20 May 2014
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This email newsletter covers a range of current topics, all of which are hopefully informative and some of which may be of interest to you.
We have noticed a significant trend towards moving one's important data files (mainly photos) to an external hard disk drive and deleting said data files from the computer in the hope that this will assist with the performance of the computer. Sadly, this is almost never the case and in fact the data files are more at risk of loss on an external/portable device than they are on the computer. We recommend that your valuable data files are retained on your computer and that you have at least one external copy of your data on a USB hard disk drive, preferably two copies as a minimum. You can store secondary backups on DVD, USB sticks, floppy disks (just kidding!) or in the Cloud (see below)
The Cloud is simply another expression used to describe the internet. Storing secondary backup copies of your data in the Cloud is a great idea keeping mind you need a fast internet connection with a decent data allowance. We recommend Google Drive (as part of our wider Google recommendations) because you can get 15 gigabytes of cloud storage for free and you can upgrade the storage capacity to 100 gigabytes for just $25 per year.
We recommend Gmail by Google, it is free and once you have created your Gmail address you don't need to change it if you change internet providers in the future. Gmail is cloud-based and simply wonderful to synchronise if you have multiple devices. We regularly configure smartphones, tablet computers and PC's so that they can all send and receive your emails and any action you take on one device (send/receive/delete etc) is reflected automatically on the other devices. And if you don't have one of your devices handy you can login to Gmail on any computer which is connected to the internet. And best of all Gmail includes 2-step verification which ensures the security of all of your email communications.
Microsoft Windows XP
If you have an older computer running the Microsoft Windows XP operating system you are probably well aware that Microsoft has ceased support for Windows XP. If you have been discussing your options with us you will have noticed that we are not falling into line with Microsoft's massive marketing push to get people to upgrade. Having said that, there is no doubt the useful working life of Windows XP is quite limited, it is our view that most Windows XP users will want to upgrade or change their computer(s) by the end of this year. At the moment, if your Windows XP computer is doing what you need it to do, and you have current internet security installed, then you can quite happily continue until you find there is something that you cannot do on your computer. It might be an incompatible new printer, some incompatible new software or a new device, or it might be that you cannot access your favourite web page. None of these things have happened yet, but some or all of these things will happen sooner rather than later.
Microsoft Windows 8
For home computer users, we recommend the Windows 8 operating system, it is faster, more secure, more reliable and more compatible than all of the previous versions of Windows. Windows 8 has had some (OK, quite a lot) of negative press which is almost entirely related to the new Windows Start Screen which is quite different to use (mainly because it was designed for touch-screen devices) so we configure every Windows 8 computer with an optional Start Menu which delivers a very familiar Windows interface. This approach has proved entirely successful across our customer base. If you are a business user, and particularly if you have multiple computers running older software then the Windows 7 operating system is still a good idea, however with our approach to Windows 8 it is equally viable to run with Windows 8.
You will have noticed that we have changed our (decade long) recommendations from McAfee to a layered approach including MalwareBytes Anti-Malware. Our layered approach means that you have three different software manufacturers protecting your interests, each layer overlaps the other two and delivers a comprehensive security solution at a much lower cost. For our current recommendations, browse to http://www.lcc.com.au/malwarebam/InternetSecurityRecommendations2014.pdf
LCC Service & Support
As many small businesses are aware, retailing is a much more challenging environment than it has ever been, mainly because of the internet, but also because pretty much all manufacturers in the IT industry have their own websites and will happily sell direct to you, the end user. We are quite relaxed about this trend because online pricing generally has the service component stripped out of the price which makes for a much lower initial cost. At LCC, we fill in this gap with the services we provide across a wide range of products we don't sell. Many manufacturers of hardware now do exclusive deals with the larger chain stores which makes it impossible for any other retailer to sell those particular items. Again, we fill in the service gap and do a lot of work on products which have come from chain stores like harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith and Radio Rentals to name just a few. Because we have always been service based this has been a straightforward transition for our business.
So, we are providing a lot of expertise locally on a range of devices including the full range of Windows desktops, laptops and tablet computers, the complete range of Apple devices including the iPad & iPhone, we can also configure any brand of Android phone or tablet and we have particular expertise in setting up Wi-Fi so you can connect everything from your multifunction printer to your TV
Above all, we make sure we are giving reliable advice to our market across a range of computer products, we have been in business for over 30 years now and our longevity is largely due to a wonderfully loyal customer base where there remains a strong appreciation for quality local service.
If there is anything you need, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, give us a call on 08 8682 1666 or drop in to our office at 92 Washington Street
Regards and thanks