Last week I was in my kitchen making a meal for myself. Things were all over the counter – food containers, food and smartphones. I was making room for myself and pushed a tray towards the edge when tragedy struck. My kitchen laptop fell to the floor on its display. I picked it up expecting to find something damaged like the display.
Fortunately, it fell flat on it’s display back and not on an edge. The crazy thing was that it was on and streaming a television channel and didn’t miss a beat when it fell. I put it back on the counter and went on with my business. I wondered why the mechanical hard drive wasn’t damaged and it was probably because the laptop base didn’t touch the floor. It pivoted on the hinges and partially closed as it hit the floor. This probably absorbed the shock which saved the hard drive. I was very lucky.
Once in a while my own computers have problems and today was one of those times. I keep my Quickbooks accounting program for my business on an old Lenovo Thinkpad laptop. The majority of the time it works well when I’m at a client’s location or at my office.
Today I woke it up from hibernation and expected it to open my Windows 10 desktop. To my dismay, It went blank and shut down. Then I realized it had been unplugged from electrical power and completely depleted the battery overnight. This might have been what started my tale of woe.
I plugged it back in to power and turned it on. This laptop can boot into Linux or Windows and I chose Windows. The Windows startup process began and then the progress wheel began turning. I felt relieved, but then the screen went blank and never recovered to the Windows desktop. Task Manager was started and I ran Explorer to try and get back the Windows Desktop. It didn’t work and I powered the laptop down with the power switch.
The laptop was turned on again and I let Linux start which it did with no problems. I restarted the laptop again and let Windows start and eventually I got the Administrator user to log in, but the desktop was blank and unusable.
Somehow, I got my user account to log in and I got Quickbooks to start. It may have been Windows 10 built-in repair tools that fixed it or maybe me doing it flipping back and forth between the administrator account and mine. I’m just glad it’s working now and I was sure to backup my Quickbooks data before I shut it down.
Error Loading Windows 10
While I was at the New Haven Chamber networking group last week, I gave some tips about computer safety. One of the tips is to keep your main computer or device lean and mean by removing unused programs and apps. I also suggest the latest patches and updates be installed to prevent malicious software and hackers from getting control.
One of the networkers asked me which was safer – a computer or a smartphone? I wasn’t sure how to answer and I’ve been thinking about it since the meeting. I assume they were talking about a Microsoft Windows computer and not a Linux or a Mac. I would say the Windows computer is less secure than a smartphone of either kind : Apple or Android. The reason is the smartphones operating systems are written in Linux. And I think the Microsoft Windows operating system is more vulnerable than Linux. This is my opinion based on what I’ve read and studied over my computer career.
I’m not sure why the networker asked me this- maybe they were going to use which ever device I thought was safer and use the other one less. Or they were just curious. It’s still important to have security software on your smartphones just like a computer and to remove services and programs you don’t use. For most people that I know, they use smartphones and computers depending on the situation and environment.
Like many people, I have accumulated a lot of material “things” over my lifetime. Some of them I no longer need or want. Some items I gave away and others I want to sell. Selling accomplishes two things: makes me a little money and helps me downsize.
In the past I used eBay and Craigslist with a little success. I didn’t like the Ebay fees or Craiglist’s uncertainty and risks. I do have a relative who loves Craigslist and has used it for years. I also have two computer clients who have eBay businesses and do quite well.
I discovered another option recently. For the last year or so I have been selling things on Facebook Marketplace. It’s very easy to use and there are no fees like ebay. The downside is there are no auctions so the price you set does not go up with bids. I just sell it to the first person who pays for the item in cash or paypal. If the item doesn’t get any interest, I can change the price, description or put it on hold. The nice thing is you also post it to various garage sale or selling groups on Facebook.
To transact the sale, sometimes I meet people at my house and sometimes at a public location. So far I haven’t had any safety issues from a buyer. At least with Facebook, you can see the buyers profile and information and ratings before we meet.
Give Facebook marketplace a try if you haven’t yet and sell your unwanted items you have gathering dust. And don’t forget you can buy some interesting things as well on FB Marketplace.
I try to pass out my computer business card as often as possible and the bank(credit Union) is no different. When I have checks to deposit and I’m in the drive-through a business card is included with my checks. The card helps the teller see my name, business name and services. Sometimes they keep my business card when they send back my receipt. They might keep my card for themselves or they might throw it away – I don’t know. The good thing is another set of people know a computer consultant is a bank member if they need help with their computer.
I do the same thing when I go into the bank or credit union and deal with a teller face-to-face. I show them a business card so they know my company name when they look up my account. I usually get my card back in this case.
I haven’t got any business from passing my business cards to bank employees so far, but I will keep doing it. It may take years, but eventually one of them may call me or pass my name to someone.
The back of my business card