All posts by silverstar

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Gaming Disorder Official

Taken from PC Magazine – March 2018

The World Health Organization has classified an addiction to gaming as a mental health disorder, and has issued a guide that outlines the symptoms and diagnosis of the condition.  Many countries already recognize gaming addiction as an identifiable and treatable condition.  South Korea has a law that bans those under 16 from playing online games between midnight and six in the morning. China also limits the hours for younger players.

Not everybody is happy about this.  Critics argue that extensive gaming is simply a coping mechanism for other mental health issues, rather than a specific one in itself.  They point out that any “fun” activity can be taken to extremes, and cause suffering.  To be clear, this isn’t about enthusiastic players, or the odd night lost to a marathon session.  Gaming as an intense hobby is a long way from addiction.  Sadly, it’s young children who often suffer serious neglect when parents become more interested in gaming sessions than them.


Be careful using Google

Google is great at finding what you’re looking for, but be careful.  Make sure the website they are sending you to is legitimate.  DO NOT click on those you do not recognize. Chances are you’ll infect your machine with viruses…

Gaming Drains Surface2

Not enough juice to run full-on gaming.

Microsoft’s Surface 2 is a nice bit of gear, and its ability to run games is impressive. As it should be-the 15-inch model comes with an Nvidia 1060 and costs $2500.00. this ability comes at a price, though: The battery drains even when plugged in. Yep turn the Power Mode slider to up max, and start playing a demanding game, and the battery starts to drain by 10 percent or more every hour.  It transpires that the power supply  (labeled as 102W) can’t cope with full-on games, which push the GPU into using 82W or more, leaving little power for much else.  It won’t run flat; it throttles back enough to keep you alive.

Embarrassing for a machine marketed as high-power gear. Microsoft ways it was designed  to deliver “unmatched power and performance.” Only clearly it wasn’t thoroughly tested at the limits running games., despite the promotional material including images of hipsters gaming.

Taken from PC Magazine February 2018

Dangerous Search Words

Taken from PC Magazine December 2017

McAfee has released a study that examines the most dangerous search terms-those most likely to lead you to malicious sites that aim to steal personal data, install malware, or just bombard you with suspicious pop-ups.

Some terms are pretty obvious targets: “free music downloads”, “make money”, and “game cheats”, for example, or anything with the words “free”or “lyrics” in them bring out the hackers. Other dangerous terms are a little harder to fathom: “myspace” and “solitaire”.  The worst search string? “Word unscrambler”.

Diving deeper into the data and grouping together  variations in terms brought out a clear winner: “screensavers”.  Variations on this brought an average 34.4 percent risk. Another area full of scammers is “working from home”-four percent riskier than average.



  1.  Buy legitimate software, and register it.
  2. Make sure your software is up to date.
  3. Don’t click on links or open attachments from email addresses you don’t know.
  4. Instantly leave websites your been routed to without your consent.
  5. Have a pop-up blocker running on your web browser.
  6. Use a reputable antivirus program, and always keep it updated.
  7. Regularly back up your important files to an external drive or a remote storage service.

School is starting

Don’t overpay for your computer.  Your local store has lots of desktops and laptops to choose from and many are on sale to help ease the cost of returning to school.   Come see us first!


Prevent Data Loss

If you care about your data, build in a backup routine.  The prevailing wisdom states that you should follow the rule of three (three copies of your data stored on at least two kinds of media) with one of them being stored off site.  Here at your local computer store, we can have your data backed up to the “cloud” for just $25 set-up fee and $5 a month.  Hard drive go out?  Your data is in the “cloud” for you or us to recover!

Windows 10? Talk to your PC

If you can’t type very quickly, or just fancy trying out something a little nifty, type “speech” in the Search  box, and select “Windows Speech Recognition”. Here you’ll find everything you need to configure your PC for voice-activated control-it’s great for dictation, too.

*taken from Maximum PC magazine

Another virus message

Apparently the “bad guys” have caught up with Windows 10 and the Edge browser.  If you receive a message “Serious malfunction with Windows 10 Microsoft Edge 14.14393 (these numbers could be different ). Please call Microsoft Certified Technician at 1-866-xxx-xxxx (phone numbers could be different also) don’t call.  These people are looking to infect your computers with viruses and could possible hold it for ransom.

Shopping Tips

This is something else I saw in my AARP magazine and of course with this being the “retail” time of year we can all use a little help.  Here you go:  Did you know that Kohl’s, Victoria’s Secret, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts all more than one promo code per order?

FreeShipping .com eliminates delivery charges at more than a thousand online retailers like Kohl’s, Target and J.C .Penney.

“I often open up live chats with customer service to ask about available discounts or offers not advertised on the site,”Woroch says. “Typically, these reps are eager to help in some way, whether it’s handing out coupon codes or unexpected services” (overnight shipping)

On-line Shopping

With Christmas quickly approaching many of us will be shopping on-line.  While I have not checked these out myself,  I ran across this article from AARP and wanted to share with you.

Where to Find:


DISCOUNTED GIFT CARDS: Gift Card Granny,  Card Cash

PRICE COMPARISONS:, Bizrate,                                                                                PriceGrabber

FLASH SALES:  Gilt, One Kings Lane



A few final reminders: never shop on unfamiliar sites (the ones listed here are reliable). Do not shop online using public Wi-Fi or an unsecured connection.  Don’t shop on any site if the URL doesn’t start with “https”. The “s” means the site is secured, and your financial information is less likely to be compromised.

Smart Passwords

Be smart about choosing passwords to use on your computer. Try something like……1h8mUnd@z……….(I hate Mondays) Use capitalization,  symbols and numbers.

!=I,i,l    @=a    $=s   z=s   Be creative, these are much easier to remember!


Scam artists have a new twist

Got a new twist on the viruses. Not only do they now tell you about viruses or suspicious activity, but now they’re telling you your online banking has been compromised. DO NOT CALL THESE NUMBERS! Instead, call your local bank directly if you receive a message about this.

Are anti-virus programs 100% effective?

In a word, No. While you really need to have some type of anti-virus software, nothing is 100%. The more popular the anti-virus, the harder hackers try to do more damage. Viruses come from just about everything now. You may think you need as much security as you can get and load several anti-virus program, however, some of these programs will fight each other and SLOW YOU DOWN. We used to think PDF files were safe but not so much anymore. Viruses can even come through your browser. When installing a browser (such as Chrome), make sure to take the check marks out of “add this toolbar” and anything else they want you to add. These can sometimes open a “back door” where viruses can come in.
Be careful what you click on. Saying “OK” to something takes the power away from your anti-virus. Pop-ups from Java and Adobe are mostly viruses. If you get a pop-up that your Java or Adobe needs updated, DO NOT click the pop-up. Instead, go to Micosoft’s website and check your system. Windows updates are usually OK and YOU DO want to do Microsoft’s updates.
If you’re getting a lot of pop-ups or your computer is slow, bring it in. We do virus, adware and malware removal for $90.00.


Ransomeware Update

A new version of ransom ware has been released.  It comes in your email disguised as a .pdf .  While PDF files were thought to be pretty safe, that’s not the case anymore.  These viruses start to infect your computer and encrypt your pictures and files when you click on the PDF.  Your pictures and files cannot be recovered from this new release.  Recently the FBI was subject to this virus and ended up having to pay the ransom. Only open attachments when you know they are coming from a trusted source. Backup, Backup, Backup. For a $25 set-up fee and $5.00 per month (or pay your set-up and one-year up front and get a $10.00 discount)

USPS Virus

Well I got this one in my personal e-mail.  It states that USPS attempted to make a delivery to me and sent an attachment to print out the shipping address.  This is NOT a valid e-mail.  USPS does not have your e-mail address and would put a notice in your mailbox NOT send an e-mail.  DO NOT FALL FOR THIS.  If you do, please remember that we can remove the viruses from your computer for $75.00

The Doctor Virus

A new virus has been discovered.  It encourages you to visit a website to ask all kinds of questions to a Doctor.  Don’t do it unless you know who it is.  As soon as you click on the site it infects your computer with viruses.


Well here’s another virus that is making it’s way around.  It’s a hostage virus.  Your computer will say that you have “x” amount of time to pay “x” amount or they will take your computer hostage and delete all your files.  DON’T PAY THEM ANY MONEY.  We can remove those viruses.

Power Outages

With winter coming we may experience power outages.  Be safe rather than sorry and turn your computer off if the power goes out.  When the power is restored you could experience a surge and blow your power supply.