Over the past two weeks we have, like we do every year, given you a snapshot of the essential apps, extensions, and downloads we think every user of every major platform should try. Miss one? Here they all are, in one tidy package.
Welcome to The Digital Dentist
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.
Enable BitLocker encryption, and Windows will automatically unlock your drive each time you start your computer using the TPM built into most modern computers. But you can set up any USB flash drive as a “startup key” that must be present at boot before your computer can decrypt its drive and start Windows.
This effectively adds two-factor authentication to BitLocker encryption. Whenever you start your computer, you’ll need to provide the USB key before it will be decrypted. This would be particularly useful with a small USB drive you carry with you on a keychain.Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.20, 2016 1:43 pm No Comments
Curve Dental has added online forms to its practice management software, providing doctors with the ability to create any form that can be accessed by any device with all data written automatically to the patient’s record.
“Our online forms are the easiest way to collect, process and manage patient information,” said Ian Zipursky, President of Curve Dental. “The level of automation we have added will significantly reduce the time a practice spends entering and updating patient information.”
Curve Dental uses drag-and-drop functionality to minimize the time required to create a form. Any information can be gathered by a form, such as an address, medical history, or a digital signature. Patients access the form via e-mail and a secure patient portal. The patient can complete the form using any digital device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
All data captured by a form is automatically written to the patient’s record in Curve Dental. Patients who fail to promptly complete a form can receive e-mail or text. While most features are available now others will be available soon. Curve Dental plans to make online forms available to all customers at no charge for a limited time only. Call 888-910-4376 for details.Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.18, 2016 4:55 pm No Comments
Which of your hard drives is the fastest, and is it really as fast as the manufacturer promised? Whether you have a desktop PC or a server, Microsoft’s free Diskspd utility will stress test and benchmark your hard drives.
NOTE: A previous version of this guide explained using Microsoft’s old “SQLIO” utility. However, Microsoft now only offers the “Diskspd” utility, which replaces SQLIO, so we’ve updated this guide with brand new instructions.Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.18, 2016 1:42 pm No Comments
Wine is an open source program for running Windows software on non-Windows operating systems. While it’s most often used on Linux, Wine can run Windows software directly on a Mac, too–without requiring a Windows license or needing Windows running in the background.
This isn’t necessarily the best option if you want to run Windows software on a Mac. Wine isn’t perfect, and not every application will run ideally. Some applications will crash or not run at all. Virtual machines and Boot Camp are more rock-solid options, but they do add more overhead and require a Windows installation. For apps that do work, however, Wine can be extremely useful.Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.16, 2016 1:41 pm No Comments
If you regularly search for certain files in Windows, saving searches is a great way to access them more quickly than retyping the search every time. Saving searches is especially useful if you often perform more advanced searches, or search by combinations of date range, file type, or keywords.Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.14, 2016 1:39 pm No Comments
Sometimes the littlest of things make the biggest of differences.
Set the Auto Recover duration just right and you can recover an unsaved document without a flutter. Try that with a summer assignment.
Microsoft Office 2016 presents a simple front, but underneath all of it is a powerful engine with lots of cogs and nuts. Many of the Office features are hidden because we don’t know about them. And if we don’t know about them, then we can’t use them for our productivity.
This article is about that – uncovering little known Microsoft Office features. But I can’t drill into their importance without extracting their benefits for you. So, here’s my attempt to explain “strange” Microsoft Office features in the simplest way possible.
Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.12, 2016 1:37 pm No Comments
“I wish my computer was hotter” said no one ever. Overheating PCs may lead to unexpected shutdowns, lost data, and hardware damage.
Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.10, 2016 1:35 pm No Comments
Over the past few years, we’ve moved more and more of our lives into the mysterious realm of “the cloud” — but what was so wrong with local storage?
I’m not suggesting a return to floppy disks here, but maybe there’s a way to get the convenience and benefits of cloud storage without giving it all away to a potentially untrustworthy third-party company.
And it turns out there is. It’s called Network Attached Storage (NAS) and there are a handful of reasons why you may want to start using one right this minute.
Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.08, 2016 1:33 pm No Comments
With security breaches and unauthorized access of computers being common today, you can never have too much security on your system. We’ve shown how to make sure your new PC is secure, and every new setup should include properly locking down the system.
One way that might not seem obvious but is a great way to protect your computer is to set a password for the BIOS. This basic firmware runs right off your PC’s motherboard before you ever get into Windows.
Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.06, 2016 11:03 pm No Comments
Unlike desktop PCs, you are unlikely to upgrade your laptop by fitting in a couple of new parts. That’s why when you’re purchasing a new notebook, it makes sense to spend a few extra bucks and buy something that is a little more future-proof.
Generally speaking, you can now get excellent future-proof laptops, if you are willing to spend up to $1,000. From the best mini PC tablets to even non-Windows laptops, a four-figure budget meets any needs you have and protect against immediate obsolescence.
We checked out reviews of several machines from different tech pundits, and tried a few ourselves as well, to come up with this final list of the best laptops you can buy for less than $1,000 in 2016.
Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.04, 2016 11:01 pm No Comments
Have you ever noticed how people’s behavior suddenly changes, when free samples are being given out? You may have observed it at Costco. People who have never walked through the fish aisle in their life become preoccupied with getting a small polystyrene cup of whitebait or crayfish. Those who habitually avoid the produce aisle are prepared to reenact a scene from Grand Theft Auto over a taster of Soybeans. People like free stuff.
Except, it seems, when it comes to operating systems. Linux has been around since 1995-ish, and it only just passed two percent market share. Meanwhile, millions insist they would never upgrade (nay, pollute) their machines with a complimentary install of Windows 10.
To them, the idea of upgrading from Windows 7 is a bit like swallowing poison, or bathing in the Hudson River – completely unthinkable. I found some of these Windows 10 holdouts, and asked to speak to them. I wanted to know what made them tick, and why they were refusing to upgrade to Windows 10.
Posted by Lorne Lavine on Aug.02, 2016 10:59 pm No Comments
Ransomware is particularly damaging malware, where attackers either disable systems or encrypt your data and demand money to give access back to you. It’s a huge problem, and this graphic is a quick guide to those attacks, how they work, and how you can protect yourself from them.
It’s especially important to pay attention to the whole “how you can protect yourself” aspect, because in many cases paying off attackers doesn’t work, and instead—like in any hostage situation—giving the attackers what they want only proves you’re willing to cave and boosts their resolve (and their demands.) Instead, prevention is key, and that starts with education, not to mention strong, updated antimalware protection for all of your devices.
Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.31, 2016 1:30 pm No Comments
Is your computer unstable? There may be a problem with its RAM. To check, you can either use a hidden system tool included with Windows or download and boot a more advanced tool.
Both of the below tools function by writing data to each sector of your computer’s RAM and then reading it back in turn. If the tool reads a different value, this indicates that your RAM is faulty.Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.29, 2016 1:24 pm No Comments
Posted by Lorne Lavine on Jul.27, 2016 1:23 pm No Comments
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
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
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
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 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