Adrian

About Adrian Arksey

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So far Adrian Arksey has created 117 blog entries.

For £25 your secrets are safe

By |2018-06-23T23:37:13+00:00January 20th, 2017|

Don’t throw that old PC on the skip. It can be interrogated by thieves wanting to steal your identity – unless I erase its memory. Thinking of buying a new PC and throwing away the old one? Then be careful. Your hard drive is crammed with information you do not want outsiders to [...]

Speed up your broadband

By |2017-11-19T17:02:51+00:00August 20th, 2014|

You might be able to obtain a quicker, less costly deal. Fibre-optic broadband has been available to many Sheffielders for about three years, though not everyone makes use of it. Many Grapevine readers are using the same broadband supplier they originally signed up with, but it is worth a look at changing supplier [...]

Boost your wireless signal

By |2017-11-19T17:03:03+00:00July 20th, 2014|

We supply and fit a device that will give internet access all over your house, and garden. When you take a PC or tablet into the garden, your wireless signal disappears. I receive many calls from customers with this complaint, who also say that areas of their homes are internet blind spots. [...]

Spy on your cat and dog

By |2017-11-19T17:03:18+00:00June 20th, 2014|

What are pussykins and the pooch up to while you are away from home? Find out by watching them from your smartphone. Meet Bob! He is the three-month-old border terrier that recently became part of my household, writes Adrian Arksey. If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you will have noticed that users often post pictures and videos of [...]

Bleeding bug!

By |2017-11-19T17:03:27+00:00May 20th, 2014|

The Heartbleed Bug is one of the worst to hit the internet. Have you used a website that had a little padlock on it when you were asked to log-in or enter personal information? If so, you may be affected by the ‘Heartbleed Bug’. It takes advantage of a major security flaw at the [...]

PC answers

By |2017-11-19T17:03:37+00:00April 20th, 2014|

...To those niggling computer questions you may have I’ve been giving technical support to Sheffield computer users for nearly ten years.There are some questions I seem to be asked time and time again. Here are a few answers you might find useful. Something keeps popping up on my screen, telling me I need [...]

Easter eggs on your PC

By |2017-11-19T17:03:48+00:00March 20th, 2014|

Computer ‘Easter Eggs’ are fascinating secrets built into the PC software we use every day. Here are a few of my favourites, which I feel sure you will be interested in. Type ‘tilt’ into Google on your computer, and watch what happens to the screen (it tilts!). Type ‘Do a barrel roll’ into Google [...]

Virus protection for all your devices

By |2017-11-19T17:02:11+00:00February 20th, 2014|

It’s not just PCs that need protecting from viruses – your Mac or mobile phone may need protection too! A computer virus is a programme, or piece of code, which is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge - and intended to cause mayhem. Viruses can replicate themselves, and are always man-made. [...]

The web way to hire movies

By |2017-11-19T17:07:26+00:00January 20th, 2014|

If you are planning a night in front of the telly, don’t bother traipsing out in the snow to rent a DVD - that’s if you can find anywhere which hires out movies these days (Blockbuster has closed down). It is much easier to obtain whatever you want to watch via a smart phone, [...]

Criminals & Cryptolocker

By |2017-11-19T17:16:47+00:00December 20th, 2013|

A new email con is doing the rounds - and could ruin everything on your computer. Police warn that millions of UK internet users could be at risk from a ‘ransom’ email spam which appears to have come from a financial institution. The email has an attachment which seems legitimate, but is malware designed to encrypt your computer files. If the attachment [...]

If you need help with a new iPad this Christmas…

By |2017-11-19T17:28:58+00:00November 20th, 2013|

...ring Adrian Arksey at Your PC’s Best Friend. He is also a wizard with a PC Many Grapevine readers will be thinking of buying an iPad for themselves or a family member this Christmas, writes Adrian Arksey. If you need help setting up the device, please call me. I can configure your emails, sync your iPad with [...]

Email Addresses Recycled

By |2017-01-30T20:32:19+00:00October 20th, 2013|

This summer, the web firm Yahoo announced that email addresses and identities would be reassigned if they had been inactive for a year. This means someone with an awkward email name such as johnsmith4737, will be able to obtain plain johnsmith. Yahoo have attempted to reach all their users, and tell them that if they do not log into their [...]

Stop Hackers!

By |2017-01-30T20:32:35+00:00September 20th, 2013|

Your PC is vulnerable to attack by cyber thieves if its router security setting is not high enough. Make sure your Wi-Fi connection is adequately protected from hackers. The main types of wireless security which home routers use are WEP and WPA/WPA2. But – and this is scary! – some don’t have any protection. […]

Farewell to Windows XP

By |2017-01-30T20:32:45+00:00August 20th, 2013|

On April 8th next year, Microsoft will stop supporting its operating system Windows XP, which will cause difficulties for many of my customers – especially as regards the internet. XP first appeared in 2001, and despite the Windows Vista, 7 and 8 upgrades, it was still the most widely used operating system until August last year. As late as June [...]

My Secret Service Cleanses PCs

By |2017-01-30T20:32:53+00:00July 20th, 2013|

Thinking of buying a new PC – and throwing away the old one? Stop right there! It’s time to employ my Secret Service, which will ensure all your private information is permanently erased from the machine, and cannot be seen by a thief, who might want to steal your credit card and bank details – or your identity. Even [...]

Due this summer: Windows 8.1

By |2017-01-30T20:33:02+00:00June 20th, 2013|

In October last year I wrote about the imminent introduction of Windows 8 – and said I thought Windows 7 was a much better system, pointing out that things such as the touch-screen and lack of a start button would not go down well with the public. It appears that executives at Microsoft (who make [...]

Never Lose Data Again!

By |2017-01-30T20:33:10+00:00May 20th, 2013|

I now offer Livedrive Data Backup, which automatically stores everything you put into your computer – keeping it safe online for viewing anywhere in the world. The cost is only £30, with 10% off that price for Grapevine readers before the end of June. With Livedrive storing your stuff safely in the cyber-sphere you will [...]

My Megabyte Century

By |2017-01-30T20:33:17+00:00April 20th, 2013|

I first started writing my computing column in the January 2005 issue of Grapevine, writes Adrian Arksey. I’ve now reached my century. In that time I have helped over 4,000 people with PC problems – including a great many Grapevine readers. My customers are varied, from teenagers, whose parents employ me to help set-up and [...]

Beware Of Cyber Crooks

By |2017-01-30T20:33:26+00:00March 20th, 2013|

I first wrote about fraudsters pretending to represent Microsoft and other companies in my April 2010 Grapevine column. The scammers are still going strong. I receive three or four phone calls a week from customers who have been targeted by them. Even the most savvy folk can be duped by the crooks’ methods. This month I [...]

PC Storm at Lodge Moor

By |2017-01-30T20:33:32+00:00February 20th, 2013|

We don’t normally experience lightning strikes early in the year. But an electrical storm on January 30th fried many routers in the Lodge Moor area. Next day I had over 20 calls from Grapevine readers in that part of the city, all complaining of the same problem. Thunderbolts can cause power surges on electrical equipment, but you can take [...]

Yellow Peril on the Web

By |2017-01-30T20:33:49+00:00January 20th, 2013|

A new web scam involves EHIC – ‘European Health Insurance Cards.’ They are free from our National Health Service, but tricksters are selling them to the unwary at £20 each. It is easy to see how people are being conned, and all because Google listings include websites that appear in yellow shaded boxes. These are [...]

Log-On To New Year Health

By |2017-01-30T20:33:57+00:00December 20th, 2012|

I’m every PC’s GP – and here I prescribe treatments that will ensure you and your computer don’t suffer a breakdown in the year ahead. It can easily happen. Bugs are everywhere in Cyber World, but with my help you should be able to avoid them. […]

The Web Is A Gift At Christmas

By |2017-02-01T00:30:58+00:00November 20th, 2012|

Your computer can make life much easier over the festive season – and lots of fun. Shop for food online… and read a virtual Radio Times. […]

Is Your Broadband Connection Up To Speed?

By |2017-02-01T00:31:09+00:00October 20th, 2012|

I receive many calls from people who believe their broadband connection isn’t as fast as it could be. If you have the same suspicion, read this article before you do anything else. […]

Should You Buy Windows 8?

By |2017-02-01T00:31:18+00:00September 20th, 2012|

The countdown is on! Windows 8 (Microsoft’s latest operating system) is only a month or so away from being released. But am I awaiting its arrival as eagerly as I did its predecessor? When Windows 7 was released in October 2009, I spent the whole day doing nothing but installing it on my PCs so [...]

P@S$W*RDS

By |2017-02-01T00:31:26+00:00August 20th, 2012|

It isn’t hard creating secure passwords, but many people don’t bother to try, and risk letting hackers gain access to emails, Facebook accounts, and – worst of all – bank details. Please be aware that when it comes to protecting your PC’s security you are up against some of the most technically brilliant computer users in the universe. [...]

Conquer Cyber Crime

By |2017-02-01T00:31:34+00:00July 20th, 2012|

I have written a number of columns in Grapevine about internet scams, writes Adrian Arksey. Many of them are still being repeated, but there are new ones. Here are the top four internet security risks to watch out for. […]

Cookies Haven’t Crumbled

By |2017-02-01T00:31:43+00:00June 20th, 2012|

In last month’s column I complained about an absurd new EU internet law due to be introduced on May 26th. Thankfully, The Information Commissioner’s Office have listened to me, and decided not to implement the legislation. It would have made surfing the web tedious because cookies – which make internet use easy – would no [...]

EU Bites Cookies

By |2017-02-01T00:31:52+00:00May 20th, 2012|

There are two types of cookies in my life. The chocolate ones I enjoy on a Sunday afternoon with a lovely cup of freshly ground coffee, and the slightly less interesting ones found on websites. Around 92% of all websites contain cookies. And with an average of 14 per page, that’s a lot of cookies. [...]

Remote PC Control

By |2017-02-01T00:31:59+00:00April 20th, 2012|

It sounds a bit spooky – but at Your PC’s Best Friend we’ve perfected omnipresence. We’re everywhere at the same time – wherever the owner of a computer needs our help. Thanks to the internet, we can (with your permission) gain access to your PC remotely, anywhere in the world. We can then diagnose its [...]

Our New Website

By |2017-02-01T00:32:08+00:00March 20th, 2012|

In 2004 I launched my business – Your PC’s Best Friend – to help the people of Sheffield and Hope Valley with their computer needs. Since then I have helped thousands of people solve PC problems and get to grips with the latest technology. Now I have created a new website that will be launched [...]

Just browsing

By |2017-02-01T00:32:17+00:00February 20th, 2012|

I’ve been writing my Grapevine computer column for almost eight years, so I thought it was time to revisit the basics, and explain to novice PC and web users some of the things we veterans take for granted. Differences between web browsers and search engines – and how to use them. […]

Silent updates from Microsoft

By |2017-02-01T00:32:25+00:00January 20th, 2012|

It’s all very hush-hush. During 2012 your Internet Explorer browser will be updated by Microsoft – and you are unlikely to know a thing about it. Microsoft has said it will soon update the browsers of millions of PCs to improve online security. These improvements will in future be applied without our knowledge in a [...]

Beat the bugs

By |2017-02-01T00:32:36+00:00December 20th, 2011|

Here are two New Year computer resolutions you should make. Update your anti-virus software, and invest in data back-up. Fortunately, until the end of January I have a fabulous offer that will allow you to keep both these important resolutions. For only £50 you can have both the anti-virus and back-up protection (normal price is [...]

I’ll help you buy a PC

By |2017-01-30T20:36:45+00:00November 20th, 2011|

I used to contact Santa via scraps of paper up my chimney. These days I email him… to request lists of everyone in Sheffield who wants a new PC delivered at Christmas. Discovering a computer in your Yuletide stocking is a delight, but the pleasure will sour if you can’t make the device work properly. [...]

A great Apple has fallen

By |2017-02-01T00:44:31+00:00October 20th, 2011|

It is the morning of October 6th, and I’ve just heard the sad news that Steve Jobs - founder of Apple - passed away during the night after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56. Like many people, I learned of his death on one of his own products – my iPad. Although [...]

My 7th Birthday

By |2017-02-01T00:40:12+00:00September 20th, 2011|

Computing has changed dramatically in the years since I started my business. On October 1st I will be eating cake and inflating balloons to celebrate the seventh birthday of my business. It is also the seventh anniversary of my Grapevine column - which I’ve worked out means I’ve written 84 articles for you to enjoy. [...]

High speed green boxes

By |2017-01-30T20:37:07+00:00August 20th, 2011|

A mysterious four-foot-high metal cabinet has been installed close to Grapevine’s front door. It is about three feet wide, dark green – and crammed with fibre-optic cables. There might be one of these boxes near where you live. But don’t worry. Rupert Murdoch’s chaps are not hacking the phone lines. Nor are aliens about to [...]

Half price data cloud

By |2017-01-30T20:37:14+00:00July 20th, 2011|

Last month I wrote about the new ‘cloud’ back-up data service soon to be available through my website. It is now online, and I’m offering the service to Grapevine readers at half-price if they register before the end of September. For only £30 a year (normally £60) you will be able to back-up unlimited data, [...]

I’ll Upgrade You For £149

By |2017-01-30T20:37:23+00:00June 20th, 2011|

Hasta la Vista, baby! Become a Terminator, and zap your Windows Vista – which dates from 2007. In computer terms, that was the era of illuminated manuscripts, so it’s time to do the decent thing, and donate the programme to Weston Park Museum. Don’t worry! You can easily upgrade your PC to the superior Windows [...]

Violent Virus

By |2017-01-30T20:54:05+00:00May 20th, 2011|

Cyber terrorists who live by the computer mouse, shall die by the computer mouse. But in the meantime, keep your PC out of their control. Osama bin Laden’s death has sparked fears of increased terror attacks, but scams produced as a result of his demise are of more urgent concern for computer users. Malicious Osama [...]

We’ve had our chips

By |2017-01-30T20:54:13+00:00April 20th, 2011|

Don’t panic! If your cat and dog have a funny half hour, it’s not because their silicon chips have gone haywire. The Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown won’t affect pet technology – or any devices that already have silicon chips installed. The problem will come when new and replacement chips/wafers are needed for PCs, [...]

Booby Trap

By |2017-01-30T20:54:19+00:00March 20th, 2011|

My phone has been going bonkers with requests for help because of a virus planted on ‘booby-trapped’ websites. Tens of thousands of web surfers (hundreds in Sheffield) were caught out by innocently visiting well-known websites such as London Stock Exchange, Autotrader, and many others. A firm that places advertisements on certain websites had its security [...]

I’m a Twit

By |2017-01-30T20:54:27+00:00February 20th, 2011|

You’ve heard about Twitter. Here’s how it works – allowing you to receive daily statements from all sorts of people, including the famous, telling you what they think, and what they are doing. Follow the routines of Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Stephen Fry, Rio Ferdinand… and me! Twitter is a ‘micro-blog’ that has a number [...]

Long ago… We Travelled To Travel Agents

By |2017-01-30T20:54:33+00:00January 20th, 2011|

To book a summer holiday, try two of my favourite websites: www.tripadvisor.co.uk, and www.hotelconnect.co.uk. They’ll make you glad we no longer live in pre-historic, pre-web times. Sheffield’s cavemen/women had to visit a local travel agency to book their hols, and sit for an hour or more while the assistant made endless calls to holiday companies [...]

Internet loves Winter weather

By |2017-01-30T20:54:40+00:00December 20th, 2010|

Are you tempted by Internet shopping? Many people are nervous of it, fearing fraud, but everything will be okay if you follow my security tips. The snowy weather has made many people realise that their PC can take them instantly to shops and supermarkets while they sit snug and warm at home. A few clicks [...]

Don’t Call me Barbie

By |2017-01-30T20:52:11+00:00November 20th, 2010|

My wife – Ros – knows my persona so well. She has just sent me an email with the salutation: “Oi! Barbie!”. I replied: “Excuse me?” She then explained that toymakers Mattel have introduced a new doll called Computer Engineer Barbie. Those toy manufacturers have done their research very thoroughly indeed (based on my working [...]

Help! My PC is half baked

By |2017-01-30T20:52:19+00:00October 20th, 2010|

When their computers go haywire, Sheffielders ask me to drop by. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past six years, and today my company – Your PC’s Best Friend – has thousands of customers such as Janice and Ken Barraclough, of Fulwood. For over four years they have relied on me to sort out [...]

Web of Deceit (part 2)

By |2017-01-30T20:52:26+00:00September 20th, 2010|

Back in the May issue of Grapevine I wrote about a phone call scam – and it’s getting worse. Foreign-sounding gentlemen were ringing up Sheffielders and pretending to be from Microsoft. They offered to sort out a computer problem. In fact, they wanted to gain access to people’s PCs so they could implant spyware – [...]

Even Leeds has more byte

By |2017-01-30T20:52:33+00:00August 20th, 2010|

Sheffield needs to byte the bullet and speed up its online connection speeds. Our lucky neighbour Leeds is much faster than us. Broadband there travels at an average of 7.31 megabytes per second, compared to Sheffield’s 5.54. But Leeds is a computerised tortoise compared to South Korea, where people enjoy an astonishing 100 megabytes per [...]

iQueue for an iPhone

By |2017-01-30T20:52:39+00:00July 20th, 2010|

The new iPhone 4G was released. I wanted one because of the better screen/camera, and multi-tasking capabilities – and so I could show off to friends. My quest started at 8.02am when the O2 shop on Fargate opened its doors. Unfortunately, over 100 people were in front of me. A rumour started – there were [...]

View TV free on your PC

By |2017-01-30T20:52:47+00:00June 20th, 2010|

Our computers are sophisticated television sets. They offer countless hours of free viewing – including most of the stuff you forgot to record. The majority of TV outfits have their own internet sites/channels – the most recogniseable being the BBC iPlayer (which you can also access on your iPhone). […]

Web of deceit

By |2017-01-30T20:52:54+00:00May 20th, 2010|

Way back in November 2008 I warned Grapevine readers about anti-virus/spyware scams. According to recent Google reports – the problem has worsened. The trouble starts when you click on a site/advertisement and a pop-up appears warning that your computer has been infected with a virus. It then asks you for money (card details) to rid [...]

Con Trick – PC phone fiddle

By |2017-01-30T20:53:01+00:00April 20th, 2010|

Fraudsters pretending to represent Microsoft are targeting Sheffield, attempting to get hold of people’s banking and credit card details. I have been contacted by a dozen customers this month who have experienced the following. A person rings, claiming to be working for Microsoft,offering to sort out a computer problem such as corrupt software. […]

Decide now on a browser

By |2017-01-30T20:53:08+00:00March 20th, 2010|

At last the European Commission has come in useful. It has forced Microsoft to offer zillions of PC users a choice of 12 web browsers, instead of just one (the Microsoft version) – which is why I have been inundated with calls from my customers. They are worried about a pop-up that keeps appearing when [...]

Scram from scam websites

By |2017-01-30T20:53:15+00:00February 20th, 2010|

Be on your guard for ‘scam websites’. Shoppers are being enticed into fraudulent sites which often appear in the ‘sponsored links’ when you search for a product using Google. Now don’t get me wrong – Internet shopping is incredibly useful, and I have bought books, music – and recently a television – via the web, [...]

Noughtie PCs – But so nice

By |2017-01-30T20:53:21+00:00January 20th, 2010|

The past ten years – the noughties – have seen some amazing technological developments. On New Year’s Eve 1999, Google was less than 500 days old – and was not yet a worldwide phenomenon. Still to be invented were the iPhone, Blackberry, Sky+, Sky HD, Bluetooth, Blu-ray and GPS. Gaming machines were nowhere near as [...]

Open your Windows

By |2017-01-30T20:53:30+00:00December 20th, 2009|

Nostradamus did not foresee the wonderful happening that I predict for 2010. The future will be… Windows 7. It has been launched with a flashy advertising slogan: “I’m a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea”. Sales are storming ahead. What do I think? Well, Windows 7 wasn’t my idea – but I wish it [...]

Virtual Visitors

By |2017-01-30T20:49:51+00:00November 20th, 2009|

I have invented the perfect gathering for Christmas dinner. You sit down at the table with your boring/argumentative relatives. But here’s the clever bit: they’re not really there. They’re on Skype – waving/scowling/smiling at you from the PC screen. Skype is free software that is easy to download. It turns your computer into a video [...]

Writer in a crash

By |2017-01-30T20:49:59+00:00October 20th, 2009|

I rang Audrey at Grapevine. By day she sells advertising space. At night she writes on her PC: novels, poetry, short stories (all yet to be published). I asked if she had ever read Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which was Lawrence of Arabia’s vast, majestic account of his exploits during World War One. She hadn’t, [...]

5 Years of computer first aid

By |2017-01-30T20:50:04+00:00September 20th, 2009|

They crash, writes Adrian Arksey. They catch viruses. They won’t obey simple commands. But enough about your kids. For five years I have been repairing people’s computers at home and in the office. I recover their ‘lost’ data, and make them obey you by explaining in PE (Plain English) what is going wrong. […]

Microsoft have listened to me

By |2017-01-30T20:50:11+00:00August 20th, 2009|

Someone at Microsoft must have read my article in last month’s Grapevine in which I complained that PCs running Windows 7 needed a web browser pre-installed. My comments must have caused the company to have a re-think. Microsoft are now going to pre-install “several” web browsers, and though details have not yet been revealed, the [...]

Windows 7 – Pain in the browser

By |2017-01-30T20:50:16+00:00July 20th, 2009|

Back in June I was telling you about the new version of Windows hitting the shops in January 2010. Well, that’s all changed. Those hard working people at Microsoft will be launching the new ‘Windows 7’ on October 22nd – this year! As I previously mentioned, Windows 7 brings with it quite a few exciting [...]

PC travel broadbands the mind

By |2017-01-30T20:50:23+00:00June 20th, 2009|

It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon – and my wife and I are off on our hols. As we go out the door I say: “Ooops! Forgotten something. Haven’t written my Grapevine column. Better do it now.” I rummage through my suitcase for the laptop and begin writing about the obvious – holidays, and how a [...]

7th Heaven is on the way

By |2017-01-30T20:50:29+00:00May 20th, 2009|

It doesn’t seem five minutes since I was writing about Windows Vista – the latest Windows operating system to hit the shops. Yet that was over two years ago. Since then, Microsoft has been busy producing another new version of Windows for us to play with – due out in January 2010. […]

Feeling ill? It’s your PC’s fault

By |2017-01-30T20:50:37+00:00April 20th, 2009|

I don’t think a week goes by when I don’t meet at least one person who wants to fling their PC through the nearest window – open or otherwise. It’s understandable, what with computers crashing, hard drives failing and viruses attacking. Your PC could be making you ill, so let’s look at ways to enjoy [...]

Email pests. Let’s delete them

By |2017-01-30T20:50:43+00:00March 20th, 2009|

Have you ever received an email begging you for money? Or emails warning of a killer computer virus, or the chance to make an easy fortune, or telling a joke about an old lady trying to buy dog food? If you deleted these emails, well done. But perhaps you forwarded them to everyone in your [...]

Computer filth can harm your PC

By |2017-01-30T20:50:50+00:00February 20th, 2009|

It disgusts me. You would not believe the filth I see on people’s computers. Yes, I could pretend not to notice, but that wouldn’t be right, so I give it to ‘em straight, saying: “It’s mucky! You know it’s mucky. So clean up your act. I hope to goodness your children never come into contact [...]

I destroy secrets by cleansing your PC

By |2017-01-30T20:50:55+00:00January 20th, 2009|

Thinking of buying a new PC? Throwing away the old one? Stop right there! That computer contains many of your secrets, and you don’t want to give them away, do you? Even if the machine doesn’t work, a computer-wise thief could soon make it talk, and steal your identity – as was demonstrated by Which? [...]

Cloudy future for PCs in 2009

By |2017-01-30T20:51:01+00:00December 20th, 2008|

Heard about The Cloud? You’ll soon be on it. Cloud computer technology will revolutionise the way your documents are stored and accessed. It will make accessing files easier (from anywhere) because they will be saved out there…on the cloud, rather than only in your PC. If you want to make changes to your photos, create [...]

Christmas of wireless harmony

By |2017-01-30T20:46:00+00:00November 20th, 2008|

Let’s link all the computers in your home in time for Christmas. It’s easy, and I can show you how by helping you establish a wireless network. The whole family will be able to surf the web simultaneously, and print from the same printer. Mum will be able to email dad/kids from the kitchen (“come [...]

Cyber virus. Coming to a screen near you

By |2017-01-30T20:46:07+00:00October 20th, 2008|

I have been inundated with requests for help from people worried whether they must update their anti-virus or anti-spyware software – after being prompted to do so by a window popping up on their computer screen. It usually happens like this. You are merrily going about your business, surfing the net, checking emails and poking [...]

Cyber thieves are on your street

By |2017-01-30T20:46:13+00:00September 20th, 2008|

If you don’t have PC security in place, a thief can sit in his car outside your house and use a laptop to hack into your home’s broadband network. He will be able to steal information – maybe your financial identity – and download illegal material. Wireless networks in the home are becoming increasingly popular [...]

Broad advice for broadband connections

By |2017-01-30T20:46:20+00:00August 20th, 2008|

I have been inundated with enquiries from people who think they are paying over the odds for their broadband connections. Many have asked me for advice on how to change to another provider. Others are happy to stay with their current provider if they can get a better deal. If you want to change your [...]

Crunch bytes. No need to buy a new PC

By |2017-01-30T20:46:27+00:00July 20th, 2008|

As the credit crunch bites, your computer can byte back thanks to my cost effective methods of boosting its performance – saving you the expense of forking out for a new PC. Many people mistakenly believe they must upgrade their computer when it begins to function slowly, or not perform as it once did. But [...]

Buy Gran a PC. I’ll show her how to use it

By |2017-01-30T20:46:33+00:00June 20th, 2008|

Old people need company – and a PC is the best friend they could have. Don’t ask gran or grandad if they want a computer, just go and buy them one. Then ring me, and in no time I’ll have them surfing the web – ordering food deliveries by Tesco, researching their ancestry, looking up [...]

The filth in computers

By |2017-01-30T20:46:39+00:00May 20th, 2008|

Yes, filth! Your PC won’t work properly if its motor inhales dust – so keep the workplace clean. Listed below are ways to ensure a computer runs efficiently. Most of the procedures don’t take long if regularly carried out. Scan your PC for viruses and spyware […]

Secure your passwords

By |2017-01-30T20:46:45+00:00April 20th, 2008|

Hackers are brilliant code breakers – skilled at working out your security passwords so they can steal money and secrets. Here’s how to fool them. It isn’t hard to create secure passwords, but many people don’t bother to try. If one of your passwords is 123, liverpool, letmein, 123456, qwerty, charlie, monkey, arsenal, thomas or [...]

Save the Earth in your sleep

By |2017-01-30T20:46:52+00:00March 20th, 2008|

Tonight, at bedtime, I want you to do something out of character. Something you’ve never done before. Go to your computer and…switch it off! You’ve just saved the world enough energy to laser-print 800 A4 pages (the power a PC consumes when left on all night). A billion PCs are currently in use. Imagine the [...]

Don’t rubbish your identity

By |2017-01-30T20:46:59+00:00February 20th, 2008|

Stop! Don’t throw that old PC on the skip. It contains all your secrets. Yes, I know the machine doesn’t work, but a computer-wise thief could soon make it talk, and steal your identity…unless you call me. I can permanently remove all information from your PC. You might think you can, but it isn’t as [...]

My Vista view – One year later

By |2017-01-30T20:47:05+00:00January 20th, 2008|

In last February’s Grapevine I gave a reluctant thumbs down to the newly-launched Windows Vista. But a year later the programme has been updated and improved, so I will again ask – should you buy it? This is a question I am often asked, normally by people who are about to buy a new PC. [...]

Cyber burglary

By |2017-01-30T20:47:12+00:00December 20th, 2007|

Burglary is for mugs. Why risk smashing windows and rifling through people’s knicker drawers? Easier pickings are to be had by hacking into Broadband connections and stealing bank details. It’s so simple. Drive to a well-of neighbourhood. Park your car, get comfortable. Slurp a can or two of Skol Super Strength (alcohol limits don’t apply [...]

Buying a PC? See me!

By |2017-01-30T20:43:29+00:00November 20th, 2007|

It’s no good asking Santa for a PC. He’s just the delivery lad. Doesn’t know the first thing about computers. But I do. And I offer a service giving Grapevine readers unbiased advice about the PCs best suited to their needs – and budget. Think of me as your Christmas chaperone; someone who prevents innocents [...]

How clean is your PC?

By |2017-01-30T20:43:36+00:00October 20th, 2007|

You clean yourself, your house and your car – but how often do you clean your PC? Probably rarely, if at all. The cleanliness of your computer is something you should think about, as dust and dirt can seriously affect its workings. Computers are like any other piece of furniture in that they gather dust [...]

Don’t chuck IT in the bin

By |2017-01-30T20:43:42+00:00September 20th, 2007|

Charities are keen to get their hands on your old PC and ink cartridges – plus those mobile phones that were once state of the art. So hands up if have an old computer kicking around that hasn’t been used for ages. Maybe you have a drawer that is a graveyard for clunky cell phones [...]

Stormy PCs

By |2017-01-30T20:43:49+00:00August 20th, 2007|

Rain, rain, go away! If you are anything like me, you’re fed up with the bad weather we’ve been having – and so is your PC. I have had many calls from customers whose computers have been damaged by power surges resulting from lightning strikes or power cuts. What can you do to protect your [...]

PC in crash

By |2017-01-30T20:43:55+00:00July 20th, 2007|

I have worked with many customers who have experienced the nightmare of their PC hard drive failing. They have lost all their data, and been unable to restore it. If you are one of these unfortunates, please read on and see how to avoid this problem in future. […]

Spamalot

By |2017-01-30T20:44:01+00:00June 20th, 2007|

Okay! How many of you open your email inbox and find a long list of junk messages? These communications are “spam,” to use the technical term – emails are offering services – ranging from cosmetic surgery to credit cards – which you are usually not interested in. And so begins the annoying and time-consuming task [...]

They’ll steal your wireless

By |2017-01-30T20:44:06+00:00May 20th, 2007|

Wireless networks in the home are becoming increasingly popular because they are straightforward to install and make it possible for everyone in the home to surf the Net simultaneously – so no more arguments. But after you achieve Wi-Fi home harmony ask yourself this – is my wireless network secure? This is a factor often [...]

Don’t catch a virus

By |2017-01-30T20:44:12+00:00April 20th, 2007|

According to a recent survey, viruses and spam are attacking 30% more computers this year than last. Home PCs are particularly vulnerable as users often do not know how to stay safe online. But it is possible to avoid most problems by following these simple steps. […]

How to swop service providers

By |2017-01-30T20:44:18+00:00March 20th, 2007|

There are usually two reasons why PC users do not change service providers. Either they don’t know how to, or are worried they will have to pay a hefty ‘fine’ if they go elsewhere. Recently introduced rules mean service providers cannot charge you for leaving them – providing you are at the end of your [...]

Let us move your PC

By |2017-01-30T20:44:24+00:00February 20th, 2007|

It’s Friday morning and we’ve just put our home on the market. Already, the phone has started to ring as people are eager to come and have a look at what we have to offer. I hope they like what they see. Fast forward now, and it’s moving day. We’ll be getting a removal company [...]

My view of Windows Vista

By |2017-01-30T20:44:31+00:00January 20th, 2007|

It has arrived! After five years in development, Windows Vista is here to take the place of Windows XP. As with any release of a major Windows upgrade, there will be those who think the new system is the bee’s knees, and those who wish they had never clapped eyes on it. […]

PC health in 2007

By |2017-01-30T20:44:37+00:00December 20th, 2006|

Yes, it is that time of year when you promise to take more exercise, drink less wine and generally be an all round better person. Similar good intentions should be applied to your computer. If you keep it healthy, and stop using the CD drive-drawer as a drinks holder, you will be rewarded with better [...]

Boot-up for Christmas

By |2017-01-30T20:41:38+00:00November 20th, 2006|

Does your PC need a kick into the 21st century this Christmas? There are now nearly a billion desktop PCs in use, which is an amazing progression when you think its ancient ancestor is the abacus. The capability of the PC has advanced rapidly since the 1970s, when computers were big and bulky, and only [...]

See me before you buy a PC

By |2017-01-30T20:41:45+00:00October 20th, 2006|

If you are thinking of buying a new PC this Christmas and don’t know where to start, I can help. I offer a service where I will give you unbiased advice on a machine to fit your needs – and your budget. Now is the time of year when many people (yes, you!) are lured [...]

Let me destroy all your old data

By |2017-01-30T20:41:52+00:00September 20th, 2006|

Thinking of throwing away your old PC? Thinking of putting it in the bin? This is fine if you are happy to make your personal data available for criminals to use – bank details, passwords, naughty emails, etc. At Your PC’s Best Friend we offer a data destruction service to ensure your old hard drive [...]

Help! I’ve lost all my PC files!

By |2017-01-30T20:41:58+00:00August 20th, 2006|

I’ve had an email from Mr White, of Sheffield 11, who writes: “I had a nightmare recently when the hard drive failed on my PC. I lost all the files, and no matter what I tried I couldn’t get them back. How can I avoid this problem in future? The best way to prevent this [...]

Family surfing

By |2017-01-30T20:42:04+00:00July 20th, 2006|

I’ve had an email from Mrs Barker, of Sheffield 17, who writes: “My home is in complete chaos. I have three teenage children and a husband, each with their own computer – and all want to use our one broadband Internet connection at the same time. Please help me!” No problem, Mrs Barker. I can [...]

Inkjet charity cash

By |2017-01-30T20:42:14+00:00June 20th, 2006|

Since I started my ‘Questions and Answers’ feature in Grapevine, many readers have asked what they can do with their used inkjet cartridges – rather than just throwing them in the bin. The great news is that you can donate them to the charity ChildLine, which is celebrating its 20th Birthday. […]

Broadband charges set to fall

By |2017-01-30T20:42:20+00:00May 20th, 2006|

This month’s question comes from Mrs Chapman, of Sheffield 8. She writes: “I have seen adverts on TV for TalkTalk’s new free broadband service. I’ve been with my service provider for 18 months, and I’m thinking about changing to TalkTalk – can you give me some advice?” Well, Mrs Chapman, it is fair to say [...]

Windows 98 warning

By |2017-01-30T20:42:28+00:00April 20th, 2006|

Since inviting Grapevine readers to contact me with PC-related problems, one cause for concern has been raised many times – by people such as Mr Allen, of Sheffield 8. “I have,” he says, “a rather old computer that runs on Windows 98. I have heard that Microsoft is to stop supporting this version of Windows [...]

Secret of copying data

By |2017-01-30T20:42:34+00:00March 20th, 2006|

Further to last month’s Questions and Answers feature comes a query from Mr Gregory, of Sheffield 7. He says: “I bought myself a new PC last week, and I am having trouble transferring data from my old machine. Can you help?” I certainly could, and did. I told Mr Gregory that I am often approached [...]

Beat that virus

By |2017-01-30T20:42:40+00:00February 20th, 2006|

In last month’s Grapevine I invited readers to contact me for answers to their PC problems. Mr Biggin of Sheffield 17 was curious about viruses and spyware. His email to me said: “I have read in your Grapevine articles that we should ensure our PCs are protected from viruses and spyware – is there a [...]

Lost and found in cyberspace

By |2017-01-30T20:42:46+00:00January 20th, 2006|

After last month’s Grapevine went out I received many phone calls and emails from people who wanted help and advice with some of the New Year Computer Resolutions I had written about – one of the most important being Resolution 2: “I will always back-up my data.” An urgent request came from Mrs Williams, of [...]

Computer care in 2006

By |2017-01-30T20:42:52+00:00December 20th, 2005|

Here are New Year Computer Resolutions that will serve you well in 2006. If you don’t quite know how to do everything listed here – just give me a ring. Resolution 1 – I will protect my PC from viruses and spyware. These nasty gremlins are rampant in cyberspace, and can destroy your data. Ensure [...]

See me before you buy a PC

By |2017-01-30T20:39:55+00:00November 20th, 2005|

If you are thinking of buying a new PC this Christmas and don’t know where to start, I can help. I offer a service where I will give you unbiased advice on a machine to fit your needs. Now is the time of year when many people (yes, you!) are lured into computer stores by [...]

Safeguard your PC from attack

By |2017-01-30T20:40:02+00:00October 20th, 2005|

Since I changed the name of my company last month I have had a dramatic increase in calls from customers who are (quite rightly) concerned about their PC’s security. Quite often people know something’s wrong with their computer, but they don’t know how to fix it. […]

Introducing me – Your PC’s Best Friend

By |2017-01-30T20:40:09+00:00September 20th, 2005|

Same great service, same dedicated help and advice, same person in charge (that’s me – Adrian Arksey), but now my company has a brilliant new name: Your PC’s Best Friend. It is a name which reflects the sort of service I offer, because what is a best friend? It is someone who is always there [...]

Go surfing with Broadband

By |2017-01-30T20:40:14+00:00August 20th, 2005|

I can be your PC’s best friend at home or in the office. Whatever the problem, I will almost certainly be able to help you solve it. I also offer unbiased advice on all aspects of computer use – broadband, for example. Do you need a broadband connection? How do you go about getting connected? [...]

PC crash rescue service

By |2017-01-30T20:40:20+00:00July 20th, 2005|

I receive many phone calls from people asking whether or not I can help them with their PC problems. My website lists most of the services I offer, along with a guide price for carrying out the work. People who work for large organisations are used to being able to pick up the phone whenever [...]

Fight computer gremlins

By |2017-01-30T20:40:36+00:00June 20th, 2005|

Do you (or your computer) need help? Are you afraid of viruses and spyware? Does your computer need upgrading? Then read on. I’m Adrian Arksey. For many years I have been helping everyone from beginners to PC veterans get the most out of their computers. What you’ll like most about me is that I keep [...]

Fight the computer bandits

By |2017-01-30T20:40:44+00:00April 20th, 2005|

Let me be your PC’s best friend at home or in the office. Everywhere you look at the moment, you are being warned about the importance of keeping your computer secure. Banks, Internet Service Providers and the Media are constantly emphasising the value of protecting your PC. I get a lot of phone calls from [...]

Go surfing with Broadband

By |2017-01-30T20:40:50+00:00March 20th, 2005|

I can be your PC’s best friend at home or in the office. Whatever the problem, I will almost certainly be able to help you solve it. I also offer unbiased advice on all aspects of computer use – broadband, for example. Do you need a broadband connection? How do you go about getting connected? [...]

Don’t buy a new PC – Upgrade!

By |2017-01-30T20:40:59+00:00February 20th, 2005|

Let me be your PC’s best friend at home or in the office. If you are you thinking of buying a new PC because your current machine doesn’t do everything you want it to do, read this first… It is many peoples misconception that to have a faster, turbocharged machine, they need to buy a [...]

Computer gremlins: The cure

By |2017-01-30T20:41:06+00:00January 20th, 2005|

Do you know, last month I removed over a thousand viruses and 15,000 pieces of spyware from customers’ computers. Are you concerned about your PC’s security? If you aren’t adequately protected, you should be. Everyone with a computer is open to attack (more so when connected to the Internet). […]

Fight computer gremlins

By |2017-01-30T20:41:13+00:00December 20th, 2004|

Do you (or your computer) need help? Are you afraid of viruses and spyware? Does your computer need upgrading? Then read on. I’m Adrian Arksey. For many years I have been helping everyone from beginners to PC veterans get the most out of their computers. What you’ll like most about me is that I keep [...]