I offer a complete support service, tailored to the needs of small voluntary
organisations. You can either call me in to deal with a particular one-off
issue, or I can visit on a regular basis to keep you running smoothly!
If you are planning to buy new computers, printers and related
equipment I offer advice on what to
get. I can then help you set up and configure new computers, transfer
any data from old machines, install software, set up user accounts. I’ve
compiled a checklist for installing
which may be useful.
Is your computer running far too slowly, crashing frequently, or just not
working the way you expect? Have you been attacked by a virus or had a hard
I can diagnose and fix problems with hardware and software,
and advise on how to avoid trouble in the future.
Email and Internet
I can advise on the most cost effective way of connecting your computers
to the the internet, and help you decide how to set up email for your organisation
(What’s the best way of setting up an address for each member of staff?
How do I add new addresses when staff members change?) You might also want
to know what to do about:
- spam — how do you cut down the tidal waves of junk email?
- setting up email mailing lists
- automatic forwarding of messages
- email problems: email not being received, people not able to send mail,
messages being blocked or rejected
I can advise on choosing software, and using it effectively once you have
- Commonly used Windows packages such as Microsoft Office
(Word, Excel, Outlook & Access), Photoshop, QuarkXpress, Adobe Acrobat
and many others.
- Free software: in many cases there are excellent free/open source alternatives
to the commercial packages mentioned above (more
about free software), and I’ll always draw your attention to
these when they could be useful.
- Charity licensing: If you can’t find a suitable open source program,
you may still be able to avoid paying the full commercial rate for software.
Several suppliers offer discounted licenses for charity and academic users.
- I can also develop custom
databases tailored to your exact needs.
Your data is valuable! Almost certainly some of it is confidential. Here
are some of the things you need to be thinking about:
- Passwords: setting up computers so that they are properly
password protected, choosing good passwords (strong, but ones that people
- Backups: Hard drives do fail, often suddenly.
do happen. Replacing the hardware is simple, but what would you
do if your data was lost? It’s vital that you have an effective backup
strategy, preferably one which is simple to operate (the less human intervention
required the better!), and with copies of data stored off-site.
- Anti-virus protection: which package to use; how to
check that it’s running properly.
- Malware removal: if your computer is suddenly running
very slow or behaving in strange ways, it’s possible that it has been
infected with a virus, spyware or some other kind of malicious program
(collectively these are often called “malware”). It’s very important to
remove these: not only does you computer not work well, but it’s possible
that someone could be stealing your passwords or using your computer as
a channel for sending junk mail.
Unfortunately these programs can often be hard to detect
and may require specialist tools to remove — speak to me for advice if
you think you may have a problem. (Don’t ever install use anti-spyware
or anti-virus programs you’re not sure about — there have been a few cases
recently of bogus anti-spyware programs which actually install malware
rather than remove it!)
- Computer use policies: how to draw up straightforward policy
statements for your organisation. These could include statements on what
is considered reasonable use if the internet by staff, email use, passwords,
what software can be installed on office computers,…
I can provide training in all of the above areas, either on a one-to-one
basis or in small groups. All training sessions are tailored to your needs
and level of expertise. I aim to cut through jargon and help you develop
the confidence and skills to get the most from your computer.
in touch to discuss your training needs!