When is enough, ENOUGH? Is it time to just buy a new computer?



When is enough, enough? There are many scenarios in life where this question could apply, but I want to talk about computers. Like a majority of us, you are probably a thrifty person, or at least try to be. Whether is it buying your printer paper from a company that is cheaper than your previous vendor or buying product licenses in volume, there are plenty of opportunities to save money. That said, if you have that “troublesome” computer in your company (and we all know what it feels like to have “that” machine), how much money are you going to put into fixing it until you finally give into a purchasing a new computer?

Let’s take a brief moment to put some rough numbers to it and hopefully shed light on some things. If you were to pay a technician an hourly rate of $50/hour (yes, this is a low number, but will help solidify my point) to be onsite and troubleshooting/repairing a computer you purchased 4-5 years ago, it more than likely will take anywhere from 1-3 hours for a “normal” problem. Once troubleshooting is done, there could be the additional cost of hardware, as well. So let’s say it is determined, after 2 hours of troubleshooting, that you have a bad NIC (network interface card). That would cost $100 for the onsite rate and let’s say $50 for a new NIC. That’s $150. With this being an older machine, 4 months later you start having more issues. This time the tech is out for another 2 hours and determines that your video card is bad — that’s another $150. (Those numbers don’t even reflect your employee’s lost productivity due to a slow or non-working machine.) I am guessing you are catching on. 

Computers are not that expensive anymore. You can pick up a rather good desktop for $400 and they can last 4-5 years. So why would you spend $300 (just in those 2 examples) on a computer that is old, slowing down, and, frankly, out-of-date? I understand the sticker shock of spending $400+ on a new machine. But as time goes on, more issues will arise, and that $300 you spent on repairs will turn into $500+.

In closing, I would just like to say, for the sake of your time, money, and headaches: if it is going to cost more to fix something, just buy new! And please keep in mind that we, here at Everon, are always here to help you on the purchase of your new machines. Call us at 888-244-1748. Your Account Manager can advise you on the perfect replacement to keep you and your company up and running smoothly and quickly. And saving you money in the long-term!


Turning Off the Technology: How a tech unplugs



Being a tech is hard on the mind and the body.  A majority of the job keeps you connected the computer for a large portion of your day. Whether it is working issues or researching more about an industry that is ever-changing and evolving every week, being so connected is a blessing and a curse. Keeping up with technology is like trying to win a marathon on a treadmill.  You are definitely making progress on improving yourself, but it is a race that has no end.  Living in world full of social media websites, blogs from all your favorite personalities, or just finding that next cat video to share with your office, it can easily turn from a way to pass the time into a routine that you don’t even know you have.

Until you miss a few days.

I often find it beneficial to “disconnect,” a term I mean to be synonymous with turning off your gadgets, disconnecting from the internet, and looking out a window instead of a pc monitor.  Otherwise, eventually, you will get burned out.


I enjoy hiking, camping, and just working up a sweat in the mountains.  My personal disconnect is going backpacking.  Backpacking is essentially just planning a hike that will take days, weeks, or even months to finish.  I am still very new to it, but it is quickly turning into a well-looked-forward-to event every year.


James, standing - third from left, with fellow hikers on a 4-day/25-mile/tech-free hike in July 2014. The only electronics they bring on these trips are a gps and walkie talkie for emergencies and a flashlight.

Ironically, the guys I plan the trip with are also in tech fields. They are just as eager to wander around in the woods as I am. There is just something about staring at the stars from the tops of mountains that can really re-align you. Looking around at the world (instead of at your mobile every minute to check your emails, text, and notification) is jarring and strange at first for the tech junkie, but a few days into it you could care less.


That is just my way of disconnecting.  Yours doesn’t have to be as drastic, by any means.  Small things count, too. Plan to take a walk or run around a lake once a week, maybe even  twice a month have a “No Power” family day where you turn off the mobiles, televisions, computer and play board games.  Reclaim your imagination!


What Does Tech Support Look Like for the Next Generation of “Gadgets?”



Hello again! As most of us have seen, there is an ever-growing population of new gadgets that are being produced and sold as the “next best thing.” And if you are like me in the fact that you have to have the latest, then this quick blog post may be one you are going to want to pay attention to. We are going to talk about these products and about what you should expect, regarding tech support for them, in the near future.

From wearable glasses, high tech watches, 3D printers, and (maybe) eventually hologram technology, there will be a product for literally everything you can want to do. With more technology, there is going to a higher percentage of help needed when something goes wrong. Unlike your normal desktop, laptop and laserjet printers, however, do not expect to be able to call up your local IT provider for help about your Google Glasses not rendering properly.

I will elaborate.

These new devices are going to be very specialized in their own way, and we in the IT world will have to adapt in our ways of support. We will obviously continue supporting your normal business products, but the manufacturers of these new devices should be your main points of contact for any issues relating the devices, themselves. (Here’s to hoping that their levels of support will be up-to-par.) Don’t get me wrong — over time, providers such as Everon will adapt, and these products will become the “norm” and we will support them. But since there are so many new devices coming out (some succeeding and some, well… not) it is hard to keep up.

The devices that come out that are newer versions of what we are already supporting will roll up in our support model, and we’ll be right there to help you make a seamless transition. But as for these glasses, watches, and crazy printers? Well, support will be limited. However, as we are techs, our curiosity will undoubtedly take over, and we will “tinker.” Our abilities to learn the products and know them in-and-out will increase the chances of us supporting them faster than most. And even if we’re not your main point of contact for a particular device, it will never hurt to give us a call and ask. (888-244-1748 :) )

Cheers to the what the future holds!

Outlook 2013 Not Opening For You on Windows 7? How to fix that



I just wanted to share a recent trend with Outlook 2013 on Windows 7 that I have come across. I have received several calls about this issue and it has an easy fix. In one such call, a user’s Outlook would not open and was stuck at loading profile….

windows7-outlook2013 imageAs soon as I remoted into the computer it immediately opened. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen. I thought at first it was a network issue, so I ran malware scans and did pretty much everything I could think of, but the problem persisted.

Finally, I asked the L2 team to take a peek. There were three of them who looked, and they were as amazed as I was. Then a light bulb went off in one of their heads. We found that disabling the Windows theme and switching it to the Windows 7 basic theme worked. That explained why it had worked when we remoted in, because Bomgar (the program we use to remote in) had disabled the graphic accelerations, while connected, to speed up the connection.  So, we’d figured out it was a graphics issue. But….

When we updated the graphic drivers it still wouldn’t work with the Windows themes enabled. I researched online and came across some other people with the same issue. Found that there is an option in Outlook to disable graphics acceleration. Tried that and it worked — now we don’t have to disable Windows themes!

If you ever come across the issue that Outlook 2013 won’t open on Windows 7, here is the quick fix:

To get Outlook to open, follow these steps:

-          Right click on your Desktop

-          Click “Personalize”

-          Choose the “Windows Basic” theme

-          Click “OK”

-          Launch Outlook, and it should now open

Now for the actual fix:

-          Click on “File” at the top of Outlook

-          Click “Options” and the options window will open

-          Click “Advanced” on the left

-          Scroll down until you see “Disable hardware acceleration”

-          Check the box next to it and click “OK”

-          Close Outlook

-          Right click on the Desktop

-          Click “Personalize”

-          Choose the “Windows Areo” theme

-          Open Outlook, and it should now open right up

Hope this helps, but if it doesn’t, remember you can always reach us here at Everon: 888-244-1748. We’re here for you!

The Human Side of Tech Support


Busy days have a way of inducing stress that seems to creep in unnoticed and then grows like a plague until you have had just about enough. On the particular day of this story, although I was busy and somewhat stressed, my entire week did not compare to my customer’s single afternoon.

Before calling, I reviewed the service ticket, which had been placed in the queue minutes before. It stated that after six hours’ worth of work, a woman’s Word document had mysteriously vanished. But the service ticket also noted that she’d saved her work along the way. Knowing that she’d saved as she’d gone, I figured the document should be easy to locate for someone who knows his way around a computer, like me. Piece of cake, I thought as I dialed. But I guess it was a good day for a curve ball.

Everon coat of arms by Austin (2)

(In addition to being a phenomenal tech, Austin is also an artist. He free-handed this on his lunch break.)

When she answered the phone I could tell there was some unsettled stress to her voice. I assured her that as long as she’d saved, her Word file, which she’d worked on ever-so-diligently for such a lengthy amount of time, would be found. We searched the machine and could not happen upon it. We searched all over her drives, checked her recently-changed items, and searched her work machine, via their login system, to still only find the original, unedited file. I thought maybe it had some sort of encryption, so I saved the original file separately. But, to my surprise, I was able to edit and change it. Decryption wasn’t the answer.

I started to run out of ideas and felt the grip of hopelessness closing in. We’d tried everything I could think of – and everything my fellow techs sitting nearby, listening with helpless empathy, could think of. I decided to do one last-ditch search and looked on her work network, even though we had already checked her work computer, and she’d done all of the editing at home.

There was one, odd find.

My heart started to thump, but I didn’t want to get her hopes up. Cautiously, I clicked on the file. Word blinked, and the file opened. It was indeed the edited version of the document that she had tweaked, re-written, and slaved over for six, whole hours. (Apparently, the computer was saving to their network the whole time, even though the file existed on her home computer.) I could tell by her inflections that she was relieved and smiling as she thanked me. The tears in her voice made the whole experience that much more meaningful and added a sense of accomplishment to my day.

It is a good day when you go home with victory. However, it is a grand day when you go home knowing you brought victory for others.