I'm a big fan of GeekWire, so when one of my Twitter followers suggested that I start a regular Q&A column for the site, focusing on consumer electronics and gadgets, I figured "Why not?" I talked with the crew, and the result is Ask Andru. In case you're curious about what qualifies me to answer your nagging questions about the devices that have become such an integrated part of our lives, well, I've been running Gear Live for over seven years now. If you're unfamiliar, Gear Live is one of the top gadget news and review sites in the world, and I absolutely love what I do. If you've got a question you'd like me to answer, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll throw it in the queue.
Our very first question deals with iMessage, a new feature introduced to iOS devices with the release of iOS 5:
After upgrading to iOS 5, sometimes I see an iMessage reference in my text-messaging app, and sometimes not, and it doesn't seem to be correlated to whether or not I'm on WiFi or 3G. I also see different colors. I know the idea is to be able to send text messages without going over the wireless carrier's network, but how the heck does this work and what's actually going on?
Do you want to see pretty much every comic book as it's published?
You could, if you worked for the biggest comic book distributor in the USA. That's Diamond Comic Distributors in Timonium, MD, and they're looking for a few people.
First up is a Customer Service & Sales Representative to “field questions, suggestions, concerns regarding Diamond policy, service, etc. from customers in an assigned territory.”
Mostly it’s a lot of “no I don’t know when or if that book is ever coming out.”
Next they want a Domestic and International Sales Account Executive who can “aggressively prospect for new customers and increase our customer base while maintaining a strong relationship with established accounts.”
As I noted previously, I take part in the Laptop Experts website, along with a few other key experts in the technology field from ArsTechnica, Boing Boing, Ubergizmo, and others. We are totally into answering questions from everyday computer users. I wanted to highlight one that I answered this morning:
Question: I want to restore the factory settings on my TOSHIBA A305-S6872 to the out of the box settings. How can I do this?
Answer: The absolute easiest way to do this is to grab the installation discs that came with the notebook, pop them in, and go through the installation process. Make sure you select a new install (as opposed to a repair or upgrade.) Once that is done, you will also want to put in any other software or driver discs that came with the notebook as well, and then run Windows Update last to make sure it is completely up-to-date.
Feel free to chime in - your thoughts? Ever have this issue before?
Read More | Laptop Experts
Robert Half Technology, provider of IT pros, conducted a survey by phone with 1,400 CIOs to find their oddest requests. Executive director Katherine Spencer Lee claims, “These unusual requests highlight the need for technical support personnel to also demonstrate patience, empathy and a sense of humor.”
We guess so, after reading the list. Here are a few of the sample questions:
“Can you rearrange the keyboard alphabetically?”
“How do I read my e-mail?”
“My computer is telling me to press any key to continue. Where is the ‘any’ key?”
“Can you reset the Internet for me?”
“How can I block e-mail from my manager?”
“Can I open the bank safe using my computer?”
“How long does it take to bake a potato in a microwave?”
“I’d like to stop receiving e-mail on Fridays.”
“Where can I get software to track UFOs?”
“How do I get my computer’s coffee-cup holder to come out again?”
Read More | Robert Half Technology
Over the past few months, I’ve been answering questions submitted by the masses, alongside the likes of writers from Boing Boing, HotHardware, OhGizmo!, ArsTechnica, and more. Toshiba sponsors the site (and also sponsors Gear Live, for the record), which has been something I’ve enjoyed being a part of since it launched. I wanted to share this destination with you, in case you guys happened to have notebook questions that you were having a difficult time getting answered. The site is called Laptop Experts, feel free to look us up and submit your queries. One of us will be happy to help!
Oh, and be sure to check out the Laptop Experts Widget, which lets you have access to the site’s features from your desktop.
Read More | Laptop Experts
A quick and simple way to set up fast Time Machine backups on your Mac Pro, or more storage for all those Bleeding Edge episodes you’ve been downloading, is to add in more hard drives. Thankfully, Apple has made the upgrade path to accomplishing this super simple. In this episode, we show you the step-by-step process that is takes to install a new hard drive in your Mac Pro in under 5 minutes. All you need is a Mac Pro, a Philips screwdriver, and a SATA hard drive. Oh, and of course a few minutes of spare time. It really is that easy. Hit up the video for the proof, and let us know what you think.
A big thank you goes out to HP for sponsoring this episode.