Tech Talk #35 – October 1, 2016

They’re still out there, the fake tech support people. I know, and you know, nobody from Microsoft will ever call you to tell you there’s something wrong with your computer. It just won’t happen. The people who do call you aren’t from Microsoft and all they want to do is get your money. Don’t give it to them. Don’t talk to them and just hang up the phone.

 

The same is true of any page that pops up on your computer telling you to call immediately so they can “save” your computer. There isn’t anything wrong with your computer. Again, they just want your money. It might be hard to get rid of their stupid and scary page, so the easiest thing to do is hold down your button until the computer shuts off.

 

Normally, when you restart the computer the page will be gone, and your computer will be just fine. Might be good to run a full scan with your antivirus and antimalware programs just to be sure. You do have antivirus and antimalware programs installed on your computer, right? I’m currently recommending Avira and MalwareBytes.

 

Here are their links:

https://www.avira.com/en/free-antivirus-windows (also available for Mac and Android)

https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/

 

These tech support scam pages are also showing up on Macs and various smartphones too. The same advice applies. Break the connection by rebooting your phone, then do a scan.

 

Alternative software

Office

New computers don’t come with real word processing or spreadsheet programs anymore.

 

If you don’t have your old Microsoft Office discs (yes, they’ll work on any new computer) and don’t want to get a subscription to Microsoft Office ($70/year for one computer or $100/year for five computers) you can always use LibreOffice. It can be set up to read/write in the Microsoft file formats and includes equivalent programs for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Worth a look if you want to step up from Notepad or Wordpad. Not that there’s anything wrong with them.

 

Here’s the link: https://www.libreoffice.org/

 

Illustrator

If you need to create a logo, a website mockup, or any digital illustration that you might use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for, there’s a free browser-based program called Gravit that’s worth a look. Gravit has vector tools, like pen and line tools, as well as auto shapes. You can align objects, group them, or clip them, and work in layers.

Here’s the link: https://www.gravit.io/

 

Fun and non-productive websites

Are you bummed because no one seems to use bubblewrap to ship things anymore? Do you miss popping the bubbles in bubblewrap? Head over to Perpetual Bubblewrap and pop away. They call it perpetual bubblewrap because unlike in real life, their bubbles don’t stay popped. Whatever.

Here’s the link: http://www.urban75.com/Mag/bubble.html

 

Hey, you. Yes, you. Did you know can draw? Not just any sort drawing, either. I mean you can draw with FLAMES! Totally true. You can save your drawing or even share it on Facebook, for some reason.

Here’s the link: http://www.escapemotions.com/experiments/flame/index.php

 

Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at greg@tech-hachapi.com.                                                                                              

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