May 2016 – Email, Cloud and Phone services – which work?

 

email, phone, calendar and contact support

 

You are setting up your business or are a little frustrated with the tools you are using today.  You phone quality is not great.  Your contacts are rarely synchronized.  You miss appointments that you know are on your calendar.

e-Mail – Office 365

  • Your email should be easy to use and work great from your web mail login and from a program on your computer (i.e., Outlook or Mac Mail).
  • Your email messages should be updated on all your devices (i.e., phone, tablet and computer) without you having to update them yourself.
  • Your email storage should be large and also easy to maintain.

Contacts and Calendars – Office 365

  • Your contact and calendar information should be updated on all of your devices and quickly (within a reasonable time frame).
  • There should be minimal duplication
  • You shouldn’t have to pay extra for the service to work

Phone services – Vonage

  • Vonage – a good and low cost option for an IP phone service is through Vonage.  You purchase the service, get your phone number (or move it) and plug the device into your home or office internet connection.

April 2016 – Web mail or Outlook

Vail Computer Repair | Web Mail

Should you use web mail or a program on your computer like Outlook?  You hate reading this, but – it depends.

Not only does it depend on how you work (do you you have one email account or more) but it also depends on your demeanor.  Can you take it when your computer locks up and your email program starts mis-behaving?

Web Mail – Pros

  • Use if from anywhere
  • Your email seems to remain intact on the web – email programs can cause issues, for instance, during creation of email messages
  • If you use it and stay with it, your contacts and calendars follow you around – versus Outlook where this inforamtion can reside on your computer ONLY
  • With some web mail options, it’s a more consistent way of using email

Web Mail – Cons

  • Depending on the provider, the layout can be confusing and weird.  So far Office 365 is one of the better versions I have seen.
  • Not easy, if even possible at all, to view multiple email accounts – especially when on multiple domains.  Doesn’t work so well for those who work on multiple businesses and need to go back and forth between different accounts.

Outlook – Pros

  • Multiple email accounts are more easily managed – a big deal when you have email accounts on multiple domains

Outlook – Cons

  • Can be slower at times
  • You can lose your settings and files – a computer crash can be a big problem depending on how you setup things

January 2015 – Purchasing a computer

Purchasing a Computer

(Originally written in March 2012).  Purchasing a new computer can be frustrating and fearful -it should be fun though and can be.  Deciding whether you’ll purchase another Windows computer or switch to Apple needs some thought unless you’re in a position where you’re just looking for a way to browse the internet and check email on an absolutlely beautiful system  Now you have to decide if you’re going with a tablet computer, an iPad or just using your phone!

Fearful because you think you may be purchasing the wrong thing and at the wrong time.  Frustrating because you spend a great deal of time looking for the best deal and attempting to transport your computer to your home or office.

Our office

We have Windows 7 Pro, Windows 8.1, Mac OS (desktop and laptop), iPads and iPhones represented in our office.  We use laptops and desktops depending on what we are doing.  Web site development or email from a laptop can be very handy.  We use our iPads all over the house and in our kitchen area.  We use for weather, news and as a dictionary when we have disputes over the meaning of a word.

The Basics of your computer purchase

In short, you need to determine what you want, the items that are important (i.e., speed, storage, monitor size, etc), your budget, determine if you want a laptop or desktop.  If you’re going with Windows or Mac, figure out if you are doing the setup yourself, shop to find the best price and service and then make the purchase.

Purchase a Laptop or Desktop?

Choosing a laptop or a Desktop depends on what you want to do.  Are you moving around and need to check email and internet sites?  Then it’s obvious that you need a laptop — or is it?  Smartphones and the iPad are helping people move around now without having to carry their laptop with them.
Do you like having a larger screen when you’re going to be working for an extended period?  You can indeed connect a monitor to most laptops.  Thus, we’re still not clear on whether we need a laptop or desktop.

Windows or Mac?

Really folks, it depends.  We are trained in computer science and just stepped into the Mac arena three years ago.  We must admit that using a Mac is quite pleasant.  There are annoying parts of the software from time-to-time, but overall we are pleased.  A big plus to a Mac is how well it operates with an iPhone, iPod and iPad.  Also worth mentioning is the ease of processing photos and then saving them to process in an email or otherwise.  Very nice.

If you’re considering a Mac and have been a Windows user, it pays to determine the true cost of conversion and the learning curve that you will experience.  Are you tolerant to change and also tolerant to learning new things?

There may be additional software purchases since you can not simply install the Windows version of Microsoft Office onto your Mac (they are different).  You may also find other pieces that you have to purchase and it pays for you to spend the time figuring that out (i.e., Quickbooks for example).

There are nice emulation packages (VMWare — but be wary of any time they offer discounts or rebates as they fight to avoid paying them) which can allow you to have Windows run on your Mac.  It doesn’t take over the Mac but only runs Windows in a program window.  This would allow you to perform activities in a Windows environment like you’ve been doing — thus eliminating the need to purchase other software.  This ’emulation’ assumes that you also have a copy of Windows to install (the CD/DVDs).

What we’ve seen so far

When our clients throw out the psychology of ‘instant gratification’, take the time to think about the purchase and shop with various vendors for pricing, they are happy with their purchase.  Our clients that are open to change do well switching from a Windows system to a Mac.  Those who take the time to examine everything they are doing on the ‘old’ computer (the one they are replacing) and determine how to do that on the new computer do exceptionally well.

To consider as you get ready to purchase

Budget – it’s important to decide how much you want to spend on your computer.  Once you shop, you’ll be able to determine a general budget amount.  You’ll want input from your technical support person to ensure you are not excluding important parts or services (i.e., do not exclude the cost of your technical support person if you use one).  Again, ensure you know every cost so that you are not surprised.

How long you’ll be using the system – if you’re looking for a system that will make it through a year or so, you may have success purchasing a system from a local store or local vendor.  If you’re looking for a longer timeline, ensure you plan for this.

Support of the product you are purchasing – if the system were to having operational issues (aka, quit working), how quickly do you need to have it working again?  The support plan is critical to understand so that you are not surprised.

😉

May 2014 – Keep your computer clean and happy

My computer is slow and noisy!

Every day we receive phone calls requesting immediate on-site repair for a computer, network or other technical problem.  Even though your computer is not the most important part of your business (perhaps!) it is a real problem when it isn’t working.

Keep in mind, we cannot resolve broken parts or power failures from a distant location — to our knowledge, no one can do that.  If you challenge is problem with your software or settings however (and many problem fall into this category), it’s certainly possible to get you going again.  With the magic of the internet (and an annual investment on our part) we can be on-site on the same day you need — BUT, you will have to be patient and help us get connected.

Remote Computer Repair – Some words to know

When you consider having someone repair your computer AND that person is not in your physical presence, some terms may come up that you need to understand:

  • Session – a technical term relating to the connection between your computer and the person helping you
  • Remote control – applies to the situation where the person helping you is not in your home or office (as in, they are remote from you)

Repair my computer – from somewhere else?

Fortunately there has been technology around for years that allows one person to view (and control) another person’s computer – we used this type of technology in the 80s!  For our part, it gets better every year.  Our software allows you to visit our web site, download a program (and specify a few settings) and then have your support case handled by us — from our office.

Is remote computer repair dangerous?

Generally, allowing someone you know or trust to work on your computer is not dangerous.  However, NEVER allow someone that calls you on the phone to setup a remote control or support ‘session’ on your computer.  Many scams start this way and you may incur charges if you allow someone to ‘help’ you with a problem.

Does remote computer repair save me on repair costs?

Providing your problem can be resolved with a remote support, the costs should be less than for an on-site visit.  This thought is based on the fact that your support and repair call should then not include and travel charges or additional support time related to

Remote computer repair does not always work

Remote computer support is a great idea and works in many cases – we are not tracking it, but it seems that we solve some 80-90% of our client issues this way.  If remote repair does not work AND if your technical support person is local, you’ll then have the option of the person visiting your home.

Summary

Having someone repair your computer problem is the real solution to your problem.  You should not care if the person is at your home or office or at theirs.  It’s a good idea to only work with people that you trust and with people who have a reason to be helping you remotely.  Just use common sense when clicking the buttons that allow someone to repair your computer from their office.  Call or contact us if you have questions.  We are happy to help.

Reach My Computer – Vail Computer Repair
Vail and Avon Colorado – Computer Support and Repair

Feb 2014 – Computer repair – remotely

Web Design, Web Sites, Web PagesRepair my computer…now!

Every day we receive phone calls requesting immediate on-site repair for a computer, network or other technical problem.  Even though your computer is not the most important part of your business (perhaps!) it is a real problem when it isn’t working.

Keep in mind, we cannot resolve broken parts or power failures from a distant location — to our knowledge, no one can do that.  If you challenge is problem with your software or settings however (and many problem fall into this category), it’s certainly possible to get you going again.  With the magic of the internet (and an annual investment on our part) we can be on-site on the same day you need — BUT, you will have to be patient and help us get connected.

Remote Computer Repair – Some words to know

When you consider having someone repair your computer AND that person is not in your physical presence, some terms may come up that you need to understand:

  • Session – a technical term relating to the connection between your computer and the person helping you
  • Remote control – applies to the situation where the person helping you is not in your home or office (as in, they are remote from you)

Repair my computer – from somewhere else?

Fortunately there has been technology around for years that allows one person to view (and control) another person’s computer – we used this type of technology in the 80s!  For our part, it gets better every year.  Our software allows you to visit our web site, download a program (and specify a few settings) and then have your support case handled by us — from our office.

Is remote computer repair dangerous?

Generally, allowing someone you know or trust to work on your computer is not dangerous.  However, NEVER allow someone that calls you on the phone to setup a remote control or support ‘session’ on your computer.  Many scams start this way and you may incur charges if you allow someone to ‘help’ you with a problem.

Does remote computer repair save me on repair costs?

Providing your problem can be resolved with a remote support, the costs should be less than for an on-site visit.  This thought is based on the fact that your support and repair call should then not include and travel charges or additional support time related to

Remote computer repair does not always work

Remote computer support is a great idea and works in many cases – we are not tracking it, but it seems that we solve some 80-90% of our client issues this way.  If remote repair does not work AND if your technical support person is local, you’ll then have the option of the person visiting your home.

Summary

Having someone repair your computer problem is the real solution to your problem.  You should not care if the person is at your home or office or at theirs.  It’s a good idea to only work with people that you trust and with people who have a reason to be helping you remotely.  Just use common sense when clicking the buttons that allow someone to repair your computer from their office.  Call or contact us if you have questions.  We are happy to help.

Reach My Computer – Vail Computer Repair
Vail and Avon Colorado – Computer Support and Repair

January 2013 – Web Sites for everyone?

Vail Colorado - Computer Repair and Support, Web Site Design and DevelopmentI want a web site for my business!

With the ever growing fact that people are looking for what they need on the internet, it’s only natural that you want your place on the internet when they are looking!  And you want them to find you among all of the competition!

It can seem like you are looking for a far away destination that no one has ever crossed or visited.  Not to worry.

It’s certainly possible to accomplish the task.  As we find ourselves consulting with clients about their  various technological tasks, we remind them of the fact that technology just isn’t perfect.  The quicker we all accept such, the better we’ll feel — and operate.

Our office

We work on our web site ourselves and have time to add new information as we find it.  Some of our web sites and pages were setup with Dreamweaver and some are setup with WordPress.  We use Dreamweaver when something on a web page needs to be positioned in a particular location.  We use WordPress when we find that clients prefer to update their web site themselves (change data, photos, text, etc).

The Basics of web sites

There are various parts to your web site or web page.  Here are some of the items to consider when you are getting ready to either create a web site for your business or if you want to hire someone to help.
  • Hosting
  • The information that will be on your site
  • Organizing the information so your clients can find what they need
  • Are you selling products?
  • Colors and how the site will look
  • Are you wanting to update the web site yourself?
  • Search Engine Related work for the site
  • Search Engine ‘campaigns’ to generate traffic
  • other…

What we’ve seen so far

Many know they need a web site or a web page for their business as it gives them some degree of legitimacy.  Many have an assumption that if the web site or web page is present on the internet that high levels of business for them will emerge.  The best solutions come from the business owner deciding on the basics of what they would like to have the web site or page look like and then partnering with a web designer (a.k.a., web developer, page designer, web site business, etc) to do the work of programming, photo manipulation, content authoring and site setup.

To consider as you go forward

Updating your web site information – people visit web sites that have what they need and sites that provide them with new information regularly.  Keeping the information updated can be a big challenge as we observe the many people are busy running their business and do not have the time to update their web site.

Marketing – when you have your web site created and ready to go, it’s important to let your existing clients know about it.  Also, ask them to tell their friends about it plus alert anyone that might be willing to include a link to your site on their web site (linking is a good way to build ‘credibility’).

Avoid the pitfalls of ‘do-it-yourself’ – while anyone can purchase the parts at Home Depot to repair their kitchen sink drain, it’s not always a great idea for us to do some things on our own.  While it may work, it may not look very nice or work as it should — and lead to problems later (i.e., poorly setup web sites can be slow and never found by anyone using Google or other search engines).

Consider that people look for you on various technology – today people look for hair salons, technical support, real estate and other things on their smart phone, tablet or computer.  You want to have the information on your web site display in a way on their  device in a way that makes them happy and then contacts you.

We would love to talk with you about what you want to do for your business in the web site are.  Call us today.

😉

April 2012 – Email on everything

i want my email everywhere - no matter where i am on the planetI want my email everywhere!

With the ever growing dependence on email, it’s only natural that you want your email wherever you are and on whatever computing device you happen to be using (i.e., iPhone, iPad, iMac, Vostro Laptops, Optiplex desktops, home-made computers — you get the point).

It’s certainly possible to accomplish the task.  As we find ourselves consulting with clients about their  various technological tasks, we remind them of the fact that technology just isn’t perfect.  The quicker we all accept such, the better we’ll feel — and operate.

Our office

We have computers of every ilk and are about to embark on the purchase of an iPad or two (depending on how well my Apple stock performs).  For our smart phones, we use iPhones and like them very much.  One of us is more dependent on email at the computer while personally I want to have my email accessible anywhere.  In the IT consulting business, it’s just easier and looks really impressive to clients.

The Basics of email

In short, you need to determine the role of email in your business or life.  We’ve recently discovered wisdom around checking and depending on email less frequently throughout the day — some recommend checking email twice daily — WHAT!  We must share that we’ve been trying it and, overall, feel much less anxious.  There is some degree of truth in the success oriented around planning your day.  Email, since it has an addictive nature, can derail your efforts just like we find happens in Facebook (to expand, once you look at your Facebook account, you jump around looking at other things until realizing that an hour has passed and you’ve done nothing productive).

Email on your phone, computer or other?

Granted, email is a very popular form of communication and in many cases can be a source of income (i.e., travel agents who rely on email for business leads).  Personally, email is a source of questions from clients ranging from ‘how-to’ to scheduling an onsite visit. It’s more casual since I’ve learned to keep in touch by phone for important things — like emergencies.
So, I find it useful to have my email flow to my iPhone.  I can respond to email that seems urgent (but again, not an emergency).  Overall for me however, I use my iPhone to quickly eliminate email that I know I do not  need (i.e., a sales email from Best Buy — I’ll shop when I’m ready not via and email alert — that’s just my approach).  I use my iMac as my base camp for email management, organization, storage, etc.  It’s the place I want to have everything organized so that I know where it is for future reference.
Optionally, I find it useful to have web access to email when I am on the road in distant cities.  I can, for instance, check email from a  hotel computer and respond with a full keyboard.  I must keep in mind that the response should be short and not necessarily of content that I want to keep at ‘base camp’.  It the email chain is important, I BCC myself so that I can store it when I am back at base camp.

What we’ve seen so far

Many are jumping at the chance to be in the ‘cool crowd’ and float on the iCloud (or other cloud based solutions).  It is indeed a phenomenal concept.  There are challenges to using this approach (at least as of this writing in April of 2012) that are more than some can tolerate (for instance, the recent challenge is that email ‘vanishes’ when using iCloud/IMAP — this is not anecdotal and is indeed happening regularly).

To consider as you go forward

Base Camp – if it’s important to store email somewhere, treat one of your systems as the source, central location or your base camp.  The concept may not work in the initial phases of your expedition, but over time becomes a place where you can find email that is important and necessary (i.e., emails that are related to a purchase of your Abercrombie summer tee collection).

Email on your phone – depending on how you approach it, your phone can become overwhelmed with old email.  It can also, while trying to help you, erase email after a certain time period has passed.  Thus, treating it as a transitional element may be a better approach.  Not to say that your world cannot be managed by an iPhone or other smart phone though.

Is your email critical to your success? – if the answer to this question is yes, you must ensure you have a plan to manage your email.  If you receive a large number of email daily, the process of management can become overwhelming — not to mention difficult on a smart phone.  Thus, a plan becomes important.  Not all approaches work for everyone, so you need to determine a way that works for you and your life / business.

😉

January 2015 – Purchasing a computer

Purchasing a Computer

(Originally written in March 2012).  Purchasing a new computer can be frustrating and fearful -it should be fun though and can be.  Deciding whether you’ll purchase another Windows computer or switch to Apple needs some thought unless you’re in a position where you’re just looking for a way to browse the internet and check email on an absolutlely beautiful system  Now you have to decide if you’re going with a tablet computer, an iPad or just using your phone!

Fearful because you think you may be purchasing the wrong thing and at the wrong time.  Frustrating because you spend a great deal of time looking for the best deal and attempting to transport your computer to your home or office.

Our office

We have Windows 7 Pro, Windows 8.1, Mac OS (desktop and laptop), iPads and iPhones represented in our office.  We use laptops and desktops depending on what we are doing.  Web site development or email from a laptop can be very handy.  We use our iPads all over the house and in our kitchen area.  We use for weather, news and as a dictionary when we have disputes over the meaning of a word.

The Basics of your computer purchase

In short, you need to determine what you want, the items that are important (i.e., speed, storage, monitor size, etc), your budget, determine if you want a laptop or desktop.  If you’re going with Windows or Mac, figure out if you are doing the setup yourself, shop to find the best price and service and then make the purchase.

Purchase a Laptop or Desktop?

Choosing a laptop or a Desktop depends on what you want to do.  Are you moving around and need to check email and internet sites?  Then it’s obvious that you need a laptop — or is it?  Smartphones and the iPad are helping people move around now without having to carry their laptop with them.
Do you like having a larger screen when you’re going to be working for an extended period?  You can indeed connect a monitor to most laptops.  Thus, we’re still not clear on whether we need a laptop or desktop.

Windows or Mac?

Really folks, it depends.  We are trained in computer science and just stepped into the Mac arena three years ago.  We must admit that using a Mac is quite pleasant.  There are annoying parts of the software from time-to-time, but overall we are pleased.  A big plus to a Mac is how well it operates with an iPhone, iPod and iPad.  Also worth mentioning is the ease of processing photos and then saving them to process in an email or otherwise.  Very nice.

If you’re considering a Mac and have been a Windows user, it pays to determine the true cost of conversion and the learning curve that you will experience.  Are you tolerant to change and also tolerant to learning new things?

There may be additional software purchases since you can not simply install the Windows version of Microsoft Office onto your Mac (they are different).  You may also find other pieces that you have to purchase and it pays for you to spend the time figuring that out (i.e., Quickbooks for example).

There are nice emulation packages (VMWare — but be wary of any time they offer discounts or rebates as they fight to avoid paying them) which can allow you to have Windows run on your Mac.  It doesn’t take over the Mac but only runs Windows in a program window.  This would allow you to perform activities in a Windows environment like you’ve been doing — thus eliminating the need to purchase other software.  This ’emulation’ assumes that you also have a copy of Windows to install (the CD/DVDs).

What we’ve seen so far

When our clients throw out the psychology of ‘instant gratification’, take the time to think about the purchase and shop with various vendors for pricing, they are happy with their purchase.  Our clients that are open to change do well switching from a Windows system to a Mac.  Those who take the time to examine everything they are doing on the ‘old’ computer (the one they are replacing) and determine how to do that on the new computer do exceptionally well.

To consider as you get ready to purchase

Budget – it’s important to decide how much you want to spend on your computer.  Once you shop, you’ll be able to determine a general budget amount.  You’ll want input from your technical support person to ensure you are not excluding important parts or services (i.e., do not exclude the cost of your technical support person if you use one).  Again, ensure you know every cost so that you are not surprised.

How long you’ll be using the system – if you’re looking for a system that will make it through a year or so, you may have success purchasing a system from a local store or local vendor.  If you’re looking for a longer timeline, ensure you plan for this.

Support of the product you are purchasing – if the system were to having operational issues (aka, quit working), how quickly do you need to have it working again?  The support plan is critical to understand so that you are not surprised.

😉

December 2011 – iCloud to the rescue

Moving to iCloud

iCloud from Apple - connects everything!

What is iCloud — check out the Apple site for info here?  It’s a tool from Apple that allows you to wirelessly synchronize your contact and calendar information on the web.

We got our induction into the class of people moving to iCloud.  The primary benefit we are seeing so far is wireless access to our contacts and calendars — no longer are you connecting with a cable to synchronize your data.

We have been through the following so far with great guidance from Danny Sullivan’s blog.  The blog entry on iCloud has lots of useful information and experiences.

My office

The computer items involved:
  • iMac updated to Mac OS X Lion
  • Macbook update to Mac OS X Lion (a requirement)
  • iPhone updated to IOS 5 (a requirement)
  • Windows 7 Pro, HP desktop with iCloud control panel

I performed the setup from my iMac (my ‘primary’ source of information) and everything synchronized easily.  In Outlook 2010, I just needed to know to look at the iCloud calendar rather than the default calendar.  Also had to change the location of my contacts.  Otherwise, updates flow quickly and wirelessly.

My first client moving to iCloud

The computer items involved:
  • Windows 7 Pro Laptop
  • iPhone with IOS 5 (a requirement)
  • iPad 2

My first client experience with using iCloud occurred under duress (for lack of a better description) and not according to a ‘normal’ path.  In essence, her laptop drive failed while she was traveling.  During that trip, since she needed to view information on the internet, she purchased an iPad.  Somehow, I’m not clear on this yet, the iPad was loaded at the Apple store with her contacts and calendar.  I can only suppose that this occurred when she had previously converted her iPhone to IOS 5 and, possibly, enabled iCloud for her data.

The next step, when I finally got her home, was to setup her laptop.  I’ve used Outlook long enough to know now that any time I work on it that I should backup everything first.  Thus, before embarking on this adventure, I backed up the Contacts and Calendar information.

In this case, since the data on the phone was sourced from the computer, it would have seemed logical that we should simply setup the laptop with the iCloud control panel for Windows and synchronize the data.  Not!  When we did this step, everything was duplicated — everywhere.  Not to mention the fact that the contacts and calendar information were blank in Outlook — not blank, just moved to iCloud.

What we’ve seen so far

Calendar in Outlook – as many are discussing, iCloud grabs your data and moves it from Outlook to the iCloud calendar.  We saw duplication of all calendar information on my client system and this appears to have occurred because the computer perceived them as new entries rather than a synchronization of prior information.

Contacts in Outlook – they got moved to iCloud also and completely removed from the Outlook data file.  Simply updating Outlook to use the correct address book resolved that problem.  No duplication was seen here.

Information flows nicely – updates to calendar and contact information flows across the air quickly.

Mac iCal – if you are the type that needs automatic updates (I do!), ensure you set your iCal preferences to automatically update you calendar on a timed interval basis — you’ll see when you look.

To consider

Privacy – your contact and calendar information, through this tool, are now in the cloud and stored somewhere other than on your personal system.  Be aware of storing passwords or other personal information in this format to ensure you’re not exposed.

Large volume of data – if your contact list or calendar are enormous, you may experience slow loading time at the initial pass and afterwards.  For this, we are looking for more data to see how it works.

 

😉

Nov 2011 – Buying a Computer

Purchasing a computer – A road frequently travelled

Sometimes it’s best to take the approach ‘out with the old and in with the new!’.  Not always — especially if it’s less expensive to simply repair your computer.  Surprisingly it can sometimes be less expensive to purchase a new system than to repair and aged one.

There are so many reasons to purchase a new computer.  There are many reasons to repair a computer.  Many times, the situation is forced upon you due to a horrible virus or something less intrusive — like dropping your laptop off the kitchen counter.  The guys authoring viruses these days are tough.  They destroy the system to the point where it costs less to simply purchase a new system.

Whatever the reason, we talk to clients often about how to make the best decision when considering the options for a purchase.

Mac? Thin and lightweight? Dell? HP? Costco? Office Depot?  The local computer shack?

Dell computer - Support and Repair - Vail Colorado

Retiree on the left and replacement on the right

In the end, it seems a matter of finance that helps the client make the decision.  Also, some clients prefer to purchase at one place or another.  Many just hate certain vendors and love others.

Understanding the full breadth of the issue at hand though is where we find people going down the ‘road frequently travelled’.  This may not, however,be the best road mind you.

We happen to operate in a mountain community in Colorado.  In our area there are all manner of options for purchasing a computer.  Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Costco and local computer shacks are present.

The questions and areas of consideration are plentiful.  Consider these (and this list is not inclusive):

  • How much time are you going to spend shopping in a store for your system.
  • How much effort are you going to expend dealing with a local shack that may not last another year — longevity does matter you know.
  • How is the system supported after the purchase?
  • How long does the warranty last?
  • What is the track record of the company where you are purchasing your computer?
  • If you have an issue, how do you obtain repair service?  Mail the system to the vendor?
So far, our best option for purchase, repair, warranty and support has been with Dell.  Yes, many of our pupils dislike the behemoth, for whatever reason, but we must say that the overall system just works.  Why?

What are the reasons Dell is such a compelling argument?

  • Dell has computer systems that work well — as good as any other vendor.  The product lines, generally speaking, work well.
  • Dell has phenomenal warranty support and repair.  We’ve seen all manner of parts replaced without issue.
  • They have field technicians that will come to your house to repair your computer — providing you keep your warranty intact.  Keep in mind though, this is for issues with PARTS, not software.  Virus corruption and otherwise is your issue to deal with.
  • Their support systems — those that help your computer person — are simply incredible.  The online support through chat and otherwise is second to none.  Support for systems that are 10 years old (through driver availability) is simply fantastic.
Have we tried other systems?

Of course!  We actively use an iMac and a Macbook for site development, blogging and other manner of creative endeavors.  We have HP and Nobilis systems in our pile of trash computers too that are almost impossible to support.  Our Dell systems just keep purring providing we have ample ventilation and manage the systems (software updates, backups, etc).

It’s ultimately up to you!

In the end, it’s your decision.  Many computer support businesses love that it is overly difficult to support a system because they make more money in the end.  We are of the opinion that it is simply NO FUN (and fun is part of our business model) to inform a client that we are adding 2 hours of labor to a system recovery simply to locate system software and parts.  They hate that information and so do we.

We are happy to consult with you on any purchase because we simply want your computers to operate as well as ours do.