Archive for April, 2012

Cleaning Your iPad Touch Screen Requires Just the Right Touch

Written by screentekinc. Posted in Tech Musings

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Keeping your iPad clean will go a long way towards extending its operating life and maintaining its value. Of all the components that make up an iPad, keeping the unit’s digitizer screen clean presents the biggest challenge. Because it uses touch screen technology, an iPad screen can quickly become covered with fingerprints, smudges and grime. There are a few preventative measures you can take to keep your iPad screen clean. To avoid scratching or abrasion of the screen, you can store the iPad in a sleeve or case when not in use. Wipe or wash your hands before using the touch screen. Take extra care when eating and drinking while using your iPad so you don’t spill anything onto it. Or just wear gloves when using your iPad. (Well, maybe you don’t have to go that far…) If your digitizer touch screen is getting a little too dirty, of course you’ll need to clean it. But you want to do it in such a way that you don’t accidentally cause any damage to the unit.  Here are some tips from Apple on cleaning your iPad’s screen: Before you begin, turn off the iPad. Make sure it is disconnected from any external power sources, external devices and other cabling before you begin cleaning it. When wiping off the screen, make sure you use only a clean, soft, lint-free cloth.  Materials with potentially abrasive surfaces, such as cotton or paper towels, may cause damage to your iPad screen. Even with normal usage, the ability of the oleophobic coating to repel oil will be reduced over time; rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will have a negative impact on the coating and may scratch your screen. Wipe the iPad screen with a gentle circular motion until the dirt and grime is removed. Use only water when cleaning the digitizer screen. Don’t use window cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives when cleaning your iPad. These can damage the oleophobic coating on the iPad’s digitizer screen and diminish it’s functionality over time. Do not spray cleaners directly onto the iPad or the screen; spray them into your cleaning cloth before applying them to the screen; the last thing you want to do is get any moisture into any of the iPad’s openings. (If liquid does make its way inside your iPad, seek assistance from an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store as soon as possible. Liquid damage is not covered under the Apple product warranty or AppleCare Protection Plans.)

If your digitizer screen is beyond cleaning, say it’s been cracked or broken – you can always replace the screen. Companies like Screen Tek, offer OEM digitizer touch screens that you can replace yourself. Replacing a digitizer screen is an easy DIY project that takes about forty five minutes to complete and requires only a few simple tools. For more information, go here: http://ipad.screentekinc.com.

With the proper care and maintenance your iPad’s digitizer touch screen should keep working for years.

Upgrade Update: USB 3.0 Yes or No?

Written by mcarberry. Posted in Upgrade Update

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Imagine a world where file portability was ten times better than it is right now; a world where putting an entire collection of movies on a portable hard drive only took a matter of minutes. That time is now, my friends. That world you dream of, it’s a reality thanks to USB 3.0. The newest major revision of the Universal Serial Bus standard is really quite something, but what is all the fuss about? What makes USB 3.0 so much different, and better than 2.0? To start out, it’s way faster. I don’t just mean a little bit faster, or pretty fast. I mean USB 3.0 is incredibly fast. To be exact, it has a transfer speed of up to 5 Gb/s whereas 2.0 only got up to 480 Mbit/s. Not only has the speed been amped up, but the way in which USB will now deliver and receive information has been changed as well. USB 3.0 defines physically separate channels for sent and received information. This creates a two-way street for data to travel so data coming in does not impede data going out. Additionally, USB 3.0 is much more power efficient than its predecessor.

Some things have stayed the same. For instance, the physical size and shape of the port remains the same. This ensures backward compatibility with USB 2.0 revisions. However, upon closer inspection it is revealed that the USB 3.0 port has 5 new pin connectors inside. In addition, because many new computers come with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, the new revision has been color coded blue to differentiate (This seems unnecessary as you can use USB 2.0 devices in a USB 3.0 port and even use 3.0 devices with a 2.0 port at lower speeds).

USB 3.0 has been around since late 2009, but initially devices were few and far between. Luckily now flash drives, USB hubs, and external hard drives all come with USB 3.0 compatibility. You can even buy card adapters to install USB 3.0 on your existing computer. Windows 7 comes with the appropriate drivers, so installation and use will be a breeze. So the question remains, “Should you get USB 3.0?” Well, if you don’t mind buying new flash drives and hard drives (all of which can now be purchased at a fairly reasonable price) then yes. Go for it! There’s only one concern that I have with USB 3.0. If you currently own a Mac that isn’t a Mac Pro (You can add USB 3.0 with a PCI Express card), there are two issues. The first issue is that it’s not possible to simply add USB 3.0 to a Mac without hacking it up and taking the whole computer apart. The second issue being that the new Macs are equipped with Thunderbolt connections, which are actually two times faster than USB 3.0. Now, don’t get all huffy yet, and ask me why I’m not writing a blog about Thunderbolt connections. The fact of the matter is that even with Thunderbolt’s amazing speed, it isn’t worth anything because there aren’t many devices available for it. The devices that can be used with Thunderbolt are absurdly expensive (I’m talking $450 starting price. Heck, a 6ft. T-Bolt cable is $50!), and let’s not forget, the technology is for Macs only.

Instead, just grab a USB 3.0 card, and slap it into your PC (they’re only about $30), and enjoy the upgrade. Personally, if you do find yourself transferring massive amounts of data, then go ahead and get it. The cost is minimal for the speeds you’ll be getting out of it. If you don’t have lots of stuff to transfer it’s not a necessary purchase, but it’s a fairly cheap upgrade, and it should stay useful for a very long time.
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