The Wired Office Blog

 

Best computer for music, video, photography intensive tasks

 

If you do any of the above CPU and RAM hungry tasks without the right build specs you could end up with a seriously under performing computer.

We have seen store bought systems which are barely capable of uploading one music and  film combined video at a time, and very slowly. This is why it’s important to get the right advice from a computer guy instead of a salesman in a retail store.

Grey box custom built computers are popular with enthusiasts and resource hungry tasks such as video editing in programs such as Filmora, music making, song writing, singing, karaoke, and processing RAW format photographs. When you consider that big name brand computers do not give much flexibility for upgrading, and the cost of replacement proprietary parts such as a motherboard or memory, can be much greater than a generic part.

Grey box systems are made by a local tech firm so support and warranty is easy to access when you need it. Visit our page for custom built computers or contact us for advice on your new build.

 

 

 
 
 

How to clean dust from your computer – and how not to clean dust from your computer or laptop

dust build up can dramatically affect performance and lifespan

 

Let’s face it, dust is very destructive for electronic components and circuit boards. It has bacteria, human skin cells, even meteorite particles according to one wikipedia article. On circuit board dust also carries or creates static electricity. If you have doubt about the destructive power of dust in relation to computers and laptops consider that for over 20 years I have been attending to computers onsite which freeze, or especially randomly restart. On many occasions all these computers needed was a de-dust to resolve the issues. Over time static discharge can seriously reduce the lifespan of a computer, let alone affect performance and stability.

Noisy fans and PSU’s should never be ignored on laptops either and is a sure sign of dust accumulation. The big 3 no-no’s and most commonly used methods for cleaning dust are the house or car vac which is especially damaging, a garage air compressor which carries moisture and creates static by the sheer force of air, and so called canned air, which is refrigerant based and incorrectly called canned air.

With every computer service, maintenance, or security checkup (you should have your computer serviced once a year at least) we will de-dust your laptop or PC with ESD-safe equipment. Some limitations may apply, including access restrictions.

ESD safe dust cleaning

 

Please inquire to see if your laptop can be accessed for ESD-safe dust clean when having your next service.

For industrial dust build up, a de-dust should be a serious maintenance issue to avoid buying a new machine often because of dust.

 

 

 
 
 

Tip: using the date option to arrange everything

You download something, it disappears into the downloads folder and you can get frustrated scrolling down the list looking for the download that may not have a readily identifiable title. For downloads, photos, documents and videos the date arrange function can be very useful to busy people or the more organised types.

In Windows 10 you can right click the folder you would like to use the arrange by set to and choose the arrange sub menu. A small tip often overlooked.

 
 
 

Why is my internet so slow?

 

Internet performance issues can be quite frustrating because of all the different reasons why your internet might be so slow. Even for tech savvy people dealing with your ISP helpdesk can be problematic when the real problem has not yet been identified and may not be easily identified by telephone helpdesk.

Some of the common causes of slow internet are:

  • not the internet itself but a cluttered or infected computer
  • a faulty or outdated modem
  • distance from the exchange may cause slow connection

The first step to start looking at this problem is to determine your internet speed. The most reliable testing for internet is via mlab who have partnered with google to run consumer speed testing. You will find the internet speed test from mlabs here.

While you are here, how does your small business website meet the new mobile friendly standards? You can check that out at the google mobile test page.

Need online tech help? Visit our online help desk service – Australia wide 7 days a week.

 

 
 
 

no internet connection and the shortfalls of help desk.

Have you lost your internet connection yet have a solid DSL or ADSL light?

Having a DSL light active, green and solid on your modem can be confusing for you, and the ISP help desk people. We receive many calls where help desk or ISP support staff do not have the advantage of being onsite, and find certain difficulties to explore the possibilities with the customer who may not be very familiar with cables, modem lights, isolation testing. Many people get so exasperated by technology when it doesn’t work that stress levels can take over and helping with troubleshooting tasks gets limited by this stress and no familiarity with the hardware or its interfaces.

Recently we seen a customer with a solid DSL light. Because the DSL was active the ISP argued that the connection was active but the customer had #nointernetconnection. The ISP chimed out on the support call suggesting the problem was at the customers end.

It wasn’t. And it’s a common story. We were able to get the internet connection back by an extended isolation with line sync and port reset. This suggests the problem was with the ISP all long. For home and small business owners to deal with help desk/support people who assert the problem is at their end tends to compound the existing disaster.

Another case of the customer who had 10 IT support people come into his home in the space of a year.

The customer had wifi dead zones in bedrooms and a lounge area in an average size suburban home. He had the local computer shop IT guys come over, he had an iinet technical support team come around, he was persistent but each IT guy had a different reason why this was happening, but no one was able to resolve it. In this case the problem was a group of interrelated issues and once identified we resolved the problem within an hour and without replacing the modem.

See our facebook page.

 
 
 

The end of the Outlook junk spam filter in 2017

Microsoft is ending support for the junk spam filter known as Smartscreen technology. At a time when email spam and phishing emails are at an all time high why is Microsoft ending support for Smartscreen? It’s worked well over the years because of the Bayesian technology and when your inbox starts getting 100 spam emails a day you are going to wonder how you are going to live without it. User trends such as cloud based computing is driving the change to Exchange Online Protection and ATP Advanced Threat Protection.

For those who do not use Office 365, Sharepoint, or Exchange Online, some ISP’s have some type of spam protection, others don’t. Some ISP’s will no doubt start charging (as one notable ISP has been doing for years with poor results if their forums are a gauge of spam filtering success or failure). Small business with their own domain name will probably have spam protection but it will need to be enabled, computers configured to work with the filter, and some basic education for end users.

Here are a few basic tips to help you avoid being seen as a live candidate and get on email spam lists:

  1. don’t open an email that is obvious spam
  2. don’t reply to a spammer to abuse them
  3. don’t delete email, this action is likely to send a signal that you are live. Sending an email to spam folder does not send this signal.
  4. don’t use your own email on forums and for sale sites, get a throwaway email address
  5. report unwanted (spam) email from your local liquor store or real estate to ACMA.com.au to help discourage our sacred inbox becoming a marketing portal.
  6. have an anti spam software solution in place

Don’t put up with spam every day. It uses bandwidth and is a complete waste of time and makes people angry. We provide an easy support solution via remote access to log in to your computer and configure for both home and small business, home office etc. There is a basic one hour charge to configure antispam measures which is better than dealing with spam everyday.

 
 
 

Where did all my bandwidth go? Windows 10

Microsoft may not understand that here in Australia we have less than half the internet speed and bandwidth allocated to us per month than Europe, America, and most Asian countries. The new feature in Windows 10 designed to take the load off windows update servers is the botnet microsoft has created to allow your computer to update other people computers. Here is where we can expect problems in Australia for non fibre-to-the-node, otherwise or formally known as NBN.

One of our customers for example has a 10gb monthly allowance and rang us to ask us to investigate why they used 8gb in just one day.

We looked into the “usage app” new to Windows 10. Just type usage then choose the usage overview. This is a pretty basic inbuilt app looking at the last 30 days. Then click on usage details to see which apps are chewing into your GB allowance. It is always the last 30 days, and no reset button or ability to view the last 7 days.

So, to have greater control over what we see I downloaded the windows 10 usage app which offers a two page spread sheet with a graph to give you a visual idea of where your data is going.

If your system is using too much data allowance under the system app and leaving you with a shaped internet, then you may need to turn off the Microsoft update other computers on the internet.

Need help? We offer a 7 day a week remote login service for our Australian customers.

 
 
 

Do you have an email spam problem?

spam

 

Spam in your inbox is one of the most annoying things about daily computing. There’s the occasional car yard or real estate agent testing the illegal inbox style of marketing, these types can be managed easily enough by reporting them to the ACMA spam database because it’s not just you you’re batting for, but the bulk of email spam does not come via legit email addresses (fake email addresses).

There are methods to deal with spam without tearing your hair out. If you are a small business attending to spam everyday there are solutions based on your situation. Call us for online help to setup a anti-spam system. We will log in to your computer and get your spam problem sorted out in no time. Send us an email or call today!

 
 
 

Why you shouldn’t delete dodgy emails!

xmas2016

 

Christmas is just about here and this year you can expect to see a flood of dodgy emails using fake invoices, and bills from energy providers and the like. This last year has been one of the worst ever for fake emails.

I have seen many people is small business spend 30 minutes each morning deleting spam and junk emails. This is a good way to ensure your junk emails continue to grow exponentially. Most junk and spam emailers use the same tools as email marketers to track what happens to emails when they are delivered.

They can tell who (which addressee) opened it and read it, who clicked on it to get to a link or deliver a virus or spyware, they can even tell where your mouse traveled on some emails.

The email that opens only in the reading pane will not register generally but it is a good idea not to delete the email as this tells the spammers what you did. If you right click the email and send it to junk they will not know what you did. Using this management method for spam it will reduce over time down to just about nothing. If you are not a live target they will quickly lose interest. It is tedious at first sending individual emails to the junk folder but the Microsoft junk email filters are state of the art and will work for you.

 
 
 

Windows 10 black screen at startup – solved

windows-10

 

We see a lot of Windows 10 upgrade issues which are more common to legacy systems and laptops. The thing with both desktop and laptop computers from big name brands like HP, Dell, etc etc., is many consumer models are made for the operating system of the day with no upgrade path. While business class laptops and desktops can have resources for future upgrade paths.

While Windows 10 provides most drivers for its operating system upgrade, sometimes there are issues. One of these is the often reported black screen, or a delayed startup whilst on a black screen. There is no straightforward one answer fits all to these black screen issues, but one we commonly see is a problem with legacy graphics. A visit to the the vendors website might indicate the latest driver is installed and you can go no further however, Radeon released a driver external to its own automated system on its website indicating there is an issue with the current driver and we are doing something about it.

You can also try the compatibility tool to set your graphics driver software to an earlier/previous version of windows.

So this is at least one good solution for the windows 10 black screen phenomenon after an upgrade from windows 7 or windows 8.1 on a legacy proprietary system.