Articles in the ‘Data’ Category

Compatibility mode in Windows XP can be quite help full some times. But sometimes it can give you lots of problems.  Usually compatibility mode is turned on to support a particular website.   I have seen that most sites work better in Google Chrome browser.  Therefore, always try opening the site  in Google Chrome if you are having trouble with windows explorer.

Now – How to turn off compatibility mode in windows.

Go to Tools – > Compatibility View Settings – >Uncheck Bottom 3 Options

 

Setting up remote desktop on your server can allow you to control your server from other PC’s connected with your network.  This can save you a trip to your wiring closet.   Setting up remote desktop on windows server 2008 is fairly easy process.  Should take you less than 5 minutes.

Step # 1

Go to Windows Server 2008. Yes, you do need to walk over to your windows server 2008 and log in.

Step # 2

Click on your start menu and type “Remote Desktop” in the search field.

Now select, Allow Remote Access to your computer.

 

Step # 3

Once you select “allow remote access” – you will get a properties window.

Simply select the 3rd option (Allow connections only from computers running …..)

Remote access to your windows server 2008 is all set.  Now you can log into your windows server 2008 from other computers on your network.   Also, please make a note of your server name.  You will need it while connecting with the server from other computers.

 

How to find your “server name” ?

Right click on computer (in start menu) and click on properties.  You will get a window with your computer name and other information.

 

 

Are you threatened by cloud computing safety? Don’t think so? Well think over again. Cloud computing is a rather simple concept; using an application without having to install it; say your Gmail account. Remember the policy you agreed to while creating your account with Gmail? Didn’t even read it? Well you should have! Your emails are stored in a central server system to which you don’t have access. The cloud service provider of Google (other similar sites) manages and updates application tools to suit company requirements from time to time. Not that it can be absolutely detrimental to your private information stored with the server, but yes there are risks of data-loss and data-leakage.

 Cloud computing vulnerabilities have closed down companies like Ma.gnolia, and MediaMax. Other serious events (inconvenience of Salesforce.com’s customers to access crucial business application, Nokia Ovi’s server crash and result in loss of data) are pointers that cloud computing await dark days. There are many reasons to justify why cloud is risky.

 Recently BlackHat conference in Los Angeles addressed the key-factors that bully cloud computing. Microsoft, Amazon, Apple’s MobileMe services were some prominent names in “Clobbering the cloud” list.

 One server is responsible for potential data-storage. This is a major drawback in cloud internet. In case the server dies down, data retrieval will be impossible. This makes cloud incompetent. However, many cloud service providers store data across many servers and in few cases they may even store it at multiple data centers.   Before deciding on your cloud project, make sure to ask how and where data is stored.

 Second concern is password security. User-accounts are “safeguarded” only by a password. Rest is left to good humor! Cloud-providers concentrate more on user-friendliness of the server than on security measures or firewall protection. This therefore puts cloud in the risk of getting hacked. Makes cloud vulnerable. 

 Trust counts. More so when you lose it. When working with cloud you can never be sure of authenticity (programs /application /products /machines). Without being aware you can use programs created by someone else and not the cloud-programmer. Scary is it?

 Cloud ignores data-encryption. This makes it easier for a hacker to guess at numbers stored on the main server resulting into unprotected interweb intrusion and data theft. Wouldn’t it be awful if you top-secret business plan is leaked over the internet!  

 Let your fear put you on guard to inspect security policies before you work with cloud.  A proper security system, apart from SSL/ Security Sockets Layer, can make cloud computing safer to use than like platforms. All said, one last reminder; if you are no-no to using cloud then you will be considered old-school; in one word – outdated.  

Medical professionals are always on the go to find the most suitable device to make their work easy. Among their recent list of favorites Apple iPads seems to top the list. A recent survey done by QuantiaMD shows that as compared to 5% total of US population 30 % of the doctors are using iPad.

 So what attracts medical professionals toward iPads? The popular opinion seems to be that these devices are popular as they allow a physician to manage his daily practice despite being constantly on move. Certain popular applications that have made the device a hit among the physicians include:

  •  iPad WebMD: This application, that consists of a drug detection tool, information on treatment and first aid,  neighborhood health register and a tool to check symptoms, is extremely useful as a ready reckoner  for the physician.
  • The Merck Manual: It is like a digital version of the best seller medical text book, “The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy”. This is a handbook which most medical practitioner uses and it is thus extremely useful for the practicing doctor.
  • Medscape: This is a frequently downloaded medical application that provides regular medical update and also has tools to check drug interface and reference procedure.
  • Visual DX: It is a collection of reviewed medical images that allow the physicians to view a   visual representation of the disease thus ensuring diagnostic accuracy.
  • Special Apps for Cardiology and Oncology: The Oncologist and JACC iPad edition are the two specialized medical applications that are used by physicians in the domain of cardiology and oncology.
  • Med Page Today Mobile: The application presents exclusive news from the medical world.

 Such applications have ensured that iPad becomes a favorite among the practicing doctors. However, though most of the medical practitioners prefer it not all of them are favored towards the gadget and they point out that the device has several flaws some of which are as follows.

  •  Most EMR Applications are not built for touch screen devices as iPad. In most cases they need to be used in 21 inch monitor and cannot fit into tiny screens
  • The EMR applications are extremely keyboard and mouse driven and thus they are not fit enough to be used in a iPad. In fact users have provided negative reviews of Critix virtual desktop which is used to access and utilize such applications. The users have pointed out that the Critix virtual desktop is not fitted for the iPad as the users need to pinch and zoom field screens, use ones fingers to put in data to the screen and repeat the process again and again thus accounting for a tiresome user experience.
  • iPad does not have a camera and so you cannot take a photograph of the patient’s condition which at times is needed for diagnosis.
  • iPad touch screen does not work while one is wearing gloves, which is the usual case with medical practitioners.
  • Lots of medical portals use flash plugins. But absence of flash in iPad means those websites are out of bound for the user.
  • iPad is neither waterproof nor it can be disinfected easily.
  • Carrying such equipment can be a headache as it is big enough and cannot fit in the doctor’s coat pocket.
  • The battery life of maximum ten hours a day in iPad does not suit a doctor’s schedule at all. If switched off, it takes considerable time to recharge.
  • Medical practitioners require solid items that would not break the moment they are dropped. IPad is fragile.

Apart from these another major cause of concern for physicians while using iPad is the necessity to use Apple’s new iCloud storage –using this they feel would compromise the security of the data, in many cases which is confidential.

 In the health care world at the moment there is a lot of buzz about the iPad. While some swear by its benefits others are quick to point out its disadvantages. However, only with time we would be able to come to a final decision as whether the gadget is useful for the healthcare industry or simply another passing fad.

 

Comcast launched a special internet plan for only $9.95/month.  This plan provides internet speed of up to 1.5 mbps download and up to 384 kbps upload. Service provider is calling this special an Internet Essential plan for families with low income. You can sign up for this limited time offer by visiting Comcast website.

Comcast is offering affordable internet, computers and digital literacy training to families with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch program. According to Comcast spokesperson there will be no activation fees, no modem rental fees and no price increases.   None the less, this offer is no completely string free.

There are eligibility requirements one must meet to qualify.   You must live within the Comcast service area, and can’t have signed up for the internet service from Comcast within the last ninety days.  Also, customers with an outstanding bill are not eligible for this promotion.   Participants are eligible for this promotional price for three years as long as they have at least one child who qualifies for free school lunches.

This offer is only good for residential customers.  Business customers can contact Fixtro at 510-709-4030 to sign up for Comcast Business Class Internet service starting at only $59.99.

Let us know your thoughts about Comcast Internet Service.

Power Over Ethernet Switch

POE or Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3 AF Standard) is a special feature found in many networking devices including digital VOIP phones, cameras, security systems, switches, and many other devices.  This feature allows Ethernet cables to supply the power for various networking devices, while transmitting and receiving data in the normal way.   Typical PoE customers are businesses wanting to grow their network or adding additional digital VOIP phones in offices and buildings where new power lines would be expensive and/or inconvenient.

Here are the basics you need to know about PoE 802.11 AF Standard:

  • Device supplying the Power is known as Power Sourcing Device (PSE)
  • Device receiving the Power is Known as Powered Device (PD)
  • Normal Power Sourcing Devices provide 15.4 watts of power.
  • 15.4 watts of power can be divided between several PDs.
  • Both PSE and PD can either send or receive power, but not both.

 Things You Should Consider before Buying PSE or PD’s:

Start by looking at how many PoE powered devices you need to add to your network.  Each powered device will have specific power requirements.   You need to carefully calculate how much total power you will need for all powered devices.

For example, Cisco SPA 504G VoIP Phone requires 1.79 Watt. If you were to add 24 Cisco SPA 504G phones to your network, you will need total of 42.96 watts of power.    You should shop for PSE based on this number.    You may notice that 802.11 AF standards only calls for 15.4 watts of power but you can find many devices that can easily exceed this requirement.

For example, In this case you may consider Cisco SF300-24P PoE Switch.  This switch can provide up to 180 watts of power, more than enough to power all 24 phones.   Some other PD products such as wireless access points and security cameras take significantly higher power.  Therefore, switch like Cisco SF300-24P is an ideal PoE solution for small businesses.

 Benefits of using Power Over Ethernet or PoE :

  •  Ease of installation for both PSE and PD.
  • Allows flexibly for adding or moving devices to new location.
  • Cost and Time savings of installing new electrical outlets.
  • One less power adapter to manage for each PD device.
  • PSE optimizes power use to reduce energy costs and protect environment.
  • Automatic power shutoff on PSD ports when link is down.
  • Most Cisco PSE utilizes chipsets that allow for lower power consumptions.
  • Better power management using SNMP and UPS.

Now that you know the power of PoE, make sure to consider power over ethernet devices next time you are thinking about adding any device to your network.

You may find more difficult to find information if your computer or laptop is unorganized and cluttered with unnecessary files, programs, and email messages. These unwanted files can also drag your computer performance down. So if you haven’t organized your laptop or pc recently and it’s running slower than you’d like (or you’re having trouble finding email, files and other documents), the tips and tricks in this article. I will focus on simple steps that can help you delete or move old files and email and can even help you do a thorough cleanup. 

Start By Clearing Out Your Old, Unnecessary Files

Your CPA can tell you how long you should keep your tax return or bank statements. But who can tell you how long should you keep old files on your hard drive?  Only you can answer this question. If you haven’t used a particular file or program for several months, you can probably delete it or store it somewhere else.

Some customers would ask, “How can you tell how old a file is?”

Go to folder where file is store and rest your mouse over the file name to see when it was last changed.   If you would like to know more about this particular file than you can right click the file name and choose Properties.  Under properties, you can see when the file was created, last modified, and most recently accessed.  I prefer to keep files for 6 months in my computer. If I need to keep the file for longer than I archive it in my network attached storage or cloud storage.

I am sure you’re the best judge to determine which files to keep, but you might want to consider saving these items:

  • Business Contracts
  • Tax and legal information
  • Customer Project-related files
  • Favorite digital images from the year
  • Plans or Documents you could leverage for future projects
  • Important email messages
  • Customer information or Contracts

Clear out your old, unnecessary files

So how long should you keep old files on your hard drive? If you haven’t used a particular file for several months, you can probably delete it or store it somewhere else.

How can you tell how old a file is? In the folder where the file is stored, rest your mouse pointer over the file name to see when it was last modified. For more information, right-click the file name and choose Properties. You can see when the file was created, last modified, and most recently accessed. If a file is old and hasn’t been accessed in more than six months, it might be time to clear it out. If you’re not certain, it’s a good idea to open it just to be sure you won’t need it soon.

By looking at the properties of a file, you can see when the file was created, last modified, and most recently accessed.

You’re the best judge to determine which files to keep, but you might want to consider saving these items:

  • Tax and legal information
  • Project-related files
  • Favorite digital images from the year
  • Plans you could leverage for future projects
  • Important email messages
  • Customer information

 

Quick Tip: To quickly find files, organize them by the date they were modified.

I recommend my customers to empty their Recycle Bin once a week. All the files that you have deleted still exist on your computer until you empty your Recycle Bin.  Deleting files in recycle bin is easy. Simply right-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop and then click Empty Recycle Bin.  You can also review the file in your recycle bin before deleting them. You can open the recycle bin and restore any file you like.   Note: You cannot recover the file once you empty the recycle bin.

In addition to deleting files in recycle bin, I recommend deleting temporary files, clipboard files, memory dumps and windows log files.  Some users may also benefit from deleting internet history files, cookies and temporary internet files.  Finding all these files can time consuming and difficult.  Luckily there are some 3rd party applications available that can easily find all these files and help you delete them.  One such utility is CCleaner.   CCleaner is free utility that can help you delete all unwanted files in seconds. 

  •  Run the program and click Analyze to see which files can be deleted.
  • Click Run Cleaner to delete the files.

 How To Clean Out Your Email

Do you have a system for weeding out and organizing your old email messages? Here are a few easy ideas to help your email:

  • Create folders. Name them based on what works for you.  May be by client or topics.
  • Create Rules.  Email rules help you manage your messages automatically.  
  • Use Mailbox Cleanup to assess, locate, and archive email.
  • Go through your Sent folder in Outlook, and delete items you no longer need (especially those with large file attachments).
  • If you’re sure you no longer need email you’ve deleted, permanently delete it all from Outlook by manually or automatically emptying the Deleted Items folder.

  Try these simple tips and see how your productivity and computer speed will increase.

 

 

 

Many small businesses are moving their phone systems to VOIP PBX. VOIP PBX Systems provide significant savings on monthly basis and offers enterprise level features to small businesses. There are many great companies which offer competitive VOIP PBX systems including Fixtro. Vendors offering state of the art, next generation voice solution, talk highly about the value of VOIP PBX, display the incredible features and impress customers with significant savings over their current phone bill. During this magnificent sales presentation, vendors ask, “How many phone lines do you need? And how many minute they will use?” However, most vendors never ask the most important question to their customers, “Is your network VOIP ready?” This critical question is often overlooked because vendors are afraid to lose the sale. They hope that client network is VOIP ready and customer is locked into long term contract before any problem is discovered.

This strategy can result in huge problem for companies who rely heavily on phone calls for their revenue. You are guaranteed to have phone problems if your network is not VOIP ready. Therefore, it is very important for you to know in advance if your network is VOIP ready and what can you expect once your phones are installed. You want to know the problems before they occur and resolve them before implementing your VOIP PBX.

You need to ask these 5 Questions to help you determine if your network is VOIP Ready:
1. Are the WAN and LAN circuits capable of handling the increased traffic from the VOIP deployment?

  • You want to know your network throughput.
  • You want to know what applications are using what percentage of bandwidth.
  • You want to know how much bandwidth you have.
  • You need to know if there are any errors on your network port in router or switches.
  • Is there any kind of excessive utilization on any ports?

2. Do you need to implement QOS (Quality of Service) polices?

I recommend QOS in almost all networks but if you have enough bandwidth you may not need it. However, if you are on border line of bandwidth requirement than you will need to implement QOS. Older switches and routers may not support QOS. Therefore you will have to upgrade your equipment. Therefore, Question #2 becomes even more important. You must understand how your network bandwidth is currently being used and if it can handle the extra VOIP traffic.

3. What type of mean opinion score (MOS) call quality can you expect on your network?

Explaining a call quality to someone can be somewhat tricky. Therefore, experts came up with a numeric value that is given to call quality of phone call. This numeric value is known as mean opinion score or MOS.

MOS score varies for each phone call. Therefore, it is important to measure it as an average so that you can set realistic expectation and come up with a base line for your VOIP network.

4. What factors can affect the voice call quality – delay, packet loss, jitter, codec?

  • Packet Loss – Packet loss happens when packet is dropped by switch or router due to some sort of error. In most applications, dropped packets are retransmitted but due to real time requirement of VOIP calls, voice packets are not retransmitted. This results in gaps in speech, which will drop call quality.
  • Delay – Packets are sent based on first in first out. Due to this rule, packets are stored at router or switch for their turn to be transmitted. A voice packet not prioritized to be sent first when it arrives at the switch or router will suffer a delay and degrade the voice quality.
  • Jitter – Jitter is defined as variation in inter-packet delay. Voice packet is sent with 20 mille second gap in-between packets. If you network has delays at various points than 20 mille second gap can easily turn into 100 mille second gap. Some jitter is expected but excessive jitter can be a problem for your VOIP network.
  • Codec – Various codec’s sample the voice at multiple intervals. You need higher number of voice sampling in order achieve better sound quality. Most common codec used in industry is G.711 and G.729. G.711 codec takes more samples than G.729 and therefore results in better quality phone call.

Packet loss, delay and jitter may change during the day, week or month. Due to this change, call may be OK on Monday but may not be ok on Tuesday or call may be ok in morning but bad in afternoon.
In order to avoid these factors, complete testing of network should be done during various times to get good understanding of bigger picture.

5. How many concurrent VOIP calls can your network handle?

Well, it depends upon the available bandwidth and codec used for the voice calls. I guess better question to ask would be: Do you have enough bandwidth?

To come up with required bandwidth, you just need to guess how many simultaneous calls will be placed across the WAN link and multiple that numbers by the bandwidth metric per codec. For example, G.711 requires 64Kbps per call. Meaning, you can get (64 kbps x 24 = 1.5 mbps) 24 calls on a full T1 Connection. Another Codec, G.729, only takes 8 Kbps per call. G.729 codec allows four times more concurrent calls on same T1 connection.

Let’s say your office has 20 users and 5 people will make simultaneous phone calls to remote office. Your required bandwidth for VOIP network will be 5 x 64 Kbps (G.711 Codec Used) = 320 Kbps. This means you need to make sure you network has at least 320 kbps of extra bandwidth available during normal business hours.

Gathering detailed answer to all these questions can take significant time depending upon the size of your network. But this research will save you time, money and headache over the long haul. Your superiors will appreciate your good judgment and attention to detail.

However, answering these questions is beyond the scope of normal computer user. In fact, they are beyond the scope of average VOIP Company. I have personally called at least 10 VOIP PBX vendors and not a single company asked me, “If my network was VOIP ready?” Most of these companies, quite frankly, don’t care if my network is VOIP ready. And the ones, who care, didn’t bother to ask. This tells me, VOIP Service Providers are expecting that their customers ensure the VOIP readiness of their network. In most cases, do not expect any help from your VOIP Service Provider if the problem exists with in your network.
I have a feeling, you might be wondering, “Can Fixtro help us determine, “If our network is VOIP ready?”. Answer is yes, we can. We can help you gather all the answers and help you carefully design a solid VOIP network.

 

Windows Small Business Server 2011 is ideal for small businesses with up to 25 users.  SBS 2011 is, easy to use, entry level server solution designed and priced specially for those who are on limited budget.   This powerful high performing server can seamlessly integrate into online services like cloud backup, microsoft office 365 or cloud management solutions.

With the introduction of SBS 2011 you no longer have to be spend  thousands of dollars  to enjoy the benefits of  enterprise technologies for file and printer sharing, remote access, data backup and restore, ,and quick connection to the cloud—in one fully integrated solution.

Windows Small Business Server can be deployed and managed easily by your in house  technical person. Moreover, It is also optimized to let you run your  on-premises applications or take advantage of online versions of email, collaboration, and other software that major companies are already using around the world.

Key Benefits of  Small Business Server 2011:

  • Better protection of your business data through automated backup and restore capabilities
  • You can run both on-premise and on-line (cloud-based) software
  • You can easily organize and access business information from almost anywhere
  • You can also run a variety of business tools and software

Picking the right server, deploying, managing and integrating with your applications can be a challenging task for small office with small number of employees. Fixtro specialize in this market segment and can provide you with all the support you need for  fixed monthly cost.  Fixtro will help you pick all the right tools and design a solid core of your business network.  You will be able to share and access your business resources from anywhere in the world.   Contact your IT Project Manager at Fixtro and take your business to next level.

Click on Picture to check 0ut Maker Faire 2011 Pictures