Laptop purchase price vs satisfaction index; Although this *is* an accurate indication of my experience in terms of feedback received, this information is meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek. Make your own investigations and consider your own unique needs and preferences and don't rely on this information for your purchasing decisions.
If you receive an unexpected support request or offer for help from "Microsoft" its probably a scam. Here is one of the more sophisticated ones, so much so that I cant tell without detailed digging if it is or isn't a scam (well I have a pretty good idea). This content was contained in an attached PDF.
If in doubt don't click, so I have taken my own advice.
Just like the IT crowd (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2F1rFmyQmY) sometimes the solution *is* turning it off and on again and that applies to the modem router as well.
We sometimes use various phrases to say shutdown and restart, phrases like; Reset, restart, power cycle or reboot. What is meant by all of these is restart or, shutdown wait a few seconds and then start-up again.
What we DON'T mean is reset the device to factory defaults either via a hardware button or via the web interface.
By the way even if Telstra tells you to do a factory reset don't do it then either unless the helpful level 1 Telstra tech support person is planning to drive to your home or office to re-set it up for you.
Metered connections on Windows 10 post Creators update install:
For Windows 10 Users on tablets and laptops that connect via phone hotspot or other "low download quota" services you need to be aware that there has been a change in the way that Microsoft handle windows updates over "metered connections"
This page tells us that:
"A metered connection is an Internet connection that has a data limit associated with it. Cellular data connections are set as metered by default. Wi-Fi and Ethernet network connections can be set to metered but aren't by default. Some apps might work differently on a metered connection to help reduce your data usage. Also, some updates for Windows won't be installed automatically."
As you can see by the description and by the screen shot below, some updates will still be downloaded even over a metered connection. This is a change from previous versions of Windows and may cause you consume more data than expected especially if you use multiple PCs connected to your "low download quota" service.
You need to be aware of this and ensure that you have enough download quota to cope with the demand.
ESET /NOD32 have released a small utility which you can use to check if you have the appropriate Microsoft updates that protect you from the NSA EternalBlue Windows vulnerability which includes WannaCryptor and any future copycat malware that uses this vulnerability.
You can download at the link below and just double click to run.
It only takes literally a second to do the check.
Takeaway message: ALL PC's on a business network should have a UPS, as well as the servers and network hardware (such as network switches).
ALL PC's on a business network should have a UPS (uninterruptible** power supply) as well as the servers and network hardware (such as network switches).
A workstation or PC UPS will help to protect against hardware failure, database & file corruption and lost time due to unexpected workstation power off events. Additionally (although not really measurable) a UPS can also significantly extend the life of the PC by reducing the voltage fluctuations that come in from the energy company, and the negative effect that low voltages or "sags and brownouts" have on the PC electronics.
This is the least expensive item I can find from a reputable supplier:
CyberPower 650VA Backup Utility Powerboard UPS $88 Link. However my experience with those cheap ones is that they last for the duration of the warranty but not much more, I have had to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the past on support costs for "cheap" UPS units that were purchased to save money.
A better quality unit would be something like this:
Socomec NeTYS PE Tower Line Interactive UPS, 650VA $101.00 at last check (plus about $30 freight) Link
A premium product option that should last years and years (with replacement batteries every now and then).
APC SC620I Smart-UPS SC 620VA $303.00 at last check (plus freight - and they are heavy so it can be expensive) Link
UPS power supply units contain a battery similar to a car battery. Like car batteries, they only last for a period of time. Testing the UPS batteries is an important part of system maintenance.
** The word uninterruptible, is a little misleading. Yes, a correctly functioning UPS will prevent interruptions in the event of a short power outage, if the correct size of UPS is purchased you can expect about 20 minutes of battery backup. Before that time the PC needs to be shut down automatic or manually. The higher the overall "load" the less time you have, or, to put it another way the bigger the UPS (measured in "VA") the longer you will have on battery backup.
This blog post has been provided for the benefit of digitalwelcomemat IT customers.
Treat this information as informative only and do not take actions or make decisions on the basis of the information contained here. All IT decisions and actions should be made after consultation with your chosen IT professional taking into account all the of the relevant factors.
Your Windows PC, laptop or tablet can have a lot of external devices plugged in that will play sound here are some examples on just one of my PC's:
To tell Windows where to send your sound follow the steps here
Good (normal business grade) NBN… in my office:
I'm posting this because I have heard a number of comments about NBN being not much faster than ADSL2, of course it depends what NBN are you talking about; $20 a month, no brand, speed limited NBN or something more substantial?
The above graph shows that the measured download speed is over 2 times as fast as the fastest ADSL2 (and perhaps 3 times as fast as the typical ADSL2)
Upload speed is around 20 times as fast as ADSL2
My 39 days of no internet or phones during changeover is just a distant memory now (mostly)
FIVE key considerations to help with protecting your data, your network, your identity and your money.
"Take some time to think about the quality and diversity of your online
passwords would all your online accounts fall domino fashion if one was
I'm reposting this article from October 2013 even more relevant today than then...
The recent Adobe hacker-fest has again brought up the subject of passwords so here is my recommendation...
There are a full set of password rules and suggestions that are already widely recognised as being crucial for online security, see here for a great article: http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2008/06/the-ultimate-guide-for-creating-strong-passwords that pretty much says it all.
However, particularly relevant for now, you need to ensure that your passwords are always different from each other, if your Adobe password has been compromised you don't want that same password to have been used for your banking.
Take some time to think about the quality and diversity of your online passwords would all your online accounts fall domino fashion if one was breached?
If you're having difficulty in tracking all those passwords consider a password manager, there are a number of different product options. I use https://lastpass.com/ which is available in a free version or paid if you want the smartphone apps as well ($12 per year).
Finding how to logoff or switch users on Windows 10 is less "discoverable" than it could be, I have made a quick guide on how to do this here.
If you are a junior IT admin or an administrative staff member that needs to access the servers on occasion *and* you have Microsoft Hyper-V visualization this article may help: (It may just confuse you more as well, sorry about that if that's the case).
Beware the current run of Australia post malware emails, see below (this one is not really from Australia post). Remember to hover over the link in Outlook with your mouse before you click, in the screen shot below the link goes to a Russian web site: I expect is some sort of ransomware. Click on the link below to see the full post...
See the following emails below sent on to me this morning which look legit at first glance. A good reminder to be careful what you click on, see the link on the bottom one points off to a file stored on the sugarsync service. I don't know what this file does but I'm guessing that its not a great idea to find out unless you want the rest of the day (or week) off work.
When you are purchasing MS Office its always been the case that if you purchase the OEM version with the computer (original equipment manufacturer version) the software is locked to that computer and can't be transferred to another new computer when it gets replaced. If you spend sometimes as little as $5 more and purchase the retail version from Officeworks or your local computer store you can install that on your new PC when it comes up for replacement time.
Remember that you can only install retail version software on one PC at a time, there are lots of other purchasing options if you need something different.
Microsoft had a go at changing that licensing for office 2013 but then pretty quickly changed back to what we have traditionally had in the past see here for more details on that:
PC [system software] insurance policy:
For anyone who has taken the plunge and purchased the [outstanding] Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows based replacement for your tablet and laptop (and desktop if you plug it into a docking station) here is a link to the free 100+ page user guide produced by Microsoft.
See the email below, this initially had the correct office of state revenue logo which made it look fairly authentic, this is actually a bogus email and clicking on this link would most probably lead to trouble.
One quick "first" check you can do is to hover your mouse over the link (assuming you are on a device that has a mouse) as you can see by the image below its pointing off to a web site quality assignment something...
Just a hint, a backup drive with all the files on is not a backup those backup drives are more susceptible to failure than the actual internal laptop hard or desktop hard drives.
A backup needs to be a second copy of the data.
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Digitalwelcomemat provides IT consultancy and services for business customers on the NSW Central Coast in Australia.