By: Pine Valley Computer Services  09-12-2011
Keywords: Computer Services, Monitor, Hard Disk

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Should I use those ink refill kits or buy refilled cartridges for my inkjet printer?

The answer depends on whether you want to pay now or pay later.

Refilled cartridges are less expensive but the after-market ink that is used is not to the same quality as that of the original ink. This causes problems in clogging the print-head and inconsistent results. Also using refilled cartridges might void the warranty on your printer.

Remember the old saying; you get what you pay for.

What is "Spyware"?

Spyware are files that are usually installed on your computer without your knowledge. They allow companies and individuals to monitor your Internet browsing habits, track where you go on the Internet and push pop-up advertisements.

Most Spyware is harmless, albeit annoying, and they're also legal. Fortunately there are quite a few companies that have products to help get rid of them. Just ask us and we will find the best product for your needs.

What is "Adware"?

Adware is a type of advertising that is available free in exchange for displaying banners either on the webpage or in the form of pop-ups. The website that shows the banner or "Pushes" the pop-up makes money by selling this space and service to the company that the banner or pop-up belongs to.

What are Viruses, Trojans, and Worms?

Trojans are small programs that are usually "hidden" inside another program and are intended to cause some unexpected action within the computer.

Worms are programs that are designed to multiply themselves on your computer and then spread to other computers.

How can I tell if my computer is infected?
  • Does the computer take longer to start up than normal?
  • Do you constantly run out of disk space?
  • Do you keep getting strange error messages?
  • Does you computer seem to be "acting strangely"?

If your answer to any (or all) of these is "yes", then your computer is probably infected.

What can I do to stop my computer from being infected?

Think of your computer as a house; if you leave all the doors and windows open, then someone will definitely break into your house. Locking the doors, but leaving the windows open, will help but your house can still easily be broken into.

What you want to do is not only lock your doors and windows, but put a moat around your house.

The first step is to purchase a good virus protection program and keep it updated with the latest virus definitions. This would be the same as locking your doors.

Next thing you want to do is to lock your windows. You can do this by installing a firewall program on your computer or you can combine the first two ideas by purchasing a suite that contains both a virus protection program and a firewall. Two of the main products available are Norton Internet Security by Symantec and McAfee Internet Security Suite. Both are very good programs, and it is usually personal preference that will help you make decision on which product to purchase.

The third step is to add the moat around your house. This is done by placing a router between your cable modem or DSL connection. The router will hide your network address from the "outside world". Most routers made today include firewalls which would act as to reinforce the firewall that your security suite installs.

Once all the security features are in place, you can safely surf the Internet, but you still have to be careful of what you do and where you go.

What does it mean when a computer is Low on Resources?

The resources that a computer uses are the processing power of the CPU combined with the space on the hard drive and the total memory. When you get the message "Low on Resources" it usually refers to your computer having little available memory. Everything on your system takes up memory and, as you open more programs, there is less available memory for other purposes. When this happens, a warning is sent to tell you that you're almost out of memory. One of the easiest and least expensive ways to fix this problem is to add more memory, but, if that is not an option, only open the programs that are necessary and close them before opening anything else.

What does it mean to Defragment a hard disk?

Over time, new files are written to your hard disk and old ones get deleted. When files are removed, gaps are created in the hard drive where new data can be written and sometimes the new data doesn't fit in the gaps. In those cases files end up getting written in multiple areas on the hard disk and these files become "fragmented," meaning they consist of fragments of data. Because the hard drive has to scan multiple parts of the disk to read a fragmented file, it can slow down the operation of the computer.

Defragmenting the hard disk cures this problem. A hard disk utility can put file fragments together to create contiguous files which are read more efficiently by the hard drive and that leads to quicker data access. Some defragmentation programs can also optimize the hard disk, which places similar files in similar locations. For example, program files are stored in one area, system files in another, and documents in another area of the disk. In general it is a good idea to defragment your hard drive about once a month during normal use.

Why does my monitor display a blank screen with nothing but "Sync. Out of Range" message on it?

This happens when your screen resolution is set to something higher than what your monitor can display. For example, if your monitor supports resolutions of up to 1024 x 768 and your video card allows you to crank it up to 1600x1200, doing so will give you an error. Another reason you might get the error is if the refresh rate you selected a certain resolution is higher than what your monitor supports. The monitor can't "sync" with the video card, so it just gives you that "Out of Range" error. If you are sure you have your resolution set at a reasonable amount, make sure that your monitor is plugged in all the way.

Any advice on buying a new computer?

Let me just say this: It depends.

Actually, it depends on what you want to do with your computer. For many first time buyers, this question can be very confusing. If you don't know a lot about computers, take someone with you who does when you go to buy. Think of it as going to buy a car. You would want someone who knows how to "kick the tires".

If you are a power user and speed is crucial, then look at the top of the line models and then go down by one step. The reason is that the manufacturers are charging the most for the top of the line models, and starting to discount the systems that are one step down. This way, you would usually get the most bang for the buck.

If you're just looking for a system that will let you surf the net and play some games, then you would be wasting your money for going for the top of the line. Most average systems available today can not only do that but also can run the fastest games.

When looking for a system, look for a system that has lots of memory, a large hard drive and a fast processor. One very important feature is that it should be upgradable so you can add more memory or a larger hard drive. One other feature to look for in a system is that you should go with a well-known brand. It's well worth the extra money to go with a known company rather than risk a clone.

Keywords: Computer Services, Hard Disk, Monitor

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Hard working company that understands the importance of reliable service and support and have been servicing the small and medium sized business community in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario since 1993. Whether its in the area of printing, networking equipment or network support such as backing up your data, we can offer you a variety of options.