Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Can you believe that 6 out of every 10 seniors use the internet?"

When you hear the words “senior citizen” and “technology” what do you envision?

Someone with white hair pounding on a keyboard with a puzzled look on his or her face?

Surprisingly, senior citizens are becoming more tech savvy, especially with tablets and smart phones, sometimes more so than middle-aged people!   In fact, six out of every ten seniors use the internet.  

Aaron Smith wrote an article based on a study by Pew Internet and American Life Project.  The study identifies two main groups of seniors divided by education and socio-economic levels.  For instance, 90% of seniors with an annual household income of at least $75,000 go online.  Comparatively, only 39% of seniors who earn less than $30,000 annually go online.  When it comes to education, 87% of seniors with a college degree go online, with only 40% of seniors with a high school diploma or less are active online.


The study found that internet use typically diminishes after age 75.  They propose a few barriers that could be the cause. 

  1. Physical limitations – poor eyesight, arthritic hands, or a chronic disease.
  2. Learning discomfort – 77% of seniors admit to needing someone to walk them through how to use new technology.
  3. Skeptical attitudes – many seniors aren’t convinced that they’re missing any information or socializing if they remain offline.  
It’s interesting that seniors aren’t as intimidated by tablets or e-readers, like a Kindle.  An estimated 27% of seniors own a tablet, an e-book reader, or both.  It may because there are very few buttons, making them less likely to make a mistake.  For anyone who has a laptop or a desktop computer, it can be frustrating when you can’t get it to work.  That’s why we offer the friendliest computer repair in Ann Arbor

Social Aspects

Many seniors admit to embracing technology to increase their communication with their children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren.  What teenager doesn’t text these days?  More than half of Americans have a smart phone, and only 18% of them are older adults.  This statistic has risen slightly from 11% in 2011. 

Seniors are still more likely to socialize offline than younger people.  81% of seniors who use social networking sites claim they socialize with others in person or via the telephone almost every day.  Interestingly enough, the seniors who use social networking sites are much more likely to socialize off-line compared to the seniors who are not online at all.  Only 63% of off-line seniors claim to socialize with others on a regular basis. 

A Helping Hand

If you have a senior in your life, whether it’s your boss, family member, or friend, try to offer them help if they are trying a new technology.  Encourage them to learn more through lifelong learning classes offered by many community colleges.  These classes are designed to help adults and seniors get up to speed with computers, phones, tablets, and cameras.  We’re also here as a resource if you have questions about your computer or printer.  We have some of the friendliest staff in town to help you with your computer repair in Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas. 

Contact us today (734) 213-5400 – we can help you with all of your computer and printer needs!  

“Our customers have been extremely loyal to us through the years and we are extremely loyal to them. All of our employees contribute to this by doing their best with incredibly positive attitudes. Life is so precious. Thankfully, our business is not a life threatening one; however, we treat every customer's needs as if it were. We are grateful to have rewarding jobs and customers who are a pleasure to work with.”

Chris Brooks, President

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Revolutionary 3-D Printers! “Will We All Have One at Home?” Michigan Computer Supplies Weighs In!

You’ve probably seen it in Star Trek or another science-fiction movie – a piece of equipment that can reproduce or clone an object with just the touch of a button.  You may think it will be hundreds of years before we can achieve that technology.  Well, we’re here to tell you that if you haven’t yet heard of 3-D printing, prepare to have your mind blown! 

3-D printers use plastic, metal, or other materials, such as paper, to build layers upon layers to create 3-D objects.  The technology has been developing for almost thirty years and is currently exploding into many industries: medical, manufacturing, architecture, fashion, aeronautics, food, toys, and more.

It’s gaining ground in the medical field.  In fact, a news story from March 2014 lauded the efforts of Dr. Glenn Green and Scott Hollister, a biomedical engineer, both with the University of Michigan.  They teamed up to create a device that holds open an infant’s windpipe to help him breathe. The device used was 3-D printed with a polymer that is gentle on the body and dissolves within two to three years.  Scientists are using 3-D printing to build more body parts including noses, ears, blood vessels, skin, organs, and more. 

Last fall, the first 3-D printed, fully-functional, metal gun made news and caused a big stir.  Several Lawmakers proposed that the government may need to control public purchase of 3-D printers.  Highly skilled engineers designed the gun and created it with a 3-D printer typically used for manufacturing aerospace equipment and medical devices.   A similar working gun would be extremely difficult to make with a consumer grade 3-D printer

Something sweet is also coming from 3-D printers.  Manufacturers are using 3-D printers that extrude chocolate and sugar into intricately shaped candy.  Picture an edible cake topper or custom designed chocolates that resemble the guest-of-honor at your next party! 

Do you need to find a gift for that “hard to buy for” person?  Everyone loves to see themselves in photos, but how about their image on a doll or action figure?  At just $69.99 + taxes and shipping, you can upload a photo of someone and will send you a realistic a mini figurine with their face!  In addition, shows examples of creating jewelry, home decorations, shoes, and more.  You may not need your own 3-D printer because the service may be available soon from the company Mcor Technologies, who is teaming up with Staples to develop an in-store printing service.  Mcor Technologies uses a paper-based process to create photo-realistic colored objects.

We may not yet carry 3-D printers, but we are the place to call when you need a friendly, knowledgeable person to repair your printer in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Dexter and the surrounding areas.  We’re also happy to get you a price on replacing your existing printer, computer, and peripherals.  We may be small, but we’re pretty competitive with the big box stores.  Contact us today!  Call us at 734-213-5400
and we can discuss meeting all your computer supply needs.

By the way, if you have a few extra thousand dollars to spend, you can purchase your own 3-D printer!  Watch Christopher Barnatt, the futurist, and voice of share a breakdown of his choices for the “Top 10 Consumer Grade 3-D Printers.” 

So, with 3-D printing gaining popularity, what’s on the horizon now?  Teleporting?  It sure would make the commute to work go a lot faster!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Michigan Computer Supplies Top Rated Virus Control…and it’s FREE!

Drew Bedsole, Michigan Computer Supplies’ resident expert on computer repair in Ann Arbor and beyond, offers up his view on virus control.

“First off, any kind of virus protection is better than nothing!” Drew stresses.   There are many options available to keep your computer and your personal information safer from viruses and hackers.  According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, there are a reported 16 million US households that have had a serious virus problem within the past few years.  They estimate that viruses, spyware, and phishing scams cost American’s over $ 4 billion a year!  Panda Security states that 32% of the world’s computers are infected with viruses and malware. 

Drew suggests using AVG, which he has been using for about six years.  He says that in his experience AVG has caught a lot of viruses before they become a major problem.  Drew also prefers AVG because they offer a free version and it is not “bulky” (doesn’t take a lot of your computer’s memory nor slow it down).   The free AVG version is a download, and you don’t need to worry about purchasing a new license every year. 

If you want a little more security against nasty bugs and viruses, Drew recommends ESET, which Michigan Computer Supplies runs on their network server.  ESET is more robust than AVG, yet still has a small footprint.  They offer both home and business products.

If you think your computer may have picked up a bug or virus, it’s best to get help before it causes irreparable harm.  Please call us! We’re not just the best place to get your toner cartridges and printer supplies, we also offer a variety of services including the friendliest computer repair in Ann Arbor.

Check out our tips to decrease the chance of your computer picking up a bug that may cause a major problem.

We promise this link is secure!  It’s not a trick to give you a virus! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Michigan Computer Supplies: "One of the friendliest places for computer repair Ann Arbor has to offer!"

How to make friends with your I.T. guy or gal!

Have you had to call your company’s I.T. help-line before?

Does the genius who answers the phone ever seem annoyed with you or your problem?

Computers are necessary to almost everything we do, especially at work.  When our computers are on the fritz we tend to get stressed or frustrated.  Then we take it out on the I.T. staff, or so-called “Computer Geeks.”  It’s really helpful to keep these “Geeks” on your side, because they’re generally the experts at solving problems for you!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when communicating with I.T. staff:

  1. Try to remain calm.  If you say mean or negative things to the I.T. guy or gal, they may not be as quick to help you.
  2. Make sure your power is working.  If your computer and monitor come on, but you can’t type or move the cursor around, you may just need to replace the batteries in your wireless mouse and keyboard.
  3. Try to be specific when describing the problem.  If you say “My computer’s not working,” that doesn’t really help them know what the issue is.  A few better examples might be: “My computer won’t turn on.” “My screen goes black ten minutes after I restart.” or “It’s making an odd noise and it smells hot.” 
  4. If you receive an error message, write it down and share it with your technician.
  5. Make note of when the problem started.  Does it occur every time you open a specific program?  Try to indicate when it happens and how often.   
  6. If you’ve been having issues with your computer or printer, try to contact I.T. soon and don’t wait until you’re in a time crunch.  
  7. Remember to say “Thank You” and show your appreciation.  Many I.T. workers feel blamed for problems that are out of their control.
Did you know that Michigan Computer Supplies is one of the friendliest places for computer repair Ann Arbor has available? 

We’re so lucky to have Drew Bedsole on our team.  Drew is highly skilled at repairing computer problems and custom computer builds to meet your business needs. 

Whether you have a computer or printer issue, we can help you troubleshoot and decide the best course of action.  Don’t hesitate to call us today, because we’re the friendliest place for computer repair Ann Arbor has to offer. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pets and Technology- An Accident Waiting to Happen! Michigan Computer Supplies Offers Tips to Pet Proof Your Technology!

Have you caught your dog chewing on your power cords?

Does your cat think your printer’s pull out tray is a diving board?

Our pets love attention, but sometimes when we’re too involved with our technology, accidents happen!

At Michigan Computer Supplies, we care about our customers and strive to give you the best service to keep your technology in tip-top shape!  We offer you the following tips to pet proof your technology:


  • Consider switching to a wireless keyboard and mouse to cut down on some of the cords.
  • Use a tube-like cord cover to contain all cords, or secure them to a table leg with Velcro ties. 
  • Purchase a spray, available at most pet stores, that makes cords smell and taste unappealing if chewed.

 Tablets and phones

  • Use a high quality case to prevent the screen from being cracked if a pet knocks your tablet or phone onto the floor.   
  • If your dog drools excessively, you may want to consider a water proof case as well.  


  • Try not to place your monitor on the edge of a desk or shelf.  If the cord is tugged on, or chewed it could easily pull the monitor onto the floor. 


  • Don’t leave drinks near your technology.  A pet could swat at the cup, or bump into it and spill the contents. This could short out your system or cause an electrical fire.


  • If your pet sheds a lot, chances are their hair is inside of your computer’s case, clogging up the fan.  This could cause your computer to overheat and malfunction.  Follow your owner’s manual to carefully remove the cover and vacuum up the hair and dust.  Try to do this at least once every six months. 
  • Compressed air and a small brush can remove hair that has collected in between keys of your keyboard. 
  • You may also want to brush your pet often to remove loose hair and discard. 
  • Add a silicone keyboard cover to keep out pet hair, dirt, crumbs etc. 


  • The company Pet Safe, sells “ScatMats” that use tone and static correction options that keep pets from jumping onto counters, couches etc. 
  • Some cats are also bothered by plastic wrap or double sided tape.  You could place these items on the corner of desks and countertops to discourage them from jumping up.   
  • If you have a dedicated home office, you could install a pet gate to try to prevent pets from getting access to your work space and technology.  Although, it’s just possible that your pets may whine because they miss you. 

Most importantly, don’t forget to unplug from your technology, to give your pet some attention now and then.  Your pet’s happiness and unconditional love will have a more positive affect on you than your e-mail or Facebook updates! 

Please gives us a call if you have any questions on how to maintain your computers and printers.  If your pet caused an unfortunate accident with your equipment, Kyle and Drew are skilled at Ann Arbor computer repair and Ann Arbor printer repair.  They can probably fix you right up!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

That pain in the neck may be more than just stress! Michigan Computer Supplies presents ergonomics!

Do your wrists, neck, shoulders, or back hurt after a few hours at your desk? 
We all know that stress affects our bodies…but it’s just possible that our surroundings could be the cause of our pain.  
When your workplace furniture and equipment does not fit you properly, you may adopt awkward positions that could lead to musculoskeletal disorders.  A common disorder that affects those who work with computers, keyboards, and cash registers is carpal tunnel syndrome. 

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) offers a plethora of tips and precautions to add to your comfort and safety at work.   Below is a brief sample and a link to learn more!

  • The height of your chair and work surface should put your body in a neutral posture.  Your elbows should be about the same height as your keyboard.  You should also be able to keep your shoulders relaxed and your wrists should not bend up, down or to either side.

  • If you have an older desk with a pencil drawer, you may have to remove this drawer to be able to raise your chair high enough.  

  • Your work surface should not be more than two inches thick. 

  • Your monitor should be directly in front of you and at least 20 inches away.  The top line of the screen should be at or below your eye level. 

  • Place your monitor perpendicular to windows to prevent glare.  Clean your monitor frequently because a layer of dust can contribute to glare.  If you have strong lighting overhead, you may need to tilt your screen slightly down to decrease the glare. 

Click here for a comprehensive checklist from OSHA that will help you determine if you need to adjust your workspace for comfort and efficiency.  
We also encourage you to browse our catalog for items such as wrist guards, glare screens, wrist pads and more to make your work more comfortable.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Don't Fall Victim to This Domain Scam!

At Michigan Computer Supplies, we not only offer fast and friendly service, but we also care about our customers.  So we want you to be aware of the following website domain scam to prevent you from becoming a victim! 

Many, if not all of our customers, have a website domain.  Your domain is your online identity.  It allows people to find and browse your website.  For example, our domain is   Your web hosting company, who updates and edits your website, has most likely registered your domain name.  Unfortunately, there are several unethical businesses, like Domain Registry of America, who take advantage of consumers who are either too busy to investigate, or unaware how their domain registration works.

Domain Registry of America or DROA practices “domain slamming” or sending unsolicited mail out to any person or company who has a website.  They send out official looking letters to trick consumers into paying them to transfer their domain to DROA when there’s no need to do so. 

DROA has recently been targeting non-profit organizations such as churches.  They know that most non-profits rely on volunteers to manage their websites.  These volunteers are usually not familiar with the process of domain registration.  Unfortunately, there are no strict laws against this questionable tactic since DROA states “This is not a bill” in the fine print!   

There are other companies similar to DROA that participate in “domain slamming.”  So if you receive a letter from a company that you’ve never heard of before, read it carefully!  Better yet, call us so we can help you figure out if it’s legitimate or not. 

Please visit the links below to read more about DROA’s questionable business practices.   

It’s also important to be aware that there are companies out there who sell defective refilled toner cartridges at rock bottom prices.  If you see a price that is too good to be true, it probably is!   Michigan Computer Supplies eliminates the risk of trying a “generic” or compatible toner cartridges and we offer same or next day delivery!  Plus, if the cartridge you receive doesn’t work or is defective we’ll replace it “No Questions Asked!”  Most importantly, if the cartridge damages your printer, we’ll clean and fix your printer at no cost to you.  Once you try our compatible toner cartridges and save 30-60% compared to manufactured toner cartridges, you’ll wonder why you waited so long! 

Read more about the differences of refilled toner cartridges, compatible toner cartridges and original equipment manufacturer toner cartridges.