SIGNA RSS Feed SIGNA Computer Systems : Your Neighbourhood Computer Specialists Sun, 22 Feb 2015 19:0:0 GMT en-us nVidia Maxwell - twice the performance!!Products.asp?find=maxwell%26pID=17083!Products.asp?find=maxwell%26pID=17083 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 19:0:0 GMT ''NVIDIA Maxwell is the world's most advanced GPU architecture. Inspired by light, it's designed to be the engine of next-generation gaming. A marvel of engineering, Maxwell-powered GPUs deliver incredible power efficiency and up to 2x the performance of previous-generation cards. This means you get amazing speed, stunning visuals and rock-solid reliability. It's the perfect upgrade for all gamers looking for a next-generation gaming experience that only Maxwell provides.'' Get your own piece of Maxwell tech today with the Zotac nVidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 (folow link.) Malware Beware - Spring Cleaning's Come Early! Mon, 9 Feb 2015 19:0:0 GMT We've noticed a huge spike in the number of PCs (and now Macs) infested with malware (malicious software like viruses or spyware) since Christmas. In response to that, we thought we'd feature a few tips on how to spot some of the common signs of malware, along with a coupon to help you out. So, what are the signs that you may have Malware on your PC or Mac* These are some of the most common ones... - Pop-up windows that flash up on the screen and then vanish in an instant - Banners and advertisements under your google search bar, saying ''you have mail!'' etc - Full-screen apps that take over your screen and prevent you from clicking on anything else, often promoting some product or company - ''Waiting to close'' warnings about obscurely-named apps while you're powering-down your computer - Your home page that you usually see when you open your browser (IE/Chrome/Safari) suddenly changes to something else - Strange toolbars suddenly appearing in your browser - The sudden appearance of applications in the programs/apps list that you did not install (on PC go to Control Panel/Programs and Features, on a Mac go to Launchpad) - Constant hard-drive activity, even when the machine is idle (ie. the hard-drive light is on solid and never stops) - Your computer takes much longer than normal to start-up or shut-down, and while it's running, applications seem slower than normal... sometimes to the point that they're almost unusable. These are just a handful of the most common symptoms. If you're experiencing any of these, then you could very well have malware on-board, and cyber-criminals could have access to your device. Signa is here to help, any time you need assistance. If you are faced with some of these symptoms (or even other suspicious behaviour) and would like our expert technicians to clean your device from stem to stern, then just give us a call. We'll be happy to get you back up and running - malware free! - in short order. Kind regards, Greg Stapells February System Flyer Sun, 1 Feb 2015 19:0:0 GMT Our February System flyer is now available on-line in downloadable PDF and JPEG format. Be sure to take a look and check out our latest deals and hot new desktop and notebook configurations! 3 Ways to Get Windows 10 Today! Sun, 1 Feb 2015 19:0:0 GMT While it's too early to tell whether March is going to come in like a Lion or a Lamb, February sure arrived with a winter-wallop! Here's hoping that this frigid, wintery blast is a short-lived one! Brrr! As many of you might have heard, Microsoft is already hard at work on the next major release of their flagship operating system, Windows 10. Although most Microsoft-watchers don't expect the final OS to arrive until sometime around October, you can get a head-start and check out the Consumer Preview of the OS right now! There are three ways that you can get Windows 10 : - If you buy a new desktop or notebook, just tell your friendly neighbourhood Signa technician that you'd like to try the Windows 10 preview. You'll still get your choice of a full Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license, but you will also get the consumer preview of Windows 10 (which can either be installed alongside Windows 7 or 8.1 in a dual-boot config, or as the main OS (which will eventually update to the full version of Windows 10 at the product's launch.) - If you aren't getting a new PC anytime soon, but would still like to take the Windows 10 preview for a spin, you can download your own preview copy and install it yourself for free. (If that seems a little bit daunting, no worry - just ask one of our technicians, and they'll be happy to assist.) - Finally, if you want to skip the preview for now and wait for the final version, that's okay too. Over a 1-year period following the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft will be offering current owners of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 a free upgrade to Windows10! So, there you have it... Exciting new features are one the way, like multiple desktops and window-snapping (similar to Linux), modern apps that run in a desktop window, and the much celebrated return of the old Windows Start-Menu (live-tiles have been moved into a compact side-panel on the right of the start-menu, so no more flipping between interfaces! Yay!) It's all fantastic stuff, and let me tell you - it makes a huge difference! So, it seems like 2015 is going to be a very exciting year for Windows users. Grab a piece of that excitement today, and take the Windows 10 consumer preview for a spin! You'll be glad you did! Kind regards, Greg Stapells Don't let Malware Byte You In the End! Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:0:0 GMT More than ever, cybercriminals are out to breach your privacy and steal your personal information. Whether you use a PC with Windows, a Mac with OSX, or a smart-phone running iOS/Android we're all still in the same boat together, as all of these platforms are being targeted by malware. Here are a few quick pointers to help keep you and your computer safe: - While some legitimate sites like NetFlix require you to install 3rd-party plugins like Silverlight to watch protected tv-shows and movies, some less ethical websites invite you to install their own video players so that they can bombard you with advertisements, steal your personal information, or even take-over your computer. As YouTube clearly demonstrates, modern browsers are able to play videos on the web without installing any plugins at all, so if some other site tells you that you have to install a plugin to watch something on their site, it might be worth a quick Google search first to see if that particular website is serving up more than just entertainment. - Most people know that computers run programs, and that if you ever tried to run something that wasn't a program as if it were a program, your computer would crash. So, you can't get viruses or malware from non-program files like music or video... they're just data, right* Wrong. Videos, music, and pretty much any computer file that gets loaded into memory can be tampered with so that part of it loads into a special location where your computer mistakenly THINKS it's a program - and then you're in trouble. Whoever rigged the file can tell your device to do just about anything, although usually they tell it to download and install more complicated malware. So, best advice - only watch or download things from trusted sites like YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes, Freeplay Music, etc., and avoid the temptation of random files that you might find via a Google search or Torrent sites. - Be careful what applications you install, and what you agree to while you're installing them. On PC and Mac you may be downloading a completely legitimate game, utility, etc, but it could come bundled with something else that will try to install alongside the program that you actually wanted. So read each screen of the installer carefully, and un-check any offers to install bundled apps. On your phone or tablet, always be sure to research your app first and find out what intents it has (ie. what features of your device it can access.) If you don't think that a tic-tac-toe game should be able to access your personal contacts list or connect to a network, then leave that app where it is. - Avoid using commonly-attacked applications - switch to something else. There's a slogan which reads ''security through obscurity'' which basically means that if you're using an application that relatively few people are using, it probably isn't being actively attacked by cyber-criminals either. Malware authors typically attack applications that are on everyone's computers - it maximizes their chances of succeeding. If you can switch to some other application instead (say for instance, using Video LAN's VLC Player instead of Windows Media Player) you improve your security, because an attack designed specifically to breach your security via Windows Media Player just won't work on VLC Player. By the same token, an attack that works on Internet Explorer won't work on Firefox or Opera, etc. So whenever possible, take ''the road less travelled'', as there are fewer bandits on it. - Be mindful of what your computer is doing. Hopefully, you remember what it was like when you got it... if it suddenly seems much slower, or appears to be doing things that it didn't normally do (windows popping up and vanishing in the blink of an eye, slow starting up or shutting down, strangely-named applications causing ''would not close'' warnings during shut-down, etc.) you might want to consider the possibility that you've got uninvited guests on-board and are in need of pest-control. These are just a few simple tips that can help keep you and your computer safe while you're connected to the outside world. As always, let us know if you like seeing this sort of information appearing in the newsletter, and we'll be sure to include more tips just like these in future issues! Also, if you're having trouble with malware, the experts at Signa are available for in-home/office service calls and carry-in service with no drop off appointment needed. Just email, or call 416-488-9208 and we'll provide the peace of mind you're looking for. Kind regards, Greg Stapells Wishing you all the best in 2015 Tue, 30 Dec 2014 19:0:0 GMT Wow, in just a few short hours it'll be 2015! Where did the time go so quickly* For certain, it's been a very interesting year in computing and technology, and we thought it would be fun to do a quick re-cap of some of our most memorable ''technological moments'' of 2014. - New PC Game: Titanfall (March 11th) - Disclosure of MAC/PC ''Heartbleed Bug'' (April) - Microsoft ended support for Windows XP (Apr. 8th) - New PC Game: WatchDogs (May 27th) - Microsoft announces new tablet, the Surface Pro 3 (June 20th) - Western releases new 5TB and 6TB Drives (July 21st) - New PC Game: Risen 3 Titan Lords (Aug. 12th) - nVidia releases their GeForce 980 Video Cards (Sept. 19th) - Apple releases large-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (Sept. 19th) - Apple announces their high-tech Apple Watch (Sept. 19th) - Disclosure of the Shellshock/BASHdoor Browser bug (Sept. 24th) - Microsoft announces Windows 10 (Sept. 30th) - Apple releases OSX Yosemite (Oct. 16th) - Apple announces the iPad Air 2 (Oct 16th) - New PC Game: Assassin's Creed Unity (Nov. 11th) - Google releases new phone OS Android 5.0 ''Lollipop'' (Nov. 12th) - New PC Game: Dragon Age Inquisition (Nov. 18th) - New PC Game: FarCry 4 (Nov. 18th) What were your most memorable ''tech'' moments of 2014* :) We'd love to hear, please reply to this e-mail! And of course, as the hours tick down to 2015, all the staff at Signa would like to take a moment to wish you and your family a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year! Kind Regards, Greg Stapells Before Santa comes, let Signa's elves help you! Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:0:0 GMT As we approach the holidays we realize just how busy it is. All the shopping and hustle and bustle, buying and wrapping gifts, and holiday parties -- not to mention work! These things can all take their toll, leaving you very little time to yourself and your family. There's one area we can help in, before or after the holidays, and that's hi-tech help. - Boosting/stabilizing WiFi and Internet - Pre-setup of a new computer/tablet/phone - Wall-mounting flat-screen TVs and Monitors - Fixing printer issues - Installing PC/Mac Antivirus to prevent problems - Setting up an Apple TV - Speeding up a PC/Mac - Help setting up a Digital Photo Frame Signa is ready to make your holiday just a little bit easier. We're here to handle the technical stuff, so that you can focus on egg-nog, holiday cookies, and most importantly, family. So give us a call, send us an email, or drop into our store, we're always ready to help. Happy Holidays! Greg Stapells Spend a little more on a printer, save a fortune on ink! Thu, 11 Dec 2014 19:0:0 GMT Holy snowstorms, can you believe all that* It's funny... we get the same thing every year, but it's always such a shock the first time - you'd think we'd never seen snow before! Kidding aside, I hope you got through it okay. So back to my subject, why would I actively try and decrease our InkJet sales* Well, three reasons: - Buying ink cartridges each month is expensive and a little annoying - We don't really like inkjet-based printers and don't use them ourselves - The business is appreciated, but the eco waste is a bigger problem Back in 1989, I disliked inkjet-based printers so much I had an $1800 laser printer in my apartment. People thought I was crazy spending that kind of money on a printer, but it served me well, getting over 10 years use from that trusty old HP Laserjet IIP. I bought a $50 black toner (dry ink) every two years and never looked back. I've bought lasers for work and home ever since, and have been extremely happy with their low-cost consumables and next to zero maintenance costs. So if you're like me and are tired of the high cost of replacement ink, please contact us. We'll recommend a nice, affordable laser printer for your application, that'll be cheap to run, providing consistent quality all the way. Thanks, Greg Stapells Drinks, Treats, Live Jazz! See you this Sat 1-4pm! Wed, 3 Dec 2014 19:0:0 GMT Wow, it's hard to beleive that the days are flying by so fast! The big day is almost here! We're so excited, and we hope to see you all at the Signa Christmas Party - everyone is welcome! You're invited to join us this Saturday, December 6th at 3457 Yonge Street from 1pm to 4pm for live music, treats, holiday cheer, and a 50/50 draw to be won by one lucky party-goer (with proceeds going to the Sanfilippo Children's Research Foundation, a registered Canadian charity.) We're serving up cookies, irresistible peanut-fudge squares, wine, and live music provided by Paul MacLeod the pianist from Deacons of Jazz. So come join us for cookies, sweets, home-baked treats and some Jazzy beats! See you there, Greg Stapells