Tech Tips - Business IT Support Tips
Posts Tagged ‘operating system’
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.
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
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.
Monday, September 13th, 2010
The modern office is definitely an amazing thing to watch. Emailing, scanning, printing, digital document processing, online database systems, more. What isn’t done via computer in today’s office? As a business owner or manager in charge of running an office, it’s important to remember that productivity in a digital office is often directly tied to the computers that power the office. Office productivity can be boosted significantly with simple technology upgrades. When is the last time the computer systems in your office were upgraded? What about the network? ISP? Accessories, such as printers, scanners, copiers? How about recently added mobile computing technologies (laptops, smartphones)?
It is important for your office to stay up to date with the latest technologies. When humans using computers power the majority of the operations in your office, it makes sense that faster computers will allow for faster work and increased productivity. Computers that have become old and slow due to age act as a handicap to your employees, and will hold them back from performing at higher levels. In addition, the speed factor is not the only negative that comes from using old technology. Older computers, networks and accessories are more prone to fail, causing office staff to take time away from work to focus on bugs, viruses, errors, and repairs.
Every office should maintain a reasonable technology budget that allocates a reasonable amount of money to spend, every year, on technology upgrades. When planning this budget, you should go beyond simply looking to replace computers that break. You should be looking to make upgrades that will increase office productivity. Simple things like replacing still working old computers with faster units, installing faster printers, giving employees access to email while in the field via laptops or smartphones. In addition to upgrades, your budget should include regular maintenance. A technician should visit on a regular basis, as often as once per week. Your technician should keep your computers updated, solve minor errors, and perform cleanup tasks to increase performance. That will limit the amount of time office staff must spend fiddling with computers and will allow them to focus on their work.
Ultimately, faster computers in your office will allow your office to perform more efficiently. You will process more work and, as a result, your business will have the capacity to grow further and faster than ever before.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
By Andre Morris, my PC Techs
Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 7, will be available for purchase on October 22, 2009. Released just in time for holiday shopping, it has been priced to sell, with pricing set lower than equivalent Windows Vista editions. This article highlights 7 compelling reasons to spend your hard earned dollars on a Windows 7 upgrade this holiday season.
Reason 7: It looks and responds better than XP and Vista.
The user interface has been improved with Windows 7, leaving a cleaner, more functional look than previous Microsoft operating systems. Aero Peek is one of the exciting new user interface features. It changes the way you view windows by leaving all open windows transparent except the one you’re currently using. The re-designed taskbar makes it possible to display more information in less space. Windows 7 also introduces new touch and gesture functionality, making common tasks more intuitive. As an added bonus, Microsoft has included a library of colorful, innovative desktop wallpapers with this release. Windows 7 produces better graphics that are more pleasing to the eye without slowing your computer down.
Reason 6: Enjoy a longer laptop battery life.
Windows 7 uses even less energy to run on a laptop battery than did Windows Vista and Windows XP. With improved power management tools and power optimizations in the Windows 7 code, you’ll be able to watch longer movies, work longer and get more use from your laptop while traveling. This is great news for those of us who are tired of being forced to carry two laptop batteries just to have enough power for a cross-country flight.
Reason 5: Libraries of information make organizing simple.
Microsoft Libraries have made it easier for you to organize all of the information on your computer in one place. Rather than requiring users to save all their information in the “My Documents” folder, Windows 7 recognizes that documents, pictures and other important files will frequently reside in several different folders spread across different physical drives. Libraries allow you to group these files and folders in a single easy-to-view interface. For example, you can take all of the pictures in your “My Pictures” folder and combine them with pictures stored on an external USB backup drive and other pictures stored on another computer on your network. You will then be able to group, sort and view all of these images in one place as if they resided in a single folder.
Reason 4: Touch screens simplify your work.
Several years ago at technology trade shows, exhibitors were introducing their own next generation touch screen products. The new touch screen features embedded into Windows 7 will allow computers to catch up with features currently found only on the iPhone and similar hand-held devices. Don’t be surprised to see laptop and netbook computers that will soon eliminate existing mouse and pointer devices in favor of a touch screen interface. Microsoft insists that touch screens will be a large part of computing in the future and they have cemented their support for it with Windows 7.
Reason 3: It’s faster.
People who do most of their work on a computer expect it to be fast enough to get their job done quickly. Vista was slow and Microsoft learned early on that speed was the single biggest reason Vista users later downgraded back to Windows XP. It’s no wonder Vista wasn’t the success Microsoft had hoped for. Microsoft has spent a lot of time making Windows 7 faster for common functions, in some cases even faster than Windows XP. But Windows 7 isn’t only about work; even serious computer gamers will be happy with this release.
Reason 2: You won’t need to buy a new computer.
With previous releases of XP and Vista, Microsoft expected consumers to wait for a new computer system before upgrading the operating system. Most people had no other choice, as their old computer hardware could not efficiently handle the upgrade. Windows 7 is different. Most computers sold in the last few years will be able to run Windows 7 adequately. You will be able to purchase the Windows 7 upgrade and install it to your existing computer without the same slowdown issues that many people experienced when upgrading from XP to Vista or from 2000 to XP. You’ll even be able to install and run Windows 7 on slower netbook computers with speeds comparable to existing XP netbook performance.
Reason 1: It’s better than any previous operating system.
Getting a better product with more advanced features than the one you’re using now is the most compelling reason to upgrade to Windows 7.
- Windows 7 incorporates new innovations. If you’re still using XP, you’re stuck with the limitations of technology developed eight years ago.
- Initial reviews have shown Windows 7 to be well designed with fewer bugs. If you’re using Vista, you still experience several bugs and issues no matter what you’ve done to patch and tweak the operating system.
- Microsoft has set the bar high with Windows 7, providing next generation features that you won’t find in any other operating system combined with improved core applications and the same legendary Windows device support and ease of use found in previous Windows versions.
Overall, many new features come loaded with Windows 7 that make it easier to find what you’re looking for and faster to get your job done. Microsoft has somehow found a way to incorporate new features while improving upon the look of Windows Vista, all while utilizing far fewer resources than Vista.
Microsoft put forth extra effort with Windows 7 and it shows. It’s starting to look like the 2009 holiday season will be a happy one for Microsoft…and users of Windows 7.
For more information about Windows 7, visit the Microsoft Windows Vista website at www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/.
Andre Morris (www.facebook.com/my.PC.Techs) is the President of my PC Techs, a Phoenix on site computer repair and website design company that stands by its promise: Technology you can trust. Support you can afford. They offer expert business and residential IT support, website services and SEO at very affordable pricing. For questions about Windows 7 or any other technology issue, please contact my PC Techs at (602) 692-6423, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.mypctechs.com.
Saturday, August 15th, 2009
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