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April 13, 2004

Good Day to all of our Clients and Friends,

What a week this is...usually not one we look forward to as taxes are due Thursday at midnight.  Don't forget to get them done.

Here in Houston we have just had a couple of days worth of active storms.  With high winds, lightning and thunder, not to mention quite a bit of water, it is a good reminder that we need to protect our home and office computing equipment.  If you don't have a good surge protector both at home and in the office, you need to get one.  How do you find the best one for your situation?  Let us help you...


XperTip #1 

What should you look for in a Surge Protector 

When you buy a surge protector, try to find something better than the $5 or $10 power strip things. Although they are slightly better than nothing, they are notoriously unreliable and most won't tell you when they are no longer protecting your equipment. One good surge and your protection is gone—but they continue to function as a power strip. Very tricky - so be sure to look for one that tells you when it's dead!

Also, when looking for a surge protector, look for one that features a phone line "pass through". Telephone wires can deliver a potent surge into your computer. I've repaired (and seen) more than a few computers that were damaged due to telephone line power surges.

In fact, phone line surges are more likely to cause damage than power line surges. Why? Your computer's power supply acts as a built in surge protector (not a great one, mind you). Even if a surge sneaks through your regular surge protector, the power supply may prevent it from doing any damage.

That said, just because your power supply does some remedial surge protection, it's no substitute for the real thing. Computers get damaged on a daily basis due to lack of surge protection. But I digress...

Back to surge protectors.

A good quality surge suppressor will cost anywhere from $20.00 to $100.00 and be "UL" listed. It should also feature an indicator light that tells you when the surge protection circuit is no longer functioning.

Now, when you start talking surge protection, you sometimes run across folks babbling about clamping voltages, response nanoseconds, and joule levels. Although that is a valid way to compare various surge protectors (and make the speaker look knowledgeable), not every protector gives you that info—and who's to say it's even accurate? Let's look at the "down and dirty" method of finding a good surge protector.

The easiest way to tell if you're getting a quality surge protector is to look at the "connected equipment" warranty. Nowadays,  we like the ones that cover connected equipment for up to $50,000 or more.  We figure if they are willing to risk 50K +, they're probably selling a good piece of equipment. If it doesn't have a connected equipment warranty, set it back on the shelf and keep a-walkin' 

Below is a link to a supplier where you can get a Fellowes Surge Protector with a $100,000 'connected equipment' warranty.  If they are willing to bet $100,000, we are willing to bet it keeps our equipment safe.



XperTip #2

Get A New One Now  - New What?  It is all about Control...or Ctrl + N 

 In our hurried lifestyle we need to find things and start things quickly.  MS Office will help you do that.

You just need to use your Ctrl + N and you are 'starting anew.'   Following are some of the neat things this feature does for you...

Ctrl + N in MS Word—it gives you a new blank document based on the Normal template.

And Ctrl + N in Excel gives you a new blank workbook.

Plus—surprise, surprise—Ctrl + N in PowerPoint or Access will open the dialogue box for new presentation or database (respectively).

The next thought that comes to mind is what does Ctrl +   N give you in MS Outlook?

After all, just in case you haven't noticed yet, there's a ton of stuff included in MS Outlook.

Its got the usual email but also has task lists, sticky notes, a calendar, a journal, contact, etc.

So, the question must be asked - what exactly will Ctrl + N do in a program that has so much?

The answer is really quite simple.

Ctrl + N will give you a new item for whatever part of the program that's currently active.

For example, if you're in email and hit Ctrl + N you'll get a new email.

In the Notes section you'll get a brand new note ready for your input, in the calendar you'll get a new appointment.

I'm sure you get the idea.

Ctrl + N—the multi-purpose keyboard command!


XperNet Services  - Scope of Services     


For those not familiar with all that XperNet Services does, below are a number of the services we offer small to mid-sized businesses, as well as homes.


      ·         The development of computer-based infrastructures and business plans for both large and small corporations

·         Computer and network design, rollouts, maintenance and upgrades

·         IT Outsourcing including prepaid blocks of maintenance time

·         Experienced computer consultants to meet the myriad needs imposed by complex software and hardware

·         Bundled small business programs

·         Consultation on SBC (formerly SWBell) phone lines and high-speed data lines  

·         The XperMove...complete office relocation project management

·         Premiere Residential Services - complete in-home network cabling and computer maintenance services

A leader in integrated system technologies since 1995, we have our eye on bringing our clients the best computer support in the market. Our success as a complete computer service company is attributable to our focus on two key words that many others too often forget - Service and Reliability.   We have some of the best references a company can ask for...give us a try and find out why! 

To contact XperNet Services, please call 281-392-5292, or email us at sales@xpernet.com.

This issue's tips provided by worldstart.com.

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