Gregg “jokes” with the TSA agents looking at the x-ray of the backpack he carries onto planes that it is a walking Radio Shack.
He has the usual electronic travel toys:notebook computer, MP3 player, noise canceling headphones, wireless mouse, cell phone, etc. He occasionally also carries a portable printer and/or a portable scanner.
The problem with all these toys is they all need power.And they all have different power bricks (AC adapters).Plus on long flights if you are lucky you can plug your computer and/or MP3 player into the plane’s power supply, which of course is a unique plug.
Rather than carry all those bricks and second adapters for airplanes, He uses a universal power adapter.
Read Tech Tip 17 for more information on Universal Power Adapters.
Tech Bit 16: Speed Up That PC, Add RAM
You’ve optimized your hard drive, deleted all the extraneous stuff in your registry and minimized the number of start up programs, yet your computer still seems sluggish.
Before going out and buying a new one, there are a couple of things left to try (one even works if you do buy a new computer).
Doubling the amount of memory in a PC or notebook from 1 gigabyte to 2 gigabytes will often give a 20-25% improvement in speed.You can get a feeling for how much improvement you will get by watching the hard disk light on your system.If it is always on, Windows is using it like memory and adding more RAM will help.
Tech Bit 15: Eliminate Unnecessary Start Up Programs
You cleaned out the closet you call your hard drive, now its time to clean the Windows to speed up your computer.
It seems that every program recently has decided it’s a good idea to install an automatic update program that sits in memory all the time, running and checking for that update that comes out onceevery month or two. Most of those same programs also check for updates when you start the program, so why do you need that update "right now?"
Tech Tip 15 will help you eliminate these speed robbing programs.
Tech Bit 14: Clean Up Your Hard Drive for More Speed
Is your computer getting slower?Gregg's often thought that Microsoft and Intel have conspired to slow computers down over time so you’ll buy a new one every year.
Actually as you use your computer, install new programs and get updates, your computer develops what he calls plaque, just like your teeth.
So it’s time to “brush” your computer.
Read Tech Tip 14 to see how to clean up your hard drive.
Tech Bit 13: Carry Your Apps With You
Everyone has a flash drive, right?
Beyond carrying important documents, like a scan of your passport, you can carry a complete office set up that will run on any Windows computer you can find, such as a spare at a client or the hotel’s business center.
Rather than worry if they have the right applications, carry them with you on your flash drive.
The first implementation of this was U3, a proprietary system for running applications off flash drives, created by Kingston Memory.It's problem was, being proprietary, not many applications bothered with modifying their programs to work with U3.
Now there's an open source (aka free like Linux) option called Portable Apps (http://portableapps.com/).It provides a similar environment as U3, but has better support, especially by open source applications.
For more information on Portable Applications read Tech Tip 13.
Tech Bit 12: USB Drives are a Flash
Sneaker-net—that's what they used to call carrying a floppy disk between computers to transfer files.And the highest capacity floppy was 1.44 Megabytes.
In the last couple of years, sneaker-net has resurfaced using USB flash drives.My first held 16 megabytes.Now 16 gigabyte drives are affordable, 1 and 2 gigabyte drives cost less than $10.
And they are handy for more than transferring files.Back up those critical files each day and carry the drive home with you.
You have to call in to retrieve it, if it's for your cell phone getting your voicemail is burning minutes. In addition to the inconvenience, a lot of the messages aren't worth returning, and some people leave their whole life history in each voice mail.
Gregg doesn't do voice mail any more, he switched over to PhoneTag.
To read about some cost effective alternatives to voice mail read Tech Tip 11.
Tech Bit 10: Getting a “Deal” on the Latest Tech Gear
Before you buy that latest tech toy, check out some of the deal websites. There are deal websites that work like community shopping groups. Everyone keeps their eyes open and then post the deals.
For more information on these great sites check out Tech Tip 10.
Tech Tip 9: Virtual Private Networks
Ok your network administrator freaked and won’t let you use Aavenu.
Ask for a virtual private network (VPN) connection to your network.
A VPN connection works like a network wire using the Internet as the wire.To keep anything going through the VPN connection secure, it is encrypted on both sides before being sent through the Internet.