Thursday, 8 March 2012

Don't forget to backup

We've seen a spate of problems with hard drives recently with irreplaceable data at risk. Luckily we can recover the majority of files from hard disks but inevitably there is always a chance of that precious photo or document being lost. So remember to regularly backup your data to removable media such as DVD or CD.

Oh, and be aware that deleting files on a hard drive before you dispose of your old machine is not enough to prevent data being retrieved and used fraudulently by those so inclined.

If you need help with data recovery, advice on safe backup, or hard disk disposal give us a ring. But don't leave it too late...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Support With Confidence

Windsor IT Services are proud to be members of Surrey County Council's Support with Confidence scheme.

Support with Confidence is a quality assurance scheme helping people to make good and informed choices when selecting care, or purchasing goods or services, knowing members of the scheme are reliable, trustworthy and understand and can respond to their needs. The scheme is run by Surrey County Council Trading Standards and Adult Social Care services in partnership with Surrey Independent Living Council (SILC).

For more information please visit the Surrey Information Point.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Keep the Cowboys Out

Selecting the right trader is essential and anything that helps keep the cowboys out is great news. Here's a few simple rules to keep you safe.

1. Always do your research - referrals will help, particularly from people you know. Websites such as Buy With Confidence and Which? Local actively monitor and vet traders. Business directories such as FreeIndex actively encourage referrals from customers.
2. Avoid buying from cold callers without doing many extra background checks. Your bank, Microsoft, British Telecom and other companies are unlikely to call you about your computer - just put the phone down on callers purporting to be from these or similar companies.
3. Ensure you know how to contact the trader, use land line telephone numbers wherever possible.
4. Never let someone remotely connect to your computer unless you really know them and never ever if they cold call.
5. Always seek quotes and ask questions. Expect to pay a fair price - something that seems too cheap is likely to be a problem.

Let's keep the cowboys out this Christmas.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Keep your wits about you

It's easy to be wise after the event.

Someone who seems genuine calls you to say that they're following up a report that your machine may be infected with a virus, or some newly released software needs to be adjusted, or they're from your bank and they want you to confirm some details about account irregularities.

What do you do - they sound plausible don't they? But remember that you're probably the 100th person they've called today and if they call enough people then just by chance their story will sound convincing to someone.

Whatever you do don't fall into their trap, don't let them remotely logon to your machine, don't part with any information that they may use to steal your identity. Just put the phone down and if they persist call Trading Standards or the Police.

Stay safe online by installing and keeping Internet Security software up to date, but also don't let fraudsters in by following links to their websites or by replying to their email.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Don't waste your money!

Now I'm not suggesting that every fault can be fixed, or that it's even economic to do so, but it's always worth a try. Often a little more memory, a tidy up of the disk, and a check to make sure that the software is up to date, is all that is necessary. And I always enjoy a challenge!

"My laptop had developed a mysterious fault and I thought I was going to have to replace it. Mike gave me advise regarding the purchase of a new one and checked out prices at several outlets on my behalf. However, not wanting to be beaten, Mike went out of his way to research and finally fix the problem saving me a lot of money!"

Christine Jackman, Englefield Green

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Who needs a gym membership?

All you need to keep fit is 5000 leaflets and a good pair of shoes. I know that most of my beautifully crafted leaflets go straight in the bin (recycling I hope), but just now and then, they fall on the mat of somebody who's looking for some help. And that makes it all worthwhile, well that and the free "gym membership".

"We all have problems with our PC from time to time and having tried several other companies unsatisfactorily my attention was drawn to a leaflet drop from Mike Richardson trading as Windsor IT Services. I do not normally respond to this form of advertising as I normally rely upon recommendations but what a find Mike has been superb in sorting out several problems with my system and recently revamped it to split my work and personnel items which allows it all to work so much better. I highly recommend Mike for his prompt and cost efficient service."

Malcolm Morris, Apex Heating, Windsor

Friday, 12 March 2010

Buy With Confidence

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the number of times I come across instances where people have been overcharged, supplied with hardware or software they don't need, or persuaded to choose a solution which is just not right for them.

Customers place their trust in you as the "expert" who knows what you're doing, but I'm afraid there are some less than scrupulous traders out there who will simply take advantage.

So it's always encouraging when you find something that will help protect the consumer and also those of us who try to make an honest living. The Buy With Confidence scheme is run by Trading Standards who actively vet and monitor local traders. So avoid the risk and always insist that any traders you use are members of the scheme. We are.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Photo Restoration

I love my job! I get to help all sorts of interesting people - training for a new job, fixing problems, offering advice, or helping folks communicate with distant friends and family. But just occasionally something extra special comes along and something which can help make a real difference.

So it was last Friday afternoon when Caroline phoned to see if I could restore an old photograph of her father and crew of KC "P", their Lancaster of 617 Dambusters Squadron. She explained that she needed it for a reunion the following day in Windsor and couldn't risk taking the precious and badly damaged print she wanted to pass around. Although her father is no longer alive, she hoped that someone at the reunion might recognise him, or others in the photo.

The picture was glued to the frame of a painting of their Lancaster in flight, so we started by taking photographs of it just in the case it was damaged further when we removed it. Luckily it came away quite easily and although torn, curled up at the edges and quite fragile, we were able to get a good scan ready for restoration. I delivered the precious original back later in the day, together with an enlarged and restored version that Caroline could take to the reunion. Job done, everyone happy!

On Sunday I had another call from Caroline with wonderful news! At the reunion people had indeed remembered her father and the crew of KC "P" when the new print had been passed around. But that was not all. Caroline does sterling work raising money in aid of cancer charities through Lunch4Life, and was offered the fantastic prize of a trip in a two seat Spitfire to auction to raise funds. That very evening the Spitfire flight from Duxford raised £8000 in aid of the charities. Now that really was the icing on the cake.

Images © All Rights Reserved by Caroline Davies

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Always ask the right questions

The key to good telephone support is to know which questions to ask and then ask them in a way that the customer can understand and give you meaningful answers. Unfortunately language, accent and basic training often prevent remote call centre staff from providing such an effective service. At Windsor IT Services we can help isolate the problem and then ask the relevant questions of the call centre technicians to quickly resolve the problem.

"I was having problems connecting to AOL via my Wireless Router modem and after failing to get any satisfaction from AOL technical support I called on Mike Richardson to assist. He responded promptly and analysed the problem to the stage where he was able to contact AOL Support with clear questions to which he got a satisfactory response and restored my connection.

Mike approaches problems in a calm manner and explains what he is doing in terms which a non expert septuagenarian like myself can understand. While a further problem occurred next day he was able to quickly sort it over the telephone.

His charges are very reasonable and I would trust him implicitly to do a thorough job and have no hesitation in recommending him."

Richard Brown, Windsor

Monday, 22 February 2010

Problem resolution when you're at your wits end!

Don't give up! We can normally fix what seem to be the most insurmountable of problems and put in place regular maintenance activities to help you avoid getting stuck again!

We can help if your machine is running slowly, you can't connect to the Internet, you think you may have a Virus, or want the peace of mind that a regular health check can bring.

Being completely independent we won't try to sell you a new machine when all that is required is a simple fix, nor will we try to persuade you to keep an old machine that is becoming uneconomic to repair.

"Mike is the computer expert equivalent of the best GP; available, helpful,& knowledgeable, solving all my computer problems."

Dr David Murray Bruce, Windsor

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Get yourself on-line!

An on-line presence is essential for any business or club in today's connected world. We can quickly help you establish yourself with an inexpensive yet professional site or blog and advise on how to get yourself noticed!

"Mike always makes time to sort out problems - large and small. He taught me how to set up my own web site and has sorted various queries with practical knowledge. I regard him as my 'personal guru'."

Old Windsor

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Wireless Network

"Although I like to think I am fairly computer-literate and able to research and set up my own purchases, when it came to buying a new laptop and set up a wireless network at home, I was looking for someone to help me ensure I had thought about everything I needed to and got a good deal. Mike Richardson offered comprehensive, knowledgeable advice about everything I asked - nothing was too stupid! - and helped find the best deals. A friendly, helpful service which I would highly recommend to anyone."

Katy, Eton

Getting the most from your Digital Camera

With a digital camera, computer and printer, you don’t have to be a top photographer to produce good photos. We can advise you on what to buy, how to get the best results from your camera and how to edit and print the photos that you want to keep.

Gone are the days of waiting for your photos at the chemist only to discover that they didn’t work, or that your snaps were the same as everyone else on the family holiday!

It's easy to learn how to straighten and crop photos, adjust the contrast / colour and remove red-eye. Then select only the ones you want to print (at home or at photo-shop), email or share online.

So if you'd like to learn how to make better use of your camera and start editing your photos then why not give us a call!

Replacing your old computer

"Replacement of aging computer, still running on Windows 98. Advice on new hardware/software was excellent. I now have a system tailored to my ability and does everything I ask of it. I will be returning for further updates."

Brian, Windsor

One to One Training and Advice

"Many thanks for your patience Mike with this slow learner and for responding so quickly to my many cries for help both with my computer and the one at my Church. Also for assisting me with the purchase of new equipment. I have recommended you to all my friends."

Janet, Surrey

Problem Fix

"Whenever I am flummoxed by IT gremlins, Mike calmly, efficiently and quickly sorts out the problems; these have ranged from being unable to access my mail, broken connections and ghost printers, to installing new software. I recommend Windsor IT services unreservedly."

Janice, Surrey

Keep your WITS about you

Welcome to the Windsor IT Services blog! You'll find customer comments and useful information about us at WITS, so read on or visit our website for more information. We're here to help with all your computer needs including One to One Training, Impartial Advice, Problem Fix and Digital Photography. Based in Berkshire we cover Windsor, Maidenhead, Slough, Staines, Egham, Ascot and surrounding areas in Berks, Surrey and Bucks. Visit our website to find out how we can help you.