A lot of problems can be avoided be keeping your computer up to date.  Just like preventive care can keep you from getting sick, a little preventive care for your computer can keep it in healthy condition.

Macintosh users:
Go to the Apple Menu and select “Software Update”.  The software update utility will check for any available updates.  Make sure all updates are checked and click “Update”.  Reboot if needed.

Windows XP users:
Open Internet Explorer and go to:
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
Follow the directions on the website to update your registered copy of Windows.  Reboot if needed.

 

  • Virus Detection & Removal
  • General System Diagnostics
  • Operating system installation, upgrades and configuration
  • Installation of small office and home networks
  • Setting up and configuring wireless networks, ADSL modems, broadband routers and sharing high speed internet access across a network
  • Configuring or fixing internet connections, ADSL/Cable modems and Wired/Wireless Routers
  • Desktop and Laptop on-site or off-site repairs and maintenance
  • Printer and Scanner Installation and repair.
  • Implementation of PC upgrades such as system memory, graphic cards, modems, network cards, CD-ROMs, DVD, DVD-RAMs, DVD-RWs etc
  • Installing and configuring software applications
  • Implementation of computer security such as securing small office and home networks against malicious attacks, viruses, etc
  • Customizing your desktop environment and software applications to your specific needs
  • Optimizing your PC or network performance
  • Hard Drive Installation with data transfer
  • Data migration from old PC to new PC
  • Data Backup Systems

Always make sure to back up any important files and data. Writable cd’s or dvd’s (CD-R, CR-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RAM) are difficult to use. External hard drives are prone to failure. Usb drives are easy but not big enough.

Online backup services offer unlimited storage, and live backups. And they cost less then a hard drive. Carbonite is a great service that is cheap, simple and has great phone support. Carbonite works in the background all the time to keep all your files backed up. As soon as a file changes it is backed up. Carbonite also adds a small dot to each icon, so you can quickly see if a file is backed up.

Carbonite dots

If you are having trouble with your computer it may already be too late to make a backup of your important information, so do it now.

For years, we have detected malicious content on the web and helped protect users from it. Vulnerabilities in web browsers and popular plugins have resulted in an increased number of users whose systems can be compromised by attacks known as drive-by downloads. Such attacks do not require any user interaction, and they allow the adversary to execute code on a user’s computer without their knowledge. However, even without any vulnerabilities present, clever social engineering attacks can cause an unsuspecting user to unwittingly install malicious code supplied by an attacker on their computer. More Info here.

Any device with digital components needs to be recycled. These devices usually have hazardous materials inside including lead and other toxic chemicals.

Although schools and other organizations used to take old computers and refurbish them that is not very common anymore. It cost an organization more to refurbish a computer then to buy a new one now.

I have used Earth Care Recycling for years and they have always done a great job. They have a number of free drop off locations and you can drop off items at their main location 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Earth Care Recycling even has information on recycling other items (fluorescent bulbs, batteries, etc…)

Go to www.earthcarerecycling.com for more information.

I’m sometimes asked if it’s better to leave a computer on all night or turn it off. Is the convenience of having it on all the time worth it, or should I be energy conscious. Which does less damage – leaving it on or turning it off every day.

First of all the argument that turning a computer on uses more energy then leaving it running over night has been proven false. According to the Department of Energy new computers do not use more power to start up then normal running conditions.

The article linked above goes on to suggest using the sleep function on your computer. This will cut energy use through the night and only takes a few seconds to wake up in the morning. Here are instructions to check your sleep settings –

For Mac users –
From the Apple menu choose System Preferences and then click on the Energy saver icon.
See this article for more info.

For Windows users –
Windows XP settings are here, while Windows Vista is here.