Due to a new project that will require daytime hours to complete, we will be working with limited and reduced hours for the foreseeable future.   Store hours starting January 9th, 2017 will be Monday-Thursday 6PM-9PM, and every other Saturday starting January 21st 10am-1PM.  Onsite appointments and remote sessions are an option in the evenings and every other weekend.  We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers, but business is slow enough that we cannot use supplemental employees to cover Panther Computers while this project is underway.

Panther Computers now offers the Panther Pounce Tuneup.  In response to  customer requests, we are now offering this alternative to the full Panther Tuneup (regularly $150) with this faster turn around time to quickly get you back up an running.  This is a quick hit tuneup that simply removes the most obvious virus and malware infections for $75 that allows you to continue using your existing protections and antivirus software.

I'm here today to make you aware of a scam that I believe is happening with nearly all international call centers, but especially those in India. Based on dozens of conversations with my customers over the last three years, it is my belief that call center employees that answer calls for US based businesses like AT&T, Amazon, and other high profile companies are transferring calls out of the legitimate call center to illegitimate businesses that try to scam money from you.

Panther Computers now sells items on Amazon.  We have over one hundred items available locally at our Milton location or you can order online and have it shipped.  Eventually we will have all of our new inventory online at Amazon so you can see what we have in stock.  Used items and parts will not be listed, so come by or call if you need these or special order items.

CoinBase is a virtual currency exchange for BitCoin that has become licensed in the US to exchange BitCoin for Dollars.  Here is an article from PCWorld with the details:

Coinbase to launch first licensed U.S. Bitcoin exchange

Do to the increased number of ransomeware viruses being seen on computers being brought into Panther Computers, we are adding a new utility called Crypto Prevent to the software installed on computers during our Panther Tuneup.  You can read the article below on CryptoWall for more details on ransomeware viruses and their effects. We will install the free edition, free to homeowners and businesses alike, but you may consider the paid premium version for automatic updates.

Over the last several years there have been several ransomeware viruses that will encrypt your data in a fashion that will cause you to loose the data or have to pay to get your files back.  CryptoLocker, CryptoDefense, CTB Locker, and now CryptoWall.  It is now more important than ever to ensure you have backups of all your important personal and business files as you could be infected from any number of sources.

Panther Computers has invested in an enhanced system to provide better tracking and histories of our clients, their computers, and the work performed.  We now have the ability to provide you email and SMS (aka texting) updates as we begin and proceed with the work on your computer.  You can also click on the Status link under services to log into your tickets online for a current status.  We are continually looking for ways to improve the service we provide our clients.

Panther Computers now offers our remote access service, Panther Rescue Remote, to our customers. Panther Rescue Remote can allow a Panther Computers technician provide you local support from our offices saving you travel time and expense.  All you need is a working high speed internet access for the computer and we can provide instruction, configuration, and technical support. 

The support is by appointment and first come first serve, but we will expand availabilty and offerings as demand increases.  Stay tuned for pricing and other details as we fully deploy Panther Rescue Remote.  Whether in the store or by remote we'll make your computer PuRR like a kitten.

 

 

We are bumping this article back to the top as there has been a recent increase of these calls in the NW Florida area. We have one computer in the shop now that has been completely locked and is in danger of having had tax documents tampered with or "stolen. We've had a second customer relate that they have had no less than five phone calls trying to coerce them into letting the Indian sounding caller take control of their computer.  Watch videos and more on our Facebook page on this an other computer scams.

You may have noticed one or more commercials on TV that claims that they can remotely connect to your computer and make it "work", however be sure they don't charge you if they can't.  Most problems today are spyware and virus related and there is absolutely no way this can be cleaned remotely, even if your Internet is working.  If your system is just bogged down from normal use, be sure you pay no more than you could at a local shop for a service that is hyped late night alongside the vacuum cleaners, kitchen gizmos, and colon cleansers.

In current versions of AVG, you can click on support in AVG and it will show you the license number missing the last four characters.  If you purchased and AVG boxed edition, the license will be on the box or CD.  If you purchased AVG online, you should have an email containing the license number that will show you the license number and allow you to click a button to copy it to the clipboard.  If you purchased AVG from Panther Computers, will depend on when you bought AVG from us, and which operating system you have.

Since February 2011 all installations of AVG included Panther Computers Cymophane.  Cymophane is located in the Panther Utilities folder in your START menu, All Programs, Panther Utilities, Cymophane.  Cymophane will show you all programs Panther Computers installed, when they were installed, and the AVG license number.  There is also a button to copy the license number to the clipboard so you can past it where you need the number.

Prior to February 2011 finding your AVG license number we stored the license number on your computer in a text file called avglicense.txt.  Initially it was placed in My Documents, but found that other computer users couldn't find or see it.  There were some cases of someone creating a new user and deleting the old one with the files and it deleted the license file.  For most XP machines between 2010 and 2011 we stored the avglicense.txt file on the root of the system (usually the C: drive) or c:\avglicense.txt.

The security on Vista and newer Windows made it difficult to access the root drive, so a handful of systems have the file back in the main user's documents.  Subsequently we stored the avglicense.txt in the Public folder (C:\Users\Public\avglicense.txt) in Vista and newer.

If you still can't find the license number for AVG acquired from Panther Computers you can contact us and we can look it up in our records.  

Sure you can download the software and run the scans and enable the protections, but much like my competitors that have adopted the Panther Tuneup software in their processes, you are missing our expertise.  Anyone can buy a sword, but without training, experience, and practice one can never properly use it.

Why Did You Stop Using Windows Defender & Adaware?

This FAQ is in anticipation of this question of our recent decision to stop using Windows Defender & Adaware on our new systems and in our tune up process.  First the other products we use are more consistantly catching the malware that these two products protect you from.  This means that once we run the other products and clean the malware off the computer, these two products aren\'t finding any residual bad guys.  This means we are wasting time, adding software to your systems that aren\'t needed, and increasing the tax on your computer memory and storage space.

A very small number of customers have used these terms to describe what is done during the Panther Tune-up even though we are always specific to explain the process before you agree to have the work performed.  Though the number is small, we felt we should further explain and provide you directions on how to deal with the misperception, and how - if you insist - to go back to your previous anti-virus software.

As in many walks of life you will find variations in philosophy especially in approaches to computer maintenance. Here at Panther Computers one of the steps we take is to turn off the recycle bin. Part of my philosophy is that (personally) I'm not going to delete something if I'm not sure I don't need it any more.