Mass Patch the Java Zero Day Exploit with Ninite Pro For Free

Published 31st August 2012 By Bryce Whitty
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A potent Java security vulnerability appeared earlier this week that allows hackers to run malware on systems that have the Java plugin installed in their web browser. Yesterday, Oracle released an emergency update to plug this security hole and in order to get this update you simply need to update your Java version.
This is a simple task to do on a single computer but a bit more of a problem if you have multiple computers, even hundreds of computers that need updating.

Our friends over at Ninite have offered a special version of their Ninite Pro trial to help technicians get patch this Java vulnerability quickly.

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Wi-Fi Testing and Mapping Apps for Techs

Published 27th August 2012 By Micah Lahren
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As PC repair techs, we’re often called upon to troubleshoot issues such as Wi-Fi network issues, such as low signal, no connectivity, and so on. There are many many apps related to network testing, exploration, security analysis, and basic troubleshooting. Many of these are included in the Linux distro BackTrack, a favorite among those who work in penetration testing and network security infrastructure. However, in this article, I’d like to highlight two Wi-Fi testing and mapping apps for techs, both of which are freeware. They are invaluable for wireless network mapping, and should be included in every tech’s toolkit. Depending on what you use in the field, laptop, netbook, tablet, or smart phone, and depending on the area you’re analyzing, one or the other might be more useful. Both support 802.11a/b/g/n, as well.

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Bootable Windows 7 USB Drives – Add One to Your Tech Toolkit

Published 22nd August 2012 By Micah Lahren
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If you’re often searching for ways to optimize your tech methods, creating USB installation media is a good place to start. Leave those CD wallets behind and utilize a few USB flash drives, something you can carry around easier and something that will speed up those installations as well. The requirements are few, and it won’t take long at all to create a bootable Windows 7 USB drive. With one extra step, you can make it a universal Windows 7 installation tool.

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5 Reasons Why Trimming Your Service Offering is a Good Idea

Published 20th August 2012 By Derrick Wlodarz
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The terms “trimming services” and “gaining business” don’t seem as if they go together. At first glance, you’d consider them in stark contrast to one another. But I’ve pounded the minimalist drum before with my stance on firing horrible customers, and this time, I’m taking aim at a similar plague that gunks up even the most well-oiled computer repair businesses.

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D7 – The Ultimate Technician Tool Every Tech Should Have!

Published 17th August 2012 By Micah Lahren
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We all have our little USB toolkits, our ‘ultimate’ CD’s, our repair disks and other related repair tools. Most of us like to have a comprehensive list, a solution for every possible problem we could encounter in the field, to the extent of carrying around drivers for common hardware in the rare case there is no reliable internet connection near the client. The issue with having a comprehensive set of tools often means you have to search through your tools for the one you need, and once you’ve located it, run it, and then search for the tool you need to use next.

You may have a routine you would like to automate, but instead you sit there at the computer and babysit the mouse, clicking once every 5 to 15 minutes to close something, affirm something, or perform some other menial task. While automation is a partial solution, there is a much better solution that has been available for about a year in the tech sector, about which there have been some recent improved developments. It’s been mentioned on Technibble and Podnutz before, but it deserves full coverage.

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Why You Need to Patch More Than Just the Operating System

Published 13th August 2012 By Contributor
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Guest Post by Ronn Hanley:
Applying security patches to the Operating System of your computer can save you a ton of trouble when fighting viruses and malware. The problem is, as technicians we don’t always go far enough when it comes to patching software and hardware. It’s important to realize that you and your clients are vulnerable from other directions as well.

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Posted in Security

Shout Out To Our Advertisers

Published 10th August 2012 By Bryce Whitty
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This post is a little different than our usual lineup as I would like to talk about the Technibble site itself.
Back in 2006 Technibble originally started on a shared host but as we became more and more popular, it began eating up most of the servers resources to the point where we were about to get kicked off the shared hosts servers. Soon afterwards I migrated Technibble to a dedicated server which ended up serving us well for a few years until we started overloading that server as well. In order for us to keep up with the traffic, we moved to cloud hosting where the site gets whatever it needs when it needs it. Of course, this costs even more money.

Technibble grew into something beyond what I could handle on my own so now we have a team of writers and a dedicated customer support person who have been great. Of course, this also costs money.

I plan on keeping front page content free forever but there are bills to pay and Techibble advertisers help offset some of these costs which I am thankful for.

That doesnt mean I allow just anyone to advertise with Technibble. I have had plenty of “How I lost a bazillion pounds in 4 days” and “Win an Free iPod!” type advertisers approach me and I tell them where to go. Technibble advertisers have to be solid, computer technician targeted products or services. Its all about keeping it relevant.

I am also big believer in under-promising and over-delivering (important for any business) so I would like to give the Technibble advertisers a little extra exposure. I would also like to help our readers by showing people like yourself what products are out there that could help you with your businesses and make you more money.

Here are the Technibble advertisers ordered by the amount of time they have advertised with Technibble:

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Tweaking.com Registry Backup – Backup and Restore the Windows Registry

Published 8th August 2012 By Bryce Whitty
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As Computer Technicians, occasionally we need to dive into the registry to make some changes such as removing registry keys that a virus or some software left over. Of course, it is always a good idea backup the registry before you make any changes in case something goes wrong. Tweaking.com’s Registry Backup is a free tool that makes backing up and restoring the Windows registry easy.
In the past, many technicians used ERUNT to do this task but unfortunately ERUNT hasn’t been updated for many years.

One of the main features that Tweaking.com’s Registry Backup has over ERUNT is that it makes use of the Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to create its backups. This is the recommended backup method by Microsoft as it is deemed safer than RegSaveKey function which ERUNT uses. The application comes with a portable and installer version, it can restore the registry from Safe Mode and it maintains detailed logs of the work it has done.

Registry Backup can also be used as an ongoing registry backup solution as it allows you to schedule backups.

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Automating Your Computer Business For Profit

Published 6th August 2012 By Contributor
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Guest Post by Chris Michalec:
You are sitting up late at night working to finish up the computers on your bench. You’ve been running around all day, and you are exhausted. How do you create more hours in the day? Through automation! Automating the common tasks you do every day gives your business something the high priced consultants call “leverage.” That means bigger profits for you while spending less time working in your business.

I’m a little late to the automation game. Shockingly, despite working at 3 computer stores over a 10 year period, I never had anyone use automation to any great extent. No scripting, no slipstreamed Windows installs, no nothing. However, since I have begun doing my homework, and a big thanks to those on the Technibble forums, I’ve found automation cuts the time I spend actually standing at a computer by as much as 90%! If you want to grow your computer repair business, you can’t afford not to automate.

There are a ton of ways to automate, but let’s look at some of the most popular ones.

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Pricing In Your Computer Business – Why Margin Matters

Published 1st August 2012 By Contributor
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Guest Post by Chris Michalec:

How do you measure success in your computer business? Is it the number of customers you have? Maybe how much profit you make each month? Or maybe you go by the revenue you bring in. Properly defining success in your business is critical for sustainable growth and a very profitable business that will support more than just you. If you never grow out of a one person business, then you haven’t created a business; you have just created a job for yourself.

Another question that frequently comes up, whether you are just starting out or launching a new service, is how to price it. Obviously you want to look at what others in your area are charging, but this shouldn’t be the only way you determine what to charge. Let me give you the one way to measure success that will also help you competitively price your services every time and give your business room to grow – margin!

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