Computer Buying Information

When buying a computer it’s best if price is not your first consideration.

Many customers have expressed dissatisfaction with their computers running the Windows Vista operating system.
Thus I encourage everyone to consider buying a Mac as they are usually less hassle if you are willing to make the transition and pay the premium. Also they are not susceptible to most viruses and malware.

Don’t want Vista or a Mac? Want to buck the market momentum and order a computer with Windows XP on it? It is worth considering and you can find them no problem on the net. I recommend using www.Froogle.com and search for Computer Windows XP or Laptop Windows XP.

Search for reviews of the product you’re considering.

A cheaper computer is usually built with cheaper components.

The computer market has all sorts of catches that make it hard for an end user to make an informed decision. For example, a Celeron processor is always cheaper than a Core 2 or Pentium of the same vintage. However,
a 2.5 gigahertz (ghz) Celeron is slower than a 1.6 ghz Core 2 duo. Dig to understand what you are buying.

There are countless features to consider such as wireless internet.

Protect your investment – The best insurance is to protect what you have. Buy a surge protector. Keep a up to date antivirus subscription – Especially on Windows!

As for Printing, the same cost-benefit comparison applies. The printers usually given away free with a computer are worth about that much. Expect to spend a good bit on ink unless you rarely use it. Do you print a lot of pages where color is not important? If so my recommendation is to send your pictures to a photo website for printing and get a cheap black & white laser printer. You can print for a long time never changing the cartridge, the overall page cost is less, there is less motivation for the kids to print all kinds of ink wasting stuff.

Computers for games – I feel it’s better to buy a seperate game machine instead of buying a bigger, better, faster computer to play games unless you have a specific reason.
The game box will be better and less hassle at what it’s designed for and that way someone can play games while someone else uses the computer. Or you
and the family could go outside and play ball or go hiking, sailing, or anything else other than vegging out. I’m a little biased.

Looking for a used computer?
You should know that the average computer lasts 3-5 years before needing at least one internal component replaced. That might be a hard drive, power supply, or CD-Rom. If it’s a laptop the battery would be pretty worn by then.
It’s more of a risk to buy a used computer, but since there are many good parts left someone with the know-how can put the best components together to make a good computer at a reasonable cost. To do the job right it involves replacing the hard drive,
which holds your data and has an average 3-5 year lifespan. When that part fails the computer stops working and it becomes a gamble and expense to get your data back, so when I
refurbish a computer I replace the drive. This allows me to offer a 6 month hardware warranty. I usually sell used computers for $300-$350 depending on the age and parts. This may raise the question,
why not get a new computer for that or just a few dollars more? First, if it says Refurbished or Off-Lease, it’s not new, and ask the vendor if they replace the hard drive and go over it thoroughly. I can’t make that decision for you, life’s a gamble and I’m offering this free advice. If so, that cheap computer is guaranteed to be made with cheap
components. You won’t know its quality until it has proven itself. In the same vein you don’t know the value of a used computer from me until it proves itself, and I can’t test it forever to prove it either. If you’re having trouble deciding, flip a coin.

by William Small

 

      Keyboard Shortcuts

I compiled this from several sources and made some changes. Comments welcome.

CTRL and A Selects all the items in the active window.
CTRL and C Copies the item or items to the Clipboard and can be pasted using CTRL and V.

SELECT text using cursor then grab with the left click and drag it wherever you want
CTRL and F Displays the Find all files dialog box.
CTRL and G Displays the Go to folder dialog box.
CTRL and N Displays the New dialog box.
CTRL and O Displays the Open dialog box.
CTRL and P Displays the Print dialog box.
CTRL and S Displays the Save dialog box.
CTRL and V Pastes the copied item or items from the Clipboard.
CTRL and X Cuts the item or items selected to the Clipboard.
CTRL and Z Undoes the last action.
CTRL and F4 Closes the active document window.
CTRL+SHIFT with arrow keys Highlight a block of text

CTRL+ESC Display the Start menu
CTRL and F6 Opens the next document window in the active application.
ALT+ENTER View the properties for the selected item
ALT+F4 Close the active item, or quit the active program
ALT+SPACEBAR Open the shortcut menu for the active window
ALT+TAB Switch between the open items
ALT+ESC Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened
F1 key Gives help on the active window or selected item.
F2 key Rename the selected item
F3 key Search for a file or a folder
F4 key Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer
F5 key Update the active window
F6 key Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F10 key Activate the menu bar in the active program
F11 = Full screen the web browser window (Super-maximize in Firefox)
Windows Key (wavy window between CTRL and ALT usually) Display or hide the Start menu
Windows Logo+BREAK Display the System Properties dialog box
Windows Logo+D Display the desktop
Windows Logo+M Minimize all of the windows
Windows Logo+SHIFT+M Restore the minimized windows
Windows Logo+E Open My Computer
Windows Logo+F Search for a file or a folder
CTRL+Windows Logo+F Search for computers
Windows Logo+F1 Display Windows Help
Windows Logo+ L Lock the keyboard
Windows Logo+R Open the Run dialog box
Windows Logo+U Open Utility Manager
TAB Move forward through the options
SHIFT+TAB Move backward through the options

CTRL+TAB Move forward through the tabs
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB Move backward through the tabs
ALT+Underlined letter Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option
ENTER Perform the command for the active option or button
SPACEBAR Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box
F1 key Display Help
F4 key Display the items in the active list
Arrow keys Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons
BACKSPACE Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box
END Display the bottom of the active window
HOME Display the top of the active window
NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign (*) Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder
NUM LOCK+Plus sign (+) Display the contents of the selected folder
NUM LOCK+Minus sign (-) Collapse the selected folder
LEFT ARROW Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder
RIGHT ARROW Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder

Escape means ‘Cancel’, for example:

  • ESC = Cancel current modal dialog box
  • ESC = Close open text edit and discard any changes to text in the edit
  • ESC = Stop loading current web page

Selection

  • Shift+click = Extend selection of items, or extend selection of text in an open text edit (note: does not work on the desktop, only in folders or text edits)
  • Ctrl+click = Discontiguous selection of items
  • Ctrl+Shift+Click = Discontiguously extend selection of items (note: does not work on the desktop or text edits, only in folders)
  • Double-click in a text edit = select a ‘word’
  • Shift+End = Extend selection of text to end of line from cursor in text edit
  • Shift+End = Extend selection of items from item with focus to last item
  • Shift+Home = Extend selection of text to start of line from cursor in text edit
  • Shift+Home = Extend selection of items from item with focus to first item

Ctrl+A, then F2 = Rename all the items in a folder

Ctrl+D = Delete selected item(s) on Windows desktop or from folder

Ctrl+W = Close Document (does not work everywhere)

The following work in most document-oriented applications, such as the Office apps, et al:

  • Ctrl+B = Bold the selected text or cell
  • Ctrl+I = Italicize the selected text or cell
  • Ctrl+U = Underline the selected text or cell
  • Ctrl+D = Duplicate selected object(s)
  • Ctrl+Y = Redo

The following work on Vista and possibly other versions of Windows to rotate the screen:

  • Ctrl-Alt-Up: -180 degrees (complementary with Ctrl-Alt-Down)
  • Ctrl-Alt-Right: 90 degrees (complementary with Ctrl-Alt-Left)
  • Ctrl-Alt-Down: +180 degrees (complementary with Ctrl-Alt-Up)
  • Ctrl-Alt-Left: 270 degree (complementary with Ctrl-Alt-Right)

 

 

Computer Disposal

It’s inevitable that computers will become obsolete and useless.  This is a department where you’ll have to control your sentimentality.  Any computer that’s managed to last 6 years has served very well and realistically if you’re still using it, you are surely suffering by it.   Regardless, when it is time to replace the computer you have to do something with the old one. You’re always welcome to send it off with us after a visit, and you can also drop it off with the city or county without charge. Click below to learn more!

Diagnosing Computer Issues

If your computer is not working right, be prepared to call someone for help. It’s great to have an IT department but most of us don’t. Users often end up spending long hours on the phone with far away tech support not getting much fulfillment. That’s why you have Will Get I.T. Done

Before the steam whistles out of your ears, proactively give us a call. We want to help and we’re good at it. It costs more in time, frustration, and lost work to wait and hassle with the distant tech help.

  1. Check the connections. Are the cords ok? They can be damaged by being stepped on or vacuumed, or who knows what.
  2. Does the monitor say something like “The display is working, but no signal present?” If so make sure it’s plugged in.
  3. Is the computer on? Are lights on? Fans making noise? If it’s on and not responding, push and hold the power button until it turns off, or unplug it, wait a few seconds, plug it back in and try again.
  4. Did you just run a program you downloaded and might have infected your computer with a virus? If so, it might be better to get service, or you can try a online virus scanner at http://housecall.trendmicro.com
  5. No internet? Did you pay your bill? Look at the modem. Is the Internet light lit up? You might try unplugging and plugging back in your modem and router’s power cords to reset them.
  6. Do you get a blue screen with incomprehensible information on it? If so, 1st just reboot it, if it keeps coming back, it might be time for a new operating system. When I perform this service I generally replace the hard drive if the computer is 3 or more years old. It is a minor additional expense that prevents a bad hard drive from causing a quickly recurring problem.
    The computer may say to put the O/S disk in and reinstall Windows. Note however that that disk usually wipes the hard drive clean and will destroy any of your personal data. Make sure you understand what you’re doing and have backed up anything important to you. Once this has been done the chances of data recovery drop dramatically.
  7. Are you losing money hassling with your equipment, and what is the financial situation like? Computer Services cost money, and so does lost work.

Consider calling us. We’re committed to getting you back to your focus and minimizing the stresses of technology.

by William Small

 

 

 

“Viruses are highly infectious and usually self replicating.  They usually use your computer try to infect other computers or send spam emails, possibly to your contacts or to other contact lists.   Once you get a virus your computer is compromised and more susceptible to other viruses..”

 

Virus? Malware? Spyware?


A subject of some confusion and a significant percentage of computer issues are Viruses, Malware and Spyware. Taxonomically,  These genres exist under the family of nuisance program but they are not the same genus.

Malware are programs that a user is typically tricked into getting on their computer, often when installing software they intentionally sought out.  Most malware is attached to free software and somehow might earn the vendor a few pennies.  Once installed, these nuisance programs create pop-up windows that confuse most computer users, possibly into installing new malware.  Some malware purports to make your computer run better and tells you about problems that it has, that it will fix when you buy the full version.  Some malware can be uninstalled easily in the Control Panel under Programs. Below is a screen shot where the user has the opportunity to decline to install the malware, but most users click Accept and become unwitting installers of their own problem programs.

Spyware is like malware in that it is often installed along with free programs.  This insidious software tracks your behaviors and tries to narrow your use of the internet to the sites and vendors that pay for it, one presumes.  There are a lot of different behaviors and this little guide is meant to be general, not comprehensive.  If your computer is behaving poorly and you think you have some or all of these, you are an ideal customer for us.

For the 3 genus of computer nuisance software, there are 4 types of nuisance software removal tools.  They are Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, Anti-Spyware, and last and least, software that purport to be great against all types of nuisance software.  We have not found one of the latter that that is as effective as specialized software.

We recommend and use BitDefender as a powerful antivirus software.  Malwarebytes anti-malware is a great program for removing Malware.  Spybot S&D or SuperAntiSpyware are some good spyware removal tools.