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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Tidy your desktop

Your computer desktop is such a handy spot to dump files, folders, images and installers that it can quickly become a total mess and near impossible to navigate. This week we’re giving you our top tips on how to organise your desktop so it is more usable.

Firstly, go through the files on your desktop and put the ones you have no further use for in the trash. This usually applies to screenshots, images you’ve downloaded and installers that are no longer of use.

Next, find the files you want to keep but you don’t need regular access to. Move these into appropriately named folders on your computer. You can create folders that suit your needs, such as ‘research screenshots’ or ‘website design ideas’.

Instead of cluttering up your desktop with shortcuts you can place programmes on your Start Menu for easy access. To do this simply right click the Taskbar, choose ‘Properties’, click on the ‘Start Menu’ tab and uncheck both the check boxes for storing recently opened programs and files in the start menu.

Next, pin the programmes you use regularly to your Start Menu by opening the Start Menu, searching for and finding the programmes one by one, right click on them and choose ‘Pin to start menu’.

You can then click ‘Customise’ under the Start Menu tab in the Properties Window to change the size of your icons etc.

Finally, remove the programme shortcut icons from your desktop by dragging them to your recycling and access them from your Start Menu from now on.

November Offer – £10 Discount on a PC Health Check!

We had a great success with our October PC Health Check Offer, so we have decided to extend it for November as well!

The Offer: Receive £10 off a PC Health Check in our Sompting repair shop

If your computer has been running a bit slow lately, is crashing now and again, or is struggling to run certain programmes, then this is the perfect opportunity to get it sorted before it has a complete meltdown!

You can pop into our Sompting shop and ask our staff to do a ‘PC Health Check’, telling them the offer promo code: HEALTHNOVEMBER, so they can check it out and see where your problem lies.

The offer will run until November 30th

The usual price for a PC Health Check is £58.80

How did I use so much data?

When you get an unexpectedly large phone bill, data is often to blame as it is easy to go over your limit without realising. So this week we have some tips to help you find the apps that use up your data so you can quit them and stay below your data usage limit.

For Android phones install the ‘My Data Manager’ app to track the data your apps use. Open it to see which apps are using up all your data, and either delete the offending app or make sure it isn’t running in the background.

With an iPhone it is more complicated as you need to discover the culprit app by trial and error. Firstly, check your WiFi is turned on and your phone is connected to your Internet when you are in range to ensure you are not using your data unnecessarily.

Next, look at the apps that drain your battery, as they are likely to be using lots of your data. The prime culprits are music or location aware apps that have been left on in the background. Check which location apps are the worst offenders by going to ‘Settings’ then ‘Privacy’ or ‘Location Services’. The apps with purple arrows next to them are likely using the most data.

Reconditioned and Refurbished Laptops in Our Sompting Shop

Buying a reconditioned laptop can be a great way to get more computer for your money. They are much cheaper to buy reconditioned than new, and with most of them you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference!

We sell reconditioned units in our Sompting repair shop. We only buy reconditioned units from distributors, rather than individuals, so you can rest assured all the necessary actions have been taken to bring the laptop up to tip-top condition. We also carry out a number of checks once we receive the reconditioned item, to ensure nothing has been missed.

Our reconditioned stock is ever changing depending on what is in at the time, so you can either call the guys in our shop to see what we’ve got in on: 01903 767 122, or pop in to the shop for a chat.

Internet Search Engines

Internet search engines have become an invaluable tool for all sorts of jobs. From finding business phone numbers, websites, addresses and opening hours to getting inspiration for fancy dress parties, they do a great job. So this week we are going to tell you about the main search engines and how they can help you.

First is Google, which was started in 1998 and has grown to hold an 89% share of the UK search market. To use Google go to www.google.co.uk and enter your search query in the box. You can search the web for websites and information, or search for images, news articles, maps, shopping products, videos, books and even flights using the tabs available. Google will also provide answers straight away for maths problems, weather forecasts, time zones and even sports scores, simply by typing your query into the search box and hitting search.

Next is Bing from Microsoft, which launched in 2009. Bing has a 6% share of the UK search market and also powers Yahoo! Search. You access Bing by going to www.bing.com where you can search the web, images, videos, maps and news, just like Google.

When using these search engines you can save your favourite websites using the ‘Bookmark’ option on your browser, which is usually signified with a star logo. You can also print off your search results by going to ‘file’ and clicking ‘print’, which is especially handy for maps and images.

What to do if your laptop isn’t charging

If you plug your charger into your laptop and nothing happens it can be quite worrying. However there are a number of things you can do when your laptop isn’t charging which could save you a visit to our repair shop.

Firstly, check the laptop is actually receiving power from the charger. Check that both the AC outlet and laptop plugs are firmly in place, ensure the removable leads going into and out of the AC adapter brick are fully inserted, and make sure the battery is fully seated in its compartment. Also, plug the power cord into a different plug socket to check that the fault doesn’t lie there.

If these don’t work, you need to check the battery. Turn your laptop off and remove the battery, but only if it is easy to do so. Once removed, try plugging in the laptop, if it powers on properly it means the issue lies with the battery itself.

Next, unplug your power cord and examine it for kinks, breaks and loose connections. Check the AC brick for warping, discolouration or the smell of burnt plastic.

The issue could also be that your laptop is overheating, in which case you need to let it cool down. Make sure the cooling vents are clean and unobstructed, and leave it open on a cool surface with the programmes closed until the fan stops whirring, then try charging it again.

If you still can’t solve the problem you can bring your laptop or PC into out repair centre and shop in Sompting where we would be happy to help.

CryptoLocker Virus – What you need to know

Many of our customers have been suffering at the hands of the latest online threat: a particularly horrible piece of ransomware called Crypto Locker. So we are going to tell you a little more about it, and what you can do to fix it.

The virus is infecting Windows computers around the world. It is delivered in email form, tricking users into opening the email by appearing to be from a legitimate company. Those unlucky enough to download the zip file inside it will allow Crypto Locker to run their computers. Crypto Locker then essentially holds your computer hostage, leaving you with a choice: pay a set amount of ransom money or lose everything on your hard drive.

If your computer is infected, you will have been warned by the virus not to “disconnect from the Internet or turn off your computer”. In fact, this is exactly what you should do, as unplugging your computer may save some of your files if the virus is still in the process of infecting them.

Next, assess the extent of the damage by finding out which files you have lost. Check whether you have backups of these files, which may be in your Windows System Restore files. Make sure there is nothing missing that you absolutely need and don’t have access to anywhere else. Hopefully you will find everything essential to you, as paying the ransom to get them back will only encourage more malware of this sort to be created.

If you do have a backup, you can wipe your computer of the virus by running your antivirus software, as virtually every version will get rid of Crypto Locker. Then you can restore your backup and all should be well.

If you do not have backups, and you have no other way of accessing important files, there is little you can do but pay the ransom.

There are however a number of copycat viruses around which show up asking for money even though your computer isn’t infected. So if you do think your computer may be infected, take your computer to an expert before paying anyone anything!

As is often the case, the bottom line is prevention. Make sure you are careful with any email you receive and don’t open it if you can’t figure out who it is from or why they may be emailing you. Make sure you back up all of your personal and business files regularly, and run up to date anti-virus software regularly.

If you have any questions, feel free to pop into our repair centre in Sompting and ask our team or call us on (01903) 767 122.

October Offer – £10 Discount on a PC Health Check!

You have probably noticed that October is a fairly health focused month, playing host to both Stoptober; the challenge to stop smoking for October, and Go Sober for October; a Macmillan Cancer Support campaign encouraging people to raise money by giving up booze for a month. We think these are both great causes that give thousands of people a valuable health check, which could make all the difference to their lives.

Here at JSPC we have come up with our own October health focus, but this is aimed at your PC!

We are offering you £10 off a PC Health Check in our Sompting repair shop

The promo code for the offer is: HEALTHOCTOBER Which you simply need to say to our staff when you bring your computer in for it’s Health Check.

The offer will run until October 31st and the usual price for a PC Health Check is £58.80

How do I connect my computer to a camera?

By connecting your computer to a digital camera you can easily retrieve your photos, email them to your friends, print them off to put up on your walls or post them online. The task is not as always as simple as it seems so here are our tips.

First, turn your computer on and make sure you don’t have too many programmes running as this could cause it to freeze or crash. Next, connect the devices via your camera’s USB cable. Secure the smaller end of the lead in the camera (you may have to open a small panel on the camera to find the slot) and the USB end in your computer.

Now switch the camera on, and depending on the make you may need to switch it into ‘View’ or ‘Play’ mode, or select the ‘USB’ or ‘Transfer’ setting if it pops up on your camera screen.

At this point your computer may automatically detect the camera and prompt you with options for transferring your images.

If this doesn’t happen, open ‘Finder’ on a Mac and scroll down the left panel to devices. Click on the camera to open the folders of your pictures and copy and paste them to a folder on your computer. With Windows, click the ‘Start’ button, then ‘Computer’, find your camera in there and right click, then click ‘Import pictures and videos’ and you will be able to choose a file to send them to.