Byte Me Article 292 – Current Traps

User Data is Not the Problem

This week has been a mixed bag with a lot of different problems needing attention.  The NBN rollout in Rockhampton is still causing lots of Internet issues with phone cables getting disturbed in the “in-ground” pits around the city.  We are going to see this activity continue for quite a while and unfortunately an ADSL line fault often sends Internet users looking in the wrong direction at their own computer or router.

Once again if your Internet stops working without you changing any computer settings or tampering with your router in any way then give it a few hours to come good before you try anything – which in most cases is simply to call your Internet Service Provider.  They can do intelligent tests (in some cases) and should see if it is a line fault – saving you from further exacerbating the situation.

We have also had several people courting disaster with important data and photos by shifting important files off their computer to a backup drive to speed things up.  This is entirely the wrong train of thought as user data does not slow a computer down.  If you had identical computers except one with no photos and the other with 10,000 photos, they will boot up, shut down and perform at exactly the same speed.

If one of the above computers has more software installed then this WILL have a negative bearing on its speed.  We suggest keeping all important files on your computer as well as on a backup drive – or you will need to have two backup drives with identical information on each to be safe.  Just because an external hard drive is sold as a ‘backup drive’ it does not mean that it is free from failure.

In the larger customer area, this week we have been alerted to see some larger companies still going with ‘one man band’ IT support, thinking that they are saving money.  This is rarely the case as we have also many of these smaller IT outfits lack the knowledge and resources to look after a larger firm.  In fact we have just taken on a Real Estate agent that has been considerably held back by this scenario regardless of spending a lot more than the industry standard on their IT.

I remember when I first started out and I specifically did not take on large customers simply because I knew that if I were on holiday or if they had any sort of IT disaster then I would be pushed to give the support that they required.  IT support for a larger company is not just a Monday to Friday 48 weeks of the year task!

The other continuing problem this week is that of the latest Windows 10 update ‘breaking’ perfectly good computers.  It is unfortunate that Microsoft is changing so much programming in this annual update as it can have severe ramifications to the end user.  Before embarking upon any large update always try to restart your PC and make sure that you don’t need to use it for a while.  Try to leave it do any updates in peace without using it for other tasks and make sure it has plenty of battery left if it is a portable device.

The last tip for this week is that we are still seeing too many disgruntled customers come in with something that they purchased on a ‘whim’ from a chain store.  These devices are sometimes totally unsuitable to the customers use and sometimes large amounts of money are wasted.  You should only expect to purchase a new PC every 3 to 6 years so do not rush the purchase decision at the risk of getting a lemon for your use. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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