Recovery Disks, Bigger screens

Annual Service

I am still coming across computers that are one or even two years old and have never had a good clean up. Perhaps the biggest secret to a happy and safe time with Microsoft Windows is that even when they are brand new, they benefit from a good service. This is especially true of Vista. Vista can be made to run very well with a thorough service. (I didn’t say that when it was first launched!)

Learn to do it yourself?

If you would like to service your own laptop, I am running a training course again at the Hornsby Kuring-Gai Community College from Thursday November 24th. More details here:

Recovery Disks

Can you lay your hands on them? When a hard disk fails, or the operating system becomes corrupt, then you will need your recovery disks. Older machines shipped with these but newer machines, especially laptops, require that you to create your own. There is usually an icon on the desktop for this. Take a look now for it if you don’t already have recovery disks. Much better to locate now before it is too late and once you have them, put them in a safe place.

Hardware life

Most computers (PC’s & Mac’s) have a hard disk inside them to hold the operating system, your applications (programs) and your data. These have an average life of 3.5 years. Replacing them is easy, before they fail, and a lot more work (expense) after they fail; it; there is a lot more effort and cost in replacing them after they fail. Particularly for business users, rather than going to the expense and effort of replacing a whole machine, think about replacing the hard disk every 3 or 4 years.

USB Memory Sticks are usually rated for about 1000 write operations. One that is used quite a bit should be replaced every year. Don’t ever risk using a memory stick as the only place data is stored as they do fail at anytime. Use them for backups and portability only. Store important data on one, or better, two different hard drives, perhaps one in your computer and one external disk drive stored elsewhere.

Bigger Screen?

Sick of squinting? I can offer a 23.5” LCD screen installed (within my normal coverage area) for just $250. They are perfect as main screen or as a second screen for a laptop.

Sending photos by e-mail?

Please bear in mind that e-mail systems were never designed to handle quantities of digital camera photos. To view on a screen, the images need only be tiny. (~50k) All computers have various ways resizing the images. If you have XP, then there is a really useful add-in called Image Resizer. Download it here:


Just giving you the heads up that I intend taking a month long break this Xmas, so if you are contemplating work in Dec or Jan, I suggest you let me know in Oct or Nov. While I am away, I will check SMS and e-mail daily. Anything that I can’t do remotely, I will get my counterpart to attend to, so you will be covered for emergencies.