Been a while – busy! Coronavirus!! WEIRD mac problem. Fixing STRANGE PC issues. and Apple Stores CLOSED!

Been busy recently – and have let my newsletter suffer!  But – here it is!! Much to discuss.

CORONAVIRUS! What do do? what to be worried about???
We are in the midst of a full blown panic – and we had a customer send up a computer by masked courier the other day!
Weird – but understandable!
So I’ve been asked – what do we need to do regarding our computers!
FIRST – on a laptop you can clean off the screen and the keyboard. BUT be careful!
Do NOT spray anything directly on the keyboard.  You can get a disinfecting wipe – and gently wipe off
the keys.  Or use a paper towel, spray lysol on the towel and use that to gently wipe the keyboard.
On screens, same deal.  a wipe or a moist towelette.  BUT for a laptop, open the screen up and then
put the screen down flat on the desktop (so that the keyboard is sticking up in the air).  That way nothing will
run down the screen and get anywhere bad.
WHAT TO USE?  Well, normal screens you can use Windex.  After all screens are covered by a thin layer of glass!
However, for Macbooks that have the coating (retina models) – the glass already has a coating and you can damage the
coating giving the ‘delamination’ effect.  Use pure water on these type screens.  NOTHING ABRASIVE!!
They say the virus can live on a surface (your phone or computer) for possibly several days.  Cleaning both in the
manner above is not a bad idea!  Lysol or disinfecting towelettes should do you well!
Also, you might gently wipe off top and bottom of the laptop as well.  Apparently the virus can exist for several days on a surface!
And yes, wash your hands and face.  Frequently.  Hands can transfer it to phone or laptop!

One note (mentioned below) we can correct a lot of issues REMOTELY – meaning no need to bring it to us.
As long as you can get on the internet we can come visit you and see what we can do!

Since this has become a serious concern, we at TopTech are now disinfecting all computers before they return to the customer!
And if you have a problem and need it picked up, we can arrange a courier to come to your place so you don’t have to leave home!
Just let me know!

If you need an oncall visit, its usually $120 for first hour, $90 thereafter.  For the time being we will drop the charge to $90 per hour

to help customers who are concerned about bringing the system in!
I have never seen anything like the widespread panic regarding Coronavirus.  A few words by way of observation:
1) Remember the H1N1 (swine flu) from 2009?  30 million infected.  1000 died before a national emergency was declared! and no press hysteria! No end-times stockpiling.  No fights in the aisles at costo!
2) THIS panic is unprecendeted.  A police car outside our costco!  Them out of big list of items!
3) This will be devasting to SMALL BUSINESSES!  Apple has 500 billion in cash on hand. It can close for a year!  But how about your local restaurant?  Your little local computer store? (hint! hint!)  They NEED support because no one will bail them out!
Bailouts are only for the big folks.  Airlines certainly!  Sports stadiums – maybe?  Live concerts? hardly.  Your local bar or restaurant? very unlikely. Casinos and cruise lines? NO WAY!
But think for a minute.  I dont visit casinos much. If at all.  But they EMPLOY TONS OF WORKERS.  And those workers – as well as the cruiseline crews – where do THEY apply for a bailout???  When millions are suddently laid off over the next few weeks, who will care anything about them??
4) This will CHANGE our society in profound ways.  Some good, many bad!  You know what manufacturer does NOT need to worry about Coronavirus?  One with a ROBOT FACTORY.  No humans – no nasty diseases. No need for sick leave.  Think about it. What restaurants dont need to worry about Coronavirus? one with robot chefs and a takeout window.  What delivery system does not need to worry about the virus? Self-driving long haul trucking!  Eliminate the people, eliminate the problem!
When will the virus burn itself out?  Weeks? Months?  no one can say.  If 1000 die I’ll be surprised and saddened.  But our society will be changed forever by this.  I’m pretty old and I’ve NEVER seen anything like the panic!
We have just been building some systems for employees who – suddenly – are told they need to work from home!
One customer called us after telling HIS boss that of COURSE his home system had 2 screens and met certain specifications!
Then he called US and said he needed it TODAY!
We can put together a wide range of systems for folks, Just let us know. Or we can upgrade and update your existing home system to make sure the answer to your boss’s question is YES!
Check out the surface pro 4s that I have in the adoption corner.  My wife has been using one for some time as she was already working at home one day a week – and she LOVES it with a USB-second screen arrangement!  NICE!
We have had some of the STRANGEST problems recently.  On a Macbook, it could NOT send out mail. Receive mail fine.
But Icloud gave errors.  We did a dozen different things, but it just stubbornly REFUSED to work!  Finally I just setup a drive in one
of our macs with her information copied over from her drive then cloned everything back over.  I only charged 2 hours of time – but
I must have spent 10 hours trying to figure it out!  It was a weird certificate problem which made passwords not work and servers refuse to talk to
their mac.
And some super strange PC problems this week!  One had thunderbird (email client) redownloading ALL messages even when told
not to!  Plenty of registry tweaks involved, but hopefully its behaving properly now!
At least till March 27!   Good news, is that we can fix ANY Apple problem even those where Apple has declared your apple
to be VINTAGE and they will NOT touch it!   So — rather than wait for them to open back up come by our shop! We will be delighted to help you!
We have had some recent notable successes!
A lady brought her Toshiba external drive that had failed would not spin up – and we were able to fix it by replacing a little chip
on the baseboard (underside of the drive). Turns out its a common problem with the Toshiba Canvio drives!
And we resurrected several macbooks with BAD liquid spills!  We have all the equipment to ultrasoncally clean them, and to remove and
replace failed components! And lots of scrap boards to use for parts!
When Apple gives you a quote of 800 to replace a motherboard, come talk to me.  We will be much cheaper!
WEIRD IMAC PURCHASE – $50!! For a 27inch Thin model! Great purchase!
We picked up an iMac for a nice price – $50 – a unit that someone had tried to destroy!
They drilled HOLES in the back! Oddly – they only killed ONE component – the rest of the
internals were fine and the screen still worked!  And excellent $50 purchase!

We have been considering for a while seeking a young person or two (or maybe not so young) to
come and help out at TopTech!  We cant afford much in the way of pay (at least not at the moment) but

I would be happy to teach to the right folks – and I’ve got 45 years worth of teaching in me!
You want to trade your time for gaining computer expertise come talk to me!
Or if you know someone looking to trade time for skills!
Learn soldering skills – computer repair – software issues – server setup and configuration!
Maybe we can reach a deal!
Email me at with any questions!

Particularly in the Coronavirus days – we CAN do a LOT of things remotely from our shop!
Go to – and download the Remote Support technician.
Run it and put in your name and call us and we can come take over your system remotely

to fix issues!  There is a LOT we can do remotely.  And the Coronavirus does not travel over
the internet!
Now of course, if you cannot get online — we cant visit 🙂
Among the many things we did in the Mt Vernon Antique Center was get involved in buying & selling
antiques (a bit) and gold and silver (QUITE a bit!)  I’m an official Precious Metals Dealer – and I can
assess and help you find homes for any unwanted items of this kind!  Give me a call and I’ll be
delighted to answer any questions. I give quite a bit more than pawn shops or jewelers! Email me


And from our website? our Official List – all with 6 month warranty, and prices are negotiable 🙂

$800 – Macbook Pro 2014 13in retina. 3ghz i7 16gb 256gb MAX!

$700 – Macbook Pro 2015 13in retina 2.7 i5, 8gb ram, 256gb SSD.
SOLD – Macbook Pro 2017 13in TB 16gb 3.5g i7 512gb MAX!
$2700 – Macbook pro 2018 15in **i9** 32gb of ram!! YES an i-NINE not i7!!
$2200 – Macbook pro 2018 15in **i7** 16gb of ram 512gb SSD
CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL – $2500 for the i9 and 2000 for the i7 macbooks above!
$600 Imac 2013 21.5in 1tb platter, 8gb ram.  NICE!
$850 – Dell Precision 5510 – VERY NICE 15in workstation laptop! 6th gen i7, 16gb ram, 256gb SSD.
$650 – HP Spectre 13in Rosegold 2-in-1
$100 – HP EliteBook 8540p – i5-520M 2.4GHz$450 Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – i5 4th gen, 256gb SSD 8gb ram Win10
$450 Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – i5 4th gen, 256gb SSD 8gb ram Win10
$550 Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – i5 SIXTH gen, 256gb SSD 8gb ram Win10