Friday, December 10, 2010

WOW So busy

We've been so busy I haven't had time to write much on the blog.
Just some of the things we've been doing.
Installing new servers, decommissioning Old Server, Running Network cables around buildings.
Installing new computer, Installing CCTV Systems, well the list is endless really.

We are searching for an engineer to start early next year, so much to do as we grow.

If I don't post beforehand, I hope all our readers have a great Christmas. and a wonderful new year!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A need for a Back Up

It happens to all of us at sometime, all of a sudden a file you need isn't there or if it is, it is corrupt.

This happened to us yesterday, a few minutes left of the day time to just apply some payments to our accounts package!

Disaster strikes, the package refused to open. After a little bit of playing with repairing the software, a uninstall followed by a reinstall and patching of the software was needed. Once this was done the software was at least working, however it couldn't open the company data file.

After downloading the data file check tool and then running it, it was evident that the data file had also been corrupted. not to worry this is where having a valid and off-site backup worked wonders, I first tried the latest back up which had been done around the time of the issue, however this was corrupt, and so I retrieved the file from yesterday morning, and then all was right with the world. (Well after about 15 minutes of redoing the transactions from earlier in the day)

Although it took time to get through each stage, it was worth it. We have been called in try and retrieve and repair files like this as no back-up has been done for a while.

Having it stored off site is the last piece of the jigsaw, not needed in this case, but if something had happened to the office, I could have relatively easily rebuilt everything.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BT Again

So a whole lot of trouble first thing this morning.
We noticed our monitored servers all dropping off the Internet starting at around 7.30AM this morning, not only customers of our broadband service.

Although we were also affected we were able to minimise the issue wit our mobile Broadband cutting in. We Contacted our suppliers who confirmed to us what we had already guessed.

This issue affected people not using BT as there ISP, who were on 21CN network. I say that because i have spoken to a couple of people who use BT Internet and they didn't know what had happened.

My problem is we have had this before, and a single link between the South West and Bristol is just not good enough, there is no resilience.

I have to congratulate BT it only took 2 hours to resolve the problem, that was 2 hours that a lot of businesses on the South West peninsular was without Broadband, and in the 21st Century this is not good enough.

Let hope it doesn't happened again any time soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Up Selling

So up selling is a great way to increase profits.

Went to set up a new computer for a customer, they purchased it from a major supplier. They were up sold Office 2010 product activation key and new copy of Norton.

Now I am happy to up sell, but 2 points here. The customer already had an active subscription for the Anti-Virus so this was not needed.

The Office was even better, the computer they purchased had Office 2007 pre-installed, and the customer had a license for this. Even if they wanted to have Office 2010, the product key wouldn't have worked.

Just go careful what you purchase through an up sell, make sure you need it.

BT Again

Another slightly damp period and yet another blog post about BT.

To recap, earlier in the year, and so that I could get a stable Broadband connection BT changed the cable between here and the street side cabinet. That was fine whilst the sun was out, we have had a bit of rain over the last few weeks and so disaster struck!

Firstly our Broadband started dropping out, then our phone line was so unstable you cold not hear a thing.

Now my point here is if BT actually fixed the cable with what must have very dodgy insulation, then the change of cable and indeed the issues would then not happen.

So by the time it was organised for a report to be made to BT by our ISP, the circuit had dried out enough to enable the broadband to be considered to be stable.

I think this is a well it nearly is stable it still drops out but I guess losing your Broadband connection 3 or 4 times a day is better than only having a connection for 4 or 5 minutes a day!

The engineer did finally come out to sort the phone line, but he nearly didn't. I have tested it and all is fine, well back to the weather.!

He did come out and did replace a bit of cable, I question why he did this, the answer is simple because for the last 18 months I have been complaining to the chief Exec of BT office.

Now my broadband - 18 months ago we moved to an ADSL 2 platform, because of the distance from the exchange to us, i wasn't expecting any major speed increase but i have actually seen by 6.6Mb connection now deteriorated down to a measly 2.5Mb - I guess that is what BT call progress? If and when they start putting fibre down in Plymouth I guess we will see our speed disappear and revert back to dial up.

Honestly BT, you need to sort this out, along with all those other continual issues I know happen.
It must be cheaper to fix the issue than continually come and patch the cable up.

I am seriously considering switching my Broadband to a Business cable package, a little more expensive but hopefully a strong stable connection with some speed!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Costs

It seems more and more people are now buying on price alone, so apart from the obvious that getting someone to fix the computer at the lowest possible price doesn't guarantee you a quality job.

I would like to point out almost all of the work we carry out is fixed price. So if you phone for a laptop screen and we quote a price that is the price you pay.

I will be taking this further with a range of pix & mix services, so business and even consumers will be able to pick what they need, and know that what they are going to pay for it. That is a guarantee.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Website

We released our new website at the start of this week, we have simplified it, and added new functionality.

This included links to our Social media pages, and button to enable users to add pages to social media sites.

We will be adding account management and a new on line shop over the coming months.
As part of this we have added a youtube channel.

We can also be found on facebook, www.facebook.com/limbtec, and on twitter @limbtec

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Office 2010 Tips

Just receieved an email from Microsoft with some tips for Office 2010 on, worth looking at these


Share and share alike. The Microsoft Office Backstage™ view offers a quick way to store and share your documents online.
  1. Click on the File tab in the upper left hand corner to open Backstage view.
  2. Select Save & Send.
  3. Click Save to SharePoint. Once your document is saved, colleagues you have shared the file with will be able to access the file in your SharePoint library.
  4. Or click Save to Web and coworkers you have granted permission to will be able to access the file from virtually any computer with an Internet connection.*

Never wait in line again. With useful co-authoring tools, you and your colleagues can make edits at the same time in a Word 2010 document or PowerPoint 2010 presentation.

  1. Post your Word or PowerPoint file to a SharePoint 2010 site. Co-authoring is automatically enabled when multiple individuals open the document at the same time.
  2. To help you track who is editing the document, Word 2010 shows the name of your colleague by the text they have changed. You can also find the list of current editors on the bottom Status bar or on the Info tab in Backstage view.
  3. You will see the changes that others have made after you save the file when using co-authoring in Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010.



Find your way around long Word 2010 documents. With the new Document Navigation pane and Search, you can quickly move through a long document and reorganize sections of content.

  1. In Word 2010, click on the View tab.
  2. In the Show group, check Navigation Pane.
  3. The Navigation Pane provides you a visual outline of your document so you can browse, sort, and find what you need quickly.
  4. With Search you can view a summary of results in a single pane, and click to access any individual result.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Webhosting

It always surprises me who small businesses buy their web & email hosting with.
In the last couple of weeks we have taken on the hosting of several small businesses, mainly because they either can't get access to the pages to get them to change them, or even just not getting your emails, because they had 1 single email address being forward to their home email address.

It is important to show a business face to customers so your emails should come from your domain name (like limbtec.com) and not from sky.com, of similar, because your emails are being forwarded in. Secondly if you have to have your emails forwarded in then at least make sure you can change this easily should you change your email address.

Likewise with your web pages, how easily can you update them?
They should be easily changed, and to be honest what you want when you get your website designed is to have a Content Management System (CMS) configured, so YOU can change your site.

This is what we have always offered customers, but for the last few months we have had a new service were we will convert your current website design to JOOMLA, we use Joomla as the CMS of Choice. This service cost from just £400, and we will even migrate your current site content into the new template. We can also design a new website template for you for a small additional charge.

All of our web hosting packages comes with POP3 email accounts, so even if you change your ISP your email will continue to work, and there is also free anti-spam on these accounts.

Surely this is how web hosting should be.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

General Bits and Bobs.

WOW, we've been so busy it is almost 2 months since I managed to post.

Lots have been happening here. We are in the process of migrating from one on-line backup provider to another. This would give you 10Gb of online storage for just £10 + VAT per month.

We have also installed our first hosted PBX, this is an addition to our range of Voice over IP (VoIP) or telephones over the Internet (Which i think for most people is a better term). This gives a full PBX functionality with out the upfront cost of the hardware to host the Phone System on.

On the Home user front we have seen another rise in the Hoax Security Software infection. If you get a pop up that is not your Anti-Virus telling you it has detected this many errors, don't click on the offer to clean it up, or purchase the product. Speak to someone, who knows.

Laptop repairs are still going strong, particularly screen replacements, we aren't the cheapest around, but all work is carried out in Plymouth, and we come and pick up your laptop and drop it back to you. This saves you tie and effort, and well worth the small amount extra we charge for the work.

Well Spring has Sprung, and the election is upon us, I am sat here now enjoying the warmth of the sun streaming through the office windows.
I'm off to drive around Plymouth all morning. Will post again shortly, and well before the 2 month period.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Data Security

Wow, at last my 100th Blog post, got here eventually.

recently a number of customers have started buying new computers, and they always want to know what they can use to make sure the data on the Hard Drive is gone for good.

We have been trying Active@ Killdisk. This is a great little tool, not too expensive, and the other tools on it allowing you to attempt to recover data are also useful. So far we have tried it on a couple of disc's and when trying to recover the data using our normal tools haven't been able to find anything. - to view their website go to http://www.killdisk.com

We are really busy with upgrades, small customers wanting to move to cloud computing, and large customers looking to migrate to new server hardware/software. However did everyone else see that BT are opening their ducting to the competition. Is this a case of if you can't beat them get your competition to use your equipment? Time will tell i guess but I am suspicious of it, but regular readers will know the issues I have had recently (and for recently read 12 months).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Internet

Faster Internet connections is what we all want, both here in the UK, and across the globe.
We all know that we have to firstly resolve the issue of using the old cable for our connections at the moment.

Recently BT have been in negotiations to open up it ducting to allow other operators to run fibre. I believe this will be a good move, there is lots of ducts all around the country to run cable through, and those who read this and live in Plymouth will remember the night mare of the the streets being dug up to allow Eurobell (Now part of Virgin Media) to lay cables around the City. For me this didn't make sense then, and still doesn't as it means it is a very big investment to cable a city. Recently we have seen H2O looking at running a fast fibre network around Plymouth, the cost of doing this using existing ducting (Mainly the sewer) is in the region of £35M.

Maybe using the BT ducting, if this includes ducting to the premise then maybe this will allow H2O to run the fibre a little cheaper and give us all access to fast Broadband at less cost.

Related to this is Google are now turning to being an ISP and is looking to run trials of fast Broadband 1Gb read there blog post here

The reality of it all is that we need, fast reliable Broadband, and we need it now.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

BT, Broadband and SEO

BT

I didn't post a blog lat week, mainly because my Internet connection just wasn't working. I could have written it, put it on a USB stick, and sent it my carrier pigeon.

The problem is despite the fact i had no speed, and the connection dropped every minute or so there was nothing wrong with the line. Well according to BT when they eventually ran the test some 14 hours after reporting the error.

I complained some more and eventually they booked a broadband engineer to come out first thing on Monday to essentially show me nothing was wrong and charge me the fee £100 odd. Problem was the engineer came out and found a fault. Now this is were I completely lost it with BT! Broadband engineers only get 2 hours of time allotted to each job, run out of time and then it has to get booked on again.

It appears this got lost in a system and the next thing was the report from BT to say no fault found, and so it was closed. I then Email Ian Livingston The Chief Executive of the BT Group.
This means on Wednesday and after a lot of heated emails with Ian another engineer turned up.

Apparently because I was side stepping the ISP, who was doing what they had to do, but was missing some power behind them to kick BT up the backside and resolve this fault which was rapidly coming to 50 weeks old. Mr Livingston didn't like and compared it to have an issue with some food and going directly to the farmer and not back to Tesco. It isn't the same at all after all Tesco don't own the farm, but BT do own the part that is causing me a big headache.

Anyway back to our issue, the engineer came out, investigated the fault on the Wong line and investigated the fault on the right line. No problems found, then he decided if I wasn't having issues on the voice line, we could swap pairs, between the 2 lines. Which he did. OK it has been a couple of days since and things seem to be working OK, I have some of the speed back but not all of it.

The engineer was going to go back and request a test hole be dug in the likely place the fault was, but this was turned down due to the fact my moving the pairs around this has solved the issue. Problem is this also proves there was an error on that line that BT could not detect! And to frank and honest was completely ignoring the repeated issues being raised.

It also means that should this pair get damaged they have nothing to replace it with. We can only hope that H2O get on with rolling out fibre to the premises in Plymouth.

SEO

I have been playing around with some free tools to improve our Search Engine Rankings. We are already creeping up the results, and gaining new results. So it is worth while doing.

One tool is http://www.woorank.com/ well worth all business owners having a look at this tools.

Friday, January 15, 2010

1st post of the year

Well, our first post of the year. It has been a slow start with the weather. but it has left us with some time to tie up lose ends on some new products, which we will be releasing over the next month or so.

One thing that has been in demand is for people to work remotely. A number of our customers had this in place, the problem for them was in the main it wasn't designed to work for the entire work force.

Now is the time to start to think about this and perhaps even a little bit deeper into full disaster recovery. If you are a Small business, do you use Microsoft Small Business server? if so why not use the Remote Web Workplace?
A short 60 second presentation is Available from Microsoft
Also available is a short presentation about sharing a conference call and presentation using Microsoft Office Live Meeting

Both utilise technology that helps with travel budgets, or ease of access if we get snowed in again.

New this month is our Disaster Recovery Solution, a very cost effective method of providing Disaster Recovery for small businesses details are available from our website For a small cost you can purchase seats in bundles of 6 or 12. Contact us for details.

We are starting to have discussions with a lot of our clients about how we can best improve their use of technology to help improve their business. Still carrying out IT Audits, and discussions with possible new clients, if you want to know more then drop me an email martin@limbtec.com

LAPTOPS
However you dress them up, they really don't like drinks being spilt into them, and they don't like being stood on or having things thrown at them. Basically treat them like they will break, as they will if you do any of the following.

BT
Well our BT issues keep on going on and on and on. It now appears that the shiny copper cable going from here to the street cabinet, may not be a shiny, or indeed contain much copper anymore.
You would have thought the simplest solution would be to rerun fresh copper from end to end, but apparently patching every couple of weeks or so with bits of cable is far better.

Come on BT get your act together and get this 11 month (actually 11 months and 1 day) issue resolved.

I am intending to post this blog every Friday PM, but this is subject to change!

Thanks for reading and more next week.