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Monday Productivity Pointers

Monday Productivity Pointers

with Jess Stratton

Video: How to do a firmware update

My name is Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. The second reason is, that even as I've logged into my router, and I'm on the main screen.
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  1. 6m 34s
    1. How to do a firmware update
      6m 34s
  2. 9h 7m
    1. Welcome to the series
      1m 13s
    2. Running a group meeting with coworkers
      7m 19s
    3. Recording and marketing chat on air
      8m 30s
    4. Creating a quick presentation
      5m 37s
    5. Presenting from an iPad or computer
      3m 36s
    6. Migrating your accounts to
      9m 55s
    7. Setting budgets and goals
      7m 4s
    8. Collaborating on team documents
      5m 53s
    9. Creating an online photo gallery
      4m 58s
    10. Kickstarter: Setting up your project
      10m 41s
    11. Driving traffic to your project
      5m 48s
    12. Conducting a voice call with a virtual team
      6m 40s
    13. Adding video and chat notifications
      4m 7s
    14. Accepting a payment with Square
      4m 35s
    15. Using the Square Wallet
      2m 32s
    16. Setting up shop on Etsy
      6m 31s
    17. Tracking your Etsy sales with Shop Stats
      4m 9s
    18. Raising your Klout score
      7m 3s
    19. Earning Klout perks
      4m 55s
    20. Skydrive: Collaborating on team documents
      4m 56s
    21. Skydrive: Accessing files on the go
      2m 57s
    22. Setting up Google alerts to track your data
      5m 5s
    23. Removing a page from the Google search index
      4m 42s
    24. Browsing privately in public
      4m 38s
    25. Cleaning up your session before logging out
      5m 8s
    26. Troubleshooting a remote computer with CrossLoop
      4m 34s
    27. Troubleshooting a remote computer with TeamViewer
      3m 42s
    28. Taking screenshots from a PC
      4m 12s
    29. Taking screenshots from a Mac
      3m 36s
    30. Setting up Find My iPhone
      3m 36s
    31. Using iCloud to find an iPhone
      3m 49s
    32. Sampling color from the screen
      5m 27s
    33. Using for inspiration
      3m 22s
    34. Get an audio clip onto YouTube using iPhoto
      5m 49s
    35. Creating playlists and customizing your YouTube channel
      5m 41s
    36. Record your screen using QuickTime
      3m 14s
    37. Record your screen using CamStudio
      2m 34s
    38. Using Tempo Smart Calendar when you are going to be late
      3m 9s
    39. Using Twist to let your customers know where you are
      3m 38s
    40. Using Wunderlist to track multiple projects
      9m 0s
    41. Use the Wunderlist browser extension to create tasks on the web
      5m 46s
    42. Using Smart Mailboxes with Mac Mail
      6m 52s
    43. Customizing the Mac Mail View
      7m 13s
    44. What's a firewall?
      7m 36s
    45. What is the Cloud?
      4m 42s
    46. Creating your own recipe with IFTTT
      7m 19s
    47. Browsing existing recipes with IFTTT
      5m 7s
    48. Installing the Feedly browser extension
      6m 34s
    49. Customizing Feedly
      6m 53s
    50. Understanding the basics of Twitter
      9m 9s
    51. Using Tweetdeck to handle multiple accounts
      9m 14s
    52. Working with URL Shorteners
      5m 45s
    53. Using
      8m 31s
    54. Creating Quick Parts to re-use text
      6m 19s
    55. Moving your Autotext to a new computer
      6m 7s
    56. Shutting off access to social networks
      6m 18s
    57. Hiding taskbars
      2m 36s
    58. Exploring the iOS 7 Update
      10m 7s
    59. Running a productive online meeting
      3m 44s
    60. Getting meeting minutes faster
      6m 47s
    61. TextExpander for Mac
      7m 6s
    62. Breevy for Windows
      3m 44s
    63. Using Smart Folders on a Mac
      5m 52s
    64. Using Windows Libraries
      4m 25s
    65. Finding large attachments in your email apps
      5m 13s
    66. Use Ninite to install all your PC apps at once
      3m 30s
    67. Use Get Mac Apps to install your Mac apps at once
      2m 56s
    68. Creating a disposable email address with Guerrilla mail
      4m 7s
    69. Creating an email address that lasts only 10 minutes
      3m 16s
    70. Finding and adding local vendors to enhance your iOS reminders
      3m 45s
    71. Adding geofencing to Find My Friends
      3m 20s
    72. Turning a Word document contract into a PDF
      4m 1s
    73. Turning a PowerPoint presentation into a PDF
      4m 10s
    74. Resetting browser site passwords
      7m 11s
    75. Disabling toolbars, resizing screens, and accidentally closed tabs
      7m 42s
    76. Identifying your wifi's weakest link
      7m 59s
    77. Setting up dual band speed on your router
      7m 36s
    78. Add your social media activity to your website
      8m 54s
    79. Using WordPress mobile to update on the go
      4m 48s
    80. Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files
      8m 20s
    81. Using a formula to merge first and last name columns
      5m 58s
    82. Using JoliDrive to browse cloud app data
      5m 11s
    83. Using JoliDrive on an iPad
      4m 31s
    84. Finding deals on eBay using misspelled listings
      4m 18s
    85. Searching for promotional and coupon codes online
      5m 52s
    86. Sending real postcards from your computer with Postagram
      4m 25s
    87. Using Postagram to send a real postcard from your smartphone
      3m 55s
    88. Getting to Inbox Zero
      11m 4s
    89. Using existing GMail labels with Mailbox
      3m 19s
    90. Adding 2-step authentication
      3m 39s
    91. Enabling in-app PIN codes
      3m 31s
    92. Accessing your digital movies
      5m 20s
    93. Copying movies onto a device
      3m 25s
    94. Using Genius Scan to scan your documents
      3m 34s
    95. Sending your scans
      2m 41s
    96. Using Acrobat to ink sign a PDF
      4m 49s
    97. Writing a letter of recommendation
      7m 49s
    98. Constructing a successful press release
      4m 48s
    99. Troubleshooting wireless security
      4m 48s
    100. Writing a claim letter
      5m 22s
    101. The best reasons to try online chat customer service
      5m 9s

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Monday Productivity Pointers
9h 14m Appropriate for all Mar 25, 2013 Updated Apr 14, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube,, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.

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Jess Stratton

How to do a firmware update

My name is Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. A great skill to know how to do is, how to perform a firmware update on all your key pieces of hardware. So there's two key questions here, one, what is firmware, and secondly, why would you need to update it. So let's talk about what firmware actually is first. Now you've heard of software, which is a computer program that you install yourself. The software code was written to run on our particular operating system you're using like windows eight or Mac OS, although an operating system, like windows eight is also a piece of software.

So the operating system itself is a piece of software, and you're installing a piece of software on top of that operating system. Now the software interacts with the hardware. Hardware is the physical elements of your computer. Things like the hard drive, a stick of memory, a network card. These are all examples of computer hardware. Now firmware is a very low-level code that interacts directly with the hardware, and it's actually written directly on to the read-only memory of that hardware.

This means you can't accidentally overwrite what's there. It's possible, and that's what I'm going to show you how to do today, but it's very hard to do by accident. Now firmware is what allows so many devices to already come with built-in menus. Lots of devices use firmware. Now think about everything you use that already comes with a built-in menu or a setting screen you could get to. Things like blu-ray players, MP3 players, cell phones, routers, even your PC. Now, I know I said the operating system was software, but think about the buy off screen you see before the operating system even loads.

That's firmware. Now this is why many devices, especially internet routers, have that nice friendly factory reset button. If things aren't working, you can press the button for a few seconds, and it restores itself to like it was the day you bought it. The same can be said for cell phones too. You can restore them to their factory settings, which many people do to either fix a major problem or get ready to sell it to somebody else. So that's what firmware is, and the next question I need to answer is, why would you ever need to update it? There's two common reasons.

The first is the reason that you'd update software. To fix bugs and solve problems. Hardware, like an internet router, is definitely not immune to bugs at all. And the companies that make the hardware, they also release newer versions of firmware to solve problems that consumers have with the hardware. The second reason is, that even as newer technology becomes available, you don't need to buy a brand new piece of hardware, you can just update the firmware. Here is a great example. Many Blu-ray players and TV's come with built-in readiness to connect to services like Netflix, Amazon, Pandora etc.

Let's say the TV manufacturer has now partnered with YouTube. Giving all new TVs that get sold the ability to connect to that service in the main menu also. Well if the TV manufacturer has given you a mechanism to be able update the firmware of the television, you can update that menu so that when it's all done, you'll also be able to connect to YouTube. And now, on to the last question. How does one actually do a firmware update? I am going to show you how to do a pretty common one, which is an internet router firmware update.

The first thing that you're going to need to do is make sure a firmware update is actually necessary, is there is some risk involved, which I will talk about. So are you trying to solve a problem that can only be fixes with a firmware update? Or is there a really good feature you want? You certainly don't have to keep it updated just because. It's not like a software update, which is pretty okay to do on a regular basis. Firmware updates are usually only done to solve a very specific need. So let's start updating. I've logged into my router, and I'm on the main screen.

Now, unfortunately, every model router is going to be a little bit different, so I can't tell you exactly how to get to the firmware update screen. In my case, I had to click advanced, and go through some more menus and click firmware upgrade on the left hand side, and it brought me to this screen. So you're just going to look for something that says, firmware upgrade. Now you can press the check now button, in which it will automatically go out to the internet, and see if there is a new version. In this case it found one. Right, I can see the current version here, and I can see what the new version is.

Now, there's actually nothing wrong with my router. I'm just going to do this upgrade to show you how it goes. So, hopefully it all goes according to plan. In your case again, you're only going to do this to either solve a problem or to get a new feature. So I'm going to click this Force Upgrade button, because I want to go through with the Firmware Upgrade. I can click this button and it's now downloading the new version. Once it downloads it, its then going to install it. Depending on the size of the firmware upgrade, it may take a while to download it though generally they're not big.

Okay, this firmware update is probably pretty quick because there's no such message here, but it's also important to read what it says because many times it says, it's very important that you don't turn off the device while this is happening. This is a very serious message. If the process get's interrupted, the firmware won't fully install itself, and here's the problem with that. The mechanism to give us the UI, and the chance to fix things and re-install it's self, is actually part of the firmware, that we're installing.

So if it's not there, there's no way to fix this hardware. And there's actually a term for that, it's called bricking the hardware. The term comes from having a piece of hardware, such as this router, and rendering it useless. It's now become a brick, or a paper weight, which is all the physical box will be good for, so it is a serious warning. So let's just give this a few more seconds and it'll probably bring us back to this main firmware upgrade screen again, and here we are. We're back to the screen, and if I look I can see that the status is okay.

The internet version is up to date and our current version is that new version that we were upgrading to. So this was a successful firmware upgrade. And now, hopefully, I fixed that problem that I had or can use that new feature.

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