7 July 2015
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Microsoft Windows 10 Operating System Update
By all accounts, Microsoft is going to miss the July 29 launch date this year (as advertised previously) that date will actually be the start of the beginning of the initial rollout to their test users with no indication as to when a) it will be available as an upgrade and b) when it will be available on new computers.
So we have formed a view already. If your existing computer is working just fine thank you, there is no need to change anything. That’s right, we are recommended that you don’t upgrade to Windows 10 at all, or at least not until you buy your next computer. Or maybe if a compelling reason to change appears then maybe it will be an option. Windows 10 is still in its testing phase, which is good, we like it when they test things thoroughly.
It is likely that we will see a massive marketing effort by Microsoft to convince us all to update, you must resist! Or at least wait until next year when it might be safe to enter the water.
When new computers do become available with Windows 10, we will supply them where would otherwise supply Windows 8.1, there is not much difference from an operational point of view so we don’t think that will be a big deal. We expect that business, large & small, will continue to buy Windows 7 for a little while yet even though the support life is likely to end in 2020 which is not as far away as it used to be!
Solid State Drives
If you have purchased a new computer from us over the past couple of years, chances are we supplied it with a solid state drive instead of a regular hard disk drive.
If you have brought your existing computer in to our service department because it was running slowly, chances are we recommend an upgrade to a solid state drive.
As the name implies, a solid state drive has no moving parts which makes it w whole lot more durable than a regular hard disk drives which has a couple of metal discs inside spinning at over 5,000 revolutions per minute.
Lots of computers these days are supplied with solid state drives, pretty much every tablet computer including iPads and Android, lightweight Ultrabook computers and pretty much any performance computer.
There is a good reason for this. Solid state drives are fast! Real fast! If you replace a hard disk drive in any computer, new or old, you will double the speed of that computer at the very least. We guarantee it. And if you do upgrade an older computer (we are doing these upgrades on computers up to 6 years old) the solid state drive will last you longer than that computer and you can retain it when you dispose of the computer and fit it to your next computer, laptop or desktop.
The cost of the upgrade is usually $200 (120gb SSD) or $300 (240gb SSD) and larger sizes are also available. Contact our service department if you would like to check suitability.
We have an excellent recycling plan for used ink tanks and toner cartridges, for printers, monitors, computers, laptops, pretty much anything to do with information technology.
The ink tanks and toner cartridges get sent to Planet Ark, all of the computer equipment gets collected monthly and dismantled locally with some components making their way to Adelaide and others to Melbourne.
There is no charge for this service, you can just bring it in and leave it with us. If you bring in a computer we will removed the hard disk drive and return it to you, or we will erase the data before it goes to recycling.
And there is one other way computer owners can help the environment. You can upgrade your computer instead of replacing it. You can purchase a better than average computer which will last a lot longer than a lower cost option. We can help with both of these things!
If you are satisfied with your present internet security arrangements then we make no case for you to change, pretty much all of the current security options provide good protection.
If you are looking for a recommendation, we recommend a layered approach which includes the Google Chrome browser software, the free anti-virus software from Microsoft which is included with Windows 8, and a paid subscription for MalwareBytes Anti-Malware which costs around $30 per year and we can manage your subscription if you wish and provide any amount of free advice by email if you need it
Scam Phone Calls
It’s not Telstra calling, it’s not Bigpond calling and it’s not the Australian Federal Police! Seriously, if you get a call from someone to tell you about any kind of problem which has been “detected” on your computer they are lying through their teeth! Yes, they are convincing, really convincing, they will ring you in the evening so you can’t easily just hang up and ring your computer support people. They will make the problem sound really, really urgent, they may try to access your computer (but only if you let them) and try to convince you that what you are looking at is a sign of big trouble. Just hang up. I know, it seems rude, but really, you must just hang up. You would not believe it if someone came to your door with the same story, so don’t believe them when they ring. If you want to ignore them and annoy them at the same time, leave the phone off the hook until they give up….
Not as big a problem as the phone calls but still easy to get tricked. If in doubt delete the email, if someone really, really wants your attention they will find a way!
Be especially wary of emails which take you to a web page where you are asked to enter usernames and passwords or any personal information. Chances are it is a dodgy web page.
Call your computer support people, they will help you prevent these emails coming through
Scam Web Pages
Lordy, lordy, this is an epidemic! We have all seen them, “your computer is running slow”, “your internet connection is slow”, “viruses detected on your computer” and all manner of other bogus advice. Don’t believe any of it, just contact your regular computer supplier.
The worst scam web page is one which invites you to call an apparent Australian 1800 number. It’s like a scam phone call but you ring them and they pretend to be Telstra or Microsoft or whoever. Don’t ring the number, just Google it, you will soon see it is fake
Email Synchronisation & Security
If you collect your email on more than one device, and many of us do these days, you need an email address which plays nice on all of your devices. Gmail by Google is our recommendation as you may have heard us say previously. You can register a free Gmail account yourself or you can get us to set up your new address and synchronise all of your devices (computer/phone/tablet) and you still get emails sent to your existing email address.
Our recommendation for business owners is Google Apps for Work which offers a whole host of additional benefits including document sharing and email security.
Desktop Computer Recommendations
We build our own desktop computers and we have done so since 1992. This allows us to choose the components we recommend and to provide local warranty service and upgrades. We supply desktop computers in standard mini tower cases for maximum upgradeability, and of course we fit solid state drives to every computer. Our current desktop range starts at $899
Laptop Computer Recommendations
We recommend Toshiba laptop computers as we have done since 1993, our supplier since then, BMS Technology on Wright Street in Adelaide, is also the authorised warranty agent for Toshiba laptops and is a very handy resource for our many Adelaide customers. Our current laptop range starts at $899
Pretty much every printer we supply these days is a multifunction including print, scan, copy and fax. Most models have document feeders and built-in Wi-Fi and all of our colour printer recommendations are based on individual ink and toner cartridges
Epson is our preferred inkjet brand and we sell a range of toner-based laser printers including Hewlett Packard, Fuji Xerox & Oki.
Wi-Fi is a brilliant technology for connection devices in your home or office and allows you to link computers, tablets, phones, printers and even your TV together wirelessly. Think of Wi-Fi as an invisible cable and you can have a mixture of cable and wireless connections if you prefer. The range of Wi-Fi is typically 15 to 20 metres (and extenders are available) and newer modem router devices can deliver a wireless signal even further although it does vary from one installation to the next
We can supply you with prepaid internet connections with Telstra, for plan-based connections we encourage you to talk to the local Telstra and Optus stores and we can of course assist you with setup and configuration in the workshop or on-site.
National Broadband Network
Speaking of internet connections, if you live in or around Port Neill, Arno Bay or Cleve you have access to the new National Broadband network right now by fixed wireless connection.
This means the internet connection is delivered to your home or office wirelessly through an aerial mounted on your roof which is connected to a box inside your building. You can then have a wireless router connected and share the internet throughout your premises.
What’s that you say? You can already do this? Sure you can, but not at 48 megabits per second! The NBN is fast, real fast, about 5 times faster than the average ADSL2+ connection and about 10 times faster than the average mobile broadband connection and about a gazillion times faster than satellite (OK, I may have overplayed that….)
I went up to Port Neill last Saturday for a looksee and some testing at one of our customer’s premises and it was remarkable. Port Neill has not been well served by the internet industry in the past and now they have the fastest connections you can find on the Eyre Peninsula.
Same for Arno Bay and same for Cleve. And soon for everywhere else on Eyre Peninsula one day real soon now, or at least by 2020 if you believe the politics. Actually, if you have a look at the NBN coverage map it is starting to look impressive and if everyone is going to get somewhere near these speeds the internet is going to be a much better place to be. Don’t get too excited about the markers in Port Lincoln, they refer to a couple of developments only, not the whole town. We are hoping to hear soon about the plan for Port Lincoln
Lincoln Computer Centre Technical Support
Not sure why I have put this last (thank you for staying with me!) because service is what we do. More so than ever before because there is a wide range of devices available today which you are using in your day to day lives which we don’t/can’t/won’t supply. Many computer products now are only available on-line, others just through certain chain stores and some direct from the manufacturer.
So the supply landscape is changing and this bothers us not at all. We provide a wide range of services on an ever increasing number of computer products
We can and do provide services for your desktop or laptop computer no matter what brand and no matter from where it was purchased.
We can and do provide services on Apple iPads, Android and Windows tablet computers
We can and do provide services on all brands of smart phone
We can do all of this in the workshop or on-site
We provide computer network support, data backup services and we provide advice on a wide range of computer related issues
There is one very important thing though and that relates to the warranty and to consumer guarantees where the retailer and the manufacturer are jointly responsible for both.
It is worth asking the question when you buy your next computing device and gain an understanding of what happens when warranty service is required, keeping in mind that the end of the warranty period is no longer the end of the warranty period!
That’s all from me….for now!
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Regards & thanks
Final word from Greg: Seriously, you need to backup your data now! We can make the backup for you remotely or in our workshop if you like, we can give you advice as to how to make a good quality backup, we can supply you with all manner of backup devices and we can also introduce you to the Cloud. Whatever it takes, make a backup copy of your data….please!
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