Important Computer Tips For First Time Users

Whether you are an experienced computer user or using computer for the first time, you must keep certain simple things in mind. Otherwise, due to some common mistakes you might have to pay big price. The first computer tip you should remember that you are using a sophisticated electronic device and it certainly needs to be handled with care. There are many computer services company that offer tech support to deal with PC related issues.

In many cases it is seen that the computer users don’t shut down the computer properly. They just switch off the power button. This is very dangerous. If you do the same thing repeatedly, the operating system of the computer can crash or hard drive can also go out of order. Both of these two things can give you headache. To avoid this, shut down the computer properly. Go to the start menu and chose to shut down your computer.

Don’t forget to save your work. Even experienced computer users make this silly mistake. For instance, you have worked really hard to prepare a document. And know how frustrating it is if you shut the computer down without saving it. In fact, it is better to save the work in regular intervals.

Another computer tip is to remember to back up your important data. Since computer is an electronic device, it can malfunction anytime. Your important data might also be lost due to virus problem. So, it is better to back up your data in regular basis. You can use CD, DVD or an external hard drive in this regard. In the market, you will get external hard drive of various sizes and prices. These are also very easy to set up. You just need to connect the devise to your computer and then select the option to back up your computer. You may also want to look at professional off-site data backup solutions as well.

Another important computer tip is that you should never delete unknown files on your computer. There are a number of important files that help the operating system to run properly. If you delete an important file, this may do some serious damage to your computer and it can crash. If you aren’t sure about the importance of the file, you can talk to an it services provider, or you can browse the internet.

If you are using the internet, your PC might get affected by viruses anytime. So, it better to use antivirus software to protect your computer from viruses and other malicious objects. There are a number of antivirus software available in the market. McAfee, Eset, Kaspersky, Symantec, AVG, FortiNet, etc. are some of the renowned names in this regard. You can try with their trial versions. If the experience is satisfactory, go for the full version.

These are some common tips that you should keep in mind to enjoy the best computing experience.

Introduction to Cloud Computing – Definition and General Characteristics

There has been a lot of talk about the concept of cloud computing recently, as many businesses “move to the cloud”, adopting a set of new types of scalable technologies that have significantly enhanced the speed and quality of their online services, while also offering many other benefits, as well.

But What Is Cloud Computing Exactly?

Cloud services generally represent the delivery of hosting services (both hardware and software) through a network. The network is usually the internet itself, as represented by the term “cloud”. There are three main aspects that set them apart from regular hosting services:

  • They are extremely flexible, being provided according to the needs of each user at any given time;
  • Because the services are managed fully by the provider, the user will only need a computer or mobile device with internet access in order to use them;
  • Cloud services are typically sold on demand, either by the minute or by the hour, depending on each individual user or company’s demands.

Currently Available Cloud Types and Models

There are three main cloud service types available, which, set apart from several others, are the most important categories offered by cloud computing providers: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

Apart from these, other cloud service varieties may include storage-as-a-service, data-as-a-service, API-as-a service, security-as-a-service and more; each of these are specially designed to provide different types of products and architectures on demand, usually regardless of organizational or geographic factors.

A cloud can also be categorized as either private or public. Private clouds represent proprietary networks that supply services to a limited number of people, while public cloud services are typically offered by providers through the internet to any potential clients.

Clouds have become an extremely broad market recently. As a result of the further SOA innovations that are constantly under way, combined with an increased speed and quality of internet technologies, the interest in cloud services is likely to continue rising in the future.

Now that you know the basics of cloud computing, stay tuned for more in-depth info, as there many important details you need to learn about to understand the full potential of such a service.

Is Security Better in Windows 8?

Microsoft is receiving wide praise for the security features it has built in the upcoming Windows 8 OS.  Here are some of the major ones.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender has been improved as an antivirus software, replacing and incorporating the best features of Microsoft Security Essentials. Although Microsoft will continue to update the latter for versions of the OS, it will update Defender as well.

Defender will function as a standalone antivirus package, comfortable to the other major antivirus packages and able to protect computers against, viruses, spyware and malware. Users may use other antivirus software that OEMs have installed and will be given short time to do so or activate the powerful  Windows Defender.


Microsoft’s encryption software has proven to be essential for businesses by allowing protection of data from main drives to portable devices. Introduced in Vista, Windows 8 offers several improvements in BitLocker for the user and better and faster deployment in client and server scenarios.

Administrators can now pre-provision BitLocker encryption in drive volumes before the operating system is installed. This saves time from the previously required full-scale application of the program.

The software also has a new feature that allows encryption of only the used part of the drive’s volume. This procedure is especially fitting for new drives. Additionally, a user can now change passwords or initial PINs reducing administrative time. This can also be limited at the Group Policy level.

Secure Boot

In the late 1990s, Intel began working on a programmable shell that could code system protection procedures in the system processor as trusted platform modules (TPM). TPMs mechanisms create digital signing keys that could be fed into the BIOS firmware and recognize only legitimate executables and drivers to run, effectively keeping rootkits outside the booting process.

Intel soon joined an industry consortium that included AMD, ARM and Microsoft to produce Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Essentially, the kernel of the Windows 8 operating system protects and authenticates itself from instructions written in the CPU. The Secure Boot process in this way becomes a Trusted Boot process.

Under Microsoft’s UEFI, each component in the BIOS is digitally signed by the company and verified by a TPM key in the BIOS, allowing the main bus and peripherals to boot up and open the OS. This procedure is nearly ironclad in protecting the booting process from rootkits. As one industry pundit puts it, like Apple, Microsoft has practically married its operating system to its hardware.

UEFI also denies boot entrance of other operating systems such as the various varieties of Linux. These vendors must get digital signature keys, functioning basically as code certificates,that can be mapped in the firmware and authenticated as be part of the secure boot system. Several Linux vendors are in discussion with Microsoft regarding Windows 8 while several antivirus vendors are also adapting their platforms.

Other Features

There are many other features of the full Windows 8 security package.  Metro apps run in low-privilege AppContainers that don’t have deep access to the rest of the machine. This feature is also built in the Internet Explorer 10 browser as the SmartScreen filter improved from Internet Explorer 9. Each tab of the browser runs in a sandbox configuration that doesn’t affect the other tabs. SmartScreen has been proven to outperform other browsers in its ability to block malware.

If Windows 8 becomes corrupt, it can easily restore itself in two ways. Under the Refresh option, factory defaults of the operating system are restored and the user’s personal data are retained. The Reset option, erases all data and Windows 8 is effectively restored. Security is definitely stronger and better in Windows 8.

Technology Challenges for Small Businesses

Technology’s ever changing ways can be confusing and overwhelming, especially when trying to manage a small business. Whether it be a health clinic, a law firm, an accounting firm, or human resources center; the technology problems are somewhat the same, and can be fairly easily and affordably resolved.

In the Health Care field, the introduction of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) to replace the old ways of paper file and record keeping has prompted many larger healthcare clinics to make the switch to a paper-free system (60%), but the smaller (one to two person) practices had, for the most part, not followed suit. Part of this is to do with expense; it can be spendy to try and build a HIPAA/HITECH compliant data center, especially for a smaller practice, but there are providers (like Dolomite Technology) who offer off-site HIPAA compliant data center services that ensure compliance with the HIPAA restrictions, which saves small businesses a lot of money and headache.

Another technological scare for small Healthcare clinics can be deciding on a server. Most EMR Medical Billing Software systems are client/server based. The server is one main computer for the office that can be accessed by multiple “client” computers. So when picking a server one should keep in mind reliability and performance because the rest of the system will be counting on that one computer to keep it up and running. The next choice to be made is between using a system of Wireless Tablet PCs or Workstations. While workstations are more traditional and typically easier to get the hang of, they tend to be less accessible and more time consuming and expensive than Wireless Tablet PCs which allow physicians to go room to room documenting electronically as they visit each patient. However, there is a much greater learning curve for someone trying to get acquainted with the functions of the tablet as well as the EMR system as opposed to someone who needs only figure out the EMR system.

For law firms, it is necessary to store a large amount of private information, which brings things like encrypted external hard drives into play. What that also brings into play, though, is Case and Practice Management software, which is helpful for a smaller practice because it lessens the workload and, when properly organized and structures gives attorneys easy and immediate access to the information they need to keep track of a case and make informed decisions. It also allows attorneys to conveniently manage client and case information, including contacts, calendars, and documents. Many Programs also link to PDAs so that calendars and schedules are always on hand. The American Bar Association website has a chart comparing the different types of software available.

In terms of hardware, attorneys should look into lightweight laptops with a good battery life and wireless capabilities. Tablets can be useful for reading emails, briefs, or interrogatories on the go, the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Sony Tablet S each have large screens, good battery lives, and easy to use keyboards; but the Wacom Bamboo Tablet allows one to hook it up to their desktop and allow them to easily annotate and diagram briefs and interrogatories.

In the world of Finance and Accounting, things are a little different. There are less complex hardware and software systems to worry about. Management Accounting challenges usually involve collection, recording, and reporting financial information from several divisions or departments. An easy way for a small business owner to simplify things would be installing Business Technology Software as part of the management accounting process. A comprehensive list of accounting software options can be found here. Accounting software allows a business owner to create financial reports so that the software automatically creates a financial report electronically. This saves a lot of time, but does require that accountants look over the reports to ensure complete accuracy. Generally the only thing a small accounting business has to worry about in terms of hardware is keeping their computer up to date, backing up their information, and possibly investing in a Cash Counter to increase efficiency and eradicate error in terms of counting money.

For Human Resources, most technological challenges center around the newfound surge of telecommuting and telework. Remote reporting relationships have become standard in the human resources industry, and while working from home can be appealing, it requires a lot of motivation and focus. With new technological advancements, however, human resource managers are able to track applicants and manage the recruitment process more effectively by using specialized software.

Hosted Software and Cloud Services free a company up from investing in hardware and upkeep because all of the information is handled by a separate third party. However, some businesses prefer to keep an in-house system so that they are able to maintain direct control. This option does require some hardware and upkeep, though. An example of in-house software would be SimpleHR software, which has both a single and multi-user version. The single use version is intended for fifty or fewer employees (making it perfect for a smaller business) and hooks up to a single PC. Hosted HR software won’t require any kind of extensive hardware and the main concern for business owners will be backing up information and keeping the computer up to date.

For all types of business, backing up information through the use of an offsite managed backup services is a good idea; as is keeping all computer systems up to date. Mostly, it is important to keep in mind that there is no strict set of things that will work for every single group, and things can be altered and tailored to fit the specific needs of any business.