"MegaBit Minute"
MegaBit Consulting, Inc.
Technology Newsletter by Jason Stenvold
January, 2010
In This Issue
Customer Corner
Fun Stuff
Newsletter Archives
MegaBit Consulting, Inc.
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Happy New Year ! 
Another year behind us, which, considering this past years economy, is a good thing!  I wish "Happy Computing" to all users!  :o)
Viruses !
I get calls every week about infected computers.  They always ask, "What can I put on my computer that will protect me from all this crap!?".  The sad answer is that nothing will protect you 100%.  I have customers that install McAfee, Symantec, CA, SpySweeper AND Malwarebytes - all on the same PC.  Along with a software AND hardware Firewall.  Guess what - they still get infected!
The best thing you can do, when the first sign of an infection starts, is to NOT click on any of the popup messages. Many of these messages state that "you are infected with a virus, click here to clean your system".  Well, that's the actual virus, trying to trick you into clicking on that window, thereby spreading the virus deeper into your computer.
As long as you don't start clicking on things, today's viruses generally won't spread into your system.  If there are many popup windows in your way on the screen, just move them off to the side of the screen, then shutdown your computer.  Next step - call me and most times I can clean your system via remote control over the Internet.
Remote Control
I use www.logmein.com to connect to all my customers computers. It saves an amazing amount of time when trying to solve computer issues.  In a matter of seconds, I can connect to a computer and start fixing any issue.  If you don't need to print remotely or transfer files between computers, then this service is Free.  Plus, with newer computers, you can actually turn them "On" over the Internet. 
Scenario:  You leave work on a Tuesday and turn off your computer.  You wake up Wednesday morning and there's a blizzard - no way to make it into work.  No problem, LogMeIn can turn on your computer at work, you then remote-connect and it's like you are sitting at your desk at work - no one will ever know :o)
Online Backup
Most people use a USB flash drive to backup their data.  This is convenient and fast. But what happens if someone steals your PC or the building burns down.  All you data and your backup is lost, unless you remembered to take your USB drive off-site or you put it in a fire proof safe.
I use www.mozy.com, or www.carbonite.com.  With Mozy, you get 2gig of storage for Free.  This fits most users, but you can't backup Pictures and Music within that 2gig - those files almost always are in the 10gig and over range.  Either service works great, with Mozy being slightly easier to use.  If you need more than 2gig, both services charge less than $5 per month for unlimited storage.  And when they say unlimited, they mean unlimited - I'm living proof - I have 300gig in online backup!
The service works simply and automatic.  Download/install the software, run through the install wizard and that's it.  It will automatically backup your data as long as your connected to the Internet.  Note, the first backup will take a while to complete, so leave your computer on 24/7 until it's done.  My initial backup took 45 days, but that's an extreme example.  Plan on about 2gig per day of data that will be backed up.
Emailing Large Files
Most email systems can't handle attachments larger than ~10 megabytes.  So how do you email someone large files, like a bunch of pictures.  I use www.yousendit.com. It's a Free service for files up to 100mb.  Anything past that, you'll have to pay for the service, or burn a CD and mail it to them.  To send a bunch of pictures, you'll have to compress them into a single file first. In Windows Explorer, highlight all the files you want to send, right-click them and select "Send To - Compressed (zipped) Folder".  Then select that new compressed file as the one to upload to YouSendIt.  The person you send this to, will get an email with a link in the message to download the file.
Customer Corner
What's it like to be Jason at work?! Well, here's a peek into one of my typical support calls.
"My Internet keeps crashing!"
The first thing I have to do is read between the lines - this typically means that when you are browsing the Internet with Internet Explorer, it freezes or generates a windows error messages randomly.  Sometimes the user will have downloaded and installed either the FireFox or Chrome browsers and they seem to work fine.
The fix for IE is this: Close all programs, goto Control Panel - Internet Options. In Browsing history, click the Delete button, then Delete button again.  Next, goto the Advanced Tab, click on the Reset button.  That's it.  This little trick works wonders.  You'll also notice that IE runs much faster after this.
In some cases, a badly damaged configuration can't be fixed by this.  I would then uninstall IE, then download/install the latest version of IE from http://www.microsoft.com/ie
Browsing now works! Customer Happy - Me Happy :o)
Fun Stuff
Having a rough day?  Click these links to make it all better :o)
You don't see this everyday - slow motion video of an Owl in flight
Virtual Bubble Wrap - Pop your stress away !
Dog falls in love with Cat
Can you pass a Driving Test? - I barely passed with a D- (61%)
Newsletter Archives
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I specialize in supporting small/medium businesses. Please consider passing my info on to a friend or neighbor.  Personal referrals are the best possible way to expand a business and I appreciate being able to support your computers!
Jason Stenvold
Jason Stenvold
MegaBit Consulting, Inc.
"The highest of distinctions is service to others."
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