Q: We’re getting closer to Christmas…This is the last time we will talk before the big day. You’ve talked about Chromebooks as a very nice gift. How about last minute gifts…Stocking Stuffers?

A: We’re down to the point where you might just need something small for friends and family and I do have a couple of ideas. Consider Flash Drives or Thumb Drives. They come in a variety of sizes at a variety of prices and are available lots of places. I will suggest that you look for just plain Flash Drives rather than those with some auto backup program on them. The backup program takes up space and I haven’t been especially pleased with the way they work.

I might also suggest that you get your Flash Drives from a reputable source. There are numerous stories of people finding Flash Drives just lying around on the ground…turns out these were infected with malware and they spread viruses when they were plugged into computers.
Q: Other small gifts?
A: Sure:

  • Wireless mouses especially for people with laptops.
  • Wireless mouses and keyboards for people with desktop machines.
  • USB hard drives or SSDs
  • BlueTooth speaker sets (These do require a computer with BlueTooth)
  • Any number of other USB devices. Make sure you know what the USB connector looks like on the system that will be using the device. Some Thin and Lite laptops may only have a USB-c connector and may need an adapter to work with many of the devices.

A: This is the point where I do want to mention that all these things that we are talking about eventually need to be plugged into something that is plugged into the AC power line. And I can’t tell you how many times we find lots of plugs from devices but no outlets. Consider giving a plug strip as a Christmas gift.

Q: OK, I think I know where you are going I bet we are going to talk plug strips with Surge Suppressors.

A: You bet. You have spent good money for the electronic devices hooked up to AC power. With a plug strip with a good Surge Suppressor you can protect that equipment from power line surges whether from lightning or from something else on the line. This is where you look at the Joule rating of the device. A Joule is a measure of the amount of surge energy that the suppressor can absorb and more is better.

We like APC surge Suppressors because they come with a replacement warranty for the suppressor and any equipment connected to it.

Q: Anything else I should consider?
A: Certainly: Our normal charge for a PC cleanup performed in our shop is $135. This year we are offering gift certificates for this PC Cleanups and/or Malware Removal Service, done in our shop for $100 as our gift to you, our clients.

Q: And where can a person find Charlie Brown and PC Applications?
A: They can call us at 507-533-6510 or they can contact us at our web site www.pcapp.com.

Merry Christmas a Happy New Years to all from Charlie, Dave and Melanie at PC Applications.