Good Help is So Hard to Find

So you have a dilemma. Your computer is broken and, like the rest of us, you have come to depend very heavily on your computer so right about now you are probably about to totally freak out and hit panic overload mode. Am I right?

There are so many questions like "Why Me?" or "Why Now?" or "What am I going to do?" or .... OK so you get the idea. Once you calm down and get back to thinking clearly, the main pressing issue will become clear. "Where can I get this computer fixed?" That is the real question, isn't it?

Well, that's where the real problem actually begins. You see, good help is hard to find, or so they say. You could call the manufacturer of your machine. Usually they have a toll free number and are more than glad to assist you. The only problem with that is that every person I have ever talked to who has had this type of problem has called the experience a total nightmare. That is not to say that the manufacturer technical support isn't good and that there are people out there who have had a good experience going this route, I just don't happen to know any of them.

Usually one of two things happens; either the machine is out of warranty and that means you have to pay an arm and a leg to even get support or purchase an extended warranty (if the manufacturer offers it) or, the more common scenario, involves being on the phone for hours, usually on hold and going through multiple transfers to get to the "right department" and then spending more time on the phone listening to a "technician" trying to walk you through some troubleshooting. 9 times out of 10, you get someone from another country that you can't understand very well to begin with and then, even if you do get someone whose English you can understand, since you yourself are not technical, you still have problems understanding what it is they are trying to instruct you to do.

Now, let's say that the previous option feels somewhat daunting and you want to try something else. You could always try going to one of the major retailers. There are a few problems with this method as well. First of all, Circuit City has gone out of business. Not that they were all that great in this department either, from what I've heard, but at least you had that option. Best Buy and Geek Squad are still around but I've also heard some pretty scary stories about their services. In addition to the 50/50 chance that you're taking that you will get your machine back in good working order, with all of your data intact (if your hard drive hasn't totally died) and not be charged an arm and a leg and be upsold a slew of additional items that you really didn't need, there's the headache of unplugging your machine and all of it's components and lugging it down to the store. Once it's there, I hope you aren't in a hurry to get it back because chances are it's going to be there a while.

Thankfully, you do have a few other options. If your computer is not totally wrecked and you can get on the internet, you have two options. You can search via Yahoo, Google , or another search engine, for a computer repair company in your area. The benefits of calling a local company are:

1) You have someone close by who can assist you when you need help. Whether you have a few technical questions or you need to purchase additional equipment, they will be there to assist you.

2) The larger and more established companies have technicians that can come out to your location.

3) When you need to purchase a system, a good service provider will assess your needs and recommend the right system for the tasks that you need it for
4) The bigger companies have agreements with the major manufacturers and, usually, can give you a discounted price.
5) These companies generally will handle the warranties for your systems thus taking that burden off your hands.

6) If you choose the right company, they will be very well versed in the technical aspects of most operating systems, software programs, peripherals and networking and can, therefore assist you with the design, installation, configuration and integration of one system, a small to medium network or even a large multiple location WAN.

7) If you do need service and it is an emergency, most local companies can respond to you from 30 minutes or, at a minimum, the next day.

8) If you have a business and need a regular service provider, these companies generally offer a maintenance plan that can offer you many different options to suit your needs.

These are just a few of the advantages of using a local service provider. Keep in mind that, just as with any industry, there are good and bad service providers, so choose carefully. If you happen to be in the DC / Metro area, there is a local company that offers all of the benefits that I previously mentioned and more.

Are Computer Rentals a Viable Option For Businesses?

There are many instances in which it may be a wise choice to consider renting computer equipment rather than buying it for your business. There are times when a short term project requires the use of more computers, in which case rental suits that need to a tee. But, there are many other reasons that renting may be more economical than buying for business.

New Business: It is risky to start a new business without even considering purchasing one or more computers. Renting allows you to have the equipment you need while you build up a customer base and a source of business income. This cuts down dramatically on the amount of capital needed to start a new business. Renting makes more sense for someone just starting out with a new business.

Extra Project: There are times when extra help is needed for short term or long term projects. Project based purchases can be an unnecessary expense. Why buy extra computers if they are only needed for certain projects? In the long run, renting is more practical than purchasing more computers.

Preserving credit lines: There is no need to push your bank's line of credit in order to obtain computers for your company. You can keep your credit line in tact while still getting the newer equipment you need.

No repair bills: When you rent computer equipment you never have to worry about a repair bill. If something goes wrong with the computer equipment, you are covered.

Latest technology: Renting ensures that your company will have the latest computer software and technology available.

Tax Perks: Renting computer equipment may qualify your business for tax deductions. Check with your tax consultant but renting is a viable business expense in most cases. Any expense that is related to your business is a potential deduction.

Whether you need computers short term or long term, there are many benefits to renting. Consider the options carefully before you decide. Buying new computer equipment often sets a business back financially when the goal is for the business to make a profit. Renting allows you to budget the expense rather than have a large lump sum needed right away. Buying office equipment is often more expensive and risky to the business than renting. It is best to begin by renting in any case so you will have set payments, covered repair, and less risk financially

CD Duplication Made Easy

CD duplication can be broadly divided into two - one at the personal level and the other, professional duplication. Most of us make duplicate copies of our favourite tracks, photo albums etc with the help of a personal computer and CD writer. But professional duplicating services cater to large-scale duplicating needs of various business sectors, including entertainment and software.

Professional CD duplication is an all-encompassing process. The project includes pre-analysis mastering, copying, printing and labelling. The CD replication firm would do proper packaging and send the finished product right to your doorstep. There are several service providers in the field, but their expertise and reputation differs.

Large scale CD duplication requires experienced work hands and proper infrastructure. These are the days when technologies get obsolete with each passing day. CD and DVD duplication technologies are also growing in leap and bounds, and any replicating service lacking in technology is bound to go out of business in no time. Duplicating firms should also have the requisite machinery to duplicate any types of compact disks, including mini disks, shaped ones, normal ones and DVDs of any kind.

CD and DVD duplication is a multifaceted job involving videotape conversion, authoring and graphics creation. It is a delicate job and any misstep in any of the aspect involved would render the CD useless. If you are in need of making duplicate copies of your CDs professionally, make a search through the websites of different duplicating services and compare their strengths and weaknesses before placing your order. Asking for a sample copy would be helpful in finding any blemishes in advance.

Dealing With a Fear of Computers

Cyberphobia is also known as the fear of computers and most likely is going to be one of those phobias that interrupts the quality of your life.

With today's technological superhighway, and the computer's ability to keep in touch with family members, even grandmothers and grandfathers are computer literate. As far as having a computer phobia, not only can it affect how you seek out information, but it can also keep you separate from family.

There are many ways to try and overcome your fear of computers, and the first is to find out exactly what your afraid of. Many of those who are considered to be afraid of computers are actually afraid of the unknown. Also, one of the great fears with a computer is that you're going to do something wrong.

If you're actually afraid of the unknown, you may try going to a simple computer class. Make sure that the instructor knows that you're afraid of computers so they take the time to teach you exactly what the computer is, how it works, and how you can get information from it. By taking a course you will be led step-by-step through your fear, and there's a good chance at the end of the course, you won't be so afraid.

The same can be said if you feel you're afraid that you're going to touch the wrong button. Many people misunderstand, and they think that they can crash or break a computer easily. In actuality, it is very difficult to crash a computer or break it. This is one of the things you will learn, if you take a computer course.

The fear of computers can be debilitating, not only can it affect your quality of life as far as how to find information, but it can also keep you separated from family and friends. If you have found that you have cyberphobia look around in your community Senior Center, your community activity center, and even your community job center and take a course in computers.