The phone rang indicating an unknown number. As is my practice, I ignored the call. If it was important, the caller would most likely leave a voicemail message. Indeed, there was a message.
Upon listening to the message, I realized it was yet another similar request starting with, “I got your name from ________ , who indicated that you could help me with my computer, mobile phone, Internet, etc.”
Before taking on a new client, it is important to determine in advance whether or not I can help them. The following is the process I follow:
– Return the phone call and discuss the client’s needs. If I could not help them, I didn’t want to waste their time or money.
– If we jointly determine to move forward, before setting up a meeting, I discuss my fees and ask them to compose a list of topics they are interested in addressing.
– At our first meeting, we discuss their needs and set priorities.
– I evaluate if their existing equipment supports their needs. Perhaps simple upgrades/maintenance is necessary. If not, I recommend and assist in ordering and installing a new computer, mobile phone, etc.
Once we are ready to tackle the prioritized list of projects, we discuss my rules:
– Initially, each meeting lasts only one hour. I have found my clients tend to feel overloaded after an hour.
– Only one topic will be discussed per session.
– The client should have a separate notebook and take their own notes.
– Once I have demonstrated a task, its up to the the client to take over and practice with my supervision.
– If follow-up meetings are scheduled, we first review the work of the previous meeting to make sure that there are no questions before proceeding with a new task.
– I indicate that I am available via phone or e-mail to answer questions between meetings at no charge.
I do not prepare notes or work with a standard list of recommended equipment. I often meet many people in the course of a day and personalize their hardware and software to fit their needs.
Are your friends complaining about random e-mails from you containing only a link or asking for money since you have been stranded on some remote island? If so, chances are that your e-mail program has been “hacked,” meaning that someone has accessed your contact list and sent messages to everyone on your list. Here are some simple rules to follow to minimize the risk that this will happen to you.
1. If you have been hacked, change your password immediately. Don’t use simple passwords such as birthdays, phone numbers or family names. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
2, Change your password frequently; monthly, if you are using AOL
3. Do not use the same password for your e-mail program, online banking, or shopping sites like Amazon, Ebay, etc.
4. When accessing the Internet on the road, be sure that the wi-fi location is secured. Places like hotels, parks, and coffee shops like Starbucks, are not secured since everyone has access to their networks. You do not want to enter passwords, credit card info, or other personal information in a non-secured area, since you are using a public access point.
5. If you are using a Windows computer, make sure you have installed both an anti-virus and malware program and that they have been updated.
If you any questions about “hacking” or other maintenance issues, feel free to contact me either by phone at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org/bluetutorold.
Confused by all the choices?
Kindles, Nooks, iPads, iPhones, Androids, digital cameras, etc. The list is endless. You want to make sure you select the right gift for your friends, family and business associates.
Before you walk into one of the many retailers offering “deals” on the latest and greatest new techie gadgets, consider the following:
Not all people are created equal. While many of us love gadgets, giving your parent or child an ipad might be something they will never be able to use. Make sure your gift is in line with their technology acumen.
Most items listed above vary in price based on their specifications. Make sure you understand the differences between basic and advanced features.
Gift certificates for books for the Kindle and music for the iPhone are just two examples.
For family or friends whom you feel might be confused by all the new technology or need to brush on their technology skills, you should consider giving them a copy of my e-book, which can be ordered and read on both a Kindle and an iPad, directly from Amazon by clicking here.
How about a gift of a few hours of computer lessons?
If you want to make sure your gifts are received with a “Wow” instead of a confused look, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at email@example.com. I can help you make the right choices.
Last week, one of my computers died! Would not start up, hard drive wiped out, all documents, pictures, videos gone.
Fortunately, my backup strategy saved the day. Although having to replace the computer was a bummer, recovering all the data was a snap. Why? Because I had an external hard drive attached to the computer and had it set to backup the computer daily. Second, I had the data backed up “in the cloud.”
There are a number of web based services available for backing up your data (documents, pictures, etc.) in the cloud. Why is it important to backup your data offsite? Well, If there is a fire or robbery, just having an external hard drive onsite will not be enough if it is stolen, destroyed, of becomes corrupted.
In my case, all I did was connect the external hard drive to a new computer and restored the data.
In this week’s Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg wrote an interesting article about a few such online services for file sharing and backup.
If you don’t have a backup plan in place, I encourage you to do so ASAP.
If you need assistance in determining the best plan for you, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE telephone consultation.
Also, below is a link to my BlogTalkRadio site which contains archives of my weekly programs where I discuss the relevant technology issues of the day.
– Do you have the right equipment to support your business and personal needs?
– Confused by all the new gadgets being introduced almost on a daily basis?
– Do you know what type of smartphone (iPhone, Android, blackberry) is right for you?
– Do you understand the new data plans that have been introduced by your wireless service provider (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.)?
– Are you or someone you know going through career transition and need help determining their technology needs?
– Need to set up a home office?
These are just a few topics that I discuss on my weekly radio program. While the shows are aired every Thursday at 4:30 PM, you can click on the link below to access the archives of all past programs at anytime. The topics as well as the names of guest speakers are listed for each show.
If you have any questions about any of the topics discussed, please contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at email@example.com for a FREE telephone consultation. Feel free to visit my website, www.bluetutor.com for more information about my services.
To hear the latest program, click on the play button (>) below. To access my program site and the archives, click on my name (Jim Blue).
This century will clearly be remembered as The Age of Technology. Wireless technology permits us to communicate with friends, family and business associates instantaneously, regardless of location. Information is no more than a key stroke away, whether from your computer or mobile device. Skills acquired in the past century alone put you on the wrong side of the Great Digital Divide. Today’s younger generation, having grown up in the digital world, is well positioned to push baby boomers and seniors aside as they enter the job market.
How are your basic computer skills? Whether you use technology for strictly personal use or for professional purposes, you will need the right tools to take advantage of the many changes that have occurred in the worlds of communication and information gathering.
The following are some basic questions you should be asking yourself.
– Whether you use your home based computer for personal or professional purposes, are you comfortable with the software applications you are using?
– Are you able to write, format and properly file documents?
– How about sending and receiving attachments?
– Do you know what updates are important?
– Do you have an active anti-virus program?
– Do you have a backup program?
– Is your wireless network secure?
– Do you have the right cell phone provider for your location?
– Have you upgraded to a smartphone? (iPhone, Android, or blackberry)
– Are you using any cloud based services?
We are living in a mobile world. Within the next 2-3 years, over 50% of Internet access will be done through a mobile device. Are you ready?
If you or someone you know needs help crossing the “Great Digital Divide,” or any other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.
Below is a link to an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal containing portraits of several people who found a “second act” rewarding.
Do you need to brush up on your basic computer skills, require help choosing the right computer or any other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at email@example.com.