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What To Look For In A New Custom Build Computer

July 11, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off

It’s the start of a new financial year, are you looking to upgrade and treat yourself to a brand new computer but don’t know what to look for? We have some helpful tips below to help you make sense of all the technical jargon which may confuse you when you walk into an electronics store to look for your new machine.

Why Would I Want To Buy A Custom Built Computer?

  • Know exactly what goes into your system.
  • No extra unwanted software installed that could affect your system performance.
  • Easier to upgrade and longer system lifetime – Just replace the parts you need instead of the whole system!
  • 1 Year parts and labour warranty on all systems. When we build custom computers we source all our parts locally and are therefore supporting local SA businesses.

Processor / CPU

  • The processor, or CPU, is the brain of the computer and is the primary component for determining the power of the system.
  • All of our computers have Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 Quad Core CPU’s to ensure the maximum level of performance for your money.
  • For even greater performance, ask us about building you a computer based on the Intel Xeon processors – these are what you find in servers!

Memory / RAM

  • Computer memory, or RAM, is important for system performance and helps when operating multiple applications at the same time. This isn’t the same thing as a hard drive!
  • The more RAM you have , the more applications you can open at the same time. A minimum of 4gb is recommended for general use and a minimum of 8gb is recommended for gaming.

Graphics Cards

  • The video card (or graphics card) in a computer is used to enable graphics including games and video.
  • Basic computing tasks such as internet browsing and word processing do not require a powerful graphics card. However, playing computer games, especially more recent ones, requires a much more powerful graphics card.
  • Graphics cards vary in price significantly, with entry-level cards costing around $50 and top-level high performance cards sometimes costing thousands of dollars!

 

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Australia Pre-Orders Available!

June 9, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off

Microsoft Surface Pro 3Pre-Orders for the soon-to-be released Microsoft Surface Pro 3 are now available directly from Microsoft. Will you be ordering one? Microsoft are advertising it as “the tablet to replace your laptop” and it features a stunningly high-resolution 2160×1440 pixel screen!

The Surface Pro 3 comes with a 12 inch LCD screen, which packs in a stunningly higher-than-HD resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 pixels. This is obviously part of Microsoft’s “no compromises” approach to their hardware as not only have they managed to cram a much more powerful i7 processor into the Surface Pro 3 (the Surface Pro 2 was only sold with i3 and i5 processors), but they have managed to also make the Surface Pro 3 lighter approximately 100g  lighter than the Surface Pro 2 despite the increase in screen size!

The Surface Pro 3 comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1 Professional as is powered by either an Intel Core i3 , Core i5 & Core i7 processor, depending on your desired configuration.

The Surface Pro 3 is available with storage capacities of 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. Further storage expansion is also possible through the use of a microSD card.

According to Microsoft, the expected battery life on the Surface Pro 3 is up to 9 hours. Of course, this may prove to be a different story when the device arrives in Australia on its expected release date of August 31st 2014.

Finally, please see below for pricing!

Surface Pro 3 Australia Pricing

64GB & i3 CPU – $979
128GB & i5 CPU – $1209
256GB & i5 CPU – $1549
256GB & i7 CPU – $1829
512GB & i7 CPU – $2279

Pre-Order From http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msaus/en_AU/pdp/productID.300217100?icid=SurfCat_Hero_SurfacePro3_Preorder or you can alternatively place a pre-order at any JB-Hifi or Harvey Norman store.

iPhone 5C & iPhone 5S Screen Replacements Now Available!

December 14, 2013 Website Maintenance and Updates Comments Off

We are pleased to announce that we are now offering iPhone 5C screen replacements and iPhone 5S screen replacements. This repair for the iPhone 5C and 5S costs $275

All the screens will be ordered on an “as needed” basis due to their high cost at the moment. We are also looking at adding further repair services for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C & iPhone 5S.

Turnaround time for the repair will be 3-5 business days to order the screen and an hour to repair the phone.

iPhone 5C & iPhone 5S Screen Replacement

Over time, the screens will drop in price. When this happens, we will pass on our savings and lower the repair prices.

How To Remove Australian Federal Police Virus

November 11, 2013 Security Comments Off

How To Remove Australian Federal Police Virus From An Infected System

The Australian Federal Police Virus (or AFP Virus as it is also known), has been making the rounds recently. I have received a considerable number of systems into my shop with this virus. This blog post will explain how to remove the Australian Federal Police virus from your system.

Note: Just to clarify, This is a scam / computer virus which aims to gather your credit card information by fooling you into thinking that the Australian Federal Police are monitoring you and you’ve been caught out – The Australian Federal Police are not actually tracking your usage (as far as I’m aware anyway!) , and you don’t have to worry about them knocking on the door or anything like that.

The symptoms of the Australian Federal Police virus are shown below. The virus even can manage to gain access to your computers webcam (therefore showing your room and making the scam seem even more authentic). The virus locks you out of your computer and tries to get you pay anywhere from $100 or higher to “unlock” it.

The virus appears to have several stages of infection , and a fully up-to-date patched version of AVG Free Edition 2014 doesn’t appear to detect this virus. This is why we recommend Trend Micro Internet Security Suite to ensure maximum protection.

Method 1 : Attempt To Boot Into Safe Mode to remove the virus.

Restart your computer and tap the F8 key to get to the Advanced Options menu. Select the option for “Safe Mode With Networking”

Windows 7 Safe Mode Advanced F8 Startup Options

If you are able to successfully boot into Safe Mode , download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from here , rull a full scan and remove anything that it discovers. Be sure to update the program to the latest definitions first (you will be prompted to do so when you load it up).

If Safe Mode with Networking doesn’t work , the Australian Federal Police virus infection on the system is more severe, reboot the computer and try the top option for just “Safe Mode” instead. If you can boot with this option , download Malwarebytes on another machine and then copy it to a USB to install it on the infected system. Normal Safe Mode doesn’t enable Internet access.

Method 2 : Use System Restore To Roll Back Your Computer

As before, load up into Safe Mode With Networking.

Load up System Restore from the Start Menu >> Accessories >> System Tools

Hopefully you should have an available restore point to before your computer got infected. If so , you can roll your computer back to this point. System Restore does not affect any documents or your personal files that may have changed since the date that you roll back to , but it does affect any programs that you may have installed since.

After System Restore has completed , you should be able to boot back into your operating system. Run a full virus scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and your security software to ensure that the Australian Federal Police virus has been fully removed from your system.

If you are unable to boot into Safe Mode (The Australian Federal Police virus has the ability to block you starting in Safe Mode), there is a third option which you can try. The virus infects a specific user account so by creating a new user account you can usually bypass it to gain access to the computer to remove the Australian Federal Police virus. The user account creation has to be done through the command prompt, as the virus prevents you from logging into Windows to add a user through the control panel.

Method 3 : Virus blocks Safe Mode With Networking

Once again , reboot the computer but this time select “Safe Mode With Command Prompt” at the Advanced Options menu when you type F8. This option attempts to load Safe Mode but before it does, it gives you access to a command prompt.

At the command prompt , type the following and press enter :

net user temp /add

This creates a new user account on the computer (called temp)

Now type the following and press enter:

net localgroup administrators temp /add

This command makes the “temp” user account that we just created an administrator on the computer, which gives it the correct permissions to be able to remove the virus.

The last command to enter is shutdown -r . Press enter : This restarts the computer.

When the computer restarts , select the “temp” account to log into. Because you just made this account, it will not be affected by the Australian Federal Police virus , and you will be able to log in and download Malware Bytes Anti-Malware to remove the virus from your computer.

 

D-Link DSL-2740B Firmware v2.07 Australia Causes Slow Internet Speeds

October 23, 2013 Internet Problems Comments Off

 

I have recently been experiencing some very strange problems with my home internet service. I’m with Adam Internet and usually get around 9MB-10MB sync speeds from my D-Link DSL-2740B ADSL2+ Wireless Modem Router. This problem appears to be caused by the DSL-2740B Firmware.

Initially , my modem was running on firmware version 2.02 EU (Europe Firmware) – Possibly because it was purchased on eBay? This all worked fine but I thought I’d get better performance out of flashing the Australian Firmware (WRONG!)

There appears to be an apparent bug in the latest available firmware from the D-Link support site (v2.07 AU Download Here, I have the F1 revision of the modem)

After upgrading to v2.07 I encountered the following issues:

  • My Internet sync speed DROPPED -  9MB-10MB to 6MB-7MB! – 30% Slower!!
  • I was suddenly unable to “Multitask” on my network. I run a business from home and back on the old firmware I could comfortable throw quite a lot at my network. I could download lots of Windows updates on one machine , watch a HD Youtube video on another and browse on another quite comfortably. On v2.07 , the whole connection dropped to an unusable speed when i downloaded 100MB worth of updates on a clients laptop. I couldn’t even browse until it had finished the download , and then the speed resumed to normal.
  • We have one MacBook in the house – this would frequently disconnect from the wireless (never used to happen on the old firmware either)

The Solution:

What i ended up doing to resolve this problem was looking on the D Link support site (Australia) for another firmware version. On the DSL-2740B you can comfortably switch firmware , regardless of region i.e Europe/America/Australia/Other by switching off the modem , and then holding down the reset button on the back while powering it on.

A simple browse on the pc to the default router address of http://192.168.1.1 brings up an “emergency firmware flash” page. Please note that the exact appearance of this page will vary according to the current region/firmware version running on your modem.

D Link Emergency Firmware

 

 

 

 

The only other available update on the Australian site was v2.04 (Download Here). 2 Minutes later and the update was complete. Remember that flashing the firmware resets the modem , so it will have to be reconfigured with your connection settings and your wireless network will have to be set up again etc. I just used all the same details as last time.

Back on v2.04 , lo-and-behold …. my network can handle a bit of strain again (Mac watching Youtube, PC watching YouTube in HD , downloading a 4GB installer file and downloading 120 windows updates on a machine i’m fixing ALL AT THE SAME TIME + I can still browse the net at a comfortable speed)  , no dropouts from the Macbook and my sync speed jumped back up to a much more reasonable and extremely stable 9MB!

I’ve reported this issue to D Link Australia and have directed them towards this post. Will update if they get back to me!

Solving MMS Problems On Crazy Johns – Can’t Receive Photos?

September 15, 2013 Mobile Phones Comments Off

I have recently been having a lot of problems with my phone. I was previously with (and technically still am with) Crazy Johns but now that Vodafone has merged the two together there are no physical retail stores for me to go and get support from when things like this happen.

I was experiencing large delays when receiving text messages, some would take up to 6 hours before they came through and others just wouldn’t arrive at all. Outgoing messages and calls , as well as incoming calls seemed ok.

I then started encountering an issue receiving photos (MMS Messages) – My phone would get stuck on “Downloading” but then fail to download the photo. Resetting my phone to factory defaults did not resolve the issue.

The solution to this problem is to change your phone to use the Vodafone MMS APN (Access Point Name) settings in order to download the photos successfully. It appears as though the Crazy Johns APN for Internet is still working but the MMS one is broken.

The instructions may vary according to your device , but on my Samsung Galaxy S3 (And most other Android phones) , you need to go into Settings , then “More Settings” , then “Mobile Networks” , then “Access Point Names”

You will most likely see two APN’s listed : One called “Crazy Internet” and one called “Crazy MMS”. Tap on “Crazy MMS” , then press the menu key and choose the “Discard” option to delete the old (non-working) MMS settings.

You should now just have the “Crazy Internet” APN listed – leave this as is.

Now press the menu key and select “New APN”

Enter the following settings (Exactly as written below) :

 Name:  Vodafone AU-MMS
 APN:  live.vodafone.com
 MMSC:  http://pxt.vodafone.net.au/pxtsend
 MMS Proxy:  10.202.2.60
 MMS Port:  8080
 MCC:  505
 MNC:  03
 APN type:  mms

After you have finished entering all these settings, press the menu key and choose “Save”. Then restart your phone (Not essential but for good measure!) After the phone has restarted, go back to the MMS message that you couldn’t download and choose “Download” once more and your photos should appear properly. MMS Fixed!

Improving Performance On The Asus ME400C Windows 8 Tablet

August 26, 2013 Tablet PC's Comments Off

Asus ME400C Windows 8 TabletThis article will explain how to improve performance on the Asus ME400C Windows 8 tablet. I recently purchased one of these tablets and was initially extremely disappointed with the overall performance of it. Because I was purchasing this tablet as an “addition” to my main workstation PC and my laptop, I didn’t require a tablet that was similar spec (i5 Processor, 4GB memory and a Solid State Hard Drive).

 

I therefore decided to go for the Asus ME400C which runs on a 1.8ghz Intel Atom Z2760 Processor and 2GB RAM. This tablet also runs the full version of Windows 8, as opposed to Windows RT which is found on the Microsoft Surface tablet (however, the Microsoft Surface Pro does run the full version of Windows 8). This means that all the traditional applications that I use on my PC work on my tablet such as Office 2010 and other Windows programs.

My initial experiences with the tablet however were extremely disappointing. I unboxed it, installed Office 2010 Professional and Trend Micro Internet Security suite and settled down to play with my new toy, only to find that the performance was less than acceptable. There was a noticeable lag when switching between the tiled Start screen and the traditional desktop , and pressing the Windows key to return to the Start screen took several seconds. Internet access via my home wireless network was also extremely slow.

After some hours of tinkering, here is what I found: Trend Micro doesn’t like running on these specs, it’s quite a “heavy” security suite and when I checked Task Manager I found that it was consistently using over 60% of the CPU and a lot of memory.

I uninstalled Trend Micro and went back to Windows Defender , which is “Built-In” by default in Windows 8. The issues were slightly improved but still certainly not acceptable. I had used the demo model in the shop for a fair amount of time and was quite confused as to why the performance wasn’t on par. I’m still searching for a better security suite that isn’t too resource-intensive.

I then noticed a pre-installed app called “Live Update” on my tablet – this is not the same as Windows Update (Which I had already checked and installed all available updates to no avail). After launching this program , I was notified that there was a new version of the BIOS available (Version 0403) , as well as an updated Driver package (v1). NOTE: Make sure you have your charger plugged in , you do not want the tablet to go flat while updating the BIOS!!! After installing these updates and leaving my tablet alone for about an hour while it updated, I was prompted to reboot.

Asus Live Update ME400C Performance Improvement

Upon rebooting into Windows, performance had significantly improved, everything was much “snappier” and responsive. So an important note to all the ME400C owners out there, make sure you check the Live Update program and Windows Update.

Some people online have been having trouble with the 0403 BIOS Update still appearing in the Live Update program even after installing it. Make sure you are using the latest version of the Live Update program (There was a newer version available on the Asus Support Site than what was pre-installed on my tablet)

After talking to a few technicians in the store and 1 person from Asus, they confirmed that some units were shipped with “Pre-release” drivers which did not provide the best performance. The driver update package was released shortly after the tablet shipped but it looks as though the stock in some stores have these pre-release versions out of the box.

About Time! ….. Twitter Finally Implements Two-Factor Authentication For Increased Security

May 23, 2013 Security Comments Off

Finally! …. After a series of high-profile accounts being hacked, Twitter is finally rolling out two-step authentication to increase account security and to prove that you are the true owner of your account.

This has been long overdue , but better late than never right?

To enable two-factor authentication (and you honestly have no reason not to), head on over to your twitter account settings and tick the box which says “Require a verification code when I sign in”. You will have to now enter a 6 digit pin number every time you login to Twitter which is slightly annoying, but the increased security and safety of your account more than makes up for it.

Twitter Two Step Authentication

If you haven’t done so already, you will need to add a mobile phone number to your twitter account, which you can do by clicking the “Mobile” link on the left hand side of the settings page. Enter your mobile number and select your provider and twitter will send an activation code to your phone.

Add Phone Number To Twitter For Two Factor Authentication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As this feature only started to be rolled out today, you may find that your carrier isn’t currently supported. Hopefully Twitter will be fixing this very soon. At the time of writing, the only Australian carrier supported was Telstra.

However, due to the presence of Optus and Vodafone in the carrier selection menu, support for these two carriers shouldn’t be too far away. I use Vodafone so I was unable to setup two-factor authentication today :(

If you are able to , enable two-factor authentication for your Twitter account as soon as possible to significantly decrease the risk of your account getting hacked.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Arrives In Australia This Saturday!

April 25, 2013 Mobile Phones Comments Off

The most-awaited smartphone of 2013, Samsung’s latest and greatest flagship Galaxy S4, has an Australian release date of this Saturday, April 27th. I personally cannot wait for my contract to run out to upgrade my Galaxy S3!

Samsung Galaxy S4 Australia Release Date 27th April

The smartphone, (or more accurately “SUPERPHONE”) features extremely impressive specs. It’s powered by a 1.9ghz quad core processor and 2GB of memory, along with a stunning 5″ HD super AMOLED screen which is protected by the latest generation of Gorilla Glass. It runs the latest available version of Googles Android operating system, Jelly Bean v4.2.2

The Galaxy S4 will launch on all providers: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile.

Here are the details of the plans and availability with the carriers:

  • Vodafone: $5/mth on the $60 plan.
  • Telstra: Starting at $73/mth (Small Plan)
  • Optus: Starts on $30 plan with a $19/mth handset repayment, $7/mth on the $60 plan, $0/mth on the $100 and $130 Timeless plans
  • Virgin Mobile: $7/mth on $59 plan.

We are now also able to order replacement screens for the Galaxy S4 from our supplier, so if you somehow manage to crack the super-tough Gorilla Glass 3 screen, we will be offering repair services shortly after the device officially launches.

 Visit the Samsung website for an in-depth review of the new Galaxy S4 , including highlights of the new impressive suite of software developed by Samsung.


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