The End of LogMeIn Free

As (apparently) Geoffrey Chaucer said in the year 1374 “all good things must come to an end”, unfortunately the Company LogMeIn is no longer offering the Free Version of their Remote Software.

As a result GJ’s Computer Services is no longer able to offer those customers who have had LogMeIn Free on their computers.

This will now be replaced by the paid product LogMeIn Pro (with added functionality) and will be charged on an annual premium.

Although it has been a long time coming LogMeIn has only provided a short notice period that this product will no longer be available.

For further information please read this article http://gjscomp.com/1fltxMy.

There are other (free alternatives) that customers themselves can download and use (many of which are only available for personal use). However, due to the number of customers we service and provide ad-hoc and regular service to, we are only offering LogMeIn Pro as an alternative to LogMeIn Free.

Looking for Video Interviewees

GJ’s Computer Services is looking for customers and non-customers to video interview about their use of technology.

It can cover any topic you like.

Examples:

  • Frustrations;
  • Favourite Websites;
  • What you like about the Internet and the connected world;
  • Customer Service experiences.

Anything you would like to talk about.

Please get in touch, and don’t be shy!

Hard Drive Failures

Have you ever had one of your computer hard drives crash?

Most likely yes. If not you have been lucky; very lucky.

Hard drive failures is one reason why it is crucial to back up your important data.

It is true that data can often times be recovered from a failed hard drive, but why run the risk?

Here is an interesting article from LifeHacker on “The Most (and Least) Reliable Hard Drive Brands. The survival rates reported here are between some popular brands and is the experience of one online backup service, BackBlaze.

http://gjscomp.com/1jpq3vV.

Please share any experiences you have had with failed hard drives, backup issues, and recovering data.

 

Googles tips to help your website rank better

Rank higher

Google helps you improve your website

Do you want your website to be more prominent on google? Good news. Google has released a simple one-page guide to help you optimise your website to rank higher.

Start with a relevant page title

Google loves websites that are both relevant and useful to the user. Gone are the days of repeating the same word over-and-over again to improve your google ranking. The first thing you should is to create a relevant title for each page on your website (known as a “meta title”). This title should be unique to each page and not too short or too long.

Then focus on page descriptions

Once you’ve got the page titles sorted you should create unique and relevant page descriptions (aka “meta descriptions”). These descriptions should closely match the content on the page and the limit for a page description is 160 characters.

Rename the images

With your page titles and descriptions in check you should make sure that every image on your website is named correctly. Both the image filename and description (also known as  “alt text”) should define the image correctly. Google doesn’t like filenames such as “image1.jpg”.

Write blog articles

Google wants you keep your website up-to-date and blogs are a very useful way of keeping your website content fresh. We suggest you write a blog article every few weeks to help educate visitors about your product or service.

An important note

Before you do any of this website work you should first figure out which search words and phrases your prospective customers type into google to find you. You should start doing some keyword research by using Google’s free keyword tool to figure out which words and phrases are the most frequently searched. After all the idea is to create a website with your future customers in mind.

 

You can also click on Link below to download to your computer and read/print.

Google one-page SEO Guide

Stand Up Desks & Computer Eyewear

Stand Up Desks are fast becoming popular items. They are currently being trialled in some Schools.

 

It is a well accepted ‘fact’ that sitting for long periods is not healthy, or good for posture. And this is exactly what many computer users, particularly kids, are doing all too much. Working in IT I certainly spend far too much time sitting in front of my and customer’s computers; although I am sometimes known to knell in front of a computer whilst showing customers something! Not good for the knees either.

 

Some people use Fit Balls to sit. sitting-on-a-fitball

 

 

 

 

 

If you have not heard of Stand Up Desks here are some links that provide further information.

 

 

Whilst on the subject of matters of health related to computer use, if you are like me, some customers, and many colleagues, we experience a fair amount of eye fatigue, again from long periods spent in front of computers. As the company Gunnars states ” The Problem: You spend most of your waking hours glued to your computer screen, smart phone, tablet or TV monitor. As the hours go by, you subject your eyes to harsh, high intensity blue light and glare from the screen. Constant viewing of digital screens can create eye fatigue, dry eyes, blurry vision, and even headaches, leading to the obvious conclusion – staring at a computer screen can take a toll on your eyes”.

 

I use and recommend glasses from  GUNNAR Optiks – Advanced Computer Eyewear, Gaming Glasses & Prescription Eyewear http://gjscomp.com/1cSTWk3.

 

The pair I purchased and use is the MLG Phantom Amber Neptune Indoor Digital Eyewear. Gunnar MLG Phantom Amber Neptune Indoor Digital Eyewear

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if you are looking to purchase a Stand-Up Desk or Gunnar Eyewear please get in touch.

 

 

Books & Reading

As many customers are aware I have a wide variety of interests, one of which is reading.

 

I have long recommended LibraryThing http://bit.ly/1hyvyID to customers as an excellent method to catalogue books read, as well as the ability to review books, read others reviews, create wish lists and participate in Early Reviewers/Member Giveaways (although many books listed here each month are not available in Australia).

 

I only noticed today that the LibraryThing free service is limited to cataloguing 200 books, but costs only US$10.00 p.a., or any amount from US$19.00 up for a Lifetime Membership to add unlimited books.

 

Despite predictions to the contrary “the overall number of books sold dipped from 56.6 million in 2012 to 54.1 million last year (2103), a drop in value from $978 million to $917 million” (Jason Steger, Literary Editor, The Age, 4 January 2014).

 

If you are interested in what I have been reading here is the link http://bit.ly/13kf90e.

 

I am old-fashioned in so much as I love the feel of real books, turning pages etc. At the same time I read e-Books on my Kindle, particularly work-related material.

 

IMHO The Amazon Kindle Device(s) is one of the best electronic inventions ever!

 

Other sites related to reading that you might be interested in:

What Should I Read Next http://gjscomp.com/1cz4WhM.

GoodReads http://gjscomp.com/1i6fnz1.

Book Depository http://gjscomp.com/KqSOcy.

Amazon Australia  http://gjscomp.com/KrLfTp.

Calibre E-Book Management http://bit.ly/1bx3w6Y.

Project Gutenberg http://bit.ly/u0nE7s.

If you are looking for Software to run on your Computer then CollectorZ Book Software is for you http://gjscomp.com/1a8rHNw. Cost $29.95 for the Standard Edition. Mac/Windows.

WikiHow – How to Learn Speed Reading http://gjscomp.com/1i6h27O.

Speed Reading Test Online http://gjscomp.com/1e8gDyC.

Improve Reading Speed & Comprehension http://gjscomp.com/1d8l4gy.

Sydney Morning Herald Books http://gjscomp.com/1axiJG1.

ABC TV The Book Club with Jennifer Byrne http://gjscomp.com/1kjzC0G.

If you have any great reading and/or book websites or wish to share the books you are currently reading and recommend others should read please share here.

 

 

Which Web Browser Should I Use?

As most computer users know we use a Web Browser such as Internet Explorer (IE) IE to visit Websites and explore the Internet.

We also use these Web Browsers to search, predominately Google and Bing.

IE comes built-in with Windows Computers. In fact there are two instances of IE on Windows 8 Machines!

The Safari Web Browser comes standard on Macs, iPhones & iPads.

Google Chrome is used as the default on the Android Operating System.

They all perform the same function, although each looks slightly different. Additionally, Settings for each Browser are in slightly different areas. One of the settings that most users change is that of their Home Page. This is the page that you are taken to each time you open your Browser.

So which Browser is best?

I have found that Google Chrome is generally the fastest and most stable. Other Browsers that I use and set up on customer systems are Mozilla Firefox and some times Opera. There are in addition to these many additional Web Browsers, many of which are based on the architecture of the above Browsers.

It is my view that irrespective on what Web Browser comes with your system another Browser should always be downloaded and installed.

It should be noted that some websites simply do not work in certain Web Browsers. Others may work, but display slowly, or a Website looks completely different when visited in different Browsers.

Favourite Websites (Bookmarks in Firefox) can be transferred between Browsers.

One area of confusion for some users is that Google Chrome is a Web Browser and Searching using Google is an ability that can be actioned via any Web Browser.Google Chrome Safari firefox

 

Can I run my business in the Cloud?

I am often asked if it is possible to run a business using only cloud technologies and online services.

The simple answer is yes. Furthermore, if you are a business starting out one should ask the question why wouldn’t you? There are significant cost-savings, and less potential anguish for business owners if set up correctly.

If you were a new business you could be pretty much up and running within 24 hours!

Businesses no longer need to have an on-Premise Server (and all the management this entails). It should be noted that Microsoft’s Small Business Server as a product ended on 31 December 2013. Businesses requiring a Server can still have all the functions provided by SBS as standalone products e.g. Microsoft Exchange, but with costs of licensing increasing, set up costs & ongoing maintenance, it would seem no longer a feasible cost to bear for SMBs.

Many businesses have already started migrating some technologies to the Cloud, in particular Microsoft Exchange (either Hosted or via Office 365) or Google Apps for Business, i.e. they are running a hybrid system (some on site and some in the Cloud). If a Server is required maybe worth considering having a physical Box installed at a Data Centre, or run a Virtual Server (in the Cloud).

For a new business husbanding cash is an important consideration. So why not move from a Capex model to knowing ‘exactly’ what you are spending each month, whilst also allowing the flexibility to gear up quickly if business is a success, e.g. adding additional employees. So you have cost savings and flexibility.

Whilst any individual can set this all up themselves I have found there are many pitfalls if you try to do so. Better to spend some of the money you have ‘saved’ on purchasing expensive equipment on an IT Professional whom has done this for others previously and can put it all in place for you, and have it set up properly at the start. This allows the business owner to get on with running and marketing their business.

So what does a New Business require?

  • Register a Company and/or Business Name, including an Australian Business Number [ABN];
  • Register a Domain Name;
  • Set up email;
  • Create a Website,;
  • Marketing and Promotion of your business online & offline;
  • Purchase Hardware – Laptop, Tablet, Mobile Broadband, Printer, SmartPhone, External Hard Drive(s);
  • Software – Internet Security, Password Management, Online Backup, Remote Management, Microsoft Office, Specific Line of Business [LOB] Software related to your Business type;
  • Virtual Assistant;
  • Accounting System;
  • Business Cards;
  • Put others to work for you and project manage your tasks;
  • If your business requires an office then an ADSL2+ Connection, requiring then a likely wireless/modem Router, or renting a Serviced Office to meet prospective customers. Increasingly, with Mobility does your business (at least at the start) require physical premises? Would you purchase or lease an ISDN Phone connection? Unlikely. So what about VoIP, which can be set up for use no matter where you are physically located.
  • A social networking presence.

With the right guidance a new business can be up and running using the range of tools & services of today’s Internet almost before one knows it.

Google Helpouts – updated

I have been trying to obtain a Google Helpouts Invitation Code for some months now and I received mine today.

Google Helpouts

To begin with What is Google Helpouts? It is assistance using live video. Check this link for more information http://bit.ly/17WGnAr.

Although the Live Video Concept is not new, it seems to me for a lot of businesses having a listing (be it free or paid) is something they should consider.

You must have a Google+ Account to offer Helpouts. You can register to receive an invitation code via http://bit.ly/1aH4Eoa, Click on Green coloured “Give Your own Helpouts” and Request a code (below the Enter Invitation Code Box).

Once you receive your invitation code via email in the Capitalised Alpha-Numeric Format XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX copy and paste it and follow the instructions to Create your First Listing.

Google Helpouts Signup 1

Google Helpouts Signup 2

Once you have filled in the required details, add a photo of yourself or a logo, Preview and Submit.

During the process you will also be prompted (if it is a Paid, rather than a Free Listing) to confirm your login details and create a Google Wallet Account (if you do not already have one). This is where any earnings less Google’s Commissions go.

You will then be prompted to download and install Google Voice and Video Chat on to your computer. You should also check that your computer meets the necessary requirements to run your Helpouts.

Before you can start with Google Helpouts you need to book a “New Provider Introductory Session” with the Helpouts Support Team, and have your Helpout approved.

Google Helpouts Signup 4

One last thing it is recommended that you record an introductory video (length up to a minute).

Once you are live any sessions booked by potential customers will show up in your Google Calendar. You decide when to make yourself available.

If any business out there wants to get a feel and understanding Browse Categories such as ‘Computers & Electronics’, ‘Cooking’ ‘Health’ and ‘Home & Garden’.

Aside from Businesses it seems to me that this could be an excellent vehicle for retirees, who may have some spare time on their hands.

As Google says “Happy Helpouts”.

Let me know when you have received an Invitation Code and any thoughts you have about Google Helpouts.

On 4 January 2014 I had my “New Provider Introductory Session” with Kevin at 11:45 AM.

Helpouts 2

All went well. Sound & Video was excellent for both of us. Part of the process is for Kevin (in this instance) to hear how you would interact with someone who has contacted you for a Helpout. He then approves his part of the Content process, which then goes in the queue before your Helpout goes live. If Google requires any changes they will contact you via email. Such a change may include a suggested better description of the service you are offering.

Mine is still currently pending.

s Google Helpout Pending

Helpouts List of Options to Interact

As Google Helpouts grows those Helpouts with the best ratings/reviews will go to the Top of the List for Searches. Clearly, visibility to prospective customers is going to be a challenge for those offering Helpouts.

The Introductory session was followed up by a short survey to complete.

For those who may be interested in offering a Google Helpout if you go to the Helpouts site and go to the Settings Star (next to ? near to the Top right) , Select Email, Complete the Form (and mention that Geejay from GJ’s Computer Services) suggested you request an Invitation Code, and Click Send. Let me know if you have any difficulties.