Jason's PC Services is now offering the option of remote support via the Internet.

Remote service allows for quicker scheduling for small jobs which can be completed over a remote control session when broadband Internet access is available.

Contact Jason's PC Services now to find out if your problems can be resolved quicker and cheaper by remote control of your computer.

I'd like to wish all of my customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

The past week has provided a stark reminder to some about the importance of backing up your data.

Along side the need to backup your data, you also need to make sure that backups are regular, and actually happening correctly if they are automated.

A single hard drive can fail at any moment, age only increases the chances. So if all your data is on one drive, it is a matter of when, not if it will fail and all data will be inaccessible.

There has been a sudden increase of scam telephone calls claiming to be from various legitimate companies such as anti-virus vendors, Microsoft and the like which claim to have detected viruses/spyware on your computer, and requiring you to connect your system to the Internet and allow them access to your system to 'fix' these claimed issues.

You always need to be at least a little sceptical with these type of things, whether it's a telephone call, or a window popping up on your computer making such claims. Simply keep in mind that there is no possible way someone not sitting in front of your computer, or operating it from a remote location, could know if your system was infected, compromised, or vulnerable to anything. The same can be said for a website running a pop-up which claims similar. No website can execute a legitimate scan of your computer in seconds.

It is also important to keep in mind that no vendor such as anti-virus vendors, Microsoft, hardware manufacturers such as Toshiba, HP, etc. will ever call you except to return a contact initiated by you. This can be applied to email as well.

Having products or software registered with your name and contact details won't change this.

The only exception to this which might occur is your Internet service provider contacting you to let you know that your system may be compromised since they can actually see some symptoms such as your connection being used to send spam mails. Despite this, some scepticism should still be applied by contacting your ISP via its support telephone number to confirm the call you received. Remember not to ask for or use a number provided by the initial caller, you should always use the support contact number you always use when dealing with your ISP.

If it's too late and you've received one of these calls and allowed access to your system there's some things you should immediately do.

  • Turn your computer off, or disconnect from the Internet.
  • Change passwords/access details for services like Internet banking by calling your bank.
  • If you have entered credit card details online, or provided details to the scammer, then immediately call your bank and cancel your cards.
  • Contact Jason's PC Services, or your regular support technician and have your system checked for viruses, spyware, and remote connection software.

If you have provided details of credit card/s to the scammer, be sure to check your credit card statements for charges that should not be there and initiate a chargeback with your bank.

The following image is an excerpt from the September 2009 to February 2010 Roy Morgan Internet Satisfaction Report.

This excerpt covers customer satisfaction with their individual Internet provider and makes another useful tool in picking value for those monthly subscription fees we all pay our providers.

You can view the full excerpt on roymorgon.com by clicking the image.

internet_customer_satisfaction

PC Authority have released the results of their PC & Tech Authority Best Tech of 2010 awards.

These awards are compiled from user surveys on tech gadgets and services ranging from mobiles, television, ISP's and more.

Looking through these awards is well worth the time if your considering making a purchase or change to your tech soon.

It can also be interesting to have a look at the results your current tech providers gained from the surveys. Especially for those ongoing expenses such as your Internet provider, you may find your dissatisfaction with your current provider is wider spread than you thought, and at the same time, find a provider who can offer better bang for the buck you give them every month.

Click the image below to view the awards.

best_tech_2010

Just four months after a complete overhaul of this website, another overhaul has been made using a template designed from the ground up.

I believe this template offers not only a cleaner and more streamlined site, but one far more in theme with existing Jason's PC Services advertising and promotional material.

It's good to have the computer repair guy image back on the site again, I kind of missed him when I made the first overhaul of the site a few months back and left him out.

I've made some minor changes to the layout only, moving this blog section to its own area away from the front page of the site, keeping it for a general round-up for the business front end rather than a blog style page.

The login/registration system has been made more obvious in the hopes that my customers will choose to register an account on the site and start to make use of the additional features membership offers such as the forums. Your local community can be your greatest resource in learning how to get more from your computer, and a forum such as this which is limited to your local community can help you make new contacts and discuss your computing interests with like minded locals.

As more people make use of these members only features I'll add additional articles and features that might help answer yours, and others questions and problems. Don't forget, if you have specific things you'd like to know, you can make a forum post and ask myself or other members of the site.

If you encounter any problems on the site please don't hesitate to let me know either next time you talk to me, or via email from the contact page.

August turned out to be a very busy month this year with varied problems besides the usual virus and spyware infections so common these days.

Several things to be said for the month to make things easier on both yourselves and repairers such as myself you might call when you have a problem.

Before you call to arrange a service call on your computer, restart every device, not just your computer, so that includes modems, printers and any other devices. Some devices such as printers often do not power off entirely with their on/off switch, so make sure you turn them off at the power point and wait at least 30 seconds before powering them back on. So shut every device down through the correct procedures, then turn them off at the power point, then turn them all back on in sequence, first with external devices such as modems and printers, and finally the computer. Once everything is powered back up, if you can reproduce the same problem or error, then you need to take the next step and call to arrange an appointment. More than once a month this is the fix I use to resolve a problem I'm called to, which means an expense that some people could avoid by simply starting with the basic trouble shooting procedure of restarting their systems.

Each external device can be thought of as a separate computer, each with their own ability to encounter a random one off problem which requires nothing more than restarting to resolve. In typical situations power failures in the home do this on a somewhat regular basis, but sometimes, power failures come further and further apart, meaning we need to power them off manually occasionally.

Additionally if your system is producing a specific error message each and every time, have this information readily available, either copied down, or on the screen in front of you. Again, several times a month, I arrive at a customers home to find a common enough problem, with a specific error message, which could have simply and quickly been resolved over the phone, but since that error message wasn't reported accurately during the initial call a service call had to be made which resulted in an unnecessary charge.

One final thing to always keep in mind, its often very hard to estimate the time which might be required on site to resolve an issue, this is becoming frequently harder when additional work is planned, but not discussed at the first phone call. So if you have a printer you want hooked up, or a second system cleaned up, please mention it when you call so that additional time can be allocated to your service call. I take pride in being one of the few PC repairers who not only show up on an arranged day, but in most cases within an hour of arranged times. This is becoming increasingly difficult when additional services are required, but never mentioned until I arrive on site. With the increasing demand on my time, such unexpected additions will most likely end up requiring a new service time to be arranged, which will again add unnecessary expenses in additional service fees to your final invoice.

Today sees the end of the first month of the new financial year.

The month has demonstrated very clearly just how important it is to ensure your anti-virus and anti-spyware scanners are up to date and working correctly. In at least half of the virus infections I've cleaned this month, that wasn't the case and a likely contributing factor in the system becoming infected in the first place, which of course resulted in the expense of calling in Jason's PC Services to clean the infection.

One thing to consider, and something many of my customers are already doing, is arranging a service call every year for a virus and spyware check, along with a general check-up and tune of their system. The yearly prompting of a anti-virus system for renewing registration is a useful reminder for such a regular check-up.

There is one thing I would like to make very clear to everyone, if you suspect or know your system has an infection, don't delay in getting it dealt with as soon as possible, because the longer you delay, the worse it will get, the worse it gets, the longer it will take to clean, the longer it takes to clean, the more it will cost you to have it cleaned. It is a sad fact that all too often I come across a system that is so badly, and so visibly infected, only to be told that its been this way for weeks or months.

An infected computer dealt with rapidly typically takes 1/2 to 1 1/2 hours to clean, the age (speed) of your computer will be the primary contributing factor to just how fast the process will be.

Another common problem encountered this month has been the very common effect dust has on a computer system, just one tiny piece of dust in the wrong place can literally stop your computer dead. While I don't recommend anyone who doesn't know what they are doing opening their system to clean it, I do recommend that you should clean the external vents. Keeping airflow into and out of the system unimpeded will help prevent dust settling on the components inside the system, which will help reduce the frequency of dust related problems. It should also go without saying to be very careful to keep free space around your computer to allow airflow in and out of the case, so it might be time to look elsewhere for a place to stack that paper for your printer.

This week has seen a drastic increase in the number of calls I've received about virus infections.

These sudden spates of higher than average infections is something I see on a reasonably regular basis, in the region of every one to two months, and lasting for anywhere up to two weeks.

It's not uncommon for these infections to be caused by the same, or similar types of viruses or spyware, and quite frequently are of the type commonly referred to as fraudware. This particular type of spyware attempts to pass itself off as a legitimate anti-virus or anti-spyware program and convince you that your system is badly infected so that you purchase their software.

These types of infections are a perfect example of why you should know what anti-virus software you have installed, and have a familiarity for it so you can easily distinguish these fraudulent programs from your legitimate anti-virus software.

If your one of the unlucky ones to pick up one of these infections doing the rounds there is no need to panic, simply call and arrange a service call to get rid of that infection and get back up and running as soon as possible.