When Windows 7 is Gone in 2020, What Will You Do?

Windows 7 Coming to an End

It’s official, Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020. What does that mean to you at home?  After this date, your PC running Windows 7 will no longer receive security updates or any other sort of patching by Microsoft.  In this day and age where cyber security breaches are always in the news, this is a big deal.

Many people think they’ll be fine if they keep their anti-virus up to date, but, they are wrong.  Anti-virus vendors are not in the business of guarding against fundamental security flaws in the operating system.  They, like everyone else, rely on the vendor to patch these holes in a timely manner.

2020 is just over six months away, not that far off, and that time will go by much faster than you may realize.  You need to start thinking about what you are going to do about this.  There are several options for you to consider.

Buy a new computer with Windows 10 installed.
This is how many people will solve this issue.  They feel they’ve had their current computer quite a long time so a new one seems like a good choice.

Upgrade your current computer to Windows 10.
This is also a viable solution for many Windows 7 users out there.  As long as your hardware is robust enough to cope with the increased demands of Windows 10 this should work just fine.  You will have to purchase a copy of Windows 10 and install it.  This will cost you anywhere from $139.00 US for the Home version all the way up to $199.00 US for the Pro version.  Most home users do not require the Pro version.

Some people will move to a new operating system.
I’m always impressed when people branch out and try something new in their computer world.  Two other operating systems you could potentially move too are Linux and Mac OS.

Mac OS is a definite favourite of mine, it runs exactly the same way 99.99999% of the time when I turn it on, as it did when I turned it off.  No inexplicable weirdness, very stable, and everything “just works”.  Anti-Virus and Malware scanners and cleaners are really only needed to make sure you don’t pass something on to your Windows friends.  Yes, there are virus strains and malware out there for Mac OS, but it’s not mainstream and you won’t run into them doing normal everyday web surfing etc.  If you live your cyber life on the edge, you would have a better chance of catching something there.  So, while it’s not a bad idea to have an anti-virus suite on your Mac, it’s not life and death like it is for a Windows user.

Now, you can only use Mac OS on Apple Macintosh computers.  Mostly.  There are several sneaky ways of running Mac OS on other hardware, or in a virtual machine, but that is not a project for the average computer user.  Macintosh hardware, while of extremely high quality and excellent specifications, can really surprise some people with the price tag.  I personally do think they are worth the extra bucks.

Wipe out windows and replace it with Linux on your current computer.
This is a great option for people with older hardware who are also not in the position to buy something new, or pay for the new version of Windows.  At this time, my personal favourite Linux distribution is called Linux Mint, but there are many others available.  Linux is a free and open source operating system that is fast, efficient, easy on your disk space, and runs very well on older hardware.  Under the hood, Linux is a cousin of Mac OS down deep, so they share all the same traits that make them reliable, more secure, and far more private than Windows (Windows 10 collects reams of information about you).

So there you go folks, there are several ways to get past Windows 7 and move into a modern operating system.  My favourite option here is moving to Linux, so much more cost effective and so similar to what you’ve been using, your learning curve would be a very gentle incline indeed.

If you need assistance moving on from Windows 7, or if you’d like to talk about moving to Linux, feel free to contact me at 250-485-7146 or email me at service@goldtek.ca and I would be happy to discuss it with you.

Mileage Converter

Howdy folks! Recently I started to re-dable (now that’s a funny word, if in fact it is a real word) with BASIC programming. Programming in BASIC, for me, goes all the way back to being twelve to fourteen years old, somewhere in the early 80’s. That’s when the Apple ][+ ruled the personal computer world!

I found an App for iOS, Misoft Basic!, that purported to be an Apple staff favourite for its nostalgic feel, much like the old AppleSoft BASIC of the day. My father thought it would be fun to try some programming again and suggested we work together on a mileage converter. I agreed but went a little overboard and wrote the whole thing one afternoon. So, after cutting my dad out of the fun, he is taking it a step further and is giving it a graphical interface, as opposed to my purely text offering.

I am including the code to what I’ve written so far if you’d like to try it out. Be aware that not all versions of BASIC use exactly the same syntax or commands but if your willing to give this a go, you probably already know that.

10 Rem Convert l/100 to us & imp and back
12 REM by Wayne Goldsmith
13 CLS
15 PRINT “*******************************”
20 PRINT “Welcome to the Multi-Mileage Converter.”
30 PRINT “*******************************”
35 PRINT
40 PRINT ” 1) L/100 to Imperial MPG”
45 PRINT ” 2) Imperial MPG to L/100″
50 PRINT ” 3) L/100 to US MPG”
55 PRINT ” 4) US MPG to L/100″
57 PRINT ” 5) End”
60 PRINT
65 INPUT “Pleas enter you choice… “;c
70 IF c=1 THEN
GOSUB 135
ELSE
IF c=2 THEN
GOSUB 180
ELSE
IF c=3 THEN
GOSUB 250
ELSE
IF c=4 THEN
GOSUB 320
ELSE
IF c=5 THEN
GOSUB 400
END IF
END IF
END IF
END IF
END IF

GOTO 13

135 REM l/100 to imp mpg
136 PRINT
140 INPUT “Please enter your L/100 to IMP MPG you would like to convert. “;l
150 mpg=282.48/l
155 PRINT
157 PRINT
160 PRINT “Your L/100 figure works out to “mpg” Miles Per Gallon!”
165 PRINT
166 PRINT
168 GOSUB 450
170 RETURN

180 REM imp mpg to l/100
181 PRINT
190 INPUT “Please enter the Imperial MPG you would like to convert to L/100… “;mpg
200 l=282.48/mpg
210 PRINT
220 PRINT
230 PRINT “Your Imperial MPG figure works out to “l “L/100. ”
235 PRINT
236 PRINT
238 GOSUB 450
240 RETURN

250 REM l/100 to us mpg
251 PRINT
260 INPUT “Please enter the L/100 figure you would like to convert to US MPG… “;l
270 mpg=235.2/l
280 PRINT
290 PRINT
300 PRINT “Your L/100 figure works out to “mpg” US Miles Per Gallon!”
305 PRINT
306 PRINT
308 GOSUB 450
310 RETURN

320 REM US MPG to L/100
321 PRINT
330 INPUT “Please enter the US MPG figure you would like to convert to L/100…. “;mpg
340 l=235.2/mpg
350 PRINT
360 PRINT
370 PRINT “Your US MPG figure works out to “l “L/100.”
375 PRINT
376 PRINT
378 GOSUB 450
380 RETURN

390 GOTO 20

400 PRINT
410 PRINT ” Thank you for using The Multi-Mileage Converter.”
420 END

450 INPUT “Press ‘C’ to continue, or ‘Q’ to quit.”;d$
460 IF d$=”c” THEN
RETURN
ELSE
IF d$=”q” THEN
GOTO 400
ELSE
GOTO 450
ENDIF
ENDIF

Internet Trolls

If you have more than scratched the surface of the internet, you’ve seen evidence of the passage of internet trolls. They lurk in online forums, chat rooms, and blog comment sections waiting to drop their bomb and move back into the shadows to watch the fun.

internet trollWikipedia defines the internet troll as a person who sows discord on the internet by starting arguments or otherwise upsetting people by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off topic messages. Their deliberate intent is to provoke readers into making an emotional response. Trolls love this sort of thing, it’s actually entertainment for them. Sadly most people don’t realize they are being manipulated, making it all the easier for the troll to get things started.

A Canadian study conducted by the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and University of British Columbia researchers concluded online trolls were akin to “prototypical everyday sadists”, as reported by Doug Cross of CNN. Sadism is the tendency to take pleasure in other people’s pain or discomfort.

A troll’s efforts will be more successful depending on the maturity of the audience. Maturity does not necessarily equate to age when we consider it is adults who make Gerry Springer and his ilk successful. Your children may be the unwitting victims of the trolls if they frequent online community pages. They don’t have the emotional maturity to refrain from taking part in the online battles raging on their screens.

The best way to shut down a troll of course is not responding to their inane comments, but most people can not help themselves, they wade right in, with gusto. So, it begs the question, if these trolls are truly sadists, does that make the rest of us a little masochistic for enabling them?

 

*Masochistic – The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.

War Thunder Update Issues

The other day I went to play War Thunder and the launcher required an update to the game to proceed.  I naturally agreed whole-heartedly, without reservation, and let things happen.

Getting towards the end of the process, an error message pops up, saying that I did not have the required permissions to perform certain actions, actions that were never defined.

In the end, I allowed full control over the whole War Thunder folder, and it’s contents, and that solved the issue.  If you have the time, you could add Full Control to each user or group attached to the folder (Possibly ‘Trusted Installer’ would actually save the day) one at a time to see which is the user/group that needs the access to the War Thunder folder.

November Service Special!!

Does your computer need a tune-up?
Whip it into shape with our November Service Special!!

We will:

install all applicable Windows Updates.
Install our Essential Utility Kit (to help keep your computer clean).
Examine and correct Hard Drive health issues.
Scan for and remove any instances of Viruses and Malware.
Recover any available Hard Drive space.
Scan and Repair Registry errors.

A complete tune-up, all for $ 50.00!

CALL GOLDTEK TODAY @ 250 485-7146

FOR SALE – ASUS eeePC Netbook – $99.99

FOR SALE

ASUS eeePC Netbook – $99.99

 

photo 1-2 photo 2-2

 

This netbook has been refurbished and has a fresh install of xUbuntu Linux.  In excellent overall condition with minor signs of wear.  Battery holds a good charge.  This netbook is the ultimate in portability, take it anywhere!

Pre-Installed Software

Pre-installed software includes Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email, plus a full load-out of included Linux apps.

Manufacturer ASUS
Model name eee pc 701
Model id 701
CPU type Intel Celeron-M
CPU speed 900 Mhz
Graphics Intel GMA 900
OS xUbuntu Linux
Display Size 7.0″ 800 X 480
RAM 512 MB
Flash 3.9 GB
Battery capacity 37 (Wh)
Battery Life 3.4 – 4.1 hours
Weight 920gm / 32.5 oz.
Size (w/h/d mm) 225/165/35 mm
Size (w/h/d inches) 8.9/6.5/1.4

AC Adapter Included.

CALL GoldTek at 250 485-7146

 

Open Request to any and all PC Diagnostic Utility software makers.

Dear sirs!  You know what I want?  I want PC diagnostic utilities that I can run from my iOS device such as my iPhone or iPad.  I envision connecting to the PC via a USB port and proceeding to scan the drive and repair file structure damage ala chkdsk, defrag, scan for viruses and malware, disk file cleanup and registry cleaning and defrag, and navigate in the file system.  What a boon for tech’s doing PC repair like myself!!

Moving Mail Across Windows Versions

Recently I was helping a client move their data from their old Windows XP machine to a new Windows 7 unit.  They were concerned about changes in the mail program that Windows 7 provides compared to their old Outlook Express.  They asked if Mozilla Thunderbird would be a good equivalent mail client, which I assured them it would be.  Better in fact.

If you’ve ever tried to get your new installation of Thunderbird in your new computer to pickup all account settings, mail and address books from the old Outlook Express on the old hard drive, you know that can be problematic.  An easy solution is to install Thunderbird first on the old computer, and have it import all account settings, mail, address books, etc. from Outlook Express.

Then, when i connect the old hard drive to the new computer to copy the users documents and other data, I simply replace the Thunderbird folder in the new computer located at C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming with the Thunderbird folder from the old C: drive, which in XP is located in C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data.

Works like a charm!

Should I Buy a New Computer?

I am asked this question all the time. The simple answer is No.

Does your computer do everything you need it to do? Is it holding you back in some way? Most of the time, the things about your computer that keep you from enjoying it are that is has slowed down, or it crashes often, or has in some way become unreliable. Most of the time.

Almost any computer sold within the last 3-5 years has more than enough performance to keep the average consumer happy. But, people tend to think that the computer itself, the hardware, has somehow degraded over the course of their ownership. Most of the time, this is not the case. Most of the time, what is making it unreliable is malware infesting your computer, serious file fragmentation on the hard drive, or other hard drive file system errors. This can usually be cleaned up, and your speed and reliability restored. Compared to these problems, hardware issues are relatively uncommon.

If you hire someone to do this job for you, the cost will be a fraction of the cost of a new machine. At this point, if you run your two favorite security programs every week, your computer will stay cleaner longer, helping you to avoid the cost of a professional to clean it up for you.

Some people need the highest performance in a computer, so upgrading more often is definitely reasonable for them. Others have held onto their computer for so long that they can’t get updated software for it, which is also a good reason to upgrade. Some people just want a new computer, and no reasoning will dissuade them. Nothing wrong with that either.

So, should you buy a new computer?

Phishing

No doubt you’ve heard of this type of computer scam, but what is phishing?  In the computer world, phishing is email sent to you by criminals, which appear legitimate in a vague sort of way, but with very specific consequences to you if you are duped by them.

An email lands in your inbox, and at first glance it appears to be legitimate.  Supposedly from FedEx, it says that your ebay.com purchase is being held at customs, please click here for details.  Or an email from XYZ Furniture, stating that your payment of $4096.69 has been processed successfully, thank you for your business.  Please click below to confirm your shipping details.  These emails are cunningly designed to illicit a quick reaction from you and almost without thinking, you click on the link.   At this point you are Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole.

If you are lucky, your security software will recognize the link and block you from connecting, but the sad truth is that the Phishermen change their emails many times a day and security companies often can not keep up with the changes.  What about your firewall, can’t that keep them out?  Well, if they were trying to connect to you, it probably would.  But, now that they are inside your computer, they get your computer to contact them.  Many consumer firewalls do not watch the outgoing traffic from your computer very closely.

So, what if my computer is now compromised?  The bad guys will have complete access to your computer in short order, and you won’t have seen anything untoward on your screen to alert you.  What do they want with you?  You are a very valuable commodity on the black market, or at least your identity and financial information is.  Also, having control of your computer lets the bad guys use it for other nefarious purposes.

The best way to avoid this fate is to be patient while you read your email.  At first glance these messages look legitimate, and, as you start to stress about the contents of the message, you look around desperately for a way out of this mess, and there it is, a link to all the answers,  if you just “click here”.

If, instead, you take a breath and look closely, you will begin to notice clues that there may be something phishy going on here.  The FedEx email has capthighliner@phishermanscove.com  as an email address, strangely not from someone at FedEx.com.  And the XYZ Furniture company?  Well, you’re pretty sure you didn’t order any new corinthian leather deck chairs, aren’t you?  If you are still concerned, don’t click their link, instead phone your credit card company and explain your concern, or your financial institution, they will be happy to look into your account for you.  Google up current phishing scams, chances are the ones you received will be listed there, and others you haven’t seen yet.  For-warned is for-armed, as they say.

And as always, scan your computer at least once a week with your two favourite security programs.  This will keep your Windows computer as clean as possible.