Fire-Breathing Dragons to Solution-Focused Information Technology

posted May 21, 2016, 8:24 PM by Vaughn Reid   [ updated May 25, 2016, 3:33 PM ]

Vaughn's Computer House Calls photo of a dragon
You might ask yourself, "Why are we talking about fire-breathing dragons on the Vaughn's Computer House Calls blog?"   First, I've always wanted an excuse to stick a fire-breathing dragon on this web site.  Second, this photo and the story behind it perfectly illustrate the concept of solution-focused information technology.

The picture above is the dragon from the Harry Potter Attraction at Universals Studios, Orlando, Florida.  I took this photo last week while we were attending the Lenovo Accelerate 2016 conference for Lenovo Business Partners like ourselves.  

When you step into the Harry Potter attraction, you are completely immersed in the world of Harry Potter -- magic wands, flying brooms, fantastical costumes, fire-breathing dragons, and all the other trappings of the Harry Potter universe.  Universal Studios provides an all-encompassing, hands-on Harry Potter-esque  world where you can let go of reality and let your imagination run wild -- right down to feeling the heat from the life-sized fire-breathing dragon perched on the ledge above you.  

At Vaughn's Computer House Calls, LLC, we strive to provide complete information technology solutions for our customers.  We don't just want to sell computers or printers or wireless access points to your business.  We want to provide you with a complete technology system that will make your business more effective and efficient.  We want to be your technology partner and to take the time to really understand your computing and networking needs, so we at VCHC can provide you with a complete solution that performs as expected and will help your business thrive.  Please contact us to learn more about how we can assist you. 

Urgent: Uninstall QuickTime Media Player from Your Computer

posted Apr 16, 2016, 9:49 AM by Vaughn Reid   [ updated Apr 16, 2016, 10:01 AM ]

Danger Image to emphasize serious computer security issue
Apple's QuickTime media player is now a serious security threat to your Windows computer.  There are un-patched vulnerabilities for this software, and Apple has ended support for the product.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security through its United States Computer Emergency Response Team, has issued a bulletin describing the computer security issues and recommending people uninstall the QuickTime media player from their computers to mitigate these threats.

We at Vaughn's Computer House Calls recommend that you immediately uninstall the Apple QuickTime player from your computer. Please contact us if you need assistance or have additional questions about how to mitigate this computer security issue.

Here are a couple of links with more information:
US-CERT Advisory
Fox59 News Article

Windows 10 Launch and Advice

posted Jul 29, 2015, 6:10 AM by Vaughn Reid   [ updated Apr 16, 2016, 9:29 AM ]

On July 29, 2015, Microsoft began rolling out its new operating system, Windows 10, for free to computers with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 installed.  Microsoft will be pushing Windows 10 out to users in a rolling fashion.  Not everyone will be able to upgrade on day one of the "Go Live" date.  

Although it is tempting to want to jump on a "free" upgrade to a completely new operating system immediately, we urge everyone to be thoughtful and perform your due diligence before upgrading.  Please take into consideration the following points before you move forward with a Windows 10 upgrade.

  • There are many line-of-business applications that currently will not run correctly on Windows 10. Some of these incompatibilities are known. Some, however, are not. We highly recommend thoroughly testing your line-of-business applications on a Windows 10 test installation to make sure they all work before upgrading to Windows 10.
  • There are some security and anti-virus software programs that will not run correctly on Windows 10. This means an upgrade could leave you unprotected until the security vendor releases support for this new operating system. For example, AVG, one of the leading Anti-Virus manufacturers doesn't expect released support for Windows 10 until sometime during or after August.  For example, AVG CloudCare released support for 64-bit Windows 10 on July 30th and has a target release date of August for any devices running 32-bit Windows 10.
  • If you are a business with a volume licensing agreement with Microsoft, you may not be legally eligible to install the Windows 10 upgrade even if it is being offered to your company's computers. For example, companies with an Enterprise Licensing Agreement are not eligible to take advantage of the Windows 10 upgrade offer. In addition, some versions of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 are not eligible for the Windows 10 upgrade (for example a computer running Windows 7 Enterprise). Please see this link for more information.

Windows 10 will be pushed out to computers through Windows Update. Computer users can trigger this process by clicking on the "Get Windows 10" icon in their task bar and following the prompts. If you are running software to control Windows Update installations (e.g. WSUS, AVG Managed WorkPlace, Microsoft System Center, etc.) you can block or perform a scripted uninstall of Microsoft Windows update kb3035583.  You may also block the Windows 10 Upgrade notification by making the registry changes noted in this article.

As your trusted computer and networking technology advisor, we stand ready to assist you and answer any questions you may have about upgrading to Windows 10. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Image in this post Licensed under the Creative Commons.  License available by following this link.

Beware of Computer Help Desk Scam Phone Calls

posted Nov 10, 2014, 7:58 AM by Vaughn Reid   [ updated Jul 29, 2015, 7:34 AM ]

No Computer Scams or Scammers Allowed for Vaughn's Computer House Calls Customers
Recently, we have been notified by several of our customers that they have been receiving unsolicited phone calls from people claiming to be "Microsoft" or "Windows" and have been asking for access to the customer's computer.  Several of our customers have mentioned that the callers are very assertive.  
Do not do anything the callers ask, and do not give them any personal or financial information.  Hang the phone up immediately because these types of calls are scams.  

After hanging up the phone, you may want to report the phone call to the Federal Trade Commission.  The FTC Complaint Assistant Web Page will help you report the scam call for further investigation.  You may also want to review the this article from Microsoft that provides some additional information about computer phone scams and how to protect yourself. 

If you have any questions about your computer's security, please reach out and contact us

Image in this post Licensed under the Creative Commons.  License available by following this link.

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