FAQ’s

Before You Call or E-mail Me:

Owning a computer can present some challenges in your life. You have to maintain your computer and at times you may find yourself in a situation where you have to have your computer fixed. To do so you can either start with doing a few simple steps yourself or you can take your computer to a computer repair service and have it fixed for you. But before that, see if you can do the repairs yourself before spending the money to have it fixed.

Start by double checking the connections that are on your computer. There are many different wires and cables that can be associated with your computer. If one comes lose, your computer may not be functioning the proper way. If you have wireless attachments such as a keyboard or mouse, check the batteries. Once you have checked your connections and batteries check to see if your computer is working. This is a simple fix computer solution.

If your computer is still not working or you still have the same problems, reboot your computer to fix computer. When you reboot your computer, all the applications you have opened will shut down also. This will help your computer to remove any applications that you do not need open. When you restart your computer these applications will not be running and will give your computer more memory and space to use. If the problem persists, you may have a virus on your computer that needs to be removed.

To know if you have a computer virus, look for these possible symptoms. You will want to look for random freezing, your computer crashing randomly, not being able to access your files and documents, sudden pop ups from the Internet or your computer behaving strangely. If any of these occur, you have a computer virus. You can now either try to remove the virus yourself or have a professional fix computer.

Find an antivirus program that you can download onto your computer. You will want to be cautious and take your time as your select and antivirus program. There are some antivirus programs that can make your problem or virus worse. When you find and download your antivirus program it will want to perform a scan. The scan is in place to fix computer. It may take a large amount of time to complete the scan on your computer. Once the scan is complete, the antivirus program will allow you to delete any programs that should not be on your computer. Once you have removed the unwanted programs, run the scan again to make sure you have removed the unwanted programs and the virus has been removed.

If you have done all of these steps and you are still having problems a professional repair service may be your only other option. They will have the proper training and knowledge to restore your computer. Be sure you explain your exact problem and what you have done to try to fix it. It also helps if you can remember what you were doing at the time (ex: reading e-mail, browsing the web, etc.) prior to the problem. Click on the “contact us” page and fill out the Online Form.
Here you’ll find a list of the more common computer terms so you can familiarize yourself with some “Geek-Speak!”.

PC Basis:

What is a CPU?
CPU is short for central processing unit. The CPU is the part of the computer that is most responsible for the computer’s speed. The CPU’s processing speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). The CPU can be thought of as the computer’s “engine” with the GHz corresponding to an engine’s horsepower. Each GHz equals 1,000 MHz, so a speed of 2.4 GHz is equal to 2,400 MHz.

What is RAM?
Random access memory (RAM) is the computer’s temporary memory. It is measured in gigabytes (GB) and is used as needed to complete tasks. The amount of RAM a computer has is a significant factor in the computer’s overall speed because the more RAM it has, the faster it can process tasks. Adding more RAM to a computer is the easiest way to instantly increase the computer’s speed.

What is a Hard Drive?
The hard drive is the storage area. Every file on a computer is stored on the hard drive. The storage capacity of a hard drive is measured in gigabytes (GB). In contrast to RAM, the hard drive is the permanent storage area. While every computer contains an internal hard drive, there are external hard drives as well. External hard drives are often used to back up the information on an internal hard drive.

What is USB?
USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. This is a communication and connection technology that is used on virtually all computers to connect peripheral devices. Peripheral devices are connected to the computer’s USB port via a USB cable. Some common peripherals are the mouse, keyboard, printer and external hard drive.

What is an Operating System?
The operating system or OS, is the software program that a computer uses to perform functions. Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux are examples of operating systems. The operating system is the software that runs all the programs on the computer. While all operating systems are designed to accomplish similar tasks, specific programs are often compatible with only one kind of operating system.

INTERNET SAFETY is difficult and yet critical. Here are the seven key steps to Internet safety – steps to keep your computer safe on the Internet.

1. Use a Firewall – A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that sits between your computer and the Internet and only allows certain types of things to cross the wall. For example, a firewall may allow checking email and browsing the web, but disallow things that are commonly not as useful such as RPC or “Remote Procedure Calls”. In fact, it’s vulnerabilities in RPC that allowed for one of the more recent worms to propagate. (If you’re using a phone to dial-in to the Internet, a firewall is not as important, though it doesn’t hurt to have one. A software firewall may be your only option, though.)

2. Virus Scan – Sometimes, typically via email, a virus is able to cross the firewall and end up on your computer anyway. A virus scanner will locate and remove them from your hard disk. A real time virus scanner will notice them as they arrive, even before they hit the disk, but at the cost of slowing down your machine a little. Important: because new viruses are arriving every day, it’s important to keep your virus definitions/signatures up-to-date. Be sure to enable the scanning software’s automatic-update feature and have it do so every day.

3. Kill Spyware – Spyware is similar to a virus in that they arrive unexpected and unannounced and proceed to do something undesired. Normally spyware is relatively benign from a safety perspective, but it can violate your privacy by tracking the web sites you visit, or add “features” to your system that you didn’t ask for. The worst offenders are spyware that hijack normal functions for themselves. For example, some like to redirect your web searches to other sites to try and sell you something. Of course some spyware is so poorly written that it might as well be a virus, given how unstable it can make your system. The good news is that, like virus scanners, there are spyware scanners that will locate and remove the offending software.

4. Stay Up-To-Date – I’d wager that over 90% of virus infections don’t have to happen. Software vulnerabilities that the viruses exploit usually already have patches available by the time the virus reaches a computer. The problem? The user simply failed to install the latest patch and updates that would have prevented the infection in the first place.

5. Get Educated – To be blunt, all the protection in the world won’t save you from yourself. Don’t open attachments that you aren’t positive are ok. Don’t fall for phishing scams. Don’t click on links in email that you aren’t positive are safe. Don’t install “free” software without checking it out first – many “free” packages are free because they come loaded with spyware, adware and worse. When visiting a web site, did you get a pop-up asking if it’s ok to install some software you’re not sure of because you’ve never heard of it? Don’t say “OK”. Not sure about some security warning you’ve been given? Don’t ignore it. Choose strong passwords, and don’t share them with others.

6. Secure Your Mobile Connection – if you’re traveling and using Internet hot spots, free Wifi or Internet cafes, you must take extra precautions. Make sure that your web email access is via secure (https) connections, or that your regular mail is over an encrypted connection as well. Don’t let people “shoulder surf” and steal your password by watching you type it in a public place. Make sure your home Wifi has WPA security enabled if anyone can walk within range.

7. Don’t forget the Obvious – All of the precautions I’ve listed above are pointless if other people can get at your computer. They may not follow (or care about) the previous safety rules I’ve laid out. A thief can easily get at all the unencrypted data on your computer, but only if they can physically get to it. The common scenario is a laptop being stolen during travel, but I’ve gotten reports of people who’ve been burned because a family member or roommate accessed their computer without their knowledge.

It all might seem overwhelming, but it’s not nearly as overwhelming as an actual security problem if and when it happens to you. While some might think it won’t happen to them, the practical reality of the Internet, and of Computing today, is that we each all must take an active responsibility for our own security online.

Many people use computers in their daily lives. At the same time, people often have trouble remembering the different components of a computer or keeping track of all the terminology. The computer is really a multi-purpose tool that stores information, sends and receives information and runs programs that perform various tasks. Once you have a grasp on the general way a computer works, you’ll have an easier time remembering the specific terminology.

 

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