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Helping others helps you and other parting words of advice

It has been six years since I began writing this column. During that time, I have had the pleasure of interacting with many of you outside the confines of this page. In fact, there were times when so many of you responded, I had a very difficult time keeping up! I have to say I […]

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Which laptop should I buy?

Claburn from Norris Electric writes, “My laptop screen recently had an unfortunate accident. (I stepped on it!) So, now it won’t show anything on the screen. I can use an external monitor to use it temporarily, but I’ve been meaning to get a new one for a while now anyway. I mostly use the computer […]

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The path to an IT career

Often, I am asked what degree a person should seek in order to become an Information Technology (IT) professional. Alternatively, businesses sometimes contact me to find out what credentials they should be listing when searching for someone to fit their IT roles. The answer might surprise you. Some of the IT jobs out there don’t […]

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Avoid the scam

Your emails keep coming in and I promise I’m doing my best to get them all answered. If you’re still waiting for a response, then please accept my apology. You will definitely hear from me though! I have been getting quite a few people asking about the latest cyber-related scams out there, so this month […]

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Dead hardware doesn’t always equal dead data

This past month I’ve seen a dramatic uptick in e-mails from all of you. Keep them coming! I will try to answer as many as possible. Spoon River Electric Cooperative member Monte Crossman asks, “My oldest son’s external hard drive with a lot of his children’s pictures was damaged (dropped). Now, his computer will not […]

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How to “Google” and get better search results

Recently, I was approached and asked to “work my magic” and find a rare item on the Internet. So, I thought it prudent to give some tips on how to perform Internet searches in such a way as to more quickly find the item(s) you seek. Today, Internet browsers have become very good at anticipating […]

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Time to upgrade to Windows 10

During the course of my career I have installed, used and managed most of the different types of computer systems available on the market. During that time, I learned a very valuable lesson: Never update your computer to the newest operation system the day it comes out! I can’t begin to tell you how many […]

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A Pineapple by any other name

Let me tell you a story about a pineapple. This story isn’t about fruit though, it’s a cautionary tale of just how easy it is to lose your personal data when using public wifi networks. You see, the “pineapple” in question is actually a device built specifically to perform man-in-the-middle attacks on wifi networks. A […]

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How to avoid the hack

Here we go again. Hackers have once more found ways in which to exploit some of the new technology meant to make our lives easier. If you’ve watched the news lately, it seems to be a constant stream of attacks. Some of them are based in social media, while others take a more direct approach. […]

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Make sure you are really lightning protected

It has only been a few months since I wrote to you about the great basement flood of 2015, in which we lost quite a bit of computer equipment. And now, to follow it up, just last week we had a major lightning strike at work. What’s next? Locusts? Seriously though, this lightning strike reminded […]