Last Chance to Buy XP Preinstalled on a New PC

DELL, the only manufacturer that still ships new PCs with Windows XP, has announced that it will stop selling XP on computers effective October 1st.
If you’re just waiting for your current software to provide Windows 7 compatibility, we strongly recommend ordering your new DELL with XP preinstalled. Our Windows 7 testing has shown several issues with older programs-even when run under W7’s “XP Mode”. Buying an XP pre-installed DELL allows you to transfer your programs/data from your previous XP system, ensuring your software will run in your existing environment. Then when you are ready to move to Windows 7, your new DELL will already have the necessary hardware.

NOTE: DELL’s policy states: “ANY order for a machine with XP as the operating system will be cancelled if it has not SHIPPED by the 22nd of October.”

If you have been waiting to upgrade your old, slow PCs, now is the perfect time to act!
* Call us to get special pricing on your new DELL.

Upgrade Path From XP to Windows 7?
In our past newsletters, we reported there is no quick or easy way to upgrade your XP computer to Windows 7. Officially, Microsoft prefers that you purchase Windows 7 from an authorized dealer, format your XP hard drive, and install Windows 7 fresh. That method, however, destroys all your previously installed XP software and data. It takes days to reinstall your programs and restore your files.

However, if you don’t want to waste your time looking for install disks and serial numbers, here’s the 2-step work around: 1.) From XP, upgrade your PC to Windows Vista. 2.) From Vista, you can then upgrade to Windows 7 without any data loss.

Warning: Before attempting this upgrade process, you must complete two very important steps! First, make a full backup of your computer. (If you’re not sure how, call us.) Second, run the Microsoft Compatibility check / Upgrade Advisor to verify that your hardware and software will work with Windows Vista & 7. Plan for several hours of upgrade time because Vista and Windows 7 must make slow, significant changes to your PC. Remember to disable or uninstall your antivirus software to prevent problems during the upgrade.

And if you receive any errors during the process, don’t panic. You have your full XP computer backup, and our help is just a phone call away. (We’re also available to take care of the entire upgrade for you.)

Parental Controls and Monitoring

Parenting is difficult enough without having to worry about what your children are doing on the computer. In particular, social networking and gaming sites are stalking grounds for child predators. And since it’s not possible to stare over your children’s shoulder every moment they’re at the keyboard, you can’t know who’s interacting with your kids while they are online.. or can you?

There are two solutions for safeguarding your kids: Parental controls and monitoring software.

From Microsoft, parental control options have been built into the operating system. (Get the details here.) Also, some antivirus/internet security programs (like Trend Micro) offer password protected website blocking and other category specific controls. No gaming and no YouTube allowed? No problem. You can further restrict internet access by time periods and by user account. What happens if your child has your permission for a website that is otherwise blocked by category? Simply enter your password and add the website to the “allowed” list.

For parents who choose to more closely monitor their children’s internet usage, we can recommend excellent software. The program tracks what sites children visit, to whom they were chatting /emailing, and even the contents of the messages. This information can be essential for law enforcement should you suspect your child is being targeted.

And for tech savvy kids? Install both blocking and monitoring software. Setup different passwords for each program and avoid using common words such as the family pet’s name. When you do need to change a setting or unblock a website, make sure your child is completely out of the room before you start typing your password. (It’s easy for determined youngsters to observe and memorize your keystrokes!) Change the passwords often, especially if you notice an abrupt shift in your child’s online behaviors. Most importantly, talk with your children about internet safety– you get to look over their shoulder while you do!


    • THE END OF XP?!?
    • Upgrading XP to 7
    • Protecting Kids Online