• The Business

    Automated sales tools

    Marketing collateral, sales tools, and automated reports can save a lot of time in preparing quotations. But will they alienate your customers or win you business?
    read more
  • Telecoms

    Skype and SIP

    Many businesses are now using VOIP SIP connections to deliver IP telephony to user desktops or IP phones. However, until recently the popular low-cost Skype VOIP service hasn’t been compatible with SIP telephony, ?without using third-party tools like those from 3CX.
    read more
Fluff

Dirtection Inc: episode 2

fluff-headerThe secret history of fluff - now it’s war...
People often ask me if it’s boring. The job, I mean – cleaning other people’s computers. “Boring?” I say,
“Is white-water rafting boring? Is tightrope walking over Niagara Falls boring? Is swimming naked with man-eating sharks boring?” If they are being honest, they generally say “No,” or “Probably not”. At which point I snap my fingers, affect a smirk of superiority and say, “Pah! Dull as dishwater compared to cleaning computers!”
   
ServerNetworkBusiness Continuity

Storage: Buy, Build or Restore?

Over the last 20 years we have seen the cost of hardware and software plummet. For the most part, smaller companies can now run the same computing solutions as large companies.

   
Fluff

Dirtection Inc: episode 1

There are 322 types of keyboard fluff. This is the story of one of them.

If it hadn’t been for the piece of fluff, the whole business with the horseflies, the vicar and the postmistress might have turned out very differently. It was a particularly interesting piece of fluff, as it happens, which is why I stole it. Well, I’m not sure ‘steal’ is quite the right word, really. More a case of borrowing. I would have given it back if asked. But, as is so often the case with fluff, nobody asked.
   
ServerServer Resources

What you can do with the second SBS server licence

Small Business Server Premium Edition comes with a licence for a second server (running Windows Server 2008 rather than SBS).

   
Fluff

The Case of the Headless Corpses, Part 1

Three dead bodies, a locked room and a piece of mouse fluff – all in a day’s work for Dirtection Inc.

   
ClientBusiness Continuity

Recovering and protecting data on Mac and Linux desktops

Make sure all of your clients’ computers have a backup plan, whatever operating system they run.

   
The Business

Selling White Label Services

Reselling services represent a significant – and growing – part of the business for many IT consultants. Margins on IT hardware, and to a lesser extent, software, have fallen steadily. The fees that can be charged for higher-value work, such as code customisation and application testing, have also come under pressure, not least because of competition from suppliers in markets such as India or Eastern Europe and Russia.

   
Client

Blackberry Apps Top Picks

1. If your clients rack up the airmiles then WorldMate Live is an ideal travel companion. It’ll help manage itineraries, keep track of exchange rates and weather and (if you’re using the premium version) even find alternative flights.

   
ServerSecurityTelecoms

Stopping Spam for Exchange Users

Spam doesn’t have to be a way of life; add to the built-in spam tools in Exchange Server with services that can almost banish spam from the inbox.

   
Server

Building clusters with Windows Server 2008

Microsoft has upgraded the Cluster Service in enhanced-capability editions of Windows Server 2008 and the whole process of creating and managing clusters has been made much simpler.

   

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IT EXPERT TOP TIP

You want the PCs you support to have the right time for more reasons than keeping the users happy; for one thing, if every PC has a slightly different time, finding which version of a file was updated most recently gets much more complicated. Get your head around the Windows Time Service at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773013.aspx, get the commands for making a PC get its time from the domain at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc758905.aspx and if you want a an alternative time server use uk.pool.ntp.org to get the time from a random time server in the NTP Pool Project (read about the project at http://www.pool.ntp.org/use.html) read more

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