Windows 8 has now been released and brings a new user interface with it. The modern interface might look confusing at first but we have some handy tips to help you master the new design from Microsoft. When you first start a Windows 8 machine you will be confronted with this new layout.
Windows Key + C
This brings up the charms menu on the right hand side of the screen. Helpful for accessing settings and devices connected to your Windows 8 machine.
Windows Key + I
Shutting down Windows 8 has more clicks than before but with this shortcut you can quickly access the power options, network / Wireless, sound, control panel and much more.
Don’t worry if you’re a Windows power user, you haven’t been forgotten. Try: Windows Key + X
This will bring up a classical looking windows menu with a lot of commonly used applications like the Command Prompt and the Task Manager.
Can’t find the application you’re looking for in the new start menu? Try Ctrl + tab to bring up all programs installed on your computer or on the start menu just start typing the name of the program you want to use.
With so many different cloud services available, it’s often hard to keep track of your files and folders, this is where Otixo comes in. With one login to Otixo you can easily manage all your clouds services like Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive, Google Docs, SugarSync, Picasa, CX, Amazon S3, FTP sites and WebDav drives…all from one simple app.
Otixo is a free to use application with a bandwidth limit of 2GB per month, if you need more bandwidth its only $4.99 a month.
Access many online services with a single username and password.
Search and find your files across many cloud-based services in one simple step.
Share files with your friends and colleagues.
Preview your documents and images.
Copy and Move files from one service to another without downloading to your computer. It’s as easy as drag-and-drop!
Launch files and folders from Otixo directly into your favourite services.
On October the 26th Microsoft will release Windows 8. It’s Windows reimagined and reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability. It’s an all-new touch interface. It’s a new Windows for new devices.
Your Windows, everywhere
Perfect it once, have it always. Sign in to any of your devices running Windows 8 and your personalized settings and apps are right there.
Connected to your people
Your apps light up with connections to your friends and family. Info from the services you connect to—Hotmail, Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more—appears right inside the Mail, Messaging, and People apps.
Connected to your files
You use multiple PCs and a phone. Now you can connect across these devices to SkyDrive, Facebook, Flickr, and other services, so you can smoothly get to all your photos and files.
Do more with apps
The more apps you have, the better your experience. Apps can work together and share info, making it easier for you to do what you want.
Feel free to explore
There’s an app for everyone. Browse lists of top apps, view staff recommendations, and get personalized picks based on apps you already own. And access is easy—the Store is built directly into Windows 8.
How prepared is your business for a disaster? Sadly, the last time the average business backup system was checked and tested was the day it was installed. A well-planned backup and recovery solution plays a crucial role in minimizing downtime in a disaster and preventing data loss in the event of server or application failure.
Fire, Flood, Hardware Failure and Theft are the most common situations resulting in Disaster for your companies IT systems.
30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year. 70% fail within five years.
Gain Peace of mind with these four simple steps:
You need to plan for the worst situation. Imagine you have nothing, no office no IT systems nowhere to work. You need to be able to look at this situation and feel confident that you have a plan in place that will work for your business. Ensure your IT assets are insured and check that they have a replacement policy.
Ensure you have backups of your systems and data offsite. Once you have new servers and computers you will be able to restore the data as long as you have it!
Create a DR Process
This needs to be worked through step by step to ensure it is realistic and can be achieved. Several members of staff should be fully aware of the process and have copies of the process printed out at home.
It is hard to fully test a Disaster Recovery situation but you will be able to test the data recovery systems to ensure you are able to restore a working system with relevant data.
Be ready to deliver
If you make changes to the system ensure you update the Disaster Recovery plan. Don’t leave it a day or week as you never know when the disaster may happen. Keep it up to date and keep your staff up to date with the process.
Hope it’s never needed but if it is then this process will be the most important thing that your business invested in. Without it you could be one of the 93% of companies filing for bankruptcy.
Without testing you can restore your backups you have NO disaster recovery plan!
Simplex understands that having a reliable disaster recovery strategy in place is paramount for all businesses. Should a disaster happen it’s important that you know that your businesses data can be easily restored to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time frame.
34% of companies fail to test their backup device and, of those that do, 77% have found recovery fails.
After deploying many backup solutions and implementing disaster recovery plans, Simplex IT’s backup consultants have gained extensive experience and can help your business to prepare a recovery strategy that meets your business and technology needs so you can quickly recover from a system outage that may stop your company to continue operating.
With cloud computing everything has been changing at a remarkable speed. It’s understandable that many SMB business owners are left somewhat confused as to how best proceed for their business.
It’s a tough call between wanting to keep up with the world, maintaining a competitive edge and not being able to fully justify moving to the cloud due to a lack of complete understanding.
The main question business owners usually ask is;
What’s the actual value for my business ?
Cloud-based services can help small businesses dramatically reduce their software and other computing costs. Storing files on a secure, reliable, cloud-based service helps eliminate backup worries and gives you anytime access to your files. Usually, cloud-based services are simple to use, the only things you need are a computer (or in some cases, a mobile handset), a browser, and an Internet connection.
Most SMBs have at least considered migrating to cloud computing and had concerns about the impact for their organisation. Many business owners wrongly think that their business systems may be too complicated to migrate to the cloud and that changing to the cloud is just unnecessary hassle.
Why Cloud for SMBs?
Among the reasons for the growing interest in cloud computing are:
Cloud-based computing helps resolve the issue of continually having to replace equipment in order to keep up with technology as this becomes the responsibility of the service provider. This means that you are free to focus on customers and business growth.
The great thing about cloud computing is that you get to maintain overall control but you don’t have to expend the same financial and staff costs nor do you have to panic if a server crashes and all your go emails down, with the cloud, disaster recovery services are plentiful meaning you can easily pick up email instantly via a webmail client allowing your business to remain operational.
Why cloud? Why not?
IT is evolving and the reality is if you don’t keep up you get left behind.
If you bought your PC between 2001 and 2006, you’ve probably grown accustomed to the mechanics of Windows XP. But Microsoft releases a new version of Windows every few years. That leaves the nagging question, why bother upgrading when Windows XP works just fine?
Microsoft, of course, hopes that everybody upgrades to Windows 7. But many XP users have been scared off by the idea of upgrading by the perpetually buggy Windows Vista. Microsoft is hoping that the following new features will make XP users more inclined to make the big move.
Improved look and “user experience”: Windows 7 is all about the “user experience.” They’ve streamlined the physical appearance, shortcuts, and intuitiveness of Windows so that you get the flashiness that Vista was supposed to provide while improving functionality. Taskbar: The new taskbar in Windows 7 adds to the three-dimensional feel with pop-up thumbnails that help you find a lost window. You can also right-click a taskbar icon to see more information about it — such as your recent history of browsed Web sites. Easier file searches: Windows XP really dragged its feet when searching for files—taking anywhere from minutes to days (to search for a word within a file). Windows 7, by contrast, spends its idle time fine-tuning an index of every word on your hard drive. Type a word from a file’s name or contents into the Start Menu’s Search box, and Windows 7 quickly finds the goods. Built for speed: Windows 7 has key performance improvements to take up less memory and run background services only when you need them. It’s designed to run your programs faster and to sleep, resume, and reconnect to wireless networks quicker. And with 64-bit support, you can take full advantage of the latest in powerful 64-bit PCs. Better wireless networking: Connecting to wireless networks on your laptop—formerly a bit of a hassle—now takes just a couple of clicks. Choose from the list of available networks in the taskbar, click one, and then connect. Once you’ve connected to a network, Windows will remember it so you can connect again later automatically. Plays well with devices: Device Stage, a new feature in Windows 7, works like a home page for things like portable music players, smartphones, and printers. When you plug a compatible device into your PC, you’ll see a menu with information and popular tasks like battery life, how many photos are ready to be downloaded, and printing options. Nag-free notifications: Action Center, new in Windows 7, puts you in control of maintenance and security messages. You can turn notifications on or off for things like Windows Defender or User Account Control. If Windows needs your attention, you’ll see a notification on the far right of the taskbar. Click it, and you’ll get suggested fixes for any problems.
The list of the many features for Windows 7 goes on, but in the end it comes down to these basic points – you should upgrade to Windows 7 because:
It’s more secure. That’s the number one complaint from people who experience viruses and worms, they want a secure OS. It provides built in security enhancements and a refined User Account Control ( UAC). Although, no OS can claim responsibility for lack of common sense on behalf of the user.
It’s faster. On recent hardware, it outperforms Windows XP. It’s not just a claim, it’s proven.
It stays out of your way. With the new notifications system, and the improved system tray, built in and even third party applications won’t be able to harm your productivity.
Microsoft will Stop supporting Windows XP in April 2014 , after that date there will be no more updates or support for the operating system. This will leave your computer vulnerable to any future exploits / Virus’s and Malware.
This classic scam is making the rounds again, If you get a phone call asking for someone (normally claiming to be from Microsoft) to connect in and fix your computer when you have not asked for this, then it is a scam. Microsoft will never phone you to inform you of a problem on your pc.
If you are concerned about the “risks” that they have said your machine poses, then note down what they say and thank them for the information. Then say you will get your local IT Company to fix it. They will try and say they will do it for free over the internet. Don’t allow this. End the call and then contact your local IT Company to ensure you are protected.
Your IT Company may connect to your machine over the internet to check things over.
Remember you have asked for this connection….not the other way round.
If you are not sure on any of these replies then you need to check before it’s too late.
Do you really know the state of your computer?
Are you 100% sure your Anti-Virus is up to date and scanning your pc on a regular basis?
Are you sure other pc’s and servers on your network are up to date and protected?
Can you easily check?
If not then this is something you need to check before it takes over your business.
You should have Anti-Virus installed on every pc and server within your business. The anti-virus program has to be updating itself from the internet automatically, at least once every hour. The program should be setup to be scanning the local hard drives at least once a week to check for viruses. It should also do on access scanning so files are scanned before they are opened.
You should also be able to login to a central console and instantly see the state of your Anti-Virus for your network.
If you are not sure on any of these replies then you need to check before it’s too late.
Simplex IT partners with ESET to provide Anti Virus protection to our customers. ESET Endpoint Security integrates ESET Endpoint Antivirus’s robust virus and spyware scanning engine, with a bi-directional firewall to stop hacker attacks. The integrated spam filters also reduce the risk of social-engineering and phishing attacks via email, reducing your cybercrime attack surface.
Enjoy streamlined management capabilities with ESET Remote Administrator that makes for fast and easy deployment and monitoring of ESET Endpoint Security across your network – all from a single console.
Tablets and smartphones are becoming increasingly popular and many people are now reaching the storage limits of their devices. This used to mean sorting your data and not taking everyone’s favourites movie or music. However the problem has a simple solution
Using Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage you can carry your data with you while on the go and wirelessly stream videos, photos, music and documents to your tablet or smartphone. It can store over 300 HD movies, so you’ll never have to worry about running out of space again. So how does it work?
You load all of your data, music and movies to the GoFlex Satellite device. The GoFlex Satellite can then stream this data to your tablet or smartphone via its own Wi-Fi network. You can leave it in your bag, put it on the table, hide it behind the sofa, take it in the car – with a range of up to 150ft you will never feel tied to your storage.
With the GoFlex Satellite device you can stream different data to three devices simultaneously. So you can have three different devices watching three different films at the same time from the same storage!
The GoFlex Media app (available on both iPad’s and Android tablets) is tailored for the GoFlex Satellite device, allowing you to sort easily through your media library by Videos, Photos, Documents or Music, perform keyword searches, and use folder and thumbnail views.
The GoFlex Satellite also allows you to access documents from Microsoft Office, iWork and Adobe PDF files. Other file types can also be opened with 3rd party apps available on your tablet device.
The GoFlex Satellite device can stream movies and other media to almost any device that has a Web browser and Wi-Fi connectivity. If your Co-workers, friends and family have a smartphone, tablet or laptop, they can enjoy your media content too.
Watching the Olympics at work may annoy the boss, but not as much as the £1,000 fine the company could get if they don’t have a TV licence.
Watching live telly in the UK requires a licence regardless of whether that video arrives over the internet or is broadcast. The TV tax collectors have provided a useful cut-out-and-pin-on-the-wall guide for all those who’d prefer to avoid shelling out after the fact.
There is an exemption for battery-powered devices at work if they are owned and used by someone who holds a TV licence at their home address, so keep your laptop unplugged and you’re in the clear – legally at least, we can’t comment on how your boss will react.
Keeping a laptop going for an extended period could be a challenge, and we suggest avoiding doing any real work that might unnecessarily drain the battery. The rules state that a device must be entirely battery powered, so inductive charging is out, but one can use as many additional batteries as necessary.
Alternatively one could just watch the games on non-live iPlayer or another suitable catch-up service. Current licensing legislation doesn’t cover such services – just real-time feeds – but then who wants to watch the BMX finals or the Greco-Roman Wrestling (or whatever it is these days) long after everyone else knows how it all ends?