The Basics

Questions & Answers

Q.  The kid at the store tried to sell me something called a UPS.  Is it really worth spending the extra $$ on or was he just trying to load me up because he figured he could get away with it?

A.  “The Kid” was trying to do you a favour.  He just sold you a sensitive electronic device (computer).  Power surges/spikes and brown outs can actually damage the microscopic circuitry in the computer.  The UPS device will protect your computer as well as that long winded email to Uncle Bob your were working on when the lights went out.  It’s just plain smart and right to protect your investment.   Sorry no no no an $8.00 “power” bar is not protection.  Do not cheeeeeep out!  Unless you like buying new computers on a regular basis.  I am still running just fine on a 8 year old box that I bought used.  For a little less money Costco and Price Smart sell a special device called a Tripp.Lite  automatic voltage regulator .  If you have any kind of flakey power issues but are supported by a generator in your building I strongly urge you to find one or more of those devices.  I use on my TV, Modem, Router, and phones.

Q.  No matter what I do I cannot get it to turn on.  – and yes it is plugged in!

A.  Well you might think its plugged in but remember that the cord on a desktop has 2 ends.  Are they both firmly plugged in?  If you have been paying attention you should have it plugged into some kind of decent surge protection device.  Is it turned on? on and plugged in?? Is there actually power in the outlet or has the breaker been tripped???  Notebook computers have three points of potential problem.  The main power cord plugs into the source, then to a transformer and the transformer then plugs to the computer.  Try unplugging and re-plugging all these before you holler for help.  I often suggest that if I “come over” and check the plugs and it works – I want $100 cash and a good shot of scotch.  You would be amazed how many times folks call back and say oops – how did you know? 🙂

Q.  My computer is going sooooo sloooow these days.  What is wrong?

A.  First of all how old is it.  If you bought it when you still had your own hair then perhaps its just “past its best before date”.  If it is fairly new –  Have you installed any new and fancy software lately?  New software sometimes requires a whole lot more memory to run properly.  You need at least 8 gigs these days to run anything and even 8 Gigs is now considered minimum.  You may also have a virus that is causing problems.

Free Performance and Security Scan, Scan Now!

A. Computers do not actually slow down.  They are still working hard but the software we install over the years just places more and more demands on the system.  That combined with the fact that very often the internal files get all messed up (very technical term?).  Click here and run a free scan of your system and you will get some idea of just how clogged up and out of date things are.  Its worth the $$ so go ahead and buy it at the end of the scan and let it do its thing.  Then run it again and possibly a third time and you will see a huge difference.  After this run it about once a week or at least every 10 days to keep things running at peak.  You can set a schedule.

A.  Have you been visiting sights you should not have been visiting.  I often find when I go out and respond to this type of problem that when I check the browsing history I have to give my “naughty naughty” lecture.  Unless your system is seriously protected with the latest Anti-virus and Anti spyware software these “sites” can plant all kinds of spyware on your system and glean all kinds of stuff/information you would rather they did not know.  I have spent up to 6 hours cleaning up systems like this in the past.  Now I check the history first and if I see the “naughties” I just wash my hands, walk away and say “good luck”.  Or if I am begged I will turn the $$$ meter way up and give it a try.

A.  Is your kid into gaming on the system or on line.  These programs take up huge space and the kids themselves get into places that plant all kinds of spyware.  This stuff again will slow the system down.
The following link will detect spyware and deal with it.  I strongly urge/push/cajole you to never never let any kid do gaming on your computer.  You are just begging for a nightmare.
Free Performance and Security Scan, Scan Now!

If you follow the links provided above you can install some of the best and most affordable, up to date protection available.  If you are not interested in protecting yourself right from the start then the rest of my advice likely will not be of much use.

That’s enuf for this month.


PS.  Feel free to share this link if you think it will help somebody.