These are only some of the services that Pine Valley Computer Services can provide:
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
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
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
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
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.