There is a major Vodafone mobile network outage currently happening this includes digitalwelcomemat, if you need me please email.
There is a major Vodafone mobile network outage currently happening this includes digitalwelcomemat, if you need me please email.
Tech journalists have been reporting in the last few days that:
"Microsoft is readying multi-session support for Windows 10 [for remote desktop/remote access]
Microsoft looks poised to add a new Multi Session option to Windows 10, likely this fall, which will allow IT to provide multiple users with remote access to desktops/apps without relying on Windows Server [for that role]…"
More information as it comes to hand later in the year, at the end of the day its really all about the total licensing cost so we will have to see if there is any real change for business.
Take away message: Find out when your traditional phone services are being cut off due to the NBN and take some action well before then.
"Homes and business have 18 months to migrate to the NBN once it is available to them, after which traditional copper and cable services in the area are severed — cutting off fixed-line phone and internet access."
You can check your address here (https://www.nbnco.com.au/connect-home.html) and you may see advice similar to as follows:
"The disconnection process for the old phone and internet network in this area is scheduled to begin on July 2018"
You can also find additional information about timing via the Telstra wholesale website which has some downloadable spreadsheets searchable by suburb.
For some information on what will be turned off the following web sites list services that will be cut of or need to be considered:
What will be turned off?
"As well as phone and Internet, it's important to consider other services running off the old copper-based network that will be affected after the switch-off date. These include:"
Of most concern for most businesses is the phone lines and existing phone system. Note that you almost universally do NOT need to purchase a new phone system or sign a new contract with Telstra to maintain your lines regardless of what Telstra the sales people may tell you. In fact with the Telstra demotion from network owner and maintainer to "Just another player in the marketplace" I would suggest that Telstra may not be the best provider for phone line services going forward (mobile services excluded from that statement).
Once the NBN has rolled out and your phone lines have been converted, phone calls will be made over the internet. In reality you should not notice any difference you can typically use the same phones or phone system that you have now.
For your existing phone system (PABX) you will need to look at getting a SIP gateway device, which is similar to a set-top box when we moved from analogue to digital TV. Once you have this in place, the new phone lines connected, and the number(s) transferred over. Your old phone system should be able to make and receive calls just as you always have but using SIP or Voice Over IP (VoIP) as the underlying technology.
If you do need or want a new phone system for whatever reason a more sensible approach to replacing a system where the concept hasn't really changed much since the 1970's, is a virtual PABX. There are a number of significant benefits to this and it will probably work out a *lot* less expensive upfront and ongoing.
I will be contacting all of my customer individually to discuss this further.
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.
The Windows 10 Fall creators update is available now if you don't want to wait for the staged automated install .
For a single PC just go to the following web site and click "update now". If you have multiple PCs you can also create an install disk either on USB or ready to burn to DVD.
This will need to be done from an administrative account and I suggest you plan to let it run overnight. As always make sure you have good backups if you store data on the PC that's getting updated.
When you log on to work remotely and your connection speed is 34 times faster than it was yesterday you know its going to be a good day...
Good quality 100/40 speed FTTN NBN is a wonderful thing even if you are a long way out of a metro area. (Exetel in this case)
Over the weekend, news broke of a new ransomware threat called WannaCryptor.
WannaCryptor is a worm that was developed thanks to the release of a hacking tool developed by the US NSA in the called EternalBlue.
If you PC becomes infected, normally by one of the common methods, opening an infected email, an infected USB disk, or an infected website the worm will infect any PC on the network that does not have the appropriate security patch installed. The end result is that all your files will be encrypted and you will have to undertake a massive clean-up and restore from backup or consider dealing with the ransomware creator (with no guarantee of getting your files back).
Microsoft patched that vulnerability in March this year in supported systems. But PC's and servers that are not patched either automatically or manually will be vulnerable including (and of particular concern) is always those operating systems that are no longer supported. Microsoft has released a one-time update for Windows XP, Server 2003, and Windows 8 even though these operating systems are no longer supported and are in most cases well over 10 years old: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msrc/2017/05/12/customer-guidance-for-wannacrypt-attacks/
Nod32/Eset antivirus provider have provided this brief statement: "ESET products can detect and block this malware" (http://support.eset.com/alert6442/) However, there will be new variants released over the coming weeks so you should have multiple layers of protection.
The usual security precautions apply to try to prevent getting this (or any other) virus or malware:
Microsoft had a big product launch in the US overnight I haven't had time to fully digest it yet but here are some of the highlights:
[Updated 26/05/17 this still works]
Reportedly you can still get a Windows 7 (or 8) - Windows 10 free upgrade the following way:
(Requires **erasing your PC** and some advanced knowledge of boot selection and install procedures, only for power users and make your own investigations before attempting this)
I expect this opportunity will only be for a limited time MAKE YOUR OWN INVESTIGATIONS BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS.
THIS INFORMATION PROVIDED WITHOUT WARRANTY OR OFFER OF FREE SUPPORT.
A number of sources in the media are reporting a bogus email purporting to come from AGL Energy that contains malware. This malware typically installs some type of ransomware on your computer that will encrypt all the data files that it has access to (including network shares) and demand a ransom before they [promise to] unlock them.
It's been reported that this has affected over 10,000 Australians in a week. Here are some links for more information:
So "I guess", be on the lookout for this one however that's in some ways a bad approach. Being on the lookout for an AGL email when the same thing has been coming from emails purporting to be from Australia post, DHL, Telstra and others for some time now isn't very effective. A better approach is to be careful with ALL emails and have the proper prevention and mitigation strategies in place.
Here are three things you can do as a starting point:
(for your information I can recommend that dedicated antispam product for about $3.50 per user per month)
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.
Q: Now that I have Windows 10 can I stop it from updating at the most inopportune times?
A: Yes and no, go to start -> settings -> "update & security" -> "Windows update" -> advanced options -> defer updates
This will defer them for a while but does not affect security updates:
"Defer upgrades in Windows 10 - Some Windows 10 editions let you defer upgrades to your PC. When you defer upgrades, new Windows features won't be downloaded or installed for several months. Deferring upgrades doesn't affect security updates. Note that deferring upgrades will prevent you from getting the latest Windows features as soon as they're available.http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-10/defer-upgrades-in-windows-10
However that's probably not want you are after. The intended approach is to leave the PC *on* overnight but *not* logged in same way Windows has handled updates for years. That way it will handle all that stuff overnight when you are not using it and restart around 3am - 4am if needed. This would require sleep setting to be set appropriately (I always recommend that sleep is turned off on PC's and laptops anyway), bear in mind that with a Windows tablet that's probably not feasible.
One of the big changes that Microsoft made in windows 10 is that it WILL do its updates eventually regardless, its created a bit of angst within the industry but the problem they were facing is that people never allowed Windows to update (mostly by turning the PC off overnight every night) and as such Windows didn't get the security fixes and PC's were often vulnerable to the bad guys long after Microsoft had released the patch.
There are a couple of ways of "hacking" this so that it won't do updates unless you manually force it, but for the reasons above it's not recommend because you really want to get the security fixes without manual intervention.
Consider leaving your laptops and desktop PC's on overnight (and logged out) or at least over "a" night during the week.
Interesting article from ZDNet. This is why I prefer a company specified and IT retained password for small organizations. It also means that IT support work can be done outside business hours so as not to impact on staff productivity:
Forcing users to change their passwords may do more harm than good: (ZDNet) http://www.zdnet.com/article/forcing-users-to-change-their-passwords-may-do-more-harm-than-good/
Further, Cranor notes that "There is also evidence from interview and survey studies to suggest that users who know they will have to change their password do not choose strong passwords to begin with and are more likely to write their passwords down."
I have prepared this handy flowchart to assist with resolving issues when you have to deal with your internet service provider(s) for your actual internet, Telstra for half the infrastructure and NBNco for the rest, enjoy! (After 38 days without internet I certainly am.)
This is a pretty succinct summary of the way that Office 2016 licensing works for a Microsoft store purchase which is slightly different than previous versions. This is AU$299 for 1 (only) PC for the Home and Business edition (with Outlook).
Make sure you have one centrally administered Microsoft account for your organization to hold all these MS office products.
Lies, damned lies and "The Cloud" - Part 1: Cloud accounting…
[Warning opinion ahead, your mileage may vary]
In 2004 I bought QuickBooks accounting, as I recall it was $350. It's still going strong for me and I don't have a reason to change. Admittedly I am a micro-business and I don't pay wages and have to worry about all that. I just had a look at Xero online accounting I watched their introductory video, looked pretty good although they do get a penalty for overuse of the word "beautiful".
Then I had a look at the monthly fee $50 per month. Let's calculate that out $50 x 12 months x 11 years that's $6600 (plus another $6600 for the next 11 years). No thanks cloud I'm fine thanks with my less beautiful product from 2004.
Definition of "The cloud" 1: A way of taking something that you would otherwise "purchase" and making you "subscribe" to it while costing you 20 times as much (and counting), but it is "beautiful" and you do get some nice extra features.
We already know that almost nothing comes for free and if you're getting something for free in the world of IT this normally means that your being served up advertising or you are trading your personal data for the purpose of advertising, people differ in their opinion on that, I have heard it said "I love adds because that means that I don't have to pay for the service", others prefer a traditional model where they can just purchase whatever it is and get on with things without interruption. However antivirus manufacturer AVG has sent a few ripples through the tech industry by announcing that if you use their free antivirus product they will collect sell your data, however the data will not be personally identifiable. If you use AVG free for home PC's for example here are some resources to help you consider if your happy with the change.
Microsoft has released a Windows 10 tool to download the required files and make an install DVD disk, USB or ISO image:
If you have multiple PC's that your upgrading and you don’t want to download 3+GB of data per PC this is the way to go. Also doing this at a time that you specify may be better than risking your PC's auto updating at the most inopportune moment.
The install media also gives you the ability to erase your PC and do a fresh install (after backing up your data) just bear in mind that the mechanics of how licencing and product keys work in terms of your free entitlement is still unknown present.
My initial "don’t upgrade yet" recommendation still stands unless you are a "tech enthusiast" and either way I highly recommend you take a full "system" backup first see here for more detail.
Microsoft released Visual Studio Community edition for free this week. If you ever had the urge to develop software (and the time to learn) the same professional software that cost $800 last week is now available for free. You can use it personally, in a business and even to create software for resale.
digitalwelcomemat now has a blog!
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Digitalwelcomemat provides IT consultancy and services for business customers on the NSW Central Coast in Australia.