How do I … (fill-in-the-blank)…?

How-To Books:

Like a lot of our customers, I try to figure things out for myself before I call in outside support and training. That is doubly true for learning new software and applications. If my friends can’t help, I type my request into Google. If that doesn’t work, I head to the bookstore. With that in mind, here are some books we recommend:

If you’re trying to learn Windows 10:

If you can’t figure out your Windows 8 machine:

If you need help learning how to navigate on your new Mac:

Microsoft Office

Open Office:

  • I’m trying to find a great book to recommend on using OpenOffice, a replacement for the (fairly expensive) Windows Office Suite. If there is a book that you love, please share the title with me and let me know why it’s so great!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area. Links to products may provide a small commission to Geek For Hire.

 

Windows 10 Update

Upgrading to Windows 10?

We continue to see machines that have upgraded to Windows 10 with serious problems.  And, I continue to get asked if machines should be upgraded.

Here’s the scoop:

  • If you have a Windows 7 machine, don’t upgrade unless you have a serious business need.
  • If you have a Windows 8 machine, you should be okay to upgrade, although you may still experience some issues
  • If you have a Windows XP or earlier machine, don’t (DO NOT!) upgrade.  Consider purchasing a new machine with Windows 8 or 10 already installed.

If you’re planning to upgrade do this first:

  • Back up your data.  Use an external Hard Drive if you have one, or upload to the Cloud
  • Make sure you have a list of all the programs and applications that you use.
  • Make sure you know what all of your passwords are, especially if you have asked your computer to remember them for you.
  • Make sure you know what your WiFi Router password is.

Tired of the Win10 “Nag” message?

I asked Chris how to get rid of the message that pops up frequently reminding you to UPGRADE NOW! WHILE IT’S STILL FREE!.  Here’s what he said:

  • “The only reliable method I’ve found so far to prevent a machine from presenting the “Get Windows 10 Upgrade” (GWX) nag message is to rename the GWX folder which contains the upgrade program.
    • See a small window icon in the tray, to the left of the clock in the task bar.
    • Go to the folder: “C:\Windows\System32” /and/ the “C:\Windows\SysWOW64”
    • Rename the “GWX” folder to something else – such as: “_GWX”, if it exists in either folder.  Note that you will see a popup titled “Folder Access Denied” and the message “You’ll need to provide administrator permission to rename this folder”.  Click on the “Continue” button to proceed with renaming the GWX folder.
    • Reboot your machine.
    • See that the small window icon is not present, and note that it does /not/ reappear”

If you have any questions about upgrading, give us a call

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.
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Heads UP!

Heads Up folks!

I’ve gotten three calls this week from people who have fallen victim to the phone calls from “Microsoft”.  The person on the other end of the phone is very convincing.  Within the first minute or two, you just know that they are right.  You do have spyware or viruses on your computer and you’ve given them your credit card info and let them onto to your machine.

Then there is the phone call that I keep getting and wrote about in a previous blog. http://geekforhireinc.com/who-is-really-calling/ They leave a message that says:

“This call is in regards to the security software we installed on your computer last year. Now we see a red flag on our end stating there is a security breach on it. Please call 1-866-758-1262. I repeat, 1-866-758-1262. Thank you.”

Please be aware that these types of calls are on the rise and they are getting better about fooling you.  I’ve said it before – Microsoft, Apple, Dell, or HP won’t call you to tell you that your machine has been infected.  Don’t give these people access to your computer or your credit card info!

Be careful out there folks!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.

Snow Day – perfect time to organize your computer files!

With the beautiful weather outside, it’s hard to concentrate on getting any work done.  The view from the deck outside of my home office is breathtaking – see for yourself:

Snow Day at the Eddy's!

Snow Day at the Eddy’s!

A day like today might be a good day to clean up your computer files!

Organize your photos:

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always put my files where I can easily find them again.  Especially my photos!  Every once in a while I’ll organize my photos by date.  I generally use the year and month.  I put the year first so that when the computer sorts the files by name, they’ll remain in date order.  If there are a lot of photos from a particular day or event, they’ll get their own file folder.

  • For example, my files might look like this:
    • 2016-02-February
    • 2016-01-January
    • 2015
      • 2015-12-December
      • 2015-11-November
      • 2015-11-November – Thanksgiving Vacation
      • 2015-10-October
      • etc., etc.

Once I get the file structure organized, I simply drag and drop the photos to the correct folder.  At the same time, I might also rename some of the photos too. Then it’s much easier to search for (and find) the photo of Auntie Em from among the hundreds of photos I took last Thanksgiving.

If I didn’t name the folders by date with the year first, but instead used the month first, when the computer sorted the folders based on name, it would end up looking like this:

  • April 2015
  • April 2014
  • August 2015
  • August 2014
  • December 2015
  • December 2014
  • February 2016
  • February 2015
  • February 2014
  • January 2016
  • January 2015
  • January 2014
  • July 2015
  • July 2014
  • June 2015
  • June 2014
  • etc, etc.

… and that wouldn’t be very helpful at all.

To rename a photo file, simple place your cursor on the file.  Then you can double click on it to rename it, or press the F2 button.  Give it a new name that is meaningful to you.  That will make it easier to find it later.

Organize your Computer Files:

When you store documents on your computer, it’s important to file them in such a way that you are able to find them again.  I’ve watched while friends have downloaded a file or photo from the internet and it goes straight into the “Downloads” folder without even getting a new name!  There are hundreds of files in there.  How will you ever be able to find that pdf again when its name is “2848066_orig.pdf”?  I would suggest setting up your files in a way that makes sense to you.

For example, you could try something like:

  • Family
    • Dick
    • Jane
    • Sally
    • Tom
  • Home
  • Photos
    • 2016
    • 2015
    • 2014
  • Recipes
    • Beverages
    • Desserts
    • Main Meals
  • Work

Then when you need to find a file, you’ll have a much easier time of it!

How do you get motivated on a day like today?

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.