By Dustin Moranda / Newsletter / 0 Comments

It’s a Girl!!

Dorothy West Moranda “Dottie” was born on March 14th at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. She weighed 8lbs 3oz and measured 21-1/2″ long. Ashley and I are overjoyed to welcome her into the world! The three of us are home now. We are all happy, healthy, and in complete bliss.

Thank you for all the wonderful messages and gifts. We are so incredibly grateful to have such amazing customers and friends.

Check Out the New Website

We have completely redesigned our website with a fresh new look and an emphasis on functionality. Our customers can request service directly from our site for a quick turnaround and speedy correspondence.

Please check back soon as the website will be updated regularly.

Click below to take a look!

Click Here to Visit Our New Website!

Windows Vista End-of-Life: What This Means For You

The countdown is on for Windows Vista users. On April 11th, 2017, Microsoft will cease all support and security patching, just like they did with previous Windows versions. Naturally, you’re rather attached to your current operating system and not exactly leaping for joy at this news!

Unfortunately, the longer your computer goes without an upgrade, the higher the chance of a complete system breach. While you’re watching the count-down and thinking about scheduling an upgrade sometime soon, cyber-criminals are making plans of their own. As time progresses, they’ll actively target out-of-date systems and search for vulnerabilities.

Even the most dedicated Vista user must finally upgrade, as continuing to use it will expose your computer to some pretty confronting risks, including:

Security risks: While Microsoft may have patched the gaps exploited during the Vista lifetime, there are many more just waiting to be discovered. It gets worse: your antivirus program is unlikely to intercept these attacks. Hackers are extremely fast to exploit newly-discovered vulnerabilities and without Microsoft working just as fast to close them, the risk increases exponentially every time you turn the computer on.

Compliance risks: For business users, this is a big one. Many businesses are subject to conditions that require them to run an operating system that’s regularly patched. For those working with sensitive, legal or private data, this is even more important. Continuing to use an unsupported OS places not just the system security at risk, but also the entire business.

Software incompatibility: New applications are created exclusively for current operating systems. This means you can’t upgrade past the software you now have, and will soon be phased out of new updates and options across all application types.

No support: Vista mainstream support was stopped back in 2012 but there were always avenues if you were really stuck with something. A quick Google search, an expert on call or even sympathetic support staff at Microsoft helpdesk willing to bend the rules; as of April 11th though, that all stops. The only support available will be outdated pieces you can locate with Google, solutions which may send you in circles with no resolution.

Windows Vista End-of-Life: What This Means For You

The solution is quite simple: upgrade your computers to Windows 10 well before the April 11th deadline.

Windows 10 is the latest release and will give your upgrade investment the most value over time, as well as the best security Windows users have ever seen. Vista will continue to work after April 11th, but every day you use it puts your system at increasingly higher levels of risk.

Call us at (831) 204-9997 or stop in to our shop to upgrade your Windows Vista System. Have a question? Just reply to this email or click to request service from our new website.
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By Dustin Moranda / Newsletter / 0 Comments

The People Have Spoken!

We’ve Been Nominated for Best Computer Repair of Monterey County
Thanks to you, Moranda Minds has been nominated to the Top 3 for Best Computer Store and Top 6 for Best Computer Repair with the Monterey County Weekly! It is because of your amazing support that we have made it this far. Thank you!

It would be an incredible honor to win the title of Best Computer Store and/or Best Computer Repair. Please, vote for us in the Best of Monterey County Readers Poll 2017. We have been proudly serving the Monterey Peninsula since 2009 and look forward to many more years of committed, friendly service.

Voting ends Thursday, February 23, 2017, and final results will be published in the March 24, 2017 issue of the Monterey County Weekly.

Quick Tip! The Monterey County Weekly requires at least 20 votes to submit your ballot and one vote per page. You’ll find Best Computer Repair & Best Computer Store on the final page.

Thank you for your support!

We’ve Added Two New Team Members!

Please welcome Paul Garza and Manny Gonzalez
Paul brings more than 10 years of computer repair experience to our team and has a sixth sense when it comes to troubleshooting systems. He truly is our wizard behind the curtain.
Manny’s big smile and friendly demeanor will instantly make you feel welcome at Moranda Minds. He also joins our team as a computer repair technician.

We are incredibly proud and honored to have them as part of our team.

We’re Expecting!

2017 is going to be a very exciting year for the Moranda family!
Dustin and Ashley are thrilled to be welcoming their first child in March. Any guesses on boy or girl? They have decided to wait to find out what they are having until the baby is born. Surprises are too much fun!

5 Ways to Love Your Laptop

Laptop computers are one of the most fragile pieces of tech you’ll ever buy, but they also receive the roughest treatment. Extend your laptop’s life with these five easy tips.

1. Avoid sharp movements during use: While some newer laptops have a solid state drive with no moving parts, many laptops still have mechanical drives which work a bit like a record player. It has a head which is like a record player needle, and a data storage platter like a record. The head hovers just microns over the surface of the spinning disk and a knock can cause them to collide. Just like a deep scratch on a record, whatever data was on that section will be corrupted and lost. Make sure you always power down the laptop before moving it or packing it away.

2. Keep it cool: Your laptop has two sure ways of telling you when it’s too hot – the fan and auto-shut off. Each component in your laptop is generating heat, and the harder it’s working, the more heat each creates. The fan runs to blow that heat out the vent and keep the components cool enough to continue operating. Because there’s no clear temperature indicator, your fan volume is the best guide to monitoring laptop heat. While the laptop is working hard (and getting hot), the fan will spin faster and louder. It’s not uncommon for it to sound like a hair dryer at times! Help it out by keeping your fan vent clear of books, blankets, and other blockages.

3. Respect the cords: Inside those robust looking power cords are a bunch of delicate wires, begging you to be gentle. You’d think they should be able to take a beating, get bent, twisted and run over with chair wheels, but unfortunately not. Keep cords clear of sharp or flat-edged items, and when wrapping for transport try to mimic how it came out of the box. Wrap the cord gently around itself or the power adapter and secure with Velcro or similar.

4. Carry it in padded style: Look for a bag that not only fits your laptop but also provides padding. Your system will endure countless bumps and bangs as the bag is moved around, even with careful use. Ideally your bag has bottom, side AND top padding, as well as a waterproof outer. If bags aren’t your style, look for padded or hard-shelled sleeves.

5. Back it up: Laptops give us fantastic mobility but as mentioned above they’re quite fragile. While a backup won’t make your laptop components last longer, it will make minor repairs that much easier. You’re more likely to take it in for a service if your data is accessible elsewhere, and of course, in the event of accident or theft, you’re fully prepared. Consider an off-site backup for additional protection, so no matter what happens with your laptop you still have your important files.

By Dustin Moranda / Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Today we are going to address my number one frustration:  Computer Backup.

It’s a simple procedure of copying precious data from a hard drive to another storage location.  Completing this procedure gives you an insurance policy when your data is lost due to corruption or mechanical failure.  I use the word “when” because hard drive failure is inevitable.  It is only measured in the period of months or years the hardware will survive its daily use.  You can think of it like mechanical parts in a vehicle.  At some point in time, a part will fail and potentially leave you on the side of the road.  In the case of hard drive failure, it’s losing irreplaceable family photos or years of accounting data.

Our team at Moranda Minds Computer Services has encountered hundreds of cases where well-meaning people unnecessarily lose their data.  Of course, we have tools and software to perform successful data recovery, but let’s put the horse in front of the cart where it belongs – backup your data. I recommend purchasing an inexpensive external hard drive and configuring it for daily or weekly backup. Both Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X come pre-installed with viable backup software.  Cloud based backup solutions are also available; these systems copy your data into a data server for off-site backup. In a perfect scenario, I recommend using an external hard drive in your home/office and a cloud-based backup solution in the event something catastrophic happens at that location.  Peace of mind is everything these days.

Protect yourself, protect your data.

By Dustin Moranda / Newsletter / 0 Comments

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an international electronics and technology trade show. CES is where industry professionals and major companies unveil their newest products, prototypes and innovations. The show is held every January in Las Vegas and has been a consistent platform for showcasing incredibly influential products in consumer electronics. This is a two-part series to talk about some really exciting products that will be coming soon to a home near you.

Virtual Reality Technology

There have been countless iterations in Virtual Reality (VR) over the past several decades.  VR was stunted due to several hurdles in hardware and software development. The graphic hardware just wasn’t at the level necessary for creating a real-time 3D environment without motion sickness after a short amount of play.  In 2011, a hardware and software developer, Palmer Luckey, revisited VR. He invented new technology that eliminated motion sickness, pushed graphic performance and refined motion tracking.  Some years later the Oculus Rift was born, and in 2014 the company was acquired by Facebook for 2 billion dollars.  This ushered in a viral response from competing manufacturers.  It seemed the VR dream was ignited once again.

HTC / Valve Vive

What is the Vive?  It’s a culmination of everything a Virtual Reality (VR) headset intended to be. The Vive is built with a high resolution screen, flawless motion tracking and dual controllers for interacting in a 3D space. How does it work? The headset connects to high end gaming computer with a long display cable, unfortunately It is not yet wireless. The headset has 32 built-in motion sensors which are tracked by two wireless base stations placed at each corner of your space. These base stations triangulate any movement in the 3D space. The Vive also has a front facing camera on the headset which allows the user to change their view between the space they are in and the game they are playing on the headset. People who have demoed the product are astounded by the level of immersion the Vive provides. Games and applications are still scarce, but thousands of developers are feverishly creating content for this new medium.  The cost of the HTC Vive is $800. Pre-orders for the product began in January and units will ship in April.

By Dustin Moranda / Newsletter / 0 Comments

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an international electronics and technology trade show. CES is where industry professionals and major companies unveil their newest products, prototypes and innovations. The show is held every January in Las Vegas and has been a consistent platform for showcasing incredibly influential products in consumer electronics.  This is a two-part series to talk about some really exciting products that will be coming soon to a home near you.

Automotive: 2017 Chevy Bolt EV

Typically, you’ll see big car companies unveil their newest vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show.  However, this year, General Motors ® decided to show off its newest electric vehicle (EV) at CES – the Chevy Bolt. This new electric vehicle underscores a convergence of consumer technology and automotive manufacturing. GM has an all new design and platform for the Bolt which is estimated to have 200 miles of electric range, and is competitively priced at $30,000 after tax credits. The Chevy Bolt’s big brother, the Chevy Volt, holds a higher price point and an elevated level of fit and finish.  Sales of the Volt have continued to rise as EVs become more desirable.  The Volt has also marked an emphasis in EV design and aesthetics, the Bolt is no exception.  Car companies are finally coming to the realization that hybrids and EV’s can, and should be easy on the eyes, in addition to the emphasis on technology and efficiency.

Television: LG 4K OLED HDR (Organic Light Emitting Diode) (High Dynamic Range)

You’re standing at one of your local big box stores in a somewhat zombie-like fashion, you realize a television is evoking this hypnotic state: enter the LG OLED 4K television.  OLED displays have had some difficulty in becoming mainstream due to the cost of manufacturing and various pitfalls in the nature of the screens. However, the evolution of OLED technology has been dialing up over the past decade. This year, LG showed off its latest iteration of its 4K OLED television.  The color representation is unparalleled and the screen’s blacks are deep and almost ink like.  HDR Pro (High Dynamic Range) makes for a brighter, bolder and more immersive experience. The bezels or border at each side of the screen are almost non-existent, creating an impressively clean and refined finish.  After gawking at one of these incredible televisions in person, you’ll agree wholeheartedly that they are the future of entertainment.


More CES emerging technology to come in Part 2

By Dustin Moranda / Newsletter / 0 Comments

Consider this scenario: You receive a call from an unknown local number. The person on the line has a heavy accent and claims to be a technician working for Microsoft. They go on to say that your computer has been infected by a virus and claim that you are in danger of losing all your personal data, or that your friends and family could also be potentially affected. They speak quickly, use confusing terminology, and insist on taking control of your computer to eliminate the virus. Frightened of what may happen, you agree to pay them a considerable amount of money to remove the infection. After a few clicks and keystrokes, this stranger now has access to your computer and personal files. They run bogus software, populating thousands of false errors and malicious files, making it appear as though you do, indeed, have a virus.

This scenario plays out all too often, and is, without a doubt, the most frequent inquiry we receive at our computer repair shop in Pacific Grove. We immediately instruct our clients to hang up the phone and power down the computer if the stranger is still connected. This scam is rampant and these fly-by-night companies are a dime a dozen. I have heard numerous accounts of malicious technicians extracting personal information, or instructing clients to log in to their personal bank accounts. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t let a perfect stranger into your home, so please don’t allow them access to your computer.

It is important to know that Microsoft does NOT call customers or monitor viruses on personal systems. If someone calls claiming to be from Microsoft to remove a virus, it is definitely a scam. Hang up the phone, and do not entertain any further communication. If you still have a suspicion that you may have a virus, call a trusted local computer repair shop that can run thorough scans and maintenance.

I hope this information empowers you and your family in the New Year.Happy computing.