Tom’s having a baby!

Okay, okay, Tom and his wife Jen are expecting their first child! On Monday, they will find out their baby’s gender. If you’d like to guess, or send well-wishes, please find this post on our Facebook  page, comments are welcome!

Congratulations, Tom and Jen!


Hidden reviews redux

Once or twice a year, we’ll be showing hidden reviews. We do this because customers take the time to post them, and we appreciate that. Now, why are these reviews hidden on, er… Welp? Well, they offer a perfectly plausible, if not extremely vague explanation: it’s an automated system that they have no control over. You know, that benevolent bot programmed by algorithm-angels in a language far beyond our comprehension. Yep.

Disclaimer: we have nothing against companies that provide advantages to paying customers, but be up front and honest about it. That’s all we ask.

The company asserts, rather vehemently, that there is no preference given to paying versus non-paying businesses. So, in the spirit of curiosity, we decided to do a little research and “filtering” of our own. It appears, possibly by pure coincidence, that companies who subscribe (read: “pay”) have slightly different results from those of us who do not (read: those of us who repeatedly say “no, thank you” to the hounding phone calls and emails from said company in their efforts to get us to shell over money to them). In addition to having their profiles inserted at the top of other businesses’ pages, there are other perks. What we found was very enlightening. But, of course, purely coincidental.

One example of many we found: a company has ten total reviews. Of those ten, five are positive, and five are one-star––really bad one-star––reviews. All the positive reviews are shown on their page, and all (yes, all) of the negative reviews are filtered/hidden. This company has a near-five-star rating because the filtered reviews don’t count.

If you really want to see reviews that aren’t being held for ransom, we suggest you check out Google reviews. In the meantime, we’ll just continue to show reviews that people take the time to leave for us. Below is the most recent batch of 19 hidden reviews. (We have only eight reviews showing on our page.)

Thank you, everyone, for all your reviews, from one-star to five-star.


On breathing, laughter, and gratitude

The holidays often bring out the best and worst in people, and this last week was no exception for Simutek. We had some very challenging situations, some tense moments, and were very appreciative of a busy and pleasant Saturday, with a steady stream of positive interactions with our customers.

We’d like to thank everyone who came in during this last week and chose to exercise patience and grace. These qualities can be scarce this time of year, especially with the added stress of computer problems, and we want you to know how grateful we are.

As we enter this week, we encourage everyone, including ourselves, to practice two easy things that can make life a lot better within seconds:



Chaaaanges… Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Chaaanges…

If you haven’t been into the store lately, you might be wondering how we’re doing since we posted plans for expansion. Well, we’re moving right along. It’s bigger, it’s brighter, and it’s getting closer and closer to being ready for prime time. Meanwhile, Tom’s already giving trainings in the private training room, which, if you ask our manager John how it’s going “over there,” he just gestures like an admiring fan of a rock star in a far-off land and says, “That’s Tom’s domain.” We are anticipating possible panda sightings in Tomland.

The rest of the space will have our used equipment and more product, a lot of which will be showing up on Monday.

Matters of the Mind

Computers and mobile devices exist to help you express your own brilliance, communicate with friends, family, and co-workers, make connections, create and share works of art, write the next blockbuster film or award-winning novel, discover the formula for bending space, and anything else you can think up. The challenge is to learn just enough about operating your computer or mobile device for it to be a useful assistant to you.

Every day, someone walks through our doors and equates their inability to navigate their computer with lack of intelligence, and we want you to know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t mistake computer knowledge for intelligence, even though some marketing implies otherwise (the far-too-easily employed word “genius” comes to mind). Computer competence has nothing to do with how smart you are; there are plenty of actual geniuses who can’t operate a computer past point and click. So, let’s put to rest the belief that operating or working on or even building computers requires anything more than average intelligence. Do you believe above-average or genius-level intelligence is required to either operate or fix an automobile? Okay, then. Let’s move on to the real meat of the matter.

Fear, not brain cells, is the biggest deterrent to getting comfortable with your computer or mobile device. Fear of breaking something, fear of looking incompetent, fear of the unknown. We guarantee you, the first two really aren’t relevant, so let’s just put those aside. The last one, fear of the unknown, is the real issue, and is easily overcome with the familiarity that comes with education and use, and it just takes a little guidance and dedication of time.

That’s what we’re here for. If you bought your device at Simutek, you can walk in any time with a question or two, and for ten minutes or less, we can help you right at the counter. The drawback to this method is that you’re getting information piecemeal in what’s usually a pretty noisy, busy environment, and that’s not good for learning that lasts. If you really want to learn how to make your computer or device work for you, one-on-one, private trainings (and group trainings to come) are the best way to go.

Tom Elliott is our full-time trainer, and you’d be amazed at how much you can learn in an hour of uninterrupted, dedicated time in a one-on-one, private environment. We’re dedicating a private, well-equipped room just for trainings, and we encourage you to “do it right” by setting up an appointment with Tom. If you’ve found yourself coming up to our counter more than once for the same issue, it’s time to dedicate an hour to learning that will last. It’s worth it, and you’ll learn that after the very first hour.

When is change good? Today!

We’re expanding! Or reclaiming! The space that used to be our space is our space again, and if none of this makes sense, take a look at the freaky little diagram below.

Training has become a big part of the Simutek experience; so much so, that we needed a full-time trainer and more space.

Tom Elliott, who has been working at Simutek Fridays and Saturdays, is our new full-time trainer as of today. The new space will have a private training room, and extra space for group training as well. As we say farewell to our former trainer, Jon Hassen, who has taken a job closer to his home in Benson (anyone who drives distances with these gas prices will appreciate that decision), we welcome Tom in his new role.

Tom will be building a curriculum and decorating and possibly singing random ditties of joy with the occasional heel click, and in the meantime will continue training in our usual spot. Keep your ears and eyes on the pulse while we provide frequent updates.

(Click on the pic to see the whole thing.)

The Adobe Flash Installation Conundrum

You’re happily browsing on the Interwebs and all of a sudden, this box pops up. Do you want to install the new version of Adobe Flash? Why, yes, you do! Adobe Flash is a plugin that enables you to see certain content on the Web, like animations, videos, and other cool stuff.

Many of our customers come in with their computers wondering what to do with the Adobe prompts, or lose the installation during the process, so we’re going to break it down for you right here in this blog segment. (It just so happens there’s an update available today, so we’re using screenshots from today’s install process. How ‘bout that for timeliness?)

The Window

The first window that pops up out of nowhere is the notification that an update is available. Sometimes, however, you’ll attempt to see some content that requires Flash Player, and Adobe will show you a window that says your Flash Player is out of date. This is the same process, just a different message. The actions you take will be the same.


Adobe’s windows are pretty distinctive, so you can be sure this is an Adobe product. Go ahead and click Install:


Permission & Preparation

Adobe will then prompt you with the following window:

You want to make sure you check that agreement box, or the Install button won’t become active and you won’t be able to continue. Once you check that box, you’ll see the Install button become active.

Now you can click the Install button; you’ll see this window:

Adobe is asking for your permission to install something on your computer. This requires your user name and login password, which is the same one you use to log in to your computer or install software updates, also known as your Admin password. Go ahead and enter your admin name and password, and click OK.

You’ll probably see this window next:

Now, the reason this window came up is because you were, after all, surfing the Web when Adobe popped its head in, which means you have at least one browser open (browser being Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.). Adobe needs you to quit these before it can continue. Go ahead and click Force Close All if you have several things open, or simply go to the items in the list, quit them, and click Retry. Either way will work just fine.

The Installation

Once you’ve done that, Adobe can continue the installation…

…after you pinky swear that it really is absolutely positively okay for them to install. They’re so polite!

Go ahead and fill out the same info, your admin name and password, and click OK. Again.

What you’ll see next is the familiar installation task bar, a la Adobe style:

[desktop background not included]

[hear the soft waves of the ocean… also not included]


Annnnnnd, you’re done!


NOW you’re done! As you can see, Adobe has ticked by default: “Allow Adobe to install updates (recommended)” and that’s what we recommend you leave ticked as well. Just click done, and you are free to resume your wiley Web ways, my friends!