10 Signs you are “geekier” than you thought.

Some inspired thoughts to gauge whether you are more of a geek than you thought.

10. You mouse has more than 2 buttons and a wheel on it. (or you use a trackball because they are “cooler”) ratmouse

9. Your keyboard keys glow or light up. Ergonomic keyboards don’t count, they are just weird. rainbow-light-up-keyboard

8. You actually use the usb coffee warmer that somebody gave you as a gag gift. USB Coffee Warmer at Amazon.ca

7. If this sounds right to you…” Now that I got the 27″ Samsung, I’ll never go back to anything smaller.”

6. On the topic of monitors, if you use 2 or more monitors for HOME and not just the office, you might be a geek. www.stefandidak.com (www.stefandidak.com)

5. If you carry a usb stick that is larger 64GB and it resides on your keyring. If you carry an additional one in your pocket/bag/purse just “in case” then you might be a geek.

4. If you have setup remote access not only from home to work, but from work to home, from tablet to home, from tablet to work, from work to tablet etc etc.

3. When external hard drives go on sale, you buy more than 1 (sometimes even as gifts to other people)

2. If you know what a Blue Snowball is.. you qualify as a geek. Blue Snowball

1. You have visited any of these sites more than once. Thinkgeek.com or Gizmodo.com or Dude I Want that or The Fark or Geeks are Sexy(don’t worry, its not porn!)

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Our Windows 10 advice – should you or shouldn’t you?

We have been getting calls on this almost daily, “my computer keeps telling me that I should upgrade to Windows 10. What should I do?”

Our simplest answer? Windows 10 is excellent, but still evolving. It’s free for a year (until July 2016), so there is no rush to upgrade. Hold off a few months, let other people be the bug testers, then go ahead and do it using Windows Update.

Now the longer answer? Windows 10 is actually REALLY good. We’ve done upgrades on several systems using the most common methods and have only had one system do a hiccup, but it was easily restored and redone with no issue.

Microsoft has caused a bit of confusion with this upgrade, as they pushed out an option to “reserve” your copy of Windows up before it was released. If you did that, you were put into a queue as Microsoft slowly started to roll out the upgrade to millions of users via windows update. This applies to anyone with a legit copy of Windows 7 or 8.1, which means almost all users are eligible for the upgrade.

As good as the new release is, we are sticking with our standard advice whenever any new OS is released. Be patient. Unless you really know what you are doing, are comfortable with your backups, playing with new software, tweaking it and possibly having to restore back to your old…wait. In the few weeks that it has been out, Microsoft has already had to push a number of updates out to quash bugs as the OS hits a wider audience. Nothing catastrophic, but we find it is always good to let others deal with the initial bug hunting (with we at Fixmycomputernow being some of the bug hunters).

With that being said…Windows 10 is REALLY good. Microsoft has done a great job making the upgrade as seamless as possible. No reinstalls of programs, no copying of data, it just works. Be patient, wait until the fall and do it then. We’d be more than happy to assist, as this new OS is going to be around for a while and has a lot going for it.

A couple of caveats if you want to try it on your own:

1> Make sure you have a FULL backup of your system to an external source before you begin. We haven’t needed it yet, but you never know.

2> if something does go wrong (we had the windows store and all associated apps lockout on one install) you can revert back to your old version within 30 days.

3> if you connect remotely to a work server that uses Server 2008 or earlier DO NOT do the upgrade. Consult with your IT to confirm, as Windows 10 may not be able to remote into earlier server setups.

4> DO install antivirus on the system above and beyond the built-in Windows Defender. Microsoft’s Security Essentials does not work with Windows 10 (it didn’t with 8.1 either), but there are many good options for this. Talk with us for the best choices.

As always, if you aren’t sure, want to try it, or just have questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll help walk you along the path to what is going to be a great new OS from Microsoft.

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How to Activate “God Mode” in Windows 10

We reported on this for Windows 7, but it is good to know that it is still there for Windows 10.

How to Activate "God Mode" in Windows 10 – Geeks are Sexy Technology NewsGeeks are Sexy Technology News.

If you want to re-read the tips including god mode for Windows 7, here it is.

Useful tech tricks

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Why does my computer have a flat tire?

Over the years, I have dealt with many people and their computers. In the past, when computers were bulky, expensive and primarily used for business/work reasons, we had to explain to customers why the cost of computers varies so much (and respectively why repair costs vary so much). To explain the concept of how a computer works and what components it was made from, we turned to an analogy that most people could relate too. The automobile.

We used to explain how a computer worked in relation to a car like this:

A computer is made up of several components that perform specific functions and when all combine, provide you with the end result.

The input of computer = the gasoline you pump into your car. It is the fuel that let’s you operate and move around. It is what you enter into the computer to get a result. This also includes the input controls like comparing your keyboard and mouse to a steering wheel and pedals that control how your car is going to operate.

The processor (CPU) of a computer = the engine of your car. The bigger the engine, the faster you go and the more gas it can take at once.

The output of a computer = the engine moves your car and takes you from point A to point B. You can adjust your output and change your input to move to a new location.

The RAM/short term memory of your computer = your dashboard display. This shows you the speed, the fuel levels, the oil temperature and all the things that your engine is doing and your car responds according to what you do with the input. For a computer this translates to how the engine process all the little things to make the car move.

Storage on a computer = your vehicle cargo capacity. How many passengers and how much luggage can you fit in a car vs. a van vs. a truck.

(I know some techs don’t like this analogy because it is not technically as accurate as it seems, but for most people it gives them the understanding of components).

This basic concept worked well to explain how a computer works but also sets a foundation of how different components of a computer can affect the outcome.For example:

To design a car to go faster, you essentially need a bigger engine however an engine is not the only things that makes a car efficiently go fast. You need good tires, suspension, aerodynamic body, less weight etc and similarly to a computer you need to have a faster processor, more ram to allow more information in, more storage to keep permanent files etc.

Having a Ferrari to commute to work, while fun, may not use all the power of the Ferrari. Similarly, using a Honda civic to race in NASCAR is not a good idea either which is why we ask customers to give us an idea of what the workload will be for a pc that they want to purchase so we can match the purpose with the appropriate hardware and the all mighty budget.

Most of the time, people who are not experienced with understanding how a computer works end up looking for a “cheap” computer with the assumption that all computers are the same so the only factor is price and the best deal however, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Many times we get clients who want a “top end” computer and when we quote a price in the thousands of dollars they scale back quickly to a budget in the hundreds because their perception of what a computer can do is skewed. Once you explain it in terms of the framework of a car, then usually get an understanding of the difference between a $400 computer and a $1500 computer and can make a better decision.

The same goes for repair costs. These days, the price overall for computer hardware is comparatively cheaper than it was 10 years ago. This means that the cost of repair doesn’t have the same value as it once did. If you buy a $400 computer, getting it fixed at a cost of $100 is not as much of a value as when the computers used to cost $1500. This means in a lot of cases, we have to let the customer know that it may be time to replace the computer instead of repairing it based on the value of the unit as a whole.

If you have heard any of the following statements, these are triggers to indicate that either the computer is old and needs a “tune up” or replacement or that the user purchased the wrong computer for their needs:

“My computer is so slow”
“I ran out of space”
“I can only open a couple of windows at a time”
“It takes forever to transfer files”

Maintenance for a car consists of oil changes, brake changes, belts, fluids and other “Wear and tear” items that need to be replaced to keep the car in top efficiency. The same applies to computers and their components. Computers needs software updates to protect against security issues or defective code, fans and cooling systems needs to be cleaned out to keep the computer running at the proper temperature. Backups of data need to be done and verified in case your computer blows a tire or has an accident.

So if you ever bought a computer without talking to a computer expert (and I don’t mean the sales guys at Best Buy or Future Shop), then chances are you didn’t kick enough tires before you made your decision. Just like cars, there are computers that are lemons and as “mechanics” we can only work with what we have unless you replace the whole thing.

At Fix My Computer Now Inc. we are always happy to give advice and general guidance to our clients so feel free to call anytime with questions.

If you liked this article and want more information, read our previous article My Computer is Toast!

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Bell opens CRAVETV to all Canadians… finally.

Amongst our staff and associates, we have had this debate since last year when Crave from Bell and Shomi from Rogers was introduced. We asked ourselves why they would not have released their “Netflix killer” services for everybody to start with? The TV world has changed and for those of us who have left traditional TV service and gone 100% online, paying $8/month USD to Netflix is an easy choice compared to the $100-$200/month full TV bundles offered.

To add Shomi and CraveTV for a reasonable amount to the public would be a natural progression we thought. However Bell and Rogers decided to wait for a couple of years to see if their existing subscriber base would support the concept(both financially and conceptually) and I think they finally realized it wouldn’t. Why would regular TV subscribers pay for an extra service? At the same time, the number of people leaving traditional TV has been in tens of thousands.

The next question will be how much will the public version cost? If it is inline with Netflix pricing, then I think they will get a lot of positive response. In my specific case, adding another $16/month for both those services would be an easy decision to fill in the gaps where Netflix can’t supply all the TV content I want. But if they try to sell it a a price they think the market will bear for example, $15/month each or more, then they will have again missed to the boat on how online viewers think and operate. For online users, it is about how much convenience we are giving up in order to save money.

For example, I have a computer hooked up to each of my TVs. So for me, it was just a matter of getting wireless keyboards/mice to control my user interface. It was a cheap solution. For others who may not have the access to equipment or may want more of the traditional TV PVR style interface, an investment in a SMART TV or TV control box may be required and those users may not be as comfortable as I am with the technology.

A specific example would be the popular cataloging and viewing app XMBC(now called KODI) which consolidates downloads, netflix and other streaming services into a PVR like interface. Here is the link if you are interested: Kodi – Xmbc

Though it is a beautiful interface and makes it look all slick and easy, for me, I prefer to straight computer interface that lets me watch TV on a computer just with a bigger TV screen. So bottom line is, if you can handle working around a TV interface to a computer interface, you are willing to put up with more in order to save money.

I find that older users (such as my parents) tend to want the simple convenient interface and thus will pay more for that reliability and ease than I would.

My sole reason for cancelling my TV services and only having a big internet pipe was to cut my bill in half, which I did. For me, since I don’t watch live news or live sports, switching to online only was easy. We watch netflix, direct streams for all the network’s websites etc etc and I save myself $140/month. I don’t need a PVR because its all profile driven and streamed so I can pickup where I left off anytime anyways.

So as long as Crave and Shomi can compete, I don’t mind paying for their content even if it overlaps because if they can make the experience easy and robust, then I would gladly support Canadian over American services. It has just been so out of whack until now that we had little choice.

Here is the latest article about CraveTV from the CBC.

Bell opens CraveTV to everyone starting next year – Business – CBC News.

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Because landlines are dying, VoIP providers must sell 24-hour batteries | Ars Technica

This is something we have been debating for years….

Because landlines are dying, VoIP providers must sell 24-hour batteries | Ars Technica.

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Friday Funnies – Geek humour for July 10-2015

It has been a while since I found some funny items on the interwebs so here are a few recent ones I found while googling around starting off with geek evolution:


Next up, the look you give the computer when you can’t login properly:


In today’s smartphone/tablet/mobile device world, the most dreaded icons that we face:


Then, for all you PC users, you know who to call:

Ctrl, Alt, Del

And finally, an oldie but a goodie:

says press any key

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Ad fraud Trojan updates Flash Player so that other malware can’t get in | ITworld

Ad fraud Trojan updates Flash Player so that other malware can't get in | ITworld.

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Samsung adds huge 2TB SSDs to its 850 Evo and 850 Pro families | Ars Technica

Samsung adds huge 2TB SSDs to its 850 Evo and 850 Pro families | Ars Technica.

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Samsung laptop users beware!

So after Lenovo had its Superfish fiasco last year, you’d think that hardware makers would be more careful about making changes to their users systems that are malware-like. It appears not, as Samsung has pulled a fast one on their laptop users. See below:


Now the reasons they offer are somewhat legit. We never recommend that you update your systems drivers via Windows update. They aren’t the optimized versions of driver and are more likely to break a system. However, their response was WAY over the top in two ways.

1> Giving no controls to the user to be able to reverse the change that prevents Windows Update from working.

2> Not simply working with MS to be sure the best driver are available.

If you’ve got a Samsung laptop (and I’ll be honest I can’t remember the last one I saw in use) beware. I’ve seen reports that Samsung is putting out a fix to reverse this change, but nothing concrete as yet.

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