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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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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 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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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

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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.

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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

                                                                                                                                                      PC PITSTOP FOUNDERS

 

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Posted by on in In the Community

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:

http://www.pcpitstop.com.au/index.php/en/contact/survey

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Posted by on in Tech News

Follow Social Beat

#Facebook comments just got more interesting. You can now comment using stickers on timelines, groups & events :)

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This is such a great article from Smarter Business Ideas...had to share!

the-internet-of-things-hero

If your computers are four or more years old they’re artefacts of earlier technology eras – and they could be costing you big time.

Brought to you by Intel

The computers you bought a few years ago were designed to meet the processing demands of the day – and then some, depending on their specifications. But even the highest spec machine from four years ago can struggle to deliver the performance you need today. 

To find out how a PC refresh can make a big difference to business productivity, Smarter met with Danielle Watts, Intel’s national marketing manager for Australia/New Zealand. What we learned about tired old computers versus the new generation of machines might surprise you.

Some business owners figure that as long as their old machines keep working they can hold off upgrading a little longer. That logic might suit mechanical devices designed to perform simple tasks but even so, the more you use them, the more they suffer wear and tear. 

It also ignores the many competitive advantages and lifestyle-enhancements offered by innovative technologies. “Given they’re running their businesses on those old computers the consequences can be frightening,” ponders Watts. “What if they lost 
all that data?”

Moving business records safely 

While it’s fairly easy to calculate the costs of repairing, upgrading or replacing components in your IT set up [see below: “Maintenance costs add up”], it’s harder to put a value on the data you own.

“Businesses rely so heavily on databases, so it’s understandable you’d be worried about moving them,” Watts acknowledges, “An expert service provider can help transfer accounts, HR and customer records safely and securely – the upgrade decision could include looking at server technology or Cloud-based tools to support and manage the business.”

Adding to the woes of outdated technology are security issues: “If you’re still using Windows XP you really need to upgrade,” advises Watts. “As of April this year technical support and security updates for XP from Microsoft ended, so your laptop or PC is far more vulnerable to malicious attacks.”

SEE ALSO:

Slow machines cost time and productivity 

Older PCs not only cost more to maintain, their performance also diminishes as they age. 

Consider recording the time lost to PCs taking forever to start-up, running slow or not working at all: “That’s a lot of lost productivity,” notes Watts. “If you value your employees you want to provide them with efficient tools. Investing in new technology shows that you value their contribution – and they’ll respect that.”

Can you work three times faster?

If you like spending time making a nice cup of tea or coffee while you wait for your computer to wake up you might want to update your schedule. 

According to system performance benchmarks from Intel the latest Intel processor-based systems running Windows 8.1 Pro typically start-up within a handful of seconds – and when you’re hard at work running your business with them, they’ll run everyday computing processes more than three times faster than a four-year-old system.

Latest devices are fast and ultra-portable

“Start-up time and battery life are especially important for road warriors,” says Watts.

“You don’t want to wait so you can enter an order, start a presentation or check inventory. Devices with fourth generation Intel processors also work for up to 10 hours on battery power – a big advantage over the 2.5 hours of older PCs – and include management tools specifically for businesses.

“We’re running our personal and business lives on them, so it helps that notebooks are lighter (some less than a kilo), thinner and offer powerful multi-tasking. On average they cost $200 less than PCs four years ago, so over time the cost to replace rather than repair becomes a lot more attractive.”

Maintenance costs add up 

All machines need some maintenance but as a machine ages it can break down more often and cost more to repair.

The Techaisle May 2013 whitepaper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study”, reviewed direct and indirect costs of maintaining PCs. The research found:

  1. Direct maintenance costs (repairs and upgrades) – jump more than 33 per cent for older PCs. (Average yearly costs for a PC less than four years old: US$324 to repair and US$95 to upgrade; costs for a PC more than four years old: US$427 to repair and US$134 to upgrade.)
  2. Lost productivity costs (downtime) – double from an average of 21 hours a year of lost work time on a newer PC to 42 hours a year for an older PC.

Did you know?

36% of small businesses use PCs that are four+ years old
Source: Techaisle June 2013 whitepaper, “The Ageing PC Effect – Exposing Financial Impact for Small Business.” 

42 lost work hours on average every year due to an old PC needing repairs
Souce: Techaisle May 2013 white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study” 

Older PCs might handle up to 5 applications simultaneously vs newer PCs that easily run 8 applications simultaneously 
Source: Techaisle May 2013 white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study” 

Case study: Brightstar

After a successful stint at a big software firm, Jon Yeo set up Brightstar in 2003 to coach businesses on using technology to improve their lives. More recently his passion for ‘ideas worth sharing’ also motivated him to become the licensee and curator for TedxMelbourne.

His studies in information management and organisational behaviour serve him well to help clients embrace more rewarding and productive ways of working: “They often don’t have a technology problem – they know they need it – they have a people and process problem,” he explains. “They aren’t making the most of what is available.” 

And he’s adamant that old technology is demotivating: “Old systems are slow, inaccessible and unresponsive compared to today’s technology. If you’re not thinking about upgrading now you’re making it much harder to compete at all in the next two to three years.”

Yeo suggests that if you’ve accepted your old systems need replacing then you know you have to transfer your valuable business data somewhere. So why not make it easier and faster to access and manage?

“Think about what you really need to convert across – it might not be so complex. Cloud services, ultraportable laptops, mobile devices and integrated communications help us make greater use of our information,” he explains.

“I now have a very small laptop that weighs less than a kilogram and does everything and more that my old desktop and laptop could do combined, faster. Because I’m on the road a lot, I have seven to eight hours of battery time on my new machine versus two hours maximum on my old laptop – there is no competition. 

“I also have a stylus-based tablet so I can take client notes once and they’re stored in the Cloud. I used to have a heavy laptop, a paper compendium and my briefcase full of paperwork – I still smile when I think about hauling it all through airport security.”

Find the right devices for the job

In three simple steps find out the ideal technology mix for your business – and how much your older computers are really costing you: http://smb.intel.com.au/start

 

Call into PC Pitstop today and discuss the best upgrade option for you and your budget!

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Stoked!

Thank you for your ongoing support and stay tuned for the results at next Friday night's Gala Dinner.

  • Young Entrepreneur
  • Excellence in Small Business
  • Excellence in Workplace Health and Safety
  • Employer of ChoiceProfessional & Business Services (less than 5 employees)
    & Young Business Executive for our Store Manager Tristan Piper!

Business Awards logo 2014 HCCU v2 FINALIST copy

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Posted by on in Tech News

cloudrain

With all the security concerns about the cloud and Dropbox, is it worth ditching Dropbox and setting up your own personal cloud?


Read more: http://www.bit.com.au/Guide/365066,is-it-time-to-setup-my-own-personal-cloud-instead-of-using-dropbox.aspx#ixzz39ZAqP8Xx
 
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PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner :: Making IT Easy for YOU

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We are so excited to finally have our PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner in store for everyone who receives any service from PC Pitstop! So many of you have been wanting something like this and it will definately make life easier for a lot of businesses and families! We've been working on this handy guide for 12mths and it's jammed packed with over 30years experience in computer repairs, computer builds and everything in between.

It features an entire section dedicated to Customer Care Guides - 22 simple 'How-To' guides for navigating your computer, your devices and the internet. The Preventative Maintainence Schedule at the back of the booklet details exactly what service is recommended for your computer at various points in it's life and can even be stamp certified that you were looked after by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician.

We love providing extra value and this Manual is the perfect tech-education and tracking tool for all our customers!

Pick yours up after your next service today.

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Why You Would Need a Data Transfer or Recovery?

A Data Transfer may be necessary for a number of reasons.

PC Pitstop can transfer your data (documents, pictures, music) but not programs (software, downloads, etc). Your original installation media is required to install programs on another computer. PC Pitstop, by law, cannot install counterfeit software.

What types of transfer are there?

  1. Computer to computer – e.g. your computer failed and you’d like your information transferred onto a new computer.
  2. Computer to external hard drive – e.g. you are giving away an old computer and want the info off that computer for safe keeping.

If you request data transfer to an external drive you may have to follow correct steps to restore this information to a workable state on your computer if you choose to do so down the track, i.e. importing emails, address books, music, pictures and documents to their right location. (PC Pitstop also provides this service if required.)

Data Recovery is the process of retrieving your important files from faulty equipment. It may be necessary if you don’t have a working backup of your files. PC Pitstop provide a range of recovery solutions from small devices such as USB’s, computers and through to large Servers.

Things you should know about Data Recovery:

  1. Data recovery can take anywhere from one day to 2 weeks to complete depending on the severity and size.
  2. PC Pitstop can recover your information to another computer, to an external hard drive or other device of your choosing as long as the chosen device has the capacity and stability to handle the information.
  3. Once recovered your information may appear in an unfamiliar order. While every effort is taken to replicate the original file structure, in some cases this is simply not possible due to no prior knowledge of the original setup. We work in consultation with you to ensure this process is as smooth as possible.
  4. In some cases, the recovery process may need to be handled by a third party Forensic provider. PC Pitstop is in partnership with some of the best data recovery companies in the world. Please contact your nearest PC Pitstop for more information.
  5. Depending on the severity of the damaged device recovery may not even be an option.

Overall, Data Recovery should be seen as the last option because ultimately prevention far outweighs cure!

Small Office & Home
ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE BACKUP SOFTWARE
BUY ONLINE: www.pcpitstop.net.au

  •       Easy to use interface
  •       Scheduled automatic backups
  •       Peace of mind security

 

  •       Enterprise backup software
  •       Backup individual workstations
  •       Server backup

SMEs
NORTON BACKUP EXEC SOFTWARE
BUY ONLINE:www.pcpitstop.net.au

+ PC Pitstop Secure Online Backup – ASK US IN-STORE

 

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PC Pitstop Speciality Lessons

Stop banging your head on the desk trying to figure that pesky computer problem and ask for a Speciality Lesson from your PC Pitstop Trained Technician.

These 1hr in-store, one-on-one lessons can cover many topics that may be troubling you, such as:

  1. Basic Computer Use – start-up, shut-down, navigation, etc.
  2. Internet Use – effective searching, basic facebook, etc.
  3. Photo Filing – uploading from cards or devices, sorting and basic editing
  4. Windows 8 Use – introduction to the metro interface
  5. iPad Use – how to use your device, apps, etc.


Make the best use of your time and come with a prepared list of questions. Your Technician will answer as many of them as possible and show you how...and show you again! BOOK A LESSON TODAY.

 


 

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Posted by on in Helpful Hints

Learn the Lingo :: Computing Acronyms

i3, i5, i7: Newer types of Intel Processors, i5 is Dual Core, i7 is Quad Core
ADSL: Home broadband through the phone line, currently the fastest way to access the internet
ADSL2+: A faster version of ADSL
AGP: Accelerated Graphics Port, connection on older motherboards for graphics cards
Blu Ray Drive: Will burn and play CDs and DVDs will only play Blu Ray Discs
Blu Ray Writer: Will burn and play CDs, DVDs and Blu Ray Discs
CPU: Central Processing Unit or Processor, comes in two brands either Intel or AMD. Known as the "brain" of the computer, essential for computer to run. More often than not faster processor = faster computer.
CD Writer: Will burn and play CDs not DVDs
DDR1 DDR2 DDR3: Various types of RAM (memory)
Dual Core/Quad Core: Different types of processor, Quad core mainly used by gamers/ hardcore users.
DVD Reader/CD Burner:
Will play DVDs and burn CDs
DVD Writer: Will burn and play DVDs and CDs
DVI: A higher quality computer to monitor connection, wider than VGA plugs and often white in colour
Ethernet: Cable used to connect computer to a network or modem for broadband
GB: Gigabyte, unit of measurement for hard drive or RAM size, 1GB = 1024MB
HDD: Hard Drive Disk or Hard Drive, used to store data on a computer, size measured in gigabytes or terabytes
HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface, the newest kind of computer to monitor cable, High definition quality, also carries audio, is usually used to plug a computer into Plasma or LCD screens and is used in Game Consoles and Blu Ray players
IDE or PATA: Older connection on motherboards for connecting hard drives or disc drives, wide flat ribbon cable
Mb: Megabyte, unit of measurement for hard drive or RAM size
MB:
Motherboard, the main part of a computer which all other parts plug into, often the most expensive part of a computer to replace
PCI: Connection on motherboard for connection Sound Cards, USB cards, dial up modems etc
PCI Express: Connection on motherboard for Video Cards
PCIMIA or ExpressCard Slot: Slot on the side of laptops for connecting an expansion card, usually wireless or extra USB ports
RAM: Random Access Memory, necessary for computer to function More often than not more RAM = more speed; comes in 512MB, 1GB, 2GB etc
SATA: Newer connection on motherboards for connecting hard drives and DVD or Blu Ray Drives
Serial/Parallel: Older connection for printers, modems etc
SSD: Solid State Hard Drive, newest type of HDD. Contains no moving parts which avoids many of the problems of standard HDDs and runs at faster speeds
TB: Terabyte, unit of measurement for Hard Drive size, 1TB = 1024GB
USB: Universal Serial Bus, used to connect devices such as iPods, Cameras, Printers, Keyboards etc. to computers, is either USB 1.0 (older computers), USB 2.0 (modern computers) or USB 3.0 (newest computers)
VGA or D-SUB: The most basic plug for connecting a computer to a monitor, the two plugs are often blue coloured
Video Card/Graphics Card: Used to send the signal from the computer to the monitor, can be either part of the motherboard or a separate card, the more powerful the video card the more graphics intensive games you can play, plus improved performance from CADD, Video Editing and Photo Editing programs
Wireless (Wi-Fi): Used to connect computers to a modem for broadband
Wireless Broadband: Internet for people on the go using mobile phone signals and networks e.g. Telstra/Optus sticks, mobile phones or other devices

Plus there are thousands more!
We try to SPEEK NO GEEK but if your PC Pitstop Trained Technician uses language you don’t quite understand, just ask him to explain the lingo and he’ll happily talk you through it!


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The Importance of Backing Up

Backing up is crucial. Backing up at the basic level involves the act of copying all your important files to a separate external device that can easily be taken off site with you each day for security measures in business or easily accessible during an evacuation for home users, keeping precious data and memories safe and saving you time, money and tears.

There are a several different backup types and just as many different ways to backup. We will run you through some of the most common. If you are unsure of which backup type you need, speak to one of PC Pitstop’s Trained Technicians for the best solution in your environment.

Basic Data Backup: The basic data backup is the process of backing up the data the program made, not the program or the programs settings. An example here would be backing up a Word or Excel Document but not Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel itself.

USB-backup BackUp-computer-support-port-macquarie backuphdd

How to do a basic data backup:

  1. Insert/plug-in your External Hard Drive (or Flash Memory Drive)
  2. Go to the folder or location of the files you want to backup
  3. To select all the files in that location, use your keyboard to press [CTRL] + [A] (Press Ctrl key then while still holding Ctrl key, press the A Key)
  4. You will now notice all the files in the folder are highlighted, this is telling the computer that you have selected these files and you want to do something with them
  5. Now use your ‘right’ mouse button and click on one of the highlighted files
  6. You will now see a little menu appear, run the mouse over the ‘Send To’ item then click on ‘Backup Disk’ or (E:) disk or similar (Depending on the number of external devices you have running, your hard drive will be assigned a letter to identify it)
  7. Your files will now copy/backup to the external device.

It’s a good idea to always have a copy of your files on at least one another device. Don’t make the mistake of copying your files to an external device then deleting them off your computer.

Remember: Backups can also fail. If you are worried about your computer clogging up with too many files, consider a Hard Drive upgrade – You will keep everything the way it is setup, but with a bigger storage capacity for future storage.

System State backup: The System State backup allows you to make a complete backup of your whole computer – operating system, programs, settings, data, email: the lot. This is great way to recover your system if the Hard Drive fails or you get a particularly nasty virus. The system state backup is only available on Windows 7 and above. For anything else, you will need a separate program like Acronis True Image to complete the task. A great feature of Acronis True Image is the ability to do a backup to dissimilar hardware, very handy when you have a motherboard failure where normally it would require reinstall every program, all your data and settings, even if you have done a system state backup.

Remember: Your data security is only as good as your last backup and backups can and do fail. There is a saying in the IT trade: You haven’t backed up until you have done the backup three times, and one of the backups is stored offsite.

SMEs
NORTON BACKUP EXEC SOFTWARE
BUY ONLINE: www.pcpitstop.net.au

  •         Enterprise backup software
  •         Backup individual workstations
  •         Server backup

Small Office & Home
ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE BACKUP SOFTWARE
BUY ONLINE: www.pcpitstop.net.au

  •         Easy to use interface
  •         Scheduled automatic backups
  •         Peace of mind security

 

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Windows-XP-End

Avoid Virsues from End of XP Support :: Upgrade Now!

"On April 8 2014, almost thirteen years after it was first released, Windows  XP will finally breathe its last breath and die — officially, anyway. From that date, Microsoft will no longer support the inveterate Operating System, meaning instability bugs and security vulnerabilities will go forever unpatched.

With Windows XP’s desktop market share still around 30%, and many enterprises still months or years away from upgrading to Windows 7/8, these unsupported and insecure machines represent a serious risk to the health and security of the internet and other high-tech infrastructure. If just a single vulnerability is found after April 8, it will never be fixed. There’s no telling what damage cybercriminals might sow with such an exploit.

It’s important to note that the Windows XP EOL/EOS (end of life/end of support) has been a long time coming. We’ve known since June 2008 that Microsoft would withdraw paid assisted support, security updates, and non-security hotfixes for Windows XP on April 2014. There will also be no further updates to online technical documentation. While this is obviously an issue from a security perspective, the larger issue is compliance — if you manage personal data (which is basically every big company), there are industry and federal security regulations (PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, etc.) that you need to comply with. Using a non-supported operating system, and thus dangerously exposing your client database to hackers, is a compliance no-no."
Exert from ExtremeTech Blog.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, give us a call on 65 841 551, and as each situation has different variables we'll assess each accordingly and get your SORTED!:

Arrow-Right-iconDo you run any specialised software or hardware that only runs on XP?

Arrow-Right-iconDo you run software that needs a 32Bit operating system?

Arrow-Right-iconDo you run a business and share files or printers between any Windows XP based computers?

Arrow-Right-iconDo you run a business with new versions of Windows and Windows XP?

Arrow-Right-iconAre you confused about what operating system is best for you?

POINTS TO NOTE:

- Unfortunately, going from Windows XP to Windows 7 and above is not just a simple upgrade. There are just too many differences between the versions of Windows.

- A full migration of all your information needs to take place and you may need to purchase newer versions of software to compliment your computer (i.e Microsoft Office). All you programs and settings will be lost in the migration and will have to be setup manually again. It is a big job, but something the team here at PC Pitstop do every day. Our team are well equipped and will plan and work through with you to make the migration as smooth as possible.

- Your printer or a piece of hardware may also be too old to run the newer version of Windows and an additional investment may need to be made there too. We must assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.

- Additionally, our team can even come to your premises and spend the time to set everything up just the way you like it. We also go as far as offering one on one lessons to help you feel comfortable with your new system. ($85/hour instore, $99/hour at your premises)

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1onsite

Benefits of Onsite Service

Onsite computer support is a premium service that gives you access to PC Pitstop Trained Technicians in your home or workplace. Many businesses only discover the real value of onsite computer support after they have experienced a major IT breakdown or disaster. However, more often than not, these IT issues can be prevented or at least minimised through regular servicing, regular maintenance and the right infrastructure and planning in place.

Convenience: In some situations it can be inconvenient or unpractical to disconnect all the cables of your computer and bring it in store for repair. With onsite computer support, a professional can visit you at home or at your workplace, usually within 24hrs of your request.

Better Knowledge of your Systems: Onsite support, especially at business visits, gives PC Pitstop Trained Technicians better access to your entire system – how it is set up, how it works, its inefficiencies and also how the users (the workers) interact with the system. This enables a more complete assessment of the businesses needs and allows for smoother integration, upgrades, and training or maintenance schedules.

Onsite Service is best for the following situations:

  • Installation of a new modem or setting up a wireless router
  • Setting up a home/business network, sharing printers and sharing files
  • Troubleshooting faults that are environment related
  • New computer setup - Help setting everything up, just the way you like it
  • One on one Lessons - at your computer, in your own time
  • Setting up backup systems
  • Fault finding specific internet problems
  • Scheduled maintenance on business servers and workstations

*Pickup and Drop off - For a fee, a trained technician will pickup your machine - take it to the workshop, repair, then deliver it back to you and set it up again.

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fairtrading

Uncollected Goods

What are Uncollected Goods?

Where goods left for repair or other treatment in the course of business with PC Pitstop, have not been collected for a period of time, or are not paid for, PC Pitstop will make every effort to contact you. We will then follow the procedures set down by the Uncollected Goods Act.

Disposal Procedures and Notification

Customers with uncollected goods remaining will be contacted verbally and or via written notice for up to 6mths before disposal or court order depending on value of item.

Customer Notice

Items not collected within 7 days of notice of completion will incur a $2 a day storage fee additional to the original worked billed.
This fee is to cover storage space of your uncollected items.

*If, at any stage, you are unable to collect goods within 3-7 days of notice for genuine reasons, please contact your nearest PC Pitstop and we will be happy to discuss your options.     

 

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How safe is your phone and other devices?

smartphone-mobile-security-lock

ARE YOU DOING THESE?

Put a password on your phone and a PIN on your SIM card.
Do not rely on the default factory settings. Using a password and PIN will stop thieves getting access to your phone or using the SIM in another phone to make calls. All phones have security settings so familiarise yourself with them and turn them on.

Setup your device to automatically lock. If your phone has not been used for a few minutes, it should automatically lock and require a password or PIN to reactivate.

Encrypt your data. Some phones allow you to encrypt your data, sometimes using third-party software. Encryption secures your data if your phone is lost or stolen.

Consider installing security software from a reputable provider. Anti-virus, anti-theft, anti-malware and firewall software is available for some mobile phone operating systems.

Stay with reputable websites and mobile applications (apps). Always keep an eye on your commonly used websites' addresses and make sure you are not redirected or diverted to other websites. When using any financial mobile applications, such as mobile banking, make sure to only use applications supplied by your financial institution.

Be careful when allowing third party unsigned applications to access your personal information. This includes access to your location. Always read permission requests before installing new apps or app upgrades, looking for unusual requests or pleas for money.

Do not click on unsolicited or unexpected links. Even when they appear to be from friends.

Check your phone bill for unusual data charges or premium rate calls. Contact your service provider immediately if you discover any unusual calls or data usage on your bill.

Check for updates to your phone's operating system regularly. Install them as soon as they are available.

Be smart with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. When connecting to the internet using Wi-Fi, try to use an encrypted network that requires a password. Avoid online banking or financial transactions in busy public areas and over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Ensure that passers-by can't watch what you are typing (known as shoulder-surfing). Turn Bluetooth off when you aren't using it.

Back up your data regularly. Set up your phone so that it backs up your data when you sync it, or back it up to a separate memory card.

If you decide to recycle your phone, make sure you delete all your personal information first. Most phones have an option to reset to factory settings. Remember to remove or wipe any inserted memory cards.

To assist you in case of your mobile theft or loss, ask your provider or manufacturer whether it has services such as mobile tracking and the ability to remotely wipe your information stored on the phone.

>>> READ THE FULL ARTICLE & many other helpful articles HERE <<<

 

Is your phone smashed or damaged?

broken-devices

GET IT REPAIRED AT PC PITSTOP

iphone-repairs-port-macquarie

 

Live outside the Greater Port Macquarie Region and need your iPhone, iPad or other device repaired?
Send it to us, we'll fix it and send it back like new!

HERE'S WHAT DO TO:

1. Call ((02) 65 841 551) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. PC Pitstop with the answers to these Prior Device Repair Questions. This allows us to keep you informed at every step of your repair, ensure all necessary parts are in stock and ready for your items arrival and,most importantly, avoid a Return-Without-Repair. Items receievd without these answers will be placed at the end of the queue and may be further delayed if correct parts are unavialable.

2. Carefully wrap and package your device in a padded mailer like the one below. Send it to: PC Pitstop, Shop 13, 4 Bay St, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444. Be sure to add your return address on the reverse and we recommend paying a little extra at the post office for insurance and tracking. We accept no responsibility for items lost or further damaged in transit.

3. We'll call you as soon as your parcel arrives, get it fixed and send it back to you - padded, insured and tracked for $10 + $Repair. Now that's easy!

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