FAQs

Please click on the questions to view the answers.

Computers & Laptops (3)

If I get a Custom Built Computer, can I specify the parts used?

You certainly can, with the following disclaimer.
If the specific parts you want are available from our suppliers, then we can do that.
Sometimes however, the parts may be out of stock or obsolete, in which case we would recommend an alternative.
In some cases we also recommend an alternative regardless, if we believe your choice of component is questionable.
We would of course explain our reasoning to you first.

If I specify the parts I want to use in a PC, can you build it?

Yes, absolutely.
I would suggest however that you allow us to review your chosen parts, and if applicable, make suggestions for alternative parts.
In the past we have had customers specify parts that in our opinion are not the most reliable, or not the best choice.

Do you sell computers and laptops?

We most certainly do.

We can supply you with both custom built PC’s using quality components or name brand PC’s.

We can also supply just about any name brand when it comes to laptops, notebooks or netbooks.

Data Recovery (1)

How do I prevent data loss?

I am constantly saying to my customers that you can’t have too many backups. There are many solutions for backing up data, and each method will prevent data loss under certain circumstances. If you have a desktop PC, one of my favourite methods is to install a 2nd hard drive internally, and use software that “mirrors” the main hard drive to the 2nd hard drive. This means you have an exact copy of your hard drive and in the event of a hard drive failure, you can “theoretically” boot up from the 2nd drive. This method has the same advantage of using an external hard drive without the downside of having an additional device plugged into the computer and having the extra associated cables, and it is an exact copy. The disadvantage is that it doesn’t prevent data loss in the case of your house burning down or if someone steals your computer. That is why off-site backups are so important. I use and recommend a little program called Carbonite for this. Click on the link to read all about Carbonite

Fees & Charges (2)

What services do your fees cover?

Our fees are time-based meaning we can be working on multiple computers and/or problems at once. This of course excludes any parts that may be required. There are certain computer faults that are more economical to do in our office, so when you 1st call to inquire about our services, you will be asked a series of questions to determine what the likely fault is. For example, if it is determined that the likely cause of your problem is a virus/spyware infection, you will be informed that it would be more cost effective to drop the computer at our office. This is because it takes many hours to effectively scan a PC and remove infections, and rather than sit at your premises and babysit the PC while it is scanning and twiddling our thumbs waiting while you get charged by the hour, we can be doing other jobs making it a more affordable repair.

How much do your services cost?

We have a sliding scale callout fee (which includes the 1st hour) that varies depending on how far from Morayfield you are, and a flat hourly rate thereafter. If the immediate problem is solved before the minimum one hour service, we will gladly spend the rest of the remaining hour looking at any other problems you may have or answering any other questions you may have.

Telstra (1)

Why would I choose Telstra Business Broadband over regular BigPond Broadband?

There are several reasons.
First of all there is 24/7 Australian based Tech Support available.
Second, your Broadband Speed is guaranteed.
Third, your uploads are not counted as part of your data allowance so effectively your uploads are free.
Fourth, if you exceed your data limit, instead of being slowed down to dial-up speed and effectively having unusable Internet which can affect your Business, you pay extra per MB so that you don’t lose your Broadband.
This charge is capped at $300 so you know you won’t have huge Bill Shock.

Virus Removal (4)

How do you get infected with a virus?

There are many ways, but by far the most common ways are as follows:

1. Visiting malicious websites. Porn sites are notorious for harbouring malicious content. Pirate software sites, game cheat and crack sites, free screen saver sites and so on are also high on the list.

2. Using Peer-to-peer software like LimeWire. You never really know what you are downloading. Then once you open whatever it is you have downloaded, you get infected.

3. Opening email attachments with a file extension that is an executable type. Refer to our Virus and Spyware Notes and Blog Post Why You Get Viruses

4. Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are also being targeted. There are viruses specifically written to exploit these sites. Just because you get a message from someone you know with a link to a website doesn’t mean you have to click on it!!!

5. Not doing Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader updates and not doing Java Updates.  This is a big one because a lot of viruses exploit older versions of these.

6. Not using antivirus software, or using outdated software, and not installing the Windows Updates as they become available.

What Antivirus software do we recommend?

Up until the last few months or so, I was of the opinion that AVG Free was as good as any Antivirus software, on the proviso that you didn’t do stupid things online like visiting porn websites, clicking on links in emails that were obvious phishing scams and making sure you kept Windows up to date along with Java, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader.

Well all that still stands, but I have found there is an increasing number of really nasty viruses out there that are just getting past the AVG product, and as such, I have now changed my thinking and moved to the Norton 360 & Norton Internet Security products and now recommend these as my preferred Security solution.

Traditionally I haven’t been a fan of Security Suites, and I’m still not, but Norton 360 & Internet Security are minimal in their intrusiveness and they use fewer system resources than some of the others, and more importantly they detect those nasty viruses that AVG didn’t and still doesn’t.

FYI we sell Norton Internet Security for $29.  This will cover 1 PC for 12 mths.

I am infected with a nasty virus. I’ve tried everything but I still get pop-ups and my Home Page keeps changing. What can I do?

Unfortunately, removing viruses can be a tricky proposition and can be quite time consuming depending on the type of virus.
If it is a “Root Kit” virus, sometimes the only way to remove it is to format the hard drive and start fresh.
That is always a last resort however.
For more information, give us a call on (07) 5428-7905 to discuss it further.

What is a virus?

A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The term “virus” is also commonly but mistakenly used to refer to other infections known as malware, adware, and spyware, that do not have the reproductive ability. A true virus can only spread from one computer to another (in some form of executable code) when its host is taken to the target computer. For instance, because a user sent it over a network or the Internet, or carried it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB drive. Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer.

The term “computer virus” is sometimes used as a catch phrase to include all types of malware, adware, and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojans, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware, and other malicious and unwanted software, including true viruses. Viruses are sometimes confused with Computer Worms and Trojan horses, which are technically different. A worm can exploit security vulnerabilities to spread itself to other computers without needing to be transferred as part of a host, and a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless but has a hidden agenda. Worms and Trojans, like viruses, may cause harm to either a computer system’s hosted data, functional performance, or networking throughput, when they are executed. Some viruses and other malware have symptoms noticeable to the computer user, but many are stealthy and go unnoticed.W

Website Design (8)

Can you convert a html website to a WordPress website?

Yes we can.

We create a new WordPress website and add the pages required, and then we simply copy and paste the content from the old pages to the new WordPress pages along with the relevant images.

How much Hosting Space do you need for a website?

That really depends on how big the website is, how many pages it has, and what sort of content is on those pages.
Having said that, the smallest Hosting Plan has 25GB of space, so that should be able to accommodate just about any website.

I’m looking at getting a website with eCommerce capability. What is required to accept payment by Credit Card?

The easiest way to accept payments by Credit Card is to use PayPal.
By using PayPal, all the processing of sensitive information is done by them and it means you don’t have to worry about having a secure website that requires an SSL certificate and you also don’t need a Merchant Bank Account.
By far and away this is the easiest and cheapest way to do it.

I’d like to get a WordPress website because I’ve been told I can make changes myself and that it is the easiest system to learn. Is that true?

My position is that this is true.
I’ve used other CMS systems and it is my opinion that WordPress doesn’t have a learning curve as steep as the others.

My WordPress website keeps getting hacked. I’ve been told there’s not much I can do about it. Is that true?

It’s true that hackers will always be trying to compromise websites, however it is not true that there is nothing you can do about it.
In my experience, the main reasons a WordPress based website gets hacked is due to the following:

1. Weak admin password like “password”. Always use a strong password that uses upper and lower case and numbers with at least 8 characters.
2. WordPress and Plug-in updates are not being done.
3. WordPress weaknesses are exploited. The solution is to install a Security Plug-in. I recommend Better WP Security.

Here at Spotty Dog Computer Services we charge a Monthly Maintenance fee to our Website customers which covers all updates and a full backup of the entire website every month.
This minimises the risk of being hacked and if something does go wrong, there is a complete backup to restore the website.

I just want a simple 1 or 2 page website. How much will it cost?

The first thing I would ask you is, what you want to achieve from your website?
Most people answer that they want to generate more business.
Unfortunately, just creating a website with a few pages will not achieve that goal.
To rank well in Google search results requires a website with lot’s of good quality content, along with the appropriate SEO for each page.
A Social Network strategy including Facebook, YouTube and possibly Twitter should also be on your radar if you want to effectively market your business online.
The setup for a simple website is the same as a complex website anyway, so you should consider creating more pages with quality content.

Why do you charge a Monthly Maintenance Fee?

There are ongoing updates to WordPress and the Plug-in’s used in WordPress that are released to fix security holes.
As part of our management of your website, we will make sure that these updates are undertaken.
In addition to that, we make regular backups of your entire website including all content, images, PDF’s and so on.
Hence the need for us to charge a Monthly Maintenance Fee.
Of course you are welcome to do the updates and backups yourself, however if you do an update that causes an issue and you can’t restore your backup, then there can be all sorts of drama!!!
If Spotty Dog Computer Services is the one undertaking these tasks and something goes wrong, then we are responsible for fixing it.