Monday, December 2, 2019

Happy Tutoring Holidays

Plugging in... 


ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on? 

Unplugged

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Best Buy Price Matching

Plugging in... 

For those of you ready to buy another computer because, um, Windows 7 fans should... you know by now Microsoft is ceasing all security updates as of January 2020. They've been saying this for a few years. You Windows 7 diehard fans need to do something soon because internet security is a very big deal.

Best Buy will always match competitors' pricing. And to prove how serious they are about this, they will let you use a computer in their store to look online for a better price. If you find a better price and show them, they will honor the lower price immediately. How's that!

How does the Tutor know all that? The Tutor brought a client shopping for a new MAC at Best Buy and the salesperson suggested we "shop" online to see if we could find the same MAC on sale. We found one on sale, and it was $100 less than the Best Buy price. Instant savings.

Read about their guarantee.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on? 

Unplugged

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

SCAM ME NO MORE

Plugging in... 

Just a reminder to keep you safe while using the Internet: 

  • NO ONE from Microsoft will ever call you on the phone. Microsoft "licenses", their favorite tact, are not expiring. Hang up. Do not listen or respond. Hang up.
  • Do not let ANYONE you didn't CALL yourself take control of your computer. And I don't mean calling the FAKE number that popped up in the middle of your screen. NEVER CALL THAT NUMBER.
  • If a loud message and bells start screeching at you with a phone number to call SHUT OFF THE COMPUTER. Under no circumstances should you call the phone number. This is a scam. The noise and pop ups will stop once you shut off the computer and turn it back on. HOLD DOWN the power button to shut the computer off. Then turn it back on.
  • NEVER give your credit card information to someone who calls you claiming that your computer is full of viruses. Another scam.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on?

Unplugged

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Simple Fix

Plugging in... 

The Tutor had a client this month (2/19) who was getting a "no IP" address on her desktop computer. In English that means no internet access. BUT, the internet was working on another computer also in the house. So, logic says not the router if one worked and the other didn't. Must be the computer... Hmmm. Both computers were wired, though the Tutor tested connecting to the internet wirelessly and it worked on the computer that returned the "no IP" error message. More head scratching. Could be the network adapter in the computer, though the Windows troubleshooter could not identify ANY hardware problem.

Down to the basement we headed where the Verizon FIOS box was located. Both Ethernet cables were securely plugged into the FIOS router. The Tutor moved the Ethernet cable (those thick cables that look like telephone cords but have a fatter plastic connector on each end) for the "no IP" address computer from one of the FIOS ports to another, again, securely plugged in. There happen to be 4 places to plug in an Ethernet cable on a FIOS router.

Up the stairs we went. The desktop computer was back online! Yes, it can be that simple. But WHY the FIOS port became faulty is a question for VERIZON. The client decided not to call Verizon since we had a solution. So... it WAS a router problem after all.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on? 

Unplugged

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Playing Nice: Old and New Hardware

Plugging in... 

Just how old, you ask? Old enough to have a dead keyboard that plugged in with a round connector. And... a replacement keyboard that had a USB connector. The desktop tower, though newer than the keyboard, still boasted round keyboard and mouse connector ports, in addition to sporting several USB slots.

Doesn't sound confusing, does it? But a client recently was given a replacement keyboard and was confounded about how to connect it, because they had never, ever had a keyboard that didn't have a round connector. So they brought it back to the store and asked for a keyboard they were more familiar with. Suffice it to say, round connector keyboards haven't been made in many years. A testament to their longevity: my client had the old keyboard for more than 15 years. 

The client brought the USB keyboard back home, plugged it into an empty USB slot, and you can guess the rest of the story. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. All the keys worked!

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on?

Unplugged

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Common Sense

Plugging in... 
Need I remind everyone that scammers are getting better at convincing you to part with personal information, and your MONEY? They are exceptional at what they do. If something pops up on the computer, shut off the computer - the notice will not be there the next time you turn it on. NEVER call a number that pops up on a computer, tablet or phone with a warning. NEVER speak to them on the phone. If you seek the truth, search for a number yourself, then make a phone call and REPORT what happened to you, They will send the information to their respective fraud departments.

NO ONE from Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Paypal, your bank or financial institution, etc. will pop up on your computer with dire warnings, call you on the phone OR send you an email requesting confidential information. ALWAYS hang up, do not answer their calls. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Don't fall for the relative in trouble emails either, SCAM, SCAM, SCAM. 

Let's not blame our computers, the internet or our phones for this. It is PEOPLE who are doing the scamming, and PEOPLE who allow the scammers to take advantage of them. Be careful, but don't panic. Use common sense and carry on using the technologies that do make our lives better.
 
ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on? 

Unplugged

Monday, December 31, 2018

Unplugging Away

Plugging in... 

Unplugging (shutting off) still goes a long way toward fixing some confounding, but more simple computer problems. Before spending oodles of time or waving the white flag of surrender, shut off the computer (laptop OR desktop) using the power button if you cannot shut it down the normal way using your mouse or track pad.

You WILL have to hold that button down about 10-20 seconds, much longer than when you turn it on. Make sure ALL the lights go off on the computer. Give the computer 10-20 seconds of OFF before pressing the power button to turn it on again. If it comes back on, put away that surrender flag and go about your computing. If it does NOT behave as usual, then make a call to your favorite Tutor.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is it turned on?

Unplugged