All posts by Robin

If You Own A Business And You’re Not Computer Saavy – An IT Manager Can Skyrocket Your Revenue.

In a world where technology is ever increasing at exponential rates, staying on top of all the updates and latest innovations will make the difference while running your business.  I can attest to this because as the owner of my own business, the turning point that made by business boom, was when I made the decision to engage in IT consulting. I had just opened up my second store. My business offered fitness and nutritional advice, and our office had several personal trainers that were each given a small office space and computer to meet with their clients. Our servers were failing, and I was always afraid we were going to lose our research we were doing to continue to revolutionize health. The clients would get annoyed if they came in and our computer system was slow. I also wanted greater capability of combining all of our data and documents into one system and once I opened the other store, I was not sure how to do this.

The IT support I gained from reaching out was impeccable! I contacted a local IT services company and they immediately said they could help! I was ecstatic to see what they could do, and they offered more than I imagined possible! They helped make our network run faster, and ensure all data to be backed up! Not only this, but they were able to help in improving our website, and improved our internet marketing! Our computers were running faster than ever, and it was so much relief to know that if anyone in the business ran into any problems what so ever that they could simply contact the managed computer support team of the company I hired for IT services, and have the assistance they needed.

I was able to keep up with and organize all of our clients information much easier than before. The IT services company also found that some of the technology we were using was so outdated that by some simple upgrades saved my company literally hundreds monthly! So contacting the IT services and subscribing for their continued assistance not only paid for itself, it saved my company money! After this, business boomed! Our customers were very pleased with how quick our services were running, how quick we were able to get back to them and the fact that were able to access our latest health research!

This upgrade has truly changed how my business is being run! It is now flowing so much quicker and easier! I never have to worry about pulling out my hair the next time someone runs into a computer problem, which happens more than you think it would! Knowing that all our data is securely backed and our network security will never be breached, helps me sleep at night. It has also inspired me to keep pushing my business and expand it more and perhaps even start incorporating more personal research for each client to truly find what health and nutrition balance works perfect for their bodies! If you have a company you care about, I highly recommend investing in IT services, you won’t regret it!

How to Appear Internet Savvy

Loving and embracing constant change is a requisite of working in the web industry. Technologies change, rules change, guidelines and best practices change, links break, sites age, and relatively little stays the same. And so it was with great curiosity that I recently took a bit of time to sit down and read through some of the earliest timeforcake articles that were printed in the local newspaper back in 2003.

Much to my surprise I came upon an (almost) six year old article in which every single word still rang perfect and true. The advice I gave in this particular article was no different than advice I give today, and the points touched upon then are all issues I’ve continued to cover on a regular basis over the past half-decade.

And so with a smile and without further ado, I present to you the original 2003 How To Appear Internet Savvy article, with only one update (made in Tip #5 regarding browser versions) for your reading pleasure:

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Today (free of charge, zero money down, no shipping and handling) I’m providing you with a list of tips that, when followed, will cause your aura to radiate “INTERNET EXPERT” like a big, bright neon sign.

I suggest at least a modest attempt at making the following practices somewhat automatic for you. At the least, devotion to these practices will keep others’ eye-rolls, snickers, and impatient sighs at bay. At the most, you may find yourself being carried about on your co-workers shoulders all day, caught in an outpouring of endearing stares, listening to shouts and cheers of respect somewhere along the lines of “Hear hear for the Internet Expert!”

TIP #1: Never ever use the terms “AOL” and “Internet” as if they were completely interchangeable. Example no-no: Someone asks if your company has a website. You reply, “Oh yeah! We’re totally on AOL!” Big awful buzzer sound here. AOL is NOT the Internet; AOL is simply one of many browsers that allows you to maneuver about the Internet. It is also a company that likes to put holographic CDs covered with infomercial-like promotions in post offices in attempts of persuading more people into using their services.

TIP #2: Click correctly. When you’re surfing about the Internet, you likely get from place to place using hyperlinks (a.k.a. “links”). You should be aware that links require nothing more than a single click from the left button on your mouse. Double (or triple . . . or quadruple) clicking and right-clicking on links when you simply want to be taken to a different location are a few of the primary causes of those behind-your-back eyerolls you may not know people have been sending your way. Remember this: With links on the Internet, “one-click, that’s it.”

TIP #3: Remember that search engines are for searching, not for typing in complete URLs. (Please refer to my “Computing Terms 101” article if you’re unsure about the definition of a URL.) This means that you do NOT need to head over to Google or Yahoo Search or any other search engine to reach the specific website you already know you want to visit. Instead of typing “www.google.com” into your address bar and then typing in the URL of the site you want to visit in the search box. . . just SKIP going to Google and type the URL of the site you want to visit in the address bar instead!

TIP #4: Understand the term “download” and know how to pull files off the Internet onto your computer when you need/would like them. (For more information, refer to last week’s article on downloading.)

TIP #5: Use an Internet browser that’s not older than your average kindergartner. I’ll tell you right now: if you’re using something along the lines of Netscape 1.0 (born 1994) or Internet Explorer 2.0 (born 1996)—you’re seriously not appearing Internet Savvy. To be completely honest, even the use of AOL or Internet Explorer 5 to navigate the web won’t help your image (or your overall Internet experience) all that much either. To appear savvy, consider downloading and using something a bit more recent, such as Internet Explorer 7, or Firefox 3.

TIP #6: When someone’s surfing the Internet with you and they ask you to “open up a new window,” do NOT furrow your brow and say “huh??”. This will not make you appear Internet savvy. Instead simply reply (in an oh-so-suave tone, of course) “Why, of course!”. Then either hold down the “Ctrl” and then the “N” keys on your keyboard OR click on the “File” menu button at the top of the browser screen, then click on “Open New Window.” Many people find that having more than one browser window open at once is extremely handy for viewing multiple websites simultaneously. Try it out.

TIP #8: Whenever a friend or coworker asks a question that no one in the near vicinity can answer, calmly say “Oh I know that.” Then excuse yourself for just a moment, run to your computer, hop on the Internet, access Google (or your favorite search engine), look up the answer, and return to the questioning party with an eloquent, detailed explanation. Simply being aware that the Internet is home to a mind-boggling amount of information about pretty much everything instantly makes you appear more savvy in general to those around you. It may also encourage you to search the Internet with more regularity, which in turn boosts your true Internet savvy—not simply the appearance of it.

TIP #9: DO NOT click on flashing advertisements that: a) claim you’re the sites 1,000,000th visitor, b) ask you what your favorite color is and show you 4 or 5 circles or hearts or something of the sort, c) state that you were randomly chosen from all site visitors to win $100, etc. etc. etc. Those who are Internet savvy know that those type of advertisements are nothing more than tremendous wastes of time.

TIP #10: For heaven’s sake: the Internet does not bite. So don’t act like it does—especially when you’re in the company of others. Doing so will not make appear Internet savvy.

And that, my friends, is a list of tips that should help you on your way. If you don’t actually become Internet-savvy, I suppose at the very least . . . you can appear it. Let me know how it goes.

Are Computers Bad For Us? Here’s The Breakdown.

The computer is so safe as well as any other household appliance. But, as well as in a case with other household appliances there are potential threats for the health connected with its application. (By the way, many of these threats are connected not only with computers but also with video games). Considering influence of computers on health we will note some risk factors.

Here concern:
• the problems connected with electromagnetic radiation;
• sight problems;
• the problems connected with muscles and joints.
In each of these cases risk degree is directly proportional to time spent at the computer and near to it.

It is desirable that the video monitor has high resolution and frequency of development of shots that will reduce screen flashing. High degree of concentration of attention and necessity of fast reaction at work on the computer can even, speeding up cerebral cortex work, to interfere with occurrence of attacks. It is necessary to consider that the computer can become the important factor of social formation of the ill child thanks to possibility of work with training programs, receptions of his interesting information and to dialogue with contemporaries using telecommunication means (communication on the modem with Internet, etc.).

Electromagnetic radiation
Each device which makes or consumes the electric power creates electromagnetic radiation. This radiation concentrates round the device in the form of an electromagnetic field. Some devices, like a toaster or the refrigerator, create very low levels of electromagnetic radiation. Other devices (high-voltage lines, microwave, TVs, monitors of computers) create much higher levels of radiation.

Electromagnetic radiation can’t be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched, but nevertheless it is present everywhere. Though the adverse effect of usual levels of electromagnetic radiation on health of children and adults isn’t proved by anybody yet, many are excited with this problem. Similar fears are connected with wrong understanding of the term radiation. At many of us this term associates with X-rays (or so-called ionizing radiation), i.e. the high-frequency form of radiation which as it is proved increases chance of disease by a cancer of people and animals.
Actually, everyone, who is familiar with a principle of action of the monitor of the computer (named also the video terminal or the display) will agree to that there is no sense to speak about x-ray radiation. The insignificant quantity of the ionizing radiation created by a cathode-ray tube in the monitor is effectively shielded by tube glass.

As to influence on a human body of electromagnetic radiation of lower frequencies – radiations of very low frequency and the ultralow frequency, created by computers and other electrical household appliances here scientists and defenders of the rights of consumers yet don’t send to a common opinion. Researches in this area, checked up last years, only have strengthened anxiety and have put the new questions remaining without the answer.

Topic of the Week: Breaking the Browser’s Back Button

Have you ever found yourself clicking your browser’s Back button (you know, that left-pointing arrow up in the top left corner of the screen when you’re on the web) . . . but nothing happens? Hmmm. And now that you look at it, the button appears gray—as if it was turned off somehow. Hmmm. And the only way you seem to be able to move away from the webpage you’re looking at is to actually close the page down, right?

When you use the web, you typically bounce from page to page, site to site, by clicking on links. Links are how we jump about and navigate the web. We’ll go to Site X, then Site Y, then Site Z, but then maybe we’ll hit our Back button because we want to go back to site Y.

People find themselves in broken-back-button situations when they click links that, unbeknownst to them, force-open up the next page in a totally new window or tab. This means we’ll click a link on Site Y, but instead of our page quickly changing to Site Z, a totally different window (or tab) opens up with Site Z — with Site Y remaining open in the old window we looking at just a moment before. So we now have two windows (or tabs) open at the same time. Because Site Z is the first site to open up in the fresh new window, the Back button has nowhere to take you, which is why the Back button will look grayed out and won’t respond when clicked. The only way to get back to Site Y now (IF you’ve been able to figure out what happened) is to close down the Site Z window and return to the original site Y window.

Now WHY would a website consciously cause such confusion? Why would a webmaster knowingly “break” his site visitors’ back buttons by having links open up in separate tabs or windows? A variety of reasons exist; many of them are a bit dubious.  After building websites for ten years, though, I can tell you that one of the most frequent client requests I’ve received over and over again is. . . “Can you make it so that when people click links on my website, they open up in new windows? Because if they don’t like that link and they close it, then they’ll be back at my website again. It just keeps people from leaving my website.”

My “actually-if-people-want-to-leave-your-website-they’ll-leave-your-website-and-don’t-forget-that-people-are-accustomed-to-being-able-to-use-their-back-buttons” explanation never meets with much enthusiasm; the request almost always stands: “Make links open in new windows so people stay on my site.”  If this seems a little bit backwards or confusing to you, you’re not alone.

The “people-will-stay-on-my-website-if-I-open-links-in-new-windows” assumption has broken and will continue to “break” the Back button in my browser, your browser, and the browsers of others for a long time to come. And so the next time you arrive on a new page and find you can’t use your Back button, just close the page in order to return to the one you were on previously. And smile because, unlike so many others, you actually know what just happened. . . and possibly even why.  :)

Public Computer Privacy Warning – Learn How To Protect Your Privacy While Using Public Computers

While it’s possible to improve your computer privacy on your home computer, as well as, to a degree, in the office, by deleting cookies, removing temporary internet files, making sure to clear history regularly, and installing software for example privacy software, anti virus and firewall, there are times when you can’t be sure.

Utilizing a public computer, whether it is in an internet café, library, school, or other public place, holds its own set of dangers, and puts your internet privacy, and computer privacy, at risk.

Here are some tips and hints to ensure that your computer privacy remains intact, and also you don’t be a victim of computer crime, or internet fraud:

– Never leave the computer unattended when logged in a sensitive site. It appears obvious, but it does happen. People log into an online shopping or banking site, and then leave, if only for a few minutes. All of the time it requires for somebody with under honest intentions!

– Don’t save passwords or login information. Most sites these days allow the option of saving login and password information, which, if you work with your own computer, may be a wise decision. However, when using a public computer, leading to somebody who has been watching you, logging in to people sites, and taking advantage of your details for his or her own purposes.

– Remove all traces. Clear cookies, remove temporary internet files and delete history. Before you decide to get on sites requiring passwords and login names, disable the auto save function for passwords and login names. Make sure to delete MS Sharepoint documents, if using a corporate site to see and use sensitive documents. Go to My Documents, and clear the Sharepoint folder.

– If there is any doubt whatsoever in your thoughts concerning the safety from the computer you are using, avoid entering any sensitive information. By doing so, you make sure that even when key logging software has been installed on the computer you’re using, it won’t be associated with a use.
– Be watchful for individuals looking over your shoulder! Hi-tech it is not, but it is certainly easy, and effective, of these criminals to merely watch, over your shoulder, as you log in to sites. They then have access to your passwords and usernames, and may use them as they wish.

– Change usernames as well as passwords regularly. In so doing, you make sure that even though you happen to be observed, or your data recorded, through the time the criminals under consideration attempt to use your data, hopefully you’ll have changed it.

Computer privacy, and internet privacy, is a big deal, and while you might already have an evidence eraser program at home or the office, public computers are a whole other ballgame! Take appropriate steps to safeguard yourself – you won’t be sorry!

Remember, even if you have to use a public computer, it is still your responsibility to protect yourself online and off. Attempt to choose reputable internet cafes or other areas to use public computers, and remember these tips, and you should be fine.

Hope that helps.

Here’s How To Erase A Harddrive

As a frequent computer user, learning how to erase a hard drive is an important task you should learn to do correctly on your own. There are quite a number of reasons why you may need to do this. Not all computer errors are fixable through the many solutions available to you, and as a last resort, you may be forced to reformat the current Operating System installed. This way, you can be able to start from scratch again, and you can fill your hard disk space with all the clean data you want.

Before going through the process of learning how to erase a hard drive, we highly recommend that you read our article on free computer clean up. A simple system cleaning may increase performance and eliminate the need for wiping your hard drive.

Now, before we begin learning how to erase a hard drive, you should first back up all the files you may need in the future. Take this as an opportunity to clear your old documents and software. Like millions of computer users around the globe, you may be a file hoarder. Previous downloads and installation files should be discarded since they can easily be retrieved from the internet. There are many ways that you can successfully back-up your files. You can either buy an extra hard disk and make it your storage scape, or opt to use an external flash drive instead. You can burn your files on discs, but if you want it to be more secured and you have a solid internet connection, you can also choose to use an online storage space.

How to Erase a Hard Drive

Now that you’ve created a back-up for your files, the next step in knowing how to erase a hard drive is to make a series of lists you would have to use as your reference guide. Experts tend to skip this part, but it is crucial if you are new to this kind of work. You should basically ask yourself first what Operating System you would use. If you are going to use a different OS, do you have all the necessary drivers to make your hardware work? Though you can always download these drivers online later, you may lack the oneshow to erase a hard drive that would activate your internet connection. Aside from these two, you should also check if you have the right software license code.

The steps in reformatting your hard drive usually varies on the kind of Operating System you are using. You don’t have to be well-experienced in computer repair to complete this step. The directions are straight-forward and you only have to answer a few simple questions to advance to the next level. In just a few hours or so, you would have a clean system ready to use.

Keep in mind that even if reformatting seems to be the most effective option to erase your hard drive, your data would still be in the physical disk despite the number of times it has been written over. If you really want to know how to erase a hard drive permanently, you have to use an application that would do this after you have reformatted your disks. These applications are easy to download and use. Just like the previous step, it would only take a few hours, or even less. In the end, you won’t have to worry about the security of your previous data.

Here’s A Few Tips To Make Your Computer Run A Little Faster

One of the most important skills you should learn today is how to make your computer faster since it is something that the majority of us use every day. A fast and efficient computer will not only help get things done easily, but it would also make your tasks less stressful.

There are many different ways as to how to make your computer faster, and most of these solutions are not only safe, but they are quite easy to apply as well. Many of them would address some of the most common problems your computer might have. Since you can apply them by yourself, you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive repair fees.

If your computer is not performing optimally and you are facing some speed issues, here are some of the things that will help you learn how to make your computer faster and improve its performance at the same time:

Tips on How to Make Your Computer Faster

• One of the first steps for those wondering how to make your computer faster is to check your hardware specs to see if it is a few steps higher than the minimum requirement of your Operating System. If you are using an older model pc, or have bought a used one, you may have to upgrade some vital parts like the RAM. A bigger RAM would not only boost your computer’s speed, but it will also help to keep it from crashing. Since they are now fairly cheap, you can be able to make your computer run faster for just a few dollars. On top of that, some computer shops will even install them for free if you are afraid of opening the computer’s casing.

• If hardware is not the main issue as to why your computer is running slow, you may have to apply some internal solutions to fix it. Do a little spring cleaning by deleting unused programs. They often take a lot of space despite the lack of contribution to your productivity. Go through the current files you have stored in your hard disks and get rid of duplicates and other unnecessary files. Make sure to clear the contents of your Recycle Bin after doing the last step. Lastly, defragment your hard drive. This will prevent any response delays, and it will make browsing smoother. See our free computer clean up guide for more solutions and programs to get the job done.

• Download free utilities and updates develop by reputable companies. Applications like free virus removal programs will ensure that your computer is not being attacked by a virus. These programs are not just simple solutions, but they are also effective as preventive measures. Aside from antiviruses, you can also use anti-spyware applications and optimizers. Just like the antivirus, an anti-spyware would prevent spyware and other malware from messing up with your system. Optimizers on the other hand, play several functions. A single program can tune-up your computer, boost its speed, clean the registry, and weed out unwanted files all at the same time.

With these three basic solutions, you won’t have to keep wondering about how to make your computer faster. Keep in mind that as a last option, you can choose to reformat your hard drives. This should only be done if all else fails since it will permanently delete your files. Before you do it, you have to back up everything in an external drive or a secondary hard disk.

Now that you know how to make your computer faster, its time to get to work.

How to Restore Your Computer with the Windows Restore Feature

It has happened to all of us, you start-up your computer only to find that the operating system isn’t working properly or the new program you installed has caused all sorts of system problems and this is the last thing you want to deal with. These problems are inevitable and even the best computer technicians run into an error from time to time and have to restore their system. Knowing how to restore your computer correctly will get you back up and running in no time at all.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this tutorial, its important to understand that not all computer glitches are created equal. For instance, a slow or sluggish system probably does not need a full restore to fix, a simple and free computer clean up utility will probably fix your problems. On the other hand, how do you know if you do in fact need to restore the computer to an earlier state? If you have tried running an antivirus program and a spyware cleaner, you have used one of our recommended free registry cleaner programs and you still don’t see any improvements you essentially have two options. Your first option is to take the computer to a repair shop and your second option is to just restore the system to a point when it was running well and forget all of this ever happened.

Assuming that you don’t want to shell out the money to have your computer repaired, let’s get on with how to restore your computer and get it working like new.

How to Restore Your Computer with the Windows Restore Feature

Before performing any restoration, it is very important to backup all of your files and programs to an external hard drive. When you restore Windows you will lose any and all data that was created or installed after the date that you are restoring back to, which means that if you do not back up your settings and files, they will be lost. Once you have everything backed up you can then proceed with the tutorial. You can pick up external hard drives online for fairly cheap at online stores like Newegg.com.

Every version of the Windows operating system is different, however they all have the a Windows restoration feature that will allow you to restore your system to an earlier date. You should be able to go to “Start -> Control Panel -> System and Security” to find the link that say something like “Restore your computer to an earlier time”. If you are unable to find the restore utility, simply System Restore into the Windows search bar and it should come up in the listings. Once you are in the restore utility, follow the prompts to restore your system.It will ask you what date you would like to restore your system back to, make sure to choose a date far enough back to get rid of any problems you have been experiencing. If you are not sure when the problems began, simply restore the system back to the earliest restore point just to be safe.

After the system has been restored, your computer will reboot and you should notice the changes.

Restoring Your Computer Back to Factory Settings

These days, most computers do not ship with the windows installation disk. Instead, many manufacturers will ship the computer with their recovery solution or a separate recovery partition. If you have the Windows installation disk you can put the disk in the drive and follow the prompts to reinstall your Windows operating system. Again, make sure that all of your files and data has been backed up to an external hard drive, reinstalling Windows will completely reformat your hard drive to a “new” state, which means all of your stuff will be removed.

If you do not have the Windows installation disk, you will need to use your computers recovery feature. You should be able to run this program from inside your computer, unless you are unable to get into Windows at all. If you can access your Windows operating system and use your computer, click on the Start button at the lower left hand side of your screen and search your system for “recovery”. The recovery program is often named your computer brand plus recovery. So look for something like Gateway Recovery or similar. Launch the program and again follow the prompts to restore your system.

A Few Things To Try To Fix Your Computer Before Calling The Repair Guy

Having a broken and or slow computer is one of the last things that you want. If you’re like me and you spend on average of 12-16 hours per day on your precious machine then its even more important that you get things running smoothly. I like to think of myself as a man of the people and thus want to present you with a variety of online computer repairs ideas that you can take to the bank, literally. I have been using these sorts of things for some time now and I think that you’ll find they work very well for even the most bizarre cases.

The first thing that you should do (if you’re a Windows user) is the disk cleanup/disk defragmenter. These tools are going to enable you reduce the amount of junk that is currently cluttering up your hard drive and in the case of the defragmenter its going to literally defragment files and folders to make them easier and faster to access. For mac users you are going to want to run whats known as the “Repair Disk Permissions”. This can be found in the utilities folder on every Mac, unless of course you’ve moved it, and I would bet that most of you didn’t even know it existed so I don’t think it’ll be missing.

Once you’ve run those types of tools the next step is to ensure that your computer is free from viruses, spyware, malware, and ad-ware. Sheesh, thats a lot of wares! The easiest way that I’ve found to do this sort of thing is to purchase a top of the line product known as StopZilla. This product has been producing results for people for quite a while now and that is the main reason that we’ve endorsed it time and time again on this website.

Before you do anything that we’ve mentioned however it is vital that you back up your computer to ensure that if something goes wrong you’ll still have all of your files safe and sound. We use and recommend that you do this sort of thing using My PC Backup which allows you to join the program for free. This service is currently only available to PC users but Mac users can sign up for a mailing list on their website to be notified when the My Mac Backup becomes available.

Be advised that you could take your computer to a repair service such as the Geek Squad or something similar and have this done but they are going to charge you an arm and a leg (almost literally). Its best to do this sort of thing yourself which enables you to both save money and gain knowledge in the process.

For both of the aforementioned products we have worked out a special price discount for readers of this website and to receive that discount all you have to do is click on one of the links above.

If you have taken all of the steps that we’ve mentioned and are still having issues please do not hesitate for a second to contact us or leave a comment below. Our goal is to have everyone running a lightning fast computer with the least amount of headaches possible and we’ll go to great lengths to make that happen.

What You’ll Need For A Full Windows Media Center Set Up

Were you aware that you can record TV shows on your XP/Vista/Windows 7 computer (assuming you have a version that includes Media Center)?  You might have this piece of software on your Windows PC and not even know it!  With Windows Media Center, you can do a host of multimedia functions: track your favorite athlete’s statistics (Windows 7), get access to your Netflix account and watch movies, play games, watch internet TV, view all your photos on your PC (and any other PCs networked together in your house or business), watch LIVE TV on your PC, as mentioned earlier: RECORD TV shows just like a DVR in High Def (and not pay a penny per month like your DVR you’re renting!), play music from any PC networked in your home or business, burn CDs and DVDs, watch DVD movies (the Media Center software acts as the DVD player software), and more.  It’s a powerful tool that many people just don’t use or know how to set up.

Are you tired of running out of storage space on your DVR box?  I frequently hear complaints about having to delete recorded TV shows just to make room for more (in a very short time too… as most DVRs have no where near the storage capacity of modern day hard drives or SSD drives).

Are you tired of paying $10-$20 (or more) per month for that DVR?  Hear us loud and clear: using Windows Media Center, you can say bye bye to that DVR and never pay that fee again!  Never!  Setting up Media Center, after our costs and the costs of any parts you may need to buy, should pay for itself in about 5-8 months, depending on the parts you’ll need (see below).

Can your DVR send your recorded programs to other TVs in the house?  Some can, some can’t.  Using Windows Media Center, you can set it up on your desktop and then network it to other computers in your house so that you can watch your recorded shows in other areas!  Same goes for all your  pictures, music, etc.

How you say?!  That’s where we come in.

We now offer Media Center Setup Service.  We’ll come in (or review on the phone or by email) and check your current configuration (computer, network, software, Internet SService Provider) and let you know if you can run Media Center based on your current set up.  If changes need to be made, we’ll let you know if you can still run Media Center based on the changes that need to be made.

In general, you’ll want to check the following (we are more than happy to do this for you as well):

  1. You need a cable TV service (FiOS, for example)
  2. We prefer if you have Comcast or Verizon as your Cable Service Provider, but we will attempt it with other cable companies
  3. We prefer that you have a Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer, but will attempt it with Windows XP Media Center Edition
  4. You really should have more than 2GB memory installed in your PC
  5. You’ll need a TV tuner card/USB device installed (please allow us to assist with this purchase)
  6. You’ll need to make sure you have a version of Windows that has Media Center built in (check your computer by clicking your Start button and typing Media Center into the search field, if you have Vista or Windows 7)
  7. For viewing your recorded shows, you’ll need a computer monitor, LCD screen (laptop) or a TV with a VGA, DVi or HDMI connection depending on your video card (we can assist with this determination).  Most, if not all, LCD TV’s have one or more of these connections.  It just matters what your computer’s video card supports (most have a VGA connection).

Again, if you’re unsure of any of the above, please contact us and we will help you determine what you have.  If you lack an item above, we can always let you know the cost of upgrading.  Most of the items above will be included in modern computers (the last 5 years).