Thursday, March 24, 2011

Print Screen? The Under Used Tool!

Print Screen? What is it? What is it for?
Nifty little windows feature, so you want a screen shot of your computer screen?

When you have something up on your screen you would like to keep or share.
Just Hold < Shift > and Press < PrtScn > towards the top of your keyboard.

Doesn't look like it did anything :) Well it just put a copy of your screen on the Clipboard which you can access and use from almost any software.

To give you an example open the Paint program (Included in every version of windows) choose
Edit -----> Paste you will see your screen there edit, crop, etc.... then save. There is your image.
For more options when editing, use Publisher, Word, or Photoshop, and follow the same steps.

Stay Tuned for more tips!
See you Next Time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Backups? I feed the computer tapes every morning so I am good! Right?

The worst time to find out your backup hasn't ran in several months is when you need it :(
Unfortunately that is usually when you find out if it does or does not work.
No matter what backup software you use, they will all generate a report after the job runs (which tells you if successful and any errors that occurred). 
(At the least you need to check these every time after backup runs, make it habit around when changing the tapes).
If possible it is even better every now and then to move a few important files to a temporary location, and restoring them from the backup. Once restored open them and see if they are intact.
The reason the log isn't always the best indication of success is if you remember back in the day, after you recorded shows over and over on a VCR Tape the quality kept getting worse, static, lines, etc....
It still recorded the show but these would be considered file errors if in a backup.
So this is just a heads up, if you can't be sure  your backups are working, have someone come out and test your backups. Data recovery can run into several thousand dollars to get your data back.
They have several online backup services now, just make sure the amount of data you need to backup is included in the plan you can afford, and remember you are trusting them to maintain your data for you.

See you next time!

Friday, March 18, 2011

IP Address - What is it? Do I need One!

IP Address you may have heard that term thrown about, by your technician, friend, commercial, etc....

Well there are Entire Books dedicated to the TCP/IP Protocol - so I am going to give a quicker run down.

Every device connected to a standard network has to have its own IP Address. For example 192.168.0.x

Also to communicate without a router the devices have to be in the same range such as the first three octets in the above example would be the same on every device, and only the last octet would change from 1-254.

The reason they have to be unique is for example if your neighbor three streets over had your exact address, the post office wouldn't know where to send the package, same goes for network packets.

Most of the time your IP Address is assigned by a DHCP Server, which keeps track of who has what, and how long they are valid.  You can tell when the DHCP Server can't be reached by the little ! on the network connection by the clock says Limited or no Connectivity. Not to mention your Internet Stops Working:)

Talk to you next time, Thanks!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lost in the Sea of Laptops or Computers?

Solve Your Sea Sickness:)

What is the difference between that $429.99 and that $479.99 besides $50? or is that $1200 one amazing?
Well one way to tell is to use a utility provided by Microsoft, included with Windows Vista and 7.
It is called the system rating, it rates the PC/Laptop on 5 categories with score from
  • 1.0 to 5.9 (Windows Vista)
  • 1.0 to 7.9 (Windows 7)
Windows Aero the Glass theme recommends a 3.0 - the higher the score the better.
The score is the lowest number of the 5 categories......
  • Processor
  • Memory
  • Graphics
  • Gaming Graphics
  • Primary Hard Drive
For example the comptuer I am working on has a 5.2 Rating
  • 5.2 Processor
  • 5.9 Memory
  • 5.9 Graphics
  • 5.5 Gaming Graphics
  • 5.6 Hard Drive
So the thing holding it back is the processor.
Final thoughts - Figure out what you can afford and get the system with the highest rating in the category that fits your usage.....
Talk to you next Time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

High Speed Internet - Get Protection!

Don't surf the web unprotected!!!!
Services such as Comcast, Cox, and others provide a modem with their service.
Sometimes the modem they provide is simply a gateway, and not a firewall/router.

This means that your computer just became a member of the World Wide Web, with its front door unlocked.

To find out if your modem is a router, you can press The {WindowsKey  and R} (At the same time) This will pull up a run prompt.
Type    cmd    and press okay.  at the black Command Prompt window type     ipconfig    press enter.
This will give you a list of writing the one you are concerned with says Gateway it will look something like

If it starts with 10, 172, or 192 it is pretty sure you have a firewall/router, this at least provides a single layer of protection, because the private IP address spaces are not routable.
You still need to get an Antivirus, Anti-Malware, Anti-Spyware Software like Vipre Premium from GFI Software (includes all three plus a firewall.

If it starts with something else you have two options, the most cost effective is to get a Router ($29-$99)
These often include wireless, and the ability to share your connection with more than one Computer.

They work out of the box, but make sure you enable wireless security.........
  • WEP - (least Secure)
  • WPA/WPA2 - (Best option for home networks)
Hope this helps and look forward to seeing you next time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I've Been Infected! Virus/Malware tips.

I click on a search result what comes up is not what I clicked?
I close my browser and there are three windows behind it?
Most real antivirus do not install themselves, and then ask for money to clean them off.

If you think you have been infected, here are a couple of things you can try.....
Download and run these utilities and see if they find anything, clean what they do.
Make sure any program you use < Click Update > first.

If these find something, but you still have problems get help, some virus's are near impossible to remove completely.

So you think your safe? or They won't bother with me.

Your E-Mail account has been closed due to violation of terms of use or Excessive spam....

It's just E-Mail Right?

Fortunately most people do not get the chance to have their accounts compromised.
But for the few that do, it is a frightening, and sobering experience.
With a feeling of being violated, and the unknown of what the people are going to do with the information.

From sending out enough spam E-Mails as you to get your account closed.
Violating the terms of use, (which looks as if you did it, not them)

A simple E-Mail account..... Most people don't realize exactly how much information they have in their contact lists, or E-mails from their online bank accounts, kids schools, and other sensitive E-Mails.

So please ensure that your password is changed at least monthly but preferably more often.
And Password, your name, or address, are bad passwords, { Leave your pets out of it also;) }

Create a password that is at least 8 characters long, has at least 1 number, and 2 Capital letters.

Make it harder for them to hack you!

Take care and protect yourself and others.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Welcome to our Blog!

Where you can find anything and everything rattling around a Network Engineer/Computer Technician's Brain!

Look forward to Blogging, and see you Soon!

This should be FUN!

If your bored brush up your Office 2010 Skills :) ------------------------>