How To Fix 95% of Your PC’s Problems

I’m going to explain to you the process that one can go through to fix their own computers.  This is specifically geared towards PC users, as Macs are exempt from most of these problems– the searching for problem fixes section you may still want to read though.    By using this process I’ve never had to pay to get a computer fixed in the past 15 years of being a computer user.  It is, however, lengthy, and kind of daunting.  If you don’t want to bother reading, or are leary of trying it out on your own, I am available to you at a nominal cost.  Contact me either by phone at 225-366-9324 or email at kelly@khowebdesign.com to discuss what you need done.  I offer phone consultation, remote access support (where you stay at home and grant me access to your computer from my own computer), or on-site support within my service area.  Travel expenses may apply.

Let me start off by saying that I am not formally educated in IT work.  I do not have a certificate (though I’m contemplating getting one) nor have I a degree or any of those official type documents that confirm that I mean it when I say that I know what I’m talking about.

If your computer is fixable, if it can be saved, I can save it.  But you didn’t go to school Kelly, how can you say that?  Because I’ve saved countless computers before, and will continue to.  My Dad is an engineer, and as such he’s taught me through the years about the art of taking everything apart and building it back together again.

Plus, I have this inherent bullheadedness that when I sit down at a computer screen and it tells me I can’t do it, I damn well am going to MAKE it do what I want it to do!

Now what’s funny is that my Dad, the aforementioned engineer, can do most anything else, but when his computer goes NO!, he calls me to fix it.  One such time, he asked me to make him a How To Make This Computer Work When You’re A Damn Engineer and STILL CAN’T DO IT Guide.  This is that.

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Why Flashy ISN’T What You Want Your Website to Be

For the purposes of this entry, what I mean by flash is Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash), not “an ostentatious display.“

You want your website to be pretty.  Of course you do.  Nobody wants an ugly website.  To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t want to create an ugly one. Actually, I would probably do it– let’s face it, in this economy we all need whatever money can come our way–  but I would never claim it, and would not link back to myself as the designer.

There is, however, a difference between Aesthetically Pleasing while Predominantly Functional, and All Flash And Very Little Substance (for both meanings of flash!).

What is flash?  Flash is basically streaming animation for websites.  Flash is what’s used on youtube for you to be able to stream the videos and giggle at cats doing silly things and the babies that laugh at them.  Flash is what makes Marc Ecko’s site have a page that moves when you move your mouse, what makes it load in front of you like a slideshow.  Flash is, essentially, a movie file.

While that is pretty to look at, there are several problems inherent in flash.  The most common one is the simple fact that not everyone has flash.  I’m going to go ahead and assume that if you’re reading this article then– while you may not be as computer obsessed as I am– you’re at least nominally computer savvy.  Those of us that are computer savvy are interested in going to a website and getting that Flash plug in that’s required to view Flash-oriented elements in websites.  We will take the time to go to Adobe.com and download Flash, or download the update if we’re out of date, and install it.  And sometimes, re-install it, because Flash tends to crash some out-dated or older computers or browsers.

But what about those that aren’t computer obsessed or savvy?  What about your grandmother or your next door neighbor that can’t figure out this new fangled thing called “text messaging”?  Just because someone doesn’t know how to program their DVD player doesn’t mean you don’t want them to be able to see your website or view your product and/or service.  That eliminates them as a client for you.  This is not what you want your website to do.

Another problem is loading time.   As technology progresses so does a computer’s ability to read what’s online.  What is considered slow now was considered fast five years ago.  Nowadays if my Dad sits at a computer screen for more than five seconds without it doing what he told it to, he’s aggravated.   Five years ago it wasn’t uncommon to wait a whole minute for a website to load.  Keep in mind that not everyone has the same DSL/Cable package that you do, not everyone has lightening fast broadband.  Some people are still on dial up.  What might take ten seconds for a flash website to load on my top of the line DSL will take someone on dial up possibly ten minutes.  Do you really think they’re going to wait that long?  They’re going to come to your site, see a link that tells them that they need to download the flash player to view this website properly, and then they are probably going to leave.

On top of these things, there is the fact that Flash is not search engine friendly.  Search engines like Google and Yahoo use the behind-the-scenes coding that goes into building your website to return search results.  If you’re using flash, it’s not as compliant with search engines as regular old-fashioned html is.  You want those search engines to find you.  That’s why you have a website, right?  To be found?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that having flash on your website is an all out no-no.  I’m saying having ALL flash is a bad idea.  Like with everything in life, the key is moderation.  Maybe have a Flash banner or a Flash element of sliding pictures.  Maybe have one page on a website of ten pages that is predominantly Flash.  What my suggestion is, though, is that you don’t build your website with Flash and only Flash.  If Flash is only part of your website, visitors with no Flash plug-in or a slow internet connection will still be able to view the majority of what you have to offer, and they will most likely stick around long enough to do so.

Make your site beautiful.  Make it interesting.  Make it pop.  Make it stand out.  Use things other than flash to do it, like colors, and pictures, and interesting fonts.  If you’re going to use flash, throw in a little on top just for the dessert.  You want your website to be a whole meal, not a cream puff.  If you do it right, people will walk away feeling satisfied and curious, not baffled and unhappy.

 

*  Marc Ecko’s site is not my design, I am simply pointing to it as a Flash-heavy website.

*  The topic of this article was suggested by Tyler D on our Facebook page.  If you have a suggestion for a topic you’d like me to cover or a question please feel free at any time to comment here or on Facebook, or if you prefer, email me at Kelly@kHoWebdesign.com.

Tips Regarding Craigslist

If you’re interested in advertising for your new business and want to use Craigslist to do so I wanted to give you a tip: Don’t provide your email. Hide it. If you have a website (and if you don’t, Hi, I might could help you out with that, lol), provide that, or your business phone, but choose the “hide” function for your email address. Spammers, scammers, and hacks alike loooove to filter through Craigslist and spam you with “so you like web design, get a free credit card!” offers… etc etc etc. Perhaps put it in the body, but even then they’ll spam you. This was a lesson hard-learned by me. I am now the proud receiver of about 10 spam emails a day on my business email.

How to Incorporate in Louisiana

1.  Register with the state online.  It’s easy easy.  It’s the first one, it’s $77 ($75 to register, and I think $2 processing fee?).  There’s 2 main pages of questions, the first one very short, and it givers you stock answers.  Company is formed for the purpose of “engaging in all… etc”.  Duration is perpetual.  The second page is a bit longer, but mostly just filling out information repetitively.  I think I entered my contact information 3 times?  When it asks for who your agent is you say yourself with your contact information, and then once you’ve hit submit and paid you’ll get an email saying you have to confirm that you agree to be the agent.

File Online here: http://sos.louisiana.gov/tabid/903/Default.aspx

2.  File for a Federal Tax ID, or ein, online.  Easy and free.

File Online here: https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp

3.  The checklist that you filled out may be mailed to you, but it says you need a Certificate of Occupancy.  Only if you have your own building that you operate out of.  If you, like me, work from home, you don’t need this.

4.  State Sales Tax ID, file online athttp://www.revenue.louisiana.gov.  Free.  Under the block “for business” click on business registration.  You have to have your Fed Tax ID to do it… it asks for something called a NAICS code, and it gives you a link to a site for you to look it up… as far as I can tell online webdesign just falls under other code 81.  Phone 225-219-7318

5.  Local Sales Tax ID, file online at http://parishe-file.revenue.louisiana.gov.   Register and fill it out.  I was told it would cost $100, but maybe it’s a bill later thing because I registered for free.  Phone number 225-686-3043.

AFTER your LLC papers are finalized by the state you can do the following.

6.  Occupational/Business license. It’s issued by the City.  Call that number and they’ll tell you how to get it.  It matters if you’re in city limits or not.  I’m outside of city limits so I have to go to the sheriff’s office to get mine.  I believe it’s $50.

7.  Registering Assumed Business Name.  You can get it at the Clerk of Court office.  I also believe this is $50.