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COMPUTER BYTES
We periodically prepare/provide informational articles on procedures, processes, and miscellaneous activities for your business and/or home computer operations.

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May 2017 – Windows VISTA Support Expiration

For those of you still running Windows Vista operating systems, it’s time to think of upgrading.  The table below shows this and other versions expiration of support.  As noted in the past this does not mean it will not work, just that Microsoft updates, patches, etc. will no longer be provided.  This means you are opening yourself and operations up to potential threats.  This is even more critical in a business environment.  If you need further assistance in what you need to do, please contact us!

Client operating systems  Latest update or service pack  End of mainstream support  End of extended support
Windows Vista  Service Pack 2 April 10, 2012 April 11, 2017
Windows 7 * Service Pack 1 January 13, 2015 January 14, 2020
Windows 8  Windows 8.1 January 9, 2018 January 10, 2023
Windows 10 ** Version 1703 October 13, 2020 October 14, 2025

As of April 11, 2017, Windows Vista customers are no longer receiving new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft. Microsoft has provided support for Windows Vista for the past 10 years, but the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources towards more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.  If you continue to use Windows Vista now that support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 9 is no longer supported, so if your Windows Vista PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 9 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows Vista. 

Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows Vista. If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you’ll continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time. However, please note that Microsoft Security Essentials (or any other antivirus software) will have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates. This means that PCs running Windows Vista will not be secure and will still be at risk for virus and malware. 

April 1, 2014 – Windows XP Support Discontinued
Microsoft discontinues Window XP support April 8, 2014.

This doesn’t mean XP will stop working however it will be more susceptible to security breaches, malware, etc. This could be a key factor, specifically the security issues, in a business network environment. There are 2 key issues for you to consider; cost and compatibility.

COST: If your systems are ‘newer’ the cost of upgrading them might be an option. If they’re fairly old, over 5 years, a new system might be more cost effective. The reason is you cannot simply stick in the disc and ‘upgrade’ to the newer version (Win7 or Win8). You must perform a FULL RELOAD. This means backup, note applications, format drive, install Windows, install all applications, reconfigure network, restore data, etc. This is a 2-3 hour task at best.

So – there are a few ways to look at it. (1) An upgrade is still less than a new system. (2) With upgrade you have the newer operating system but on an older system with a lesser ‘life span’. (3) You may just want to get a new system that already has the newer operating system as the upgrade cost is halfway there. You would still need to of course install applications and configure for your environment. You will need to evaluate your individual and specific needs to make this decision.

COMPATIBILITY: If you have older applications, some may not run on the new operating systems. You might have to upgrade that older software OR, you might keep a couple of system to run ONLY those applications, considering disconnecting from Internet/LAN to avoid complications. These will have to be verified – application/software vendors are the best option.


July 31, 2013 – HOC – STILL GROWING STRONG

Fillmore, CA – July 31, 2013. HANDS-ON Consultations (HOC), Computer Support Services, a Fillmore, Ventura County based company, is pleased to announce our fifteen (15) year milestone in business as a full-time computer support company serving the communities of Ventura County and beyond.

In July of 1988, Harv & Patti Oliver established their computer support services company out of their home in Fillmore, CA. In their original business plan, there was never an intent for a storefront, but to provide “HANDS ON” services in the field for businesses and home users or in their offices as required. Trying to maintain an inventory in such a fast moving and ever changing field, based on location, population, etc. was evaluated as impractical and this business model has worked well for them. In July 2001, due to business expansion and requirements, the business transitioned leasing offices from Aguirre Financial & Insurance Services in their current location in the Gurrola Building at 606 Sespe in Fillmore. “We primarily provide ‘field services'”, Harv stated. “We do schedule appointments and system drop-offs at the office however the bulk of our work is ‘onsite’ at client facilities or homes.”

Harv provides technical support services and manages the day-to-day operations with Patti providing support in appropriate business operations and continuing business development. Through the years, experienced and qualified technicians have provided additional support activities and in 2012, after a six months in a supporting role, Tobias Knowles was a hired as a second full-time technician to assist the growing client base. Cynthia Chessani was hired for accounting services after providing the same part-time services for the past 8 years.  Additional technicians, administrative personnel, and program developers provide miscellaneous support services to enhance the support staff.

“Providing professional, friendly services, while building mutually beneficial relationships has always been our goal”, stated Harv in noting the anniversary. “When we started, I asked myself, ‘How can we separate our services and rise above the multitude of other support services out there?’ In any service industry, providing outstanding customer service and dealing honorably with our clients are the most important factors, in my opinion, and that’s what we’ve always tried to do. We all know you can’t please everyone, but at HANDS-ON Consultations we do our very best and our continuing success in the local communities reflects that. Word of mouth and referrals are the keys to success for any business. I believe sustaining a healthy business for 15 years is a strong statement for our approach and services.”, Oliver added.

HOC services are provided for business and home users alike. Ranging from hardware/software troubleshooting, repairs and upgrades, computer components, new computer systems to network design, development, & support to web design, development, and hosting to training for Windows and associated applications, and program and database software development. They provide incidents support services, along with scheduled maintenance plans and also are aligned with other vendors in various support contracts. More information is shared at their web site:
www.hocsuport.com

“I’d like to thank all the members of the private and business communities of Ventura County and beyond for assisting us in reaching this milestone. Success is many things and we are meeting and achieving the goals we set for ourselves 15 years ago.”, acknowledged Oliver. “We’ve seen a number of business come and go and surviving each and every year, particularly with the recent challenging economy, in any kind of business is tough and this is something we’re very proud of. We look forward to continuing to assist our friends and associates in this ever-developing and exciting field now, and into the future.”


June 5, 2013

An introduction to our new tech at HANDS-On Consultations – Tobias Knowles. Toby brings a wealth of knowledge in the Windows and Apple environments to the HOC team encompassing our Server Administrative Services, Networking Services, Web Services, and Programming. Toby has been a part of the HOC team now for over 8 months and we look forward to continuing a long and fulfilling relationship. Please feel free to contact Toby or myself at our main office number or online.
Harv Oliver, Owner
HANDS-ON Consultations, Computer Support Services
(805) 524-5278
www.hocsupport.com

Hi, my name is Tobias Knowles. I go by the name Toby to most. I am a Microsoft Certified IT Professional providing computer support services in the Ventura/Fillmore area. I am also proud to say I am working with Harv Oliver at HANDS-ON Consultations. Coming from the East coast when growing up I am used to a busy lifestyle, however, I have learned to also appreciate the beautiful weather here in Southern California. I am an amateur photographer and musician which more and more have crept its way into my line of work. Whatever I can do to solve anyone’s computer problem I will work to adapt my 30 years of computer experience to help them to use their computer for their purpose, assisting them to get the most out of their investment.


Current HOC Activities

HANDS-ON Consultations is involved in commercial and government projects. Our efforts are currently focusing on:

Business and Home Users Support & Upgrades.

Our services includes supporting small to mid-size businesses in all phases of computer operations. Just a few of our services include:

Hardware & Software Trouble-Shooting and Problem-Resolution
Hardware & Software Repairs, Upgrades, and Enhancements.
Networking Design, Development, and Implementation (HW & SW).
Database Design & Development
World Wide Web Site Design and Generation.
Software Applications Training.

Web Portal Design & Development

Our services include design and development of the forms, interfaces, database activities for web portals. This service allows for the creation of a web site that allows for much more automation such as allowing users to sign up, create their own usernames and passwords, and access provided services. As the owner of the site, you are automatically updated on signups, changes, etc. Additionally, the design of the portals can support databases and reports so information is saved and retrievable in an automated process. An example of one of our portals may be viewed at: www.sunkistdisplays.com

HOC Web Site Development & Hosting

HANDS-ON Consultations provides web site development and hosting to serve all your Internet marketing requirements. We’ll assist in creating your site, uploading it to your own domain (www.yourname.com), and assist in setting up your site to allow users “searching” the Internet to find your information.

HOC Supported Web Sites:

www.dentalase.net
www.venturaurology.com
www.aoecoe.com
www.hozysgrill.com
www.pacificwellnessventura.com
www.westernoilspreading.com
www.sbuc-ventura.com


Please contact us to schedule a visit to our offices, your home, or your business!

Telephone:  (805) 524-5278     /     Fax: (805) 524-9578

 

Office Address:
606 Sespe Avenue, Suite, 105
Fillmore, CA 93015 – USA

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 216
Fillmore, CA 93016 – USA

Do you need a “hand” with your computer?!

HANDS-ON Consultations, Computer Support Services

BUSINESS OR HOME USE – WE COME TO YOU!