July 2015 holidays

Hard to believe that it is mid July already!

We are closing tomorrow (10th July) at 12.30, and will be closed all of next week, re-opening on Monday 20th July.

Thanks to all our clients for their support throughout the year so far.

Windows Updates

We’ve had a few computers in for repair this week which have either had no updates for the Windows operating system installed or are very far behind with them.

Microsoft issue updates for supported Windows operating systems every Tuesday. When you are online, and provided your computer is set to receive them automatically (most are), they are downloaded in the background, and when the download is complete, they are installed when you next switch off.

Its important to keep the updates up to date, as they fix problems with Windows, and plug security flaws which pop up all too often with Microsoft software. Thankfully there are usually only a few per week, but if none have ever been installed it can be a time consuming job to put them all in.

If you aren’t sure if your computer is receiving updates, or if you think there is a problem, please contact us for advice and help.

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!