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1ComputerCare Newsletter

Winter 2016

A new dawn

Following my planned small reduction in computer work since my summer newsletter I will be reducing the size and distribution of my biannual newsletter and the frequency of blog entries. Also, the format of this newsletter is changing to the current style which I hope will be easier to manage, responsive to smaller screens, and more visually pleasing.

For many years I have offered 15 minutes free remote support each month to existing clients.  As the nature of my work has changed I will now be modifying this to 60 minutes uncharged remote support a year. This will not include routine tasks such as virus protection updates.  To use this please call me on 0845 260 1723 in regular hours (9:30am - 5:30pm Monday - Friday). 

As times change so my work is less hardware centred which enables the benefits of a remote connection more frequently to allow more immediate and cheaper resolution of clients' problems.  However unlike a workshop based job this means that I do not have the opportunity of taking an image of a disk drive before I attempt a repair.  So your own backups are more important than ever as they may be relied upon as part of a repair. If you refer to the Terms we agreed when I was initially engaged it was ever thus but I feel I should draw your attention to your responsability in this area.

     

Ninite

Most recipients will have a little  in the system tray (bottom right of taskbar by default) indicating that most of your programs and frameworks are at the latest security version.  If your icon is red this would be a good time to click it and allow Ninite to update obsolescent programs in a way that declines the associated downloads that often accompany free updates and slows down your computer.

The annual license to run this software is still £6 and I will automatically add that to your next invoice.  If there is no invoice in the coming year then let's call it Eugene's christmas present.  If you would like to withdraw from the program just call me and I will remove it for you. 

On your favourite blog in the last 6 months

Backups

If you do not take a backup copy of the photos of your grandchild, one day they will be lost forever.  If you are not certain that you are taking backup copies and know how to recover when a disaster happens, please let me help.



Disaster does not only happen to other people. It is essential to do a test recovery every few months to ensure that things are working as you believe and so that you will remember how to recover when the dreadful day arrives. Within the last two weeks I have had to deliver bad news to two clients who mistakenly thought they were protected by backup. One lost all business related files as a result of hardware failure and was asked for about £1500 for recovery of 20% by a professional company, the other inadvertently caused the problem and lost decades of photos and music.

Windows 10 and Apple's OSX come with excellent backup software, all you need do is provide a local network disk (best for multiple computers), an external drive (the cheapest compromise storage), or use the cloud. Then test recovery regularly.

10 things Cortana can help you with



She's been resting on your taskbar ever since Windows 10 came along, but what exactly can this personal assistant do ?

  1. Set Reminders for Times, Places, and People
  2. Use Natural Language Search
  3. Identify a Song
  4. Search the Web With Google
  5. Perform Calculations and Conversions
  6. Track Flights and Packages
  7. Find Facts
  8. Check the Weather
  9. Get Directions
  10. Set Alarms
  11. Launch Programs
  12. Send Email
  13. Create Calendar Events
  14. Just Chat or tell jokes
  15. Get a List of Commands / Help
  16. Count up to 10
     

Learning how to get the most out of your computer.


Whilst I remain delighted to be asked the occasional 'how do you...' question, I am no trainer.  If you want to become more efficient and enjoy using your computer more, consider attending a course run by ageUK 
(0800 678 1174).  
A similar program is offered at  
https://www.learnmyway.com/

If you prefer a teach yourself style of learning then check out
http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise

For a comprehensive topic list U3A is always good value.


What do you call 8 hobbits ?  

A hobbyte.

Have any of your accounts been compromised ?


https://haveibeenpwned.com

Maintaining unique complex passwords is essential. For most people that should entail using a password manager program. There is an excellent article about this at How-ToGeek

For all sorts of useful security related information it really is worth spending a little time browsing 
https://www.getsafeonline.org/video/

The longest time between two twins being born is 87 days

Add an extra layer of protection to your iPhone with an alphanumeric passcode. To activate it, go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock. Turn off Simple Passcode and you will be prompted to enter your alphanumeric password.

Lay your modern smartphone face down so that notifications do not appear and your battery power is preserved.

A Windows 10 license is (at the time of writing) still available free.  It's hard to think of a sensible reason to not upgrade your earlier versioned computer while this offer remains available. 

Normally I wouldn't be so coarse as to highlight my testimonials, but Linora Bennet's recent comment is a salutary caution to all those tempted by celebrity, scandal, sex, free stuff, and anatomical enhancements.
http://www.1computercare.co.uk/testimonials.php
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My mailing address is:
1ComputerCare
21 Manor Road
Rusthall
Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8UD
United Kingdom

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