FACT Computer Services Co.

Welcome to the FCS Newsletter, Fall Edition 2018

"I can see clearly now the smoke is gone!" Oh wait. . . wrong lyrics. . . but yes, the smoke began to clear and finally stay away as August turned into September! That took way too long. However, life around FCS continued trucking right along in spite of the smoke and a convalescing shoulder.

"The Only Constant is Change"

When you're laid up and looking for things to do, it always pays to spend part of that time re-examining things, such as how one does business. By the time the end of August rolled around, there were so many changes I had to do up a blog post about them all:

Happy Fiscal New Year!!! Announcing BIG! Exciting! Changes!

BIG NEWS! Expansion of onsite payment options! Service Rate Changes! Discounts! Online Billing Update! Oh, and did I mention the quarterly newsletter already went out August 3rd??? I seem to have this habit of major changes taking place within a month of official communication having already taken place! Ah well, when you're left-handed, life tends to happen backwards. You get …
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Age Doesn't Have to Slow You Down

Nor does it have to slow down your computer, at least not as quickly. While you can keep your machine physically clean, and free of background processes running when you are trying to work, other changes can also breathe a little more life into your aging system. One of those changes relates to two other blog articles I've written over the past while, and one of those since the summer newsletter went out:

The Browser Hunt

The hunt
It's a smokey summer Sunday afternoon and I am stuck inside thanks to allergic asthma. This tends to mean surfing Facebook, reading the news, looking at emails, etc. All these activities involve the use of a browser. Now I'm not the type to sit there surfing on my phone. Heck I even find surfing on my 7" Blackberry Playbook to …
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Ghost-Miner: The Latest "Threat" to Land in Cyber-Space

Alt-Coin Cyber-Threat

As alt-coins get more popular, particularly Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherium, and their lesser but also well-known counterparts Doge and Dash, cyber-criminals have found new wealth to extract from people's machines. It should be noted that over the past decade or more, cyber-criminals realized they could get far more cash by searching machines for credit card, bank, paypal etc data and use …
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Why are both of those articles shared back to back? Because depending on what you are doing, you do or don't want your machine working to pay for itself. Finding a browser that worked faster than other browsers AND let my aging machine start contributing to it's keep was just too much to pass up. However, letting miners onto your machine that you don't in any way benefit from is just foolhardy.

"The Only Constant is Change: Part Two"

Let's see, we've covered changing business practices for the coming fiscal year. We've covered changes to browsing choices and the reasons why. Last newsletter we covered communication changes and went over the various ways you can reach FCS when you need servicing for your machine. That leads me to another change that will be happening in stages for those who are on social media online.

Slowly but surely, as features come online, FCS will have a presence over at Webtalk, a brand new social media platform that merges the concepts of LinkedIn's professional list with Facebook's personal list, Customer relationship management concepts, and more all under one roof. The network is currently in beta, but when it comes out, the company will enact something that many users of social media wish were possible: It will pay users part of the revenue from seeing ads appear on the network. If you use social media already, you are no doubt familiar with the ads you see in sidebars or in newsfeeds already, but those networks don't share any of that revenue with you. The occasional network startup has tried and then folded in the past, but the roadmap set out by Webtalk suggests they are in this for the long haul and the polish on their system speaks to that potential.

Therefore, using the invitation link here, you now have a way to reach me at this new social network as well. When business pages come online, similar content to what you've seen over at FCS on Facebook, will appear on the business page on Webtalk as well.

Stop in and Say Hi!

On the note of communication, a long distance friend gave me a smartphone they no longer use, so the business number now has a phone attached to it. It is a Vancouver number, as that was the closest area code the free service could give me. Quality is good in various wifi zones I've tried it in. This is a wifi phone, meaning I won't get calls or texts when not in wifi zones, just as a heads up.

If you aren't familiar with the new business number, please visit the website: http://www.fa-ct.com again. I strongly encourage everyone to start using the website more often to purchase techsupport and stay in touch. A loyalty program now joins the referral program that you can read up on while you are there as well. A quick recap from the spring newsletter on site improvements:

1) Purchase time blocks to always have techsupport available whether you have the funds at the moment you need it or not. Just purchase your desired number of blocks ahead of time and those will be billed against whenever invoices are sent out to you. See past newsletters for instructions on adding a password to your existing account. The email address you receive my invoices at is the username on your account already. It just needs a password and you're good to go. (Purchases can now be paid for using bitcoin if you know anyone wanting to do their online purchases in this fashion)

CONFUSION HAS BEEN REPORTED regarding the use of time blocks! While I'd hoped the image of the time block on the website would have cleared up any confusion, it is best to think of time blocks like gift cards. When you are given a gift card for Walmart, sometimes it covers the entire purchase, sometimes it falls short of the entire purchase, and sometimes you have something left on the card for another purchase in the future. Time blocks work the same way. When you purchase a time block, sometimes it will cover all of a tech support session, sometimes only part of it, and sometimes you will have funds left over for a future session.

2) Use the on-site ticket system to keep all your issue-related emails in one place without fear of accidentally deleting anything you may want to revisit. Start a ticket using the time block ID and order #, and you'll automatically be moved to a screen upon completion of the ticket where you can request a day and time for me to deal with your requested servicing. I've tested the workflow and this system works great!

3) FCS now has a loyalty program in combination with the referral incentive, called "Rewardicals" where you will earn reward tokens for every dollar you spend on time blocks at the FCS website. Rewardicals can be redeemed for online shopping gift certificates, redeemed to donate to your favourite global charity, purchase BTC if you are wanting to delve into that space, buy silver, and more on the way.

4) Get the new phone & text number for FCS.

5) Read past newsletters

6) Read blog entries written by FCS.

7) Visit other recommended small-shop businesses online where you can purchase computer-related accessories and earn Rewardicals from them as well.

One small note: If you encounter an "internal error", that is a hosting glitch in the system. Refresh your page after a couple moments and carry on. The site will load. The hosting antivirus thinks a legitimate wordpress file is a virus for some reason, so the false positive occasionally causes brief fatal errors.

Who You Gonna Call!?! FCS!

Hopefully none of you got caught by the latest Windows 10 Creator's Update! If you haven't done your Windows Updates yet, hopefully the revamped Creator's Update will treat you more kindly. If you did get caught, and the update deleted files and folders on you, hopefully you had a backup to restore from. I can't stress enough how important backups are to your personal and business data, anything from pictures to videos to spreadsheets and documents.

I understand some of you are now moving to other non-Microsoft operating systems. This means of course that while you are safer from MS-related gaffs such as this one, you still need to ensure the safety of your machine from threats that are either cross-platform, or specificially written for your OS. I am a PC-trained and certified computer repair tech, so any assistance you ask of me for other OS's will be a combination of research on the fly, and poking around to locate things that are familiar to me in a different format. Otherwise, you will need to go to another tech in town who is more fluent in the OS you have chosen. I can't blame you for switching however, if you are one of those who has. Microsoft really has to stop shooting themselves in the foot eventually, or there may be even bigger changes in the years ahead, for all of us.

As for myself, I am up and running around, seeing client issues and taking appointments again.

Here's hoping your Fall season is going well, and if you need me, see the list above for ways to reach me.

Marilynn Dawson