Tips and Recommendations

Purchasing a Computer

1)  First of all there are things to consider when buying a computer.  You will need to know your budget, what you need it for and future expansion.
2)  Next is to select your computer with the proper configurations in it like processing power, memory size, storage disk space and other components for your purpose.
3)  Shop, compare prices and servicing  of the places or retail stores you have at your disposal.  See what it is out there and see if new or old suits your purpose.  Find a place for your computer at home or office.  You may need to buy a desk too.  Consider the cost of original disks for the softwares installed onto your computer.  You will need when you do your yearly maintenance later on.
4)  Purchase your computer and get extended warranty.  This helps you in the long run if there are any problems so you can get their help later on.  Usually extended warranty run about 2 or 3 years.
5)  Don't forget to buy a power surge/spike protected power bar and  a printer connecting cable for your computer if you are also getting a printer.  Most quality USB printer cable runs about $20.
6)  After you bring your PC home, hook it up.  Turn it on.  You may have to do some registeration procedure for most new PC from some stores.  Test all the equipment including the printer, modem and softwares within the first so you know if you have any problems. 
If you still need help, feel free to contact me at the numbers listed at the top.  You may need to make an appointment.



Hardware Maintenance

PC's After your warrany has run out, you should clean the inside of your computer one a year. You can do this with the blowing end of the vaccuum or compressed air in your garage or balcony (outside your home)  The dust collected from the cooling fan can damage your PC.
PC's One a year, erase your hard disk and reinstall all your softwares including Windows.  I do this because there are hidden problems with internet access or install/uninstall softwares where some files are not removed but may cause problems with the functions of the PC.
Printer Clean your printer on a regular basis.  This is to prevent your your printout from getting streaks of black or color markings.
Printer You can re-use the ink cartridge by refilling the ink but it is recommended to do it at a reputable retail outlet.  Refilling the cartridges can be messy and you need to test it to make sure it works.  The cartridge requires the precise air pressure for the ink to print properly.



Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time: (Spring Forward)

  If have not already know or done it,  Every year is different so check with the current calendar or local news as to when to change the time for spring.   It is the time to spring forward our time that means your advance your time one hour ahead.    Your Windows version may not have been updated so here is how you can do it.  At the bottom of your screen / windows (bottom right), you will see you time displayed if you have the standard setup.  Move your mouse pointer over the clock and click on your right mouse button.  This will display a menu.  Choose the Adjust Date/Time option and click it with the left mouse button.  Click on the hour then you can either click the up arrow button or type in the new hour.  For example: if now is 10:34 pm, you can highlight the 10 and type in 11 or click the up arrow.  After you have done that, you should  uncheck the automated daylight saving time change so it won't advance again at the old change time.  Should you have any questions, feel free to email me or call me.  I don't have any office hours yet since I work full time elsewhere, I can reply better via email.  For voice reply, I am usually ok on Tuesday and Saturdays

Same as adjusting the time in Daylight Savings Time, we now have to adjust our clocks once more for fall.  This time the day is around November 3 of every year.



Online Transactions

Making payment online
I have had many bad experiences with paying online.  Usually is what the company says differs from what was charged.     At the beginning of my career in 1998, I was told putting up my website was so much.  I was charged for the first month and last month without being told about it.  So now there are times I do not trust companies I use with a regular credit card.  What I use now is a gift credit card I bought from Safeway or Shoppers Drug Mart or Staples or places who sells them.  They may cost a lot but it saves you the headaches of credit card fraud.  The cost to activate is $5 and $5 per transaction on top of the denomination of the fixed amount gift credit card.  I have had tried the reloadable credit card but the claims of the company are different from what I had experienced. Without mentioning names or companies, my first reloadable credit card claims that the Visa works in North America but when I use it to pay for my U.S. web service -- doesn't work.   I am trying one now that claims world wide --  so far the same result.


Online Information Exchange

Giving Information Online
I was taught in the old school that whatever you give out; it can end up anywhere. Like doing anything online, personal information or sensitive information entered can be taken once you press the [enter] key.

I had a recent incident where I was trying to get a refund from a repair company.  The company want me to give my signature through CudaSign (an digital signing app on a web form).  I reluctant but because I need the refund I went ahead and do it.  It turn my typed name into a signature.  Again fighting for my refund a month later, the same company want me to give my bank account.  This time I went to my bank for their advice.  The method of transfer of funds to my bank account is called E-Transfer.  My bank told me that it is suppose to be safe so I tried it.  But I will monitor my bank account for any suspicious activity.

So are we now so hi-tech that the old believes are thrown out?  Or are companies wanting to care less about our safety just want to give the refund any method easiest?