Archive for the 'Smarter Computing Tips' Category

 

Ready, set, go! Upgrade to Windows 10 now and our tech guru will show you how to use it!

 

If you are still using Windows 7 you’re missing out on some great user experiences on Windows 10. We upgraded one of our office-workshop PC’s to Windows 10 and did not have any compatibility issues with the wide range of software we use, including a lot of out-of-hours music related programs. But overall one of my favourite things about Windows 10 is it is fast and smooth. If you upgrade your old mechanical drive to a solid state drive the performance, startup and shutdown times of your desktop or laptop will amaze you. You might not do much on your computer beyond pictures, picture editing, surfing the interwebs, and email, but it is a joy to use a fast computer and see programs open up as soon as you click them.

If you’re one of those people who have stuck with what you know best – windows 7 – it’s time to get with the program – windows 10.

For a while we are going to spend time with every new customer to demonstrate how to use windows 10. It’s my experience that people are more affected by change and navigation in new systems, once we show how easy it is to navigate the apprehensions seem to vanish.

Get windows upgraded by an I.T. pro ensures your settings are optimized, the system is installed correctly, and we may also be able to include windows 10 at no cost to you. Please bring your computer in or call for service onsite.

 
 
 

The perrenial problem of ipad photo storage (solved)

 

ipads and iphones do not have a lot of storage space so you can run out of space quickly. You already know this so lets get on to what we can do about it for the sake of brevity. I’m not going to talk about google photos because we are here today talking about storage, not editing, cropping, manipulating photos. We are talking about where to safely store your photos.

Backing up photos to highly unreliable external hard disks (and let’s not even mention backing up to notorious DVD’s) is probably the worst way to storage precious photos for most people. As a data recovery service our advice has always been to have very important data (photos) in at least two places. This might be on your computer or laptop hard drive and an external drive. On an ios device this might be the device plus itunes on your computer or laptop. All these above options are fraught with problems, confusion, and failure points.

Regarding ipads and iphones you could use icloud. I’ve never been a fan of icloud because it costs money to get real storage space, and photos are connected to the ios eco system with minimal or no support for editing tools like Lightroom or Photoshop. icloud also backs up all photos and I cannot micro manage them.

Now that google has created google Drive, a user friendly free app for iOS, backing up your photos is a no brainer. In Drive you can back up photos from the iOS app, and/or on your computer in Google Chrome, or using the Backup & Sync app for Windows you will find on the Google Drive website storage space. Once in the web space on Chrome you can also choose to turn on Google Photos and choose to upload only into Google photos. In the iOS app you will see the setting for upload image quality, from original hi res, the so-called High Quality but compressed image which reduces the file size dramatically, so you won’t get good quality prints from these uploads.

I personally don’t use Google Photos. But I do create sub folders to quickly and easily find the photos I’m looking for. Otherwise you might end up with a wall of photos and not very good search capabilities, especially for photos with generic names from a camera or iOS device.

The safety and security of your photos is mostly reliant on your password. Make sure you setup your mobile phone number as verification at your Google account, and choose a good password that is not in a dictionary, unlike Kirsten Dunst who apparently used the name of one of her cats who is a celebrity himself on her facebook page.

We offer a service to set google drive up for you via online support anywhere in Australia.

 
 
 

tackling the slow computer performance issue

 

Not surprisingly one of the biggest issues we see in computer support is #slowperformance or performance related issues, such as slow browsing or slow email sending and receiving. The reasons why the computer is running slow are almost always multi-faceted but the biggest gripe of all is the sheer frustration of a slow computer.

Like anything mechanical/electrical and system dependant annual servicing will get your PC or laptop back to the performance you expect for the type of processor, ram and hard drive you have paid for.

We now offer this service type online, anywhere in Australia or the world. Maybe one day even Mars or Pluto. So give yourself a break from tedious performance and give us a call or send an email to get started.

We work weekends as well.

 

 

 
 
 

Quickfix not Quackfix – Online Helpdesk Offer

 

It seems there are a lot of people offering shonky online remote access support services. Many are not located on the Australian continent and falsely claim to have industry standard bona fides like Microsoft certifications.

We started offering local and Australia wide online helpdesk and general computer help online several years ago and have built a solid reputation for customers as far flung as northern Queensland, Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne, Adelaide and rural locations – all from our tiny office in Western Australia.

Our business has been running since 2005. We are Microsoft certified. Many calls are for quickfix, 30mins or less, such as setting up emails, quickly clearing annoying pop ups, installing a new program, updating your computer etc etc. So we have set up a $49 30 minute Quickfix from a qualified technician.

Call today for instant online help.

 
 
 

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.

 
 
 

How to Backup ipad and iphone photos and avoid the storage dramas

qnap

The hot topic at the moment is how to backup my ipad or iphone photos. There’s limited storage on ipads and iphones and those photos and family videos can grow out of control in no time. You can back them up to a PC of course but these days not everyone has a PC at home, preferring to use tablets and ipads. Also it is an inconvenience to plug your ipad into the laptop, open itunes and configure what you want synced to itunes and what you want stored. This is not a safe backup for irreplacable family photos because a drive in a PC or laptop offers no redundancy. It is also something people get into the habit of putting off, until the day you find you have 5% space left on the ipad and it’s time to panic. Are you relying on icloud to backup your photos? Remember icloud is a photo streaming service with limitations. It only backs up the last 1000 photos, these days people have much more. Videos are not backed up in icloud. icloud also states in its disclaimers that photos in photo stream will be deleted after a given time. If you want a reliable, safe backup you will need more than icloud.

Qnap and The Internet of Things (IOT)

internet-of-things

Qnap is a network attached storage solution for home and SOHO users. This NAS system has many functions as part of its commitment to the coming IOT environment. It offers a range of apps in android or IOs to backup IOs device photos and store them in a protected RAID array on the NAS (if one of the multiple drives fail it will alert you and you simply replace the failing drive), there is an app for viewing your photos via direct streaming, keeping your ipad free of space hogs like photos and music. As part of the IOT you can run security cameras, upload to an FTP server to keep security images safe. You can use the device as an entertainment center on your TV.

No PC or laptop at home? The QManager app lets control the device from your ipad or iphone. The Qnap range has too many features to mention here and is one of our preferred NAS solutions. Call or email today for pricing and answers to your questions.

 
 
 

No caps lock light on your keyboard?

Some of the new Microsoft keyboards do not have a caps lock light which can be annoying as hell but there are a couple of easy to apply workarounds.

  1. Enable a caps lock sound.

in the Ease of Access center you will find the toggle switch to enable caps lock sound. In Windows 10 or Windows 7 and Windows 8 type “ease” without the quotes into the search box in the lower left of the desktop.

ease

You can turn off “always read this section aloud” before continuing. Scroll down to “turn on toggle keys” and also select turn on toggle keys by holding down the num lock for 5 secs. Click apply, then ok and close the remaining window. Now you have caps lock sound enabled. You can toggle off and on using the num lock key for 5 seconds.

2. If you prefer a visual display for caps lock go the Microsoft Keyboard Center, down the 32 or 64 bit bit version of the Keyboard software. It’s a free download and will display a caps lock pop up in the lower right hand side of the desktop.

 
 
 

How to do a reverse image search

map-reader

You might be wondering why you would want to do a reverse image search.

You might be wanting to check if anyone is using photos off your website, or who might be using your own mug shot displayed in business websites to impersonate you. You can keep tabs on your own images with reverse searching.

You may have an image you would like a better resolution of or to locate the original creator of the image. You can also use the search to carry out detective work.

Recently I was looking at a very unusually well priced campervan advertised on a forum at a popular Australian camping website. The owner claimed the low price was only due to the family wanting a deposit for a home and needed an urgent sale. It was all very convincing until I downloaded the image and carried out reverse search to discover the original owner had shown it for sale prior at a much greater price. As it turned out the ad was a scam and the ad was gone by the end of day.

You do not need any keywords or any other query to carry out the search, only the image.

There are quite a few image search websites, including google image search, but 2 of my preferred sites are:

www.tineye.com

www.imageraider.com

 
 
 

How to fix laptop overheating and shutting down

temp

 

One of the big problems with laptops is their design. Some are designed so you cannot access them easily to view and clean dust, lint, fur and the like from the interior.

Dust accumulates over time and is often impossible to remove without a tear down of the laptop. You can find videos online on how to do this if you enjoy tinkering but beware not to use cans of air you find in tech stores because these are not air but chemicals that create pressure. Some will contain a refrigerant which is released when the can is tilted at certain angles. The gas from these cans is known as highly toxic so if you must use them be sure to wear a good mask in confined spaces.

Can you use a vacuum cleaner? The problem is access, there is no easy doorway you can open to clean dust from everywhere, and if you disassemble the laptop you must be careful not to let the nozzle touch anywhere and be sure to keep your antistatic strap on.

We have safe methods for cleaning laptops with overheating problems caused by dust buildup,  often within a standard one hour session. If you are in Perth’s northern suburbs drop it off to our workshop and pick it up the same day or next morning.