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Nick Spicer

Local Business v. Big Box Computer Repair

Your computer is down for the count. You’ve tried the perennial favorite – turning it off and back on again – but somehow, your tech magic has not worked this time! You need help, and you want it fast. The question is whether to take it to a local computer business or big-box store for repair. Many big-box stores offer depot computer repair. Why are we calling it depot repair? Because just like at a bus or train depot, that store is only one stop on your computer’s repair journey. Typically, the store does not have the facilities to repair your laptop or desktop on-site. Also, their employees lack the skills to

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Nick Spicer

How Microsoft Intune Can Benefit Your Business

The use of mobile devices is becoming standard in business. Smartphones and tablets have taken their place as tools your employees want to use. Whether for communication or collaboration, expect people to have mobile devices at hand. To make this work, your business needs mobile device management, that’s where Microsoft Intune can help. More work is getting done in the cloud, especially with more people working remotely. Employees want to be able to access the same applications and data they’d get on a desktop or laptop, right there on the device in their hands, wherever they may be. This presents a security challenge. When all devices connecting to a work

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Nick Spicer

The Real Advantages of a Virtual LAN (VLAN)

There are many acronyms to keep track of in the IT realm. One that’s been around for over 30 years now is VLAN – virtual local area network. A VLAN offers flexibility that more and more businesses find appealing. But what exactly is a VLAN? A VLAN allows you to segment a network without needing separate hardware. So, you can have a single physical switch, but multiple different networks connected. You can group computers, servers, or other resources into a network based on department or user type. It doesn’t have to be based entirely on physical location. The computers might be on various floors of a building or spread out

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Nick Spicer

Pros and Cons of All-In-One Computers

Today, business is all about streamlining and finding efficiencies. And that even extends to embracing all-in-one computers. Users get a desktop computer that integrates monitor, processing, and ports in one. Still, there are pros and cons to consider. Apple iMacs were the first all-in-one computers to gain popularity, but you can now find many different brands of all-in-one desktop. Promising all the computing power you need built into the monitor, these are easy to set up and get running. Their sleek design can also include webcams and speakers as part of the desktop. The user needs only to add a mouse and keyboard. Furthermore, buying a computer with all its

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Nick Spicer

Why is My Brand New Laptop So Slow?

Why is My Brand New Laptop So Slow?  Your old computer is beginning to slow down. So, you invest in a shiny new laptop. The clouds part and the sun shines down on this bright and lovely new device. Everything will be faster and easier. Only, from the first day, the new laptop is lagging. Why is it running so slow? One of these might be the reason. #1 Not enough computing power.  In many cases, the laptop doesn’t have enough RAM (Random Access Memory). RAM is the computer’s main memory. This helps your computer do more at once. Information from the operating system, application programs and data are kept

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Nick Spicer

Your Antivirus May Be Letting You Down

ALERT: Your Antivirus May Be Letting You Down The best way to avoid a computer virus is by using common sense, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be safe from attack. Even the most careful user can find themselves infected in an instant and spreading the virus faster than a sneeze in flu season. It’s why antivirus software is still the first package we install on all systems – because you never know when you’ll be attacked. But should you choose free or paid antivirus?  Advertising: Much like a free app making its fortune with in-app purchases, the free antivirus software will push for payment. Expect popup boxes pestering you to sign

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Nick Spicer

Is Your Printer an Ink-Sucking Monster?

​How long have you had your home printer? Maybe you have a printer that came as a package deal with your desktop or free with your laptop purchase. Look in many home offices and you’ll probably see a less-expensive inkjet printer sitting beside even the swankiest monitor. Here’s why it’s time for an upgrade. You should know that printers are often sold at cost or even as a loss leader (below cost to get your business). After all, once you get that cheap/free inkjet printer, you’ll pay for ink cartridges for the life of the printer. To make sure they get your money, manufacturers often sell new printers with half-empty

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Nick Spicer

Trades Should Add Technology to Their Tool Belts

​There are many hands-on trades that haven’t traditionally needed technology. Yet modern tech tools help the plumber, carpenter, welder, or other trade improve productivity and competitiveness. There are certain common tasks tradespeople face daily: scheduling appointments with clients, suppliers, or inspectors; tracking project deadlines and budgets; communicating with project managers, customers, trades, office administrators; paying employee salaries; invoicing and tracking payables, receivables. These can all be done with pen and paper, sticky notes, and forms in triplicate, but technology cuts the time spent and lets you focus instead on increasing your bottom line. The Difference Technology Tools Make Most of us carry small, powerful computers around in our pockets every

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Nick Spicer

What’s Best for Your Computer: Shut Down or Sleep?

What’s Best for Your Computer: Shut Down or Sleep? Most homes are trying to reduce power costs by turning off lights and appliances, but do the same rules apply to computers? After all, it requires more than flicking a switch on your way out the door. Some people believe you should shut down after every use to save wear and tear, others believe you should never shut down your computer – ever. Others simply want to make sure the pages and apps they left open are still there waiting for them. So, who’s right and what are they really doing? Back when computers were clunky behemoths that took a long

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Nick Spicer

Business Tools to Take Your Business Out of The Office

Business Tools to Take Your Business Out of The Office Being engaged in business used to mean staying wired in at the office eight to twelve hours a day.  In the modern day, this is completely untrue.  Often the most efficient workplace is spread far and wide and always on the go. Today you can completely unplug from your desk with just your laptop computer and 4G modem.  The freedom to work out of the office and even on the move is a huge advantage gifted to modern business.  A simple mobile phone tether is enough to work from anywhere in the world. The Right Tools for the Job The

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Nick Spicer

Security Patches – The Better Way to Update

Updates often come at the worst moment. You go to shut down your laptop to rush to a meeting, and you get a “Windows is updating. Do not power off” message. Argh! Or you leave your desktop to go to a meeting and come back to find your computer has restarted in your absence. Those unexpected bug fixes and performance improvements lost you all your unsaved work. You know updates are important. They help patch security flaws. These are the vulnerabilities that hackers love to exploit. Updating helps you keep business documents and data safe. Software updates can also add new, useful features and remove outdated ones. Plus, keeping software

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Blog
Nick Spicer

The Dark Web and Its Impact on Your Business

Business owners today know the internet is not only a force for good. Some people exploit the Web for ill intent. They congregate on the Dark Web, and small businesses need to understand the risks. What is the Dark Web? You and your employees spend time daily on the Web. They’re researching clients, checking out competitors, and searching for information. They are not accessing the Dark Web. The Dark Web houses dangerous, often illegal activity. This includes black-market drug sales, illegal firearm sales, and illicit pornography. The Dark Web’s collection of websites is inaccessible using standard search engines or browsers. Users employ a Tor or I2P encryption tool to hide

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