Here’s what’s inside our May 2015 Gulfcoast Networking Newsletter:
The Gulfcoast Networking Team
Looking for a new pet? You may want to think twice about following up on an ad for an expensive breed of dog offered for a low price. These ads often appear with an irresistible photo of a puppy in newspapers or on websites, Craig’s List, or Facebook. It typically works like this: The scammer posts the ad and has you pay for shipping via wire transfer. But no puppy is sent, because there really isn’t one (those adorable photos are often stock images). There are variations on this scam — maybe the scammer asks you to pay for “fees” rather than shipping — but you get the idea.
To avoid being a victim, ask for additional photos, a phone number, and registration information from the seller. If those pieces aren’t forthcoming, don’t act on the ad. Never send money to another country, and never pay via cash or wire transfer. Watch for poor grammar or ads that seem “off” in the way they’re worded. Finally, be wary of sellers that are anxious to sell a pet quickly.
The end of last month found us “Spring Cleaning” around the shop. We are offering an eclectic assortment of computer accessories both on eBay and on a “Sale Table” in the middle of our showroom. We are pricing all of it to sell. Come by and check it out.
We are making room so that we can offer more classes and one-on-one support for our customers.
Without the large displays in the middle of the showroom, we will also be able to offer larger classes if we outgrow the existing classroom. This area is still a “work in progress” for now. It will be much more open once we’ve finished.
We will continue to carry an inventory of the most commonly requested items and we can special order just about anything computer related that you can think of, including both custom built and brand name computers.
At the risk of being accused of going over to “The Dark Side”, we are pleased to announce that we are expanding our support for Apple devices. Our favorite antivirus product from F-Secure now has a Mac version and we’ve picked up enough experience with our iPhones and iPads that we are comfortable offering to assist you in figuring out your Apple devices. We are updating our extremely popular remote support system to work with Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
There is a lot of “behind the scenes” stuff going on here as well. You will notice that we’ve adopted a new logo. The black & white logo we started out with twelve years ago was pretty boring and none of us ever quite warmed up to its replacement when it arrived a few years ago. Look for our new logo to show up everywhere, beginning with our website and our remote support portal.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of my spare time working on my web design skills. It has been over 20 years since I first started hand coding in the original version of HTML. I’ve used a few different authoring tools over the years, each with its own advantages. For the last two years, I have been concentrating on building sites using the WordPress platform. WordPress is now THE most popular web authoring platform on the planet.
I’ve been taking online courses to pick up the new tricks I need and to hone my skills. I’ve also been attending the WordPress Meetups held in New Port Richey. The last meetup was held in our classroom and the next one is also scheduled to be held there.
The Gulfcoast Networking sites aren’t that fancy, but they frequently serve as a test bed for new features and tricks. Watch the Gulfcoast Networking website closely and you will continue to see me test new features, such as the blue link color that showed up a few days ago.
Some of the newer sites I’ve built are requiring quite a bit of customization. Interestingly enough, hand coding hasn’t gone completely out of style.
One of the new client sites I’m quite proud of is the one for Santa Dollars. I took the old conventional website and rebuilt if from the ground up to display properly on both regular computers and mobile devices. It was ready to go the first of April, but we waited until after Easter to go live as among the products you can purchase on the site are “Bunny Bucks”, designed especially for Easter.
If you know someone with an old, outdated website, then send them my way. I’m currently scheduling new web projects.
What does this all mean for our clients? It’s pretty simple. You can expect to see:
- An expanded number of computer platforms we are prepared to support:
- Smart Phones
(Hardware repairs are limited to Windows based systems)
- A more comprehensive suite of services for our business clients, including:
- Remote monitoring and management of our clients’ networks
- Onsite support, when needed
- Hardware repairs for most Windows systems
- Anti-viral / Anti-malware cleanups and protection
- Full website support, including SEO optimization, analytics, uptime monitoring, security and content updates
- Assistance with establishing a social media presence (eg. facebook business pages)
- Assistance with establishing a company blog
- Assistance with email marketing while staying in full compliance with the CAN-SPAM act.
- Assistance with, and supervision of, outside vendors (eg. Brighthouse, Verizon, telephone vendors, and specialized software providers)
- Advice and assistance in complying with new regulatory requirements, such as disk and email encryption
- More focused services for our individual (non-business) clients, including:
- Advice on picking out your next computer or accessory
- Special orders for hardware items
- Amazing values, such as our popular “Safe Computing” packages that let you choose the computer support level you want at a price you can afford
- One on one and group classes
- Repairs for your Windows desktop or notebook computer
Grow Veggies In A Hanging Planter
Adorable Beach-Bound Teddy Bear Cupcakes
Leafy Square Wreath To Spruce Up A Door
You haven’t started pinning on Pinterest yet and you want to get started?
To sign up, go here https://pinterest.com/join/signup/
Crazy Helium BoothLite – FREE
Get ready to get silly — very silly! This app lets you make videos with crazy special effects including “Square Head” and “Owl Eyes.”
Dashlane Password Manager – FREE
Tired of trying to remember the passwords for all your online accounts? This app makes it easy to keep and access them all in one place.
Credit Karma – FREE
Whether you have good credit or want to, these apps can help you take charge. Get free credit reports and scores plus credit monitoring.
Learn more (Android)…
Learn more (iOS)…
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener, or just planting your first tomatoes, you’re sure to learn something from this National Gardening Association (NGA) site. The organization’s mission is to provide educational garden programs to every generation. Check out the gardening articles, plant finder, how-to videos, and much more.
Simple, Easy Flight Finder
Looking for an easy tool to help you find flights for your next vacation? Google Flights offers straightforward functionality. Simply type in your arrival and departure locations and dates, and you’ll see options from several carriers. Choose the flights you want, then click the provided link to book directly with the airline.
Master The Grill
Grilling season has begun, and Food Network Grilling Central is the place to be. Find recipes for burgers and hot dogs, chicken, seafood, and other mains, as well as for side dishes, frozen treats, and party food. Get tips on how to grill or find your favorite Food Network star or show.
Best Garage Sale Tips
Sure, a garage sale might LOOK easy: put out a bunch of stuff, and sell it to people walking by. But, there are actually strategies for having a successful garage sale. For example, have yours early in the month — right after payday. Visit this site to get more great advice.
Shattering The CD Speed Barrier
With “warp” rotation speed and a super-fast camera, the Slow Mo Guys capture CDs as they spin to the point of shattering.
“Don’t Try This At Home” Bike Tricks
You won’t believe the tricks performed all around San Francisco by urban bicycle daredevil Danny MacAskill. For him, it’s all in a day’s work.
Question: I’m always a little concerned when it’s stormy out. Is there a possibility bad weather can damage my computer?
Answer: Yes, a lightning strike can cause considerable damage to, or even destroy, computers and other electronic devices. Your house should be equipped with a Network Interface Device (NID), which is designed to prevent lightning from damaging wiring. You can and should also use an uninterruptible power supply (USP). But, neither of these precautions is guaranteed to prevent damage. The best way to protect your electronics is to unplug them during a storm. After the storm passes, be sure to start them up again to make sure they’re operating properly.
We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It’s our way of keeping you posted on the happenings at our shop.
Thanks for your business!
Rob Marlowe, Senior Geek
Gulfcoast Networking, Inc
6335 Grand Blvd
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(We have used our best efforts in collecting and preparing the information published herein. However, we do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability
for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident, or other causes.)
©2015 Gulfcoast Networking, Inc
Portions ©2015 Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc., Used with permission