Archive for September, 2010

Thinking About Hiring A Geek Company For Your Home? Read The Fine Print!

Monday, September 27th, 2010

If you’re thinking about hiring a geek company to provide tech services in your home, do yourself a favor and take a moment to review the contract terms posted on their website before you welcome them into your home.  I found this “gem” on a competitor’s website:

“Client agrees that the service technician is an independent contractor whose services were arranged for by <competitor’s name here> and that <competitor> does not have control over the manner in which the technician performs his or her services.”

So let’s get this straight.  The service provider contracts an independent technician to go into your home and do whatever, and the service provider has no responsibility for what that technician does?!  Wow!

Just to be clear: 

  • All Geek Housecalls technicians are employees of Geek Housecalls.
  • Geek Housecalls is responsible for the techs,
  • Geek Housecalls is responsible for the quality of work,
  • and Geek Housecalls is responsible for the satisfaction of our clients! 

Want to know more? Visit our website  or read our  Customer Terms and Agreement.

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ghc-logo-341w-x-482hThis article was written by Andy Trask, Head Geek at Geek Housecalls, the New England area’s original traveling computer geeks, on the web at Geek Housecalls specializes in “anything computer” and, since 2001, has become the trusted in-home computer and technology support provider for over 15,000 families and small business computer users in eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and southern New Hampshire. For help with your computers, gadgets, or network at home or at the office, click here to contact Geek Housecalls via the web, or call toll free:

1-877-4PC-GEEK             (1-877-472-4335)


An Experiment with Google Instant

Friday, September 10th, 2010

So have you used google lately? (Dumb question… who hasn’t?)

Just not sure I like Google Instant.  Seeing all that extra stuff come up as I type is a bit disconcerting. On the other hand, I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I always do (eg “you will be assimilated”).  Frankly, I think it’s the combination of suggested search completions (the stuff that drops down under the search box) and instant search results together, that  just feels awfully sloppy.

I was wondering why google would choose to pummel their users with both sets of information so decided to try a little experiment and see what google suggests for search completions vs. search results for the 26 letters of the alphabet.  Now theoretically these results would vary depending on your location and proximity to different businesses and cities and such, but for my searches here in burlington ma, here’s what I got for top three completions and top three results for each letter.  I’ve laid it out in the format of:

letter - completion, completion, completion/result, result, result

(see more notes at the bottom of the listing)

A –  amazon, aol, apple/,,

B – boston, bank of america, best buy/,,

C – craigslist, cnn,,,

D – dictionary, droid x, dcu/,,

E – ebay, espn, expedia/,,

F – facebook, facebook login, fifa/,,

G – gmail, google maps,,,

H – hotmail, hulu, home depot/,,

I – ikea, imdb, inception/,,

J – jet blue, jordans furniture, jobs/,,

K – kohls, kiss 108, kayak/,,

L – lowes, lost, linkedin/,,

M – mapquest, myspace, msn/,,

N – netflix, national grid, nstar/,,

O – orbitz, old navy, overstock/,,

P – pandora, petco, powerball/, pandora.coom,

Q – quotes, qvc, quebec fires/,,

R – red sox, rei, red sox schedule/,,

S – sears, staples, skype/,,

T – target, twitter, td bank/,,

U – ups, usps, utube/,,

V – verizon, verizon wireless,,,

W – weather, walmart, white pages/,,

X – xbox, xkcd, xm radio/,,

Y – yahoo, youtube, yahoo mail/,,

Z – zillow, zappos, zip codes/,,

Soooo… aside from the fact that it reads like a who’s who of both online and brick & mortar entities, it seems to me that the suggested completions are more useful as they don’t repeat, whereas the organic instant search results shown are often just a page full of repeat sites for a single company that “owns” the top organic results for that particular search. 

What do you think?

Do You Have To Be a Geek To Get Rid Of Hiccups?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

geek-hiccupDo you have to be a geek to get rid of hiccups?  No, but you do need patience.  “Wait a minute!” you’re thinking, “what does getting rid of hiccups have to do with geeks or computers??”

Well, nothing really, except that this geek has developed a nearly foolproof method for ending even the most stubborn hiccups, and I want to share :)

Here’s the deal, you need to be patient, and follow the instructions all the way through and your hiccups will be gone in less than a minute.  This is a technique that has worked for anybody I’ve ever described it to (except my wife who thinks it’s ridiculous and refuses to even try!)

Step 1: Relax. You can do this sitting (sit up straight though, it won’t work if you’re slouched down) or standing, but not while walking, driving, or doing any other activity. You have to stop doing for a moment in order for this to work.

Step 2: raise your arms up and rest your hands on top of your head

Step 3: exhale as deeply as possible then slowly inhale as big a breath as you can hold

Step 4: Hold your breath without moving for as long as you can. When you feel you can no longer hold it, try to go a little longer.

Step 5: This is the most important part. Do not let your breath out in a rush. Instead, as slowly and gently as possible, release your breath.

Step 6: Slowly take your hands from atop your head.

(Oh, and if you do hiccup during the step 5 exhale, they’re not gone yet.  Just relax and try again)

That’s it!  Did it work for you? Leave a comment!