Cloud Computing – What is it?!?

I was recently asked by several different people, “What is ‘Cloud Computing’?” and “What is ‘The Cloud’?” A technical definition would tell you cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or personal computer. A more basic definition would be this: you run programs or store your data online through a web based program that allows you to use and access it from just about any computer that can get online.

Cloud users may access their data using a computer, netbook, pad/tablet computer, smart phone, or other internet device.  In a Cloud environment, users don’t download and install applications to their own device or computer; all processing and storage occurs on the cloud server.  Everything happens online!  Here’s a basic idea:

So how does this benefit anyone?  Well… First off, when you have your pictures and videos and documents stored online, there’s less risk in losing your valuable data. Online data storage companies transfer your data over encrypted networks to secure storage facilities that are not only virtually secure, but physically protected by trained, armed security staff.  The good ones also store your data in more than one location so that if their equipment were to fail, none of your data would be lost by them.  So, if there were to ever be a fire, robbery or fatal hard drive crash, you could know that your data is stored safely on encrypted storage servers that you can access, download, update or delete at any time on any computer with online access.
Larger companies are now even starting to use dedicated online servers to process and compute their data instead of constantly upgrading their own hardware to keep up with current specifications.

With a new partnership with Carbonite online backup, the Computer Solution can now offer unlimited online storage options for a fraction of the price of other companies offering online storage.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can keep you data safe on ‘The Cloud’ (online) go ahead and give us a call today. We’d be happy to hear from you.

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Sharing an Outlook File Between Multiple Workstations

While helping clients here in Durango, Colorado I often find businesses which would like to share their Microsoft Outlook file (.pst file) with other employees either to create redundancy or share all communications with other employees .

For example, I have a law firm client and the lawyer wants his secretary to know all incoming/outgoing emails so that she is always briefed about client conversations.

The lastest, and best performing software I have found which allows the sharing of your Outlook file for multiple users is WinPST Share Outlook.

WinPST Share Outlook allows your organization to share Microsoft Outlook Calendars, Mails, Contacts, Tasks, Journals and Notes amongst its staff without Microsoft Exchange Server. In addition to sharing users’ personal folders with other members of staff, it is possible, using WinPST Share Outlook, to define public shared folders, for example, shared contacts and holiday calendars, which may be made available to any members of staff.

One of the great features about WinPST Administrator allows you to strictly define which data a particular user has access to through flexible access control lists.  So you can share the information you want to, but keep other areas private.

*To read more about WinPST or to purchase, visit their website by clicking here.

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

AVG 2011… should I upgrade?

For all of you out there that are using AVG 8.5 or 9.0 Free you have been seeing messages about updating to the new version, AVG Free 2011.  What is new in AVG 2011?

– Improved Social Networking security.

Keeps you and your friends safe on social networks by checking all links exchanged in real time. It runs automatically as soon as you install AVG Internet Security 2011.

– The AVG Toolbar now uses Google as opposed to Yahoo

Just a personal preference but I prefer to search via Google than Yahoo.

– AVG Introduced what they call “Smart Scanning Technology

The new smart scanning technology uses minimal resources when you’re at your PC, concentrating solely on real potential risks, and then conducting heavier, secondary maintenance when you’ve stepped away.  This is the greatest new feature I have seen through all the improvements, it doesn’t slow your computer down as much when you first start a Virus Scan.

If you are currently running AVG Free 9.0, it is still supported, but you might want to start thinking about upgrading to the newer AVG.

My Overall Review: Great improvements and I still would recommended AVG Free to anyone.

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

An easy way to re-size photos for emailing

So you just returned from your trip and you want to share your photos with family and friends but your can only attached 2 or 3 photos to an email before the email is too large to send.  Now what?…. Picasa!

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Picasa is an application from Google Inc. that makes it easy to organize, edit, and share your photos.  There is a built in way to email photos and Picasa will automatically re-size the images to an “email friendly” size and then attach the photos to your email.  The amount of features built in to Picasa is astounding… but not overwhelming.  Picasa makes photo organization and editing simple… I promise.

Give it a try and you will not be disappointed!

Download:

Click Here to Download Picasa

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Save any document as a PDF file

So you are writing a word document, quickbooks invoice, excel document, etc. and you want to save it as a PDF so people will not be able to edit your work and will have an accessible file format.  Unless you have purchased Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader — which is the free one) then you don’t have the option of saving any file as a PDF.  With a free download (another open source piece of software) you can install PDFCreator and you will be making PDFs in no time.

Goto: http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/

1. Download the file and then follow the steps through the installation process.

2. You will now have the ability to save documents as a pdf as well as it will create a “printer” to make PDFs.

If you go to print a document ( durango pc repair + P) and select the PDFCreator “printer” then it will prompt you where you want to save your PDF file so that you can email or store it.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Microsoft Word Page Break Tip

When using Microsoft Word there are many times where you need to skip to the next page, for references or other reasons.  Instead of pressing “Enter” many times to get to the next page there is a much easier way to enter a page break and skip to the top of the next page.

1. Press “Ctrl” and “Enter” to insert a page break and advance to the top of the next page.

I hope this easy shortcut helps your word processing!

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

How do I check what programs are using the most resources?

So your computer is running slow and your not sure why?  A good place to start is see which applications are using the resources in your computer (CPU or Central Processing Unit / RAM or Random Access Memory).  To do this follow the steps below:

1. Press all three buttons together (“ctrl” + “alt” + “del“) or right click on the start bar on the bottom of the screen and select ” Start Task Manager“.  For Windows 7 or Vista, after pressing “Ctrl” + “Alt” + “Del” you will have to select “Start Task Manager“.

2.  Now you will see the “Task Manager” screen.

3. Click on the tab that says “Processes“.  You will see many columns and the two that are most important for this purpose are “CPU” and “MEMORY“.  (see image below)

4. If you click on either of the tabs (RAM, CPU) it will sort lowest to highest and vice versa.  Order from highest to lowest and see which programs are requiring a lot of resources as their might be an issue with this program.

Note: “System Idle Process” is good, and under the CPU column, System Idle Process should be above 90%.  (That means that 90% is available for any tasks needed.  If it is much lower than that you have too many processes running.

Windows Task Manager

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Office Software

As the release date of Microsoft Office 2010 looms near I want to highlight alternative options for you to consider before purchasing this software.

I am firm believe in open source, free software… and if you haven’t tried Open Office, you might be pleasantly surprised with this free Microsoft Office imitation.  As Microsoft Office continues to change the extensions on their file formats (with Office 2007 added an “x” on the extension so you can’t open it with older versions of office like 2003) to force you to buy their latest software.  If you want to do a little research I would recommend Open Office (http://www.openoffice.org/).

Open Office includes:

Writer (similar to Microsoft Word)

Calc (similar to Microsoft Excel)

Impress (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint)

Base (similar to Microsoft Access)

Draw (similar to Microsoft Visio)

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Outlook Back Up Tool

If you are a Microsoft Outlook user, like many of my clients, your Outlook mail file (.pst file) get extremely large if you do not clear out your email folders on a regular basis.  Many clients I know like to keep their emails for years so they have records, but Outlook begins to run slow and have many error as these files grow.

If you plan to keep old emails what I would recommend is backing up your emails files every few months and then cleaning the files out within Outlook, so you have a record if needed but Outlook continues to run smoothly (or as smooth as possible).

There is an add-on from Microsoft for Outlook, click here for download information, that can make backing up your mail files a breeze.

After you download and install you simply:

1. Open Outlook

2. Select the “File” menu

3. Click “Backup

4. Select the Folders you want to back up, the location to save them (preferably an external drive), and click “ok“.

5. Once the process has finished verify you have the back up files where you selected to back them up to, then delete the files in Outlook that are not needed.

6.  Right click on “Deleted items” in Outlook and “Empty Deleted Items” to permanently delete these messages and free up space and hopefully eradicate some Outlook errors.

Hopefully that helps you clean up some errors and reduce your overall mailbox (.pst file) size.

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X

Why Would You Pay For An Antivirus program?

In far to many of my house calls I still see people running Norton Antivirus or McAffee which are paid antiviral programs and require a large amount of your computers available resources (mainly RAM) to operate.  Norton is a fairly invasive program as well and leaves all sorts of registry keys and unused files behind when un-installed from one’s computer.  No need to worry if you have Norton or had; you can download the official software from Symantec (the maker of Norton) to remove this product.  CLICK HERE to visit Symantec’s site and download the removal tool.

So now what?

There is a free alternative which is all I recommend, it is called AVG Free 9.0.  This tool is, in my opinion far superior to Norton or other paid substitutes on the market currently.  AVG Free can be download by clicking here.

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The Computer Solution llc
Computer Repair Durango CO - PC Repair Durango CO - Mac Repair Durango CO - Tech Support - Virus Removal - Ransomware removal - Windows 7 - Windows 8 - Windows 10 - Mac OS X