Author Archives: The Help Desk

Should you be using a wireless or wired mouse?

The wireless vs. wired mouse debate has been transpiring for quite a while. There are strong arguments on both sides, but some of those arguments are stronger than others. What are the pros and cons of each?


Just like wireless mice, wired mice have a number of positives as well as negatives. These are a couple of the major benefits:

  • Extended life expectancy
  • Faster response time
  • More cost efficient
  • Better accuracy – a big pro for gamers
  • No possibility of inadvertently gaining control of someone else’s computer

Some of the primary drawbacks to wired mice include less freedom to roam and just a lack of convenience.


Despite the occasional dead batteries, wireless mice have quite a few strong points. They offer a level of convenience that can’t be reached with a wired mouse, no matter how long the cord is. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Greater freedom – another favorite feature among gamers, who often control their TVs from the couch
  • Improvements in response time and accuracy
  • Fewer cords
  • Smoother movement due to the lack of a cord

Despite these advantages, there are still several disadvantages to think about. Bad signals and dead batteries may not happen often, but if they come at an inconvenient time, the results can be detrimental.

What it all comes down to is which features are most important to you. If you demand accuracy at all times, a wired mouse is probably the way to go. But if you’re looking for the freedom to work from your couch, you might benefit from a wireless mouse instead. Both have plenty of advantages, so you really can’t go wrong either way.

If you’d like more information on both wired and wireless mice, or if you’d like to join the debate, check out this website.

Commenting on Google Docs just got better

Many of us are familiar with Google Docs as a tool for quick and easy document creation. What a lot of people don’t know is how great of a collaboration tool it can be, especially due to its recent updates.

The commenting feature in Google Docs saw some significant changes this week. Some of the most substantial updates include:

  • Timestamps and profile pictures on comments
  • The ability to edit and resolve comments
  • Implementation of email notifications via @mentions


The addition of email notifications is the thing that businesses will likely benefit from the most. These notifications allow users to invite new people into the discussion whenever they’re needed.

The notifications always include the comment associated with it so the recipient doesn’t necessarily need access to Google Docs in order to contribute. They can just reply to the email with their comments, and it will show up in the conversation thread as if they were logged in.

In addition to the email notifications, the ability to edit and resolve comments will likely be very useful. Before, Google only allowed you to delete comments once an issue had been resolved. Now, you can “resolve” the comment and it will still be available for review. Now, you can check back and make sure that everything has been completed correctly.

Collaboration tools like Google Docs make it much easier to be a part of a distributed team. Features like email alerts let your team members know immediately when you need their help. Staying in sync is not as hard with tools like these.

Passing a document back and forth via email can be very messy. If multiple people are editing at once, keeping track of all of those edits and ensuring that they show up on the final version gets difficult. With these tools, since everybody’s version of the document is identical there is far less confusion around changes. For distributed teams, and remote workers, tools like this are quite valuable.

For more insight into the recent changes to Google Docs check out this article.

There are many fantastic ideas emerging from SXSW

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a yearly compilation of conferences and festivals that has been around for 25 years. SXSW draws together some of the most imaginative thinkers in the fields of film, music, and interactive media. It is known for its abundance of creative content, which is quite prevalent this year.

So far, the SXSW Interactive conference, which involves all of the new media, has showcased some stellar ideas. The somewhat smaller SXSW Technology Summit, however, includes presentations on technology and business and has just begun. Nevertheless, some great tech-related ideas have already emerged.

Every year, SXSW includes a “Startup Bus” competition. The Startup Bus takes off from 5 cities: Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Cleveland. These buses are bound for Austin, and take two days to get there. Within those 48 hours, teams are formed and they are tasked with coming up with a startup idea and then creating a website and prototype. They then present their idea to a panel of judges when they reach Austin.

These teams aren’t given much time but, for them, it’s enough. This year’s teams came up with some great ideas – two of which were selected as the winners of the competition.


The medical tourism industry is difficult to navigate, and TripMedi is hoping to solve that issue. Medical tourism is when somebody travels to a developing country for a medical procedure in order to save money.

According to the TripMedi team, there is no clear way to navigate this market, making it an even more unnerving experience for medical tourists. So the team decided to create a Yelp-like service for the industry.

Now, people interested in medical tourism can find a comprehensive list of services, prices and physicians all in one place. The site has already seen 1,300 unique visitors and 44 sign-ups, and it’s only been live for four days.


WalkIN deals with the all-too-common problem of cramming into a restaurant lobby while waiting for a table. Dozens of hungry, grumpy people are stepping on each others toes, hoping that their name will be called next.

WalkIN gets rid of one of the biggest pains of waiting for a table by allowing you to roam while you wait. You can simply go into the restaurant, check in using a QR code, and then wander around until you are alerted via phone that your table is ready.

People no longer have to carry around big, cumbersome restaurant pagers that vibrate incessantly until you make it back to the host stand.

As these startups demonstrate, SXSW is a melting pot of innovative thinkers and always produces stellar ideas. There are bound to be more fascinating ideas emerging from SXSW, so stay tuned.

For more information on SXSW, check out the website.