Monday, December 22, 2014

An Article from StarFortressCCA!

Since there's not a Computer Class next week, I thought I'd take a minute or 30 to type a little letter to cover a few things for the end of the year.

First, scams are in full swing.  From the usual "You have viruses" to "Help, gramma, I'm in jail," the scammers are trying harder than ever to get your money.  Be it by credit card, money order, Western Union transfer, they will try anything.

Here's a link that has good info on the PayPal spoofing scam:

Remember, Microsoft, the IRS, the Sheriff and others won't call you to send a money order.  They'll send mail or actual people to your door.

Second, I know we are all looking for good deals now.  And there are a few right now.  But, I've been seeing "cheap" Windows 8 tablets on sale.  These tend to be a case of "too cheap."  Some are being sold with just 1GB of memory and 16GB of storage.  This is great, if it's an Android tablet from two years ago.  For a brand new Windows tablet, it'll be slow and annoying to use.  2GB of memory is the minimum and I'd go for at least 64GB of storage.  Even with 64GB, half of that is used by Windows.  For better use of storage, an Android tablet might be a better choice.  Samsung Galaxy Tab and Asus Memo pads, plus Dell has nice tablets in the 7 and 8" sizes.

Third, been seeing lots of cheap laptops too.  Also have to be careful with these.  Some are priced about $200, but have 2GB of memory, 32GB of storage and displays on the order of 11-13 inches.  If it's a Chromebook (Google's operating system), this is fine.  But for Windows, not so much.  I have seen some rather nice entry-level laptop in the 250-300 dollar range.  The $100 makes a big difference with 4GB of memory and 320 to 500GB of storage.  You might even find a Pentium quad-core processor.

Fourth, after living a touchscreen laptop for six months, I'd say you can probably live without it.  I don't use nearly as much as I thought I would for the touchscreen.  And Windows still has a long way to go to be a "touchscreen operating system."  The buttons and controls are too small, or the touches aren't detected correctly.  Plus, installing a Start Menu program such as Classic Start Shell goes a long way toward mitigating the issues of the Start Screen and Apps Screen.

Fifth, a friendly reminder to make those backups, be they data or recovery/restore disks that the makers didn't send.  And those anti-virus and anti-malware scans, update them and run about once a week.  Looks for "https" on the web site address for a secure site.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Sixth, ask questions.  If you are thinking it, so are other people.  And I never tell tales out of class so don't be afraid to let me know if there's something you need to know.  I'm happy to help and love getting emails from people other than AT&T and Dish.  :)  

Next year, we'll dig into setting up your computer, moving files, creating folders, burning DVDs and CDs, making documents and how to archive the ones we have, attaching files to your email, keeping Windows secure, learning what's in the mysterious box, how to make it run better, last longer and do what we want.

I wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a relaxing and stress free end to the year.  All my best to my friends that make this all possible and enjoyable to keep doing.

But fear not, this won't be the last email of the year, I plan to keep sending a few more later.  There's always something new that needs to be passed on and learned.

Lineup for the week:
No LIVE Shows for the next 2 weeks!  Please enjoy a select "Best of Computer America" Shows that YOU asked to hear again!


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