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1. Smart Home Tech Includes More than TVs!
Modern AV systems have grown to include security, networking, automation of lighting, and remote control of all entertainment. Traditionally, planning the location to install these systems has been an afterthought in the build process, but with the growing size and reliance on these systems it is CRITICAL the integrator is able to discuss and plan with the builder before construction. Location, space, and readily available access are some of the most important keys to planning a well designed AV system.

2. Location of Hardware and Servers:
Integrators often are challenged with being creative in regards to placing system components while maintaining reliability, but ideally the entire system infrastructure would be tied together and placed in one central location. This is extremely beneficial to both the user and integrator in the long run, simplifying the location for the user and making sure there is convenient access for maintaining and servicing the system.

3. Power Usage & Climate Control:
Often overlooked is the necessity for proper thermal management and power when installing an AV system. When the integrator is able to coordinate with the builder and make these requirements known, making sure the system has convenient venting and proper power becomes much simpler.

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Savant systems can now be fully integrated with Amazon Alexa, allowing users to control Savant systems via voice commands.

From single device control to Savant scenes, Savant users can now use voice commands to interact with technology in their home via the Amazon Alexa.

To take advantage of the integration users can create a Savant scene, enable the Savant skill in the Alexa app and then link their account. Following this, Alexa will discover the smart home skill, which can then be accessed by voice command.

Users can then schedule, initiate, edit or delete a Savant scene simply by interacting with the Alexa assistant.

The DoorBird is a smart video doorbell that can take your smart home to the next level, allowing you to answer your door from anywhere

With the DoorBird Door Station you never miss a visitor, you can see your visitors, speak with them and even open the door from your smartphone or tablet – from anywhere in the world. The DoorBird replaces your existing doorbell adds a whole new level of security and convenience to your home.

The DoorBird station comes equipped with a microphone, video camera, night vision, motion sensor, and built in Wifi making it possible to install as a wireless device. The DoorBird is easy to install and program, before you know it you will be receiving instant alerts (push notifications) on your smartphone or tablet when someone pushes the doorbell button, allowing you to see and talk with your visitor in real-time.

The DoorBird can also be integrated with third party devices like smart locks expanding your security control even more.

The Galaxy S6 boasts some of the most intuitive features and gestures of any smart phone on the market, here are a few ways to take advantage of those features:

Private Mode
Samsung offers a really handy way to hide your sensitive photos and other files from nosy people. Head into Settings > Privacy and Safety > Private Mode. You can choose what content to hide and how it’s accessed in here. You even have the option to lock it with your fingerprint.

Direct Call
Just open a contact and then lift your phone to your ear to call them.

Smart Alert
You will receive a vibration alert when you pick your phone up if you’ve missed a call or message.

A quick way to silence your S6 is to simply flip it over.

Get the Most from Your Display Go to Settings > Display > Screen mode and you’ll find a few options to help you unlock the full glory of the AMOLED screen. If you leave it on Adaptive display then it will change automatically, but you can also pick modes called AMOLED cinema and AMOLED photo, which really ramp up the contrast and vibrancy, or you can leave it on Basic if you want something a bit closer to reality.

Good Vibrations
If you go into Settings > Sounds and Notifications and tap Vibrations, you’ll find some handy options. You can turn vibration off for key presses or button presses in here, and decide whether you want the phone to vibrate when it rings. You also can set the vibration pattern you want and change the vibration intensity for different things, so you could have a strong vibrate for calls and a minimal one for notifications.

Smart Lock
Go to Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Secure Lock Settings > Smart Lock and you can have your Galaxy S6 automatically unlock when it connects to specific Bluetooth devices or systems (like a smartwatch or your car), or when you are in a specific location (like your work-place or home).

Enter Today’s Date
To enter today’s date into Excel, hit Ctrl + ; (the semicolon key)

Selecting Data
To select a large range of contiguous data cells, click on any cell in the range and press Ctrl + A

Defining Names Quickly
Select a table range (using the Ctrl + A method described in the tip above), click Ctrl + Shift + F3 simultaneously, select the appropriate check box to indicate where the column (or row) labels are located, then click OK. This action will quickly create defined names for each column and row (Press F5 to see your results)

Keep Leading Zeros
To paste numbers into Excel and preserve the leading zeros, first format the cells as Text, then paste the data using Paste Special, Text

Dropdown List To make a dropdown list on one worksheet, refer to a list of data on a different worksheet, highlight the list, and name it from the Formulas tab, by selecting Define Name, and then enter a name (such as employees) and click OK. Then, on a different worksheet, create a dropdown list from the Data tab by selecting Data Validation from the Data Tools group, select List from the Allow dropdown box, and in the Source box, type = and the name you defined (or in this example, enter =employees), then click OK

AutoSum Shortcut
The AutoSum tool is quick, but faster still is selecting a cell at the bottom of a column and pressing Alt + =, which inserts the =Sum() function just like AutoSum does

Quick Chart
To quickly create a chart, select the data cells you want to chart and press the F11 key

Specific Phrase
Use quote marks to search for a specific phrase. Rather than just typing technology tips, you will type "technology tips"

Exclude Words
You may want to research a topic but exclude a term in your search. Use the minus(-) sign in front of the word you want to exclude: technology tips -windows

Site Specific Search
If you wanted to search a site for a particular topic but the site doesn't have a search bar, you can do a site specific search through google: "technology tips" site:elite-tech-solutions.com

Similar words or Synonyms
When you decide to carry out a search you may want to include synonyms or similar words. You can do this by using the tilde (~) sign immediately infront of the search word: ~technology tips this will also reveal computer tips

Specific Document Type
This is a great technique if you want to search for a particular document like a PowerPoint. "technology tips" filetype:ppt

You don't have to call up a calculator - you can just type directly into the search bar: 1475*10.5

Word Definitions
If you want to find the meaning of a word you can use the define command: define:technology

Blog Information
If you want to find out what blog writers are talking about in a specific area, you can do so: technology:blogs

Don't Follow Links From Unknown Sources
Both pop-up links and links coming through unsolicited emails are not always 100% safe. We recommend not opening any links sent to you by an email adress that you don't recognize.

Don't Email Personal Information
Never send personal information through the web or phone messages, even if it's to someone you know. The best practice is to either enter the information yourself, or give the information over a phone call. Sensitive information is something you never want sitting in someone's inbox.

Update Your Virus Protection
Anti-Virus software can be a great tool to help filter out potentially dangerous data before any damage can be done and helps keep the criminals from ever getting into your computer. Updating your virus protection every few months is recommended and can ensure emails and links can be stopped before even being brought to your attention.

Check for Secure Pages
Before ever entering usernames and/or passwords be sure to check you are on a secure webpage. Website URLs that begin with "https" are secure and your information will be protected.

Hover Before Clicking
Whether it be in an email or something you come across on the web, it is good practice to hover over any link before clicking. When you hover over a link the actual URL you will be directed to displays and allows you to verify that it's the page you would like to go to. If you discover the linked page is somewhere different than you were expecting, don't click.

Change the Image Size
Control + Alt + i ( Command + Option + i )

Change the Canvas Size
Control + Alt + c ( Command + Option + c )

Zoom In
Control + + ( Command + + )

Zoom Out
Control + - ( Command + - )

Display Grid
Control + ' ( Command + ' )

Display Guides
Control + ; ( Command + ; )

Select All Objects
Control + a ( Command + a )

Select All Layers
Control + Alt + a ( Command + Option + a )

Merge All Layers
Control + Shift + E ( Command + Shift + e )

Create a New Layer
Shift + Control + n ( Shift + Command + n )

Q. I keep getting endless pound signs (#) in my cells. What am I doing wrong?

A. This usually occurs when Excel thinks you're trying to calculate something that results in negative days or negative time. It can be more a format problem than a calculation problem. If you are expecting a value representing the difference between two times or dates in a numeric value, all you have to do is clear the formats (Home, Editing, Clear, Clear Formats). If you want the result to be formatted as a time or a date, then you will need to reverse your calculation. In other words, it will need to result in a positive number.

Q. What is a circular cell reference and how can I prevent it?

A. A circular cell reference results when a formula refers back to the cell it is being typed into. For example, if you are typing the formula A1+B1+C1 into C1, you will get a circular cell reference. Unfortunately, it's not always that straightforward. Sometimes, your formula is just A1+B1, but B1 contains a formula that refers to another formula that refers to C1. Don't despair; there are some tools to help you. On the Formulas tab in the Formula Auditing group, you'll find the Evaluate Formula button. You can evaluate each part of the formula. When it arrives at the part that is a circular reference, it will tell you this in the dialog box and italicize the value in the Evaluation box. Now, you can use Trace Precedents to find where the offending cell is located.

Roku 2
Roku's streamers offer the most TV apps, the easiest customization and the most comprehensive, and price-conscious search, making it the best value of the bunch. The Roku 2 also offers excellent performance and speed for the price.

Roku 3
Unless you want to pay extra for the dubious benefits of 4K (Roku 4), the 3 is the best Roku overall, adding voice search and a headphone jack to the remote. It also includes all of the features of the Roku 2 but is more expensive.

Apple TV 3
If you're heavily invested in iTunes, here's the cheapest way to play your library on the big screen. And no, Roku can't do that.

Apple TV 4
In addition to everything on the older model offers, the new Apple TV has many of the apps and games you bought already on your iPhone, plus a great remote with superb voice search and recognition using Siri.

Amazon Fire TV The Amazon Fire TV is mainly geared towards Amazon Prime members and Amazon's content. However, you can also access most popular services like Netflix and Hulu, and take advantage of Amazon's voice-control remote.

Google Chromecast
If you can watch it on your phone or tablet or computer, Chromecast can probably put it on your TV. The downside? There's no separate remote, so you'll need your phone or tablet or computer to use it.

Nvidia Shield
Built to appeal to tech geeks, the Shield with Android TV comes with a game controller and excels at serving up those thousands of "files" you have on your computer or network attached storage drive.

Q. How is the new Excel Sumlfs different from SumIf?

A. A SumIfs is configured almost completely in reverse from a SumIf. A SumIf begins with what range to examine, then by what criteria to examine it and concludes with what range to sum (if it's different from the first range). SumIfs starts with the range to sum and then, in pairs, a range to examine and criteria to examine it by. You can have multiple pairs of these in a SumIfs. A SumIf can only have one.

Q. I'm getting unpredictable results in a formula. How do I "dissect” a formula to troubleshoot?

A. Several great tools are available in Excel to reverse engineer formulas. Some can be found in the Formulas tab in the Formula Auditing group. Let's look at Trace Precedents.

Clicking Trace Precedents while in a cell with a formula will draw arrows that point to cells being used, if they are on the same worksheet. If they are on a different worksheet in a different workbook, Trace Precedents will draw a dashed arrow pointing to an icon, indicating cell references that are not on this worksheet. If you double-click the arrowhead or the dashed line, it will bring up the Go To dialog box, which lists all the "foreign” cell references. Select the one you want to trace, and click OK to navigate there. Clicking Remove Arrows in the same Formula Auditing group should return it to a normal look.
Opening Mission Control

Use any of these methods:

1. Swipe up with three or four fingers on your Multi-Touch trackpad or Magic Trackpad
2. Double-tap the surface of your Magic Mouse with two fingers
3. Press the Mission Control key on your Apple keyboard, or press Control–Up Arrow
4.In OS X El Capitan, drag a window to the top of the screen

Mission Control shows the Spaces bar at the top of the screen, and below it all of the windows that are open on your desktop.

The Spaces bar includes these spaces, which you can view by moving your pointer to the top of the Mission Control screen:

1. Your current desktop and any desktops that you've added
2. Any windows in full-screen view
3. Any windows in Split View

Adding a space:

1. Add a desktop space: Click the Add Space icon on the right side of the Spaces bar, or drag a window to that icon
2. Add a full-screen space: If an app supports full-screen view, you can create a full-screen space for that app by dragging its window to an empty area of the Spaces bar. The new space shows the name of that app. Click the space to see the app in full screen

Turning Airdrop On
AirDrop is supported on iPhone 4 and above. Swipe up on any screen to open the Control Center and tap ‘AirDrop’. You can turn the feature On for ‘Everyone’ which allows anyone on the same WiFi network to send you files, or you can turn it On for ‘Contacts Only’ which allows only your contacts to send you files.

Transferring Files

Once AirDrop is On, you can start sending files. To send a photo, go to the Photos app and open a photo. Tap the Share button at the bottom and you will see that AirDrop is turned on. If you see the AirDrop icon and it’s a bright blue but no contacts appear it means the feature is On and scanning for contacts nearby. When it finds a nearby device that belongs to a contact, the contact shows up in the share options menu. Tap the contact to send the photo. The recipient will be notified that a photo is being sent by a contact and they must accept it for the photo to be sent.

Turning Airdrop On
This is the most important thing to do when you’re designing a home automation system for your house or apartment. Do you want just lighting and air conditioning to be controlled from your tablet or smartphone, do you want to integrate a security system, or do you want to go the whole hog and include your home theatre or living room TV setup? Making sure you and your installer are on the same page is crucial to making the process as smooth as possible.

Wi-Fi is The Heart of a Smart Home

If you have a solid, high-quality Wi-Fi signal across your home, your various smart home devices will be able to communicate with each other without any chance of drop-out or packet loss, and that means tapping to turn on a light or swiping to change its brightness works every time and happens instantly. This means spending the money on a high quality router, and Wi-Fi repeaters is advantageous.

Building from Scratch?

For a new home build, speccing it out with fittings and fixtures that will stand the test of time just makes sense, and it helps any home automation installer immeasurably.

As a good starting point, even if you have a good Wi-Fi router giving you an adequately strong signal across your entire property, consider optioning Ethernet networking cable installation to at least one data point in every room of your house — even closets! — to allow for a versatile smart home installation now and into the future.

Google Chrome users should consider installing four free add-on extensions: Ad Block (to clean webpages of ad clutter); Fastest Chrome (to make your browser run faster); Turn Off The Lights (to dim the rest of the webpage when viewing YouTube video); and Read Later (to cache articles to your hard drive for later reading)
Instead of sending someone a long URL (webpage address), you can convert that long URL into a short URL for free at tinyurl.com.
For Windows, hold the alt key and hit tab to easily scroll through all the windows you have open. Hold the Command key and hit tab to do this on a Mac. If you're working in Word and referring to something in Explorer, for example, you can toggle back and forth between the two programs. You can also use this to switch between windows in the same program, making multitasking a breeze.
1. Indexed searching. By default, Windows 7 and Vista index only the files in you’re My Documents folder. To index other data file locations, select Indexing Options, Modify, then navigate to and place a checkmark next to the folders you would like Windows 7 and Vista to also search.

2. Cursor motion. To accelerate your mouse so the pointer will travel the width of your screen(s) as you slide your mouse across the mouse pad, select Mouse, and on the Pointers Option tab, slide the Motion chevron to Fast.

3. Use short dates. Changing the default date format and number settings in Region and Language will change the default settings used by Excel, Word, and many other applications.

4. Sounds. Adjust the volume of your speakers separately (for example, for sounds coming from your browser versus Windows Media Player) by clicking on the speaker icon in the Windows System Tray, then click Mixer and adjust the volume for each application.

5. Improve performance. Improve your computer’s performance; from the Start button’s Search Programs and Files box, enter the phrase Power Plan and then select the Maximum Performance option. Note: On some company-issued computers, the IT department customizes the performance options. In those cases, this tip might not work.
1. Extreme security. If your iPad contains highly sensitive data, enable the Erase Data setting by selecting Settings, General, Passcode Lock, Erase Data. Thereafter, the iPad will erase all data in the event that someone inputs an incorrect passcode 10 times consecutively.

2. Dock your apps. By default, the iPad displays four apps on the Dock (the home page’s main menu running across the bottom), but there is room for six apps. To add two more apps to your Dock, press and hold any app icon until it jiggles, then drag the app onto the Dock.

3. Create folders. Create a folder by tapping and holding an app icon until it jiggles, then drag and drop the app onto another app. iPad will create a folder containing both apps, and you can rename the folder and add more apps.

4. Scroll to the top. After scrolling down a large document or webpage, tap the title bar at the top of the screen to quickly scroll back to the top.

5. Split keyboard. To split the iPad’s keyboard for more comfortable typing, with your cursor within any text area, tap and hold on the keyboard toggle button at the bottom right of the keyboard and drag the keyboard upward until it divides. The keyboard halves will merge when you drag the keyboard back to the bottom.
Install an antivirus program. Installing an antivirus program and keeping it up to date can help defend your computer against viruses. Antivirus programs scan for viruses trying to get into your email, operating system, or files. New viruses appear daily, so set your antivirus software to install updates automatically.

Don't open email attachments unless you're expecting them. Many viruses are attached to email messages and will spread as soon as you open the email attachment. It's best not to open any attachment unless it's something you're expecting.

Keep your computer updated. Microsoft releases security updates that can help protect your computer. Make sure that Windows receives these updates by turning on Windows automatic updating.

Use a firewall.‌ Windows Firewall (or any other firewall) can help alert you to suspicious activity if a virus or worm attempts to connect to your computer. It can also block viruses, worms, and hackers from attempting to download potentially harmful programs to your computer.

Use your browser's privacy settings. Being aware of how websites might use your private information is important to help prevent fraud and identity theft. If you're using Internet Explorer, you can adjust your Privacy settings or restore the default settings whenever you want.

Use a pop-up blocker with your browser. Pop-up windows are small browser windows that appear on top of the website you're viewing. Although most are created by advertisers, they can also contain malicious or unsafe code. A pop-up blocker can prevent some or all of these windows from appearing. The Pop-up Blocker feature in Internet Explorer is turned on by default.

Turn on User Account Control (UAC). When changes are going to be made to your computer that require administrator-level permission, UAC notifies you and gives you the opportunity to approve the change. UAC can help keep viruses from making unwanted changes. To learn more about turning on UAC and adjusting the settings, see Turn User Account Control on or off.

A website's homepage serves as a company's virtual front door, your homepage is generally responsible for drawing in a majority of your website's traffic. Here are some elements you can add to help optimize it properly:

Headline Within three seconds, a website needs to tell visitors what the site has to offer. Keep your headline clear and simple -- no fluff.

Imagery Most people are visual. Make sure to use an image (or even a short video) that clearly indicates what you offer. Use images that capture emotion and cause action, avoid cheesy stock photos.

Benefits It's not only important to describe what you do, but also why it matters. Prospects want to know the benefits your company can provide. Keep this lightweight and easy to read, speak the language of the customer.

Navigation‌ To decrease bounce rate, give your visitors a clear path into your site from the homepage. Make sure your navigation is visible at the top of the page, and make it simple to find what they're looking for. Multiple navigation paths is also helpful.

Calls to Action The goal of your homepage is to compel visitors to dig deeper into your website and move them further down the funnel. Include 2-3 calls to action that direct people to different parts of your webpage and closer to using your company.

Success Indicators In addition to customer success stories, awards, and recognitions can also help inspire a good first impression.

Easily send files and folders of any size from your Mac to another device be it a Windows PC, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or a Mac itself.

This is a useful windows management app for Mac that lets you move and resize windows with configurable keyboard shortcuts. You can also move windows between multiple displays too.

Duet Display‌
Use your iPad or iPhone as an extra display for your Mac. Connect the iOS device to the Mac with the USB cable and use the touch-screen to interact with your Mac apps.

You can unlock your Mac by simply tapping your iPhone screen or your Apple Watch without having to type any passwords.

App Cleaner Deleting the .dmg file is not enough. If you are to properly uninstall any Mac app, you need to delete the residual hidden files as well and that’s where App Cleaner can help.

You can easily sync any Mac folder with Dropbox or Google Drive without having to move them to a common folder.

Air Browser
This will put your favorite websites in the menu bar so you can access them from any screen with a single click. The sites can be configured to auto-refresh on open.

The perfect FTP client for Mac OS X that just works. You can create droplets to instantly upload files to your favorite destinations from anywhere.

Self Control Stop procrastinating. This open-source Mac app that will temporarily block access to time-wasting websites, emails and everything else that you find distracting.

When you delete a file in Windows, the contents of the file can still be recovered using other utilities. Eraser lets you permanently delete a file making recovery nearly impossible.

One of the most useful software utilities from Microsoft that lets you keep different folders in sync with each other. You can configure it with Windows Task Manager to run file synchronization jobs automatically at custom intervals.

WinDirStat ‌
Running out of space on Windows? WinDirStat helps you reclaim disk space by creating a visual treemap of your entire hard disk where the area of the colored rectangles is proportional to the size of the underlying folders.

This is the easiest way to upload your desktop files onto the web. Droplr adds a new option to your Windows “Send to” menu and also places a drop zone on the desktop. Any files that you place in the drop zone are instantly upload and the public link is copied to the clipboard automatically.

MailStore If you want offline access to your emails, use MailStore as it helps you download all your emails on the computer or even a USB drive.

It helps improve the boot-up time of your Windows PC by removing unnecessary programs from the start-up routine and also delaying the launch of certain programs.

It turns your desktop into a virtual whiteboard allowing your to draw /annotate anywhere on the screen using colored pens. An essential tool for presenters.

It let you resize program windows to any fixed, predefined size. Quite handy when you are capturing screenshots for documentation and also for screencasting.

LockBox Put all your confidential files into a folder and then use the LockBox utility to completely hide that folder inside Windows Explorer.

1. Spotlight search. Double-tap the Home button to reveal Spotlight Search, which displays all of your running apps along the bottom of the screen.

2. Quick controls. To quickly display Playback, Reverse, Play/Pause, Skip, Brightness, and Volume controls, double-tap the Home button and swipe the bottom of the screen toward the right.

3. Keyboard shortcuts. When typing, swiping up on the comma key inserts an apostrophe; swiping up on the period key inserts a quotation; holding the hyphen key inserts em-dashes or bullets; and holding the dollar sign key inserts several different currency symbols.

4. Safari bookmarks. By default, the Safari browser does not display the Bookmarks icon. To enable this feature, select Settings from the Home screen, select Safari from the left menu, then toggle the option labeled Always Show Bookmarks Bar to ON.

5. Sync files to your iPad. Download and install Dropbox (free) on both your iPad and computer. Thereafter, the photos, Word, Excel, and PDF documents you drop into your Dropbox from either device will be instantly accessible from either device.

Predictive Text
When you're using any text-based app, predictive text will display on the Touch Bar, just like it does on your iPhone and iPad.

Unlock Your Macbook
The Touch Bar has Touch ID bulit into it, allowing you to simply tap the Touch Bar with your finger and unlock your computer.

Switch Between Tabs
The Touch Bar can visually display your browser tabs. When working with multiple tabs this allows you to swipe the touch bar and find what you're looking for easily.

Use the Calculator
Used in conjunction with the number row at the top of the keyboard, the Touch Bar allows you to easily do basic calculations using operators like +/-, percentage, division, multiplication and more.

Save Time Using Menus
The Touch Bar contextual menu will change depending on what you last clicked on, for example, when editing font the touch bar will allow to change the color, size, and more without ever looking through a seperate menu.

Preview/Edit Photos
When using the Apple Photos App you can click on a picture to turn the touch bar into a row of thumbnails allowing you to easily find the photo you want. The Touch Bar will also allow you edit your photos with filters, cropping, and more.

Make Purchases Using Touch ID
Similar to an iPhone, once you set up Apple Pay you will be able to quickly make purchases with a tap of a finger using the Touch Bar.