Rios Computer Associates

Web Hosting & Authoring

There are lots of places that will host you for just a few bucks a month. The critical question is not cost, but reliability and support. When choosing a service, be sure to find impartial reviews of the hosting sites.

icdsoft’s prices are good, $5/domain/year, but you can only buy the domain from them if you buy hosting services as well. This wouldn’t be my first choice, normally—I prefer to have my domain hosted separately. I’ve had problems in the past when the domain name and web hosting was with the same company—when there was a problem with the hosting, I had a much harder time transferring the domain to another host.

Usually some of the lowest prices on domain names are from godaddy. If you want to use them, rather than going directly to the site, do a google search on “domain name registrar” or anything like that, and godaddy will usually have a link at a discounted price. I can usually get domains for about $7/year, and you can buy up to 10 years at a time. If you do use godaddy, also google: godaddy coupons.

There are many websites that will tell you about promotions and discounts they have if you enter the coupon code they specify.

whois.com has a search function that you can use to check if a domain name is available, but I have seen situations where if you inquired about a domain name, if you didn’t grab it right away, it would suddenly become unavailable. There is a procedure by which companies can grab a name for a week or so for free. If this happens to you, wait about 10-14 days and try again.

There is tons of free software available for web authoring. And of course, if you learn HTML, you don’t need to buy any program. Most of the free programs, however, are pretty limited, both in support and in versatility. Dreamweaver is not free, but it is considered the standard of the industry. It isn’t trivial to learn, but it is extremely powerful, flexible, and resilient (forgiving). It can be bought as part of a package from Adobe (who is the current publisher), and can be gotten inexpensively in student editions and for certain non-profit groups.

8 Steps to a Healthy Computer

Computer hygiene is important, but the paid-for protection programs are often worse than the ones you can get for free.  We have solved a lot of our clients' computer problems by removing Norton/Symantec programs.

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Macs & Viruses

Have you been told that buying a Mac will avoid problems with viruses? That can be a good temporary solution—until a lot of folks start buying Macs.

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Choosing Secure Passwords

A word about passwords: lots of people tell you to create screwy-looking passwords with uPPer and LowER case and all kinds of strange symbols in them. It turns out that this is bad advice...

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Chain Letters

Almost all messages that you get telling you to 'Forward this to all your friends' are hoaxes. Here are some ways to determine whether you should pass it on or hit 'Delete'.

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Choosing a Laptop

The best approach that I have found in deciding what sort of computer to purchase is to identify the things that are most likely to matter to someone and narrow the search from there.

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Avoiding Malware Sites

The bad guys seem to have an unlimited number of ways to trick people and avoid detection. Do you know how to protect yourself from malicious websites?

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Web Hosting & Authoring

There are lots of places that will host you for just a few bucks a month. The critical question is not cost, but reliability and support.

Click here to read more.

Choosing a Credit Card

Regardless of which computer you get, most extended warranties aren't worth the money. But how you pay for the computer matters a lot...

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Affordable Office Suites

Microsoft has dominated the office software market with Microsoft Office, but their software package can be expensive for personal use. Did you know that there are cheaper or free alternatives?

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Videocams & Farsightedness

Comfortable reading is all but impossible when you're farsighted, and computerized magnifers are expensive. Luckily, there is a way to get a cheap makeshift magnifier that works better than the real thing!

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Working with PDF Files

Going backwards from PDF to text is usually somewhat messy, but not impossible. Here are some methods to convert your PDF documents into more accesible formats...

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InfoSelect

The most important program I have, except maybe email, is my Personal Information Manager: InfoSelect.

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Reinstalling Microsoft Office

If your computer on which you have Microsoft Office installed dies, you don't need to buy a new copy; the license for Microsoft Office is transferable. You just need the original CD and the Product Key to install it just as you did originally.

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IMAP: Pros and Cons

IMAP is one of two commonly-used email protocols. I've heard lots of wonderful things about IMAP, but in real life, I have found it has its own share of drawbacks...

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Recovering Data From Failed Hard Drives

In more than 90% of cases of hard drive failure the data is retrievable, but the method used depends on the type of failure. A hard drive can 'die' for several reasons...

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Rios Computer Associates • 930 N Arlington Mill Drive • Arlington • VA • 22205 • 703-536-9190 • service@rios.org