How to use ‘Snapchat’ for Beginners (VIDEO)

Snapchat is one of the most popular social apps today, but how? What exactly is so special about it, and why has it been quickly sweeping up mobile users faster than anything else?

To make a long story kind of short, Snapchat is an app that truly changed how people interact with friends compared to other popular social networks like Facebook Instagram and Twitter. Not everyone gets it — particularly older adults — but Snapchat sure is all the rage among the youngest smartphone users, including teens and young adults.

Welcome to “How to Use Snapchat”. This is going to be your day one crash course and everything you need to know for your first few days with this application. Don’t be intimidated and let me know of any questions you may have! Have a great day and keep snapping!

 

5 Ways to Prevent Your MacBook Pro from Overheating (w/ Pictures) 2017

You might think your MacBook is overheating if it sounds like a hairdryer and feels like a grill. When your computer gets so hot that it randomly turns off, you’ve definitely got a heat problem.

There are a few things to remember when troubleshooting an overheating laptop, and today we’ll pay special attention to the relatively silent MacBook Air.

For the purpose of this article, I’m going to define “overheating” as being very hot to touch but still operational.

Know Your Limitations

An overheating laptop can be caused by all sorts of things, from dust buildup to failing fans. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the more obvious signs, like simply using your laptop to its full capacity.

The MacBook Air is a very compact machine and that means heat dispersal isn’t a strongpoint. This particular Mac only has one vent, and it’s located on the hinge. That means your laptop is very likely going to cook under load.

Intensive processes like rendering video, playing games or leaving fifty tabs open take their toll on your processor, which generates heat that only has one route of escape. These machines were simply not built for demanding tasks and that’s reflected in the cooling supplied by Apple.

You can help this problem by ensuring you don’t block the fans. Using your laptop on your lap, soft furnishings or in bed will reduce its ability to cool itself, so a nice sturdy desk is a better place for extended periods of use.

If you’re going to plug your MacBook Air into an external monitor, make sure you provide plenty of room for ventilation — driving an additional screen puts strain on the GPU, generating yet more heat.

Drop The Demanding Software

Have you ever walked into the room to find your laptop loudly cooking itself for no particular reason? You can find out exactly what process is causing your MacBook Air to work overtime by launching Activity Monitor (search using Spotlight or find it in Applications > Utilities) selecting the CPU tab and then clicking the CPU column to sort by descending order.

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Processes will be ranked by the percentage of available processing power they are consuming. Anything that’s using excessive amounts of CPU (think 90% and above) for no particular reason has probably crashed and can be killed by clicking the process then forcing it to quit with the X button.

The MacBook Air in my household (still running OS X Lion) would encounter repeated crashes in Google Chrome even when not in use, causing the fans to spin up at random intervals. Dropping Chrome and going back to Safari completely solved this issue, but so does limiting the number of tabs you leave open — in particular Gmail and Facebook.

Disabling web plugins by default will also stop demanding Flash videos and adverts loading automatically, which has the added benefits of speeding up your web browsing experience and saving battery power too.

Limiting background processes may also help, so stopping any unnecessary programs starting up under Settings > Users & Groups > Login Items will help save your RAM too.

Test Your Fans

If your problems are a little more pronounced and your MacBook Air is regularly cutting out, you may need to test your fans. Not long ago, I encountered a MacBook Air that had developed a problem with the fan after only three years of use, which was obvious due to a grinding noise — but not all fan failures are this obvious.

Fortunately, you can test your machine using Apple’s online hardware testing facilities. If your MacBook Air was made prior to June 2013 you’ll use the Apple Hardware Test, and if it is more recent it will use Apple Diagnostics. Don’t worry though, they’re very similar and are accessed using the same method:

  1. Shut down your Mac and connect the power cable.
  2. Press the power button and then (before the gray startup screen appears) hold the D key.
  3. Select a language if prompted, then follow on-screen instructions.

If you’re using Apple Diagnostics on a recent Mac (screenshot, below), you won’t need to do anything as the test will complete automatically. You should make a note of any error codes or other pertinent information, particularly if your machine is out of warranty and you will need to conduct repairs yourself.

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If you’re using Apple Hardware Test on an older Mac, you will be prompted to either perform a basic test or a thorough test. The basic test should be enough to detect cooling problems.

Machines that shipped with Lion (OS X 10.7) or later will be able to send this information over the Internet to Apple, handy if you want to make a Genius Bar appointment (particularly if it’s under warranty).

Override Your Fans

If your MacBook Air is consistently cooking and you’re struggling to see why, you may want to install an app that allows you to manually override your fan speed. smcFanControl is a free program that lives in your menu bar and provides a quick readout of your current CPU temperature and fan speed — though modern the program doesn’t work as well with modern Macs.

The app allows you to override Apple’s own rules about cooling your MacBook Air by increasing the minimum fan speed, with the ultimate aim of prolonging the life of your hardware.

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Your MacBook Air will always shut down when the temperature gets too high (somewhere around 105ºC), but operating hardware at temperatures near this shut-off point may also be damaging over time. By forcing the fans to work overtime, you will have a louder laptop that cools faster, but also places more strain on the fans.

Some users believe this results in prolonged hardware life, even if it means they have to replace the fans sooner than they would like (a fan will cost you around $15, a logic board is closer to $600). The app allows you to create profiles under which you can specify minimum fan speeds, with rules for automatically switching profile depending on your power source (remember: a plugged-in MacBook Air is a hotter MacBook Air).

If you find that smcFanControl doesn’t show what your Mac is currently doing (either the temperature doesn’t display or the fan speed reads “0 rpm”) then you can install iStat Menus ($16) which provides lots of information about your machine, including fan speed and temperature. This program does not allow you to control your fans, you’ll still need smcFanControl for that.

Finally: Laptop Coolers & Cleaning

It’s a last resort, particularly for such a mobile laptop, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and buy a cooler. This is an ideal solution if you’re using your MacBook Air as a primary machine, with a second monitor and keyboard setup that your cooler can slot right into.

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If your Mac is older and you’re noticing the fans spinning up a lot more than they used to, you may want to go a step further and clean it. This involves opening up your laptop and exposing its delicate inner-workings so, while you’re unlikely to break anything, you really should take care if you decide to do this.

iFixit covered the MacBook Air range, with complete instructions for opening them up and putting them back together again. If you are going to go ahead and clean your laptop, make sure you buy high quality computer duster (canned air) with which to do it.

So — how hot is your MacBook Air?

How To Choose The Fastest Hosting For Your Blog and Website

When it comes to choosing a website hosting company, you may feel slightly overwhelmed at the plethora of choices available. It seems that there are as many fake positive reviews these days as there are authentic reviews, so it’s difficult to know if you can trust the buzz about a particular host.

At the same time, choosing the right website host is vital to running a successful website. Small Business Computing finds that some of the most common complaints against web hosting companies include bad customer service, site downtime and hidden fees.

Nonetheless, choosing the wrong host may bring about much, much worse problems, such as:

1. Loss In Revenue – When your website goes down that means time that people cannot visit your site to purchase your products. You’ll lose revenue, or worse, customers to a competitor’s website.

2. Slow Website Loading Speeds – The quality of your web hosting impacts the speed of your website, which in turn, affects every metric you care about: bounce rate, search rankings, and conversion rate. Research indicates that an increase of 1 second in page load time can cause a 7% drop in website conversion rate.

3. Site Security – Even the most secure website is not safe from hackers and malware attack. However, a good web hosting company will have safeguards in place to prevent these attacks, or react quickly to right any security issues, while a poor hosting company may mean that your site is down for weeks. A non-responsive host will not help fix the problem at all and you might have to rebuild your site from scratch on a new server to get rid of the issues.

Choosing The Right Web Host

Even armed with the knowledge of what happens when you choose the wrong host, you may still feel overwhelmed and uncertain on how to choose the best host for your needs. Fortunately, there are 15 simple questions you can ask that will help you make an informed decision.

1. What are my hosting needs?

Figuring out your hosting needs is essential to decide the type of hosting plan required. What type of website is being built; will it be mainly text-based or will it utilize other forms of media? If your site will use a lot of bandwidth, a shared hosting plan may not be right for you. Instead, you may want to looking into dedicated hosting solution. On the other hand, if security is a concern and you won’t be using a lot of bandwidth, then a VPS may be a better choice for your site.

Do you need Windows technologies for your website, such as ASP, Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL? Perhaps you need Unix-based hosting to utilize technology like WordPress, PHP, Perl and MySQL. Beginners will want a simple shared hosting account on a Unix-based server. This is the easiest to use and will fit your needs as a beginner. However, ensure that the host has the option to upgrade.

How Does a Hard Drive Work?

Without it we wouldn’t have cars–or hard drives. And the truth is, storage engineers love things that spin. Before the hard drive, magnetic tape on reels spun frantically on mainframe computers. Problem was, if the piece of data you wanted was at the end of the tape and you were at the beginning, you had to endure a seemingly interminable wait for an entire spool of tape to spin onto the take-up reel before you could get to the part you wanted.

By comparison, magnetic disk recording must have offered quite the epiphany. With magnetic disk recording, you can move the read/write head more-or-less directly to where the data is–allowing you random access and a much quicker process than waiting for a thousand feet of tape to spin under the read/write head.

Hard Drive Defined

A hard drive is a storage device that rapidly records and reads data represented by a collection of magnetized particles on spinning platters.

If a computer’s CPU is the brain of the PC, the hard drive is its long-term memory–preserving data programs and your operating system even while the machine is asleep or off. Most people will never see the inside of a hard drive, hermetically shrouded as it is in its aluminum housing; but you may have noticed an exposed PC (printed circuit) board on the bottom.

This PC board is where the brains of a drive are found, including the I/O controller and firmware, embedded software that tells the hardware what to do and communicates with your PC. You’ll also find the drive’s buffer here. The buffer is a holding tank of memory for data that’s waiting to be written or sent to your PC. As fast as a modern hard drive is, it’s slow compared to the data flow its interface is capable of handling.