Windows PC Security 101: How to protect your computer

Computer keyboardby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 7/2011

As a computer geek since 1981 and a professional at it since 1988, I get asked a lot of computer questions. These days, every home has at least one computer and we depend on them more and more. Our computers hold a lot of personal info: Bank and financial records, school papers/reports, all our digital pictures, bills, taxes, Justin Bieber fan club newsletters, etc.

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Computer Help Desk Humor

Computer keyboardBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper 8/2008

To: All new employees
From: Computer Help Desk Department
Re: Some helpful tips to make your life easier

Dear new employee,

Welcome to the company! As a new team member, please know that we, the computer help desk department, are here as your dedicated personal servants, 24/7. The following are some helpful tips to make communication with the computer help desk as efficient as possible.

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Technology Unchained – or I remember when (nostalgia)

Old Lantern
We didn’t have this kind of newfangled modern lighting when I was a kid!

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 12/2005

Yesterday, I was on the computer with my nine-year-old nephew Colin, and I was amazed by how easily he uses Windows. Oh, he’s not creating web browsers and code interfaces (yet) but he’s still pretty savvy. As I continually spend time with him, I find myself telling him how things were back in the Stone Age when I was his age.

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Weaving a web for Foxboro

IMG_9568-300x169by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter May 1999
[Note: This column was written before the town launched its own official web site so some outdated information has been removed. The site itself was superseded by the town web site and is no longer available, but was a really big event when first launched!]

Fire up those web browsers because Foxboro’s on the web!

Yes, the unofficial Foxboro web site is up and running and very impressive, and all due to the generosity of Pattiann Malynn.

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Even Computer Geeks Are Not Immune From the Dreaded, “Bad Technology Day”

Computer keyboardby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 2/1997

Last week, I had a “bad technology day.”

It started innocently enough last Saturday morning, when I decided it was time to finally change the outgoing message on our answering machine and drop the words, “Happy Holidays” from the greeting.

Simple enough and a task done many times before. I approached Herbie, our answering machine, and began the reprogramming. (I should note here that I ordinarily don’t give names to household electronics, but the answering machine says cute little messages like, “Hello, you have three messages,” or “That was your last message.

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Technology: Time to draw clear line between work and play

Computer keyboardby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 5/1996

“Have you ever sent a fax… From the beach? Have you ever checked out of the supermarket a car load at eight? Have you renewed your drivers license at a cash machine?”

“You will,” the commercial informs us, “and the company that will bring it to you will be AT&T”

Things sure do change rapidly. Adults over 13 are already saying things like, when I was a kid we didn’t have CDs or VCRs or ATM machines.

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One of the first times I was published — Computer Magazine MICROpendium (1987)

WAY back in the day (1987) I got published in a computer magazine for the first time. MICRopendium was the official monthly magazine for the AWESOME TI-99-4/a and its not-at-all awesome successor, the Myarc Geneve. I taught myself to code on the TI-99-4/a and wrote EVERY college paper on that computer using the TI-Writer Word Processor. LOVED that computer. Anyway, someone had asked if there was a way to use the spell-checking program database on the built in RAM disk (512KB) — you read that right, not MB, KB — and GeekBoy (that would be me) had the solution.

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