This week is it. No more support for Windows XP.

If you are still using a computer with XP be sure your antivirus is up to date and stop using Internet Explorer immediately. Instead, use Firefox or Chrome to browse the Internet and make sure whichever one you are using is up to date.

Your computer will continue to function normally and most likely you will not experience any issues now that support has ended. Over time however problems will arise with compatibility and stability especially when it comes to being on the Internet.

If you are shopping for a new computer Windows 8 is not the horror story many are making it out to be. Yes, there will be a learning curve but at this point you'll experience a learning curve whether you decide to go with Windows 8 or Mac or a tablet or a Chromebook or anything else. Unfortunately where every operating system is going through big changes all at the same time there is no way to escape having to learn somethig new all over again.
This month we're take a look a junk email otherwise known as spam and the various methods of lessening
If you have your email address written plainly on a website you will be hit by mountains of spam. Programs scour the internet copying anything identifiable as an email address:,

You can reduce or prevent this by using an image of your email address rather than text of your email address.

Open Paint, enter the email address or addresses, crop to size and save as a GIF. The result cannot be read by automated bots that seek out addresses to spam.

First the good news: the Start button is back and you can boot directly to the Desktop

The bad news: it's not the Start button you were expecting and accessing all of your Programs and Apps still makes use of the tiles. Also there is no disk that can be downloaded and handed out so your update will have to be done by you on your machine with an Internet connection.

If you're coming in Tuesday October 22nd for the Update Clinic go ahead and update now if you'd like and we can talk about the new features and changes. If you are waiting until Tuesday to update please note that the process takes more than an hour and we will not have enough time to ensure that everyone gets the update finished before we adjourn so do not begin the update at the start of our meeting. I'll walk you through the steps and talk about the changes but you'll have to perform the update at a time and place where your computer will be uninterrupted
I tend to not update the blog unless a new meeting topic comes up but there are two pretty big news items worth sharing this week.

The first is that Microsoft will reveal the Windows 8.1 update today. For those of us using Windows 8 on a non touch enabled device the update will allow for skipping the Metro tiles screen and send us straight to the desktop. Nice.

Second, for anyone who has been frustrated at the constant need to update Flash or Java and the never ending annoyance of downloading a communication program, making sure your friends are all using the same program, keeping track of multiple log-ins to use them Firefox's newest version 22 incorporates something called Web RTC that will eventually do away with all that noise. With just an up to date browser you'll be able to see, do, share with and speak to anyone else using an up to date browser without the need to download plug-ins or install programs or remember log




Last month when discussing options for backing up RoboForm and Keepass databases the term "Cloud" was thrown around a lot.

So this month we'll go over what the "Cloud" is, how it is used and how you can make use of it.

Continuing with last months security discussion we'll take a look at two popular programs from creating and managing secure passwords.

To get a head start take a look at: KeePass and RoboForm.

While KeePass is completely free only limited functions are free in RoboForm.
Since the threat never ends we're going to revisit safety and security Tuesday March 12.
What's a stick computer?

Come in on on the 12th and find out!
Lots of folks got new gizmos and gadgets over the holiday and this month we're holding an open hour to try and make some sense of them.