Bring Me Your Odd Jobs

I do work of all kinds. I do work that other computer guys would look at and go,

“No way.”

I do odd Computer jobs in Hattiesburg.

This week alone I’ve helped a client type up a legal document with a summary of finances for some issues she’s handling for her mother.

I am helping another client, who is a lawyer here in Hattiesburg, combine a bunch of PDFs into one large file with a clickable table of contents. I am also helping her optimize this for mobile viewing so it is easily viewed on devices like iPads, Tablets, iPhones, and Androids.

These are just some of the many odd jobs I’ve taken on in my career. So I encourage you to give me a call, text, or email if you need some specialized computer services. I agree to hear you out, give you my opinion on your best course of action, and assist you in any way I can. It’s my goal to get you closer to your goal. It’s literally why I got into this business.

So as I’m sitting here at 10:44 PM on a Tuesday night when I have to be up super early to co-host my radio show in Jackson, working on finishing up this PDF thing so my client can have it ready for Thursday morning. I want to assure you that, Yes, I probably am the guy for the job and it would behoove you (and your sanity) to give me a shout and see if I can help you out. I’ll go ahead and let you know that my services are not what one would call “cheap” for these odd jobs. I think they’re reasonable given my skill set, attention to detail, and expertise based on your needs, and your priorities. (I should note, depending on what you’re looking to do and how much time it will take, I always try to keep things fair.)

I will get it done as fast as I can. Especially if you let me know ahead of time that it is essential to have it done within a tight time frame. I work very hard for my clients. I will work hard for you, too.

Now I gotta go get back to this PDF thing so I can go to sleep.

Doc out!

Calendar Spam

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I opened my email this morning and saw that some events had been added to my calendar without my permission. I consider this a breach of my privacy. Who the heck can just add events to MY calendar?

Well, until I changed some things in my Google Calendar this morning, ANYONE COULD!

So here’s how you keep this little annoyance from popping up on your calendar/phone.

This only works for people who are synchronizing with Google Calendar, if you use iCloud for your calendar then you will need to follow the instructions for iCloud available here.

  • Log into your Google Calendar at calendar.google.com
  • Go to the top right corner and click the Gear and go to “Settings”
    settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Scroll down to the bottom. The 4th option nearest the bottom says “Automatically add invitations to my calendar” change this to “No, only show invitations to which I have responded”invitations

 

  • Hit “Save” at the very bottom and this annoyance should be gone.

Spammers are always coming up with new ways to get in our faces but this is one of those highly intrusive ways that would guarantee I would never do business with one of these people. This is the digital equivalent of leaving a flyer on my windshield. It’s just not a way to get good business.

I hope this blog has helped keep the calendar spam at bay. If for some reason you’re still having issues, give my office a call and set up an appointment. I’ll be happy to assist you in any way I can.

4 months and growing!

If you did business with me this time last year (or up until July of this year) you would have seen me operating out of a little house with a green front door. This used to be my home office. After pretty much cramming this tiny house to capacity, my fiancee was either going to leave me and take the dogs, or I had to move the business out. (Just kidding, honey) A very exciting location became available and suddenly, I was actually separating my home and my business. (Well, sorta, I mean, I still have a home office, how else would I get work done from home?)

When I was absolutely certain I was moving into the new shop location, I got to work on preparing it for business. But this is what it looked like at that time…

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So I got to work on pulling all these bars out of the wall, patching the holes, painting over the name WEEKENDER, and turning this place into a fully equipped repair shop. The first thing I wanted to take advantage of pre-move in was that I now had a window that could literally advertise to people 24/7 as long as they were driving through Midtown Market. I searched and searched for a solution and I found this amazing piece of technology:

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More affordable than a neon sign and extremely low operating costs for the SpellBrite! I have NO IDEA how much business this sign alone has brought in the door but people tell us all the time they specifically saw this sign.

After putting the SpellBrite in the window (and putting up a blue tarp in the window to cover up the crazy mess) I was ready to start moving stuff in.

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Here’s some of the equipment and workbenches.

The night the above picture was taken, I wanted to start hanging the curtain but my drill bits weren’t doing the trick. So I went across the street to Home Depot to get some stronger bits and when I came back, I was greeted by quite a sight. The police had my shop surrounded!

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Uh, whaat?! Maybe I’d set off some crazy silent alarm my landlord didn’t tell me about. That was not the case. It turns out, someone crashed their car into the wall outside my shop. Crazy, right?! I’m not even open to the public and I got people trying to drive through my walls!

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I can’t imagine if I had been standing on that ladder when that car hit the side of the building that I would’ve maintained my footing. So thank you burnt out drill bits for possibly saving my life! I honestly don’t know if the driver was OK but I maintain that I’m not helping the situation by walking up and going, “Hi, I’m the owner of this shop. Everyone OK?” When there’s already 4 (or more?) police cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck, I like to infer that things are 100% under control. So, I’m going to stay out of everyone’s way. It’s also worth noting that I have very mild anxiety and I don’t feel comfortable burdening people with unnecessary conversation.

The next day Signs First showed up to install the exterior sign. When I saw this sign outside for the first time, I shed several tears of joy. And I’m not talking metaphorical tears, real salt water tears y’all. It was so touching to see my life’s working becoming more real than ever before.20160706_105231

It took a bit longer than originally planned estimated opening day, July 5th, actual opening day, July 8th. Around 2PM. (getting permits will do that to you, you know?) But we finally got the OK to fully open. This piece of paper set me back 2 days. It was the fire inspection that took a little longer than anticipated. I think I missed them coming by so I got rescheduled! After I had this sheet of paper in my hand I could legally turn on the open sign at the shop and officially begin to conduct business at the new location.20160708_160652

Since then we’ve helped hundreds of clients and we’ve had to create and develop new ways to track jobs and stay accountable to deliver the quickest most effective solutions possible. Let me just say, it has been crazy adjusting to the volume. It’s exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, and every bit of what I’ve always wanted. We help so many people every day we don’t even know what a “slow day” is anymore. (We had quite a few of those at the home office.)

About a month ago the good people of University Mall offered me a chance to get my logo on the BRAND NEW digital sign. When I saw mine up there I was just again overcome with gratitude like when I saw it mounted outside on the building. I never thought I’d be next to all these other huge, well established businesses. But I am. And I’m so happy to be doing it.

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I want to assure you that I never take what I have accomplished for granted. For the last 14 years I’ve been my own web designer (can’t you tell?!) graphic designer, consultant, IT guy, motivator, educator, researcher, accountant, mechanic, innovator, marketer, and I love what I do every day. I have no idea how many people actually read my blog, but I felt like I should share at least the last 4 months with you and thank everyone for their continued support.

Since opening the doors there have been many exciting changes in my life. I’ve been on the news, I go on the radio every week, and I am able to serve many more people than I ever thought possible. I want to express my gratitude to each and every client who has supported my business. Thank you for being a part of my life long dream as I watch it become a reality.

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Sincerely,

Jeremy A Thompson, Computer Doctor
Hattiesburg local, father of 4 doggies, soon to be husband, and lover of all things technology.

 

Tulip Boutique

I like projects. A lot. They take time, but they’re so much more fun.

tulipThere’s a little shop over in Crosscreek Parkway in the shopping center behind Chic Fil A. It’s called Tulip Boutique. Your wife, girlfriend, or significant other has probably already been there if you live in Hattiesburg or the surrounding areas. Mrs. Terri Holder, the owner, hired me to set up pretty much everything electronic in the store. I set up the surveillance, point-of-sale system, network, computer, printer, I hooked up her speakers and super-budget-friendly sound system, I even programmed the thermostat. Bless her heart, she’ll be the first to tell you that she is technologically illiterate. But with my help, several dozen phone calls, remote support, and helpful one-on-one time, I’ve helped open her doors and keep her functional. Since she’s opened I’ve had to address some crazy label printer issues (thanks a lot updates!) we had to review some surveillance footage (for those extra “handy” shoppers,) we set up a basic spreadsheet for tracking expenses (gotta manage that money!), a backup payment system (which we’ve already had to use!) we drilled some holes (she asked for the wires to be hidden as much as possible so that took some hole drillin’,) hung that giant mirror on the wall (gosh that thing was heavy) but I digress. I guess the point I’m really trying to bring across is that I will do just about anything to keep your business running. I rarely ever tell anyone “No.” that’s probably one of my downfalls. I’m learning, but if you have a good reason for wanting to do something, that’s enough motivation to put me to work on it immediately. Actually, immediately is a promise I can no longer deliver on, but I will respond as soon as possible, and provide a prompt solution if one exists. That’s my dedication to my projects.

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This is an iPad Air 2 that we set up as her Point-of-sale system. To the left of the register is a bluetooth receipt printer. 

And the Tulip Boutique has been one of my favorite projects this year.

 

 

 

Monday is my favorite day of the week

Doc’s up at 5 AM catching up on work leftover from last week. Because I always try to deliver in a timely fashion for my clients I have to make sacrifices of my own. Getting up early doesn’t bother me a bit. A cup of coffee and a little music to keep me focused and I’m ready to take on the day.

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I’m helping 3 clients transition over to new machines today. The pressure is on.

What pressure? To do the absolute best job I can.

When it comes to introducing a user to a new machine I like to make the transition as seamless as possible. That’s why I go into their old computer and pull out keys for software they used previously. Most notably, Microsoft Office.

Using a program called Recover Keys I can hook a client’s old hard drive up to my computer and extract the old serials to transfer to the new machine. Within a few minutes of letting Recover Keys scan, I have access to all the old serials.

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Once I’ve successfully transferred the data and restored the software, I go through and update everything.

When a computer leaves my shop for the first time I set up a remote support program to guarantee your satisfaction. If my users encounter any problems after I’ve set it up and gone back to the office, I can connect over the internet to address any additional issues.

I take great pride in what I do and when I put my name on something, I want it to last. I want my clients to be extremely happy with my services. That’s why I go above and beyond for all of them.

Well I’d love to sit around and type up more blog posts but I got computers to fix.

Until next time, Hattiesburg.

Can You Do It For Cheaper If I Forgo The Warranty?

I was recently messaged on Facebook and asked by a potential client if I would do this for an iPhone 5S repair. The answer is no. And I’d like to tell everyone why:

I purchase only the best quality screens because if I put my company name on it–I want it to last. Right now my screens cost $60/each. This time last year they were 30. Despite the 50% increase in price over this year, I have made a decision to continue to offer the repair for $99. For comparison, the last time I checked, some of my competition was doing the iPhone 5S for 139 But I digress. I am not my competition. My Google ratings will tell you that real fast. I run my shop with my heart. I truly love what I do and I believe I do great work. That’s why people bring their devices to me. Because I make sure that you’re 100% happy with the repair. If something doesn’t work right, you can bring it back within that year and I will swap it out at no extra cost. No gimmicks no catches. As long as it’s not damaged, the screen is covered. While sometimes this requires me to work on your phone for a lot longer than anticipated, I do it because I couldn’t provide anything but exceptional service. I’m very proud of my work. I double and triple check that everything is done to my strict specifications. The other shops don’t necessarily guarantee you that. I understand that $99 is more than you might be able to pay some other guy to do it. But I’m not just some other guy. I’m the owner of the Hattiesburg Computer Doctor and I am proud of my business and the work I do and believe whole-heartedly that I am worth every bit I ask for.

Also, for your convenience, here’s a few recent clients who were super happy that I warranty my work on their iPhones:

Mrs. Mitchell of Petal has had to bring me her iPhone 5 TWICE because the screen was coming up from its housing. Both times I replaced it quickly and with a smile on my face.

She also replaced her battery through us and it started acting up as well, so we replaced that too!

Amber of Petal brought me her iPhone 6 about 3 weeks ago to replace the display, today (10/26/15) she brought it in saying the screen was acting strangely. 45 minutes later she was walking out with her new screen, and it didn’t cost her a dime extra!

Heather got her iPhone 5 battery replaced about 2 months ago, she recently brought it in because it was having issues. But it too was covered under the warranty.

Why would you trust your very expensive device with anyone who DIDN’T offer a warranty? Can you really afford that?

We believe in making our clients happy, even if that means we have to do revisions on your devices. We just believe in doing it right.

So again, as long as the device is not damaged, it’s covered. So bring it on and and let us make you our next happy client!

601-557-0411

Call or text today.

We stock all parts for iPhone 5-6 Plus and our typical turn around time is one hour.

 

 

Public Wifi: Why You Should Think Twice

I’m in Dallas, TX for a little R&R while my fiance attends a convention for her job. Right now I’m at the Crooked Tree Coffee Shop connected to their public wifi and I figured what better time to discuss some safe browsing habits?

Whether you understand technology or not is irrelevant, there are a few things that you can understand better and that’s where I come in.

Everyone has wifi at their restaurant these days, but what does that mean for your privacy?

The moment you connect, your privacy could be compromised. Your name, your social media accounts, passwords, your card numbers, it can all be stolen if you don’t pay attention. That’s why I never go anywhere without a solid connection to my VPN (Virtual Private Network.)

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In the above model, our hacker, cleverly named Wi-Spy, can see that My Macbook is visiting Amazon.com. That means what I shop for and any information I send to Amazon could be compromised by someone who doesn’t even have physical access to my computer. Because they have access to the coffee shop’s network. Bigger named companies usually have better protection in place, but even they slip off their secure channels from time to time. If you look up in your browser you’ll know real quick whether or not your connection is secure:

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The little green lock and the https:// designation confirms that any information you send to that device is secure. However, let’s go look for a pair of shoes on Amazon and see how it looks..

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Notice the little green lock is gone and we’ve lost the https:// designation. This is not secure. That means on open wifi, our Wi-Spy can see his neighbor shopping for shoes. No big deal right? Who doesn’t wear shoes? But can you name a few other things you might not want your neighbor knowing you purchase? Or websites you might not want them knowing you’re visiting? I know I surely can! Enter your savior, the VPN!

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A VPN connection encrypts the information coming to and from your machine via a secure network. So while everyone else in this coffee shop may have their valuable information floating around for anyone with the know how to steal, I’m safe. Because as far as any hacker could tell, I’m just talking to a server in the Europe.

VPNs are not without their downsides, for example, your browsing speed can suffer a bit. Your favorite sites may not load as fast. But as far as this Doc is concerned, that’s a small price to pay for keeping your information safe.

Is it 100%?

Nothing is.

Every time you use your devices is like rolling the dice. Someone smart enough to figure it out can surely get your information. It’s your job (and mine) to make sure that we make that process as difficult as possible.

 

 

Is It Stolen?

Lost-iPhoneCheck Craigslist or a local Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook and you will be inundated with second hand electronic goods. But is the deal good?

Use these tips to make sure you don’t buy an expensive paperweight:

  • Ask the seller to give you the IMEI/MEID number of the phone. This can be found by opening the phone app and hitting *#06# (That’s star, pound, zero, six, pound)
  • Call the carrier of the phone (Just google [insert carrier] customer support) and tell them you’re looking to purchase the phone and just want to make sure it’s clear for activation.
  • If the seller refuses to give you the number, find a better deal elsewhere.
  • A legitimate seller will give you time to make sure the deal is good.

Okay, so the IMEI’s clear, are we good?

Maybe, but not quite. You also want to make sure if you’re buying an Apple device that it is not currently logged into iCloud.

By visiting: https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/ you can enter the IMEI or serial of the device there and make sure it isn’t locked.

If that’s clear, then you’re good to go! The deal is legit, congratulations!

What To Do When Your Phone Gets Wet

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I see wet phones a pretty good bit here in the Doc’s office. While I don’t recommend anyone go swimming with their device or even get it near water, accidents happen and the Doc’s here to put you on the right track.

If you’re one of the unfortunate people to drop your phone in the water here’s what you need to know:

  1. Do not try to turn it on. Don’t do it! If you do, you significantly reduce the chance of survival.
  2. If it’s still on, Don’t use it. Turn it off.
  3. Wait at least 24 hours, better to wait 72 hours. Wait as long as you can and you increase the chances of your device surviving.
  4. Remove the battery. (If you have an iPhone or another phone you can’t take the battery out of, you can skip this step)
  5. Try to suck out the water with a wet/dry vac.
  6. Put it in front of a fan or on a shelf and let it dry out.

After you’ve given your phone plenty of time to dry…

  1. Try to turn it on
  2. If it doesn’t come on, plug it up to the charger and leave it for a while
  3. Try a new battery
  4. If all else fails, give it some more drying time
  5. If it still won’t come on after all of that, don’t toss it. There are still some working parts inside that someone may be interested in.

 

What about rice?

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While rice may assist with drying out parts of your phone, the overall effect of rice is keeping your phone out of your hands long enough for it to dry. And keep in mind: Instant rice works better than uncooked rice, but many internet articles the Doc researched said that silica gel packets work the best of any drying agent.

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Don’t throw these little packs away. Keep them in a bag and use them when you douse your phone!

If you don’t want to fool with a wet phone, bring it on into the Doc’s office we’ll do everything we can to revive your device!

 

Why I Do This

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit inside of me. When I was eight, I was running a lemonade stand and making sure people liked the product. But now I spend my days making sure your device always leaves in a better condition than it arrived. Computers have been my life since I was old enough to push buttons.

Most of the time you give a kid something brightly colored and made of heavy plastic so they can drool all over it and do all the gross things kids do with every day toys. My parents may have done the same thing at first but eventually they upgraded me to one of these:

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If you don’t know your keyboards then you didn’t just utter the phrase, “Holy smokes, that’s an IBM clicky keyboard!” That’s really what everyone calls them. Use one and you’ll call it the same thing, even though you may have never uttered the words “Clicky keyboard” in your life, that’s exactly how you would describe it.

When I was older (and PCs were more accessible) I would venture to Sam’s Club with my mom just to play on the computers. I was hooked! That was when I was 9. I’m 28 now. For almost 13 years, I’ve been dedicated to learning and repairing, and I’m still on that mission.

I’ve learned to believe in simple.

If it’s not simple, people are generally not interested.

So I keep it simple for you.

I’ll deal with the complex for you.

That’s why I’m consistently called upon to respond to the demands of my fellow citizens of Hattiesburg.

Every day I push myself to greater heights. I take on new challenges, and consistently show my clients that there is a solution to their problem.

I have great vision for my business, for what I can do for my community, and I do what I do for people just like you.

If you’re looking for a computer guy who can assist you in meeting your goals I’d like to help you get started today.

(601) 557-0411