Categories
Android Apps iOS Operating System Security Virus/Malware

Mobile Malware

Modern smartphones are becoming more and more like portable computers, which has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is obvious; having the functionality of a computer at your fingertips. The disadvantage is less obvious; there are some security compromises involved.

Categories
Operating System

Basic Windows Hard Drive Troubleshooting

Have you been running your computer and has it been getting slower and slower to run? Do you you get any corrupted files, or unable to read files errors? If so, then Windows has something that will help you troubleshoot and fix problems on your computer. That something is a program called “CHKDSK” (check disk).

Categories
Mac OSX Operating System

Resolve Startup Problems on a Mac with Disk Utility

Improper shutdown or power interruptions can create file system errors that stunt the start-up process.  This article provides a couple preferred ways to fix these issues on a Mac computer.

Categories
Operating System Security Virus/Malware Windows

Help! I think I have a Virus (Windows)

First it’s important to verify that your computer is infected. The general sign for malicious software is that your computer stopped working as expected. The obvious problem with this is that there are a whole lot of reasons your computer can stop working correctly that are not caused by viruses. For example software updates can often cause unexpected side effects, hardware can stop working, and users can change settings without truly understanding the effect of the change they made. The most general way to determine that you actually have malware is to ask yourself could somebody be making money off of what is happening to my computer. The fact is that almost every piece of malicious software in existence was created with the intent of making money. That being said here are some common signs that your computer may be infected:

Categories
Apps iOS Learning Management Systems Operating System

Digital Education

ibooks_itunesu_ios7-600x300In today’s world, it seems that we have an application for everything. We have apps for managing our schedule, listening to music, and creating and editing video. We have apps for helping us watch what we eat and making sure we get enough exercise. We have apps for entertainment and we have apps for productivity. Within an application market filled to the brim with apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable, it would just make sense to have an application dedicated to education. As of right now, this market resides as a largely untapped resource. Many of our readers have probably owned an iPhone at one point, and many of these owners have probably noticed an application called “iTunes U”, which they have probably ignored, myself included. iTunes U is Apple’s attempt at an app dedicated to education – populated with courses and integrated with iBooks and the cloud, iTunes U is a work in progress that has the potential to kick start the digital education market, and help revolutionize how we learn in this day and age.

Categories
Operating System

Cryptocurrencies: Much Coin Wow—Doge Edition—

The Age of Physical Currencies is passing and making way for a new era of digitization. With the development of apps and smart phones, never has it been easier to bank or move money on the go. You can do everything from transferring money to even depositing checks in the palm of your hand. Money is slowly becoming less and less tangible, but the question is how intangible can it really become?

Categories
Linux Mac OSX Web Windows

Add-Drop Walkthrough

So as the new semester rolls around, as does add-drop period. If you don’t know what this is, it is the time during the first couple of weeks in which you are free to add or drop a class without having to go through the Registrar’s office: it can all be done through Spire!

Categories
Operating System

New to Moodle? An Intro for First-Time Users

Moodle logo

Moodle is a service widely-used across campus, allowing students to submit assignments, access various course material, take online quizzes, view grades, and more.  As a UMass student, you’ll likely be enrolled in at least one class that requires some student-professor interaction through Moodle – and so, getting to know the ropes is pretty important, and will save you some stress when you have that midnight deadline creeping up!

Categories
Operating System

Connecting to UMass

Whether you are a freshman on campus, or someone that just got a new phone and wants to connect to the internet, this guide will show you how to properly connect all your devices to UMASS Wireless.

Categories
Operating System

Getting A New Laptop? Which Is Right For You?

If you are about to buy a new laptop you might be confused about the different options out right now. To simplify the problem there are basically three types of laptops: PC’s, MacBooks, and Chromebooks.

Categories
Microsoft Operating System Software Windows

Customizing your Command Prompt

A little known fact about the vast treasure trove of commands that make up the Windows Command Prompt is that it can be customized to your liking with just a little bit of tweaking in the settings. You can change things like font size, color, shape, or even the window itself!

Categories
Operating System

The Cloud May Be for More than Just Storage

The idea of the cloud as a place to store files has become more and more mainstream lately, with services like Google Drive being used by more and more people as an easy and secure backup option. With access to fast network speeds becoming easier to come by the idea of moving all of a computer’s storage to the cloud is becoming more feasible (a computer with no substantial hard drive will be lighter and have a longer battery life). A newer movement that has only been adopted by “Enterprise” level businesses so far is to use the cloud to do the computational work usually left for the CPU (processor) installed in the computer. Its not an easy project, but could give even our smallest devices the power of a supercomputer to back them up.

Categories
Apps iOS Operating System

iOS Apps: Comic Book Readers

XMEN

Reading comic books has been a cherished pastime since the 1900s, and comic strips  were even getting published as early as in the 1800s. As technology advances, the way we read comics changes – while some still buy physical comic books, many of us have opted to go digital. There are plenty of programs to use to read comics on your computer (check out this LifeHacker article for a few good recommendations), but what if you want to read comics on the go? There are a lot of options out there, but we’re going to go over a few that are widely considered to be the best iOS apps for reading comics.

If you’re an Android user, check out our article Android Apps: Comic Book Readers.

Categories
Operating System

BootRec to the Rescue!

There will come a time when you are faced with a computer that won’t boot for one reason or another. One of the many reasons for this is a corrupted operating system. When dealing with a Windows-based computer, there are a few things that you can try to fix the corrupt OS before a complete reinstall becomes your only option.

Categories
Apps iOS Operating System

Tips and Tricks for iOS7

The new iOS software brings a lot of new features to the table. Users can navigate more quickly and easily, and there is an added smoothness and cleanness to the user interface. Here’s some quick tips that will make your iOS experience even more fluid and enjoyable.

Categories
Apps Mac OSX Operating System

Application Launchers – Productivity and Convenience All in One

Alfred-LaunchbarApplication launchers are very much a niche area. For many people, being able to place a frequently used application on the dock is enough – simply click on the application and it’s ready for you to use. For others, especially those who like to keep their hands on the keyboard, taking the time to locate an app with the mouse can start to seem like a hassle. In fact, research has shown that keyboard shortcuts can be just as effective as using the Menu Bar, and can be done within complex applications with very little error at a much faster rate. Macintosh OSX has a built in application launcher called “Spotlight”, which allows you to search your computer for applications and files simply by calling spotlight and typing in the name of the file or application you wish to use. This is great for people who want to quickly launch an application, or search the computer for a file, but Spotlight’s functionality ends there. If you find that Spotlight is insufficient for your needs, or you’re interested in increasing your productivity when it comes to computer related tasks, then an application launcher might be for you.

Categories
Operating System

Accidental Damage: Liquid Spill

Liquid Spills

Liquid spills can be one of the most disastrous things that can happen to a laptop, but there are some things that you can do to minimize damage if it does happen.

Liquid Spill

Categories
Operating System

Graduating?! Top IT To-Dos Before Leaving UMass

Some graduating seniors will be heading to grad school, some are beginning a career, and many others are simply heading home for the summer to regroup.  Whatever your future plans are, make sure you take advantage of the services UMass offers to make the transition to the ‘real world’ that much easier.

Categories
Linux Web

How To: Mount UDrive in Ubuntu


You may have noticed that the Help Center provides instructions for making your UDrive easily accessible on your desktop PC and Mac on our website, but, what if you’re running a Linux distrubution? Not to worry! By taking the following steps, you’ll soon be able to back up and shuffle around your important files with ease. Below are instructions for setting up your UDrive with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. While following the steps, click on images to enlarge for details. It takes a few Terminal commands, but you’re already using Linux, right? You’re not afraid of those!

Categories
Operating System

Folding@Home, Computing for the Greater Good

folding.home.actual.logo

What is It?

Folding@Home is a program that allows you to join your computer with about 200,000 others to help cure diseases like Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and Cancer. It uses your computer’s processing power to complete a tiny part of a protein folding simulation which is then joined with the work of other “folders” to give scientists an accurate picture of how the protein folds (an incredibly important part of research). Researchers at Stanford first created the program in 2000 but it has since expanded to become the biggest “distributed computing” application in the world with 38,727 teraflops of combined computing power. For scale, that is more flops (a measurement of compute performance) than the biggest supercomputer in the US.

Categories
Mac OSX Operating System

Getting the Most Out of OSX – 5 Apps for Every User

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Macintosh OSX is a great operating system for both everyday users and computer aficionados, and has a lot to offer, both in what is built in to the operating system, and in what is available for users from third-parties. For those of us that want even more functionality, here are 5 applications that can help make your OSX experience better.

Categories
Adobe Google Linux Operating System Software Web Windows

Save Time with Ninite!

Today, the Help Center student consultants would like to suggest a time-saving tip for the next time you install, re-install, or begin using your Linux or Windows operating system: Ninite by installing and updating all your applications at once.

Categories
Linux Mac OSX Software Windows

Configuring Exchange Email and Calendar in Thunderbird

Configuring Email clients can be a frustrating task due to the sheer number of different server settings that need to be properly entered in order for it to work properly and the variety of choices in desktop mail clients. Fortunately, this guide is written specifically for configuring UMass Amherst Exchange mail and calendaring for Thunderbird, an open source desktop mail client that is compatible with most Windows, OS X, and Linux distributions. For your convenience, the instructions and screenshots in this guide should exactly match what you see on your screen.

Categories
Linux Operating System

Ubuntu: Linux for Human Beings

Tux

Nothing has more impact on how you use your computer than your operating system. Most users are familiar with Windows, which is by far the most popular (with over 90% of the population using it, according to Net Applications in 2014), and Macintosh OSX, which occupies about 7.5% of the remaining market share. The remaining share goes to an operating system called Linux, which is different from the other two in a few key ways.

Categories
Microsoft Operating System Software Windows

How to Install Windows

Installing an operating system is a complex endeavor, and requires a fair amount of computer expertise in order to accomplish. This guide is written with the goal of making this process as easy as possible, but it is important to understand that it is still a generalized guide. Installing an operating system can have drastically different results depending on the exact hardware installed in your computer. This guide should work for the majority of computer setups, but may require some troubleshooting and tweaking in certain circumstances.