If you received a new computer for the holidays, have you taken steps to keep your new computer properly maintained? A computer doesn’t need oil changes like your car but it does require periodic attention. There are a few issues to consider before you power up your new computer.
The first issue to consider is a surge protector.
“It’s supposed to do that…”
If you are like me, it might take you months before you discover all the new features in your new computer. I’m still discovering things about a laptop that I purchased last summer.
One thing that was particularly troublesome was the DVD drive. Sometimes, it was missing from “My Computer”. Other times it was there and functioned perfectly. Troubleshooting intermittent problems are always the most difficult to resolve. It was a new computer and the DVD worked in the past. I assumed that one of the many programs that I tested must have misconfigured the computer to not “see” the DVD drive. Removing all test programs didn’t fix the problem.
Have you done all of your holiday shopping? What are some gift ideas this year for the computer or gadget person in your life?
Books and music are always good choice for a gift but you don’t have to actually purchase a book or CD. You can purchase a gift card from one of the major book or music download sites.
A few days ago I started receiving text messages on my cell phone that notified me of a problem with my Sovereign Bank account. The problem is that I don’t have a Sovereign Bank account. A local Lowell Sun reader also sent me an email asking about the same phishing text messages.
If you are interested, you can search the Internet for the source of a phone number.
NEW HIGH TECH DEVICE PROBLEMS?
The new Apple iPhone has a new software release that resolves short battery life problems. Even great companies like Apple occasionally release products that are not ready for prime time. Eventually design flaws are resolved. The burden is on you to stay informed.
It is not enough to purchase a product and expect it to be perfect. You have to realize that there is a problem and know how to search for a fix.
NEW COMPUTER THREAT
A few weeks ago, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous called my office to inquire about a strange phone call from someone who claimed to represent her network provider. The caller informed her that her computer had a virus. She immediately hung up and attempted to verify the caller’s claims. It sounded like a scam. Network service providers don’t normally telephone customers with virus alerts.
My wife also mentioned that one of her coworkers had received a similar phone call. Was this the beginning of a new scam for computer owners?
“I don’t have anything to hide….”
I hear this comment all the time when I set up a client’s network or computer. “Maybe you don’t have anything to hide but you do have something to PROTECT.”
You may think that you don’t have anything to hide but you do have to protect your resources. Do you leave your doors unlocked? Would you walk down the street with your cash openly displayed? Of course not!
US AIR FORCE PREDATOR HACKED AGAIN
About two years ago, Predator video streams were intercepted by insurgents. The bad guys were able to view what the pilots viewed during operations. A program that cost less than $30 allowed easy access to view the Predator video streams. When the Russian developer was contacted and asked about this program feature, he stated that his program wasn’t written to hack military video feeds. The program was intended to intercept multimedia on the Internet. This should have been a wakeup call for the military but the incident was quickly forgotten.
FIX YOUR PC ONLINE?
Have you seen the commercials that advertise your pc can be fixed in seconds by experts over the Internet? There are some reasons to reconsider your decision to use this type of service to repair your computer.
If you are sick, would you trust just any doctor to properly diagnose your condition and recommend treatment with no examination? Sure, there are situations where your doctor who knows your history can make intelligent treatment suggestions but how can you trust someone who is not familiar with your particular situation?
Blackberry in trouble?
If you are a Blackberry user, you probably noticed that you weren’t receiving emails last week. RIM, manufacturer and service provider of Blackberry, consider themselves to be reliable but past history indicates another view.
When you use a Blackberry, all data communications go through the RIM network. That is the problem. The Rim network is designed to provide secure communications but recently disruptions have been a yearly event. Any outage is one too many.