Monday, December 04, 2006

Vista

Well, Vista was released to business last week. If you want to upgrade talk to us.

We are currently working on sorting out some demo evenings for early next year, more details will be published later.

Any system we ship from now and the release of Vista to the public will include a voucher to upgrade from windows XP to Windows Vista.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Clean that SPAM

Well we have been busy building the website for out anti-spam/anti-virus email solution.
Although you can't yet sign up on line we have created a website where you can see what it is, and how much it will cost you.

We choose to use a CMS for this site, and thought we would give Joomla a try. Partly because a customer uses it for their website, and partly just to check out how quickly we could build a useful site. It took just a couple of days to get most of the site done, and most of the work was finished within 7 days. All we have to do is to add keywords to the pages. If you want a site which includes management then give it a go. There are many add-ins, and templates, with a lot of them being free.

Friday, November 10, 2006

NO Hi-Tec here

OK, a post not about good use of technology but bad use, and bad customer service.
Not from us, but The Royal Mail.

We did not receive any post yesterday, and a late post today. So I phoned up to complain, I have payments due so always watch carefully.

It started out OK, then I got told that the post bag for our address was stolen. OK this happens, so I asked why were we not told about it. We don't have the means to do that.

OK lets examine this -

They have the technology to know within seconds of having our postcode that the bag was stolen, and they deliver mail to the door, they have a website, but they can't tell customers that they may or may not have had mail stolen!

They have computers, and so have the possability to have a short template letter explaining that they have had a bag stolen, it contain mail for this area which may or might not be for you. If you are expecting mail and it hasn't been delivered please contact.....
They have the method of delivery as well, instead of posting the mail the batch of letters could be printed and delivered to the postie within what 30 minutes, and the postie could deliver these instead of the post that has been stolen.

The website could have a simple search put your postcode in and get a webpage with similar content to the letter.

Not difficult to do, or implement. However when I pressed for an answer on how they were contacting their customers about this, I was told I was getting rude and that he was going to terminate the call.

Just because I wanted to know what they were doing to inform their customers!!!!!

Come on the royal mail get your act sorted now, I'm off to print some letters that say our post was stolen please call 08457740740 and aske where it is why it wasn't delivered and why the royal mail didn't contact us to inform us of this.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Microsoft finally reach the end of development

Finally at last after 5 years windows Vista has reach the next milestone, the code is gold and has been released to manufacturing. Microsoft Office system 2007 ( I hope I have that the right way round has also reached the same milestone. With Exchange 2007 expected to reach the same stage in the next couple of weeks EVO (Exchange, Vista, and Office) will be ready for the Launch at the end of this month.

PC World are they really that bad???

Well firstly today will be a blog fest from me, mainly because I have had plenty of time to think about things.

PC World are rubbish, well according to a which report. Most people must have heard about this by now, I have been in presnetations and meetings all day, but still have heard about this from several sources.

Now for the advert - Did you know we have a home user service for those in the Plymouth area.
Instead of carting your PC to a shop, why not let us look at it in your home. Should it need replacement parts that we don't carry we can take your PC back to the workshop to be repaired.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cheap Computers - Cheap components

What do you actually save by getting a system £10 - £20 cheaper than one down the road?

Well you probably don't save anything. You are probably storing up problems for the future.

Often we are asked to upgrade systems, only to find problems because of cheap MainBoards, lack of power in the cheap power supply. The list is endless do yourself a favour get a good system from the outset. Why not get a BUYGUARD system. Purchased locally by local computer specialists, but one which carries a national Guarentee.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

EVO Launch

Microsoft have announced that Exchange 2007, Windows Vista, and Office 2007 will be launched for business licensing on the 30th November in New York. The Consumer Launch will be in January (expect it to be right at the end) Place to be announced.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Email Virus - WARNING

I have just received the following email

Mail server report.

Our firewall determined the e-mails containing worm copies are being sent from your computer.

Nowadays it happens from many computers, because this is a new virus type (Network Worms).


Using the new bug in the Windows, these viruses infect the computer untouchable.
After the penetrating into the computer the virus harvests all the e-mail addresses and sends the copies of itself to these e-mail addresses

Please install updates for worm elimination and your computer restoring.

Best regards,
Customers support service


It included an attachment which is trying to mimic a Microsoft update. Mine was called Update - KB1830-x186.zip containing an exe file.

MS normal have 6 digits in their KB articles. Just don't open it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Broadband Providers

For once I can report BT are finally getting to the bottom of this issue, and hopefully next week this will be fixed.

Current bad boys in the BB providers market has to be talktalk.

Customer has been without BB since their go live date (last month) . I spoke to technical support today, and it is apparent they don't know their market.

I told them that the DSL carrier is not establishing a connection, only to be told well this is ADSL.

I then tried to explain what it was, but was greeted by we don't support routers. I then told them we had no choice in this as the customer had still not received their welcome pack.

do you want us to make a note of this fact' - No I want you to rectify this.

Well as one disaster is solved another one opens up.

Broadband Providers

For once I can report BT are finally getting to the bottom of this issue, and hopefully next week this will be fixed.

Current bad boys in the BB providers market has to be talktalk.

Customer has been without BB since their go live date (last month) . I spoke to technical support today, and it is apparent they don't know their market.

I told them that the DSL carrier is not establishing a connection, only to be told well this is ADSL.

I then tried to explain what it was, but was greeted by we don't support routers. I then told them we had no choice in this as the customer had still not received their welcome pack.

do you want us to make a note of this fact' - No I want you to rectify this.

Well as one disaster is solved another one opens up.

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's been a long time

It's been a long time, but we have been extremely busy.

several items, BT - we eventually managed to get an engineer out to look at this issue, it has been working since. (Until it started raining again. It seems to be tied into rain, will BT ever manage to check their equipment for the big hole which is obviously letting rain into the circuit somewhere)


Windows Vista -
Ok after paying for an extra GB of memory for my laptop I have got Windows Vista and Office 2007 running on my Laptop.

Several issues - That MS has yet to answer.
Why does RealPlayer not run?
Why can I not find a driver that runs with my 3G data card?

Lets face it, almost everyone has real player installed so why doesn't it work???
One of the supposed selling points of Vista will be mobility, well I'm no longer mobile on my laptop.

Symantec took out a full page ad in the FT recently, because of the way that Vista locks down the kernel. Whilst I believe this is a good thing MS need to let AV Manufactures know about it, so they can get their products working with Vista.

Between the RealPlayer, and the AV issue I believe MS are heading towards another battle with the EU. Another defeat for them. If anybody knows of any drivers that work with the Vodafone 3G card please let me know.

Friday, August 18, 2006

BT AGAIN

We would have added a new post yesterday, if BT had not ruined our whole working day.

Apparently they had to carry out emergency work, this emergency work last ed 6hours, during which we lost our internet connection. A connection which had no problems at all prior to BT 's interference.

at 5PM 1 hour 45 minutes after the work should have been completed, we started to get patchy connectivity, which was full connectivity by 5.30 Only problem was none of our equipment which had not been touched was working.

We firstly had to reconfigure the router, which got us back to internet connectivity, still no email and our phones (VoIP) weren't working.

It took a whole lot of configuration and upto 8.30 last night before full connectivity was restored.

How do you get around this issue, having BB on another line wouldn't have worked as all lines go the same way, and so both lines would have been out.

I think after looking long and hard at it during the hours of yesterday when no real work was carried out, the only way to have fast internet access from our location was the way we worked through 3G data cards. Not the most cost effective method. The only other option (NOT) was to move for the day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

BT Voyager Routers

We have seen several clients recently complain of their internet connections dropping at irregular intervals.

It looks like these are all on High Speed ADSL connections. So perhaps it could be down to Line Flap or what ever else BT are going to call this condition.

However to improve the stability of the Voyager routers upgrade to the latest Firmware which is something like 3.01g and if you have a 220V router, and are experience issues with VPN, then upgrade in any case. (Haven't tested the last bit, but the website says it should fix it.)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Broadband

Are we seeing the problems of free broadband packages.

In the last 2 weeks I have seen a number of issues crop up and customers ringing us to see what we could do. I won't name these 4 different ISP's but if you work in customer services you could learn a lot here.

  1. Customer looses internet - contact the ISP and they say yes something has broken it is going to be 3 days before it is fixed. Customers son decides the real issue is that their router is too warm. Customer phones us, yes your router may be warm, but if they say they have a problem they have a problem when it is fixed your internet will be working again.
  2. Customers Router blows up - ISP says we can send you down a new one for tomorrow or you could source one locally, which is where we arrive on the scene with new router. However the explosion has caused problems with the line which the Telco gets fixed the next morning.
  3. Customer looses internet, and contacts the ISP as they are in the middle of a migration, no everything should be working, check the configuration of your modem, (we don't support the one you are currently using) Which is where we arrive on the scene. Having checked the router config, we phoned the ISP on behalf of the customer and informed them they had a problem, with their authentication. Oh hang on one second yes we do. It will be fixed soon.
  4. 2 months of a problem with the connection. ISP would not even log a fault, then we had break through we spoke to somebody that cared, this one is not yet fixed, but hopefully it will be soon.
Which ones where the free ISP's


Answer 3 and 1

BT is the ISP which has caused the biggest issue. And should be ashamed.

Consultants - Beware

I was gob-smacked yesterday, dealing with a third party for one of customers.

Without going into too much depth, my customer purchased a package from this 3rd party.

However it appears that security just doesn't matter with this company.

All of the users will need Admin rights (WHY??) well it just can't run without it, and it doesn't matter!!!!!

Next to the query of why the last rule on the firewall is Deny (everything)

and for the question of is there not an allow any rule. This was really the end of the whole thing. You tell me you have these rules set up on firewalls you set up that say if it doesn't match the rules layed out then let the traffic in and out. What is the point of having a firewall.

As for the admin rights, when explaining to them that the biggest reason is that users should not need admin rights to work, and up until their package was installed they didn't. If users have admin rights, before you know what is going on you end up with issues everywhere, viruses, Trojans etc. All installed because the user could. "well that is why you have anti-virus".

Beware these idiots are out there, and they are probably at a network near you.

If the company you use for IT support has a firewall rule that say allow all (or any) line up the firing squad. Ask them to show you the next time they are in!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

WOW!!!! - other wise know as Office 2007

We started playing with office 2007 yesterday and - WOW.

We have already seen many demonstrations on it, so already liked the look of the new ribbon bar.

But WOW it's good we will post more as time pasts. but the intial thoughts are it will be tough to find a reason to upgrade from Office 2003 to Office 2007, but once you have 1 machine with it on, then you are going to want to change.

Nt sure what has happened to Publisher, but it doesn't seem to be as snazy as word excel. And the two products with the maximum appeal from the changes are Outlook (Although currently my CRM plug in doesn't work) and Access. The later gave me a double WOW feeling.

TIme will tell and we will publish how we feel after using the product for a longer time later

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Free Broadband Packages

Sky has thrown their hat into this ring.
Think with caution before signing up.

I have had Sky almost since the beginning, we currently subscribe to all of the channels, and have a SKy Plus system, along with an extra room.

So I had a look at signing up for the free (to sky subscribers) package. This is really only to use as a backup to our own Broadband offering.

For the free package, you get up to 2Mb connection with a 2Gb download cap. You get a Free router, and antivirus package. But have to pay £40 connection fee.

However surprisingly enough I am only able to get Skys Connect package, which allows me to connect at up to *mbwith aa 40Gb cap. Subject to the £40 connection fee, and £17 a month fee.

So who will get the free packages? I wonder what the issues are with the Orange or TalkTalk plans.

I suspect we will see over connected lines, ending with very slow connections. Broadbandand doesn't need to cost that much If BT charged less for the LLU etc, we could see BB package prices being slashed.

I still recommend using a proper ISP, or thing very carefully about the free packages before connecting. I can see that in the not too distant future that one of these packages will go badly wrong and there will be a lot of unhappy customers.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

On-Line Back Up

OK, been working hard on adding the right On-Line backup solution to our portfolio. It has come to a head as it will be bundled in to our managed services offering.

So many different providers, almost all of them offering the same basic package on different hardware platforms.

So what makes them stand out from the rest. In this case it wasn't the technology, it was the way the whole process was handled by humans. (2 actually) It was such a great process it was just about the only major difference.

So it goes to prove that in business it isn't always technology that wins out.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why use Technology

It's Veterans day in the UK.

Last night I was a meeting of a technology group.

When the question was raised why use technology?

After picking myself up off the floor. How do you sell something you aren't certain is the answer?

Let take an example of how technology can make live easier and slightly simpler.

Let take a sales rep who is based in Plymouth, but has a meeting in Exeter (About 40 miles away)
The meeting is to close a sale.

First of he travels by foot and Train to Exeter, the train journey takes just under an hour, but with his walk either side he takes 1.5 hours in travelling time each way. That is 3 hours where he can't do anything. He is in the meeting for an hour, then returns to Plymouth where a document is typed and then posted to the customer for signature, and to be returned by post.

He has spent 4 hours travelling and in a meeting, and the document won't be finalised for a number of days.

And remember this was very much the situation not so long ago.

We have now progressed with technology, and now the following situation could well be occurring.

The meeting happens in a virtual boardroom, using web-cams.

Whilst the meeting is going on the contract is being altered, and upon completion of the meeting the document is emailed to the customer, who signs it and sends it back.

Deal done, in hours, not days and weeks.

I am not sure there are any situations which can't be improved by using technology, it is about using the right technology to help people and business achieve it's (their goals easier).

So why use Technology

Monday, June 26, 2006

Restart

We are now going to restart the blog.

Limbtec have been busy since the last post. We didn't disappear just too busy to blog here.

What's new?

We now offer a whole new range of products, VoIP, Data Back UP, and we are jsut about to put the finishing touches to managed services. And we are also working on another new avenue, more details will be published when and if it goes ahead.

Pop back for details of VoIP, Data Back Up, and our new ADSL Range, not forgetting Managed services as we complete them.