Is it easy to upgrade to Windows10?

I've written several articles about this, (the latest is here). Basically it is, if you prepare. Read the article and if you need any more help contact me.

I've heard that support for Windows XP is stopping, does this mean my computer wont work after April 2014?

NO. Microsoft has decided that after 13 years (and several attempts), from April 2-14, they will no longer support Windows XP. All XP systems will continue to work, they just wont receive any updates from Microsoft anymore. So, if Microsoft find a security hole somewhere in Windows XP, they are not going to issue a fix for it. They will continue to update the Security Essentials antivirus package, and most other software companies have said they will continue to offer updates for their XP programs, so it's not as bad as it might seem. Certainly, over time XP will become more vulnerable, but in the short term you should be safe enough. In the longer tern, it will become harder to find programs and hardware that are supported under XP, and given that any XP system is probably getting on for at least 5 years old, it may be time to upgrade. My advice would be to plan to have a new system by the end of the summer.

What's all this fuss about cookies on eveywebsite I visit?

If you have spent any time on the Internet since around the end of May 2012 you will have noticed almost every web site popping up a message about cookies and EU Law. Basically, to conform to a new EU directive, all websites owned by people or companies located in the EU have to warn visitors that the website may use cookies and leave them on your system. What is a cookie? Well in its simplest form it’s a little file that is stored on your system with information that will make it easier next time you visit the site. The most common use is to store things like passwords and user ID’s and other information about you so you don’t have to re enter it on each visit. The trouble is, like most things the system is open to being exploited. One of the things that can be done is to track where you go and what you do on the Internet, storing all this in a cookie and then reporting back to whoever issued the cookie. This sort of information is invaluable to advertisers and while most of it is harmless, there may be some things you don’t want the world knowing. The idea of the law is to warn you that this may be happening but unless the website explains exactly what they are doing with cookies, I’m not sure the information is much use. As most sites aren’t going to work very well with cookies disabled you will probably end up enabling them anyway and once enabled, you wont see the warning again for that site, so you will soon forget about it. Do you need to worry about any of this? I don’t think so. Cookies have been around for a long time, and will continue to be used. The warning will be one more thing we click through without even thinking about. It won’t stop the nefarious use of cookies and it wont stop people being caught out. Just stick to all the usual precautions and you should be OK.

I need a new computer, what should I get?

 This is easy nowadays. If you want a PC for home. I would recommend an Apple Mac. On Mac OS X you don’t need to worry about viruses or spyware, and Macs come with everything you need, straight out the box. and

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 they are easier to use. On top of that, they look so much more stylish.

If you need a PC for business then a Window 10 PC is the best choice as most business software runs on Windows.

If you don’t want to spend too much for home use, and your needs are simple, one of the new breed of tablets will do. Either an Apple or Android device will let you do most things like browse the Internet and receive email. Also, have a look at Windows 10 tablets, here you can get the best of both worlds. A device that is easy to use, but can run full Windows programs if necessary.. Be aware of the limitations of a tablet however, they are usually low powered, have small keyboards and no CD/DVD drives. They are fine for basic tasks such as web browsing, e-mail, and basic letter writing, but don’t expect to be gaming or editing the next movie blockbuster on it.

I need a Full Windows PC, what spec should I get?

For most day to day tasks, any off the shelf PC is going to be more than up to the job. Purists will argue about the type of processor but nowadays it doesn't really matter. Idealy get a PC with an Intel Core i3 or higher. Make sure the PC comes with at least 2gigabytes of RAM and has Windows 10. If you can get online, Dell offer some good systems.

Do I need antivirus?

If you are running Windows, Yes. However, the anti virus built into Windows 10 is more than good enough for most people, so don't be pressured into buying anything extra.

Do I need Spyware protection?

Again, if you are running Windows, Yes. Something like Malwarebytes is a good start, the free version has to be run manually, but the paid for version does automated scans and real-time checking. If you think you have been infected, download MalewareBytes (which is free, but make sure you get the right version as some unscrupulous people have paid for versions with very similar sounding names!) and run it. But the real answer is to avoid getting infected in the first place. See below.

How can I avoid getting viruses and spyware?

On  a Apple system, don’t worry, you’re safe. On a Windows system there are a few steps to follow. Make sure Windows Update is turned on so you get all the latest security fixes and also check that the Windows Firewall is on. Install a good free antivirus program and do regular checks with a free anti spyware program. But see this as the last line of defense. The best way to avoid these nasty’s is to modify your behavior. Don’t open unsolicited e-mails, even if they look as if they come from someone you know. All those stupid jokes that turn up in your inbox? Delete them, and tell you friends that’s what you do, people will soon stop sending them. OK, you wont be able to join in the joke next time you all meet up, but at least you will have a working PC. Don’t click on links in e-mails, unless you know they are safe. Be very careful browsing free software and music sites, if something looks to good to be true, it usually is. If, while you are browsing, a window pops up saying you are infected, be very careful about clicking on anything, one of the latest scams is to put up a false message saying you have a virus and it can be removed by clicking on the link provided. Once you do that you really are infected. In fact. even if you click on No or the Close button, you still get infected. Safest thing to do here, even though it goes against all you have been taught, is to switch the PC off by holding down the power switch.

My Norton/Symantec/Mcafee/Bullgaurd antivirus has expired, what should I do?

Remove it from you system and install a free antivirus program or use the built in system in Windows 10.

I can’t uninstall Norton/Symantec what should I do?

Go to Symantecs web site and download and run the Norton removal tool

Where did your Company name come from?

A few years ago I took up Motorcross and needed a racing number, my daughter suggested using the position in the alphabet of my initials, Hence 4 11 for D K. It sort of stuck.

Do I need to run a Firewall program like Zonealarm?

No. Technically it is safer, but for the average user it just slows things down and adds another level of complication. Windows has a Firewall built in, but I would suggest you invest in a router, which gives much better protection and allows you to share the connection with others in you home/office.

My Wireless connection keeps giving me trouble.

Lots of things can interfere with wireless, so it’s always worth getting into the configuration and changing the channel it broadcasts on. Oh,and don’t believe the figures on the box. Most wireless networks will just about cover a small 3 bedroomed house, any bigger and you will probably need to extend it somehow. also, don’t expect to be able to stream HD video over wireless, it really isn’t fast enough.

Do I need security on my wireless network?

Yes, apart from someone slowing down your system by getting on it. Do you really want to be held responsible for what they do online? Head for the configuration setting in you router and look for wireless security settings, you want to switch on WEP at the least.

Can I get emails on my phone?

All smartphones, and most feature phones will have some sort of eMail client built in. The settings will vary depending on phone model, service provider and eMail host, so contact us for more advice.

My PC wont start or keeps turning itself off

This could be so many things! But a good place to start is the power supply (PSU) If, when you switch it on, the lights come on and the fan makes a noise but nothing else happens then, strangely,  it could be the PSU. Sometimes the PSU can look as if it working, but just can’t give enough power to get everything going at startup. Also if the PC switches itself off for no reason, again the PSU could be at fault. This could also be down to overheating, so check the dust levels inside and that all the fans are working.