Tip of the Week: Taking a Screenshot is Ridiculously Easy

b2ap3_thumbnail_screenshot_pc_400.jpgSometimes explaining issues with your technology to someone over the phone is difficult at best. To help your tech support better understand the issue you’re dealing with, provide screenshots to help with your explanations. All you have to do to take a screenshot is hit a few keys. Here’s how it’s done.

Screenshots in Windows
For a Windows PC, look at the top-most row of keys. How often do you use these? Probably not that often. Well, maybe the Escape key. Either way, look toward the right-hand side of this row and you’ll find the PrtScn key. PrtScn will create a .png file of your entire desktop screen at the time you press it. Unfortunately, you’re not going to see the file immediately; it’s only being stored on your clipboard until you paste it into another program.

To do so, you can use pretty much any common application that allows you to paste images into it. Some of the more basic programs you can use are Microsoft Word, OneNote, Outlook, and even MS Paint. Open your preferred program, hold down Ctrl, and press V to paste the image into the application you are working in. This is also the keyboard shortcut for Paste, which you can keep in mind for later use.

For example, let’s use Microsoft Paint. Now that you have the screenshot pasted into Paint, you can draw on it using Paint’s various features to emphasize what the problem is. You can crop it to the area of interest, paint on arrows, and so on. This helps you better explain to tech support what the problem is.

Afterward, all you have to do is save the file using either a .png or .jpg file extension. To do so, click File > Save As. Give your file a name and you should be all set to send it off for analysis from tech support. If you’d rather not toy with the image, you can paste the image directly into Microsoft Outlook instead.

Forget PrtScn: Try LightShot to Simplify Things
While taking a screenshot using PrtScn isn’t terribly difficult, it can be somewhat time-consuming to tailor your image to specifically show your problem. Instead, we prefer to use a tool called LightShot. It’s an application designed specifically to take screenshots, and best of all, it’s entirely free to use. You can download the app here: https://app.prntscr.com/en/download.html

With LightShot, hitting the PrtScn key does much more than take a screenshot of your entire desktop. Instead, your screen will be greyed out and you can select a specific part of your screen for a screenshot. You can then save your image locally on your PC, or upload it to the cloud for sharing via URL. Once you get used to taking screenshots, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. Not only can it be an easy way to share concentrated content, but it can also be a great way to communicate what your specific problems are to IT support.

If IT support issues have you troubled, you’ll be glad to hear that Amaxx’s remote maintenance and management solution is designed to prevent issues from becoming bigger problems. Give us a call at 614.486.3481 to learn more.

A Dark Shadow is Cast Over the Good Work Robots Do

b2ap3_thumbnail_manufacturing_robot_mistakes_400.jpgThe point of living in a world where technology takes over everything is that it’s supposed to make life easier. Although, keep in mind that imperfect humans are responsible for creating these technologies. Therefore, technology is flawed, maybe even to the point of putting people in harm’s way. This fundamental truth makes for an uneasy trust between man and machine.

Take for example a tragic incident that occurred last month at a Volkswagen plant in Germany, where a robot was actually responsible for the death of a worker. This robot was designed to piece together cars by moving and manipulating auto parts. According to The Guardian, the error occurred while the robot was being set up by a team of technicians. Due in part to a human error (supposedly), the robot grabbed the worker, instead of an auto part, causing critical injury.

A second example of why we should be suspicious of robots comes from the road. Led by the efforts of Google, several major technology companies are developing and testing self-driving cars. As great as it sounds to sit back and play magnetic travel chess while a robot chauffeurs you around town, the high number of reported fender benders from the testing phase gives us good reason to be a little nervous. Think about it, how do you feel about being on the same road as fast-moving, metal-death traps that are vulnerable to hacking attacks?

Buried deep in the human psyche, connected perhaps with our survival instincts, is a mistrust to give up too much control to something (or someone) that we don’t fully understand. When it comes to machines and computers, just how much do you understand about how they work? Unless you’re a computer programmer or an IT technician, it’s likely that you don’t know enough about these machines to totally erase the fear that robots will one day rise up and enslave us all. This is why science fiction movie franchises are exploring this narrative in fantastic detail, like The Terminator and The Matrix, have connected so deeply with people’s imaginations (and wallets).

Just how safe are you from the technology that you’re dependent upon? While it’s unlikely that you work with battlebots equipped with saw blades and flamethrowers, or that you play traffic roulette with a driverless car, you’ve got a lot riding on your company’s data. In fact, it would take just one major disaster for your system to crash, causing major data loss. This kind of a data loss disaster can potentially ruin a business, and by extension, your livelihood.

A disaster like this can happen at the hands of an incompetent user, an error from an imperfect machine, or even something else entirely, like a random act of nature. One way to gain peace of mind while living under such a looming threat is to learn more about the machines that you trust with so much responsibility, and it’s unlikely that you’ve got the time to analyze and understand the inner workings of your computer network. Alternatively, you can outsource the care and maintenance of your machines to the knowledgeable IT professionals at Amaxx.

Because, at the end of the day, who do you trust more; man, or machine?