Category Archives: Make Tech Easier

I’m Having Network Issues!

Here is some general advice on figuring out why your devices aren’t working well at home – in no particular order.

One of the first things to do is to check your connection with the outside world. A handy website:
www.speedtest.net
Anytime your connection seems wonky, fire up a web browser, surf to this site, and click the go button. After the test, you’ll have three numbers:

PING measures how long it takes a “Are you there?” message to travel between your machine and a distant server. A longer PING time, or much slower upload/download speeds than normal, indicates a problem with your connection to the outside world.

If there is a problem – the only thing YOU have control over is your router. Try rebooting it [turn it on/off – sometimes the only way is to unplug it.]  The router plugs into the Cox cable connection .

Other things to try:

The iPad reboot dance: http://tech2.mountdesales.net/?p=800. It really IS important to swipe out of running apps.

Make sure you have room on your iPad. Details are here –> http://tech2.mountdesales.net/?p=916

If you have an OS update pending, get it installed. It is generally best to start the update at night – some of these can take a good long while.

When things aren’t working well, check network connectivity with multiple devices. If only one device is wonky, then you know it’s the device. If all of them, then you know it’s either the router, the connection, or the problem is upstream from you.

Cox Support has an automated tool you can access – call up the tech support number, select cox internet, residential… and somewhere in that phone tree is an option to automatically test the line. That’s a good way to test your connection as well – can the Cox network see your router?

In terms of wireless setup, there are some other things to note:

  • These are changes that would be made on your wireless router. How you get into these settings will change from router to router, and I cannot help you there. You can look up online how to access settings for your particular model router, though.
  • If your  wireless settings have both 2.4GHz and 5 GHz radios, try turning the 2.4Ghz band OFF unless you have an older device in the house that ONLY has that type of radio. [Robot vacuums, for example – or really old iPads].
  • There might be some places in the router where you can look for an open channel – you want your router to transmit on a channel that no one nearby is using. Interference from a neighbor can cause all sorts of network wonkiness.
  • Elevate your router – keep it off the floor, if that’s possible. 

Dell laptops and batteries

Sometimes a Dell laptop will refuse to charge a battery, or won’t recognize the battery. That **could** be because the battery is dead, or the laptop doesn’t recognize the off-brand battery you bought – but it could also be because the sensor chip in the battery has gotten confused.

Here is how to reset it. It takes no tools, and just a few minutes.

This information was taken from https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-articles-eg/resetting-a-dell-laptop-battery-in-five-quick-steps.html.

How big is your data?

It’s tricky to visualize how much room a digital file takes up. Even though they are intangible, those files still fill up your allotted storage, whether that be your cloud storage, thumb drive, hard drive, SSD…. whatever.

Perhaps it would help to think of data in terms of rice.

1 byte = one grain of rice

1 Kilobyte = 1 cup of rice

1 Megabyte = 8 bags of rice

1 Gigabyte = 3 container trucks [see picture below]

1 Terabyte = 2 container ships [see picture below]

1 Petabyte = covers Manhattan

1 Exabyte = covers the UK three times over

1 Zettabyte = fills the Pacific Ocean

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A Container truck:

See the source image

A Container Ship:

See the source image

Originally seen on Facebook, credited to David Wellman @ Myriad Genetics