Microsoft, for the record, had struggled with their OS upgrades , and the errors it had brought in transition made the customer experience frustrating mostly. On the other hand, the Apple OS simply expanded with high end operating principles, giving their users pretty much a different experience with no glitches to speak of. Microsoft users had new ways of getting to the same place, which created a new learning curve in many cases.

The Mac did not persist, however, as a stellar performer in sales, until Steve Jobs returned to a nearly dead company after his ho-hum, 12 years of sojourning with Next and Pixar. It was at this time when Jobs introduced the iPod.

iPod has started it all

The existing market back then was made up of MP3 players, Portable CD players and the king of the market, the Sony Walkman. By 2001, the public quickly loved the iPod, because of its enhanced user experience and new features. The music industry was literally changed by the iPod, as the star became the song itself, rather than the album. Users could just download a single song and the emphasis was quickly shifted from CDs in the record stores to downloaded songs on the internet via online music stores.

How apple has changed the worldThe iPod changed Apple too, as it now became a consumer technology company, which is still its main focus today. When the iPhone came out it became a raging success, but it has also fueled the great success of Android, which “borrowed” the iPhone technology and presentation to instill its presence in the smartphone world.

Now with the iPad, Apple has conquered the ease of use of computers. Instead of storing and doing everything on a clunky desktop computer, a revolution has occurred. Today nearly all internet searches are conducted on a portable device, such as a smartphone and iPad or a tablet.

The Best OS in the Market Today

best OS today in the market

Do you plan on buying a new PC? If you do, then you should have an idea of the numerous options for your operating system. With so many choices, selecting the best operating system in the market may not be an easy task. Although Windows is still the most popular pick nowadays, there are others that are of the same quality as Windows. In fact, the best OS comes from the way the user is needing it for, so no OS out there can be considered best for all users. This is why you need to pick the right option depending on your requirements and budget. This article provides an overview of some of the best operating systems today.

Windows OS

The popularity of Windows is all over the place. It is one of the best operating systems out there that is compatible with most of the hardware and software available today. You can get a Windows version for your PC and laptop for a few hundred dollars on the market. If you have been using this system in the past and is comfortable with it, you can purchase the latest Windows 10 or 8.1 at an affordable price. There are many online stores that sell these recent versions at reasonable rates. They are of good quality for your laptop or PC.

The Best OS for youOn the flip side, Windows systems do not have the attention to detail that you will find on a Mac laptop. They are packed with bloatware. For example, the trackpads of the computers with Windows are somewhat inferior to the ones you get on Mac. Windows is more vulnerable to malware than most of the other systems. This is why you find most of the malware written for Windows systems. Windows 10 and 8.1 have a learning curve for someone who had been using Windows XP or 7 in the past. All in all, Windows is still the most powerful operating system in the market today considering all the factors that make it as one.

Mac OS X

Best OS today in the marketMac has become much better than how it was in the past. If you plan to spend around $1,300 to $1,500 on a laptop, you can easily find a good Mac computer in the marketplace or even online. MacBook Pro and MacBook Air by Apple are two of the best Mac products today. They offer a superior touchpad, extended battery life and great hardware. Mac OS also has a wide variety of other software available today. But they cannot compete with the software available for Windows. Also, Mac is far behind when it come to games. If you are looking for a higher-end PC, Mac can be a great option for you.

In conclusion, with so many operating systems out there, selecting the best may not be easy after all. Although Windows still stands out as the most popular option when it comes to a good and affordable OS, Mac for me has the latest features and attributes that were all made in sophistication and better quality. Like I said, the best OS for you can be decided on after realizing your needs and daily usage requirements.

10 Cyber Security Tips to Help You Sleep in Peace at Night

10 Cyber Security Tips

When it comes to cyber security, sometimes it won’t matter how expensive or effective the security tools you’ll have in place just to protect your network. There’s no way you’ll be able to predict the type of damage a careless user can create. The war that rages on against cyber criminals is always in action every time users open or click on unfamiliar links, and the slight of these mistakes can relate to the loss of extensive data.

Let us enumerate some basic guidelines you should take into consideration when using the internet:

  1. Be aware that any user who accesses the net can become a target to certain online threats. Don’t be too complacent to think you’re too smart to be a target that it will never happen to you.
  2. Maintain this password ‘etiquette’. Put into practice this sort of using a combination of strong characters and avoid using one password for a number of sites. It is strictly prohibited to share these passwords with others, or jutting it down on a note that you usually attach anywhere near your computer monitor.
  3. Your devices should not be left unattended. If you need to leave your tablet, phone, or computer for even a few minutes, it should always be locked so that no one can have access to it. Do not store sensitive data or information on your external hard drive or flash drive, otherwise make sure you lock these devices as well.
  4. Be mindful and cautious when deciding to open a link or attachment in an email. If it is too suspicious and unexpected, do not open it.10 Cyber Security Tips
  5. Your online transactions like shopping and banking, where you usually give out PINs and financial details, must only be done on your devices and your trusted network. Remember that free WiFi spots, public computers or even a friend’s phone can place your sensitive data at risk of either being stolen or copied.
  6. Back up your data on a regular schedule and make sure you are always using up-to-date anti-virus software.
  7. Always remember that Malware is usually spread from infected external hard drives, flash drives or even smartphones. You should think twice before you plug it into your devices or computers especially if it’s not yours.
  8. Be very smart on sharing any personal info on the social networks you use. Criminals can easily befriend an unsuspecting user (and it could be you) and thereby gain entry into your detailed and descriptive information such as when you usually go out on vacation, your workplace and when you are not home.  Don’t make it too easy for them to abuse you.
  9. When offline, you should still have to be aware of social engineering, where criminals will try to gain certain information by way of manipulation. If a person emails or calls you and asks for sensitive info, it is alright to say NO. It is also advisable to call companies directly in order to verify their credibility and credentials before you give out any information.
  10. You should actively monitor your accounts. If anything is unfamiliar or suspicious this could be a sign that the account has been compromised.

10 cyber security tips - trustSometimes it isn’t bad to over-react or be paranoid with others especially with strangers and if the situation gives you ‘second thoughts’. You have to be smarter than cyber criminals. If in doubt, there’s always information and assistance available online, and in the circle of your trusted friends too. This issue will never fail to extort money and valuable things from people, so it is very important to get used to these guidelines so you can be protected from such threats.

Unveiling the Excitement of Migrating from a PC to a MAC

Migrating from a PC to a Mac

Migrating from a PC to a Mac still remains a daunting task especially to those who are not so tech savvy. At this point in time where Apple has seemingly dominated the market for a number of years of its existence in the household and workplace, some people are still clueless about how to use a Mac but still very excited to get one for Christmas.  Count me in!

If I were to have a Mac and replace my 8 year old Toshiba Satellite Pro A300 laptop which is running Windows 7 OS, I’d probably look into the following factors so the shifting won’t give me even the slightest headache:

The Image the Mac Advertisements Portray

Apple has done a great job advertising Mac while comparing it to a PC. It was cool and though I personally believe that the teasing is not all true, I can relate on the issues being discussed all throughout. As I myself was into using PC and Windows OS for a number of years already, I feel kind of excited having a Mac and dealing with the tech advancements of today – at least that is the impression I initially get.

One of the reasons why I was kind of holding back on switching to a Mac is the lacking of compatibility with Windows. This thought came out naturally (everything that’s new is intimidating), plus there was also a rumor about this which was circulating after its first release. But it’s just a rumor, in fact there are Mac alternatives often made good or even better than Windows programs. Most common Windows programs have a separate Mac version and a lot of external peripherals such as mice, keyboards, external hard drives and monitors are fully compatible with Mac’s OS.

Learn to Speak Mac

There are some terms that I should at least be familiar with before shifting to a Mac. Windows and Mac have their own terminologies. Some of the common and basic words and/or phrases and acronyms are the following:

Windows Mac
Windows Wallpaper Mac Background
Windows Desktop Mac Desktop
Windows Recycle Bin Mac Trash
Windows Start Menu Mac Dock
Windows Programs Mac Apps
Windows Explorer Finder App

You can still use your Windows keyboard on Macs, however in this case:

  • Windows key ~ Mac Command (Cmd) key
  • Windows Control Key ~ Mac Control Key
  • Windows Alt Key ~ Mac Option Key

For hard drive formats, these are essentials:

  • Mac can read NTFS format and Windows hard drives are formatted as NTFS
  • Windows can read HFS+ format and Mac hard drives are formatted as HFS+
  • Both Mac and Windows read FAT which is the format for USB thumb drives
  • Paragon NTFS for Mac allows Mac OS to read and write NTFS-formatted hard drives. The software also has a counterpart for Windows so it can read and write to HFS+

Your Fave Fonts

While Windows fonts are located in the folder %winddir%/fonts, Mac comes with the Font Book app for installing fonts. Note that each OS comes with its own proprietary fonts. So if you have documents that use Windows fonts, they will automatically be substituted with Mac fonts when opened on a Mac if not installed yet. Hey, you can install MS Office for Mac too which will let you grab some Windows fonts you’ve loved through the years.

Become ‘Mac-handed’ when Typing

New Mac keyboard shortcuts I think will give me plenty of time to get used to it. I have managed to get a list of common keyboard shortcuts for Windows and Mac, but if you are eager to know more available shortcuts, a cheatsheet can be downloaded for your quick reference.

Function Windows Mac
Copy Ctrl + C Cmd + C
Paste Ctrl + V Cmd + V
Cut Ctrl + X Cmd+X not working for Mac, use copy & paste instead
Minimize current window Windows + M Cmd + H
Switch open programs Alt + Tab or Windows + Tab Cmd + Tab
Close programs Alt + F4 Cmd + Q
Refresh F5 or Ctrl + R Cmd + R

Hassle-free Moving of Files

Now that I know some basic terms and understand the correct drive formatting, I guess it’s time to make a decision on moving files from Windows to Mac full time.

If you happen to keep your files on an external drive as you work (glad I have put this onto practice recently), you just have to plug and unplug the USB hard drive from PC to Mac. With the need of extracting some files that you might want on a PC’s internal hard drive, you will have to evaluate the software you have installed, whether it be the same software on your Mac and where those files are located in the PC.

It is good to note that most of external hard drives you have are formatted as NTFS. An access to Paragon software will do the tricks, however if you will choose to be accessing that drive from a Mac alone starting today, it would be best to move those files from that drive then reformat it as HFS+. Then just put those files back on that drive. Voila! Everything is set for you and you may now play with your new toy.

Security Matters

Migrating from a Pc to a Mac - Security CountsSecuring my files from online threats is actually one of the reasons I’m looking forward to shifting to a Mac. I’m hoping I’ll be able to experience the best security features it offers. Mac’s OS usually offers more readily available options in securing your files:

  • It has a firewall feature that lets you activate the network filter and gives you access to control which programs can accept incoming connections. It can work on a per application basis which can give more flexibility
  • There is a FileVault that can activate full disk encryption and will let you secure all your files on your drive, system files in your OS, apps, caches and even temporary files which may contain your personal info
  • There’s this password management called keychain which lets you save and secure your passwords
  • You can set up the security features of locking and locating your laptop so it gives you less worries

As the digital age is apparently helping us work faster and smarter, the above features are continuously being updated by Apple and more and more features, services and applications are being developed to aid you in protecting your sensitive information from viruses, phishing attacks and hackers in general.

That’s it for now. Guess I cannot hide the excitement in me to see myself using and maximizing the advantages of having a Mac. Oh and by the way, I believe the cost will all be worth it down the road.

 

 

Managed Firewall Solutions to Protect Your Business

managed-firewall-solutions-business

Most small to medium sized businesses owners don’t think about managed firewall solutions. They’re like you – already busy with the operational side of running their organisations. From finding new clients to invoicing their existing ones, dealing with customer and staff issues, trying to make payroll and handling their tax obligations. Network security is often the last thing on their minds!

So what is a managed firewall and why should you care?

Benefits of Managed Firewalls

Managed firewall companies can protect your business 24×7 while you are free to focus on your core business. Just as you’d pay an accountant to do your books for you (unless you’re an accounting firm!) and a cleaning company to clean your office (unless you’re a cleaning company!) it also makes sense to trust specialised experts to manage your IT security.

After all, if you want to manage your own internal network firewall, you’ve got to hire, manage and train high-salary-demanding network engineers. To support your office around the clock, you’ve got to hire enough staff to manage multiple shifts – including (to use an IT term) – redundancy, in case one of your staff is sick or needs time off. This means you’re looking at a minimum of 4 staff to adequately cover the duties of keeping your firewall and related cyber security services operational. With an average wage of $100,000 you’re looking to invest $400k right off the bat!

Managed firewalls help you avoid this massive cost blowout. The managed firewall company will leverage their own resources across multiple accounts like yours, to reduce your costs for protecting your business from cyber attacks and internal threat.

Managed Firewall Maintenance

Just like your desktop and laptop computers, it’s not enough to simply purchase a firewall service and leave it be. If you’ve purchased a firewall device off the shelf from a firewall provider, you’ll also have to make sure it’s updated with security patches and operating system updates. Otherwise you’ll be leaving your system vulnerable to attack from cyber criminals who aim to exploit security holes in outdated software code.

By engaging a managed firewall provider however, you don’t have to consider this activity – it will be included in your monthly maintenance program.

This means you can simply pay your monthly invoice and know you’re in good hands!

Levels of Network Security

Not all cloud managed firewalls are made equal, so it pays to do your homework before committing to any one solution. Some firewalls will simply block suspect traffic, while others will be able to automatically scan all incoming and outgoing documents.

Obviously the price you’ll pay will vary according to the features you need. Then it becomes a business decision to weigh up the costs vs the benefits you expect to see for that investment.