Archive for 2010
Are you interested in pushing the technology envelope (and helping Microsoft bug test their latest browser at the same time?). Internet Explorer 9 BETA has been released. Take a look: http://www.beautyoftheweb.com/.
Initial reviews are very positive towards IE9. One negative, however, it only runs on Windows Vista and Windows 7. If you are still running Windows XP this just might be enough motivation to upgrade.
How does your office connect to the internet? Many small offices today utilize at least one form of traffic filtering, a router that sits between their internal network and their connection to the internet. The router employed is most likely a simple NAT device, allowing traffic out of the network while protecting the internal network from outside visibility and direct attempts to hack the computers and servers inside.
However, most routers in this category don’t do enough to protect the users in the office from virus attacks, spyware, or hackers. Malicious web pages and emails bypass basic protections offered by a router, and the majority of virus infected computers we have repaired were infected by one of these two methods. A user either used a browser to visit an innocent looking website that was infected, or they clicked on an email that contained a malicious file.
The negative effects shared by all when an office machine becomes infected include loss of work, slow computers, infection of servers and critical company files, and in worst case scenarios theft of company data. Consider the installation of additional security on your network to help guard against these types of attacks. An inexpensive server, often purchased and installed for less than $1,500, can be configured and placed between the internet and the internal network. This server, with the proper software installed and maintained, will filter out malicious emails and web pages and block them before they reach computers in your office.
The server can perform additional roles as well. From allowing VPN access, to remote desktop, centralization of files, and simplifying the management of all computers in the office. Consult with our expert team today to learn the many ways a server solution can benefit your office, including the protection of your network and company data. Call my PC Techs at (602) 456-0150 for a free consultation.
How old is your existing computer? Did you purchase it longer than three or four years ago? If you haven’t purchased a new computer for yourself, new servers, or new systems for your office, it’s time to take a good look at what’s available! Technology has advanced considerably over recent years and prices have come down at the same time. There are some amazing deals available out there for system upgrades.
Take the Dell Optiplex 780, for example. Here are a few specs from a mid-range Dell system selling for only $750. But don’t let the mid-range category fool you, compared to older computers this is a beast!
- Windows 7 Professional
- Intel® Core™ 2 Quad 2.6 GHz Processor
- 4 GB System Memory (RAM)
- 160GB 7,200 RPM SATA, Hard Drive
Now, let’s compare this to a very popular system being sold by Dell in 2006 for around the same price range, the Dell Dimension 3100. These systems were very popular, and we still run across many offices with these systems still running today. How does it stack up to the Optiplex 780? Here are some specs from the 3100:
- Windows XP Professional
- Pentium 4 3.0 GHz Single Core Processor
- 512 MB System Memory (RAM)
- 80GB Hard Drive
The processor on the older 3100 system took 231 seconds to do the same office task that the new 780 system can do in only 114 seconds. Also keep in mind that the new 780 has FOUR cores, and that same task can be performed four times in the same span of time as the 3100 is cranking away on a single task. WOW, now there’s an amazing difference. This is the type of productivity increase that should not be ignored. With every computer in an office running tasks twice as fast, and capable of running 4 times as many tasks at once, it’s easy to see how an entire company can realize a massive jump in productivity after a minimal investment in new computer systems.
Some other benefits: Windows 7 is far more stable than Windows XP, which means fewer crashes and less troubleshooting to contend with. Also, any time a new system is setup and configured, you have an opportunity to clean out old junk files from the previous system that have been slowing you down. There’s also an opportunity to install the latest anti-virus and make sure that software is configured correctly for optimal performance. Finally, let’s not forget about Office 2010. If you’re upgrading computers, it’s probably a good idea to dump that old version of Office 2003 and get the latest and greatest, Office 2010. This software is packed with new features that make it easier and faster to compose and share documents.
The same increase in productivity, speed, and reliability also carries through to the latest laptops and servers on the market. New office technology is very affordable right now and will work wonders for any office of any size. We can help you pick out and customize the system that is right for you. Several important factors to consider include type of processor, hard drive size, network card, and operating system depending on where and how you will use the computer.
When deadlines matter and competition is tight, it’s important to provide yourself and your employees with the latest tools if you want to be successful. Let my PC Techs provide your office with a free, expert consultation. We can help you identify the best use of your yearly technology budget to make meaningful purchases that will increase productivity and save time and money. Call (602) 456-0150 to setup your free consultation today.
We do work for several restaurants and retail stores here in Phoenix, Arizona. These shops are all using windows based point of sale systems. While the software and database that run on the computers to transact credit card payments and process menu items are highly customized and supported by the franchise in most cases, the underlying operating system and hardware is not.
We have learned a lot about these systems and can say with certainty that the biggest issues we have run into are lack of proper backups and lack of spare hardware. When a point of sale system goes down for a store, especially a busy store, it is NO FUN. Employees need to process payments manually by hand and write out paper receipts. As you can imagine, the slowdown at the register does a lot to aggravate customers and employees alike. But there are three things that you can do as a retail store business owner to minimize downtime in the event of a system crash.
1. Perform regular system maintenance
Hiring a firm like my PC Techs to regularly maintain your equipment each month can save you from several hours worth of headache and hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost sales. Our technicians will visit your store and examine your systems for irregular performance. System errors, faulty hardware, failing hard drives, botched OS updates, and corrupted data can, in many cases, be identified and corrected before it becomes a larger problem. Dust can be cleaned out (the largest cause of hardware failure), and parts inspected. Unnecessary programs can be removed and system performance improved. The best part of this scenario, the repairs can be performed before or after regular hours, so customers never experience delay.
2. Perform regular, complete data backups
Usually during the same time as the system maintenance, our technicians can perform a complete data backup of all of your POS systems. This is important. When a hard drive crashes, you want to get your system back online as quickly as possible. To rebuild an entire system, restore data from on off site repository, and get all the hardware and software working correctly could take many hours. With a complete system backup, it could be as simple as popping in the right piece of replacement hardware and running a 30 minute recovery.
3. Identify and build an inventory of replacement parts
When a system failure happens, recovery time can be improved considerably when the right spare parts are kept on hand. Rather than buying hard to find computer equipment online, and waiting for it to be shipped, a replacement part can be obtained from storage and quickly installed to replace the broken component. That part can later be replaced to storage, so you always have a backup on hand for the next time disaster strikes.
When you think about the security of your data and your ability to transact business, keep in mind your local computer experts and ways that they can work with you to help improve the reliability of your computer operations. For help with the maintenance and emergency support of your POS systems, contact my PC Techs today. (602) 456-0150.