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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tech Term: What are All These “-Wares?”

When you’re talking about something to do with a computer, you’re going to start hearing about some word that ends with “-ware.” You could probably list off a few yourself, but have you ever stopped to think about why they’re all described as “something-ware?” For this week’s Tech Term, we’ll take a peek at why we refer to things that way.

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Getting to Know Technology: Breadcrumbs

In the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, the titular characters decided to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind them, so they could find their way back home. While this strategy didn’t work out very well for the siblings, the same concept is used in computing today. We even refer to it as breadcrumb navigation in honor of the German fairy tale.

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Tech Term: Read Only

You open a lot of files and folders during your duties around the office, but some of them might seem a little different from others. These files are marked as “read-only.” What is the significance behind these files, and what does this marking mean? Find out in this week’s tech term.

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Tech Term: Hacker

The term “hacker” is possibly one of the best-known technology-related terms there is, thanks to popular culture. Properties like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Die Hard franchise have given the layman a distinct impression of what a hacker is. Unfortunately, this impression isn’t always accurate. Here, we’ll discuss what real-life hackers are like, and the different varieties there are.

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Getting to Know Technology: Hackers

It doesn’t matter how much of a technology novice someone is, chances are, they’ve heard the term “hacker” before. A favorite character trope of Hollywood films and television dramas, these cybercriminals have appeared in productions like Die Hard and Mr. Robot with varying degrees of accuracy. Below, we explore what makes a hacker, and the kinds that exist in reality.

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Getting to Know technology: Software as a Service

Thanks to the public cloud, which has amassed around $150 billion in annual revenues, the software as a service model has grown tremendously. In fact, it’s grown by approximately 20 percent a year for the past five years. The public cloud currently houses over a third of all applications used worldwide, making it a significant contributor to the success of software as a service (SaaS). Has your organization begun to take advantage of this phenomenon?

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Tech Term: Network

It sure does seem that the term “network” is tossed around an awful lot. Network security, network maintenance, social networking, network switch… but what is a network, really? That is precisely what we shall dive into here.

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Tech Term: Encryption Key

It is no secret that security is an absolutely crucial part of computing in the modern era. Data can very fairly be called the most valuable currency today, which means it needs to be protected. One way to do this is through the use of encryption keys. In this Tech Term, we’ll go over how these keys can protect your data, and how they do so.

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Getting to Know Technology: Username

When you sign up for any service online, you will be asked to create a username and a password. Today, we will be going over the purpose of a username and provide you with some best practices on how to create a username that works to your benefit.

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Getting to Know Technology: Plug-In

The Internet is an amazing tool in and of itself, but like many tools, it can sometimes work better if other tools are used alongside it. These additional tools are called plug-ins. Here, we’ll discuss what a plug-in is, and how they all help us use the Internet a little better.

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Tech Term: Protocol

Computers use quite a lot of 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

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.

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Getting to Know Technology: Processor

A computer is a complicated device, so it needs something to help it “think.” Because of this weighty responsibility, the component that serves this purpose is arguably one of the most important of all a computer’s pieces. Known as a CPU, this little chip is truly essential to the computer’s function. For today’s Tech Term, we’ll examine it a little more closely.

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Tech Term: Content Management System

In some situations, competition is good for a business; and, for others, it can be terrible. As marketing, and specifically online marketing becomes more imperative for the success of every organization, all the content that is created for this purpose has to be managed. For this week’s technology term, we take a look at the different kinds of content management services (CMS) and what they do to make managing your organization’s content simpler.

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Tech Term: Encryption

Your business’ data is often quite sensitive, which is why the professional world employs cryptology to keep it secure while it’s in transit. In terms of computing systems, this is called encryption. It’s the ideal way to secure important assets when you send or store information.

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Getting to Know Technology: RAM

Depending on who you ask, RAM will mean a different thing, but in computing, there is only one true meaning. RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and it’s a major component in your computer. But what exactly does it do, and what role does it play in ensuring that your organization stays productive and efficient?

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Tech Term: Bits and Bytes

Running a business sometimes requires attention to very minute details, and some things must be measured in order to achieve optimal efficiency. You’ve likely heard the terms bits and bytes used regarding data storage or transfer, but do you know what the difference is between them? Today’s tech term is dedicated to this explanation.

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Know Your Technology: Computer Forensics

Have you ever wondered where the commonly accepted perception of cyber investigations comes from? You might be surprised to find out that the world of suits, ties, and data terminals is far from the reality of what these investigations are--or, at least, considerably more dramatic. For today’s tech term, we’re going to get to the bottom of this by investigating what computer forensics really looks like.

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Tech Term: Cache

You may have heard technology professionals use the word “cache,” pronounced cash, in their day-to-day duties, but do you really know what it means? Generally, the context of this word is that users should “clear the cache,” but unless you know what that process entails, you won’t really understand what the cache does or why it’s used in this way. This week’s tech term is cache, so let’s see what hidden treasures this word yields.

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Tech Term: Bandwidth Defined

The Internet has become an irreplaceable part of many business’ operations, which brings the thought into question of how much you rely on it for your daily duties. Technology has changed the way that the Internet works for the better, but there is one part of its operations that still lies at the heart of it: bandwidth.

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Tech Term: Chromebook

It seems like everywhere you go, you can see a Chromebook. These specialty laptops have a few features that make them highly desirable in some circumstances, and poorly suited to others. Seeing as ‘Chromebook’ is our Tech Term for this week, why not take a few moments and examine them a little closer?

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Tech Term: Hard Drive

Most computer users know of the hard drive, but how many actually know what it does? Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different degrees of answers. It’s rare that you’ll encounter the ordinary person who knows what the hard drive is, as well as how it works or what it does. This week’s tech term is the hard drive, so let’s dig in.

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Tech Term: Router

The more that people depend on mobile devices and portable computers to get work done, the more businesses have to consider how to manage their organization’s wireless network. The router is the piece of hardware that makes the wireless network possible. Today, we will talk a little bit about the router and how its configuration can dictate the strength, reliability, and security of your business’ wireless network.

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Tech Term: Modems and Routers

The Internet is a valuable tool that can be accessed through a wired connection and wirelessly via Wi-Fi, but the devices that offer these connections can be somewhat complicated and difficult to understand. If you don’t know which device does what, you’re in for a treat--today’s tech term will examine the differences between the modem and the router.

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Tech Term: Virtualization

There are plenty of topics we reference frequently that may seem a little advanced or complicated at first but are actually pretty simple concepts. Take, for example, virtualization. For today’s tech term, we’ll take a clearer look at this method of computing.

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Tech Term: Opening the Spam Folder

Spam is a tricky subject to talk about, as it seems everyone has a different definition for it. Yet, most have come to the conclusion that spam is a bad thing. For today’s Tech Term, we want to delve deep into the different kinds of spam out there, as well as theorize where the term even came from.

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Tech Term: What are Proxy Servers?

While proxy server is a tech term that is frequently cited, it is not understood by a vast majority of people. Today we will describe what a proxy server is, and why organizations like yours use them.

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Tech Term: An Introduction to Proxy Servers

There are plenty of technical terms and solutions that, while heard of frequently enough, it may not be completely clear what they mean or refer to. A proxy server is an excellent example of such a solution. This week, we’ll examine this tech term and review how utilizing proxy servers can help your business.

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Tech Term: Understanding HTML and Plain Text

During your time around computers, chances are high that you’ve heard the phrase “plain text” and the acronym “HTML” tossed around when it comes to your email. If you aren’t sure what these statements refer to, we’re here to help. Today, we’ll examine both HTML and plain text to produce a better understanding of these tech terms.

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