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OWT Technical Support       https://support.owt.com
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Should you upgrade to MacOS 11 (Big Sur)

We have been testing MacOS 11 (Big Sur) and now are running 11.1 on those systems.  This release seems mostly stable and we haven't had any major issues with 11.1. Still some minor issues with Messages and wake from sleep on some systems.  Our second monitor issues have been resolved with and with 11.2 out now we had hoped for a solid release.  Seems to be fine on integrated display systems but external monitors are problematic with resolution issues or just no video on one system.  Many issues that are reported are really not bugs but changes that are not intuitive. Searching in many new apps is baffling.  We understand it but don't like it either. I fear we may have to wait some time to see a reversal on this though and urge you to just deal with the search vs. filter concepts. 

We plan to hold off on updating our mission critical systems a bit longer and hope 11.3 solves a few more issues. We do see fewer issues on newer hardware. On a late 2019 MacBook Pro 16 we have seen very few stability issues but on older hardware, especially a 2017 iMac, stability is a major issue but is improving.  So, if you really want to upgrade and are running newer hardware you might be fine but with older hardware we might be looking at a similar situation we had last year with 10.15 where you just couldn't expect normal stability until a few updates came out.  Since we aren't seeing many issues on laptops or iMacs with only one monitor we feel we can recommend the software for those systems now.  Once the external display issues are resolved we expect to upgrade the rest of our Macs. 

If you are currently running MacOS 10.15 (Catalina) then Big Sur should run on your Mac. If you are not you may want to look at the many issues that were caused by MacOS 10.15 with regard to the 64-bit app requirement.  This was a deal breaker for some but a year in most software has been upgraded if it ever will be. If you use older software that cannot be upgraded you may lose access to this software with 10.15 (Catalina) or 11 (Big Sur).  

It seems with every OS release every vendor takes some time to iron out all of the details but so long as these issues are minor they don't seem to impact getting work done significantly.  MacOS 11 is cosmetically quite different in many ways but functionally quite similar other than some new features borrowed from iOS and iPadOS.  With 10.15 many software vendors didn't get support ready for months but this version really only required updates to deal with new features and so most third party software seems to work fine. 

Virus Woes

Exclamation Triangle RedDespite advances in anti-virus and anti-malware software virus and malware issues are as significant as ever.  What's changed the most is the severity that these infections can damage your system.  In the past even the most infected systems could be cleaned in no more than a few hours work but today we are seeing systems that are just too badly damaged to be properly cleaned.For this reason we are encouraging Windows users take certain steps to help minimize the impact of these infections:

  • First and foremost make sure you have a backup solution.  One that KEEPS you updated. There are a variety of solutions and will add some articles to this site to help with that soon.

  • Make sure you have a quality, updated anti-virus/anti-malware system that uses active scanning on your computer.  We have some recommendations but none of the free products will protect you completely.  We have a couple of solutions that we link in our recommendations section here. Understand that we are no longer recommending any of the free anti-virus solutions. If at all possible a commercial product will save you time and money in the long run!

Ransomware is a real threat these days. Security software may only partially protect you from the worst of this but when it doesn't it is in those instances where the malware tries to trick the user into clicking on something or approving something as an authorized addition that will ultimately encrypt your hard drive until you pay a ransom.  The key here is to not be tricked.  While you are casually browsing the web there is just no reason to do what a popup tells you to.  Close them or your web browser if you have to but BE CAREFUL. 

Our Hours

We monitor our services 24/7 but can actually be found in the office for technical support, billing questions or new accounts etc. Monday - Friday from 9AM to 6PM. Our technical support line is answered from 8AM to 6PM however. 

We are closed weekends and most holidays.

Department Phone Hours Email
Billing, Sales or Account Questions 509-735-0408 9AM to 6PM M-F admin@owt.com
Technical Support 509-783-3454 8AM to 6PM M-F help@owt.com

If you have an after hours emergency our technical support voicemail will provide you with number to page an on-call technician. 

When calling technical support please make sure to let the phone ring several times as we are often working away from our desk in a noisy server area and need time to get to a quiet area to answer the phone. 

Our Status

OWT is open during this health crisis but not everything is normal by any means. 

Our staff is in the office as normal and our doors are technically open but we are really not looking for customers to come in unless you have an urgent computer repair need.  We will not be scheduling any meetings and expect only to be working on urgent repair issues and, of course, handling technical support over the phone and via Email. 

If you do need to bring in a computer for repair understand that we will be less social than usual and ask that you leave your hardware and go.  

Also, understand that the law now requires that customers do wear a mask/face covering when they come into our offices.  

Stay safe everyone. 

Protect Your Passwords!!!

It's now 2020 and we STILL have customers giving up their passwords to third parties!

Please KNOW that OWT will NEVER EVER ask for your password in any abnormal way. If something doesn't look right IT ISN'T!

When we see compromised accounts we will immediately lock the account and you will need to call technical support for a new password. 

Phishing Scams

We continue to get queries from customers about this. Please remember OWT sends out billing via Email to many of our customers but otherwise almost never Email our customers. We will NEVER EVER ask you for any of your account information via Email. EVER!!! Do not fall for these phishing scams!

In reality no one does this!  If any Email wants you to verify anything and you didn't just interact with them recently then it is probably bogus.  If for some reason you think it might be real just login to that site THE WAY YOU NORMALLY DO AND NOT FROM A LINK IN THE EMAIL.

Online scams to lure customers into providing account, personal or other sensitive information are on the rise. OWT takes several steps to help prevent this sort of thing but there is only so much we can do. Most phishing scams look very legitimate. Our MailScanner will alert you to any Email where a web link points to a different web address than the address it shows you in the Email. This bright red message might be annoying in harmless Emails where the marketer put a different link in just for tracking purposes but this feature has save many from clicking on harmful links that lead to malware installation.

We would like to remind our customers that OWT, and really almost everyone that runs a legitimate business, will NEVER ask you for sensitive information via Email. If they do require additional information they will ask you to login to your existing account and THEN request that information. Even very legitimate looking requests should be intensely scrutinized and we ask that everyone think long and hard before clicking on a web link from any Email that you are not sure about.

Did you know that OWT repairs computers too?

We don't just provide great tech support - we can fix your ailing PC or Mac as well. From virus issues and blown up Windows to replacing drives and other components let OWT get the job done right and save you money in the process. OWT has very competitive service rates and a lot of experience with both PCs and Macs. We do quite a bit of hardware repair and just about any kind of software related repair including data recovery. We can save you or your business money!

VIRUS/SPYWARE REMOVAL * UPGRADES * DATA RECOVERY * SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS MACINTOSH AND PC

Nervous about that upgrade? Let OWT take the hassles away for you. Call 783-3454 to make an appointment - we have openings just about every day!

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