Holiday Sales. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Pre-Thanksgiving Sales.

Anything to get us to part from our hard earned money.

► What should you buy?

► What are the differences between the different options?

► What should you be aware of this holiday season?​

Read below to become an educated consumer




The good old desktop. While it does not offer the freedom for you to take it around with you, the good news is, that they are generally found in the same place where you left it last, unlike some laptops to tend to always disappear. They generally are cheaper than their laptop equivalents and tend to have fewer coffee spills on them!




Laptops come in various sizes.

The smaller ones which used to be referred to as netbooks, are small in more ways then what meets the eye. They generally are in the 11 or 12 inch screen size range, have limited processor and memory. They are great to carry around and to take notes in class or catch an occasional show, while they don’t generally come with the CD/DVD drive (due to size limitation).

The standard is considered in the 15 inch range. These can range from $250 to over $1,000. The difference in price reflects the inside specs (size of the hard drive, amount of memory and processor speed) as well as the external features such as the touch-screen, back-lit keyboard, thinness or even something as trivial as the CD/DVD player.

The larger, 17 inch screen laptops are commonly used for those that plan on keeping the laptop stationary and would like a larger screen to work (or watch movies) on.




A Chromebook looks like a laptop, but it runs the Chrome OS as opposed to the standard Windows or a MAC operating systems.

The pros are:

► Quick boot time

► Less chances of getting infected with viruses

The cons are:

► Not able to run programs such as Microsoft Word or Excel, QuickBooks (since can only run the Chrome browser and it associated apps).




An ultrabook is a souped-up laptop. It generally is more expensive then the average laptop, some common features include:

► Thinner

► Touch screen

► Quick start-up time

► Backlit keyboard Overall, they look nicer, work better and cost more then a basic laptop.




As the name connotes, the 2-in-1 is a hybrid between a laptop and tablet. If opened regularly, it looks and acts like a regular laptop. However, when you flip the actual screen around, and close the laptop, you have a tablet in your hands.

This is a great option if you need a little of both. It will not be a perfect fit if you are looking for a souped-up laptop or an iPad.




The most common name out there today is iPad, yet there are various options available. Before purchasing your first tablet, read below to see the different options and the potential long-term effects.

iPad and iPad mini’s

► They are made by Apple.

► It runs on the iOS operating system


►They are made by various manufacturers

►They run the Android operating system

Since iOS and Android are running different operating systems, they are not interchangeable. Therefore, most people will continue purchasing future devices based on their first purchase. This rule is not set in stone, but humans are creature of habit, and stick with what they are comfortable with.

iOS system:

► Easy to use interface

► Easy synchronization between devices

Android system:

►Allows the user to customize home page(s)

►Allows widgets for speed dials, calendars, social apps, as well as some installed apps allow you to add their widget as well



Please note:

If you are not comfortable following these instructions, please contact us for assistance. We take no responsibility for attempting any of the above mentioned steps or instructions

Avenue M Computers

For all your home and office needs.


CALL US @ 718-676-6910


Remember how to write a letter?

While texting and social messaging is quite popular.

Email is still an integral necessity for most businesses today

Want to enhance your email experience? ​

Read below – and let us know your thoughts!




I look at my emails and files on my computer as I used to look at filing cabinets. Therefore, when it comes to files on the computer, I have main folders and sub folders. With the Windows search option this is not so necessary – unless you don’t remember what you called the document or picture! When it comes to emails, I have folders where I throw all my emails into. This way my inbox is clean and only what I need to do is still there, everything else is tucked away neatly.

How can you do this with your email?

Depending on the email provider and if you are using a software program to send and receive emails the actual options and steps my vary. The general idea is to create folders (and possibly sub-folders) under your “inbox”.



Ever took a day off? Closed for a holiday?

Or have way-too-many emails to respond to and more are coming in?

If this or a similar scenario happens, you can set up an auto-responder. An auto-responder, as the name implies, will automatically reply to any incoming email with a predefined email.

Please note:

► This may not work with every email client.

► Since what is actually happening is your email will actually be sending out these automated emails, your sent mail will show you all the emails you sent it to.

► Many emails people receive are from an email address which does not accept incoming emails. Therefore, you may receive bounced-back emails saying the email address does not exist.



Most email providers allow you to have an email signature.

I personally feel this is important for all business email accounts, since it allows you to send out your contact information along with every email. Depending on the email provider and the way you access your emails will determine the amount of customization within a signature.



Did you ever receive a phone call and the person is upset you did not respond to their email – yet you don’t see the email?

Perhaps the email got flagged (and filed) as junk or spam.

The solution: To check your spam folder occasionally for any important emails which accidentally ended up in the wrong folder.



There are three basic options when sending an email:

► TO – When you are sending an email directly to someone or a group of people

► CC – When you carbon copy people on an email. This is when you want certain people to be “in the know”, but not directed towards them directly

► BCC – A Blind Carbon Copy is used when you want a second person to see the email was sent to the first person, but without the first person knowing the second person received the email as well.

Some Pointers:

► Each one of these options serve different purposes. But it is important to use the correct option and to double check the correct people are being sent the email, before the email is sent!

► By default, the BCC option may be hidden at first.

► When sending out mass emails, it is generally recommended to use the BCC option so that everyone on your list does not start sending out their own emails to everyone on your list or doing a “reply all” which may upset some.



Email providers and IT directors tend to limit the size of files which can be emailed. Therefore if you need to send a large file, it may not be able to be sent as you would typically send the information over. The recommended answer is to use a product such as Dropbox or Google Drive to share the large file.


This way you are only sending an email link, not the actual data. The recipient will open the email, select the link, and be directed to the data in the cloud. The recipient may have the option to download at that point, this way the sender and the receiver do not need to worry about exceeding the send/receive limits.

Did you know…

If you are no longer able to send or receive emails, check the outbox folder for a large file which is blocking all incoming and outgoing mail.



Outlook is a software program which allows one to send/receive, write and organize emails (it also serves other functions, including but not limited to contacts and calendar functions). Each email address is really a different file. Over time, the file may get large, and slow down the user experience. Therefore you may consider the option of archiving your old emails.


Please note:

If you are not comfortable following these instructions, please contact us for assistance. We take no responsibility for attempting any of the above mentioned steps or instructions

Avenue M Computers

For all your home and office needs.


CALL US @ 718-676-6910




Many times it is worth repairing an issue, so that all your settings remain the same. However, there are times where wiping the computer clean is the recommended answer.

► How to clean the computer yourself

► When is it recommended?

​► What are the different ways to clean your Windows 8 computer? ​

Continue reading below to learn some tricks of the trade!

*Windows 8.1 photo courtesy of Microsoft Store



What does refreshing a Windows 8 machine mean and do?

This option is used when someone wants to clean up their computer.

Refreshing your computer will reinstall Windows.

You will not lose your data. You will lose any installed programs.

(If you upgraded from 8 to 8.1, you may need to reinstall the 8.1 upgrade)


How to refresh your PC?

– Settings

– Change PC settings

– Update and recovery, select Recovery

– Refresh your PC without affecting your files, select Get started

– Follow prompts



What does resetting a Windows 8 machine mean and do?

This option is used when you want give the computer to someone else, and want to remove all your personal stuff.

Resetting your computer will reinstall Windows.

This option deletes all your files, settings and programs/apps.

However, it will keep the pre-installed Windows Apps.

(If you upgraded from 8 to 8.1, you may need to reinstall the 8.1 upgrade) ​



How to reset your PC?

– Settings

– Change PC settings

– Update and recovery, select Recovery

– Remove everything and reinstall Windows, select Get started

– Follow prompts



What does restoring a Windows 8 machine mean and do?

This option is when a recently installed program or driver is “acting up.” Restoring your computer will undo the recent system changes This option may delete some recently installed programs and drivers.

However, it will keep your data and settings for most programs.


How to restore your PC?

– Control Panel

– Type “recovery” in search box

– Select “Open System Restore”

– Follow prompts


Please note: If you are not comfortable following these instructions, please contact us for assistance. We take no responsibility for attempting any of the above mentioned steps or instructions


What is it? How does it affect you?

Recently there has been much talk about “Heartbleed.”

Read below to see what it is and how it may affect you!


What is the heartbleed virus?

As explained on, it “allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.” On a technical level, the website describes it as “a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet.”


What does it affect?

Heartbleed affects information stored/transferred via OpenSSL. (OpenSSL is used to transfer sensitive data over the Internet, in a way in which if it was intercepted, it would not be readable.)


What should you do about it?

Generally speaking, if you did not receive an email from a website notifying you to change your password, there is nothing for you to do about it.


What should you worry about?

While the heartbleed virus may not have affected you that much, some regular viruses are becoming more and more dangerous. Lately we have seen an influx of computers and networks which are infected by a virus which encrypts all the data files on the computer and on the shared network. An updated anti-virus and backup plan could have minimized the effect and damage of those viruses.


Photo courtesy of




Windows XP Still working?

Does that mean it’s safe to use?

With all the Pesach cleaning and preparations, who had time to think about upgrading their Windows XP computers?! Even more, now that the April 8th deadline passed and the computer still works – do you need to upgrade and why?


The facts: – Windows XP was a great operating system – “Was” is the key word – Now it is time to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8

“But it’s working fine!” For the naysayers out there, who for whatever reason did not upgrade or purchase new equipment, and are saying “It’s working fine, so why break what’s not broken!” – continue reading!!


Why do you need to upgrade? Hackers are constantly looking for loopholes within Windows to infiltrate into people’s computers. As these loopholes are discovered, Microsoft patches them up, via sending out Windows Updates on a regular basis.


As of April 8, 2014 – Microsoft will no longer be sending out patches for discovered loopholes for the Windows XP operating system.


Therefore, it is imperative that you migrate over to a newer operating system ASAP!




The Start menu is really coming back?

What’s the story with Windows 8, is it any good? What should you know before you upgrade or purchase a Windows 8 computer?


The facts: – Windows 8 is quite similar to Windows 7 – There were several major complaints with Windows 8 so Microsoft released a free upgrade, called 8.1 – Windows 8.1’s biggest drawback is the lack of a complete start menu – Rumors have it that the next update will include a fully functional start menu

So if Windows 8.1 is so similar to Windows 7, what are the differences?

Metro look: Windows 8 has “two faces”, the standard look we are accustomed to with Windows 7, as well as the mobile look. The mobile look shows everything in boxes, which is intended for a smooth transition to tablets and touch screens.

Start menu: With Windows 8.1, there is a Start menu. However, it is not what Windows users are used to, or expect from Microsoft. So while it technically exists, it’s not as robust as it should be.

Apps: With Windows 8.1, you can install many apps via the store, similar to what users are accustomed to on their smartphones.

closed holiday
The office will be closed from:
Friday April 11th at 1pm
The office will re-open:
 April 23rd at 930am
For all computer emergencies, 
please call 718-676-6910, extension 2. 
Your call will be called back promptly. 
or email:

Please note:
The next newsletter will be Tuesday April 29th.
We will be switching to our summer newsletter schedule, so the newsletters will now be sent out bi-weekly.

file storageHave you ever wondered why the default program was the default?
Ever cleaned your house and found something where it did not belong? Where did you put it when you found it? Of course, the answer is “Where it belongs”! 
Ever wondered why Microsoft Word opens when you select a document? Or why Internet Explorer opens when you select a link and not Google Chrome?
Read below to learn about the default settings when it comes to opening different files and programs on your computer.
Every type of file is called a “file extension”. Many times, the first time you open a file extension. The program will ask you if this should be the default program for that particular file type.
What does this mean?
Let’s say you have two web browsers, Internet Explorer (IE) and Google Chrome (Chrome).
When you are in Microsoft Outlook, and you select a link, by default, IE will open with that link.
Why is that so?
By default IE is the primary browser on your computer.
What if you you want to switch the primary browser?
You can generally do it from within the browser, or Windows users can:
Select: the START button
Type: Default programs
Make the adjustments, as necessary.
With this understanding, it helps explain why…
“For no reason a different program opens when I select the file type”.
The answer generally is that, a new program was installed and accidentally a user selected “make this my default program” during the installation process.
“Whenever I put a CD or DVD into my computer, it always opens X program. Why?”
You made (accidentally or intentionally) that program the default program to open when those file types appear on the computer! This is something you can change, to the program of your liking, by following the above steps.

Have a question or comment on this topic?

We want to hear from you! 

Click here or call us at 718-676-6910



Did you see the new flyer? 
Click HERE to download it today!
best practice- purchasedEver thought about who uses the computer at home
Last week we discussed some important pointers to keep in mind before and as your business grows. This week, we will take it personally – well, at least some pointers to keep in mind while working at home.
I purchased a new Dell laptop for myself, so that I can work at home. Before I knew it, my children were using it for their schoolwork and pleasure.
What are some things which I made sure to adjust, as the use of the laptop evolved from “my laptop” to the “family laptop”?
When logging in using the browser, did you accidentally hit the “remember my password” or “remember this computer” bar?
While at work, this saves you time. At home, this may be a very dangerous move.
Your children or any of their friends using your computer may be able to access your bank or email accounts or perhaps work related programs.
As a general piece of advice, always think twice before hitting the “remember my…”, since you never know who may be sharing your computer with you down the road.
While my daughter brought in the kitchen sink for show and tell, do you want your child accidentally emailing out your P&L statements instead of the book report?
When you view a document (spreadsheet, PDF, or any other sort of work related file), many times you download it to the computer, either to view it better or to make adjustments. Once it’s on the computer, how quick are we to hit delete? Therefore, we tend to leave potentially sensitive data on a computer which others can access.
Therefore, when using a family computer, it may be a good idea to truly delete any files which you downloaded or saved to a computer which other people access on a fairly regular basis.
Web History
Once your on the family computer, perhaps it may be a good time to browse the recent history. Many parents like to have an idea of what their children are doing, so go ahead and check out the recent history. (Note: If it’s blank, then you know someone is hiding something!)
Once your on the computer, do you see any “funny activity”? Perhaps while downloading the latest free game, some spyware came along with it. Maybe a quick clean up on the computer is due?
Bottom Line
On a practical note, creating a separate user on the computer for your work related activities, may help avoid some of the above mentioned issues. Of course some common sense to protect your corporate data and to ensure the computer is only being used for activities you approve of would be the fist step in protecting your information.

Have a question or comment on this topic?

We want to hear from you! 

Click here or call us at 718-676-6910

As your business grows, some things to keep in mind…
As your business grows, more employees are hired, which generally translates into an increase in the technology budget.
What are some technology-related aspects to keep in mind as the business grows?
When you started or joined the business, the office was small and you trusted the others. However, as the business grew and more employees were brought on deck, did you ever consider the potential security issues which may be creeping up on you?
How is your data stored?
When your business first started using computers, you may have had one desktop or laptop. When the second one came along, you simply shared the files. As you grew, you upgraded to a NAS device. Perhaps now it’s time to consider getting a server.
If multiple users are accessing one computer:
– It slows the computers down
– If the main computer needs to reboot, the whole office will be on hold
If multiple users are accessing a NAS device:
– It will work slightly quicker then everyone accessing a desktop
– If the drive is connected via a computer, if that computers needs to get rebooted, the whole office will be on hold
If you upgrade to a server:
– It will work faster then a computer or NAS device
– It can serve several functions above a standard computer
– You will have more control over the data
In what way will a server be faster and controlled better? You will be able to ensure that no one is able to delete anything from the server, so no more “Oops, I deleted all the corporate files!” (Please note: This is based on how your network is configured)
Plan now for later
While the office is small is the opportune time to place the correct policies in place to ensure that as you grow, the business is set up for success.
What are some policies which you may consider implementing while still small? Make sure everyone is storing data to the correct location, and that you have that location backed up in case you ever need to access it after a disaster.
Are the people in the office working efficiently?
Perhaps implementing a program to track and maintain overall status of your employees at all times will allow you to see in a snapshot how productive everyone is and how to distribute the work load more evenly. Another approach may be to install a monitoring solution on all of the office computers. Why? In case a disgruntled employee decides to “borrow” confidential information or attempts to delete data, the monitoring program will keep you updated as the action occurs.
More people, more overhead 
As a business grows, the need to centrally manage the users as well as a “real” file server turns from a luxury to a necessity. Why? A server is more secure and provides a faster connectivity then having users logged in to their individual computers and sharing an external hard drive.
Next week:
How do we apply similar concepts to the home computer? Stay tuned!

Have a question or comment on this topic?

We want to hear from you! 

Click here or call us at 718-676-6910


printerDifferent ways to connect and access
Did you ever have a printer or scanner that you wanted to connect multiple computers to?
Have you ever wondered if it’s possible and what the best solution is for connecting all your printers and scanners?
What does a “USB” and “NETWORK” mean?
There are two types of printers on the market today for the average person.
The first type is a USB printer/scanner and the second type is a network printer/scanner.
The terms “USB” and “network” refer to the way we connect to the device.
A USB device means you can connect to the device with a USB plug.
A network device means you are connecting to it via a network, which can be hard-wired or wireless.


While many printers come with printing and scanning capabilities, let’s separate printers and scanners for a moment.



With a USB printer, you can only connect one computer to the printer.

With a network printer, you can connect any computer or device which is sharing the same network to the printer.

For those that have a USB printer and they want to print from multiple computers, there is a “work-around”. The work-around is by sharing the printer via the computer which it is plugged into.


With a USB scanner, you can connect one computer to the scanner. This one scanner is where the documents/images/PDF’s get stored.

With a network scanner, you can choose which computer or device on the network gets the scanned document/image or PDF.

For those using a USB scanner, once it’s scanned onto the “main” computer, you can share the folder with other computers on the network and they can access the file(s).

Is there a way to decipher a printer based on the model?
MF = Multi function
W = Wireless
D = Duplex
C = Color
N= Network

Have a question or comment on this topic?

We want to hear from you! 

Click here or call us at 718-676-6910


amazonNew rates 
Read the news last week?
Amazon prime will be raising the rate to $99 per year.
Why get an amazon prime account?
Suffice it to say, Amazon sells quite a few items every second. One “game” which online retailer’s play is a lower  cost but a higher shipping fee.
To combat this, Amazon created Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime allows members to get free two day shipping on many items with a yearly membership. Therefore, when customers are shopping for an item, they don’t need to worry about getting stuck with a higher then expected total due to shipping.
Is it worth $99 per year?
It depends on how much you have or plan on purchasing from Amazon, taking advantage of the unlimited streaming of 40,000 movies and TV episodes or reading one of the over 500,000 Kindle books you can read with an Amazon Prime subscription.
What are your thoughts?
Let us know, click here to tell us!
kid under bed filterSecuring your browsing


You may think that no one knows where you go on the web. But you’re mistaken! Read below to understand what is being recorded and what there is to do about it (and perhaps some pointers for times you may want to go ahead and go undetected!)
No matter which browser you use, after a while, you may feel the browser knows you a tad too much.
How is it that the browser knows so much about you?
 Most websites want to capture information about you. They do this so that when you come back next time, the website will know who you are are and remember whatever pertinent info they may need. Information which may be stored as cookies are users login credentials.
Then there is a second type of cookie. This class of cookies send websites you visit back to the advertiser. The advertiser then tailor makes the ads for you.
That’s why a computer repair user may see lots of computer vendors for ads, while a travel agent will get ads regarding different vacation getaways.
What does this mean to you?
Generally speaking, the cookies are harmless.
But the ads which show up reflect the websites and searches you recently entered.
What if you don’t want other users seeing this information?
All browsers have a private mode of sorts.
By browsing in this private mode, your credentials and searches will not be stored for other users to see.
Why may you want to turn on private mode?
If you are using a public computer, your safety may be compromised in other areas. But you’re at least making an effort to hide your information and searches.
Are you looking research a health related or personal query, but don’t want your family members to see?
This is another classical case of using the private mode.
Does this mean you can’t monitor your own computer?
No. You can still monitor the computer. However, the simple “oh, I will check the recent history” may not be adequate. Depending on what you are looking to monitor, perhaps you should look into a product call SpectorSoft or Moble-Spy for mobile devices.
How do you turn on the private mode?
Internet Explorer: Simply press CTRL+SHIFT+P and a new window will open and you will see that you’re in private mode.
Mozilla Firefox: Simply select the “FIREFOX” button on the top left of your screen. Select “NEW PRIVATE WINDOW” and a new window will open up into private mode.
Google Chrome: Simply press CTRL+SHIFT+N and a new window will open and you will see that you’re in private mode. (This is for Windows users.)
Are you really anonymous once in private mode?
No. You are not anonymous on the Internet. While other users on your computer may not see where you were after the fact, there are several identifying pieces of information which the websites may have received when you visited their sites.
Therefore, when browsing the web, always pretend someone else is looking over your shoulder … perhaps in a few years we may find out the NSA was watching us all along!

Have a question or comment on this topic?

We want to hear from you! 

Click here or call us at 718-676-6910


Passwords, Email, Website, Laptop and Mobile Devices


While purchasing and installing a security system for your office is a great idea, it may not be adequate for today’s times to ensure your business’ security. Read below to see what technological loopholes may exist and how to close them up, as well as a video demonstrating the effects of not planning.
While a secure lock and a camera system is highly advisable, in today’s technological times more steps may be required to keep your infrastructure secure. Where should we start? (Or watch the YouTube clip below to see how easy a security breach can happen).

Staff security awareness
Staff security awareness
Do you (or your employees) store your passwords on a sticky note on the desk?
If yes, a customer may see it and log in to the computers and access company data. Therefore, we highly advise keeping the passwords in a secure place (your head) and shred all passwords written on paper.
Do you use the same password for all your employees?
Many programs maintain logs of which user did what. However, if you are all using the same passwords, odds are you are all logged into the same user which will therefore not allow for you to see who did what if it is needed at a later point in time.
Did you ever send your employees a test email – to see if they click on links which may infect their computer and network?
Most small businesses have not done this, however you may try employing this or other methods to help educate your employees in taking the proper email security precautions.
While you can send out a phishing email to your fellow office mates to see who “falls for the trap” and clicks on the bad links, this is slightly harder to do when it comes to website “testing”. Therefore, we recommend a yearly donut and education snack break where everyone gets a short tutorial on what is considered safe territory and what is not safe territory.
Do you (or others in your office) have company data on laptops?
Then odds are those laptops have left the office.
Is sensitive data encrypted?
Are passwords saved on the computer?
Are they connecting to the Internet via unsecured WiFi connections?
Perhaps you should take a moment to determine how secure your laptop is and what can be done to close up any security openings.
Welcome to 2014, where all your files and passwords are stored on your mobile devices (cell phones and tablets). While a password may be of some help, perhaps setting up an instant (remote) wipe app on all mobile devices will allow for some added security in case of a lost or stolen cell phone.

Have a question or comment on this topic?

We want to hear from you! 

Click here or call us at 718-676-6910