I visited a new Computer Repair client recently and I’d like to share how they found me. It started when a partner of a local HVAC company sent me a LinkedIn message. They were looking for a reliable computer company they could count on. They had grown to 3 sites servicing over 20,000 customers and they didn’t have the time or personnel to do their own IT. They went on to say “Your recommendations are why I am reaching out. A person with that level of service is someone who we want to partner with.”
The interesting thing is I have never met the partner of the HVAC in person and they found me purely from my LinkedIn profile which has 40 recommendations. These recommendations are from computer clients, former bosses, co-workers and past clients. If you want to be found on LinkedIn and get business from it, then work on asking to your contacts to recommend you. I also added as much of my experience, education and skills to my LinkedIn profile as I could.
A client of mine was complaining of pop-ups on their Android Tablet this week. While they were reading a book on the tablet, a pop-up would take over the entire screen for a few seconds and then close itself. My client would continue reading and another one would come along some time later.
I looked at the applications under settings and found no security software installed. In my opinion, all computing devices need some kind of security software. I like Comodo products and they have one for Android devices. Mobile Security can be found in the play store of any Android device. There are also versions for Linux and Windows computers. It’s very easy to install and use. Once it was installed, a full scan was done and nothing malicious was found. So the tablet was not infected as far as Mobile Security was concerned.
Later I realized what the pop-up was. A news app was running in the background and popped up on me with a CNN news story. I removed the app per my client’s instructions and now there aren’t any more pop-ups and the tablet is safer with Mobile Security installed.
Today I was sending an email message to a vendor when an error message appeared I’ve never seen, “HTTP error 502”. I tried again from another device and same error. A few hours later I realized my mail account had gone over quota of 250 MB for this mailbox. An examination of my default folders, Sent, Trash, and Junk, found 4570 messages in my Trash folder. These messages went back three years. They aren’t needed any longer so all were deleted. The Junk folder had 500 messages and once they were deleted, my quota problem was solved. My mail resumed to normal and I went about my day.
Remember, in most email programs, when you delete an email, it usually goes to the trash(or deleted) folder and still takes up space in your mailbox.
I had messages going back three years that I no longer accessed or needed!
I have an Apple iBook G4 laptop which is used for keeping current with Apple computers. I can do work on it like edit my web sites, email, and search the internet. Some of my computer clients have Apple computers and this is a good reason to stay in practice with Apple. I do enjoy Apple computers and I feel they are more secure than Windows computers.
A problem occurred last month when I turned on my Apple laptop. I was going to open Dropbox to see if it was current. A message appeared saying my current version was old and a newer version was needed. I went to download the latest Dropbox version and it wouldn’t install. From what I recall, there wasn’t any specific error message. The reason was probably because my Mac OS X operating system version is too old. I’ve tried to update it but the laptop architecture is too old for anything newer. When I run the OS update, it says it’s current.
Oh well – I bought it used around nine years ago so it has served me well. I guess I’ll start looking a for a used Apple laptop computer.
Tuesday was the New Haven Chamber Networking Group meeting at Rack and Helen’s Bar and Grill in New Haven. Our group is open to everyone and the cost is free. We start at Noon and today about 15 people attended our 1 hour meeting. Two or three new people were there and a couple who haven’t been around for a while. We make it easy to attend and because of this you’ll see many people there. You won’t see them all at once but over many meetings. Don’t worry about conflicting with another business in your category – we are open to multiple business who do the same thing. Every meeting Monika from the chamber informs us about the upcoming chamber events and provides handouts for us. Stop by and join us next Tuesday for some great networking in an hour or less.
After the February 5, 2019 meeting
On Saturday, one of my Fort Wayne computer repair clients called to say their Windows computer was speaking to them. It was telling them they were infected and not to shut down their computer. Something took over their Windows desktop and my client was helpless. They couldn’t close the scareware screen, minimize it and even get to the Windows start button. I urged them to shut down the computer with the power button and don’t use it until I arrive Monday.
When I arrived today, I turned on the computer and was greeted with the same scareware screen which was supposed to be from Microsoft. I got it closed with some fancy keyboard shortcuts and by running the Windows task manager. I felt their security program, Windows Defender wasn’t cutting the mustard and I replaced it in favor of Comodo Internet Security. Once it was installed I ran a full scan and many infections were found and removed.
The scareware screen came from their Firefox web browser so I checked it for malicious extensions and plug-ins. Ten were found with names like Maps Galaxy, Search Encrypt, MyFormsFinder, PDF converter, and DirectionsAce. My client never knowingly installed these so I removed all of them. I found the home page set to a questionable search engine so I changed it to to refdesk.com which is a safe site.
My client tested the computer by visiting his web sites in Firefox and nothing crazy popped up while they was browsing. Needless to say they’re happy now.
Once in a while one of my computers has a problem and I have to troubleshoot it. Recently, a Linux PC of mine wouldn’t boot into Linux for me when I wanted to work on my web site. The splash screen showed the hard drive and CD ROM drive so I knew they were seen. The last line had a simple “Boot error” but it didn’t say what device had the boot error. I hoped it wasn’t the hard drive. After looking in the DVD drive trays I found them empty. I noticed the front panel had one of my USB drives inserted which was probably the culprit. Once it was removed from the front panel and I rebooted the PC, it came up normally.
The picture below shows my red USB drive that prevented the PC from booting into the Linux operating system. Since it only had data files on it and no operating system, it couldn’t boot.
I Recently installed Linux Mint 19.x from scratch on my main office laptop. I saved the previous hard drive with Linux Mint 17 on it. A problem with the desktop started happening with the volume control on the bar disappeared and I couldn’t move folders around. It was annoying and I wasn’t having any success fixing it. I researched on Linux Mint forums and found others had the same problem.
My computer is very old and the desktop environment platform I’m using is Cinnamon which is the default when Mint is installed. My research says it works better on newer computers. A better environment for old ones is Mate. I didn’t know how to switch from Cinnamon to Mate and I found out there is an option at the Linux Mint login screen.
Once I logged out of Linux Mint and the login screen appeared I found a small button on the login box which allowed me to change Cinnamon to Mate. I logged in and things were much improved with the volume control back and full functionality on the Linux desktop!
Computer professional like me have computer and technology problems just like everyone else. If I don’t know how to solve it immediately, sometimes I find a workaround or I just live with it. My main office computer has Linux as the operating system and it has a slow boot-up issue. Once Linux is loaded it runs great. If I re-boot from Linux or power it on from while it’s off, it takes a while to come up.
It has these possible boot devices which could be interfering and causing the slowdown: a Floppy drive, two DVD drives, and USB ports. To access the boot devices one has to access the BIOS menu before Linux boots from the hard drive.. On this computer you press the F2 key to access it while the manufacturer’s start-up screen appears. There are 5 menus to choose from and I selected the Boot menu. The existing order is USB device then DVD, then hard drive. I made the hard drive first so Linux would start and the USB ports and DVD drives would be bypassed. I saved my changes and let the computer restart.
Now the computer boots faster into Linux and I can start working faster than before the BIOS change. If your computer boots slow it might be the BIOS boot order as in my case.
Outside, It was the coldest it’s ever been in our almost three years of meetings, but we were warm in our private meeting room at Rack and Helen’s Bar and Grill. Five new people stopped in for the meeting and Monika said we were 18 people strong. I missed last weeks meeting and we had 17 people she said.
I asked one of the new people how they heard about us and they said a networker told them our group was one of the best around. That was good to hear. A few of the reasons people like our group is it’s weekly, we keep it simple and short- under an hour. You don’t have to be a New Haven Chamber member and we allow multiple people from the same business category.
Mini-meetings happen right after the main meeting. January 2019.
Fifteen minutes after the formal meeting no one had left because everyone was talking to someone in eight or nine separate conversations. When I left, people were still talking to each other and that’s what I love to see!
January 29, 2019 meeting. Photo by Jonathan Kratzer.
This morning after my workout at Spiece Fitness, I was going to meet two of my computer repair clients who were a married couple. Their laptop was with me and I was going to give it back since it was repaired. I waited in the Bistro area at a table. My clients are also Spiece Members and when they came into the Bistro area, I was talking to Becky in her office. As people walked by, I was saying hi to the people I knew. My client, Laura, said. “Do you know everyoneEVERYONE at Spiece?” She was joking and I said no, but I do know many people here. So how does that happen? Is it a good or bad thing?
Dec 2013: My workout partner, Kit, and I having fun during back day at Spiece.
The first reason is simple: I say hello to people! Over ten years I’ve gotten to know many people and some of us talk about each time we see each other. It’s easy because I’ve always been friendly. I’ve learned many people’s names and with some of them even more like their occupations and interests. Some of us joke around in the weight room with each other. The second reason is I don’t wear headphones in the gym to listen to music. People can speak to me and I can hear them. Number three is I usually visit the gym four to five times a week so I’m there often.
It’s a good thing to know many people at the gym for a few reasons. I’ve learned different exercise and health tips from members, Spiece trainers, and my workout partners over the years. Another good reason is my computer business has some Spiece members as clients thanks to me being available to answer member’s questions during my workouts.
So don’t be shy or bashful at the gym. You will get more out of it and enjoy your experience more when you talk to others.
One of my computer repair clients asked me to help them with a sad situation. My client wanted me to blog about it so here we go. One of their friends bought a laptop through the internet thinking they got a great purchase. The details are cloudy now, but something was wrong with the laptop when it arrived. It was either dead or the laptop powered on without any video on the screen. They took it to a local computer repair company and all they did was replace the hard drive I was told. The laptop still wouldn’t run for my client’s friend.
I was asked to look at the laptop and see what was wrong. I spent a while troubleshooting and nothing I did got it working – the motherboard was probably dead. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even get the hard drive to spin so it was dead as well. Last I heard the friend bought another laptop and I don’t know from where but I doubt it was over the internet. So be cautious when purchasing from unknown sources on the internet.
We never know who will show up at the New Haven Chamber Group and I like the unpredictability. This happens because we don’t require a reservation every meeting and we make the group open to everyone – even businesses from the same category. Some of us are there almost every meeting. Some are there about once a month and others are less frequent. My favorite thing about our group is the different mix of people at each meeting. Today we had nineteen people with two new attendees.
We’re lucky to have the upstairs ballroom at Rack and Helen’s all to ourselves every Tuesday at Noon. The real networking happens after our one hour (or less) meeting. Come and join us and share your business with us.
As a bonus today, I knocked over my glass of water during the meeting.
Every Tuesday you can network in New Haven, Indiana over lunch with other business people courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce. We meet upstairs in the ballroom at Rack and Helens Bar and Grill on Broadway Street at Noon. Membership isn’t necessary in the Chamber to attend and we don’t limit attendance to just one business person per category. The neatest thing is we don’t require RSVPs so you can just show up when you want. The meetings last an hour or less so it shouldn’t jeopardize your day.
Today was our first meeting of 2019 and we had a nice turn-out of 19 people. Monika talked about upcoming events at the Chamber and the next event is the State of the City address by the mayor. I think three of the 19 were new and a few we haven’t seen for a while. Mike Walton came back after a few month hiatus. Jeoff from Temporary Solutions gave out calendar strips that can be placed on your laptop, car dashboard or wherever.
Jeoff points to another way to use the calendar.
After the Jan 8, 2019th meeting. Jeoff and Jonathan also help me with our LinkedIn page for the group.
The calendar on my car’s dashboard.