Let me start by saying that storage high availability is not a feature that every business is going to need in their computing infrastructure. Fault tolerant systems in general are arguably unimportant to businesses that can tolerate one or two days of downtime. But without fault tolerance, you better have a well-tested and documented recovery procedure. […]
Who wants to be a commodity?
I have struggled with the MSP model since it came out and have considered writing about it for some time. Today, I realized why we aren’t an MSP. It’s that the MSP play turns both the client and the provider into commodities. For those who don’t know, MSP refers to […]
Given my recent concerns about security, I have pushed myself and my associates to switch to the Mac OS for our desktop systems (hey, Google did it!). Aside from the standard problems all Windows users will experience in the transition like learning new keyboard shortcuts, I have come to the surprising realization […]
Gret was finally complaining about her horrid office chair, so we went looking for a local place with used office furniture. We wanted a greener option than buying new furniture. Also, we wanted to avoid the toxic chemicals off-gassing from new furniture. Gret and I were impressed […]
We often need to help clients get rid of older computer equipment that has piled up over the years. One great solution to this is a non-profit called OTX West (see contact info below). They refurbish used computer equipment and make it available to the Oakland Unified School District and the families of students. For […]
There have been many articles over the past year about hackers using “Automated Clearing House” fraud to steal money from small and medium-sized businesses. The basic premise is that a hacker will compromise the machine that handles bank transactions for your company and steal money directly from your business account.
I would distill my advice […]
Stand up desks have been used to counteract back pain and improve productivity for years, but there might be a more important reason to consider changing the way you work. A recent study suggests that more time spent sitting increases mortality risk regardless of physical activity. So even you exercise a lot, […]
This report from SANS was an eye-opener for me: http://www.sans.org/top-cyber-security-risks.
Priority One: Client-side software that remains unpatched.
Waves of targeted email attacks, often called spear phishing, are exploiting client-side vulnerabilities in commonly used programs such as Adobe PDF Reader, QuickTime, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Office. This is currently the primary initial infection vector used to […]
Don’t ever re-use passwords between sites. Here is an article about high-profile security sites getting hacked:
I’ve been wondering why there aren’t more free internet remote support solutions given that there is very good open source code out there to accomplish this (i.e. VNC). Using VNC requires knowing the host IP and having TCP 5900 open through whatever firewalls the host is using. I have come across a couple of free […]
For corporate video conferencing, we usually have a dedicated “codec” from Tandberg or Polycom. However, we recently ran across this offering from Sony which works well, has nice modular add-ons, supports the latest protocols, and is more economical: Sony iPela PCS-G50. (CDW is a good corporate vendor if you want to simplify purchasing […]
I have been thinking about how to provide health monitoring to our clients, host servers for our consulting business, and have a flexible lab environment for testing and training. We don’t have a data center of our own, so I started looking at dedicated servers, virtual dedicated servers, etc. I was able to cave in […]
Every business will benefit from managing their contact information in a more effective way. (Don’t get me started on CRM – this site is about simple and cheap solutions.) The problem is that this information is often distributed among many sources, excel files, individual users’s address books, Active Directory (GAL), sharepoint, etc. I am actually […]