When simple problems go wrong – can’t install a network printer

Sometimes, even what seems like a simple problem on the surface can be challenging to solve; this where having a technology partner like LightWire allows you to focus on your business while we manage the technology.  Recently a customer had problem where some of their computers were unable to connect to a shared printer on the print server.  Most commonly this is due to security permissions or drivers but in this case those were not the problems, it was one of those “PC Load Letter” printer moments that could drive you crazy.

After reviewing all the normal culprits, I turned to the event log where, to my surprise, I could could see that the printer was tried to be accessed with credentials that were not valid.  After doing more research there turned out to be a registry entry that had not been automatically removed properly which was causing this small subset of computers not to be able to connect to the print server.  Once those were deleted, our customer was able to connect to all of the shared printers.

While we were troubleshooting, doing what we do best, they were focused on what they do best – running their business.

One more reason your small business should have a technology partner – Microsoft Office 2013 licensing

Now that Microsoft Office 2013 is on the shelves at your local retailer, its important to understand the new licensing terms.  A retail copy of Microsoft Office 2013, the kind you would buy at your local BestBuy, Staples or even online at Amazon, is tied to a single physical computer.  This means that if at anytime you replace your computer (it fails, need something a little more speedy) you will have to buy a new copy of Microsoft Office.  In previous versions, this was not true as you could move the software from one device to another so long as you stayed within your licensing restrictions (depending on version).

For businesses, this can become extremely expensive as a typical version of Microsoft Office will typically be effective longer than the computer.  You can, however, purchase your Microsoft Office licenses through a partner and not be bound by this restriction with future computer upgrades.  LightWire, a Microsoft Solution Provider, can help you with your next Microsoft Office purchase as well as many other technology needs.  Contact us today at the form below or by calling Ian or Jon.

Don’t go free for security software – the importance of a quality anti-malware solution

So much of our lives (personal and business) runs through technology that anti-virus, or anti-malware tools are more important than ever (did I mention its actually required by the state of Massachusetts if you are a business that has Personal Information about a resident of Massachusetts, so all/most of your employees?).  The software vendors behind these tools have done a very good job over the last 10 years at improving and protecting our computers, so much so that I have started to see an alarming trend – people and business relying on free software to protect the very computers they rely on to operate their business.  PC Magazine did a review of the major anti-virus providers and Microsoft’s free security tool for businesses (with less than 10 computers) ranked dead last in effectiveness.  This comes just 2 months after Security Essentials lost is certification from an independent lab.

So what are businesses to do?  Well you may have noticed in that fancy infographic… wait you didn’t click the link?  Okay the infographic below, that Norton Internet Security (made by Symantec) was the top ranked product and LightWire is a Symantec partner.  For just $2 per computer/mo.  you can have a fully managed and automated anti-virus tool on all of your computers.  If you are interested in adding this solution to your account give us a call or email Ian or Jon.

PC Magazine Anti-Virus Review

Should We Upgrade to Windows 8

I guess I have two answers to that question.

We are frequently asked by our clients if they should be considering implementing Windows 8 within their company. Our default answer, at the moment, is definitely ‘no’. The reasons for this are many, but largely revolve around the training / up skill requirements for people to work productively with the platform. Certainly, there are many benefits to Windows 8 – speed, security, new communication paths / social networking, built-in email / calendar / contact support for Microsoft Exchange (ie, no Outlook required if you don’t want it), and integrated support for Microsoft’s online services to name a few. But – at the end of the day, people need to be productive with their computers, and without some significant re-learning, they will be much less productive with Windows 8.

From a personal level – I definitely encourage upgrading, or at least purchasing the upgrade (if you aren’t planning on buying a new computer in the near future, this is a significant deal). Personally, I think it is critically important to stay currant with as many of the major new technologies as possible. And, well – its fun! I have been using a Windows Mobile phone for several months (A Nokia Lumia 920) and love it. Yes, it has fewer apps than the Galaxy S III that I abandoned shortly after buying it, but that gap is closing. And, importantly, it is rock solid and totally integrated into social media channels. The same can be said for Windows 8, so it is a very engaging operating system. I am looking forward to purchasing a Microsoft Surface Pro when it is released at the beginning of February to better test Windows 8 on a purpose-built Intel-based touch screen device. More on that later!

New to Windows 8? Check out these shortcuts for easier navigation

Here are some keyboard shortcuts that will help you move around Windows 8 a bit easier:

<Windows> Brings up the Metro start screen. You can start typing to search for an app, just like the Win7 start menu.

<Windows> + <B> Go to the Desktop from the Metro Start Screen

<Windows> + <D> Brings you to Windows desktop from the Metro Screen

<Windows> + <Tab> Opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between applications.

<Windows> + <J> Switches focus between snapped Metro applications.

<Windows> + <R> To bring up the run window from the desktop, so you can type in an application name to run

<CTRL> + <+> Zoom in <CTRL> + <-> Zoom out or hold down <CTRL> and use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out

<Windows> + <C> Brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change settings.

<Windows> + <Z> Opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.

<Windows> + E – Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.

<Windows> + F – Brings up the Metro File search screen.

<Windows> + H – Opens the Metro Share panel.

<Windows> + I – Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness.

<Windows> + K – Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)

<Windows> + L – Lock PC and return to Lock screen.

<Windows> + M – Minimize all Windows on the desktop

<Windows> + O – Locks device orientation.

<Windows> + P – Choose between available displays.

<Windows> + Q – Brings up the Metro App Search screen.

<Windows> + R – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.

<Windows> + U – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.

<Windows> + V – Cycles through toasts.

<Windows> + W – Brings up the Metro Settings search screen.

<Windows> + X – Launch Start Menu.

<Windows> + Y – Temporarily peek at the desktop.

<Windows> + Page Up / Down – Moves tiles to the left / right.

<Windows> + , (comma) – Aero Peek at the desktop.

<Windows> + Pause/Break – Opens up your system window

<ALT> + <F4> Close an application

Originally posted by DrConnery via Reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/windows/comments/128hif/windows_8_advice_learn_the_shortcuts/