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princess-leia-regalGirl Geeks everywhere are in mourning. Carrie Fisher, the embodiment of true butt-kicking girl geek power, is dead. While Star Wars fans everywhere may be sad, this is especially difficult for the girl geek squad because it took so long for women to be accepted as action heroes. Princess Leia may have been the pinup dream girl of young boys, but for girls she made it ok to pick up a lightsaber, laser pistol or tree limb and be the rescuer, not the rescued.

Princess Leia laser pistol

Princess Leia on HothPrincess Leia brought princesses out of the ivory tower and into the action-packed fray of real life. Girls every where saw that they could give orders, deliver justice and even fix a beat up Millenium Falcon. Princesses began to pick up wrenches, learned to code, joined the military and became heroes.

And in real life, Carrie Fisher spoke bravely and honestly about struggling with substance abuse and mental illness. She also detailed her family struggles with grace, humor, and dignity.

Thank you Carrie Fisher, girl geeks everywhere are lighting their lightsabers in salute. May the Force be with you Always.

Unless you have been in a cave, you know that animation and video effects are taking over the web. The trick is to have unique content to bring visitors to your site. Adobe has released several new tutorials to keep you up to date with the newest technology.

Check out the latest video and let Techsnoop know what you think.

Adobe Character Animator Tips & Tricks (December 2016) from Adobe professional video on Vimeo.

Technology is expanding the boundaries of what is physically possible for humans. This wheelchair is a cool concept that needs to be expanded to every wheelchair.

Techsnoop is here to help you in buying, maintaining and upgrading your tech. Small business owners are too busy to spend hours pouring over manuals to get specs. So here is the first in a series of videos quickly explaining essential tech specs.

If you are in the market for a new laptop, you probably want to know the difference between i3, i5 and i7. Depending on the work you will do it can mean the difference in running apps or saving a few dollars. Thanks to Techquickie on YouTube, you can now tell the difference. This is a quick and understandable reference for any level user.

Let us know if this helped you buy a new system.

HP Envy Review DKemp DesignsTech Upgrade

Hello fellow geeks, technophiles and those who need translation of geek-speak. Wondering what Techsnoop has been up to? Wonder no more! Techsnoop has been busy learning many new software tricks. This put a massive strain on Techsnoop’s trusty Toshiba laptop which has served faithfully for many years as a design ninja.

Shopping for new tech is one of Techsnoop’s favorite activities, but not when there is a ticking clock. The stress of getting the best value in a crunch situation is not fun. But the Geek Gods were with Techsnoop, and a great deal appeared on an unlikely contender: the HP Envy x360. A convertible laptop was not even on the list of shopping items in this replacement foray. But the specs on this model were irresistible.

The Look

HP Envy CaseA sleek aluminum body with subtle curves, makes this a beautiful laptop even when closed. Under the hood, 12GB of ram, 6GB of video ram and a 1TB hard drive offer speedy response and lots of room for large design files. Altogether this created the need for a closer look. This is a Windows 10, 64 bit system with a 6th generation i7 processor and the price was so great, Techsnoop can’t even print it. Let’s just say many laptops with lesser specs were much more expensive.

 

Spectacular Specs

The official roundup:

Design – slim, lightweight aluminum body makes this beautiful to look at, hold and show off.
Weight – about 5 lbs, average and not too taxing to carry around. The trade-off is no optical (DVD) drive, but not a deal breaker.
Screen – bright, crisp, saturated colors. Not retina, but very close.
Touch – the touch screen has great sensitivity and seems calibrated correctly, with 95% or better accuracy.
Windows 10 – much better than Windows 8, Windows 10 allows you to configure and work the way you want with minimal distractions from the UI. Kudos.
Battery – five to six hours of use on a charge, Techsnoop gets between 4 and 5 hours with heavy applications and video playback.
Keyboard – keys are sensitive and responsive. A small dip keeps keys flush with the tray so keys don’t get pushed when in tablet mode. And there is a backlight button so you can keep working in dim lighting.

In fact, Techsnoop was working smoothly during a recent power outage in the Metro area! (But no internet :-()

Fun on the Go

The tent style is fun and efficient for watching video, learning tutorials or following recipes, while the tablet is great for taking notes, sketching or collaborating. No matter which form is used, the HP x360 is a solid computing tool to have. While Techsnoop will be adding more tech to the family, the HP Envy is a welcome and fun addition.

HP Envy Tablet HP Envy Stand

Tesla Model 3Entrepreneurs everywhere dream of making big announcements to the public on their newest product or service launch. We hope an ever-changing public will receive our offerings with enthusiasm and profits. Many existing companies fall short with anticipating what the public needs or will spend hard-earned dollars on. One leader stands out as both visionary and humble spokesperson.

Enter Tesla

Elon Musk has done it again. As a visionary he is on point all the time, but his masterful delivery of new products is a pattern for all aspiring startup leaders. Speaking gracefully to an enthusiastic crowd, Mr. Musk succinctly outlines why his product is necessary, how it was developed and what the benefits are to all stakeholders.

While many will decry that $35,000 is not exactly a low-end price, it is certainly in the mid-price range of new vehicles today.

Let us know in the comments what you think.

Tesla Unveils Model 3 from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.

Superphone Evolution

Samsung clawed themselves  to the top of the smartphone mountain and have reigned King of super-sized smartphones for a while now. Their sleek looks and crisp specs managed to woo Techsnoop from the beloved HTC Evo line-up. Led solidly by the Galaxy and Note super phones, Samsung forced everyone, including Apple to up their phone game. Now Samsung finds themselves in an uncomfortable position. They still have premium phones, but many competitors have managed to improve their specs and catch up. And, at a lower price.

Note Evolution

Credit: CNET

The Note 4 is a premium phone and needed only minor upgrades for the Note 5. A faster processor and possibly a slimmer profile would have been great. The improvements to the S-Pen are solid. Why in the name of all that is tech-savvy would Samsung take a step back and have a non-removable battery? The Note line is not for the messaging-selfie obsessed crowd. This is a phone for multi-tasking professionals and we don’t want non-removable batteries and non-expandable storage. Ask HTC, as they lost this market to the Note when they adopted these features.

Techsnoop has several non-negotiable requirements for a phone. One is excellent camera, another is expandable memory, and a third is removable battery. Samsung has dropped the last two on the Note 5 and ensured that this phone is not on the list of considerations for upgrade. Phone makers listen to your customers; we don’t want cloud storage at the expense of expandable storage. It is not an acceptable trade-off.

The Note 5 has a great screen, nice upgrade features and the latest Android OS along with the upgraded S-Pen. The specs are a modest upgrade from the Note 4 and makes the phone a good choice for some who are not super users. But with both built-in battery and non-expandable storage, the Note 5 doesn’t make Techsnoop’s contender list for upgrade. Perhaps Samsung will wake up with the Note 6.

What are your deal-breaker features on a smartphone?

So Mobilegeddon has arrived and you are not ready.

What is a small business owner to do? First, call a web designer now. Not next week, now. DKemp Designs offers free 15 minute phone consultations to any business owner on all types of technology solutions. Next, make a list of business goals that can be met with technology and prioritize according to importance.

Customers should be able to:

Locate you
Call you
See hours
Know what type of business you offer

All on the home page of your mobile site. If any of these are missing, you need an immediate makeover.

If your business does not have a mobile ready website yet, here are some facts on future mobile usage from DR4WARD to get you going.

mobile data usage by 2020

 

Superhero SEO Help

Are you a small business owner completely confused by SEO? Does the new Google algorithm keep you awake at night? Well this great infographic from VAYU Media should help sort out the confusion. While SEO is best left in the hands of professionals, your web designer should be savvy enough to get you started. And if you are short on budget, you can always hire an intern or recent grad part-time to get set up.

Once you are raking in the dough from your newly optimized, mobile-ready website, hire a professional to boost you further. And remember, DKemp Designs is always happy to give you a free 15 minute consultation on your web presence.

Questions? Post them in the comments and Techsnoop will be happy to help.

The SEO Puzzle

Small Business ToolsTablet, smartphone, laptop, POS terminal, Windows, iOS, Linux. What to choose, what is a business owner to do? The array of technology tools for business grows and changes everyday. But the needs of your business have to be addressed with stability and profitability.

Go for Tried and True

As a small business owner you may be tempted to get the latest, shiniest, gizmo. But small businesses have less room to respond if the latest technology fails or is discontinued. Better to stay with tested and stable technology in both software and hardware.

The must haves

Every business needs to capture information, retrieve it and back it up. In addition, small businesses must accept a minimum of credit and debit cards. Checks are optional but a good idea. What items can meet these needs?

Website with Branded business Email
Smartphone
Desktop or laptop
External back up
Cloud service
Card processing

Balance the Budget

Website/email: Your website connects you to the world of customers. A professional, mobile ready site and branded email says you are a trusted resource. Face it, no one wants to contact “janedoe7987@anyoldemail.com”, they want to see “customerservice@yourbusinessname.com”.

Back up: When deciding where to cut corners, consider what equipment will be used most and what services are most critical. In an emergency or equipment failure, backups can be the difference between closing or operating as usual. Keep critical information backed up on an external drive and a cloud service. Zip files to conserve space.

Cloud service: Yes, you need a cloud service for sharing files, extra back up and convenience. Start small with Google Drive or Dropbox, then consider a paid service depending on your needs.

Smartphone: A tablet is nice to have and convenient, but your smartphone gets more use. This is not the place to pinch pennies. Get the best phone you can afford with a big and bright screen. In the age of app driven productivity, a large screen phone with maximum RAM can substitute for a tablet or even a laptop in a jam. Check this review for guidance.

Desktop or laptop? Desktop PCs are great, but if security is an issue, using laptops in the office allows you to take your information home. In the event of damage or vandalism, your business is secure. Laptops also allow you to work seamlessly from home, a big issue for entrepreneurs who typically work 12+ hour days.

Card Processing: Using a service such as Square allows you to take payments on your laptop or smartphone and send invoices. Fees are low and the smartphone card reader is free.

DKemp Designs is happy to offer your business a free 15 minute phone consultation on any area of tech needs.