Are you ready to give up your MacBook for a Surface?

Microsoft really wants you to buy a Surface device. So much so it’s willing to take that old MacBook off your hands in exchange for cold, hard cash. Or, more specifically, some money off the price of a new Surface.

Microsoft will give you up to $650 off the price of a new Surface device when you trade in your MacBook. The offer applies to both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, with the credit available on a Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book (excluding the new Performance Base models).

More information about the trade-in program can be found on Microsoft's website.

Yahoo accounts hacked, what to do?

The company said on Thursday at least 500 million user accounts were affected by a massive data breach. The hack happened in 2014, when "state-sponsored actor" stole account information, including names, emails, passwords, telephone numbers and answers to some security questions. 

So what should you do if you have a Yahoo account? 

First and foremost, you'll want to change your password immediately. All Yahoo account holders should also change their security questions and answers.

If your accounts one Yahoo suspects was compromised, you'll be prompted to enter a new password as soon as you log on.  If you used that same password on other accounts, change those too.

Have you made your Christmas list yet?

I haven't either but I know this cool new 3D printer will be on it.

Stratasys J750 3D Printer

 The  Stratasys J750  introduces one-stop realism with full colors and multiple materials. The J750's goal is simple: to put the “rapid” in rapid prototyping. Color comes naturally to the J750: neutrals and neons, shadows and highlights, textures and gradients — over 360,000 colors automatically mapped from your design software for photorealistic models. Users can load six materials at once for sweeping variety without swapping canisters.

The Stratasys J750 introduces one-stop realism with full colors and multiple materials. The J750's goal is simple: to put the “rapid” in rapid prototyping. Color comes naturally to the J750: neutrals and neons, shadows and highlights, textures and gradients — over 360,000 colors automatically mapped from your design software for photorealistic models. Users can load six materials at once for sweeping variety without swapping canisters.

5 Tech Tips for Every Computer User

1. Backup your data!  We all know we should do it but how many of us actually do?  Helpful hint, make them automatic.

2. Install antivirus software.  Something is almost always better than nothing but be wary of free softwares that often package add-on's and even adware in the download files.  Some of these work well, but do your research first or choose one of the well know brands.  Tip, the average user doesn't usually need a full security "suite."

3. Take out the trash.  The last time I checked there was 12GB worth of files and data sitting in my trash can.  Oops!  Wasted space. Periodically take the extra two seconds to click "empty trash."

4. Turn it off.  If you are having an issue with a program, try turning off your computer and waiting 5 seconds before turning it on again.  But don't forget to save what you were working on first!

5. Use passwords.  With everything we use our computers for these days (banking, work, etc.) it's more important than ever to protect this information with a secure password.  That means not using "password" or something as obvious as your name or birthday as the security code.  And while you're at it, don't forget to password protect your wifi.

Computer Repair Tip- Remove Adware

What is Adware?

An unfortunate part of surfing the Internet today is accidently and most times unknowingly installing unwanted applications in the form of Adware.

Adware, which advertises to you, in effect does very little for the end-user but slow down their computer, redirect them to pages they never wanted to go to, and generally gets in the way of your Internet activities.

With so many choices to choose from to help you remove adware from your computer, Adwcleaner has established itself as one of the easiest and simplest ways to do so.

It’s easy to think applications which are free like this to download couldn’t possibly do a good as job as a paid for solution. Adwcleaner has widely become the go to tool to remove adware by most technical and computer repair technicians.

Adwcleaner is only a small application and requires very little technical knowledge. The fire itself is only just over 500KB and requires no installation on your hard drive. You can even run it straight from a USB drive and take it with you.

How does it work?

Adwcleaner can be downloaded here for free.

Once you have downloaded the file, you do not need to install it anywhere. Just run it from wherever you have downloaded it to.

Upon opening the file, it may update itself automatically. Because of the size of the file this usually only takes a couple of seconds, even with the slowest Internet connections.

Once the update has finished all you need to do next is click on the scan button and Adwcleaner will do the rest. When it is finished you can see what it has found on the tabs below the scan button.

Tabs such as files, folders and registry items will list any items it finds to be unwanted. It is probably in your best interested to leave the results the way they are and not discriminate between what you want to remove or not.

In the event that you wish to keep some adware on your computer, you can simply uncheck the option to remove it. Once you are finished simply click on the clean button and Adwcleaner will do the rest.

In most cases it will ask you restart your computer, but in the even it does not it is always good practice to do so anyway.

Problems with Adwcleaner?

There are not a lot of problems associated with using Adwcleaner. Two things to take note of is sometimes when cleaning the files part of the process it can hang for a couple of minutes making you think it has frozen, but it hasn’t.

Also, you can be forgiven for choosing uninstall over clean when choosing the adware files you wish to remove. Clean will remove the actual adware files from your computer and uninstall will remove the actual Adwcleaner software.

Adwcleaner is a fantastic little application. I am always surprised with the amount of junkware it finds on computers I am using which I thought were totally free and clean.

If at anytime you run into issues running Adwcleaner give Alario Tech a call at 802.253.3163 or bring your computer to us for full diagnostics, repair and virus/malware scans.  We have professional tools designed to detect and remove even the most elusive adware and viruses.