Computer and IT Services
Sirius Services
I offer a wide range of services for computers and technology in general.  My focus is on servicing Windows based PCs and Apple Macintosh computers.  In general, I charge by the hour for services, but I do charge a reasonable fixed fee if the task is well defined, such as a hard disk upgrade, memory upgrade, wireless router install, etc.  Call or email me for a price quote.

Virus and Spyware Eradication:
Computer viruses have been around about as long as the computer.  You can get a computer virus by downloading e-mail attachments, running certain web page imbedded software, and downloading and running files from the internet, to name a few.  They vary widely in the impact they have on your computer, some can be very destructive, erasing all information on your hard disk.  Others are less intrusive and in most cases you won't even know you have a virus unless you use virus checking software or find out after it's too late, that is after the virus has already done it's thing.  I can setup virus protection software to keep your web browsing, file download and e-mail safe.  If you're ambitious and not afraid to install and configure your own software, check out our Tools page to download a free anti-virus software package for Windows.  Spyware is typically not as insidious as viruses, but can cause serious problems if pop-ups get out of control, or your personal information has been compromised as can be the case with password hacks and other spyware.  I have had good experiences with Webroot's Spysweeper software which you can also download from our Tools section.  Also, the same group that developed the free anti-virus software also has a free spyware application.

Wireless (and Wired) Networking:
If you're currently tied to your desk while working on a laptop, well it doesn't really make much sense.  Laptops were designed to be portable and getting a wireless network up and running will allow you to break those chains and sit out on the back patio while you sip that coffee or tea in the morning.  You can check e-mail, surf the web or do a little web-shopping with the sound of quail chirping in the background and the sun warming your bones.  Let us help you setup your wireless network so you can begin to enjoy the freedom it offers.

System Backup and Restore:
If you currently don't have a backup plan you need one because you don't want a disk failure to catch you by surprise.  Most of us get so used to using our computers, we forget the internal components can fail, especially the hard disk since it's one of the few components that has moving parts.  It would be tragic to lose all those digital pictures, customer records, valuable documents you've created, or other important work created and stored on your computer.  I can help you plan a backup procedure to minimize your data loss in the event of a disk failure.  Once the plan is in place, I can perform the backup onto DVD media, and vault store one copy of the encrypted backup off-site (good in case of fire or theft) and the other copy on-site.  I can also help you setup a network hard drive for storing your backups in-house or set you up with a DVD burner and train you to perform the backups onto DVD media and store on-site, preferably in a fire-proof vault.

Disaster Recovery:
If you computer isn't starting up, is making a funny noise, or there is some unusual message on the screen when you power up your system, give us a call.  It could be just about anything, but I have diagnostic systems and years of experience troubleshooting computers, so I'll find the problem in no time and present you with options to either fix the problem, or total the computer (woohoo! ... new computer!).  If you don't have a recent backup of the disk in your failed computer, I can recover data from the old drive in most cases.

Software Installs:
Are you running the latest version of Microsoft Windows?  Is your virus protection software up to date?  Do you have something you'd like to install on your computer (you heard it was easy), but you're simply too afraid you might break something else already on the computer?  I can get you running the latest version of Windows and setup your computer to automatically update from the internet, or install that new music, picture management, or graphics software you've been wanting to install but haven't got around to it.

Hardware Upgrades:
If your computer is running slow or is getting low on disk space, we can help.  I can take a look at your current configuration and recommend a reasonably priced solution.  For slow running computers, a memory upgrade is usually the most effective solution, but I can also look at putting in a faster Central Processing Unit (CPU).  Large disk drives are very reasonably priced these days and I can easily move your current system onto the new, larger hard disk.  Alternatively, some computers have room for another hard disk to be placed inside.  When the system is rebooted, there is simply a new volume that appears in Windows.

System Optimization:
If you have noticed that your computer us running slower, you most likely need to have a system optimization performed.  Many times, a disk defragmentation will speed up application loading, but if your computer is very slow, it may need a RAM upgrade.  As you install new software applications on your computer, this can have an impact on performance if a small piece of the application is loaded into memory every time your computer starts up.  I can perform a hard disk optimization and examine the number of processes running on your computer.  Upon consultation, I may together discover applications that are unnecessary and free up your computer memory by shutting down unnecessary applications and preventing them from loading at startup.  In the end, it may be necessary to upgrade your memory or CPU to help your computer run the application load you require.

Kid-safe Computing:
If you're a parent or grandparent with a computer, you will want to make sure the kids are visiting acceptable sites when using the internet and you'll probably want to limit the amount of time they're playing games or using the internet too.  I can help you setup your computer so that their time is limited and they are able to access internet sites that you OK.  If you're also interested in seeing what they're doing (AKA spying), there are applications that can track every keystroke made on a computer, and you can view the log or have an email sent to you.

Custom Built Systems:
I have two Windows based systems that I can build quickly, but I can also build any system that you desire, or sit down with you and help you define what you need your computer to do.  Then I can either build a system for you or advise you on a system to buy from a vendor such as Dell, HP, or Apple.

Network Drive Setup:
A Network drive is a hard disk that is not contained inside any of your computers.  Essentially, it connects to the network and appears as a mounted drive on your computer.  You can configure the drive to be automatically mounted every time your computer starts so in effect, it's like having an extra hard drive in your computer.  There are many benefits to having a network drive.  The first is that it provides you with a place to store backups of your computer and all it's data.  Then, if something happens to the disk in your computer, you simply replace the broken disk, then restore the data from the network drive.  The other benefit is that it provides a means of storing all those large music, picture, and video files you have.  Network drives can be very large, up to 2 TeraBytes (2,000 Gigabytes, or 2,000,000 Megabytes) of storage for a reasonably priced drive.

Printer and Hard Drive Sharing Setup:
I can help you setup printer, hard disk, and other resource sharing between Windows based systems or between Windows and Macintosh based systems.

Network Audio/Video Setup:
With the technology available today, I can configure a computer or a stand-alone network drive to serve audio/video.  If you have a large CD collection, I can rip the CDs to the hard disk and install a network audio player.  There are a few network based media players, fewer still that work well.  One of the best is a system called Sonos.  Click here for more information on the Sonos system.

Macintosh and Windows PCs:
I have knowledge in both the Macintosh and Windows computing environments.  All of the services listed above I can perform on the Macintosh as well.  We have even done a few Linux system setups before.  So call me for all your computing needs.
Jeff McCormick
Sirius Technologies, Inc.
Carefree, AZ