COMPUTER SUPPORT Tips from the Gonzales, LA Computer Pro – The New Internet Explorer

COMPUTER SUPPORT Tips from the Gonzales, LA Computer Pro – The New Internet Explorer

While many people have switched to Firefox or Opera for their browsing needs, it’s hard for those of us providing COMPUTER SUPPORT IN Gonzales, Louisiana to ignore the impending release of Internet Explorer 9.0 – which is newly available for public beta testing from Microsoft.

As expected, the new Internet Explorer is only available for Windows 7 and Vista, with no XP version provided. Since Windows XP has reached the end of its service life, users who have yet to upgrade will need to be satisfied with Internet Explorer 8… but you use the internet as an integral part of your job, the new features and capabilities of Internet Explorer 9 may convince you to take the plunge and upgrade.

Those providing IT SUPPORT IN GONZALES LOUISIANA will find it refreshing that the Javascript engine of Internet Explorer 9 is not just improved over previous versions, but actually outperforms other modern browsers. The scripting engine in previous IE versions has generally lagged behind competitors, and as scripted websites have become more and more common, this has made IE feel sluggish. The new engine, however, speeds things up considerably on dynamic sites with heavy scripting.

The Achilles’ heel of Internet Explorer has always, of course, been standards compliance. While on par with browsers of its time at each major release, the slower release cycle of IE versions has often left it far behind other more-agile browser teams as standards have evolved and progressed.

Internet Explorer 9, as usual, brings standards support to near-parity with other modern options… offering significant support for CSS3 and HTML5, and improved support for DOM levels 2 and 3. Notably, one of the complaints developers frequently make about the way Internet Explorer handles spaces has been handled in the same way as other industry-standard browsers, allowing Javascript and ECMAscript code working with it to operate compatibly in all major browsers.

Web developers will particularly enjoy the new video and canvas elements from HTML5, and designers will find many new possibilities in the new border-radius and opacity properties for CSS3. Design elements such as alpha channels and HSL color model make it easier than ever before to design cross-browser sites that comply with modern standards.

While this makes Internet Explorer an attractive option at the moment, only time will tell whether standards support will remain updated between versions, and – if history is any guide – those who need the latest and greatest web standards may well find that IE simply does not keep pace.

The single most powerful feature of Internet Explorer, however, is that anyone providing COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES LA can generally rely on Internet Explorer being installed and available on any machine. For those people, the all-around improved rendering engine makes this reliable and consistent option much more pleasant to use; offloading much of the work to the graphics card rather than the CPU, Internet Explorer 9 now renders pages faster and better than ever before.

In short, Internet Explorer has effectively caught up to the state of the art. While it may not provide all the bells and whistles of Firefox with a full complement of plugins, it’s a stable and reliable browser which renders quickly and efficiently to modern standards. If you’re using Windows 7 or Vista, you owe it to yourself to upgrade – you’ll be surprised at how far Internet Explorer has come.

Phillip Singletary is a provider of professional COMPUTER SUPPORT IN Gonzales LA. If you need IT SUPPORT for your small business, please contact us at

Upgrading From Office 2003.

COMPUTER SUPPORT Tips from the Gonzales, LA Computer Pro –Upgrading From Office 2003.

It’s surprising, but when providing COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA, I see an awful lot of people who simply haven’t upgraded from Microsoft Office 2003… whether to Office 2007, or to Office 2010.

Many longtime Office users were confused and distressed by the new “ribbon” interface, and simply avoided upgrading… and when those users also happened to be in charge of software licensing for an office, entire companies were left on Office 2003 for several years after they should have upgraded.

One of the more useful reasons to upgrade now is that Office 2007, being the “previous” version of Office at present, is actually a great deal less expensive. If the objections were financial, owing to the cost of upgrading so many people at once, upgrading to Office 2007 is a lot easier on your budget while still providing many of the new features added since Office 2003.

Another key reason is that the new “ribbon” interface, while it takes several weeks to become accustomed to it, really is easier and more intuitive to use – as someone providing COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES LOUISIANA, I frequently need to create reports in Office, and once you get past the initial shock of using the newer versions (it took me a little over a month) you’ll probably find that the old versions of Office have become hopelessly difficult to use. I certainly did.

Finally, the newer versions of Office are lighter on system resources than Office 2003 – the memory management systems within each application are much improved, especially under Vista and Windows 7, and often provide performance much improved over Office 2003… especially on older and less-beefy machines.

Providing IT SUPPORT IN GONZALES LOUISIANA has shown me many times that system upgrades are often foregone simply because the computer is old, and there are concerns that the newer versions of software will not run on the system that needs upgrading. For Office 2007 and 2010, at least, these concerns are largely unfounded – most computers which can run Office 2003 are capable of running the newer versions much faster and more reliably.

In short, while it may be a little scary to think about moving to the new versions of Office, putting off the upgrade any longer is just going to make future upgrades more difficult. It’s worth taking the plunge, if only because waiting isn’t going to make it any easier, and the sooner you start adjusting – the sooner you’ll adjust.

PHILLIP SINGLETARY is a provider of professional COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES LA. If you need IT SUPPORT for your small business, please contact us at SALES@LATECHNOLOGYSOLUTIONS.COM

COMPUTER SUPPORT Tips from the GONZALES, LA Computer Pro – Do You Need That Extended Warranty?

COMPUTER SUPPORT Tips from the GONZALES, LA   Computer Pro – Do You Need That Extended Warranty?

Whenever we configure a new desktop, laptop or server for our small business customers for COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA, one configuration option that often needs discussion is whether or not to purchase the extended warranty.

The answer differs based upon the system being purchased.

Servers – We ALWAYS purchase the maximum available warranty with 7 day, 4 hour service if available. Often, the client might say, “well, if a hard drive were to fail, wouldn’t it simply be cheaper to go out and purchase a new one, rather than pay so much to have the warranty cover the replacement?”

The cost of the hardware isn’t what the primary focus should be here.  What’s important to realize is that every minute of downtime, where your entire office is completely inoperable could be costing you a fortune in lost productivity. The value in having a replacement part delivered to your office within 4 hours, without the risk of having a part being out of stock or unavailable for delivery is well worth whatever the cost of the warranty might be.

Workstations – Here is where we rarely spend anything more than what’s included as the basic warranty on the system. It’s very rare that an actual hardware component will fail on a new workstation, and if it did, the cost of a replacement will generally be less than the cost of the warranty.

Being that only one user would be affected by an outage, this is a risk that is usually deemed justifiable in taking, rather than purchase an expensive warranty to insure against the potential downtime. It’s often not too difficult to find a spare workstation for a single employee to work on temporarily while waiting for their computer to be repaired.

Laptops – Here’s another instance where we typically recommend to our clients of COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA that the extended warranty with “Complete Care” or “Accidental Damage” protection be purchased. Laptops being mobile devices are highly susceptible to damage from being dropped or banged.

Depending on the model of laptop and the part that’s broken (often the screen), the cost of repair can come close to the actual purchase price of a new laptop.

This is why we always recommend to our mobile small business customers for our IT SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA that purchasing the extended warranty with accidental damage protection for their shiny, new and often expensive laptop is a wise move.

If a laptop comes into our shop in need of COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA and it isn’t covered by an active warranty, often the news that we’re forced to report to our client isn’t what they would like to hear.

Phillip Singletary is a provider of professional COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA. If you need IT SUPPORT for your small business, please contact us here at Gonzales Computer Consultanting

3 Good Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 7.

COMPUTER SUPPORT Tips from the Gonzales, LA    Computer Pro – 3 Good Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 7.

Windows 7 has been out since October 2009, and many users still working with Vista or XP continue to hold out, wondering… “is it safe to upgrade to Windows 7 now?” After all, only about 19% of XP users made the switch to Vista, and the vast majority agree… it was a step in the wrong direction.

Well, I’m happy to report that Windows 7 definitely shows some solid improvements over its predecessors. When providing COMPUTER SUPPORT GONZALES, LA, I have been upgrading my clients regularly now, and the majority of the users are quite happy with the new improvements.

  1. The driver support is greatly improved over the earlier versions of Vista, which had so many users frustrated and sometimes downright angry that they simply couldn’t get their older (but not necessarily old) products to work.

This problem has been addressed in the new version of Windows and many more products are compatible and can be easily installed.

  1. Security is always a great concern. I know when I provide COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA, my clients regularly make it clear that security is of primary importance. The security in Windows 7 has been greatly improved over earlier versions and now includes UAC (User Access Control), DEP (data execution prevention), ASLR (address space layout randomization) as well as improved operating system kernel protection. Plus, the Ultimate version includes BitLocker and BitLocker-to-Go encryption, which protects your files from loss to hackers or theft.
  2. Keep up with technology. Now that we know that Windows 7 is a solid and widely accepted new Operating System, we can be sure that support for the older versions of Windows will disappear soon enough. I always make sure that for my clients of IT SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA keep up to date, as I know how much my customers like their new toys… and few things are more frustrating than bringing home a new device just to find out it won’t work with your outdated computer.

The biggest deciding factor in upgrading to Windows 7 probably won’t be whether or not you should make the move, but rather should you make the move NOW? And that will be decided by the age of your current computer.

Did you just buy your machine in the last year or so and it came with a version of Vista or XP? Then it might make sense to upgrade to Windows 7 sooner rather than later so that you can take full advantage of all of the new features as soon as possible.

If your computer however is several years old, then you’re probably best off waiting until it’s time to replace your computer completely, where Windows 7 will come preinstalled. As Windows 7 is more powerful than its predecessors, it also requires more powerful hardware to run it properly, and your older computer might not be equipped to handle it.

Phillip Singletary is a provider of professional COMPUTER SUPPORT IN GONZALES, LA. If you need IT SUPPORT for your small business, please contact us at

Protect Yourself from Virus Attack in 5 Simple Steps.

COMPUTER SUPPORT Tips from the Saint Amant, LA. Computer Pro – Protect Yourself from Virus Attack in 5 Simple Steps.

Viruses are as prevalent today as they have ever been. In 2009 alone, they have caused a total of over 5 Billion dollars in damages through lost productivity and downtime to businesses worldwide.

And the number one way that viruses find their way into businesses today remains directly through email.

Still today as I do my COMPUTER SUPPORT IN Saint Amant, LA. I’m amazed at how many companies fail to take the proper precautions to protect themselves.

By taking these 5 simple precautions, you will find yourself better protected than the vast majority of your peers that might be leaving themselves wide open to attack.

  1. Make sure that your Antivirus Software application is installed and up to date – Far too often do I come across workstations where the user decided to uninstall the Antivirus application because they thought it would “speed up” the computer. Let’s see how fast that computer runs when it can’t even boot because its been attacked!

Also found often are computers that are simply failing to receive daily updates to the Antivirus signature files. The causes for failed updates are many, but the solution is simple. Just make sure to monitor the Antivirus activity daily (easily done with a service like the managed support plan offered by Louisiana Technology Solutions, a provider of IT SUPPORT IN Saint Amant, LA. )

  1. Install a quality Spam Filter application – Lots of viruses are passed around the Internet automatically through automated Spam messaging. By having a quality Spam Filter installed either on your local computer or on your email server, you can prevent a number of potentially infected messages from ever reaching your inbox.
  2. Don’t open attachments – The most common way to transmit spam messages is through an infected file attached to the email. If you receive an email from a sender you’re unfamiliar with, simply delete the attachment along with the email without ever opening it. If it was really an important attachment from a real sender, chances are they’ll contact you to make sure you receive it properly the next time they send it.
  3. Scan attachments before opening – When you do receive an email from someone you know and an expected file is attached, there is still the distinct possibility that the file has been unintentionally infected prior to being sent to you. Take the precaution of running your virus scan on the file before opening it (simply right-click the file and click “scan for viruses”).
  4. Shut off the Preview Pane – The path to get there will differ depending on what email client you’re using, (my customers of COMPUTER SUPPORT IN St.Amant Louisiana use Outlook), but what you want to do is turn off the preview pane that lets you read an email without actually opening it.

Viruses can be embedded in the HTML coding of the email message itself, and when the message is read, even in the preview pane, the virus can be activated. By shutting off the Preview Pane, you reduce the chance of accidentally unleashing a virus from an email you had no intention of opening in the first place.

By taking these simple precautions, you will be going a long way towards protecting your company from some potentially very costly downtime.

Phillip Singletary is a provider of professional COMPUTER SUPPORT IN Saint Amant, LA. If you need IT SUPPORT for your small business, please contact us at
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