Tick boxes

Lots of software wants to update on your computer – Java, Flash etc.  We recommend keeping these up to date, however be very careful when you are installing these updates, and don’t just click “Next” to everything you see.

Lots of software which you really don’t want is now bundled with the updates, so read everything very carefully and check the (often small) tick boxes before you click to the next section.

At best you will change your internet home page and search options, at worst you will open your computer to all sorts of malware.

Winter again

Winter is here again, its cold and dark and more often than not wet.

Computers feel the cold too, so please try not to leave laptops or tablets in your car or anywhere it gets really cold at night or when you aren’t using them.  If you do, expect the screen to be a little less responsive than usual until they warm up again.

If you think a device has been exposed to moisture or condensation, take the battery out if possible, and leave it somewhere warm and dry for as long as you can.  If it is a phone or a small tablet, put it into a bag of rice overnight.  Don’t switch on until you are sure it is thoroughly dried out.

Free advice

With Christmas just around the corner (less than a month to go!) don’t forget that we offer free and impartial advice on purchase of new laptops, tablets and PCs.

We aren’t affiliated to any manufacturer or supplier, and keep a close eye on the market to see who is selling what for the right price.

Give us a ring if you need any help.

New service available

As part of our ever expanding range of IT services, we can now offer a cost effective screen replacement service for most tablets, including (but not limited to) Apple iPads and the Google Nexus range.

We offer our usual no fix / no fee service, and as always provide an estimate for repair before any work is carried out.

Please either ring or come and see us if you have a broken screen  – we can help!

Peter Pan virus threat

There has been a lot in the news recently about the “Peter Pan” virus, which is apparently undetectable, and will steal (it will, actually) your passwords for email, Facebook etc.

What isn’t mentioned so much is that it comes in the form of an email attachment, which you have to open and look at before you are infected with it. The email currently comes from the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre, and tells you that the tickets you bought to see Peter Pan this coming Christmas are attached.

If you haven’t bought any such tickets, delete the email without opening the attachment, and you will be ok. However, this is likely to be the start of a rash of similar emails, so be very careful what you open. As a rule, if you haven’t booked tickets or aren’t expecting any attachments, don’t open them. If you accidently do, get in touch with us at once for advice and help.

July 2014 holidays

We’re going to close from Thursday 10th July at 2pm until Monday 21st July 2014.  The office and workshop will both be closed, although the phone will be answered (mainly to say that we are on holiday!). 

This has been a hectic year to say the least, we’re a bit frazzled, and need some time off.

Thanks to everyone who has been to see us and used our services so far this year.  We would not be here without you.

Laptop Chargers

We’ve recently heard of Lithium Ion batteries (fitted to practically all laptops, phones & tablets) overheating and sometimes catching fire under certain extreme circumstances.  All instances of this took place when the wrong charger was used on the device in question.

Its hard to do this with most tablets and phones, as they mostly all use the same type, but laptops – even by the same manufacturer – don’t.  Please check and ensure that you are using the correct charger for your laptop, and that both the charger and DC socket on your laptop are in good order.

We don’t advise using the “universal” replacement type of charger which comes with a selection of interchangable tips, as they are never a good, tight fit into the DC socket, which can lead to electrical arcing and damage to both laptop and charger. This can be very expensive to repair.

Finally, try to avoid charging your laptop overnight or leave it charging unattended for any length of time. More than likely nothing will happen except that you will have a charged battery, but its always better to be safe than sorry.

GameOver Zeus virus

This is probably the nastiest threat seen for some time.  The FBI & NSA in the US, and the National Crime Agency are all issuing warnings about this one, so it will be bad when it arrives.

This particular nasty infests your computer, and harvests your bank details.  This then allows its creators to access (and empty) your bank account.  The money is moved overseas, and it is unclear if banks will refund any losses.  Another part of it is Cryptolocker (which we have warned about) which encrypts your files, and demands a  ransom be paid within a certain time to unlock your data.  This isn’t a joke – your files (all of them) are encrypted beyond recovery. 

ISPs are writing to people who they think have infected computers.  If you receive such a letter, act at once.  If your data is important to you, back it up, and keep the backup device disconnected from your computer when you aren’t using it.

We are expecting tales of woe, as well as money and data  to be lost with this one.  Don’t let it be you!

Mid May call outs

We have a very heavy workload on at present, and are trying to keep up as best as we can with it.  We aren’t going to apologise for being busy, but unless it is an absolute emergency job, there will be some delay in us getting to you or repairing your PC or laptop.

The office will also be closed for periods during the working day, so please ring before you call in or arrange for someone to be here before you make a special journey.

We will be introducing a telephone answering service in the near future, and will return calls as soon as we can once this in place.

Windows XP – the end is very near

There is now less than a month to go until Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft.  This means that an XP computer will be more or less impossible to secure online, and any banking or buying online will become very risky indeed. 

There is no indication whether banks and other financial institutions will still offer online banking protection to XP users, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. 

Microsoft recommend upgrading to Windows 8, but we’ve found that while some users like it and find it easy to use, many do not, and prefer Windows 7 (which will remain supported until 2020).

If you think you will be affected by the demise of XP, please contact us as soon as possible, as we are already very busy with system upgrades and installations, and now only have a short time before support ends on 8th April 2014. 

We will audit your existing systems, and advise if you need to replace your equipment, or if it can be upgraded run a more modern version of Windows.   We will do any work required with the least possible downtime for your business, although this is becoming more difficult as the deadline approaches.