Many time people ask me for help with their slow computer. And many times it’s too late for help when you have slow hardware. When you go to shop to buy a new computer, you don’t need to be an expert, just check a few basic things. Then the decision between hundreds of options will be simple for you. And this article is dedicated to average users, not gamers: I won’t be talking about overclocking nor water cooling.

Desktop or laptop

This is simple: do you plan carry it? Will you want faster hardware in it in the future?
Computer (desktop version) can be easily upgraded with almost everything; in a laptop just memory and hard drive disk can be upgraded.

Processor known as CPU

Choose device with Intel processors i5 and higher (they do a better job than AMD) and forget about cheaper two cores processors nowadays.

Graphic Card known as GPU

This is important mainly for gamers, because computer games need a strong and powerful GPU. If you are not a gamer, an integrated graphic card as part of CPU (processor) is powerful enough for most of works, including 4K movies.

Memory RAM

The minimum everywhere is nowadays 4 GB. Look for computer with 8 GB – this is the new standard. Ideal is 16 GB.

Hard Drive Disk

Quite often this part makes the computer slow. If you want your computer to be really fast, I mean really quickly opening everything, choose your computer with SSD disk.

If you have a limited budget, buy SSD disk separately. The system can be cloned (identical copy) from standard disk to SSD and SSD disk can be inserted to your new computer. I can tell you, once you will try SSD disk, you will never go back!

There are not many technical details to remember, just:
processor i5, memory 8GB, SSD hard drive disk. And you can’t go wrong.

One extra recommendation: always prefer hardware specifications before design. I am sure you don’t want end up with nice but sloooooooow computer.

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Are you looking for images which you need for your website, or blog? Special deal for UK. Get 10 images for free.
You will love the huge database. And you will find everything what you need.



Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Are you looking for fabulous images which you need for your promotional website, or blog? Special deal for Slovakia! Get 10 images for free. You will love the huge database. And you will find everything.

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Norton Internet Security Review 2017

I am very happy to introduce my favourite antivirus software Norton Internet Security (version Premium) which I’ve been using for many years and it is for many platforms: your smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop. iOS, Windows, and Android.

Past and present

I remember how things were 15 years ago and I see how much work the company Symantec has done with the software Norton Antivirus. Many years ago Norton Antivirus was named Symantec Antivirus and they ended up with the descriptive name Norton Internet Security. To be honest, at that time it was really slowing down computers. I resolved it by a more powerful processor and bigger RAM memory.

The past is past. But I have to say that for the last seven years they have changed their antivirus and I haven’t noticed any long system starts, or downloading or opening apps. And it was then that I decided to install Norton Internet Security also to my clients’ devices. No-one has been complaining about it, and I still get positive feedback from clients – because it just works and it doesn’t need extra attention.

Average users versus advanced

After installing NIS you are ready to go. No need to set anything, just activate the software.
Experienced users can have much more fun with the detailed settings.

Here are few screenshots:

Opened antivirus

Opened Norton Internet Security App

Security Report

Norton Internet Security Report

Help Center

Norton Internet Security Help Center

Is there something I don’t like?

A very looong time ago Symantec Antivirus was quite slow, but it always protected my computer. That was 20 years ago. For the last seven years of using this antivirus I’ve found it really fast and effective. They also improved the documentation on how to use it. Support is always available and you can also use live chat. Anyway, the app has a built-in Help Center for all your needs, see the picture here.

So my answer is: if there was something I didn’t like, then I wouldn’t be using it, nor writing this review.

Do you have children?

Norton also has an app, Norton Family Premier, which will help your kids balance their time spent online, makes the Web safer for your kids to explore, and teaches habits that help protect kids from oversharing.

But now Norton Security Premium also includes Norton Family Premier, but I recommend staying with Norton Security Premium. You will get better value and price per device.

But here is the main question – about money:

Antivirus paid or free?

To be honest, nothing is for free. Let’s have look at a “free” antivirus A*a*t. As a minimum you will give them your personal email address. So you do a small “payment” by providing your personal data. Also you promote them in emails – you should be paid for it. This free version automatically adds their signature to all outgoing emails and also you will see lots of annoying pop-ups which are quite useless. And you have to configure it to change its behaviour. Some features, like one of the most important – a firewall, is available only in the paid version. And they are charging for some extra tools (File Cleaner or Password Storage), which in Norton are already included.

Standard features of Norton are:

  • No extra settings needed, no ads, no annoying pop-ups
  • Complete protection against viruses, trojans and spyware
  • Spam protection for email clients eg Outlook
  • It will protect your personal sensitive data
  • Improved security using online banking and other logins
  • With a powerful firewall it will protect your computer against hackers trying to connect to your computer

Extra tools included

  • Optimized disk speed and files
  • Temporary file cleaner
  • Startup manager, so you have control over what can start and run in the system background
  • System backup and restore

The fact is most free and low-end security solutions help make sure viruses don’t sneak onto your PC. Unfortunately, viruses are just one out of many dangers online. You also have to worry about identity thieves, social media scams, dangerous online transactions, and email phishing schemes.

I say yes to a subscription for 10 devices

With a subscription, Norton Internet Security for 10 devices, the price is £ 39.99 for a whole year of secure browsing and installing apps (approx £ 3.33 per month). This will cover 10 devices with Norton Security Premium. So one licence for one device is only £ 0.33 per month. The best things are: it works, you are ready to go, there is no need to configure anything, and you have extra tools included.

Also, note they offer a 60-day money-back guarantee.

You will protect your smartphone, tablet and computer; these are classified as three devices. Other licences you can use for ma, pa, bro, sis, gran, poppy, boy/girlfriend or anybody who you care about protecting their internet security and privacy.

Decision is up to you

Now it’s up to you. Will you stay with you current antivirus, or will you subscribe for easy-going and comfortable solutions by top company Norton?

Photography by Adobe Stock Photo #60609231. Get 10 free images here.var uri = ‘https://impcz.tradedoubler.com/imp?type(inv)g(22788340)a(2932885)’ + new String (Math.random()).substring (2, 11);document.write(‘‘);

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Adobe Stock Review 2017

Everybody who has their own website needs pictures; illustration photos. And I can tell you, it’s not always easy to get professional and natural-looking photo shots. The best way to get legal and properly-licensed images for use, is to buy them from photo stock agencies.

Anyway, now they are offering 10 images for free.

Real experiences

As a web designer I need photos very often. I’ve shopped in many agencies and I am happy to share my experience with you. First of all, I’ve found the best photo stock agency ever. Adobe Stock.

Maybe you have heard about Fotolia.com. Now it’s become Adobe Stock. Yep, Adobe bought them out. They have millions of photos with any kind of theme. If you are writing about fashion, cooking, finance and insurance, health, jewelry, you will find the right illustrative photo which will fit your needs.

Also for low budget

The great thing is the price. Just £19.99 for 10 images in full size. It is just £1.99 per hight quality image. And first month it is for free. With only a small budget you can update your website with new images, making it looking more up-to-date.

I was also using other stock agencies, bud sadly, some of them pushed their prices too high. I’ve loved shopping also on iStockphoto. Photodune.net put up the price from £1 to £5-9, they are good for occasional shopping, but the photo collection is not so impressive for my purposes. Dreamstime.com offers lots of cheap, average quality images, but their search results are confusing for me.

Why so optimistic?

So why am I so optimistic about Adobe Stock photos? As I mentioned, it is the quality of their photos, the price, and the fact that the downloaded photo is full size. I spent too much time looking for the best balance between photo collection size, quality and price. Often I was frustrated. But now it’s over.

You can try for free

You can create a free account and get 10 high-quality full-size images for free. So you will have a chance to try them and experience them for yourself. New photos will give your blog or website presentation a new updated look and a better visual feeling.

Tips for searching

If you want objects cut out, eg meal on white background, or shoes on white, use the word ‘isolated’ or ‘cut out’. Use a filter. You can exclude or include people. Choose your preferred shape, so you will be able to find only square images. Very useful is the price filter.

So have a fun and enjoy making your web up-to-date and better looking with new images.

Visit their website by clicking here: https://stock.adobe.com/

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

ip address

Are you wondering what is your actual IP address?
It is exactly this one:

54.82.10.219


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Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

What is CDN

I will keep the sophisticated system description really short. CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. CDN is ‘mirroring’ the static content of your website around the world. It really speeds up the website loading time.

Real CDN example

Your website is physically located eg in USA. You have a visitor from London, UK. Why should everything be loaded from USA? When you are using CDN, the static content like images, css and js files are loaded from London to London, so the content is mirrored, and only the dynamic text is loaded from the USA. This is exactly how it works and why your website will be faster.

Do I need CDN?

If you are doing business locally, no. If you are doing business worldwide, like me, or you have a travel agency, famous restaurant or hotel, have a blog site, magazine or international company then definitely yes.

Good for SEO and for people

The speed loading is important for SEO and also for your audience. The last thing you want is when somebody says ‘It is so slooooow’. Also a slow website is really annoying. Nobody wants to wait. And you don’t want to lose your visitor, or potential client.

What CDN provider company is good?

I have tried many providers. Lots of them are really expensive. And instead of 30 dollars I don’t want pay more than 3 dollars. Currently the best choice is Amazon AWS Cloud Front (link). The first 5 GB of transfer is free, then it is cheap. The negative thing is their administration console, it looks very complicated. If you want something simple, you can try KeyCDN.com (link) and you will also see their pricing there.

CDN for my clients

I can set up a CDN service for my clients for a small fee.

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

Set up your mailbox

If you to need set up a new mailbox, and you are one my clients using my VPS (Virtual Private Server), then this simple guideline is for you.

What is supported

Your mailbox is supporting all standard features. You can use POP3, IMAP, SMTP, encrypted connection, or unencrypted.

Protocols and ports

When you will be adding your mailbox to your email client (application) eg Outlook or mobile device, you will need to know the following settings; and don’t forget to choose in ‘Advanced settings’ that SMTP (outgoing server) requires login the same as POP3/IMAP.

Encrypted connection

Connection Address Port
IMAP imap.svethostingu.cz 993
POP3 pop3.svethostingu.cz 995
SMTP smtp.svethostingu.cz 465

Unencrypted connection

Connection Address Port
IMAP imap.svethostingu.cz 143
POP3 pop3.svethostingu.cz 110
SMTP smtp.svethostingu.cz 25

If you will set the encrypted connection, please confirm “Accept all certificates”.

Know issues

None. The mailbox is perfectly working (of course). Some clients had to just ‘play’ with setting it up eg in mobile phone. Each system platform (iOS, Windows, Linux) has almost the same requests, but they are using just slightly different words.

Webmail Access

You can access your mailbox also over webmail. Many languages are supported.

Follow this link:
https://secure.svethostingu.cz/webmail/horde91/login.php

What is ‘svethostingu’?

Perhaps you are wondering what ‘svethostingu’ means in Czech. It means ‘hosting world’. Actually it is one of the best companies in Czech Republic offering great balance power/price for shared hosting, virtual private server, and dedicated server.

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Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

SiteGround Hosting Review

Let’s make this review based on facts only. I think nobody wants to read the philosophy behind SiteGround. You are reading this because you are looking for a web hosting service which will work with no issues, at all. And, personally, I am really fussy about the money/quality balance.

Shopping experience with service ‘WEB HOSTING’

This web hosting with an everyday name has everything you need for running your website. Part of the service deal are: cPanel & SSH Access, free setup & transfer for people who have an already existing website, daily backup, and what I appreciate is free Cloudflare CDN. But let’s now forget about CDN because it is a service by a third party company.

This service ‘WEB HOSTING’ is an SSD-based shared hosting solution (an easy explanation of SSD is: very fast hard drive disk with super-fast reading files). Order is clear and simple.

Anyway, I bought new domain name for testing purposes just for 0.88 USD on NameCheap.com.

Webhosting is set up within one minute. The Order confirmation email is clear with all necessary “How to…” information (which I don’t need to read because I am a web designer and developer, of course). Also the domain name realtest.pro became alive with default landing page. It has a quite clean design with the SiteGround logo and with useful information.

Close look at SiteGround

From ‘My account’ I opened cPanel with auto-login. It is an administration area where you can manage everything. cPanel has and old classy look.

There is a section “Autoinstallers”. It means you can install CMS (content management system) with a few clicks. Available systems are WordPress (of course), Magento, Joomla, Prestashop and a few more.

I am focused on WordPress. It’s available in the latest version 4.7.2. Great.

1-click WordPress installation

You can set the protocol as http or https (s means secured). Type in the field site name, and site description. Username and password are pre-generated, you can change it if you wish. Two security plugins are available. Limit Login Attempts (Loginizer) and Clef Secure Passwordless Login . After clicking on ‘install’ everything is automatic, including database creation. The process shows the percentage. It ends up at 101%.

The final installation is quite clean. There is an extra plugin “Jetpack by WordPress.com” and no additional ‘bloatware’. I can tell you, this has very comfortable and fast WordPress installation. And a nice side benefit is a free SSL certificate.

Old school WordPress installation

cPanel has lots of icons for different functions. On the left side is a search panel, so I just type in “SQL” and I see only the relevant functions for database SQL which is necessary in order to set up for WordPress installation. I click on MySQL® Database Wizard. It is simple: I enter the database name, then Next, username with password sq?h4z’y7e:X<lp!R-u, then Create user, I add all privileges to this new user and that’s all. Just routine. All good. I then click “Return to home”.

Time for FTP account and uploading files

On the “My accounts” page I find the FTP details. The host is sgp28.siteground.asia and the FTP Password is the same as the cPanel password. Anyway, I have no idea what is my password into cPanel. So I just click on “change password” at the end of the line cPanel Username. The new password will be eg f:4;HvE(f>Yz?jD!Ur:1Jn. Once, I couldn’t login with my new password… weird. Obviously not all characters are supported. After changing password to fD-vEfYz?jD!Ur:1Jn the login was OK. With a simpler password this is less likely to happen.

I’m deleting the default.html file and loading all WordPress + theme files. The upload speed from Prague to Singapore is quite acceptable.

Time to run realtest.pro. In the internet browser a standard installation page will appear. I will put necessary details like database name, username password and so on. OK, WordPress is installed.

Speed test

Let’s do the speed test now with a clean WordPress installation which is on the Singapore servers. To check the speed I will be using gtmetrix.com and webpagetest.org

Page is fully loaded in 1 second. Hold on! Because…

Time to do real speed test with real content!

How fast is SiteGround with real content in WordPress? Nobody will be using clean WordPress, wouldn’t you agree? I install my favourite WordPress theme Enfold. It is the theme, which has a professional look, modern features and great support. After the theme has been activated and loaded with demo content full of text and images, there is also installed WooCommerce (eshop) and BBpress (discussion forum). Now we have a real website done. Also I do a speed test with Autoptimize plugin, which minimizes CSS and JS files, so loading is much faster. And here are real speed results:

Siteground Host Speed Results

Please note I do the speed test repeatedly because of time zones. Nobody cares about traffic at 3AM.

Final words: I can recommend SiteGround

There are a few details which I don’t like, e.g. icons design in cPanel. It is old fashioned. Also the whole pf the administration pages should get a new fresh look. 3D buttons and shadows were popular 10 years ago. But it is just a cosmetic detail, what’s important is 100% functionality. And it is 100% functional. As I mentioned, I am fussy.

I like one-click WordPress installation with SiteGround, because it is the latest and a clean version (expect the JetPack plugin which you may like; I don’t).

Yes, I can recommend SiteGround to my clients. I like my speed test results which positively surprised me. I really didn’t expect to have a page fully loaded from Singapore in London in 2.7 seconds, or in Sydney in 2.2 seconds.

 

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…

dead bios lenovo thinkpad

Do you have dead bios after flashing with a new one? I have a solution which works perfectly.

So I will quickly say how I’ve got dead bios. I just decided to flash new bios, because of some touchpad issues and system stability. So I downloaded the latest bios from the Lenovo web site. I ran their official exe file and all looked fine until restart. The system became dead.

So I unplugged bios battery for 30 seconds with the main battery taken out. I put everything back and the bios were still dead. So I was pressing the power button 10-12 times, each second, disregarding any fan noise or beeping. And it came back to life. I just set up the time and date in bios and my client is ready to go.

A one-off topic note: I don’t like Lenovo Company and their products. I worked for them and many Lenovo products passed through my hands; so nobody will change my mind at all. They key word is THINK. Yes I do.

Milan is a web designer & developer and stock photographer. He also has over 20 years experience with hardware and software computer servicing for individuals, and small & middle-size companies, read more…