This is very important
For Windows XP and Vista users
Microsoft has issued a critical update. You can find it here: You should download and install it, then reboot your computer.

Read Users' Comments (0)

Common Computer Threats

Drive-by and dangerous downloads--these install safe-appearing, but malicious software.  They may also run spyware or viruses or may even take control of your computer.

Keylogging records every time you press a key, such as when you enter a password for a banking website or even the Ebay website, and then allows another person access to this information.

Phishing happens when an email or pop-up tries to trick you into giving confidential information (password, bank, or credit card information) by directing you to a website that looks like your bank's or some other recognizable website.

Spyware collects personal information from your computer for people who will use it without your knowledge.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  1. Keep your computer up to date.  Install updates for Windows and updates for your other programs as they become available.
  2. Install a well-recommended internet security program.  I recommend Norton 360;
  3. Use a good web browser.  I like Firefox 3, because it warns you if a site is fraudulent. 
  4. Think, think, then think again.  A well-known and hated dictator was not wrong when he said: "The bigger the lie, the more the people will believe it."  An example of this is many of the forwarded emails we all get telling us that X will pay money for forwarded emails or that Y will destroy your computer.  If any email purports to be from a bank, ask yourself if your bank would ask for this type of information BY EMAIL.  (The answer is NO.) Then do not click on links in the email, but go to the bank's website and check it out.  Or if the email asks you to click on a link change your password for a website you recognize, do not click on the link, it will be a fraud.  
  5. Report.  If it's an Ebay fraud or a Citibank fraud, try sending the email to or  Or directly contact the fraud department of that institution.  This helps everyone because it costs everyone when someone falls prey to a malicious web user.

Read Users' Comments (0)

New Consultant--Suzanne Hixon

Suzanne Hixon has been working in the field of technical training and consulting for the last 10 years and teaches on a variety of different topics. Her background is in education although entering a flooded job market made the transition to teach computer classes an easy one. After working in the world of executives and daily training classes for 5 years Suzanne left the industry and began teaching as a private consultant. Now after 6 years as a private consultant she is still happily self-employed and continues to teach a wide spectrum of courses from Microsoft Office to graphics programs.

Read Users' Comments (0)

Hard Drive and Memory

First some definitions.  The hard drive  is where programs and personal data iimages are stored.  The programs and data are there all the time:  when the computer is on and when it is off.  But if it fails, you may lose it all.  Hard drives do fail.  Some of the symptoms are odd noises, slow start up, and error messages at startup.  However, these symptoms may also be caused by other issues.

Memory is what is needed for the computer to use the information stored on the hard drive. Program files and your data files are placed in memory by your operating system as they are needed for various reasons, and some are removed from memory when no longer needed.  But the memory is completely emptied imagewhen the computer is turned off.  Sometimes so many programs are trying to run that there isn't enough memory left to spare for things YOU want to do.  What might have been enough memory in 2001 or 2005 or even yesterday, may not be enough today as programs (including your operating system) require more and more memory to run. Then your computer is slow and may freeze on occasion while it tries to shuffle things in and out of the existing memory to find enough memory to run the program. Too little memory can cause your computer to be slow to start, slow to run.  Does this sound like your computer?   But, as I've already noted, these symptoms may also be caused by other things.

How much do I recommend?  If you are talking about hard drive space, that depends a lot on you.  Are you storing lots of pictures and videos?  Do you have a lot of games loaded.  Then you need a lot.  How much is a lot?  If you are playing games or producing videos, I would start with 500 GB.  If you are just doing internet browsing, checking email or storing a few vacation photos, 250 GB.  If you are ordering a new computer, this should help you.  Just as a note, my last hard drive on my office computer was 80 GB and it's full.  My current one is 600GB and I'm using 170 GB.

If we are talking about memory, no less (preferably more) than 512 MB for Windows XP; 2 GB for Vista.  You can take Windows XP up to 3 GB if you want and if your computer can handle it, but more than 1 or 2 GB probably is overkill.  For Vista, 3-4 GB or sometimes even more.  What memory does your computer take?  The Crucial Memory Finder is what I use.  Why?  Crucial makes good memory at a reasonable price which works well in most computers (I use it in mine.)  I have had no problems with it except with a couple of "custom" built computers and a couple of HP's. 

I hope this answers your questions about memory and hard drives!  But it is only meant to be a general guide.  If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone 329-6671.

Read Users' Comments (0) Christian Blog Network