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Expand Your Online Presence

Shopping

Do you need to take online orders?

I can help you setup your new digital shop. If receiving take-out or curb-side orders is a new process for your business, I can help you make it more efficient. Once your catalog is online you will be able to fullfill orders in real time. Full service hosting and flexible maintenance plans are available that change based on your needs.

New Online Sellers

If you are selling online as a side business via Amazon, Ebay, Bookoo, Facebook Groups or anywhere. Start out with a professional email address that says you are not fly-by-night77@yahoo.com. You can pay one fee to get a year of service, no obligation. At any time later you can add a website and ecommerce capabilities.

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Spring Clean Your Computer

I am offering a “spring clean” service available immediately. Email me today to setup an appointment.

  • Dusting PC interior – The interior of your desktop PC collects dust just like anything else. I will use a can of compressed air to remove all dust/dirt. This improves airflow and prevents overheating.
  • Independent Virus scan – I bring with me a thumb drive-based virus scanner. Once that scan is finished I will verify that the installed anti-virus is properly functioning. This verifies your computer is virus-free and on-going protection is working properly.
  • Temporary file cleanup – Temporary or cache files are created while your computer is performing a task such as installing software updates or installing a new program. Once the task is complete all the temporary files should get deleted, but sometimes they don’t. During this service I will check and see if temp files are taking up an unreasonable amount of space and delete them. This frees up hard drive space for you to use and improves performance.
  • OPTIONAL: Evaluation of unneeded installed programs, startup tasks – Most PCs come with trial-ware installed by the manufacturer and over time as the user adds more software the computer can become bogged down. A quick evaluation of the installed software can reveal unused items that if removed can free up memory for more useful purposes.

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Thankful

January mileage

January proved to be a good month. Thankful for every day to work and every customer.

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Windows 7 Will Fall Underneath the Upgrade Treadmill

Beginning January 14th Windows 7 computers that are still receiving updates will download a program that displays a full screen warning. The warning states that after the 14th no security updates, no software updates, and no tech support will be provided. The alert will be seen each time a user logs in or at 12pm daily.

However, the common user does have options. First, I think some users will never actually see the warning because Microsoft killed Windows 7’s access to Windows Update in 2016 by ending support for legacy encryption. Second, if you are getting the pop-up there is a method to disable it. Message me and we will get it done immediately! Third, upgrading to Windows 10 is also a valid option. If you want to do an in-place upgrade, Microsoft is not requiring people to pay for an upgrade. You only have to pay me for my time.

Thank you. Contact me to talk about your options and get a price that fits your budget. Looking to forward to seeing you.

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Projects

Hills and Hollers

Country roads, Take me home
To the place I belong

John Denver
A Country road in Trigg County

Took this photo when I was leaving a customer in Trigg county. I’m always grateful for the country road that takes me back home.

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Weak and Shared Passwords Allowed Compromise of Quickbooks Customers

Passwords are a lot of trouble. Strong passwords are difficult to create and remember. Managing passwords for a hundred different websites for personal and work purposes is impossible. In the best case scenario you should not share the same password between more than one website or service.

Strong passwords look like this: Mn7b0S@*XBus

ServiceFirst Blog

Brian Krebs published recently that bank logins were blocked for customers of Quickbooks and Mint. Systems at Quickbooks were being used to find users who were sharing passwords across different websites. Thieves were also using information from Quickbooks to target users with large bank balances. This hits close to home because I am an Intuit customer for most of their products.

LastPass logo

Soon after reading about the security breach I changed all of my banking passwords. I could do this easily because I subscribe to the LastPass service. LastPass is a password manager. It’s purpose is to store all of your passwords and help you manage them. It is able to generate long random passwords that are impossible to guess (and remember!) but using LastPass means you no longer have to remember your passwords.

All of the major browsers have their own password manager features that work very similar to each other. Regardless of the product you choose, using a password manager and relying on it daily will remove a lot of stress in your daily computing. Contact me if you want to learn more using a password manager and get a personal recommendation based on your needs.

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Struggling With Planned Obsolescence

A policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply . of spare parts, and the use of non-durable materials.

https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/planned_obsolescence

It’s been three weeks or more since my Epson Workforce 3620 started dying on me. I have the new printer installed and ready but I’m still able to limp along with the Epson. I thought it would be useful to give my thoughts on shopping for a new printer.

Picking a Printer

What brand is best? Laser or Inkjet? How much should I budget for a new printer?

To answer these questions you should first consider the job requirements you need independent of any brand name.

  • Print volume – Whether you are a home user who only prints a few pages per month or business user printing hundreds of pages.
  • Color – Do you need/want to print color? How about photo printing?
  • Connectivity – USB, Wifi, Wired ethernet. Wifi connected printers can be placed anywhere within wireless range to be the most convenient. They also support printing from more devices.
  • Special features – Fax, duplex printing, cloud printing, multi-function capabilities

The Warranty

If you made your list of required features and capabilities and did your research. You should now have a short list of what brand and model printer would work for you. One year manufacturer warranties are standard for every brand. All brands are manufactured over seas and outsourced. Buying an extended warranty becomes the consumer’s only recourse to ensure products last a reasonable length of time.

Office Depot/OfficeMax offers their Two-year product guarantee. Two years proved to be too short for me, but if you end up buying from OD then it is better to have it. Amazon offers warranty protection from Asurion for up to four years. While I was price shopping, I saw that a four year term was available and my decision was made then. Where ever you end up buying from, I recommend getting the longest term offered.

Brother MFC-L2710DW
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Epson Workforce Failure

I’m pretty unhappy with Epson printers right now. My printer was bought new in June 2017. The extended warranty expired in June 2019. Now it’s October 2019 and it’s non-functional. Classic situation where the warranty expires and the next day it falls apart.

Epson WF-3620 with error 0x97 on screen.
Epson WF-3620 with Error 0x97

There is very little information available about the 0x97 error. The best I can find is that it refers to an unspecified hardware error. I decided to turn this around and make it an opportunity to publish my experience. When my new printer gets here I’ll share what decisions I made and why.

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Rated Highly

Platform rating

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.

Proverbs 22:29

An actual screenshot of my platform ratings which I am very thankful for. Thank you to every customer whether I was hired via a platform or it was a direct private service.

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D-link and Comba Routers Storing Passwords in Plain Text

The vast majority of people never think about updating the firmware on their home routers. For ordinary users the best brand to buy is Netgear because the routers can be setup to auto-update at the time of installation.

Getting the complete settings of the router is possible for the aforementioned model by simply accessing the ‘romfile.cfg’ file. No authentication is needed and the WiFi password is stored in cleartext.

Bleeping Computer

Contact me to schedule a PC Check-up updating the firmware in your home router can be one of the items fixed while I’m on-site.