All of the celebrations are behind us, it is time to get back to work. What are you planning to do this year to make your company more profitable?
We like to work together with our customers to help them plan ways to make their companies more productive, all the while keeping in mind that costs are just as important as increased productivity. Is your current configuration of servers, laptops, desktops, tablets and phone system up to snuff to handle an increase in production?
If your hardware is still good, then check your software. Using older, outdated software programs can cause production delays and frustrate staff and management alike. Make sure your old files are archived and there is plenty of room for the new files you will be building.
Are you still running Windows 7 or 8? We had a few posts about that here on the blog. It’s beyond time to commit to Windows 10 and all related server products. Yes, switching to a new operating system is frustrating, but once your people get used to the differences, it is worth having the protection of up to date software running on your systems.
“Platforms: Start using technology platforms to advance the organization. From search engine optimization to digital assistants to digital automation to virtual reality, what platform will you be using in 2020 to increase member value and the relevance of your organization?
Other online writers are emphasizing the changing face of your workforce. From Millenials who grew up with technology, to boomers, who have learned so much from their experiences and everyone in between. Your workplace culture has to be able to provide an environment that is good for all of these groups.
We look forward to a busy and prosperous year, and we hope the same for you.
I just read an article at Life Hack that offered this statistic, ” According to the recent GEM Global report, almost 100 million businesses are launched annually; which comes to over three businesses every second, or 11,000 new startups per hour. For these small business owners all over the world who compete head-to-head against big guns every day, technology is a vital tool that’s leveling the playing field for these entrepreneurs.”
Here in Vero Beach, there aren’t many places to build a career outside of the Hospitality Industries. People who want a new career, or who see the need for certain types of products or services simply start their own company. Company owners will do their due diligence, build a business plan, find an office, hire employees and all of the rest that goes with a startup. But today, that’s simply not enough. Now you need a system or network of servers, laptops, desktops, tablets, phones, and AR that will help you keep all of those plans in motion.
You need a social media presence, a web presence, and a robust computer network to run it all. It’s important to have the right tools available for you and your employees and make certain that lines of communication are open. Both technically, and in person. Studies show that the better we communicate, the more likely it is employees will be happy, and happy employees can make all of the difference in the success of a company.
It’s also important that your data is protected, that you are providing the most up to date security measures for anyone logging on to your system. Hackers abound and they have nothing better to do than to make your life miserable or cost you money to get your data back. These days they don’t just target big companies, in fact, they like to prey on the vulnerable. If you don’t have a full time IT Support staff or even if you do, it’s always good to have some help from an outside source like Unified Techs.
Managed IT Services, are they for you? Well, it depends. If your company stores customers’ data, if you accept credit cards for payment, if you have more than just a couple of employees, we would say yes.
While most computers look pretty much the same as they have for the past 20 years or so, the internals are changing and getting faster. You can thank the competive nature of the two biggest chip manufacturers for that.
AMD and Intel have been in competition for years. While AMD is known for cheap and realtively reliable chips to power laptops and desktops, Intel has always been the industry leader for the more expensive machines with higher processing power.
Digital Trends magazine recently published a post that goes into great technical detail as to why AMD pulled ahead in the race to see who has the fastest, most efficient line of Servers. The bottom line is it looks like AMD is keeping the pressure on Intel, and despite that, it seems to me that Intel still has the advantage in the higher-end products. Take a look for yourself and see what you think. This is a small excerpt from November 27, 2019, Digital Trends Website:
With cost serving as a major factor in building, upgrading, or purchasing a PC, choosing the right CPU often comes down to finding the one that offers the best bang for your buck.
In the past, AMD CPUs offered lower prices paired with lower performance. That’s not the case with its latest generation of CPUs. While AMD still represents great value for money, it does have several costly options which are even more powerful than the Intel alternative in some cases.
At the very low-end of the scale, AMD and Intel chips cost between $40 and $60 for a couple of cores and energy-efficient clock speeds. At the top of the scale, however, both camps have amazingly capable $500 chips.
For the red team, AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X is the current king with 16 cores and 32 threads. It pierces that $500 range with a suggested price of $749.
Meanwhile, Intel’s current top gamer chip, the 9900K, comes with eight cores and 16 threads. It’s clocked a little higher with a 5GHz single-core boost versus AMD’s 3950X at 4.7GHz. It is priced at $472. For middle-ground options, our recommended Intel chips include the Core i5-9400F for $145 and the Core i7-9700K for $359.
The laptop market is a different story. Most of what you’ll find are based on Intel processors of various generations and integrated graphics. As a Dell representative pointed out last year, Intel’s portfolio is simply huge compared to AMD: The gap between the two companies is substantial in terms of market share and “use cases.”
AMD is set to have its hardware at the heart of many laptops by the end of 2019, however. It’s already included in a few new offerings, like the new Acer Swift 3 or the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3. Progress on the mobile front will continue into 2020, though there’s a long road ahead.
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
For now, however, the market is mostly dominated by Intel. You can pick from a wide range of configurations, including 8th, 9th, and 10th-gen CPUs. The latest range sports Intel Ice Lake 10th-generation processors with 11th-generation onboard graphics. They represent some of the most capable and efficient laptops available, like the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. As an alternative to Ice Lake, Intel also offers 10th-gen Comet Lake processors, which include a special six-core Core i7.
Typically if you’re looking for good, all-round power in a laptop, Intel Core i5 processors from one of the recent generations are a great bet. Core i7 and Core i9 CPUs offer much more general computing performance, but unless you’re performing some heavy workloads, a Core i5 is going to be more than enough in most cases.”
Overall, both companies produce processors within striking distance of one another on nearly every front — price, power, and performance. Intel chips tend to offer better performance per core, but AMD compensates with more cores at a given price and better onboard graphics. Until Ryzen 4000 mobile chips land in 2020, Intel has a serious lead in this category
Mid-range Ryzen processors are well worth considering too. The Ryzen 3600 and 3600X offer incredible value while being very capable gaming chips. Even at the very low end, AMD’s Ryzen with Vega APUs offer decent gaming performance that’s worth considering. But their weaker processing capabilities mean they aren’t the best value long term unless you plan to upgrade down the line.
Unless you’re trying to play at very high frame rates or are locked to lower resolutions, like 1080p, the CPU is rarely the limiting factor in games. Springing for a more powerful graphics card will usually yield better results than shelling out cash for a more powerful processor.
And don’t forget that syncing technology like FreeSync and G-Sync can also make a big difference in gaming appearance, with or without optimizing your processor.
In some cases, you can opt for the best of both worlds. Intel and AMD recently partnered to create combination chips with Intel CPU cores and AMD GPU cores on the same die with the likes of the Core i7-8809G. In our testing of the 8809G-equipped “Hades Canyon” NUC, we found it to be a solid gaming machine, so it could be that this partnership leads to much greater hardware options in the future.”
What does this mean for business owners? It means that these two chip manufacturers are competing for who can make the fastest, most reliable products and while we as end-users probably don’t give a big whoop about who actually wins, the competition of these two companies and the quality and speed of the processors and servers will ultimately benefit you. The Faster the processing speed, the more data you can move in a shorter period of time. The better access you will have to data which will ultimately improve your business and so on and so forth.
Yes, it is convenient to have the ability to access WiFi in public places. But is it smart? The answer is no.
It is not even a good idea to plug your smartphone or tablet into public charging stations.
Why? Because people who steal data, personal information and plant software on your very personal devices will have access to your information. Not only that. If you are a lover of smart devices, they can have access to every device in your home that is currently set up to respond to commands from your smartphone, computer or tablet.
Almost every smartphone has the ability to become a mobile hot spot, so if you really need to use WiFi outside your home, then please, call up your hotspot and log into your own WiFi network.
It is also very important you check your settings on your smart devices and make certain to disable the option to automatically connect to any available WiFi network.
Many of us will be travelling to visit friends and family in the coming months. Yes, it’s nice to be able to spend our time watching a movie, reading a book or listening to music. But a better way to do that is to prepare ahead of time and download your books, music, and movies onto your tablet before you go. And perhaps, if you have the option, kick up your data plan for the months you plan to travel. It’s also a good idea to bring your own portable charging device.
Please, in addition to not using public WiFi, install a robust antivirus program on your phones and tablets. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Stolen data can affect your life for years. Your credit can be ruined, private communications could be shared and even your home can be compromised. This is serious, don’t take it lightly.
If you think we are being alarmists, take a look at this excerpt from a post on TripWire.com:
“……WIFI HACKS FLY UNDER THE RADAR
While theft of data from unsuspecting consumers using public WiFi spots is presumed to be fairly pervasive, it doesn’t get the attention that major hacks of corporate or financial systems do. These thefts happen in dribbles – with bad guys stealing bits of information from many users and accounts – rather than a tsunami.
One contributing factor is that WiFi is so pervasive. A 2015 report by WiFi network provider iPass estimated that there were more than 50 million public hotspots worldwide – one for every 150 people, a number which is expected to grow to 340 million by 2018, or one for every 20 people on earth.
At UTS, we have been in the tech support business for a long time. It is our chosen profession to help those companies in our area who have IT issues. It’s a profession we love. But there is nothing that makes us groan more than when a client calls up and says, “you have got to recover our data, and we haven’t been performing regular backups”. There is nothing more terrifying as a business owner than to lose access your computers and find your most important files are missing. Your data is essential to the smooth operation of any business.
Backing up your data has always been important, and Cloud backup is rapidly becoming the go-to method of backing up data. It is significantly more efficient than other options. Here in Florida especially. When your data could not only be lost, but your entire information systems structure could be damaged.
Why you should backup
The main purpose of backing up your data is, of course, the ability to roll back and access your archives in the event of local hardware failure. To do business today, you need the confidence of knowing that in the case of catastrophe, your data will be protected and available.
By backing up your information in the cloud, you have the perfect destination for your archives, as your files will be at once everywhere; no longer dependent on any single computer or server. Virtual server environments are in reality vast networks of server centers located around the globe, so that even if an entire facility fails, another failsafe is in place.
Data loss is also a significant hit to your bottom line. Without your data, invoices can’t go out to customers, shipments may be delayed, creative projects could miss their deadlines and the ability to serve your customers will be severely impacted.
Advantages of cloud backup
Ask anyone who lives in Florida, Louisiana or the Carolinas. Each year we hope and pray that hurricane season will be mild. Or at least that any big storms will pass us by. But there is no way to be certain of exactly when a hurricane or tropical storm will hit. This is not why we can’t stress enough having methods in place. It’s important to keep a copy of files offsite. Even if business files are backed up on a file server, a hurricane, flood, fire or theft could destroy the computers… and your regular backups. Keeping backed up files in the cloud ensures data is safe no matter what is going on at your office.
Cloud Backup can also be accessed from pretty much anywhere. So, if the power is out and you can’t work in your regular location, it’s possible to take your laptop and set up shop somewhere a few hours away where you have access to power, internet and your data.
So, don’t wait any longer, get yourself set up in the clouds.
For many of you, a great physical keyboard is a must. But with dual-display devices making their way through the lab, maybe we’ll all end up typing on glass. In any case, Microsoft made the on-screen keyboard ( the one you’d use with a tablet in tablet mode) more responsive by widening the landing areas of certain keys beyond the drawn boundaries of the key.
Those wider landing pads trigger only in certain cases, though—when Microsoft’s AI predicts you’re trying to type that word. The touch keyboard also can generate the list of items for the revamped emoji/kaomoji/symbols keyboard.
Unconfirmed sighting: RAW image support
It’s unclear whether RAW image support will make it into the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. RAW, a minimally processed image file format, doesn’t include the compression JPG files do, so photographers typically prefer working with the format to make their own edits.
Within the Insider versions of Windows 10, Microsoft included a special build of a Raw Image Extension (Beta) app that should let Windows treat RAW photos just like JPEGs. In practice, it didn’t quite work out that way: Sony .ARW (RAW) files displayed as random noise or fuzzy, thumbnail-quality images, while Fuji’s .RAF files opened in Windows’ Photos app normally.
With the popularity of texting/Facebook Messaging/Slack…email is no longer regarded as an essential tool for online communication among millennials. Most of us probably use our personal inboxes more as a way to collect Uber receipts and track the status of our Amazon purchases than for keeping in touch with friends and family.
Even though it’s used less in our personal lives, whether we like it or not, emails are a part of business. The issue with email comes as you get more and more inundated with email messages. At some point, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your important emails get read. One method you can use on your own outgoing emails is to adopt some best practices for professional email etiquette. From a professional email greeting to professional email format, it can all make a big difference.I have listed below some best practices for business email etiquette tips that will increase the odds of your emails being read rather than trashed..
1. Use a professional email address Most companies provide a professional email address for their employee’s correspondence. Proper email etiquette calls for sending emails from your business email address rather than from a personal email address. Using a personal email address for business purposes can be seen as unprofessional by some, especially if you’re discussing confidential matters.
2. Use clear and precise subject lines To ensure your email gets opened, read, and thoroughly understood, start with a short and precise subject line addressing the issue at hand. Ex. “Wednesday Meeting Agenda”. You should title your email in such a way that the recipient immediately knows what the message is actually about.
3. Avoid “reply all.” It’s usually a good idea to forego the temptation to hit the “reply all” option when sending professional emails. Proper email etiquette aside, it can be quite annoying for people to be included in a group email if the content of the message has nothing to do with them. So be considerate and hit “reply all” only if the message would be of interest to all of the recipients. Otherwise, your email might be considered spam.
4. Acknowledge emails. With business email, even if you are too busy to reply with a full on answer, it’s always a good idea to at least send an acknowledgment and follow up later. You should not only acknowledge all emails but also do so in a timely fashion. Since this is not always standard practice, you’ll be surprised at how much your professionalism can set you apart.
Remember to keep these tips in mind next time you open up your inbox at work and in no time you’ll be an email expert!