• Choosing the Best Back-To-School Laptops for Students
    It is that time of year again; the weather is starting to cool off, the leaves are beginning to change colors, and the kids are going back to school.  With back-to-school season upon us, it is also time for parents to send their kids off right by setting them up with an effective laptop.  Though there are a few general aspects that are always important when purchasing a laptop, such as build quality and battery-life, it is crucial to know who the laptop is for, and what exactly they will be doing with it.  Nerds on Call has created their guide to choosing the best back-to-school laptops for students based on the tasks and capabilities required by different types of students. High School & Entry-Level College Students High school and entry-level college students have similar needs when it comes to laptop performance.  They both require a word processing application to complete papers and assignments,  reliable internet access and portability to take to and from class for note-taking.  Since the users will not require any specific capabilities, our resident nerds recommend the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 with a 15.6" display and 4 GB's of RAM for $400.  In the world of laptops, this is a budget friendly workhorse that can handle any basic need that a high school or new college student would have.  Although the 15.6" display is a little big to carry to and from class everyday, i... Read More
  • Easy Photo Edits

    Digital photography has given us the ability to take a lot of photos. Sometimes we post shots that look like they came direct from a pro, other times…not so much. Sometimes their too dark, a little out of focus, or have too much of the background in them. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make great shots you capture with your phone or point-and-shoot even better. Armed with some free photo editing software, here are some quick and easy photo edits that can take your photos from good to great. Cropping When it comes to on-the-fly photo […]

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    California, (January, 2014) – Have you ever had this happen to you:  Often you receive emails from people who haven’t contacted you in years, with a subject line such as “check this out!”  You open the email and contained within is simply a web link.  When you get emails like this don’t click on the links – they usually contain malware that will infect your computer.  If the person sending the malware is you, here are some steps you can take to fix the problem, and hopefully assure that it doesn’t happen again. First, determine where the message came from. […]

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    California, (January, 2014) – In April 2012, Microsoft announced that it would stop supporting Windows XP in April 2014.  After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer write software patches and push out updates to fix software vulnerabilities, leaving those still utilizing the Windows XP Operating System vulnerable to malware, viruses and worse.  With the date of support termination rapidly approaching, here’s why you should bite the bullet and ditch Windows XP. Windows XP was released in 2001.  Since then, Microsoft has released several new versions of Windows operating systems including Windows Vista, Windows 7, and most recently Windows 8. […]

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    California, (December, 2013) -The Internet provides a wealth of resources to find information, but sometimes you need a little one-on-one assistance for a specific question.  Launched in November, Google Helpouts joins a host of online resources, including Just Answer, and eHow Now, that connect people who have questions to experts in a multitude of fields.  Here’s how to get live help online for just about any question, problem, or learning opportunity. Google Helpouts (https://helpouts.google.com/) links experts in a myriad of fields (from plumbing to pet care) with users in need of assistance using video chat.  Google Helpout is the only major […]

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    California, (November, 2013) – There’s a new and nasty “ransomware” virus called CryptoLocker sweeping the web, taking computers hostage and demanding that users pay an exorbitant “ransom” to get their data back. Here’s what you need to know to avoid becoming a victim of this malicious software. Ransomware is the term adopted by those in the tech industry to describe malware that infects a computer and then demands a fee to reverse its own ill effects. CryptoLocker is spread most commonly through an infected email attachment, though it can be imbedded in hacked or malicious websites. Users that happen upon the compromised […]

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    During the holiday shopping season California, (November, 2013) – As the holiday shopping season gains momentum, those looking to swindle online shoppers get creative in their attempts to lure victims.  I consulted with Scambook (www.scambook.com), an online complaint resolution website, about the top scams from last holiday season – they’re likely to appear again either in the same form or with slight variations – and what consumers can do to avoid falling prey. Last season, many Scambook users received a text claiming that they’d won a $1,000 Best Buy gift card – I received a text like this myself.  The text directed […]

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    California, (November, 2013) –We all struggle every day with the desire to do the best for our kids (Crafting! Healthy meals! Limited TV!) juxtaposed against the demands of working, chores and straight up exhaustion: “how bad is a half hour of iPad games so I can take a shower?” Screen time can offer educational benefits, particularly when there’s parental involvement and age-appropriate content.  However, there are some definite dangers, not only to your children’s ability to develop non-electronic coping skills, but in your family’s ability to connect with each other.  Here’s why you should consider pulling the plug, at least […]

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    California, (October, 2013) –It’s nearly impossible to impress on children the permanence of things they share online through social media, emails or via text.  Once they click “send,” that text message, photo or video is out there, available for sharing, forwarding and re-posting by anyone who gets a hold of it.  A recent law passed last month in California is aimed at giving kids a chance to delete their digital mistakes, but there are some pretty big loop holes. In September 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 568 which, among other things, requires that operators of […]

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    California, (October, 2013) –Have you noticed a curious phenomenon on Facebook? Suddenly it seems like your friends are posting ads for companies like Starbucks, Walmart and Tide in your newsfeed. “Why would your friend Jennifer post an ad for Tide? Does she want everyone to know how much she loves clean sheets?” It turns out Jennifer probably had no idea that her profile photo was linked to an advertisement on your newsfeed, and what’s more, she is probably seeing ads that look like they were posted from your profile on her newsfeed as well. It’s called “social advertising.” According to […]

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