November 2011 Insights PDF Print
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:37



Greetings from EagleTech Computer Service!

I hope all is well with each of you.  We are doing great, and because of you and the referrals you send our way EagleTech Computer Service is strong.  How do we tell you how much we appreciate each of you?

In my ongoing desire to assist you with all aspects of your computing, here are some things I encourage you to pay attention to:


Updates and Extras: When Java asks if it is ok for it to update its program it is a good idea to let it do it, because there are a whole raft of new viruses called "Java Exploits" which exploit the vulnerabilities in Java and unless you have the newest Java updates your computer is very vulnerable. closely when the little updating box appears because it will usually have a small check box checked that is asking you if it is ok to also install another free program such as "Inbox" or "Ask Toolbar," etc.  These just tend to clutter up your Internet Browser and slow it down.  I recommend you not let Java install their free add-ons.

In general I find many computers have a greatly reduced speed and stability in their internet browsers because of the many toolbar ribbons that have been installed at the top of the web page.  Most often these find their way on to your browser without your knowing you subscribed to them.  Each time you download any update it is always a good idea to watch for small boxes with check marks in them that indicate they would like to also install a toolbar or a free program.


In this regards, there are several programs I find that attempt to get loaded into your computer without your awareness:  Google toolbar, Yahoo toolbar, Uniblue Registry Booster, Registry Mechanic, McAfee Security Scan, Inbox tool bar, Ask toolbar, Mem Booster, Antivirus toolbars, etc..  While none of these are necessarily bad programs, when you have too many of them installed your computer's performance will be greatly reduced.

Updates vs. Upgrades: Learn to distinguish between "Update" and "Upgrade."  If you've installed a truly free program, and then it has a new completely free update it will ask you if you'd like to "Update" the program.  This is generally a good thing to allow, as it will give you its newest technology.  But, if that same program later asks you if you'd like to "Upgrade" your program this is where you'll want to pay close attention and probably not allow it, as it is attempting to switch your free program from a fully free one to a trial version of a paid for program.  The trial version will generally expire in 30 days and then you'll be posed with the question of whether you'd like to purchase the full version or lose the use of that program.  I don't recommend you respond to their encouragements to "Upgrade," but I do recommend you accept their offers to "Update."

Update Failures: At times programs like Adobe Flash will ask if it is ok for it to "Update" and I recommend you allow it, but at times it may tell you it was unable to connect to its server, or that you don't have sufficient Administrator rights to update it.  When you get these error messages don't worry about, just close its message box.  This is probably just caused by the program failing to fully connect to your internet service and needs to attempt a connection again.  Later on it will try again and you can accept it then.

Windows Security Updates: I'm often asked if I recommend accepting Microsoft Windows' updates, and in general I do recommend it, but all of us need to know that it is always possible that one of those updates may bump into another program file and cause a system file to become corrupted.  This has always been the bane of Microsoft's update history.  But, to not take their "Security Updates" is to risk severe virus attacks, so I generally recommend taking them at the very least.  Here is a very important piece of advice though...when Microsoft is installing an update close all open programs and don't run any other programs until their update has completed and you've restarted your computer.  If you can figure out how to temporarily turn off your Antivirus's protection, during this update process, this is another good idea, but if you are uncertain how to do that don't worry about it, just follow the other advice I've given here and you will likely be just fine.

Beware of Links & Video Helpers: Remember, the primary methods for getting viruses are opening links in emails and allowing helper programs to install a flash update (that isn't an Adobe Flash update) so that you can view a short video.

Sandboxie testimony:  Recently I had a client call me to request assistance in removing a virus that was evidencing itself on their computer.  It was full of pop-ups warning of infection, immanent hard drive failure, etc., and requesting money to download a program that would remove it.  I encouraged her to leave things as they were and I'd be right over to get it off.  I failed to ask her if she had gotten it while browsing the Internet in her Sanboxed browser.  When I arrived I saw all the boxes sandboxed and I told her she was perfectly safe, and that all I needed to do was restart the computer and all of it would be gone.  Sure enough it was so.  I ran Malwarebytes just to be safe and it found nothing.  The pop-ups were gone and no virus in the system.  This is just a little story to create additional confidence in Sandboxie.  It does the job!

Hard Drive Price Spike: Because the majority of hard drives produced in the world are produced in Thailand and because a large Typhoon hit Thailand and has shut much of its industry, all of their hard drive manufacturing plants will be down between 3 and 6 months which in turn has currently doubled the price of new hard drives and will also greatly increase the cost of laptops and desktop computers.  Sooo, if you were thinking of buying a computer soon now would be a good time to make your move before prices jump significantly.  If you were thinking of replacing your current hard drive because you either need more space for files or it is showing signs of failing then right now would be a good time to have me take care of that for you.

Identity Theft Shield: Here's an article I received from the company I use to protect my Identity: Protect Your Online Identity.  You might find it very helpful!

Six Month Tune-ups?: Because some have asked me about setting them up on a "6 Month Tune-up" plan I wanted to offer that here.  If you would like me to automatically schedule you in for a six month visit or a date between now and six months just reply to this newsletter with the day and time you'd like and I will get back to you and confirm the time.

Computer Joke of the Month:

"Email Mistakes"

It's wise to remember how easily email -- this wonderful technology -- can be misused, sometimes unintentionally, with serious consequences.

Consider the case of the Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick email.

Unfortunately, when typing her address, he missed one letter, and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher's wife whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint.

At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

"Dearest Wife, Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow. P.S. Sure is hot down here."

Best of success to you in all your computing.

I’m here to assist you when you need it.  As just a reminder... My onsite residential fee is $30 per hour and for the commercial setting it is $40 per hour.  Once again...for any clients you send my way, who use my services for an hour or more, I'd be happy to credit you with $7 of free computer service at your next call.  Do let me know if you send folks my way and I'll keep notes on that as a credit for my next visit to you.


Thanks so much!

Your Computer Technician
Tom Sparks







Last Updated on Monday, 30 April 2012 21:36