Are you lost every time you go to the store to buy a new computer? Do you need a new laptop, or a new printer, and you just don’t know which one to buy?

Let Mike Fulton Consulting help.  We’ll sit down with you and figure out which features are the most important and we’ll do the product research for you! Having the right facts before you buy makes all the difference.

We also offer custom application programming for Windows or Macintosh platforms, database programming, mobile development for Android and iOS, and much more.

If you have questions, please send EMAIL or select the Contact Mike item in the main menu. Please include details about your interest, and make sure to include complete contact information.

Big companies usually have a full-time staff of IT techs who are ready to go whenever someone around the office needs a new printer installed, or when the WiFi isn’t working, but small businesses can’t afford that luxury.

When small businesses have an IT problem, it often gets ignored because nobody knows what to do. At best, an inefficient workaround is used, hurting productivity.

Now there’s another option. Mike Fulton Consulting can be your on-demand IT staff! We can help you get new computers up and running, install printers and other peripherals, install software, and more. Give us a call!

Our main focus these days is website design and creation. If you have specific requirements, let us know and we’ll find the solution that’s best for you.  If you don’t know the specifics for your new website, talk to us and we’ll help you figure it out!

For those sites running on Microsoft-based servers, we can do custom, high-performance ASP.NET solutions.

If you’re using a Linux-based server, we can do a completely customized solution or we we can start off with a popular web content management system such as WordPressDrupal, or Joomla and customize things as needed.  Want to set up an eCommerce site and get your merchandise on the web?  We can do that too!

For customers who are interested in creating a blog, or who need a content management system, we usually recommend using the popular WordPress content management system.  For customers on a budget, WordPress is a great way to go because the software itself is free.

One of the greatest strengths of WordPress is the ability to use custom themes so you can customize the appearance of your website.  There are a wide variety of different themes around the web to choose from.  Some websites offer “premium” themes, but there are thousands of free themes available as well.

  • WordPress Custom Themes – We can help you select one of the many excellent free themes out there, and then customize it as needed to make it your own.  If you can’t find an existing theme that you like, we can create an entirely new custom theme for you!
  • Ultra-Customized WordPress Themes - There are a lot of great WordPress themes out there, but most of them do nothing more than change around the colors, background images, and rearrange where everything goes on screen.  They don’t offer any additional functionality.  If you need something more, then you need a theme that is customized for your specific needs.  When you need customization that goes beyond shuffling artwork, we’ve got the programming skill and experience to make your theme do whatever you need.
  • Custom WordPress Plugins - There are many plug-ins out there for WordPress that cover a lot of subjects, but if we can’t find one that does what you need, we can create it as needed!  We can even integrate customized plug-ins with your custom theme to take WordPress beyond the usual limits.

Too Hot To Handle

If you're experiencing odd lock-ups with your computer, chances are pretty good that they're caused by an overheating problem. There are two common causes of these problems.  The first is inadequate ventilation.  This is most likely a problem with a home-built machine rather than a pre-built machine, as many people seem to think the best way to deal with heat is to add more fans.

Adequate Ventilation

When building your own machine, you need to ensure that there is adequate ventilation both into the case and out of it.  Typically, the fan in your power supply draws air in to cool itself, then the air is redirected out the bottom.  Since most PCs have the power supply mounted at the top back, that air is going to hit the portion of the motherboard that has the main CPU, or sometimes the main heat sink for the motherboard chipset. As it passes past each section of the machine, the air is getting warmer and warmer.  Where does it go? Most computer cases have a place to mount an auxiliary cooling fan under the power supply, adjacent to the back panel connectors. but often the fan itself is missing. If you don't have a fan there already, and suspect overheating problems, you definitely want to add one.  In most cases it will be positioned so that it blows air OUT of the case. In most machines this is also right next to the video card, which likely generates as much heat as the main CPU, and perhaps even more.  The more beefy your video card, the more heat it's going to generate, so the more important it is to have a good exhaust fan installed. Many computer cases also have mounting places for fans underneath the front façade.  This is typically adjacent to where your internal drive bays are located, so that fans can pull in cool outside air and blow it past your hard drives.  If you just have a single hard drive and optical drive, these fans are usually optional. But keep them in mind if you're having to deal with overheating issues.

Poor Heat Transfer

The other common cause of overheating is a bad thermal connection between the CPU and the heatsink mounted on top. I haven't really been using my desktop computer much these last several months.  I've been working mostly on my laptop.  But back when I was regularly using my desktop computer,  I had noticed that it was having an overheating problem.  I downloaded a CPU temperature utility and it told me I was running at over 80°C when more or less idle.  That's more like what you'd expect if the machine was under heavy load and dangerously close to the point at which things stop working reliably. I'm pretty good at troubleshooting such problems, but like everybody else I get lazy sometimes, so genius tech troubleshooter that I am, I dealt with it by taking the side cover off and aiming a small desk fan at the inside.  That seemed to more or less take care of it for the moment, so I never really addressed the problem properly. It wasn't long after that I ended up working mainly with my laptop, and subsequently I ended up with the desktop machine in storage anyway.  Out of sight, out of mind, right? Until yesterday.  I needed to access some files that were on the desktop machine's hard drive, so I took it out of storage and hooked it up. After I copied the needed files over to an external hard drive, I continued to play around with the machine, playing a few games I didn't have on the laptop. And of course it had the overheating problem again.  It even locked up on me a few times while I was playing World of Warcraft.  However, I didn't have the little desktop fan handy, so I decided to deal with the problem the right way: find and fix. This machine had fans in the right places, providing good ventilation.  The case temperature wasn't noticeably elevated. So I suspected that the problem was either that the fan and heatsink was not seated properly on the CPU, or else that there wasn't a proper application of thermal grease between the CPU and heatsink. So I took the fan off to have a look, and sure enough there was only the slightest little thin film of grease in place. Went to Fry's and got a tube of grease. It was on sale but probably still one of the most profitable items in the whole store. When I got back, I applied the grease to the heatsink, making sure to completely cover the area that would be in contact with the CPU.  The main trick to thermal grease is applying the right amount.  Too little and it doesn't work.  Too much and it doesn't work.  Make sure you look at the illustrations in any documentation that is included with the grease and/or fan & heatsink. After the grease was applied, I put the fan back in place, connected everything, and powered up.  Upon reaching the desktop, the first thing I did was run the thermometer program. At first, it was showing me numbers in the mid-50's, which seemed much more reasonable, but I noticed they were steadily rising, and just a moment later it was back in the 80's. That's when I noticed that the power cable for the fan had gotten tangled up so the fan wasn't turning.  I powered-down, fixed that problem, and tried again. That did the trick, now my idle temperatures are in the high 40's to low 50's, more or less where they should be.
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