Friday, September 30, 2011

Best antivirus. Virus removal. Antivir, Virus scanner

A fairly common problem I get calls for is the removal of malware from a computer. I ask people how they received the virus and in a lot of cases they don’t know. In the past I found the infection was an email attachment, but more recently the infection has not been associated with an email.

One customer was tricked into thinking their computer was infected when a pop-up message appeared as they were browsing the internet. They went ahead and paid their money to have the problem removed, which in turn actually infected their computer and provided the scammer with their credit card details. Pretty scary stuff really.

I thought I’d share this article which shows that around 85% of infections are now caused when browsing and of the 85% just five programs result in 99.98% of infections. If the information is correct it means all people need to do is keep five programs up-to-date and that could significantly reduce their chances of being infected. Unfortunately whilst that sounds logical it isn’t. This will help with malware which isn’t new, but new malware will find exploits in programs which have not yet been patched so people are still exposed. The lesson here however is keep the programs updated if they’re installed on your computer.

The programs are:  Java JRE, Adobe Reader/Acrobat, Adobe Flash, MS Internet Explorer, Windows HCP (Help) and Apple Quicktime. The first three account for 85% of abuses by malware. Interestingly Internet Explorer is only 10%. Just applying the updates for five software packages when they are ready may reduce your chances of being infected considerably.

For clients how want to feel more protected, I provide a disk which is based on software made available to American soldiers. The software allows you to boot your computer from the disk and protects your computer from being infected. This is a great option for those who are worried their computer may be infected but still want to do their online banking or pay bills. Great for those who are travelling and would like to connect to the internet on a family member or friend’s computer, but are concerned that it may be infected. Great if you want your children to be able to use the computer but not risk infecting it. Great if you want staff to use a work computer and not risk infecting it. If clients need a disk contact me. There is a small distribution fee of $9.95 plus postage if required.

It now makes more sense why people don’t know how they infected their computer. The flaws in unpatched software enable people to infect their computer just by visiting a site on the internet. It has happened to me. I once searched using Google, went to a site, and the site infected the computer using a vulnerability in Internet Explorer SP1. That vulnerability was patched in Internet Explorer SP2.

What is also interesting is a lot of people push alternate browsers in the belief they somehow provide a greater level of protection. From the article this doesn’t appear to be the case. Based on the percentage use people using browsers to the percentage being infected, it appears to be fairly consistent across the browsers. The other browsers will most likely be exposed to the same issues because they use the same applications. You shouldn’t necessarily think that changing your browser will give you any greater level of protection. You’re most likely better off making sure your software is kept as up-to-date as possible.

Another more drastic approach might be to also disable or even remove the programs giving you the greatest exposure. I wouldn’t like to suggest that because of lost functionality. That would have to be a choice each person makes for themselves. For example I don’t have Java JRE installed on my computer and haven’t noticed any issues for a long time. When it was installed I did notice quite a few infections in the cache which was a concern. Doing without Acrobat Reader would be hard and a lot of sites still use Flash. Both Flash and Adobe Reader can be fairly easily disabled until you need them, so that is an approach which could be used.

Whether we like it or not, when we are on the internet there are a lot of people who have a lot to gain by infecting our computers. We need to make decisions and take action which minimises our risk to an acceptable level.

If you’ve infected your computer and live within 10kms of the Doncaster/Templestowe/Eltham area and need assistance, you can contact me on 0415 910 703. As part of cleaning customers’ computers I also install free antivirus software which I’ve tested for over a week that has shown to be better than other common free software and also the commercial software I’ve tested.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ALASTAIR and Gail Pritchard are unravelling climate change riddles for seniors.

The Templestowe grandparents founded A Grand Stand for the Environment in 2006 to unite older residents keen to learn more about the issues and give them a way to express their concerns about the world their grandchildren will inherit.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Templestowe resident Mal McDonagh called for police to release more details about the source of the scam

I don’t know about others, but sometimes it is frustrating that more information is not released on scams and when and where skimming devices are located.

The problem may be if the police release too much information then others can copy the crime. It may also be that for some businesses it may damage their trade and it isn’t their fault. They’re a victim as well. However without knowledge we can’t protect ourselves so too many people needlessly get scammed and have to go through the trauma. Personally I’d like more information because the police can’t be everywhere and are usually only involved after the event.

Templestowe resident Mal McDonagh – whose card was stopped and reissued by the Commonwealth Bank last Tuesday after someone spent $104 in a Macy’s Department in the US – called for police to release more details about the source of the scam.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Monday, September 26, 2011

Alert: Re: Scan from a HP Officejet #658992

They say curiosity killed the cat, but the modern equivalent would be curiosity infected your computer.

I noticed a number of emails recently with the subject Re: Scan from a HP Officejet  #658992 or similar. These emails contain an attachment which is a zip file. The zip file I checked contained an executable HP_SCAN_Z520131___dollÔÇ«fdp.exe. The file has an icon which makes it appear to be a PDF.

There is little doubt this is malware. Microsoft’s Security Essentials is usually very good, but like all anti-virus scanning software, they are unlikely to identify recently released malware. Malware writers are most likely going to check their work against the common anti-virus products before releasing their malware, so that leaves a window of a few days where the anti-virus software won’t help curious people. In this case Microsoft’s software does not detect malware.

If you’re curious about an email you’ve received from someone you don’t know, don’t be tempted. You really will infect your computer and it is costly to repair. Please delete emails you aren’t sure about. It isn’t worth the risk or the cost to get your computer fixed.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you’ve infected your computer and need it fixed.
(Covering Melbourne Eastern to Northern suburbs within 10km of Templestowe)

VicRoads roadworks at Willaimsons Road and Foote Street scare locals.

A neighbour mentioned that she now feels scared when exiting from Hawtin Street onto Foote Street. A couple of days ago I exited Hawtin Street and moved into the median street on Foote Street to turn right. This is something I’ve done for years and there was always room for two cars to exit Hawtin Street, pause in the median strip and then turn right into Foote Street.

Now with the changes to the road, it will be nearly impossible for locals to exit Hawtin Street and turn right into Foote Street. The median strip has been reduced significantly in width so it is no longer possible to move into the median strip. You now have to wait until the traffic is clear and move directly from Hawtin Street, crossing six or seven lanes. A very dangerous situation created by VicRoads to allow for a bus lane.

The problem is road changes are being made for buses in the area which cater for 15% of the local population (according to Manningham council) at the detriment of 85% of locals. Not only has it made it more dangerous for drivers, but the bicycle lane has been moved quite a distance east. The two east bound lanes in Foote Street are now significantly narrower and it would be hard for two cars to pass a cyclist. Luckily the bike lanes aren’t well used because if they were, that section of the road is now very dangerous cyclists.

The problems are even further exacerbated with parents using Hawtin Street in the morning and afternoon to drop off and pick up children at Templestowe Park Primary School. Of a night travellers heading north use Hawtin Street to bypass the traffic in Williamsons Road. The local-traffic-only signs have been removed and replaced with expensive and ineffective speed humps.  A continual flow of traffic from Williamsons Road with the slip lane turning left into Foote Street, and the right-turn priority arrow cars turning right into Foote Street, means there is a very small window of opportunity to exit Hawtin Street. Now trying to use that small window of opportunity and then get across two lanes, plus up to five lanes, to get into the left hand lane to go to Doncaster Shoppingtown, it will nearly be impossible.

This was all done so the bus could get a slight advantage, which in peak-hour traffic will see them join the end of the traffic shortly after turning right.

One option I have is to turn left out of Hawtin Street, drive up the hill and then do a U-turn near the crest of a hill where it is impossible to see the oncoming fast moving traffic. To head north along Hawtin Street (to sit behind the cars trying to avoid Williamsons Road), to exit left into Porter Street (which is often blocked with traffic) and then turn right into Williamson Road to head up to Doncaster Shoppingtown. Whilst possible and for safety reasons probably now desirable, it does add a significant amount of time with the extra delays caused by the traffic.

The main reason for writing this post was to let locals know the median strip has now been reduced so it is no longer possible to move across the first two lanes. I did that and to my surprise the new design has reduced the median strip size and I wasn’t aware of that change. It means a car can no longer use the median strip area.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer.

Bill Wakeling - Four Days of Fear

Author Bill Wakeling has written a political thriller fiction novel about the assassination of an Australian prime minister.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Coles Home Insurance using Google Maps View to check properties

I recently compared home insurance and decided to obtain a quote from Coles Home Insurance. I’m comfortable with technology but the process didn’t go well because at the end it didn’t go through and I had to call their number. What I did find interesting was as part of our conversation I determined Coles Home Insurance were using Google Maps View to check out our property. Unfortunately the Google vehicle didn’t quite get to pass our place (which normally I would think is good) so all we could see was a partial view.

If you want to see which roads Google Maps covers, drag the man over the map and the roads covered will turn blue. Part of our street was missing.

As a result the insurance needed a supervisor’s approval who wouldn’t have been available until the following week. I decided to renegotiate with my current insurance company as I was put off being left in limbo and Coles Home Insurance isn’t a service I’ve had an experience of with claims. I’m happy to pay a little more knowing I was looked after previously.

A couple of tips with home insurance. Ask if they will review the premium and also consider the excess you are prepared to pay. By doing this I was able to reduce our premium by over $200. Not bad for the cost of a telephone call.

Kelvin Eldridge  
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer, tablet or mobile device.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Traffic delay Foote Street near Williamsons Road

Just got held up heading west along Foote Street between Church Road and Williamsons Road.

Detoured back to Church Road as traffic wasn't moving. Most likely as a result of roadworks and only one lane open.

Kelvin Eldridge

He said it was cheaper to call a vehicle "Templestowe" but house it somewhere else in an existing station.

AMBULANCE Victoria has denied response times to Manningham are suffering despite a nearby 24-hour fast-response paramedic unit temporarily moving 7km farther away. ... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fix computer. Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Doncaster, Doncaster East, Lower Plenty, Montmorency, Eltham

If you have the skills, fixing your own computer is the best and most cost effective option. But for those without the skill (or even just the knowledge to fix a particular issue) I can assist people and businesses in Templestowe and the surrounding areas ( Doncaster, Doncaster East, Templestowe Lower, Eltham, Lower Plenty Montmorency). I’m happy to fix the problem and share what I’m doing, so you’re able to fix your own problem should it occur again.

Many people are reluctant to call a computer support person and will take hours to try to fix the problem themselves, when the problem may be fixed in a matter of minutes. Sometimes all it takes is someone who knows what they’re doing to advise you and the problem vanishes immediately. For example one client recently had a problem with Outlook which took six minutes to repair and another Outlook problem was fixed in around fifteen minutes. Because I don’t charge a set fee, a call out fee (for locals), but only charge for the time it takes to solve the problem the cost was minimal. Some problems are difficult and take longer, but at all times you’re in control as I keep you fully informed and you can see what I’m doing. Some workshops fix problems in a matter of minutes but still charge you a hefty fixed fee because you don’t see what was done.

No longer do you have to sit on the telephone for half an hour or waiting for support. No longer do you have to have a long conversation trying to explain your problem over the telephone. No longer do you have to worry about giving someone you’ve never met remote (and may be located overseas) access to your computer. Now you can book a time and be at your place when it suits you. You get to talk and meet a local you know will be around should you have another problem.

If you need help with your computer give me a call on 0415 910 703.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Home-buying frenzy wanes in Manningham

HOMEOWNERS in Templestowe and Doncaster are waiting close to three months to sell their homes, with estate agents claiming “frenzied” buying across Manningham has stopped.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Templestowe computer support, repairs and assistance

To make it even easier for people to find and use my computer support services via the internet I’ve now set up the site Those that know me will know to search for Online Connections and they’ll find listed first in Google, but now it is as easy as entering the suburb, the word computer and adding .com to the end.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Pin board now added to Online Connections

When I walk into a local business I notice one thing, or should I say I generally notice one thing that is missing. A few businesses have a notice board where their customers can add their business card and that way the business helps their customers. I think that is a great idea. I also notice some businesses will help their customers by putting a few business cards on their counter. That way the business gives back to their customer that really doesn’t cost them much but generates a lot of good will.

Since I don’t have a counter or a wall for a noticeboard I can’t help my customers in this way, but I do have a web site and can provide a virtual pin board. Whilst my virtual pin board has been around for a while I decided to give it more prominence on my site. I’ve added Pin Board to the main menu and to the left side menu.

I’m happy to refer my customers to others. It is only because of them I have a business and I can support my family.

If you have a local business do think about helping your customers by helping to promote them. They’ll appreciate the help and it is good for business. If you only have a web site then consider doing what I’m doing. I do think the days where we help each other, rather than a business just providing products and services for profit, will become the norm rather than the exception.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you need assistance with your computer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A BUDDHIST group has submitted plans for a $1.5 million temple in Templestowe.

The temple, proposed for the corner of Fitzsimmons Lane and Summerhill Rd, would stand 10m tall and have classrooms, a prayer room, kitchen, dining area, office, library and caretaker residence.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TEMPLESTOWE double bassist Andrew Moon

TEMPLESTOWE double bassist Andrew Moon is heading into his 19th season with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Petty's Orchard's John Must

Petty’s Orchard’s John Mustafa said about 60 per cent of his apple and pear crop had been struck by black spot, which develops when crops remain wet for too long and is exacerbated by humidity.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Local search using Google Custom Search no longer available from JustLocal pages

As part of a trial I added a local search feature to JustLocal where locals could search for products and services from local businesses. This isn’t required for JustLocal as JustLocal provides single click access from a postcode page to the site of the business.

The feature used the Google Custom Search but unfortunately I’ve found this service isn’t reliable enough and the results provided were inadequate, often not providing a business even though the business provided the product or service. I also found issues when adding sites.

I’ve decided rather than to continue to provide a search feature which I don’t feel is up to standard to remove the search option from JustLocal.

The aim of JustLocal is to provide a portal to quickly access the sites of local businesses. By doing this we promote the site of the local business, and the consumer or business using JustLocal to find products and services, obtains the latest information by going direct to the site of the business.

Kelvin Eldridge
(An Online Connections service.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's believed a black Audi sedan travelling west struck the 90-year-old local man as he crossed Reynolds Rd

Meanwhile, an elderly man has died after being hit by a car in Templestowe on Thursday.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Pizza Hut Templestowe temporarily closed

I noticed on the Pizza Hut site today the Templestowe Pizza Hut is temporarily closed. No mention is made as to why or how long.

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Templestowe man was struck by a black Audi sedan travelling west whilst crossing Reynolds Road near Aumann Drive

A 90-year-old man is fighting for his life after being hit by a car in Templestowe yesterday. The Templestowe man was struck by a black Audi sedan travelling west whilst crossing Reynolds Road near Aumann Road about 5pm.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with computer problems

Would you like the preferred Australian English spelling to be available for Microsoft Office?

If you’d like the preferred Australian English spelling to be made available as a spellcheck dictionary for Microsoft Office please make the effort to add your voice.

I’m currently in contact with Microsoft and to their credit, they are taking my request for assistance to make my work available with Microsoft Office and passing the request through their channels.

For Microsoft right now I’m a lone voice with a request. If you’d like my work to be available with Microsoft Office please help by adding your voice by making a comment on this blog post. I’ve tried this on a number of occasions over the last five years so this will be the last attempt at making the preferred Australian English spelling available to Australian Microsoft users. It is now or never so please make your voice heard.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Kelvin Eldridge


Friday, September 2, 2011

Need help setting up email on your mobile phone?

One of my clients wrote this to me.

I have an Iphone and can't work out how to get emails happening - is this something you could help me with? I have been back to Telstra shop but they are bloody hopeless.

Generally the people at the Telstra shop are sales people and their skill with technology will be quite varied. We can’t all be good at everything. In addition to work out how best to set up the iPhone, you need to first work out what options you have available. There services you are currently using will limit your options and I find people need a small amount of training to understand what can and can’t be done. Unfortunately every option currently available has a number of trade-offs and people are usually restricted in the options they can use based on their previous choices. The result is a compromise and people need to be aware of what the compromise entails.

I find it is much easier to help people set up the smart phone if they are present. Working with them over the telephone where you need to step them through the menus can be quite time consuming. In the case of this client I assisted them over the telephone and what I couldn’t see was the iPhone 4 suffers from the “death grip”, where if held in a certain way the signal strength drops considerably and connectivity can be intermittent or drop out completely, was making support more difficult. I’m happy to assist people with telephone support but generally it can be more time consuming and thus more expensive for some problems.

If you need assistance with setting up email on your mobile phone, tablet, or in fact any computer, I’m happy to assist.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if your need assistance with your computer.

Paul's collect-a-cap organisations your can donate your caps to.

The Paul’s collect-a-cap promotion appears to be a good way to community groups to raise much needed funds. The amount for each cap is reasonable and all people need to do is to collect the caps from products they already use. Paul’s would probably also like you to switch the product you buy and if you do and it doesn’t cost you any more then why not participate.

If you would like to collect caps but don’t for example have children in one of the participating schools then you can probably donate your caps to one of the local groups. That way your caps end up helping others.

The following are community groups that are currently registered in the area to participate.

Marcellin College – Bulleen
Gum Nut Gully Pre-School - Doncaster East
Ss Peter & Paul's Primary - Doncaster East
Beverley Hills Primary School - Doncaster East
Templestowe Heights Primary - Templestowe Lower
Templestowe Valley Primary - Templestowe Lower
Eltham North Primary - Eltham North
Glen Katherine Primary School - Eltham North
Monty's Licensed Supermarket – Montmorency

This list may grow in time as others participate so you may wish to check the Paul’s site for other groups in your area.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 if you need help with your computer.