Tip of the Week: How to Restore the Recycle Bin Desktop Icon

Have you ever had your Windows PC lose its Recycle Bin? This has been known to happen since the update to Windows 10, but even updates to Windows 7 and 8.1 have seen similar issues. If your Recycle Bin has pulled a Houdini, we’ll help you get it back. Read on to find out how!

Before you just assume that the Recycle Bin is totally gone, try this method. To begin, open up the Settings app (click on the Start Menu, followed by the Gear). Once you’ve done this, navigate to the Personalization tab. Under Themes, go to the Desktop Icon Settings. If checking the Recycle Bin box doesn’t bring it back, you might have to follow some other steps.

If you’re using a Windows 10 laptop, its tablet mode might be interfering with the normal desktop functionality. This can lead to your desktop icons disappearing. You can change this display mode by going through the Start menu, navigating through Settings to System, and selecting Tablet Mode. You’ll want to make sure the following buttons are turned off:

Hide app icons on the taskbar in tablet mode
Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode

Checking these options off should let you see your icons, even if you’re in tablet mode.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to recreate your Recycle Bin. To do so, follow these steps:

Open up the Windows File Explorer (open up a folder or This PC from the start menu).
Click on the View tab.
Select Options.
In the Folder Options window, click the tab once again.
Make sure that the Show hidden files, folders, and drives box is selected.
You should also turn off the option to Hide protected operating system files.
Go back to the File Explorer and select PC from the right-hand column.
Select your OS (C:) or C: Drive.
Right-click the $Recycle.Bin and click Send To.
Click on Desktop to create your shortcut.

For help with other irritating aspects of technology, Recycle Bin and all, subscribe to KiteTech’s blog.

 

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Technology Basics: Uploads and Downloads

You may have heard the terms “upload” and “download” while going about your daily duties, but do you know what the difference is? While it might be clear that they are two very different things, they both have to do with the transfer of data. These two types of data transfer are used differently in a business setting.

Which One’s Which?
The only difference between download and upload in terms of data transfer is which direction the data is traveling. If you’re using the Internet to conduct research and find some great information, you might be tempted to save a copy of it to your device for easy access at a later date. This would be a download, as you’re the one receiving the data. If you were to put the information onto the Internet somewhere to share it–perhaps in your cloud storage solution–the act of putting it back online, or sending it somewhere, would be uploading it.

Considerations for Uploading and Downloading
Speed is of the utmost importance in computing. The data transfer speed is responsible for delivering important files to you or your clients in a timely manner. This is especially true for any business conducted on the Internet. A faster connection speed means more efficient downloads and uploads, which in turn leads to greater productivity in the long run. You can get an idea for your business’ data transfer speeds through your Internet connection by running a basic speed test.

Granted, there are other factors that play into how effective upload and download speeds are, with one of the major ones being file size. Larger files (like media files) can lead to considerable lag during upload and download times. You might notice a little bit of buffering with your streaming services from time to time, which is a perfect example of this. The difference in this case is that you’re not downloading the entire file all at once, and instead you’re playing the media on demand. Live-streaming is a bit different, as it broadcasts the media in real time.

At the end of the day, downloading and uploading data is going to play a major role in the way you conduct business, so you should know the difference between the two.

 

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Is Your Printer Wasting More Money Than it’s Worth?

Is your printer printing dollars, or eating them? Today’s blog is dedicated toward helping your business save as much money as possible on printing costs so that you can achieve the best return on your printing investment.

It all starts by calculating just how much each individual page costs your organization.

Why Cost-Per-Page is So Important
A printer has plenty of operating costs associated with it, including the costs of both ink and paper. Ink is distributed in ink cartridges, and these need to be replaced from time to time. These cartridges are certainly not cheap, either. Depending on the type of printer you use and the types of documents you are printing, you may require even more ink than normal.

The cost-per-page, or CPP, is important to keep in mind so that you know just how much you are spending every day. If there is a heavy loss per page, you’ll wind up spending more on your printing solutions than you’re getting back for them.

How to Calculate Your Average Cost-Per-Page
The calculation for CPP is pretty simple, all things considered. All you do is divide the price of the cartridge by the cartridge yield rating–approximately how many pages the cartridge can print. You’ll find this number on the cartridge’s packaging. Let’s say that you spend $25 on a cartridge of black ink with a yield of 525 pages. You can plug this into the calculation like this:

25/525 = 0.048

This cost in this case is about 5 cents per page.

Calculating CPP in More Complicated Printers
Ink cartridges can add extra steps into this calculation, especially if they are of different colors and configurations. Each individual cartridge has a different color (black, cyan, yellow, and magenta) or two cartridges that cover them all (black and cyan, yellow, magenta). Either way, the calculation will come out mostly the same, with only a few minor adjustments to how the colors are collected together.

When you are adding colors into the calculation, you’ll need to use the CPP of each individual color and add it to your total. It’s worth mentioning that printing in color is going to cost more than if you were just printing with black ink.

Plus, keep in mind that ink manufacturers will often base their yield rating on the standardized documents used by businesses. These calculations include the fact that documents will be covered in ink to a certain degree. Thus, printing documents that don’t adhere to these definitions can throw off how many pages you actually get from the cartridge. In other words, it’s an average. We’ve found that it doesn’t hurt to round up, because ink manufacturers want the numbers to work in their favor.

Controlling Your Printing
If you can calculate how much you actually stand to benefit from your printing, you can set standards that allow you to control how much printed material is actually circulated around your office. There are technologies that if implemented can help you save money on your printing solutions. This can include setting up quotas and reports so you can see if certain individuals need to cut back on printing materials, and a way to ensure that they do.

 

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Tech Term: Routers, Defined

With businesses relying more and more on portability and mobility, it should come as no surprise that businesses also have to devote more time to the proper management of their wireless network. A considerable portion of this management is reliant on the router the business uses, as without the router, the business simply couldn’t have a wireless connection.

For this week’s tech term, we’ll discuss the router in a little more depth.

What is a Router, Anyway?
The router got its start almost 50 years ago, developed under the name ‘Interface Message Processor’ by BBN at the end of the 1960s. Since then, routers have increased in utility, now serving to enable the user to communicate through a variety of different means – including data, video, and voice.

The router, or Interface Message Processor, was initially created to be used on the Internet’s predecessor, the ARPAnet. After years of development, Bill Yeager created the code that enabled the first multi-protocol router, which in turn led to the development of the first Local Area Network, or LAN, by Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner. This pair would go on to create Cisco Systems in 1984. Cisco has since grown to become the largest networking company anywhere in the world.

What Does a Router Do?
To greatly simplify the responsibilities of the router, it helps to imagine them as the exchange tubes that banks and credit unions use in their drive-thru, and the funds they transport as the data that is exchanged through the router’s activity. The vacuum tube serves as the go-between between you in your car and the teller inside the bank, allowing you to communicate and exchange information.

Your router serves a very similar purpose to your network as the vacuum tube does to the bank, as your router establishes a connection between you and the Internet. Routers provide the connection between the Internet (or more literally, your Internet modem) and your devices. While many routers are described as wireless, this isn’t completely accurate. Any router will typically require a pair of connections – one to a power source, and the other to the modem.

How Does a Router Really Work?
Assuming that the necessary wires are properly connected, your router will send a signal out to the rest of your devices so they can connect to the Internet. These signals will usually reach anywhere between 90 to 300 meters away, depending on the power of the router. Any device with a Wi-Fi connection built into it will connect, assuming that it has the proper credentials to do so. This number of devices will only grow as more consumer goods, like fitness wearables and other ‘smart’ accessories, are granted the ability to access the Internet as a part of their function.

At the very least, you will need to account for these connections when selecting a router. You should also do some research and identify any features that may be of particular use to you.

Some Options and Features
As is the case with any other piece of technology, a router gets better with every additional feature and capability it has. Routers are now able to leverage assorted features and capabilities that improve both their function, and their security.

Dual-band Wi-Fi – Since there are so many devices using the 2.4GHz frequency, now many wireless routers come with dual bands (2.4GHz and 5Ghz).
Wireless On/Off Toggle – For ease of use, having a dedicated on/off switch on the device is always practical.
Detachable Antennas – Today, a lot of the routers you’ll see don’t have external antennas, but if you can find a model with them, they will provide more coverage to your Wi-Fi connection – and can even be upgraded!
IPv6 Support – IPv4 addresses have been exhausted for some time, so every router you plan to have for a while has to support IPv6.

Kite Technology has technicians on staff that can help you build a successful wireless network. For more information, call us today at 855-290-KITE.

 

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Tip of the Week: Which Headphones are Right for Your Needs?

If your office is hectic, a pair of headphones is practically a necessity in order to get anything done. If they are wireless, all the better. When picking your own set of wireless headphones, you’ll want to keep a couple of factors in mind. Here are some of them for your consideration.

Specifications
First, you should ask if the headphones in question will be able to serve your express needs. You’ll have to do a little bit of research into the specifications of each of the potential models you plan on looking at, as well as reviews whenever possible to see what the masses think about them.

The first factor you want to look at is the sound quality. Will you be using this headset to talk on the phone? In this case, the quality of the microphone and sound quality is going to be particularly important. Bluetooth headphones are often limited in their sound quality, but they are still perfectly usable for talking on the phone. If you absolutely have to use one of these devices, you should make sure that it’s a headset designed specifically for this purpose. The headsets that are primarily used for listening to music tend to fall short of expectations when considering phone calls.

Next, think about how your headphones might restrict flexibility in the office. If you’re using a headset that has a dongle plugged into your workstation, you might be limited by the distance your headset can travel from the source of the call. Some headphones will also have battery life variables that will need to be considered, and you can’t have your headset powering down in the middle of an important call.

Lastly, you’ll need to determine just how comfortable each pair of headphones is. You don’t want to be uncomfortable while being productive, especially since this could put your productivity in jeopardy. In order to get the most out of your headphones, make sure that they don’t hurt your head.

Other Concerns
There are other questions that you’ll want to ask about your headphones, but they will be based on factors within your office. These include how the headphones are used and inter-office noise. If your office doesn’t have a lot of noise, you won’t need noise-cancelling headphones, but otherwise they might be a worthy investment. To this end, over-the-ear headphones will prove to be quite valuable, but it’s best to err on the side of comfort for the sake of your productivity.

 

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Making the Switch from Apple to Android? Be Prepared!

With so many options that don’t cost $800, the Android mobile OS gains more customers every day. If you were a dedicated iPhone user that is looking to switch to Android, you have to be cognizant of the things you will need to ensure that you are able to transfer the information you need, and be able to seamlessly pick up your new device without missing a beat. Here are some issues you should consider:

Applications
Apps are a big part of mobile computing; and, are surely important to you. Fortunately for the new Android user, they feature two of the largest app stores going. Both Google Play and the Amazon App Store feature thousands of useful Android applications, many of which are virtually the same as the app found on the Apple App Store. You will want to go through your phone and make a list of the apps you use the most and make certain that when you do switch, that the app is available for Android phones.

This may even give you the chance to consolidate the apps you use on your device. Since you will have to purchase all your paid apps that you want on a different platform, it becomes important that you have a strategy in mind when you switch as to not put too much financial pressure on yourself.

The Deactivation of iMessage
Once you’ve got your phone set up and your apps installed, you have to ensure that your messaging is on point. Since Apple’s iMessage utilizes a Wi-Fi connection (which isn’t the case with Android), you will not be able to receive texts from iPhones until iMessage is completely deactivated. Fortunately, Apple provides a tutorial(https://selfsolve.apple.com/deregister-imessage/) on how to accomplish this. Once this is finished you should be fine to get SMS from people with iPhones.

Transfer Your Information
Transferring your data from one platform to another isn’t very easy, but users going from iOS to Android can make it simpler by using Google Drive. Here are the steps you have to take:

Install and sign into Google Drive on your Apple device.
Go to Menu > Settings > Backup and save all the data you need from the Apple device to Google Drive.
You can then back up everything by clicking Start Backup. It will give you options on what you want to take and what you don’t mind leaving behind.

It seems simple, but this is an extraordinarily lengthy process, so keep the iPhone plugged in, and Wi-Fi on. Once you have your new Android device, all you have to do is sign in to Google Drive and you’ll have all the information you need. Simply download it and you are ready to roll.

 

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