Tips

Take Out Your Computer Garbage

During the process of  using your computer temporary files get created and deleted automatically; this is part of the normal operation of your computer, it is akin to you taking a piece of scrap paper to make notes and discard it when done.

The problem is that your computer’s operating system is not always 100% successful in deleting all the “scrap notes” some bits and pieces get left behind thus accumulating as useless junk… you know, all those little bits of paper you accumulate on your desk on a regular basis! In the case of your desk the problem is regularly taken care of, otherwise you would not be able to work. With your computer it is a slightly different story, the computer cannot clean itself up and if enough junk accumulates the computer can no longer function properly.

The good news is that there is an easy way to remove the junk; Microsoft Windows computers have a built-in utility to help you “take out the garbage” You can find it in Programs\Accessories\System Tools\Disk Cleanup. When you run the program it will calculate how much junk is in your computer, this takes from a few seconds to a couple of minutes depending on how large your hard drive is; after the calculations are done you will see a screen with a list of check-boxes, you can safely check all of them as anything on that list is not critical; once you click on OK you will be asked if you are sure this is what you want to do; go ahead, click on Delete Files and all your junk will be deleted from your computer.

This is an easy task that should be done at least once a month, if you do not feel comfortable doing this, you can always call you and we will be happy to help you, computer service is what we do.

DiskCleanup

Good Day.

To wire or not…. that is a good question

We often get asked whether to install “hard-wired” network cabling or setup a wireless network. The short answer in my opinion is hard-wired is always better. Please keep in mind that I am an old technician from the pre-dinosaur computer era, wireless networking has come a long way in recent years; in the early days wireless was slow and prone to interference which led to random disconnections and many headaches such as data corruption.

Fast forward a few years, wireless today is very reliable and fairly fast. If your network is small, let’s say less than 5 computers, in a small area with not too many walls in between the router and the computers, wireless is a very viable inexpensive option. However if hard-wiring the office space is feasible, I would always go with the hard-wired option; other than New York mice that like to eat network cabling instead of good cheese (I am serious) your network will be more reliable.

Regardless of which option you go with, you should have a wireless component in your network, laptops and other devices such as smart phones, tablets, etc. will benefit from having access to the Internet through your wireless router.

Good day.

 

 

 

 

The 3 most important things to know in IT

The 3 most important things to know in IT are backups, backups and backups; alright, alright, among other things.

I have a question for you, are you ready with a good backup WHEN the hard drive fails in your computer? Notice I did not write IF, hard drives are mechanical devices that constantly spin at high speed, they will fail, it may take a long time, or a short time, there is no way to tell when.

John is a very busy accountant, I am forever telling him to make sure all his work is backed up, but knowing John for a long time, I know that he does not always follow my advice.  John called me this morning and with a somber sounding voice told me he lost some files and that his most recent backup was over a week old, he feared he had lost a few hours of work.

The story had a happy ending, I was able to recover the files for John, but he could have been not so lucky.

So people, please, make sure your important information is backed up regularly; backing up your data nowadays has become very easy and inexpensive. I would rather come to your office to do more meaningful work than to try to recover lost work.

Good day.

 

 

 

 

How Aida got her groove (from 0-60 in less than about 1 hour)

How Aida got her groove.

Aida called our office yesterday, she sounded very distraught, not her usual self. The problem is that Aida’s computer was running very slow and it was getting progressively worse.

After asking her a few questions I figured out that there was a strong possibility that her computer was infected with “malware” and she had been remiss in taking out “the trash” and other junk as I had taught her the last time I was in her office. I assured her we could help.

Malware is a general term for malicious software including viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, dialers and spyware. In a nutshell really nasty little programs that can disrupt your computer and network, they want your keystrokes, logins, passwords, address book, data, credit card information, favorite t-shirt and possibly your cat. Don’t worry about figuring out what this stuff is; I just threw it in there to scare you a little bit.

I updated her computer’s malware removal software, ran a scan which found quite a bit of junk lurking in her computer, removed all the junk my running Disk Cleanup* and optimized her files by running Disk Defragmenter**.

By the time I got done Aida was smiling again. The moral of the story is that computers like cars need some regular maintenance and TLC. Do yourself a favor and make sure you purchase and install software to protect your computer against viruses and malware. In addition make sure you remove the junk that accumulates during normal use of your computer by using Disk Cleanup and once every couple of months run Disk Defragmenter to automatically rearrange the files in your hard drive for optimum performance.

If all this stuff sounds foreign and you want to put your time to better use, let us take care of your computer so that you can take care of your business.

* Disk Cleanup can be found in most Windows computer under All Programs\Accessories\System Tools\Disk Cleanup. You can safely select every item on the list. During normal usage the computer creates temporary files that get automatically deleted, but some remain and can slow down your computer if left to accumulate.

** Disk Defragmenter can be found in most Windows computer under All Programs\Accessories\System Tools\Disk Defragmenter.  During normal computer usage files get fragmented and scattered around your hard drive surface which slows down your computer; Disk Defragmenter rearranges your files so that all the segments belonging to a file are located next to each other thus making the process of loading the file more efficient.

Take advantage of added security on the web

More and more companies are starting to tighten up the security of their user information, they are doing this in different ways. Apple recently announced that they are providing the option of two-step security for their users.

This makes a lot of sense as we increasingly depend on the Internet to do business and conduct personal tasks.

Here is an article abut what Apple is doing