10 Reasons I Will Never Own An Apple Product

By Alex Mouravskiy, LaptopMD+ Online Marketing

PCs are better than MacsIt seems that in certain fields and among certain demographics, Apple products reign supreme. Among 20-somethings who work in “creative industries”, you’ll hardly find a single machine or gizmo without a shiny apple plastered somewhere on the case. Nevertheless, despite fitting squarely into that “20-something creative type” category, I refuse to own an Apple product. It’s not because I’m trying to buck a trend, or because I want to stand out from my peers. Really. It’s because when you look at it, there are very few positives to owning a Mac, iPod, iPad, or iPhone. Here’s my top 10 reasons why I personally will never (or at least not in the foreseeable future) own an Apple product (in no particular order):

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When You Need Us, LaptopMD+ Is Here

With a sunny, cloudless sky and perfect 80 degree weather, it’s hard to imagine that just a few days ago we were running around in absolute panic. We hope that you have survived this hurricane and are healthy and safe. While we in New York City got mostly lucky and dodged a bullet, we know that many of our customers on Long Island, Staten Island, and in New Jersey were not so lucky. Our thoughts go out to all the people still dealing with flooding, power loss, and the damage Irene brought.

That said, it seems we in New York City are on a roll of underwhelming natural disasters. First an earthquake that was barely felt, then Hurricane Irene which luckily fizzled out. All we’re missing now is a mighty blizzard that drops half an inch of flurries, and a little tiny volcano and we’ll complete our bingo card. Whatever happens next, rest assured that we at LaptopMD+ will be here to help you with whatever you need, assuming we aren’t busy running for the hills from a massive 6″ tsunami.

Best of Luck and Best Wishes,

The LaptopMD+ Team

Hurricane Irene Technology Preparedeness Tips for New Yorkers

Hurrican Preparedness TipsAfter being knocked around by this week’s unexpected earthquake, Hurricane Irene is coming to New York.  Many of our staff members have weathered hurricanes before in Florida, North Carolina, and Mississippi and we’ve put together this short resource to make sure your technology weathers the storm with you.

With Irene aiming directly for New York City this weekend, here are some basic tips for us New Yorkers to prepare ourselves digitally for the highly inclement weather coming our way.

 

Add your comments to this open thread as we weather the hurricane together.  Stay safe New York!

 

Backup Your Data Offsite and to Your Email – Whether it’s paper copies to put in your ‘go bag’ or a full-on offsite backup or file syncing like we recently talked about, NOW IS THE TIME to protect your digital life.

Upload important files and emergency contact lists to your email account and share them with your friends and family.  You’ll be able to access them wherever you are from any computer but be sure to keep paper copies with you as well.

Know Your Passwords and Download Pertinent Contact Information – backup your contacts, passwords, and other pertinent information to your phone from your computer in case you lose access to your computer.  Keeping printed copies, just in case, isn’t a bad idea.

Keep Your Devices Charged – Make sure that your devices are fully charged and that you have backup batteries for any devices which run off of battery power.  The electricity may go out so be prepared to ration computer and cell phone use due to a possible unknown outage period.

Protect Your Devices from Electrical Surges – New York City is no stranger to heavy duty storms but remember that surges can occur and short out electrical devices.  Keep your devices plugged in as long as possible but unplug them as soon as the storm hits.

Texts Will Come in Handy/Be Prepared for Bogged Down Networks – With an expected increased load on the cell networks, text messages may have a higher likelihood of getting through.  Communicate as much as possible with friends and family through texts if cell phone coverage becomes spotty.  Be aware that internet speeds will become much slower if local utilities are knocked out of comission – ration your bandwidth usage to conserve battery strength.

If the Electricity Goes Out – You can get more battery juice by shaking the flashlights.  Also, pack your refrigerator with food and keep it closed as much as possible.

Have you weathered a hurricane before like us?  Share your tech preparedness tips for Hurricane Irene in the comments.

Please note that if you are in need of repair service, LaptopMD will be open during regular hours on Saturday, 11am to 9pm, and (hopefully) on Sunday, 11am to 6pm, depending on exact weather conditions – Stay tuned to our Facebook page for up to date information on Saturday, Sunday, and early next week.

UPDATE x2 (8/29/11): LaptopMD+ is open normal hours for business – please contact us at 212-920-4833 or come in with your computer, iPhone, and laptop repairs.

On a more personal note, we wish our customers in the New York City area a weekend of safety and calm preparation in advance of Hurricane Irene.

Catch Notes: A Simple Productivity App for Notes and Reminders

Catch Notes Notes and Reminders Screenshot on AndroidAs I was researching and thinking about programs to include in my recent post on Essential Downloads for the Everyday Person, I ran across a small, yet promising iPhone/Android application which mirrors the simplicity of Evernote but brings a specialized feature to note taking that Evernote does not accommodate: note reminders.

Catch Notes is a simple and effective note taking program which allows you to take notes quickly and add reminders to your notes so you don’t forget about them.  Reminders is one feature that Evernote lacks and is lacking although Evernote is still great for collecting and organizing vast amounts of data.

Catch presents the user with an easy to use application which turns your notes into task reminders and is built for the user whose note taking needs are short-term rather than long-term.

Learn more about Catch at PC World or download and try the app out for yourself online or on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device today.

What other task/note taking applications do you use on your smartphone or tablet devices?

School, Work, and Play in the Cloud

Helpful Digital Productivity and Cloud Computing TipsIt’s August and we’ve been focusing on back to school tips recently but, as you’ve noticed, digital back to school tips aren’t necessarily just for students.  Practical back to school digital improvements such as efficient note-taking/storage and iPhone protection are for everyone.

In preparing for our digital back to school tips sections, a few weeks ago I came across an article from PC World about Going Back to School in the Cloud and I thought to myself – “this is a great guide to cloud computing that anyone can use”.  There’s a lot to talk about in this article but here are a few key take-aways in the areas of online office suites, online digital storage, and cloud based file syncing and sharing that will help you make better use of new (and old) technology.

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Essential Software for the Every Day Person

Whether you’re a student, a busy professional, or just a person learning how to make better decisions in life everyone from time to time needs to switch things up, right?  In the technology world that means all of us are constantly looking for new computer programs to make our lives more efficient and productive.  I recently read an article on PC World of their picks of the must-have downloads for 2011 school year and I realized that there were a few programs I use personally that make sense for just about everyone, not just students.

Evernote: Evernote is a free program download and web service that allows you to take quick notes of any kind (text, images, voice memos, etc.) and store them in an easy, tagged based system.  Evernote is available as a PC or Mac program but you can also use the web or your smartphone (iPhone or Android) to take, record, and retrieve your notes from just about anywhere.  If you consume a lot of information and need to save it in an easy to retrieve manner, then this program is for you!

Scrivener: Scrivener is a great tool that allows students or individuals who like to compose and organize larger written works than just notes.  Scrivener functions as a digital white-board or cork-board to brain storm ideas, move paragraphs, and compose perfectly written masterpieces, whether it’s a term paper, business deal, or the next New York Times Bestseller.  This is another tool that I have personally used and I must say that I have found nothing better to organize my thoughts for larger writing ‘assignments’.  This program is available for Mac as a 30 day free trial and costs $45 after the trial ends.  You can also take advantage of the public beta of their new Windows version as well!

LibreOffice/OpenOffice.Org: If you’re looking to unshackle yourself from Microsoft Office and not pay the sometimes ridiculous software prices, I would recommend checking out either of these open source office suites.  I have personal experience with OpenOffice.Org and can only assume that LibreOffice is the same if not better.  Both office suites offer alternative programs other than Word, Excel, or PowerPoint but give you the same functionality as those name brand software titles and also you to open and save in native Microsoft formats.

Check out the PC World article for some more great back-to-school software tips.  Share your recommendations in the comments below.

Top Back-To-School Tech Tips

back-to-school computer tipsWith the school year just around the corner, students across New York are gearing up to ship out to colleges, some going back to a familiar haunts and others just getting ready for a new adventure. And while some students are lucky enough to get a brand new computer, in this tough economy a lot of students and their families have to cut back on expenses and make old laptops and other devices stretch just another year or two. With that said, there are a couple of tech tips and tricks that can give new life to old equipment and make it stretch through one more year away from home.

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iOS 5 Beta 5: The Future of the iPhone

Well, it’s almost time to go back to school and it looks like lucky students who’ve waited patiently may well just get their hands on the iPhone 5 before getting back to class. With the release of iOS 5 Beta 5, it looks like Apple is closer than ever to releasing the new generation of iPhone. If you’ll remember, the hold-up with iOS5 was the major reason for Apple to deviate from their typical summer release schedule for the new iPhone 5. So what’s going on with the 5th iPhone? Let’s see if we can’t break it down a little bit:

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