APOLOGIES – again Its been a while. Super busy helping folks in these Days of the Virus!
I try to get these out once a month, but I’ve had a lot going on. Its been hard on our business. and we have been working 7 days a week, keeping customers operational in this time of panic and stress.
And as I may have mentioned, Danko left due to the virus and is back in Vermont. We welcome Derek Ragland who has taken his place and is doing GREAT!!
PARTS DELIVERY IN THE TIME OF THE VIRUS!
As some of you are painfully aware, these days getting needed parts has turned into a HUGE hassle!! Parts we used to be able to get in 2-3 days are now appearing in weeks – or months! I had an order from a HUGE ebay dealer I’ve dealt with for YEARS for a screen and it took almost a month to arrive! I called asking ‘what was going on’ (or words to that effect) – and turns out their shipping department is down to ONE dude! He was horribly apologetic – and I could not be too upset.
Even huge folks like Dell are quoting weeks for something before was routinely overnight. Coming from China? add EXTRA suffering to the pain and delay department.
Please accept our humble apologies if YOUR repair or part is delayed. We are paddling as fast as we can! But DO BUG US!
Heck I got called about a mac screen and was horrified to see the promised delivery date of Dec30 was now changed to Jan12 with no notification at all!
Had to order some more costly ones from another vendor to get the customer the screen before then!
BUSINESS HOURS CHANGE – I’ve started going home at 6pm not 7pm – at the end of the day we are pretty exhausted anyway!
Please feel free to reply and contact me with any thoughts or suggestions for the newsletter! And if anyone you know would benefit send me their email and I’ll add them!
We are all very grateful for our customers – especially and more so in this time of trouble. And during the holidays, we ALL have things to be thankful for. Even today!
TOPTECH IS ADDING A NEW STRASBURG LOCATION!
There will be (reasonably shortly) a drop location in Strasburg! our family has moved out there! Now – the Alexandria store is not affected at all, but we will be having at least a drop off location for Strasburg, Winchester, Front Royal folks! Just means (LOL) I’ve a bit longer commute than from Lorton!
BIG SUR – What a nightmare!
Folks have been bringing us quite a few macs with failed Big Sur upgrades.
DONT DO IT folks – they are often impossible to recover! BIG BIG BIG BUGS IN UPGRADE PROCESS!
One customer brought us his unit and Big Sur like Catalina splits the HD into Mac HD and Mac HD -Data
But HIS drive after the failed upgrade had also Mac HD – Data – Data as a phantom volume. AND it was locked and entire drive
was inaccessible!!! Turns out the ONLY thing you can do is delete the ‘phantom’ volume (have to use diskutil and make sure its not the one marked live!) and hope your data comes back. In his case, drive was no longer locked – but ALL his data was gone!
BIG MORAL if you HAVE to upgrade to Big Sur (and the answer is no of course). MAKE A FULL TIME MACHINE BACKUP RIGHT BEFORE THE UPGRADE!!!
Its the ONLY way to go back — NUKE IT FROM ORBIT! Its the ONLY way to be sure! <ok ok>
LIQUID SPILL REPAIRS
We are busy doing these for folks. if YOUR mac or pc is dead lets see if we can get it back on its feet! Estimates no charge, 6 month warranty on repairs!
Need your website fixed up? Many dont know that I do WEBSITES – and have done over 700 of them anywhere from $100 to $100k!
Recently have been bringing in some good Irish talent (I went to college in Ireland) and they have been helping do sites with me!
Need help?? Let me know! We also HOST sites on my servers for only $6 per month including emails and minor updates!
BLAST FROM THE PAST!
We just repaired – an OLD ORIGINAL MACINTOSH! Power issues are common with them, but I got it fixed! NOW I have to find a floppy drive for it!
A customer of mine just had NEAR miss! But its something I felt HORRIBLY guilty about – and need to let you all know!
He is in the medical field and had patient files on his laptop that he THOUGHT he had lost. Along with a backup of his laptop that was not encrypted!
HIPAA is the law covering patient confidentiality and its pretty nasty! It does not tell you WHAT
to do, only what will happen to you if things get out. Bad things. Very bad things!
Fortunately it was NOT lost he found it and his backup and no harm was done.
BUT – INSTRUCTIVE LESSION TIME:
Download and install VeraCrypt – its an open source package available for BOTH Macs and PCs.
Install it. Its a VERY SECURE encryption system. You intialize it with random numbers (yes, I know the PC and MAC
are NOT ‘truly’ random but it has you move your mouse around and gets random numbers from that – YOU are random 🙂
It constructs a mountable volume – and you call it say DriveV.
You set the size. say 50gb in space. It takes a password from you and constructs the volume.
When you mount it (pc or mac) YOU must supply the password, and then you get Drive V (as above) pop up on your PC
or a volume called DriveV appear on your mac desktop. DONT FORGET THE PASSWORD OR DATA IS LOST!!
Treat it just like and external drive or usb stick. Without the password its just an utterly unreadable and unbreakable file.
Any files you copy to this volume are encrypted at a SUPER high level. You can open files on it just like off a USB. Use word etc.
EVERYTHING you do will be saved encrypted. You do nothing else – just use the volume like you would any external drive.
NOW when you use a good backup tool (like Casper or SuperDuper on the mac) you are backing up the ENCRYPTED 50gb volume
and its still encrypted on the external drive!
If THIS is lost or your laptop is lost, NO ONE (not CIA, and certainly not some lowlife on Rt 1 – heck not even ME!) can read your data and you don’t need to worry!
REMOTE SUPPORT AT TOPTECH AS LONG AS YOU CAN GET ONLINE WE CAN VISIT!
Particularly in the Coronavirus days – we CAN do a LOT of things remotely from our shop!
Go to www.theeldestgeek.com/support – 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 🙂
We will charge for remote visits, but promise to be cheap!