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   PastimesAll Things Technology - Media and Know HOW

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From: Don Green9/9/2022 10:56:32 AM
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What makes a good laptop?Here’s what a good one must have
Monica ChinSep 8, 2022,

Buckle up, we’re getting philosophical today,Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The VergenoneOne of the things about this job is that everyone in your life — from friends to relatives to distant acquaintances and strangers on the internet — asks you questions about laptops all the time. A very common one I hear is also one of the harder ones to answer: “What makes a good laptop?”

Unfortunately, my dear question asker, that answer — as is the case with so many answers in life — is subjective. Sometimes I will hate a laptop that my fellow reviewers love, and vice versa. (I’m always the one who’s right, of course. Don’t listen to them.)

But this question has prompted me to step back and do a bit of introspection (as one does). What distinguishes a laptop that I like from a laptop that is good?

If you are a laptop, you should have a backlit keyboard. Don’t be like the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED.Photo by Monica Chin / The VergenoneFirst off, it’s much easier to think of what makes a laptop not good. One hour of battery life? Not good. One USB-C port, and that’s it? Not good. Takes 12 minutes to boot up? Not good. Costs $8,000? Probably not good unless it comes with a free car or something. And that’s just from the top of my head — I could rattle these off all day.

But the question of what is good is much harder, I think, because so many devices cater to very different audiences and use cases. A seven-hour battery lifespan might be a requirement for a good ultraportable, but not for a good gaming rig. A discrete GPU is probably required for a good gaming laptop but certainly not for a business-oriented convertible.

There are many features (specific ports, screen resolutions and refresh rates, the keyboard feel, the bezel size) that people will reasonably disagree on the value of. But I do think there is a set of things that a general-purpose laptop (like anything that looks remotely like a MacBook Air) should have in order to be “good.” I will be hesitant to recommend an ultrabook that doesn’t meet these requirements, and other reviewers should be, too. If you’re shopping for a general-purpose laptop, you should be making sure you’re buying one that meets these criteria, regardless of other preferences you may have.

Upgradability, like this Framework Laptop has, is a feature we can disagree on the necessity of. The four ports, not so much.Photo by Becca Farsace / The VergenoneA display of at least 1920 x 1080. There are still high-profile models with lower resolutions than this being sold, and in today’s market, those models are not good. (And I’m souring on 1080p on screens that are 16 inches or larger — you can really see the pixels on those.)At least two ports and a headphone jack. I wish I could put a way higher number here, but many of the best laptops on the market today are being sold with exactly two USB-C ports and a headphone jack. This has gone far enough. I am declaring it now: I don’t care how much you love your Thunderbolt dock, a laptop with fewer than two ports is not good.Fans that work and are also not too loud. It’s the year 2022, people. If my five Chrome tabs are turning your chassis into a toaster and your fans into a symphony orchestra, your laptop is not good. (How loud fans can be on a good laptop is certainly up for some debate, but I think a device you can hear across the office while it’s not doing anything particularly strenuous is an objective thumbs-down.)Keyboard backlighting. This is necessary for late-night work and especially helpful for visually impaired folks. Good laptops need it.Keys with at least 1mm of travel. I know there’s a contingency out there who (inexplicably, to be clear) loves flatter keyboards. However, even if you fancy yourself a flat-keyboard-er, I promise you that you do not want keys with less than 1mm of travel. That’s Butterfly Keyboard territory, and nobody wants that. We in the laptop community just don’t like to remember that period of our lives. Battery life of seven hours or more for general-purpose use. There is just no longer any excuse for five-hour battery lifespans in this category, even at low prices. If anyone tries to recommend a laptop to you that reviewers are getting less than seven, or maybe six and a half hours on, tell them they are wrong and send them this article. You’re welcome.A usable processor. Yes, I am coming for the Celeron: It’s time to stop putting those in laptops. Even for folks with a pretty light workload, they are too slow — and even if you are highly budget-constrained, I promise you will save money in the long run by buying a chip that will last longer (and among processors above this level of power in the Core and Ryzen series, the best one for you will depend on your workload — a Core i3 won’t be enough for some people, but is fine for others). Sorry, Celeron. You had a good run. RAM and storage. For a Windows laptop, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is the minimum that a good laptop should have. I really have had it with 128GB laptops — Windows itself will take up a ton of that space and leave you with very little capacity. I know sometimes people see these models as good purchases for their kids, but I have talked to kids about this, and they need more.Now, if you’re shopping for a specific purpose, not all of these items will apply, and there may be other elements to look for. Here are some other use cases.

What makes a good laptop for college? Portability. A good student-focused laptop should be under three and a half pounds, give or take. Backpack space is prime real estate in school, and you’re going to be carrying this thing around a lot.What makes a good laptop for business? Build quality. This is something folks on a budget can compromise on for lower price points in the general-use space, but business laptops are, as a category, expensive, and they need to withstand the test of time to earn their value. A good business laptop should be made of aluminum, carbon fiber, or other non-plastic materials, and they shouldn’t be bending all over the place when you torque the screen or press down on the keyboard deck. Generous storage and excellent security features also make for a good business laptop (and laptops marketed to the business space, in general, do have these elements).What makes a good laptop for gaming? Frame rates. Things like keyboards, touchpads, and battery life are less fundamental and more subjective here — many people may want good ones, but there’s room for reasonable disagreement about how important they are. The one thing that objectively makes or breaks a gaming laptop is good frame rates for its price — and that’s what reviewers and buyers should focus on when evaluating these products. The exact frame rate to expect gets into subjective territory, but a laptop that is underperforming other laptops of its size and price should not be considered good in today’s market, regardless of any other fancy features it may have.
Whether a laptop is “good” doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether a laptop works well for you.
At the end of the day, whether a laptop is “good” doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether a laptop works well for you. I, myself, have certainly enjoyed using a laptop here and there that doesn’t meet all these criteria. What we like is what we like, and gadgets are no exception.

Still, I believe there is value for us, reviewers, in keeping strict definitions like this in our heads when deciding what to recommend. Our friends, relatives, and random Twitter solicitors don’t have the context for these products that we do.

I’ve heard too many horror stories from friends who’ve been convinced to pay $600 for Celeron machines on the Best Buy floor, who bought their kids a 1366 x 768 machine that they had trouble reading on, or who ordered a flimsy plastic chassis that only lasted a year because it was the cheapest thing they saw on Amazon. It’s important that companies make affordable machines, but it’s also important that those machines be able to deliver on the promise that a 2022 laptop makes. Some parts of this business are subjective, but some aren’t — and keeping that in mind is a service to all.

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From: Don Green9/10/2022 12:00:52 PM
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Apple's iOS 16 Is Coming to Your iPhone MondayThe newest version of the iPhone operating system brings handy new features, including the ability to edit and unsend iMessages.

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To: Don Green who wrote (945)9/10/2022 12:06:33 PM
From: Don Green
1 Recommendation   of 1120
A VPN Isn't the Only Way to Change Your IP Address Whether you use a virtual private network or not, changing your IP address is totally legal. Here are the four easiest ways on Mac, Windows and mobile.

Why should I change my IP address?

Routinely changing your external, or public IP address, can help you improve your overall security and browsing privacy. There are other reasons, too. If you've just installed a new home router, you may need to reconfigure your network with a quick IP change. One common problem among home routers is that they sometimes give devices the wrong IP address, so changing your IP manually can solve those glitches.

If you want to access a country's catalog of streaming media services when you're outside of that country for whatever reason, changing your IP to one based in the right country can get you the catalog you're looking for. Likewise, if you're a gamer looking to lower your lag, changing your IP via a gaming proxy server can help improve performance. One neat tech trick for second-language learners is to use an IP address based in another country to generate search results and local publications written in the local language.

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From: Don Green9/12/2022 6:21:33 PM
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Should you download iOS 15.7? Bridge iPhone update explained
September 12, 2022 9:48 pm BST
If you, like millions of excited iPhone owners, rushed to download iOS 16on Monday, you may have been surprised to see the iOS 15.7 update alongside the new software?

Do you need to download iOS 15.7, if you’re going straight to iOS 16? Read on to find out…

What is iOS 15.7?The update is essentially a host of security updates for iPhone owners who wish to remain on the 2021 software for now, rather than immediately upgrade to iOS 16.

“This update provides important security update and is recommended for all users.” The company’s release notes said, before going on to mention updates for Maps, Safari, Shortcuts, Contacts and various kernel flaws. None of which seems too serious, especially compared to some of the recent vulnerabilitiesthat have been exploited in the wild.

Apple did this last year, following the launch of iOS 15, to ease the transition between the two operating systems.

The company said at the time: “iOS now offers a choice between two software update versions in the Settings app. You can update to the latest version of iOS 15 as soon as it’s released for the latest features and most complete set of security updates. Or continue on iOS 14 and still get important security updates until you’re ready to upgrade to the next major version.”

At the time, those quotes suggested continued support for older operating systems for those who didn’t wish to upgrade, but months later it became apparent this was a grace period while Apple cleaned up the bugs. Apple soon changed the text to “may offer” rather than “now offers”.

Should you download iOS 15.7 before iOS 16?If you plan to go straight to iOS 16, you don’t need to download iOS 15.7 first. The bug fixes mentioned within the release notes are all contained within iOS 16 too. You can just hit the Upgrade to iOS 16 option that sits below iOS 15.7.

If you’d prefer to wait a while so ensure there aren’t any major bugs in the final iOS 16 release, then it’s worth downloading iOS 15.7 to tide you over with the latest security fixes.

Have you downloaded iOS 16 yet? Share your initial thoughts @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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From: Don Green9/13/2022 10:07:37 AM
1 Recommendation   of 1120
25+ iOS 16-ready apps featuring Lock Screen widgets you can try today

One of the major changes with today’s launch of iOS 16 is the ability for users’ to now personalize their Lock Screen with widgets, in addition to adding widgets to the Home Screen, which had rolled out in iOS 14. However, outside of built-in widgets for Apple’s first-party apps like Calendar, Clock, Fitness, Home, News, Reminders and others, this new feature relies on developer adoption. Fortunately, a number of app developers have worked to make their apps iOS 16-ready on launch day, having seemingly understood the power that comes from earning a place in this key iPhone real estate.

Whether you’re looking to customize your overall iPhone theme or you have a more specific goal in mind — like keeping up with your workouts or emails, for instance — there are already quite a few apps going live today that can help you personalize your device’s Lock Screen using widgets. These widgets come in three sizes: circular, rectangular and inline. The first two appear below the clock on the Lock Screen, while inline widgets sit as a line of text and/or symbols above. But it’s up to the developers which widgets they choose to support.

To add the widgets, you just press and hold on your Lock Screen after updating to iOS 16 then tap the “Customize” button. From this edit mode, you can then tap the row where you want to add or swap out widgets. This will pull up a window that lists the available widgets you can add.

Likely, Lock Screen widgets will mainly appeal to an app’s most loyal customers and to those who already spend time customizing their device’s look and feel on a regular basis with other personalizations, like custom icons and Home Screen widgets.

We’ve taken a look at some of the iOS 16-ready apps that have today introduced support for Lock Screen widgets and compiled the list below with a few recommendations. Over time, there will be many more apps that update to include widgets, but whether sizable user adoption will follow still remains to be seen.

Personalization widgets Motivation: This motivational quotes widget saw 500,000 downloads in a day when iOS Home Screen widgets first launched. Now it will allow users to add those same motivational quotes to their Lock Screen in different widget sizes.

Image Credits: Motivation app

I am: Made by the same company as Motivation, this variation includes only positive affirmations designed to disrupt self-doubt, many of which begin with the text “I am.”

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To: Don Green who wrote (942)9/14/2022 6:57:50 PM
From: Don Green
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'Significantly lower than expected' iPhone 14 Plus pre-orders suggest Apple's strategy of ditching the 'mini' for a larger version of the new phone is a failure, says renowned Apple analyst

Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a Medium blog post that the company's pre-orders for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus point to a failure in its product-segmentation strategy.

Last week, Apple announced the new iPhone 14 series. They became available for preorder on September 9, and the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max launch on September 16. The iPhone 14 Plus is available a bit later on October 7th.

Apple hasn't released pre-order numbers for the devices. However, Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities known for a strong track record of predicting future Apple developments, looked at early indicators of pre-ordersfor the company's current iPhone lineup to get a sense of how demand varied.

Notably, Apple chose to offer the base model iPhone in a standard and larger "Plus" versions — a change in strategy from the iPhone 13 base models, which were available in standard and "mini" device sizes.

Looking at availability and shipping estimates, he said the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pro are showing "good" and "neutral" results, respectively. However, pre-orders for the two standard models — the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus — are "bad," according to Kuo.

"This new product's pre-order result is significantly lower than expected, meaning Apple's product segmentation strategy for standard models fails this year," Kuo said about the iPhone 14 Plus.

An Apple spokesperson did not respond to Insider's request for comment ahead of publication.

Kuo said stock of both the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus will be available in retail stores when they launch, "reflecting lackluster demand." Both phones are showing signs of weaker pre-orders than the iPhone SE 3 and iPhone 13 mini, according to Kuo's analysis, and the delivery time for the iPhone 14 and 14 plus is shorter than the arrival estimates for the iPhone 13 and 13 mini.

If demand for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus doesn't improve, Kuo said Apple will likely cut shipment forecasts for both phones starting in November. If it does, Kuo said it could throw off the company's revenue growth.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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From: Don Green9/16/2022 7:58:30 AM
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From: Don Green9/16/2022 5:51:17 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1120
6 Best Ways To Run Windows On Mac In 2022 (inc. M1 & M2 Macs)

September 13, 2022

Nowadays it has never been easier to run Windows on a Mac so we’ve looked at the best ways to do so in 2022 including on M1 & M2 Macs.

Installing Windows 10 or Windows 11 on your Mac is useful for many reasons from running Windows only software to playing PC only games.

It’s also much cheaper and more convenient than buying a separate PC or laptop just to use Windows on.

However, there’s no doubt that some ways of installing Windows on a Mac are much easier, reliable and effective than others.

We’ve taken a closer look at the different options available so you can decide which one is best for you.

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From: Don Green9/17/2022 11:24:04 AM
1 Recommendation   of 1120
The 7 best magnetic charging cables

Lauren Moison

Whether you’re looking to limit wear and tear to your charging ports or just want an easy way to snap charging cords into place, the best magnetic charging cables come with a variety of connectors. As you shop, consider the cord length that’ll best suit your needs. You’ll also come across handy features like rotating hinges for optimal charging angles.

FACROO 540 degree magnetic charging cable

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From: Don Green9/18/2022 3:50:05 PM
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