How to have a happy working relationship with your computer

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How to have a happy working relationship with your computer

The hate-hate relationship that can build up between user and computer is a real thing! I have no scientific evidence whatsoever to back me up, just experience. I’ve seen the hate, I’ve heard it and I have also experienced it.

Everyone has had one of those days. The anger doesn’t last that long, it turns into apathy pretty quickly. In other words, the relationship is in trouble and the rot has set in.

My story – The quick version
My computer (Bertie) and I usually get along quite happily, I ask him to do something, he does it and all is well with the world. It transpired that this morning – Bertie wasn’t feeling well. He didn’t say anything, so I just carried on as normal. Outlook repeatedly froze. The internet radio wouldn’t play properly and every time I tried to open Sage, I was categorically denied. (No warning or error message mind you, it just wouldn’t open!).

The rage set in surprisingly quickly (to the horror of my co-workers), profanity littered the air and even soothing cups of tea were cast aside. Cake would have helped, but Kate hasn’t made me a lemon drizzle cake for ages!

The internet radio thing has always been a problem, I just kind of live with it. (Did I mention that the rot sets in quite quickly?) Losing email is a bit like not being able to Google stuff or access Twitter… in other words CRITICAL!!

The First Step – Admit there is a problem
Admitting there is a problem doesn’t mean you are admitting defeat. Quite the opposite, you are starting to take control of the situation. Once the rage had subsided I was able to take a step back. Well I wheeled my chair back a little bit, took a deep breath and explained calmly to Bertie that I could not continue like this anymore.

Define, Diagnose and Debate
Ok, so what is actually wrong? Strangely enough, shouting at the person sitting opposite that “This bloomin thing won’t work!!” didn’t help. I needed to list my issues, all of them! Once I could see clearly ( the rage has gone), I was able to list what wasn’t working on my computer. This list actually made it easier for me to see that there was, in fact, an underlying problem.

I have been limping along for months with a stuttering internet radio stream. It’s not exactly a high priority, so I have never taken the time to fix it. Looking at my list of all the other problems I was having it suddenly dawned on me that I had just identified the root cause of all this trouble.

Mediation and Resolution
It is at this point, you may want to bring in a third party. Bertie and I had a nice long chat, I was able to fix the underlying problem myself (because, yes even though I’m a girl, I know about computers and stuff). If you don’t have those skills (years of training, blood sweat and tears!) you might want to seek advice. The important thing is to make sure that whoever you bring in to mediate has your full list of issues, not just the most recent one.

You will be pleased to hear that Bertie and I are friends again.

Is your computer is annoying you? Has the rot set in?
Give us a call, we offer a sympathetic ear and no obligation advice.


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Windows 10 – Hidden gems and useful features

So I think it’s fair to say that after Windows 8 we are all grateful to Microsoft for giving us back the Start Menu, but Windows 10 has so much more to offer. Here are some useful features of Windows 10 to help you acclimatise and get the most out of your software.

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Microsoft Word Hidden Gems – Helping you get the most out of your Software.

Getting the most out of Word – Hidden Gems

Microsoft Word must be one of the most used tools in many offices today, most people are quite familiar with it and let’s face it it’s not rocket science, open type, print, repeat! There are however a few hidden gems which might save you time and effort.

Convert your table to a graph! Yep I’m still talking about Word.

So you have a nicely formatted Table, but the boss wants pictures. Highlight your Table. Choose the Insert Tab, then click on the little arrow beside Object. Choose Object Again. When the dialog box pops up find “Microsoft Graph Chart” in the list then click on OK. Voila! Pretty charts in Word!


Did you know you can “Paste” the last 24 things you “Copied”?

On the Home Tab, find the Clipboard section – there is a tiny little square in the corner – click it and your clipboard opens up. From here you can see items you have last copied and can paste them all at one time into your current document or one at a time if you prefer.



Save heartache – Setup AutoSave

We’ve all done it, so focused on the job at hand, hours of typing then the phone rings and you step away from the document you’ve spent hours typing and formatting. We all know we should Save often, but if you struggle to remember then setting up Words AutoSave feature could just be your saving grace.

From the File Tab choose Options, then click on Save from the list on the left hand side. You can set your AutoSaves to happen as often as every minute if you so wish and choose the location so if the worst does happen you can find your AutoSaved document should you need too.



One last little gem before I go especially useful if you are writing instructions such as these – Use the Insert Screenshot feature to take screen clippings and insert them straight into your word document.

From the Insert Tab, click on Screen shot, then choose, ScreenClipping. Use your mouse to draw a rectangle around the part of your screen want to insert into your document.

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Special Offer on Sage Training – Virtual Classroom

Virtual Classroom training is a great alternative to attending traditional training. You connect to the virtual classroom from your own desk, no need to spend the entire day out of your office.

Virtual Classroom training sessions focus on one area, making them shorter than traditional classroom training and much more easily digestible.

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Automatic Enrolment – the Facts

The law on workplace pensions has changed. Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’.

Most businesses are already processing Auto Enrolment or are due to start processing within the next 18 months.

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Has your computer got “Man-Flu”?

Yep we’ve all been there. We have either had, or had to deal with the dreaded man flu. It slows you down, means you can think properly and renders you incapable of actually doing anything. As a happily married woman working in what is still very much a male industry I deal with “man flu” on a daily basis and it’s not always the “man” I can blame.

Computers are very much like men. (some days they are very much like women, but we will gloss over that for now) Computers like to be operated in a particular way. If you are dealing with one which is a little older you may need to make it think that it was his idea to do whatever it was you wanted to do. Patting it gently and stroking its ego is all well and good but now again it needs a bit of a shouting at!

When man flu strikes it’s imperative to act quickly. You must assert your dominance swiftly to prevent utter surrender.

What has all this got to do with computers?

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Are you about to renew your Sage Cover for Payroll?

If so this might be the perfect opportunity to move onto subscription.

A Sage 50 Accounts or Payroll subscription means it has never been easier to keep your software up to date and your costs down.

Our subscription offerings are totally flexible, there is no large initial outlay and no upfront costs. You will never need to worry about upgrading or buying new software again. A subscription means you will always be on the latest version of the software.

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What is this Cloud thing everyone is talking about?

It is the fashionable term in computing at the moment. “Cloud Storage”, “Cloud based Software”.  Many major software houses are “Moving their services to the Cloud”. Do you really know what it means and is it something you should be using? These simple tips aim to try and explain in everyday language what all this is about.

In the beginning…
In the business environment most people are now used to the familiar Server and Computer type of environment. Your Server holds your files and may run your software. The most common service your Server may run is Microsoft Exchange – Your email. At home you may use a USB stick to backup your files.

This type of environment is quite robust and totally under your control (Well as much as computers can ever be under control). There are of course costs associated with keeping your server and network devices up to date and working. Not forgetting the start up costs, you have to buy the hardware in the first place.

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HELP – The laptop fell down the stairs!

ICT and computers in general are one of the most undervalued resource in a business – that is until they go wrong. When they do go wrong the repercussions can be catastrophic, productivity is halted and your business is affected.

One way you can protect yourself, at work and home, is to make sure you are backing up your data. By data I mean things like documents, spreadsheets and photographs.

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On inkjet printers and the perils of generic ink…

Most people have some type of inkjet printer in their home. They are cheap, easy to use and can produce quite stunning results.

The Biro and the soldering iron
A clever person, not that long ago, was sitting working with a soldering iron and set it down a bit too close to his Biro. The ‘nib’ heated up and the ink shot out. This was the birth of the inkjet printer. Another interesting snippet: the ink itself used to be more expensive than Chanel No.5.

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