IT Solutions worthy of a High Five
 

Ransomware Gets Worse

November 6th, 2013

Last year we introduced you to Ransomware.  This form of PC infection has gotten worse.  Today.com describes the infection in more detail, but here is a condensed version.  This infection encrypts your important files (pictures, documents, etc) with military grade encryption.  The only way to get your files back are to pay the author of the virus $300 or restore them from backup.  They author only gives you three days to pay before the encryption key is deleted for eternity.  Contact Five to discuss your backup plan or to setup backup for your business.  I’m not sure anyone these days can afford to lose their critical data.

Barracuda SPAM Filtering

October 1st, 2013

Since we started using a Barracuda SPAM Filtering Appliance, we’ve filtered over 4 million email messages.  Ourselves and our clients have seen a drastic reduction in the quantity of SPAM messages making it to our inboxes.  Not happy with to amount of SPAM you have to deal with on a daily basis?  Contact Five Technology and we can setup this filtering for you.  It doesn’t matter who hosts your email.  You can keep it where it is and allow us to filter the junk before it arrives in your mailbox.  Take a look at the breakdown of filtered mail.

Barracuda_Results

 

Windows 7vs8 SSD Optimization

April 25th, 2013

Here is a list of items to help you optimize your Windows 7/8 operating system to get the most out of your machine!

Disable indexing

Description: Indexing creates and maintains a database of file attributes. This can lead to multiple small writes when creating/deleting/modifying files. Searching for files will still work.

Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services – > Right-Click Windows Search -> Startup type: Disabled -> OK

Description: We also need to stop Windows 7 indexing the SSD. SSD drives seek so fast that Indexing is not needed. In fact, while Windows 7 is indexing the SSD it is slowing down your system.

Instructions: Go to Computer -> Right click on SSD Drive -> Properties -> Uncheck Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties -> Click OK
Once you unchecked indexing follow the onscreen instructions, you may have to skip some files you do not have access to.

Disable defragmentation (no need disable with W8)

Description: Defragmenting a hard disk’s used space is only useful on mechanical disks with multi-millisecond latencies. Free-space defragmentation may be useful to SSDs, but this feature is not available in the default Windows Defragmenter.

Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services – > Right-Click Disk Defragmenter -> Startup type: Disabled -> OK

Turn Off the Disk Defragmenter Schedule (no need disable with W8)

Description: Disk Defragmenter schedule allows to run defragmentation automatically in Windows 7. Disk Defragmenter is set to run on a automatic schedule by default in Windows 7.

Instructions: Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter -> Click on the Configure schedule button -> Uncheck the Run on a Schedule box -> Click on OK -> Close the window.

Disable Superfetch (no need disable with W8)

Instructions: Open regedit.exe and browse down to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

Find the “EnableSuperfetch” key on the right-hand pane, rightclick it, hit modify and change 3 to 0 and hit OK.

Disable Prefetch (no need disable with W8)

Description: Frees up RAM by not preloading program files.

Instructions: Open regedit.exe and browse down to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

Find the “EnablePrefetcher” key on the right-hand pane, right click it, hit modify and change 3 to 0 and hit OK.

Firefox – Use memory cache instead of disk cache

Description: If you use Firefox, there’s a way to write cached files to RAM instead of the hard disk. This is not only faster, but will significantly reduce writes to the SSD while using the browser.

Instructions: Open Firefox -> Type about:config into the address bar -> Enter -> double-click browser.cache.disk.enable to set the value to False -> Right-Click anywhere -> New -> Integer -> Preference Name “browser.cache.memory.capacity” -> value memory size in KB. Enter 32768 for 32MB, 65536 for 64MB, 131072 for 128MB, etc. -> restart Firefox

Note: If you’re going to install RAM Disk on your computer you can change the Firefox cache location to the RAM Drive.

Disable Hibernate

Description: You may free up 1GB of space on the SSD if you have 1GB of memory, 2GB of space if you have 2GB memory. You will lose the hibernation feature which allows the equivalent of quick boots and shutdowns.

Instructions: Start Menu -> Type cmd -> Right-Click the cmd Icon -> Run as Administrator -> Type powercfg -h off -> Hit ENTER -> Type exit -> Hit ENTER

To enable type: powercfg -h on

source: My Digital Life Forums

What is Ransomware?

October 12th, 2012

Ransomware is a form of infection on your computer.  The infection holds your computer hostage until you pay to have it unlocked.  Usually, the creators of these infections disguise the infection in a way to scare you into paying.  This has been done by pretending to be the FBI, and more recently, a SOPA Protection System accusing you of online piracy.  Whatever you do, DON’T PAY!  Contact our support team and we can help you remove the infection.

Spyware Causes Large Print Jobs

June 26th, 2012

Symantec has revealed that large print jobs of gibberish could be related to an infection on your network.  According to a CNET article, this infection is most prevelant in the U.S. and can cause large print jobs to be sent to your printer.  Let us know if you are seeing this issue.  We can help you remove the infection and assess your anti-virus software.

Mailing Lists vs SPAM

June 7th, 2012

SPAM email is a big problem for businesses.  It is a resource drain in email servers as well as wastes employee time deleting these messages.  Sometimes, however, this is not actually SPAM.  Here is a good definition of SPAM vs Mailing Lists from spamhous.org, which is a service that attempts to shutdown spamming email servers.

Solicited Bulk Email is an important mechanism for keeping consenting customers informed of products or service news. When Bulk Email is Solicited it is valuable to the recipient and therefore also to the sender. When it’s Unsolicited it’s purely Spam, an unwanted and unwelcome nuisance to the recipient, unfairly forcing the recipient to assume the cost of receiving, storing and removing the unwanted adverts.

The difference between senders of legitimate bulk email and spammers couldn’t be clearer, the legitimate bulk email sender has verifiable permission from the recipients before sending, the spammer does not.

The good thing about mailing lists is that you can simply unsubscribe from them by going through your email and following their unsubscribe instructions.  In every email that has been sent from a mailing list, there is a link to unsubscribe which is usually located at the bottom of the email. Most of the time, clicking on the link will open up a new webpage and you will have to enter your email address.

Intrcomm Technology is Now Five Technology

June 1st, 2012

Over the past four years we have been marketing our web site development services as Five Technology/ www.fivetechnology.com. In an effort to consolidate some of the duplicated work that comes with having two names we have made the decision to market our information technology (IT) services under the name Five Technology as well.

There has been no other change within the company.  This is a decision we made to continue to improve our efficiency and ultimately provide the best service we can to you our clients. All Intrcomm email addresses will still function. Over time we will phase these out but for now you can still reach us at our old intrcomm.net email addresses. Our phones numbers will remain the same and we are still located at 300 Railraod Ave in Delano MN.

Over the next three weeks you will be receiving a series of emails, blog posts, and also a change in our invoices to help us through this transition process. Again Intrcomm Technology Inc still exists we will just be doing business as Five Technology.

Here is our contact information:
Email: support@fivetechnology.com
Phone: 763-972-6392

Feel free to call me with any concerns or questions you may have. Thank you again for your business we appreciate it!!

Ben Moonen and the Five Technology Team
Five Technology
www.fivetechteam.com
www.fivetechnology.com

Have You Heard of Data Deduplication?

May 4th, 2012

Is your server aging?  Is it time to start thinking about upgrading some hardware?  Microsoft will be releasing it’s next version of Windows Server later this year.  One very notable feature to this new operating system that is worth a second look is Data Deduplication.

Data deduplication analyzes the data on your network file shares and will remove duplicates.  If several users receive the same attachment in email and each save it to their network folder, this new server OS will only retain one copy of that file.  If a user1 modifies “their” copy, then two files will be stored on the network (one modified copy for user1 and one original for the other users).  On general file shares, this technology has reduced disk usage by as much as 60%!

The quantity of data is growing fast, so it’s important to drive efficiency on your network and not let that data get out of control.

Contact us to put together a plan to address your server and storage needs.

Nokia & AT&T Bet Big On Windows Phone

March 28th, 2012

nokia3

Nokia and AT&T are getting ready to launch their new Windows Phone, called the Lumia 900.  This phone is running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system.  Microsoft has greatly improved this platform since the early days of Windows Mobile.  It’s user interface is completely different from Android and iOS.  It also runs mobile versions of Microsoft Office.  These phones could easily be incorporated into your company email system and will reportedly cost less than $100.  This is one of the cheapest 4G phones to hit the market.

Want a Tablet But Need Your Windows Applications?

March 23rd, 2012

Holding off on getting a tablet because it won’t run your Windows applications?  Your wait is coming to an end.  Microsoft has released a customer preview of Windows 8, it’s new operating system.  The final release of Windows 8 is expected to be October of this year.  The new version of Windows will be tablet friendly as well as run on desktop computers.  This release might finally make mobile take off in the business environment!  Read more about Windows 8.

Macbook Air Alternative for Windows Users

January 25th, 2012

Been eyeing a Macbook but can’t give up your Windows applications?  Sure there are solutions that allow you to run Windows side-by-side or on top of Mac OS X, but they can be difficult to configure and have their disadvantages.  If the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was any indication, you will soon have a viable Windows alternative to the Macbook Air.

Ultrabooks were one of the hottest items of this years CES.  They are very thin, light PCs with great battery life.  Expect offerings later this year from major manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Samsung, Acer, and Lenovo.  Click here for more information and a rundown of products.

Hard Drive Prices Double

November 2nd, 2011

Hard drive prices have gone up dramatically over the past couple months due to flooding in Thailand.  Some of the components used to make the hard drives are manufactured in Thailand.  This has also led to higher laptop prices as well.  Some expect this shortage to run into Q1 of 2012.  If you see a need for new hard drives, servers, desktops or laptops, you should plan ahead and allow extra time for shipping as it may take longer to fulfill your order.  You can read more about this in an article in PC World.

Global BlackBerry Outage

October 12th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from CNN regarding a global BlackBerry Outage.  Let us know if you have any concerns or need help transitioning to a new smartphone.

(CNN) — Millions of BlackBerry users remained without service on Wednesday as a three-day outage spread to North America.

“BlackBerry subscribers in the Americas may be experiencing intermittent service delays this morning,” Research in Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphones, said in a statement. “We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience. We will provide a further update as soon as more information is available.”

The service outage started on Monday with customers in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, before spreading to South America on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning it appeared to hit the United States and Canada. The outage appears primarily to affect text messaging and Internet access from the mobile phones, not necessarily their ability to place calls.

-more-

 

Convert Your Current Applications to Hosted Web Apps

August 10th, 2011

Hosted web applications are a great alternative to some of the business applications you use daily.  Many applications, from simple forms to complex databases, can be converted to web apps.  These apps can be optimized for tablet devices and can be touch sensitive for capturing signatures and other data.  Web apps allow you to access your data from anywhere you have an internet connection, not just your office.  In addition, your data is automatically backed.  The cost of these applications can be far less than the cost of your current software and their corresponding service agreements.  We have built many web apps and would be excited to convert your current applications.

Increase Productivity with Multiple Monitors

August 10th, 2011

dual-monitors

Adding multiple monitors to your computer can be an easy and relatively inexpensive way to increase productivity.  Multiple monitors allow you to keep your eyes on multiple application at one.  Whether you are working with data entry, customer support, email, CRM, you are sure to get more accomplished by not having to switch between your applications as often.  Everyone at Intrcomm uses this setup daily and would have a hard time going back to a single monitor.  Usually setting up multiple monitors involves upgrading your video card and purchasing another monitor.  Let us know if you are interested in setting this up for your company.