Top Tech Gifts for the 2022 Holiday Season

By Tibby Fielding

At ADVYON, we love technology and sharing the latest gadgets and gear as gifts. From inexpensive stocking stuffers to family-sized gifts, we have something for everyone on your shopping list. Our team has put together a top 10 list of gift ideas that are so great, you might even want one for yourself, but don’t worry- we won’t tell!

Portable 4k Projector with Wifi and Bluetooth

This Smart Projector connects to WiFi and bluetooth for a smooth viewing experience. The built-in speakers provide surround sound experience with the capability to connect additional speakers.

A Desktop Stand for Nearly Any Tablet

This aluminum tablet stand provides easy, hands-free viewing perfect for business class, exercise, games, and more!

Nintendo Switch with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Bundle 

This model includes a Nintendo Switch Online 3-month Individual Membership. Race and battle your friends in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe!

Portable Solar Power Bank and Charger with 6 Outputs and a Flashlight

This high capacity solar power bank has a built-in lightning cable, micro cable and type c cable with a durable and sturdy design. Travel care-free without any additional cables. The dual multifunctional flashlight comes with a variety of flashing modes that will lead you through the darkness. 

SONOFF WiFi Smart Plugs with Energy Monitoring

Connect your devices with smart plugs that will allow you to control them with Alexa, Amazon Echo, and Google Home. Set time schedules for your lights and home appliances, use count downs, or timers. These include an energy report with one tap On/OFF capabilities. Share control of your home easily with others.

Beats Studio Buds

These wireless noise canceling earbuds are compatible with all devices via bluetooth. Listen to music for up to 8 hours with extended range and fewer dropouts. These have high-quality call performance and voice assistant interaction via built-in microphones. 

Google Nest Thermostat

This programmable smart thermostat connects to your Wifi network and will have you saving money in no time! Control your thermostat from anywhere with the Google Home app. You can even connect it to your Alexa devices.

Apple Watch SE with GPS + Cellular 40mm 

The device you didn’t know you needed is here. With touch-free payment, health tracking capabilities, texting, phone calls and more, the Apple watch keeps you connected, healthy and secure.

Apple AirTag 4 Pack

Keep track of your items alongside friends in the Find My app. The simple, one tap setup instantly connects AirTag with your iPhone or iPad. Play a sound on the built-in speaker or just ask Siri for help. Add AirTags to a keychain, dog collar or toss them in your purse.

 Set of Sonos One SL Speakers

Fill your home with rich sound as you pair your speakers together. Control the speakers with the Sonos App, Apple Airplay 2 and more. The compact humidity resistant design makes these immersive speakers a top choice for 2022! 

Please Note: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Tech Tips For Traveling During The Holidays

The Holiday season is upon us, and it is an exciting time for traveling, new purchases, and quality time with loved ones. Unfortunately, this time of year we see an uptick in theft and loss of devices. The ADVYON team wants to help you stay safe and secure during the hustle and bustle. We have put together a list of recommendations that will help keep your mind at ease and your devices and data secure before, during, and after travel. 

Before Traveling:

  • Take pictures of the devices you will travel with (phones, laptops, cameras, tablets, iPads, headphones, handheld gaming devices etc.).
  • Write down all serial numbers for your devices and store them both at home and keep them with you while traveling.
  • Backup all your devices to the cloud (If a device is lost or stolen, you will not lose all of your data).
  • Set up ‘Find My” on your devices to track their location.
  • Keep all logins secure by setting up multi-factor authentication.
  • Pre-download tv shows, movies, games, and music to your devices ahead of time so you do not need to access insecure public wi-fi. 
  • Pre-charge all devices.
  • Pack any chargers/cords, portable chargers, adapters, and batteries you will need.

While Traveling:

  • Create an internet plan: 
    • Use your cell phone hotspot, purchase a secure internet plan from your phone provider for travel, or utilize a VPN.
    • Use a traveling VPN application: These will protect your devices so your data is not tracked.
    • Don’t use public WIFI networks or hotspots without a VPN. Connecting to these insecure networks makes your data vulnerable.
  • Public WIFI Tip: The WIFI at airports/hotels costs money to log in, you can use it by adding “?.jpg” at the end of the URL address but be sure to use a VPN app for protection.
  • Always lock your valuable technology in a safe.

After Traveling: 

  • Take an inventory of your devices 
  • Backup your devices

For more information and insights about traveling with technology, listen to the podcast hosted by our ADVYON tech dads: Brian and Jon.

AskTechDad Episode #7- Holiday Travel Tips

Podcast episodes for AskTechDad are available on all major streaming platforms: Spotify, Audible, Apple etc. 

How to fix errors when installing and uninstalling programs on Windows (sometimes including code 2502 or 2503):

Written by Ian Britten and Tibby Fielding

Are you having issues when installing and uninstalling programs on your Windows computer?

Sometimes, but not always, you may receive error messages that contain the code 2502 or 2503. A Windows computer has a built-in Windows account called Trusted Installer which assists in installing, modifying and removing updates and other Windows components. Over time your computer can become corrupted which causes the Trusted Installer to lose some of its access to the Temp Folder which holds temporary files used during installation. This can cause programs to stop installing or uninstalling all together.

To fix these issues, follow the steps below:

Step 1:

In the search bar type ‘cmd.’

Next, from the menu, right click ‘Command Prompt App’ and select ‘Run as administrator.’ 

Click ‘yes’ to the pop up.

Step 2:

Copy and paste the following commands in the command prompt box and press the ‘Enter’ key:

TAKEOWN /F C:\Windows\Temp /R

Icacls C:\Windows\Temp /Q /T /C /RESET

Step 3:

Open ‘File Explorer.’

Navigate to C:\Windows\Temp.

Right click the ‘Temp folder.’  and select ‘Properties.’

Step 4:

From the ‘Properties’ menu, select the ‘Security’ tab.

At the bottom of the Security Tab, select “Advanced.’

Step 5: 

At the top of the window, next to ‘Owner:’, select Change.

Step 6:

In the Advanced Security Settings Window, press the button named ‘Locations…’.

Step 7:

In the Locations window, select your device name under ‘Location:’.

Select’ OK’

Step 8:

In the textbox, ‘Enter the object name to select’ type: NT Service\TrustedInstaller

Next, select ‘Check Names’.

Step 9:

Once TrustedInstaller displays (with underline), select ‘OK’.

Step 10:

At the bottom of the Advanced Security window, click ‘Apply’ to set TrustedInstaller as owner.

 When you are finished giving Trusted Installer the access it needs, you should not have further issues installing or removing programs.

Are you getting pop ups when composing or replying to emails in Gmail?

Written By Ian Britten and Tibby Fielding

Are you receiving this pop up when composing or replying via Gmail?

This pop up is occurring because your Gmail signature contains images that have been copied and pasted into the signature. To fix this issue, you can insert image files into your signature. If you do not have the image files, there is an easy way to download them.

(Skip to Step 3 if you already have the image files saved on your device.) 

To download image files:

Step 1: Compose a new email and click the X on the loading box that pops up (exit out of the pop up).

Step 2: Right click on the images in your signature and click “Save as” to save them to your device.

Step 3: Delete the image(s) from your signature.

Insert the image(s) back into your Gmail signature: 

Step 4: Click on the Settings Gear > and choose the “See all settings” button.

Step 5: Select:  General Settings > Select Signature > Select the pencil button to edit the signature. Within the Signature textbox, >Select the “Insert image” button.

Step 6: Find the images that you saved on your device from your signature and select these files.

Microsoft 365 Mandatory Two-factor Authentication

Written By Tibby Fielding

By January 1, 2023, all Microsoft 365 applications will change from basic authentication access to a mandatory two-factor authentication. Beginning October 1, 2022, Microsoft will start randomly selecting users and disabling basic authentication access for MAPI, RPC, Offline Address book (OAB), Exchange Web Services (EWS), POP, IMAP, Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), and Remote PowerShell. Users will receive a notification 7 days prior in the Message Center as well as a Service Health Dashboard notification on the day of the change. No changes will be made to SMTP AUTH. If you are not ready for this change, you can re-enable basic auth only until January 1, 2023. We do not suggest utilizing basic authentication as it keeps your data at risk. 

Two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication is an identity and access management security method that requires two forms of identification to access data: your username and password, and a contact method. When you turn on two-step verification, every time you sign in on a device that isn’t trusted, you will have the choice to get a security code sent to your phone (SMS), email or authenticator application. We do not suggest using email.

It is strongly recommended that you begin using the two-factor authentication protocol to protect your data and avoid any attacks stemming from basic auth. For more information about the two-factor authentication rollout taking place with Microsoft products, read this Exchange Team Blog post.

QuickBooks Payment Notifications Not Sending

Written By: Tamra Dubis and  Tibby Fielding 

QuickBooks customers should receive emails that show when a client processes a payment; However, since the end of July, QuickBooks customers have not been getting payment notification emails.

QuickBooks payment notification emails look like the image below:

Our IT technician dug deep into this issue to find a resolution, yet one is not currently available, and it has been deemed a back-end engineering issue. Take a look below to see all the steps our IT Technician took, including guidance from QuickBooks customer service. Hopefully, this will save you troubleshooting time until the issue is resolved.

 

  1. ADVYON contacted QuickBooks customer support and they gave the link below to fix this issue:

The article is titled: “Unable to receive Intuit email from QuickBooks Payments”

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/learn-support/en-us/help-article/account-management/unable-receive-intuit-email/L10iCMjNp_US_en_US

 

  1. Our IT tech followed all the steps in this article as shown below:

Step 1: Check Email folders, including spam and junk

Step 2: Add the following email addresses to your contact list

Step 2 did not work, so they tried Step 3.

Step 3­­: Turn off the Sender ID filtering for all Server Hostnames/IP Addresses

Unfortunately, the steps in this article provided by QuickBooks Customer Service did not work.

 

  1. Next, ADVYON’s IT Technician found another support article after searching “QuickBooks not sending notifications”

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/learn-support/en-us/payments/email-payment-notifications/00/688786

This article directs you to log into QuickBooks online account for QuickBooks desktop and make changes to the account settings and alerts. See the image below. ADVYON’s IT technician tried all steps on this QuickBooks support page with no resolution.

4. Next, our IT tech reached out to QuickBooks customer service again, the support representative said they would contact a higher tier of support to find out the issue. Through this exchange, we discovered that this is an ongoing backend issue at QuickBooks. Per the conversation below, the issues should have been resolved with the September 2, 2022 update. While QuickBooks has not updated its website to reflect the issue, the support representative clearly stated that the engineering department will have to fix the issue.

 

As of September 21, 2022, the issue still has not been resolved.

How to solve issues connecting to SharePoint on the Microsoft Edge browser

Written By: Ian Britten and  Tibby Fielding 

There is an issue with Microsoft Edge and Java if you are using a later version of both.  This problem can cause SharePoint to show an error that says “Undefined global this,” which means it cannot reach the website. If the browser does not have the right versions of Microsoft Edge and Java to reach a website, it will not connect and it will produce an error message. 

To fix this issue:

Download the latest version of Microsoft Edge. You do not need to uninstall anything; Microsoft Edge will reinstall over the older version

  1. Click this link to update Microsoft Edge: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge
  2. Choose your OS from the drop-down menu
  3. Next, download the latest version of Java. You do not need to uninstall anything; Java will update to the latest version. 
  4. Click this link to install the latest version of Java: https://www.java.com/en/download/
  5. Choose the green “Download Java” button

This fix should cure any roadblocks accessing SharePoint through Microsoft Edge.  

 

 

Getting Involved With Our Community & Nonprofits

Written By: Tibby Fielding

At our core, ADVYON’s mission was created to help other nonprofits with technology needs. The name ADVYON was founded from combining the words Advice + Beyond. Today, we have broadened our market and services to support all business models. Rooted in our core mission, we continue to support our partners and community while growing and building a better tomorrow.

This month we are highlighting some of our nonprofit community partners and their upcoming events. We hope you will join us and get involved.

The Dorchester Habitat for Humanity is shining a light on how poverty affects working women with “Little Black Dress Week.” This fundraiser runs from September 12-16th and supports the mission of Dorchester Habitat to provide affordable housing and break women out of poverty. Participants in the fundraiser will utilize Facebook to bring awareness and raise funds for the cause. ADVYON’s employees are participating in this fundraiser to support our community and client’s mission. Each day of the week, Little Black Dress Agents will wear the same black dress to illustrate how many women do not have money for a working wardrobe because most of their savings go towards food, shelter and basic necessities. It’s hard to make the same dress look different every day. But it’s much harder to choose between paying rent or medical bills. No one should have to make that choice.

Poverty can look different for everyone and sometimes it looks like wearing the same professional dress every day. The average hourly wage for renters in SC is $13.52 (SC Housing Needs Assessment 2021). While the hourly wage needed to afford fair market rent is $17.30. We are raising money for women who are working with limited resources. These women must choose between paying rent, paying utilities, buying food or buying a working wardrobe. This is not just a week for wearing a black dress; it’s about harnessing the power of community to make a difference.

On October 3, Dorchester Children’s Center host’s the 2nd Annual Children In Crisis Golf Tournament at the Berkeley Country Club. Children in Crisis provides a coordinated multi-disciplinary response to child abuse that reduces trauma and provides evidence-based treatment for children suffering from abuse and neglect. Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center invites you to support their mission and register for the golf tournament. Registration starts at 12 PM and the first tee off is at 1PM. Multi-level sponsorships are available as well. For tickets and sponsorships click here. Your participation will directly benefit children in our community.

The Edisto Blackwater Boogie is a festival all about celebrating the Edisto River. Funds raised from the Boogie support the beautiful Givhans Ferry State Park so we can preserve the Edisto for future generations.

The Boogie has plenty of ways to enjoy the Edisto from outdoor activities and performances by local musicians, food and drink trucks, kid-friendly activities, and more! Activities include a songwriter showcase on Friday evening, bonfire jam sessions, guided tours, and musical performances throughout the weekend through Sunday Brunch. Food and drink trucks will be on-site as well as artisan vendors.

The Edisto Blackwater Boogie is a weekend-long event taking place from October 7th to the 9th, 2022. Camping is encouraged! Immerse yourself in the experience by camping out under the stars. Camper sites are available from Givhans Ferry State Park and offsite camping is also available. Get your tickets here!

Dorchester Seniors, Inc. annual fundraiser, BBQ In The ‘Ville, will be on Saturday,  October 15 from 4:00- 7:00 PM hosted by Rob Fowler, NBC News 2 @ The Dorchester Boat Club. Admission is free and proceeds from the fundraiser will support the programs, services and activities provided by Dorchester Seniors. The event will include food, raffles, games, drinks, music, s’mores etc.

Dorchester Seniors empowers people to achieve their highest quality of life and enhance their educational, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing. Some of the activities this fundraiser will support are meal delivery services, arts and crafts, cards, games, education, fitness and wellness and more!

Over 10 years ago, Buddy Sirisky with the Charleston Elks Lodge 242, started the annual golf tournament to support the South Carolina Alzheimer’s Association. Since Buddy’s passing, his family and close friends have continued to sponsor this event. The Charleston Elks Lodge is asking for support in fighting Alzheimer’s Disease. With the help of golfers, friends, and volunteers, they have continued to raise money each year by sponsoring this golf tournament.

The 14th Annual Buddy Sirisky Memorial Alzheimer’s Charity Golf Tournament takes place on October 14th at The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation. Check-in runs from 8:00 AM-9:00 AM. There are a variety of sponsorship levels and ways to get involved throughout the day. If you are interested in this event please visit the website and register by October 7th.

Expanding the Table is a hot kitchen on wheels that provides free meals in the Summerville, SC area on Friday and Saturday evenings. In 2013, Ashley Ridge Church began its mission to feed those in need filling in the gaps from other organizations with the same goal. They purchased and outfitted an old coffee truck and transformed it. Currently, the truck serves approximately 140 meals per week on Fridays and Saturdays with the goal of expanding to more dates and locations to better serve those in need.

The volunteers lovingly serve a free, nutritious, hot meal and look to develop deeper relationships with those in the community. As Expanding the Table gets to know the guests, they learn more about their story, their needs, and work to connect them with numerous other resources within the community.

In partnership with Expanding the Table, ADVYON is working to redesign their website. In the meantime, if you are interested in volunteering with Expanding the Table you can sign up here.

We look forward to sharing more about our nonprofits and events with you!

How to call and message with Amazon Alexa

Did you know you can use Alexa to call and message others?

Amazon’s Alexa calling and messaging feature enables you to make and receive calls, as well as send messages between Echo devices, the Amazon Alexa app for iOS and Android, and fire tablets. It’s a neat way to contact family and friends. The best part? The feature is completely free to use, as it works over Wi-Fi on most Echo devices and into Alexa apps too.

Here’s everything you need to know about it and how it works:

You need an Amazon account and the Alexa app on a device running Android 6.0 (or higher), iOS 11.0 (or higher), or an Android Fire tablet. Everything must be set up using the Alexa app, where you’ll find the Communicate tab.

Once you’ve set it up via the Alexa app, you’ll be able to use the service across all your Echo and Alexa devices, as long as it’s enabled on each individual device – which it is by default.

You can sync the Alexa app with your contacts on your smartphone and this will allow Alexa to call phone numbers, meaning you can call from your Echo to a mobile phone, for example. Alternatively, you can use Alexa to call other Echo devices that your contacts have. If you don’t sync your contacts, you can only use it to contact other Echo or Alexa devices that you’re signed into – like an intercom system.

To get started with Alexa calling for the first time, you need to sign up for it:
1. Open the Amazon Alexa app (on your compatible iOS or Android phone).
2. Open the Communicate tab from the bottom menu.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter and verify your phone information.
Alexa uses your phone’s address book to find people you know who have the Amazon Alexa app with Alexa Calling enabled so that you can call them that way, too.

Here are some Alexa commands you can say:
  • Make a call to another Echo device: “Alexa, call [Corey]” or ” Alexa, call my [Family]”
  • Make a call to a mobile or landline number saved to your contacts: “Alexa, call [John’s] mobile” or “Alexa, call [Chris] on his home phone” or “Alexa, call [Brandon] at work” or “Alexa, call [Mom’s] office”.
  • Dial a mobile or landline number: “Alexa, call [number].”
  • Control call volume: “Alexa, turn the volume up / down.”
  • Hang up / end the call: “Alexa, hang up” or “Alexa, end call.”
  • Answer the call: Just say, “Answer.”
  • Ignore the call: Just say, “Ignore.”

2022 Back to School with Technology Shopping List

Summer is coming to an end. Now, it’s time to start packing up college kids and checking the school supplies list twice.

The dynamic of back-to-school shopping has shifted from just needing packs of paper and binders to making sure you have the most up-to-date equipment to stay effective in a possible hybrid or distance learning environment.

Most students who are going back to school this year really need technology in their everyday life. It’s not just for connecting with friends or streaming games, it’s also for homework, and communicating with teachers. Students are needing different items to make sure they are able to perform their daily workload, but also be practical. Purchasing accessories to go along with school-supplied laptops is now a regular school list requirement. From headphones to hard drives, parents are having to be mindful of their child’s needs for technology.

Below is our list of the top 10 devices and accessories for students to prepare for the 2022-2023 school year.

Calculator:

Wireless Headphones:

Wireless Printer:

Portable Hard drive:

Portable Charger:

Lamp with USB charging:

Bluetooth Speaker:

Fitness Tracker and Watch:

Laptop Tray:

Charging Backpack:

Please Note: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.