We provide independent advice, training, technical support and other services to help you in your use of information technology. We make our money by charging hourly fees, rather than selling computers or taking commissions. Our services include:

Independent Advice

We can provide advice about a wide range of computing issues - including what to look for in a computer or software to buy, what sort of internet connection to get,  how to setup your whole system, or how to tackle a particular problem. We are not a retailer and basically don’t sell computers or computer accessories – so we are in a good position to provide independent advice, and we have no vested interest in pushing any particular technology.

There are so many makes and models of computer around, and they change so rapidly, that we don't have the opportunity to test most of them. For that reason, we will rarely tell you exactly what to buy, but can help you negotiate the maze of hype and jargon.

If you're not sure what you need to achieve a particular task - ring us! Your situation, requirements, skills and existing equipment are all factors that should be taken into account. Without advice, people often end up buying something that is overly complex, difficult and expensive for their needs.

Choosing equipment

See Independent advice

Computer Help

This can include general help, technical troubleshooting, hardware or software installation, advice or training. We provide most services either at your premises or our office (whichever suits you and the task better). We also provide phone and remote support. We do our best to provide helpful computer help – plain explanations – and not to be patronising or revert to computer jargon.
 
Technical Help / Troubleshooting (Speed up my PC)
If your computer is playing up or running slowly, we may be able to help.  We can perform a wide range of repairs.  If we can't do it, we can usually suggest someone who can.

Removing malware and viruses

The most common problem these days - computers clogged up with stuff you never meant to get.  We can remove malware and viruses, install antivirus protection and help you understand the risks and avoid some of the pitfalls.
 

On site help

Most services are available either at your premises or our office (whichever suits you and the task better). Some tasks have to be done at your premises (eg. setting up internet) and some are much more efficient if done at our office (eg. reinstalling windows). We will discuss with you the best approach.

Hardware and Software Installation and Configuration (Computer Setup)

Buying equipment is often just the start of the process. We can help you setup and configure your new equipment and software to your requirements. This may include adjusting settings to suit you better, making sure your internet connection or network works, making sure you can access your printers and so on.

Old - New Computer transfer (Computer Setup)

It's really complicated transferring everything from your old computer to your new one, and making sure that no-one can fish your personal information out of the old computer after you get rid of it.  We can help you with this.  We can also advise you about which programs can be downloaded and which ones might need to be upgraded.  This service is generally cheapest / most efficient if you bring the equipment to us, but we can bring it back and make sure it's all set up and working.  Please ring to book it in before bringing it in, to make sure we have time to attend to it promptly, and to check exactly what you need to bring (we generally don't need the whole lot).

Data Recovery & Safe Disposal

If your old computer has died your data may not be lost.  Even if the computer can't be fixed, we can often recover your precious data, photos emails and so on.  And if you are disposing of a computer you definitely shouldn't just throw it out - people could get it from the tip and extract private information from it.  There are cheap and simple ways of dealing with that.

Internet Setup and Configuration

We can advise you about choosing and internet service provider, choosing a connection method and plan, and setting it all up. We can also help you setup VOIP (voice over IP) services, providing savings off your phone bill. Once you have the connection we can also help you get started with finding things on the internet and communicating effectively using email, chat, voice over ip and so on.

Sync Everything (Cloud computing)!

One of the most valuable things you can do in a business is get everything working in sync, so that you can see your email from whichever computer, phone or tablet you are using, share calendars or documents with colleagues, delegate your email management to an assistant and so on.  We use a great cheap service called google apps for this, and can help you set it up.  Or you might just want all your itunes music on all your gadgets...

Computer Training

We provide individual tuition, at your home/office or my office, on what YOU need to learn, at YOUR pace. We generally don't run classes. Training can be unstructured, or we can develop a plan based on what you need / want to learn, existing skills, work requirements and so on. We are also happy to provide tutoring to complement other training you are doing (such as adult ed, tafe).

System maintenance

Computers are very much like cars. If they are regularly maintained they will perform better and last longer. We can perform maintenance on both the hardware and software, and provide you with advice as to how to look after your own systems (such as up to date security software). We can check that you have all the software and updates you should, test for virus or ad-ware infections, clean your system up and improve its speed and reliability.

Backup systems

A backup system is a hardware/software system which copies your data / work so that, in the event of a problem, you don’t lose that information. Backup systems reduce the impact of a wide range of events – including theft, viruses, system failure and human error. The problem with most backup systems is that they either don’t exist or don’t get done (who’s got time?). We can help you setup reliable, self-maintaining backup systems tailored to your needs and risks, and requiring as little of your time as possible to maintain.

Wired and wireless networks

Wired and wireless networks can be enormously beneficial – allow you to share resources and or information between different computers and places. They can also be complex and frustrating to setup and present significant security risks. We can provide advice and/or help setting up both wired and wireless computer networks (and whether they are appropriate). We don’t provide cabling services, but can recommend several companies who do.

Using gadgets - Digital cameras, scanners, printers, MP3 players, podcasts and all the rest

We can assist you with choosing and using a wide range of computer “extras” and services, such as digital cameras, videos, scanners, MP3 players, music download services and so on. The list is endless and ever changing.

Family computer management

Sharing a computer or internet connection with other people can be quite difficult – people have different emails, favourites, preferred desktop backgrounds, and files. Your computer can be configured to keep everyone’s stuff separate and allow each person to change a wide range of settings without affecting others. It can also be configured to limit what young children can do (eg. install programs).  We can also advise you of risks that may affect your family.
 

Systems assessment and design / Business Systems

Often computer systems grow ad-hoc, particularly in small businesses - we convert from paper systems to computerised systems without giving it too much thought or add components on over the years. You may be looking at how to achieve a particular aim, but have no idea what technology is appropriate, or you may have a particular technology in mind, but no idea how to implement it.

We can assess your existing situation, skills and needs and recommend new systems, system simplification or other system changes to improve your productivity and costs. We won’t necessarily recommend a high-tech or expensive solution. Sometimes this may just involve rationalising all your internet accounts (for example), or other may involve changes to technology, work systems and training.

Anne has formal university level training in systems analysis and design, as well as many years experience designing and setting up real world systems.

IT risks assessment & risk reduction

There are a number of very significant risks (eg. viruses, security) associated with using computer technology – many people underestimate the damage these can cause to equipment, privacy and even your personal or business reputation. People also tend to underestimate the costs of adverse IT events.

We can assess your systems, security and work practices for areas where you are vulnerable or exposed to excessive risk. A risk reduction and mitigation plan helps dramatically to reduce the risk of something bad happening, and minimise the damage if it does. This may include security software and hardware, virus protection, good backup systems or changes to work practices or habits.

Software customisation

We can help you setup or customise software to your requirements, such as setting up spreadsheets or templates.

Website advice and getting started

We can advise you about how to get started on setting up a website, how to get a domain name, get your own myname@mybusiness.com email address, and/or help you set up a simple website (like this one) using free design tools (such as google sites or wordpress).  If you have an existing website that you want to edit, we may be able to help you, depending on how it is set up and how much information your existing designer gave you.  However, you do need a lot of motivation and computer skill to maintain even a simple website yourself.   If you have more advanced needs, are graphically challenged (like most of us), or require anything fancy we recommend you use a specialised web design firm.