Author Archive Marc Fowler

ByMarc Fowler

Still providing computer support around Woodbridge every weekday

My full time job is fixing computers and helping people use them. Each weekday is spent visiting personal computer users and small businesses east of Ipswich in Suffolk. I have been doing this for over six years and have now helped over a thousand people in the Woodbridge area with their computers and other technologies.

I created this blog with the intention of adding regular updates to give examples of the work I do, and offer useful advice to Suffolk computer users. The only trouble is, I’m always too busy to post anything! As most of my days are spent out and about problem solving, or repairing machines at my office in Pettistree, any spare time is usually spent trying to catch up on all the admin that comes from running my own business!

So, I’m sorry you don’t see as many posts here as I’d intended. Do rest assured, however, that I am very much still in action, and am ready and able to help you with your computing needs as and when they arise. Although my diary gets fully booked most weeks, I pride myself on being very responsive to those in need and am always happy to take on new customers.

ByMarc Fowler

Another busy day

Today has been a fairly typical day for me. I’ve been to five different homes east of Ipswich to help with the owners’ computers.

I started the day with two new customers in Woodbridge – a long retired couple who wanted advice about getting online for the first time. They’ve owned an old Windows ME desktop computer for many years. While it still works fine as a word processor, we all agreed they really needed a new machine for their new online life. We discussed options and by the time I left, they knew exactly what they needed to buy and what broadband to order. I shall be returning soon to set up the new laptop and broadband when ready, teaching them how to use it all as well.

After catching up on missed calls, I drove to my next customer, in Ufford – another new one from a personal recommendation. This was quite a rushed visit as I had to be in Rushmere St Andrew by 11.30, but within thirty five minutes her antivirus and email problems were solved.

On to my next customer, I listened to missed calls but had no time to respond. An hour later I was back in my car, having secured a wireless router and sorted out a few software issues on two PCs.

I just had enough time to grab some lunch at home in Kesgrave before dashing off to Bromeswell for a teaching session. I had been to see this customer ten days ago after a friend of hers suggested she give me a call. She has owned a computer for a year but never really become comfortable with it and felt she needed someone to help her understand it better. In our first session we covered email and printing. I also fixed her sound problem and helped order new printer ink cartridges online. Today I installed one of the cartridges for her, explaining as I went. We did some ‘advanced’ printing and I taught her a few tricks for browsing websites more effectively. I left after finishing with a brief explanation of Twitter and Facebook.

My last customer of the day was in Great Bealings. Again, someone I had been to before, this was a follow up visit. I’d been called out originally because the laptop she runs her business on was getting very slow. Immediately on that first visit, I set up a reliable backup system, just in case the hard drive was giving up the ghost. I pointed out that a lack of RAM was the more likely cause and ordered a suitable upgrade. My return today saw me fit the additional RAM, which really did improve the performance. It was also a good opportunity to test the backup system, which I’m pleased to say was working flawlessly. Before leaving, I also installed Internet Explorer 8 and updates to Java and Adobe programs.

Arriving home at 5:25 (half an hour earlier than usual) I was able to catch up on the day’s missed calls. Looking back on the day, I’ve realised every customer I’ve dealt with has come to me via word of mouth, which is very satisfying.

Next week is going to be even more tightly packed. Already most of it is booked up, so I’m going to have to get through jobs very quickly in order to squeeze in the urgent requests for help that will inevitably come in the next few days. I’ve not had time to get to my office once this week, and only look likely to on Thursday next week, as I’ve booked a PC repair in then.

There’s one thing to say about being a computer expert; you’ll never run out of work!

ByMarc Fowler

Upcoming Business Technology Event In Kesgrave

Since its launch in September 2006, I have been a member of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s e-Business Club. Having attended most of its seminars over the years, I am happy to recommend them to Suffolk business owners looking to get the most from their computer systems, websites and other revenue increasing technologies.

This afternoon I received an invitation to the e-Business Club’s next seminar and have already booked my place. It is titled “Making Your IT & Comms Efficient and Effective” and will be held on Tuesday 7th December at the Kesgrave Conference Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave, IP5 1JF.

As always, an industry expert will be introducing technologies and showing how to use them to make your business more efficient, professional and profitable.

For full details, go to http://www.eclubsuffolk.co.uk/index.cfm/fa/event.detail/Event_ID/38 or telephone Kurtis Tournay-Godfrey, Suffolk e-Business Club Coordinator, on 01473 680 600.

Membership is free, as are most of the seminars, including this one. Not only are they well presented and very informative, a free buffet lunch and ample networking opportunities make these seminars well worth attending.

If you book a place, let me know and I’ll see you there!

ByMarc Fowler

New infections making me look bad

Fear not, I’m not about to tell you of a nasty rash. The infection I refer to was of the computer variety.

This afternoon I returned to a customer I’d visited in March. Back then I discovered they had infections on their computer. I installed a very effective malware removal tool called Malwarebytes’ Anti Malware and used it to clean their computer. Read More

ByMarc Fowler

I appear to be a Mac expert too

I helped three Mac owners today; in Woodbridge, Melton and Ufford. While most of my time is spent helping people with Windows PCs, I seem to be providing a lot more Mac support these days.

After recovering a Windows Vista laptop this morning (the victim of the Nerd Support Group described in my last blog post) I walked to my next customer in Woodbridge. I have helped them many times with their iMac and iPhones. Today I set up file sharing between their Mac and PC, while also creating a VAT calculation spreadsheet for use in their business.

After a quick lunch, I went to my next customer in Melton with a very old iMac. He needed help with his printer and managing the files on his iMac. While there I made it easier for him to use and answered a lot of questions he’d been saving for me.

My last customer of the day had called in a panic this morning, as her MacBook could not connect to their wireless router. Within 15 minutes of arriving in Ufford, I had her back online and very relieved.

So, while I have no official training on Macs and am not a qualified Mac technician, you can see I am providing a lot of solutions for Mac users in the Woodbridge area.