July 2016 Newsletter

July 2016 Newsletter

CST News

Winter seems to have arrived with a few serious frosts latterly but nothing the genuine southern folks can’t put up with. It has certainly not been too bad yet.

The big CST news is that Brad is back on the CST team. Lots of you will remember Brad from previous stays with us and will remember how good he is with all sorts of electronic stuff – not just computers. We had initially looked at hiring Brad in the Dunedin business but asked him to come down to Clutha to do a couple of specific tasks on our system here for a couple of weeks. He enjoyed meeting and working with so many of our customers that we decided he would be better off here rather than in Dunedin. The big winners out of this are our customers having Brad’s skills back on tap again.

Brads Back

Sue and I are still waiting for an opportunity to get away – there always seems to be a compelling reason why we cannot make it. However we are looking at later this month to head off to Christchurch to see Sue’s dad and family and will take one of the granddaughters with us to see eldest daughter Paula who is in a kiddie’s play up there. Everyone is a winner – we get to spend time with a grandie, great granddad will have some time too, Paula gets to show off her thespian skills, the granddaughter will get spoilt rotten and the parents get a weekend time out.

Windows 10

I promise this will be the last time I nag about Windows 10. The free download for Windows 10 ceases on July 29th – a couple of weeks away.

I have done my laptop and am pleased with it – I reckon it seems faster and more responsive. I did not like the new browser (a programme called Edge) but managed to find the old Internet Explorer that we all know and have reverted to using that.

The other side of the coin is that we are still getting a few repairs to do that have been installs “gone wrong”. But they seem to be slowing down.

I thought you might like this article though – could only happen in the US of A – the land of Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump. The short version of the story is that a Windows user upgraded without knowledge to Windows 10 which caused her computer all sorts of problems. So she took Microsoft to court and Microsoft settled out of court for $10000.

As far as the upgrade is concerned for you and I however, we must decide whether we want to change and need to put up with the possibility it might go wrong (not very likely given the reported number of upgrades) and whether we want to learn a new system again. Another factor is the life of your computer – Microsoft will support Windows 7 until January 2020 and Windows 8 until January 2023. It is quite likely lots of today’s computers will not be going then anyway so why go through the hassle? Finally, if you are on a limited bandwidth, consider carefully before you blow out your internet cap.

Good luck in making up your mind!

Error Code


Requires a bit of work to get it back to original condition – a local picture taken at Kaka Point last year. Some might remember the event.


Ten Tips For Spotting a Phishing Email

A reminder than “phishing” is an attempt to gain information such as passwords or credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

This page has some clues that may help you sort out the genuine from the malicious.

Getting The Most Out of Your Chromebook Battery

Chromebooks seem to be the rage at present among the schools. They are cheap and easy to use. Here are a few tips for squeezing the extra bit of time out of the battery.

Dim that screen

This should come as no surprise. The brighter your screen, the more juice will be pulled from your battery. The good news is that most Chromebook displays are good enough that you can drop them down into more battery-friendly levels. I have two Chromebooks: A Pixel and an Acer C720. On the Acer I can drop the display to 50% and still view the screen in moderate light. The Pixel display is in a completely different class. It’s incredibly bright and stunningly crisp. With that display, I can drop the brightness down to around 20% and have no problem viewing ─ it’s that good.

Disable Bluetooth and LTE

Some Chromebooks have more radios than other. For example, the Pixel includes and LTE radio for network connectivity. Regardless of what your device has, you can eek out more battery life by turning off the various radios when not in use. To disable the Bluetooth radio, click on the notification area, and then click the Bluetooth enabled

button. In the Bluetooth screen, tap the Bluetooth icon in the bottom right corner to shut the radio off.

Find out which web pages use the most battery

On the current developer release of ChromeOS, you can find out what websites are the biggest offenders when it comes to battery life. To find this out, open up Settings and then tap Battery under Device (if you don’t see the Battery button, it means you’re not on the Developer release of ChromeOS). The listing of the individual site’s battery usage can help you decide what pages to avoid when your battery is low.

Limit open tabs

With Chrome, each tab gets it’s own chunk of memory, which in turn works the CPU a bit more ─ this leads to battery drainage. If you’re looking to get the absolute most out of your battery, don’t leave unused tabs open. There might also be background tasks running (such as for third-party apps), that can be stopped. To open the Chromebook task manager, press the Shift and Escape buttons. In this window, as seen below, you can kill rogue processes that are eating up precious battery.

To kill a process, select it and then click the End process button. Use caution with this, so you don’t kill a process necessary for the operating of ChromeOS.

Power off

This tip will gain you significant returns on battery life. When you close the lid on your Chromebook, you put the device into suspend. You’d be surprised to find out that suspend actually drains the battery far more than you’d exect. I did a bit of testing with this and found that, over night, suspend drained 30% of my Pixel battery. If I shut the Pixel off, that drainage drops to less than 1% over the same period of time. To that end, if you’re going to be away from your Chromebook for any significant amount of time (without it being plugged into a power supply), shut it down. The good news is that Chromebooks boot faster than most other platforms log in ─ so you’re really not losing anything by shutting it down.

Chromebooks are the little wonders of the mobile world. Most of them deliver in all areas ─ even battery life. If, however, you want to find ways to squeeze as much possible battery life out of that device (or you have a Pixel and need as much of an advantage as you can get), follow these tips and you’ll be free from that power tether for longer and longer periods.

Battery Life

Sounds of Silence

Something I have never done before in a newsletter is put in some music. Sue found this track and sent it on to me. Obviously the song brings back all sorts of memories from half a lifetime ago but what an amazingly powerful and emotional version of the original song. As Sue said, it is not often that a cover version is better than the original.

Warning – do not let the guy’s appearance put you off. He can really sing!


E Waste

Current figures for New Zealand are hard to find but a few useless pieces of information are listed below:

  • The US trashes 100 million cell phones each year
  • The US trashes 112,000 computers EVERY DAY
  • Only 12.5% of electronic waste is disposed of and recycled properly
  • NZ produces 20 kg of e-waste per person per year.
  • 8 inkjet cartridges are thrown away in the US EVERY SECOND
  • More than 1 billion inkjet cartridges are used annually around the world – 129 times longer than the great wall of China
  • A cartridge takes approximately 1000 years to biodegrade

A reminder to those customers who have electronic waste to get rid of that we can take the waste for you for recycling. I believe the local dump will now not take e-waste and we can all do our bit to “save the world”. The e-waste can be as simple as empty printer cartridges or an old dead computer you are sick of tripping over in the garage.

With the old computer gear, we will remove hard drives and destroy them so that no data will be retrievable. The only cost will be the cost we have to pay at the recyclers. But this cost is better than filling the world’s landfills with electronic stuff!


Some Amazing Artwork

I flogged this off Facebook, so it will need to open in Facebook. If you do not have a Facebook account you might see only one or two images. If you want to see the rest, find a friend with Facebook or come in and see us.


Apple Computers and Malware     

An interesting article from a reputable, independent NZ organisation.

If you feel you would like to protect your computer, give us a call to discuss installing the best antivirus available – NOD32.


By | 2017-08-31T12:57:40+12:00 July 15th, 2016|Balclutha Newsletter, Uncategorized|Comments Off on July 2016 Newsletter

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