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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!
Mike Smothers of PC Made EZ’s article “Cloud backups are the way to go in saving important data” (AFN, Aug. 8) begged for my opposing view, that of a somewhat traditionalist tech gal, who just read a compelling article, “How Apple and Amazon security flaws Led to epic hacking” in Wired Magazine, http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/all/.
Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, "I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air." Autumn is a time to reflect on how well we managed to get through another hot summer and the annual arrival and departure of the monsoons. This year seemed fairly tame in comparison to recent years, but it did leave some work for every computer owner.
A collection of columns by Mike Smothers, president of Smothers Computer Services in Ahwatukee Foothills.
A longtime client e-mailed me to ask if I recommended having a certain program run on a scheduled basis. The program happened to be a registry cleaner that she was considering purchasing. A few days later I received an e-mail from a reader asking virtually the same thing. The programs were the same so it sounds like a marketing ploy. This got me thinking about how long it had been since I had written a column on which programs I feel are beneficial for your computer maintenance and which ones may cause more harm than good. Please keep in mind that every PC tech has their own areas of expertise, so their advice may differ from mine.
I was reminiscing the other day about my high school days and how things have changed since those glorious times. We didn’t have computers, e-mail, only the seniors had cars (and not very many of them), no cell phones, no iPods or iPhones, no MTV and no social networking. That’s right! No Facebook, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Plaxo, Photobucket, Pandora or any of the other social networking websites.
There are some computer issues we see repeatedly when repairing computers for our clients. Some are quite common, as in files that will not open, others are a bit more challenging. An insider’s trick is to use Google to find and correct the cause of these issues.
I love summers in Phoenix, I truly do. When the thermometer starts to rise, the roads are less crowded, greens fees are back to "normal", shorter lines almost everywhere you go. I love it! There are some negative aspects to be sure; tires seem to wear out on your car a little faster, batteries take a beating and if you pick up something that has been in the sun for more than 30 seconds, you will have a souvenir for a few weeks of your ill-advised encounter with the heat. One thing that really takes a beating in summer is your computer.
The other day I was talking to one of our more philosophical clients and he said, "You know Mike, what takes a lifetime to compile can be destroyed in a second."
Now that your Christmas tree has been recycled, you have had your neighbor over to help hook up your newest electronic gismo and the out-of-town guests have gone home, you may be thinking of things you did not get that maybe you really need, or possibly some accessories for that new laptop you just got.
The other day I saw an amusing bumper sticker that read: "As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing."