Posts Tagged: ‘computer equipment’

Technology Gifts for Moms, Dads and Grads!

giftsThinking about a special gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Graduation Day? You can’t go wrong with the gift of technology! The number of choices in technology is simply overwhelming, so let Geeks On Call help you with some suggestions.

Ready to Update That PC?

How about Microsoft’s Surface 3? Perfect as a replacement for a PC or large laptop. The HP Omen is a real workhorse that is also perfect for the gamer in your family. The HP Stream 11 is another great choice as a super affordable mini-laptop that covers the basics. It also offers a very long-lasting battery.

How about a Tablet?

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is considered a top of the line choice. So good in fact, it’s the first tablet capable of fully replacing a laptop. For Android fans, consider the Google Nexus 9. It’s considered one of the best tablets on the market. The Lenova Yoga Tablet 2 features a cool digital pen and utilizes a cool device called AnyPen and Sony’s Xperia Z4 rugged road warrior tablet is ideal for the accident prone user!

Make Someone Happy with a New Smartphone!

At the moment, the top choices are the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note 4. If your giftee is an Apple fan, the iPhone 6 is great. Both the iPhone 6 and the S6 have developed incredible new cameras. Plus these slim and trim designs have great processing power. If you are on a tight budget, the HTC One M9 or Motorola’s Moto E, are good products available at affordable prices.

Very Entertaining!

Who wouldn’t love to receive Google’s Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player? Start enjoying your favorite online movies, tv shows, photographs, websites and music via your TV. Simply plug the device into any HDTV and control your entertainment selections from a Smartphone, tablet or laptop. How about some new headphones?  Sennheiser Momentum is at the top of the list. Bose offers Quiet Comfort 25 noise cancelling headphones and SoundLink Bluetooth headphones and speakers. Another gift suggestion is Bluetooth speakers from Bose, Sony, UE Megaboom, Jawbone or Logitech. All good choices and very entertaining.

Give the Give of Fitness!

Trying to send a message to a family member about their wavering commitment to health and fitness? Who wouldn’t appreciate a cool gift such as the Fitbit Charge HR, Jawbone UP3 or Apple’s Watch Sport? If you are considering a Smartwatch, Apple’s Smartwatch is a crowd pleaser. Also, take a look at Moto 360 that runs on Android. Another popular choice is the Pebble or Pebble Steel that runs on both iOS and Android. What’s not to love about that?

If it’s a new smartphone, tablet or laptop for a job-seeking graduate or a computer upgrade for your business, Geeks On Call can help.  Don’t hesitate to contact your local Geeks On Call office and one of their technology professionals will be happy to help you.

 

You Really Can Fall in Love with Your PC Again!

Heart_corazón.svgRemember when you really loved your computer? What happened? Did things seem to slow down and just fizzle out? Does it feel as if there’s no spark left in the relationship? Maybe your relationship with your computer just needs some extra attention to get things back on track.

 

If you want to put that zip back in the relationship with your computer, try the following steps:

 

Startup Takes Forever? Does it take your computer a ridiculous amount of time to get started? Does it seem as if your computer just can’t wake up and get to work on time? One possibility is that too many non-critical programs are launching during the startup process. Expedite the start-up process by consulting with a technology professional. Most likely, unnecessary programs that are slowing down the functioning of your computer can be identified and removed. Processing can be sped up by cutting back on boot problems.

 

Feeling Bloated? Maybe your PC is sluggish due to bloating. PC makers often add in a load of free tools that techies call “bloatware” for a good reason. All these freebie programs are probably not really helping you or your computer. Removing the overload of “bloatware” can lighten the unnecessary load on your computer.

 

Time to Add Extra Memory? Does it seem as if your computer is practically overwhelmed every time it has to open a WORD document? That’s not a good sign. Perhaps it’s time to spend a few bucks and add more RAM or memory to your computer. RAM needs vary by user depending on user needs. Needs for a high speed gaming fanatic or a photo-editing artist are different than for a user who just checks e-mail. Have a technology professional properly assess your needs and add the required RAM to your PC.

 

Is Your PC Ready for a New Life? “Don’t throw good money after bad” remains a genuine truism. At some point, it’s probably not worth continuing to invest money into an old PC.  However, that PC could enjoy a new life as a secondary computer for your school children or just for checking e-mail in the kitchen. You could also consider donating the aging PC to a charitable organization located in your community.

 

Retirement and Responsible Recycling. Eventually the day will come when it’s officially time to pull the plug. When your PC is facing retirement, remember to be responsible to yourself and the environment. First, you must eliminate all of the data from your PC. Remember that just deleting files, emptying the recycle bin or reformatting the hard drive is not enough adequate. The browser’s cache, cookies and e-mail contacts can still contain highly sensitive information. Play it safe and ensure your digital privacy by contacting a technology professional for assistance with secure data removal.  Be environmentally responsible and never use a dumpster as a means to deal with an unwanted PC. After removing the data on your PC, recycle the equipment through a reputable recycler.

 

Your Relationship with Your Computer Really Can Be Improved

It’s very likely that your computer can be improved with some professional maintenance.  Geeks On Call can help you increase the efficiency of an older PC by removing unnecessary programs and adding some additional RAM. Contact your local Geeks On Call office and one of their technology professionals will be happy to evaluate the status of your current computer.

 

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.

How to Keep Your Computer Clean

Posting Date: 10/15/2014  |   Filed Under: Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Laptop on Kitchen Table with Cup of Coffee

Do you know how to keep your computer clean?

Office cleanliness can be a messy topic. A disastrous mess in the office kitchen generally brings on a scolding group email. People, clean up your act!

But what about your computers? Your computers are probably your office’s most valuable asset. Your computers are responsible for your business’ financial records, communications, book-keeping and customer data.

Keeping the outside of your computers sparkling clean isn’t meant just for aesthetic appeal. Computers create static electricity that pulls in dust that can inevitably clog the fan and other components. To clean the external surfaces of your computer, follow these cleaning guidelines.

Supplies:

Can of compressed air

Isopropyl (rubbing) liquor and distilled water

Microfiber material

Screwdrivers, Phillips-tip and flat-tip

Directions for Cleaning External Computer Surfaces:

Step 1: Turn off your computer and unplug all sources of power. Remove the battery is you are cleaning a laptop.

Step 2: Open the computer by removing the screws or utilize the sliding board. Clean the vent with the can of compress air. Use the air to blow dust, hair and crumbs from the vent. Always spray compressed air in short bursts while keeping the nozzle several inches from the components. Never shake the computer to remove dust. Shaking the equipment can loosen delicate parts. Refer to the computer manual or check online resources if specific directions are required.

Step 3: Clean the computer keyboard with compressed air. Use the spray nozzle to blow debris from the keyboard’s crevices. Never use a vacuum for cleaning your computer. A vacuum cleaner will create a static charge that can damage your machine.  Use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip to carefully clean all of the computer seams. Never spray cleaning fluids directly onto the screen. Permit everything to dry completely before powering up the computer, then reattach any peripherals.  Every few month, follow this cleaning regimen. If your work environment is more inclined to grimy dirt, dust and hair, such as a manufacturing business or a salon, more frequent cleaning is recommended.

Your computers are an important asset to your business. To keep your computers running efficiently, we suggest regularly scheduled maintenance for both the internal workings and external surfaces. Contact your local Geeks On Call office and one of our technology professionals will be happy to discuss this service with you.

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!