Monthly Archives: April 2012

Computer Repair vs. New Computer?

Are you ready to upgrade your desktop and laptop computers?  Expect lots of exciting new changes to come out later this year. Unless your needs are urgent, you may want to wait until the Fall.  Here is what to expect in the new computer market, along with tips to help you squeeze  the most out of your current computers.

Intel Ivy Bridge
Intel Corporation leads the market share in computer chips and processors. Today Intel started shipping its’ third generation processors called Ivy Bridge.  Ivy Bridge promises faster graphics and longer battery life for new computers.  This new processor is expected to be widely available in desktops and laptops this Summer.

Microsoft Windows 8
Microsoft will be releasing Windows 8.  The release date has yet to be confirmed but many believe it will be available in the Fall of 2012.   While the emphasis of the release is on tablet computers, there will be other benefits, including enhanced security and better remote access.  Consider that many new laptops and desktop computers purchased today may be upgradable to Microsoft Windows 8, they may not take full advantage of some of the new features of the new O/S.

What’s New from Apple
Apple is expected to release a new operating system called Mountain Lion O/S later this Summer.  Also expect a new lineup of the Macbook Pro and possible upgrades to the  Mac Air.  Insiders suggest the new lineup of laptops will be thinner, lighter and have longer battery life.

Looking for a Deal?
With all this new technology coming to market, you may be able to deal on older models and close out stock.  Many computer manufacturers and retailers will discount existing computers to make room for the latest technology.

While you are waiting for all this new technology to hit the market, here is what to do to make that slow and sluggish PC work like new.

Disk Defragmentation
When you defragment your hard drive you are optimizing the file system to improve performance.  By organizing the files to read and write faster, you will greatly improve your application response times.  It is a good idea to defragment your hard drive periodically to keep everything running at an optimal performance.

Clean out that Junk
PCs will collect files that not only waste space, but can slow down your computer.  These files include  Windows and third-party applications temporary files, Internet browsers cache, junk files left by online chat programs and other temporary files. If you are not sure which folders to erase, contact your systems administrator, to ensure that no important data will be lost.

If you are unsure or don’t have the time to give your computers a tune up, contact your IT Administrator or IT Managed Service Provider, to breathe a little life into your existing desktops and laptops.  At the same time, ask your IT Professional for an assessment to see if you are ready to upgrade to the next operating system, when they become available later this year.

Is Your Network Safer Than The Titanic?

One hundred years ago the ship, called “unsinkable” had its hull breached by an iceberg and caused the death of over 1500 passengers. You may think your network is “invincible” like the Titanic, however, your network security policies may cause vulnerability putting your IT assets and critical data at risk.

Here are several steps you can take to avoid compromising your network security:

WiFi Access
WiFi technology makes it easy for you to network your computers. Your WiFi signal may broadcast beyond the physical security of your office allowing uninvited visitors to access your network and compromise your network security and compliance policies. Make sure your WiFi network connections are password protected and securely encrypted. Also, consider turning off your WiFi during non business hours. By the way, wireless technology (the telegraph) saved the lives of hundreds of passengers on the Titanic.

Thumb Drives and USB Drives
Sharing data through thumb drives or USB drives may allow unintended computer viruses and malicious software, also known as malware, transfer from other non secure computers and enter the perimeter of your secure network. For this reason, some network administrators set strict IT policies that prevent thumb drives from being used on any office computer. There are plenty of secure services available for files sharing between computers (e.g. remote backup and remote control software). Ask your IT support professional about your policy for using USB drives and thumb drives and the impact they may have on your network security.

Security Patches
Operating System and Application Security patches are designed to keep your network secure. Your network security is as vulnerable as its’ weakest link. As one hole in the hull can take down the largest ship afloat, one computer that is out of compliance may create a hole in your network security.

Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware
Similar to Security Patches, keeping your Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware definitions up to date will help keep your network secure and in compliance. Some virus programs may use your network to hop from one computer to another. Once an infected machine connects behind your firewall other computers may be exposed. By keeping Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware definitions up to date you can avoid loss of data and loss of employee productivity.

You may think your network is as invincible, just like many thought the Titanic was unsinkable. Contact your IT professional and ask them to perform a Network Audit to make sure there aren’t any icebergs looming in your network security policy.