Room 4122 | 206-546-5872 | | Hours: Mon-Thurs 8-5, Fri 8-4:30

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dell buyout saga is over…

Dell Inc. is no longer a publicly-traded company. It sealed a $24.9 billion buyout deal that will take the company private. Dell Inc. delisted from the NASDAQ at the close of Tuesday's trading, as founder Michael Dell and private equity house, Silver Lake completed their controversial buyout of the struggling PC maker. Like its rivals, Dell got sideswiped by the speed of decline in PC sales globally in past years, as consumers increasingly chose to spend on ever-more powerful smartphones and ultra-light tablet computers.   click to read full article   source: CompTIA SmartBrief & Reuters News Agency

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Mac OS X Mavericks…

OS X Mavericks, which is version 10.9, was released by Apple on October 22, 2013 and is now available as a free download from the Mac App Store. You will need an Apple ID for this download. The operating system has hundreds of new features & several new technologies, such as App Nap & Compressed Memory - to name a few. It is an easy upgrade from OS X 10.6.8 or later versions. It has been reported to be compatible with most software applications such as Office for Mac 2011 and Adobe Creative Suite versions, but some minor issues are arising with other applications. For more details and product info visit

Friday, October 18, 2013

Google Chrome tip…

If you are a new user to the Google Chrome browser, here is a helpful tip. Clicking on the   button, which is the “Customize and control Google Chrome” button, in the upper right hand corner of the page - gives you several options and tools. For instance, you can open a new web tab, create and manage bookmarks, print, view source code (HTML, etc.), access Internet downloads, tweak some of your Chrome settings - like startup, appearance, and homepage, and do much more. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

If your personal information is stolen, 4 steps to take…

It's important to protect your personal information, and to take certain steps quickly to minimize the potential damage from identity theft if your information is accidentally disclosed or deliberately stolen: 1) Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports, and review those reports carefully. Notifying one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies is sufficient. 2) Contact your bank or other financial institution(s) and close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently. 3) File a police report with local law enforcement officials. This is an essential step for protecting your rights. 4) Report your theft to the Federal Trade Commission, online, by phone, or by mail. Visit for more information.   Source: SANS Institute

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Some Windows 8.1 Basics…

We have all heard the numerous reports of how many people are not happy with Windows 8 – it’s confusing, frustrating, where is the damn Start Button, etc. Yes, there are many changes since Windows 7, but the good news is, with the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has fixed many of these issues and with a few pointers and a little practice it’s not that hard to learn! So here we go.

·        *Upon login to Windows 8.1, the user is taken to the Start Screen, which is like a system overlay with all the traditional Windows stuff underneath and reorganized. At the Start Screen, you have category tiles to click on as quick & easy ways to do some tasks like check email, look at maps, go to news articles, etc.
·         *Or, you can click on the Desktop tile and you go straight to your desktop – complete with the holy Start Button and more of a normal Windows look and feel.
·         *The   at the bottom left of the Start Screen takes you to your installed applications, i.e. MS Office, Adobe PhotoShop, etc. - similar to what clicking Start, All Programs in Windows 7 does.
·         *From the desktop, if you LEFT click the Start Button it will take you back to the Start Screen (remember that’s the screen with the big colorful tiles)
·        * From the desktop, if you RIGHT click the Start Button you will get you some traditional options, tools, & utilities, such as Control Panel, Search, Run, & Shutdown options.
·         *From the Start Screen or desktop, if you hover with the cursor over the lower right hand corner of the screen, icons for settings, devices, search, and other tools will appear – you can then click them in order to access these tools.  
·         *From the desktop, to access your local hard drive (C:) or your network drives, click on the Windows Explorer icon and you will see these drives available.
·         *That’s all for now. After 15-20 minutes, you will likely be rolling & have many things in Windows 8.1 figured out. It is a different experience, but not as tough as you were led to believe.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Windows tip…

As an alternative to using the Alt key & Print Screen/PrtScn Key to capture a screen shot, you can also use the Windows Snipping Tool.  It’s a built-in feature of Windows 7. To use the tool - launch it by clicking Start, All Programs, Accessories, and Snipping ToolWhen it opens – your screen will go pale whitish and you will see a crosshair tool. Then simply put your cross-hair where you want to start and then left- click/drag the tool over anything you want to snip (cut out) – then release. It’s similar to the cropping tool in photo-editing software. You can snip error messages, text from the web or documents, pictures, etc. There are also tools that cut in different shapes. Once your snip is captured, you will get a pop-up window that gives you the option to copy the snip and send it via email or copy and paste it to a word document, email, etc. It’s a very handy tool to have!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Read error messages and checkboxes…

When you see an error message pop up on the screen, read it! You may not understand everything, but if you look through the message, you can get the gist of it. Hackers can sometimes generate errors to collect everything you type and everything that comes up on your screen. If you don't understand the error, at least capture the screen. To do that, hold down the Alt key and press the key labeled Print Screen or PrtScn. That will put the screen shot into short-term storage called the clipboard. Then open an e-mail message, right click on the message body and select "paste". Now you can print it or send it to tech support for further analysis.   Source: SANS Institute