Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are your Rates?

Travel to/from your site: FREE
Initial diagnosis: FREE
If we try, but cannot fix your problem: FREE

All other services: $75/hour for the first hour and by the quarter hour after that.

Any parts or software purchased through us are extra, with quotes provided before any part or software is installed.

Laptop hardware repair is $75.00 labor plus the cost of the parts.

Specials: 20% Discount given to Seniors (60+) - Active & Retired Military - Non-Profit Groups
All discounts apply to services only

Do you accept Credit Cards?

Yes we do:

 

 

What hours do you provide onsite service?

Our hours are between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm 7 days a week. There is no extra charge for after hours or weekends. If we receive the call before 3:00 pm we can be onsite the same day.

What is Adware and Spyware?

Too often the answer is "They are the reason your computer has slowed down and your security needs attention." or "They are why your home page has been changed and privacy is at risk for your data."

The "ware" in those words means software; so adware is advertising software, including everything from pop-ups at legitimate web sites to the more aggressive (and illegal) kind that install to your computer without your permission. Spyware is software that harvests tracking and profiling data about your internet usage by collecting information about when and where you click. This also can be done legally, or in illegal ways that mislead you or violate your privacy and data security. In both cases a large gray area is centered around whether or not the invader has your permission. Either way, ill effects like the two mentioned above are a frequent result.

What are Trojan Horses and Malware?

They are software designed to attack your system. The Trojan Horse type uses the strategy of planting a seemingly harmless or essential file on your PC that really introduces hidden disruptive or destructive agents, like the wooden monument filled with enemy soldiers in the ancient story. The bait can be an unexpected email attachment (red flag: think twice before opening!) or a clickable link at a web page. Malware is any malicious software including viruses, worms, rootkits and more. Like their names indicate, they spread, drill holes in system security and set up hidden foundations for adding invasive software. Why do these exist? Mainly because they can. Renegade programmers develop them for reasons ranging from proof of their abilities to the committing of internet crimes for profit.

How much does it cost to remove viruses, spyware and trojans?

That depends on several factors, such as internet access and speed, number of infections, and various other problems that may be contributing to your PC usage. In many cases, we can clean a PC in around 1 hour. We also understand that there is a limit to how much anyone should spend (you shouldn't have to pay $500 to clean a $400 PC) so we normally guarantee a maximum charge before we start.

Why has my PC stopped booting?

I am often called on because a customer's computer has begun to show its age. Customers want to know if they are then forced to by a new PC, and what exactly went wrong. My job is to find out, and advise them accordingly. I don't want to see my customers throw good money after bad, so when repair costs would overinflate the owner's investment in aging PC hardware, I try to help out with informed decision making.

How was my PC damaged?

Generally, the things that accelerate a PC's aging are some combinations of heat and dust (and sometimes liquids), and an unstable voltage supply affecting to its internal components. The two parts that tend to age fastest are the power supply unit (or PSU) and internal hard disks. The PSU is where the AC power cord plugs into the computer case, and typically includes a blower fan for venting damaging heat buildup. How PSUs respond to environmental dust is another matter. Some computer cases traps a dust throughout their interiors, others show high concentrations of dust at one or two internal locations; in this second scenario the PSU can be the main dust trap. Dust and power outages (and their accompanying voltage spikes) are a PSUs main vulnerabilities. The damage can be cumulative or sudden depending on individual circumstances. When a PSU fails, the computer may be unbootable, or if it does boot it can deteriorate quickly as a result of the PSU malfunction. In many instances, timely installation of a replacement unit in can solve the problem.

Should I get the new Vista operating system?

The answer to that question will vary from user to user depending on which, if any, of Vista's new and improved features offer them a better computing experience. That promise of a better computing experience in turn depends on how stably and efficiently the updated features are presented in the new version. The driving question becomes "Are there functions which you currently use or plan to use that are better implemented in Vista?"

Issues of stability and efficiency typically cause delays in the release of any new operating system and this one was no exception. No matter how refined new software has become when it is finally released, some deficiencies will only surface through real world user experiences after its release to the market. This means there is an added risk factor in making the jump to the new platform before its strengths and weaknesses have become more clearly visible. Will migrating before then be worth that risk?

Here are the facts: Vista comes in four varieties; two Home Editions (Basic and Premium), Business Edition and Ultimate. Vista Home Basic's advertised strengths are its improved convenience, security and usability over what XP provides. This is the result of a redesigned interface (look and feel of the desktop and navigation controls) and of building in some enhancements that have previously required installing additional software. If you are able to work fluently and securely in your current operating system version, Vista Home Basic's changes may add up to little more than cosmetics.

Vista Home Premium includes more advanced usability updates, including three dimensional and transparent overlay visual effects to make the desktop and windows more accessible and visually appealing. Home Premium edition also adds updated support for laptop PCs, centering on power saving and presentation capabilities. Other Home Premium edition features include a shared online workspace/meeting space with other Vista users, DVD creation and High Definition movie creation tools, plus Windows Media Center which offers additional controls for organizing and viewing entertainment and other digitized media content.

Business edition omits the new media creation and multimedia supports in favor of the visibility, workspace, laptop, security and networking enhancements. All editions have in common advanced versions of Windows Firewall, Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Defender for more secure Internet access. Deciding if Vista's new features are for you might require a closer look at some of the above topics by visiting Vista's home page.

Unless you are buying a new and certified Vista ready PC, another question is your PC's hardware readiness. The same website offers an installable program for automatically scanning your system's Vista readiness. You can also consider these stated minimum requirements:

  • 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of system memory
  • 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
  • Support for Super VGA graphics
  • CD-ROM drive

It is important to note that meeting the minimum requirements for an operating system upgrade is a very limited exercise, comparable to riding in a jetliner with an engine missing. It is guaranteed to reduce your satisfaction and enjoyment of the ride. Add 20% more processor speed, double the amount of system memory, double the hard drive capacity, ensure up to 16x the available graphics memory on today's older PC's, add a DVD drive and you will reach the officially recommended hardware capabilities for all editions above Home Basic. A final note is that inevitably, all these issues will be better understood after one year in the marketplace; when significant numbers of new PC buyers' Vista experiences become known.

 

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