Here are my ramblings on all things 'tech'
Lockdown 3 (or 4?) - January 2021
Same rules apply. Essential workers (me!) can still visit you and work, the same as plumbers etc. Covid rules (Dick Turpin) still apply.
Mac OS11 (Big Sur)
Well, I installed it on my Mac. Then I took it off again. I found quite a few incompatibility issues and my WLAN went a bit crazy.
I'm going to wait a bit. Backup like I did, then it's happy days if it doesn't work out.
New Lockdown Rules from 4 November
I am still legally allowed to enter your home or business and you are legally allowed to have me there.
I'll still look like Dick Turpin and be squirting everything I touch!
iPhone 12 Pro
My early gift from Santa. It's a nice progression. Love the camera.
Its causing a few issues with disk permissions and other bugs. Backup backup backup! Check iCloud settings if your desktop dissapears!
Please be careful. I'm a big fan (and customer) of Amazon, but I've never spoken to them on the telephone. BUT lots of scammers use the Amazon word. Same with BT. Sometimes I wait weeks for a call from them about something legitimate. Again, scammers use the BT word to gain your confidence..
The damn Virus!
I am currently doing a doorstep or remote service where possible. We do have emergencies though where it isn't possible. In that case I ask you to expect me to follow all hygine and social distancing advice. You'd still have a plumber in the house if your toilet was leaking, so why not a tech guy if your WiFi or printer is broken?
Secure Your Google Account!
Please turn on two step verification. Too may people are falling foul of Google Pay scams. It only takes a minute. Ask if you need help.
I've been to see two or three windows machines this last week that are "running slowly". They aren't, they are doing the new Windows Update. Have a look in the task manager (right click the windows icon) and see what your PC is doing.
High Sierra Update Issues
There seems to be an issue with the caches on some machines (I've seen it on two iMac 2010's at least). If your Mac won't restart after the update, give me a call. It's not a fix I can post here.
I've just done a home with 6 of these devices. Mine. They turn on the lights, play music and answer the craziest questions. They remind you to do things and the best thing of all - they act as intercoms to my daughters rooms so calling them for meals is so much fun. Unfortunately, they know how to turn each others lights on and off and play music in each others rooms. To be continued.... ;)
I got mine! I love it.
Fixed the annoying autocorrect!
Ransomware Attacks! 11th May
Don't think it's just the NHS that's vunerable. Take precautions!
1. Backup Backup - and keep your backup drive disconnected. Don't think cloud backups such as Dropbox are going to save you.
2. Don't rely on anti virus - be vigilent. You can have 5 good locks on your front door, but if you open it to strangers you WILL be attacked!
3. NEVER EVER click on a link you don't recognise
4. Keep your systems up to date. Vunerabilities are patched by the OS companies
Windows 10 Creators Update
Rolling out now. Don't be afraid of Cortana! She's new and more helpful! Downside - iCloud won't work - again! I'm trying to figure out if I can get it to right now...
EDIT - now fixed with iCloud update
This seems a lovely stable upgrade and works well with all versions of Office. Go ahead.
Anniversary upgrade has been taking a long time and causing some folk to turn off their 'puter. Don't don't don't!
10.0 is now available. Some folk have had trouble with this - WiFi especially.
iCloud Update! (finally)
If you upgraded to Windows 10, you will have noticed that Apple's iCloud functionality wasn't there. With the arrival of V5, it's back!
Apple News App
I love it - it's the best personalised news feature I've seen - and it's free in the 9.1 upgrade, available now.
El Capitan & iOS9!
Both available now.. the usual WiFi issues but otherwise OK to go for it.
Umm. Some folk are upgrading fine, so not so well - email seems to be a primary issue. Call me if you need help with a 'clean' install.
National Park, or new Apple OS? Please be careful and clone / backup before upgrading. I've had a few errors, especially WiFi related.
Nasty bugs out there - Cryptolocker in particular. Unless you want all your precious files losing forever, please make sure you have a good backup and the latest protection, this is not a scare - it's very real. I met a lady the other day that didn't have either and now has lost all her photos, unless she risks sending the criminals $400!!
Lot's of new ones became available a little while ago, and I bagged one for me! I'm now the proud owner of harrogate.technology - now once all the browsers catch up..... You can email me at email@example.com, but you can only type www.harrogate.technology into Firefox at the moment.
I've spent a lot of time lately improving folks' internet experience. From expanding WiFi in larger homes, to simpler tweaks on Macs and PC's. Just because you have internet doesn't mean it has to be slow or unavailable in your home.
Did you know that this tiny black box can turn your TV into a smart TV? You get access to the likes of iPlayer and Netflix as well as a host of other goodies. You can also stream movies in HD1080 and music. For less than £100!
Solid State Drives
Fitted loads of these recently. It's a great way of giving your Mac or PC a new lease of life! The average boot time is 3 - 4 minutes with a conventional drive. This reduces to around 30 seconds with an SSD. Opening a browser or mail is near instant and even large applications take a few seconds instead of minutes. All your existing data is cloned, so the only change to your machine is it's speed! Honestly you will wonder how you lived without one when you make the change. It's also quieter (especially laptops) and more reliable as there are no moving parts.
Now you do have backups, don't you?
So, if I said to you that I would buy you a brand new 'puter / tablet / phone etc as long as I could bash the hell out of the old one with a 2lb hammer, you'd be good to go? If so, you probably DO have a backup.
If not, then think -if the worst did happen, where else do you have a copy of that special picture or email or worse, draft accounts to send to the Tax Man.
A backup can be a simple as a drag and drop to a USB stick or more advanced - syncing to clouds, NAS or external devices, networked or not. However you do it, just do it and on a regular basis. You will thank yourself one day
A warning about Powerlines
A Powerline is a small device that you can use when you either have a device that can't connect to Wifi, or doesn't have WiFi capability. I recently had cause to use one at a client's home. The reason for this was because it was a connection to a BT Vision box, which doesn't have WiFi and the BT box was not near to the main router. Standard stuff really, until I plugged in the new Powerline.
What happened next was that the network went crazy. It was like I had just plugged another internet router into the system. Later on, after a lot of checking, I realised that's exactly what had happened. Someone else nearby had a powerline plugged into their electrics and hadn't secured it. I could see all their devices on their network because I was hard wired in via this harmless looking little box. Be aware when you use these devices, next door could be watching!
Trojans - the real consequences
I got a call from a friend of mine, a successful businessman in Leeds. He claimed that the Russians had taken over his bank account. He was right, they had!
Another few keystrokes and he would have lost over £100,000. I'm not kidding even a little bit.
A trojan had managed to install itself onto his Windows 7 PC and had been sat waiting for hime to access his internet banking. It could have been there for weeks, but since he only did a payment run once a month we can't be sure. Now bear in mind, this PC had a fully up to date Windows Defender anti-virus installation and he was careful about what he downloaded, but it was there anyway. It had sat there, waiting, until he logged in and took note of his user ID & password, which it had then transmitted to a remote location via a TOR connection. The criminal had then logged in to my friend's account and set up some Euro and Dollar transfers to accounts in Russia. All that was needed was authorisation from his smart card.
A signal was sent to the trojan to arrange this: Next time he logged in, the fake system asked him for a smartcard code, as 'security had changed' and it was a 'new requirement'. In fact, if he had entered the code, the cash would be gone and nobody would help, especially the bank. Read this for folk who weren't so lucky - and be vigilant!
BT Yahoo email? iPad?
Seems a simple one actually. In fact it can be troublesome. When you get your new iPad, Apple always suggest that you use your 'primary' email address as your Apple ID. So you enter your firstname.lastname@example.org details and password, it verifies them and, hey, everything looks cool. No?If you find that you can receive mail, but not send and strange things are happening, you probably once upon a time started that email address with BT Yahoo! So next you look on the BT website and it tells you to add a second email account using 'other' and enter your email address. Doesn't work either, does it...
Quick message to Naim
UnitiQ - super machine. Have you thought about making the networking more dynamic? These machines are more and more
part of larger domestic networks. So respect static IPs and dynamically refresh DHCP. Please. It saves so much use of the on/off switch! Thank you. Oh and an Android app would be nice too!
You want to print from your iPad? Just bear in mind not all WiFi printers are compatible with AirPrint. They are getting easier to buy now though - over 100 models at the last count, however certain models can still be difficult to set up.
Phones for the hard of hearing
Did you know you can get these and they are programmable for those who don't need the extra volume boost? I installed one the other day in Follifoot and it really has changed the lady's life. There is a simple button that amplifies the sound in the earpiece. They are crystal clear and work just like any other cordless phone.