Are you watching Meerkat through your Periscope?

Meerkat and PeriscopeOver the past couple of weeks there’s been quite a lot of chatter in a variety of media channels about two relatively new Apps, called Meerkat and Periscope.

They both do the same thing, enabling you to broadcast live video (streaming) from your iPad or iPhone. Meerkat has an Android App under development and I’m sure Periscope won’t be too far behind with Microsoft and Blackberry probably following later.

One way of thinking about both Apps is as though they offer live video selfies although there’s a lot more to them than that.

Although Meerkat was first to market, Periscope was quickly snapped up by Twitter and so quickly generated a great deal of interest. Both apps are available through the iTunes store and are easy to download.

So, what are they, who are they, how do they work and what do they do?

Once you have downloaded your App and signed in through Twitter – yes, you have to have a Twitter account because that’s where your broadcast is published, all you have to do is to point your camera at your topic of interest and start broadcasting.

As soon as you start broadcasting, a Tweet is sent to all your followers so that they can tune in and watch your stream.

What do people stream?

Business tips, health tips, recipes and cooking, news and updates, views from around the world and TV broadcasts – the recent Pacquiao / Mayweather bout was live streamed by someone pointing their iPhone camera at the TV and causing great angst amongst the Pay Per View broadcasters because they were charging £20 in the UK whilst App users could watch it for free.

What are the drawbacks

Well, it’s another Social Media channel that you might have to pay attention too, but more importantly there’s the potential cost. If you are streaming on Wi-Fi then you’re OK but if you’re broadcasting on 4G then you might find that you eat through your data allowance pretty quickly and, if you are not careful, even run up some hefty data charges

So, is it a “game changer”

It’s really too early to say, the Apps have only been around a couple of months. A lot of tech journalists have used them to stream from major tech shows, product launches and demos, just like live news broadcasts and just like any live broadcast you have to watch it live or miss it.

In my opinion, it’s certainly one to watch and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

When “Now” is too late

Last week saw an underground fire in Holborn, London, lead to the cancellation of a number of West End shows, costing theatres thousands in lost revenue.

More than 1,900 homes and businesses were left without electricity when the power had to be cut for safety reasons, directly affecting around 5,000 people who were forced out of their homes and offices whilst the underground fire was brought under control.

A small number of larger businesses were able to continue functioning because they had suitable contingency plans in place to cover precisely this type of eventuality. These were the ones that had back-up generators to ensure a continuity of electricity supply which enabled them to continue their activities whilst all around ground to a halt.

A small explosionSo what provisions have you made for business continuity in the event of an incident that leads to you having to vacate your offices?

Remember, this fire, although disruptive, was not classed as a “major” incident and similar issues could happen almost anywhere, at any time. Would your business cope, could it survive should you have to be evacuated, without warning.

What would be the impact on your business if you couldn’t access your office for hours, days or even weeks?

How do you manage the data and documents that are critical to the survival of your business?

Would your business be able to move seamlessly to a different location, would your key staff be able to work from home or elsewhere?

How do you manage and store the documents that are essential to the running of your business? Are they stored on your laptop/PC, on a server, back-up, in the cloud or a USB stick?

Are your clients and business contacts in a Customer Relationship Management application, on a spreadsheet, on your phone or in your head?

How about your financial records, are they saved in Excel or a dedicated software application?

Bits and BytesThere are many ways to store and manage your essential data, you just have to be sure that you can access the business critical information from a location away from your office.

Companies most reliant on data may have back-up locations, complete with computers and data connectivity that they can move key personnel to, ensuring that service and continuity continues with the shortest of interruptions.

Smaller businesses might have file servers storing their data attached to their network with back-up devices regularly creating copies with the back-ups being taken off-site.

Micro-businesses and sole traders could make effective use external hard-drives, whether attached by USB or shared on a network, automatically cloned to one of the numerous, and inexpensive, cloud data services.

Remember, it’s too late to do anything about business resilience once an incident has started so give me a call for a free chat – 01793 238020 or send an email to andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk.

RIP HTC One – AKA buying an off-brand phone

HTC One M7About 3 weeks ago my phone, an 18 month old HTC One, just died. There were no hints, no clues, it just died. The battery was nearly full, I’d not added any new apps or done anything different or unusual, it had just chosen that particular time to shuffle off this mortal coil.

I swore a little and went to Google for help. I tried various arcane combinations of button presses but the phone was totally and irretrievably dead, deceased, it was no more, it was an ex-phone, it had shuffled off this mortal coil.

I called my mobile phone company to explore my options. I knew it was out of 12 month warranty and I couldn’t use “un-merchantable quality” (which I have used for a variety of out of warranty items in the past) because I’d dropped the phone a couple of times and it was showing its age.

I was informed that I was eligible for an “early upgrade”. I got a little excited and asked what that meant. It meant that I could actually buy myself out of the remaining 6 months of my contract for ” just £240″, pay “just £20” for a new phone and another £2 per month on my, now new, 24 month contract. A quick calculation showed that I’d pay more than £300 more over the life of the contract.

So, I decided t go for Plan B but I didn’t have a Plan B so I turned to eBay instead.

My thoughts were to find a cheaper phone and then go back to my carrier at the end of my contract and go for a free upgrade, as we all do when contract renewal comes around..

I quickly hit a speed bump – all the phones that did what I needed them too do cost pretty close to the £300 so there wasn’t anything to gain.

Blackview CrownHowever, I did spot a lot of relatively inexpensive non-branded phones from Chinese manufacturers. There were the direct iPhone clones, Samsung Galaxy clones and even phones from a brand called HDC – guess what they did? I steered away from these and focused on phones that had a spec that matched my needs and ended up paying just over £100 for a Blackview Crown.

And it’s worked out pretty well. It has no major drawbacks or performance issues. Battery life is shorter than I am used to but I have a car and portable charger so the reality is that its not an issue. Its not 4G, but my HTC wasn’t either. The screen isn’t as good as the HTC, if you look at the specs, but its good enough in the real world and that’s what counts.

It will do until my contract is up for renewal which is when I’ll probably switch back to a more recognised brand at zero cost. The big benefit to me is that I’ll be able to choose the time that I upgrade which means that I can wait until the 2015 models are released and take my pick from one of those.

If you are really interested, here’s a detailed comparison here is a side by side comparison table.
 
  Blackview Crown HTC One M7 Comments
NFC No Yes Did not use
4G No No  
Battery Life Lasts less than a day Last a day  
Camera 13Mp 4Mp More pixels does not equate to better, but it’s good enough
Screen Size 5″ 4.7″  
Resolution 1280 x 720 1920 x 1080  
Screen Glass Toughened Gorilla Glass I just have to make sure I don’t drop it
Touch sensitivity OK Really good  
Looks Looks average Looks good  
Peripheral availability Very Poor Pretty Good  
RAM 2Gb 2Gb  
Storage 16Gb 32GB  
Micro SD Yes – to 64Gb No  
Android Version Stock 4.4 4.4 with HTC Sense It’s unlikely that the Crown will be upgraded to the latest version of Android
Processor ARM Cortex A7 1.7Ghz MT6592 Quad Core 1.7Ghz Krait 300 It’s not as good as the HTC but in the real world it’s more than fast enough
Sim Dual Sim, unlocked Single Sim, locked  
Sound Average Excellent speakers  
Headphones Really poor Beats – Excellent  
Weight 158gms 143gms  
Feel OK Feels solid and well put together  
 

Stop burning the candle at both ends

Clock

Time – the master of all of us. I never seem to have enough and most of the people that I meet are the same.

If a day could be made longer it still wouldn’t be long enough to cram in family, work, play, sleep, relaxation etc. The candle is frequently burned at both ends and everybody suffers.

So, what’s the solution? If we can’t make more time we have to make time work more effectively for us and here are some time management tips that I came across recently, a goodly number of which being new to me.

1. Days always fill up, often faster than you anticipate.
Be realistic and never plan for an eight-hour day. Instead, always factor in some buffer time. Hofstadter’s Law says that it always takes longer than you expect”.

2. Work more when you feel at your best and relax when you’re not.
Some days you’ll feel alert, inspired and raring to go; but other days you’ll be struggling to maintain any sort of focus. Recognise these times and make the most of them. On the days when you can’t seem to focus, take a break. your body will thank you and your output will benefit too.

3. Stop multitasking. It doesn’t work
Multitasking doesn’t mean that you achieve more – just that it takes longer to finish tasks and projects and can allow errors to creep in. Learn to group your work into tasks, such as emails, phone, writing, preparing a presentation and plan to work through one task at a time. Your brain will work more efficiently this way, you’ll be able to focus better, and ultimately you’ll be more productive.

Time

4. Limited time always focuses the mind.
Many people produce their best work when the deadline is tight. So set shorter time limits for your tasks to keep the pressure on to get things done.

5. Start your day with short tasks to get the ball rolling.
Begin your day with simple actions that you can easily complete. This will help you to cross off smaller items from your to-do list so you can feel productive immediately, inspired and ready to delve into more mentally taxing work.

6. More hours doesn’t mean more productivity. Use constraints as opportunities.
Just because you may sit at your desk for longer, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re being the most productive. Aim to complete your work within normal office hours so that working late is an exception rather than the rule.

7. It’s easy to waste the time leading up to a meeting so hold them first thing.
I often find it hard to concentrate on other tasks, if an important meeting is scheduled for later in the day. Plan your meetings so that happen earlier rather than later in your day leaving you free after the meting to focus on what needs doing.

8. Switching between projects/clients is unproductive.
Much like multitasking, switching between projects and clients is often unproductive. Keeping a consistent focus on a project will give you the chance to think more deeply and creatively about the task in hand. Switching between projects/tasks means that you waste time getting up to speed every time you switch.

9. Concentration works best in short bursts. Take “thinking” breaks.
Concentration works best in short bursts. You may find Francesco Cirillo’s Pomodoro Technique worth trialing. Break your work into 25 minute increments and take frequent five-minute breaks in between. If you want a planner that works on all platforms give TeuxDeux a try

10. Only ever work on the thing that will have the biggest impact.
If you already write a daily to-do list at the start of the day, be sure to identify the task that is the highest priority. Once you’re in the zone, get to that task as soon as possible, so that you don’t run out of time.

With thanks to GoToMeeting for these tips

17 other things you can do with Google

17 Ways to use GoogleWe are all familiar with Google as a search engine, in fact for most of us it’s the first place we go online when looking for something, and for many of us it’s our browser’s default home page.

But have you ever looked deeper and worked out how to make Google work harder for you?

Here’s a short list of 17 ways that you can fine tune Google and use it more effectively.

1. Use search operators
Google does a pretty good job of working out what you’re looking for, but the more specific you are the better your results will be.

Using operators does just that, so for example enclosing a phrase in quotation marks “like this” refines the search to those words included in the ” “, adding a minus sign (-) excludes that word (salsa recipe -tomatoes) and using OR gives Google a choice, eg. World Cup location 2014 or 2022.

2. Search a single site
You can restrict your search to a single website by using the site: operator, so for example if you wanted to look for Android content on TechRadar you might type – android site:techradar.com

3. Get definitions
The define: operator, as you might expect, gives you definitions, so define:search gives you the dictionary definition of search and synonyms such as hunt, look, scout and dig.

4. See what’s on
Fancy a film? “Movie times Bristol” tells you what’s on in that particular city, and if you use a specific cinema name, such as movie times Cineworld, you’ll see what’s on in that particular cinema.

5. Find similar sites
Here’s another handy operator: Related. This one helps you find pages that are similar to one you already know about, so for example related:techradar.com tells you about sites related to Tech Radar..

6. Do sums and currency conversions
You probably already know that Google will carry out sums if you type them in the search box  “4*15” gives you 60, 2*2*3*4 gives you 48 but it can also convert units and currencies. Convert 200 USD to £ converts dollars to pounds, and you can also convert measurements such as distance, weight and temperature.

7. Get nutritional information
Some food-related searches will display nutritional information, so looking for chocolate cake will display the calories, nutrients, vitamins and fat in a typical recipe.

Where it gets clever is when you tell Google to compare things, such as compare apples and oranges or compare bacon and tofu.

8. Get essential info, fast
You can quickly check details on Google. Type weather and you’ll see the current conditions and a seven-day forecast; add the name of a town to get the weather report from a different location.

Type flight BA1491 to see the status of a flight, time New York to see the local time in that location, sunrise London to see when the sun’s coming up or GOOG to see Google’s stock information.

9. Search by location
If you type a generic term such as “Italian restaurant”, Google will show you results in and around your current location along with a map showing where they are. If you’d rather be more specific, enter the postal code at the end of your query.

10. Use your voice
If you’re using Chrome, Android or the Google iOS app, you can search by voice: press or click on the microphone icon and tell Google what you’re looking for, provided you have a microphone plugged in of course.

If you have an Android phone running the latest version all you have to do is say “OK Google” and you can dictate your search, or other commands,  directly.

11. Filter your image search
Image search often throws up seemingly unrelated pictures, so filter your searches. Some terms produce all kinds of search results, so for example an image search for “heather” brings you plants, Heather Graham and Heather from EastEnders.

Google will offer to filter those results for you so, for example, our search for heather gives us the options “plant”, “flower”, “Eastenders”, “scottish” and so on.

You can use the Search Tools button to filter by size, colour, type,  such as photos of people or illustrations, time and whether you can use the photos without payment.

Remember your operators too: heather -graham produces a screen full of Heathers but no Heather Graham.

Finally, if you drag an image to the Google search box it will search for similar images

12. Filter your web search
If you click on Search Tools you’ll see four filtering options: The country, so for example in the UK you can search anywhere or limit your results to UK websites; the date and/or time of publication, ranging from the last hour to the last year; by reading level; and whether Google should use your current location.

13. Find out what links to what
It’s easy to discover who’s linking to your site, or to any other page you want to know about: Just use the link: operator, link:awebsite.com tells you who’s linking to that site.

14. Find specific files
The filetype: operator enables you to search for specific kinds of file, such as Word documents or PDFs. Google indexes most things, so it’s just a matter of dropping the dot from the file extension and searching for filetype:xml, filetype:svg or filetype:cs. It’s important to note that Google only searches for the file extension, so an XML document that isn’t saved with the .xml extension won’t show up in a filetype:xml search.

15. Translate from one language to another
Now you can quickly offer flowery insults in any language. Need to translate something in a hurry? Just type translate language A language B (where language A is the language you’re translating from and language B the language you’re translating to) and you’ll see a big friendly translator at the top of the page.

16. See what others are searching for
Google Trends shows you what others in your country are searching for, with occasionally puzzling results: at the time of writing the UK is interested in Boris Johnson, FIFA 15 and Vitamin D. Google even provides a screensaver that shows you real-time searches – presumably with filtering to screen out the scary stuff.

17. Uncover Easter eggs
Travel in style, or at least pretend to with Google Maps. If you search for Google in 1998 you’ll see Google as it was when it first launched. It’s not the only Google Easter egg: searching “do the harlem shake” in YouTube makes the screen dance while “do a barrel roll” will spin the screen around. In maps, getting directions from Fort Augustus to Urquhart Castle in Scotland enables you to travel by Loch Ness Monster.

Chromebook Diaries – Chromebooks in the real world.

Earlier this year I wrote about Google Chromebooks, as a possible replacement for a Windows Laptop because I was looking to replace my 3 year old Toshiba Satellite that was getting older, slower and reaching the end of its useful life.

I was wary of leaving the comfort and familiarity of Windows behind, having spent a lot of my working life using various releases of Windows and numerous editions of Office and so I dithered. I loved the Chromebook concept but was unsure how it would integrate with my daily workload of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoints, email and web browsing, I even found a Windows laptop that was almost identical in size to a Chromebook, the Toshiba NB10.

3 laptop computers

On the left is my 5.6lb/2.54kg Toshiba Satellite, in the middle is the 3.3lbs/1.3kg Toshiba NB10 and on the right is the 2.9lbs/1.3kg Dell Chromebook 11.

The Toshiba that I was looking to replace had a 15.6″ screen whilst the other two have 11.6″ screens although the resolution is identical at 1366 x 768 so I’d actually see the same amount of information – just reduced in size.

In an earlier post you can see that I finally made a decision, based on much research, and chose a Dell Chromebook.

What’s to like
It’s very compact and lightweight, takes 7 seconds to boot from scratch and wakes from sleep almost immediately.

Battery life is exceptional, I’ve had more than 8 hours from a single charge – which means that I no longer have to carry a heavy power supply, further reducing the weight and clutter that I tend to carry with me.

The screen is a great compromise between portability and easy working and is good enough for day to day productivity and watching catch-up TV or films in downtime. Sound through the built in speakers is surprisingly loud and good quality and the keyboard is great.

Google Apps provides a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation tool to replace Microsoft Office and they’re pretty good. However, with an internet connection, you can use Office 365, a cut down version of MS Office that runs in the cloud. If you still want to use Office on a desktop or Windows/Mac laptop then a monthly £9.99 subscription to Office 365 gives you 5 user licenses, unlimited web access AND 1Tb of cloud storage which is a perfect solution for smaller businesses and even home users.

Huawei MiFi

Yes, the Chromebook works best with an internet connection but there have been remarkably few times in the past 12 months where I’ve worked anywhere where there hasn’t been a Wi-Fi service or 3G/4G availability and that’s where my personal Wi-Fi hotspot comes in to play. I have a Huawei E5776 Mi-Fi device that connects to 4 and 3G networks and shares the connection with up to 5 devices. Connectivity solved.

HDMI to VGA Adapter

I had to buy an HDMI to VGA adapter, my USB hub worked fine, my USB memory sticks worked as designed and my Kensington USB PowerPoint slide changer worked perfectly. I really don’t know why I worried so much,

I can even connect it to one of my monitors and use a wireless keyboard and mouse if I want to use it in my office. Bluetooth 4.0 provides connectivity to a wide range of Bluetooth accessories, including headsets, speakers and phones.

What’s not to like
Not much really – email handling is not as efficient as I had grown used to. There’s no Outlook type application where I can bring email from 3 accounts into one place, which I thought was going to pose a problem but all of my email accounts offer webmail, and that actually works far better that I thought it would, I just have to look in 3 tabs rather than one application so it’s more of an inconvenience rather than a real obstacle.

So, there you are, a lightweight, compact, powerful laptop that’s great for business computing on the move and at a desk and all for around £200.00

Stuff you ought to be aware of.
Of course, the above only relates to the way that I work, and for me a Chromebook is working out well. However, we all work in different ways so it’s important to point out some of the other things about Chromebooks when compared to Windows and Mac laptops.

  • Tiny Hard Drives, in these days of 1Tb hard drives, the 16Gb or 32Gb hard drive in a Chromebook may be an issue. Of course, you can use USB keys, external hard-drives and Cloud storage to mitigate this to a degree but, if storage is necessary, and you don’t want to use external hard-drives or the cloud then I recommend that you look elsewhere.
  • Optical drives, there isn’t one but this isn’t unique to Chromebooks. Manufacturers are dropping optical drives in Macs and Windows machines to lower prices, reduce size and keep weight down and there are always external USB CD/DVD drives that you can use.
  • Business Apps. Unless your business apps are available on-line you won’t be able to use Sage or QuickBooks or heavy weight design apps such as AutoCAD and Adobe Photoshop.
  • Encryption. For those who are more security focused, encryption might be a problem although your connection to cloud storage will be encrypted and because minimal data is normally stored on Chromebooks this may be less of an issue than it seems.
  • USB devices, you should check that your USB devices such as Sat Navs, audio adaptors etc. work.
  • Big Brother. And finally, if you believe that Google is the modern day incarnation of Big Brother, you have to be happy that it will know a lot more about your work than you might like it to.

So, Chromebooks may not be for everybody but then, neither is Windows/Mac/Linux. The key to success, as with all computing, is to understand your needs and make your selection based on those rather than simply rushing to adopt the latest gadget or fad.

That’s the way that I approached this and it looks as if it’s paid off, for me anyway.

Chromebook Diaries – editing photos on a Chromebook

When preparing presentations, writing blog posts or editing websites I need to edit photographs and other images.

However, I don’t need to do the whole Photoshop thing, normally it’s a case of cropping, resizing, compressing and occasionally working with the colour balance, brightness or contrast to give some of the pictures a bit of a lift, and for that, a Chromebook is more than adequate.

When preparing presentations, writing blog posts or editing websites I need to edit photographs and other images. However, I don’t need to do the whole “Photoshop” thing, normally it’s a case of cropping, resizing, compressing and occasionally working with the colour balance, brightness or contrast to give some of the pictures a bit of a “lift” and for that, a Chromebook is more than adequate. It’s not unlike editing pictures on a tablet or phone – tools such as Pixlr Photo Editor and Pixlr Touch Up can deal with pretty much every basic image/photo editing requirement. You can see a screen grab from Photo Editor on the right and it compares very favourably with my favourite Windows editor, the free www.getpaint.net which offers simple photo editing on Windows computers. if i need to be more creative or actually originate an image then I’ll do it my PC where I can choose from Photoshop, Paintshop Pro and the excellent, and free, Gnu Image Manipulation Program, AKA the GIMP.

It’s not unlike editing pictures on a tablet or phone, tools such as Pixlr Photo Editor and Pixlr Touch Up can deal with pretty much every basic image/photo editing requirement.

You can see a screen grab from Photo Editor on the right and it compares very favourably with my favourite Windows editor, the free www.getpaint.net, which offers simple photo editing on Windows computers.

if i need to be more creative or actually originate an image then I’ll do it my PC where I can choose from Photoshop, Paintshop Pro and the excellent, and free, Gnu Image Manipulation Program, AKA the GIMP.

Chromebook Diaries – The Chromebook has landed

Andy, checking out websites as part of his work

My trusty Toshiba laptop is coming up on 3 years old and is beginning to show its age. Like its owner, it’s heavy, getting slower with age and just looks too chunky.

I have been agonising over its replacement for a while. I was taken with Windows Ultrabooks, great performance, quality screen and fantastic battery life, up to 5 hours but less than engaged by their prices, from £700 up.

I’ve also been looking at the Chromebooks which are basically small laptops with 11.6″ screens, fantastic battery life and running Google’s Chrome operating system rather than Windows. I even wrote about Chromebooks in an earlier post.

Larger screen Chromebooks are now available and in in all cases battery life is as long as 9 hours, so all day computing without a charger is a realistic aim and they are impervious to viruses and other forms of malware.

Toshiba Satelite NB10 compact laptop

Screen quality is perfectly acceptable but build quality, according to reviews, has been variable. However, since Xmas 2013 more and more manufactures have been releasing models using Intel processors for better performance, compared to the Samsung processors used in older Chromebooks, and manufacturers such as Toshiba and HP have released Chromebooks with larger screens, a 13″ from Toshiba and a 14″ from HP

However, I have been wary of the leap away from Windows and that has held me back, particularly after discovering a Toshiba of a very similar size to the 12″ Chromebooks, with a touch screen and Windows 8 for not a lot more money than a Chromebook, around £300 compared to the typical Chromebook price of £200 to £250.

So, I continued to sit on the fence.

Then Dell released their take on the Chromebook, an 11.6″ screen, excellent battery life, Intel dual core processor, light weight and, more importantly, 4Gb RAM.

With excellent reviews and a keen price, my mind was 90% made up. Then I spotted a great deal on eBay just as the Dell delivery date slipped from days to months, my decision was made and on Tuesday July 8th I picked up my ever so slightly used Dell Chromebook.

The SMOG* Test and it is nothing to do with clear air

How much thought have you given to the readability of your website?

Did you know that the average reading age in the UK is 12-13 years and that a significant number of visitors to your website may have English as their second language?

If you haven’t given this any thought then you are probably losing visitors and business because your words could act as an impenetrable barrier and you could be losing custom.

There is a simple tool that you can use to calculate the reading age of your site and you really should apply this RIGHT NOW.

Simply paste the web address for your pages in to www.read-able.com and click the “Calculate Readability” button

Readability Test

Your pages will be parsed through 6 different tests [including the SMOG* test] and the individual results will be displayed together with an average. Thankfully mine came back with an average grade level of 7 which is just about OK.

Readability-Results

The results are provided in relation to Grade Levels as measured by the American education system and you can find a simple Grade to Age comparison here.

If the test can’t read your content then you simply copy and paste your text in to the “Test by Direct input” box and “calculate readability”.

If your reading age comes out as being too high then you should rewrite – remember, you are NOT looking to “dumb down” your content, just make it more easily readable. Top tips include

  • Write shorter sentences
  • Write shorter paragraphs
  • Only one idea per paragraph
  • Plenty of white space between paragraphs
  • Don’t make your fonts too small
  • Use fewer multi-syllabic words
  • Use the free Hemingway Editor to help

Alternatively you could also try the Drayton Bird test by reading your content out loud. If it sounds like one side of a conversation then you are probably on the right track, if it sounds stilted and disjointed you need to go back to the drawing board!

All of the above will not only make your content easy to read and understand but it will also support your Search Engine Optimisation and if you need any help with your content creation, or editing, your SEO or anything else to do with your website or marketing then just give me a call on 01793 238020 or drop me an email at andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk for a free chat

*SMOG – Simple Measure of Gobbledygook

Windows XP – fast becoming a liability

RIP XP, October 25th 2001 – April 8th 2014

Windows-XP becomes a security risk

In a life that’s seen 2 US Presidents, 3 UK Prime Ministers and 3 Popes, Microsoft is finally stopping support for Windows XP on April 8th 2014.

According to a survey conducted by Net Applications more than 30% of computers around the world are still running Windows XP. This is mainly simply because “it works” and for many there’s been no compelling reason to change.

However, that time is NOW and it’s because since 2001 Microsoft have been constantly working away

After April 8th this service ceases so when the hackers find a security hole that will enable them to take over your Windows XP PC, without your knowledge they’ll be able to monitor your activity, read your emails, learn your online banking security codes and be “you” if they want to. behind the scenes to deliver patches that resolve reliability issues and fix security holes.

You may never notice until your bank accounts have been emptied, payment demands for loans that you never took out start dropping through your door, or the anti-piracy police come storming in because your computer has been hosting pirated software, films or something much worse.

Windows XP - RIP April 2014

Anti-Virus software will protect you from many risks but they’re powerless in this scenario.

So, if you’re using Windows XP and are more than a little concerned about your security it’s time to start thinking about moving on and it may not simply be a case of buying and installing Windows 8.

  • What about all those programs that you use, will they run on your upgraded operating system?
  • Is your hardware of a sufficiently high specification to support the new version of Windows?
  • What happens if it all goes wrong?
  • Do you have a Disaster Recovery plan in place that’s more substantial than simply backing up your data?

All of these reasons, and more, mean that the time to start planning is NOW. Check your businesses to see which desktops and laptops are still running Windows XP, we know there are loads out there because our web Analytics shows that more than 25% of visitors to our website are still using Windows XP.

We can help with your migration,

  • we’ll talk to you to understand your IT requirements,
  • audit your XP PCs to see which ones can be upgraded and which ones will need to be replaced.
  • audit your software to ensure that there are suitable versions that will run on a more up to date version of Windows
  • help you implement and manage the whole process to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.

So, if you are more than a little concerned about your IT security then drop me an email to andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or give me a call on 01793 238020 to start the ball rolling and to ensure that your network is secure in 2014 and beyond.