Arlington Virginia Computer Repair is now Envescent IT & Data Recovery

We started our journey in repairing computers professionally back in March of 1999 and in that time we have served over 17,000 clients in varying capacities — from helping with repairing and upgrading computer hardware, to recovering data and helping businesses with their information technology. Since our humble beginnings we’ve grown and the technology industry […]

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Gaming as a Career: Making Money from PC Gaming

Gaming as a Career: Making Money from PC Gaming

 

 

Gaming as a Career Making Money from PC Gaming

 

For many of us, the memories of PC gaming are still fresh. Late nights gathered around a computer screen or game console, hours shared fighting with — or fighting against — our closest friends, and countless adventures to be had over land, sea and air. For many who grew up with it, online gaming is a worthy and beloved pastime, hobby, or distraction. But now, modern technology has made it possible for gaming to be something else entirely: a career. Sound good to you? Here are three ways people are making a living from playing the games they love.

 

Sailing with the Stream

 

Who’d want to sit and watch you play video games for hours? As it turns out, a few thousand people would want just that — if you’re good enough. Many skilled gamers are now streaming their gameplay live on websites like twitch.tv and azubu.tv, bringing in thousands of viewers every time they choose to play. These streaming sessions usually last a few hours, and are accompanied by live commentary by the player, as well as live camera footage that allows viewers to see the player’s live reactions. The most successful streamers often become “partners” with the sites they stream on, gaining revenue the more people watch them.

 

YouPlay

 

Not into live gameplay? Try your hand at YouTube content creation! Gaming content is one of YouTube’s driving forces, scoring views well into the billions. The types of gaming content found on YouTube is almost as varied as game genres themselves. Browse through YouTube’s gaming channel, and you’ll find narrated content, reviews, tutorials, gaming-based comedy and music, and much more. Like most streaming sites, YouTube uses a partner system through which content creators can begin monetizing their videos once they become poplar enough.

 

Going Pro

 

What if you are into live gameplay? What if you’re not only interested in it, but also very, very good at the game you play? Players who feel their talents could measure up on an international level can test their skills as professional gamers in the field of electronic sports, or “esports.” This kind of career is easily the hardest of the three to get into, but for those who make it, there’s a living to be made. The scale even rivals some traditional sporting events: in 2015, the popular game League of Legends held its North American Championships at the famed Madison Square Garden, packing the house full of excited — and paying — fans.

 

These three careers have a few things in common. First, they each center around gaming. Second, they each require your computer setup to be in good condition. That’s where we come in! CJ Computer Services is your top choice for computer repair in Raleigh, and we know how to keep your PC running fast and efficiently, giving you the power you need to deliver great online gaming content to your future fans.

Three Things to Do Before Sending Your Computer to the IT Department

 

Three Things to Do Before Sending Your Computer to the IT Department

 

 

Three Things to Do Before Sending Your Computer to the IT Department

 

Planning on sending your computer to your company’s IT department for service? Excellent!

 

Your IT department is probably full of capable professionals, ready to handle your computer in a respectful, efficient manner. However, depending on where you work, there may be some data that no one outside of your department is authorized to see. Perhaps you have personal information you just don’t feel comfortable with other people seeing. If that’s the case, here are three steps you’ll want to follow before sending your computer in.

 

Remove Your Sensitive Personal Information

 

If there’s any information pertaining to your personal life, you’ll want to remove it from your computer. This includes things like your social security number, bank and credit card information, website passwords, and things of a personal nature. IT pros aren’t looking for this information at all, but if you want to be sure that no one stumbles upon it by accident, removing it is a good solution. Additionally, this would be a good time to remove any documents or pictures that may be embarrassing for you. Rest assured that your IT department will thank you.

 

Get Rid of Your Browser’s Stored Passwords

 

Most IT departments are full of busy, hard-working people with no intention of ever accessing any of your private information. Even if someone malicious were interested in getting into your personal data, the average IT department just wouldn’t have the time for it. However, if you’d like to keep your info extra secure, consider deleting the stored passwords in your browser. It may be convenient to store your passwords in your browsers for easy access to your social media and various accounts, but someone malicious could gain access to those passwords and use them to log in on another browser.

 

Remove or Encrypt Any Important Business Files

 

Although your IT department may be trustworthy, part of your job may require you to handle information that the people in your IT department just aren’t authorized to see. Therefore, it’s critical that you make sure to backup and delete anything sensitive relating to your work. Make sure not to lose this data, but keep it somewhere where no one unauthorized can access it. If you have encryption software installed on your computer, this is the time to use it to encrypt sensitive files.

 

You can count on your IT department to help you with your work computer, but when you need repairs on your personal system, give us a call! We’re CJ Computer Services, and we’ve got the expertise you need to handle any problem your desktop or laptop may be having. Whether the issue is common or uncommon, one quick call is the first step to the best computer repair in Wake Forest!

Easy, Normal, Expert: Fight Computer Overheating at Every Skill Level

 

Easy, Normal, Expert Fight Computer Overheating at Every Skill Level

 

Easy, Normal, Expert: Fight Computer Overheating at Every Skill Level

 

Your desktop may be burning up your desk, and your laptop may not be so safe to have on your lap!

 

Modern computers of all sizes can do more than ever before, handling operations of ever-increasing complexity quickly and accurately — and things are only getting better. Every year, new technology goes into our home and work computers, giving them even more power and speed. But with all that power comes something else: Heat. The work your system does will inevitably get it hotter and hotter as time passes, and when your system gets hot, dangerous things happen. An overheated computer can cause serious damage to its internal components, harming the battery, wiring, processor and more!

 

To avoid this costly damage, you’ll want to take action right away. We’ve put together three tips for beating the heat, no matter what kind of system you’ve got. And since overheating is a problem that affects every computer user, each tip is aimed at a different level of skill. You’re sure to find something that’ll help you!

 

Easy: Avoid Hot Surfaces

 

Your computer has systems built-in to expel heat, but what happens when the heat it gets rid of goes right back in? This is the case when you rest your computer on cloth, soft plastic, or any other surface that retains heat easily. To avoid this, don’t rest your computer on these surfaces. Instead, aim for either hard, flat surfaces (like a wooden desk) or surfaces designed to let hot air out (like a metal computer desk.)

 

Normal: Make Sure There’s Air Flow

 

If you’re feeling confident enough to open your system up, you could check to make sure air can freely pass through your system. As you operate normally, dust builds up in the case from time to time. This dust clogs up your fans and gets in the way of air’s natural path, so it’s a good idea to clean that dust out from time to time, keeping air flow.  You’ll also want to keep any external air vents clear, since those are the points from which the hot air will escape.

 

Expert: Try Water Cooling

 

Ready for a more complex solution? If so, consider a water cooling kit. With this cooling system, water is pumped through tubes all throughout your computer. This water draws the heat, absorbing it into itself and away from your computer’s components. The now-hot water is then pumped out of the case and into a radiator, which pulls the water’s heat into itself. Now cooled, the water is sent back into the computer to repeat the process. Meanwhile, the radiator itself is cooled off with a fan, preparing it for more hot water. This is the most expensive and delicate solution, but it’s greatly effective.

 

Has your computer already sustained damage from overheating? If you suspect it has, CJ Computer Services can help you. We specialize in computer repair in the Wake Forest area, and we’ll be able to help you repair or replace any damaged parts. We can also give you the information you need to stop overheating from happening again.

The Beginner’s Guide to 5 Common Computer Viruses

 

 

The Beginner’s Guide to 5 Common Computer Viruses

 

 

The Beginner’s Guide to 5 Common Computer Viruses

 

Viruses. They’re nothing more than bits of code at first glance, hidden within documents and website just like the ones we use daily. But when a virus begins to take effect, it can mean lost files, stolen sensitive data, and a complete breach of security for your system! Although you’ve probably been warned about viruses in the past, there’s a chance you’ve never been shown how one really works. To help with that, here are five of the most common virus types you might hear about during your time online.

 

File Infector Virus

 

If your computer warns you when you try opening files downloaded from the internet, file infectors are likely why. The most common virus type, file infectors are found in executable files you download to your computer. This kind of virus is actually rather harmless until you execute the file to which it’s attached. Once you do, however, this virus can completely overwrite files, entirely changing their purposes and allowing for malicious actions and further spread.

 

Polymorphic Virus 

 

A polymorphic virus is dangerous not just because of what it can do, but because of the many ways it can be done. Normally, when a virus executes, any antivirus software on your computer can detect the code the virus used, and use that information to find and neutralize the virus. Polymorphic viruses get around your antivirus software by using different code that can change over time, which makes them harder to pinpoint. Old methods of execution are encrypted, stopping antivirus programs from using them.

 

Browser Hijacker 

 

Have you ever found yourself looking at a website you had no intention of looking at, or using search engines you’ve never heard of? If so, there’s a small chance your internet browser of choice might be playing host to a browser hijacker. This particular virus type takes over specific functions of your browser, giving it control. Hijackers can be used to redirect you to sites you didn’t intend to go to, alter your search and home page preferences, and more. These viruses can even be used to install key loggers, which record the keystrokes taken by your keyboard! A key logger can record your passwords and private, personal information; all of which can be passed on to the virus’s creator.

 

Web Scripting Virus

 

When most people think “computer virus,” there’s a good chance this particular kind is what they’re thinking of. Web scripting viruses are the classic “I went to a dangerous website and now bad things are happening” virus. It works by taking advantage of the code websites use to enhance your browsing experience with videos, animations and effects. This code can be exploited to let a virus infect other programs on your computer, or to control certain functions of your computer.

 

Macro Virus

 

A “macro” is a small program that can be embedded in documents like emails or text files. They contain instructions on how programs should behave or what they should run when opened. These can be incredibly useful for simplifying long, tedious tasks, but they’re also the perfect hosts for troublesome viruses. If a virus is written and disguised as a macro, it can force your computer to take actions you never intended it to take. Regrettably, the wide amount of helpful actions macros can take gives viruses an equally wide range of access to your computer, so avoiding them is a matter of being careful what you download and open.

 

If your system’s been hit with a virus, CJ Computer Services are here to help. We specialize in Wake Forest computer repair, and we can help you identify and remove the virus, malware or spyware that’s been bugging you. Contact us today!

 

Safety Online 4 Tips for the Beginner You Probably Know

Safety Online 4 Tips for the Beginner You Probably Know

 

Safety Online: 4 Tips for the Beginner You Probably Know

 

These days, the internet is everywhere: At work, on our televisions, in our pockets, and sometimes even in our appliances. What was once a niche interest has grown quickly into a helpful tool, and now it has become a necessity for life and work in many households. Of course, it’s not all positives. The more time you spend online, the more you’ll find yourself dealing with viruses, scams and people looking for personal information. If the internet’s been part of your life for years, you probably know how to avoid these things, but the generations before and after you are only now discovering how to use the power of the web to its fullest. If you only give them a handful of tips for internet safety, we think these are the four they need to know most.

 

Avoid Malicious Websites

 

With the promise of so much great content on the internet, it’s easy for a newcomer to think that all of it is safe and true. Of course, this is false. An internet newcomer needs to learn how to avoid websites that are dangerous or deceptive, such as scam pages posing as official websites, or sites with dangerous code on them. Try teaching people not to randomly click links without reading the URLs, or to never click links embedded in emails–even from people they trust.

 

Never Give Out Your Password

 

Even someone with no internet knowledge knows not to just hand private passwords out! But there’s another reason this point is important: Phishing. Phishing is the practice of disguising an email or website to look official, tricking people into entering important information, and then using that info to steal from them. Internet newcomers need to learn how to recognize the official, secure websites that they’re supposed to give passwords to, and avoid the other malicious sites.

 

Don’t Mess with Suspicious Programs

 

A program that can clean your computer? Or do your taxes? Or keep you safe from scams? And it’s all free? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? On today’s internet, there’s a good chance that it really is too good to be true. That’s why it’s important to teach newcomers to research the programs they’re interested in before downloading them — and certainly before opening them. Harmless-looking downloads like these “free” programs are a great way to load a computer up with viruses and malware. If your loved one has trouble researching the application, you may even offer to do it for them. Although this kind of research may be annoying at times, the alternative is a bug-laden computer.

 

Be Careful with Personal Information

 

This is a tip that even online veterans struggle with from time to time. It’s critical to teach newcomers not to publicly post things like their address, government information or phone number online, since doing so makes it easy for dangerous people to collect that information. One or two bits of information here and there may not seem harmful, but if that information is collected, creating a full profile of a person is easier than it may seem. Stay alert!

 

Although these tips may seem like second nature if you’ve been around long enough, but if someone’s brand-new to the internet, they’ll need help, and you may just be the one to provide it. If you find that your newcomer friend’s already gotten themselves into trouble with viruses or security online, remember that CJ Computer Services may just be the ones to help sort them out. We’re your go-to for computer repair in Raleigh, and we’ve got what it takes to help the newcomers as well!

Getting Creative Technology in the Classroom

 

 

Getting Creative: Technology in the Classroom

 

Getting Creative: Technology in the Classroom

 

From chalkboards to whiteboards, from writing slates to laptops, new technology eventually finds its way into the classroom. Modern innovations in video sharing, portable computing and social media are no exceptions. Across the country, teachers are finding new ways to incorporate technology into their lessons, giving students tools that match the era in which they’re learning. Here’s a small sample of the great things teachers have been doing with modern tech!

 

Tablets as Learning Devices

 

Tablets aren’t just for browsing the internet anymore. Now, teachers can use tablets like Apple’s iPad as versatile, expansive tools to connect students to the information they need. With each desk outfitted with a tablet, students have access to an incredibly wide range of books, allowing teachers to supply information at a fraction of the cost of expensive textbooks. Plus, tablets can connect students to lectures, tutorials and more. Teachers can also download helpful tools like calculators and photo editing software, or supply students with apps that aid in teaching specific subjects, like the layout of the solar system or the human body. Tablets are dynamic, versatile modern textbooks, usable for anything a teacher needs.

 

The Flipped Classroom

 

Most classrooms follow a very logical, traditional structure: Students listen to a teacher lecturing, do a few in-class projects, go home, and complete some kind of homework assignment. The next day, they return, turn the homework in, and repeat the process. However, some teachers have noticed that the help they provided to students during the in-class projects proves to be more valuable than the lecture itself. The “Flipped Classroom” is the answer to this. Here, teachers reverse the process: Instead of lecturing during school, teachers record their lectures and upload them to a public viewing site like YouTube. Students then watch the lecture on their own time. Once they return to class, their “homework” is done with the teacher present, allowing students to get the help they need, right when they need it. It’s an elegant solution to the problem, and it’s made possible by technology.

 

Twitter Updates

 

When most people think of Twitter, they think of a short-form social network used to share fast messages with friends and contacts. Teachers, however, have a different use: Updates. Teachers are using Twitter as a fast, convenient way to push updates on homework, the next day’s assignments and more to a place where students can quickly read them. Plus, Twitter’s public nature means that students can read the updates, even if they don’t have an account of their own.

 

As technology evolves, teachers around the world find their approaches evolving as well. Tablets, phones and computers keep students in the know, and when they start to show wear, you can count on us to get them ready for the classroom again. For computer repair services in Raleigh, we’re the only name you need. Contact us–we’re happy to help you!

Touch Screen Computing: Is It for You?

touch_screen_computing

 

Touch Screen Computing: Is It for You?

 

For the past couple years, touch screen computers have been a rising trend. Be they desktops, laptops or 2-in-1 hybrids that double as tablets, this trend has found its way to stores and online shops far and wide, and they seem like they’re here to stay. If you’re in the market for a new computer, you may be wondering if it’s worth it to invest in this new technology. To help you decide, here are a few positives and negatives of touch screen interfaces.

 

The Positives

 

  • A convenient new way to interact with your computer. You’re probably already using a touch screen on your phone or tablet, so this interface will automatically feel familiar. Plus, touch-enabled computers are designed with a user interface that makes navigating with your fingers that much easier.

 

  • Faster than a mouse. Most veteran PC users are used to the standard mouse and cursor interface, and have gotten fairly quick with it. Touch interfaces, however, are even quicker. Imagine picking up a desktop window and dropping it into place, just like you would with papers on your desk. A more natural interface like this allows new users to jump right in, and old users to become even more efficient.

 

  • Doesn’t have to replace your current interface. Still attached to your faithful mouse or trackpad? Touch screen interfaces are designed to work together with the tools you already have. If you don’t want to stop using your mouse, you don’t have to. If you want to use the touch screen and nothing else, that’s an option too. But these new interfaces are designed for the in-between, working together with your mouse to create a great new experience.

 

The Negatives

 

  • The price. While prices may fluctuate, touch screen systems can be up to 30% more expensive than their standard counterparts. In today’s market, that’s a substantial increase–and one many would-be buyers aren’t willing to spring for.

 

  • That dirty screen. Your screen already attracts dust, dirt and other random stains from regular use. Adding an interface that requires you to touch the screen regularly only increases the chance that your screen will get dirty. This is especially true if your hands aren’t completely clean when you use it.

 

  • Reduced battery life. Since the touch screen must be kept active any time your PC is on, it’s a constant drain on your battery. If you plan to do marathon work sessions, this is a massive disadvantage.

 

  • Not much program and app support. Because this is a relatively new technology, most programs aren’t suited for your fingers. Your touch will be read as a mouse movement or click, but since the interface on these programs isn’t made for touch, controlling them can be cumbersome.

 

Whether you decide on a new touch screen computer or a standard trackpad and mouse, we’ll make sure it runs well for as long as you own it. Come see us whenever you’re in need of computer repair services in Raleigh.

How to Get More Speed from Your PC Right Now

How to Get More Speed from Your PC Right Now

 

 

How to Get More Speed from Your PC Right Now

 

When you first get a new computer, you can count on it to be lightning-fast, ready to do what needs to be done in a split second. As time passes, however, you’ll find that your computer is beginning to slow down slightly, giving you an unsatisfactory performance. Luckily, you don’t have to feel completely helpless–in fact, you can get more speed out of your computer this very minute! Here are three tips on how to get your PC running faster.

 

Close Resource-Hungry Programs

 

You might just be running programs in the background that eat up your computer’s resources! Whether they’re programs you opened and forgot, or they’re programs you never even knew were open, closing the offending programs provides a big speed boost for any computer. On Windows, open your task manager. This brings up the complete list of programs you have running. Here, you can click the “CPU,” “Memory” and “Disk” headers to reorder the lists. Doing this lets you see which programs are hogging your computer’s resources. In each list, select the unnecessary programs hogging your resources and click “End Task” to close them.

 

Get Rid of Programs You Don’t Actually Want

 

Some computer manufacturers have an unfortunate habit of saddling new computers with plenty of free trials, advertisements, random utilities, and plenty of other software that you don’t really need. Called “bloatware,” this software can sit uselessly on a new computer for years, taking up valuable hard drive space and slowing your entire experience down. If you haven’t taken the time to rid yourself of this needless bloatware, you can do so by simply opening your Programs and Features, selecting a program you don’t want, and clicking “uninstall.” Be careful not to uninstall any programs you actually need, though!

 

Perform a Disk Cleanup

 

Over time, your computer will create and store a surprising number of temporary files. These files are made to help certain web pages load faster, launch or load programs cleanly, or just facilitate some process a program needs to do. But while these files are necessary right when they’re created, they fall out of use quickly, and they can pile up to take a surprising amount of hard disk space. Your computer will slow down the closer to full your hard drive gets, so deleting these files periodically can be a good idea. To do so, use your taskbar to navigate to “Disc cleanup,” select which file types you’d like to get rid of, and select OK.

 

These are great immediate solutions for getting speed out of your PC, but for something more permanent, come see us. We’re professionals in computer repair in Wake Forest and the surrounding area, and we’d love to help you find the perfect way to speed up your PC.

Use the Right Technology Tool for the Job

Tech_Tool_for_the_job

Use the Right Technology Tool for the Job

 

In a lot of families when we were all growing up, one surefire way to get into big trouble with dad was to use a Crescent wrench as a hammer or to use a screwdriver as a chisel. Dad would angrily remind – “Always use the right tool for the job.” There are at least three great reasons for this rule. The first is that you cannot usually do good, professional work if you are trying to use tools for tasks they were not designed to do. Secondly, tools are not cheap and must be treated with respect. If you misuse your tools, you can actually damage them and have to buy a new one. Thirdly – and worst of all – by using the wrong tool for the job, you actually risk injury.

 

Analyze Your Needs

The same kind of rule applies when you start thinking about your tech purchases, whether for your household or your business. Today’s sophisticated marketing plays a role in inducing people frequently to use the wrong tool for the job. A good advertisement is likely to attract prominent attention to a product’s best (or most competitive) feature – it is lighter, more compact, faster, has better video, etc. All of these are great, of course, but they’re only great if they actually do what you need to do.

 

In order to “use the right tool for the job, you have to first make sure that you have the right tool for the job. It might make sense for you to invest your entire computer budget in a single device, but if you do this, you may find yourself making compromises and trade-offs that you haven’t thought about deeply enough. In order to have a proper plan, you need to really think deeply about your lifestyle and the kinds of things you regularly do with your tech. If you play Call of Duty on your desktop once a year with your nephew at Christmas time, that probably is not a great reason to spend the extra money required for top-end graphics handling hardware. If you travel for your job a few times a year, that may not be a great use-case for a feather-light ultra compact MacBook Air. Don’t forget – all that awesomeness costs money. If you’re investing lots of money in features that are awesome but not particularly well-adapted to your use patterns, you may find that your satisfaction with your tech is not what it could be.

 

Especially as you consider setting up your computing system at home, you should keep clearly in mind that miniaturization costs a lot and external storage capacity keeps getting better and cheaper. Desktop computers make an awful lot of sense for a lot of people. If you can accept a much bigger “footprint,” you can get for the same price a faster processor and other goodies that may mean a lot more to you than the light weight and compactness of a laptop.

 

Let’s talk about your needs and goals and see if we can help you make a better plan. For the equipment that you have already, if you should have troubles, we are the computer repair specialists in Wake Forest and in Raleigh — please come see us.