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We live in an age of the high-powered long-life battery-powered portable device. But it seems that the limitations of the nickel-based batteries that were prevalent in the early '90s still apply to the more modern lithium ion and lithium polymer technologies we use today.

Battery technology may not have changed much in the last couple decades, but common knowledge is even worse.

Here are the most common battery myths we hear at PC Pitstop Port Macquarie.

Myth #1: Leaving your devices plugged in will "overcharge" them

FALSE. Most chargers are smart enough to momentarily stop charging once the device is fully charged. Manufacturers want their batteries to last as long as possible and therefore go to long lengths to design and employ very smart charging systems that even cycle the batteries to make them last longer. 

Leaving the device plugged in like this every single night can have an impact on the lifespan of the battery, but the act of leaving it plugged in isn't as damaging as some people make it out to be.

Manufacturers do recommend you "exercise" the battery every month or so by letting it fully drain before charging it back up again - but really thats about it.

 

Myth #2: You should always let the battery drain completely before recharging

FALSE. Today's Batteries never truly fully discharge. Even when you see 0/Zero percent or evern dead, your laptop or smartphone's battery would still be sitting around 5-10 percent charge. This is why when you press the button to turn it on you still get the message to charge the battery.

If you choose to follow the myth anyway and allow your device to go "dead" everyday, it will reduce the batteries effectiveness over time.

So: top off charge more often to prolong the battery life of your electronics, and stop letting your laptop or smartphone die every day.

Myth #3: Always fully charge your device before its first use

FALSE. But to be fair - it doesn't really matter or hurt anything to fully charge your device's battery before you use it, and it doent't hurt anything either if you miss this step.

So why do manufacturers sometimes tell you to do it? Fully charging the battery before using a device is to kick-start what's known as a "calibration process." This helps the device learn how the individual battery behaves (pretty smart!). Most batteries are self-calibrating, so it's still an unnecessary step.

Myth #4: Store your batteries in the refrigerator

FALSE. DO NOT STORE YOUR BATTERIES IN THE REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER. This is not only bad but dangerous. Extreme temperatures - hot or cold and especially for long periods of time - are not good for any type of battery.

Remember, a battery is a collection of chemicals that store energy. Doing something that upsets those chemicals will have dangerous consequences.

To maximize shelf life, Energizer suggests storing "batteries at normal room temperatures (20 degrees C to 25 degrees C) with moderate humidity levels (35 to 65 percent RH)." This should provide a shelf life of five to 10 years for your standard, cylindrical alkaline cells and 10 to 15 years for cylindrical lithium batteries.

Interesting fact: if you're wondering why your smartphone battery isn't performing as well after just a year or two, that's because the more you use a battery, the less efficient it becomes - batteries have a limit to the amount of times they can be charged (refered to as charging cycles). This charging cycles vary from battery to battery.

 

Battery prices have come down and down over the past 24 months. A laptop battery that used to cost $220 is now arount the $95 mark.

PC Pitstop recommends you replace your laptop battery every 24 - 36 months depending on use to get the best possible use out of it.

Our team order in your replacement (or additional if you want extended use - think airport or long haul flight) and have it delivered to the store usually within 24 - 36 hours.

We wish we could keep in store every battery from every model of device ever manufactured - but to keep the prices low and stock fresh - we order in overnight.

Need a new battery for your device? Drop into the store and the team will identify and quote you on spot -
10 Bellbowrie Street Port Macquarie - Phone - 02 65 841 551.

 

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Hard Disk Drives

What does a hard drive do?
Information storage is the hard drive’s main responsibility. Think the electronic version of the old office filing cabinet. Everything you keep on your computer is on a hard drive. Not just documents, emails, contacts, favorites pictures, music and videos. Your programs, your preferences, your printers, your settings, even your operating system—they’re all stored on your computer’s hard drive.

If your hard drive is damaged or fails, you can lose it all. This is the sad truth and unfortunately we still see this 10+ times per week. Which is why most smart people have a backup system. They get another hard drive and copy all their important files onto that.

 

How big of a hard drive do you need?
Everything that can be saved on a hard drive is measured in terms of its size. Text is very small, pictures are larger, music is even bigger, and video is the biggest of them all.

A hard drive is like a scale. It doesn’t know the difference between things that are on it; it only knows their size. But instead of kilograms, a hard drive measures things in terms of megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB.)

Roughly speaking, a megabyte is 1 million bytes, a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes, and a terabyte is 1 trillion bytes.

What does this mean for you?

If you need to transfer files between computers or a drive to back up just some of your files, you can get by with a smaller drive (such as a 500GB External Hard Drive).

If you want to back up your entire computer, or even several computers, or if you store a lot of video and audio files, you’ll want a larger drive (such as a 1TB or larger Network Attached Storeage System - NAS for short).

 

Will your drive work with a PC or a Mac?
Most Hard Drives PC Pitstop sell works with either a PC or a Mac. Some drives are already formatted to work with one or the other. But any drive can be reformatted to work with either type of computer.

IMPORTANT: If you reformat a drive, every single file on that drive is erased. So make sure you copy your files somewhere safe before you reformat.

It’s more difficult to use the same drive on both a PC and a Mac. The short answer is, they’re not really compatible. The more detailed answer is that, in a few specific circumstances, you can do a few specific things. 

What are the different types of hard drive connections?
There are four basic ways to connect your hard drive to your computer:

USB
This is the most common connection type. There’s no set-up at all. Just plug it in. The computer recognises the drive, and you’re able to read and save files almost instantly.

FireWire
Plug-and-play like USB, Firewire 800 is significantly faster, making it popular with those transferring video files.

SATA
This is the standard connection for internal hard drives. Offers the highest file transfer speeds of any format.

eSATA
A less common, high-performance connection most commonly found in PCs. An eSATA connection performs at speeds that most closely resemble an internal drive.

 

How important is hard drive speed?
When you start your computer, open a file, listen to a song, or do just about anything else, you use your hard drive. The discs inside the drive spin. The faster they spin, the more quickly your computer can find the file you want.

So a drive rated at 7,200 rpm will be faster than one rated at 5,400 rpm. What that means for your day-to-day use will vary. With external drives, you’ll hardly notice a difference. With internal drives, the difference will be slight with smaller files and applications, but will be obvious with larger files and applications - and all of this adds up.

Should you choose internal or external?
An internal drive provides built-in storage at top speeds. An external drive gives you greater flexibility and expanded storage whenever you need it.

Each choice has its benefits and drawbacks.

Internal drives have to be physically installed and configured by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician opening up your computer. But your files and programs are stored directly on your computer; they’re always there whenever you need them.

External drives are connected to your computer via plug-in cables. This lets you take files with you, transfer them to other computers, or instantly add storage to your computer or network without too many technical hurdles.

 

How much can I store?

Here are some averages to give an idea of what you can store on which size drive.

  Digital Music (MP3) Digital Photo's (JPG) Digital Video's (MP4)
500Gb 25,000 Songs 160,000 Photo's 500 Hours
1000Gb (1Tb) 50,000 Songs 320,000 Photo's 1000 Hours
2000Gb (2Tb) 100,000 Songs 640,000 Photo's 2000 Hours

 

 

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Posted by on in Repairs

 

Why do computers slow down?

A question that we get asked all the time here at PC Pitstop is why computers get slower over time. This can start to happen within a year after you get a new PC, but usually it happens in just a few short months.

Since we all use our computers for a whole range of different tasks and activities, there isn’t one single reason that pinpoints why this happens.

The thing is, when you first get a new computer and boot it up it works lightning fast. That’s because it doesn’t have anything on it except the bare bones operating system. 

Regardless of whether you have a PC or Mac, over time as you download files, install software, add printers and surf the Internet etc, your computer gets bloated with files that hog system resources.

In addition, there are many other things that contribute to a slowdown. Here is the most common issues we find:

1. Hard Drive Corruption

The hard drive is the electronic equivalent of the old office filing cabinet. It's really is an amazing piece of technology that has helped propelled our world forward into the information age. A typical computer can hold anywhere from 150,000 - 300,000 high quality photographs or over a million documents or books.

All of this information is tightly packed ingeniously onto a disk and into a tiny enclosure, which looks suprisingly similar to that of the old record player. The information is stored in magnetic form on top of the disk and this is where the complexity starts to become its own undoing.

The problem is, corruption can occur from power surges (power spikes), brown outs (power dips), static electricity (from carpet, clothes and other fabrics), solar flares, cosmic radiation, vibration, bumps, knocks, computer viruses, software errors and even the layer on the magnetic disk changing over time.

 

2. RAM

Not having enough RAM is like not having a big enough table to work on. You can only have so many items on the table before it get clutted and full. The computer does its best to keep going without crashing - moving things around - but to do so - it slows down even further. Solution - the more RAM the better! RAM is cheap these days and the more you got - the more the computer will be able to use as a super fast temporary storage place.

 3. Spyware, Viruses and Unnecessary Software

These programs all need attention - they run in the background and all want to steal a little bit of time from the CPU/Processor (Think information pump).
This all stacks on top of each other and adds up very quickly. Typically we remove 500+ pieces of spyware and virus related programs on EVERY computer we service (our record is over 20,000!). PC Pitstop have an award winning and unique 5 stage process that removes all spyware, viruses and nasties that even the best AntiVirus protection leaves behind.

4. System and Software Updates

If you are updating your software regularly, this will take up space and more system resources - contributing to the slow down even further. Interestingly enough, if you were to wipe the computer in year 3 and put all the original software back on - it would be as fast as the day you brought it. However this is not exactly secure or feasible way to run your computer. Updates are mostly security and bug fixes that go a long way to protect your computer.

 

5. Mechanical Hard Drives Slow Down With Age

If you have a standard hard drive (not SSD) your hard drive will slow down and fail over time. Being mechanical - this is the nature of their design and cannot be avoided without upgrading to a Solid State Hard Drive (SSD). Solid state hard drives are reasonably new and more expensive than their mechanical counterparts but wow - they work really really fast. I MEAN REALLY REALLY REALLY FAST. For the single most impressive upgrade you can do for your computer - get a SSD Hard Drive. You will love the difference and never look back.

Now I have painted a picture of why computers slow down - how do you fix a slow computer?

Easy - just like your car goes in for a 10,000Km service - your computer also needs regular tuning up as well. For power users and businesses - minimum every 6 months and for the rest of us - every 12 months. This is what the big department stores will not and do not want to tell you. It is in their best interest for you to get annoyed with your computer to the point of frustration within 18 months - that you go out and buy another one.

 

A tuneup finds and fixes problems, spots bigger problems (before they occur and cost you more time and money), removes virus and spyware infections, scans and repairs your hard disk, installs necessary security updates and is also a perfect time for you to engage a PC Pitstop Trained Technician to ask any questions that have been niggeling at you or to fix other issues that you have been putting off.

Your computer is an investment - and for most of us - a very important tool we use every day. It pays to be proactive with your investments - instead of waiting for the day when everything grinds to a halt and you have lost some or all of your important data. Unfortunately we still see this every day.

SO - drop in and book in for your routine computer tuneup at PC Pitstop - 10 Bellbowrie Street Port Macquarie - 02 65 841551.

PC Pitstop Port Macquarie Business Awards

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Windows update pc pitstop port macquarie

Courtesy of Microsoft Corp

Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it's no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software.

End of Support

End of Support refers to the date when microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available updates or service pack installed. Without micorosoft support, you no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. 

Windows XP

Latest update or service pack: Service Pack 3

End of mainstream support: April 14, 2009

End of extended support: April 8, 2014

 

Windows Vista

Latest update or service pack: Service Pack 2

End of mainstream support: April 10, 2012

End of extended support: April 11, 2017

 

Windows 7

Latest update or service pack: Service Pack 1

End of mainstream support: January 13, 2015

End of extended support: January 14, 2020

 

Windows 8

Latest update or service pack: Windows 8.1

End of mainstream support: January 9, 2018

End of extended support: January 19, 2023

 

Windows 10

Latest update or service pack: N/A

End of mainstream support: October 13, 2020

End of extended support: October 14, 2025

 

Support for windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 today to continue to receive support and updates

All updates are cumulative, with each update build upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to insall the latest update to remain supported. Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices.

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ben waters samantha clark pc pitstop port macquarie business awards 3ben waters samantha clark pc pitstop port macquarie business awards 2

PC Pitstop is so very proud to be inducted into the Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.

This is a rare feat shared only by a handful of other local standout businesses who recognise the importance of putting their teams and customers first at every possible opportunity.

We love Port Macquarie! We love building businesses in Port Macquarie - We love supporting local other local businesses and love supporting local jobs.

It makes winning prestigious awards like this even more enjoyable.

Over the years, PC Pitstop has won a variety of Awards across both the Business Choice and Judged categories.

PC Pitstop were announced the winners of the following awards:

* Environmentally Sustainable Award in 2010 (Judged)
* Embracing technology in 2011 (Judged)
* Employer of Choice 2013 (Judged)
* Young Entrepreneur 2013 - Samantha Clark (Judged)
* Employer of Choice 2014 (Judged)
* Professional & Business Services 5 employees or less in 2014(Popular Business Choice)

Through service we grow. We look forward to many more years of community involvement and service!

 

 

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pc pitstop port macquarie bellbowrie streetpc pitstop port macquarie bellbowrie street 2

PC Pitstop has outgrown another location! So we packed up everything and moved just 400 Meters around the corner from our old store to our brand new location at 2/10 Bellbowrie Street Port Macquarie.

We needed more room - twice as much in fact and our lovely customers needed more room to park - the solution - this brand new state of the art facility with easy street and pitstop parking. 

The team loves the new location - bigger check-in bench, workshop space for 24 devices to be reapired at once, conference and training facilities, boadroom, dedicated staff relaxation room, kitcken, fully ducted air conditioning and state of the art alarm and video survelance facilities.

The upgrades will see PC Pitstop porpelled into the next 10 years of service. We not only invested in the businesses future growth - but that of the communities. We love doing business in Port Macquarie and our team love having a comfortable place to work! Thank you for all of your support in the past and we look forward to seeing you in the new store soon! Come say hi!!

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Every day we see customers who are shocked that their computer has a virus. They thought they had security software and they thought it was doing it's job.

But here's the thing....You get what you pay for...and YOU play a massive part in your computer's secuirty. You have to check before you click anything, you have to choose the right security, AND you have to know when it's time to renew your services. 

We recommend Norton Internet Security 2014 and it's avialable instore at PC Pitstop Port Macquarie for $85 installed.

If your computer is in for service and we notice your Norton is out of date we will update it at the same time for a reduced fee of $65.

Keep your PC and your Stuff safe with industry-leading protection.
Emailing, sharing files, visiting social networks, shopping online, or just browsing websites. Whatever you like to do on your PC, we help keep it—and the Stuff on it—safe from viruses, online threats, and problems that could slow down your computer.

Gets rid of viruses and spyware, so you can read emails and download and share files without getting or passing on threats, plus it helps prevent online identity theft and blocks websites that could steal your credit card numbers or other information. So you can surf, shop, and bank online worry-free.

BX NIS Y14 r r EN 342
Verdict

Norton's internet security suite offers excellent malware detection and consistently performs on pace with the best available security software.

Avoid the horror story happening to you. Don't get caught without. It could cost you more than you know.
 
 

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As the kids head back to school lets take a look at how to stay smart online.

sso-logo

Kids & Teens

While the internet offers an exciting world of experiences for kids and teens, it is important to be mindful that they could:

  • experience cyber-bullying
  • be exposed to inappropriate or harmful content
  • be at risk from contact with strangers
  • unknowingly or deliberately share personal information without realising they may be subject to identity theft, or that they are leaving behind an online footprint that might not reflect well on them in the future.

Many companies check to see if job applicants have online profiles. Be aware that the photos and information you share with your friends may not be what you want a prospective employer to see. 

Resources for Kids and Teens

There are lots of online resources to help kids and teens understand how to stay safe online.

  • Budd:e Primary - Budd:e for primary schools offers fun and engaging games and activities to build unique robots, while introducing basic practices that will equip children to stay safe and secure online. Topics include privacy, password creation, protecting personal details, virus scanning, secure websites, and scams.
  • Budd:e Secondary - Budd:e for secondary schools explores advanced online safety and security topics, including: creating content, file sharing, pop-ups, privacy, sharing, scams, spamspyware, malware,phishing, online transactions and computer viruses. Students can earn points answering questions to 'buy' parts and accessories to build a unique cyborg that can be used as an avatar on social networking sites.
  • Cybersafety help – Information and Cybersafety help button.
  • Cybersmart - Information and education to empower children to be safe online.
  • Hector's World – A fun resource for younger children to learn about internet safety.
  • ThinkUKnow - Internet safety program.

READ MORE >>> http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/kids_and_teens

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14.7 million pixels.
And the power to do beautiful things with them.

 

 

And this for Apple: http://www.apple.com/au/imac-with-retina/

And this for Dell: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/189342-dell-unveils-5k-desktop-monitor-with-almost-2x-the-pixels-of-your-puny-4k-display

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Just experienced a computer catastrophy and had your computer wiped and reinstalled?! 

  •           You may notice little things that are different to the way you have had them before - This is because Windows had learnt the way you did things and remembered these settings.
  •      You may need to reinstall any programs and devices (e.g. printers, Office, Photoshop etc.) that you have previously used if you advised your technician not to do so for you. Use your original CDs for programs or use the manufacturer’s website downloads for printers (e.g. HP, Canon etc.).

 

Documents and Data Policy - While every care is taken to protect your documents, pictures, music etc, in some cases this is not always possible due to certain conditions.

Professionally, while we take every care and technological measure to protect and recover your data, PC Pitstop cannot accept responsibility for any consequential data or financial loss through the loss of any data, through any fault whatsoever.

Unfortunately, during a Windows rebuild, these little personal touches may disappear until your computer picks up the way you do things again.

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Your laptop battery charges whenever your computer is plugged into external power through an AC Adapter, an optional power adapter, or an optional docking device. The battery charges whether the computer is off or in use, but it charges faster when the computer is off. However, charging may take longer if a battery is new, has been unused for 2 weeks or more, or is much warmer or cooler than room temperature.

To prolong battery life and optimize the accuracy of battery charge displays, follow these recommendations:

o   If you are charging a new battery, charge it for a full 12 hours before turning on the computer.

o   Charge the battery until the battery light turns off

o   Allow the battery to discharge below 5 percent of a full charge through normal use before charging it. This is referred to as ‘exercising the battery.’

o             DO NOT drop, open, short circuit, burn or allow the battery to get wet. 

Plus, try these:

  • Dim your screen
  • Shut off unneeded hardware
  • Avoid multitasking
  • Avoid multimedia
  • Know when to sleep and when to hibernate


If unfortunately your battery has completly died we have a solution for that too. Bring your laptop instore and we can fit a Universal Power Supply at the correct voltage and correct fit for most modern laptops for $85 in about 10mins!

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It is the year Back to the Future II predicted sneakers would lace themselves and kids would fly about on hoverboards.
Technology in 2015 technology may fall short of those lofty goals but there is still much to anticipate, from virtual reality to smart motorcycle helmets and, yes, at least one hoverboard.

We peer into the crystal ball to deliver 10 top technologies to watch next year:

  • Virtual reality headsets
  • Apple Watch
  • Windows 10
  • Hendo Hoverboard
  • Samsung Project Zero
  • Fitbit Surge
  • Skully AR-1 Motocycle Helmet
  • Google Glass Revisited
  • Jawbone Up3
  • Netflix

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/top-technology-to-watch-in-2015-from-hoverboards-to-wearable-tech-and-the-gadgets-we-really-want/story-fnda1lbo-1227159730194

 

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Our Services

RETAIL

Business-to-Consumer

o        Repairs & Maintenance

o        Tuneup/Cleanup

o        At your Premises Repairs and Support

o        Virus Removal

o        Data Transfer or Recovery

o        New Computer Setup & Transfer

o        Hardware Upgrades

o        Custom Built Desktop Sales

o        Dedicated Gaming Systems

o        Ex-Lease Laptops & Desktops

o        Wide Range of Parts & Peripherals

o        iPhone/iPad/iPod/Samsung Repairs

o        Smart Device Repairs

IT MANAGEMENT

Business-to-Business

o        Ad Hoc Support

o        Systems Management

o        Remote Assistance

o        Field Support

o        Pro Active Maintenance

o        IT Hardware Deployment

o        Network and Cloud Backup Solutions

o        Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems


Your Winning Team

We work hard to hone our skills for you – THE CUSTOMER – and we’ve been rewarded for it!

Click here
for ways to keep providing feedbackof the services you receive at PC Pitstop.
We hear you – and it keeps us WINNING FOR YOU!

  • Employer of Choice
  • Young Entrepreneur 18-35yrs
  • Excellence in Small Business
  • Best Employer for Training & Support
  • Embracing Technology
  • Environmentally Sustainable

business-awards logo            

PC Pitstop Advantage Service

Great Service, Even Better Value

PC Pitstop’s Mission Statement
PC Pitstop aim to be the most trusted, reliable, innovative and sustainable computer sales, service and repair company across Australia and online through honest advice, fast turnaround, friendly support and responsible actions. Immersing ourselves into the heart of the community, and embracing technology to improve the community and empower the people will guide us to achieve this and much more. We strive toward this mission every day.

With PC Pitstop Service Advantage you’re always in safe hands knowing your computer will be serviced by PC Pitstop Trained Technicians who know your computer inside out and use the most advanced diagnostic equipment and quality parts.

1onsite

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#1. Shut Down The Right Way

Learn how to shutdown your computer correctly. This is very important and is often taken for granted. If you do not shut down the computer correctly it can cause an endless amount of problems. When a computer is shut down suddenly, and without warning, the computer is usually in the middle of an operation. The main problem is that if an operation is interrupted it usually remains unfinished and leaves stray or corrupt files lingering on your computer. Tips to shut down your computer

The same applies when you want to remove a USB flash drive from your computer. You must do this correctly to ensure that the computer has in fact finished with the USB stick. If you remove the USB during a file transfer you might corrupt the USB drive and it’s contents.

#2. Know Where Your Files Are Being Saved

Know where to store your files the files that you create. You should not save files just anywhere on your computer. Everything you save or create should go into your documents folder in Windows XP, Vista and Seven. The Windows XP documents also has other folders in it such as my pictures and my music. On Windows Vista you need to save your files in your username section. For example my username is Mitz. This folder has documents, pictures, music, and so on in it.

where files are saved

To get to your pictures, documents and more, simply click on the start menu at the bottom right of your screen.

You should not save files in C: drive or even in C:Program Files. See How to organize computer files and create new folders and Organize your Computer Files.

#3. Install All Software To The Default Location

Install programs to the correct location on C: drive. This is an easy task, as all program , by default, get installed in C:Program Files. Unfortunately sometimes people presume they need to choose where to install a program and change the default destination.

#4. Don’t Mess With IT

Do not change default settings. “If it is not broke, don’t fix it.” People touch things they are not supposed to and cause problems. Most of the time if you just use your computer, and not fiddle with its settings, then your computer will run smoothly and without problems.

#5. Get Rid Of Trial Programs

Uninstall nagging trial programs and unused programs in the correct way. See how to Remove Programs. It is important to know how to do certain tasks correctly, and removing programs is one of them. Too many people think that if they remove the desktop icon, then the program has been deleted also. This is not true. Each program has files scattered in different locations on your computer hard drive. These need to be removed by correctly and thoroughly.

1: Go to Control Panel through Start Menu, and click on the “Add or Remove Programs” icon. In Windows Vista and Seven it will be called “Programs and Features”.

add or remove programs

2: Select the software you wish to uninstall and click the remove option. In Windows Vista and Seven click on the program and then move up to the top to press the uninstall link.

3: After you click the remove button, a prompt will pop up which will ask you to confirm whether you really want to uninstall the software or not and so you can ultimately remove the program.

#6. Take Some Lessons

Complete a computer basics course. It will save you money on repairs in the end. People can easily rip you off when repairing computers. I have seen people get charged $100 for a tech guy pressing CTRL ALT DEL on the keyboard to bypass the password login section on Windows XP. The customer nearly had a heart attack when she had forgotten her password again, bought the computer to me, watch me start it and press those three keys to get in.

I used to repair computers and I have seen and heard about a lot of rip off’s.

#7. Take Computer Maintenance Seriously

Learn how to perform computer maintenance and stick to a schedule. See Mitz’s computer maintenance checklist There are also some free programs in the Freeware that will help you keep you computer running smoothly.

#8. If You Need Antivirus – GET IT NOW!

top 10 computer tips

Buy an Antivirus program if you plan to be on the internet. Don’t skimp on this one. Getting a virus can crash your entire computer and even damage hardware components. It is not worth risking your computers health by skimping on a an Antivirus program. Free Antivirus programs are OK in some circumstances, however they cannot protect you when you get hit by a serious virus. See my tips for getting the right virus removal software.

#9. Keep Updated

Perform regular updates. This is a great basic computer tip that is often overlooked. This includes downloading and installing Windows updates and Antivirus definition updates. They are both as important as each other. Firstly Windows updates usually contain necessary patches and updates that keep your computer up to date and ready for almost anything. Without these updates, your computer could be vulnerable to attacks and also prone to problems with programs. The updates are there to keep your computer up with the times, not to spy on you, as some people might think. Also updating your virus definitions is a vital process and needs to be performed to keep your computer safe. If you do not update your virus definitions, your virus checker will only be looking for outdated viruses, not the newly developed ones.

#10. Backup or Risk Losing Files

Backup your files. The best thing to do with your files is to store them on a separate partition or hard drive to the operating system. For example if you had C: drive and D: drive you should have Windows installed on C: drive and your saved files D: drive. This way if your computer crashes then the files will still be safe…But this does not mean you do not have to backup important files. You should have two copies of any important files and they should be stored in different locations. For example if you saved a group of photos in C:/users/mitz/pictures you should not store the second copy on C: drive. You could backup the file to an external hard drive or even a disc. See What to Backup

See more computer basics articles.

If you have any more basic computer user tips to share with us, please comment in the section below.

 

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Calling all those with cracked phone screens, smashed tablets, dead iphone batteries and any other smart device annoyance! Stop putting up with it and risking greater damage to you and the phone and get in to PC Pitstop today pronto!

Tristan our star iphone, galaxy, ipad, tablet and other small device repairer is back from holidays and ready to rock. Keep him busy!

First in, First Served! On duty 9-5 weekdays.

Most repairs completed same day if dropped in before 2pm and parts available.

 

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We wrote a user manual and service planner just for you....so come and get it!

It's packed full of how to hints and tips and details the best way for you to look after your desktop or laptop computer - at home or in your business. Everyone is loving them and we don't want you to miss out!

Besides, the beginning of the year is a perfect time to tune your computer in readiness for a smooth sailing year ahead!

See you instore soon.

manual-planner

...from the manual

A Word from Ben and Sam

We wrote this Computer Manual & Service Planner for you.
In fact, we started PC Pitstop for people just like you. People who are amazingly skilled at what they do and confident in many areas of their lives. People who aren’t afraid to ask for help to remain amazing and confident. People who want to grow, embrace technology and get more out of life.

The PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner is a comprehensive go-to-guide for all things computer-user based that will see you through the life of your computer and beyond. If you find this useful or need more information be sure to sign up to our e-newsletter or blog on the PC Pitstop website. And of course, give us a call or pop in, we love to keep in touch with all our amazing customers.

We hope the PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner challenges you, increases your productivity, improves your confidence and inspires you to learn even more!

Believe in Better
                                                                                                                                  
BEN WATERS & SAMANTHA CLARK

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PC Pitstop repair computers of all makes and models - laptops, desktops, MACs and all your small devices. 
Get it done faster at PC Pitstop, simply call or pop in to your nearest store with your enquiries. 

[TIME FOR A CHECKUP]

Dust and debris in your computer can cause overheating...which can fry parts...which can result in lost precious data...which may result in tears!!

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WHAT DO WE DO DURING A TUNEUP TO MAKE YOUR COMPUTER FASTER, SAFER AND CLEANER?

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Workshop Assessment & Diagnosis

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Hard Drive Surface Testing

ü  Arrow-Right-icon File System Integrity Testing

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Malware Scan & Removal

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Optimization of Startup Processes

ü  Arrow-Right-icon System Defrag

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Apply Critical System Updates

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Hard Drive Speed Test

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Bench Testing

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Physical External Computer Clean with Antibacterial Cleaner

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Physical Internal Computer Clean with Compressed Air

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Final Startup Check

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Discuss Any Recommendations

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Supply Future Maintenance Information

Home Users need to get a computer Tune-up at least every 12months while Business Users need to get a Tuneup at least every 6months to keep their equipment in top working order and to avoid a technology crisis!

When was the last time your computer had a checkup? 

Get into PC Pitstop today.

 

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Do you love PC Pitstop?

NSW Fair Trading’s popular I love my local business competition is back for 2014. 

In its work to promote a fair marketplace, Fair Trading recognises that the vast majority of local businesses do the right thing and play a critical role in the local community. That is why NSW consumers are being encouraged to nominate their favourite local business by telling Fair Trading, in 60 words or less, what they love about them and why. There are six prizes of $250 to be won!

Consumers can nominate a local business which goes out of their way to do the right thing by their customers. It might be because of their excellent customer service, or the fact they proudly sponsor charitable and community causes; it might simply be that they are really good on the tools or have the funkiest retail shop in town!

All shortlisted entries will be promoted on Fair Tradings Facebook page, which has close to 40,000 followers. Shortlisted and winning entries may attract local media interest.

We have also created some resources for businesses to use to help them promote the competition to their customers, including a downloadable poster, web images and more. Go to the I love my local business page on the Fair Trading website to find out more. 

The competition runs from Monday 13 October – Sunday 9 November 2014.

For more information and to enter go to Fair Trading’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FairTradingNSW

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A BIG congratulations to Donna Clarke for being the lucky winner of our latest customer feedback survey!! Donna will spend a lovely night without or with the kids at the observatory - Port Macquarie's best address - all with chocolate and local wine on arrival. All customers have a chance to win! Simply complete the survey HERE:

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