Website hosting and web site design are two things that go hand-in-hand and are extremely important. In addition to website hosting you also have domain name registration. So, I want to take a minute to tell you what to look for with all these things. This is based on what I have seen when it’s not done right by web design companies and how to avoid a problem for the website that you own. This is strictly to help you find the right person to handle these functions for you.
- Domain Registration – Domain registration is the preliminary step to website hosting. When this is done make sure whoever is doing it for you uses your name, address, phone number and an email address that you own and intend to use and have access to for the duration of the website.
- If you decide to move your website the email address associated with the website is the main way you will be contacted. If this email address is owned by someone else, including the website design company, you may have issues moving the website.
- My opinion is that the domain registration and website hosting should be done by the same company.
- Website Hosting – Website Hosting is where the physical files for your site are stored. This is important because you own the files. That is what you paid for and that is what you need if you move to another website hosting company.
- Do not let the website designer do website hosting on thier server.
- They are only doing this to charge you a monthly maintenance fee.
- It means they have complete control over your website files that you own and if you get ready to change, they may give you a hard time about getting those files.
- Monthly fees are directly from the website designer and are not a standard part of website hosting.
- Do not let the website designer do website hosting on thier server.
- Website Design – Make sure they are using a website design program or language that is common and popular.
- WordPress and Joomla are the two most popular but are not cross compatible.
- Most of the website design places that you can do yourself are not cross compatible to WordPress, Joomla or other website design programs.
Website Hosting, Domain Registration and Website Design final thoughts
You paid for this, you own it. Make sure you can easily move it around or change companies as you deem necessary. We use GoDaddy because we register, host and build your site on their plan using WordPress. We also put it on your account, with your credit card so it bills you directly, allowing you to have control over the process. It ensures that you don’t have a problem with ownership of the files, site name or any other part of the process. GoDaddy also has a great, built-in backup and anti-virus program of thier product. You don’t have to use GoDaddy ( http://www.godaddy.com) but make sure all those things are in the package you choose when choosing someone to build your website.
AML Computer Services, LLC
By design review sites were there to allow people to have a valid, honest opinion of a business or service. Both Google and Yelp are the top two review sites but neither one govern what is written on their site. Both Google and Yelp are impossible to get in touch with for any assistance when someone who is not a customer decides to utilize the review portion for something other than what it was meant to be.
What they have created was a place for people to bash businesses that they have never met nor done business with, to hide behind a computer and say things that are blatant lies. To take that even further you don’t even have to prove that you are you or have any proof that it is a valid account to post a review at all. Why shouldn’t a site that allows reviews make sure that the person has done business with the company they are reviewing and make sure the person has a valid account to post a review?
The only way a business can defend themselves is to solicit family and close friends to counteract a false review. This isn’t what is supposed to happen either. Both ways falsify the rating. I can assure you that any company that you look at the reviews the top 20% or more is close friends and family and the bottom 20% are people that never need to be allowed to write a review for anyone. That leaves only the middle 60%, MAYBE that are valid reviews.
Yelp is a company that has many negative reviews on it’s own review site, been in the news for fraudulent business practices and other things because of the way they run their company. Yelp makes millions, people like me are just trying to pay their bills, so you do the math who comes out on top. I hope that one day small businesses will ban together and take to court both Yelp and Google and anyone like them for their allowance of review practices.
After the fiasco of a couple of weeks ago we are done caring about what reviews are left for us, whether they are negative or positive. We have wasted enough time and energy on those things and the very few negative reviews we have are by the extreme small percentage of people. We have thousands of customers and that number continues to grow. Out of that thousands of customers the only ones that we haven’t been able to satisfy or help are those that have not allowed us to do so. That number is about 1%. So the percentage of people that would complain about us is so small it’s not worth our time. We will continue to focus on those that are worth our outstanding service and reputation, the 99%.
To those 99% we can’t thank you enough.
How many times should you backup the same data? This may sound like a ridiculous question but it is not. Ask this first, how important is the data to me? Most people store pictures these days on their computer and phone. Very few people have them printed. Do you even own a film camera anymore? If you do, do you actually use it to take pictures and have them printed and save the negative? Doubtful.
It’s not a matter of IF your device will crash, it’s WHEN! So when that happens, what will you lose? Or what is an acceptable loss? NOTHING? Then you need to protect that data.
How do I backup?
First, do it to a local device. Whether you go out and buy a USB external drive or use a USB Flash Drive or CD/DVD. Remember that not one of these things is perfect or incapable of something happening.
You might ask, why not just use an online backup service? Here is the simple reason why. They depend on the internet, the internet is imperfect. What I mean by that is it transfers your data, as it sees it, over to a site. Remember, AS IT SEES IT. That means if it misreads it, the data will be corrupt. Also, it can have errors during transmission. Then finally, it can take a VERY long time for it to be restored.
We like a online backup company called iDrive.
Their interface is much simpler and they aren’t as expensive as Carbonite.
I hear if your business makes it five years, you have made it. Really? I don’t believe I can all the sudden relax. Five years ago I had an idea. I wanted to make sure I paid my bills. That is still all that’s happening. Five years of good times, bad times and going half mad times but I wouldn’t trade it.
This is the story of AML Computer Services. I worked for corporate all my life once I got out of the military. I did the computer job from grunt up to Director. Truthfully, it all sucked the same. I pretty much hated what I did for some reason or another. I left a great mid-sized company that had changed direction and forgotten what made them. The company was run like a big family that cared about everyone including their customers. Then they started allowing one person to guide their thought process, who incidentally had never been in front of a customer, and that’s when it all started to fall apart and I was miserable. I left that company to work for a small business that installed servers, workstations and medical software. About six weeks into the job the idiot that owned it came up to me and said “I can’t afford to pay you, after this pay period.” His credit card had already been suspended for non-payment. That was it! Five years ago, I said ENOUGH. That night I went home had a little too much rum, cried on the back porch, stayed up way too late, came up with AML Computer Services as the name, woke up the next morning with a slight hangover, looked in the mirror and said “If I am going to continue to work for assholes, I am going to work for the asshole in the mirror”. That day at a customer of the guy that said “I can’t afford to pay you”, I registered AML Computer Services, LLC with the State of Georgia.
That night I was up until about 2am trying to come up with a logo. It became pretty easy because AML stood for Anastasia-Marie Liane and I typed it in Microsoft Word using New Times Roman. I liked the simple look and opened up WordArt in Word and used a gradient and all the sudden there it was. The logo, the colors, etc. As the days went by I began to think about exactly how I wanted the company to be run. I was burned out on installing servers. I didn’t want the long hours of being a contract support for a company with servers. That’s when it occurred to me. I had friends, family, etc. bugging me to help them with computer issues. Why? Because I knew what I was doing and they had no place to go they could trust. The next day I was telling Nicole about it and she came up with our Tag Line “Why Hire a Squad When You Only Need One” based on a dig at the Squad that has ripped people off for years with their lack of knowledge and overpricing.
That summer five years ago, I walked around Cumming, Ga and personally handed out 3000 business cards. I went to businesses but wanted to meet individuals and talk about the services. I can tell you it was HOT! During that time I ran into someone that owned a building in Dawsonville and wanted to rent part of it and would do it for a month to month lease.
THAT is when I knew what I wanted AML Computer Services to be. Here is a picture of the 1st AML Computer Services location.
Then about a year later we decided to add on Web Design, Graphic Logo Creation and printing and moved, which was only next door but it had us continuing our goal.
Finally, we moved to our current location where we focused more on cell phone and computer repair and began to let the printing part go. We still do Web Site Design and amazing SEO work. Five years later this is where it has come. We are proud of our accomplishments but they could only be true if you didn’t allow us to help you. So, THANK YOU
Email, we get a lot of complaints about it and we all use it. Most of us have 2 or more email accounts. Some people use email more than others. Some people don’t care if it disappears and others lives are on hold or over if it disappears.
So, let’s start here. There are two different types of email; POP and IMAP. POP email generally is used for one device only and generally set up to download all email from the server to that device. Note, I said GENERALLY. Meaning that this particular email type CAN be set up to leave a certain amount on the server and multiple devices access that email. POP is generally used for individuals and not businesses. IMAP always leaves a copy of the email on the server until you delete and is specifically designed for multiple devices automatically. This type of setting is usually for businesses. However, in our new connected world with multiple devices and being slave to email, I recommend most people use the IMAP settings. There is no sense in going into what the acronym’s of POP and IMAP exactly are it will not make a difference for this blog.
With POP email if you are using it on one PC and that PC crashes you might loose all your email. Like I said previously, it can be set up to hold some of that email at the server. IMAP always holds a copy at the server. The good part about it staying on the server is that it is usually backed up by the people running the server every night. However, if you are using some free email service like Gmail, Ymail, Hotmail, etc. you might find that you get little or no support for lost email. That includes the fact that if someone hacks your account, the only thing you can usually do is close that email account and use a new one. I won’t go into it right now but that is the reason to not use Google to host your web site or email for a business at all.
Now that you know there are two ways it is sent to you we can now talk about clients. What is a client? Microsoft Outlook is an client. There are many clients out there. The key to it is this. Microsoft Outlook was specifically designed to work with Microsoft email server’s known as Exchange Servers. Other email clients are usually considered to be multi-platform. Meaning simply that they are designed to work with both Microsoft Exchange Servers and other server’s which can include Linux. What client is right for you? If you are a business using a Microsoft Exchange Server whether it is a local/on-site server or a cloud based Microsoft Exchange Server, Outlook is the way to go. If you are using an ISP or Web Hosting companies email; like Windstream, Charter, AT&T or ones like GoDaddy, Wix, etc., you should use a different client. We recommend Thunderbird by Mozilla, the same people that bring you Firefox. You can download Thunderbird Here.
Why? As we already talked about Microsoft Outlook is specifically designed for Microsoft Exchange Server email. That does not mean that Outlook will not work with other systems. However, it does mean there could be issues. I will give you a real world scenario, that you can call you email people and verify it if you want. GoDaddy supplies email but if you are not using their Microsoft Office 365 Exchange program their exact statement about Microsoft Outlook working is this “We provide email and it works through the web-based interface just fine. We provide the common settings to use on email clients as a courtesy but we will not guarantee they will work nor will we support any email client.” I bet you didn’t know that did you? This goes for Windstream, Comcast, AT&T and other Web Hosting Companies.
Now finally for those home users, if you are on Windstream specifically it is even worse if you are trying to access accounts that are not on their specific servers. We have seen so many issues with people trying to access their Web Hosting company email through a client and using Windstream as an ISP. One thing that will help you is to keep your Inbox clean. Make folders and move the email that is not pertinent out of the Inbox, delete email that is not needed, make sure you empty the trash in the client and good luck. As people that are stuck in Dawsonville, Dahlonega and a few other surrounding areas are stuck with the WORST ISP ON THE PLANET = WINDSTREAM
What Should a Business Use?
It’s very simple. A business should either use Microsoft Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange Server. This is usually most easily done by contacting your Web Hosting company like GoDaddy to set that up. I am saying that simply because ISP’s and Web Hosting companies all have the same exact statement “we provide email to use as a web based interface and will not support the client/programs.” You may also chose to use Office.com or Outlook.com as a viable Microsoft Exchange hosting plan for your needs.
As always we are here to help and answer any questions you have at AML Computer Services
Most Mac users think they can’t get viruses or add-on programs that cause pop-ups. That is completely wrong. As a matter of fact, we have seen a huge increase in both. Mac users are very intuitive, usually more techie about their products but are very misinformed about viruses and security on their products. Because of this Mac users do not know where to turn to get help or what products are available. That is where we, AML Computer Services, come into the picture for you.
Guess what Mac users, all this we are sharing is FREE.
So one thing you can do is go to your Finder and under Go, click Utilities then click Disk Utility. It will come up like this.
Once it does click your Mac drive and then click Verify Disk Permissions, when it finishes then click Repair Disk Permissions. Then run Verify Disk and if it needs it the Repair Disk will not be grayed out and you need to click and run it.
Mac users, now go download some FREE programs.
Now that you have done that go to http://www.adwaremedic.com and download their free program for Mac users. Just click Scan for Adware and follow the directions afterwards.
Now once you have done that you can go to http://www.piriform.com/ and download CCleaner for the Mac. For Mac users it will have a Download button on the site and it will be the one for the Mac. You do not need to run Analyze just click Run Cleaner. When it reaches 100% you are done.
Finally, what anti-virus program to use? AVG of course. It’s our #1 choice when it comes to a FREE anti-virus program. This is especially the case for Mac users. Don’t get us wrong, their paid version is great too. Don’t be fooled by some other free anti-virus program that has a “cool” name, get something that works, something that has been tested by a viable IT Support company, like us. Just click this link http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage to go to the Free Mac version of AVG. Install it, run it and enjoy your cleaned-up, virus free, security protected Mac, courtesy of AML Computer Services.
Cryptowall, a ransomware, a type of virus but not one that any anti-virus program, UNTIL NOW, has been able to stop. Cryptowall aka Decrypt Virus will infect ALL your documents, pictures and Outlook files. When it does, they are GONE. A lot of popular anti-virus programs have claimed to be able to stop it and/or clean it but that is wrong, until now. Cryptowall has been conquered by an anti-virus program we found and tested several years ago. Cryptowall meet Stopzilla, you are now defeated.
Because we have been working on and dealing with the Cryptowall virus since about mid-November we had the pleasure of being interviewed by WSB TV Channel 2 Tom Regan about the virus, possible removal and effects on the users. We particularly focused on if paying the ransom would unlock the files, it won’t and what it meant for the users. What it means is total data loss.
At that time of that interview there was no published way to protect you from the Cryptowall virus and the ONLY method to save your files was to use several backup devices by rotating them over several days. For example, use several USB devices, use a different one every day for 3 or so days and check every day for the Cryptowall virus files. See picture on right, the three bottom files are the supposed instructions on how to remove the virus, it’s part of the scam and all it really does is shows you that you are infected. This usually houses itself in your Documents or Picture folder. The first sign you may have a problem is that your computer comes up and asks “what program do you want to use to open this file” when you are opening a Word, Excel file or Picture. However, if you check daily for the files above and have done a backup, you might be ok.
AS OF FEBRUARY 1, 2015 STOPZILLA CAN STOP THE CRYPTOWALL VIRUS, with their new 7.0 version.
The update of the virus definitions for previously purchased versions will be out a in a few weeks. If you don’t want to wait for the definitions you can pay for the upgrade. Even if you have purchased the Lifetime version the Lifetime version will not update the definitions for a few weeks, you have to pay for the upgrade. We will be doing it at a heavily reduced price and no install fee from us. If you wish to purchase and install it yourself, visit their site at http://www.stopzilla.com/products/stopzilla- antivirus
Are you getting this message on Windows XP? You should be. Whether you are or not, this is especially important if you are running a business, you are wide open to being hacked and your financial information being stolen. What does that mean? Someone can break into your system and wipe out all your bank accounts. There is NO fix for Windows XP security issues. Let’s say your response is “I have programs that will not run on anything but XP and I can’t afford to upgrade all them or they aren’t available”. Ok, that’s fair, here’s a solution. Upgrade to Windows 7 Professional and run in XP Mode. This gives you the security of running Windows 7 but you can actually run Windows XP in a “Window” in a safe environment. I am NOT saying it is 100% security proof nor is any Windows version you run. I am saying it is as safe as it can get and closes off the potential Windows XP security holes. If the person or company supporting your computer doesn’t tell you this, not only are they doing you a huge disservice but at the very least they are putting you at risk. Don’t spend another dime on making a Windows XP computer run. Save that money for a Windows 7 or 8/8.1 computer or if you hate Windows 8 wait until Windows X.
The simple fact is that Windows XP is 14 years old. If you can find a Windows 7 computer, which we sell, you can still run your Windows XP programs. This is the best suggestion we can make to ensure that you are at the best level of security that you can get for your money. Remember that Windows will never be perfect or security risk free. Adding a good anti-virus program like Stopzilla, which we sell, will help to keep your computer safe. Remember if you download something that any anti-virus program sees as a program it will not stop you.
A couple of years ago we started testing anti-virus programs. We came across Stopzilla anti-virus. We had never heard of it just like most people. What impressed us first and foremost was Stopzilla was the ONLY anti-virus we found that would completely remove the Redirect Virus. We also noticed that Stopzilla would remove tracking cookies. What is the significance of tracking cookies? Simply, they are put on your computer by every website you visit to cater ads to you. Ads are the way viruses, trojans, malware, hi-jack programs and other things get into your computer. At the time we tested many anti-virus programs we ran across Consumer Reports ranking of “popular” anti-virus programs. The list is below with some of our testing marks. You can see where we ranked them in our own testing. Stopzilla was not a “popular” or well known program so it didn’t get tested.
When we tested Stopzilla against the others we found it to be much more intuitive than any of them. The next thing we wanted to do was be able to offer a free anti-virus program and our first choice on that was AVG Free. We simply found it better than any other of the free anti-virus programs. We also made our decision based on how well the anti-virus programs that we chose worked with the user and didn’t slow the computer down.
Below is a current customer computer that is being scanned by Stopzilla. Nothing else we have tried worked to fix all the add-on stuff on here. We even tried Malwarebytes Pro because it was already loaded on the PC. At the time of this posting the current running Stopzilla had found over 12000 different infections or things that should not be on the computer.
Below is a link to their anti-virus if you want to purchase it http://stopzilla.com/products/stopzilla-antivirus/. However, as a reseller we can beat the price and then we support it for you. In addition, we offer something from them that they do not offer online. Stopzilla allows their resellers to sell the AVM Lifetime version. It is $100 but it’s a lifetime version, no annual renewal, and it is transferrable and we can install it for you free. The disclaimer on that is this, you must keep up with the license key that will be emailed to you. If you get us to do a clean-up on your computer, sometimes called a Tune-Up, and we install the AVM Lifetime version we do it for $60 and install it. Please be aware that both programs require us to charge tax. Also, if you do go to their site please notice they offer a separate malware program and optimizer. We have used and tested both and are very impressed.
Because I want people to know what kind of service we provide and how we treat our customers so I am giving some examples below. I also wanted to give some examples of what we do for our customers if they have a problem with equipment or something we worked on for them. This is so you know that we stand behind what we do and we treat all our customers with utmost respect. It’s even more proven by whom out there businesswise recommends us. We have two other IT Companies that send their people to us. One of them doesn’t work on Apple Computers, so Computer Medics of Lanier sends us that business and Appalachian Technologies out of Cleveland that exclusively works on City networks sends anyone that asks them about computer or cell phone repair to us. In addition, AT&T, Verizon and Walmart send people here for cell phone repairs. These type of things do not happen if you aren’t providing great service. There are a ton of examples but I didn’t want bore you. So these few real examples of things we have done are listed below:
- Customer bought a laptop from us. Brought it in a week later with the hard drive completely failed. Laptop is under warranty by the manufacturer. Instead of making them wait for repair, we gave them a more expensive brand new laptop and set it up for them all at no charge.
- Customer had phone repaired by us, a week later they broke the screen again, we replaced the screen at a huge discount.
- Customer bought a used laptop. Used laptops have a 30 – 90 day warranty. Not sure which warranty period it was on this one but it was out of warranty by a week. The motherboard had gone bad. We traded them out at no charge for another used laptop.
- One of our customers came in with a laptop that the CD/DVD drive would not see any disc. The problem is that some software like, Magic Jack and Driver Updater will overwrite the CD/DVD in the registry. It’s not a hard fix for us. We corrected the problem for him at no charge.
- A customer came in with a Windstream issue, we knew it but they thought it was their computer. We showed them it wasn’t the computer, there was no charge and we even installed Stopzilla Anti-Virus for free because we wanted to make sure that Microsoft Security Essentials, which is junk, had not missed any major Trojans, malware, etc. We did that all that work at no charge.
- A customer had a laptop with a bad DC Jack. It needed replacing and required soldering work. There was major damage to the port area, including a crack in the motherboard. We replaced the DC Jack and informed the customer of what we saw. The computer did work. It quit working and she brought it back about a month later. We opened it up and re-soldered the DC Jack as best as possible. It worked again. We did this at no charge. The DC Jack area is so badly damaged that it will probably happen again. I told her she needs to start saving for a new computer as that will not hold forever.
Who is AML Computer Services? AML Computer Services is named after our daughter, Ana-Marie Liane, was started with zero customers out of our house. In the summer of 2010 I personally handed out 3000 business cards to get business. Today AML Computer Services employs 3 people. Daniel Sides who is married with one child and one due in March who has just moved into his first house and Lucas Ramirez who is trying to buy a new car and of course Rick Eubanks.
So as you know we can’t be where we are without our wonderful customers. In May we will hit our 5 year anniversary and will be close to 3 years at our current location. I wanted to let you all know we had a 33% increase in business in 2014 over 2013. So that means 2014 we had another amazing year thanks to you allowing us to help you with your computer and cell phone repairs. We can not express enough how much we appreciate you continuing to tell everyone about our stellar service.
Needless to say we aren’t perfect but we do way more right than wrong. With almost 1400 likes on our page and 4.5 or so stars that’s a win to us. Sure you have an occasional person that may post a negative. We aren’t perfect but we surely try to make sure we are and we do strive for 100% satisfaction guarantee. I doubt you can find too many businesses like AML Computer Services that will do as much for free or go overboard to help as we do but it doesn’t mean we will be abused. When you aren’t willing to let someone that is wrong trample on you that’s when you don’t get perfect scores.
People often ask us what things AML Computer Services support, of course this being a family business makes it a personal decision also. We support the Dawson County Humane Society, Dawson County Humane Society Thrift Store, R.E.A.D. of Dawsonville, WeeBooks of Dawsonville, a variety of sports with the Dawson County High School and the school itself. We have done low cost work for No One Alone, Dawson County Family Connection, Ric-Rack, Abba House Thrift Store. We also try to help any kids that come by selling candy or other advertising for the Dawson and Lumpkin areas. We advertise in both local papers Dawson News & Advertiser and the The Dahlonega Nugget and we also advertise in a local phone book Lakeview Publishing. I know the last isn’t supporting for a charity but I included it to show our support of other local businesses and the community.
We chose to drop most of our printing services, specifically the ones in-house and concentrate more on our web design. As we can offer a lower cost and higher quality than you can usually get.
So again thank you and we look forward to a great 2015 at AML Computer Services.
SEO + SEM + SMO + SMM and other acronyms of website management or development. We are often asked about these. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization, this allows your website to get a good ranking on search engines when people are trying to find you or your services. What is SEM? Search Engine Management, this is what a company that is doing their job on your website does to make sure that your SEO is working effectively. What is SMO? Social Media Optimization, this makes sure that your social media is getting the attention of the most widely available potential customers for your business through social media and integration with your website, which also comes into play with SEO. What is SMM? Social Media Management, this means the company you are hiring is watching the SMO to make sure it is working effectively for you. If all this is done correctly, the money you spend with a company to do your web design and optimization means ROI, that’s Return On Investment.
So have I lost you? Or did you follow me enough to know that AML Computer Services knows what is going on with web design and optimization? If you even followed it partial or not, keep reading. The next part is even more important.
When you are trying to have someone develop a website and plan for your web site, what should you look for? Or even what should you make sure are signals to run?
When to run;
- If they are only available via phone or email
- If they are not in your drivable area or country
- If they do not have a proper business (meaning location and license)
- If their own website has missing links or content (missing links are when you click something and get a page error)
- If their own website shows people that are assisting with design that you never meet (this means they outsource and your changes will be delayed)
- If they keep raising the price
- If they are hosting the website themselves (trust me on this it creates huge problems if you ever need to leave them)
- If they are using software or coding that makes it where only they can change your website.
What should you look for;
- Check other websites they have done and call the people
- Ask to meet the team that will be working on the site
- Make them show you proven results though analytics (this is the measurement by which all search engines use to track traffic)
- Make sure they are using a program that can be utilized by others and possibly even allow you to add content
- Make sure that you are not locked into a contract or anything that doesn’t allow you to move your website
- Some of the things are sort of mentioned above but make sure you can go to a physical address and they are responsive
These things should get you on the right track to help you get a website that promotes your business and brings you money through SEO, SEM, SMO and SMM which ultimately give you the ROI you expect.
Just so you know, this is how we rank by searching computer repair Dawsonville
As if Best Buy with Geek Squad isn’t enough Now this from the overpriced and less knowledgeable than you average neighborhood geek that built his own computer isn’t bad enough, now you have employees stealing identifies from customers. This is a company to avoid at all cost!
Their customer service is one of the worst in the business. It is especially bad since they are as big of a chain as they are. Best Buy lost our business long years ago when they falsely advertised an item, sent us on a wild good chase to get it, that never happened.
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. —
Not a huge fan of Walmart but a lot of us do shop there. So check this out. Article originally written by CBS LA.
Walmart’s New Online Tool Gives Competitors Prices
March 21, 2014 11:06 PM
New Online Tool Gives Competitors Prices
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LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — The “Every Day Low Price” king is trying to shake up the world of pricing once again.
Walmart has rolled out an online tool that compares its prices on 80,000 food and household products — from canned beans to dishwashing soap — with those of its competitors. If a lower price is found elsewhere, the discounter will refund the difference to shoppers in the form of store credit.
The world’s largest retailer began offering the feature, called “Savings Catcher,” on its website late last month in seven big markets that include Dallas, San Diego and Atlanta. The tool compares advertised prices at retailers with physical stores, and not at online rivals like Amazon.com that also offer low prices on staples.
“You can think of the app as a post-purchase ad match. We are really making it easy in that you don’t have to look through those circulars anymore, you don’t have to know what’s on sale at another retailer,” Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman said.
Asked why Walmart doesn’t just implement the lowest price right away, Blakeman said, “This tool is in place for the chance that there is a lower advertised price out there.”
Here’s how the tool works: A customer has to set up an account on http://www.walmart.com, log onto the Savings Catcher page and type in the number on their receipt.
Savings Catcher compares prices of every item on the receipt to a database of advertised prices of competitors that’s provided by an undisclosed third party. The tool doesn’t apply to general merchandise like clothing or electronic gadgets.
Walmart prices are matched to stores based on geographic location. For example, in Atlanta, Walmart compares prices to nearly 20 rivals, including Aldi, CVS, Food Lion, Target and Dollar General.
Any difference in prices is put on a Walmart online gift card. Customers can accumulate savings or use the credit immediately. They can redeem in stores or online by printing out the gift card receipt.
Cal State San Bernardino Marketing Professor Victoria Seitz warned consumers there’s a price to be paid for using an app like this.
“That price is your privacy. They’re going to know about your shopping habits,” she said.
Ken Perkins, president of retail research firm Retail Metrics LLC, said the move will “put pressure on everyone else to follow suit.” But he and other industry watchers voiced concerns that the tool doesn’t compare prices of online retailers.
Meanwhile, Walmart said it wants to see how competitors and customers respond to the program, but it doesn’t have any plans to add online stores to the test.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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Windows 8 product key issue that you probably do not know about. Microsoft claims the product key is embedded in the BIOS of the computer but that is not always true.
If you bought a computer with Windows 8 or 8.1 the product key is not located on the outside of the computer. It is ONLY embedded in the system itself. This means if you do not make your recovery disks it can’t be reloaded. The only other way to retrieve your product key is to use Belarc Advisor which is downloadable from http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
PLEASE TAKE NOTE IF YOUR COMPUTER CRASHES WITH WINDOWS 8/8.1 AND YOU DO NOT DO THE STEPS ABOVE YOU WILL HAVE TO PURCHASE WINDOWS 8/8.1 LICENSE KEY.
AML Computer Services
258 Beartooth Parkway Suite 180
Dawsonville, Ga. 30534
The separator of our Apple Service from the others. We are factory trained and have been for years, as you can see. This is NOT the only Certificate from Apple but I believe you get the point. Why trust someone who claims to know Apple products when we are trained. Come see us.
AML Computer Services
258 Beartooth Parkway Suite 180
Dawsonville, Ga. 30534
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advised computer users to consider using alternatives to Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers have used to launch attacks.
The bug is the first high-profile security flaw to emerge since Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP earlier this month. That means PCs running the 13-year old operating system could remain unprotected against hackers seeking to exploit the newly uncovered flaw, even after Microsoft figures out how to defend against it.
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a part of Homeland Security known as US-CERT, said in an advisory released on Monday morning that the vulnerability in versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer could lead to “the complete compromise” of an affected system.
“We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem,” Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute warned in a separate advisory, that US-CERT linked to in its warning.
Versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer dominate desktop browsing, accounting for 55 percent of the PC browser market, according to tech research firm NetMarketShare. Google Inc’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox account for the majority of the rest of the traffic.
News of the vulnerability surfaced over the weekend as Microsoft said its programmers were rushing to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Cybersecurity software maker FireEye Inc warned that a sophisticated group of hackers have been exploiting the bug in a campaign dubbed “Operation Clandestine Fox.”
FireEye, whose Mandiant division helps companies respond to cyber attacks, declined to name specific victims or identify the group of hackers, saying that an investigation into the matter is still active.
“It’s a campaign of targeted attacks seemingly against U.S.-based firms, currently tied to defense and financial sectors,” said FireEye spokesman Vitor De Souza on Sunday. “It’s unclear what the motives of this attack group are, at this point. It appears to be broad-spectrum intel gathering.”
In addition to possibly switching to an alternative web browser, US-CERT advised businesses to consider using a free Microsoft security tool known as EMET, or the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, to thwart potential attacks. Security experts say EMET is helpful in staving off attacks, but businesses are sometimes reluctant to use it because it can cause systems to crash due to incompatibility with some software programs.
Original article can be found here http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2014/04/28/us-advises-avoiding-internet-explorer-until-bug-fixed/?intcmp=fbtopstories
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AML Computer Services Support
Customer service is our #1 goal. We strive to make sure our customers are happy. We have even lost money to make sure that our customers are happy. We are here to make the best suggestion to you for your technology needs, not to just put money in our pockets. When a big box location does tries with their customer service they go into it knowing they aren’t really losing anything. When their markup is 200 – 500% of what they pay them to give the item for them to give it away or mark it down to an absurd low price is not a problem. We aren’t perfect but when there is a problem we treat our customers with respect and expect the same in return.
Although we have a no return policy, we do have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and that’s even better. Why? Because it means our first level is to make sure you get what you expect out of the experience of our service.
We are very aware that small business owners that succeed do so because they strive to provide above average service, be competitive with pricing, etc. We know that the best form of advertising is still word of mouth.
I am not sure why some people think that prices are negotiable or try to not pay their bill. Do you go to Walmart and try to negotiate a price?
Click the Customer Service link below for an article about this.
Looking for IT Support? Customer Service should be the #1 thing you care about
If you are a company looking for IT Support or someone to do a contract work for you, why wouldn’t you ask for current references? This is your business, your life, your livelihood. Hiring someone because “they need the work” or “they are a good person” to work on your computer system is not a very good business decision. Realize also that some IT Support companies target businesses and will overload themselves and will not be able to support you like you need. They will concentrate on the larger customers. We cater to home users, home based businesses and small business and only take on a very few businesses that need constant IT Support. We have partnerships with other quality businesses in the area and can point you to the right fit for your business if we can’t take on your support. Why? because we appreciate our customers, potential customers and value your business needs like it is our own. That’s why you can come see us first and trust us.
Any of you other IT companies out there that are trying to do a good job, this is a fair warning to you. Be careful of the snakes in the grass that talk a good game but don’t know their butt from a hole in the ground about IT. Once those people get their foot in the door or get the ear of a customer you are doomed. There are a lot of us out there doing a great job and even support each other. The people you have to watch for are those that don’t actually have a business and just claim to know something about IT. This is also a fair warning to our valued customers. Good IT people ban together and help each other. Just because you know someone on a social level is not a good reason to just hire them to do a job.
Custom built computer, is it for everyone? Quite a few people that know a little about a computer think they can easily put together their own custom built computer. There is a lot more to it than just throwing together some parts, starting it up and watching it run.
If you buy a custom built computer from someone you better make sure they know what they are doing. What about warranty? Where did they get their software? Where did they get their training? Are they sure they have properly checked the amount of wattage needed for the power supply? What happens when you have a problem with a custom built computer?
All of these questions about a custom built computer are valid and important. AML Computer Services has many years of experience in building and repairing computers. Because of this we know what works but we still tested it before it gets to you.
These guys are experts in finding the right parts to fit into your system to make sure it runs as fast as possible and efficient. All of our components have been tested for a long time before we chose what component manufacturer to utilize. Once the computer has been built we then have a 24 hour burn in time utilizing the latest software technology to “stress test” the system. This helps us insure that there are less failures once you made your purchase. However, if there is a failure you can be sure that you are covered under our warranty of at least 1 (one) year. That warranty is done by us so you don’t have to wait weeks to get your computer up and running.
Anytime you buy a computer from a retail chain store you only get the manufacturers warranty unless you purchase some “extra” plan. Even then several places only send your computer off to get it fixed and you might have to wait 2 – 3 weeks or longer. Even those that do repair at their location can take 1 – 2 weeks. Do you really want to wait that long or had you rather know that we can fix it in 24 – 48 hours?
Where do you get a custom built computer you can trust to work?
AML Computer Services of course. Come by and check out our custom built computers. If you have specifics you need, we have got you covered.
Windows XP having been around for 12 years, Microsoft is ending support. “after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC.” the article on Microsoft’s website about Windows XP further states that no security updates will be available. If you would like to you can read the whole article here http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help
It is because of this decision that Microsoft made about Windows XP that we made a decision last year. As of January 1, 2014 that we will no longer buy or sell used computers that have Windows XP. This does NOT mean we will not continue to service them as best that we can.
Microsoft is a monopoly no matter what they want to say or what the government wants to say. When Microsoft makes a decision, like they have with Windows XP, it affects the consumer. The affect on the consumer in this case is that it’s forcing you to update your computer. At the current time the operating system that Microsoft wants to push on you is Windows 8. There are still some stragglers of last years model PC’s that are available with Windows 7. I have also seen that some computer manufacturers are offering Windows 7 loaded on purchases of some new laptops and desktops. Once these available licenses, known as product keys, are depleted you will only be able to get Windows 8.
Alternative to Windows XP from AML Computer Services
At the current time we can offer Windows 7 on a lot of laptops and we are custom building desktop computers with Windows 7. Windows 7 is a great alternative to Windows XP. It has the basic look and feel of Windows XP but Windows 7 is much more robust and has a 64 bit operating system where Windows XP mostly shipped with 32 bit. What is the difference you ask? What is the difference between a 4 lane highway and and 8 lane highway? Get the point? More traffic can move faster with 64 bit than 32 bit.
So come out and see us at AML Computer Services. We can help you navigate the information super highway faster and right into the future.