How to Print From Anywhere

Posted by admin on Feb 19, 2013

Taken from PCWorld Magazine, January 2013

The ability to print anything from anywhere is no longer fantasy.  It’s a necessity, as we work more and more off of mobile devices. You can’t squint at a big spreadsheet on a phone; and if you receive a revised presentation via email as your plane lands, you need to print it out before you get to the meeting.

All the mobile-printing technologies share some common traits and limitations. To begin with, the printer has to be networked or connected directly to the internet. Your sending device also has to have the right app, or else access information to find the printer.  And output quality may vary – without a driver, you have less control over the print job.  So, how do you set it up?

First, check to see if your printer manufacturer provides an app.  Most major manufacturers provide a mobile printing app for their current model printers… and a few older models as well.  If you are running a Mac, and your printer is equipped with AirPrint, then the hard work is already done for you.  Another option is Google Cloud Print, and it can work with just about any brand of printer – including older ones.

What if you need to print to a random printer at an airport of hotel?  This can be a bit trickier, but not impossible.  Most office supply stores that offer printing services will have instructions on how to send your job – usually by email directly to the printer.

If mobile printing is something you need to do, and are having trouble getting it setup, contact your local computer guy and they can help you out.

Is Your Business Too Small For Digital Signage?

Posted by admin on Aug 3, 2012

The short answer is a resounding NO.  Even if you don’t have a retail location, if you have customers, clients or visitors into your place of business, you can benefit from a digital signage solution.  There are several reasons why digital signs can work, but let’s explain what a digital sign is first.

In its most basic form, a digital sign is a flat display screen, that shows electronically-generated messages.  These messages can be a simple slide show of photos and captions, or include animation and video as well.  One of the largest benefits of a digital sign is that it is extremely easy to update, allowing you to make changes weekly, daily or even hourly!  With more complex signage packages, you can have several screens, displaying similar or different images, and even program the screens to turn on or off, and even display certain things at specific times of the day.  That is how fast-food restaurants change their menu boards from breakfast, to lunch, to dinner… as well as easily displaying the current promotion.  Many of the sign solutions also have software that makes the creation and management of the signs very simple.

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Stronger signal when you need it, where you need it.

Posted by admin on Jul 31, 2012

Wilson electronics cellular signal boosters work by overcoming signal loss caused by obstacles like brick, concrete or steel at your home or office, or the metal surrounding your car.  Their signal boosters are compatible with all cell phone providers, and 4G solutions are available as well.  And every product is backed by a 30-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee, and a 1 year manufacturers warranty.  With a Wilson booster, you can say goodbye to dropped calls and slow data indoors or on the road!

ICS Computers is your local dealer for Wilson boosters and antennas.  We can help you find the best solution.

RIM’s Blackberry Playbook: A Promising Tablet

Posted by admin on Jul 8, 2011

Taken from PC World Magazine, July 2011 Edition

Research in Motion’s Blackberry Playbook offers a convenient size and novel navigation, but its software can be frustrating.

In some respects, the Playbook is the most impressive tablet I’ve seen.  But native apps such as its browser have disappointing glitches, and its variety of third-party apps is limited.

The Playbook is compact and light.  Offering a 7-inch display, it can fit into a roomy coat pocket.  And its weight is just under 1 pound, which makes it lighter than the iPad2.  The Playbook is very easy to hold too.

There is a front-facing camera, as well as a rear-facing camera.  The stereo speakers offer the best audio output I’ve heard yet from a tablet.  Along the bottom of the tablet are three ports, for HDMI Micro, Micro-USB, and a magnetic rapid charger connection.

Powering the tablet is a 1Ghz dual-core processor and 1GB of memory.  It connects to 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, but a mobile broadband connection must wait until late summer, when RIM will release 4G LTE and WiMax versions.  The tablet has no memory expansion card slot.

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Battery Backup – Cheap Insurance

Posted by admin on Jun 3, 2011

You probably know that you should have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) on your work systems, but you probably don’t have one.  Did you know that installing a battery backup system is just like cheap insurance?  Tornadoes, floods and fires aren’t the only disasters that damage PCs, servers and other computers.  An abrupt loss of electricity prevents systems from closing programs, finishing updates, and shutting down properly.  Lost data and corrupted operating systems and programs often result.

Powerful electrical spikes can also cause trouble.  A computer’s sensitive electronics can easily be destroyed by power surges created by lightning strikes or power fluctuations.  Your computer can also be damaged by a dip in electrical current, also known as a “brown-out”, and that is something that a standard surge protector cannot guard against – not even an expensive one.

A UPS can prevent the damage that occurs from both power loss and common power fluctuations.  Keep in mind, however, that just plugging in a UPS and connecting your computer does not guarantee systems are properly protected. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a UPS.

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Build a Better Business Backup System

Posted by admin on Apr 13, 2011

Taken from PC World Magazine, April 2011 Edition

Everyone knows that storing records safely in more than once place protects a business, but many companies fail to establish backup systems that will keep them running if disaster strikes.

Unfortunately, it often takes a crisis – such as a natural disaster, a theft, or a system failure – to prompt a business to act.  But realizing that you need a new storage strategy can come more gradually.  Very small companies may be unprepared for success, relying on backup products that work well for individual c0nsumers but can’t adjust as several months’ or years’ worth of records pile up.

Many small and midsize companies are abandoning tapes or hard-disk consumer systems in favour of appliances that attach to a local network and beyond; others are adopting cloud-based services.

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Network-Attached Storage for Any Business

Posted by admin on Mar 21, 2011

Taken from PC World Magazine, February 2011 Edition

Network-attached storage can make your business easier to run and more efficient in multiple ways.  Let’s look at some scenarios for NAS use in businesses of various sizes.

A small-office or home-office setup consisting of a few PCs, a multifunction printer or two, and perhaps a wireless, peer-to-peer network is far from  optimal for sharing a accessing files.  Data is scattered, and accessing it from outside of the local network requires a VPN or remote control. A NAS box puts important data in one accessible, easy-to-backup location.  You can back up anything you’re working on off-site by logging in and uploading the files to the NAS box.  Most NAS boxes have on-board backup utilities and USB ports for attaching drives.

If you collaborate with coworkers far away, a NAS box’s easy wide-area connectivity can consolidate and centralize your efforts.  Like any other administered network-storage resource, your NAS will allow users to access only the contents you approve.  To handle collaborative work arrangements, simply create folder for each project, give each person access to folders as needed, and give yourself access to all of the folders. A NAS box is self-sufficient, redundant, and task-specific.  But some programs insist that their database reside on a local PC, and others require you to install a traffic-cop program for multiple users.  For these programs, you need a NAS box that uses Windows Home Server.

When buying NAS hardware, focus on redundancy, capacity and speed.  Don’t buy a single-drive NAS box: You’ll need at least a two-drive box for mirroroing one drive on the other so you won’t lose access when one drive fails.  For help, ask the professionals at ICS Computers.

Free and Paid Antivirus Compared

Posted by admin on Dec 29, 2010

Taken from PC World Magazine, January 2011 Edition

Depending on whom you ask, paying for antivirus software is either a good (even necessary) investment, or a total rip-off.  But you can find plenty of reasons to choose a free program or a paid antivirus program.

#1 Paid Anitivirus Program – Norton Antivirus 2011 based on best detection of malware and a very good interface.
Price: $70 per year for 3 PCs or $40 per year for 1 pC

#2 Paid Antivirus Program – BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 has a better interface but not as good at detection of malware.
Price: $40 per year for 3 PCs

#3 Paid Antivirus Program – Avast Pro Antivirus 5 finds most malware but does not have a great interface.
Price: $40 per year for 1 PC

#1 Free Antivirus Program – Avast Free Antivirus based on its speed and interface.

#2 Free Antivirus Program – Avira Antivir Personal has a better detection rate, but needs a makover of the interface.

#3 Free Antivirus Program – Microsoft Security Essentials is fast and has a nice interface, but sometimes needs help blocking all infections.

Essentially, all antivirus programs are only as good as their updates.  Keep your operating system, antivirus program, and all other applications up-to-date all the time… and run a full scan at least once a week. There is always a “window of opportunity” from the time when a new malware is identified and the software is patched to detect and remove it.  No software is better at protecting your system than smart surfing – don’t go to websites or open email attachments that you do no trust.

IP Surveillance Cameras

Posted by admin on Oct 2, 2007

Monitor your home or office from anywehere in the world.  These cameras are easy to install and monitor up to 16 cameras at a time.  You can even record directly to your hard drive for easy reviewing.  Some models even have two way audio, pan/tilt/zoom, and can be used inside or outside.   Click here to get more information

New Symphonex Audio System

Posted by admin on Oct 2, 2007

We are now the dealer for the Symphonex Audio System.  This system is great for bars, restaurants, hotels, retail centres, DJs, Karaoke and more!  The system comes complete with an easy-to-use software, touch screen, and music subscription service.  You can automate everything – from playlists, to announcements and more.   Check out their website at  We offer complete audio/visual solutions.