April Computing Insights from EagleTech Computer Service PDF Print
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Sunday, 17 April 2011 17:31


Greetings from EagleTech Computer Service!


Recently I have become aware of an important vulnerability in the FREE version of Sandboxie.  One of my clients recently explained to me that they were surfing the internet and needed to open a file which required them to use a program on their computer, and when that program opened up it wasn't sandboxed and they ended up getting a virus on their computer.  For example...let's suppose you receive a PDF attached file in your online email, and you attempt to view that PDF.  This requires Sandboxie to open up Adobe Reader.  In the free version, when it opens Adobe Reader the instance of Adobe Reader will open but it may not open "sandboxed," and thus if that PDF contains a virus you would immediately become vulnerable to the virus and it would spread throughout your Windows system corrupting it.  HOWEVER, in the PAID version of Sandboxie when you attempt to view that same PDF file this time it will force Adobe Reader to open in a "sandboxed" environment and you will not be endangered if there is a virus in that PDF file.  The same principal would hold true if you were attempting to open a video file or any other file that required a program from your computer to open to work with that file.  The free version of Sandboxie will not necessarily open that new program in a sandboxed environment but the paid for version will.
This is extremely important to you and may well justify your purchasing Sandboxie.  The cost is connected to the Euro, so on any given day the price will vary by a few dollars but is generally right around the $40 price.  This fee covers a lifetime of updates for Sandboxie rather than requiring a yearly subscription fee.  It is permitted to load Sandboxie on all your personal computers and use the same code for all.  The developer of Sandboxie will email to you a registration key that you will enter into Sandboxie and will activate all the best functions of Sandboxie
To enter the registration key you will copy the key, right click on the yellow Sandboxie icon in the lower right hand side of your taskbar, and choose "Show Window."  This will open the configuration settings of Sandboxie.  From there you will click on "Help," then "Register Sandboxie."  It is there that you will enter your key.  From that point forward you will have protection against the above mentioned vulnerability.  It seems to me that this is well worth the $40+ cost, but it's up to you to decide.  I highly recommend it.  I can't personally guarantee this will solve all viral infection potential, but it may create an even stronger layer of protection than the free version.
Here is a link to make your purchase, if you choose to purchase Sandboxie: Purchase Sandboxie
Let me add this too...occasionally Microsoft Windows updates will corrupt Sandboxie.  This is such a pain and could only be avoided by always rejecting Windows Updates, but because most Windows Updates these days are security patches, that close up vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system, it is advised that you always accept such Windows Updates.  If a Windows Update does corrupt Sandboxie the developer of Sandboxie will always provide you with a "Help" message with a link to a hidden page on his website where a repair tip will be provided.  Usually what is necessary is to uninstall the version of Sandboxie that becomes corrupted and install a new version of Sandboxie that the developer provides at his site www.sandboxie.com under the "Download" tab.  Be sure to keep a copy of your Sandboxie registration key available in case you need to re-enter that.  This will resolve the glitch and provide you the virus protection you've come to enjoy.
I'm always available to assist you in repairs, though I am not paid by Sandboxie to do so, so there would be a small fee I would need to charge for such repairs if you need my assistance.



Microsoft has recently provided Service Pack 1 for Windows 7.  Microsoft has a bad history connected with early adoption of their service packs so my recommendation is that you hold on for about 3 more months before installing it if you have Windows 7 on your computer.



If you visit the following address on my website: Recommended Services - you will find a new section on my site.  For those folks who are my clients and who have websites where they are advertising their product or service I'd be happy to put up a brief explanation, a graphic, and a link from my site to yours, if this is something you'd like.  If you would like me to do this then please provide me with the following:

1. Your website address.
2. A brief explanation of your service.
3. Your permission to create the link.

If you would like to do the same for me on your site I'd be happy to provide you with the same information, but please don't feel obligated to do so.



For those of you who have either the Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating systems Microsoft has just released version 9 of their Internet Explorer.  Because it has just come out of beta testing my recommendation is that you wait at least another 3 to 6 months before installing it.  I've already had one client install it and it seriously glitched his entire operating system.



Finally, as you know...gas prices are going through the roof and predicted to get much worse and likely never return to prior pricing.  This leaves me with a quandary...do I raise my hourly rate again or is there another approach I can offer that will avoid that? 

To avoid an hourly rate increase I'm going to begin encouraging more remote connection service to your computer where possible.  In those cases where it will necessitate me physically coming to your home or place of business I'll continue to offer the onsite service I always have, but in those cases where I can likely resolve the matter by a remote (computer to computer) connection it might be worth considering.  If you don't prefer this approach then of course onsite service will certainly be available.

The approach I'm currently favoring using is a small free program by the name AMMYY ADMIN.  This small program will allow me to remotely connect to your computer from my computer in an instance-by-instance approach.  Once the session is over I would not be able to reconnect to your computer again unless you desired it to be configured with continual access turned on, but this would only be able to be setup by your permission and a quick setup process, otherwise we would just use the instance-by-instance approach.

To setup this small program you can easily visit www.AMMYY.com and download to your desktop their small program.  Then you would provide me with the ID they give you and I would then be able to connect to your computer remotely from my computer.  If you lose this newsletter I would be happy to send the link to you via email any time you need it.

I am purchasing a car charger device to power my laptop while I'm out in the field each day servicing client's computers.  If we schedule a time for a remote repair I will be able to do that right from within my car, and if you call me during the day and I have a time slot within that day to remotely connect to your computer then we could use that approach.

To make it appealing to you, and cost effective, I will be charging $6 for every 15 minute increment instead of my usual minimum charge of $26 for one hour of onsite service.  Often all you will need is for me to quickly look into your computer, resolve the issue, and end the service time, all within 15 to 30 minutes.  Combined with more immediate availability for short connections on-demand, or longer connections by appointment, hopefully you will realize cost savings, and I will save on some gasoline expenses.

At the conclusion of our session payment could easily be made with your credit card at my website by clicking this Pay Now link.  It is safe and secure as I use the trustworthy services of PayPal.  Or, if you prefer, you could mail along a check.

I'd love to get some feedback from you on this, so feel free to email or call me and let me know what you think.

I highly value you as my clients and I don't want to do anything that would disappoint or inconvenience you.  It is my hopes that this approach may serve you even better.  We'll see...


Best of success to you in all your computing.


I’m here to assist you when you need it.  My onsite residential fee is still $26/hr and for the commercial setting it is $35/hr.  We are now also offering service to the larger corporation environment for server IT services at $75/hr.

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 a 1/4 hour of free computer service.  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






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Last Updated on Monday, 30 April 2012 21:38