Set Aside Plenty of Time to Start Up a New Computer

As part of our dedication to be on the cutting edge of technology, we’ve spent the majority of the day booting up a brand new desktop computer.

While laptops are nice and portable, desktops offer stability and can be upgraded. We like to have desktops here that supplement the laptops, if something goes wrong with the more fragile laptop computers, we still have the desktops as backup.

As with any computer, it takes a while to get everything set up. Even if Windows has been installed previously, you still need to add in all the programs that you use. It doesn’t matter if you’re a consumer, business, or small business, it’s still a tricky process.

The easiest way to handle it is to write down a list of all the programs you use. If you’re able, you can look them up and find their websites for download and send them to yourself so that you can easily keep track of which ones you need to download and from where.

If you use an email desktop application, such as Outlook, you need to make sure that you’ve got all your emails and passwords memorized, written down, or sent to yourself. It can quickly become a problem if you need to attach the emails to this program, but you don’t have the passwords and can’t access them.

When you transfer you old files to your computer, you’ll need an external hard drive or CDs/DVDs that you transfer your data to and from. If your old computer starts acting up, it’s a safe bet to go ahead and start transferring things as soon as possible, that way, when it does go kaput, you’ll have most of the stuff saved and you won’t lose many things.

Computers can be difficult to use, but as long as you keep good records of what you need and keep your files safe and in multiple places, you’ll be able to transfer from one to the other with ease.

Sarah
Social Media Director, Just One Vision

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Giving Help on Tech Support Forums

My previous post covered asking for help on tech support forums, this post is about giving help on tech support forums.

I’ve read enough tech support issues and have heard plenty of stories from friends who work in IT to know that sometimes these things can go off the rails.

First off, please keep in mind that most people aren’t as computer-savvy as you are. Chances are that they’ve stumbled upon a problem and happened to go to your site for help. They probably won’t know as much as you do, so you’ll need to work with them a little.

Another thing to please remember is that just because you don’t agree with what they’re trying to do, doesn’t mean it’s inherently wrong. For example, I didn’t go to a tech support forum for this, but my Internet Explorer once had some strange issues. I asked people for help in trying to fix it, but the only answers I got were, “Why are you using Internet Explorer? You should use a better browser.” I agree that Internet Explorer has some issues, but there’s a few sites that work better in it. My Dad also borrows my computer from time to time and he only likes to use Internet Explorer. In my daily life, I stick to Chrome and Firefox, I know that Internet Explorer is far from the best browser around. However, if I have a problem with Internet Explorer and want it fixed, telling me to up and abandon it isn’t going to help my situation.

In another example, I saw someone ask how to get something to work with a certain program. The people on that forum were hostile to the idea and reamed the person out for even asking. I think a few people gave some advice on how to fix it, but they were by far the minority. There was nothing wrong with their request, the people on the forum just didn’t like it and wouldn’t personally do it. Their attitude towards this was a large factor in me not really wanting to go back to the official forum. Their behavior reflected badly on a company-owned forum.

Please, please, please be polite and civil to your visitors. Even if they don’t know what they’re doing, that’s why they’re there. They need your help. I know sometimes they themselves may be rude, if that’s the case, then there’s not much you can do about it. But, try to not throw the first stone. Tone is reacted to with tone, if you’re hostile, then they’ll fire attitude back at you.

Askers and helpers have things in common, you both use the same products, so you already have a starting ground to stand on. Build on that and you may even make new friends or get new people to stay with the forums, instead of just asking for help and then leaving.

Sarah
Social Media Director, Just One Vision

1-800-515-0550 | 561-601-0049 | 615-590-7882

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Asking for Help on Tech Support Forums

In my previous post, I discussed a computer problem I had and mentioned that I had found a solution on a forum.

Tech support forums, officially and unofficially run, are a great resource for help. However, all too many times, I’ve seen people ask vague requests and the other members of the forums have to ask for more details.

If you have a problem with you computer, make sure to write down exactly what happened. If you can replicate the problem without causing too much damage to your system, do so, in order for you to be able to double-check what happened.

Write down what programs you had open at the time, if you were on a website, what website you were on and what browser you were using. If you’re playing a game, write down what you did to cause the problem to happen.

More crucial information that you’ll need to give is your computer’s operating system, if you’ve got the updates, and possibly some of your computer specs. There are ways to find out the stats on your computer, you’ll have to search for your operating system and what you’re looking for in order to find them, it’s different for every system.

Be polite in your requests and try to write clearly. If you’re rude, people may not want to help you and if your spelling and grammar are a mess, they may not be able to figure out what you’re saying and can’t help you.

If they ask you for information you don’t know offhand, then go to your favorite search engine and look it up. If you still can’t find how to get the information, politely tell them so.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be polite, you’re going into their forums for help, as long as you’re nice about things and do your best to follow what they say, then you should be fine.

Another thing, sometimes there’s some troublemakers out there. If their instructions seem weird or have you going deep into your computer’s system to change or delete something, you might want to search what they told you or what they told you to change online and make sure they’re not leading you into trouble. Most forums dedicated to tech support will not do things like this, but if you’re asking on another site not dedicated to tech support, then you need to be careful.

People are generally good, but you need to put a good step forward first and then they should be more willing to give you a hand.

Sarah
Social Media Director, Just One Vision

1-800-515-0550 | 561-601-0049 | 615-590-7882

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Sometimes the Simplest Words Get the Right Results

Not too long ago I had a bizarre computer error after letting Windows Update do its thing. The Start bar, instead of being the shiny Windows Vista bar, it looked like the old Start bar all the way back from Windows 95.

I stared at it in confusion, why did it look this way? What had I done? All I did was update the computer!

Articulating what I saw into words wasn’t difficult, it simply looked like an older version of Windows. At first, I tried to come up with search terms to fit what I saw, making it sound more complicated. But, they didn’t make any sense.

Finally, I just searched for something along the lines of “after Windows Update, Start bar looks like Windows 95″. Even though this sounds ridiculous, it worked.

This had happened to several people before and they had posted similar queries on forums and other people had found the solutions.

It was something simple that fixed it, I followed the instructions someone had posted, all I needed to do was deactivate and then reactivate something and Windows was back to normal.

I had tried to complicate the situation, but, in the end, stating plainly what the problem was got me the solution.

Describe the problem how it looks, it’s likely someone’s had the same thought as you and will have asked it in the same way. And, if they haven’t, try looking at it a different way. There’s very few computer problems that are unique to a single computer, there’s usually a solution out there and plenty of people willing to give it.

Sarah
Social Media Director, Just One Vision

1-800-515-0550 | 561-601-0049 | 615-590-7882

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Keeping Up With Technology

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Being in a technology-heavy field means that we need to keep up with the latest technology.

As such, we’re using Windows 8 on the majority of our computers and planning to move over the rest of them as soon as possible.

I’ve had my personal laptop for over 4 years, it’s still working nicely after all this time. However, it’s a Windows Vista laptop, so the change to Windows 8 is a little bit of a surprise.

However, aside from the radically changed Start Menu and a few other quirks, Windows 8 is largely the same as most other Windows systems once you use the Desktop.

One of Windows 8′s odd quirks is the apps. Some downloads can be done either normally or as an app. The apps function differently than the original versions, such as an entirely different way of displaying tabs in Internet Explorer. You can use either, both, or neither, so there’s a lot of options and customization available to you.

Some of the new apps are pretty neat, I especially like the Weather one.

One thing I’ve heard and I can confirm is that it’s easier to use a Windows 8 system with a touch screen. Some functions are harder to use and access without one. This is a shortcoming on Microsoft’s part, hopefully they’ll change things around so that all of their customers will be able to use their products.

Making sure that something is accessible to everyone is not only a part of creating a product, but also in marketing as well. There are several different types of browsers and operating systems, if your website or ad doesn’t display in some of them, then that’s potential customers you’ve already lost. Reaching out to as many people as possible is crucial in marketing.

Sarah
Social Media Director, Just One Vision

1-800-515-0550 | 561-601-0049 | 615-590-7882

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