Mon-Thu: 9am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-5pm
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71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

Mon-Thu: 9am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: Closed

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

Mon-Thu: 9am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: Closed
71 Monell Avenue, Islip, NY
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

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Category Archives for Technology

Why is my computer so slow

My Computer Used To Be So Much Faster!

All I’ve heard from my dad since he upgraded to Windows 10 is “my computer used to be so much faster.” He said the same for the previous upgrade, Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Computers are a great tool when they perform to our expectations and we’re all a little too familiar with the frustrations of technology. Well Dad, you’re not alone. If your computer seems to be running slower since installing Windows 10 or just generally running slowly, take a look at these simple steps to enhance your computer’s performance.

1. Startup Programs

Your computer has programs that will start running automatically as soon as the computer boots up. Each program will slow down your computer’s startup time and may continue to slow down your computer after startup. When you review these programs, think about what really needs to run at startup. You should notice your antivirus software listed here; that is an acceptable program to have running on startup.

To review startup programs, right-click the start button and select ‘Task Manager’ or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. On the Task Manager window, select the tab labeled Startup. This will provide you with a list of all the programs that start automatically when you turn on your computer. The startup impact column will give you an idea of how each program affects your startup speed. To disable a program on startup, right-click on the program and select ‘Disable’. If you’re not sure what the program is, right-click on it and select ‘Search online’ to figure out what it is. You can always go back and re-enable the program. This will not remove the program from your computer; this just stops the program from running when your computer starts up.

2. Power Options

Take a look at your computer’s power options, especially if, you have a Windows laptop. Windows computers typically come preset to some sort of energy-saving mode. Microsoft seems to think that you will prefer an energy-saving mode over a speedy computer. Energy-saving modes do have their benefits but, if your computer’s performance is poor, try setting your computer to high performance. This will use up your laptop’s battery faster but, there’s nothing more frustrating than watching the loading icon spin and spin and spin to no end.

To check your power options, right-click the start button and select ‘Power options’ or use the taskbar search and type in ‘Power options’. Change your power plan to ‘High performance’. You may have to click on the drop down arrow to the right of ‘show additional plans’ to see the high performance option.

3. Performance Options

Windows 10 comes loaded with a bunch of visual effects that can hinder performance on older/slower computers. Newer computers shouldn’t be affected by this, however, if performance is poor, try turning off visual effects to increase your computer’s performance.

To turn off visual effects, right-click the start button and select ‘System’ or use the taskbar search and type in ‘System’. In the windows left pane, select ‘Advanced system settings’. On the System Properties window, select ‘Settings…’ under performance (first option). On the Performance Options windows, select ‘Adjust for best performance’ to turn all visual effects off. Select ‘Apply’, then ‘OK’ to save settings.

4. Remove Adware, Bloatware, & Malware

Windows 10 may not be the cause of your computer’s poor performance. Your computer may be affected by adware, bloatware, and/or malware. You may have picked up some of this while on the Internet and some of it (adware & bloatware) may have been installed by your computer’s manufacturer. Removing this software can have a huge impact on your computer’s performance as it will free up your system resources.

To begin, start with running your security software such as Norton Security, Bitdefender, TrendMicro, AVG, Avast, etc… to scan your computer for viruses, malware, and adware. It’s recommended to use a second program such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free version will scan and remove threats) to see if anything was missed by the first security software.

Once that is completed, you can move onto removing bloatware. First, let’s understand what bloatware is. Any program that came with your computer can be considered bloatware if you don’t use it. It’s mainly there as an advertisement from companies hoping you will subscribe to their service after a free trial period. Removing software you don’t use can increase your computer’s performance. For example, your computer may have come with programs and apps such as, Hulu, Netflix, Skype, Blio, Snapfish, Sprint Mobile broadband, etc. If you use these - no problem. If you don’t, you need to remove them. Just because you don’t use it, doesn’t mean it’s not going to affect your computer’s performance.

There are a bunch of free programs available to assist you with removing bloatware from your computer. Highly recommended software from multiple computer/technology magazines are ‘PC Decrapifier’, ‘Should I Remove It?’, ‘Decrap’ and ‘Slim Computer’. Just as it was with the adware & malware scanning, it’s recommended to run more than one of these programs to make sure some bloatware wasn’t missed by the first scanning program.

Have any questions? Did you try this?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

3d printer

3D Printers Lend a Helping Hand

The MakerBot 3D Printer has been at the Islip Library during February and will be there throughout the month of March. If you haven’t yet seen it in action yet, stop by the Adult Reference Desk to take a look, and to find out about programs using the printer.

While we have the 3D Printer for Febrary and March, we volunteered to work with an organization called Enabling the Future and have been busy printing 3D assistive mechanical hands, called the Raptor Hand. Enabling the Future is a global network of volunteers who are using 3D printing to give a helping hand to children in need; there are nearly 7,000 members and approximately 2,000 hands that have been created and gifted for free to individuals in over 45 countries.

During Teen Tech Week (March 7-11), teens will work in groups to assemble these devices and then we’ll donate them to Enable.

Tech Talk: How Google Project Fi Is Disrupting The Cellular Service Industry

Google’s Project Fi service was established in April 2015 providing cellular phone plans for $20 a month which includes: unlimited domestic talk, unlimited domestic and international text, and ability to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Data is an additional charge of $10 per gigabyte and you will only be charged for what you use. If you have a 2GB data plan per month and only use 1.2GB, your account will be credited $8 for the unused data.

The catch, at least for the time being, you must have a Google Nexus phone to use the service. Project Fi is known as a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that will switch your connection to the strongest possible signal in your area that the service has access too.

Project Fi uses free public Wi-Fi connections and the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile to provide coverage in over 120 countries. Google has stated your data will be secure.

Project Fi subscribers can also get a data SIM card for their tablets at no additional charge to share their data plan. This can bring internet access to your iPad Air 2, Galaxy Tab S and more. For now, access to this service is by invite only.

To request an invite and for more information about Project Fi visit https://fi.google.com/

NY Times Article Review: “Addicted to Distraction”

I recently read an article in the N.Y. Times, titled “Addicted to Distraction”, written by Tony Schwartz. Fascinating reading!  He shares that reading books has been “a deep and consistent source of pleasure, learning and solace” all his life, and how, to his horror and surprise, he had found himself recently unable to focus sufficiently to actually finish a book! He attributes this lack of focus to an increasing need to check his email and to surf online.

Mr. Schwartz cites some interesting research:

“The brain’s craving for novelty, constant stimulation and immediate gratification creates something called a ‘compulsion loop.’ Like lab rats and drug addicts, we need more and more to get the same effect. Endless access to new information also easily overloads our working memory. When we reach cognitive overload, our ability to transfer learning to long-term memory significantly deteriorates.”

Like Mr. Schwartz, I find that the Internet and its seemingly endless and myriad offerings can be the ultimate distraction machine! I too have been a voracious reader all my life and am always, and have always been, in the midst of reading at least one book. Like the author, I had found lately that the pull of email, Facebook, texts, and just plain surfing was beginning to feel like an addiction that was seriously cutting into my reading time! I realized that I had to do something, and fast. The technology that had pulled me in so recently and effectively was my new smart phone. I had been a late adopter of this technology, and its hold on me totally took me by surprise! I decided to take action and promptly eliminated several shortcuts from the phone meaning that if I really want to check something online I am more apt to do it an actual computer, which is obviously not something I walk around with. What a welcome relief!

In the month since I have taken action, I have finished two books. Ahhh. I’m back to my old self and calmer too.

So if you really want to relax, visit the Library, check out a (real) book – put the phone down, step away from the computer, and just READ!

Technology Tips for Teens

  • Always think before you post something on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or text something to your friends. Any pictures or text messages posted circulate and you can’t take them down.
  • When buying a new phone or computer save all your warranties. The warranty states how many years from the time you bought it and can get your items fixed or replaced. So keep your receipts.
  • Always unplug your devices. If you leave your cell phone on 24/7 it will cause wear and tear on the battery. Turning your phone off for a little while can save you from having to change the battery.
  • Always log out, and sign off when using computers, or other sites that you need passwords. You don’t wan’t a stranger or friend seeing what you posted.
  • Keep track of your passwords with all your email accounts, library card pins, website usernames. Make a list and write them down someplace safe.
  • Know the difference of different types of websites. So when you are looking things up for school look for domain names ending in:
    • .org = official organizations
    • .edu = educational (universities, research centers)
    • .gov = government
    • .com or .net = commercial sites
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