Category Archives: GJ’s Computer Services

Geni Announces Billion Graves Association

As all whom are interested in genealogical research, as I am, headstones are particularly valuable in tracing deceased family members.

Geni http://bit.ly/1jQtSJd has just announced what seems to me a great initiative in further documenting (and translating) headstones from around the world via and app that can be downloaded from http://gjscomp.com/MOJRKY. Works with iOs and Android Devices.

It reminds me of a distant relative whom in the 1960s as a young man travelled the world (specifically visiting cemeteries to record information off of gravestones) to build his extensive family tree.

Genealogy is yet another area where technology and modern communication has made leaps and bounds, putting people in touch with one another, sharing information that would not have been easily possible not so many years ago.

Updated Privacy Legislation Comes into effect on 12 March 2014

All organisations and businesses should be aware of upcoming changes to Australian Privacy Laws. There are now 13 privacy principles, which are divided into 5 distinct categories:

  • General
  • Data Collection
  • Use of Personal Data
  • Integrity of Data
  • Access and correction

An excellent free summary available via the Association for Data-Driven Marketing & Advertsiing [ADMA] Knowledge Lab is worth downloading and reading from this link http://gjscomp.com/1g99Rs9.

For more detailed information, including background, please visit the Website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner http://gjscomp.com/1hIGt0b.

At the very least all companies should update their privacy policies, and seek information from their particular industry bodies which should already have in place templates and documentation.

Over time there is no doubt that that any breaches (such as via a businesses’ customers personal information being hacked and for example distributed online) that hefty fines will apply. It would seem that outside any financial cost to an organisation such a breach would, as it already is, be harmful to that particular company’s reputation.

It is also worth reading ITNews Darren Pauli’s Article “Privacy Act Audits Will Consider Infosec Budgets” http://gjscomp.com/MMeKzv.

Recent Functions Attended

I have recently attended three work-related functions.

  1. Microsoft/Intel “Go Wild” promotion;
  2. Xero http://gjscomp.com/OWtuOt Partner; &
  3. ICT123 Telstra Dealer.

A few observations about the above attendances.

It is very clear nowadays the popularity of Tablets versus Desktop Computers and even Laptops. A figure was provided at the Microsoft Function that over 70% of technology devices purchased via retailers are now Tablets.

It is further apparent that Microsoft has been very unsuccessful in the Tablet Space and is hoping to recover some ground with releases of new Windows Tablets and Laptops, and in particular Hybrid Devices (Half Tablet/Half Laptop). These Hybrids are in my opinion vastly superior to the likes of iPads as both work related as well as consumption devices. Battery life is great.

It is also clear that Microsoft is under constant pressure due to sluggish PC sales.

What was fascinating about the Xero Partner event was the number of attendees at the Hilton. They were predominantly Accountants and Bookkeepers, not IT people as such. It is hard to imagine that an MYOB or a QuickBooks function would gather such numbers of attendees. Additionally interesting were the number of companies present that have applications and services that hook in to the Xero Platform.

There are many Xero attributes to like; whether from an Accountant’s perspective or that of end users. Two in particular:

  • Customers can see their accounts in real-time, and
  • The Platform is always up-to-date.

The ICT123 function was interesting in three particular respects.

Firstly,  there was an overview of the National Broadband Network [NBN] as it currently stands. Incredibly complex is the best words to describe it. If you are interested to see when your address might be getting the NBN enter your address here http://gjscomp.com/1hIIBEs. Secondly, Telstra is serious about further developing its SMB offerings together with Telstra Partners. This includes upcoming changes in how Office 365 will be sold in Australia; no longer exclusively via Telstra. Last, there was a demonstration of the SlideShark & BrainShark products – http://gjscomp.com/1n6tXZY & http://gjscomp.com/1i9I81v.

On Wednesday 5 March 2014 I will be the official photographer for ESET And The Channel Function. It is being held at the Langham Sydney. For more information click here http://gjscomp.com/1jwz83P.

 

Time Is Running Out – Windows XP

As many, if not most, Windows computer users are aware support for Windows XP is fast approaching – April 8th to be exact.

Windows XP End

At this late stage one can only wonder what threats emerge for those customers still running Windows XP after April 8th?

We are very pleased that the majority of GJ’s Computer Services customers, particularly our SMB clients, have over the past couple of years updated their Windows machines to mainly Windows 7, but also Windows 8/8.1. Those that have not are planning to do so and are mainly home users.

Today Microsoft, in partnership with LapLink, announced a free data migration tool for Windows XP users, which will copy files & settings from the Windows XP Computer to a new device running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. The tool called PCmover Express for Windows XP will be available for download later this week from http://gjscomp.com/1ktThdI.

Lastly, from March 8th Windows XP (Home & Professional) editions who receive Windows updates automatically will also start receiving notifications via the Screen Desktop informing them of the end of Windows XP Support on April 8th.

If you are unsure of what Windows Operating System you are running you can visit http://gjscomp.com/1gOp7fI to check.

If you are looking to upgrade your ‘old’ Windows XP machine or upgrading any Windows computers Geejay can purchase machines for you as well as migrate your data and settings.

Unusual Customer Requests

There are many things I like about working in IT and working with different types of customers.

IT is always interesting and challenging. It is ever-changing and sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest changes; in fact to be abreast of all that is happening in IT is nigh impossible, so rapid are these changes.

There are many requests received from clients that are standard requests. There are those that that are atypical as people have different ways they use particular technologies and they want something set up in a particular way

Then there are those requests that best come under the ‘unusual’ and ‘I have not had that request previously’.

As anyone who is a SmartPhone/Tablet user there are hundreds of thousands of apps available the customers download and use. Noone could possibly be an expert on each and every one of these apps, however setting up and using apps is generally pretty straightforward.

A dear female customer of GJ’s Computer Services asked me to update her iPhone to the latest iOs. No problem there. Backed up the data locally and to iCloud and updated the system.

Though this customer does not have many apps, some of those she has on her device had been originally downloaded through other family member members’ iTunes accounts. Again no problem. All apps were restored. However, one app in particular (iPeriod Period Tracker Free – https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/iperiod-period-tracker-free/id340757216?mt=8) had historical data entered into the account that seemingly had not been backed up.

iPeriod

The customer also could not remember what email address she had signed up with nor the associated password. We worked out which email address, and were able to reset the password, and log in. Most importantly there were backups from within the app that were able to be restored.

So customer happy (always a good thing) and Geejay (myself) had something (somewhat unusual) to blog about.

Erik Brynjolfsson: The key to growth? Race with the machines

In light of the recent announcements of Australian Car Manufacturing ending in the next  few years, and commensurate loss of jobs (directly and indirectly) and changing Government support and funding for manufacturing more generally here is an interesting TED Talk by Erik Brynjolfsson on our Digital Age http://gjscomp.com/NwP6QR. Erik talks about Big Data, Robot and Machine Learning, Innovation, Productivity and its decoupling from Employment.

He makes the point, readily understood by many, and across all industries and professions that technology has resulted in the loss of many jobs globally, and this will continue unabated, which means humans have to re-skill and  innovate. As he concludes his talk “Technology is not destiny, we (humans) shape our destiny“.

Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee have authored a new book called “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies“.

Here is a review of the Book from The Huffington Post http://gjscomp.com/1jrKQiu.

The End of LogMeIn Free

As (apparently) Geoffrey Chaucer said in the year 1374 “all good things must come to an end”, unfortunately the Company LogMeIn is no longer offering the Free Version of their Remote Software.

As a result GJ’s Computer Services is no longer able to offer those customers who have had LogMeIn Free on their computers.

This will now be replaced by the paid product LogMeIn Pro (with added functionality) and will be charged on an annual premium.

Although it has been a long time coming LogMeIn has only provided a short notice period that this product will no longer be available.

For further information please read this article http://gjscomp.com/1fltxMy.

There are other (free alternatives) that customers themselves can download and use (many of which are only available for personal use). However, due to the number of customers we service and provide ad-hoc and regular service to, we are only offering LogMeIn Pro as an alternative to LogMeIn Free.

Looking for Video Interviewees

GJ’s Computer Services is looking for customers and non-customers to video interview about their use of technology.

It can cover any topic you like.

Examples:

  • Frustrations;
  • Favourite Websites;
  • What you like about the Internet and the connected world;
  • Customer Service experiences.

Anything you would like to talk about.

Please get in touch, and don’t be shy!

Hard Drive Failures

Have you ever had one of your computer hard drives crash?

Most likely yes. If not you have been lucky; very lucky.

Hard drive failures is one reason why it is crucial to back up your important data.

It is true that data can often times be recovered from a failed hard drive, but why run the risk?

Here is an interesting article from LifeHacker on “The Most (and Least) Reliable Hard Drive Brands. The survival rates reported here are between some popular brands and is the experience of one online backup service, BackBlaze.

http://gjscomp.com/1jpq3vV.

Please share any experiences you have had with failed hard drives, backup issues, and recovering data.

 

Googles tips to help your website rank better

Rank higher

Google helps you improve your website

Do you want your website to be more prominent on google? Good news. Google has released a simple one-page guide to help you optimise your website to rank higher.

Start with a relevant page title

Google loves websites that are both relevant and useful to the user. Gone are the days of repeating the same word over-and-over again to improve your google ranking. The first thing you should is to create a relevant title for each page on your website (known as a “meta title”). This title should be unique to each page and not too short or too long.

Then focus on page descriptions

Once you’ve got the page titles sorted you should create unique and relevant page descriptions (aka “meta descriptions”). These descriptions should closely match the content on the page and the limit for a page description is 160 characters.

Rename the images

With your page titles and descriptions in check you should make sure that every image on your website is named correctly. Both the image filename and description (also known as  “alt text”) should define the image correctly. Google doesn’t like filenames such as “image1.jpg”.

Write blog articles

Google wants you keep your website up-to-date and blogs are a very useful way of keeping your website content fresh. We suggest you write a blog article every few weeks to help educate visitors about your product or service.

An important note

Before you do any of this website work you should first figure out which search words and phrases your prospective customers type into google to find you. You should start doing some keyword research by using Google’s free keyword tool to figure out which words and phrases are the most frequently searched. After all the idea is to create a website with your future customers in mind.

 

You can also click on Link below to download to your computer and read/print.

Google one-page SEO Guide