Tech Tips - Business IT Support Tips
Posts Tagged ‘affordable’
Sunday, September 19th, 2010
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.
Monday, August 23rd, 2010
Many years ago when a computer crashed, started running slowly, caught a virus, or lost data, the only recourse you had was to unplug your computer and “take it down to the shop” for repair. Sure, on-site computer repair has been around for some time, but in those days it was extremely expensive for someone come out to your home or business to look over your computer systems. The level of experience necessary for a computer repair technician to perform on-site support is high, and as a result that advanced level of support was only available to companies with large budgets. Each on-site technical worker must be an expert to survive the cutting-edge rigors of working with multiple hardware and software configurations each day. High hourly rates for computer experts allowed physically established computer repair stores to thrive for many years. They could hire one expert, and then employ a large group of less experienced staff for cheap who would work with the expert to learn how to fix the computers that came into the store.
Unfortunately, low prices did not always equate to convenience. The disadvantages to you are high when your only option is to drop a broken computer off somewhere down the road. Forced to crawl around under a desk unplugging cables, hoping that you can remember the correct sequence of cables to plug back in you finally get your computer back is no fun. If you make it past that step without being electrocuted, the next task is to haul the dusty computer and maybe monitor or other accessories out into the heat, rain, wind, or whatever weather we were having that day. Finally, the worst part, handing over all of your sensitive information to the stranger at the counter of the computer repair shop. Do you know the owner or person working at the counter? Great, but do you also know the other people working in the back room? Do they really even care about you or your data? Is your information safe? Just what ARE they doing back there with your stuff after you leave? Will they fix this problem only for you to discover more computer issues once you hook everything back up?
Things have changed considerably over the past five years, all for the better. These days, it’s more affordable for you to have your computer systems serviced on-site in your home or business. The hourly rate for experienced computer repair technicians has come down considerably, changing the playing field between on-site and in-store support companies. What used to be the biggest advantage for the brick and mortar computer store, physical presence, has actually turned into it’s greatest liability. The large operating costs of leasing a physical storefront have made it impossible for old style computer repair firms to compete. As a result of increased operating costs, lease, electricity and other limiting factors, physical computer repair shops are forced to charge more for computer repair services just to cover unnecessary overhead. Efficient on-site computer repair firms avoid these overheads, operating remotely, covering larger areas, and are able to pass the savings on directly to you, the customer. As a result of lower prices, more and more people are realizing the immense advantages to on-site repair, which go far beyond the ability to save money.
A client of ours recently left us a testimonial that sums up the experience quite nicely, “I liked your service, because right away I felt like my PC technician was a friend. He explained everything to me and answered all of my questions.” That is the level of customer service that a physical computer repair shop cannot match. Beyond simply fixing the problem, a technician in your home or business is a real person that is available to answer questions, explain to you what is wrong, and work with you – not just to fix one problem, but several problems all on the same visit. When your original problem is fixed, you’ll probably have time to fix three or four more problems that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought about had your computer been in a back room somewhere else. When you encounter a preventable problem, such as a computer virus, a live person there to assist you can not only help you remove it, they can offer expert training and advice on ways to protect yourself in the future. 95% of computer issues most people have can be fixed right there, on-site. In the rare instance that a more time-consuming repair is necessary, the technician already has everything taken apart for you and can take the necessary parts to a central repair facility for you, bringing back the repaired parts once complete. All the while, freeing up your time and allowing you to work on other things. More importantly, your ability to interact face to face with your computer repair technician gives you the advantage of knowing exactly WHO is working on your computer and whether or not you should trust them with your important pictures, business accounting information, emails and passwords.
Everyone likes to save money, and given the opportunity, 9 out of 10 will go with the less expensive option. It’s nice that the tables have turned to favor the customer, making it possible for everyone to experience better computer repair service without extra work or hassles, and at prices those large computer stores just can’t beat.
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Friday, July 30th, 2010
As a business owner, you were probably quick to identify the need for a properly designed and well maintained company website, one that will provide your business with affordable marketing opportunities, help increase sales, and generate new business. You may have gone one step further, establishing a blog with the hopes that frequent posting to the blog will lead to increased exposure of your products and services to new clients. Blogs are invaluable tools for company employees, allowing them to post new articles, videos, press releases, and pages to a website. However, very few businesses are given proper advice or support when it comes to efficient ways to use a blog for business growth, sales, and lead generation.
There is a clear divide that most businesses face when it comes to internet marketing. Most companies find themselves, knowingly or not, increasing the amount of time and effort spent marketing online without generating any significant increase in relevant traffic that will result in new sales. This problem is mostly due to the fragmentation of the website services industry. When you hire a website design and development firm, there is a very good chance that the firm does not understand the importance of internet marketing. They may setup your blog in such a way that it’s practically worthless for the real power and purpose of blogging, which is website traffic and lead generation. Conversely, when employing an internet marketing solution or trying to do it internally, many of the people actually working on your online marketing lack proper website design and web development knowledge. You may, again, find yourself with blog content that does nothing more than take up space and does not result in exposure for your business.
The biggest culprits behind wasted blogging efforts are the online, free blog solutions. Many companies are either sold a free solution by improperly trained website and internet marketing companies or ask employees to establish them, not realizing the loss of productivity that will result. Free blog solutions lack several key benefits that properly developed and integrated blogs do not. Important tools, such as automatic link distribution and site cross-linking are typically not available. The bulk of your product, services, and marketing materials are generally not visible to visitors who click through to read an article on an external blog. Additionally, the majority of free blogs are hosted outside of the company domain and fail to provide fresh content associated with your website, which is extremely important and valuable for a company when it comes to search engine positioning.
Secondary blogs on free solutions, established outside of your company domain with alternative content, can be beneficial for SEO and page rank purposes. However, the primary blog for your business should always be properly hosted on your own website domain, linked correctly from your website navigation, and completely integrated into your existing website. If the URL to your website starts with a URL similar to www.azmassageforwellness.com, your main company blog should be referenced from within a sub-directory of that site, such as www.azmassageforwellness.com/blog. It should also be developed using recent, feature-rich blogging solutions such as the open source blog application WordPress. Finally, the blog should be a total integration, with blog pages sharing few differences in heading, navigation, and footer from your main website. Website developers that realize the importance of page rank, relevancy and online marketing will follow these guidelines to integrate blog solutions for your company that provide a deep set of features and support easy to use Plugins for SEO and link automation.
The reason all of this is important deals with the way search engines index and rank your website. When going through the pages on your site, a properly integrated blog appears to a search engine as part of your website. Every post that is made through the blog becomes an additional page of content for ranking purposes. Search engines love fresh content. The more fresh content you have, the more relevant your website appears to search engines and you will rank higher in search results and generate more new business as a result. It takes time, but after 100 or 200 good blog posts, your website should begin to see some significant benefit in search engines.
There are additional factors to consider when posting to a blog, outside the scope of this article, which are important to consider. A good internet marketing solution will provide you with training and will support your efforts by identifying effective keywords to use in posts. You should be provided tips that will help establish your blog in the community, giving you recognition as an expert in your field. Your website team should help you to identify ways to distribute your content and get your blog posts linked out to other websites. Finally, there should be a good level of customer support and interaction between you and the website team that designed your blog, so that you understand the most effective ways to utilize your blog and get the most value from your time invested.
A properly developed and utilized blog can be the most effective tool available for you to generate traffic and increase search engine positioning for your website. If you haven’t already, be sure to search for and consult with a comprehensive website design, development, and internet marketing firm. One that can provide a variety of effective solutions that work together to increase sales for your business.
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