Compare Prices on NewEgg.com with Hover Hound

Published 21st January 2014 By Bryce Whitty
Hover Hound Plugin

Many Computer Technicians in the US will spend a bit of time scanning Newegg.com looking for the best hardware prices to stock their computer businesses. While Newegg is known to have some of the lowest prices for computer hardware, Amazon and TigerDirect often have even better prices.
The browser extension Hover Hound makes it easy to search Newegg.com, and then compare the price of any product with Amazon and TigerDirect. The plugin works by adding an extra button on Newegg that when hovered, shows you the prices of same product on both Amazon and TigerDirect. It can also show you a price history graph of the product and if you are a Amazon Prime member, you can filter Hover Hound results to only items at Amazon that have Prime Shipping.

The plugin is available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox and is a must have for any computer technician who purchases stock from Newegg.com

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Large List of Free Forensic Software

Published 16th January 2014 By Bryce Whitty
Free Forensic Software

While I personally have never gotten into forensics due to liability reasons, it has always been something that has interested me. Recently, one of our forum members (mm201) posted an amazing resource with a large collection of free forensics tools for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as iOS, Android & Blackberry devices. If you are already doing forensics work or simply have an interest in it, be sure to check out this site:
http://forensiccontrol.com/resources/free-software/

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How to Quit Your Job and Start a Computer Business – Book Review

Published 7th January 2014 By Bryce Whitty
How To Quit Your Job and Start a Computer Business Book Cover

Matthew Rodela from “Your Friendly Neighbourhood Computer Guy” has recently come out with an ebook called “How to Quit Your Job and Start a Computer Business“.
As you can tell from the title, it’s about making the jump from working for someone else to starting your own computer business.

“Taking the jump” from full-time employment to self-employment is not something one should ever take lightly, it’s a huge undertaking and the aim of this book is to help guide you through it.
Late last year I managed to get a copy of the book off Matt and have been reading through it over the holiday break. I have to say it is quite impressive. Read on for the full review.

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Posted in Reviews

PCPartPicker

Published 30th December 2013 By Micah Lahren
PCPartPicker.com

If you’re often replacing hardware or building custom computers, check out PCPartsPicker.com. As the name implies, the site provides assistance in choosing parts, making sure they’re compatible with other hardware, and provides pricing guides so you can make sure you’re getting the best performance for your money. It also provides up-to-date pricing from many online retailers, such as OutletPC, Amazon, and TigerDirect.

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Posted in Websites

What’s Best for Your Business: Focusing vs Diversifying

Published 13th December 2013 By Chuck Romano
Whats Best for Your Business

The amount of people thinking about making it big in this crowded technology crazed world is impressive. Many will get out of their bed in the middle of the night and jot down ideas they thought will change the world. Most meditate on the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and wonder how they could replicate the same level of success. What made Microsoft and Apple successful? Microsoft focused on software and Apple did the same for hardware. Instagram focused on pictures and being social and it worked to the tune of a billion dollars. Is focusing on a niche the secret to creating the next big thing?

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Maximize Your Workflow as a Tech

Published 7th December 2013 By Micah Lahren
workflow for techs

As technicians, we often have a wide range of tasks, from estimates, invoices, and contracts, in addition to the actual tech work we perform. This involves customer relationship management solutions, billing solutions, software tool updates, and much more. If you haven’t given much attention to your workflow, you might be jumping from one unrelated task to another and wasting a lot of time and effort in the process. The well known adage ‘time is money’ applies quite well here, so let’s take a look at some ways you can maximize your workflow. In fact, an easy way to remember the tips is simply the acronym ‘IDEA’.

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Evolve or Die: 5 New Service Areas You Should Be Looking At

Published 25th November 2013 By Derrick Wlodarz
evolve or die

If 2013 taught us anything about computer repair, it’s that our industry is changing, and changing fast. While traditional computer repair will not die for the forseeable future, as even the tablet craze hasn’t bumped users from their primary workhorse machines, technicians need to be forward looking so they don’t get caught with their pants down. There has been a lot of hot air in the media about PC sales being destroyed by alternative devices, but recent reports are proving this to be not as drastic as originally reported. Windows 8.1 is helping lift PC sales, with a US year over year drop in sales only at 0.2% which is negligible at best if you ask me. The titanic isn’t sinking, no matter how much the media blowhards love to scare us in the repair industry.

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Guide to Using DDRescue to Recover Data

Published 14th November 2013 By Contributor
Guide to DDRescue

This guide was written by one of our forum members SilverLeaf and was originally written as a forum post. This guide is intended for people who are looking to do quality data recovery using free tools. This guide is fairly technical requiring you to deal with the Linux command line. Some paid software is more straight forward than the steps here, but this is a great way to get the job done for free. Use at you own risk. Technibble and SilverLeaf take no responsibility for the loss of any data, business, reputation etc..

It seems that a guide for using ddrescue might be of some benefit to many members who may be shy of the linux terminal. So, I’ve decided to document some real-world examples from in the shop. I plan on doing this in 3 parts to cover the most common scenarios.

Part 1: Creating an image from a failing disk
Part 2: Restoring an image to a new disk & cloning directly to a new disk
Part 3: Working with the image files

In will be using Parted Magic as a platform for this guide. I usually PXE boot (or boot from a live CD) the machine that I am working on to Parted Magic for this purpose. If you run linux on your test bench machine and prefer to attach the failing drives to it, this guide will give you the basics, but obviously the screenshots will be different.

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CryptoPrevent – Protect Windows from Cryptolocker Infections

Published 6th November 2013 By Bryce Whitty
cryptoprevent-thumb

Computer Technicians and System admins across the internet are hearing more and more about the Cryptolocker threat. If you havent heard about it, Cryptolocker is a nasty piece of ransomware that will seek out certain files on computers, attached drives and networks and encrypt them. Once it has finished encrypting the files, it will show a popup that tells the user that their files are encrypted and they have to pay a ransom to decrypt them before the 96 hour countdown completes. If the user doesnt pay the ransom during the countdown, the private key used to encrypt the files is destroyed and the users files become unrecoverable.

Nick from FoolishIT (creator of the popular tool “D7″) took the “How to prevent Cryptolocker steps” from BleepingComputers guide and turned them into a handy executable.

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Inventory Management for Techs

Published 29th October 2013 By Micah Lahren
inventory management

‘What happened to that stack of hard drives I just had? I could have sworn I had three video cards in stock, but they’re nowhere to be seen!’ If you’re having issues tracking your inventory, or failing to track it at all, it will seriously hamper your efficiency and can even cause your workflow to grind to a halt. There are some excellent inventory management systems available now, and they’re not that expensive. In fact, some won’t cost you a thing, and they may provide exactly what you need. If a simple spreadsheet just isn’t working for you anymore, it’s time to get something more advanced. I’d like to cover just a few options you should try out if you need a good inventory management system.

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