Friday, March 25, 2011

How large is your email

Email is akin to sending a letter through the Royal Mail (with out the cost). But you can only squeeze so much into a letter, before it becomes a parcel.

The same is true with emails, however in this case we just attach documents, and don't really appreciate how big they are, after all how big is 1MB of Data?

So an email with a 15GB attachement is really like trying to send a 15KG letter, it is never going to get through the Royal Mail, it is going to have to go via Parcel Force, or an alternative courier.
Things aren't quiet as simple as that with email, but you will have two limiting factors, firstly your system maybe set up in such a way that you can only attach a document of a certain size, at least you know this part of it. The other part of the equation is that clients email systems maybe set up to only receive emails up to a certain size. Generally you will probably be ok up to around 5MB over this it isn't going to be certain to be delivered.

You have a couple of options out on the web, you could use dropbox, or yousendit. So you can upload the files, and let your customer/supplier access the documents.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

5 Simple Way to Combat Spam

SPAM! When we talk to any of our customers that we provide Computer Support in Plymouth, to, nine times out of ten they will insist that their greatest headache is the amount of spam that floods their email boxes on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, if your email address is already on the mailing lists of any major spam offenders out there, getting yourself removed can be near impossible and in the short term, your only real source of relief will be to install a quality spam filter, preferably at the ISP level so that the offending messages are filtered before hitting your email server or inbox.

To prevent spreading your email address around even further, or if you've been lucky enough not to have your address already placed in the sights of the evil spammers, here's five simple ways to keep your spam intake at a minimum.

  1. Never make any purchases from an unsolicited email. Even if whatever they're selling seems to be an attractive and legitimate purchase, you have to consider how they got your email address in the first place. If they spammed you to begin with, by you making a purchase with them, you're not only confirming that you address is valid, but that you're also a prime target for future spam offers. In which case you can be sure that your email address will be sold throughout the spammer community as if it were gold!
  2. Never reply, click the unsubscribe link or click any link in a spam email. By replying or clicking the link in the message, you're only confirming your email address for the spammer that they've got a valid, working email address for you. This is valuable information for a spammer. Don't give it to them.
  3. Disable your preview pane. The utilities in use by spammers track who their messages were sent to, who opened the message and who clicked the links... all information used to help them strengthen the reliability of their list. If your preview pane displays their email message, this will report back to their reporting utility that you opened the email.
  4. Use the BCC option when emailing multiple recipients. If a spammer were to intercept your email, all of the addresses on your list would be viewable. Protect your friends and colleagues by keeping their addresses hidden from view.
  5. Use a secondary (or third) email address when making web purchases, posting to newsgroup lists or participating in forums. Spammers will collect email addresses from anywhere they can be collected. Keep your primary address for contact only with trusted, personal contacts and use a separate public address, such as a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo address for your other web activities.

No one, is safe from the evils of them spamming world. Use some of the basic strategies to keep your email inbox as clean as possible.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't trust just anyone

OK, had a disturbing email last night!

Why do companies in other service sectors believe they can support computer systems!

It has actually come, just as I have been putting the finishing touches to a report about things that Computer Support Companies don't tell their customers. However there are some interesting sections with regards to what the report refer to as do-it-yourselfers, and what damage they could do.

I do sometimes thing why should I continue to spend money to keep certifications up to date (Again another section of the report)

To keep it simple and stop me building up to a RANT, let your accountant do your accounts, let your book keeper, Kipp your books, let your remote Admin Company do your admin.

Do yourself a big favour, and let a trusted certified IT/Telecomms Company do your IT and Telecomms.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March - what a month to date

Been a busy strange few weeks, firstly we were hit with a massive spike in Fake Anti-Virus infections, and just as we were getting over that, the Windows 7 issue stuck it's ugly little head up.

So the fake AV has sunk again, but will increase at some point in the future, be wary of this, and don't pay to activate the product it just doesn't work.

More of a concern is the Windows 7 issue, there are several fixes available, but to date I haven't been able to install it on my system! On top of that I had to re-install my Operating System, as it was so screwed up by this, and on top of this I have been continually repairing the installation of my Applications.

Microsoft have a record of this, when i entered the IT industry Windows NT 4 had just had a re-release of SP5 (SP 5a) (it might have been SP6. It is 12 years ago now.
Then we had windows 2000, without any major issues with Service Packs. Then we had it with Windows XP, and a Service Pack 1A! Windows Vista no problems, will we end up with a Windows 7 SP 1A!

I have decided as my computer is due for replacement to leave it alone, until I replace it in the next few weeks.

And now time to concentrate on some of the new projects we are currently working on.

Until Next Time......

Friday, March 11, 2011

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 issue

There seems to be an issue with the first service pack for Windows 7, I was reading an article about it yesterday morning when the phone rang. A customer had updated there 3 windows 7 computers, and it had failed on 2 of the 3.

In this particular case both machines had installed the Service Pack without problems, but the changes had caused problems with the start up. The start up repairs was unable to repair the issue.

To make matters worse the System Restore had been turned off on these machines, and so to get them up and running as quickly as possible the only real solution was to re-install windows!

Now if your system updates are handled by your server using WSUS, then apparently this Service Pack will be added on Tuesday, if you carry out stand alone install it is available already.

I would make sure you have a backup of any data on your computer, and I would carry out a manual System Restore point prior to installing. After sending out an alert about this yesterday to everyone on our mailing list, I had 1 back from an IT Repair shop who also had one like this on Wednesday. Just go careful when installing the Service Pack.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What happens after the virus

So you had a virus!
Then you had it cleaned, but things aren't as they seem?

It happens from time to time, firstly the only time we can guarantee the computer is virus free is when it leaves us before you connect it to the Internet or insert a disc! after this we can't guarantee as these are roots of infection.

But sometimes we get even weirder replies, "you brought my computer back but it doesn't connect to the Internet" was a recent one. Now i know it was connecting as one of the things we do after cleaning is connect it up and update the Anti-virus software. After a chat about a few other things it turned out that the customer had recently changed their Internet Service Provider, and was actually trying to connect through (what was now) a dead connection!

Either way we are always happy to help our customers reestablish their set up after an infection, or just give help during their normal day to day use of IT