Need a Second Opinion?
IT Support for your Home.
The majority of homes today have at least one computer, and that’s unlikely to be the full extent of the technology. Everyone has a smartphone, and there may be streaming devices, modems, routers, or printers, and – we’re guessing here – lots and lots of power cords! When something goes awry with any of this tech, homeowners can feel stuck. In an office setting, there’s the IT support desk, but at home, you could be relying on Google search, YouTube videos, and the efforts of a digital-native teen. Talking with IT experts well versed in residential technology issues can help.
As with doctors, it can be worthwhile to get a second opinion. Having an IT expert for your home can save you money and prevent disasters. With an IT guru on speed dial, you can make smart decisions for buying, repairing, and upgrading tech.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous computer businesses out there. They will take advantage of a buyer’s lack of knowledge about all things tech. Doing your own research is great, but it can get overwhelming. A search for a Wi-Fi-enabled, Mac-compatible printer nets hundreds of options, rankings, and reviews.
You try to evaluate a laptop or printer on function, quality, and price, but all these other elements get mentioned. You don’t even know what they mean! How can you ask the right questions? An IT expert can narrow the field and make recommendations based on your needs. You don’t have to wonder what that salesperson is not telling you.

Maybe you usually go to a big-box store to buy your technology. Yes, they can have good deals, but often there’s a reason that laptop is so cheap or that printer is such a great deal. These temptingly priced technologies can be just too slow to do the job, or they’ll break down sooner. Or that astounding deal on a color printer is going to backfire on you down the road because the cost of the ink is crazy!

With an IT partner providing a second opinion, you can avoid being bamboozled. Your IT support team will take the time to get to know the issues you’re facing and how you plan to use the product. They can steer you towards tech that is good value and makes sense for the problem you're trying to fix. They’re not trying to sell you the actual technology, only acting as a consultant. They don’t benefit from your buying a particular brand. You don't go home with something that duplicates or doesn't work well with your other tech.
Beyond Buying – IT Support for You
When it comes to replacing or repairing technology, it helps also to get a second opinion. You wouldn’t want to get surgery when a week with a splint would do the trick, right? Well, you don’t want to buy a new computer to solve a problem that could be fixed by taking off under-performing but processing-power sucking applications. Or pay to repair a device when you could pay the same amount for a new one that works even better in the way you need.

IT support isn’t only for enterprise-sized businesses. Tech experts can help a homeowner:
  • evaluate tech options
  • identify good deals
  • make smart upgrades
  • diagnose computer problems
  • install security measures
  • backup data
  • connect devices

Get the help you need to keep your computers and technology in top shape at home. Contact us today at 940-282-0290.
Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?
There’s one solution to tech problems that everyone knows: turning the device off and then back on again. This go-to move is a bit of a joke in the IT industry. Who needs help-desk support if you can find a power switch? Surprisingly, this approach actually does solve a lot of problems.

Take the Microsoft Windows Blue Screen, for instance. If you see this screen, Windows cannot continue working. Restarting the computer may be the only fix you need.

Sometimes systems will lock up, or an application will freeze, and you can’t do anything except stare at that annoying little icon indicating the computer is stuck. If it’s an application, you can try “Force Quit” (CTL + ALT + Delete in Windows, or Option, Command, and Esc on a Mac). But if that doesn’t work, you may have to force a shutdown. On a Mac you can do this by pressing Command + Control + Option + Power button. On a PC you can hold down the power button for as long as needed for the computer to shut off.

Don’t worry, modern computers are designed to endure unexpected shutdowns. However, it’s definitely safer to use the power button than to pull the plug from the electrical outlet.

When you have issues with internet or network connectivity, powering off your computer may again be the solution. By turning the computer off, you reset its connections to the router, server, or even ISP. This ensures the appropriate information to get online is being communicated back and forth. That doesn’t work? Try powering off the router or modem. The same explanation applies, only now you’re resetting the connection from the other side.
A Couple of Cautions

Before powering off the device, if possible, save documents and close open windows. Unexpectedly turning off a computer may cause data corruption in any files you had open. Make sure that you’re not devastated by a computer freezing up by remembering to save regularly. It is also worth making multiple, incremental copies of your work as you make your way through it. For example, File v1.doc, File v2.doc, etc. You can do this using the “Save As” function.

Keep in mind that when turning something off and on again as a quick fix, you don’t want to go too quickly. Keep the device powered off for 5–10 seconds. This will give it the necessary time to reset.

Also, you probably want to avoid turning your computer off and on many times in a day. If you use the device a lot throughout the day, leave it on. Turning the computer on repeatedly can stress the device, especially older computers. Likewise, leaving it on all the time can take a toll, too (and adds to your electricity bill). Really, whether you shut down at the end of the day or after use is going to depend on how you use the computer and how often.

Nevertheless, restarting a computer or any device remains a good way to get it back to the way it was. This time-honored self-service solution isn’t going to do the trick every time, though. Some issues will remain after a reboot, such as a virus infection. Or there could be a hardware issue that needs fixed.
Don’t give up hope. Speak to a professional if powering on and off isn’t the answer. You can be sure an IT expert will have some other ideas to try! Contact us today at 940-282-0290.
Brian W. Norby
(Owner of both BWN Computer
AND That Computer Man)