2015 July

#FridayFive: 5 great things about Windows 10

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Since Wednesday you can download Windows 10 on your computer in a few easy steps. And either you have already done so, still considering or hearing about this for the first time we’ve found 5 great reasons for you to enjoy the new update.

1. It’s free. As easy as that, and if you don’t know how to get it now just use these handy guidelines from Microsoft.

2. The Start Menu is back to the bottom-left side as per the previous Windows versions. It combines a handy on-screen menu with the block app selection of the Windows 8 so you can find a program easier, especially if you still can’t get used to that menu that covers the entire screen.windows-start-menu

3. Notifications Centre aka Action Centre. Want to get notifications from your news, email or social apps as they happen, you can now enable these in the Action Centre and get pop-up notifications on the right of the screen, or review them later in bulk. To do that just follow simple steps over here.

4. The Edge – the new Microsoft web browser. It’s more simple, has a new super dynamic search option and comes with a possibility to doodle or add notes right to the page and send it off to someone.

5. Cortana allows you to speak to your computer. From the computer search to the search on the Internet, just tell Cortana (Window’s browsing system) what you’re looking for an it will find it. It might not always be 100% accurate, but it’s sure fun to imagine you have your own Jarvis at home. It can schedule your meetings, sync your tasks with your phone (if you have a Windows phone it’s easier, but there’s a way to do things with other phones too) and much more. Just give it a try.

Bonus: Windows Hello will soon allow you to use face or eye iris recognition technology to access your computer instead of typing in the password the boring non-sci-fi-y way. Actually, you can already do it, if, you have the right computer with the 3D infrared camera installed, of which there are very few on the market at the moment.

Extra bonus: you just have to see how the new Windows 10 Desktop picture was made. It will get you to appreciate it a tad bit more.

You can register to get the Windows 10 on your computer by clicking the Windows logo on the botttom-right corner of your computer screen. Alternatively you can follow this link for a more manual install with no waiting time required.

7 iPhone priductivity tricks you have to try right now

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We bet you didn’t know about some of these iPhone tricks. Here are 7 ways to help you use your iPhone more efficiently. Note: you need the latest iOS 8 to use these.

1. Quick “Do not disturb” mode. 

Activate the “Do not disturb” mode that disables all the notification pop-ups and sounds by simply swiping up on the screen and tapping on the “moon” symbol.

2. Get LED notifications when your phone is locked or asleep

Don’t want to get visual notifications but don’t want to miss an important call? Activate the LED notifications on your phone. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility.

3. Snap photos while filming a video

Want to snap a photo to Instagram and post a  video to Facebook? Notice a little white circle next to your record button? Press it to make a photo without stopping a video.

4. Block a caller or messenger

If you’re getting some unwanted calls from a telesales company, for example, you can easily block their number by tapping the “i” button on top of their contact screen.

5. Un-delete an email

If you seldom go on an unread e-mail frenzy you know the feeling: unintentionally deleted emails. Just shake your iPhone and tap “Undo Trash” if this happens.

6. Talk to Siri hands-free

Go to Settings > General > Siri and set Siri to respond when you say “Hey Siri” out loud. Communication on the whole new level!

7. Find a movie in the cinema with Siri

Need a break and want to see a movie? Ask Siri what’s playing nearby and it will show you the list with the nearest cinemas and movies.

For more great tips check out Apple’s iOS tips & tricks page.

Need your iPhone fixed? We fix all of the models with super quick turn around: from changing the screen to replacing the battery – just drop us a line or give us a call on 01 4930514 to see if we have a part for your phone in stock.

#FridayFive: 5 ways to keep your computer fresh

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MicroPro FridayFive Maintenance

Just got a laptop or a computer and want to make sure that it will serve you a good few years? In addition to the timely upgrades like more memory or a new battery, you might want to consider these simple computer maintenance tips too.

1. Make sure you have a proper Anti-Virus when you purchase your laptop

Most of the computers come with the Anti-Virus out-of-the-box. But usually, it’s just a trial version that is installed. A month later, when the trial runs out, you forget to update or upgrade and then it will start letting through some viruses.

When you purchase a laptop from us, we usually set it up for you and get you a Free AVG Anti-Virus that you can easily update. Also, keep all the computer applications updated as much as possible – that will make them run faster and more efficient.

2. Keep it clean

We mean it. If you like putting on make up, eating crisps or drinking coffee or fizzy drinks – you might want to keep those separate from your laptop. While a computer is not as bad (the keyboard on the PC is usually inexpensive if you spill something), the laptop keyboard houses all of the connections underneath it and caked up make up, spilled sugary drinks & crumbs are the most common reasons why some laptops end up in our workshop after stopping working all together. Best – you’d need a keyboard changed, worst – the whole thing will stop working.

3. Keep all the external items out when transporting

If you like carrying your laptop around then you should consider taking out all the USBs, chargers, SD cards or others. If you accidentally drop the carry case or break too hard in the car it might cause all of these to jam inside and potentially harm your laptop. Just take everything out, shut it down and then put it all neatly in the laptop case, preferably in different compartments.

4. Don’t block the fan

Have a laptop? Avoid putting it right on a duvet, bed, lap. Put a book or a magazine under it at least and let it breathe. Have a PC? Make sure it’s not standing right on the carpet or right against the wall. It will collect all of the dust from the floor or the one flying around while you’re hoovering. Oh yes, if you like smoking inside, it’s also a big no no around a laptop or a PC as the ashes & tar can cake up inside them. All of this can cause overheating and very slow performance speeds.

5. Leave it in for a deep clean

You leave your car for service every now and then to make sure that it runs smoothly, right? Well, you ought to do the same to your computer. When you leave your computer for a full service it will be cleaned inside out from all the sneaky little viruses, unneeded programs & files and all the dust will be blown out to avoid overheating. Usually, this takes a day.

If you haven’t done any of these in the last year or so, you probably want to get your computer serviced. it will be cleaned and vamped up and will work almost as new: faster, more efficient and will have a longer life.

Give us a call to check how long it will take for our engineers to give your computer a full service: 01 4930514.

#FridayFive: 5 reasons to choose a local computer store over a chain

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Large chain stores can be good and handy if you’re on a lookout for a cheap piece of tech. But there are some of the elements to your purchase that can end up costing you money, time and effort at the end. So, here are some things you might be missing when you prefer a chain store to your local computer shop:

1. Personal service

When you get a computer or a printer at a chain store or a supermarket you usually just pay for it at the counter and off you go, sometimes the sales person at the till doesn’t even now anything about the product in the box. And if you do need a special assistance or a quick set up guide it usually comes at a price at a large shop. Your local computer store will make sure you know what to do with the item when you take it out of the box & will help you get your head around it. We even can show you how to put the inks in the printer the first time around.

2. On-the-spot warranty service

When you need to bring your computer in for repair bigger shops usually send them off to the warranty centre where you will be waiting for weeks to get an answer from. We have a workshop full of engineers right on the premises and we’re also EPSON and TOSHIBA certified to carry out repairs on the spot. And while bigger repairs can take a bit more time during a busy season sometimes we can fix minor problems the same day (something like an iPhone repair for example).

3. Always on-hand IT support

Don’t know what a strange message on your Desktop says? Don’t know how to change the ink on your printer or it’s not printing right? The mouse on your laptop just suddenly stopped working? Our customers call us with these queries all the time and we always have time to guide them through. Would you expect this sort of service from your big-chain shop?

4. Same people, each time

Can’t remember who you talked to when you were buying your computer the last time? it could get confusing when you get to a large shop and the assistants that work shifts change around. In MicroPro our customers know our faces and we know their. We call each other by the name and we learn what you like and most importantly what you understand. We avoid any complicated jargon and use simple words to explain technology if you don’t happen to be savvy. But you know, we can get nerdy too if you’re into that sort of thing.

5. We’ll tailor the products to you

Did you know that we custom-build computers? This is especially popular with schools, but if you’re after a special high-specification computer that you just can’t find off the shelf – we’re your guys. You could also be eyeing a specific laptop but just want to add more RAM or Hard Drive space to it – we can do it there and then with no hassle at all.

Bonus: did you know that we’re dog-friendly? Yes, you don’t have to leave your pooch outside when you visit us, we love dogs and allow them in freely as we’re dog people ourselves.

New printer arrivals at MicroPro Computers

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We’ve just received the new selection of the Epson printers in stock and they’re faster, smaller and even less ink-hungry than before. These Epson printers come from the special home line that don’t take a massive amount of space but still manage to pack a selection of tools like a scanner, copier, printer, WiFi connection & mobile printing. Most of the time you won’t even be connecting your computer to print from these – so handy.

Also, this range doesn’t require any hour-long tinkering, the set up is easy and you’ll be ready to print your photos, boarding passes, itineraries in no time.

We’ve got a selection of three printers depending on your needs (and budget).

Epson Expressions Home XP-225 €69.99

The Expressions Home XP-225 is part of Epsons smallest home edition printers. It packs in a punch in a small size that it comes in: you can print both color & black and white, make a copy with just a single button click, print over your home’s WiFi without messing with complicated wires and print from your phone using a dedicated Epson application. And it comes with a super friendly price tag at €69.99 just now.

MicroPro Computers Epson Printers XP-225

Epson Expressions Home XP-322 €79.99

Need to print a bulk of photos? This printer comes with the same specification as the previous model we mentioned with an added bonus in a form of an SD card reader and an LCD screen. This means that you can see which photos you want to print without connecting to anything else, directly from the SD card. How handy is this for parties?

MicroPro Computers Epson Printers XP-322

Epson Expressions Home XP-422 €89.99

The top-notch choice if you’re looking into printing a bulk of photos. This printer comes with everything of the above printer specifications plus it also has a touch multi-selection screen that allows you select printing of multiple quantities or to change the size or quality of the photos right from the printer. It’s also super fast and won’t break your bank with ultra cost-effective individual Epson inks.

MicroPro Computers Epson Printers XP-422

 

Come into the shop and take a look at these in action yourself. And if you need any help after you purchase one of these things – we’re here to help.