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Daily Archives: March 9, 2020

  • Fresh reports of HP PC shortages

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 15:28 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just got a message from a reader:

    I wanted to report to you something that may pique your interest. I was tasked with ordering computers (HP) and I am finding out due to the Coronavirus coupled with Intel chip shortages that [it’s difficult to find HP] computers… to replace old Windows 7/Vista, yes Vista, machines.

    I did a search on many sites and stock is low and even Amazon and Google are struggling to find pcs that would fit the needs (I’m aiming at 16gb of ram, I5 processors at minimum).

    Are you encountering any problems getting new computers? There have been reports and rumors of chip shortages cascading into PC shortages, but I haven’t seen anything specifically about i5-level processors with 16 GB of RAM.

  • Free tax prep?

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 14:52 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (USA centric post)

    The other day on the news I heard a story about free tax prep for those who earn under $69,000.

    Sounds great right?

    Well…but… when you look at the IRS web site and the offerings that they have from the various vendors, ALL of them have gotchas.

    Some age discriminate.  (yea, don’t you LOVE that!!)

    Most don’t offer free state tax filing…. or most don’t offer a free tax prep IF you live in a state that has no state tax.  Thus you’ll get a charge for filing your state return.

    Bottom line, like many things my Mom taught me, you get what you pay for and it’s not always free.

  • Two new, important reasons to block Automatic Updates this month

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 07:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Those of you who have been following along here know that the day before Patch Tuesday draws a knee-jerk recommendation from me to check and make sure you have updates paused on your machine.

    This month’s worse than most. We don’t know if MS has even seen, much less fixed, the substantive bugs in last month’s “optional, non-security” Win10 patch. And with the folks at Microsoft working from home, by and large, we’re entering uncharted territory in the handling of any bugs that might crop up.

    Even under the best of circumstances, MS has historically done a lousy job of cleaning up after its Patch Tuesday messes. These are anything but the best of circumstances.

    I’m moving us to MS-DEFCON 2: Patch reliability is unclear. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need to install a specific patch, don’t do it.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • How small businesses are easy ransomware targets

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    Yes, they really are out to get us. Recent trends in malicious attacks mean that small businesses need to be more vigilant than ever.

    As exploits rapidly evolve, we face the threat of falling behind in the battle to protect ourselves. On the latest front, simply keeping backups of our data isn’t enough.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.10.0 (2020-03-09).

  • Is your deleted cloud data really gone?

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 01:10 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Fred Langa

    Most Windows users know that clicking “delete” does not actually erase local files. The same holds true for your data stored in the cloud.

    Those files can remain in remote backups or in online services’ logs for a very long time. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to keep your left-online data protected, even when it’s no longer under your full control. Here’s how.

    Plus: More on the demise of Windows’ screen saver.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.10.0 (2020-03-09).

  • Switchers: Taking a bite of the Apple – Part 1

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Nathan Parker

    With the end of free support for Windows 7, many users are looking at alternatives to Windows 10. And some are considering jumping to Apple’s Mac platform.

    This two-part series is an introduction to the world of Mac for those thinking about making the switch from a Windows PC. (A more-detailed verion of this article can be found in the AskWoody forum.)

    In this installment, we’ll cover the various types of Mac desktops and notebooks. We’ll also give tips for setting up a new Apple system. Part 2 will provide a general tour of the macOS operating system, discuss keyboard differences, and delve into Mac security concepts.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.10.0 (2020-03-09).

  • Updates to the AskWoody Ultimate Utilities List

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By T B Capen

    This past October, I introduced my occasional Ultimate Utilities List to the AskWoody newsletter.

    Readers returned the favor by offering some of their favorites in the AskWoody Lounge. Here’s an assortment of apps you might want to try out.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.10.0 (2020-03-09).