Time for Human Resources, Facility Managers and Purchasing to Meet with Sr Level OPC Consultants before Human Rights Complaints start!!

An interesting read about the sit/stand workstation issue and non-bias consultation.

Time for Human Resources, Facility Managers and Purchasing to Meet with Sr Level OPC Consultants before Human Rights Complaints start!!.

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Colorado man shoots computer, gets firearms citation – World – CBC News

Ah, how I would like to get away with this in Canada! Then again, it does reveal the problems with gun control in the USA when discharging a firearm is only a citation…

Colorado man shoots computer, gets firearms citation – World – CBC News.

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Why technology stays the same.

Originally posted on Fix My Computer Now Tech Blog:

Of late, and by that I mean the last few years, I have found myself overwhelmed with the amount of new technologies in both the hardware and software realms that have been released.

I am not referring to being overwhelmed in the sense that I do not understand or comprehend what is being offered. Rather that there is so much being developed that finding a good piece of technology is harder when you have to sift through the daily dump of news about stuff that is garbage.

For example, in the smartphone world when dealing with the various app stores or providers, when one particular innovative and unique app is developed, there are suddenly a slew of developers offering the same or similar design in order to capture some of the income potential the original product triggered. Instagram is a perfect example of a relatively simple and small app that…

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Common Misconceptions – What the hell is your IT guy talking about?

Originally posted on Fix My Computer Now Tech Blog:

This week has found me knee deep in meetings and reviews with various clients about their technology. The biggest common theme I found recently was that they all had some kind of misconception of their IT infrastructure based on “things they heard/saw on the internet”. Even though I have been working with some of these clients for years, it was a little surprising to hear them make assumptions about things we previously had discussed.

That being said, have your tech top of mind is not what most people do, so naturally if they are not in a technology business, forgetting things or misunderstanding things is understandable. This is further compounded when you have different “expert” sources giving you conflicting informaiton.

For example, if a software provider makes comments on what hardware you need, it may conflict with what your hardware vendors are asking for. In the same vein, if your…

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5 things people overlook when buying new laptops or computers


Recently we had a client come in to have us setup their new computer. They didn’t ask us ahead of time about specifications or things to keep in mind but rather purchased it based on affordable pricing. Unfortunately, the time and things we needed to add to bring the new computer up to the user’s expectations added another 50% to the price of the unit and of course left the client somewhat frustrated and disappointed in their “deal”. This article published a couple of years ago remains valid today when considering a new unit.

Originally posted on Fix My Computer Now Tech Blog:

We frequently get people calling us because they have just purchased a new computer at a “Great deal” and after playing with it a bit, realize that it is not quite what they thought it would be or perform as they thought it should.

We always try to educate our clients that buying a pc is NOT like buying a toaster. Many people look at a computer and see the basic components and a price and make a value judgement without knowing how the components interact to give them performance. That being said, many people buy on the cheap and then wonder why they need to buy a another computer a year down the road.

Here are some easy tips to help people understand WHY a $400 computer is different from a $1000 computer.

1) In the old days, RAM was king. By that we meant that the more RAM…

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Considerations for your network cabling needs BEFORE moving…

Originally posted on Fix My Computer Now Tech Blog:

As some of you know, we offer data and voice cabling services as part of our IT offerings. After years of helping clients with their network needs, it amazes me to this day how this part of an office move is neglected, misinformed, under budgeted and underestimated in terms of time to complete. Sometimes people just undervalue how much cabling costs, how much time it takes and how the quality of properly run cable verses the “cheap” solutions can be.

We recently have done 3 moves, 1 large project spanning weeks; 1 mid size for a new office construction and 1 very small 2 person move. During that time and comparing them to the previous years, I gathered some observations which in turn has become a list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to thinking about your cabling needs prior to your actual move.

These are in order of Pre-move…

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Online Gaming – Threat to Business Productivity?

Originally posted on Fix My Computer Now Tech Blog:

The latest in gaming technology has brought its amazing entertainment value to a new high for both children and adults, but is there a real threat to businesses who allow their employees to install games or use browser games during business hours?

The question has been posed many times and the answers we find as IT providers are surprising.

In our experience, 75% of businesses don’t have any issues with employees using their company resources for gaming….which leaves 25% that do.

To be clear, we are referring to actual games not social networking sites like facebook or twitter.

Those sites also have games but in most cases since you have to login to the website first, there is an extra layer of access that is required before you can play.

Casino gambling style sites and browser gaming sites (where you can play games inside firefox or IE) are becoming more…

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The threat we can’t defend you from – yourself

If you follow tech news in the slightest, you may have read the story about how a French television network, TV5Monde,  had the signals for 11 of its stations hacked and taken off air for a period of time. Hackers were, of course, to blame and French police are investigating, but it appears the source of the hack may have come from a very simple source.

Their own carelessness.

Ars Technica detailed it here, and it makes for a head bang on desk worthy read.

The essence of the story is that they filmed a video bit in their offices with a cubicle as the backdrop. On the walls of the cubicle were cue cards and post it notes, all plastered with the usernames and password for the networks various social media and network accounts.

Bang. That was their sound of their IT people banging THEIR heads against their desks.

This is the kind of thing that drives every IT Professional nuts, and it is something we have harped on over and over when we discuss security threats. We can install every piece of security software, hardware firewalls, require uber-complex passwords, force regular password changes…but we can’t defend against what you, the user does.

What this network did is the equivalent of you taking a selfie of yourself in front of your computer screen with your bank’s home page on the monitor and your account number and password on a sticky note hanging from the monitor. There are hackers who actively troll instagram, facebook, twitter and all social network feeds, looking for images that might have such accidental postings. They won’t hesitate to take advantage of it for everything from minor mischief to total identity theft.

We don’t say this to scare you from posting any of your pictures and adventures and thoughts online. That is one of the marvels of the internet, the sharing of information. However, you have to be the key part of your own online security. Be aware of what you post, the privacy settings for who can see it, the content of any quick pictures you may take on a whim, and the files you download to watch a TV show you may have missed.

We can’t say it enough. You are your own best defence against hackers and malware hijackers. If you post a selfie of yourself, forgetting that you’ve got a note on your desk with your passwords so you don’t forget…well we can’t help you much there when someone else uses that note so THEY don’t forget it.

I guarantee that French network is implementing a policy change right now along with changing every password to everything they use.

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Mitigating the Risk of Resumes

We recently posted about ransomware and how a client of ours was hit with a version of CryptoWall that had come masked in an emailed zip file that was supposed to be a resume. Something very simple and something that almost every business in the world receives through email regularly. It also happens to be a very simple and effective way for someone to send Malware to infect your business machines.

So how to deal with it in the digital age? It isn’t reasonable to assume everyone is going to walk in a paper resume and even fax machines are becoming an archaic technology (though surprisingly secure…aside from sending something to the wrong fax number).

Here’s a quick and easy method to make receiving resumes as safe as possible: require that all resumes must be sent as a PDF document, and that any resumes sent in other formats, or zipped up will be deleted immediately.

PDF documents are closed documents that cannot be altered after their creation and are about as secure as you can get for document sharing. If you are posting on a job site, or using your own website to request resumes, it would be a good policy to indicate you only accept resumes sent in PDF format. The latest version of Microsoft office can natively save to PDF and there are some simple free PDF creation tools available (such as cutePDF), so there is no barrier to people using this format.

Not only will you add another layer of protection to your IT, but your HR will also know the candidate has at least a modicum of computer skills to boot!

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Data Destruction – Why should I care?

One of our Value Added Services to our clients has been our FREE recycling of electronics. This includes all computers, TVs, printers, servers, network gear and copper or aluminum cabling. One of the questions we get regularly surrounds the issue of privacy.

“Should we just trash our old pc/server?”

Our answer is NO, do not simply trash it. Beyond the environmental concern about improper disposal, there is the concern of your old data being made available to the public. Once you send something to the curb, it becomes public domain and with things like hard drives, usb flash drives and cellphones, if they are not wiped correctly, the data can be recovered by any nosy parties.

There are 3 main reasons why you should care about disposal of your old equipment.

Privacy and Security of your old data
Lost opportunity to recycle, re-purpose or reuse equipment that may still be worth something on a secondary or charitible market.
Environmental contamination if not properly disposed of

Our primary goal is to keep your data safe.

Our second goal is to re-purpose or reuse any equipment we can. In cases where we destroy the hard drives for our clients, we may be able to donate or take parts out of the rest of the computer in order to donate a working pc to charity. Sometimes a printer, copier or scanner comes in for disposal which is actually still fully functional. It may have been only unwanted by the original owner and in that kind of case, we would clean it up and donate it where possible.

Our third goal is to keep as much out of landfills as possible. That is why our recycling partners are full metal and e-waste handlers who breakdown the components ready for manufacturers to use again as raw material.

The advantage of our Data Destruction and Recycling service is that we guarantee that your data is 100% destroyed.

How do we do that? Here is a breakdown of our process.

1) We log in every data storage device that is scheduled for destruction. This means we record in our database whose device it is, its serial number, its general description, the date it was received and any special considerations.

2) We wait 30 days before destroying anything. There have been occasions where a client gave us a computer to decommission and after a few days realized there was still something they needed to retrieve. We inform the clients upon reception of the gear, that they have 30 days to stop us, otherwise it proceeds on schedule.

3) At the 30 day mark, our technician physically destroys the device with our drill press. By drilling a hard drive, the inside platters that store the data are shattered beyond recovery. In the case of SSD or Flash drive, the chips are destroyed by the drill with the same effect.


4) The drilled drives are then sent to a metal recycling company which breaks them down further into recyclable and non-recyclable parts. In the case of whole computers or servers, the drives may be removed and held during our waiting period but the chassis may end up at our recycler sooner than the drilled drives.

5) We mark our log as complete and our clients can inquire anytime to the status of the drive. If a certificate is required, we can issue one to the client at this stage.

*Did you know that photocopiers, phone systems and security camera systems all have hard drives and data storage in them as well?

So the next time you have a shelf full of old computers, monitors, printers or any electronic junk, give us a call and we will have one of techs come by and pickup the gear at no charge. (Some exceptions and limitations apply)

(our old data destruction method…)

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