October 8th, 2020
Don’t let your pajama pants fool you.
Over the past several months, more people have made the switch to working from home than ever before. While many were initially enjoying the “pants-optional” work environment, some are beginning to feel the strain of a less-than-ergonomic home office setup…or lack thereof. Let’s look at some tips for cultivating good posture habits and computer placement when working from home.
Increasing the Ergonomics of Your Laptop
Despite their convenience and prevalence, most laptop computers are not designed to be used on their own for extended periods. While extremely handy for checking emails from any chair on the go, laptop placement of the keyboard and screen cause the user to dip their head and slouch to get a proper view. There are a few ways to use laptop computers in a way that isn’t so hard on your neck and back.
Ideally, the top of your computer monitors should level with your browline when sitting with proper posture. Elevating your laptop computer using a specialized stand or even a stack of books can bring it to the appropriate level. This position will require that your also use a secondary keyboard and mouse to keep your hands below your heart to maintain proper blood flow and reduce numbness.
Treating the “Achey Work-From-Home” Back
When the advantages of working remotely are advertised, the typical image is a happy person on the couch, lawn chair, or even hammocks with a laptop computer. While this sounds nice, over time, hours of lounging while working can put a severe strain on your back and can impair your ability to focus.
Most people report the least amount of work-related strain by practicing proper posture as though they were being observed at the office. Make sure that you have an ergonomic chair in your home office space. Strive to keep your back straight, shoulders back, and chin above your collarbone.
While returning to this posture after months of working from the couch or dining room chair can feel odd at first, your back will thank you in the long run.
Remembering to Move
A lack of physical meetings and no other colleagues watching feels like permission to sit in one place all day. Many fool themselves into thinking that their productivity is an excuse to remain sedentary. “I’m getting stuff done, right?” Despite the lack of judgment from coworkers, movement is incredibly important to maintain proper bodily health.
Set a timer on your computer, phone, or watch to remind you to get up at least once every hour. During this time, stretch, walk around, or at least pace. If you insist on working through movement sessions, incorporate them into how you work. Take phone calls while walking. Stand during virtual meetings. Consider investing in a standing desk (or convincing your boss that it’s a worthwhile investment.)
Remote working effectively has a slight learning curve to it. While you may be tempted to enjoy the less formal aspects of this work style, you owe it to yourself to guard your body against improper ergonomics and a lack of movement. Your neck, back, shoulders, and legs will all thank you.
Computer Repair in Tulsa, OK
Working from home means that your usual IT department help may not be at your fingertips like they were before. Though this is the case, there’s no need to worry—Geeks to the Rescue has your back. For any computer problem you or your staff are experiencing in the Tulsa, OK area, our experienced computer Geeks can help.
Reach Out to Geeks to the Rescue Today
February 7th, 2020
The following scenario may sound familiar:
You open your computer to check your email or to perform some other routine functions. Before long, a notification window automatically opens in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, saying that a new update is available for your computer’s operating system or a specific piece of software. Because you’re in the middle of a task, you’re quick to click on the “Remind me later” option and continue with your computer usage. Not a big deal, right?
However, when you log on the next day, the same notification pops up. Because you’re busy once again, you click on the “Remind me later” option again. After a week, month, or even year, you still have not made the recommended upgrade. Why is this so?
“Well, it’s not a significant upgrade.”
While updating the operating system of your mobile device or computer can result in several nifty new features, the majority of upgrades don’t come with such capabilities. Most of these upgrades don’t change how you interact with your devices at all. So, if there aren’t any cool new features, why bother with a new update?
All Updates Do Something
Whether or not you can detect a difference in the features or performance of your devices after a system upgrade, every software does something…and it’s typically far more important than you think.
Closing the Doors on Cyber Threats
While there are a handful of cyber threats that find their way into your secure system through the front door, either by cracking your password or stealing your identity, there are others who enter through insecure software systems. All software systems have vulnerabilities. Cyber threats are constantly searching for these weaknesses so they can obtain access to secure systems. Fortunately, software companies work diligently to identify and “patch” these vulnerabilities in their own systems.
Pest Control Visits For Your Devices
When your home is overrun with pests, seeing the exterminator’s truck coming down the street is exciting. However, when the exterminator calls about a routine visit when no pests are visible, you’re likely much like a person who has received a notification that a new software update is available—”meh, I don’t really need that.” However, little do you know, a whole family of roaches may be swarming just below the floorboards of your home. That routine visit could very well be keeping a potential infestation from surfacing. This is the proper way to think about software patch upgrades.
So, when can you ignore software updates? Never.
Just like routine exterminator visits protect your home from a bug invasion, so too do new software upgrades decrease the risk of a cyber attack. While you may be able to “Remind me later” until you’ve wrapped up your current task, it pays to take a break, get a coffee, and install the update. Like a preventative exterminator visit, you may be delighted did so.
For all forms of help with your computer, Geeks to the Rescue in Tulsa, OK can help. Simply give them a call at 918-369-4335 or email them at email@example.com.
January 27th, 2020
You’re familiar with accessing websites, right? I mean, you accessed this page, so you’re probably a web-surfing pro! To do so, you probably clicked on a link. If you wanted to find this blog post again, another way to see it is to manually type in the “geekrescue.com” URL into the address bar. If you’re like most people these days, you likely don’t even bother with the “www” anymore. You definitely don’t bother with the “http…” part. Even though you won’t likely type this in, you definitely should care about whether or not the site you’re accessing is an “http://…” or and “https://…” site. Let’s look at the meaning of the difference.
Http:// vs Https://
If you’ve ever used the Chrome web browser available from Google, you may have occasionally noticed that the words “Not Secure” immediately to the left of the URL. What does this mean? Well, if you were to copy and paste that URL elsewhere, the URL would begin with “http://” rather than “https://.” The “s” in “https” means that the website you’re accessing is “secure,” — the website has an SSL Certificate.
“What is an SSL certificate?”
“SSL” stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” — a layer of encryption that the website has with the user. When a user enters data such as an email or mailing address into a form on a website with an SSL certificate, this certifies that the webmaster is encrypting the data as it moves from your device to their systems. Encryption is a form of information cloaking, a kind of scrambling of the data that makes it useless when intercepted. Once the webmaster receives the scrambled data, only they can decipher its meaning—keeping sensitive data safe from interception through unsecured WiFi signals or otherwise in transit to its intended destination.
SSL and SEO
Though SSL certificates are an excellent idea for data security, many websites are also embracing them for SEO purposes. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” This process means to make one’s website as appealing to search engines such as Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo to earn the search engines’ linking favor. When a search engine’s algorithm needs to choose between two similarly useful websites to provide in response to a user’s query, if one has an SSL certificate and another one does not, they will usually choose the more secure former site. For this reason, more and more websites are installing SSL certificates by default instead of waiting for it to be essential to user security.
Staying Safe with SSL Certificates
There’s a good chance that you already use the internet for purchasing items of submitting sensitive data, such as email or mailing addresses, to organizations for various reasons. Before you do so, make sure that any website you choose to submit sensitive data to has an SSL. If you’re using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera web browsers, they will all tell you immediately to the left the URL if the website you’re visiting has an SSL certificate. This may be in the form of a lock icon or merely the words “Secure” or “Not Secure.”
For more help with all things computer-related in Tulsa, Oklahoma, leave it to Geeks to the Rescue!
November 4th, 2019
The professionals at Geeks to the Rescue recommend thoroughly reading any legal document you approve. However, we also know the likelihood of people doing such is low, so here are a few of our recommended sections to keep an eye out for if you are to skim the document.
Nestled in the introduction is much more valuable information than one may realize. The introduction often lists the key players of the organization — many may not be who you expected. The introduction will also provide information about their policies concerning collecting information from minors.
What Information is Collected
How Information is Collected
Knowing how the information is collected can be as eye-opening as what information is being collected. Some of this information collection is manual, but some may be automated by some other means.
How Information is Stored
How and where your information is being stored may be of a special significance. If your data is being stored in a database in a foreign country, this may limit your ability to access it or request that it be deleted following a compromising event. This would also mean that the retrieval or deletion of your data may not fall under United States jurisdiction.
Who to Contact
Don’t Let Just Anyone Fix It
If your computer is running slow, badly, or not at all, let the Tulsa-based computer repair specialists from Geeks to the Rescue bring it back to life.
September 3rd, 2019
(2.5 min read)
You may be familiar with the idea that lithium-ion batteries (the rechargeable batteries found in most modern laptop computers, tablets, and mobile devices) need to be completely drained and then recharged again to keep their “lifespan memory” as high as possible. Well, we’re here to say…both yes and no.
Nickle-based batteries of yesteryear did suffer from this dreadful “lifespan memory” problem. While modern lithium-ion batteries do as well, they aren’t nearly as prone to such issues as their predecessors. With that being said, to make your lithium-ion batteries last as long as possible, there are a handful of maintenance actions we’d recommend you take.
Moderate Draining, Not Complete Drainings
Unlike nickel-based batteries, lithium-ion batteries do best with slight discharges and recharge — even more so than with complete drainings. A full 0%-100% recharge of a lithium-ion battery doesn’t have the same impact that it did on nickel-based cells. With this being said, a complete draining once a month is a helpful way to recalibrate your battery’s charge gauge.
Keep Your Batteries Cool
Like your computer’s processor, your computer’s battery is also sensitive to extreme temperatures. Make sure that your laptop is properly ventilated and not kept in overly hot or cold places. The use of laptop stands is always recommended. Even makeshift stands, such as cardboard egg crates, can significantly extend the life and capacity of your battery.
Don’t Leave Batteries at 100%
Leaving lithium-ion batteries perpetually plugged can lead to undue strain. If you’re used to working from a laptop that is plugged in most of the time, do your battery a favor and work unplugged for a while. Letting it drain to about the 40% level is good for overall battery health. Aside from giving your battery’s charging function a rest, enjoy a change of scenery as well.
Running Into Battery Issues? We Can Help
If your laptop’s battery doesn’t seem to hold a charge like it used to, we’re happy to help. The Tulsa computer repair professionals from Geeks to the Rescue can assist with just about every battery issue to keep your laptop holding charges for years to come.
August 5th, 2019
If you’re reading this, you probably have a 2011 Macbook Pro that you fear may have gone to a better place. You were probably looking at something with graphics (video or otherwise), and it just flickered, sputtered, and then collapsed. Part of you is likely thinking, “Well, it had a good run. I guess it’s time to move on to greener pastures.” The other part of you is going, “Why the heck did it just die?” Well, being that this article is being written on a 2011 MacBook Pro that recently had this happen, let us be the first to tell you that hope is not lost.
After this happened, you probably did what is always recommended during most computer issues — a restart. Upon rebooting your Macbook Pro by holding down the power button and then tapping it again, the Mac start-up sound probably chimed and it seemed to boot as normal…until it stopped. It didn’t totally load up but left you out to dry in some limbo. Ugh, so frustrating.
Shortly the 2011 MacBook Pros were released, Apple announced that there might be a handful with faulty GPUs. They advised anyone experiencing glitchy graphic display to take their computer to an Apple store for complimentary repair. That offer ended in 2016 once Apple claimed no more responsibility for this faulty GPU.
While there are rumored to be a number of temporary patch fixes that require you to download software from unauthorized sources (which we don’t recommend), you likely need a new logic board. While this used to be a considerable cost, prices for these have dropped in the past few years as the computers have been on the market longer.
How to Get it Fixed
If you’re in the Tulsa area, your friendly neighborhood computer repair professionals from Geeks to the Rescue would be happy to help. Bring your laptop into our Eton Square location at 8221 E 61st Street in Tulsa, OK and explain the issues you have — which may be this or anything else. A Geeks to the Rescue computer repair expert can get you back up and running in no time.
July 1st, 2019
What is a cookie?
You’ve probably already gathered that the cookies we’re talking about aren’t the kind your grandmother used to bake for you as a child. “Cookies” are another word for very simple text files that give the webmaster particular site information about your activities on their site. Some of this information can include your geographic region, the amount of time you spent on their site, which links you clicked on, and the like. These cookies can also allow a site to “remember” you in the case that you return. All of this information lets webmasters know more about how you’re using their site and how to reach out to you in the future.
What can cookies cause to happen off a user’s website?
Let’s say that you were in the market for some new running shoes. You logged onto a number of educational websites to find out what material is best for your foot and running style. Oddly enough, when you navigated to other websites, especially social media, you notice ads for those kinds of shoes in your social media timeline. What gives? Well, in this instance, you were more than likely served these ads because of a cookie that was dropped in your browser. The cookie dropped in your browser alerted the social media site to serve you advertisements based on your previous website activity. You can remove these cookies by deleting these cookies in your website settings.
Deleting Cookies in Chrome
- With your Chrome browser, click “Chrome” next to the “File” option
- Click “Clear Browsing Data”
- From this page, you can choose how much of your cookies or browsing data to delete
Deleting Cookies in Internet Explorer
- With the Internet Explorer browser open, click “Tools” at the top.
- Select “Internet Options”
- From this page, you can choose how much of your browsing data or cookies to delete.
Deleting Cookies in Safari
- With the Safari browser open, select “System Preferences.” You can also hold down the Command key along with the comma (“,”) key.
- Navigate to and click the “Privacy” tab.
- Click on the “Remove All Website Data” button to select what browsing data or cookies to remove
Deleting Cookies on Firefox
- With the Firefox browser open, select the three horizontal line icon in the upper right corner.
- Select “Options”
- Select “Privacy”
- Click on “You may what to clear your recent history…” link.
- From that screen, you can choose how much of your browsing data and cookies that you’d like to delete.
If your computer or other computing device is in need of repair or enhancement, the friendly computer repair professionals from Geeks to the Rescue in Tulsa can help.
Learn more about Geeks to the Rescue and feel free to give them a call.
June 3rd, 2019
Though a desktop computer is great for use in an office or at home, the “growing” portability of laptop computers has made them quite popular in the last decade. In this piece, we’re going to look at what to consider when shopping for a new (or new-to-you) laptop computer.
Ask yourself, “What am I going to use this laptop for?”
Picking out the right laptop for you can be daunting. There are a wide variety of options, bells, and whistles now available for most price ranges. A quick way to cut to the chase is to write down everything you plan on using a laptop for. Will this be a true workhorse? Will it just be for answering emails in your breakfast nook? Jot down what kind of use your laptop will receive. This will help you narrow your options.
PC or Mac?
Though you may already have a preference towards Mac or PC computers, purchasing a new laptop may give you an opportunity to reconsider your options. Those who enjoy engaging in creative endeavors such as photography, videography, music production and design tend to prefer Macs. Those who are looking for a robust, customizable experience tend to like the functionality of PCs. If Macs and PCs were the two sides of the brain, a Mac is more right-brained (creative, fluid, design-oriented) while a PC is more left-brained (logical, pragmatic, orderly). Still, it pays to research them both to see which is the best fit for you.
Hard Drive Capacity
Are you a digital minimalist or a borderline digital hoarder? We don’t judge either way, but this will impact how much storage you should look for in a laptop hard drive. A larger hard drive will allow you to store all of your images, audio, video, and document files with ease. A smaller hard drive will cost considerably less. You should still keep in mind, however, that cloud-backup or backing up crucial data to external hard drives is strongly encouraged should something happen to your laptop.
Are you someone who tends to be centrally focused on the task at hand? Do you, instead, end up with multiple programs running simultaneously? If you’d like to maximize the number of programs you can run at the same time without the computer slowing down or heating up, you will want ample memory. Your memory is measured by the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) your laptop contains. One gigabyte of RAM is typically the lowest amount of RAM you can get away with. Four gigabytes is becoming much more standard. If you plan on engaging in more “labor” intensive activities such as gaming or video production, increased RAM should be a higher priority. Even if you can’t afford your preferred amount of RAM, make sure that the laptop you’re looking to buy can be later upgraded to your RAM specifications at a later date.
One of the advantages of laptops is your ability to use a computer on the go. One of the downsides can be viewing larger documents or video files on a small screen. If you have trouble reading smaller text sizes or you need to edit visually-rich items on the go, look for a laptop with a screen size that will be comfortable for you. Keep in mind that most text documents can be expanded to allow for easier reading. Still, editing videos, photos, or graphics may be uncomfortable with a smaller screen. If you won’t be using a laptop for these visually-demanding activities, a smaller screen means greater portability.
Keyboard Arrangement & Illumination
Your keyboard is one of your greatest points of interaction with your laptop. For this reason, it is essential to find a laptop that is comfortable and functional. If number-input is a large part of your work, consider a laptop keyboard with a 10-key number entry pad. Also, if you may end up working in darker environments, a back-lit keyboard can be helpful in being able to see the keys.
Most laptops these days come equipped with web-cameras built into the top of the screen. If you will be using your laptops for web conferencing or recording any kind of video, you’ll want to consider the quality of the camera on the laptop. If you rarely ever have a need to use Skype or any other web conferencing program, a higher quality webcam may not be necessary.
New, Refurbished, Downright Used
Let’s face it, laptops are expensive. You can pay anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks to several thousand dollars for a laptop. Because of this steep price, it’s worth considering whether having a brand new laptop is a priority. If it isn’t, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars on a quality refurbished or simply used laptop. If you’re considering a used laptop, make sure that the model is one that is upgradable to your liking. Some older laptops are only upgradable to a certain degree. Some Macs, for example, can only run up to a certain version of Mac OS. Newer used Macs may be fully capable of running the latest versions of your favorite programs.
When purchasing a used laptop, it pays to have computer repair professional look it over for any lingering software issues, malware, and to upgrade the operating system to its latest version. The computer repair experts at Geeks To The Rescue are happy to get your new-to-you laptop running at its best and handle any issues into the foreseeable future. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to them today.
May 7th, 2019
I don’t know about you, but two of my ongoing issues with computers are storage and access. Either I run out of storage on my mobile device, tablet, and laptop, or I don’t have access to the files I want when I need them. In this piece, we’re going to look at three online software products from Google that alleviate these two problems. Even better, all of these products are completely free.
If you’re still keeping events on a physical calendar attached to your fridge, you’re probably running into some serious limitations. Even daily planners have their weaknesses. Here are a few reasons to fall in love with Google Calendar.
- It’s always with you. Whether you’re sitting at your computer or you’re out and about with your smartphone, your calendar is never far away.
- Move events around with ease. I tend to like to schedule out most waking moments of my day on my calendar (easy with Google Calendar’s “repeating events” feature). Still, what’s the old expression, “We make plans and God laughs”? With Google Calendar, you can easily move events to any time period with a drag-and-drop feature, or with their “Find a Time” feature.
- Share your calendar with others. Whether you need to coordinate with a spouse when to pick up your child from baseball practice or share your daily work schedule with your boss, you can easily do so. Shared parties can see updates in real-time. Don’t want to share everything? You can also set up different color-coded calendars for certain styles of activities and sharing permissions. Personally, I have two different work calendars — one for tasks that are less time-sensitive and others for “rocks” — or items that cannot be moved. I have other calendars for my morning routine, evening routine, and appointments.
- Be reminded of things you need to do before you need to do them. Want to make sure to pick up your son from cub scouts or to take your elderly mother to the doctor? You can set a reminder for any event any amount of time before the event to keep you on schedule.
I recently purchased a new laptop. Unfortunately, the model I wanted only had 128gig hard drive. This is pretty tiny in comparison to many with a standard a terabyte hard drive — nearly 100 times as big. Still, how do I justify this? Because I don’t keep much of anything on the physical hard drive of my computer thanks to Google Drive.
- 15 gigs per Google Account. If you have a Google account, you have automatically have 15 gigs of online storage in Google Drive for free. This may fill up quickly if you have larger files, but if you’re mostly storaging images and word documents, that may last you quite a while.
- Saved as you go. Let me know if this sounds familiar: you’re writing a word document or building a spreadsheet and due to your laptop battery draining or a power surge, you lose everything. What a pain! With Google Docs and Google Sheets, near every single letter, every action is saved to Google Drive in real-time.
- Access all of your files from anywhere. Whether you use several different computers or you just want to be able to see your files from anywhere, all of your files are available anywhere you can have access to your Google account. Start writing a word document at work and finish it at home on a separate computer — no need to email any documents to yourself.
It sure can be nice to have a notepad with you to jot items down. Whether ideas, shopping lists, or contact details, a good pad and pen can come in handy. What if you could have access to every note you’ve ever jotted down in an instance — even being able to search through them? Well, with Google Keep, that’s a reality.
- Simple, but robust. Google Keep is a very simple application, but bells-and-whistles are probably not what you’re looking for in a note-taking program. Think of it like a giant wall of sticky notes you can access anytime.
- Ok, so it has some bells. Some of the features are tick-boxes (great for shopping lists), note sharing, image uploads, a drawing feature, reminders, and the ability to back up any note to Google Drive. There is also a Chrome browser extension that allows you to save any website to your Google Keep account for later viewing — a kind of universal bookmarking.
- Never let an idea slip through your fingers. The biggest appeal of Google Keep is that you can jot down an idea, message, contact information, or other note at a moment’s notice. Once jotted down, you can then access notes from any device that has access to your Google account.
- Google Calendar helps you schedule and coordinate your busy life.
- Google Drive helps you save and access your files from absolutely anywhere.
- Google Keep makes sure that you never let a great idea get by you.
These Google products can reduce the amount of space on your computer’s hard drive and required power of your computer’s processor. However, any time your computer requires repair, look no further than Tulsa’s own computer repair experts at Geek Rescue. Call us today with any problems you may be experiencing.
April 15th, 2019
If you’ve ever watched the British comedy program “The IT Crowd”, or really just called certain IT departments, you may have heard the following response. “Hello. IT. Have you tried turning it off an on again?” It can’t be that easy to fix a computer or mobile device, can it? In this piece, we’re going to look at why restarting a device may actually be all that is required to remedy many processing issues.
The Psychology of the Restart
If you’ve ever been told, “Well, have you turned it off and on again?”, you may feel like the technician is questioning your intelligence.
“You think I wouldn’t have just tried that before I called?”
Still, in many instances, we actually haven’t tried that. Sometimes, we assume that problems are much more severe than they actually are. Part of the reasoning for this is because we don’t want to admit our own ability to be derailed by such seemingly insignificant issues. We feel that if there is an issue that we haven’t been able to resolve, it must be major. In addition to restarting being fairly effective, having the mindset to perceive the minor issues before we make mountains out of molehills can help us take a few steps back, look past our pride, and fix easy problems.
The Technical Reason Why Restarting Is So Effective
In order to simply survive, our brain is making sure our lungs are breathing, that our blood is becoming oxygenated and that our heart is pumping this blood throughout our body. While this is happening, it’s also making sure our digestive system is processing food properly, that our liver and kidneys are cleaning out our systems, and interpreting signals from thousands upon thousands of nerves. In addition to simply keeping you alive, it’s also helping you concentrate well enough to drive a car, balance your checkbook, and remember to pick up the kids from soccer practice. However, without getting a good night’s sleep, things start to go haywire. You forgot to pick up your son from cub scouts. You sit at a green light and cars behind you begin to honk. You find yourself having to re-read the same sentence in an email just to make sense of it. The more sleep you miss out on, the more energy your brain allocates to simply keeping your vital bodily functions operating, leaving less power to allow you to process details.
Computer systems are very similar to our own brains. In addition to maintaining a connection with the internet or an intranet and a variety of wirelessly connected accessories, they’re simultaneously processing a myriad of commands. Your internet browser alone is typically juggling multiple tabs that are all processing informing from various websites. As your system is pulled in many different directions, it can only handle so much. Certain loads begin to lag, some freeze, others crash. It’s much like a young child becoming frustrated when they are tired. Their brains are over-taxed and in need of a break.
What is the answer for both systems? A rest and restart. Restarting your device can be akin to getting a rest following a busy day. A restart allows your device to stop processing unnecessary actions and to prioritize what to process. An even greater restart may be unplugging all power supplies to your system and letting it sit for 10-20 seconds. The reason for this may be that some components will continue to process information after the main system is turned off.
So, no, we’re not questioning your intelligence when we ask “have you tried turning it off and then turning it back on again?” We’re simply attempting to help you find the easiest solution to your problem. Like people, for a wide variety of processing issues, sometimes the only thing a computer needs is a nap.
If restarting your computer doesn’t do the trick, we’d be happy to help you remedy whatever is wrong with your computer. You’re invited to learn more about Tulsa’s computer repair experts Geeks To The Rescue by visiting our main website or just by giving us a call at 918-368-GEEK (4335).