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Cleaning your desktop computer

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/11/2009 02:39 PM
Several people have asked us to make a video on cleaning out the dust and dirt in your computer, and of course we are glad to do so! When you clean out your desktop, make sure you disconnect the power and other cords from the system before you open it up. We recommend the following tools to clean your computer: A screw driver (likely philips) for opening your case A can of compressed air A plastic coffee stirrer or non conductive "stick" for helping to hold fans in place. The whole process is pretty simple, just open up the computer case and have at it with the can of compressed air. Be sure to prevent any fans from spinning freely during the process...

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NOC Episode Open DNS

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/10/2009 11:45 PM
Do you have specific sites that you don't want to be able to access, or perhaps do not want your children to access? Then Open DNS might be the cheap fast solution for you, and it does'nt get much cheaper than free! Open DNS is a free service that categorizes numerous websites on the internet and can allow or deny access to those sites at the DNS level. If you are not sure what a DNS is, it is like a big phone book for the internet. Every time you browse to a website a DNS request is made to find the IP address of the website's domain name. This would be the phone book equivalent of looking up John Smith, and finding his phone number so you can call him. What's nice about Open DNS is that since everything ...

NOC Episode Running Programs as Administrator in Windows Vista

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:50 AM
I am still surprised at how often people don't know about this feature of Windows Vista and don't use it. It's a great security feature, however the implementation could have been just a smidge bit better. By default all programs, even if you are an Administrator on your computer, do not run with administrator rights. You have to actually tell Windows, "run this program as an administrator". This provides a higher level of security because programs used to always assume they had full administrator rights, and could thus do anything they wanted. This is extremely bad if you run a piece of spyware, a virus, or something worse. Now with the User Access Control system in Windows Vista you will be prompted anytime a program ...

NOC Episode Change detail columns in Windows Vista

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:46 AM
If you have several files in a folder that you want to view the details for, and even worse are unable to find the detail you are looking for it can be frustrating. However Windows Vista will be glad to help you customize your detail view to how you like it, on a folder by folder basis that is.   ...

NOC Episode Changing your power button in Windows Vista

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:42 AM
Windows Vista's start menu is a bit different than the one in Windows XP or previous versions. With Vista when you click on the start menu, you no longer have an option to shutdown, but what looks like a power button, a lock, and a little arrow. Some people don't realize that the red power button by default puts your computer into sleep mode, and that to actually shut down Windows you need to go to the little arrow. Changing this behavior is easy to do through the Windows control panel.  

NOC Episode: Opening a Mac Mini

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:33 AM
A common question we get from Mac owners and fans is, just how the heck do you open up a Mac mini. Then when we tell them how to do it they think we are pulling their leg or trying to get them to break their equipment. However this is the offical Apple recommended way to open a Mac Mini... with a putty knife.   ...

NOC Episode Cleaning Electrical Contacts

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:29 AM
Obviously being a computer repair shop I often have to diagnose, and troubleshoot systems. Sometimes RAM in older computers will be detected as bad, or the system will show signs that it has bad RAM. One of the first things I will try and do is check the contacts of the RAM for corrosion, or damage. Every once in awhile I come across some contacts that have some dirt or corrosion on them, and clean them up. I place the RAM back in, and usually those sticks will run fine without any other problems. This can also be done in a preventative method to make sure performance stays good, and improve the life of components. Dust will build up in your system, and in some cases depending on what is in that dust it can stick to contacts and...

NOC Episode Upgrading to Mac OS X Leopard 10.5

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:25 AM
We finally got ahold of our copy of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and decided it was time to go ahead and upgrade the Mac Book. During the upgrade we talk about the various features of the new OS, and how Mac differes from Windows in the OS side of things. Part 1   Part 2 ...

NOC Episode The Awesome Gizmo

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:16 AM
Several people love Skype and think it is the best thing since sliced bread. However some of us think that the Skype program could be a bit more stable and easier to use. A viewer in our live stream told us about a program called Gizmo that allows you to do the same thing Skype does, for free, and has a few extra features.  

NOC Episode Can your computer run Windows Vista

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:12 AM
We used to get asked very often, if a computer can run Windows Vista. It's a bit of a trick question, it all depends on if you have driver support or not. Check with your system, or motherboard manufacturer to see if you have driver support for Vista. Driver support is key, if the drivers are not there for your system, there is a good chance it will not run right with Vista. I have seen systems, and motherboards that do not list any drivers at all for Vista that run it perfectly fine as there is built in support for all the hardware. Because of the built in support the manufacturer will not provide their own drivers. However if you have a fairly new system, and do not see drivers listed you should be concerned. This is either the...

NOC Episode What is Photosynth

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:06 AM
A viewer in our live stream told us about a new project from Microsoft called Photosynth. What Photosynth does is it takes images that are uploaded to the internet and places them in a 3d environment to create a look and feel of a live 3d environment.  

NOC Episode Cleaning up your desktop in Windows Vista

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 06:00 AM
We got a suggestion on the live chat from Elijah that we should show you guys how to clean up your desktop on a Windows Vista machine. Some key points are deleting temporary files, defragmenting, and some other various files and settings. For the most part everything that improved performance of a Windows XP machine will improve performance of a Vista machine. One key difference is that Vista includes a new feature for displaying the desktop called the "Aero Interface" in some cases this might not be enabled by default. Turning this on will enable the use of the graphics card to draw and display application windows more. This will take the load off of the CPU and as a result make the system run faster. Part 1

NOC Episode Running Windows On A Mac

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 05:54 AM
During a live session we got a question about how can you run Windows on a Macintosh/Apple computer. Nowadays with Apple computers haveing Intel processors in them it is possible. There are a couple of ways to do it, Boot camp, and VMware Fusion for example.   ...

NOC Episode Anti-Virus products

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 05:46 AM
In this video we talk about some of the various anti-virus products on the market, and what we believe to be the best one. Anti-virus products are alot like shoes. There are plenty on the market, almost everyone says one is better than the other, and you always hear conflicting information on the subject. Our opinion is to use what has consistently worked the best in the past, and for us that is Trend Micro Internet security. I've used Trend Micro with hundreds of clients before and maybe only two or three times had an issue with it out of all of those. Compared to dozens upon dozens that have had issues with the Norton or McAfee series of products. I have found that overall Trend Micro catches more viruses and spyware compared t...

Noc: Episode Laptop Jack Replacement

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 05:25 AM
Another common thing we do is replace broken power jacks in laptops. You know the piece that the AC/Power adapter plugs into on the back of your lapto? Well, those get broken in numerous ways, and in this set of videos we go through the process of removing a power jack and resoldering it. Fair warning, this episode is very long. In summary, a laptop has to be fully disassembled to perform the job correctly then fully re-assembled. Some companies will try and tell you that a laptop jack replacement will only take 30 minutes to an hour, however the laptop is either not fully disassembled, or is haphazzardly taken apart causing more issues down the line with missing screws and poor connections. We take extreme care in taking...

NOC: Episode 5 Using Trend Micro's HiJack This

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 05:02 AM
We get calls all the time about how someone's system is infected by spyware, or viruses. One of the tools we use often is Trend Micro's "HiJack This" utility. It is a very powerful utility, and if you are not sure how it works you can do more damage to your system than good. In this episode we give you a quick run down of the program, and what it does. In summary you run HiJack This, and check the items that you want it to remove from your system. This will include browser helper objects, startup programs, and some unusually registry entries that can cause unexpected programs such as viruses to run. The trick is knowing what is normal and what is not normal. The only way you can know this is to take a look at a ...

NOC: Episode 7 Cool Gear

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 04:52 AM
In this episode we discuss some of the options of having the NOC pay for itself, some of those possibilities are Ads, Paypal donate buttons, and Cool gear? What kind of cool gear would you like to see us have? Currently we are offering shirts, and mouse pads in our CafePress store. Would you wear: A NOC Hat? A NOC bumper sticker on your car? Use a NOC coffee mug? Perhaps you find our logo and symbol the ugliest thing in the world, either way let us know comment below and tell us what you think. We want to make our gear the coolest around. Update: We are currently planning on re-designing the NOC shirts to look better in a variety of colo...

Video Episode 6 Cam Twist

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/07/2009 04:44 AM
This episode I go through a brief run through of what cam twist is, what it does, and a couple of it's features. When I was doing this video I was doing it live on our uStream account as well. For some reason iMovie failed to pick the video back up when I did a channel switch, however uStream continued to capture the video. For the missing piece you can watch the uStream version. In summary CamTwist is a program for the Macintosh that allow you to take video from a web cam, and combine it with live video of your desktop and other options. This is what I use for creating the chat room in the bottom of the videos you see, and for automatically including the date, time, and other information into videos as well. This is an excellent...

NOC: Episode 4 Dream Scene in Vista Home Premium

Posted by Robert Hall on 03/10/2008 02:34 AM
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Answering a question about the Dream Scene Patch for Vista Home premium and Business edition.

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NOC: Episode 3 Vista Barrows from the Mac

Posted by Robert Hall on 03/10/2008 02:33 AM
The sequel to our Mac features video, we show what features in Vista are obviously pulled straight from the Mac. Many people say that Microsoft pulled these features directly from the Mac, for the most part I would have to agree. However you must also look at it this way. If Apple has a good idea, and is using it and people like it, why should'nt Microsoft use a similair idea. This keeps Microsoft current, and gives them features that people like. On top of that Microsoft goes through and adds some additional features, some that gain some press, and others that won't. Just as Apple will add features to their operating system that gain little attention. Both companies take ideas from each other, and ideas from other companies. Peo...

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