Welcome to The Digital Dentist

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I’m Dr. Lorne Lavine, The Digital Dentist. If you’re thinking of adding to or upgrading the technology systems in your dental practice, then you’re in the right place. I started The Digital Dentist after discovering that dental professionals need focused, trained IT professionals to understand and work with their specific technological needs.

Please, take a look at the products and services we have to offer, read through my blog below, and we have more resources through our newsletter. Also feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Thanks for reading.

Key to my Heart

If you’ve used a Windows product in the past two decades or more, you’ve likely encountered a Windows product key. You may have even found immense frustration as your product key and Windows didn’t play ball. With that in mind, we thought it was high time to give you all chance to understand more about the 25 characters governing your system.

We’ve covered everything to do with Windows 10 licensing and activation, and it is now easier than ever to use your existing Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 license to secure your Windows 10 upgrade (until July 29, 2016). But what about all of your old licenses? Where are they? Where have they gone? And most importantly, are they actually of any use to you now?

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Windows product keys.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.25, 2016  1:17 pm No Comments

Upgrade Time!

Never before has an offer like this been on the table. For over a year now, Microsoft has been letting existing Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 users upgrade to Windows 10 for free. On July 29, 2016, that offer expires. You need to act now and upgrade to Windows 10.

At this point, there is simply no reason to wait it out. It’s a free Windows operating system (OS), for crying out loud! Remember, even if you install Windows 10, you can still go back to Windows 7 or 8. So at worst, you should upgrade, secure your Windows 10 license key, and then go back, safe in the knowledge that you can install Windows 10 on that device in the future.

The bottom line is, it’s time to upgrade, whether you like Windows 10 or not. Just do it to save yourself money, if nothing else. But before you upgrade, here are a few things you should do.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.23, 2016  1:15 pm No Comments

MythBusters

You’ve probably heard a bit about encryption, but it sounds like something too complex, too specialist, to consider using yourself.

But encryption is simply a means of scrambling your data into seemingly-random characters, called ciphertext, which can only be unscrambled into meaningful information when an authorized user enters the correct decryption key. The key is just a passphrase, password, or PIN.

It’s a lot more straightforward than most think. Nonetheless, you might feel a little too in-the-dark to make use of encryption, so let’s bust some encryption myths!

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.21, 2016  12:55 pm No Comments

Drive My Car

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Maybe you’re clean installing Windows 10 on your system or just re-installing it. Drivers are one of those components that you need to download and install AGAIN. Well, not if your hardware vendor had provided you a disk. Yes, there is software available to backup drivers that can ease up your work. But here I’d like to show you one of the coolest and easiest ways to backup and restore drivers on Windows 10. All done using one command from the Command prompt.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.19, 2016  10:07 am No Comments

Group Thinking

Group Policy is a power tool that allows you to configure your system, unlock features like Hibernation, and block others like Windows-generated notifications. Group Policy Management is only found in the Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows and may be one reason to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro.

But if you don’t want to upgrade, you can still take advantage of this great tool if you know ow to access it. We will show you how to install a Group Policy Editor (GPE) on your Windows Home edition, how to access GPE on all other editions, and some useful Group Policies to customize your Windows setup.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.17, 2016  10:20 am No Comments

Start Your Engines

Every power user has wrestled with their Windows startup at one point or another. Some programs are necessary, others slow down your boot time, and some can even cause damage to your computer.

We show you how to speed up your Windows boot times, either manually or with Autoruns, a tool from Microsoft.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.15, 2016  10:18 am No Comments

Fast Lane

One of the great things about Windows is that if you don’t like how it looks, you can change it. Want the Aero Glass look back in Windows 10? You can bring it back with just a few tweaks.

However, these eye-catching animations come at a cost. All of the little behind-the-scenes bits of eye candy can have an impact on performance, especially on lower-grade systems. If you’d like to trade pretty visuals for more reliable performance, here are a few settings to change.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.13, 2016  10:15 am No Comments

You use a password to log into your Windows 10 PC. But do you really have to, and are the alternatives — a PIN, a fingerprint, or your face — as secure as having a password?

Windows 10’s release and subsequent updates herald the addition of some new sign-in options. While previous releases required that you enter a password to gain access, Windows 10 supports a few biometric options, notably your fingerprint or even your face!

Throw in the option to set a numeric PIN instead of a password (most Windows 10 accounts rely on a Hotmail/Outlook/Xbox Live email account and password) and it’s clear that Microsoft is attempting to take user security seriously with Windows 10.

But once you’ve set up these options, how secure are they?

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.11, 2016  10:14 am No Comments

Big Mac

Shutterstock

The MAC (media access controller) address is a unique identification number for your computer’s networking hardware. Generally, it just works, but sometimes you need to change it. Apple and Microsoft don’t make it easy to change your MAC address, but it is possible.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.09, 2016  10:11 am No Comments

Podcast

I had the pleasure of being interviewed for the Dentistry Blogger podcast. You can check out the details here:

DB Podcast 01 : Save Money on Your Dental Technology with Dr Lorne Lavine (The Digital Dentist)

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.07, 2016  7:01 am No Comments

Play It Again, Sam

Microsoft removed Windows Media Center from Windows 10, and there’s no official way to get it back. While there are great alternatives like Kodi, which can play and record live TV, the community has made Windows Media Center functional on Windows 10.

This isn’t an official trick. As far as Microsoft is concerned, you can just keep using Windows 7 or 8.1 if you want Windows Media Center, although that’s becoming more and more difficult. Microsoft isn’t interested in supporting Windows Media Center any longer.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.05, 2016  10:06 am No Comments

Into the Fold

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Microsoft changed the default folder icon in Windows 10 to a flat, closed folder. If you prefer the open folder icon from Windows 7, you can make that the default folder icon in Windows 10 with a registry tweak.

You can, of course, change any folder’s icon by right-clicking on it, but if you want to change all the folders at once, you’ll need to dig into the registry.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.03, 2016  10:04 am No Comments

Timestamp

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By default, most versions of Windows record an event every time a user tries to log on, whether that log on is successful or not. You can view this information by diving into the Event Viewer, but there’s also a way to add information about previous logons right on the sign in screen where you can’t miss it. To make it work, you’re going to have to dive into the Windows Registry or, if you have a Pro or Enterprise version of Windows, the Group Policy Editor. But don’t worry. The changes are pretty simple and we’ll walk you through them.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.01, 2016  10:03 am No Comments

Check Up

No matter who you are, whether newbie or veteran, your Windows system will eventually run into problems that aren’t so easy to diagnose. (It happens on other operating systems too.) When that happens, what will you do?

You could hire somebody to troubleshoot the problem for you, but that should be a last resort. There’s no need to pay someone when you can easily figure out the problem on your own using tools you can download for free.

If you STILL can’t fix the issue, then sure, bring in the cavalry. But we recommend giving these tools a try first. You might be surprised by how much you can solve with these alone.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jun.29, 2016  8:37 am No Comments

Mini Me

The past few years have seen the rise of a new form factor in personal computers: the mini PC. Moore’s Law and the miniaturization of motherboards have made computers smaller than ever before. And it’s slowly replacing the good old beige box.

Rightly so, when you consider that mini-PCs today are powerful enough to serve the needs of most users. Both Intel and AMD have powerful APUs now that take care of the graphics requirements for any non-gamer, and hard drives and SSDs are cheaper than ever.

In case you’re looking to buy a new desktop, or perhaps build an HTPC for cheap, you should first check out some of these awesome mini PCs. They might just be a better deal. But before you take the plunge, consider the limitations of Mini-PCs.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jun.27, 2016  8:34 am No Comments

Pass the Salt

Setting a password on your Windows 10 user account is great for security, but forgetting what that password is can be a headache. If you’ve found yourself in that situation, you’ll want to read our guide below on the various ways that you can reset your password.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jun.25, 2016  8:31 am No Comments

Not a Team Player

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A few days back, several users experienced, what must have seemed like a scene straight out of a horror flick, their PCs automatically opening several windows, browser tabs & mouse pointer swerving across the screen trying to log in to Paypal.

Well if you also experienced something similar to this, don’t panic, no spirit possessed your PC. Chances are you might be a TeamViewer user and one of the several affected ones due to widespread hacking of TeamViewer accounts.

Majority of the users reported few days ago but some users also claimed experiencing such an attack as far as six months back. But even after the numerous reports, TeamViewer was adamant on not admitting it got hacked and instead blamed user’s poor password choices. Anyway, we are not here to judged if TeamViewer was at fault or not, but what we are concerned about is the potential of such an attack. When an attacker has direct control over your PC he/she can do damage in umpteen, dangerous ways.

TeamViewer might look like the main culprit here but removing it is not viable or logical. A single person’s account can also be hacked and other alternatives are also not one hundred percent attack-proof. Moreover, TeamViewer is a necessity to many to provide remote tech support to their family without dealing with ports & IP addresses. So we will look at some of the general precautions you can take to shield yourself from the such attacks.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jun.23, 2016  7:35 am No Comments

For Better or for Worse

Roughly three years since its last major update, Microsoft has finally brought Office into the modern working world.

This new version, called Office 2016 on both Mac and PC, is the first to have collaboration and sharing tools that closely match what Google Docs has had for years. You can finally work with other people on a document, spreadsheet or presentation in real time, seeing what they are editing as they make changes.

Microsoft also added integrations with its search engine Bing and messaging and video-calling app Skype. These welcome additions blend seamlessly into the apps and continue Office’s tradition of having special extra features that it’s competitors don’t.

For Office, which in recent years has been challenged by cheaper (or free) alternatives, the news is a big deal. It keeps Microsoft ahead of the pack, especially for customers who can’t get by with another application. But can the updates do anything to win back folks who switched to the apps that Google and Apple have?

There’s no definitive answer to that question, because it all comes down to what you need from these kinds of programs. Office and Google Docs, the two apps I’ll focus on here, both have pluses and minuses. I’ll explore the features in both that make them worth your while so you can ultimately decide which program to pick.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jun.21, 2016  11:55 am No Comments

100% Fail

Ever since I started using Windows 10, every time I opened the Task Manager in detailed view, the disk usage activity always touched the mark of 100%. If not a century, it was always above 90% which was quite odd. For the first few days, I thought that it might be because of the heavy video rendering that I did on my PC for our YouTube channel related work. But after a few weeks I realized that even while my system was idle with no major background processes running, it was hitting the 100% mark just for disk usage. The CPU state was mostly idle, going from just 2 to 10%.

high disk use

It was enough to convince me that it’s not the workload that’s causing my PC to be slow all the time with obnoxious disk usage. It was time to find a solution and after hours of online research, I managed to find out some working tricks. These tips solved the issue on my PC and now my computer shows decent disk usage with a significant improvement in performance.

So if you too are facing similar issues on your Windows 10 computer, here are the 4 things that you should check on your PC.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jun.19, 2016  3:23 pm No Comments

Extension Cord

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Installing extensions in web browsers can provide some very useful features. However, if you install a lot of extensions in multiple browsers, you might forget which you installed in which. We have an easy solution if you use Chrome, Firefox, and/or Internet Explorer.

Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jun.17, 2016  3:19 pm No Comments


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