TMS newsletter - Oct 2019

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Happy Autumn!

As the nights draw in and the weather takes a turn for the chilly side we can look forward to a few months of staying inside, in the warm, with our technology to help amuse us!
Of course my days will be spent teaching people how to get the best out of their technology and spanking all the naughty technology that refuses to do as it's told. So if your computers, iPads, iPhones, androids or any other modern complicated machines are refusing to cooperate then you know who to call!

The last few months have been busy with both regular customers and some lovely new additions to my customer list. A huge thank you to you all for keeping Technology Made Simple going!

Announcements

My prices will be going up slightly at the beginning of December, so this is your early warning. Weekday daytime sessions will be going up from £36 per hour to £39 per hour. Weekday evening sessions will now be £60 per hour and weekend sessions will be £69 per hour. Until December 1st prices will remain at their current level, even if the session you book is during December or after, so get booking!

MacOS Catalina, what's going on?

For my many Apple users, you may have already noticed an update is available on your iMacs, MacBooks, Mac mini's and other Mac computers.
The update is called Catalina, continuing the tradition of naming the new system after a place in California.

The question of course is... should I upgrade?

The answer is yes... probably... but not quite yet unless you're particularly excited.

The first release of any new big upgrade like this one tends to be riddled with little issues which can make the experience of upgrading less than perfect in certain cases. I would tend to wait a month or so to give Apple a chance to squash the largest of the pesky bugs that inevitably arise. 
So if you're not particularly excited about upgrading then wait until November at least. If you are excited about upgrading then go for it! I have updated a few machines already and have only seen minor issues, the greatest one being (sometimes) a very long installation time, overnight is probably your best bet for installing!

If you're unsure whether to be excited or not then here is a page which goes through some of the major features of the new upgrade:

https://www.apple.com/uk/macos/catalina/

Jargon Busting

There are some pieces of jargon which really need explaining if you are to make sense of the technology world. In this issue we look at some more that you might come across...

Cookies

Nope, not the eating variety...
You will regularly be told that the website you are visiting is planning on using 'cookies' but what are they and why the warning?

Many websites need to know who you are in order to operate properly. For example a shopping website needs to know which of its many customers you are. The downside of this is that having to tell every website who you are every time you visit could be a real annoyance, especially if you are a regular visitor. This is where cookies come in, if you are visiting a site that needs to identify you, it can leave one of these cookies on your computer so that it knows who you are when you next visit.

Sounds useful doesn't it? So why the warnings?
Well, some websites collect information across many websites creating 'behavioural profiles' of internet users. These profiles can then be used to decide what content and adverts to show you. Some would see this as an invasion of privacy so the warnings are really to make everyone aware that information about their browsing habits could be saved and used. 

RAM

Nope, not the animal variety
RAM stands for Random Access Memory although I'm not sure whether knowing that makes anything any clearer!

Any computer will have a certain amount of RAM in it, with modern computers usually coming with 4GB or 8GB. Generally more RAM is better, but why...

The more RAM your computer has, the more things it can do at once. Even a computer with very little RAM may go quite quickly if you are only doing one thing at a time but as soon as you start checking your emails whilst browsing the internet, editing a photo and writing a document at the same time you may begin to see your computer begin to slow down. A common misunderstanding is that more RAM makes your computer faster, actually the job of more RAM is to stop your computer from slowing down when it's given many jobs, it's a subtle difference!
 

Interesting Technology

This section is for looking at technology ideas that I think are ingenious. It's important to know however that we haven't tested any of these technologies and are not recommending them, just found them interesting! Click on the pictures to be linked to the relevant video.

Google's experiments in gesture controls

Google project Soli
Using radar technology made so small is ingenious and could change the future of how we interact with our technology.

Construction robot

Construction robot
In Japan a shrinking population is bringing the likelihood of labour shortages in the workforce - for physical jobs especially. So there are companies building robots to try and fill that gap. This video was from 2018 so expect the technology to be further along now!

Real life jet suit

Real life jet suit
Gravity industries, founded by British Richard Browning, have created a jet suit which currently allows 9 minutes of flight. Pretty amazing stuff!

See you next time

The last thing we would ever want to do is spam your email address, so this newsletter is supposed to be an infrequent event filled with content designed to inspire and educate our friends and customers, and keep you up to date with what we're working on. Of course if you would rather not receive our monthly freebie, there is a link to unsubscribe at the bottom of this email! If you have friends or family who you believe would be interested in getting this newsletter, you can sign them up on our contact page - Click here to go to the TMS contact page

Finally, if there is anything you would like to see in our newsletter then just let us know!

With best wishes to you all,

Chris Smith
Lead Trainer

Technology Made Simple

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