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Scammers are really upping their game in 2017.  They even try to represent themselves as legit companies like Webtech Craft.  I had a customer almost get scammed by them.  I ended up saving them over $600.  They had to rush to their bank early in the morning before the charges came.  And boy did they come.  They like to call area codes here in the states that have a large number of middle-class citizens or retires.  They use scare tactics in trying to get you to believe your computer is sending them information stating that its infected with all kinds of bad stuff.  Which is funny, because the only way they would even know something like that is if they hacked your computers, but they didn’t.  In fact they can convince people who leave their computers mostly off that they are receiving a transmission from them.  How does a computer transmit any information when its off. 

They read from a script.  Get them off the script and they will start getting angry.  They want to install a remote connection application on your machine so they can do what they already said they had detected before they called you.  Once they install this application on your computer they can do whatever they want with your machine.  They will tell you that ANYONE who worked on your computer before is incompetent.  They will always tell you that in order for them to complete the work you have to give them a credit card number so they can install a bunch of programs that you could get yourself.  The application they install begins to infect your computer with all kinds of fun stuff.   It’s not as bad a ransomware, which holds your files hostage, but its pretty bad.  They can install junkware, which are programs that do nothing, but look like they are doing everything.  Once you send them payment they are off to the stores and hangouts to get vodka and escorts and who knows what else.  Once you give them your credit card number they will try to use it for other things too. 

The best way to avoid getting used and abused by these evil people is to never, ever, ever let anyone calling you or sending you messages via email or using scare sites (sites that give you fake warning s about your machine) ever have access to your computer or credit cards.  Never let anyone who is not in your home or an actual human in front of your face computer repair technician person convince you that there is anything wrong with your computer.  If your computer is running slow or appears to have a virus, use your anti-virus and scan you hard drive or call a LOCAL computer repair technician.  Never give your credit card information to anyone over the phone, or anyone online that is not a major merchant like amazon.  Try to use different passwords for your different website needs as well.  If they get one login and password they will try to use it on any sites that they can, like paypal, your bank ect.  Be defensive, and if you are unsure about a situation get in contact with me, day or night. 



Ransomware is THE worse situation you can get yourself into when it comes to internet scumbags taking your computer hijack.  Ransomware is usually an application that you ‘accidentally’ clicked on.  It could be a fake adobe flash update, a fake driver update, a script that a website ran which asks you permission to run.  IOnce you click yes or once you click and run the small file they downloaded to your computer the ransomware program will take effect.  It will search for all personal data you have on your hard drive(s) and will encrypt the data.  Once the data has been encrypted it will then give you a pop-up message stating that your files are no longer yours to use.  If you look at the files they will be renamed or have a file extension that you have never seen.  Encrypted files are files that have been put into a ‘safe’.  The only way to open this safe is to provide the right ‘password’ (key).  The password is usually a long string of letters, numbers and symbols.   Impossible to break for consumers.  The only way you get your files back is to pay these guys what they want.  You don’t pay in the normal way, like PayPal.  You have to pay in bitcoin currency.  It is an internet currency that lets a person pay for things anonymously.   Your normal money has to be converted into bitcoin money.  Once this is done you pay them and from what I understand from a few people who have fallen victim to this crappy scenario you get your files back rather quickly, because hey, they have a reputation to keep up right.  It is horrible.  The last major ransomware outbreak happened earlier this year and many places like hospitals, banks and schools had no choice but to pay the ransom to get their data back. 

Good news is it is pretty easy to avoid ransomware.  Never click yes on any scripts the internet puts on your screen unless it’s a place you know for sure is legit.  And even then be careful.  If you are updating flash then make sure you did it at adobe’s website.  The URL should look like this:  .  If you see anything else in the URL where the get. part is then most likely it is a fake website setting you up for glorious failure.   Use the same rules for any other websites you deal with.  Make sure amazon is actually amazon.  Ebay is actually eBay.  This will help you with not only ransomware but also other types of scams that they have out there.  Do not click on any programs or applications that show up in your downloads folder unless you know where they came from.  If you do not, or if they are named in a way where it suggests that this is an application, DO NOT click on them.  Delete them immediately.  Call someone (like me) if you have any doubts on what the internet is doing. 

ALWAYS back up your files, and don’t let online cloud backup be your only source of backup.  Get yourself a 2TB or larger external USB 3.0 hard drive and backup your data manually from time to time.  I had a few customers who came under attack with ransomware and icky malware and because they backup constantly the damage was minimal.  They were able to give the middle finger to the creeps trying to extort them and get their computer cleaned and their data restored via their external and cloud backup.  Cloud backup works ONLY if you trust the service you are using.  Just remember that all cloud backup is is a bunch of server computers and hard drives online, just sitting there.  It’s not being guarded by Judge Dredd or the Avengers.  It’s being guarded by regular people, many who probably have large USB 3.0 flash drives.  Reason I say this is because I know a couple people who used to work for could service, and they admitted that when they were bored they liked to look through people photos.  Comforting thought, right?  Also, you have to be concerned how your data is uploaded and in what condition is it in once it is uploaded.  Are you files encrypted BEFORE they are uploaded or do they encrypt your data after its been uploaded?  If you are an accountant, lawyer or someone with sensitive data you have to be concerned about this when using the cloud.  Yes, backup can save your bottom in a crisis, but you also want to make sure your data cannot be shared.  A nice solution to daily backup is to get network attached storage (NAS), which is simply a large hard drive that connects to your internet router.  This way it can be used anytime by any computer or even several computers, tablets, smartphones, videogame consoles, smart tvs  at once.  Western Digital has a nice line.

Many people get scammed by using google to find help on a problem.  A problem with an HP computer will get you a lot of phone numbers on googles search results.  The problem is the majority of them are not really HP, and they will scam you out of your money by making you believe that whatever your problem is, even printer related, will be due to your computer being ‘sick’.  And of course, they have the cure.  For a steep price of course.  They will try to get you to download and run their remote connection application and then the rain will come.  Same thing with Yahoo and the problems they were having with email accounts being hacked at will.  The person locked out of their account would do the same thing, do a google search to get their account back.  These scammers spend a little money to get their fake websites placed at the top of google search results.  They look legit because Google is a search engine and is not responsible for the websites it indexes.  Once you call these people they will try to ruin your bright sunny day.  Always be defensive online and question EVERYTHING. 




Windows is targeted by hackers all around the world. The number of users that use windows is massive, which is why it is targeted so hard by scum. They tend to leave lesser used operating systems like OSX and linux alone because there is no real money in it. 

Most threats to computers are the ones that like to take advantage of human error, meaning it requires the user to either clikc on something that will allow the evil onto their machine, or pickup the phone and call someone who wishes to dump something on your machine so thay can remotely control it. As you can see from the pictures below (click on them to enlarge them, and don’t fear, they are just images) there are a variety of ways the scum try to get you to make a mistake, using fear tactics or ‘must upgrade’ notices every chance they can get. Depending on what websites you visit, the frequency you run into these traps will vary. 

Now I see a lot of what I like to call click bait. You can be on facebook or any social media site and you’ll see “top 10 celebrities with no clothes on” and you’ll click on it. It will take you to a page that is designed to slow your system down to a halt while you wait for just about every ad process ever devised to load all at once. Yes you will see the photos eventually but you will only see 1 at a time. When you click NEXT it won’t advance because the page is programmed not to advance until next is hit 2 or 3 times. Finally you get the second photo after 4 minutes of waiting and flash ads for products you could care less about. When you finally get to the third photo you get a pop up or 2. One of the pop ups will contain a ad to something you don’t care about, but when you try to close that browser tab you get what looks like a system message asking you if you are sure you want to leave and if so you have to actually click leave this page. The other pop up that opened will likely be one of the types of ‘YOU ARE IN GRAVE DANGER” messages or “MUST UPDATE YOUR FLASH NOW” things that people click on, hence giving their computer the flu. When you click ok, that’s all it takes. 

You are not installing a flash update, you are installing evil. Don’t do it. Never install anything the internet tells you to. Never. If you are worried that your flash is out of date, then go to adobes website and do it there. If you get the FBI warnings or IRS scares just close the browser tab. DO not call the number. DO not use services that want to download a remote connection so they can cure your machine. If you do that you might as well get windows reinstalled, because what they install is quick acting, thorough and relentless. Your keystrokes are monitored for passwords and other sensitive data, your webcam will come on (sometimes without the light indicator) so they can get a good look at ya and your surroundings. They have bots that search your hard drive for files that might hold information they can exploit, like word or excel documents. Text files and photos. Anything they can scan to see what personal information might be lurking in them. They install things that run in the background you don’t even know about, and they can put their files all over windows. So well that they even can rest in your system restore, napping like a baby till you wake em up again.

They will disable your anti virus as well. People will often blame the anti virus. Its not the anti virus’s fault, after all you let the party in. New malware, virus and Trojans are created every day at an alarming rate, and often anti virus definitions aren’t updated fast enough to detect them. That’s why some knowledge of how these traps work can help out a great deal in keeping your machine clean never install what the internet tells you. 

Never install anything the internet tells you too.  Ever.  Again, if in doubt, go to the companies website and do a check.  If you get a prompt to update flash and you think you need to, close the prompt and go to adobe’s website and check your flash install there.  This goes for any application that claims to be in need of upgrading via a web pop up or website.  Always ask questions first, not later. 

  • Never call any number given to you by a pop up ad or message that locks you out of your computer. 
  • Do not get scared when you see a IRS notice in your email. The IRS will never email or call you. Not their policy. They will always mail you by post office letter. 
  • Remember services that offer to fix your computer via a remote connection are very risky, many operate in other countires that scramble their origins so well you’ll never figure out who they are or where they are if your personal checking account gets drained overnight. 
  • Never let your anti virus expire, and if your serious about protection go for something that is real, even if you have to pay a little (Kapersky is the leading one right now), you’ll thank yourself when kids get on your computer doing searches for Nicki Minaj or Beyonce. 
  • When doing a search for help or repairs, stick to local service.  1-800 numbers are usually evil.  These types of setups will take your money and with it they will buy vodka and escorts with the accounts you provided for them.  Fake programs known as malware will install and look like they are doing all kinds of wonderful things when in fact they are not.  You are watching a short movie provided by hackers to give you the impression you are in good hands.  They will all prompt you to spend a little money to unlock the program they install once its found the bad stuff (it has in fact found nothing and has added more to your problems in the process) and that payment of $39.99 you authorized……..they now have your credit card number and the information needed for hot fun on Saturday night. 
  • Be afraid of remote connections (when they offer to fix your computer by letting you download a small file).  Be very afraid.  If you cannot find them, then what can you do if they take you for a ride?
  • If you can, pay for things via paypal online.  The reason being is that the merchant you purchase from will only see their money; they will not see the credit card numbers or bank account numbers attached to the payment.  This way when a company gets hacked for personal information you can sleep well knowing they don’t have your debit card or credit card numbers.  Paypal is sweet.
  • When a pop up does open, close it.  They have nothing positive you want to see.  Its ok to click the ‘leave this page’ prompt you get for some of those annoying pop ups that won’t let you just click X to close the browser tab. 
  • I’ll say this about the cloud.  If you have sensitive data, you might want to think about getting a home cloud solution installed.  Reason being is that unless the data is encrypted on your side of the fence with only you having the decrypt passkey before it gets uploaded online, then your data is at the mercy of the people who run the cloud service.  Often times it’s not the kind of people you think up there.  It’s not that 1990 Norton guy in the shirt and tie who looks like he does nothing but guard stuff day n night.  Nope, its people you see at best buy or wendy’s.  They have lots of computers with lots of space and lots of ports.  With a usb 3.0 connection you can download a ton of personal data in minutes.  That’s all it takes.  Your data goes home with someone lonely soul who wants to see who takes the best selfies, or who has a credit card number listed within a excel file.  Be very careful how you protect your data.  The cloud is convenient.  Dropbox is wonderful, but using it for sensitive data is very risky.  I cringe when I hear clients of mine who are lawyers, financial officers, accountants who are using the cloud to backup their business data.  Cloud drives are affordable now and they are huge.  4TB if you need it.  They attach to your router and can be accessed by any device on your network.  You can encrypt data before you back it up to the drive and you can also access the drive remotely, like on a business trip or vacation.  IT’s a relatively inexpensive solution and something to think about in this data driven world we live in now. 
  • As far as anti-virus programs, if you’re on a budget run AVAST free edition.  If you have a little lunch money and want the very best protection then run Kaspersky
common traps used by bad bad hackers and scamers online
(double click to enlarge the screen shot)

Should I upgrade to Windows  10?

If you run Windows 8, yes.  You should do this as fast as you can blink.  Microsoft wants you to forget all about Windows 8.  It wasn’t ready for prime time, in fact Microsoft pulled the same nonsense they did with Vista making users beta testers for something that should have never been released.  10 is nice.  It’s not windows 7 users jump to 10 nice, but its nice.  It’s basically what should have been released after Windows 7. 


Upgrading is easy, just right click on the little ‘get windows 10’ icon in the bottom right corner, open it and select get windows 10.  You will be put on a short wait list and in the next few days (24 to 28 hours) your computer will download the install and it will be ready to install.  You can also check your upgrade ready state by right clicking on the get windows 10 icon and select “check status” and it will inform you if it is ready.  While I prefer CLEAN installs for my systems, where you wipe the drive, reformat and install the operating system, the windows 10 upgrade should be good to do as a in place install (like how macs install new versions of its operating system) and your data will be saved.  Again, if you have an external drive I would backup your data just in case.  This is Microsoft. 

Windows 8 users get windows 10 as fast as you can.  Windows 7 users, its your call……most of the benefits are for gamers from what I’ve experienced in use.  Windows 7 is still one incredible operating system so keep in mind just because they made it doesn’t mean you need to get it. 


What kind of computer’s do I have, and what do I do with them all?

  • 1 custom built daily desktop (specs are below) which acts as my main everyday computer (productivity / gaming / web/ ect)
  • 1 dell t3500 (12gb ram | 3 monitors | 6 core xeon cpu with hyper threading) which acts as my audio productions computer
  • 1 lenovo t420 thinkad (16GB of ram / i5 cpu) which acts as my when I’m not home computer. (for sale)
  • 1 mac mini (2014) which I use for my DJ setup running traktor pro.  Got it because traktor doesn’t like windows a lot. 
  • 1 2009 macbook white (late 2009) which acts as my fiction writing laptop.  The keyboard on this thing is so nice to type fast on.  I also sync up my Iphone with it. (for sale)


All my notebooks and desktops have g-skill RAM in them.  Great memory company. 

All my notebooks have solid state drives in them which runs the OS (WIndows 7) simply because there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have one.  They boot in 13 seconds, programs open and close as soon as you click.  So fast, so furious and so civilized.   

In my little dojo, windows is the way I work and get things done.  Both business wise and creatively.  Macs are very nice.  There’s no doubt about it.  It comes down to personal preference.  I prefer the Windows environment, but I would never tell anyone who has real money for a computer not to get a mac.  You can’t go wrong with either platform.  In reality if you want quality, you have to spend real money when it comes to buying a new computer, whether it’s a PC or mac. 

Best thing to do is to try them out, in store, then decide what works best for you.  For windows machines just be sure to buy quality, and run the best anti virus program you can afford.  You’ll be amazed at how well your windows machine stands up.  With macs if you’re buying the new models (basically any models with the retina display) be sure to get them with the highest specs you can afford because the way they are configured when they leave the store is how they will be forever.  It’s just the way apple is doing things now.  You can re-configure a mac pro desktop, mac mini and iMac after purchasing, but not a lot of people are buying desktops these days. 

My desktops are built for serious constant work.  My main machine is up 24/7 365 days a year.  I run Avast free anti virus, which works for me because I know all the traps online.  Quality hardware is the key to windows machines.  Don’t cheap out on the computer you buy, especially if you are planning to make money with it.  If you do have to go the budget route, there are some great refurbished laptops and desktops out there for a fraction of the cost you would pay for something new (I recommened Lenovo, HP or Dell buisness class).  Add a SSD and some RAM and you’re in flavor country.  Contact me if you want the skinny. 

If you don’t have a surge protector on your outlets for your precious computers you are playing with hot nasty fire.  Get em.  Get em now. 

my main conputer's configuration:
  • Fractal Design Define R5 Blackout Edition ATX Mid Tower Case (amazing case. to keep it silent don't use the top panels)
  • gigabyte X99-UD3P-CF motherboard
  • 32GB of G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 Memory. On average I use about 13GB of ram daily.
  • Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor / Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (I do not dig the liquid cooling)
  • Samsung EVO 500GB SSD as the system drive running Windows 7.
  • 2 crucial 256GB SSD's used as scratch drives
  • seagate 2tb data drive plus various other 3TB internal drives
  • evga gtx-970 bideo card| 4gb video ram |
  • Corsair M65 Gaming Mouse
  • Digidesign Mobx 2 mini audio interface (USB)
  • AZIO MGK 1 RGB mechanical keyboard with cherry blue switches.
  • xbox 360 controller for the PC
  • EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
  • Noctua NF line case fans. extra quiet + a 5 year warranty.

On average I use about 8 to 9GB of ram and about 700MB of video memory. This is with just one monitor. Too much video RAM is a good thing.

archived - pre 2013
  • 1 megabyte (MB) = 1024 bytes
  • 1024 megabytes (MB) = 1 gigabyte (GB)
  • A blank cd-r can hold 80 minutes of music or 700mb of data.
  • A blank single layer dvd can hold about 4489 megabytes, which is 4.4 GB.  It can also hold the same amount of data it would take 6 cd-r discs to store. If you have 6 movies that are 700MB each, a single layer dvd will hold 6 movies. I prefer DVD-R blanks.
  • A blank dual layer dvd can hold double the above.
  • All music whether it is mp3, flac, mp4 gets converted to Microsoft’s .wav format so it can be heard on your speakers.
  • An mp3 basically takes a .wav file and strips it of all the frequencies human’s cannot hear.  This reduces the size of the track significantly.  A 4 minute songs is about 40MB.  Using an mp3 encoder (LAME is the best) and using a 128 kbps bit rate, that 40MB wav is reduced to a 4mb mp3 at cd quality sound.  Now you see why the music business sucks ass now right?
  • Video codec’s reduce the size of a movie or tv show from the DVD .vob standard.  There a so many video codec’s out there that it really depends on which one you use as far as the rate of compression that you'll get.  In reality a 4 gigabyte dvd movie (2 hours) in .vob format can be reduced to a 700mb .avi file which will look pretty good on a tv set.  Google dvd shrink or #1 dvd converter to read up on this.
  • Ever play a DVD on your computer with a 22" lcd monitor?  Wonder why the picture is so small.  In simple terms this is because dvd's, as clear as they are on a regular tube tv, are really a third of the size of most 20" monitors.  
  • A dual core processor computer basically has 2 processors (cpu’s) instead of one,  which will either work in tandem or work separately to do your tasks.  Think everything gets done in half the time.
  • Who makes the best routers for home and apartments.  I’ve used them all.  Lynksys gives me the least troubles. 
  • When upgrading a computer, keep in mind that while the motherboard and cpu may be crusty and old, Your other components might just be fine and can be moved to a newer system, espeically the hard drive (s) and cd or dvd drives.
  • Burning DVD’s?  DVD-R blanks are what you want to get.
  • For desktop computers one of the easiest ways to improve performance if your RAM is already maxed out, is to use a dedicated video card.  If you don't play games, a simple 128mb or 256mb video card will do the trick.  Good enough to work on everyday tasks and get a little WOW in.  Of course if your computer is running on less than 1gb of memory, then you should add more ram.  2gb is good enough.  3gb is even better.  Most windows xp and vista 32bit computers will only use 3.25 gigabytes of ram, anything more will just sit there.
  • Want to find a picture or mp3 on your hard drive?  In the folder you want to search, hit CTRL - F and choose all files and folders.  If you want to search for all jpg pictures in the folder, enter *.jpg in the "all or part of the file name" box.  Windows will search for all files with the extension jpg.  Now you can see if your significant other has any naughty stuff sitting on the PC :-)
  • Ifyou have a product key sticker on the bottom of your laptop for windows, be sure to put a peice of clear tape over it so it doesn't wear away. Otherwise they will fade away over time due to normal handling.

-Do you have dvd’s you would like to make backup copies of?  You might want to try the knock out combo of dvdshrink and DVD Decrypter. Works great on most discs. 

-Need to backup cd or dvd data discs.  You’ll need to make an ISO, which is a duplication of the file structure of a disc.  An exact copy.  You’ll want something like PowerISO

-Want to save that clip you saw on youtube or google videos?  Get your hands on this nice free app called Orbit Downloader. It works.

-Want to convert that dvd .vob file (or any other one) to a smaller .avi?  Grab HandBrake.  It’s free, and it works.

-Do you torrernt? Do it behind a VPN or some other IP hiding solution. They are out there snooping (aggressively), and if you are caught downloading copy-written material and are subpoena's 9 times out of 10 you will have to pay damages. Best to stay private online.




have a question? contact me. advice is always free.





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