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PC Pitstop Port Macquarie

PC Pitstop Port Macquarie

Samantha Clark comes from a creative background, a million miles from IT. She met her partner, PC Pitstop founder Ben Waters and joined the business in 2008. Reinvigorating the brand with fresh marketing and a focus on customer experience she is integral to the businesses local success.  Currently working on the future development of PC Pitstop and it's sister company Pitstop Design, Samantha blogs about growing business through embracing technology, sharing her own experience to help others.

Every day we see customers who are shocked that their computer has a virus. They thought they had security software and they thought it was doing it's job.

But here's the thing....You get what you pay for...and YOU play a massive part in your computer's secuirty. You have to check before you click anything, you have to choose the right security, AND you have to know when it's time to renew your services. 

We recommend Norton Internet Security 2014 and it's avialable instore at PC Pitstop Port Macquarie for $85 installed.

If your computer is in for service and we notice your Norton is out of date we will update it at the same time for a reduced fee of $65.

Keep your PC and your Stuff safe with industry-leading protection.
Emailing, sharing files, visiting social networks, shopping online, or just browsing websites. Whatever you like to do on your PC, we help keep it—and the Stuff on it—safe from viruses, online threats, and problems that could slow down your computer.

Gets rid of viruses and spyware, so you can read emails and download and share files without getting or passing on threats, plus it helps prevent online identity theft and blocks websites that could steal your credit card numbers or other information. So you can surf, shop, and bank online worry-free.

BX NIS Y14 r r EN 342
Verdict

Norton's internet security suite offers excellent malware detection and consistently performs on pace with the best available security software.

Avoid the horror story happening to you. Don't get caught without. It could cost you more than you know.
 
 

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As the kids head back to school lets take a look at how to stay smart online.

sso-logo

Kids & Teens

While the internet offers an exciting world of experiences for kids and teens, it is important to be mindful that they could:

  • experience cyber-bullying
  • be exposed to inappropriate or harmful content
  • be at risk from contact with strangers
  • unknowingly or deliberately share personal information without realising they may be subject to identity theft, or that they are leaving behind an online footprint that might not reflect well on them in the future.

Many companies check to see if job applicants have online profiles. Be aware that the photos and information you share with your friends may not be what you want a prospective employer to see. 

Resources for Kids and Teens

There are lots of online resources to help kids and teens understand how to stay safe online.

  • Budd:e Primary - Budd:e for primary schools offers fun and engaging games and activities to build unique robots, while introducing basic practices that will equip children to stay safe and secure online. Topics include privacy, password creation, protecting personal details, virus scanning, secure websites, and scams.
  • Budd:e Secondary - Budd:e for secondary schools explores advanced online safety and security topics, including: creating content, file sharing, pop-ups, privacy, sharing, scams, spamspyware, malware,phishing, online transactions and computer viruses. Students can earn points answering questions to 'buy' parts and accessories to build a unique cyborg that can be used as an avatar on social networking sites.
  • Cybersafety help – Information and Cybersafety help button.
  • Cybersmart - Information and education to empower children to be safe online.
  • Hector's World – A fun resource for younger children to learn about internet safety.
  • ThinkUKnow - Internet safety program.

READ MORE >>> http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/kids_and_teens

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It is the year Back to the Future II predicted sneakers would lace themselves and kids would fly about on hoverboards.
Technology in 2015 technology may fall short of those lofty goals but there is still much to anticipate, from virtual reality to smart motorcycle helmets and, yes, at least one hoverboard.

We peer into the crystal ball to deliver 10 top technologies to watch next year:

  • Virtual reality headsets
  • Apple Watch
  • Windows 10
  • Hendo Hoverboard
  • Samsung Project Zero
  • Fitbit Surge
  • Skully AR-1 Motocycle Helmet
  • Google Glass Revisited
  • Jawbone Up3
  • Netflix

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/top-technology-to-watch-in-2015-from-hoverboards-to-wearable-tech-and-the-gadgets-we-really-want/story-fnda1lbo-1227159730194

 

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Calling all those with cracked phone screens, smashed tablets, dead iphone batteries and any other smart device annoyance! Stop putting up with it and risking greater damage to you and the phone and get in to PC Pitstop today pronto!

Tristan our star iphone, galaxy, ipad, tablet and other small device repairer is back from holidays and ready to rock. Keep him busy!

First in, First Served! On duty 9-5 weekdays.

Most repairs completed same day if dropped in before 2pm and parts available.

 

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We wrote a user manual and service planner just for you....so come and get it!

It's packed full of how to hints and tips and details the best way for you to look after your desktop or laptop computer - at home or in your business. Everyone is loving them and we don't want you to miss out!

Besides, the beginning of the year is a perfect time to tune your computer in readiness for a smooth sailing year ahead!

See you instore soon.

manual-planner

...from the manual

A Word from Ben and Sam

We wrote this Computer Manual & Service Planner for you.
In fact, we started PC Pitstop for people just like you. People who are amazingly skilled at what they do and confident in many areas of their lives. People who aren’t afraid to ask for help to remain amazing and confident. People who want to grow, embrace technology and get more out of life.

The PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner is a comprehensive go-to-guide for all things computer-user based that will see you through the life of your computer and beyond. If you find this useful or need more information be sure to sign up to our e-newsletter or blog on the PC Pitstop website. And of course, give us a call or pop in, we love to keep in touch with all our amazing customers.

We hope the PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner challenges you, increases your productivity, improves your confidence and inspires you to learn even more!

Believe in Better
                                                                                                                                  
BEN WATERS & SAMANTHA CLARK

                                                                                                                                                      PC PITSTOP FOUNDERS

 

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PC Pitstop repair computers of all makes and models - laptops, desktops, MACs and all your small devices. 
Get it done faster at PC Pitstop, simply call or pop in to your nearest store with your enquiries. 

[TIME FOR A CHECKUP]

Dust and debris in your computer can cause overheating...which can fry parts...which can result in lost precious data...which may result in tears!!

pcpitstop dirtydesktop before after

WHAT DO WE DO DURING A TUNEUP TO MAKE YOUR COMPUTER FASTER, SAFER AND CLEANER?

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Workshop Assessment & Diagnosis

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Hard Drive Surface Testing

ü  Arrow-Right-icon File System Integrity Testing

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Malware Scan & Removal

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Optimization of Startup Processes

ü  Arrow-Right-icon System Defrag

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Apply Critical System Updates

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Hard Drive Speed Test

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Bench Testing

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Physical External Computer Clean with Antibacterial Cleaner

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Physical Internal Computer Clean with Compressed Air

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Final Startup Check

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Discuss Any Recommendations

ü  Arrow-Right-icon Supply Future Maintenance Information

Home Users need to get a computer Tune-up at least every 12months while Business Users need to get a Tuneup at least every 6months to keep their equipment in top working order and to avoid a technology crisis!

When was the last time your computer had a checkup? 

Get into PC Pitstop today.

 

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Follow PC Pitstop Australia on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pcpitstopaustralia

16-10-2014 3-34-03 PM

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A BIG congratulations to Donna Clarke for being the lucky winner of our latest customer feedback survey!! Donna will spend a lovely night without or with the kids at the observatory - Port Macquarie's best address - all with chocolate and local wine on arrival. All customers have a chance to win! Simply complete the survey HERE:

http://www.pcpitstop.com.au/index.php/en/contact/survey

10704133 10154707789705137 3652843883706453692 n

http://www.pcpitstop.com.au/index.php/en/contact/survey

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This is such a great article from Smarter Business Ideas...had to share!

the-internet-of-things-hero

If your computers are four or more years old they’re artefacts of earlier technology eras – and they could be costing you big time.

Brought to you by Intel

The computers you bought a few years ago were designed to meet the processing demands of the day – and then some, depending on their specifications. But even the highest spec machine from four years ago can struggle to deliver the performance you need today. 

To find out how a PC refresh can make a big difference to business productivity, Smarter met with Danielle Watts, Intel’s national marketing manager for Australia/New Zealand. What we learned about tired old computers versus the new generation of machines might surprise you.

Some business owners figure that as long as their old machines keep working they can hold off upgrading a little longer. That logic might suit mechanical devices designed to perform simple tasks but even so, the more you use them, the more they suffer wear and tear. 

It also ignores the many competitive advantages and lifestyle-enhancements offered by innovative technologies. “Given they’re running their businesses on those old computers the consequences can be frightening,” ponders Watts. “What if they lost 
all that data?”

Moving business records safely 

While it’s fairly easy to calculate the costs of repairing, upgrading or replacing components in your IT set up [see below: “Maintenance costs add up”], it’s harder to put a value on the data you own.

“Businesses rely so heavily on databases, so it’s understandable you’d be worried about moving them,” Watts acknowledges, “An expert service provider can help transfer accounts, HR and customer records safely and securely – the upgrade decision could include looking at server technology or Cloud-based tools to support and manage the business.”

Adding to the woes of outdated technology are security issues: “If you’re still using Windows XP you really need to upgrade,” advises Watts. “As of April this year technical support and security updates for XP from Microsoft ended, so your laptop or PC is far more vulnerable to malicious attacks.”

SEE ALSO:

Slow machines cost time and productivity 

Older PCs not only cost more to maintain, their performance also diminishes as they age. 

Consider recording the time lost to PCs taking forever to start-up, running slow or not working at all: “That’s a lot of lost productivity,” notes Watts. “If you value your employees you want to provide them with efficient tools. Investing in new technology shows that you value their contribution – and they’ll respect that.”

Can you work three times faster?

If you like spending time making a nice cup of tea or coffee while you wait for your computer to wake up you might want to update your schedule. 

According to system performance benchmarks from Intel the latest Intel processor-based systems running Windows 8.1 Pro typically start-up within a handful of seconds – and when you’re hard at work running your business with them, they’ll run everyday computing processes more than three times faster than a four-year-old system.

Latest devices are fast and ultra-portable

“Start-up time and battery life are especially important for road warriors,” says Watts.

“You don’t want to wait so you can enter an order, start a presentation or check inventory. Devices with fourth generation Intel processors also work for up to 10 hours on battery power – a big advantage over the 2.5 hours of older PCs – and include management tools specifically for businesses.

“We’re running our personal and business lives on them, so it helps that notebooks are lighter (some less than a kilo), thinner and offer powerful multi-tasking. On average they cost $200 less than PCs four years ago, so over time the cost to replace rather than repair becomes a lot more attractive.”

Maintenance costs add up 

All machines need some maintenance but as a machine ages it can break down more often and cost more to repair.

The Techaisle May 2013 whitepaper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study”, reviewed direct and indirect costs of maintaining PCs. The research found:

  1. Direct maintenance costs (repairs and upgrades) – jump more than 33 per cent for older PCs. (Average yearly costs for a PC less than four years old: US$324 to repair and US$95 to upgrade; costs for a PC more than four years old: US$427 to repair and US$134 to upgrade.)
  2. Lost productivity costs (downtime) – double from an average of 21 hours a year of lost work time on a newer PC to 42 hours a year for an older PC.

Did you know?

36% of small businesses use PCs that are four+ years old
Source: Techaisle June 2013 whitepaper, “The Ageing PC Effect – Exposing Financial Impact for Small Business.” 

42 lost work hours on average every year due to an old PC needing repairs
Souce: Techaisle May 2013 white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study” 

Older PCs might handle up to 5 applications simultaneously vs newer PCs that easily run 8 applications simultaneously 
Source: Techaisle May 2013 white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study” 

Case study: Brightstar

After a successful stint at a big software firm, Jon Yeo set up Brightstar in 2003 to coach businesses on using technology to improve their lives. More recently his passion for ‘ideas worth sharing’ also motivated him to become the licensee and curator for TedxMelbourne.

His studies in information management and organisational behaviour serve him well to help clients embrace more rewarding and productive ways of working: “They often don’t have a technology problem – they know they need it – they have a people and process problem,” he explains. “They aren’t making the most of what is available.” 

And he’s adamant that old technology is demotivating: “Old systems are slow, inaccessible and unresponsive compared to today’s technology. If you’re not thinking about upgrading now you’re making it much harder to compete at all in the next two to three years.”

Yeo suggests that if you’ve accepted your old systems need replacing then you know you have to transfer your valuable business data somewhere. So why not make it easier and faster to access and manage?

“Think about what you really need to convert across – it might not be so complex. Cloud services, ultraportable laptops, mobile devices and integrated communications help us make greater use of our information,” he explains.

“I now have a very small laptop that weighs less than a kilogram and does everything and more that my old desktop and laptop could do combined, faster. Because I’m on the road a lot, I have seven to eight hours of battery time on my new machine versus two hours maximum on my old laptop – there is no competition. 

“I also have a stylus-based tablet so I can take client notes once and they’re stored in the Cloud. I used to have a heavy laptop, a paper compendium and my briefcase full of paperwork – I still smile when I think about hauling it all through airport security.”

Find the right devices for the job

In three simple steps find out the ideal technology mix for your business – and how much your older computers are really costing you: http://smb.intel.com.au/start

 

Call into PC Pitstop today and discuss the best upgrade option for you and your budget!

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Stoked!

Thank you for your ongoing support and stay tuned for the results at next Friday night's Gala Dinner.

  • Young Entrepreneur
  • Excellence in Small Business
  • Excellence in Workplace Health and Safety
  • Employer of ChoiceProfessional & Business Services (less than 5 employees)
    & Young Business Executive for our Store Manager Tristan Piper!

Business Awards logo 2014 HCCU v2 FINALIST copy

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fblikes

Getting people to like you is a concept that was around long before the internet – anyone that spent more than a couple of hours in the playground at school can tell you that. In many ways, asking someone to click the Like button on Facebook isn’t so different from those shy moments by the bubblers at school when you’re hoping these new-found people you are talking to are going to like you.

For starters, you have to put yourself out there for strangers to even know you exist. You also have to have something to offer or something interesting to add to an existing conversation in order to get anywhere. A packet of Burger Rings might have cut it at recess, but you’re going to have to try a little harder on Facebook.

Read on >>> http://nett.com.au/technology/getting-more-facebook-likes/

PS. Like us on FB ;)

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Thank you For Shopping at PC Pitstop

livelocal2

Here’s what else you just did:

1. You kept dollars in Port Macquarie-Hastings.

Independent businesses make an economic contribution that is two to three times greater than that of national retailers (Price Waterhouse Coopers, 2007).

2.
You supported local suppliers.

Multi-nationals rarely use local suppliers as they are frequently bound by head-office purchasing contracts.

3.
You embraced our point-of-difference.

And helped to make Port Macquarie-Hastings a destination for visitors and tourists. This benefits us all.

4. You helped our precious environment.

Local product means fewer transportation miles, and reduces tonnes of pollution and packaging.

5.
You helped to create jobs.

Small local businesses In Port Macquarie-Hastings are by far our largest employers.

6.
You helped our community develop.

Local businesses donate to local causes at more than twice the rate of nationally owned firms.

7.
You invested in local entrepreneurship.

Creativity and uniqueness will continue to be an important bedrock of Port Macquarie-Hastings’ future prosperity.

8.
You invested in the local economy.

Competition and diversity leads to more consumer choices in the long-term.

9.
You supported a local business committed to Customer Care.

You built upon the reputation of this area as the Number One Service Excellence area in Australia

(Customer Service Institute of Australia Awards).

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Gift Vouchers

Gift Vouchers are available in denominations over $10 at your nearest PC Pitstop or via the Online Store.

GIFT VOUCHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Your Gift Voucher may only be used in store or online at PC Pitstop Australia.
  2. If you wish to make a purchase for an amount that exceeds the Gift Voucher, you will be required to pay the excess amount using another payment method.
  3. No change can given for amounts under the voucher’s dollar value.
  4. You cannot obtain any cash advance with your Gift Voucher or redeem the voucher for cash.
  5. Your Gift Voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
  6. You must present the voucher at the time of purchase to validate the amount or use the code issued.
  7. Treat your voucher like cash, lost or stolen vouchers cannot be replaced or refunded.
  8. You cannot cancel or change your voucher for a different denomination or type of gift voucher or another tender, cash or discount.
  9. Goods that are purchased with the Gift Voucher or in part purchased with the Gift Voucher are subject to PC Pitstop’s refund and credit policy.

    online store gift voucher


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Why We Think Norton Internet Security is the Best Virus Protection for Everyday Users

We use and recommend the latest version of Norton Internet Security on a regular basis and it's the only virus protection software we sell instore.

Why?

If you're looking for a traditional security suite, with essential features like antivirus, firewall, antispam, parental control, and phishing protection, it's a great choice, and it's one of PC Mags Editors' Choice suites.

But wait, why should you pay for a security suite when modern Windows versions already include an antivirus and a firewall? Here's the deal. Yes, the built-in firewall does a good job hiding your computer from outside attack, but it doesn't exercise control over which programs can access your network the way third-party firewall components do.

If you're using internet banking on your computer...you need Norton Internet Security.

And, because this...

 

LOL.

Point made.

Get your Norton Internet Security software from PC Pitstop today and we'll even install it for you.

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Funny Computer Memes & What They're Trying to Tell You

First up. What is a meme?

meme
miːm/
noun
 
  1. 1.
    an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.
  2. 2.
    an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
     

Thanks Wikipedia.

Now. Here's a few memes created to teach you a lesson. 

PS. It's ok to have a giggle!

1.

7-our-computer-is-slow-funny-meme

LESSON: Less is more. The more unnecessary toolbars you add the slower stuff will happen.

How do they all get there? Not without a little help from you. If you have the Ask toolbar for instance, it might have been installed when you did a Java update and failed to uncheck the optional little box that asked you if you wanted to install that particular toolbar.

If you’ve installed one of the free antivirus programs, like AVG, it will install its own toolbar into your browser. Have you joined an on-line photo sharing site? You probably got another toolbar then as well. You get the idea?

None of those toolbars are absolutely essential and your browser will generally be much happier without them. How many different 'search' buttons do you really need?

2.

IE9-Faster-Downloading-of-Chrome-Or-Firefox-Nerd-Computer-Interwebs-Funny-Motivational-Meme

LESSON: Pretty self-explanitory.

Internet Explorer sucks.

Use Firefox or Chrome as your default internet browser.

Just remove IE9 altogether.

3. 

song-chart-memes-repair-shop

LESSON: Avoid doing the RED.

Really.

Unless 'buddy' agrees to pay the bill and replace all those memories.

Remember 'the poor man pays twice'....know when it's time to call PC Pitstop.

4. 

Mom-Vs.-Normal-Computer-Savy-People

LESSON: Too many unecessary words. Get to the point for a better search result.

Read this >>> ARTICLE <<< to search Google like an expert. It's good.

 

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Computer Induced Medical Problems & How to Avoid Them

It's now common knowledge that posture and ergonmics are a very important part of avoiding RSI and other computer-use related injuries but after a chance search I found out there is a lot more we need to be wary of.

Here's an exert straight from Wikipedia on a few other nasties:

Computer vision syndrome

In many cases, frequent computer users suffer from computer vision syndrome, which is a degenerative eye problem which can result in severely reduced eyesight (Myopia), blurred vision, overall eye tiredness and even Glaucoma. Computer Eye Syndrome is an umbrella term for many problems but the causes of these problems can be easily identified. When using a computer due to the size and setup of the monitor and components it is necessary for the user to be within at least two feet of the monitor when performing any type of computational work. This presents many problems especially in older monitors due to an elevated amount of monitor glare, poor display quality and insufficient picture display refresh rates. Although these problems are more evident in older computers the newer models are not free from these problems either. Studies have been conducted [6] into the correlation between computers and eye problems and it was found that the Ionizing radiation given off by monitors has severe detrimental effects on the eye and eyesight on a whole. They also state “Treatment requires a multidirectional approach combining ocular therapy with adjustment of the workstation”[6] which shows these problems are quite easily solved with minimal investment from computer manufacturers through producing higher quality monitors with better resolution and refresh rates. The most common form of Computer Vision Syndrome is a condition termed Dry Eye, which results in itchy, sore and even the illusion that something is stuck in your eye. This condition is often caused by extensively long period looking at a computer screen

Video screens have a design process for user interface. Video screens can cause eyestrain from prolonged viewing. Cathode ray tubes are what are used to display the information on your computer. These send off radiation. This is a concern that has been taken into account when designing better computer screens for user interface.[4][5]

Musculoskeletal problems

Another medical issue caused by the use of computers is back and posture problems. These problems relate to musculoskeletal disorders caused by the need for the user to be crouched and hunched towards the monitors and computer components due to the design and positioning of these particular computer peripherals. This hunching forward of the user causes posture and back problems but is also the cause of severe and acute pain in the upper back, particularly pain in the neck and or shoulders. A study [7] was conducted where 2146 technical assistants installed a computer program to monitor the musculoskeletal pain they suffered and answered questionnaires on the location and severity of the pain. The study showed interesting results, as it detailed how in the majority of cases any pain suffered was aggravated and exacerbated by the use of computer peripherals like the mouse and keyboard but overall the pain did not originate from using computers. "Moreover, there seems to be no relationship between computer use and prolonged and chronic neck and shoulder pain"[7] This is a positive study for computer manufacturers but although the pain may not originate from computer peripherals there is no doubt that the pain is exacerbated by their use and this revelation alone should lead computer manufacturers to pioneer new technologies that reduce the risk of posture or musculoskeletal problems aggravated by the use of poorly designed and linearly designed computer peripherals.

In another study,[8] It was found that women are at a greater risk than men to suffer from musculoskeletal problems then men. Two explanations given were that "women appear to consistently report more neck and upper extremity symptoms than men.", and that women may assume more taxing positions while working than men do due to differences in anthropometrics.

(Read the whole article HERE)

And from the Better Health Channel website comes more:

Posture-related injuries from computer use

Back and neck pain, headaches, and shoulder and arm pain are common computer-related injuries. Such muscle and joint problems can be caused or made worse by poor workstation (desk) design, bad posture and sitting for long periods of time.

Although sitting requires less muscular effort than standing, it still causes physical fatigue (tiredness) and you need to hold parts of your body steady for long periods of time. This reduces circulation of blood to your muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments, sometimes leading to stiffness and pain. If a workstation is not set up properly, these steady positions can put even greater stress on your muscles and joints.

Preventing computer-related muscle and joint injuries

Tips to avoid muscle and joint problems include:

  • Sit at an adjustable desk specially designed for use with computers.
  • Have the computer monitor (screen) either at eye level or slightly lower.
  • Have your keyboard at a height that lets your elbows rest comfortably at your sides. Your forearms should be roughly parallel with the floor and level with the keyboard.
  • Adjust your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor, or use a footstool.
  • Use an ergonomic chair, specially designed to help your spine hold its natural curve while sitting.
  • Use an ergonomic keyboard so that your hands and wrists are in a more natural position.
  • Take frequent short breaks and go for a walk, or do stretching exercises at your desk. Stand often.

Computer-related overuse injuries of the hand or arm

Muscles and tendons can become painful with repetitive movements and awkward postures. This is known as ‘overuse injury’ and typically occurs in the elbow, wrist or hand of computer users. Symptoms of these overuse injuries include pain, swelling, stiffness of the joints, weakness and numbness.

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Preventing computer-related overuse injuries

Tips to avoid overuse injuries of the hand or arm include:

  • Have your mouse at the same height as your correctly positioned keyboard.
  • Position the mouse as close as possible to the side of the keyboard.
  • Use your whole arm, not just your wrist, when using the mouse.
  • Type lightly and gently.
  • Mix your tasks to avoid long, uninterrupted stretches of using the computer.
  • Remove your hands from the keyboard when not actively typing, to let your arms relax.

Eyestrain from computer use

Focusing your eyes at the same distance point for long periods of time causes fatigue. The human eye structurally prefers to look at objects more than six metres away, so any work performed close up puts extra demands on your eye muscles.

The illuminated computer screen can also cause eye fatigue. Although there is no evidence that eye fatigue damages your eyesight, computer users may get symptoms such as blurred vision, temporary inability to focus on faraway objects and headaches.

download

Preventing eyestrain from computer use
Tips to avoid eyestrain include:

  • Make sure your main source of light (such as a window) is not shining into your face or directly onto the computer screen.
  • Tilt the screen slightly to avoid reflections or glare.
  • Make sure the screen is not too close to your face.
  • Put the screen either at eye level or slightly lower.
  • Reduce the contrast and brightness of your screen by adjusting the controls.
  • Frequently look away from the screen and focus on faraway objects.
  • Have regular eye examinations to check that any blurring, headaches and other associated problems are not caused by any underlying disorders.

Injuries from laptop computers

The growing use of laptop computers has caused more pains, strains and injuries among computer users.

Laptop computers were designed to be used for short periods of time when a person couldn’t access a desktop computer. But these days many people use a laptop all the time.

The problem is that the monitor and keyboard of a laptop are very close together. To position the monitor at the right height for your back and neck causes you to lift your arms and shoulders too high. But to position the keyboard at the best height for your arms and shoulders, you must hunch your shoulders and neck to see the monitor.

Carrying your laptop around can also strain your muscles and joints.

Preventing injury from laptop computers
Tips to reduce laptop dangers include:

  • Use a correctly set-up desktop computer instead of a laptop as often as you can.
  • Use peripheral equipment, such as a docking station, separate keyboard, mouse and laptop stand.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Carry your laptop in a backpack or in wheel-along luggage.

Children and computer-related injuries

Researchers believe that electronic games may be among the causes of childhood obesity (being very overweight). And like adults, children might also get overuse injuries of the hand, and muscle and joint problems such as back and neck pain or headaches.

Some research has shown that playing violent computer games and a large amount of game time may cause aggressive behaviour in some children and may negatively affect a child’s school work. Although computer and video games are fun and offer benefits such as improved spatial awareness, parents should keep in mind that moderation is important in avoiding health problems.

Health risks from computer games
Playing computer games for too long or without correct furniture and posture can lead to health problems such as:

  • Overuse injuries of the hand
  • Obesity
  • Muscle and joint problems
  • Eyestrain
  • Behavioural problems including aggressive behaviour
  • Photosensitive epileptic seizures (caused by flashing or rapidly changing lights – this is rare).

Parents can reduce the risk of children developing computer-related health problems. You can encourage your child to:
Sit at least one metre away from the screen
Take frequent breaks
Pursue other activities. Encourage your child to enjoy different hobbies and interests, particularly sports and physical activities.

You can also:

  • Set sensible time limits on your child’s game playing. Some guidelines recommend no more than two hours of screen time each day
  • Set up the computer, desk, chair and keyboard to suit your child’s height. For example, adjust the chair so that your child’s feet rest flat on the floor
  • Buy an ergonomic chair
  • Buy a smaller mouse, which suits the size of your child’s hand
  • Teach your child to use the keyboard and mouse properly and safely, such as pushing the buttons and other controls gently. Using unnecessary force increases the risk of overuse injury.

Benefits of computer games

  • Playing video and computer games is a lot of fun, and can offer children other important benefits too. Depending on the game, playing can improve:
  • Spatial awareness
  • Iconic skills (reading images or diagrams)
  • Visual attention skills (such as keeping track of various objects at the same time)
  • Attention span in children who have attention problems.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Physiotherapist
  • Health and safety officer
  • Australian Physiotherapy Association Tel. (03) 9092 0888 or 1300 306 622

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Things to remember

  • Working at a computer can cause back, neck and shoulder pains, headache, eyestrain and overuse injuries of the arms and hands.
  • You can help avoid computer-related injuries with proper furniture, better posture and good working habits.
  • Parents should put sensible time limits on their children’s computer use and video-game playing.
  • Your child should take regular breaks from using a computer and should do some physical activities each day.

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Keyboard Shortcuts for the Modern User

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Despite Setbacks, Moving Forward in Clean Tech

 


eSolar

 

When environmental history is written, 2010 could be seen a disaster for the clean technology industry. The year dawned just after the disappointment that was December's U.N. global warming summit in Copenhagen, where the nations of the world failed to produce a comprehensive treaty to cut carbon emissions — the sort of agreement that could have given business the long-term confidence to invest in clean tech. It didn't help that the overblown controversy known as "climategate" — which involved allegations of fraud by climate scientists — undermined trust in global warming science, letting skeptics back into the debate. Worst of all, the Senate failed even to vote on a bill that would have capped U.S. carbon emissions and produce a market designed to kick start clean tech. In America, at least, green tech seems to have gone backwards.

But that's a myopic view. In Europe, which already has a carbon market, investment in clean energy — including wind and solar — isn't going away. China has emerged as a major player in clean tech, investing hundreds of billions of dollars in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In doing so, it's positioning itself to lead the world in the industry of tomorrow. And even the U.S., for all its political problems, hasn't stood still: the Department of Energy, under Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, has begun directly supporting innovative clean tech companies and pumping more money into basic research and development. Most important, the U.S. — and especially Silicon Valley — is still home to what might be the world's most innovative entrepreneurs in clean tech. These folks are not short of smart ideas, as you'll see here.

  • Recycling e-Waste
  • Algae Biofuel
  • Algae food
  • Thin-film Solar
  • Molten Salt Storage
  • Solar Tower
  • Custom Biofuels
  • Electric Cars
  • Smart Meters
  • Lithium-ion Batteries
  • Fuel Cells
  • Rooftop Wind Power
  • Tidal Power
  • Green IT
  • Green Concrete
  • Green Building Materials
  • Modular Nuclear Power
  • Artificial Photosynthesis
  • Waste to Energy
  • Biochar
  •  

     

     

    READ FULL ARTICLE >>> HERE <<<

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    Reversible USB cable design shown off for first time

    Article from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26868531

    USB design
     
    The new designs will put an end to inserting a USB cable the wrong way round

    A new design for USB - a standardised connection for data transfers between electronic devices - has been shown off for the first time.

    The new connector will be reversible, bringing an end to the everyday irritant of trying to force a USB cable in the wrong way.

    The images were first published by technology news site The Verge.

    The USB Implementers Forum anticipates the new designs will be finalised in July.

    But rollout of new ports will take some time as manufacturers gradually incorporate them into their products.

    New USB socket
     
    The smaller port resembles Apple's Lightning port

    The new Type-C standard will be similar in size to the current MicroUSB connector, typically used for charging mobile phones and cameras.

    The first USB cables were released in the mid-1990s and, until now, could only be plugged into a computer or other device one way round to ensure a data connection.

    Other improvements to the new cable include:

    • Support for scalable power charging, allowing the cable to offer up to 100 watts
    • Data speed transfers of up to 10 gigabits per second, double what is possible at the moment
    • A promise that the new design will accommodate further upgrades

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    5 things you need to know about cloud, that you might not know already

    5 things you need to know about cloud, that you might not know already

    Still getting your head around the cloud and whether it can help you at work? Here is an introduction to some basic questions you should be asking.

    As part of our coverager of the cloud and how it can help you, we invited Kris Hansen, technology manager at GFI Software to submit this guest column. Disclaimer: GFI has been an advertiser on the BIT website.

    1. You'll still need your IT support

    Even though your hardware (and software) will be off your hands you’ll still need access to expertise to configure and manage your cloud based services and accounts.

    How do you find the right solution? Who can you contact to ask questions? What if it stops working? Managed service providers (sometimes called cloud service providers) can be your contact point to get the most out of cloud services and keep them running smoothly.

    Consider Google Apps, a popular cloud service to host IT services like email, websites and documents. The price might be attractive, but you don’t have a number to call for support when you need it. Other providers may not offer support during your core business hours.  Having an IT Expert who is well versed in the cloud services you need is a necessity.

    Having an easily accessable IT Expert who is well versed in the cloud services you need (and knows of more you may want) ensures the service is configured for your business.

    2. You need a way to migrate your existing data

    Unless your first day running in the cloud is the first day you’re open for business you will need a way to export all of your company data from the old way you stored it, to the cloud storage. Data can come in all shapes, it could be a excel spreadsheet you keep, it could be a storage file in a local application you use or it could be a directory full of text files such as sales receipts and job notes. This data must be identified then converted into a version the cloud solution understands, and then uploaded.

    Always ensure that the cloud solution can migrate your existing data and how much time and money this migration of all your data will cost.

    Don’t forget to also consider how you get it all back again if you need to? In order to change service providers in the future, or to retrieve your data for sharing with 3rd parties a cost effective, bulk retrieval method must be available to “get your data out” when you wish.

     

    3. Its easy to try it out first

    Don't get me wrong, most services are better in the cloud but there are some compromises, which for your business may be a deal breaker.
     
    For example you may have a requirement to regularly transfer large amounts of data from your local computers into a custom system, your internet link may not be quick enough to provide cloud benefits, or should you have compliance requirements to locally store data. Apart from that, most of your current business applications can either be hosted on cloud servers or better, provided as a direct service to cut costs and increase capabilities. 
     
    Reputable cloud solution providers will provide free trials if you ask so you can test out the live solution on your company’s network before you go ahead. You can find out if you need to upgrade other parts of your network to allow for the service.
     
    Also compare a few different solutions before you pick the one that feels right for your company. With cloud services the setup time is minimal so trialling is very simple – experiment with a non-critical business function first to get a feel and remember, your on-tap cloud expert can help you identify and work around any such considerations.
     

    4. Due diligence… are you going broke?

    Many cloud service providers will boast, "It's so easy to get started with a cloud account, anyone can do it." The fact that cloud is great for easily expanding capacity without the cap-ex, of purchasing a new computer means you need to be diligent to ensure that your consumption remains under control. With cloud adding capacity can be as easy as ticking a box in your interface or sometimes just being billed for what you HAVE used. 
     
    For example, one of your staff members may want to buy some cloud file storage. The setup charge may minimal but an accidental upload of a large amount of data or even just a large amount of traffic may mean a larger bill next month you didn’t expect. 
     
    It’s important to have a well-managed process for controlling who in your business can order extra capacity. Negotiate with your service provider to place limits on your usage beyond which they’ll need to notify you and gain your sign-off; in the same way your mobile provider or your internet ISP notifies you when you reach various billing and usage thresholds.
     

    5. Regulation and compliance requirements in your industry.

    Data Privacy, Backup & Security are a requirement in most professional industries. However many Australian small businesses don’t know this until the auditor arrives at their doorstep.

    Cloud services can actually help you better achieve compliance in some instances, but you need to ask questions to your cloud provider to ensure you know where your data is stored along with how it is secured and backed up.

    Ask your cloud service provider to attest to which security standards they adhere to that can be referenced in any compliance reporting you’re on the hook for.

     

    Summary

    1.       Know what data you want to “move” into your new cloud services and make sure the company can help you get it there.

    2.       Retain the services of an IT support company for help and advice.

    3.       Try before you buy and ensure the cloud service is better than your current way of working.

    4.       Only authorise key staff to setup cloud services and have them stay vigilant over what's being spent. An existing service can easily be expanded, which may cost you more unnecessarily. 

    5.       Is the solution industry compliant? Know your requirements before you decide and choose a solution that can meet your industry requirements.


    Read more: http://www.bit.com.au/News/383168,5-things-you-need-to-know-about-cloud-that-you-haven8217t-been-told-already.aspx#ixzz30QLCDrrD

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