The Tek Blog
Learn about computers, technology and anything electronic in our TekBlog!
If you’re running Windows 8 or 8.1, I would suggest taking advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade to Windows 10. It is a vast improvement over some of Windows 8’s more confusing elements. 10 includes a less confusing Start menu (although I still suggest having me tweak it further to be more like Windows 7!), and much longer support period over previous editions of Windows . On the other hand, if you’re still on Windows 7 and your system is stable, you may want to wait before upgrading to 10. While the majority of systems I have upgraded have gone just fine, there are still some concerns about bugs and stability with 10, as it is very new. To sum up: I generally feel the risks and benefits outweigh the negatives if you’re running Windows 8, but less so if you’re running a stable Windows 7. Want to try Windows 10 on your 7 system to see how it goes? I can do that—I can make a clone of your system and we can see how it plays with your system. If all goes well, then you’re all set. If not, well, then we can revert to the cloned (exact copy) drive and pretend it never happened.
Are you using your email to store and archive your most precious information? Email was designed as a correspondence system, and isn’t really a good system for archiving things that are really important. There are dangers to relying on ISP email especially: one server glitch on their end or a mistaken keystroke on yours could cause all your information to go poof. Instead of storing your information in email, it would really be safer to archive it with a program designed specifically for that purpose. One such program is called MailStore. From their website: “With MailStore Home you can back up all emails in a central archive, even if they are distributed across different computers, programs or mailboxes. You can do this either on your PC or on a USB drive as a “portable” option. This way, you will never lose emails again and can search all of your emails extremely fast. You can still reply to or forward archived emails by opening them with a single mouse click in your standard email program.” The Home Edition can be found here: http://goo.gl/9xwzIo
Has your computer ever crashed and you needed to get it repaired? Have you ever felt uncertain about what repair shop to use when it does? Well here we can give you some tips on what to look for when you are searching for a repair shop.
When you first begin your search you will probably find that there are several shops in your local area. The first thing you want to ask each one you consider is how much they charge per hour. The expected cost should be somewhere between 40 and 80 dollars per hour, much more than that is unreasonable and you should probably move on with your search. For example, MobiTek’s service starts at $35 for most residential calls.
The second thing you want to ask is how long the technician expects the work to take. Don’t expect an exact answer, because no one can say for certain how long the problem will take to address. What you want to check for here is if you will be spending more to get your computer repaired than you would to just buy a new computer. For example if the technician is charging 70 dollars per hour, you don’t want him to spend nine hours working on it, because for 600 dollars (unless you have a very expensive computer) you can just replace the one you currently have. Here at MobiTek we like to give clients the options for us to take the computer away if it turns out to be a lengthy fix (such as a hard drive replacement) in these cases we can keep your costs as low as possible.
The next thing you want to ask is if they have a minimum fee. Not all problems take several hours to fix, and you want to be sure the minimum fee isn’t very high. Typically the fee should be pretty close to the hourly fee, if it’s too high above it you may want to just move on to another technician. When it comes to MobiTek we don’t have a minimum fee, but we do charge for the first hour even if our solution takes less than that time.
The final thing you need to know is if there are any charges besides the hourly rate. Often times people don’t think to ask about this and their bill goes from reasonable to unreasonable. Like with getting your oil changed, the 20 dollar oil change never costs just 20 dollars. However with a computer repair shop there shouldn’t be any other charge added, except for maybe taxes, the hourly fee should include it all. The only exception might be for new computer parts; again you will want to ask about extra charges beforehand.
If the shop you consider charges reasonable hourly rates, fair time to repair, decent minimum charges, and no additional charges then you have a good technician and you are probably going to get a good job. Now that you are armed with the information you need, you can pick your repair shop with certainty. Make sure everything lines up, and go for it. Of course, I do have one to recommend for you that comes right to your door 🙂