An Online Save-A-Life Simulator

October 24, 2012

One of my passions (and career) was working as a guardian to other people (as a security and law enforcement professional). This was in conjunction to working (in another passion of mine) as a Computer Information Specialist. So you can see I was blessed and today I continue to be blessed…  Today, I serve in a part-time capacity as the lead safety & security agent at a State hospital where I help manage the security operations with a group of talented professionals. I truly love what I do and will do it as long as I possibly can.

In any position where you are tasked with the protection of people, you will most likely, at some point in time, be put into a position where you may have to perform measures to save another person’s life. I can tell you from working 34 years in the profession,  I have been in that position more than once.

Today I came across a website that literally could help save lives.  It is called Save-A-Life Simulator.

Save-A-Life Simulator

The Save-A-Life Simulator simulator presents you with a virtual reality situation where a person collapses in a mall. The simulator teaches you, by asking you questions, on what to do to save the person’s life.

The Save-A-Life Simulator is presented by the Heart Rescue Project which is a collaborative effort to increase the survival rates of people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

SCA is among the leading killers of Americans, claiming an estimated 350,000 people each year. More people die of sudden cardiac arrest than breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer combined.  More than 90 percent of people who experience SCA die, representing a national survival rate that has not significantly changed in more than 30 years.

If you see someone collapse suddenly, check if the victim is responsive. If not, remember these three easy steps.

Call 911

Have them send help. Stay on the line and listen for further instructions.

Start Chest Compressions

If the person is not breathing normally, start chest compressions. Push down hard and fast in the center of the chest. Keep your arms straight. Send someone to find an AED.

Use An AED

The AED (automated external defibrillator) is a portable medical device that delivers an electrical shock to restart a person’s heart. It provides voice prompts that tell you exactly what to do and will only administer a shock if needed, so there’s no reason to hesitate.

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Advice On Using Computer Forums for Learning and for Help

June 14, 2011

imageWhen you experience stubborn computer problems, one of the best starting points to research the problem are the computer repair and information technology related forums. Many times, by simply conducting a search of the forum, you will find that someone else may have experienced the same issue you are experiencing that will give you clues to a potential fix.

imageAlso, if you are a student of technology, the forums are excellent resources to read about and experience the computer problems people are facing in the real world. If you are tech savvy enough, join a reputable forum and begin polishing up on your helpdesk skills by assisting others. Remember, as a student of technology, the first attitude adjustment to get under your belt, that should become your motto is, “there are no dumb questions”. Never make the person you are assisting feel like they are beneath you.

imageAs with anything on the internet, “believe nothing and verify everything!”. Just because you see a potential solution, to your problem, in a forum; make sure you validate the solution and the person offering the solution. I often use computer based forums to search for clues to problems then validate potential solutions by using Google to search the solution. Believe me, no one out there knows the answer to every computer problem.

If you would like to check out and experience how forums work, a good launching point is a website called Computer Technician.

image

Visit the page titled Top 10 Computer Repair Forums and Message Boards.

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Story of the F11 Computer Fix

January 3, 2011

DiagnoseI recently was called upon by a friend, to help him fix a computer problem that he described as something that replicated a browser hijacker involving Internet Explorer. I really could not get much out of what was occurring without sitting down at the PC; besides, I hadn’t seen the guy for awhile and I thought, why not, let’s get dirty.

Typically, since my retirement from IT,  I shy away from home based computer problems due to the amount of time that is often involved with minimal payback. It literally can take hours to diagnose and clean a malware infection and worse case scenario is a complete OS reinstall; which oftentimes the end user does not have available the resources (or discs) to perform the reinstall. It literally can be a nightmare…

Armed with my latest arsenal of techie software and recovery utilities, I began working through the diagnostic process in my head, since it had been awhile.  I was even thinking, I have not done this for awhile, do I still have the touch? Anyone who knows me, knows when I do something, I go full tilt (and more) and attempt to be as prepared, as possible.

When I finally got behind the PC, which was a HP Notebook (Vista OS), I questioned my friend further, prior to firing up the notebook and learned that he had the PC for 2 years, performed routine maintenance (such as running a defrag utility, disk cleaner, and virus and malware scans). He was still leading me to believe that Internet Explorer had been hijacked, toolbars missing, new toolbars showing, etc…

You know, by questioning and listening to the end user, you can gain a lot on the computer knowledge level of the user, etc… In this case, his knowledge was just above the normal level (in my ratings scale) for the home based computer user, which was a good thing.  He was even naming the utilities he regularly used such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, SuperAntiSpyware, Microsoft Security Essentials, CCleaner, and Web of Trust; which, he said he learned of these utilities from reading the blog.  I was impressed that this was the same level of protection I was using on my PCs.

I did a test boot of the PC and to be honest it was probably the cleanest and fastest boot time for a home based PC, that was 2 years old, that I have experienced.  As a matter of fact, just based on what was initially occurring and seeing that the desktop was not a vast array of icons, like most PCs that are 2 years old,  I was starting to sense this was not a malware problem, but an end user problem.

In the event this was a malware attack or browser hijack, to be on the safe side, I shut down the PC and disconnected from the internet.  I rebooted, and again nice boot and load time. I opened Internet Explorer, and as soon as it opened, I knew exactly what was wrong.

The browser was set to full screen. The fix, hit the “F11” key and the browser toolbars, menus, etc… reappeared. My friend, was like, WOW! He asked, what caused that to happen? To be honest, he accidentally hit the key or one of his many cats did. I ended up giving him a lesson on how to use the F11 key to go from normal browser view to full screen view. He was very fascinated that you could do that.  As a matter of fact, to my readers, give it a try, when you are in your browser hit the “F11” key to toggle between normal view and full screen view (whether it be Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Opera).

I ended up checking my friend’s PC out and found it to be in great shape (firewall “on”, MS AutoUpdates “On”, Malware Scanners “On”, etc…) I never did have to use any of my techie utilities to burrow down into this notebook. Oh well, it was a good exercise anyway and besides I made a good friend happy.  Simple as this experience was, I thought, why not write about it… Just may be something in here that you may learn about.

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Windows 7 for Seniors

September 27, 2010

You are probably looking at the title and questioning, “Did Microsoft develop another operating system called Windows 7 for Seniors?”. The answer is, NO! The title is referring to the Dummies Series of books that have been in production since 1991, when the first one published was “Dos for Dummies”. As a matter of fact I was a fan of that book and actually purchased several after that. Believe it or not, it was those few books that helped drive my interest in computers.

Today there are more than 150 million of these books in print that show you how to do everything (i.e. cook, garden, manage, finances, run a business, plan a trip, exercise, eat right, etc.). If you don’t believe me, [click here] .

For the sake of this article and to help out my senior friends there is a “Windows 7 for Seniors for Dummies” book that I recommend to help you navigate and learn the Windows 7 operating system.

Windows 7 for Seniors

Many people I am associated with have the illusion that our children and grandchildren are the teachers of computers since it is part of their generation. Being someone that has used, taught and managed PC’s, this is far from the truth. If you want to learn the basics and have an edge over your children or grandchildren, the “Windows 7 for Seniors for Dummies” is a good place to start.

Learn to:

  • Use the Windows 7 desktop and create your first documents
  • Connect to the Internet and browse the Web
  • View, edit, and print photos
  • Keep in touch by e-mail and play games online
  • Tour the desktop — learn to use menus, the Start menu button, files, and folders
  • Do it — create notes and letters, connect a printer, download photos from your digital camera, and put music on a CD
  • Have some fun — discover Solitaire and other built-in games, listen to music, and watch a movie
  • Use the accessories — display Gadgets on your desktop, draw with Paint, and use the Calculator
  • To keep or not — install additional programs you want and remove those you don’t need
  • Protect your Windows — learn to use the Action Center, download and install virus protection software, and keep it up to date
  • Have it your way — make your screen easier to see, open files with a single click, and even have your computer read to you
  • The wide, wide Web — shop and explore online and learn to stay safe
  • What’s on the taskbar
  • Directions for creating and saving documents
  • Steps for installing a printer and other peripherals
  • How to connect to the Internet anywhere
  • Backgammon and other games you can play online
  • Guidance on protecting your computer from viruses
  • How to send e-mail attachments
  • Advice on backing up documents and photos

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Geek Squeaks of the Week (#16)

June 24, 2009

If you are new (or old) to information technology and computers; these (featured) articles on “What’s On My PC…” are for you. The articles are by authors who spend a great deal of their time putting the articles together (for FREE) to keep you and me abreast of the latest in computers, software, security and information technology. The articles are in no particular order or ranking and are randomly selected from my blogroll community.

GeekSqueaks

AKS-Feel The Change
Another Major Web Threat :
Nine-Ball Compromises More Than 40,000 Legitimate Websites

Tux In The Midwest
Microsoft Enters the Free Anti-Malware Arena

AllThatsNew
Google Taking A Leap Forward By Identifying Landmarks

TTC Shelbyville
Fixing a Computer with A and W Root Beer

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove ErrorFix

Tech~Line
Failure Friday is now open for viewing

AskBillFirst
Disposable Email Address – What Is It Good For?

Technize.com
Analyze And Fix Vulnerabilities In Your System

Carol’s Vault
Increase bandwidth for networks and internet connections

Tech-for Everyone
Top Ten Internet Safety Tips for Children

Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Announcement: Spiceworks 4.0 is out!

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Best Spam Story Ever! Thanks Pastor Mike

Crazy World of G
Google Voice Tomorrow?

Sugarloaf Tech
Vista – Launching Games is Slow

Is You GEEKed Up
Secunia PSI – Great Utility
to Quickly Get Software Update Notification

Spyware Biz
Microsoft introduces Morro

Lifehacker
The Credit Scores You Don’t Get to See

Snakebytez
Anti-Malware Toolkit

Piyadas World
4 Tools to add a start menu on USB flash drives

Plato on-line
The ‘Computer Terrorist’

Rarst.net
Forget the right ways to do things

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Tips to making that call to Tech Support…

May 19, 2009

One of the most stressful experiences for any computer user is when they are at that “crisis” point with their PC and they need to contact Tech Support. Often home-based users will first go through the misery of trying to locate the tech support number, then have their patience tested by the array of telephone options before they actually get to talk to someone; and, then come to find that their tech support service is outsourced outside the country where native language accents can make communicating even that more difficult.

techhelp

Making that call to tech support requires planning and preparation. Follow these steps and your experience with tech support will be less stressful and you even may learn something along the way.

Many hardware issues are the result of loose cable connections and many issues in general are predominantly software and/or internet related.  Always rule these out first, prior to making that call.

Most computer manufacturers offer a one year warranty for free tech support calls (and on-site or mail-in service when need be). Make sure you are within the warranty window when making that call or you will be charged on a “per call” basis. If you are outside that warranty window, have that information clarified.  Most manufacturer’s tech support services already know how long you have owned the PC or other equipment you are calling about.

Write down the “Brand”, Brand Model”, “Model Number”, and “Serial Number” of the computer (or device) before placing that call. There is nothing more frustrating, especially after waiting to talk to someone, than having to crawl to the floor or move the computer on the desk  to find the numbers (using a flashlight and magnifying glass).

Whatever the problem you are experiencing, write down exactly what you are experiencing and/or the error codes you may be experiencing. This will make it much easier for you to explain (and read back) the situation to the tech.  Also, jot down any changes that may have occurred recently with the computer or device (e.g. installed software, uninstalled software, new device connected, etc…)

If at all possible, use a speakerphone or a portable phone that can be easily handled. Resolving the problem may require using both hands.

Clear your desk or work area so that you have room to move about. It is not uncommon for a Tech to ask you to remove a cover on a PC if it is a suspected hardware issue.

Have a pen and notepad available. The Tech may ask you to write down a phone number, web site address, provide an incident number, etc…

Be prepared for possibly long wait times; and, be prepared for the possibility of being on the phone for a long duration during the troubleshooting period with the tech.

After reaching a tech, ask them for a direct phone number to their site in the event the call is dropped.

If you are on a dial-up connection or are not connected to the internet, make sure you explain that first off. This information does have an impact on how the service tech can respond to your situation.

Be courteous and listen to the Tech… Handling tech support calls or help desk calls can be very stressful. Some of these techs handle numerous calls, one right after the other, with people who are literally in crisis mode and take their frustration out on the tech. This will absolutely get you nowhere…

At the end of your call with tech support, you will most likely be provided with an incident or event number.  It is important that you write down and keep that number in a safe place in the event you experience a reoccurrence of the problem.

As you can see there is considerable planning involved when making that tech support call.  If you have any further tips to provide, you are welcome to leave them in the comments section below.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#6)

April 15, 2009

Geek Squeaks'“Geek Squeaks’ of the Week” – A roundup of articles posted by bloggers who are active participants of “What’s On My PC…”. If you are interested in a link exchange with my blog, please leave a comment below and I will contact you…  Thank you all for such a great round of articles…

New Search Feature: Filter Google Image Search By Color – All That’s New

Cloud Computing – Computers online for everyone – TTC Shelbyville

How to remove Virus Protect 2009 – 411- Spyware.com

How to insert images in GMail – A GMail Labs feature – Techolar

Easter Eggs – AskBillFirst

$250K Reward Offered In Fiber Vandals Case – Tech-for Everyone

Update: Spiceworks 4.0 coming in June – Confessions of a freeware junkie

Tweak Vista To The Max – Ultimate Windows Tweaker Free – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

A Place Called Vertigo – Crazy World of G

Bad idea to rely on a new hard drive – Rarst.net

Sandboxie 3.36 – Evilfantasy’s Blog

Now fix your PC problem automatically with Microsoft ‘Fix It’ – Piyadas World

Spyware Blaster 4.2 – Free Passive Protection – Free PC Security

ContactHelp Gets You Through to a Human Being – Lifehacker

Mozy Online Data Backup Review – Backup Your Files To The Internet – Is You Geeked Up

Detect Virus and Spyware in Emails/Websites with Online Link Scan – Internet Security Blog

PogoPlug – Share and Access Files from Anywhere – What’s On My PC…

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