Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

It is Christmas Day and I want to wish you all the very best wishes in health and happiness at this festive time of year. I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true and you can enjoy this time of peace with your loved ones.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Microsoft Patches Major IE Bug

One more time, a major threat to the Internet Explorer web browser through malicious attacks has techies scrambling to make sure the patch is installed.  Do yourself a favor and stop using this browser all together... I highly suggest AVANT  and Chrome  as your 1-2 punch, with Firefox  being the 3rd (or some people's 2nd if you don't wish to give Chrome a try)  But, if you are still part of the majority of fools using IE, then you should be reading this. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Nothing like a creative Christmas Card

It is nice to see the creativity come alive at this time of year. I just received a great little Christmas Card from a client that I thought all should share!


Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

BC Hydro says thank you and Happy Holidays

Now this is what I call a real Christmas E-Card.


Way to go BC Hydro... and now, you!

Latest IE patch to actually help windows users? I'll be a little skeptic

I think with news about IE's latest security patch actually helping with such things as Channelinsider.com reveals in this blog post


Like the fact, "solution providers can use the patch as an opportunity to fix browsers, tune up systems and install better security protections.".. 

...this still means the system has to be set up to accept the "automatic download" which can be a security risk itself.

As much as it is important for your windows operating system to be up to date with all the security patches available, having a knowledgeable way of being sure you are up to date and that is where Belarc Advisor shines.  This also means you can feel good about turning off any 'automatic updates'.

If you are going to read the first part of this, be sure to also read the second part where it is explained on how this patch opens the opportunities.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Classic Views and Office 2007

Sometimes after installing a new or updated software program you find yourself hunting for what used to be “simple commands” only to continue to get frustrated with it.  While some people enjoy learning what new features are available within this program, others would like to remain with the simple pleasures of not having to re-train the ol’ brain.  Thankfully there are what is known as “classic menus” that you can turn on or select by going through the programs preferences and views.

 

My Digital Life blog is chalked full of great tips and tricks so it should be no surprise to find help here when it comes to office 2007/2003.

 

Personally, I love this OOBE (out of box experience) as in most cases with anything newly updated, they (the software creator)  has incorporated all the good features and made them better and by that this typically means taking tasks that would normally take more then two or more clicks to complete and incorporate them in to one and so it is quite common to find yourself initially looking through the programs ‘preferences’ or ‘options’.  I highly suggest this practice all of the time, as this is just like reading the table of contents of a book that you may find yourself interested in reading. It also helps learn all the shortcuts and stuff you never knew the program was capable of.  All it takes is TIME and this is where we unfortunately find ourselves getting frustrated.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Technical-Cleaning out the Temp directory

Using the normal administrator account cmd line, use the following:

del %temp% /f /s /q

Note: if you do not understand what I just wrote then you shouldn't be using this.

Monday, December 08, 2008

OUTLOOK versus Outlook express

The difference is mostly security since outlook express is a program
from windows 98 and XP days, this is the weak link within the Windows
XP operating system. If you have outlook, you are going to be better
off using that, especially if you have Office 2007. Note that the
Windows Mail within Vista is similar to Outlook and is a lot more
secure then outlook express.

If you have Windows Vista then you would have had no choice but to
learn the new program. Fortunately with Outlook, it doesn't feel that
much different then Outlook express. Sure the Office 2007 looks a lot
different then the earlier forms of Office, but given a few hours of
playing around with it, or using the OPTIONS/PREFERENCES and see what
changes you can make, you shouldn't have that much trouble at all.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Google Chrome Browser Reviewed

I have been using the "new" Google Chrome browser now, since it was launched (a few months ago) and figured it was about time for some sort of review so here it is.

It is fast, I will give it that, so if you are using a somewhat slow computer, which could be classified as, say, 1 GB processor or less, or a computer with 256mb of RAM memory, you will be pleasantly surprised with this. I have noticed however, that some websites may not open or be displayed in the correct fashion, due to the way it handles java script but because it is a work in progress, you should be expected for some items to still need a little tweaking. To use this browser as a second browser is probably a good choice.

An update on what I have written with regards to using it as a second browser, it is interesting to learn through a recent ARS Technica post that Google will take the browser out of Beta status in the new year and go head to head with Microsoft's IE, as IE8 is also right around the corner.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day USA!

I must say one benefit of having American friends, is the ability to share in a second plate of Turkey! 
 
Currently visiting with friends in Seattle, I will not only enjoy the Turkey but also partake in the Black Friday shopping extravaganza!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Technical-Using PPC 6700 as an access point

This post is pretty much for me to find the quick instructions to set up my Starcom 6700 pocket pc as a wifi access point while travelling. Here is the link .

Since most hotspot offer wifi for your phone or laptop, there are times when you want to utilize the phone's ability to use the internet and in some plans you can save a few dollars per month as Boingo does offer two plans of $7.99 or $9.99 and this is nationwide (US and Canada).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Finally-a solution for all Canadians wanting to watch American Programming

I came across the solution for watching American content video when in Canada or other "foreign" countries while watching CommandN.

The answer is HotspotShield

Once you install the program, you are good to go.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TIP-Downloading a large file

I am sure it has happened to you before… you are downloading/saving a large file to your computer and you get disconnected or for whatever reason, the download doesn’t complete and you end up starting the entire process over. Some people will go and install a download manager which will optimize the download speeds and resume from where it left off and can even change the downloading site if it recognizes the speeds are not what they could be.  This is good for the advanced user maybe, but for the average person that only wants to download the file already… you can click to save the file and simply point to the file that was already created during the failed download. It will prompt you if you want to overwrite this file and if you choose YES, it will continue from where it left off.

 

Now some people may try this and find it doesn’t work. This will most likely be because they are attempting to try this using the Internet Explorer browser, and if you are then not only do you want to install the Avant Browser, but you may want to give the Google Chrome browser a try and if nothing else,  have the Firefox Browser as a backup.  The SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page has all the browsers I suggest using, as well as the anti-spyware/malware programs your computer requires to stay optimized and clear from the bad bugs.

 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ghosts in the machine? No, it's just me...

Why is it that when we see something strange happening on our computer screen, such as the mouse moving all by itself, we panic and attempt to take drastic measures to stop this?

 

I don’t know how many times I am working away on a client computer remotely when all of a sudden I lose control of the mouse, quickly recognizing that a user has come to use the computer,  I make attempts to contact them via chat or  attempt to disable the mouse from the user before they pull the plug!  Instead of taking a moment to see what that mouse pointer is doing, you would probably  notice that it is not doing harmful  things and in fact appears to be fixing itself and that is the entire point I attempt to make with all of my clients as I try to perform the various updates and cleaning/maintenance when the computer is not busy.  The real puzzling thing for me is when this panic attack happens only after I was the one that received the distress call with regards to computer problems in the first place, prompting me to connect and diagnose/repair the problem.  Fortunately in most cases when this panic attack happens and the system gets rebooted, I am not in the middle of a major firmware upgrade or something but I must say I can only laugh about it when it happens. After all the only other thing I can do is get upset and irritated, when communication is definitely the key here.  When the initial connection was made to repair the problem, this brief departure from the repair due to the system rebooting usually ends up a big learning experience for the end user and isn’t it good to learn something new every day?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Coupon Codes can save you money!

I must admit I do shop more online now, more then ever before, partly because websites are making it so much easier to get the things you are looking for, and get it quick and cheap, thanks to such websites like retailmenot.com it makes entering a coupon code a snap, saving you even more, when you make your final purchase.

 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Outlook Express spell check broken after Office 2007 install

I have had a number of people asking about this error and with a quick stop over at the microsoft knowlege base I find the answer, although the solution appears to have you move to Outlook.

This is probably a good thing since the outlook express mail is the oldest part of the windows (pre-xp) days and the security just not quite as good as outlook, especially within office 2007 as the security issues have become greatly reduced.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Carbonite pop up stating you have exceeded your storage limit-the fix included!



I recently had a client mention a pop up from Carbonite stating she needed to upgrade because of exceeding the storage size. I had explained to her that this could not be true since Carbonite will backup an unlimited amount of storage (based on it being an internal hard drive and not some usb-based storage), and even figured it might be some malware attempting to thwart you in to installing or buying something you do not need. Since I could then connect to her computer and check on things, this message did not reappear, until this morning when she was good enough to take a picture of it. No, this is not a screenshot but an actual picture from her camera.

A quick email to the Carbonite tech support and I am happy to report they were aware of it and have a quick and easy solution as stated in the email:


Thanks for reaching out. This was an “oops” on our part; she was upgraded to 3.7 before it was ready for public release. A handful of our customers got 3.7 as an automatic upgrade before they should have, and the error message she’s getting is due to a problem with the build of 3.7 she received. The link below will correct her problem; she’ll still be on 3.7, but it’s an updated build that corrects that problem. If you have other clients who also receive that message, feel free to share the link with them as well. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.




Sincerely,


Len Pallazola,
Manager - Customer Service Systems Carbonite, Inc


Once again I am impressed on how great a product they have, client and tech support included!

If you are an existing client of mine and simply not sure what to do, just let me know and I can connect and fix this problem ASAP!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some pretty amazing statistics

Although I believe the end product is somehow created from the RIAA (just a guess?  after you watch you can be the judge), but regardless, it should open some eyes to some pretty amazing statistics about technology and the world today.


Thanks to a client of mine for directing me to this presentation.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Mouse Drivers, Vista features and bugs discovered

Imagine my own surprise when I install a new mouse on a vista machine only to find myself frustrated with the drivers and do a quick search through my own notes and find a blog post that I had started to work on, most likely wanting to vent in frustrations, therefore deciding I would RANT about it.  Although it was initially drafted over 1 year ago, amazingly it still applies today!  

Drafted initially on April 20, 2007

I guess as a potential computer tip for helping with the optimizing of your computer, since I am a firm believer in using programs like CCleaner, Spyware Blaster, Spybot Search & Destroy, AVG Antispyware and Ad-Aware as my current aresenal (which you can download from the SOFTWARE/SUPPORT area) in the combat against the problematic 'stuff' that gets in your computer basically slowing your system down and in many cases, annoying you with pop up windows that you could do without. As I have and continue to provide updated and ever changing approaches to the cleaning and removal of the 'spyware'....

I have also discovered what I would consider a bug in which I am currently researching either a repair patch or .. whatever, must be done to fix a problem when you open 'computer'

I just learned that installing the latest Microsoft laser mouse software does help when using Vista (or maybe for XP as well, but my laptop is running on Vista 32 bit Premium) and the default setting for the middle mouse/scroll wheel is "instant viewer" and I was blown away by what it did, much like the 'switch screens' quick launch icon, it gives a pretty trick display of switching between (or just leaving it) in that mode, as I often am multitasking between computer screens using remote connection it is a wonderful way to make my one screen in to many. The key to this is having true real-time display in each window.

Since I know those computers that use logitech hardware, will have many items in which I would typically disable, such as the Logitech Desktop Messenger, which is nothing more then what I already block, the windows messenger. This doesn't mean you can't use Windows Live Messenger at all, this just closes the availability of this port to any other bot that might attempt to open it, as I believe this is why it is an option in such programs as X-Setup, that have a registry hack for this, as do other programs like Autoruns . I also use a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard.

This being said, it is not uncommon to find yourself looking at the 22" LCD Monitors when initially shopping for the 19" as well, in wide-screen edition, and when you double it, providing you with gives you two monitors to do your multi-tasking at a grand scale since you have 44" of desktop space) , is rapidly becoming the 'default' desktop system for the avid computer user as LCD Monitor prices are rather impressive as the margins between the two grow slim.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

TIP-Send To Anyfolder for Vista

TIP-Send To Anyfolder for Vista

A little known program tweak called send to any folder was a very useful tweak you could make for windows, even before xp (I believe) since it was part of the power tools you could get through such places like Tucows  that I mention also and have a link for in the SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page . I normally use the move to and copy to within windows xp but with Vista, that disappeared and so I figured I would make a tip on it, but then found thatTech Republic already did a bang up job of explaining just how to expose this hidden talent within the Vista O/S.  

This is one more little reason I say people shouldn't be so judgmental of the Vista operating system, comparing it to XP the way they do, since technically (I have already mentioned how the amount) of security issue-related malware attacks that I have seen would be close to half the amount within a computer running Vista.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fake Microsoft Updates on the wild

I have known about this for some time, that is, the fake updates from hackers, taking advantage of Microsoft's Automatic Update feature and have pretty made a point of turning this off on any machine I work on. Thing is, I used to set it to 'critical only' but that still causes the computer to allow the port to be active.  You can learn more about this here from this ZDNet post.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

TIP-Systemtray Icons-They are there for a reason!

The fact that within windows, you can choose to 'hide icons' on the system tray is a little disturbing, especially when they are there to let you know a program is running.  This doesn't mean all icons on the system tray really need to be there on start up, but this gets in to my OPTIMIZING TIP and that was not the point for this post.

I would have to say 9 out of 10 computers that I am in contact with will routinely have icons on the system tray (programs running in the background) that do not need to be there, but then there are others, like the Windows Update or Antivirus warnings (out of date, security issues) that are there to actually warn you of 'imminent danger' if you do not pay attention to them. This can be anything from performing a re-start of the computer, to having your antivirus not functioning by the simple fact it was not updated.  If you aren't sure what those icons are for, try hovering your mouse pointer over each one and it will typically provide a brief pop up display of what it is, and try RIGHT CLICKING on it as this will usually bring up some menu option to access the settings of the program.  You don't have to be computer literate at all to follow some simple steps which are nothing more then paying attention to all things happening on your screen, particularly the system tray!

Monday, October 06, 2008

TIP-Using Google Search within Vista

If you would like to have Google as your default search within your Vista operating system, here is what you need to do:

The Search tool in Vista can do much more than just search your computer for folder, files and programs. If you frequently use Google, you can configure the Search tool in Vista to search Google. You can then search the Internet for your favorite Web pages right from your Start Menu.

To search Google from your Start Menu:

  1. Open the Group Policy Editor.
  2. Navigate to User Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / instant Search.
  3. In the details panel, right click Custom Instant Search Internet Search Provider and click Properties.
  4. Click Enabled.
  5. Type Search Google in the first String or dll resource.
  6. In the String or dll resource field, type Search Google.
  7. In the The URL to use when field, type 



Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Daisy Bell

How old are you? Do you remember Daisy Bell?

I happen to know that I am a direct descendant from this Harry Dacre! 

"Daisy Bell"

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do
I'm half crazy all for the love of you
It won't be a stylish marriage
I can't afford a carriage
But you'll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two…

Harry Dacre
1892

New Cool Site with lots of storage

I have already mentioned drop.io which provides a wonderful site to share/send data, links, leave voice mail, etc and now I bring you OOSAH .  With 1 TB of storage for free, this I believe, is only the beginning to many such websites providing services like these.

Paitence is Manditory with Windows

It really does not matter what version of the Windows Operating system you are currently using, when it comes to any sort of update, be prepared for things to run a little sluggish upon initial re-start of the computer.  I have had a recent rash of questions regarding the following problem(s):

After performing a windows update, it prompted me to restart my computer, which I did, but when I restarted, all I got was the blank desktop with no icons....

This is completely normal, in fact this is completely normal when your antivirus performs any sort of virus definition updates and/or scans from outside of the windows environment. When you restart the computer, take a look at the hard drive light, somewhere on your computer case. This may even appear solid (on all the time) initially as things are loading from start up. Thing is, there is a lot going on when you first restart your computer and even more if you have just performed any sort of updates, as these need to be logged by the system, and the changes implemented.  So the next time you restart your computer, only to find no icons, WAIT a few minutes.. like as many as 5, depending on your system's performance.  Of course if you haven't run CCLEANER   in some time, you may find this to be essential for any sort of computer optimizing--read my tip on this for more info.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dealing with Ike

I was here in Texas during Hurricane Katrina and now I'm here witnessing Ike.  It always amazes me how people can be so stupid, taking chances with their lives by deciding to stay in their homes, especially after going through all the previous hurricanes.  As I am currently in the interior, just over an hour from Houston, in College Station where the winds are now starting to pick up as the eye is about 20 miles from Houston.  We still have power but for how long it is quite uncertain. Switching between the Weather Channel and CNN as well as stepping outside periodically to watch as the wind and rain continues to pick up, I am glad this is as close as I need to get to such a disastrous event.  


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Avast Registration

Many of you are contacting me with regards to your Avast Antivirus stating that it running out and requires renewal.  Note this is a FREE program and the good folks at ALWIL simply want to keep track of all that are using the program.  If you are having troubles with this, please contact me and I can help you out. It is a very simple procedure but can be tricky if you don't know where to look.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

All Things Google-Facial recognition now at Picasa

If you haven't taken advantage of all that is Google, I highly suggest you check it out!  As there are so many parts of your internet experience that Google provides free of charge (like Chrome,  the new Browser)  and a revamped Picasa website,  this is just one more reason why not give them a try, especially when the latest features of their photo software "Picasa" now includes facial recognition!  

Friday, August 22, 2008

Best Olympic Commercial

With over twenty years of Television Production experience, the Olympics being, by far the most prestigious of all productions, it was the playing of our National Anthem when the flag was raised as we won Gold and with all of Canada's diversity, it is no wonder I find the Bombardier commercial the best.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Possible fix for printing email problems after updating windows

I came across this repair that worked for the one computer I was working on that would not print after updating:
 
llC.\windows\system32\shdoclc.dll/preview.dlg
 
was the error and the fix was:
 
RESOLUTION
To resolve this problem, register the Ole32.dll file.
 
To do this, follow these steps:
 
1. Click Start, click Run, type the following command in the Open box, and then click OK:Regsvr32.exe %Windir%\System32\Ole32.dll

2. In the RegSvr32 dialog box, click OK.
 
If this sounds Greek to you and you are an existing client of mine, simply let me know and I can make the repair remotely! 
 
Remember many other TIPS and SOFTWARE/SUPPORT can be found through the website directly.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Speed Reading

If there is one thing I would never have believed I would be doing it would be the amount of reading I do in one day.   A number of years ago I was involved with the marketing of a Speed Reader program, creating the 'infomercial" and so I did learn a number of procedures to train the eyes, etc.  

Along comes this wonderful website 'spreeder.com' that provides you with a simple to use speed reading tool.  

Give it a try. It starts with a 300 word per minute setting which you can change. I immediately moved it to 600 which I currently find to be working well for me. 

Now it will be interesting to see as I use this for a full day/week/month to know if my brain is going to explode or not from all the information!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Technical-XP SP3 reboot issues on HP computer

It appears the problems with certain AMD based HP systems continues to be plagued with problems when the XP SP3 update is intalled. Fortunately thanks to the internet and the millions of forums out there, I was able to find a very simple fix thanks to Jesper's blog and the quick script fix. To note I was successful installing this AFTER XP SP3 had been installed by entering safe mode (with networking).

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Spybot Search & Destroy Available

As with any spyware scanning program there are always updates. Periodically these updates are not just for the definitions but within the program itself.  If you have set up Spybot Search & Destroy to work automatically when you click on the icon, this will result in some things being installed that you do not want running, this would be the TEA-TIMER which will slow your system down drastically due to the system scanning all activity. I suggest turning this feature off, especially if you perform routine spyware scans.  As always you can cut through all the ad pop-ups and other stuff by installing the latest version from the SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page or directly from this link.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Have a nice day"...

I know it is supposed to be a kind thing to say to someone, typically the last words of your conversation, but for some reason, some time ago I was having a bad day and someone said this to me....I didn't say it out loud but I did think to myself, "don't tell me what kind of day to have"... but thanks to this Nutri-Grain commercial I can now have a chuckle when someone tells me to have a nice day.. no matter what kind of mood I am in!



Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fun with Adobe and Java

They say time flies when you are having fun.. if you can call uninstalling "automatic updates" fun!   So much for my attempts at a 'daily blog'...

I have blogged about Adobe in the past and it appears my frustrations have forced me to post another one.

It should be know even though programs like Adobe Acrobat Reader and Java are necessary to have a smooth web surfing experience these two programs DO NOT need to run on windows start up. As well, when you do install these programs (which I suggest doing manually), be sure to always use the ADVANCED option if presented with one, even though you may not be the 'advanced' sort of user, this will allow you to instruct the installation as well as disallow specific items to be installed, including the 'run on windows start'.   The current problem with the java installation is automatic opt-in of Java's open office which means you need to de-select the option if you are only wanting Java.  With the Adobe Acrobat reader, now not only do you have the inclusion of the adobe speed launch on windows start up, a new icon on the desktop as well as an Adobe.com link on the desktop AND within the programs group. Is this necessary, absolutely not and to top things off, when a new Java update gets installed, the older versions are NOT uninstalled.  If you check your add/remove programs list you will see what I am talking about.   Ahhh yes, you search around and find yet another program that removes old versions of Java but should this be necessary? No way!  This again is where you can save some time if you pay attention to the method in which you install the programs in the first place.  Remember you only need to go one place to get these updates.. the SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page! 

..now get back to having fun!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

TIP-Computer frozen and WILL NOT shut off?

As more people are using laptop computers, it seems when the system freezes it is more unlikely to figure out what to do next since pressing the power doesn't seem to do anything, and, if it does, it may be going in to 'standby/sleep' or hibernate instead of truly powering down. Quite simply, press AND HOLD the power button until the system shuts down (typically about 4 seconds).   If you are planning on turning it back on, I suggest waiting about 20 seconds to allow the hard drive(s) to spin down before powering everything back up.   As you are restarting, windows may or may not have detected the system was shut down incorrectly and prompt you about this, recommending you allow it to scan your system. This is a good thing, but typically if you want to just get up and running again you are going to cancel this and move on.  As always, many more TIPS can be found through the TIPS page of course!

Tech Support-just another day at the office for me

The following video (which has since gone viral) is pretty much a typical day for me! Warning-graphic language (a few bad words and visuals which is also par for the course!)

Thanks to Marc Canter for introducing this one to me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Vista is better then XP

Yes, I am sure with a statement like this you may call me crazy but as the guy that does the fixing when a computer crashes I can only look at the obvious facts. Some of these would be the amount of 'security related' issues due to simply be connected to the internet and I would have to say they are about half as many as with XP machines. Also, if I were to look back to when XP first came out, I had a lot more problems due to device driver incompatibility then with Vista. Quite simply there wasn't a driver and even though this was an issue with Vista as it is with any new operating system, it wasn't as prevelant most likely because the jump from the operating system prior to XP was possibly win98, winME, 2000 or NT wheras with Vista, it is more then likely the upgrade is only coming from an XP machine. All this being said, the main reason as to why I like Vista over XP is really quite simple... it's newer! This means such items like monitoring and diagnosing problems are easier due to built in features like the Reliability and Performance Monitor. Adrian Kingsley from ZDNet does a great job in explaining this.

possible belt error fix for laser printer

Take out the transfer unit and look at the bottom. One side has visible wires. Open the side panel on that side. Follow the 3 wires to a C shaped sensor held in with a screw. Remove the sensor and blow canned air in the slots on the inside of the C. Put it all back together and hope for the best!

..found through solution search

Lost Password for windows?-TECHNICAL

The following video, along with links to the tool should help!  Note it is Linux based.

Note this has the potential to render your system inoperable so be sure you know what you are doing!  I highly suggest pointing this link to your computer technician, should you have troubles with passwords and ask them to help only to have them tell you that you are screwed!   You aren't if you get them to follow this.

My website and the SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page can be quite possibly the most help you need so be sure to know what you are doing before digging yourself even deeper!

Monday, June 09, 2008

What is the value of your data?!

It is unfortunate that in most cases, it takes actually losing something important before you realize just how important it is once it is gone. When it comes to computer data, this price is $50 as far as I am concerned. If you are a starbucks coffee drinker then one Caramel Macchiato per month is what that works out to.. the price of knowing your data is safe. If you have pictures, for example, since this is the most likely sort of thing having a digital camera would have at one time or another, transferred pictures to the computer hard drive. So, if you have anything of value, worth $50 or more that you don't want to lose, get Carbonite!
 
I bring this small piece of advice as it has now been about a year since I started using Carbonite and passing this on to those that know me including all of my existing clients. Since it is renewal time, of course it is ultimately your decision, but the unfortunate thing when people don't go for something this simple and easy with virtually no worries.. knowing you could have a complete computer melt down, not to mention fire, theft, etc, knowing that your data was retreivable... that to me is worth that Caramel Macchiato every month!  The problem is, when the data is lost, and I say WHEN because it has happened more then once where I have to be not only the bearer of bad news, but the person that continues to attempt to recover that data using software or any means possible which I can say is  not all that often!   
 
Anyway, it is just my rant once again...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

AdAware 2008 Released

The latest "2008" release of AdAware is now available, as always, this and the rest of the anti-spyware scanner and remover programs are available from the SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Technical-Windows ICS cannot start-repair/solution

After getting errors on a box that would not allow the firewall to be turned on due to ICS error I finally found the solution.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trojan viruses hiding within MP3 files

Part of my job of repairing computer problems is explaining why it is a problem when peer to peer file sharing is installed. Security company McAfee explains.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Read the end of the box!

Who ever looks at the end of the aluminum foil box? You should,
because you may find something written on it like, "press here to lock
end". Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in
place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then
looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the
number of times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying
to cover something up. Isn't technology great!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The best approach to educate those with anger management issues and computer problems-not to mention some serious animation and marketing!

Given a choice of watching commercials throughout a program or for a longer period of time before it begins, bring on this sort of commercial any day as it so entertaining you are sure to be talking about it and passing it on to others and isn't that exactly what it is intended to do, the next time you put a coin in the pop machine?

This is the sort of thing we should all be thinking about the next time we become impatient about something not working quite as fast as you would like. Sometimes it is not only one part to the equation unless you know exactly what is wrong, in which case, you should probably be able to fix it yourself!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New Technology in Cars

Why is it we still have major fatalities with our vehicles when technology should be able to prevent them?  It appears Volvo is going to put an end to it by 2020, but that is still 12 years away. When they make mention of using Radar and Sonar technology, which has been around for, oh, about 50 years or so, it seem strange we aren't using more recent technology such as GPS, Cellular/Microwave technology, not to mention Bluetooth and Wifi.  Regardless I am still glad to see safety getting better with the help of technology!

Air Canada USB seat power

As I do travel a lot, thanks to Air Canada's flight passes they make available, I do take advantage of the in-seat power (when available).  Note the website SeatGuru can help you confirm if your flight equipment (plane) has the power but something that most flight attendants are not aware of, as I have heard one recently tell a passenger, that yes, the USB power is 110 volt.. nope, not true!  In fact I am not even sure it is 12 volt but sure it is 5 volt which is the typical output power for USB devices. I have used this to power/charge my pocket pc but most definitely it is NOT 110 volt. This is a separate plug which is available on most of the equipment that is in the air, however on many seat backs you will only find the 110 volt on the first class seats and those in the front economy seats so be sure to use SeatGuru to get updates on this.  This site does a good job of providing pictures.

I am about to get on another flight and trying to think if I have any device that I can plug in to the USB which requires 12 volt or a way of testing, but since I am very limited to what I can bring on the plane I might have to wait until my next flight where I can be sure to bring along a voltage checker.. 

Road Trip-Knowing the Gas Prices helps

I came across a great site to keep you in touch with the gas prices as you travel across this nation and the one just South of us!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Domain Transfer fun and games

I believe all is well once again, after the successful transfer of my domain to a new domain host.  Initially it appeared it went through without a hitch, until I awoke this morning to no email. That is when I pretty much knew there were problems and oh yeah, there were problems!

Now, after numerous tests, I believe all is well once again and in the process, I am sure I have managed to lose a lot of junk mail but hopefully anyone that has had their email bounce back to them can re-send.

If you have troubles, please use this contact link to get through to me.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Parallels doesn't suck anymore!

When I first purchased Parallels, it was at the time I purchased my macbook and although it did work, I would find on more then one occasion where it would not run and would give me an error.  After numerous attempts it would start, or I would just give up.  Restarting the computer and trying it again seemed to get it to work but even that was still hit and miss.  I initially did check the parallels website and at that time, I was using the latest version, but that was months ago and so checking back there now, it appears there have been a few updates and so installing the latest version I have had absolutely no problems. Not once will I get the error and it now opens perfectly... once again I a have Vista working on my macbook in a parallel environment.. all is good once again.

This is just one more reason why it is so important to check back with the software manufacturers website with regards to "updates".  However, I am still a firm believer that, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory and this should apply to most software unless you are having a problem, you should not update it. That is, unless it is anti-spyware/malware software, your antivirus or your internet browser software as this is stuff that should ALWAYS be running the latest version in order to keep your system safe.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Windows XP dead in June-Now maybe technology can move forward!

Finally, Microsoft has decided to stop the production and sale of
Windows XP in June of 2008, even though Dell (and Lenovo) are planning
on selling it along with the Vista already installed.

I think this is great news, even though people are crying the blues
over the fact they need to move to Vista, for me it means less
security headaches as I have most definitely noticed probably half as
many security problems with Vista machines over the past year,
compared to XP machines, not to mention if technology is going to push
forward, we need to stop using old technology and believe in change,
even if it means dealing with an (arguably) worse operating system.
The way I see vista is, on a new machine, which has the hardware and
memory, Vista works fine. Sure there are the typical driver issues but
if you think back about 6 years ago, people were complaining about XP
as well, saying how much of a dog it is.

By Microsoft finally letting go of the old (XP) and the fact that so
many truly do not like Vista, it may provide for a faster introduction
to a newer O/S .. bring on Windows 7!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Windows XP SP3 held back from initial public release date

It appears, as ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley explains from a press release from Microsoft

What does this mean exactly?  Well, if you have your system set to automatically receive the windows updates, then you will most likely not receive this, however if you have ever performed the windows updates yourself, and/or have experienced with an earlier 'beta' release, then you may already have xp sp3 which will essentially have to be uninstalled before the automatic update will take place, whenever that may be.  If you haven't experienced any problems with the earlier releases then do nothing for now, and once it is a public release, I would suggest uninstalling the beta at that point.  The fact is, if you haven't had any troubles, then you are probably witnessing an increase in performance if nothing else, as this is most definitely what I noticed with the pre-release versions.


Air Canada Flight Pass excuses

Well it appears I won't be waiting the 15 days as stated in the email response.. I did receive a response which of course answers absolutely nothing since it was nothing more then a form letter response.  I have, according to what they are saying, two days left in order to actually use this flight credit but the simple fact is I never received any special link once I had completed the purchase.  Here is the response I received:

Thank you for your email. We are pleased to learn of your purchase of our new Spring Getaway Flight Pass and your interest in the special bonus offer.

Please refer to the following information which was provided on the website in the Terms and Conditions:

"Special offer - International Sample Pass 
The International Sample Passes is valid for travel to Paris, London or Shanghai between April 1 and April 30, 2008. It is only offered with the purchase of Spring Getaway Passes valid for a two-month period and must be purchased by April 1, 2008. 

Once the purchase of the Spring Getaway Pass completed, an International Sample Pass link will automatically appear in the Exclusive Flight Pass Offers section located on the Flight Pass Home page. To view this link or purchase this Sample Pass, you must sign-in on aircanada.com."

The above rules and activation instructions were very clear on our web page at the time of purchase and we will, therefore, not be granting any exceptions to activate the bonus passes after the deadline date. If you were experiencing web problems, our Technical Support Team would have been available to assist you.

We regret that we are unable to comply with your request and trust you can appreciate our position as we must remain fair and consistent to all of our passengers with similar requests.

We appreciate your interest in our Flight Pass product and look forward to the opportunity to welcome you onboard in the near future.

Sincerely,

Wanda Lepage, Flight Pass Specialist
Customer Relations

It seems to me this is still quite unclear when it is displayed as "once the purchase of the spring getaway pass completed"... but they make mention you have to purchase the two month pass, which I did, and the fact is, they do not take the second installment until a week ago, which is what I would suggest is the completion of the agreement, nor did I, as mentioned, receive any special link to click on and why would they not email me after purchasing the flight pass in the first place? I have responded to the above email with pretty much what I just stated, as I am now asking for a refund for my second month since it is quite apparent they are not going to extend this offer meaning they do not wish for me to experience this and would much rather completely lose a customer AND have the Air Canada name dragged through blogosphere with negative connotations.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Air Canada Customer Relations-Sucks!

I recently had a question for Air Canada as I have been taking advantage of their great "flight pass" offers over the past year or more and so checking the website for 'contact' help, I found the number and dialed it. Waiting the typical 10 minutes or so to get a live operator was fine, but when I started asking about the Flight Pass, she knew nothing about it... I found this rather strange since it was one of their features on the website and asking further, found out that this department I am speaking with, deals with 'website navigation'.. interesting that she can't navigate to this part of the website.   Next after being placed on hold a few times while she checked with her 'lead' on this, I went through my history of emails from the monthly newsletters I received from Air Canada and began to read the fine print, basically finding the information I needed, but now would have many questions as to why I was never informed about this "European option" that I was making the initial phone call about.   When she came back to the phone, I explained to her what I had found and since she had made no progress, suggested I follow this up with "Air Canada Customer Relations" and so I then asked, "Where, online or via telephone" and she stated it was online... "ok I'll do that then, thank you for your time" and that was that.. 

Following the link to "contact" once again, I did find a number but it was only for Faxing (a complaint) and that I would need to fill in the email online.. so I did, explaining my questions/problems, and then proceeded to receive the following email from Air Canada once I had submitted it.

Response
---------------------------------------------------------------
Thank you for contacting us.  
This is an "auto-response" which confirms we have received your message.
Our current processing time is 15 business days for general customer concerns and 8 weeks for  baggage related issues.  There is no need to re-submit your information, we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.

Excuse me, did I read that right?  15 business days!   Good thing it wasn't baggage related otherwise I would have to wait 2 months!  

Now explain to me please, how anyone, forget the fact that this is a rather large company, can get away with this?  

I got back on the phone and.. after almost 15 minutes of waiting for a live human once again I figured I would forget this, as I would be flying the next day, going through Calgary (their Western hub) and see if I could not get to the bottom of this.... heaven help the customer relations person I end up speaking with, as I do realize they are on the 'front line' and need to deal with all distraught customers, I hope it won't get to that point with me.. wish me luck!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finding the time--to Blog more! LCD/Plasma reviews

It is becoming more frequent, that I receive email from my clients
commenting on a blog post and/or asking that I blog more or have
questions in which they say "you can just blog about it if you want"..
thanks.. and that is what I wish to be doing as well.. blog more!
Thing is you need to find (or make) the time by prioritizing the rest
of your day's tasks and for me, it appears I need to have a manager
manage my time for me because their just is not enough of it in one
day to get through HALF of the things I really WANT to be doing!

The questions I am getting are pretty much tech related, which is a
good thing, since if it wasn't technical, I am not sure how much I
would be able to help, other then send along the results of a Google
search (which you should be able to do on your own) but as I am
finding that is not always the case either... the searching for things
on your own-that is. These questions are in most cases, comparison
shopping. That is, in the market for a new TV for example, wanting to
know which is better, LCD or Plasma. The old VCR died and wants to
know if buying a DVD writer for the home entertainment system is a
good replacement for the VHS.

I am therefore finding my best time to actually get to the blogging
happens to be when I am on the road, away from my bench which is where
my time is spent FIXING, more then it is developing and expressing...

... this is all going to change (I promise) I want to blog more, I
want to get my thoughts and ideas and comments about the direction the
world is going with regards to technology and how we humans control
this.

So to answer the most asked question.. LCD or PLASMA

Initially with Plasma, it seemed the life span was about 5 years
whereas the plasma gas would burn out, giving a dull image that was
sub-par for any hi-end television. This is NOT completely true as it
turns out this does happen, but the 5 year life is probably some
marketing answer in order for you to be purchasing that new TV in 5
years. The fact is, most electronic items we use have built in
obsoleteness but mostly because it has some sort of an operating
system which is what actually runs out of time. If you look at the
evolution of the Television and how it went from 'one in every home'
to 'one in every room', you should also look to the new purchase as
one that will most likely happen again in 5 or so years, therefore
placing the most recent purchased one to main viewing room and the
older one to another room and the oldest being sold through a garage
sale or dropped for recycle due to it just not working anymore.

That being said Plasma should definitely be considered for your next
TV. In fact such items as viewing angle should be considered as well
as placement of the unit. Since Plasma has been known to have a wider
viewing angle and (arguably) warmer/richer colours. Since cost should
always be a consideration, it should be pointed out that buying a
brand name not always means getting a better unit, but it may mean a
better warranty, however are you buying a TV on the grounds that it is
going to break down? When I talk of cost, I refer to more bang for
your buck with regards to features pretty much. For example, if I
can get a 47" with better specs than the 52", I would be buying the
47". As for those specs... contrast ratio is the brightness of the
unit. This is where LCD will most likely be better then the Plasma.
HD is obvious. You shouldn't be buying an HD compatible (sometimes
displayed as "HD ready) tv as this will typically mean purchasing an
additional component to make it HD. Moreover, if you do plan on
plugging this unit in to a sound system, the digital I/O (input/
output) becomes a key in my opinion, since with digital you are
dealing with ONE cable instead of 4 or more and that can make a big
difference when it comes to the wiring of some of these units.

Bottom line on any new purchase, get more then one opinion. This means
DON'T just go in to the store you know and trust and take the word of
the salesperson. Get the bottom line price and even go as far as
getting them to put it aside if necessary (to ensure the salesperson
you are serious about buying a tv) but then go home and SLEEP ON IT!
Don't just buy it and then wonder if you made the best decision. Sure
it isn't like you are buying a new home or car but it is still a
pretty major purchase from the point that you will be spending HOURS
AND HOURS in front of this thing and so your eyes will for sure be
thankful of your investment if not your ears.. but sound systems is
for another day! Bigger is not always better, but in my opinion, when
it comes to buying a new 'big screen' I am first going to see just how
big the room will allow and then look for the largest unit that will
fit and work my way down with regards to the specifications of each
product I look at. You already should be under the notion you will
only get 5 years out of this baby before needing (or wanting) a new
one... that certainly shouldn't mean the unit will die the day after
it turns 5 but with any electronic technology, what comes off the
assembly line now will stop being manufactured in about 3 months and
will have a new model within 6 months.

Finally, once you have purchased that new unit, STOP LOOKING IN THE
FLYERS! You are only going to be disappointing yourself as with any
new technology as mentioned previously, it is always changing and
improving therefore looking at what you could have purchased if you
were to have only waited that extra month is foolish.. there will
always be something better.....

Question: I'm getting a lot of spam messages, what can I do?

First of all SPAM is nothing new and everyone gets spam in their email. Depending on a variety of issues, you will probably find you get more if you do more on the Internet in general. Much like the phone that never rings until you start making phone calls, then all of a sudden you find everyone stars calling you.  Well okay, maybe it isn't really like that, but in all fairness, if your system has been infected with any sort of tracking cookies, the odds of you getting more spam are more likely as you surf the Internet.

Personally, I have been using GMAIL as my main email client, allowing gmail to access all of my POP accounts and utilizing the IMAP server, I can have all my mail synchronized on whichever email program I choose to use, and since I have a macbook in the mix of other PC computers now, it truly doesn't matter since GMAIL is a web-based email program I can always retrieve my email.  GMAIL has, in my opinion, the best methods in handling the SPAM to the point where I'll make a quick glance through the hundred-plus email that it has found and then clicking one button removes it all permanently.  It has been about 15 hours since I checked my mail due to traveling, as well as being the weekend, I had 605 spam messages, all of which were promptly deleted.  

So when you get more then what you used to get what I suggest is first making sure you are up to date with your anti-spyware programs and do a full scan.  Read my OPTIMIZING TIP as well as the many others available from the TIPS page, and be sure to have the latest in the anti-spyware programs by downloading it from my SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page. 

What I do see most often on the various client computers I will be cleaning/updating/repairing, is the amount of JOKES people send from friends and relatives, all sent "incorrectly" as with a couple hundred of the email senders contact list in the "TO:" box instead of utilizing the "BCC:"  You can and should learn THE CORRECT WAY TO SEND AND FORWARD EMAIL from my available tip.  I do believe we will never completely win the battle of SPAM, but in order to have any sort of control over it, it must first come from within (ourselves) knowing the correct measures in order to avoid getting this in the first place!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Google Calendar Sync with Outlook Calendar-Finally!

Great news from Google once again, with the introduction of Outlook Calendar sync with their own Google Calendar. You can learn more about it here.
Anybody that was hesitant about using the Google Calendar due to the incompatibility of syncing it with Outlook can now see what everyone has been talking about with the ease of using this wonderful calendar.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Send/Receive large files with drop.io

If you have files (currently up to 100mb) that need to get to someone why not give drop.io a try!  If you have to receive a fax and don't have a fax machine, give drop.io a try. That site again, is http://www.drop.io

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Five Language Standalone (KB936330)

Although Vista SP1 will not be released through the normal Windows Updates until later this month, you can download the standalone version here.
More information in greater details can be found through Ed Bott's Blog.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Carbonite update problems-continued

I received the following email from Carbonite which explains the latest problems and how to correct this.  I suggest using the hotfix link provided as this is the easiest method. If you have problems with this,or wish for me to help you with it, just contact me directly.

Dear Carbonite Customer, 

Carbonite began the first phase of a system upgrade early Monday morning. Due to a server glitch, a small number of customers using Carbonite version 3.5.89 have been unable to reconnect, even though Carbonite's servers were unavailable for only a few hours.

We've identified your computer ************** as one of those that may be affected. (Carbonite will alert you that it can't connect to our servers by displaying a flashing red lock icon with an alert symbol in your system tray.) 

Don't worry, your backup is safe, but it will not be updated until you take steps to reconnect to our servers:

Option 1: Download a hotfix
1) Go to http://www.carbonite.com/hotfix
2) Click the 'Run' button on the two dialog boxes that appear
3) Carbonite should reconnect to the server shortly after you've applied the hotfix


(Note: If you are still having problems connecting to our servers after applying the hotfix, please reinstall Carbonite according to the directions below.) 

Option 2: Reinstall the latest version of Carbonite as follows: 

1) Go to 
http://www.carbonite.com/manage to log in to your account
2) Click the 
'My Protected Computers' tab
3) Click the '
Reinstall' button, and follow the instructions to reinstall Carbonite on your computer

As soon as you've either applied the 
hotfix or reinstalled Carbonite, your backup should resume immediately from where it left off.

We apologize for the inconvenience this causes.

Sincerely, 

The Carbonite Team

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Carbonite and Comments

Blogs have always amazed me, from the very first one I read I knew the RSS thing would be a hit. What I did notice however, was how any blog with a comment section would typically be loaded with either very negative or comments about nothing relavent to the topic, nor was the idea that people could comment on something I felt were simply the persons own opinons anyway.
 
So it should come as no surprise when I receive an annoymous comment through my website, clearly attempting to hide their true identity by not providing any real email address, even though backtracing of an ip address can always be accomplished. It seems this person figured I was under contract or making commisions from Carbonite.  No, just like everyone else that does sign up to their service can gain additional months of service (3 months) so sure, you can do the math and quite quickly see it would only take 4 friends for you to have your own computer completely covered for a year. Call it a perk if you want but certainly I am NOT making money from Carbonite. Do I think their service is great, absolutely. So when I receive email from them stating that updates, etc had caused a few burps in the system and that I would have to perform a 2 minute reinstall of the software and to not worry that my data was still quite safe and nothing had been lost... so what is so wrong about passing this sort of information on to my friends and blog readers who may already have the product, or wanting to learn more about it?  I must say, with all the negativity in the world, it is a shame that even a blog/website like mine that is only trying to help those with computer problems find solutions and to understand this weird and wonderful thing called technology.
 
Am I making this up?  Here's a clip from the email message sent:
 

Dear Carbonite Customer,


Carbonite began the first phase of a system upgrade early Monday morning. Due to a server glitch, a number of customers using Carbonite version 3.5.89 have been unable to reconnect since that time, even though Carbonite's servers were unavailable for only a few hours.

We've identified your computer *************  as one of those affected.

Don't worry, your backup is safe, but it will not be updated until you reinstall the latest version of Carbonite as follows...
 
 
..it then goes on to explain how to fix the problem.
 
 
 
 
 

Carbonite Backup

I have received a few notices from Carbonite with regards to a recent update and system maintenance they have been performing these past few days. As a result, it appears there are a few computers that have barfed at this latest update and they are recommending a simple reinstall. Yes, it is quite simple and something I can help you with if you find you are getting a Red indicator on your Carbonite product just contact me so that I may help you.
 

Friday, March 07, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2

It is still "beta" but I have been installing the first release candidate without any problems with an overall improvement of about 10 percent. Since the final release is not too far off in the distance, you may want to wait, but then again, you might not!
 

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

RANT-I use the icons all the time!

Ok so I think it must be time for a rant!  I most definitely need to blow off a little steam and what better way then within the blog, where (hopefully) it is read and quite possibly a little more educated about what it is that is currently frying my banana!

So pretty much any computer that has ever come across my bench is going to leave with a little of my own computer 'personality' if you will. That being the positioning of certain icons which are shortcuts to antispyware programs that I suggest using on a daily basis (this is ideal but it would pretty much depend on how clean you want to keep your system).  The '5' icons would (currently) be CCleanerSpyware BlasterSpybot Search & Destroy, AVG Antispyware, and Adaware... thing is, they should be in pretty much that order, if you are going to run them and simply walk away from your computer. My OPTIMIZING TIPS explain all this in much greater detail. Again, this is not the problem, having them in any order you want is find, SO LONG AS THEY ARE USED!  

So imagine my surprise when I am asked to connect to diagnose and repair a problem, only to find old versions of the software installed.  Granted these are cleaning tools so it is expected there will be new versions available and in almost all cases, if you do run the program, it will prompt you there are updates available.   In some cases however, it will not tell you there is an entirely new version available. For example if you are currently using version 3.51 and there is an update available, it is typically something like version 3.6 or 3.52  but when they come out with an entirely new version number, version 4.0, for example, then this means either the old one will automatically get updated as you install the new one, it will tell you that you first have to remove the old, or you will be installing two versions of the program, this is dependent on how good the software was written.  

It is quite understandable in all cases, that you simply want to use your computer and know it is important to keep things clean and tidy and optimized so that no bugs get in and everything works great, but don't want to have to worry about the cleaning yourself, and so having things automated is the way you want to fly. In some cases, you may rather like to do things on your own because you do not trust the automatic features, or quite simply, in order to have the automatic features, you have to actually pay for the program as in most programs there is a 'light' version that is free and may do the basic tools but not all.  This is NOT the case with the programs mentioned, although they will perform all the cleaning functions so there is no need to purchase the 'professional' version however if you do want to use the automated and scheduled tasks, you WILL have to pay for them.  

But getting back to the version numbers and such... it is one thing to say you are using the icons but when you are prompted about an update available, it is very important that this be done. If you are unsure then drop me a line and ask me... unfortunately what happens in almost all the problems I see, I am being asked these questions when it is already too late... either bugs have managed to get in, because the program you are using is so outdated.  I recently worked on a computer that hadn't had anything done for 16  months.. that is, no maintenance whatsoever, other then the things that were running automatically, no updates to the antispyware programs had been done... and the funny part for me is, when I do click on the program and see the version number, it is quite apparent how old it truly is. So imagine how it is when I click on an icon on the desktop to run the program and get prompted of an update available, yes, the program that was installed was 3 versions behind.. so what does that mean?  If this had been clicked on then whatever messages were popping up were simply closed and ignored, or the program itself had never been run.

So my rant.... I can't help you if you don't help yourself!    My website is chalked full of computer tipssoftware/support and you can always contact me here.  If you are an existing client of mine, then odds are you have remote connection software installed that will allow me to connect quite quickly to your computer ( so long as your computer is connected to the internet ) and I should be able to diagnose things just as I was actually sitting in front of it... so there is really no excuse to have a computer system that is running outdated software... EVER!