By Keiran / Gaming / / 0 Comments

Boss Level: Keeping Your Gaming PCs at Their Best

Video gaming is an entertainment for all ages. The main demographic is 18-34 years, but those 34-54 are another big segment – even larger than the under-18 group – although the youngest group may spend the most hours gaming, especially during a pandemic. Regardless, PC gamers of any age want the most powerful, fastest computer they can get.

It’s difficult to beat the Boss Level of that favorite game if your computer is lagging. The horror! If you’re serious about gaming, consider the ideas in this article to achieve your next personal best.

The gaming industry is moving to Triple-A titles. Think Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty. These AAA video games are the equivalent of blockbuster movies. They take months to years for massive teams of people to develop, everything about such games is ambitious (even the price!). The graphics and animation are more immersive, the storylines offer hours of content and encourage open exploration, and the games have a grander scale and improved sound design, too.

All that requires more from your computer. Depending on the age of your computer, you may not need to replace it to power the latest, greatest games. Or you could upgrade to a more powerful video card. Adding more random access memory (RAM) might also take a computer up to the Triple-A level.

Troubleshooting the Home-Gaming PC

Whether you’re trying the Triple A game or not, you may run into other problems. A screen locks up, a system crashes, or you see weird graphics or wonky textures in a game. You shoot an opponent with a direct hit, and he takes the win. Any of these problems can ruin your gaming experience.

Various issues cause these headaches for home gamers. Regrettably, they can be difficult to diagnose. The problems might be tied to:

  • overheating – modify your power settings, and make sure the computer is getting enough air flow;
  • driver issues – games crashing could mean the latest video drivers aren’t installed;
  • file corruption – reinstalling the game could help;
  • an unstable internet connection – consider moving to a wired Ethernet connection.

Running too many programs on your PC can also cause games to run less smoothly. Close out other programs. Free up disk space if you can. Also, putting the game’s graphics on a lower setting can make them less resource-intensive.

Build Your Own Gaming PC

If you decide it’s time to get a new gaming PC, a popular option now is to custom-build your own. Our experts can do that for you! When you customize your own gaming PC, you get a computer that matches exactly what you’re trying to do.

Don’t settle for a sale computer using lower-quality parts and offering limited upgradability. Avoid buying a brand-name computer pre-loaded with bloatware. Instead, our technician can help you pick the processing and other parts to personalize your system, even down to the color of the fans or console lights.

Our IT experts can bring your PC up to speed, get you back in the game at full power, and build you the perfect customized PC. Contact us today at 555-5555!

Why Managed Services Will Save You More Than Money

“Downtime costs money.”
That’s no secret, but it doesn’t quite capture the whole experience…you arrive to work in the morning, grab your coffee knowing you’ve got a hectic day ahead, and are ready to dive in.
For some reason, your computer can’t access the database and neither can anyone else’s. You restart the server while fielding calls left, right and center, but are unable to answer any client queries. Your hands are completely tied…and now the server is beeping furiously…what’s going on??!
You’re not just in crisis mode, you’re on damage control as you call every tech you can think of, trying to find one who can come NOW.
Not exactly the day you had planned.

The Break/Fix Days Are Gone

Previously, businesses only addressed their IT needs when something broke. A few hours down meant little in the scope of things. In today’s fast world, businesses rely heavily on IT and downtime just isn’t an option. Even the legalities of simply restoring financial, legal or medical files after a breach raises issues.

The cost of break/fix is now too high, both financially and emotionally.

Simply put, your IT services are remotely monitored and proactively managed by a professional, external business. Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) runs regular diagnostics on equipment to identify impending failure and resolves problems before they happen.

Benefits of Managed Services

Small to medium businesses in particular benefit from managed services, because they don’t usually have an on-site technician to oversee the multiple systems in use. By subscribing to a managed service provider, businesses can have reduced labor costs, access to a knowledge base, future-pacing, better data security and reduced downtime. Businesses can also know exactly what their upcoming costs are and plan accordingly.

Some of the managed services we can provide are:
Remote support – This allows us to help you quickly without needing to be on-site.
Hardware monitoring – We monitor your servers and workstations to catch hardware failures before they happen.
Managed anti-virus – We make sure your anti-virus is up to date and take immediate action if an infection occurs.
Patch management – We make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date, closing access to known vulnerabilities as soon as possible.

How much downtime can your business afford? Give us a call.

How to Stay Safe While Being Social

People happily share their private information online, building robust libraries that can easily become a one-stop goldmine for fraudsters.

It’s not exactly the intention everyone has when they sign up, as the whole point of Facebook is to share your life with your friends.
It hooks us into a global community and the experience does depend on us making certain privacy sacrifices.

So how do you balance being social with staying safe?

People happily share their private information online, building robust libraries that can easily become a one-stop goldmine for fraudsters.

It’s not exactly the intention everyone has when they sign up, as the whole point of Facebook is to share your life with your friends. It hooks us into a global community and the experience does depend on us making certain privacy sacrifices.

So how do you balance being social with staying safe?

On Facebook alone, the average person shares 13 pieces of personal information ranging from a fairly innocent name/email combo, all the way to mothers maiden name and home address.

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but those 13 pieces have the power to unravel your life within minutes.

Even checking in at home or a favorite location has become the norm, helping to create a multi-dimensional online identity. The details are available to anyone who cares to look, whether they’re a friend keeping in the loop, or someone with a much darker agenda.

The problem is, you just don’t know who’s looking at your profile or why.

For example, someone could try accessing your email account by clicking the ‘Forgot password’ link. The email service follows its security rules and asks identifying questions like ‘which high school did you go to? What is your pet’s name?’ Unfortunately, the most common identifying checks and answers are probably available on Facebook.

Once your email address is compromised, hackers can use that to break into other services and go through, clicking ‘Reset Password’ on site after site, account after account – they have full access to your email, so there’s nothing stopping them from emptying your bank accounts – or worse.

7 Ways To Secure Your Facebook Without Missing Out on the Fun

  • Begin by previewing your profile as others see it
  • Review what should and should not be visible to strangers
  • Consider only sharing partial details, like birth day and month, but not the year
  • Only ever ‘Friend’ people you know and trust
  • Be wary of duplicate or ‘odd’ friend behavior – hackers will often clone or hack a friend’s profile and initiate an urgent and uncharacteristic request for money
  • Update your past privacy settings too
  • Set default future sharing to ‘friends only’
By Keiran / dcslGeneral News / 0 Comments

We need your old tablets!

We need your old tablets – and not the Paracetamol kind!

I have experienced first hand, the heartbreaking situation happening in our hospitals. The wards, the high dependency units, and the intensive care wards.

They are packed with people suffering from this terrible disease and some, with no way of contacting home and no visitors allowed on the wards.

Without going into personal details, after a week and a half of a loved one being in the ICU ward, this weekend we were given the opportunity to Facetime as a family.

This really was an extremely emotional time for us all and I immediately knew I needed to help.

The anxiety levels of the patients in the wards was heartbreaking. No TV, no radio, and for some – no way of contacting home.

I have decided to launch a campaign, where we are asking for donations of tablets, so patients in these wards can use a tablet to watch their favorite film or tv program and rebuild some morale. But more importantly – A way of contacting a loved one.

Please bring your old tablets to our store where we will refurbish them and deliver them where needed.

At this time, we are only able to accept working tablets however missing chargers are ok.

If you are not able to donate a tablet, please visit our just giving page and donate what you can. The funds will be used for chargers and repairing tablets. If we receive more donations than we need, the money will be used to buy refurbished tablets.

Our Just Giving page is here – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dcsl-tablet-appeal

Please help us in this cause. This is something extremely close to my heart and had it not been through the kind heart of a nurse using her own personal phone, we as a family would not have been given the opportunity to facetime our loved one.

 

Repairing Your Computer Quicker for Less

Have you started to notice your computer’s niggles, flaws, and problems growing more severe and more frequent over recent months? These issues can irritate you daily, stop you from doing critical tasks, and even put your data in danger. It may be time to book in your computer for a brief service check or repair to get back on track.

When booking your PC in for a service, you can help your technician get straight to the root of the problem. A few simple notes is all it takes. Many people drop off their computers with, at best, a brief and vague description of the problem they experience.

Technicians have a wide range of tools and years of experience to bring an aging machine back to health. Even with tools and help, without a clear description of the problem, troubleshooting is far more time consuming and expensive. The best doctors in the world couldn’t diagnose a medical condition without a clear explanation of the symptoms.

With just a few simple steps, you can save time and money while ensuring you get your computer back with every problem fixed.

Take Note of the Problem Every Time It Happens

Some computer problems only crop up every now and again. A machine might freeze suddenly, or shut down unexpectedly. Intermittent issues can be frustrating and seemingly impossible to solve, but these occurrences may not be entirely random.

When these events happen, you can help to resolve your issues by jotting down what you were doing and the programs running at the time they happen. Information about what you clicked on last, or settings you recently changed can reveal unexpected links to the computer’s behavior.

Detailed notes help technicians to reproduce the problem and see the crash or error for themselves. This can lead to faster fixes, more lasting solutions, and less time spend diagnosing problems in the dark. Simple notes scribbled down on a piece of paper or smartphone app can save you a surprising amount of money.

Keep an Eye on the Environment as well as the Computer

It’s not just things within the computer we need to note down. External factors can play a significant role in how machines operate. Hot and humid days have been known to limit cooling on devices already suffering from heat issues.

Even changing the time of day can raise different computer-related issues. There have been occasions where users have reported problems connecting to the internet around lunchtime every day. A seemingly strange coincidence with no apparent cause, until technicians dig a little deeper.

Wi-Fi, which relies on radio waves to send and receive data, uses a frequency of 2.4ghz to communicate with devices. By coincidence, the same frequency is used in a concentrated form inside of a microwave to heat food and beverages.

Microwaves, particularly when poorly positioned, or faulty, can cause Wi-Fi issues that disrupt communications every time they are used. Problems that come and go, seemingly randomly, have such a strange link to the computer’s environment that they can be very difficult to diagnose.

Take the Right Hardware at the Right Time

Bringing your computer in for repair, whatever the issue, is as simple as picking up the box itself. We don’t need the peripherals such as the mouse, screen, or keyboard unless those are the things causing the issue. Bringing in a laptop is as simple as carrying it to us, along with the charger.

If you have concerns about how to safely transport your computer, give us a call first and we can advise you what to bring and how best to pack it.

When deciding when to come in, sooner is always better than later. Computer issues often get worse over time. Vents gather more and more dust, fans run slower and slower. Heat issues in particular drastically lower the lifespan of a machine as time goes on.

A machine that gets less and less stable over time puts your programs and your critical data at risk. Updates applied over a shaky foundation can cause any number of software issues. With data, there’s often zero warning before it’s gone.

Can you afford to delay?

Give us a call at 01332 820 008 or click HERE to book an appointment and give your computer a clean bill of health.

By Keiran / dcslInternet Security / 0 Comments

5 Red Flags of Phishing Emails: Think Before You Click

A single click can be the difference between maintaining data security and suffering massive financial losses. From the moment just one employee takes the bait in a phishing email, your business is vulnerable to data breaches and extensive downtime.

Quickly spot the red flags and put phishing emails where they belong:

1. Poor spelling and grammar While occasional typos happen to even the best of us, an email filled with errors is a clear warning sign. Most companies push their campaigns through multiple review stages where errors are blitzed and language is refined. Unlikely errors throughout the entire message indicate that the same level of care was not taken, and therefore the message is likely fraudulent.

2. An offer too good to be true Free items or a lottery win sure sound great, but when the offer comes out of nowhere and with no catch? There’s definitely cause for concern. Take care not to get carried away and click without investigating deeper.

3. Random sender who knows too much Phishing has advanced in recent years to include ‘spear phishing’, which is an email or offer designed especially for your business. Culprits take details from your public channels, such as a recent function or award, and then use it against you. The only clues? The sender is unknown – they weren’t at the event or involved in any way. Take a moment to see if their story checks out.

4. The URL or email address is not quite right One of the most effective techniques used in phishing emails is to use domains which sound almost right. For example, [microsoft.info.com] or [pay-pal.com] Hover over the link with your mouse and review where it will take you. If it doesn’t look right, or is completely different from the link text, send that email to the bin.

5. It asks for personal, financial or business details Alarm bells should ring when a message contains a request for personal, business or financial information. If you believe there may be a genuine issue, you can initiate a check using established, trusted channels.

While education is the best way to ensure phishing emails are unsuccessful, a robust spam filter and solid anti-virus system provide peace of mind that your business has the best protection available.

Give us a call to discuss how we can secure your system against costly phishing attacks.

By Keiran / dcslInternet Security / 0 Comments

Got a Bad Case of Password Exhaustion?

You’re not alone! Most people use the same password everywhere – home, work, Gmail, Facebook… even for banking. Considering how many passwords we’re expected to remember and use on a daily basis, password exhaustion is a very real thing. It’s no wonder that when yet another prompt for a password appears, users enter easily guessed combinations like ‘abcd’ or ‘password’.

Trouble is, even if your password is making the required effort, hackers are taking a daily stroll around the internet and collecting logins and passwords as they go, from either leaked details or sites with security flaws.

Then, they’ll try their luck with that login/password set elsewhere. They know more than half the internet users in the world have only one password and email combination, so the chance of gaining access to your accounts is actually quite high. Even the big names in tech are at risk of password breaches:

360 million MySpace emails and passwords leaked. 117 million LinkedIn account details leaked.

Same password used elsewhere? Cue the domino effect! One site breach follows another and another until hackers have nothing more to gain. The only way to break this chain reaction is to use a different password for each site.

How to Create Easily Remembered Passwords

Have a system or template for creating your own unique passwords, that you’ll be able to remember, but is not obvious to hackers. For example: <character&gt <word&gt <something about the site&gt <numbers&gt <character&gt Becomes !K1ttyFB75!

It might seem complicated, but the above is really just based around the words ‘kitty’ and ‘FB’ for Facebook. Change the FB to something else for other sites.

What to Do If Your Password Has Been Hacked

You can check to see if any of your accounts have been compromised by entering your email into a site like haveibeenpwned.com If it alerts a breach, you need to change your passwords immediately – all of them. Use the example system above to create a new set. If you’re struggling to remember your set of passwords, consider using a secure password tracker such as LastPass. (http://www.lastpass.com)

If you need help changing your passwords or setting up a secure password system, let us know on 01332 820 008 and we’ll be more than happy to help you.

By Keiran / dcsl / 0 Comments

Dear Customers,

We wanted to post this update as we have received a few calls today from worried customers with the uncertainty with regards to the looming lockdown.

We have already been granted permission to remain open as an essential business, same as last time, as we are providing essential IT services to those working from home and home schooling.

This permission has been granted by Derby City Council / Environmental Health.

Your devices are safe in our care and you can continue to bring your devices to us for repair – In fact, we encourage it (help out a small business!).

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch however we wanted to contact all our customers to restore some peace of mind.

You can track your jobs as normal online by following the instructions in your welcome email and we will be introducing a contactless ‘drop and go’ solution shortly, where you can book in your own device online!

Thank you for your continued business and support and together, we will get through Lockdown 2.0!

Thanks,
The team at DCSL

By Keiran / dcslGeneral / 0 Comments

Hey everyone!

So you may or may not know that tomorrow (04/05/2020) we are re-opening our retail shop!

We have been in close communication with Derby City Council and we have taken every precaution we can to ensure pubic and staff safety when we re-open. We will be operating reduced, yet extended hours... Intriguing - I know!

So instead of Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri - 9-5 and Weds and Sat - 9-1, We are now open 10 until 4 Monday until Saturday temporarily.

We are really looking forward to seeing our regular customers in store and welcoming some new faces!

Now, onto the modding! Before we re-open I have decided I've earned a well deserved afternoon off. What better way of doing it than modding GTA V whilst at the same time paying tribute to our amazing NHS and essential workers (and getting some pretty cool cars and map upgrades).

Steam have decided now is the time to update Ark Survival Evolved which at the time of typing this has 5 hours download time left.... So had some time to kill!

If anyone has any mod ideas or if you are a fellow modder and have any suggestions, let me know!

Keiran.

By Keiran / GamingReviews / 0 Comments

Hi guys, so this is my first time writing a review so please take it easy on me!

As many people close to me know, I do like the odd PC game, however it takes a certain game to pique my interest. Comedy is generally the way forward with me and when I saw some reviews for this game on Steam, I had to give it a go.

Not For Broadcast is a game where you control the news. You are in control of camera angles, censorship, Advertising and keeping the show on the air by staying clear of interference.

I didn't realise when downloading this game just how fun it would be. I need to point out at this stage that this game is not for kids or those of a sensitive disposition. The adult humour and language took me by surprise at first as I expected this to be a simple simulation type game at first, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This is definitely a British game and the overall theme of the broadcasts definitely tie in to current political events, but in a fun way.

The game is currently in early release so there are only three levels / scenarios to play, but when you complete these three, you immediately find yourself looking forward to what the developers add on next - A bit like waiting for the next episode of The Masked Singer UK! (I knew Daisy was Kelis and Monster is DEFINATELY not Ceelo Green). Anyway, back to the game!

The graphics are really good and the mixture of gaming graphics alongside real world footage fit together seamlessly.

This game isn't all about controlling the news - There is a story line element to it which your advertising and choices in the broadcasts have an influence over. There is not a great deal of the storyline in the Early Access, but I really hope this is something the developers are working on for the future updates as this really ties the game together.

At £11.39 I was a bit sceptical at first but trust me - It's worth it even for the hour and a half of playing the Early Access 3 levels.

So that's it, my first review. It's only short and sweet but after playing this game I had to tell someone about it and I thought where better than here!

Have you played this game? Have you got any questions? I want to know. Get in touch in the comments below 🙂

[envira-gallery slug=”not-for-broadcast”]


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