Make your passwords harder to crack

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Internet security has become an issue recently, especially with that large network hack attack every now and then. There’s nothing you can do if hackers get into a database with your password in it, but you can still protect yourself for all the other worst-case scenarios involving hacking. A strong password will protect your personal, sensitive information, including credit card numbers, social security number and other personal information. First, don’t make it easy on hackers by choosing a common password. Also, don’t use your name, a password related to another one you might have on a different site, or a login name.

Additionally, hackers and identity thieves have altered their methods to extend beyond high-risk sites. They now capture user information from social networking sites and other sites that require personal information. Therefore, your password strength should also apply to any site that requires personal information.

The definition of a strong password usually differs by each site. One site may tell you that the strength of your password is strong, while another site may say it is weak. This usually depends on the popularity of the site and its risk of account hackings. Here are some basic factors that make a strong password:

  • Any password that is at least 15 characters long
  • Any password that contains upper-case letters
  • Any password that contains numbers
  • Any password that contains symbols, such as @,#,$,%,&,*
  • Any password that is not a previous or already used password
  • Any password that is not related to a previous password
  • Any password that is not your name
  • Any password that is not your friends’ name
  • Any password that is not your family’s name
  • Any password that is not a common word
  • Any password that is not your login name

Instead, experts recommend using 15 characters, upper-case letters, better yet nonsensical words with special characters and numbers inside them.

When malware strikes: How to clean an infected PC

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You work hard to protect your PC from the malicious thugs of our digital world. You keep your antivirus program up to date. You avoid questionable Web sites. You don’t open suspicious email attachments. You keep Java, Flash, and Adobe Reader up-to-date—or better yet, you learn to live without them.

But against all odds, a clever new Trojan horse slipped through the cracks, and now you’re the unhappy owner of an infected PC. Or perhaps a less-vigilant friend has begged you to clean up a plague-ridden mess.

Obviously, you need to scan the computer and remove the malware. Here’s a methodical approach that you can use to determine what the problem is, how to scan, and what to do afterward to protect the PC from future invasions.

  • Verify the infection: Is the PC in question really infected? I’ve seen people blame “another damn virus” for everything from a bad sound card to their own stupidity. The first step in restoring the system’s health is to determine whether what you’re dealing with is a virus rather than a problem with hardware, software, or user error.

If your PC is unusually slow, or if it seems to do a lot of things on its own that you haven’t asked it to do, you have reason to be suspicious. But before you decide that a virus must be responsible, take a moment to launch the Windows Task Manager (right-click the Windows taskbar, and select Task Manager from the pop-up menu). Open the Processes tab, and check for any strange or unknown applications running in the background—especially those with nonsensical names and no recognizable authority listed in the description. The odd-looking “wuauclt” process is fine, for example, because it belongs to Microsoft (it’s actually part of the Windows Update service, as you can tell from the description.)

Of course, this is only general guidance; there’s nothing to stop a piece of malware from masquerading as a legitimate process by sporting an inoffensive description. That said, you’d be surprised how often a piece of malware gives itself away with a line of strange characters or symbols where the process description should be.

  •  Check for sure signs of malware: Truly insidious malware will preemptively block you from trying to remove it. If your PC suddenly won’t load utilities that might help you manually remove malware—such as msconfig or regedit—be suspicious. If your antivirus program suddenly stops loading, that’s a huge red flag.

Sometimes the attack is more obvious. If a program you don’t recognize suddenly pops up and starts displaying dire warnings and asks you to run an executable file or asks for your credit card number, your PC is definitely infected with some nasty malware. Never fork over your credit card information or other personal data to a program or website that tries to warn you that your PC is about to die. More often than not it’s a rogue program, fear-mongering malware that tries to scare you into giving up your private info by issuing doomsday warnings of imminent hard drive failure, catastrophic viral infection, or worse.

  • Check online for possible fixes: The one benefit of those scary pop-ups is that they could point you toward a cure. Use your favorite search engine to look for phrases that appear in the pop-up—you’ll probably find other people fighting the same infection. Their experiences could help you identify your enemy or even find step-by-step instructions for removing the malware. Be prudent: Take advice only from sites that seem reputable, and remember to perform a full scan of your PC after you’ve followed any instructions, even ours.

Barring any clues that lead you to a magic solution, scanning becomes your next and most important step.

  •  Assume that your old virus scanner is compromised: Don’t waste time scanning your hard drive(s) with your regular antivirus program. After all, that program probably failed to catch the malware in the first place.

But don’t be too hard on it. Nothing’s perfect, and even the best antivirus program can occasionally miss a new or particularly cleverly designed virus. And once that virus slips through, your antivirus program is compromised. You have to assume that the malware, not the security software, is in control.

You need a fresh malware scanner—one that’s not already installed on your computer. It must be capable of detecting and removing malware from your PC, and you need to run it in an environment where the malware can’t load first. Linux is your best bet, but before you jump to that option, try booting into Windows Safe Mode to see if you can outflank your virus infestation there.

  •  Use a lightweight scanner inside Safe Mode: Windows has a Safe Mode that boots a minimal version of the operating system, with generic drivers and nothing else. It doesn’t load most startup applications and—most likely—it won’t load the malware that’s infesting your PC.

To enter Safe Mode, boot your computer and press the F8 function key before Windows starts loading. The timing is tricky, so it’s best to mash F8 repeatedly from the moment the motherboard manufacturer’s logo appears onscreen until you get the boot menu.

When you reach that menu, select Safe Mode with Networking from the list of boot options. The with Networking part is important—you’re going to need Internet access to solve your virus problem.

Once in Safe Mode, open Internet Explorer (using other browsers in Safe Mode is often problematic) and run a reputable online virus scanner. Use a web-based virus detection app that is always up-to-date and runs off a remote server. You’ll have to accept a browser add-in, but the scanner should remove it when it’s done. Before you start the scan, click Advanced settings and enable as many extra levels of scrutiny as you can, including scanning file archives and browser data.

You might also try Trend Micro’s HouseCall. Though it isn’t a Web app, it is portable, so you can download HouseCall on another computer and copy it to a flash drive, thereby creating a portable PC virus scanner. Then, when you run into trouble you can plug the flash drive into the infected PC and run the program from there (you’ll still need an Internet connection for a definition update, however.) When using HouseCall, don’t run it on default settings: Before you click the big blue Scan Now button, click Settings and select Full system scan.

Whichever scanner you use, don’t rush to get through this part of the process. Check the options and select the slowest, most thorough scan. Then, once the scan has started, step away from the PC. Read a book. Do the dishes. Spend time with someone you love. The scan will—and should—take hours.

  • Remember- The second scan’s the charm: When that first scan is done—just to be sure—run another one with a different scanner.

It’s easy, and you’ll sleep better after multiple scanners have assured you that your drive is clean.

  • Look to Linux as your last line of defense: Booting into Safe Mode may not short-circuit particularly malicious malware. If you still have trouble with an infection after running multiple scans in Safe Mode, you’ll have to bypass Windows altogether and avoid booting from the hard drive. To manage that trick, use a bootable CD or flash drive running a Linux-based antivirus utility.

You don’t have to know Linux to take this step. But you will want an Internet connection, since these scanners must go online to update their malware databases.

The first step is to download a bootable virus scanner as an .iso file. From it, you can easily create a bootable CD. In Windows 7, double-click the file and follow the prompts. In Windows 8, right-click the file and select Burn disc image. For earlier versions of Windows, you’ll need a third-party program such as the free ISO Recorder.

  • Protect your newly disinfected PC: When you’re satisfied that your drive is clean, try rebooting into good old Windows. Then uninstall your old antivirus program—it has been compromised.

Of course, you don’t want to stay unprotected. Reinstall the program and update to the latest version, or (if you’ve lost all faith in it) install a competitor. For more information on how to choose the best antivirus program for your needs, check out our full rundown—with empirical testing—of the best security software available today.

Because when it comes to malware, a byte of prevention is worth a terabyte of cure.

Source: Associated Press

How to improve Mac Speed?

Despite your best efforts, your Mac is running a bit slow. A slow working computer is a problem faced by almost all of us at some point of time or the other, and can really be very frustrating when you’re trying to do some important work. Hard disk space is filling up fast and applications are getting sluggish. Don’t worry too much, it happens to everyone. There are some basic things you can do that might help reclaim disk space, remove some clutter and generally speed up your Mac.

 One of the best ways to speed up any aging computer is upgrade the hardware, so invest in a larger hard drive or more RAM if you want to make an old machine feel younger and more agile. Some machines, such as the Mac Mini, adding memory or a new hard drive amounts to performing the equivalent of open-heart surgery. Best to have a pro do it. Following are a few easy things which you can do on your end and can see some improvement.

1. Hard Disk space: Sometimes when your hard drive gets too full drive it can slow down your Mac considerably. But don’t start deleting your important data yet – here are a few things you may not know about that eat up space on your Mac drive.

  • Take a hard look at your applications folder– you can always free up a little space by delete some of  those unused shareware apps.
  • Delete unused language packs– You probably aren’t using the Farsi language localization on your machine. Even if you are, then you can probably still get rid of French or German.
  • Know what you’re storing– Download Disk Inventory X (alternatives: Grand Perspective or Where’s The Free Space), which will give you a nice graphical overview of what is using space on your drive. If it is indeed those precious family photos, consider moving them off to a USB or Firewire external drive. Or burn them to DVDs.

2. Speed Up Slow Applications:  Biggest reason for mac being slow is the applications running on their Mac. Here are a few common culprits.

  • Safari — Safari is fast and lightweight, but it can get bogged down if your browsing history is excessively large or if Safari is storing a ton of Autofill entries. One easy way to reset nearly everything at once is to select Safari > Reset Safari in the application menu, which will clear all your caches.
  • DashboardDashboard widgets are handy tools, but they eat up RAM — sometimes even when you aren’t using them. This leaves less RAM available for the applications you actually are using. Head into your Applications Folder, select the Utilities Folder and look for Activity Monitor. Activity monitor is a great way to see what applications are using the most memory. If you see a lot of Dashboard widgets high up on the list, consider disabling them.
  • Firefox — If you’re using versions 2.x or 1.x of Mozilla Firefox, you’ve probably noticed that the browser tends to take it’s sweet time after it’s been running for a while. Try uninstalling any unnecessary extensions. Reducing the add-ons you’re running to about 3 or 4 will speed up most installations. Your best bet is switching to the latest version of Firefox 3.5, which shows substantial speed improvements over its predecessors.
  • Universal binaries — If you’re using an Intel Mac, make sure that all your applications are universal binaries. Older software compiled to run on PowerPC machines will be noticeably slower on Intel machines. If there’s an upgrade available, download it and run it instead.

Now a few more General System Tips to improve system’s speed

  • Restart your Mac very oftenA Mac running OS X can go on for a good long time. If you enter ‘uptime’ in launch terminal, you can see how long it has been since the last reboot. When you restart, a lot of useless stuff will be flushed out and will increase speed.
  • Reset PRAM: After shutting down the computer, wait for 30 seconds before turning it on. Immediately after that, hold down Control + Option + P + R, instead of the usual boot, you can see the screen light up, and play the Mac chime. When this is done thrice, release the keys. The computer will boot up.
  • Clean Out Your Start-up Items — If your Mac is slow starting up, open your System Preferences and click accounts. Select your username and see what’s listed in the start-up items. Sometime applications will inject themselves here without asking (or even if they asked, you may not want them anymore). Getting rid of some start-up items can speed up your boot time.
  • Clean Up Your Desktop — If your desktop is covered with dozens or even hundreds of icons, you may see your performance suffer. Mac OS X treats each desktop icon as its own window, which incurs a small memory hit. For most people this won’t be an issue, but if you have hundreds of icons, it might help to move them off to another location.
  • Fonts — although they won’t produce a huge performance gain, getting rid of any corrupt fonts will make your Mac more stable. Open up Font Book, select all the fonts in the Font list and choose File >> Validate Fonts. Font Book will open a new window with icons to show font’s status. If a font is corrupt, select it and click on the Remove Checked button. Font Book can’t actually repair corrupt fonts, for that you’ll need a commercial utility like FontAgent Pro ($100).
  • MacKeeper’s Wise Uninstaller: Most of us do not use at least 30% of apps installed on our Macs. However, even if you drag these apps to the Trash, their add-ons widgets, preference panes, and plug-ins will remain on your hard drive. Unlike the Trash, MacKeeper’s Wise Uninstaller will completely remove your applications together with their components which you can view separately for each app.
  • Check your Activity Monitor: From Applications/Utilities, launch Activity Monitor, select My Processes, and click on % CPU. The items at the top of your list (say the first 10) are the ones taking up your CPU time and effort. If they are not urgent, you can close them and direct the CPU’s attention to what you need to do. Again, you can close down the applications which are not required for the work you are doing at the moment and are running in the background.

but sometimes your computer is taking longer to boot because your hard drive is about to crash to always run a hard drive health check first and When in doubt contact Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

  • Call us at 1 855 BY STELLAR (297 8355) or click here to complete a service request form.
  • You may also visit their website directly to learn more about our capabilities

How to Boot Your Windows PC Fast

Looking to slash your Windows PC‘s boot time? You can boot your Windows PC 30 percent faster–without any hardware upgrades. Really!!

After several hours of tweaking and testing, we have managed to reduce the boot time of a PC from 69 seconds to 47 seconds. Here’s how we did it.

When you fire up your PC, the processor performs some initial startup steps and then looks for a specific memory address in the boot loader ROM. Next, the processor starts to run code that it finds at this location, which is the system boot loader. The boot ROM enumerates all of the hardware in the system and performs a number of diagnostic tests. Then it looks for a specific location on the first storage device–probably your hard drive, assuming that the system isn’t set up to boot from a network–and runs code found in that location. That’s the start of the operating system load process.

For Windows, the code that your processor loads is the Windows Boot Manager. The boot manager then begins the process of loading Windows. At some point during this process, the core of the Windows operating system–the kernel–loads into memory along with some key drivers and the hardware abstraction layerThe HAL functions as the interface between the operating system and the underlying hardware. After this, the Windows Executive, a collection of essential services such as the virtual memory manager and the I/O manager, fires up and loads the Windows Registry.

The Registry contains information about what services, drivers, and applications load during boot. The Registry is actually a database that stores configuration settings, options, and key locations for both high-level applications and low-level OS services. Over time, as users install and uninstall apps, the size of the Registry can balloon, thereby increasing load times. Boot times are also affected by the loading of key services and startup applications.

In view of the PC boot process, we can explore several areas to reduce boot times:

Let’s consider each of these Windows functions individually.

Before proceeding further, we need to measure system’s weak boot time. One way to do this is to create a text file containing the text “Stop the Stopwatch.” Drop this into the Windows startup applications folder in C:\Users\your username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. This allows you to time the boot process with a stopwatch and know when to stop the watch. The boot process isn’t completely finished at this point, but the system will be in a usable state.

Measured by this method, our system took 69 seconds to boot–far too long.

First, we looked at the startup services that opened when our system booted. You can check the list for your PC by running msconfig, a built-in Windows utility. Click the Start menu, type Run, press Enter, and then type msconfig in the Run box. Click the Services tab. In the accompanying screenshot you can see that, for simplicity’s sake, we ticked the checkbox next to ‘Hide all Microsoft services’; nevertheless, we did plan all along to disable a few Windows services.

In addition to disabling all of the services shown in the above list, we disabled six Microsoft Windows services from starting on boot:

  • Windows Media Center receiver
  • Windows Media Center Scheduler service
  • Microsoft Office Groove Audit Service
  • Microsoft Office Diagnostic Service
  • Smart Card Removal Policy
  • Smart Card

Since we don’t use Windows Media Center on this system, disabling the first item on the list was an easy decision. And these changes only scratch the surface. Another item that you might disable on startup is Remote Login (if you never use it). The right choices depend on your needs.

After disabling the extraneous application services and a handful of Microsoft services, we found that the system now took 68 seconds to boot–not much of an improvement. The next step was to disable a few startup applications.

Msconfig’s Startup tab lists applications that start on bootup. Here is the list on our test system.

  1. Adobe Update
  2. QuickTime
  3. Adobe CS5..
  4. Adobe Acrobat
  5. Adobe Reader
  6. Stopwatch

Most of the listed startup applets are at least occasionally useful, but none are essential from the get-go. we can manually check for Adobe updates, let QuickTime and Acrobat start a tiny bit slower when we need them, and so on. So we just unchecked all of the applets on the Startup list.

System boot time: 57 seconds.

Disabling startup applications and a few services trimmed 11 seconds off a 69-second boot time–an improvement of nearly 16 percent.

Now motherboard on our test system has two ethernet connectors, but we need only one of them. The motherboard is also set up to check the optical drive to see whether it contains a bootable CD or DVD–and only after that, to try to boot off the hard drive. And finally, since we don’t use an external and secondary SATA controller, we don’t need a BIOS check for the Marvell discrete SATA controller. Armed with this knowledge, we entered  PC’s BIOS during startup, and performed three quick operations:

  1. Disabling the second ethernet port
  2. Setting up the system to boot from the hard drive first
  3. Disabling the discrete SATA controller.

Boot time: 52 seconds

So on our system, disabling a few unused BIOS items netted a savings of additional 5 seconds at bootup.

A number of articles suggest that cleaning the Registry of unused or orphan database entries lead to faster boot times, but many of them base that conclusion on rather extreme testing loading up a system with a lot of junk, and then using a Registry cleaner to remove the new additions. We used Piriform’s Ccleaner 3.12, a popular Registry and system cleaner to autoscan my system and identify items that it thought were useless.

first having Ccleaner remove extraneous files, cookies, index files, log files, and other clutter, and then accepting Ccleaner’s recommendations regarding unneeded Registry entries and cleaning those out. The first sweep with Ccleaner improved my test system’s boot time by 1 second (to 51 seconds,) and the second sweep yielded another 1-second advance (to 50 seconds).

now  we have one more corrective measure to try: setting the boot timeout delay.

You might expect changing the boot timeout not to have much impact, since all it does is specify how long Windows may display an automatic menu, such as the Startup Repair menu. But it turns out that changing the boot timeout does affect boot performance.

The default boot timeout setting on our test PC was 30 seconds; but 10 seconds should give users sufficient time to respond to any menus that Windows may present. So the boot time after we made this change: 47 seconds. It’s unclear why this alteration has such a relatively large impact, but 3 seconds is 3 seconds.

You can dig deeper into each step of the process we’ve outlined here to reduce boot times further. But with a modest amount of effort, the boot time on our fairly typical system dropped from 69 seconds to 47 seconds, a reduction of more than 30 percent.

The key is to optimize each step of the boot process, one at a time. but sometimes your computer is taking longer to boot because your hard drive is about to crash to always run a hard drive health check first and When in doubt contact Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

  • Call us at 1 855 BY STELLAR (297 8355) or click here to complete a service request form.
  • You may also visit their website directly to learn more about our capabilities

How to Transfer PC to PC? without using external hard drive…

 

 

If you are upgrading from one old computer to other or When you or one of your employees gets a new company computer, you might need to transfer a large amount of data from your old computer to the new computer. The fastest and easiest way to transfer from PC to PC is to use the company’s local area network as the transfer medium. With both computers connected to the network, you can map the hard drive of one computer as a hard drive on the other computer and then drag and drop files between computers using Windows explorer.

Step 1

Connect both PCs to the company’s local area network using a wired Ethernet connection or wireless network connection.

Step 2

Access the old computer and look up the computer’s IP address. Click “Start” and select “Control Panel.” Click “Network and Sharing Center.” Select “Change Adapter Settings” from the menu on the left.

Step 3

Locate the icon with blue-colored screens that does not have a red “X” next to it. For example, choose “Local Area Connection.” Right-click the icon and choose “Status.” Click “Details…” and record the number on the line labeled “IPV4 Address.” An example would be “192.168.1.100.” Click “Close” on the Details window and “Close” on the Status window.

Step 4

Determine the drive on the old computer that has files you want to transfer to the new computer.

Step 5

Access the new computer. Click “Start” and select “Computer.” Choose “Map network drive” from the menu. Choose a drive letter in the Drive box.

Step 6

Enter the address of the old computer in the box labeled “Folder.” Type two backslashes, the IPV4 address of the old computer, another backslash, the old computer drive letter and a dollar sign. For example, type “\\192.168.1.100\c$” (without the quotes). Click to remove the check mark from the box labeled “Reconnect at logon.” Click “Finish” to initiate the connection to the old PC.

Step 7

Enter a username and password that has administrative rights to the old computer when the system prompts you to sign in. Click “OK” to complete the drive mapping and open a window with the contents of old computer drive “C:.”

Step 8

Click “Start” and select “Computer” on the new computer to open a second Windows Explorer window. Position the two windows so you can easily drag files back and forth between them. Locate the files you want to transfer. Drag the files from one window to the other to copy them from one PC to the other.

Make sure you always open ALL THE FILES you just transfer before deleting any from the original destination to avoid any data loss. As per a recent study 40 – 50% of all backups are not fully recoverable and up to 60% of all backups fail in general.

Disasters that threaten a business can happen anywhere at any time. But no matter how it is caused, a loss of data, or access to data for any kind of extended period, inevitably means a loss of revenue, a loss of productivity, a loss of reputation, and increased costs.

When in doubt contact Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

  • Call us at 1 855 BY STELLAR (297 8355) or click here to complete a service request form.
  • You may also visit their website directly to learn more about our capabilities

 

How to Set-Up a Virtual Office

Virtual offices, where employees and co-workers can be located in any corner of the world, have become a reality. More and more businesses are keen on exploring the concept of “virtual office” because they save on office rentals, employee commuting costs and host of other “unnecessary” expenses.

While members of a virtual team do not meet face to face very often, they do frequently interact online for discussions, brain-storming and training sessions to ensure that everyone is on the same page.Here we look at some extremely useful online tools and web services to help your virtual teams connect and collaborate with each other and with clients.

Email and Calendar: If you are running a virtual office, you need Google Apps. Period. This powerful suite offers email (Gmail), calendar (Google Calendar) and web-based Office suite (Google Docs) for each of your employees with plenty of storage space.

Instant Messaging: While Google Apps also provides a lightweight IM client called Google Talk, Skype is recommended because it also supports group chats and video conferencing in addition to text and audio chats.Another useful feature of Skype is SkypeCasts where you can host voice conference calls with dozens of participants. The host can easily moderate discussions in Skypecasts. Cost: $0.

Online File StorageWhen you have a virtual team, it is important to maintain a repository of documents (and other files) at some central location that can be accessed by other members 24×7. This could include client proposal templates, PDFs, software installers, photographs, video clips and more.

Box.net provides a very simple explorer like interface for storing your files on the internet categorized using tags and folders. The free version of Box.net offers 1 GB of storage space. Other popular player in the online storage space businesses are XDrive (AOL), Adobe Share, Office Live Workspace (Microsoft) and the upcoming Google Drive.

Telephone Calls: Though it is possible to make PC-to-PC phone calls using Skype or Yahoo! Messenger for free, JAJAH is a more appropriate and cost-feasible solution if you want make long-distance or international phone calls.JAJAH uses VoIP to connect traditional phones (landline or mobile) and hence the calls are relatively cheaper than what telecom companies would charge for the same call.

Technical Support: While big companies have proper IT staff to fix technical issues, virtual offices can consider using CrossLoop, a remote desktop sharing solution. When you face a problem with your computer, any expert in the team can take control of your machine using CrossLoop and fix the issue for you. Price: $0.

Screen Sharing: Microsoft SharedView is a free screen sharing application that allows upto 15 virtual team members to connect and collaborate. They can share their desktop screens, work together on the same document (and track changes) and transfer files.

SharedView is a good choice if you have to deliver a lecture or training session online to a large group of participants. The other option for web meeting is Adobe Brio that also offers a whiteboard, some annotation tools, voice and video chat but Brio (the free version) only supports a maximum of three participants per session.

Setup Network Folders: Leaf Networks provide a simple solution for you to share files and folders on your computer with other team members. It’s like a virtual LAN – you designate the files / folders that are to be shared and then invite others to connect to your computer. And not just files, Leaf can also be used for sharing network drives and printers – that means you can send print jobs even remotely.

Discuss Real Designs: If your work involves discussing designs, layout and prototypes with teammates and remote clients for approvals,ConceptShare is all that you need. It’s like the designers and clients sitting on a virtual table with the project designs rolled out before them – they can mark things that need to improved, add comments and more. The basic version of ConceptShare is free.

Other than these “work related” tools, you can also consider using Wikis (Wetpaint or the upcoming Jotspot) for teammates to connect with each other for fun and non-work related activities.Start Pages (like Netvibes or PageFlakes) can be used as virtual notice boards where one can read all the important announcements, upcoming events, TO DO lists, news, blog buzz and more.

And most of these tools can be accessed from the web browser or even your mobile phone.

Tips & Warnings

A number of business applications come in the form of “suites” that include most programs required to set up a virtual office and even more. Some of the popular suites are Microsoft Office, Lotus, Corel and AppleWorks

If you have the budget, provide your employees with necessary paraphernalia such as laptop, Wi-Fi cell phone, VoIP and other equipment. Then you and your workforce can be connected efficiently.

Back up your data regularly to avoid a complete meltdown of your day-to-day business if the system crashes. This can be a nightmarish scenario indeed.

Source: labnol & eHow

Is it ok to run computer for hours without shutting it down?

 

Most of us let our Desktop or Laptop run for days…weeks..or even years put together. Is it safe? will that impact my data? will that impact its performance? We at Stellar Phoenix face many such questions on daily bases. There is nothing wrong in leaving a machine run for extended hours. A computer has more detrimental impact from electrical spikes and failure of drives etc than simply leaving the PC running.

Heat can be your biggest enemy. You will find that even with the energy new conservation settings available, heat is produced when power is consumed. Yes with proper ventilation the IC components will remain in the tolerable operating range of temperature. However life span is shortened by heat. However variance in temperature from shutting off, then turning on (cool/hat) also damages the chips lifespan.

The most important component that is affected mostly is the hard drive unfortunately its the worse component to crash because it holds all your important data. A hard drive usually is made for 3000-5000 hours of normal usage. Hard drive manufactures offer 3-5 years of manufacture warrantee but Customers replace disk drives 15 times more often than drive vendors’ estimate, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University.  The comparatively high replacement rates are not surprising because of the difference between the “clean room” environment in which vendors test and the heat, dust, noise or vibrations in an actual work environment. Experts have also seen overall drive quality falling over time as the result of price competition in the industry.

We can also argue that the same hard drives are part of these sophisticated servers and they run for years put together then why will the same hard drive crashes in my desktop or laptop?

Server rooms have anti-static floor finishing, maximum electrical intensity of computing equipment of 300 watts per square foot, heating, cooling and humidity controlled environment 72°F (+/- 2°F) and 45% RH (+/- 5%). Nothing like an actual daily work environment.

We at Stellar Phoenix would suggest one should not let a machine run un-attended for hours together. One should always shutdown of not then leave your machine on hibernate mode to avoid any permanent data loss