Posts Tagged: ‘business computer repair’

Is It Time to Clean Up Your Act?

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“Hey, there’s not a single clean coffee cup in the entire kitchen!”

“How long has that milk been sitting out on the counter?”

“Wasn’t someone supposed to empty the garbage on Friday night?

What a mess! Anyone who works in an office environment has certainly heard their share of those kitchen complaints. If regular maintenance is ignored, things can deteriorate quickly. The same goes for your computers. Except your computers handle your most important assets: accounting, financial records, communications and client information.

Establishing a Maintenance Plan for Your Computers

Last month’s Geeks On Call’s Blog offered tips on keeping the outside of your computers clean. This month, the Blog presents maintenance guidelines for the “nuts and bolts” of your computer with the following tips:

Step 1: Windows and Mac both release security updates for their operating systems. Generally, these updates are set to run automatically. Follow these directions if you aren’t sure if the updates are complete or if you have disabled the automated updates:

Mac: Open the Systems Preference menu and choose Software Update. Select the updates you want to install from the list.

Windows: At the Start Menu, click on All Programs, then click Windows Updates. See the status of your updates and check on the automatic updates settings. You can perform these tasks manually or set your computer to download and install updates.

Step 2: Most recent computers offer hard drive maintenance as an automatic task. It defragments and reorganizes data storage for enhanced efficiency. It also provides disk cleanup by deleting duplicates and unused temporary files. On a Mac, this process is typically automatic. With Windows, if your computer doesn’t provide automatic hard drive maintenance, use the Start Menu to open and run the maintenance program.

Step 3: Periodically you should clear your Internet history or eventually performance issues will occur due to data build up. Internet browser tools can handle the problem with the following instructions:

  • Chrome: Hold Control and Shift, then click Delete to clear data. A new menu will open where you can erase selected data. Click on Clear Browsing Data when you are done.
  • Firefox: See Firefox menu and open Options to click the Clear button. This will erase cookies and cache data.
  • Internet Explorer:  Go to Internet Options control panel and click Delete on the General tab under the Browsing History.

Safari: Use the Edit menu to clear the browsing cache then select Empty Cache.

Step 4: Now that your computer is running more efficiently, be sure that the computer has a reliable backup system in place. There are many different options for backup solutions that are both reliable and affordable. Geeks On Call can advise you on a reliable backup system.

Step 5: Guard against malicious viruses by having an antivirus program on your computer. Protect your computer against losing important data or and save yourself from expensive repairs. Talk to your local Geeks On Call about your security needs

Step 6: Malware creates security holes that will compromise the performance of your computer. There are a variety of paid and free programs that will erase both spyware and malware programs. Also, be on guard and never download anything that comes from an unfamiliar e-mail address. Beware and never open attachments from unknown sources.

Take Care of Your Computers so That You Can Take Care of Your Business!

Regular computer maintenance, service and updates will keep your machine working at optimal efficiency. Geeks On Call can help you with backup solutions, malware virus and protection. Contact your local Geeks On Call to establish a regular maintenance schedule for your computers.

5 Things to do Before you Upgrade Your Computer!

Posting Date: 09/27/2013  |   Filed Under: Consoles, Security, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Are you looking to upgrade your computer and equipment for your business or home, but don’t really know where to start.  There are a lot of options out there when upgrading your computer and equipment.

  • Desktop or Laptop?
  • How much RAM do I need?
  • What is RAM?
  • Should I go MAC or PC?
  • How much do I have to spend?

By the time you answer these questions (and more!), and you begin looking to purchase a   computer and associated equipment the options seem endless!

We feel your pain, we understand that no one wants to have to make all of those decisions (and no one really understands what they are actually deciding).

So we are coming to the rescue, our franchise owners are always available to help you choose the best computers and equipment for your office or home, but there are still things you need to consider.

Below are the 5 things you should do when beginning your search for a new computer and equipment.

  1.  Set a Budget a Stick to It! – There is nothing worse than buying something and getting it home and feeling like you have been bamboozled.  This is especially true for business owners. You do not want to over spend.  So decide how much money you will be spending per computer and do not let anyone lure you to the shiny, newest and fastest computer on the market.
  2. Make a list outlining things you will be utilizing – You should know in advance what programs you will be running (even if they are internet based), if you will be using the Microsoft Office Suite, are there any special programs or utilities that pertain to your industry that you or an employee may need.  It may even be helpful to have your office staff track all of the programs that they use over several weeks so you can get a clear picture of what they need and why.
  3. Understand Computer Jargon – Don’t let people confuse you, stay ahead of the curve and prepare.  Find out what words like RAM (memory), processor speed, Input Ports and Drivers, Wireless Capabilities, and software packages may be included mean. Not only should you understand what they each mean, but how it impacts you and your needs. Make sure that whoever is assisting you in the buying process knows what programs you need to run, and can confirm that the computers you are purchasing has those capabilities and they can tell if you any of the programs you are looking for are included or if you need to buy them separately.
  4. Read Product Reviews – There is not a better way to decide if a product is worth buying than reading a review from a person who using that product every day for the same purpose as you and your company.  All of the big box stores and online outlets will have products reviews on their website.  You should also utilize resources such a CNet (reviews.cnet.com/) and PC Magazine (www.pcmag.com/reviews).  These resources will have unbiased opinions and will many times compare several models against one another.
  5. Protect Your Investment – The last thing to do is make sure you are prepared with a virus and spy ware package. This is possibly the most important part of protecting your computer. It will get attacked at some point and you have to be prepared when it happens.  Many have auto-updates, auto-removal or viruses, clean up and renewal alerts.  You want to make sure your investment is protected so this is not a step you should skip.

Does Your Computer and Equipment Need a Make Over?

Posting Date: 09/25/2013  |   Filed Under: Consoles, Technology  |   No Comments
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When was the last time your business did a computer upgrade?  Let’s be serious, not just a new monitor or replacing something that broke.  But a true upgrade and refresh of all of the equipment in the office.  Was it a couple of years ago, or maybe so long ago you can’t even remember?

According to the experts, the functional lifespan for a computer and corresponding equipment is five years. Business owners are always looking for ways to control costs, and one strategy is to keep equipment running and functional for as long as possible. After five years though this method can begin to backfire on a business as downtime and the time it takes to complete a task becomes increasingly longer.  Employee efficiency decreases, while employee frustration increases – as a business owner this is never a place you want to be!

Reasons to Upgrade Sooner than Later

Here’s a look at some reasons why your business should begin planning for a computer upgrade:

Support Costs and Repair Expenses: Keeping an old computer running is usually a lot like keeping an old car running. It begins with good intentions, but sometimes the repair costs start to overshadow the actual value. It is the same with an old computer. When the costs to keep it up and running exceed the cost of a replacement you probably have a losing proposition on your hands.

Decreased Productivity: Slow, slower, slowest? So your computer can barely reboot anymore, and running a program makes having a root canal look more fun!  If the answer is yes, then you are not working smart, effectively or efficiently.  A large corporation recently estimated the expense of lost productivity for a four minute boot-up time in contrast to a two minute boot-up at $28 million. That’s a lot of money for people drinking coffee while staring at a blank screen.

Time for a New Operating System: If you are one of the 600 million remaining XP users you should have April 8, 2014 marked on your calendar. Why you may ask.  Well that is the day Microsoft formally ends XP’s lifecycle and it will no longer receive updates or support. After the April date if you continue to use this defunct operating-system you will be placing your organization in the path of security hazards. This can also put your small business in danger if you are non-compliant regarding many different regulations. Many businesses are making plans to coordinate the purchase of new computers with the latest operating system just before April 2014. In case you weren’t aware in this Microsoft deadline, be aware!

More Cost Effective to Buy a New Computer or Repair the Old One: If the combined cost of upgraded software and parts for the existing computer is 50% of the expense of a new laptop or computer, then conventional wisdom says purchase new. Given the latest prices on a new computer this thinking can be very practical and affordable. A new computer can be priced as low as $300, and for $800 you can get something near the top of the line. Consumers and companies are always hedging their bets on laptop or computer commitments. “What if something better comes along a couple months?” If your computer is impeding your current productivity, stop looking to second guess it – maybe you need that completely new computer today!