Ransomware is a type of malware that will lock you out of your files, device, or other resources, and demand a payment to regain access. Even if you choose to pay up, most often the payment will not result in gaining back access, and your files are permanently lost.
The threat posed by ransomware is serious, with recent infections more devastating than any malware or virus we have seen in years. The infection rate increased throughout 2015 with a range of new variants attacking customers across PC and other platforms. Read more
Over the years, we receive the same questions from customers, and sometimes its difficult to communicate a complete answer in shop. We decided to start this blog to help provide in depth answers to those questions.
What sort of computer do I need?
How should I backup?
Should I upgrade to Windows 10?
How can I protect myself against viruses?
Do we really need a $1000 video card so Little Johnny can do his homework? (err, good one Little Johnny. No.)
We will add new articles answering these questions, and more. If there are any particular guides or questions you would like us to address, please leave us a note on Facebook or as comments in this post and I’ll see what we can do!
Earlier last month Intel released the first two Generation 6 desktop processors, supported by the Z170 chipset and technology such as DDR4 RAM.
Today Intel extend the range with the release of new processors starting under $300.
With these new processors, Intel have a Generation 6 processor appropriate for most mid to high range PCs.
Computer Alliance have stock
I am pleased to report Windows 10 feedback has been overwhelmingly positive!
Customers tell us that Windows 10 feels natural and intuitive on desktops, notebooks, and tablets. Many new features and updates have been mentioned as “Quality of Life” improvements, making it easier to get things done and reducing frustration. Ideas implemented in Windows 8 that didn’t work have been transformed or reverted. The core stability, speed, and compatibility of the operating system is exceptional. Given the relatively few issues reported, and substantial improvements, Windows 10 is the most compelling OS upgrade since XP. Read more
An agreement between all state and federal governments to remove a GST exclusion will see GST apply to all overseas purchases by mid 2017.
Today, purchases of up to $1000 from overseas retailers do not incur GST, meaning the same item can be discounted by up to $100 if sold through an overseas store, an unfair advantage that benefits overseas business relative to local stores.
Rather than open every box moving through customs, the proposal is based around charging GST at sale time with agreement from major international retailers to collect the tax. It will be interesting to see how this will be enforced with smaller retailers.
I personally have no problem with international competition where that competition forces down local prices kept artificially high by international manufacturers (the “Australia Tax”). In terms of most computer hardware, that issue is uncommon, with local prices quite competitive when adjusted for exchange rates and tax.
IT retail tends to be very competitive with markups often under 10%, so the lack of GST can artificially result in overseas purchases coming in cheaper than the same item from local stores. This change will help keep local IT retail companies viable.
OK, not God, but the computer equivalent, the almighty Administrator.
Home computer users start up their computer and do stuff. If you want to run a program, you can. If you want to install a program, you can. If you want to change some setting, you can. Because this is how it has always been for most users, we think nothing of it and assume it’s normal.
We want to get things done so why would you restrict what can be done by the all powerful User.
It turns out there are good reasons.
Graphics processors (GPU) are the defining component of high performance gaming rigs. These computational powerhouses take raw data about a game environment and pump out beautiful, fluid scenes, immersing the player in the game. The more powerful the card, the smoother the video and the more realistic the environment. Read more
We have noted a particularly nasty piece of Malware making the rounds.
An email, apparently from Microsoft, asks the user to open an attached executable, which will promptly encrypt your files. The malware then tries to ransom the files.
For anyone without current and offline backups, take this warning as a reminder to review you backups, and ensure one set of backups offline. Malware like this can potentially see any attached backups such as on a external HDD, and encrypt those as well!
If you are not familiar with Ransomware, you may want to check out our article:
When your Digital Life is Held to Ransom
Not everyone accepts that man made changes to our environment is a direct cause of global warming. I blame our education system.
Fortunately, we do tend to agree that paying less in electricity bills is a good thing and for the most part leaving our wallets a little heavier also results in less environmental damage.
Lets consider how our use of computing systems can save us a few dollars, and perhaps also reduce the chance of our grandkids surfing lessons being relocated to Ayres Rock. Read more
The good ole days – no heatsink required
Early PC designs did not demand a massive CPU cooling system to keep them happy. As engineers pushed performance with subsequent designs, an unfortunate side effect was the growth in waste heat. Heat sinks and attached fans had to be incorporated into system designs so that the CPU did not cook. Read more