Computers

Should You Buy One of Those Cheap, High-Capacity USB Flash Drives? Probably Not
Computers, Internet

Should You Buy One of Those Cheap, High-Capacity USB Flash Drives? Probably Not

One of my good friends recently purchased a pair of thumb drives he saw advertised in a Facebook ad. The deal was for two 2 TB USB 3.0 flash drives for an amazingly low price of just $15. That's right, a whopping 4TB of storage for just $15. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Keep reading... The first clue that something was wrong was the packaging. The package the flash drives came in said: "USB Cable" not "USB Thumb Drive" or "USB Flash Drive" or anything remotely similar. This made my friend suspicious enough that he brought them to me one Sunday afternoon for a closer inspection. Another big clue was the price. If you take a look at reputable brands, not one offers a drive at that low price point. In fact, PNY offers a 1 TB flash drive for $200. The largest SanDisk flas...
Computer Supply Chain Problems in a Pandemic World
Computers

Computer Supply Chain Problems in a Pandemic World

Back in January, I began noticing a problem. I was trying to order computers from my regular suppliers and I noticed that there were none available. According to the inventory system, they would be back in stock in a week or so, so I didn't think it was a big deal. Then the arrival date got pushed back to mid-January, then the end of January. By the end of January, they had pushed back the arrival dates into February. By the end of February, I still couldn't order the computers I needed. My customers were getting frustrated and so was I. They kept pushing the dates back further and further. Of course, by March, most everyone had already heard about the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe. But the problem for Apheus began back in January. There were rumors circulating in the ...
Computers, Tech Talk

The May 2020 Update for Windows 10 is Causing All Sorts of Problems, At Least for Some People

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. The latest major update for Windows 10 came out on May 27, 2020, and a number of issues have been reported since then. While I have heard rumors and seen the after-effects, I have yet to see any of these problems as described first-hand. Here's a run-down of some the problems people are experiencing: Unable to fully install the update. The update loads to around 90% and simply stops. It appears that there's no real reason for this, although some users are eluding that the Windows registry could be the culprit.The user gets logged out of apps. For some reason, user credentials are lost after a reboot in Chrome and One Drive. Which is odd, s...
Computers, Tech Talk

Troubleshooting a Computer Problem Isn’t Always Successful

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. One of the sad truths about computer repair is that we can't fix every problem. Sometimes we fail to even identify the problem. It can be frustrating for the end user, but can be even more frustrating for the IT guy. We're not infallible and we are quite human. Most experienced computer gurus have a set of tools and procedures that we utilize to troubleshoot a computer hardware problem. Some arsenals are quite extravagant, while others (like myself) utilize a pretty basic set of tools. The procedures we use for diagnosing a problem change depending upon the situation (or at least they should). I'm going to highlight a few of the common things ...
Computers, Tech Talk

Protect Yourself from Data Loss with the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. The 3-2-1 backup strategy has been around forever. It's a simple and effective method to keep your data safe. It works to protect data loss from fire, flood, tornado, ransomware, hard drive failure, or a multitude of other problems. So let's break down what the 3-2-1 strategy actually is and how it can be applied to home users and small businesses. By the way, this strategy is endorsed by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Three copies of your data. So in a typical home or small business environment, you're going to have one copy of your data on your computer. Follow this up with two ba...
Computers, Tech Talk

Keep Your Computer Cool and Clean this Summer with Proper Airflow

Tech Talk show notes for Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Listen live Tuesday mornings on WTCA FM 106.1 and AM 1050 in Plymouth, Indiana. Airflow. It is one of the most important things to remember about your computer. Your password is essential, too, but if your computer is dead, you won't have to worry about remembering your password. Proper airflow is crucial because it helps keep the components inside of your computer nice and cool. Maybe not ice-cube cool (install a liquid-cooled system for that), but relatively cool to the touch. The problem comes when the components inside of your computer begin to overheat. While there are mechanisms inside the computer to prevent a meltdown, it can still suffer serious damage. It doesn't matter if you have a laptop or a desktop; both types of sys...
Computers

Are you still using a computer running Windows 7? It may be time to upgrade.

Back on January 14, 2020, Windows 7 reached its end of life. However, those of us who work in the IT field still see plenty of older computers in our day-to-day work. Many businesses have been reluctant to upgrade or switch to Windows 10. Frankly, I understand the concern. Hardware and software can be a huge investment, especially for SMBs who are budget-crunched. But it may be worth the investment to avoid potential pitfalls down the road. Eventually, Windows 7 will not be a viable operating system. But why? End of life for a product basically means that your operating system will no longer receive updates from Microsoft. You won't receive any technical support from Microsoft. But most importantly, your computer won't receive security updates, patches, and fixes necessary to k...