TMS newsletter - Oct 2018

The TMS Newsletter for October 2018
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Busy Busy Busy...

Well goodness me, it's been a while!

I last sent out a newsletter in February and it seems like I haven't sat down since. If you forgot that Technology Made Simple exists I would completely understand, but I can assure you that I'm still here and still helping folks out with their technology.

The life of a freelance trainer/problem solver/IT handyman is never dull but the workload does tend to fluctuate quite a bit so the newsletter has consistently taken a back seat for actual work!

I hope this particular newsletter finds you all well and thriving with your technology, but of course if the technology part is giving you problems, you know who to call.

Chris Smith
Lead Trainer, Technology Made Simple

What's been happening?

For those that haven't seen me recently it's worth knowing that I'm now working a four day week with a day of childcare on Thursdays, plus of course I'm still doing the occasional weekend and evening session.

Just to give you an idea of the variety of things I've been helping with over the last few months, here are a few examples:
  • Running Microsoft Windows on a Mac using Parallels
  • Recovering lost passwords for both computers and web sites, plus making lost passwords less of a problem by introducing password managers.
  • Connecting computers up to sewing machines for machine embroidery and sourcing patterns to stitch out.
  • Setting up backups (so important!) and helping folks recover from computer failure by bringing backups back.
  • Setting up profiles on dating websites and getting familiar with searching through potential matches.
  • Animating company logo's using Apple's 'Motion' software, ready for including in some important keynote presentations.
You can see that it's not all the regular technology training that you might expect! But of course there has been plenty of that as well.

Creative training

Do you know anyone with a creative side who might be interested in photography, music or filmmaking? Did you know that I teach many elements of those fields too? With Christmas fast approaching why not consider the gift of knowledge by getting them some lessons in music production, photo management and editing or film production. Get in touch if you need an overview of what I offer in those fields and see whether it could be right for you or anyone you know!


Apple News

On the Apple front there have been some exciting announcements including new iPhones (which I'm sure you've heard about) and new major software updates on iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. There are so many new features on all of these that to write about them all would take masses of time but if you want to get some information there is the Apple Keynote speech available here:

Or I can give you training on any of the new products and software whenever you see fit, just make a booking and let me know what you are interested in.

Travel Costs

I am going to be soon increasing the amount I charge for travel. The rate has been 50p per mile between my base in Kings Heath and you but I will be raising it to 70p per mile.
Remember that if you would rather not pay for travel I do offer remote training sessions as well, which take place over the phone with screen sharing technology so we are both looking at the same computer. It's perfect for most sessions which don't need me to be physically with you.

Warning - Scams

I have had a fair few customers falling for scams recently. If it happens to you then don't worry, you are not the only one and help is available. Having said that it makes life easier if you are savvy to a few of the more popular methods that are out there. Here's some that I have seen recently:
  • A convincing looking receipt arrives for something that you are certain that you never bought. It has a button on it which says something like "If this purchase was not made by you click here to be refunded". Clicking the link takes you to a page which asks you to put in details such as user name and password but it is a fake page designed to steal these details.
  • An email arrives to let you know that your online account is going to be closed because you need to fulfil security checks. You may see that the accounts will be closed very soon if you don't click the link in the email. Once again, clicking the link takes you to a fake page designed to take login details from you.
  • A phone call from the Microsoft/Apple support team lets you know that your computer is having problems and could be causing issues for other users as well. They offer to connect to your machine for free, or a nominal fee, in order to sort the issue out. Once connected the machine is no longer in your control and all sorts of bad things can happen including your personal files being locked away and ransomed back to you.
  • You are browsing the internet and a window appears letting you know that your computer is infected with a virus (or maybe even two or three!). It gives you a link to click to sort your computer out or a phone number to call for support. Of course both are taking you directly to scammers.

Many of these scams are designed to encourage you to move quickly, without thinking clearly, and often involve the threat of losing something or the idea that you have already lost something but can claim it back. Take your time over these things, don't be hurried. Don't click on any links in emails even if you are convinced that the email is genuine, and if you are unsure call the company that the email claims to be from (but don't call any numbers in the email). In the case of a phone call calmly let the caller know that you suspect this could be a scam and that you will call them back. Hang up and call the company they are claiming to be from, using a number you are positive is genuine. Real customer support agents will make no effort to stop you doing this.

For a full run through of security tips and tricks book a session and let me know that you are interested to learn more.

Solar Power

Having lived with solar panels through the past summer I am happy to talk about my experience with them and can even put you in contact with one of the best companies for advice and fitting. Just let me know.

Interesting Technology

This section is for looking at technology ideas that I think are ingenious. It's important to know however that we haven't tested any of these technologies and are not recommending them, just found them interesting! Click on the pictures to be linked to the relevant video.

Wearable Chair

It's likely to be ridiculously expensive and I'm not sure it's even available in the UK but I love the idea of this "Chairless Chair"

Mini Robot helper

I've included robots with personalities in the newsletter before but this one is super cute and, unlike some, moves around. It's like a robot pet!

See you next time!

The last thing we would ever want to do is spam your email address, so this newsletter is supposed to be a monthly (been much less frequent than that recently!) event filled with content designed to inspire and educate our friends and customers, and keep you up to date with what we're working on. Of course if you would rather not receive our monthly freebie, there is a link to unsubscribe at the bottom of this email! If you have friends or family who you believe would be interested in getting this newsletter, you can sign them up on our contact page - Click here to go to the TMS contact page

Finally, if there is anything you would like to see in our newsletter then just let us know!

With best wishes to you all,

Chris Smith
Lead Trainer
Technology Made Simple
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