|This month we look at:
Should I repair or replace my computer?
We all have computers and they all get older. When something happens to it, should we repair it or replace it? Here are a few thoughts:
is the computer fast enough for what you ask it to do? If no, maybe the extra productivity from a newer machine means it will pay for itself.
What is the likely cost of repair against replacement?
If you do decide to replace, there are many machines out there. But whatever that is, don’t go for the cheapest one on offer. It's just built to meet a price rather than a specification. If you are worried about the cost, then you can expect the machine to last at least three years, so divide any costs by 36 to see how much extra you are in effect paying per month. Even £200 becomes £5.56 a month (less than two drinks in the pub)
You'll always get better value with a desktop machine than a laptop, so ask whether you do need the portability of the small machine.
Now look at what you want to use it for. Do you just do emails, web-browsing and a few letters? Then a mid-range machine where most machines sit will be fine. Yet if you are editing photos or videos, then something further up the price scale will be required and less choice.
And finally, do you like it. You'll be looking at it and using it for a long time!
What sort of printer should I buy?
Looking for a new printer? Confused about the choices? Let's look at the market.
The products available split into two dimensions. On one is the printing technology: inkjet and laser. On the other is capability: printing or multi-function (print/scan/copy), networking
So where do you sit on the matrix?
First stage - how much printing do you do? What is it for? If you do a few pages for internal use, then an inkjet may well suit you. If you are printing brochures or flyers, a laser will give a better appearance and is more suited to volume printing.
Now for the other dimension:
Do just want to print or do you need to scan, copy or fax? If you do a mixture of the latter, a single unit is convenient. Bear in mind though that dedicated scanners usually offer better quality.
Are there a number of computers that want to access the printer? If so, think about a printer with wifi or an ethernet port: these will connect to your router and let every computer print to them.
Once you have reduced the options, you can see what's available. I'd suggest typing the model name and 'terst' in a search engine to find some magazine reviews.
But whatever you do, remember that the cheapest to buy is rarely the cheapest to run.
Mobile phone viruses
Like your flashy new phone? Of course you do, and it's a computer. So will it catch those viruses that you are worried about on your PC?
Well, the two main platforms vary slightly. Iphone users, whilst there are a few research viruses, are pretty secure again viruses at the moment. Unless it's been jail-broken when it is much more exposed. If you don't know what jail-broken means, then you are secure.
Android users are a little more vulnerable, especially with malware disguised as apps. There is also virus -protection available. AVG and Lookout are two examples. But get some info on the app from other websources before you download it – there are many security tools on PCs that are actually malware. The same happens here.
But as ever, the best security is your attitude. Be suspicious of anything that is new to you.
Find things a drag or impossible to do? Wish you could find a quick way? Well, let me introduce you to the world of shortcuts for Windows:
double click selects the word, triple-click gets you the line or sentence.
Shift-cursor arrow selects text, Shift-del cuts and shift-insert pastes, whlist ctrl-insert copies
Home moves you to the start of the line, End to the end of the line. Press Ctrl as well and you go to the start or end of the document.
Click in the text and then Alt-mouse drag will select a rectangular area, which is great for selecting columns. In graphics applications, alt-mouse drap lets you draw a seloection area
Alt-left arrow is page back, alt-right arrow page forward. Alt-home goes to your home page
Ctrl-enter adds http://www. and .com to what you enter in the address bar, eg google becomes http://www.google.com
Converting file formats
Do you get emailed files that you can't open? Maybe they are using a later version of the software or something that you don't have. Well, don't despair!
If you do conversions between specific formats regularly (say video formats) there are quite a few free tools that you can download. Do an internet search for what you need, eg “AVI to MP4 converter”
If it's a one-off, there are quite a few sites on the web that will convert the file from the original file format into something that your computer will recognize. Search for “file converters” and see what comes up. www.zamzar.com and www.cometdocs.com seem very flexible. The idea is that you upload the file to them and then they email the converted one back. Why are they free? I don't know but I appreciate it!
People that I'm working with
Recently I've done some work with rb Gas, who maintain heating and supply fires. Quick response and great work.
If you are looking for a CRM system, then my view is that you have to want to use it or it's a waste of time. Check out Capsule that I find very comfortable to use.
Franchise partner opportunities
We've released the next five territories for franchise partners to join the fleet using our proven business model to build a successful business.
The flying doctor is looking for enthusiastic individuals who enjoy working with computers. You can help them run their own business and turn their passion into profit!
Think of the people you know who would like this opportunity then get them to:
call the flying doctor on 01865 748197
visit the website
to start on their success.