Posts Tagged ‘windows xp’

Don’t CLING to Old Technology–I Can Help the Pain

I had a client today that is running Windows XP on her old Dell Laptop.  It’s been working for her fine until recently but rather than upgrade, she want’s to keep using XP. 

Are you STILL running Windows XP?  Really?  Hello?  It’s time to move up.  I don’t care if you’re “comfortable” with XP and don’t want to change, it’s time….  You need to.

Look, I get it.  You LOVE your 1927 Ford Model A and want to drive it forever.  That’s fine.  But if you want just drive it down to your local auto repair shop you might find they really don’t know how to repair it in a cost efficient way.  We in the tech world can keep your really old computer alive for years, buy WHY when upgrading is so cheap?

Let a professional walk you through the changes.  You may not like changes – but someone who is good at what they do should be able to shepherd you through the changes with no dramatic changes to your life.

You can do it.  I promise.  It’s time to move on – you’ve been doing it all your life – you can do it again!

R.I.P. Windows XP

imageIn case you have been sleeping when you should have been paying attention to my blog (and shame on you if that’s the case) then you might be surprised that as of today, your Windows XP machine is now a sitting duck on the Internet for all the bad guys who have been waiting for this day to come.

That’s because yesterday, April 8th was the LAST day that security updates (actually updates of any kind) are to be published for Windows XP.

What does that mean?  That means that all the exploits that the bad guys have been saving for months will get unleashed onto the Internet today.  Windows XP will never get “patched” or updated again, so as more and more security holes are found, the bad guys will have an even easier time getting into your Windows XP computer.

If you’re in a situation where you just cannot replace or update your computer to a newer version of Windows (like Windows 7 or 8), then at the very least, here’s what you absolutely should do….

1) Go into the Control Panel, go to User Accounts and create a new account called “Admin”.  Make sure that it is an “Administrator” account.  Set a password for that account (if you want, you can make it “admin” to keep it simple.)

2) Log out of your current account and log into the Admin account you have just created.  Windows will set it up as a new user so it may take a minute – be patient.

3) Go into the Control Panel, go to User Accounts, and select your old account, change the Account Type to “Standard User”.  Do this for any other users accounts that you may have on the computer other than the Admin account.

When you log back into your normal account, anytime you need administrator privileges for something (like to install a program) it will prompt you for the administrator password.  Or, you may have to log out and then log in as the Admin to make the change.  While it may be a pain, this will GREATLY reduce the chances of a bad get getting into your system, as most changes a virus will want to make will require administrator privileges, so you’ll KNOW when something is going on with your computer.

 

If you can afford $100, I can set up your computer so that even if you get a virus, simply rebooting it will get rid of the virus.  The downside is that anything you want to save must be saved to an external hard or flash drive, because NOTHING gets saved on the computer’s hard drive at each reboot.  It’s a technology called “Steady State” that Microsoft came out with years ago.  Nothing you intentionally or unintentionally download will remain on the hard drive at reboot, so at least you don’t get infected this way.

 

Upgrade if you can. Stay with Windows XP only if you have to.  Continuing to use Windows XP won’t kill you, but after a few virus infections, you’ll be paying enough to have bought yourself an inexpensive modern computer. 

Oh, and if you DO decide you can afford to get a new computer, PLEASE call me and let me know what you’re looking for.  I don’t make any money on this, I just don’t want you get pay too much or get the wrong system to suit your needs.

Need a Deal to Replace That Windows XP Computer?

imageI had a client recently upgrade to a new computer, and they just gave their old computer to me.  So I’ve totally wiped the hard drive clean, ran maintenance software on it to make sure it was in good overall health, then installed Windows 7 along with Microsoft Office.

This Dell computer is a quad-core Intel processor (same one I recently used as my main system), along with 6GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive with a CD/DVD burner.

Those of you reading this are getting first chance to pick up this computer for the cost of getting it ready – $250.  The computer itself without my setup is easily worth $200.  And in addition, I’ll transfer your data to the new computer for free!  This is a really good computer that will last you for years – if it will make you feel better, I’ll add a 1-year warranty on it for another $50.

Next week I’ll open this up to my clients on a budget that I know need a replacement computer, but if you’re following my blog, I’d like to reward you first.

Now, if you’re NOT in the Austin area, you’ll need to pay the shipping costs to get it to you, but I’ll still remotely handle the data transfer for you.  I probably won’t get another system this good to recycle, so get it now or go buy a new computer (figure $500 for a new PC plus another $150 for the setup/data-transfer.)

Contact me if you want it – it’s ready to go!

T – Minus 29 and Counting (Windows XP That Is)

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock.  Tuesday, April 8th is the LAST day Microsoft will update/patch/fix Windows XP.  If you are STILL running this old operating system, you should know by know that it’s not safe after April 8th you use a Windows XP computer on the Internet. 

The bad guys have been drooling just waiting for that day, because they know some of you just won’t upgrade you current computer or buy a new one.  The day after the 8th, the bad guys will be all over the Internet with their hacks for you to go online.

I wish I could say “everything will be ok”, but you’ll at the least get infected with a virus and at the worst get infected with something that will steal your confidential logins, passwords, etc.

Hey, I grew up as a procrastinator, but you don’t want to hold out on this.  It could get very expensive if you think “everything will be ok”.  Well, it won’t.

If you still don’t know what to do by now, then you need to call me this week.  Your time is running out.  Let’s keep your data safe.  Tick-Tock, Tick,Tock.

Are You Still Running XP? Times Running Out!

That’s true, come April next month Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows XP.   What that means is that if your computer is running Windows XP, it’s not safe.  Microsoft will no longer be fixing flaws that may arise in the Windows XP operating system. 

Now, don’t get mad, Windows XP has been around longer than any other version of Windows, but after 13 years, Microsoft is putting it to bed.

If you have a computer that is still running Windows XP – as long as you don’t go on the Internet you’re ok.  But if you’re like some people and use your computer to go on the Internet AND are still running Windows XP, you’ll be in trouble soon. 

It’s possible you MIGHT be able to upgrade your existing computer, but frankly, it will be cheaper in the long run to bite bullet and get a new computer.

I can help you shop and get a good deal for no charge.  Let me know what you have, what you want and I’ll find the best deal around for your new PC.

Have You Found Any Easter Eggs Lately?

imageWhy am I writing about Easter eggs approaching the holiday season?  Because Easter eggs aren’t just the cheerfully colored chicken eggs hidden during the spring, Easter eggs are also fun little secrets that programmers sometimes insert into their programs, DVD’s and web sites.  Here are a few examples of Easter eggs you can see for yourself…

Google Maps: Go go Google Maps and click on “Get Directions”.  In “A” enter “Japan”, in “B” enter “China”.  Down below you’ll see step by step directions – scroll down and read step 43.

Windows XP: Open up Notepad.  Type “Bush hid the facts”.  Save the file with any name and close it.  Now re-open it and you’ll see it didn’t like what you typed.

Firefox: Open a blank page in Firefix.  In the address bar (where you would normally see http://www……) type just this: “about:robots” (without the quotes.)

DVD’s: There are lots of web sites that show how how to find hidden Easter eggs in DVD’s, try going to http://www.dvdeastereggs.com/, http://www.hiddendvdeastereggs.com/ and http://www.moviemistakes.com/eastereggs.  See if one of your DVD’s has an Easter egg in it.

DEAL: Bigger and Better Than a Netbook for $299

Buy.com has a Lenovo (they bought the IBM PC division several years ago) 14.1” for the price of a netbook.  imageThis is a refurbished unit, but if you’re on a budget read on, because this could be a VERY good deal.  IF you bought a netbook, you would get a weak 1.6 GHz processor with 1GB of memory, no CD or DVD drive and a 10” screen (way too small for most people.)  With this Lenovo you get a 14.1” screen, 2GB of memory, a 2GHz Core2 Duo processor and better video.   The downside would be a 90 day rather than 1 year warranty, an 80 GB hard drive rather that approx. 250 GB and Windows XP (some but not all netbooks come with Windows 7.)  But with the Windows 7 Family Pack it’s cheap to upgrade to Windows 7 (less than $50 a PC if you shop) and IF you need hard drive space, HUGE hard drives are less that $75 these days.  Here’s the link:  http://bit.ly/TekChic0211

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