Archive for the 'Technology News' Category

 

The Say Yes Scam – is it really a scam?

 

There are numerous websites of the so-called news variety who parrot the advice given by some police departments and the Better Business Bureau in America about popular scams, without giving this anymore thought or conducting any kind of analysis or research. In fact, the BBB warning against the current scam causing and delusional thinking into good folks around the world. The Say Yes Scam came out of a BBB satellite office in Florida and not the BBB as a national entity. We better say this is a scam just in case it is.

The idea is the scammer calls you on a fake number and asks a question designed to elicit a yes or no response, such as “am I speaking to joe smith”. If you are running a business where your name is well known in the area you might instinctively say yes.

The BBB or others spreading warnings about this scam do not appear to have analysed the status of this scam alert. As Snopes.com reported recently there does not appear to be any evidence of victims. The fear mongers want you to blindly accept that the word YES can magically amount to stealing money from you. As snopes rightly pointed out, how can YES be used in any kind of context to buy something in your name. Anyone can say the word YES.

I got one of these calls recently. The voiced asked if it was me they were speaking to. I said yes. The voice sounded artificial, digitized in some way, but why should that trouble me? I don’t care if it came from the moon. But I will keep you updated on this blog about any attempt to gouge money from my bank account. Stay in touch.

The say yes scenario reminded me of a few movies following in the footsteps of The Ring. Watch this video and you will die with ten days, answer the phone and you die within 24 hours. So I am seriously wondering if the Say Yes Scam should be known as the Say Yes Prank.

 
 
 

The WMDC (Windows Mobile) issue in Windows 10 – explained 2018

trimble and wmdc issues

I wrote the following post on the Microsoft support channel after seeing so many trying futile workarounds and fixes that are not addressing the real issue for the retired WMDC and connectivity issues in Windows 10. Re posted here.

[OP]

The problem is best addressed by understanding the general life cycle of devices and the retirement of WMDC many years ago.

You will need windows 7 to run most of the legacy devices reliant on wmdc.

Some of these devices *may* run on windows 7 on Hyper-V, but the gotcha here is that if the device is not recognized by wmdc to start with there can be no device pass-through. Resetting the device to open wmdc in compatibility mode, then resetting the wmdc service protocol to run on a local system account with desktop interaction may give temporary access but this by no means a workable solution. Only a device seen as a disk drive can be manipulated as a pass-through device for hyper-v.

So for wmdc users with specification applications, such as data analysis software, install win7 on a standalone PC/laptop. This will be a workaround for some devices which rely on wmdc for the interim until the device vendors create a new model for windows 10 connectivity.

Some devices, such as Trimble data analysis devices, may have wifi connectivity. Have you tried this to bypass wmdc? Let us know how you got on.

Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)

 
 
 

First with flat rate price for computer support in Australia

 

Wired Office is an ad-hoc service on call 7 days a week for break/fix support, general support, and online remote access support for the home, home office and professional computer users. We don’t have contracts, just a reliable service whenever you need it, anywhere in Australia.

We have set up flat rate pricing so users of the service can know in advance how much it’s going to cost. That is not a per hourly rate as you usually find, it is the flat rate. The only catch, if you can call it that, is the rate applies to a single support incident. So, for example, your email program is no longer receiving emails. As a customer recently found, iinet support techs were unable to help resolve this issue after spending a few hours logged in to his machine. We diagnosed and fixed this issue within the 30 minute time frame applying to our $49 flat rate offer.

Not sure if your issue applies to this offer? Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

For local customers in Perth’s northern suburbs bring your computer or laptop in to Duncraig for the flat rate offer.

 
 
 

Celebrating 20 Years in I.T. with Savings on Support!

I’ve been around since the early days of computing. Remember the early IBM 386 machines we started with DOS codes? Or the small square Mac computers with a whopping 4MB of storage space? And those hard drives from Hitachi that cost $3500 for 10MB space? I bought a printer for $4500 that now costs no more than a few hundred dollars.

I started off in network engineering. Then on to Microsoft University leading to my MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) badges. I’ve worked on corporate servers and small business SBS networks in the 1998 – 2000 – 2003 operating systems. Good IT support begins and ends with education and ongoing training, nothing’s changed, I still spend the equivalent of 2 days a week on MS online training and refreshers. When I started wiredoffice in 2005 I became a break/fix adhoc service mostly for small business, prosumers, home office and consumers. Many of my early customers are still around and regular users of the service.

I am not always a fan of Microsoft and I’ve had plenty of criticism over the years and shared the same exasperation and frustration as you, like the missing start menu in Windows 8 as an example. I heard complaints about every new Windows OS. They all hated the change from Windows 95 to 98,  windows 2000 to XP, XP to windows 7,  and so on. Funny enough, every new iteration of Windows turned from hatred en masse to a legion of die hard fans. The so hated XP is now spoken about like a legend from the days of yore. Windows 10 has had a few glitches, but mostly the criticism has been about that dreaded word – change. In my opinion Windows 10 is practically flawless, fast, and stable. I have empathy for those struggling with it, but usually find 10 minutes education smooths things out. It’s amazing the difference it makes to know the two commands, start + i, and start + X, can make to ease the I can’t find the settings complaint. (start is the little Microsoft logo on the keyboard in between ctrl and alt keys).

To celebrate this milestone, for September 2017,  I am offering a 20% discount – 1% for every year I’ve worked in this business. This applies to call outs and workshop work. Remember that remote login has a base charge of $49 for 30mins. To best utilize online support call or email the issue so when we log in we will most likely have the fix at hand. Our support standard has always been same day or overnight service. Our business model is such that we have never had a computer in-workshop for longer than 24 hours.  Service is available 7 days most days of the year. We fix everything!

Cheers – Dave Burchall

 
 
 

How to get Microsoft Office for Free

 

We’ve found a lot of customers over the last couple of years are not aware of the free Office 365 offering from Microsoft. If you are a small business you’re out of luck, this offer is for non-commercial use only. For homes who only occasionally use Microsoft Word or Excel it’s available free at Office Online.

The only downside is you will need to open a browser and it will not be as fast or convenient as having Office 365 installed on your computer. With the new subscription service from Microsoft for Office not a lot of people are happy to pay an annual fee to only use Office occasionally.

To get started.

Because Google’s Chrome browser is the most popular browser in use today we will setup the Office extension in Chrome.

  1. firstly, go to Microsoft and setup a OneDrive account
  2. then visit the chrome web store to download the Office extension

It really is as simple as that. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.

 
 
 

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.

 

 

 
 
 

internet for three storey homes or outbuildings

av1200

Larger homes or buildings can have a problem getting the wifi or ethernet to reach, upstairs, downstairs, around corners, into a purpose built office in the garage. There has been a couple of solutions around now for a very long time, but all of them have a high potential for problems. One of them is the range extender devices which seem to cause people the most grief, ok when running well but dropouts and lost connections are common. Another solution that has been around since the year 2000 is power over ethernet (POE). A common problem with these devices was they were not very well made and white noise over the power lines caused frequent dropouts or lost connections.

A new model POE from TP Link, the AV1200, claims to have resolved the noise issues and deliver blistering speed – dependant on your existing connection speeds. For the technically minded or sparkys here are some interesting specs.

  • Perfect for Bandwidth Demanding Activities
  • Line-Neutral/Line-Ground 2 x 2 MIMO with Beamforming
  • Gigabit Port for Ultra-fast Datasheet Transfer
  • Plug and Play,No Configuration Required

For our Perth northern beaches customers we offer an onsite service to set these up for you, or order a set and DIY.

 
 
 

itunes assembly error after Windows 10 upgrade

itunes-error

 

Microsoft is certainly pushing out Windows 10 with zeal and good thing too because now new development can standardise for the new OS. But the problems we are seeing walk in the door are not the problems of Microsoft, but users who do not understand that systems should be prepared for a major OS upgrade.

One of these problems is the itunes installer will not work on some older laptops or desktop computers. Fear not, as always we have the answers and offer this as a service via online remote access, bring it in for same day/overnight service, or we can visit you in Western Australia.

Call us for all your online computer help issues.

 
 
 

End of life for Windows 7 and your options

 

For those with laptops who did notget a disk with their system the Windows 7ISO downloads direct from Microsoft servers are no longer available to the public and free mainstream support for Windows 7 is also no longer available – as of January 13 this year.

End of mainstream support for Windows 7 means you cannot call Microsoft for free help if your system is broken. Because mainstream support has ended means extended support phase had begun, so you will still receive critical system patches and security updates and all security related updates via the usual update service will continue for the time being.

We provide a local service in Perth Western Australia, and a remote service to login and fix your computer anywhere in Australia for standard support fees. Contact us for remote support pricing or to book a support session online. Weprovide Microsoft Certified technical support and you can pay by credit card or paypal. We can remove malware, carry out a security scan, fix slow computers without the need for an onsite technician.