beginners

Warning : Fake calls from Telstra

phonescamI recently spoke to a customer who related this story that should serve as a warning to us all.

We all (or should know by now, it’s been in the papers and on telly many times) about the scammers pretending to be from Microsoft warning that ‘your computer is infected with a serious virus and I will show you – please turn on your computer’ – or similar nonsense.

He got as far as the usual ‘ok, so please go to this website and permit me to access your computer to fix it’. Luckliy, my customer heard the alarm bell ringing in his head and said no. Then he rang me!

In this case, the customer was supposedly called by a Tesltra employee who talked him through the steps to validate his computer’s ‘security code’ to prove that the call was genuine. Continue reading

Are desktops and notebooks doomed?

There are many people – me included – who feel very comfortable using desktop or notebook computers (laptops to use the old term), but if you were to believe all the hype from the press and sellers of computing devices in general, you’d think we are all moving to tablets.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s no doubt that for many tasks like quickly checking emails, browsing the ‘net, watching YouTube videos, playing games or keeping up with news – a tablet like an iPad or Android device is fantastic. The convenience of a light, fast booting touch screen tablet can’t be faulted and for many travellers, it beats a notebook hands down especially when you consider the much longer battery life. Continue reading

DIY Computer Repairs

I come from a time, as many who live at the Heads do, when most blokes (and some ladies) did their own car repairs.

DIY Computer repairsHours spent lying on cold concrete floors battling with unyielding bolts, swearing and covered in grease and dirt. Fixing the Holden or Ford us gave much satisfaction and the money (sometimes) saved helped the family budget. Once chips – silicon ones, not the dead remnants of lunch at the beach – found their way into cars, things changed. Using a strobe light to set the timing and tinkering with carburettors soon became impossible when they were replaced by electronic ignition and fuel injection and we had to rely on workshops with the right gear to do the specialised work for us. Continue reading

Windows 8 is coming!

Windows8 DVDsThe latest version of Windows will be available on new computers sold in stores on Friday, October 26th and customers wanting to upgrade from Windows 7 will also be able to do this from then. If you bought a PC preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate on or after June 2nd this year, Microsoft has announced that you just need to register to buy it for around $15. Go to windowsupgradeoffer.com and register.

Seems a very good deal, but should you do this? Yes, certainly and even if you decide to hold off for now on upgrading your computer, you’ll still have it ready. Continue reading

DIY Kitchen Internet Radio using old Android phone

Finding uses for superceded technology rather than throwing it away is a passion of mine. I guess it’s because of my age and living through some tougher times that I reckon it’s always worth trying to extend the life of any ‘tech’.

I only just reluctantly parted with a perfectly fine Panasonic Laser because Windows 7 refuses to play nice and run it, so it got put out front with a ‘Free to a good home’ sign on it!DIY Android kitchen radio

Living down the south coast of NSW has enormous benefits, quieter lifestyle, beautiful beaches and friendlier people – but some things are a bit behind. Take radio for instance. We can only get 2 or 3 FM stations here (and reception isn’t that great) and Digital radio isn’t in our area yet, so I had thought for a while about getting an internet radio for the kitchen. Prices are a little steep however, so I decided to have a go at making one out of an unused Android smartphone which, while too slow for most things still worked fine streaming internet radio. Continue reading

The love? affair is over
The love? affair is over

I recently wrote this on the Microsoft ‘Tech Support’ site in frustration at Windows 10 again causing me to say rude words. This time I was just trying to open

... read more

 
Want a ChromeBook for under $200?
Want a ChromeBook for under $200?

Ok, so what’s a ChromeBook and why are they taking the computing world by storm? There are different reasons, but in my humble opinion, two words – Not Microsoft. I’ve

... read more

 
Want to make your home smarter?
Want to make your home smarter?

Setting up a smarthome is becoming easier every month with new, cheaper devices coming into the market regularly. At our place, I have installed a Google Home (3 in fact

... read more

 
How to take control of Windows 10 Updates
How to take control of Windows 10 Updates

One of the problems that Windows 10 users face is the update process. Updates are important but, as we have seen in the past, they can go terribly wrong. Experienced

... read more