Where are you getting your Apple Computer serviced?

April 13th, 2012 | Posted by Cornerstone Technologies in Apple - (Comments Off on Where are you getting your Apple Computer serviced?)

Just the other day, I had a client check in a fairly new, but out of warranty Macbook Pro.  A few weeks before, she had taken this unit to another shop here in town.  Because her computer was not booting to the installed operating system, OSX 10.7 Lion, they diagnosed the computer with a failed hard drive, and promptly sold her a new hard drive.  Even though they claimed to be experts in Apple computers, they finished the repair by installing the previous version of OSX, 10.6 Snow Leopard.  I might also mention that they let it leave their business without a single update.  As a competitor, I try not to come down on my counterparts, but they did not complete the repair completely for a lack of caring or knowledge.

In any event, the client had also brought me the old hard drive.  The drive was not bad, but the file system became corrupt, which over time made the machine unbootable to the OS.  This had occurred because users in the womans family were not properly shutting down the computer and simply holding the power button down.  In the end, the woman had paid for a repair either because of incompetence or unethical procedures.  We restored her previous hard drive, all installed programs and files.  She was completely thrilled and surprised because we did not gouge her for all she was worth.

While others claim to be ‘integrity driven professionals’, Cornerstone Technologies is exactly that.  Don’t trust your Apple or Windows-based computer to amateurs posing as professionals, call us first!

Call Us Today! 724-349-3999

Mac exploit affects 600,000, are you one of them?

April 6th, 2012 | Posted by Cornerstone Technologies in Apple | Security - (Comments Off on Mac exploit affects 600,000, are you one of them?)

In the last few days, it has been discovered that a virus known as Flashback has infected 600,000 Apple computers. Contrary to popular belief, viruses on Apple computers are nothing new. What is new about this particular virus, is that it was nearly undetectable. Briefly, this virus had to be installed by the computers user. The user was directed to a spoof website to update Java, a popular and necessary technology used to display certain content on the Internet. The affected machines were typically older installations of OSX; 10.4 Tiger is no longer supported by Apple, and 10.5 Leopard support is soon to follow. One of the nice things about Apple computers has been its sheer usefulness long after official support has been dropped. In fact, in many graphic design circles, there are still machines running OS 9.

The fact is, in all cases where there has been a virus introduced to an Apple computer, the user initiated the installation. Third party exploits typically require user interaction to be installed. It is estimated that 50-80% of computer users neglect to update their computers with the latest software packages, from either Apple or Microsoft. So there is a huge install base that is vulnerable to begin with. Lack of safe browsing habits and maintenance can contribute to even more exposure to threats.

Here at Cornerstone Technologies, we are offering a free diagnostic check for owners of Apple computers. Simply bring in your computer and we will do a complete diagnostic to ensure that your computer isn’t affected.

Call Us Today! 724-349-3999

Prepare for Windows XP to be abandoned by Microsoft

April 3rd, 2012 | Posted by Cornerstone Technologies in Microsoft | Obsolete | Windows XP - (Comments Off on Prepare for Windows XP to be abandoned by Microsoft)

Windows XP was released in October 2001, and due to be leave Microsoft support channels by 2014.  What this means is that Microsoft will no longer push updates for bug fixes for Windows XP. What does not seem like a problem is actually a very big deal.  The most immediate issue will be that malicious software like viruses and spyware will be more capable of exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities.  Installing an antivirus may not be possible as software vendors are already beginning to signal that future development for XP will end soon after Microsoft declares it a legacy product.  There may very well be solutions such as AVG or Avast, but Cornerstone Technologies cannot recommend these products currently because of poor detection and performance hindrances despite well provisioned hardware.  Another issue that is becoming clear already are accessories, such as printers, scanners, and even future Apple products such as iPads, iPods, and iPhones will not be usable on machines running Windows XP.  From our experience in supporting our customers in a wide variety of industries and backgrounds, we feel that it is prudent to plan for replacing those XP machines with newer and supported software.  Windows 7 has been in the mainstream over two years, and is a worthy replacement for any computer running XP or Vista.  Microsoft is also due to push out its newest operating system, Windows 8 by the end of 2012, but internal testing we have conducted of several public betas do not show very much promise for what our client base needs.

Because Cornerstone Technologies is not a supporter of any one platform, your current Windows XP installation with all its programs can easily be migrated by us to Apple OSX, Windows 7, and even Linux.  Call us or email us to schedule a consultation and site evaluation to make sure you are not left behind in 2014.

Call Us Today! 724-349-3999