WP Remix

Author Archive

17
Oct

Security Update: Time to upgrade your Flash and Adobe Air

Posted by Comments Off on Security Update: Time to upgrade your Flash and Adobe Air

Adobe Flash PlayerFlash is a software product that is used widely to deliver video streams and animations to your computer. If you’ve ever used YouTube, RTE player or BBC iPlayer, you almost certainly have Adobe Flash Player and/or its close cousin Adobe Air installed on your computer. In the past couple of years as the core parts of Windows have become increasingly hardened to malicious software attacks, common software such as Flash and Air have become a favoured target of the malicious software developers.
Adobe released the version 11 of Adobe Flash Player and version 3 of Adobe Air on October 4th. This represents as good a time as any to have a look at what you’re currently running and update to the current, more secure version.

Checking your Adobe Flash and Adobe Air versions
If you go into your Control Panel and into “Add or Remove Programs” (Windows XP) or “Programs and Features” (Windows 7), you’ll be able to see what version of each you are running. If you want to be ultra-cautious, you could remove whatever version you have before getting the new version.

Click on the following links to get the latest versions of Flash and Adobe Air.

Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Air

———————————————————————————-

If you are suffering from this or any other problem please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers and technicians and we will be delighted to help.

| Lo-Call 1890 219 219 (Ireland) | Freefone 0808-CALHELP (UK) |

| Business Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 to 6:00

Category : Articles | Blog
19
May

“Spare keys” to Facebook. Change your Facebook Password before they get used.

Posted by Comments Off on “Spare keys” to Facebook. Change your Facebook Password before they get used.

Facebook Change PasswordHow would you like someone you don’t know to be able to log into your Facebook page and post what they wish? Perhaps they’d try to scam your friends or just announce some unexpected news about you…

Facebook have already upgraded their security quite a bit. However for any of us (all of us?) who have clicked “Allow” on a “Request for Permission” that pops up whenever you want to do something useful or entertaining, it turns out we’ve been issuing “Spare keys” to our Facebook accounts. Security company Symantec published this assessment last week. It’s worded in quite a technical manner.  The summary is that though they say that the security gap has been fixed for the future, that still leaves a lot of “Spare keys” lying around from past activities. According to the Security Now Podcast, the good news is that by simply changing your password, you block future access to anyone trying to gain access to your Facebook account in this way.

All you need to do it click on “Account”, then “Account Settings” and then click on the word “change” beside password.

I’ve just changed mine – have you?

 

——-

If you are suffering from this or any other  problem please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers  and technicians and we will be delighted to help.

| Lo-Call 1890 219 219 (Ireland) | Freefone 0808-CALHELP (UK) |

| Business Hours: Monday – Friday 9:45 to 6:30 & Saturday 9:00 to 12:00

Category : Articles | Blog
9
May

We’ve written a couple of posts already about Online PC Care – Click here and here. However a regular customer of ours contacted us today to say that she was being plagued by “Your Online PC Doctor”. Note the different name, you’ll find more aliases in the comments to the previous articles. They’ve been calling her several times per week for the past few weeks and won’t stop. Today she got contact details from them and the number she was given began with country code 020. This appears to me to be an Inmarsat satellite phone number which, at least here in Ireland, would be charged at 5 euros per minute – that’s 300 euros per hour folks. So be warned folks, it looks like these guys really do not want to be called back or they’re getting a cut of your call costs.

I’d also like to appeal to people who have been victims of these types of scammers to comment on what has been done to their machines. I’ve personally seen a number of machines where, after showing the customer the Event Log containing errors as a method of scaring them into using their services, they then disable that Event Logging service, presumably to stop the customer from being able to check it afterwards. Has anyone seen any other examples of sharp practice? The question I’m asked most is whether they are putting Spyware on the computers that the connect to – has anyone seen any evidence of that?

Thanks for all the feedback to past posts. Awareness is the only thing that will prevent these people from scamming thousands more…

 

If you are suffering from this or any other  problem please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers  and technicians and we will be delighted to help.

| Lo-Call 1890 219 219 (Ireland) | Freefone 0808-CALHELP (UK) |

| Business Hours: Monday – Friday 9:45 to 6:30 & Saturday 9:00 to 12:00

Category : Articles | Blog
4
May

Internet Security – Improve yours at a stroke

Posted by Comments Off on Internet Security – Improve yours at a stroke

Qualys BrowserCheck ScanMicrosoft have steadily improved the security of Windows over the past few years, making it much harder for Virus and other Malware producers to exploit weaknesses in it. As a result, many of the bad guys have been focussing their attacks on the addon programs that most of us have installed on our computers. For example, if you want to watch Youtube, you need Flash installed. Many online banking services require Java and if you want to read many documents on the web, you’ll need Adobe Reader. As a result these free applications (Java, Flash, Reader and many others) have become very common and have been softer targets in recent years for Malware.
I was over at the Information Security Conference in London a couple of weeks ago and was interested to see a presentation by Qualys who were presenting a new, free service that allows you to check all the addons in your internet browser for security status. I’d encourage all of you to take a look at it. It’s located at http://browsercheck.qualys.com/ and is well worth a look. In a single stroke it will allow you to assess which addons you need to update and provides a link to the update. The results page looks like the picture below. Just click on anything that isn’t showing “Green” status to get the updated version. Very neat.

Qualys BrowserCheck Results Page

Category : Articles | Blog
22
Feb

Microsoft Word Tip – Alt-Click to check that word

Posted by Comments Off on Microsoft Word Tip – Alt-Click to check that word

Microsoft Word Alt-Click for Dictionary

We all have to write letters, documents and reports from time to time. But what do you do when you need to check on a word or look for an alternative to the word you’ve already used a couple of times. Many people don’t know that there is a great dictionary and thesaurus built right into Microsoft Word. All you need to is select the word you’re using, then hold down the Alt key and click on the work again. If you’re using Word 2007 or Word 2010, a dictionary and thesaurus frame will pop up on the right hand side of the window. So easy and so handy…

Category : Articles | Blog
22
Feb

Free Windows Update Check until March 4th

Posted by Comments Off on Free Windows Update Check until March 4th

Windows Update

As many of you will know, Microsoft issues security patches and updates to Windows on a regular monthly basis. They also issue critical fixes on an “as needed” basis. Many computers are set up to install these updates automatically as that is the best way to keep your PC up to date and secure. However, for one reason or another, we see our fair share of computers where automatic updates are not being done. So between now and March 4th, we’ve decided to offer a free “Updating Check”.

With Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, a major collection of all the previous updates,  becoming available this week, now is a great time to check whether your computer is updating correctly. And if you are running the original version of Windows XP, automatic updates might need to be enabled from scratch. We can advise you on how to do that.

Just call us on 021-4642095 between now and March 4th and we’ll schedule a time when we can do a check on your PC. The check will make sure that the automatic updates are running as they should be. It should take no more than 15 minutes. You’ll need to be at your computer and connected to the internet for us to do the check.

Note: Offer applied to Irish Residents only. We’ll try to help everyone who calls but this offer is limited to the first 50 callers.

Category : Articles | Blog
22
Jan

Choose the right inkjet to keep your cost per page down

Posted by Comments Off on Choose the right inkjet to keep your cost per page down

Hp OfficeJet Pro K5400 Cost Per Page

Our Reliable OfficeJet Pro K5400

We speak to people a lot about the merits of paying up front for a better printer in order to benefit from more cost effective ink costs going forward. So now it’s time for me to put my money where my mouth is and see how I’ve done on my last printer choice.

We’ve had a HP OfficeJet Pro K5400 Inkjet Printer in the office now for over two years. I must say that it has performed flawlessly for that time. It’s used mainly to letter-headed invoices and customer letters – we use a black laser printer for internal office materials, manuals etc. I noticed this morning that it was needing a new cartridge which prompted me to check on our usage over the two years.

Since we started using the printer, we’ve printed 4,824 sheets of paper of which  4155 were colour. With the OfficeJet Pro being designed for much higher use, we’ve only had to buy a handful of cartridges which has been very convenient. We always buy the extra large (XL) cartridges to save having to order frequently – too many of our customers mention their non-stop trips to buy small ink cartridges. Our cost per page calculation looks like this.

Colour Cartridge Type Cartridge Size (ml) Ink Used Price of ink Cartidges used Total Cost (€) Pages Printed Cost per page
Black 88XL 58.5 120.5 €40 2.06 €82.42 4824 €0.0171
Cyan 88XL 17 26.7 €29 1.57 €45.55 4155 €0.0110
Magenta 88XL 17 24.54 €29 1.44 €41.86 4155 €0.0101
Yellow 88XL 17 43.1 €29 2.54 €73.52 4155 €0.0177
€243.35 €0.0558
Original Cost of Printer €234.00
Total Cost of Ownership €477.35

 

So the headline number is under 6 cents per page. I think that’s not bad for colour pages given that large office colour laser printers are often quoted at nearly double that – for example, take a look at http://www.office.xerox.com/latest/OPBFS-13.PDF

These prices are based on retail prices of ink. Of course, if you shop around you’ll be able to find a much better price and thereby lower your cost per print.

Another way of looking at this is in terms of cost of ownership, ie how much should the printer cost you over its lifetime. We’ve sold a number of low cost HP All-in-One printers recently, primarily to homes with low use requirements. These printers use the HP 364 cartridge which gives around 250 pages per cartridge or the HP 364XL cartridge which will run for around 800 pages. I took some time to plug the performance numbers for these printers into the same table above and the result was interesting.

Colour Cartridge Type Cartridge Size (ml) Ink Used Price of ink Cartidges used Total Cost (€) Pages Printed Cost per page
Black 364XL 17 120.5 €21 7.09 €145.85 4824 €0.0302
Cyan 364XL 6 26.7 €19 4.45 €86.15 4155 €0.0207
Magenta 364XL 6 24.54 €19 4.09 €79.18 4155 €0.0191
Yellow 364XL 6 43.1 €19 7.18 €139.07 4155 €0.0335
€450.26 €0.1035
Original Cost of Printer €95.00
Total Cost of Ownership €545.26

Despite the much higher original price of our Inkjet Pro, these numbers say that for our relatively low office use, we’re still €70 better off having paid for the more expensive printer. Given that we’ve benefitted from the much higher performance and more advanced features we well, it seems like a no brainer. The benefit will keep climbing with every page we print.

It’s nice to see that even small businesses can get cost effective printing, as long as they choose their printer carefully.

Category : Articles | Blog
16
Jan

Intel Appup – Windows now has Apps and (God Help Us) Angry Birds

Posted by Comments Off on Intel Appup – Windows now has Apps and (God Help Us) Angry Birds

 

Ask any iPhone, Android Phone or Mac user and they’ll tell you – there’s instant gratification from going into their App Store and downloading the latest Facebook, Pacman or Sky News App. What’s more it’s often free or cleverly priced low so you don’t even think about it….

Well, now Intel has taken this idea and brought it to Windows. It’s called AppUp. You can find it at www.appup.com.

Thought your PC was safe from Angry Birds, the entertaining, addictive, number one iPhone game? – Not any more, you can get it for your PC now on AppUp, along with countless others such as “Pacman”, “My Little Artist” – a drawing package for kids, and, especially in January “I Need a Budget”.

Once you’ve installed AppUp itself, App installation is a breeze – just click on the App you want and it will download and install automatically. It makes you wonder if all software will soon go this way. It makes it so easy for everyone.

So give it a try, all you have to loose is your disk space 🙂

If you have any problems with these steps or any other problems please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers and technicians and we will be delighted to perform the required steps to deal with your problem.

| Lo-Call 1890 219 219 (Ireland) | Freefone 0808-CALHELP (UK) |

| Business Hours: Monday – Friday 9:45 to 6:30 & Saturday 9:00 to 12:00

Category : Articles | Blog
11
Jan

Memory prices have plunged – a good time to give your PC a boost

Posted by Comments Off on Memory prices have plunged – a good time to give your PC a boost

Installed Memory Windows 7A new survey by iSuppli last week showed that memory prices have dropped to new lows in December. So if your machine has been running a bit slow over the past while or you’d just like to give it a shot in the arm, now might be the right time to invest in more memory.  If your computer is running Windows XP, we would recommend that you have at least 1 GB (Gigabyte) of memory installed. For Windows Vista and Windows 7, 2GB is a more appropriate lower limit. Many modern computers are able to take up to 4GB and some will take much more. However, certain versions of Windows including most installations of Windows XP cannot make full use of 4GB, so it’s not always a case that more is better.

If you want to find out how much memory your machine currently has, click on the Start button, right click on “Computer” or “My Computer” and then click “Properties”. You should get a window that looks something like this (the exact format varies depending on which version of Windows you have).

Installing memory is normally very straight-forward, even on a laptop. So it may well be something you’d be willing to try yourself. If not, we at Home Helptech are happy to install it for you. Installation can cost  as little as €20 so don’t be afraid to give us a call for a quote.

If you have any problems with these steps or any other problems please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers and technicians and we will be delighted to perform the required steps to deal with your problem.

| Lo-Call 1890 219 219 (Ireland) | Freefone 0808-CALHELP (UK) |

| Business Hours: Monday – Friday 9:45 to 6:30 & Saturday 9:00 to 12:00

Category : Articles | Blog
31
Oct

Speed up your PC, all by yourself

Posted by Comments Off on Speed up your PC, all by yourself

Soluto Speed up windows startupIdentifying exactly which background processes are causing your system to start up slowly can require quite a bit of technical expertise. Recently, however, we’ve come across a new piece of software which takes much of the effort out of doing the initial analysis. Soluto (www.soluto.com) is a piece of “Anti-Frustration Software” which times how long each start up process takes and, for some of the simpler processes, allows you to turn them off straight away. It’s a great way to give your start-up time a bit of a boost.

The software is still not in it’s final version and we did have one case of a PC in the office crashing after we installed it back in July, so “downloader beware”. Shortly after that crash, it became unavailable for download for a couple of months so we assume they were sorting out that problem.  Now that it’s back, it does hold out the promise of putting a spring in your PCs step so worth a try for some. We love it.

Category : Articles | Blog