Computer “Urban Legends”.. Real or Not?? Ask the Professionals at Phoenix

February 9, 2011

Computer Legend #1: To increase the speed of my PC or Server I need to “buy a new one” or upgrade the hardware:

Many factors are involved with this Computer legend. Buying a new PC may solve speed issues but may also cause compatibility problems with other programs you are currently running; this may end up costing a lot more that you expected. While it’s TRUE that upgrading the components like the RAM memory and Network Cards can improve certain processes on your PC and on your network, it’s not always the case. Aside from doing this, consider other factors that cause your machine(s) to slow down. Almost surely there are unwanted programs; unclean registry items, viruses, malware, spyware and other stuff inside your computer that can all slow your perfectly good unit down significantly. So, try first to remove temporary internet files, uninstall unnecessary programs, run a good anti-virus scan a good anti-spyware scan, and a good anti-malware scan. You can even clean the system registry before spending money for new upgrades or on a new PC.

Computer Legend #2: If you don’t properly stop a USB device before unplugging it you are sure to loose all the data on it.

This is FALSE but with a small disclaimer; as long as the device is not writing to memory you can remove it with no problems. When you unplug a USB Device, without first using the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the taskbar, your PC makes a sound and usually pops up a message warning you about removing the device or that what you just did can delete data saved on USB storage devices or damage hardware. In reality it is good practice to “Stop” the device before removing it so that the system and you are sure the device is not in the middle of a writing process.  We have seen USB sticks and external USB hard drives lose everything by being unplugged during a writing process but not when sitting idle.

Also please keep in mind that USB devices are designed as “Backup” devices and not primary storage. With the costs being so low on these items, please do not trust them to keep all your data “safe” upgrade the size of the storage inside the PC and keep everything there, then use the USB as a “copy” so if one dies you do not loose your important data.

Computer Legend #3: Use a screen saver or burn an image on your monitor for life.

This is another bit of advice that had some validity many years ago. The monitors of old that had Cathode Ray tubes and used Phosphorus to display an image would suffer from “phosphor burn-in” but today it’s just FALSE. It’s virtually impossible with today’s monitors, especially LCD flat screens, to leave an image on the burned in on the screen. There’s certainly no downside to using a screen saver, and many people find them fun to use as a way of “expressing themselves”. Others use them to do a slideshow of their pictures. But there’s certainly no necessity for using a screen saver.

Computer Legend #4: My computer technician is the only guy who knows how my system(s) run.

That is completely FALSE a good computer tech can become intimately aware of how your system is setup, settings that can be changed to make it perform better or fix things that weren’t done correctly in the first place. You have all the power here. If you are unhappy with anything about your current Tech, find someone who is experienced, courteous, punctual, and available when you need them and doesn’t speak tech.

Computer Legend #4: Outsourcing IT support is more expensive and less dependable than having our own in house IT guy

While it seems like a good idea for companies to hire a person with technical experience to help keep their computers running, there are several “down-sides” to taking this road. The first is the fixed costs associated with a full time IT person when 40 hours of IT work are not normally necessary when the system is developed and installed properly in the beginning. The 2nd is what a lot of small companies do and that is; if you have an employee whose skills are in the area of your business (i.e. Dentist, Attorney, Doctor, Mortgage specialist) and they also have “some” computer knowledge, you can find them spending time working on your systems when they would be much more beneficial to the bottom line if they did what they are trained to do. We say leave the PC and Network maintenance to the IT guys. The 3rd is this person may or may not have all the knowledge needed to support your environment and assist in designing a path for the company’s growth.

An outsourced company can be a good fit for many small to medium sized business that wants to maximize their IT investment. A local service provider can offer quick response time for on-site service, low cost phone support, personalized service from a Tech with expertise in PC and Network support.  Costs for a good plan with a Local Service provider could cut your costs in half the cost of employing an inside person and even more if one of the Doctors or Attorneys is doing the work instead of billing at your professional rates.  Some other benefits can include higher return on investment, more experienced personnel, backup personnel and consultation services.





Microsoft warns of Windows flaw affecting image rendering

January 17, 2011

Microsoft warned today of a Windows vulnerability that could allow an attacker to take control of a computer if the user is logged on with administrative rights.

To be successful, an attacker would have to send an e-mail with an attached Microsoft Word or PowerPoint file containing a specially crafted thumbnail image and convince the recipient to open it, Microsoft said in its advisory, which also contains information on workarounds.

An attacker also could place the malicious image file on a network share and potential victims would have to browse to the location in Windows Explorer.

The flaw, which is in the Windows Graphics Rendering Engine, could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code in the security context of the logged-on user, meaning that accounts that are configured to have fewer user rights would be affected less.

The vulnerability affects Windows XP Service Pack 3, XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2, Server 2003 Service Pack 2, Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2, Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based systems, Vista Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2, Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2, Server 2008 for 32-bit, 64-bit, and Itanium-based systems and Service Pack 2 for each.

Microsoft said it is not aware of attacks exploiting the vulnerability or of any impact on customers at this time. The company is working on a fix but did not indicate when it would be available.

Read more:

IT Support in 2011

January 8, 2011

Many economists predict that 2011 promises to be a good year for business, or at least a better one than the last few. So this is the perfect opportunity for your business to improve its IT infrastructure.

There are few reasons for this. First, there is a pretty good chance you are using outdated equipment and software on your current machine. Phoenix Technology can assess your current software configuration and make recommendations based on what you need, not what you want or what looks fancy.

Second, getting ready for the New Year requires ensuring your current IT is sufficient to handle future business. If your IT systems are not equipped for the future, it may end up hurting you in the long run.

Third, you are going to need IT support that is there for you when you need it. Phoenix has been in business for nearly 20 years. We have been Orange County’s trusted go-to IT folks for all kinds of technical support for a reason: we do good work the first time, every time.

Give us a call so you can get your IT done right, right now.


Phoenix Flyer 2008Computer Repairs



2010 in review

January 3, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 93 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 105 posts. There were 7 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 954kb.

The busiest day of the year was May 10th with 68 views. The most popular post that day was T1 vs DSL. An honest opinion.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for t1 vs dsl, t1 vs. dsl, t1 versus dsl, t1 vs adsl, and dsl vs t1.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


T1 vs DSL. An honest opinion January 2009


The Dangers of Not Having Anti-Virus Software February 2010


The Conficter virus is REAL.. Please protect yourself April 2009


Getting Hacked? March 2010


Sell us your Old Hard Drives March 2010

Cyber Terrorism? Is it real? Check this out

December 30, 2010

Could cyber-terrorism threaten America’s superpower status? You bet —

It Support? Everyone needs it. Call Phoneix Technology.

December 22, 2010

Be sure to add IT support into your last-minute budgeting for next year.

Why You Need IT Support

December 10, 2010

Imagine you have to ask a client a couple of questions to complete a project. But when you try to send an email, you discover your network is down. In fact, all of your phones stopped working too. While scrambling to fix the problem you wonder in the back of your mind, “How did this happen? How long has this been down? How many people have been trying to call in, only to get some strange busy signal?”

When managing your small business, the last thing you want to deal with is IT that breaks down all the time. That’s where Phoenix Technology comes in. We can set up your IT service so you don’t have problems in the first place. And if you do happen to have a problem, we’ll come and fix it at a rate you can afford.

So if you are searching for the best IT service around, look no further than Phoenix Technology, your local Orange County IT support specialists. We can help you get on track quickly and efficiently and make sure your IT stays up and running.