Dec 202014
 

BY TOM SLAUGHTER – OWNER OF EARTH OASIS COMPUTERS

Frustrated WomanThe most common thing we hear in my business? It is “I’m really dumb (or bad or inexperienced) when it comes to computers.”  So the first question I’m going to answer is – are you in fact really that dumb when it comes to computers?

My confident answer is “maybe inexperienced, but not bad or dumb.”

Why?  If you moved to Italy and spoke no Italian, could you learn the language? Of course you could! However, much of it would depend on how immersed you became. If you lived with Italians, who spoke only Italian, my guess is that you would learn the language pretty quick. Would it be a week before you were fluent? Of course not!

Learning and using computers is just like learning and using another language. As a matter of fact, I would say it is another language, a visual one. After a week, would you be able to speak Italian? Well, maybe a little, but unless you were a language savant, probably not much. How long would it take? Obviously, it would depend on a lot of factors, like how hard you worked at it and how much of each day you spent trying to speak it.

Using a computer is exactly the same. Computers are way more complex than your TV or microwave oven. So give yourself a break. Don’t think you can just dive into a new operating system (Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X are operating systems) and are going to understand it well in a day. We tech people spend most of everyday using and learning about computers, so don’t compare yourselves to us. And don’t compare yourself to a teenager who spends every waking moment with their attention focused on their computer or smart phone (which is just a small computer.)

It’s going to take some practice. One of my strong suggestions is to learn how to use the built in help system. Both Microsoft and Apple have put considerable time and effort into improving the built in help systems over the years. Of course even learning to use the help system will take some practice.

The best advice and I can give you is to be patient with yourself and keep learning.

Ronnie Reboot

 

December 20th, 2014

 Posted by at 10:12 PM
Apr 182014
 

This is a copy of an email sent to all our clients.

Windows XP No Longer Supported

Windows XP LogoSince it has now been “officially” retired by Microsoft, we are getting a lot of questions about Windows XP. What should you do?

First off, it’s not going to just stop working. When Microsoft says they are not going to support it anymore, what they mean is they won’t be putting out anymore new patches or updates (Windows Updates as they are commonly called.)

So if you are still using Windows XP on any computers, what does this mean? It means that if the bad guys discover any new unpatched security holes in Windows XP, Microsoft is not going to patch them and your computer running Windows XP would then be more vulnerable to being hacked or infected.

So what should you do? The best thing to do is to get a new computer or upgrade the computer to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

If you feel the need to stick with XP for now and your XP computer is hooked up to the Internet, it’s imperative that you have a good a Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware program installed and up to date. I would recommend that it be set to run regular full scans of your system (like nightly.) I would also recommend you run weekly scans with Malwarebytes, which we have installed on many of your computers (be sure and click on the <Update> tab and check for updates before running it.)

HOWEVER, no Anti-Virus or Anti-Malware can protect any computer from everything, so you are taking more of a risk than if your computer was running Windows 7 or 8 or is a Mac. How much of a risk I can’t tell you and that’s the bottom line.

Tom Slaughter
Chief Technology Officer
& Guardian of Your Digital Sanity

 Posted by at 9:06 PM
Jan 122014
 

ronnie_thumbThis is a rather straightforward question all of us are asked. And most of us can give a quick and accurate answer, something like “our address is 3240 Maple Leaf Lane.” Obviously, this question and answer refers to our home or business address.House

Now, what if you were asked: “what is your home Internet address?” Some might reply: “do you mean my email address?” But what if the reply was: “no, the address of your home computer on the Internet.” I can confidently tell you that 99.9% of everyone you know would reply “I have no clue, I didn’t even know that my home computer had an address.”

Guess what, it does! It’s something like “074.125.239.091”. I’m going to keep the explanation simple, because there is a little bit more to it than that, and because anyone who has a router at home actually has two addresses (one to the outside world and one inside the house). The example given above is an “outside to the world” address belonging to Google. You have an address at home that is just like Google’s address above.  It’s just four different sets of three numbers. This address is known to tech pros as IPv4 address. That stands for “Internet Protocol Version 4.”

The good news is that you don’t need to know what your address is because your computer equipment handles that for you. However, sometimes we computer techs do need to know in order to troubleshoot a problem or install a new piece of equipment for you.

Earth ConnectedIPv4 allows for about 4 Billion unique addresses. This is the number of different combinations available using 4 sets of 3 numbers. When the folks who invented IPv4 decided on that number, they thought “4 Billion addresses, how will we ever need more than that?”

Ah, but that was before everyone had a cell phone that needed to get on the Internet and before everyone had multiple computers, let alone tablet computers. Every Internet connected device on the planet must have a unique address. So, (you know what’s coming next) all of the 4 Billion IPv4 addresses have been assigned! But! Never fear, a nerd is near!

The folks who manage these things came up with IPv6, which stands for “Internet Protocol Version 6.” (What happened to version 5?)  And, here is the good news: Once version 6 of our Internet Addresses Scheme has been fully implemented we will have 3.4×10 to the 38th power unique addresses at our disposal! That’s because IPv6 is made up of eight groups of four hexadecimal digits. Hexadecimal is the numbers 0 thru 9 and the letters A thru F. An example is “2001:0db8:85a3:0042:1000:8a2e:0370:7334.  Are you asking yourself: “What is 3.4×10 to the 38th power?”

ufp2There are 340 trillion, trillion, trillion (undecillion) addresses in IPv6. That’s 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 IPv6 addresses. That is 48,909,254,989,728,775,223,940,766,262 addresses per person on the planet!

Conclusion: Go ahead and get another device that needs to get on the Internet. The guys and gals in charge have you covered. Frankly, I think they wanted to cover the future including the United Federation of Planets, in case we get there. (That’s a Star Trek reference. Live long and prosper!)

 

ronnie_mail1

 

 

January 12th, 2014

 

 

 Posted by at 8:41 PM