Friday, July 24, 2009

Do you really need a new computer?

I get the quesion from customers all the time. Should I get a new computer?

My answer? Maybe. I today's economy, buying a new computer is the last thing most folks want to have to do.

Usually folks ask me that question because their computer has gotten slower over time, or they are having trouble with something that they've learned to live with, and are finally tired of it.

In both of these cases, fixing the problem, or simply cleaning up the computer will make it run like new again. A service call by a professional computer service can do that job in 1-3 hours depending on what needs to be done, and sometimes takes even less time!

If you call some of the big, national companies for service, it can get very expensive. Using a local computer service company not only keeps the local economy healthy, but will also save you some of that hard earned cash.

On the other hand, if you really, really, want a new computer (or the one you have just donesn't work), there are some great deals out there. I'll help you find them, and you pay what the store charges. There are a few things to look for when buying a new computer, including warranty that you'll want to make sure you have.

The bottom line is: I won't sell you a new computer just because you might think you need one. I'll help you find the most cost effective solution that fits what you need.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps!

If you need computer, network, or website services, feel free to call, or look at our website at You can also click on the image at the bottom of the page to get there.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The power of backups, and the backup of power?

Ok, so this is an old horse that's been beat to death repeatedly over the years... But it just keeps getting back up. Why? Because everyone has lost that proposal file, or invoice, or the family pictures at least once in their life. The data can be retrieved, but can get expensive fast!

What is a backup? Well a backup is really just a 2nd copy of any file, or files, that you don't want to lose. It can even be a backup of your windows installation and all the programs.

Simple backup: This is simply copying the files you want to another hard disk, USB thumb drive, or even burning them to CD. Remember all those pictures of the family? Windows XP has a built in option to "burn" them to a cd. Simply highlight the files you want, and right click. Select "send to" and choose your cd rom drive. Follow the prompts and it will burn them to a blank cd for you. You can also connect a USB thumb drive to your computer and simply copy the files there. This is a simple backup and works great for a small to medium number of files. This process is usually done manually. Meaning that you have to copy or burn the files yourself whenever you want to save them.

Compressed backup: This is a backup that compresses, or tightly packs the files into a single file that is then sent to another location such an external hard disk. This requires a program that will do the backup for you and also requires that same program to retrieve the files later if need be. The good news is that these programs can be setup to automatically do the backups for you! Windows comes with MS Backup that has limited options. You can also purchase various programs that have lots more options, and work well for businesses where there are alot of things to backup. More recently online backups have come into being that save your data on a server on the internet. These have proven very reliable, but there is a monthly fee. For home users and small businesses these can make alot of sense. But for businesses with large amounts of data to save, a local solution works better, both in cost, and in immediate access to the data if needed.

Imaging: This can almost be considered a backup. What imaging does is takes a snapshot of everything installed on your computer and creates a file on another device (external hard drive, etc). If your computer or server crashes, you can then "re-image" or write everything back to your computer and it will be exactly the same as when you created it. The thing to note here is that if you imaged your system a month ago, everything that happened since then will not be there. The good news is that imaging software for both home users and businesses can be automated to image once a day, or whenever you choose. You just have to have enough external storage to hold the files. Some of the the new imaging software available is comparable in price to the backup programs out there. The great news about this is that, in the event of a crash, you can be back up and running in about 1/4 of the time it takes to restore conventional backups!

WHEW! Had enough yet? Ok, take a deep breath, get a drink of coffee....

The backup of power? The heck you say! What is that? Simply put, it's a battery backup for your computer. What this does is, should you lose power at your location, it allows your system to run long enough for you to finish what you were doing, save your files, and power it down correctly. This saves damage to both the hardware and software. With the monsoons every summer in Arizona, this can be a lifesaver for any computer. System repair and replacement can get expensive in a hurry, not to mention lost time. Battery backups are also relatively inexpensive, relative to the size of your systems. Meaning that the more devices you need to power, the more power you need. Home users with a single computer can purchase a battery backup (or UPS) for less than $100.

And one last tip on battery backups... Never, ever, ever plug a laser printer into a battery backup. It will use all the power that the battery backup can provide, and lower it's life dramatically. Just don't do it.

In conclusion, saving headaches is what backups are all about. I started my computer business to help people with those headaches. No I don't carry Tylenol since I'm not a pharmacist, but I do help get you setup to keep your systems running and recoverable if the unthinkable happens!

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps!

If you need computer, network, or website services, feel free to look at our website at


Welcome to our new blog. Keep checking back as we'll be adding new content as often as we can.

If you need computer, network, or website services, feel free to look at our website at