Unlocked iPhone 4S? Kind of

The new iPhone 4S has been announced, and it is a world phone. It’s also available in an unlocked version, which normally means it can be used on any compatible carrier.

But not so fast. Many US customers prefer Verizon for its U.S. network and Verizon phones typically don’t work overseas. Yes, there are some “world phones,” but they are limited to the usages of Verizon’s contracts. Many of us had hoped that the new iPhone would allow us to sidestep those restrictions.

Alas, that appears to not be the case.

Hurricane Damage

After Hurricane Katrina, I put together a list of do’s and don’ts for my friends in New Orleans.

It all holds true today.

If your computer got flooded by Hurricane Irene, that document lists some of the things you should and should not do. Step one is to never, ever turn the thing on. You can make a minor problem a major one doing that.

Look here for more info.

Intuit drops ball

Add Quickbooks for Mac to the list of programs that won’t run on the forthcoming version of Lion, the latest operating system for Apple computers,

Intuit announced this week that no version of Quickbooks for Mac is compatible with OS X (10.8).

The only Intuit product known to be completely compatible is the wimpy Quicken Essentials for Mac.

Password No-no

Do you use the same email address and password as the login information on multiple sites? If so, you are in for trouble.

I have received a dozen or so calls in the past month from clients who thought they had a virus on their machines. Friends of theirs had been getting spam that looked to be sent by the client.

I got another one this morning.

In no case was it a virus, nor had the clients been hacked. What happened was

The End Is Here! (Part II)

Have you checked Windows Update lately?

The default settings will install critical updates, but it’s a good idea to actually run Windows Update periodically. Also, see if it’s updating all Microsoft products. It will tell you if it’s not.

Support for many older programs will run out next week. As announced a year ago, Office XP support will end on July 12. Ditto for computers running Vista with only Service Pack 1 installed. Read More...

Mauled by Lion (Part II)

Will my software work?

I’ve had a number of questions about what software will / won’t work with the new Apple operating system, due out shortly.

If it uses PowerPC code, it won’t run. If it doesn’t use PowerPC code, it might run. Only your software vendor can tell for sure.

To tell if a program uses PowerPC code,

Mauled by Lion

Mac users who have stuck with Quicken 2007 are about to get mauled.

If you use Quicken 2007, run a Mac and plan to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system when it is released this month, export your Quicken data now.

The next release of Apple’s OS X operating system will scrap the Rosetta environment necessary to run programs designed for the older PowerPC-based computers on modern Intel-based Macs.


The end is here!

The end is here! The end is here!

No, not that and, the end of support for your computer and its operating systems.

On July 13, 2010, Microsoft announced that Windows XP needed at least Service Pack 3 installed or it would not be supported. With SP3 installed, you can eke out another year of support. Support for Windows 2000 and Vista computers running Service Pack 1 or earlier also ended on July 13. Read More...

Antivirus software

Have you checked your antivirus software lately?

Most of the infected computers we see have antivirus software that is wildly out of date.

When your antivirus manufacturer starts nagging you to update your subscription–and I know it’s a nag–you really need to. Without the updated subscription, your antivirus software will not know how to protect you from new viruses.

Most antivirus companies belong to a consortium that tests and rates the major AV products. These ratings are updated quarterly. Many products we use to recommend, including several free products, have fallen off the bottom of the charts and are no longer recommended.

Random musings

Welcome to Brier IT services.

We’ve been in business, fixing computers and helping with technology, for way too long.

Along the way, we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks. Check here on a semi regular basis and we will share some of those tips and tricks with you. We will also talk about some of the things that we see in our work and our lives.


Steven