Driver Software – Do I really need it?

It sounds like a good idea: Having the latest and greatest software drivers on a PC to run all the hardware devices that make up the PC. It made a lot of sense to me until I sat back and thought about it.

Do I really need driver software? The answer is No.

Windows and your PC manufacturer do a pretty good job driving you crazy with all the updates that are critical and necessary.  Why would you need anything else?

This is the best routine at selling snow to Eskimos that I have seen, and to think that I almost bought into it.

My grandfather used to say, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.   If some device is broke or has a fault in it, you will get an error of some sort.

A way to check this is to do the following:

1. Go to the Device Manager in your control panel and see if there are any red, yellow fault or warning signals next to any device. 
2. If there are, then double-click on the device.
3. Then go to Properties and check to see if there is an updated driver for that device.
4. If there is no updated driver found in the Device Manager, then check with your manufacturer’s website for that specific device.

Also, it is important to keep your Windows Operating Systems up to date. 

If none of the above works or you did not understand the instructions, feel free to give us a call. I am available for any questions on Skype: patient.computer.tutor or email: [email protected]

David Goes has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and computer industry. He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems with cum laude designation. His expertise is in providing computer solutions that deliver business value and personal efficiency through database management, computer optimization, and online marketing.

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File Converter for MS Office Documents

Are you having problems opening documents in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint that someone gave you or sent to you through email? These strange documents come from the latest versions of MS Office 2007/2010 and end with a file extension of .docx (for Word), .xlsx (for Excel), and .ppsx (for PowerPoint). This is a different file extension than the 2000/2003 version of MS Office, which does not have the “x” (i.e., .doc, .xls, and .pps).

So what do you do now with these documents? Will you have to buy a new version of MS Office to open these files and keep up with the times?

There is no need to worry. The people at Microsoft aren’t quite that sinister. There is a free file converter that changes the file format of the previous version of MS Office. Once downloaded and installed, it will allow you to read, modify, and save the files in a format that you can use. Here is the link to the Free File Format Converter so that you can stretch the use of your current MS Office software for a few more years. Simply download and follow the step by step instructions. This is a savings of approximately €130/$150.

If you have difficulty with the file converter, I am available for any questions on Skype: patient.computer.tutor or email: [email protected]

David Goes has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and computer industry. He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems with cum laude designation. His expertise is in providing computer solutions that deliver business value and personal efficiency through database management, computer optimization, and online marketing.

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Secure Online Passwords

Most hackers can break into your computer without using any impressive programming skills.  A lot of people use their name, pet name, home phone number, or simple words like “password.”

If you have a very simple password, then a hacker can hack your computer very easily by trying to guess your password.  To safe guard your personal computer from these guys there is a very simple way to create a tricky password.

Below are some steps to make your passwords difficult to guess:

  • Try to use the max number of characters allowed in your password

This is the simplest method because the longer the password the more difficult it is to guess.  Or make an effort to exceed the minimum required.

  • Combine lower-case and upper-case letters in your password

Most PC users apply only lower-case letters to their passwords, but it is best to use the combination of both upper and lower-case.  Doing so will make it much more difficult to crack.

  • Combine letters and numbers in your password

When you mix both letters and numbers it makes your password incomprehensible, and places the odds in your favor because most just use letters or just numbers.

  • Try not to use the name of any family member in your password

The name of your child, spouse, pet, city, or country are easy to guess if anybody knows you and your family.

  • Password management and encrypting software

If coming up with your own password is too time-consuming, there are many software tools that help you generate and manage your passwords.  Some of them are free and most are inexpensive for the security and peace of mind they provide.

  1. PC Tools Password Generator is a password generator that you can download for free.
  2. Roboform is an inexpensive way to manage and/or encrypt your passwords, with excellent features such as the ability to automatically fill forms for you when you apply to a certain membership website or online purchases.  It is a great time saver.  Look for programs such as these to rid yourself of the headache of remembering and maintaining passwords.

If you would like more information on how to secure your passwords, I am always available on skype for any questions or technical assistance.  My skype name is: patient.computer.tutor

David Goes has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and computer industry.  He holds a Bachelors degree in computer information systems with cum laude designation.  His expertise is in providing computer solutions that deliver business value and personal efficiency through database management, computer optimization, and online marketing.

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