Subscribe to our blog!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Angie's List Super Service Awards!
The On Button was awarded Angie's List Super Service Awards for 2013 & 2014! Thank you to our wonderful clients, it has been a pleasure helping you!
Technology problems solved...

Computer virus: "...very quick response to my call regarding a virus on my computer... professional and very knowledgable... we will be recommending TheONbutton to my friends." Lynn, Hillsborough NC

Apple Mac computer training: "Neil's prompt service and vast knowledge of computers has been a godsend. At this point I can't imagine life without him!" Margaret, Chapel Hill NC

Computer issue troubleshooting: "Excellent response to issues dealing with the home computer. All problems were solved and his explanations were easily understood." Jane, Durham NC

Laptop memory upgrade: "Punctual and very effective service! Highly recommend." Mike, Chapel Hill, NC

Computer performance tune-up: "I had the good fortune of finding TheONbutton. Neil was prompt, friendly, knowledgeable, fast, efficient, and affordable. I give him my highest recommendation!" Sean, Durham NC

Read more reviews of TheONbutton...

Our Facebook & Twitter pages
More testimonials

Wireless Internet connection problem: "Neil got our wireless router and modem going again that Time Warner and TP Link help desks had struggled with. We will definitely use the TheONbutton again should problems arise." Jeff, Durham NC

Computer virus: "...very quick response to my call regarding a virus on my computer...professional and very knowledgable...we will be recommending TheONbutton to my friends." Lynn, Hillsborough NC

Read more reviews of TheONbutton...

What's Going ON?

We love tech and here's where you find out just how much! Our blog covers tips, tech, gadgets and other computer service related stuff in Durham and beyond! Let us know what you think by sending us a comment, we love reading them and we promise to do our best to respond!


Worried about online privacy? New search engine offers 'no-tracking' policy.

Here's something for those concerned about their privacy online. While many worry about being tracked by Google and Bing as they search the Internet, a new search engine has emerged promoting itself as a 'no-tracking' portal.

This new search engine is called DuckDuckGo; a curious name but it sure is memorable! In a world where our search habits are being increasingly tracked so that our preferences can be sold to advertisers, DuckDuckGo's no-tracking policy will appeal to many.

Indeed, it is already the fastest growing search engine on the Internet. Is DuckDuckGo a passing fad or could its growing popularity change the way Google and Bing track their own visitors?

Neil Berman, Helper-in-Chief, TheONbutton


How to watch Netflix in surround sound

Netflix is currently the most popular living room Internet video streaming service in the US. It's available through a variety of living room friendly devices, such as several games consoles, Blu-ray players and media streamers like the Apple TV and Roku range.

Some clients have asked whether Netflix will broadcast its movies in surround sound so they can enjoy a more immersive experience. The answer is that Netflix already broadcasts in 5.1 surround sound, meaning a front left & right speaker pair, a rear left & right speaker pair, a front center speaker and a subwoofer. However viewers will only hear the broadcast in surround sound if they have the correct home theater equipment.

What equipment do I need to watch Netflix in surround sound?

A fair assumption might be that if you have a surround sound system then you will hear Netflix in surround sound. This is unfortunately not necessarily the case.

The Netflix receiver

Firstly, the device receiving the Netflix transmission must be capable of outputting the soundtrack in surround sound. Some examples of popular compatible devices include the Xbox 360, Apple TV and Roku 2 range. If these are connected to a compatible home theater system using an HDMI cable then the first part of the puzzle is in place. Digital optical and coaxial cables can also carry the surround sound signal. If however, a stereo (normally red & white) analog audio cable is used to connect the Netflix receiver to the home theater system then only stereo audio will be heard. 

The home theater system

Secondly, and this is the harder part, the home theater system must be capable of decoding the new Dolby Digital Plus (or DD+) surround sound codec. DD+ is used by Netflix to transmit its surround sound signal and is only supported by home theater receivers released within the past few years. So even if you have a $5,000 audiophile quality home theater setup from ten years ago, which might sound awesome for older DVDs and regular stereo music, it will probably not be capable of correctly reproducing Netflix's surround sound transmission. You might hear a duplicated front and rear transmission, so you will indeed be 'surrounded' by sound, but rear location-based sounds will probably not be correctly reproduced.

The solution

The solution in many cases is to simply upgrade the home theater receiver to a modern unit that is compatible with Dolby Digital Plus, as long as your existing speakers have regular wiring rather than proprietary connectors. Good home theater receivers are available for as little as $200-300, such as Yamaha's RX-V373 or Pioneer's VSX-821K.

Now go and surround yourself with sound!

Neil Berman, Helper-in-Chief, TheONbutton



Google Contacts CSV format import fields guide

TheONbutton works extensively with Google Apps for our business and individual clients. One of the great features of Google Apps is the ability to import contacts in bulk using a CSV comma delimited file. This type of file can be created by using Microsoft Excel to structure and format the table as needed and then saving the file in CSV comma delimited format.

One piece of the puzzle which can be a little unclear is the field structure. So here is an example field structure that we use which covers most bases. I've set out the field names first followed by an example below with sample data.

I hope this helps, if you find it useful please let us know in the comments!

Google Contacts CSV example fields

  • Given Name
  • Family Name
  • Name Prefix
  • Phone 1 - Type
  • Phone 1 - Value
  • Phone 2 - Type
  • Phone 2 - Value
  • Phone 3 - Type
  • Phone 3 - Value
  • E-mail 1 - Type
  • E-mail 1 - Value
  • Address 1 - Type
  • Address 1 - Street
  • Address 1 - City
  • Address 1 - Region
  • Address 1 - Postal Code
  • Notes
  • Group Membership


Google Contacts import fields with sample data

  • Given Name Neil
  • Family Name Berman
  • Name Prefix Mr
  • Phone 1 - Type Work
  • Phone 1 - Value 555-555-5555
  • Phone 2 - Type Mobile
  • Phone 2 - Value 555-555-5555
  • Phone 3 - Type Home
  • Phone 3 - Value 555-555-5555
  • E-mail 1 - Type * Work
  • E-mail 1 - Value Work email address
  • Address 1 - Type Home
  • Address 1 - Street 1001 TheONbutton St
  • Address 1 - City TheONbutton City
  • Address 1 - Region NC
  • Address 1 - Postal Code 99999
  • Notes Neil is into technology
  • Group Membership * My Contacts ::: Name Of Contacts Group


Happy importing!

Neil Berman, Helper-in-Chief, TheONbutton 


4 ways to improve your website's Search Engine Optimization, or SEO

There are multiple components that go into creating a website that will rank well in search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo. This is known as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

1. Website domain name is important for SEO

The domain name of a website (example: helps search engines to categorize a website and contributes to a site's 'search ranking'. Google refers to this a 'PageRank' So, if you want to increase the likelihood that your site will appear higher in results when someone searches for your name, choose a meaningful domain name to help the search engines. If you want them to find you by your profession for example, include the profession in the domain name. If popular names are taken then look for similar variations or other extensions such as .net or .biz.

2. Website content is more important than platform

There are many platforms available for building a website quickly, such as Squarespace, Virb and Wordpress. One particular platform is not necessarily better for SEO than another. For SEO purposes, the content on the website is more important than the platform used to build the site. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines look for keywords in the content of a website to identify the type of information that the site is offering. Try to use keywords that accurately describe your content, regardless of whether it is a business or a personal website. Be sensible about your use of keywords so that the site remains easy to read by people visiting your site. Overuse of the same keywords repeatedly will probably result in a website that is difficult to enjoy reading, and search engines might demote a site that is too saturated with keywords.

3. Links, multimedia and up-to-date content

Search engines prioritize websites that include links going out to, and coming in from, other websites. So if you are able to link your site to your company's Facebook page, your LinkedIn profile and other sites, this will help your site's ranking. Consider professional association websites also. If a high quality website links to your site then that is more valuable than an incoming link form a lower quality site. Relevant photos and videos also help, as do blog entries on the site if they are relevant to the main content on the website. Additionally, regular blog entries help the search engines to notice that your site has up to date information, which is an important criteria in search ranking.

4. Leverage social media - Facebook, LinkedIn and others

Beyond the content on the website itself, using social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to reach people, increase your SEO through linking and drive additional traffic to your website. Create a Facebook business page focused solely on the company, and use it to keep people up to date with company news and general topics of interest in your field. Provide inks to your website's blog posts and other content from the Facebook or LinkedIn pages, which helps with your search engine optimization. This is a great way to reach people who might not go directly to your website regularly.  

It takes time for a website to rank highly on search engines (months as opposed to days), but using these techniques as a starting point will help to get results! Let me know about your experiences!

Neil Berman, Helper-in-Chief, TheONbutton


Remote Help IT support from TheONbutton

What is Remote Help?

You might be far away, or spend too much time being IT support for family members, or maybe you live around Durham, Chapel Hill or Raleigh and just don't want to get out of your pyjamas. But you need IT support. We can now connect to your computer remotely to support you wherever you are. Regular clients can even opt to have support work done when they're away from their computer. It's the ultimate in convenience and minimizes downtime.

How does Remote Help work?

We use state of the art remote connectivity software called Citrix GoToManage from industry leader Citrix, which is safe, secure and takes just moments to set up. You have the option to stay on the phone with us during the remote support session and watch what we're doing, or go and enjoy some free time instead.

What can I use Remote Help for?

Remote Help is available for Mac and PC owners and is perfect for training, troubleshooting, software installations & upgrades, computer performance tune-ups, iPhone & iPad software updates, you name it! Use Remote Help for a lesson at work on Microsoft Excel, or to get yourself set up on Facebook and LinkedIn, or to learn how to use your Mac if you just switched from a PC.

So take this opportunity to get more out of your computer, reclaim your free time and do more of what you want to do. Remote Help from TheONbutton is just a phone call away!

Neil Berman, Helper-in-Chief, TheONbutton