Carrollton Dermatology Associates
Dr. Thomas H. Lamb, MD.
Brighter Image, Inc.
RA-Lin and Associates
North Georgia Turf, Inc.
When it comes to working on computers, many of us would feel most comfortable using machines and devices that we are used to. There are many companies out there that offer employees a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option. However, there is a new concept that is also starting to catch on: Choose Your Own Device (CYOD).
Below is a brief overview of BYOD and CYOD and the main differences between the two concepts.
The biggest benefit of adopting this policy is that it can save companies money, because the purchase and maintenance of devices is at the expense of the owner of the device, not the company. This can also lead to higher productivity as employees are using their own device which they are comfortable using.
On the other hand, the biggest drawback of this policy is that it does pose a potential security risk. Because users are accessing company networks and the sensitive data stored within them from their own devices, businesses may see an increase in security breaches. The other downside of BYOD is that it can be tough to control devices and restrict access to data. Companies adopting this policy need to ensure that they have a solid system in place that deals not only with security but how the devices are to be used.
The biggest benefit of this type of policy is that you get to pick what devices to offer and also manage them. This means you can limit access to apps, information, and even certain functions. There is also a knock-on effect with this system too, in that your organization will generally be more secure because you manage the devices. You can install virus scanners and other programs that help ensure your networks and the info stored within are secure.
As with most things, there are downsides to this policy too. The biggest is that you likely won't save any money on hardware, largely because you will have to purchase and maintain this yourself. Another potential disadvantage is that your employees may not be happy with the choices on offer and may want to choose to use their own devices. While this isn't the biggest negative, it could lead to a decrease in productivity, or if employees use their own devices anyway it could create a potential security issue.
If you are looking to adopt a new policy, contact us today to see how we can help.
In late October, Google introduced their benchmark phone for the year 2014 - the Nexus 5. When analyzing the technical specifications of the device, many are impressed to see that it has a 2.26 GHz processor, similar in speeds to many mid range laptops. This is impressive, but the issue is whether mobile processors are the same as their desktop/laptop counterparts.
Let's take a quick comparison between mobile and desktop processors.
When processors run they generate heat. Lots of heat. Because mobile devices are considerably smaller than computers, the heat generated by a running mobile processor is often amplified and can seriously harm components, or even melt them. Therefore, the developers and designers of the devices limit, or throttle, the speed at which a mobile processor can run. This means that if a processor is getting hot, it will limit its speed, which equates to slower performance.
Because of this throttling, the processor on many phones will actually run slower than the advertised speed. In fact, the advertised speed of mobile processors is normally the maximum. Compare this to most computer processors, where the advertised speed is usually the average running speed, and you begin to see why computers are more powerful.
The second big difference is connected with performance. If you take a computer and compare it to a mobile device with the same speed of processor, the computer will usually be able to do more. This is because the processor is limited in what it can do by the other hardware components, like the RAM, Graphics Processing Unit, etc. Computers have more space, so they can fit more advanced components, and are consequently able to do more.
That being said, processor and other mobile technology is advancing at a blistering pace and it is highly likely that mobile hardware will continue to increase in overall power, and eventually be able to compete more effectively with larger computers.
If you are looking to learn more about the hardware you use on a daily basis, we have the information you need at the ready.
The holiday season is more or less officially upon on us. As with the past few years, tech items like tablets and laptops will be among the most popular gifts given. Beyond that, the next few months are among the best time of the year to buy a new laptop. If you are already looking for a new laptop this season, for a loved one, yourself, or for business, you know that it can be tough to pick one that will be reliable.
To pick a laptop that will be not only be reliable but also make a great gift, follow our four great tips.
If you are buying a laptop for someone who will be using it for work, and works on a daily basis with intensive software like Photoshop, then look for one with higher-end hardware. If the laptop is going to be used for everyday work, like word processing, email and spreadsheets, you likely don't need one with high level hardware.
When considering different laptops, it is a good idea to actually try the laptop out in the store to see if it can handle what it will be used for.
Now, we all know that many companies don't have the best customer service but there are a number of laptop manufacturers with good to even great customer support. Pick a laptop that is made by the manufacturers offering good support so that should something go wrong, there is a better chance of reaching someone who will be able to effectively help.
How do you know which companies have the best tech support though? The easiest way to find out is to do a search on the Internet. You will come up with a large number of results and rankings, most of which seem to agree that in 2013 the top four brands for tech and customer support are:
What you want to look at is the failure rate of laptops over time. There was an interesting study conducted by SquareTrade last year looking at the failure rate of popular laptop manufacturers over three years. Firstly, it found that one in three laptops will fail or experience hardware failure and need to be repaired within three years.
The study found that Asus laptops actually failed the least - with slightly over 15% of laptops failing within three years. Apple fared in the middle of the pack, with 17.4% of laptops failing within three years. The bottom of the pack was HP, with 26.6%, of laptops failing within three years.
What this study suggests is that the extended warranty plans offered by many companies are likely a good idea, especially if the intended use of the laptop is for business purposes.
The Internet can provide a good source of answers for you. If you take the information about what the laptop will be used for you can use this to look at the various reviews on sites like Amazon, The Wirecutter or Laptop Mag - which is arguably the best site out there for laptop reviews.
The key here is to not pay full attention to the ratings - stars, %, etc. - instead, look at the reviews offered by users. If you are going to buy a laptop for someone who will be away from the office and power sources for a longer period of time, look for reviews from users that mention poor battery life. If you see more than a few reviews that mention this weakness you should probably steer clear of this particular device.
For the vast majority of business users, you will likely want to look for a laptop which reviewers and users call a workhorse. These are usually devices that are not only reliable, but will be able to handle most business related tasks and are available at an affordable price.
If you are looking to purchase a laptop this holiday season, please contact us today so that you get the best gift possible.
The computer's hard drive is one of the most essential components of your machine. This is where all of the programs and data are stored, and without it, the majority of computers would be more or less useless. Of course, hard drives have a finite amount of space, and you may eventually run out. One way around this is to use external hard drives, but are they useful for businesses?
Hard drives are separate drives that you can connect to almost every computer. The vast majority of drives use a USB cable, while some are Apple specific and use the Thunderbolt cable. Because computers, by default, don't rely on these drives in order to operate, they can usually be connected to other devices as long as they have the correct formatting.
There are numerous ways these hard drives can be used in the office. The most obvious is to back up data. Because many of these drives now come with a large amount of storage, you can easily fit computer backups and even systems onto a drive. Add in the fact that they are relatively cheap to purchase, and you can see how they can be a useful tool, especially when combined with other backup solutions.
Four benefits of using an external hard drive in your business The majority of external hard drives are used as some form of backup solution e.g., to actually back up systems, or to keep a copy of files, which afford several benefits:
Two different types of external hard drives
If you are looking to learn more about how you can leverage external hard drives in your business, please contact us today.
The Internet is by now an essential part of our daily lives. From connections at home, to our mobile devices and the office, many of us spend almost all of our waking hours connected and online. The thing is, not all Internet connections are the same. Are you aware of the different kinds of Internet connection available?
Below is a brief overview of the three major types of Internet connection available to many businesses.
Dial-up Dial-up uses a modem that is usually in your computer and connected to a phone line which in turn is connected to other modems. When you connect, your modem dials the other modems, which are usually owned by the phone provider, and establishes a connection, allowing you to access the Internet.
Dial-up is by far the slowest Internet connection, and is pretty rare in most population centers. It can still be found in some rural or remote areas, as it only requires existing telephone lines, but many Internet Service Providers (ISP) and telephone companies have stopped offering this service as technology has simply moved on.
Broadband Broadband refers to any high-speed Internet connection. There are a number of different types of broadband connections, the most popular being:
Other examples of wireless broadband include satellite broadband which is delivered to users by bouncing the connection off of geostationary satellites in orbit above Earth. Connection speeds can be as high as 1Gbit, but because of the distance the transmission has to travel, there is usually a delay of at least .5 seconds, or longer. If you are in a remote location, this is likely the best Internet connection available.
Looking to learn more about the different types of Internet connection available to your business? Why not contact us today to see if we can help.
Many portable electronic devices ship with limited amounts of storage space. Cameras for example rarely ship with an internal hard drive, instead relying on memory cards to store valuable information. Many Android smartphones and tablets also have a slot where you can stick a memory card in to increase storage space. The issue is that there are so many different types of removable memory cards that it can be challenging to differentiate between them.
This article is an overview of the two most popular types of removable memory cards that most electronics use: SD and CF.
SD Secure Digital cards, more commonly known as SD cards, are the most popular storage medium for smaller devices like smartphones and most digital cameras. There are three main types of SD card:
Each size of SD card usually comes in three different types. This designation actually dictates the maximum storage capacity of the card:
Another important point to be aware of with SD cards is the write speed - how fast data can be written, or saved, on the card. Manufacturers designate their SD cards in classes. Most manufacturers will use one of five class designations:
CF CF, or Compact Flash cards, are traditionally found in higher-end cameras like DSLRs. These cards tend to be much larger than SD cards, measuring 36mm length by 43mm wide. They are generally more robust - able to work harsher conditions - than their smaller SD counterparts.
Currently, CF cards are available with up to 128GB of storage capacity. While this is seemingly lower than SD cards, CF can write data a heck of a lot quicker. Take a look at most CF cards, and you will see the words UDMA - Ultra Direct Memory Access. This technology allows for faster data transfer between the memory card and the device.
There are eight different UDMA numbers which indicate how fast data can be written.
If you are looking for a new memory card, it's important to pay attention to what your device's manufacturer recommends, largely because these cards - both SD and CF - can be expensive.
Looking to learn more about memory? Why not give us a shout, we'd be happy to sit down with you.
There is a rising trend among home and private users to want to connect and share what is on their computer on their TV. The ability to show content from sites such as Hulu on your TV is not a new demand, and in fact many users have been doing so through the use of HDMI cables for a number of years. Recently however, there have been a number of devices that utilize WiFi to display content on your TV or other similar device. This technology has piqued the interest of numerous businesses who have asked if or how they can use this technology.
These devices, often referred to as dongles, come in a variety of different sizes, with a variety of functionality. However, they serve one main purpose, to allow you to stream content on your TV. Here is an overview of three of the more popular devices that enable this capability and some examples of how businesses are using it.
Apple AirPlay This little black box allows Apple users to stream content from their Apple computers or iDevice onto any monitor with an HD connection - most users connect the AirPlay to their TV, but if you have a projector with HDMI in, or a VGA adapter, you should be able to hook up AirPlay to bigger screens and even projectors.
The strength of this device is that it allows you to share what you see on your iPhone or iPad. If you have a presentation on your iPad, you can simply connect to AirPlay and share it on a big screen - no more having to carry around a bulky laptop.
AirPlay also supports mirroring. If you have a newer Mac laptop, you can connect to AirPlay and share your laptop's screen, and essentially turning any HD enabled monitor into another monitor. Again, this is ideal for users who need to give presentations or live demonstrations.
The main downside to the AirPlay is that to be able to share your screen, you need to have Apple devices.
Google Chromecast This recently announced dongle was created by Google as a way to stream content like Netflix on your TV. While it is brand new, and the capability is yet to really be seen, the device does allow you to share what is on your browser with the screen/TV it is plugged into. The caveat here is that you have to use Chrome. If you have Chromecast and the latest version of Chrome, you can simply hit a button on Chrome and it will be mirrored to the TV or a display the dongle is plugged into.
There are two reasons this device could attract businesses. The first being the price - at under USD$40, it is the cheapest of any similar device. The second being it is easy to set up. You plug it into a free HDMI slot on the monitor you want to use, plug in the USB cable to a free port or wall mount, turn on the device and connect it to Wi-Fi using a tablet or phone app. This is especially useful for companies that use Google Apps like Drive, as you will be able to give presentations on the big screen easily.
The downside here is that this is new technology, so the features and streaming are limited for the time being. However, this should change fairly rapidly, especially because Google has made the software code that enables streaming to the device available to everyone; more apps and streaming should be coming soon.
Dell's Project Ophelia This may be a project you haven't heard of yet, but it holds some interesting promise. Project Ophelia is a small network enabled device (about the size of a thumb drive) that you plug into any device with an HDMI port. It then connects to a cloud service and displays the content on the screen.
An example of this is connecting to a virtualized desktop, whereby you are able to access your work computer from nearly anywhere. Think, no more carrying a laptop. Just plug it into a TV screen and attach a keyboard and mouse and away you go, connecting to your office over Wi-Fi.
If/when Dell launches this device, it could be a viable virtualization alternative, and especially useful for employees who move around to say different offices or locations on a regular basis. Not much else is known about the device at this time, but it should be coming soon; within the next year or so. Check out Dell's Project Ophelia page here to learn more about it.
Should I get one of these devices for the office? This is a tough question to answer. If you give presentations or use a TV for group meetings or teamwork, these devices could be a useful and inexpensive way to enable streaming. This could be especially useful for employees who are on the road and don't want to carry heavy laptops or worry about systems being compatible.
If you don't give regular presentations, or if you don't use Chrome, Android or Apple devices, these devices are not the best solution. After all, most newer laptops have HDMI ports and can broadcast/share their screen when they are plugged in (some may need an adapter). Our best advice would be to get into contact with us if you are curious about these devices. We may even have a better alternative that will work with your systems.
One of the integral components of a computer is the processor. It's considered the brain of the computer because it runs all the various programs and software. The most popular processors are the Core processors created by Intel. Intel has recently introduced the latest version (generation) of their processor, code named Haswell.
While the new processors are not out just yet, many business owners and managers are wondering what exactly this new version will bring and whether upgrading is worth it when it's released?
Overview of Intel's processors If you have looked at buying a computer in the past three years you have likely heard or seen computers being advertised as having an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7. These processors are Intel's current line or models, used in laptops and desktops.
This year's generation is called Haswell by Intel, but many computer manufacturers will not use this name when presenting technical specifications to users. They will instead use the model name e.g., Intel Core i7 4xxx.
Changes made with Haswell There are numerous changes that Haswell processors bring and here are three that businesses will benefit from:
Should I upgrade my systems? From what we can see about Haswell it will be worth the upgrade for businesses with aging systems, or users needing a boost to the processing power of their systems. If you updated last year, or even the year before that, you will likely be better off waiting a while yet.
Another option could be to wait until computers with Haswell processors enter the market, which should be by mid summer. You will probably be able to get computers with a third generation processor for a lot less. Meanwhile, a third generation processor should be more than able to meet all of your computing needs, especially if you have or invest in a Core i7.
If you are thinking of upgrading or would like to learn more, please contact us.
Computers are complex machines. If you’ve ever looked inside one you know it’s a confusing mess of wires and components. Like all machines, over time they will start to slow down and run slower than before. When this happens it can be troublesome for your productivity, and you may not be able to afford to purchase a new machine. Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep your machine running smoothly.
Below are four things you can do to keep your PC running smoothly.
1. Shutdown properly
If you turn your computer off at the end of the day, or it freezes, it may be tempting to flick the off switch on the power bar, or press the power button until it turns off. This isn’t ideal for your computer’s health because when a computer is unexpectedly shut down, there could be damage to the operating system.
You may notice that when your computer crashes, it takes longer to reboot. This is because Windows is actually searching for, or trying to repair any damage that may have been done. There is a chance that powering down improperly could cause files to become corrupted which may make the system inoperable.
Therefore, you should follow proper shutdown procedures. If you need to shut down quickly, try pressing Control+Alt+Delete and selecting Shut Down from there.
2. Close unnecessary programs running in the background
Some programs are written to be always running in the background. If you look in the bottom right of your screen, you should see programs running beside the clock. In truth, most of these likely don’t need to be open. You should be able to right click on the icon and close them. This will save computing resources and make your computer run smoother.
A word of warning: It’s best not to shut down the antivirus or security software as this will leave your computer open to attack. Also, don’t shut down anything from NVIDIA or AMD as this is your video card software. Closing programs like this could cause your computer to crash.
3. Utilize Add/Remove on a regular basis
Chances are high that you have installed a fairly high number of programs on your computer, some of which you may not use anymore. Those you don’t use just take up valuable hard drive space, and should be removed on a regular basis. You can do this by:
It may take a few minutes to scan your system for programs, but a window will open with all the programs you have installed. Click on those you don’t use anymore and remove them. We strongly recommend that you do not go into different files and delete programs, this could damage your system.
4. Use a malware scanner and antivirus program
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is still worth mentioning that having an antivirus program and malware scanner is a good idea. Many viruses and other malware often hijack system resources causing the computer to run slower, or crash. A regular scan can go a long way in minimizing this, which means your computer will likely run better for longer.
If you are looking for ways to keep your older systems running at their optimal levels, please contact us today to see how we can help you.
Have you ever talked with, or listened to computer or tech experts and heard them banter back and forth using terms that sound outlandish and weird? It's possible that one term that's had you scratching your head is overclocking. The question some manager's may ask when they hear this tech term is, "What exactly is overclocking and can my business benefit?"
Here's a brief overview of overclocking.
Definition: Overclocking When it comes to most tech based devices, the processor (or CPU) is the integral component that functions as the brain of the device; it runs the show. The job of the CPU is to take instructions and input from all the other devices and components and execute them. For example, double-click on a program on your desktop and the CPU computes what to do with the mouse click (open the program), and runs the related code, which is shown as the program opening.
One thing many computer sales people talk about is processor or CPU speed. This is the number of instructions it can run in one second. These instructions are grouped together into one cycle, and one cycle per second equates to a Hertz. You may see computers that have 2Ghz processors, this means 2 Gigahertz or 2,000,000,000 cycles in one second.
Now, when manufacturers release a new CPU they design it to run at a standard, or optimal speed, and will generally limit it. This is done to preserve the life of the components, however there are often ways to break this speed limiter. When you raise the maximum clock speed, beyond the intended clock speed, you are overclocking it.
Why overclock? The main reason users overclock a processor is to make their computer or device run faster. By overclocking, programs will often run or open faster and the general operation will seem smoother. In other words, you can get more out of existing technology without paying to upgrade.
Are there any drawbacks? While overclocking will give you more power and speed, there are some serious drawbacks that make this option risky. The biggest being heat. As you probably have noticed, when you use some devices (say a laptop on your lap) for an extended period of time, they get warm. That's because the components of computers create heat, lots of heat. When you overclock, the processor works harder, thereby generating more heat.
Computers are designed to operate at certain temperatures and if this level is surpassed, the components can wear out more quickly or in extreme cases melt. This means that overclocking will cause your computer's parts to wear out quicker and will decrease the life of the device.
Should we overclock our devices? Did you know that you can overclock nearly anything with a processor? The most common are computers and new smartphones, especially Android devices. When you hear people talking about overclocking their device, they are almost always talking about personal devices.
While it's true, you will get a speed boost in the short run, overclocking will increase your IT budget in the future, because you will have to replace parts more often than is usual. Because most businesses tend to use their technology longer than personal users, any action that causes tech to wear out more quickly is not a good idea.
That being said, you can also do the opposite of overclocking. Underclocking is telling a computer's processor to run slower than it's designed speed. This will increase component life but decrease processing power, and could be beneficial for companies that have new computers and don't need intensive computing resources.
Before you take any actions however, it is best to talk to us, as we may have a better solution for you and one that will cost less.