Archive for 'Windows'

Refurbished Computer Systems

Refurbished Computer Systems are All I Buy.
It used to be that whenever it came time to buy a new computer, I would go to an electronics store, spend over a thousand dollars, and always wonder if I had made the right choice.

A few years ago, my brother introduced me to a web site that sells refurbished computer systems, and I have not bought a new computer since.
First and foremost, I can get refurbished computer systems for a fraction of the cost that a brand-new computer system would cost me. In this day and age, that is a very big thing.

If I am going to make an investment of over a thousand dollars on anything, I had better to be able to either live in it or drive in it and be able to pay it out over time.
The second benefit of refurbished computer systems, and for me really the most important point, is that with the refurbished systems you know that everything is going to work properly. The reason they are refurbished is because there was something wrong with them that has been fixed, so now they run properly and will probably do so for years to come.
I have purchased two refurbished computer systems and both have served me very well. I had one for five years and never had a problem with it at all. As a matter of fact, I decided to pass it on to my younger sister. She was starting college, and I wanted to make sure that she had a good computer to do her school work.

The second refurbished system that I purchased was about two years ago, and once again, it works like a charm. I do a heavy workload of assignments as a freelance writer, and the computer holds up nicely under constant use and never gives me any trouble.

I recommended refurbished computer systems to a couple of friends who use their computers most of the day every day, as well, and both were very happy with the results. One of them told me that before  he bought a refurbished system, he would actually have to save up in order to buy a new computer and said it would always break the bank for him. Now, he can easily afford a system and knows that it will work just as good as a new system, if not better.
I don’t think that I will ever buy a new computer again. I know that for some people, a new computer is very appealing, and they would much rather have that than something that has already been used. That is fine. As for me, however, refurbished computer systems are all that I will use from now on, and I feel perfectly confident in doing so.

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Network security

A secure network for a small business is no small matter, so what’s to be done?

Small businesses normally have a small network staff, perhaps a well-rounded computer person who seems to know about every aspect of computing and networks, someone to whom you can entrust your system, and your network security. If you’re such a person, or in charge of such a person or small IT staff, you’ll want to be certain that your network is truly protected.

The reasons are obvious: information theft and software corruption. This is especially important if your systems are exposed to the internet, which, of course, most are. There is an abundance of infiltrators out there trying to get into your data, maybe into your accounting system or bank accounts. Then there’s the possibility of identity theft, the theft of your employees social security numbers, for instance. These infiltrators are ingenious and are constantly seeking new ways to get in.

They know that a small business, probably not having a person or unit solely dedicated to network security, is the easier target among businesses. They know that most small businesses buy ready-made network systems, systems that you or your staff may be competent to install, but not necessarily competent to secure. A small business is prime pickings.

Networked systems out-of-the-box will claim security is guaranteed because getting into the system requires a password. Did you know that there are programs that can figure out your passwords?

These run at terrific speeds, trying every possible combination of characters, starting with those most often used. Your best bet is to enforce a password policy that requires some odd combination of characters. For instance, you could require all passwords to have at least one numeral in them.

You could also require lengthy passwords. These take a lot longer to crack. There is also the normal protection of allowing a user only three tries before breaking connection. The cracker has to keep re-connecting to try new combinations. It’s a good policy if you want passwords an be and effective network security technique.

A common security hole in small businesses is the trust you must place in your employees. Sure, they’re okay when you’re paying them, but after they leave, well, watch out for some of them at least. Security is constantly compromised by ex-employees who have taken passwords with them. They are able to get into your systems in a variety of ways, or they can simply let others know how to get into them. When an employee leaves, as that employee is walking out the door, this access should be stopped, his passwords changed, or his account(s) removed. Don’t forget to cut off email access as well.

Small business network security also means that you’ve configured your systems when they are installed. Most out-of-the-package systems come with all doors open, especially firewalls. Be forward-looking: to hire a systems person who has a good knowledge of firewalls. Don’t trust the vendors assurance. Close those doors.

Also, make sure you, or your staff, is doing everything to prevent virus infection. It’s an epidemic! About 1200 new ones come up every month; your installed anti-virus software may not recognize them. Keep anti-virus software up to date, limit downloading, and layer your security so that each layer, network and LAN, email and individual workstations, have anti-virus software.

Because network security is so important to your business, and there are other considerations, strategies, and techniques to secure your network, perhaps the best approach is to find a good network security consultant, have them study out your systems, and provide recommendations. They may be worth the cost, but if they’re any good, you’ll never know it, because you wont have a security breach. Ironic.

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Best free software

Free Software is better than whatever!
What’s better than free? Free love, free food, free land, and, best of all, free software. There’s free and then there’s the best free. That’s what you’re after when bringing software into your system, the best free software possible.
This software will simply and perfectly perform the functions you expect it to perform, what it claims it will perform. These functions might be part of the critical operations of your system as used by you, functions you often have to perform to get your work done. If free software cannot realize the functions you expected from it, it’s really free junkware and should be avoided.

Of course, if it’s free, you save money. The nice thing about free software is that you can test it without purchasing and discarded it if it fails to work without feeling the bite because, well, it’s free. For you, a positive indicator that the software will prove reliable is the availability and extent of software support. The best free software will always provide product support. This is good news for engineers, programmers, data base managers, all who fear free software will take away their jobs: all will continue to have valid roles in the method of intelligent human control of automated systems. The ship will require its crew.

Justly reciprocating, the free software creator will give it a life of it’s own; it will become, like an Adobe, or a Firefox, that is, an honorable, free, standards-based software package with pride of position, first in support, dedicated to solving the problem rather than fixing the blame. If it’s that good, maybe the provider might ask for voluntary donations.

The best source for information on free software is the world renown PC Magazine. This magazine has been the premier source for all things PC since the PC hit the markets. In one of their compilations of best free software, they determined that if you bought the same software they listed as free, you would be paying about $5,183 for the complete set. That’s a couple of new desktops at today’s prices, and some fancy laptops too. The smart money is on seeking the best free software before paying for what might in fact be the worst.

The all time greatest free software packages are well known and ubiquitous. You can expect to find Adobe Reader, for instance, on nearly ever PC you come across. It’s PDF format is a standard web document format, and with the plugin, you can use the reader in your browser and take Adobe to new heights.
Of course, for top quality, best free software for the office, no other can compete with OpenOffice. Many prefer it to Microsoft’s equivalent office suite. It has a professional word processor with all the capabilities you expect out of a commercially viable writer, a sophisticated spreadsheet, a graphics designer, a presentation tool to rival Microsoft’s ìPowerpointî, and a data base package to rival its ìMS Accessî database. There’s everything there for a new or small business and the savings are astounding.

That’s just a few of the free software out there. PC Magazine can tell you all about it.

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Custom Built Computers

The Benefits of Custom Built Computers.

I was in the market for a new computer a few months ago. At first, I was all set to buy one of the pre-packaged versions that every electronics store sells, mostly because that’s what I’ve always done. But a friend of mine convinced me that I was wasting my money that way. He went over the list of features that are typically included in a pre-packaged PC, and showed me that I could get even better specs at a lower price if I purchased everything separately. In fact, many people have custom built computers these days and will never go back to the store-bought models.

In the beginning, I was under the impression that in order to get one of those custom built computers, I would actually have to build it myself. I wouldn’t be able to do that in a million years, not even with a step-by-step manual to guide my every move. I just don’t know enough about the inner workings of a computer to put one together properly. But I should have realized that these days I can simply pay someone else to do the manual labor for me, which means I can still enjoy the benefits of custom built computers.

And what are the specific benefits of custom built computers? As I mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits is that you might be able to save money on the individual components. Pre-packaged PCs often come with name-brand parts that are attractive to consumers for no other reason than recognition. People feel more comfortable buying something if they’ve at least heard of the manufacturer before. But there are plenty of high-quality components from manufacturers that the general public probably has never heard of. These parts can deliver the same performance for less money.

Another benefit of custom built computers is that you can beef up the specs you’re most interested in. For instance, if you’re a gamer, then you can make sure you have a state-of-the-art video card that can process the latest graphics. If you’re a pack rat and need to keep every single document, photo, and email that crosses your desktop, then you can make sure you get a bigger hard drive. Want to compute at lightning speeds? Make sure you have the best processor available. There are very few ready-made machines on the market that offer all top-grade components, so doing it yourself would definitely be the way to go.
A third benefit of custom built computers is that you don’t have to pay for pre-installed software programs like Microsoft Office. With the prevalence of free alternatives, you could end up saving a couple hundred bucks on this alone.
I can’t believe it took me this long to figure out that custom built computers are superior to mass-produced models in nearly every way. But at least I’ve finally come to my senses and won’t make the same mistakes anymore!

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Acer Notebook Computers Offer Value and Performance for you personal use and business.

Since I can’t stand being chained to a desk all day long, I’ve always preferred using a laptop to a desktop computer. This allows me to easily take my work with me wherever I need to go, whether it’s across the living room or across the country. I never have to mess around with thumb drives or transferring files to make sure I have what I need on a particular machine. I just toss my laptop into a bag and head out the door.

Right now I’m in the market for a new unit to replace my four-year-old model. I’ve been hearing and reading lots of good things about Acer notebook computers, so I’ve decided to check out this brand a bit more. I’ve never owned something from this manufacturer, but they’ve been around for a long time and have developed a good reputation over the years.

I know Acer notebook computers are generally considered to be a great value for the money, but frankly I’m more interested in performance than saving a few bucks. How do these laptops stack up against other brands?

Very favorably, as it turns out. For example, the Aspire line features some of the best Acer notebook computers currently available.

These notebooks are cheap, but come with specifications that are suitable for my purposes, such as the latest Intel processor, Windows operating system, 3GB (or more) of memory, and a very spacious 250GB hard drive. Moreover, many of the models in the Aspire line are thin, light, and sleek, which is definitely the trend these days. Plus these Acer notebook computers often cost less than comparable offerings from Toshiba, Sony, Dell, and HP. Granted, this type of laptop might not be the best for gamers or those who are heavy users of graphics programs, but neither of those labels applies to me, so I shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

There is a vast lineup of Acer notebook computers for today’s consumers to choose from, so I’m sure it’s going to take me some time to read through all the specs and reviews for each one in my price range. But I don’t mind putting in the extra work because I realize that’s all part of the process of making an important purchase like this.

I use my laptop each and every day for work, which means I need a reliable, functional machine that performs as expected with no breakdowns. If it takes me a few weeks to find the perfect one, so be it.

Anyway, I know there are some people out there who balk at the very notion of buying anything other than a Mac, but I’m not one of them. While it’s true that I do place a premium on performance, I’m not willing to spend three times what I have to just to get an Apple logo on my machine.

It looks like Acer notebook computers can do what I need at a fraction of the cost, so I’m planning to give this brand a try.

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Accounting software

Start your small business accounting with the leader in software, with none other than Microsoft maybe for free!

Small businesses, no matter how small, in fact this because they are small, need to account for their financial transactions carefully: small businesses need accounting software. Since accounting has many subdivisions, such as sales, banking, payroll, but your small business may not require accounting of all these concerns, you will want to obtain that software which satisfies only your business requirements, especially if you’re purchasing the software as opposed to getting free software (which is available if you search for it).

While you’ll start off by obtaining only those accounting subdivisions you must have, you’ll also want to anticipate future growth and diversification; you’ll want to start with an accounting software package that can be expanded from a basic set of necessary functions to include those you expect to need in the future as your business grows and diversifies. When reviewing what accounting software packages are out there in the market, ascertain that first, the package comes in modules that can be custom combined, and, second, that you can purchase and use the modules without having to obtain all parts. An extremely good accounting package that gives precisely this versatility is Microsoft’s Office Accounting Express (2007-2009), an accounting software package you’ve got to see to believe.

When we think about Microsoft, we think paying for whatever software they’re selling, but here’s the good news: if you happen to consider purchasing Microsoft Office Accounting Express when they’re having a market push, you can probably get their basic package for free!

We’re talking about an accounting software system that is tailored for small businesses, that starts you off with a sophisticated basic package what will not only allow you to account for one small company, but for many small companies, that is especially suited for eCommerce (they’ve got a Paypal component that integrates its sales, accounts payable, and accounts receivable with your Paypal account), that is modular, that provides the essential accounting functions, that handles either a sales or services company, and that can be built upon. The last point is the catch (not a regrettable one if the basic stuff is free). You’ll have to pay for additional modules and upgrades thereafter, at least as it now stands.

Still, look at what you get for the basic system: a complete accounting system that handles basic financial accounting, including accounts payable, equity accounting, accounts receivable, sales, fixed assets, banking, vendors, online sales, and all the reports you’ll need for even a medium-size business. This is just the ìExpressî accounting system; the upgrade is the Office Accounting Professionalî. It will allow you to handle employees, inventory, project management, multi-user sharing, and foreign currency sales. This system will take your accounting practices from a small to a medium-size business with ease at a cost you cannot afford to ignore.

Finally, we’re talking about an accounting software system that is so user-friendly, even those who have no experience in accounting will find it easy to use. It’s graphic interface is truly artful, and it’s help and documentation makes it the perfect accounting system for those with little or not accounting background. Go to Microsoft’s site and check it out for yourself. If you’re on time, maybe the free Express edition is still available. Microsoft and free? This must be a revolution in the software industry.

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