Thursday, May 17, 2007

Are you living right? Here are 12 ways to stay well.

Okay so I know I already live in one of the greatest places in the world, some have called it "God's Country", but that doesn't mean there is no stress. Finally, an easy to use chart to better living!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We all like a good joke, but sometimes it might not be worth it!

On average, how many of your email messages are junk/spam/spyware... the things you will just delete without opening? Then I ask you how many are jokes from friends and family members? Finally, out of all those jokes you receive, how many of them do you forward on to your 'mailing list' of people?

It is quite safe for me to say that over 80 percent of the problems I see are still related to email issues, or at least that is where the problems would have started.

As much as I would love for the 'don't buy gas on this specific day' to actually work and see how it may impact a company like Exxon, I am pretty sure it will not, so I will not be sending that one on, nor will I send on any form letter email that has no personal touches to it since I know better. One method of helping with the elimination of problems would be to limit the amount of jokes you forward on each and every day. Even if your receivers are fine with the fact that they get their jokes from you, limiting it to say, one per day will make a world of difference. But most of all, the problems with downloading your mail to your computer,regardless of what it is, is the biggest problem by far, this is why using a web-based email, even the one your Internet provider provides to access your email over the web, can save you from potential disaster. Now many of you will say "yes, but I like using outlook express... because I am used to it".. other then the fact that you are used to is, the point being it is time to learn other methods, not that you can't continue to use outlook express, but learning that you can log in to your email account over the web, deleting all the junk and leaving only legitimate email in which you can then open your outlook express to receive will make an impact on potential disaster. One great method I have found is to utilize Google Mail's great filtering and forwarding. You can have all of your mail forward to Gmail, get filtered, and then opened through your normal P.O.P.client such as outlook express. Not only does it filter your mail, but it does a great job of archiving it as well!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Internet, How to start a Business

Chris Pirillo knows the Internet because that is what he does. So in my opinion, such 'free advice' about how to start a business is just one way of keeping in touch with future vision from a more technical approach that utilizes technology to teach the masses. The great part is that every year he hosts a small get together called Gnomedex. I say small get together, because it typically tops out at 400 people that can make it in to the main stage, but through other coves within the building, other than looking at the stage absolutely live, you are simply next door, but still get all the other conference benefits. I don't like to use the word conference because it is much more "friendly", more like a large wedding party where you can have a room full of people from all walks of life together for the one reason they all have in common, and that is technology sparks an interest in their life in some way.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Is your data safe and secure?

I am writing this blog entry to remind those of you that have important data that you have created over the time you have been using your computer. This may have been just recently, some business proposal or a resume, maybe a bunch of cooking recipes you have just spent the past few hours inputting so that you would have it handy. It really doesn't have to be something that important, but just the fact that you have spent hours creating the document should make it worthy of knowing it is safe and secure for when you need it.

How many times do I hear people scream at their computer because it 'isn't working the way it should, right when I am in a hurry and I need it to work correctly.

I am over at a friends place where I have just put a very frazzled mind at ease, since a very important document had gone missing. I asked what I was told "a very dumb question", if a complete search of the computer was done. Apparently it had, but I thought I might try anyway. So I entered the search (click on start menu then on search) and entered the word 'final' as this document was the final exam questions which would have had to be completely re-written if it was lost, a job that would have probably taken about 3 hours to complete and even then, it probably would have been a little different since these questions were originally created straight from the brain and not from a text book. Within less than a second I had a full page of different documents so I asked what class was this for and after learning the class number, I entered this after the word final and narrowed the search. This time only two things came up and one of them was the final exam questions. The reaction was one of joy and relief and so all was fine once again.

However, I then asked the question, what if your hard drive crashed right now and you lost everything, I guess that would make you a little upset? Well duh, of course I would be upset, I would be devastated. So on that note, I pointed to the Carbonite backup system which is something that I would highly recommend to any and all that use the computer. Since this is one of those 'set and forget' type of things, there really is no excuse why you wouldn't use such a wonderful program. You can learn more about it here and you can download and install it here. Do yourself a favor by using a little preventative maintenance at this time! Okay sure, there is a cost for this service but considering a large coffee at Starbucks will set you back about the same amount as this service charges for a month....well I'll leave the rest up to you!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The state of Tech Support from a Geeks perspective

A fellow geek, of whom I would like to call the King Geek (ok so I respect him for his geekyness leadership), Chris Pirillo, has recently had a problem with his computer as you can read from a recent blog post here.

Instead of commenting on his blog, I figured I would post this to my own for my own clients to read as I will make my comments below.

First of all, considering he bought a Gateway, in my opinion, was his first mistake. Why? Because a number of years ago when Gateway was doing quite well, they were doing so well because they really boasted about their tech support. My opinion on that is, "are you buying a computer based on it breaking down?". Second, he purchased the extended warranty which apparently included door to door service. That is all fine and good, but when you are admitting that you are the one that spilled coffee on it, why should a warranty cover anything at all, let alone have the tech support guy even give you the time of day? Well, because tech support realizes that the customer is always right, so even after going to his manager to find out what to do, the result was the same in which the computer would have to be sent in. My next question would be as to why, even though Chris knows what he is doing, and opened the box and determined what the problem was, why should this company honour anything when you cracked open the box? It seems to me that when you are going to believe in some extended warranty, like with any item that may say "no user parts" right on the package, should you be opening this to see if you can find the problem yourself.

Now why am I sticking up for the tech support in this case? Because I don't know how many times I have witnessed similar issues (only no admittance of guilt was given), where I will be diagnosing a computer problem and state that the problems are a result of "x" when the client rants and raves that they never did this or that, only to find out that Johnny's friend did in fact come over and do this and that to it because he knew more then the owner of the computer did, or the son of the owner did. It is typically only after things go from bad to worse that the call is made to the tech support people. In my opinion the results of what Chris faced were quite fair and the fact that the entire system would have to go in makes sense, after all, the admitted coffee spill happened, and even though he found the problem, who is to say that other components may have been affected but at this point have not failed, but could at any time as a result of the original accident?

The moral of this story is, if you are going to pay for some extended warranty, you should be well aware that opening the box MAY result in your entire warranty becoming null and void. What he should have done, again only my opinion here, but he should have phoned Gateway the moment the coffee was spilled on it and have the tech support send someone over, since the warranty he has apparently allowed for this door to door service. That way they could have then determined the problem was the video card and replaced it on the spot, along with charging him for the replacement part, since it was an accident and not a fault of faulty equipment. Making people aware of shotty tech support is one thing, but realizing what you get when you pay for something is an entirely different story.

Sorry Chris, my vote on this one goes to Gateway Tech Support.

Do you know what YouTube is?

YouTube is many things but all video and a way to get yourself heard, including through advertising. But when it comes to advertising, it doesn't get much better then this.