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After all the gloom and doom of sequestration, government shutdowns, Obamacare and the highly touted yet totally unfulfilling release of Windows 8.1, I thought it might be nice the share some things out of the Smother Computer Services email bag. If you see something that looks familiar, it may be excerpts from one of your emails.
Many years ago I owned and operated a motorcycle repair shop that specialized in repairing and updating Triumph motorcycles. It was a fairly profitable endeavor, however, I leaned a real-life lesson while trying to fit after-market parts not purchased from Triumph; if it goes right on and does not require any modification, you probably have it on wrong or you bought the wrong part.
I have told this story at least once in the past 13 years of writing this column, but it bears repeating. In 1972, I bought my first brand new car; a Mazda RX-3. It was the debut year for Mazda and I had to have one. The list price was $500 less than a brand new Corvette. Three years later when the warranty had expired, a guy gave me $300 for my Mazda and, with the aid of a strong chain, towed it home. I was never so happy to see a car go away!
As the saying goes, “Good things come to people who wait.” For some time I have been suggesting to anyone who is in the market for a new computer to wait a while for Windows 8 to be improved, and that time may be around the corner. This is welcome news to those of you who have had the misfortune of either purchasing a Windows 8 computer or have received a gift with the ill-fated operating system installed on a new computer.
“Hi, Mike? I am so glad I got a hold of you. My computer is running so slowly that I turn it on, make coffee, take the dog for a walk, and bake a few dozen cookies then maybe; just maybe the website will be fully loaded. This computer is running terrible! Can you help?”
"There’s a sucker born every minute” was originally coined by David Hannum, but we all associate it with P.T. Barnum, which proves the point that anyone can be a victim of scams and hoaxes if the line is made believable enough and the person being scammed wants to believe it. Such is the case with a scam currently being run by a group claiming to be from Microsoft but who are, in reality, salespeople.
Many ions ago, as some will recall, a duet from England called Chad and Jeremy recorded a song called “Yesterday’s Gone.” A section of the lyrics went like this; “that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone…” It was about a lost love between two young people but the words brought to mind something that happens a lot with software and in particular, protective software.
Now that the holidays have passed along with your desire to keep the multitude of resolutions you made New Year’s Day, you may be wondering what you can do to fill the void left by Old Saint Nick and the football season. How about upgrading your computers? If your only remaining New Year’s resolution is to upgrade, there may be some things you need to consider before running out to Sam’s Club and getting one off the shelf.
‘A dog’s New Year’s resolution: I will not chase that stick unless I actually see it leave his hand!” So what does that have to do with computers? Honestly, nothing; but I thought it was kind of funny. Actually, it does have a lot to do with technology and computers.
Nearly every week someone asks me what they should do with their old electronic equipment and for many years I would tell them to smash it up, run it over with their truck or car, melt it down, or any of a dozen or so demises I have employed over the years but the bottom line was always, “then throw it in the garbage.” As an environmentally concerned citizen, I am officially appalled at my actions. I, of all people, should have known better, even in the early days, but I did not.