Monthly Archives: May 2012

Life in the Slow Lane?

Is your computer running slow? Is it taking longer than it used to take to do the routine tasks you like to perform? Are you wondering if it’s time to retire your PC and buy a new one? These are the questions that plague users young and old. Perhaps we can be of assistance here.

First off, your computer may not need to be replaced. There are many things that can slow you down. Here are some things to consider:

SOFTWARE – Have you purchased or updated your software with new versions that require greater system resources? It is important whenever considering software purchases to look at the system requirements that are usually printed on the side of the box or listed in the product information if you are purchasing online. These requirements may list such things as how much available hard drive space you need or how much RAM memory you should have to run the software. Oftentimes there will be a minimum number, and a recommended number. You should always go with the recommended numbers as the minimum may be setting you up for disappointing performance.

If your computer is fairly recent, there are upgrades we can install to make it last a few years longer. We can boost your RAM memory or upgrade you to a larger hard drive and you may see immediate results.

INFECTIONS – Is your computer infected? We see many cases every month of computers that are infected with various malicious attacks. Sometimes the effects of malware do not present themselves in visible ways (pop-up windows, etc.) but they go about their business of worming their way through the background processes of your computer, leading to poor performance. While a good anti-virus software package is a good idea, you must be proactive in getting the latest virus definitions and be persistent about scanning on a regular basis.

If you think you may be infected, we are able to help. We have resources available to dig out those deeply embedded malicious programs and restore your PC to a cleaner state of being.

HARDWARE – The hardware components of your computer can wear out. Sometimes you may need to replace a hard drive; not because it is filling up with data, but because it is starting to fail. Your drive may still be working, but it may be causing errors due to bad clusters. Whether your hard drive is performing 100% or showing signs of failure, it is always a good idea to have a regular practice of backing up your data. We also see RAM memory fail occasionally, as well as power supplies, fans, and CPU’s.

Oftentimes, we are able to replace faulty components and get you back on track.

Having said all that, there does come a time when you would be better off to bite the bullet and replace your entire system with a new one. Along with getting you a clean slate of all new components, you will also get the latest version of the Windows operating system. Our service technicians are here and available to discuss your issues with you and help you determine your best course of action.

Computers are like anything else. They are great when they are working, but frustrating when they aren’t. But, like anything else, with occasional check-ups, you can experience years of happy computing.

Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you. We are here to answer your questions and help you get back a smooth computing experience!

As I close, I must share with you that this is my last blog article for “Tech Talk.” As many of you know, I am also a pastor. I will be departing to continue my ministry career as chaplain at a local agency. I have enjoyed my time with CS Technologies Plus and have really enjoyed the blog as writing is something I love to do.

See you on the web!

Randy Kightlinger

Computer Service Technician


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Holey Magnolias

Blogging this week about FotoFlexer, another online photo editing website. With FotoFlexer you can edit photos from photobucket, myspace, facebook, flickr, Picasa Web Albums, or by uploading a photo directly from your computer.
I uploaded a photo of my mom and dad’s Magnolia tree to FotoFlexer. Here is what the photo looked like before editing.  I love, love, love the pink and when the Magnolias are in full bloom, they are magnificent to look at. A true sign of Spring.

After checking out all of features of FotoFlexer, I decided to edit the photo making just a couple edits, I added the “Lomoish” effect to the photo and I then decided to turn this photo into a poster (which is a feature in FotoFlexer). Then I simply added a title to my poster and some text. Well now what do you think? This all took a matter of virtually minutes. How fun!

When you are ready, give FlotoFlexer a spin (be sure to experiment) and let us know what you think! We didn’t see any pricing on their website, so we will assume that this editor is free for the time being, but just note that could change at any time.

 Since we are on the search for photo editors that are as good as the retired Picnik, be sure to share any you are using with us, so we can in-turn share them with all of our followers. 

Happy Photo Editing!
Have fun and be creative!

-Holly Berlin, General Manager

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Well I’ll Be A Monkey’s Uncle!

Picnik pioneered online photo editing, but recently closed its doors. It did not take long for another online photo editor to be developed.

PicMonkey is a  new online photo editor which does a great job, if not better than what Picnik could have done.

The user interface is very intuitive and loads fast. The features range from the basic crop and sharpen to applying advanced effects, all with a click of a button. I decided to try out this new editor to see what it can do.

This is the control panel where you do all your editing. The creative options are located on the left hand side. I loaded a photo (taken by my manager, Holly Berlin), and played with some of the features.

In the Basic Edits, I tried my hand at recoloring this photo.  I tested out the saturation and temperature feature.  Next I worked in the Effects panel, which gives you a one-click effects ranging from Urban effects to Polaroid style coloration.  I decided to work with the “Orton” effects, which gives the photo a soft magical feel.

Here is the result:

According to PicMonkey, certain features are free for the time being, but may have a cost applied to them in the future. If you would like to try out this great new online photo editor, go here:  Tell us what you think!

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You are NOT Attention Deficit, Your Head is Just in the Cloud

My gamer daughter-in-law has the word DERP as her Facebook Timeline picture. I decided it was time I learned what that meant. A-googling I went. In the process of finding DERP, I also came across a notification that new words are to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June.

(Did I mention I love words? I do, shamelessly, unabashedly. I personally own TWO unabridged dictionaries; each of which weighs in at about 50 pounds. I love them.)

So, now instead of finding the definition of DERP, I’m googling new dictionary words.

Meme is being added with a new definition for cloud , and webster will no longer only be a proper name. BUT, dictionaries are also adding OMG and LOL, – which reminded me I wanted to look up O_O.Image

Now I’m googling OMG, etc. and find an entire online dictionary of textspeak (also being added to the dictionary). Did you know that 5 is the equivalent of lol, because in binary 101 stands for the number 5? And that while ❤ stands for a heart or love, 3> stands for hate?

6_6 is looking down (usually with suspicion) and 9_9 is to roll your eyes.

BTW (see dictionary), heart is now officially a verb. You can ‘heart’ NY and the Steelers to your heart’s content and be grammatically correct…HUGE relief, isn’t it?

But WAIT! What’s that link to a game called Click Click Click that states the US is in 4th place? (click) Ah, it’s a game where all you do is record what country you are from and then click the mouse button until your finger falls off and record that score. I added 118 clicks to the US score before I noticed a SPACEBAR game (could it be similar?).

I wonder if there’s a list of truly  stupid games.

Yup, another googling event. And yes, there is a list. One of the games listed is Press The Spacebar, there’s Avoider (a Chinese game that is very difficult), and an Idiot Test. You know I had to do the Idiot test, right?

Also Idiot Tests 2 through 4, I haven’t done 5 through 7 or the Ultimate Idiot Test because I saw the word Neek when taking test four… NEEK?

Seems a nerd is an intelligent, socially inept individual and a geek is a computer enthusiast, so a NEEK is an intelligent, socially inept, computer enthusiast. Who knew?

Hey, wasn’t I originally trying to find the definition of DERP?

Carol Smith

Training Manager

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