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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part V: Other Considerations

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part V: Other Considerations

In parts one through four we talked about choosing the right specifications for your desktop, depending on its role. We talked about selecting the right CPU, RAM, storage, and display options. This final post we hit a few other tips and ideas we came up with that didn’t fit into the other posts.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part IV: Videos, Graphics, and Monitors

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part IV: Videos, Graphics, and Monitors

Your new desktop isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have a screen to plug into it. Let’s talk about considerations to make when purchasing a new desktop when it comes to your display.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part III: Choosing Storage

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part III: Choosing Storage

We’re on to part three of our Desktop Buyer’s Guide. When comparing all of your options when shopping around for desktops, one of the main features you’ll see is how much storage they have. We’ve seen this with smartphones and tablets as well - you can buy an iPhone with 64 GB (gigabytes) of storage or 128 GB of storage, etc.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part II: How Much RAM Do I Need?

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part II: How Much RAM Do I Need?

In part two of our desktop buying guide, we talk about one of the most confusing specifications you’ll see whenever you purchase a computer. We’re going to demystify memory, also referred to as RAM.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part I: Choosing the Right CPU

Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part I: Choosing the Right CPU

Are you looking to purchase a new desktop for your business (or for home)? We’ve put together this handy guide to help demystify the computer-buying process. This is the first part of five in our series, selecting the right CPU.

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When Do You Know When It’s Time For an Upgrade?

When Do You Know When It’s Time For an Upgrade?

Nothing lasts forever; this phrase is true regardless of which industry you’re in or business you run. We all use technology in the office to a certain extent, and the ugly truth is that someday that technology will fail. It’s critical that you monitor technology for warning signs prior to its failure so as to avoid costly repair bills and rushed replacements. You might be surprised by how much you save as a result.

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Tech Term: Responsive Web Design

Tech Term: Responsive Web Design

We all have our favorite websites to visit, as well as those we often visit to fulfill our responsibilities. It is common for us to access the same websites on both a desktop workstation and a mobile device, but some websites work better than others while trying this. This is because of something called responsive web design, which we’ll review below for our weekly Tech Term.

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Tip of the Week: How to Speed Up a Windows PC

Tip of the Week: How to Speed Up a Windows PC

The personal computer is a remarkable tool, allowing us to accomplish levels of productivity and efficiency at speeds that were once only dreamed of… at least, that’s how it feels at first. However, it doesn’t take very long for a computer to seem like it drags on and on before performing the task requested of it. Why is that, and how can this be resolved?

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Tech Term: Protocol

Tech Term: Protocol

Computers use many different types of protocol to function. In particular, the Internet takes advantage of protocol to a great degree. You might recognize terms like Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, File Transfer Protocol, Internet Message Protocol, and Post Office Protocol. But what exactly is protocol, and why is it important?

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Tech Term: Safe Mode

Tech Term: Safe Mode

Sometimes it can be hard to diagnose a problem with your PC. While it might not be something system-breaking, it’s still important to find the root of an issue before it becomes a major problem. One of the best ways to diagnose an issue with your computer is by logging in using Safe Mode. We’ll talk about when and how you can use Safe Mode to your computer’s benefit.


What Does Safe Mode Do?
In its most basic form, Safe Mode lets you boot up your PC in a limited fashion. Only critical drivers and files will be activated, allowing for only a barebones boot that can help you isolate and diagnose issues with your computer. For example, the issue becomes apparent outside of Safe Mode, but it doesn’t happen during Safe Mode. This means that it’s likely not a critical driver and is something additional that you’ve installed.

There are two different ways to access Safe Mode. The first is the one that we just outlined. The other is one that includes other network drivers and devices, which depending on the situation, might not be your goal.

Follow the below instructions to implement Safe Mode on startup.

From the Start Menu...

  • Select the Start button in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  • Select Settings (the gear icon)
  • Click on Update & Security
  • Go to Recover in the left-hand column
  • Go to Advanced Startup and select Restart Now
  • When the device restarts, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup > Settings > Restart
  • Upon startup, hit F4 or the number 4 for Safe Mode. Hit F5 or the number 5 for Safe Mode with Networking

From the Sign-in Screen…

  • Restart your PC. Hold down the Shift key while you’re selecting Restart.
  • When the device restarts, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup > Settings > Restart
  • Upon startup, hit F4 or the number 4 for Safe Mode. Hit F5 or the number 5 for Safe Mode with Networking

For more great tech tips and tricks, subscribe to our blog.

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Power Off, or Leave It On?

Power Off, or Leave It On?

At the end of the day, do you shut down your computer or do you put it into sleep mode? Depending on what you need from your device the next day, consider the pros and cons of both approaches so that you can pick which one best suits your situation.

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Tech Term: Motherboard

Tech Term: Motherboard

A computer is made up of many parts, one of which is today’s Tech Term: the motherboard. We’ll discuss what the motherboard does for your computer and why it’s such an important part for its continued operation.

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Tip of the Week: Optimize Your Computer By Taking Care of the Clutter

Tip of the Week: Optimize Your Computer By Taking Care of the Clutter

Do you remember the day that you purchased your current workstation? Maybe it was last week, last month, last year, or several years ago. At one point, it was pristine, untouched by the demands of the workday, but those days have long since passed. Over time, your computer collects all sorts of stuff on it, from unnecessary files to outdated, unused software.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Resolve the Blue Screen of Death

Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Resolve the Blue Screen of Death

It’s quite possibly the most infamous screen image in computing: the Blue Screen of Death. Encountering this screen will often cause two thoughts to run through a user’s mind: what just happened, and how can I fix it?

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Tip of the Week: Why Having an Extra Workstation is Worth It

Tip of the Week: Why Having an Extra Workstation is Worth It

For every business, it’s essential to be prepared for any unforeseen problems that can disrupt day-to-day operations. One easy way to do this is by keeping an extra workstation on hand.

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Reevaluate Your Network Switches Due to Increased Demand of Wireless Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_business_network_switches_400.jpgYour computer network is only as strong as its weakest link. One of the most overlooked links is your network switch, and if your IT infrastructure is becoming more dependent upon wireless technology, then you’re going to want to perhaps upgrade your network switches.

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Tip of the Week: 3 PC Best Practices You Need to Know

b2ap3_thumbnail_pc_practices_400.jpgSometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is return to the basics. For example, you can know all of the keyboard shortcuts in the world, but that doesn’t help you properly shut down your computer. Here are three tips for every computer user who wants to make sure that they’re using PC best practices.

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Tip of the Week: Spot a Hacker By Investigating Their IP Address

b2ap3_thumbnail_ip_addresses_400.jpgHave you ever wondered how your PC is identified from the billions of devices out there in the world today? Just like every human being has specific physiological traits that make up who they are, your computer’s IP address is somewhat unique to your machine, and it can say a lot about you. Therefore, it’s important that you are able to identify your own IP address when you need to.

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Nanotechnology Holds the Key to Doubling Computing Power

b2ap3_thumbnail_ibm_processor_400.jpgEarly in July, IBM announced that they have developed an ultra-dense computer chip that has roughly four times the computing capacity of today’s most powerful chips. These prototype chips, and ones they will develop to fuel computing into the next decade and beyond, are the result of the evolution of 21st century informatics.

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Free Tool Connectify Turns Your PC Into a WiFi Hotspot [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_pc_wifi_hot_spot_400.jpgWe’ve all had those moments where you desperately need a WiFi signal. Without one, how will you check your email? If you have a PC with a wireless card, you can take advantage of Connectify to turn your PC into a WiFi repeater, effectively extending your hotspot’s signal. With everyone looking to take advantage of wireless technology, a WiFi signal is necessary; so here’s how to make it a little better.

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