Monday, October 26, 2009

Windows 7 Released - Now how do I use it?

If you rushed out on 10.22.09 and upgraded to Windows 7, you may be asking yourself, "What's new here?"

The Windows 7 operating system shares many features and functions with Windows Vista. It also improves on Vista. Here is a list of features and functions that are unique to Windows 7:

· Action Center – allows users to see what alerts Windows 7 shows; a handy way to control those annoying UAC messages while not having to disable it.

· Aero Shake – click and shake one open window and all others on the desktop will minimize.

· Aero Snap – drag a window to any edge of the display and it will automatically re-size.

· Aero Peek - point to the right edge of the taskbar to watch open windows turn transparent, revealing all your hidden icons and gadgets

· Aero Templates, Themes – new backgrounds and themes unique and created for Windows 7 (including free additional themes downloadable from Microsoft).

· Device Stage - helps users interact with any compatible device connected to a Windows 7 computer; view device status and run common tasks from a single window. The key words here are "compatible devices."

· Domain Join – helps business users quickly connect to different office networks.

· Gadgets (Improved) – the Sidebar has been eliminated; Gadgets can be placed anywhere; New Gadgets have more functionality.

· Home Group – enables users to quickly and easily create home networks between computers using Windows 7.

· Jump Lists - right-click a program icon and see a list of recently used files that use that program.

· Libraries - make it easier to find, work with, and organize documents, music, pictures, and videos scattered across your PC or network.

· Location-Aware Printing – if you travel between offices or home and office, this feature is handy: Windows 7 remembers which network and printer you're using and automatically switches the default printer to match the one you last used.

· Multiplayer Games – Microsoft has revived 3 XP multiplayer games: Internet Checkers, Internet Spades, and Internet Backgammon.

· Networking (Improved) – improved task bar widget that allows for quick network connection and configuration.

· Play to function - right-click the music tracks you’d like to hear and select Play To. Play To works with other PCs running Windows 7 and devices compliant with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) media standard.

· Performance (Improved) – For Sleep mode to reconnect with Wireless Networks, limited background processes to those needed for currently used devices, faster desktop searching, and easier setup for external devices.

· Task Bar (Improved) - "pin" favorite programs anywhere on the taskbar; rearrange programs in any way you like by clicking and dragging. Point to a taskbar icon to see a thumbnail preview of open files or programs. Then, move your mouse over a thumbnail to preview the window full-screen.

· Windows Media Center (Improved) – a few new features and integrates with Home Group.

· Windows Media Player 12 – An upgrade from version 11 that plays the most popular audio and video formats—including new support for 3GP, AAC, AVCHD, DivX, MOV, and Xvid; also available by download, no doubt.

· Windows Touch – support for computer touchscreens.

· Windows XP Mode – Allows an XP session of Windows to run so that Business applications will work within Windows 7 – however, will not work with most current Intel and some AMD-based computers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Your clients are also our clients (CPA's Earn CPE Credit)

Your clients are also our clients. Typically these executives are constantly being bombarded with technical jargon about stuff that they “absolutely” must have to succeed. As their trusted technology advisors, they are continually asking us about social networking, cloud computing, virtualization and business intelligence. As their trusted financial advisors, they may very well be asking you the same questions, if not now, then very soon.

Our goal is to make you as knowledgeable as we can via a series of short seminars that will arm you with the information you need to face the challenging questions your clients will pose.

The first in the series will focus on Business Intelligence. According to a recent Aberdeen study, Business Intelligence (BI) is the number one technology that will impact business over the next 2-5 years.

Join us as we discuss how Business Intelligence can lead to:

  • A 4.8x greater customer satisfaction improvement than competition.
  • A 10x improvement in year-over year % in employee retention rate vs. competition.
  • A 20x reduction in employee time-spent looking for relevant information vs. competition.

(CPA’s Earn CPE Credit)

Date: Thursday November 19, 2009

Time: 8:30AM - 12Noon

Location: Bennett Thrasher – CBIZ Building – 14th floor

One Overton Park, Suite 1000

3625 Cumberland Blvd.

Atlanta, GA 30339

For Directions click here

Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9:00Check-in/Coffee & Danish
9:15 – 9:30Bennett-Thrasher Introduction
9:30 – 11:30Cooperation & Insight
11:30 – 11:55Q&A
11:55 – 12:00Drawing for Microsoft ZUNE MP3 player

To confirm your attendance or to inquire about this free event please send an e-mail to Seats are limited.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buyer Beware

This is often the phrase used when considering the purchase of a product or service that may not live up to expectations. 

As we approach the holiday season and while we’ve got an emotionally charged political climate we all need to be aware of suspicious emails and web sites.  While spam and malware are always searching for victims, this time of year and the social climate we’re in lend themselves to a more volatile Internet environment.

Recently, we’ve seen more virus activity at our clients with current and industry standard antivirus solutions including third party antispam filtering.  In short, these environments have several layers of security built-in, both on premise and remote.  Still, viruses have weaseled their way onto these PCs and have caused much frustration.

Specifically, we’ve seen variations of the MS Antivirus malware infection AKA “scareware”.  This type of infection claims to remove virus infections on the host PC.  However, these infections are bogus and only made to look like the real deal.  If you’re convinced that what you’re seeing on your screen is real, then you’ll click the screen pop up that entices you to download a program to deal with these virus, albeit entirely bogus. 

What makes this worse is the fact that if you’re not convinced, you’ll pay the price in other ways.  From Wikipedia, “This deceptive tactic is an attempt to scare the Internet user into clicking on the link or button to purchase MS Antivirus. If the user decides not to purchase the program, then they will constantly receive pop-ups stating that the program has found infections and that they should register it in order to fix them. This type of behavior can cause a computer to operate slower than normal.”

If you find yourself in the precarious position of having to eradicate this infection, try  Their free tool has handled this malware very well for us and was able to restore the PC to a usable, malware free system.