Slow Computer? It Might be Time for a Tune-up

In many ways, your computer is like your car. You rely on its performance to get things accomplished, which is why it's important to keep them in good condition. You get oil changes and tire rotations for your car. For your computer, it's tune-ups. 


Here are some sure signs that it's time for a tune-up:

“My Computer is Slow”

Your computer gradually slows down over time. You may not even realize it’s happening at first until it’s so slow you’re pulling your hair out waiting for applications to open. This can be caused by data clutter or lack of memory, just to name a few. If your computer is taking several minutes to start up or shut down, it’s time for a tune-up.

“My Computer Keeps Freezing and Crashing”

If this is happening frequently, then you have a problem. When your system crashes, it’s letting you know that it can’t handle what you’re trying to do. You guessed it- it’s time for a tune-up.

“I’m getting weird Error Messages on my Screen”

Error messages are the hard- or software’s way of letting you know that they’re having difficulty with a particular function. Sometimes updating the application can fix the problem. If it persists, a tune-up would allow a technician to diagnose the cause of the error and eliminate it.


We recommend getting a tune up every six months for maximum performance and speed. Your computer works hard for you, performing countless tasks and commands each day. Don't neglect it. Show it some love and it will love you right back, trust us.


So What Exactly is a Tune-up, you ask?  

Your Mac or PC will be cared for by our technicians in our award-winning service department. Here’s what we do in our tune-up:

✓ Check and verify your computer's vital statistics

We'll check the status of your hard drive and memory, what operating system you're running and your warranty expiry date. We'll also ask how your computer is performing.

✓ Run Service Diagnostics

The Service Diagnostics are a suite of the most stringent hardware tests available for your computer. These diagnostic tests will check your Mac or PC for Malware and Spyware.

✓ Verify integrity of your storage

The Storage Diagnostics and SMART tests check the internal error-reporting mechanism of the hard drive itself, and can catch problems with your drive before they happen.

✓ Optimize Directory Structure and Repair File Permissions

Every file on a Mac or PC knows which users and programs are allowed to access it. These permissions sometimes get skewed, which can cause subtle glitches or reduce system performance. We check for permissions issues and fix them if we find them.

✓ Prescribe Upgrades

Some extra RAM or upgrading your computer’s storage to an SSD might just be the ticket to a more responsive Mac or PC. We’ll let you know what hardware upgrades might help you get more out of your computer.

✓ Coach you on your data backup strategy

Hard drives (even the new SSD Flash memory ones) fail every day. We want to make sure you always have an extra copy of your files (usually on an external hard drive) so you never have to go through the pain of data loss.


For a limited time only, save 20% on your tune up when you like us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter! 

Packing for a trip: Traveling with Electronics

You've checked your luggage and bought your coffee to sip while you wait to board. You grab your phone or tablet- may as well browse Facebook while you wait.  

Although it can be tempting to connect to free public wifi, unless it is recommended by the airport, or establishment you're at, do not connect to it. Hackers often use this as a ploy to access traveler's information. 

This video does a good job at explaining precautions to take when connecting to "Free Public wifi". 

You glance out the window while you're waiting to board. The baggage handlers are chucking suitcases from the cart to the conveyor belt. You cringe, and think to yourself, I'm so glad I packed my electronics in my carry-on. 


Your carry on is a much safer place for your computer or iPad . The airline staff is not responsible for being delicate with checked baggage, and if your device isn't in a very durable case, you could experience damage from it being tossed around.


While we're talking about airport operations, there is another important point to note that is often overlooked when we pack our electronics. 

Make sure your device is charged before checking your luggage incase the TSA officials need to verify information on your device (if you're traveling for work this is more common).  Have all devices accessible and ready to be scanned to prohibit delays. Ask your airline representative for their size and weight restrictions for their carry-on items before you pack.


And finally, the most important tip for traveling with your electronics- keep them locked away when you're not using them. In third world countries valuable items are at higher risk of being stolen. If you're carrying a camera of phone for example, keep them in a fanny pack or a front facing backpack to avoid being pick pocketed. 

Bring your own lock, as hotels/ hostels offer lockers for valuable items. Resorts usually provide safes in each room. When you're not using your device, keep it locked away. Getting your expensive iPad stolen is a sure way to ruin a nice family vacay. 

So there you have it: the top four protective measures to take when traveling with electronics. Now you can sip daiquiris on the beach worry-free. Safe travels! 


Here's a share-worthy infographic with all the tips we just mentioned! 

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Why Altair Electronics is Different from Other Computer Stores in Kingston

So, you're trying to decide which computer store in Kingston to have repair your computer. You search "Computer repair Kingston" and see dozens of businesses that seem to meet your needs. Perfect. But how are you supposed to know who to trust? Altair stands apart from our competition in many ways. Here are three of them.



Altair Electronics launched 36 years ago at the same Kingston location that exists today. We designed a computer kit that hooked up to television sets for beginners to learn how to use a computer at a time when no one even knew what a floppy disk was. Anything similar to what we designed was three times as much. We believed that everyone deserved the opportunity to learn how to use a computer, regardless of how much money they made.   


So basically, we’ve been a business longer than some of the owners of the other computer stores in Kingston have been alive.



When it comes to your Mac, you don’t mess around. It cost more than your first car- we understand. Which is why we always advise Apple users to verify before getting their Mac, iPad, or iPhone serviced that the technician is Apple certified. If they aren’t certified and they don’t fix your computer properly, your warranty won’t be valid.


Our technicians know Apple like they know Sleep and Eat, which is why they have been consistently acknowledged for their skills and hard work:

  • Altair is the recipient of the Apple Commitment To Excellence Award for being in the top 10% of Apple Service Providers in North America.
  • We received the Canadian Apple Computer Star award for achieving a 100% customer satisfaction rating.

As Apple Certified Service Providers,  we are held accountable to provide top notch customer service, too:

“Service Providers are required to meet Apple’s standards at all times with regard to service levels, certification of technicians and availability of service to customers. Apple typically audits and reviews Service Providers to ensure these high standards are consistently met.”



Our award winning technicians understand that your life is moving fast, and the world of IT moves even faster. We are committed to providing the fastest turnaround time in Kingston and Belleville. Most of our customers experience no more than a 24 hour wait for their computer, phone, or tablet to be diagnosed, repaired, and ready for pick up.

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Call us at (613) 384-3876 (Kingston), or (613) 969-4490 (Belleville) to have your laptop, computer, tablet, iPad, or iPhone serviced by our award winning technicians. We fix and sell HP, Lenova, Apple, and Acer products. 


Cyber Security: How to Protect your Computer from Viruses and Hackers

It seems like every time we turn on the news there’s a story about valuable data being compromised. We can all be vulnerable to hackers and viruses if we don’t take proper precautions to protect our computers- both personal, and work-related.

National Computer Security Awareness day started in 1988 when companies began to collect and store valuable data electronically. In light of Computer Security Awareness day on November 30th, we’re sharing the 3 most effective methods to assure your PC is 100% secure.


Step 1: Install AVG anti virus

The AVG software performs periodic scans, checking for any viruses on your computer. It also scans each email sent to your inbox and on messaging apps, like Facebook. When dealing with an exclusive AVG retailer, such as Altair, you or your business will receive dedicated, ongoing support with any problems that may arise.


Step 2- Keep your operating system updated

Both Microsoft and Apple release updates on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Most times they are just small adjustments, but they play an important part in protecting your computer from malware and viruses, but especially hackers. Often times when hackers are successful, it’s because they’ve found a gateway through your computer’s own security features. Therefore if your operating system isn’t updated, your odds of being hacked increase.

We recommend adjusting your system preferences to automatically update. We all know how easy it is to ignore notifications.  



Step 3: Educate yourself

Buying your first computer isn’t like buying your first car. You don’t need a license to own a computer, but what if you did?

Being educated about computer security is just as important as having a license in our opinion. With all of the sharing that occurs today online, we are more vulnerable than ever to malware and hackers. It’s important to understand how vulnerable you really are by grasping the fundamentals of how a computer is protected, or not protected.

There are several computer security courses online, but instead we’re suggesting something a little less heavy- YouTube.

Protect your iPad with These 3 Recommendations

Ten years ago, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, he was faced with the challenge of introducing not only a new product, but a new category of portable devices, sized between the Mac and iPhone.

Jobs’ prediction was accurate. $300,000 iPads were sold within the first week, and today they are still one of our best sellers. Ideal for traveling, reading e-books, and even classroom learning, iPads are the perfect mobile device.   


Except for one thing.

iPads are composed of glass and metals, which as a whole are notoriously fragile. When traveling with a device, it’s easy for accidents to happen. You drop the iPad, it gets scratched by something in your bag, the list goes on. Because there aren’t any predictions of there being a life-proof version of the iPad being released in the near future, using durable and quality protective gear is critical.

The following is a list of our top 3 protective accessories for iPads, based on durability, reputation, and design.  


Urban Armour Gear iPad Case



Urban Armour Gear makes heavy-duty cases with impact resistant soft cores. We’d recommend this case for anyone, but it’s especially good for those who travel, and families with children. These cases have excellent, tactile grip, so it’s much less likely to slip out of your hands (or your little one’s).  


LOGIIX Phantom Glass HD


This one is a personal favourite of our staff. The Phantom Glass protector is made with anti-shatter tempered glass, meaning two things: it will never break, and it is exceptionally clear. The screen is almost invisible, making for a sleek look on any iPad. Plus, its outer layer of coating is designed to repel oil from skin to keep the screen looking clean.




We’ve never experienced a customer be disappointed that they purchased AppleCare+. For $99, Apple certified techs, like the Altair staff, will repair your damaged iPad for only $49. AppleCare+ covers accidental damage too. So if you ever accidentally drop your iPad in the pool, or run over it with the car, it’s still protected!

You can find all of these necessities at Altair Electronics in our Kingston and Belleville locations.