Friday, December 17, 2004

Seasons Greetings, Norton Antivirus and important Links

Hello and Merry Christmas to all,

I trust you are getting through the shopping season ok. I have been swamped with inquiries in to certain Antivirus problems whereas you are unable to send and/or receive email as a direct result from Symantec Antivirus. I have responded to this in my website blog (http://tpsconsulting.com/blog.htm) whereas it has been detected as a problem with one of the LIVE UPDATES that was released by Norton/Symantec just over a week ago. This problem has been rectified by downloading a specific ".dll" file and extracting it in to norton, however it will also be incorporated in to a LIVE UPDATE which should have corrected the problem . If you are still having troubles with this, please be sure you have run the LIVE UPDATE for norton systemworks. Do this by either clicking on the LIVE UPDATE icon which should be on your desktop but if it is not, then run NORTON SYSTEMWORKS and click on LIVE UPDATE from the available icon in the program. Remember to run this until you read "all of your files are up to date" is displayed. If you find that it does download something and then displays the 'close' icon, you should re-run the live update again. As well, you may be prompted to restart your computer. if you are, then you should once again run LIVE UPDATE until you see the words that you have everything up to date. If you are still having troubles with this and you are still able to connect to the internet and surf the web, then this means I should be able to connect through PC ANYWHERE. Just email me your ip address and I can take a look at this problem for you. In the meantime, if you haven't been already, you can still send and receive email (always) through the webmail from your internet provider. If you are on Shaw for example, you would go to http://webmail.shaw.ca
If you are on Telus, you would go to http://webmail.telus.net If you are with some other internet provider, you should visit their homepage and look for the "webmail" link. This is a very good way to check mail and delete any junk that you want, including cleaning out all email that may be on the server.

Please note that my web blog site is and will always be where you will find the most up to date information that I am trying to get out to the masses. For more information on this or any other problem, please always remember that I am a key click away. Simply remember to include your ip address of pc anywhere along with your problem and I can respond more quickly by possibly connecting and repairing the problem and then responding in an email as such. One last thing.. note that ANTIVIRUS should NEVER be disabled (even if determining if this is the problem why your email is not getting through). Disabling your antivirus while you are connected to the internet is almost a sure thing that you WILL BE INFECTED (read my blogs about this if you don't believe me).

Instructions on how to get your pcanywhere ip address are below:

The pc anywhere icon should be running on the system tray (next to the clock) and if you have an arrow that is hiding some of the icons, it is probably there. If you point at it, it will pop up a window stating "pc anywhere waiting". If you don't see this then for whatever reason, it is not running and it should be on start up, however if it is not there, you start it by going to start menu/all programs and then clicking on SYMANTEC PCANYWHERE. Once you have done that, click on HOST if it is not already selected, and the double click on NETWORK, CABLE,DSL icon. This should now launch the host and you should now have the icon on the system tray. Double click on the icon and it will open a window displaying the current ip address (number) that your computer is waiting on. That is the number you should send me. Note that this number does change randomly for security reasons from Shaw. Note: Once you have the window open, MINIMIZE it and do not click on the X to close that window becuase that closes the connection. Minimizing it will remove it from the task tray but it should remain in the system tray (near the clock).

Once again, important links would be to my tips (http://tpsconsulting.com/tips.htm)
and to my webblog (http://tpsconsulting.com/blog.htm)


I hope all your dreams and wishes come true at this magical time of year.

All the best in 2005.

New employee taking a break-email missing?

I've been away for a little over a week and my new employee (MS Small Business Server) has been up to no good.. it appears that it has kept me from retrieving all of my email and as a result I have remotely turned it off until I return home! This means that for about 6 days (last week) I have not received all of my email so if you were one of the unfortunate ones that has emailed me and has not received a response, this would be the reason and if you happen to be reading this blog, then you might want to resend your email. I promise I will respond however I don't know what it is I would be responding to at this time as the exchange server has swallowed it up for now. Sorry for any troubles this might have caused however I am pretty sure if it was that important you would have called me directly. The official count is now 7 days of shopping left!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Christmas is coming and so is the new year.. what can you look forward to?

One of my regular morning reads is the latest news from lockergnome (using RSS of course). Interesting being the time of year, and with the new year approaching a somewhat annual report on the year and what we can look forward to has now been released with some very interesting comments on security that everyone should be aware of. I should also note that most of what is being said is already being done and for that reason, you should make sure you are protected and know what it is you are protecting. A little common sense, once you know what you are looking for, goes a long ways. Read this article and stay sharp. Most of all, enjoy this time of year when planning on the purchase of your new computer or upgrades of your existing computer.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Problems sending or receiving email?

It appears Symantec (Norton Antivirus) has done a little number on itself as of late. I have recently learned that the latest send/recieve problems that some of my clients have been having are due to a corrupted .dll file within one of the latest updates. This little corrupted file has made it so that the email proxy that is, re-directed scanned mail, is not allowing the mail to get through. Thanks to a client that spent well over an hour on the phone with Symantec. It seems there is a fix for it available from the Symantec website, however I am suggesting you simply wait for the latest LIVE UPDATE to fix this problem. As you should be doing, the LIVE UPDATE each and every day anyway, this problem should fix itself. What to do in the meantime? You probably are already using the WEBMAIL from your internet provider but if you haven't been, or you simply want to go back to using outlook/outlook express, then you should go to Norton's website and download the latest patch. This method will work however if you are not that computer literate, you might want to just hold off and let things work themselves out as it should when symantec incorporates this in to the LIVE UPDATE. Using the webmail feature has its benefits... the first being the fact you can select all the mail you DO NOT want to read, that is either spam or simply junk mail, and can send it to trash, leaving you with only the good mail, which you can either leave on the server or download to outlook/outlook express eventually when it starts working again. Personally, I always suggest using webmail when travelling or if you are on a dial up service, as this will allow you to only download the mail you want, cutting the time greatly when it comes to downloading over a dialup connection.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Reformatting your hard drive is the only way to be sure it is clean

A recent entry in a lockergnome blog caught my eye as I deal with this similar problem almost on a daily basis.

Personally I have found that if I am spending more then 2 hours on a problem such as this, I will do the reformat routine as well. Thing is I don't just reformat, I go through the process of creating a backup "image" usually on a seperate partition of your hard drive if the drive size it large enough. Otherwise, I'll create this image to a network drive that I use for backups and then once the reformat/partition is done and windows has been reinstalled, I will restore the DATA ONLY which includes such things like "my documents" your email (identities), your address book and any other "obvious" program data files I can find. Usually this is enough as my client will then simply reinstall whatever programs/games they have that they want to use.

One good thing about this method is that it is like doing a spring cleaning on your computer.. getting rid of the stuff you no longer use which is key when dealing with computers that have children using it with all the learning games which are now out of date as the kid is a teenager. The teenager is usually in to downloading music and chatting on as many messenger programs they can find. As well, usually KAZAA is installed which is pretty much a guarantee that I will be finding viruses.. Word of advise DON'T INSTALL KAZAA!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My new employee isn't doing too well!

Well it has been almost two weeks now and for some reason, this past week, what I thought was a relatively quiet week on the homefront ended up being all because my server decided it was going to hang on to my mail instead of sending it. Problem was, it had a mind of its own on which mail it would send and which mail would stay behind in a queue! I believe I have purged the mailbox however I do regret that some of my mail did not get through. I have tried to retrace my steps and see if I could tell exactly which ones but that just seems pointless now since I have made duplicates and have sent more then once. In any case, if you are reading this and wondered why you never received an email response, then you were probably one of the unlucky ones.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

When is a friend not a friend?

I recently had a run-in with a friend, a very good friend, whom I admire greatly. It wasn't really a run-in, it was more like a misunderstanding of trust and feelings. I guess we do take our friends for granted as you feel pretty much at ease when you are with such friends. It is easy to forget that they too have feelings and this being said, it is quite common that one should always place themselves in the other persons shoes, before they speak and not after. Thing is, once you have said it, even if you didn't mean anything by it, it was said, which means you were thinking it. Now how do you get away with making it in to nothing more then a misunderstanding between two friends? I guess this is why we should "think before we speak", even if you are with friends! Too bad my friend didn't think that way. Now I am left with a big void, an area that I am not sure how to go back to without bringing up what caused that void in the first place. Isn't life grand!

I recently hired a new employee--kind of

Early on last week I took the plunge and added a new employee to my staff which currently consisted of myself. Now, it is me and my Microsoft Small Business Server. Even though they make it quite easy to set up and get things going, it isn't always quite that easy. Sure, if you already had a network architecture which involved a server based system, you might be able to get things going in the 15 minutes they say it takes right out of the box, but that wasn't quite the case for me. It was probably more like 20 minutes before I was communicating with my server, but that was thanks to one of my linksys WAP routers. I now have the exchange server working as well, but still tweaking things as I am now down to only 3 critical errors (started at over 100 when it couldn't find internet due to the routers DHCP server being stuck on. Kudos to Microsoft for making things quite simple out of the box. Unlike the SBS servers I was setting up over 5 years ago, using BackOffice , the better part of a day was spent just getting things patched.

Now it will be interesting to see how well I can implement this unit in to my business lifestyle.. Wish us luck!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Is it time to change web browsers?

I woke up this morning to one more story/report from zdnet regarding saying goodbye to Internet Explorer, but as I read continued to read this cute anecdote it ended up with the same results.. more discussion about Mozilla's Firefox as the alternative.

Now I have talked about this before, offering my opinion of a few others, and certainly promoted the change to something other then Internet Explorer what with all these problems that are very much because of the browser the user has been using. So I always give a new program a try and then use it for a while, either until I just don't like it, or until I feel it is not the program I would use and then get rid of it. This is no exception with Mozilla's Firefox browser version 1.0 I have tried a few earlier beta versions and didn't quite understand all the hoopla over the "tabbed browser" features, especially when most of the other browsers offer this. Sure I like the "open source" issue so that security should not be a problem since the guru programmers should always be able to work around security issues that do arise as this web browser becomes more popular.

Popularity seems to be the key and to get that popularity it appears the more that is written about it, the more likely you are to download it and try it out. That is, so long as you read the reviews and feel it is worth a try, Being a consultant, I believe it is part of my job to try out all the different versions of software available to do the same thing, such as web browsing, or email or instant messaging. In any case, I have now downloaded and installed Firefox 1.0 which I have used for all of about 30 minutes, I believe I have tricked it out to the best of my ability with what I am given..Knowing that there will be scads of "plug-ins" that I will eventually find and also install. Now to me, this is not what I call a browser I am going to like. Why? Because I like to have most of my features of what I use in browsing at my fingertips. Maybe this is because I have actually already been spoiled with AVANT BROWSER. I have been using it pretty much as my main browser for over a year. Why? Because I too do not like to have to fight the security issues within the Internet Explorer, but faithfully continue to keep it on my task launch bar for things like webpage updates. You see, I use Microsoft Front Page for that and since the websites I work on all have front page extensions, it is very easy to browse to the page, click on the EDIT icon and viola, front page opens and I am ready to make changes. Also the fact that I need to try and stay on top of the changes, I pretty much need to be fluent with all the changes and problems Internet Explorer has since that is still the most widely used web browser.

But I guess that is slowly changing with Mozilla? I'm not sure why, because to be honest, after playing with it in only a short period of time, I am already missing key features, like my "links" bar, tabbed browser functionality (yes firefox has it, but it isn't quite the same as you would find with Avant).

I am not sure by AVANT is not getting the publicity it deserves because from the way I see things, it packs a lot more punch then Mozilla's latest browser right out of the box. It too deals with internet security by simply updating whenever there is a new version available, which seems to be ever few weeks. To me, that is peace of mind, when you can start your browser and have it tell you that there is a new version available and you click "OK" and it takes you to the download site, installs and has you back up and running with the newest version within usually less then a minute. So what is so good about mozilla and why is AVANT not raising more eyebrows? I guess because people just aren't talking about it.. So here I am, talking about it.. Pushing what I believe is the best browser to date, being Avant Browser. Yeah sure, if you want to get away from Internet Explorer, I suggest trying another browser, but do give it a fair trial period. Just because I have played with Mozilla's for 30 minutes and don't like it as much, I am not going to just quite using it. I will continue to try it out for about a month before deciding whether or not I will keep it around as a likely replacement in the big scheme of things. If that is the case, I will need to be up to date on issues so that I can repair them when the time comes. After all, that is part of my job.. To make sure my clients computers are running at top performance and to educate those that are willing to listen to me on the do's and dont's of the internet.

With the added security features of the Internet Explorer and the pop up features, it has given the Internet Explorer more life but I still do not find any browser that compares to Avant. But then, don't take my word on it alone, you must give these new browsers a fair trial. If you do like Avant however, I might suggest passing the word around to your friends, much like what is happening with the rumor mill on Mozilla's firefox.

In closing, one item of interest was the slogan I read from Mozilla as I was downloading the firefox. It read "the fastest browser on earth". Funny.. Because that has been and still is, Avant Browsers claim to fame. I guess this isn't a registered trade mark slogan which means it is up to you to decide just which is the fastest browser on Earth.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Personal Website Changes

Just a quick note to say that I have been updating my personal website. I have created links to my photo gallery which you might find interesting as well.

Stay tuned for more big changes to both here and at TPS CONSULTING.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

When is enough actually enough?

I am sure you have heard the expression "enough is enough". But what is that supposed to mean really? I believe when we say something like this, we are actually saying that we have had enough of whatever it is that you are referring to, but if you are saying that you have had enough of enough, doesn't that mean you are pretty much done with everything? Doesn't that mean you are giving up on everything? Did you not ever get told that you should never give up and always believe in what you are doing? But at what point do you say that you just can't do it anymore? When you look at such things as a Triathlon for example, you see these athletes (triathletes) swimming, biking and then running a physical marathon, not to mention mental marathon only to complete it. For no other reason will you ever see someone do such an event. You can ask them! Sure, the PRO-Triathletes are those that may do it for a living, or have found that they can make a living at this. But why? Because they enjoy doing it and they enjoy it so much that they have gotten good at it and as a result they are winning and for winning, they are usually paid, or at least given the chance to compete in the next triathlon, a larger one.

Living in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, I am blessed with many great things, other then where I live, but one of them is to witness the Ironman Triathlon each and every "last weekend of August". If you have never witnessed this sort of event, you truly must. When you see the determination in all of these people's eyes, you know they are serious and after about twelve hours on the course and you see they are still attempting to complete it, you truly know they are doing it so that they can say they did it. Isn't this pretty much what we are all doing in one way or another.. We are going through each day of our lives hoping that the next day will be even better then the last day. No matter what it is you are doing in life, you always think about the next day, whether it is because you are stressed and hope that things will be better for you "tomorrow" or simply enjoying the day at the beach, possibly on the last day of your holidays, you will be thinking of "tomorrow" and the fact that you are going to be back at work, where you would much rather NOT be.

So why is it that we all can't just find some job that we really enjoy doing, a job where we don't even think of it as a job, but a place for adventure and fun? Probably because we don't put enough "fun" in to the job in the first place. True, some jobs do not require much thinking, but it still requires that somebody does that job and it just so happens to be you, so why not try to enjoy it?

I live my life for tomorrow. Why then, when tomorrow arrives, is it no different then the day before? Now I have to wait for tomorrow .. Again..

This could get boring, constantly waiting for tomorrow.. Any way we can just push a button and it will be tomorrow? Maybe some day, but for now, we have to just keep on believing that the sun will rise and the birds will be singing and the air we breath allows us to keep breathing, and whatever it is we do in that day, we can be thinking of one thing for sure, that tomorrow never comes! It is only something we look to as a way of putting off what we didn't do today.

Maybe I"ll continue this blog when I have more to talk about .. Maybe I"ll just wait until tomorrow... and if you TRULY KNOW ME then you should know the deeper meaning behind this blog entry.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fahrenheit 911 and another 4 years?

I finally watched Fahrenheit 911 and could quite honestly see why the President of the United States is not happy. Problem is, this is journalism at its best and that is pretty hard to snuff completely, especially when it comes from Michael Moore, an already controversial Writer/Producer from Bowling for Columbine. I still don't know why I can't find anything about Michael Moore's latest movie on the Yahoo movie reviews but I do see why George W. was freaked out with the election coming up.

What I don't understand is how he still managed to get in for another 4 years. I mean okay sure, you are a republican and you wouldn't think of switching parties, especially if you don't like who the contender is. Regardless, I still do not understand why anyone wouldn't want to give another person a chance to redeem themselves as President, especially after what has happened in the past 4 years. Just because I am Canadian doesn't mean I don't care about what happens in the United States. I realize how much we need each other (Canada/USA). I just hope both leaders can manage to put the past 4 years behind them and move forward.

My vision for the world of tomorrow is when we may have countries but no borders between any of them anywhere in the world!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Spyware is everywhere, educate yourself

It truly has become the number one job that I deal with on a day to day basis. In fact, I believe it is probably most everyone's job at some point whether it be on a daily basis or less often, which is actually what I see (unfortunately).

With the latest report out from websites with newsletters that go out to possibly millions like this site from CNN.com. It is hopeful that more and more people will realize that it only takes a few minutes (a day) to keep yourself relatively clear of the spyware and problems. I say relatively because they (the hammers) are coming up with new stuff all the time. Do yourself a favour if you haven't already, and visit my TIPS as well as SOFTWARE/SUPPORT where you can download the latest in spyware protection with links to the appropriate websites.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Fahrenheit 911 and Yahoo!

Ok so a friend of mine just watched Fahrenheit 911, the latest movie released by Michael Moore, whom personally I have to say, is a pretty good writer/producer. Granted I have only seen a few things, the latest being Bowling for columbine, but I am waiting for my DVDFLIX movie to arrive. It has been at the top of my list since it was released on DVD however I understand there is quite a waiting list but I am hopeful I will receive it soon.

Anyway, on to the title and issue. Apparently, for whatever reason, maybe someone can fill me in on the answer, but Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 is not on the movie listing of Yahoo! anymore. After watching the movie, doing what all good moviegowers should do, is rate the movie at Yahoo! But for some reason it doesn't exist. Sure an ad pops up along side of the findings on Yahoo! but not even when you check Michael Moore's filmography does this movie show up. To me it looks like some sort of conspiracy but I haven't seen it yet, and I do understand the controversy but this is nothing different then the X rated or Graphic violence issues the video game industry is faced with is it? Freedom of speech and expression shouldn't be filtered as it appears to have been from Yahoo!

I just found this very interesting, not to mention intriguing to the point that I really do want to watch it now. I mean how can one movie have such an impact? And if it does, then isn't that a good thing? The fact that someone is willing to bring such a controversial issue to the front of public debate?

Anyway.. just an observation... I'm off to search Google now, maybe I"ll find my answer over there :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Nothing wrong with being a newbie right?

As I sit here trying to catch up on all my RSS feeds that I get through my newsgator reader I sometimes feel overwhelmed with what I have been missing all these years. Yeah sure I knew what a blog was and I just never looked at it as something I would want to do... sit and write down my thoughts and feelings of the moment, or actually air my dirty laundry to the world to read. After all, what could they find interesting about what I have to say unless it has to do with my profession which is nothing but technical stuff.

You can imagine how it has been, working for the cable company and then going to someone's house and having them say "Hey, I am having troubles with my signal, do you think you could help?", or "I don't know how to set my clock to record through this new converter".

Now it is my turn to feel strangely unknown to this world of blogging. I must say, this past Gnomedex really did open my eyes to the necessity of blogging and how it can be a great tool in the communication field of technology. No matter how you use your blog, the simple fact that people can choose to read it one time, or read it all the time, is totally up to the individual. All you do is make it available and if someone finds your topic of interest, they will read it and quite possibly link to your blog. At this point I don't see this happening to my blog since I haven't started to truly publish things, nor have I made the time to get it going full tilt.

All I can say is I like my job and the fact that I get to PLAY with technology, new and old, each and every day. It is true that every day holds a new set of ideas and issues and to find a way to integrate all to make the day go smoothly is a real challenge, but one that I look forward to.

Enough of my bantering.. There are more blogs to read... Oh, and I guess I should sleep at some point too!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

What your computer does at night while you are sleeping

A client of mine came across this little animated spoof. Ironically as it may seem, this is essentially what may happen in the case of a virus intrusion. I know because I have witnessed many times, a computer that seems to be working just fine, but upon reboot, it doesn't see the drive at all. When I get this to my bench, sure enough, there is virtually nothing left. But how can this happen? Quite simple when there are so many "active scripts" running on the computer. This is why the need for such spyware programs as Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy (also available from my website HERE). As well, I have complimented my arsenal with Spyware guard and Spyware Blaster which do a good job in disallowing certain spyware elements to get on your computer period!

Another thing that should be done is a random "reboot" of your computer. Since I have pretty much educated my clientele to "leave the computer running so that it can do the scheduled maintenance in the middle of the night". This is all well and good, but then because the computer is running so well, there appears to be no need to reboot and this might be the case for weeks on end. However, then for whatever reason, possibly installation of a new program that tells you the computer must be rebooted, you go ahead and do the reboot only to find a black screen with a flashing cursor and nothing else. Now it gets on my bench and, although it is very rare, there is nothing left! Running such programs as Emergency Recover Pro can find the resulting files from a partition that has been dismounted. How does this happen? Active scripting from those script kings that we call Hammers!

This doesn't mean we should be turning off the computer after we are finished using it either, since that would eliminate the ongoing updates and maintenance schedule. The solution is quite simple. Be aware of what is going on on your computer. Know when the scheduled tasks are to take place and monitor their activity. For example, if you are running the spyware scans as your last command before heading off to bed, be aware of the day. If it is Thursday night, then realize that you will probably be getting a full virus scan at 3:30 or 4am in which case you should check your antivirus status in the morning making sure that the "full virus scan" was completed successfully. Any time you see something that appears not right, contact your tech. If you are reading this, then there is a good chance that would be me! In this case I would, if possible, connect via remote control and see if everything is doing what it is supposed to. It is called PREVENTIVELY MAINTENANCE... and if you are a client of mine, you will be happy to know that this is a FREE* service. Why the *? Because I do have caviates to this. Obviously if I find a problem I am going to attempt repair. This problem, depending on the severity of it, means I may be connecting to your computer for a few nights in order to get it done, however if the problem is quite serious and requires immediate attention, and the fact that I have been able to connect and fix the problem remotely, of course I am going to do this for you. This does mean however, that I am now turning all of my attention to this problem, and all computers on my work bench that I have been working on, will not get any attention. This means you are getting 1:1 work ratio and that requires payment.. how much? Well lets just say, since I have not had to remove your computer and I can get the job done, it will not work out to a 1:1 payment and in most cases is more like 3:1, of course this depends on the length of time it takes to fix. As with all of my existing clients, they know that I never would charge more then 7 hours to fix anything because quite simply, I can built and entirely new computer from scratch in that amount of time!

Best thing you can do is keep yourself educated on things like this.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Watch out for unwanted REAL PLAYER subscriptions

I just got off the phone from a customer service rep in order to reverse a charge on my credit card for a subscription that I never had! Be aware of these "recurring charges" that can and usually will be automatic when you sign up for any online service including magazine subscriptions.

This is now the 5th year in a row that this has happened, and like clock work, pretty much exactly 3 months from the day I signed up.

What happened is I subscribed to the CBS reality game show feed of Big Brother, which is done by visiting the CBS website and then clicking on the link to "sign up now". Unfortunately this then redirects you to the Real Audio Player "gold pass subscription". Even though you click on the boxes stating that you do not want the "super pass", this is issued to you for a "free trial period". Note that if you do not do as I had to, you will continue to be paying for something that you only signed up for once. The Big Brother series is now over, and has been for about a month, however that doesn't stop Real Media from taking money from your credit card. You see, they expect you to go back to their website and click on CUSTOMER SERVICE and then CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION. By the way, don't do this, because sure it will cancel your subscription but you see, they have already taken the $29.95 off your credit card for another 3 months. If you don't phone and talk to a customer service rep, you will not get reimbursed for this latest amount taken from your credit card.

To top things off, trying to stay calm while talking to this lady, I was shocked when she tried to tell me that I can "keep the subscription active and get 1 month free super pass".. Hello.. did you hear me, I do not want REAL PLAYER anymore. I have uninstalled it from all of my computers (as this is also a source of spam/spyware). Why would I be phoning to get my money credited back to my credit card and then turn around and go for another 1 month free trial, only to end up getting charged when I don't go and choose to "unsubscribe" before the 1 month free trial is over?

Funny thing is, she says in closing "this will not happen again next year".. boy I sure wish I recorded the message so that I could play it back for them next year! Yes, I will admit, I like the CBS Big Brother feed as I always find it interesting to watch other human beings locked in a cage for 3 months, to see how their mental stability slowly falls apart-very interesting psychology experiment, now if only CBS would get together with Microsoft and offer Windows Media Player as an alternative option from REAL Media!

Doing a quick search for other incidents of this, I came across another website where this fellow had a very bad experience with credit cards in general. It is worth the read, especially if you are weary of giving out such information online.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Ok I'll admit it.. I"m a geek!

After another successful and fun time by all at the recent gnomedex and now sitting here fixing clients computer problems remotely while supposedly on some R & R time, visiting friends and enjoying "being outdoors", I have come to the realization that I really am a geek! Maybe I always knew this but after sitting here for the past few hours, getting through another 60-or-so emails then reading Pirillo's most recent blog about getting caught up and taking a break after 18 straight hours of catching up. I had to chuckle to myself realizing what I had just done today. I woke up, spent 3 hours catching up on the days email and continued repairs of client computers remotely. Then "taking a break" and going for a drive. Where to? Where else but Frys! About 5 hours later I am back at my laptop going through mail (and writing my next blog). I count myself lucky in not buying more once I noted that the Canadian Loonie is now worth 80 cents on the Yankee buck. It is just so darned hard not spending all afternoon in a place like Frys where you can buy everything from gummie bears to remote garage door openers to the latest gameboy games...well you get the idea. You don't have to be a total geek to enjoy your time in a place like this. It is just too bad there aren't more of them in the nation. But then again maybe if there were, the pricing wouldn't be as good since the competition would be less. How do I figure that? Well, because if there were more Frys around the world, small electronic stores would sure to be pushed out of business, much like some would say the Walmart Supercenters are doing around the U.S. Personally, without opening up a can-o-worms on this topic, I will just say that I am thankful there are supercenters because it is not that uncommon for me to pull an 18hour shift and then want a break where I can wander the isles looking for anything from frozen yogurt to a new camp stove at 3 o'clock in the morning! Oh, did I mention the fact that I am Canadian, and so far, I have not been able to enjoy the all-night shopping, until I come visit friends in the U.S. I can however, browse the isles of the nearest 7-11 and get my 52oz. 7-11 coffee cup filled for $1.38 (Canadian!)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

You still need to run the updates!

To all of my existing clients out there that wonder why the computer is all of a sudden running slowly or why it seems there is more and more junk mail every time you check. It is because you are not doing the scans and updates most likely. As one of the many services I do offer to my existing clients, that is, to connect remotely to their computer and diagnose any problem they might have. Usually (9 out of 10 times) when I connect and start by running the "norton live update" then moving on to running the AD-AWARE and SPYBOT SEARCH AND DESTROY scans, as well as updating the SPYWARE GAURD LIVE UPDATE and SPYWARE BLASTER updates, I end up finding each of these programs have updates available as well, when the scan is complete there ends up being quite a number of malicious files found. I can always tell from the results just how often or not the scans are being done. Please remember that these should be run DAILY! If you are unsure of how to do these scans then drop me a line. Along with my TIPS I do usually explain things, or if you still are not sure, or would rather not have to remember these things yourself, just let me know this and I can arrange to do this on a scheduled basis. The first step in fixing things is preventing the bad things from getting a chance to become a great disaster on your computer.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Gnomedex and the first blog

Since I am sitting listening to blogging and how to and how it should be used and how it can be used, I feel pretty silly not even having set up a blog. So here goes. Using blogger.com and the free service I think I have just set it up. Knowing that I am really missing the boat on communication with blogging I hope to be able to post useful information for my existing clients and those newcomers to my site.