Posted by admin on Sep 30, 2012
Do you have your own website? Do you want to know how well it is performing for you? You might want to try out Google Analytics. It is free to use and does a great job of telling you how your website is doing. All you need is to register and get your unique code. Once you have that code, you either need to add it to your website code, or have your web designer do that for you. After a few days, log in to your dashboard and take a look at the traffic graph at the top. If you also use Google AdWords, you can use the Analytics to determine if your ads are making a difference to your hit rate.
We here at ICS have helped people set up Google Analytics for their website – on the site that we host and even on sites that we do not host. As a rule, however, registering for your Analytics account should be done by you. Just send us the code once you have your account setup and we can take it from there. If you would like to discuss whether or not this is a service that is right for you, just let us know.
Posted by admin on Sep 25, 2012
Are you a Hotmail user? If so, then you will eventually have to switch to Microsoft’s newest webmail service – Outlook.com
Hotmail has fallen far: nearly a decade ago, it was sitting on top of the webmail heap… until Gmail surged to the top. Microsoft even tried to rebrand it as Microsoft Live, but it failed to gain its original mojo back. You will notice a new interface, a lack of display ads, and a much cleaner presentation. The result is a 30% increase in the number of viewable messages. Another major feature of Outlook.com is social network integration. Instead of the standard email inbox, users will be able to view status updates and content from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter – automatically sorted as well. Microsoft will also enhance the service with Skype.
Outlook.com users will also be able to use free web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Microsoft will also provide additional storage space for attachments through its SkyDrive service. New users will be assigned an @outlook.com email address, but existing users can keep their @hotmail.com, @live.com and @msn.com addresses as well.
Posted by admin on Sep 20, 2012
The newest tablet offering from Asus – the Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 has a bit of an identity crisis… but that is a good thing! Powered by the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, and a 10.1 inch 1920-by-1200 pixel display, up to 64GB of storage and running Android, it is one of the best tablets on the market. Add to that, the fact that it is only .3 inches thick and weighs only 1.31 pounds, it is one of the lightest and slimmest Android tables around. The battery lasts over 8 hours, and only takes 2 1/2 hours to recharge. It also supports Bluetooth 3.0, a Micro-HDMI port, a MicroSD card reader, and a proprietary connector to be used with the optional keyboard dock.
What was that? A keyboard dock? Yes, you can attach was Asus is calling the keyboard dock that will allow the tablet to morph into a clamshell-style Netbook. So, if you can’t decide whether to purchase a tablet or a netbook… just buy the TF700 and you will get both!
Posted by admin on Sep 15, 2012
USB 3.0 data transfers have a theoretical maximum speed of 5 gigabits per second, in contrast to the theoretical maximum speed of 460 megabits per second of USB 2.0. Though you probably won’t obtain the maximum transfer rate during daily use, you should find that you can most files significantly faster via USB 3.0. In addition, the 3.0 version allows bi-directional communication, so you can move data in both directions at the same time. Of course, to take advantage of these upgrades you will have to invest in new USB 3.0 devices and cables… and add a USB 3.0 port to your computer if you don’t already have one.
Posted by admin on Sep 12, 2012
The short answer: because printer manufacturers can get away with charging you that much. Without ink, your printer is just a big paperweight, and companies know it. That is how they can afford to sell you a printer for under $100 – they are betting that most people will continue to invest in the ink cartridges to keep their printer working.
Third-party refilled or remanufactured ink cartridges may be a lower cost alternative, but some are messy to install or deliver inferior print quality. You might not realize it, but printer ink is very complex and is difficult to replicate. In fact, printer ink is a technological marvel – capable of remaining fluid at extremely high temperatures, and then drying instantly on paper after being shot through a tiny nozzle at a speed of roughly 30 miles per hour. Good luck getting your ball-point pen to match those specs!
Of course, printer ink is less expensive if you buy a printer that matches your printing needs. If you choose the correct printer (two cartridge, four cartridge, six cartridge, etc.) for your printing needs, you will end up spending less on ink.
Posted by admin on Sep 8, 2012
If you offer an on-site service business, you are probably plaqued with the hassels of invoicing and receiving payments. Many electricians, plumbers and service technicians that perform house calls usually leave behind a hand-written bill or have their book keeper mail the customer a printed invoice. Then, they have to wait… sometimes for months… to get paid for that service. What if you could accept a credit card payment while still on site, and have the invoice emailed to the customer. Well – you can!
There are several new mobile payment processing services that will do just that. At the time I am writing this article, the four main players are Intuit GoPayment, PayAnywhere, Sail and Square. I have not tried any of these services yet, so I do not recommend one over the other… but the details look interesting. Basically it starts by adding a card swipe device to your smart phone (usually provided for free) and installing the associated app on your phone. For the most part, it seems that none of them charge a monthly fee – just a pay-per-use type of service – and the rates are competitive at around 2.7%.
The software allows you to generate the invoice with the details and pricing that you want, and then you swipe the credit card through the provided scanner, the client enters their PIN or signs on the screen (if you have a touch screen phone) and once the payment has been processed, you can email them a copy of the invoice and the payment receipt. Each company also has a secure login area on the website that will allow you to view all the transactions – something your book keeper will love!
I think I might sign up and give it a try!
Posted by admin on Sep 6, 2012
Taken from PCWorld Magazine, September 2012 Edition
If you are in the market for a new router for your small business, you might be tempted by the features and low cost of consumer-oriented routers. But can a consumer router deliver everything that your business needs? What is the difference between a consumer router and a business router anyway? Glad you asked.
Basic consumer routers are compatible with the 802.11n networking standard, usually have a 4-port wired switch, have wireless encryption, a built-in firewall and usually a 2×2 antenna array that can handle a total throughput of 300 megabits per second. Sounds great, right? Even the higher-end consumer routers have 3×3 antenna arrays and can handle gigabit speeds… some even have built-in USB ports, data traffic prioritization, virtual networks and even media server capabilities. So why not use a consumer router for your business?
Business routers also use the 802.11n networking standard, have a 4-port switch, wireless encryption and a built-in firewall. They also support data traffic prioritization, virtual networks and all the other features that a consumer router does. The difference is in the quality of the hardware and the software. Business routers are traditionally built with better components so that they will last longer, but where they really shine is in the security features. They also deliver scalability, redundancy, and sometimes support for multiple internet connections.
If your business relies on the internet (and what business doesn’t these days), then you should consider upgrading your router to a business-class model. We here at ICS can help you figure out what is the right option for you, and help you perform the switch-over with minimal downtime.
Posted by admin on Sep 4, 2012
When Windows 8 is launched next month, you will be able to upgrade to the pro version for just $40 for a limited time. The deal will apply to PC owners now running Windows XP, Vista or 7, and you will be able to download the Windows Media Centre for free.
If you plan to upgrade to Windows 8 eventually, here are the facts that you need to know abou the limited-time upgrade deal. First of all, you will have to wait until the official launch on October 26th to sign up for the upgrade. Secondly, you will only be able to purchase the upgrade at the $40 price until January 31, 2013. If you are upgrading from Windows 7, you will be able to migrate your programs, settings and data to Windows 8. If you are upgrading from Vista, you will not be able to migrate your programs, and if you are upgrading from XP, you will only be able to take your data with you. We recommend that you start with a fresh install, no matter what version of Windows you are upgrading from – it is always better to start with a clean slate.