The Wet, Cold Season is Here – Time to Fix Up Your Computers for Dream-Building.

It’s that time of year in the Pacific Northwest – the end of September, and the first chilly nights are here.  Dew is forming more readily in the mornings, some days are just gray and cold again, and we are thinking about how we are going to last the winter and keep from going stir-crazy. For the self-actuated social entrepreneur, and many others, this is the time to mind the keep, keep the hearth, and hit the internet with your stories of last year and plans for the next. Whatever your circumstances, whatever your reasons, it’s good to make sure that during this time your connection to the web is intact.

As always, we are in the business of discouraging waste and encouraging functionality – and computers are no exception. Now is a good time to make sure that your computer’s software is fully functional and free of bugs such as malware, adware or OS/drive errors. Most problems on all devices are easily solved by eliminating bulk software or turning off excess features and programs which are no longer in use. If your PC is getting up there in age (we actually set the bar at 8 years, otherwise it’s pretty easy to keep a Windows 7 PC humming along nicely on Dual-Core with 4GB of RAM) you could look into upgrading the hardware or special-ordering a refurbished machine through us. We have a connection to a Microsoft-certified wholesaler in Canada that can ship out a good used or refurbished laptop for less than $200. We can help you set up appropriate open-source security software, such as non-profit and cloud antivirus and Firefox with Ad-blocking, to make sure that your platform stays solid as you use it. If you’re intrepid, we’ll give you the resources to do it yourself.

Windows 10 has landed to rave reviews, but many people are not satisfied with the extra features and don’t see them as worth the lack of functionality or privacy – and there’s an old phrase that goes something like “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Purchasing a slightly-older refurbished computer that still features Windows 7 is the best approach to staying on a OS that you’re comfortable with. Ultimately, people in the real world don’t care about newer features or whiz-bangs, if they’re just in the business of running their book-keeping, designing, email, or what-have-you-ing on software they don’t want to have to upgrade because it doesn’t work on the newer OS.

I just wanted to remind everybody that this time of year, everybody is fixing and upgrading their information technology – and many don’t do it sustainably! Please save yourself some time and resources, and the planet, by avoiding the big box stuff-crazy rigmarole. Avoid the usual sources of new PC’s such as Best Buy, WalMart, Office Depot or Staples, avoid lemons by purchasing refurbished parts and devices through third-party vendors such as ourselves. Don’t be a security slacker, talk to someone you know about PC security or read blogs and forums to inform yourself of your duties and priveleges where it comes to keeping yourself and others safe on the internet! Remember, many great things can be acquired free of actual cost and it doesn’t mean it isn’t effective – just remember the key phrases, free-source, open source and non-profit.

Some freebies – MalwareBytes, Immunet, Firefox, Ad-Block Plus, Open-Office.org

  • Always install in custom mode, no matter how well you think you know the software! Read into every question – and if you don’t know the answer, look it up!