POPTECH / TOTM Archive

TOTM Archive

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Merry Christmas – December 2011…
…and a happy new year! – January 2012

First things first… Congratulations on surviving another gruelling year and making it through to 2012. The POPTECH team hopes all our customers and their families had a relaxing holiday period and ate the equivalent to three times their body weights over the past two weeks. After all, that’s what the holidays are about, aren’t they?

Secondly, we’re all aware ot the hype those silly Mayans have caused by running out of space on their stone calender to draw any more pretty pictures. Please don’t go on a frenzied computer killing spree with intended revenge for all the hardships they may have caused you as 2013 is more than likely to come knocking on the door, despite what our half naked, dissipated societal ancestors may have conjured up millenia ago.

Anyway, POPTECH will be following up our 2011 ideaology with further growth during the upcoming year so please feel free to contact us for any requests you may have.

Stay safe and enjoy the return to the real world.

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Time to get HIP – November/December 2011
Whilst getting our head in the clouds.


Okay, so the time has arrived for the POPTECH crew to get their groove on, time to cast our lines to the sky and, in a word, get HIP.

Now, I know that we are already a pretty groovy bunch, but with IS at our side (a pretty handy dance partner) we’ve taken it all one well timed step further and are proud to introduce HIP solutions.

Even though HIP in itself is easily understandable with regards to POPTECH’s service, these three letters spell out the future of business cloud technology. Hosted Internet Protocol PBX services offer a unique means in which to manage your complete telephone system off site and hassle free. With options to purchase outright or through monthly fees, POPTECH installs all the necessary hardware, software and cabling (if needed) and monitors the system from inception onwards.

In short, the difficult task of monitoring and maintaining an onsite PBX and worrying about faulty hardware etc. will soon be an issue of the past.

Please watch this space as it will be updated until the year end giving more detailed specs. and pricing.

Groovy baby…

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Our Groot Trek… – October 2011
POPTECH GROWTH

 

 

With the coming of a new year just around the corner, POPTECH has decided to extend their reach beyond the great cities of Durban and Joburg and take flight to our more Westerly cousins. Yes, Cape Town. We are currently expanding business in the Western Cape and are open to taking on clients immediately. If you are from Cape Town and viewing this site (Good for you!) or simply know of any business in need of our immersive IT support experience, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our details are on the contacts page.

As any current client can account, we are more a family than a business and would love to see some more members. Primary consultations and site inspections are free of charge so that we can work out a solution that is most beneficial to you.

So don’t be shy, have a technician around for a look about and maybe a cup of coffee or two.

 

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More of a suggestion – September 2011
Hosted Solutions

No one dislikes being waited on for their every need. We get vehicle valets, restaurant waiters, car washers, garden services, domestic workers… etc. etc. etc. The list is endless. Why then do we still want to look after our own mail services or telephones?

With the age of data limitations over and bandwidth restrictions slowly becoming an issue of the past, POPTECH has decided to take that next brave step. You know, that one giant leap for mankind. With our partner company IS at the helm with us, we now offer IS hosted PBX and Symantec Mail Archiving solutions.

HIP Phones: With IS HIP Phones, installation is a breeze and the running there after even easier. All you need is a connection to the IS cloud and the phones themselves and calls to any other HIP device within your network is 100% free, with very reasonable rates outside. IS hosts your entire system and supplies the handsets for a monthly fee. Phone management is now even cheaper and simpler than before.

Symantec Mail Archiving Solution: With a FAIS accredited security level and strict account control, keeping all your mails and important documentation is as simple as receving an email. Any and every item moving in or out of your mail gets stored and cannot be removed. The administrator management system also keeps track of every movement on every account within your cloud.

For any further information, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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Crash Course Tip of The Month – August 2011
VIRUS!!!

We all tend to treat our computers as our children; impatient with them when they aren’t quite doing what we want them to but overjoyed when they do exactly what’s expected. So why then do we take our children for inoculations and freak out every time they break a temperature but often tend to ignore the health and protection of our computers? Many people think that their computer is “fine” because “Ag, they can have my data if they want, it’s not that important anyway!”

Truth be told, there is far more damage that can be done, not only to your personal computer, but any network you join or pc your share data with.

Anti virus and firewall software is becoming more and more neccesary for all users of computers. PC’s can be crippled with data loss, massive speed reduction and possibly even HDD crashes as a direct result of viruses. Entire networks can be brought to a stand still if a virus goes unchecked. Heck, you could use up your precious 2Gigs worth of internet quota in a day simply by leaving your computer on.

POPTECH is a proud user of AVG anti virus software and suggests it to all clients. AVG offers protection from internet, mail carried, CD/DVD/Blu-Ray, Flash Drive, network and many other based virus attacks.

So next time you get the cold, just use it as a gentle reminder to check and make sure your anti virus software is up to date and running smoothly.
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Crash Course Tip of The Month – May 2011
Quick Solutions to Die Hard Problems.

Problem 1:
When you went to bed last night, your online gaming was fine, now you can’t even connect to the interenet.
Possible Solution:
Reset your router and your computer. Sometimes either can lose sync and thus cause your outage.

Problem 2:
Despite having your favourite photo as your wallpaper, it may get a little much after 2 days of constant showing. Your PC has frozen and now the mouse cursor won’t even move.
Possible Solution:
There are 2 ways to reset your computer. Obviously, you could simply pull the power out and restart it or, and more preferably, hold in the power button for around 7 seconds and the machine should power down.

Problem 3:
Your PC is seemingly dying a slow and painful death. Emphasis on SLOW. You’ve cleared youd HDD as much as possible but still can’t get any more speed out of the old gal.
Possible Solution:
Lower your performance settings by going to your Control Panel>Settings>Advanced>Performance Settings and selecting “Adjust for best performance”
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Crash Course Tip of The Month – April 2011
A brief, albeit delayed, synopsis on New Media in business.

 

So, the world has changed while you slept. Apparently, being “twitted” to check your Facebook page about something that someone referenced to in their blog on Mysapce, is a pretty simple process.

Despite the fact that telephones are becoming more and more advanced, text still plays a fundamental part of communication in modern society and all of the above pay tribute to this fact.

However daunting this new media may seem, it can play a viable and profitable role in the modern infrastructure of company and brand awareness. Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, LinkedIn and Flickr (to name but a few) reach markets that a roadside billboard can’t touch. Teens, students, mom and dad, granny and grandpa, even your boss (Always be nice about superiors online!) play parts in this web of online, social interaction.

With that said, it becomes quite apparent why these predominantly free means of advertising are taking over the way we think. Companies can now have quick and direct access to customer complaints and questions. Don’t be afraid to integrate your company with the fastest growing means of communication in history. Your website or hosted “page” is now far more than a one way advert, but more a gathering of thoughts and opinions of you and your market.

 

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Crash Course Tip of The Month – October 2010
BACK UP DATA YOU MUST

 

 


Firstly, let’s all practice our Yoda voices for that title there. Done!? Good…

Now, let’s get down to business:

It’s Wednesday the 23rd March 2007, you’ve been working happily at your job for 6 years now, to the day, and are quite proud to say that you’re still working on the PC your received on day one. Little does your boss know however, that you’re one of only 213 people in the world with every episode of Family Guy, One Tree Hill, Greys Anatomy and all the Land Before time movies ever made (which roughly means: he does know, but thinks that letting the minions have some down time will increase productivity.) Lunch time comes and you quietly slip on the headphones and start watching that episode of Family Guy where Mayor Adam West stabs the ocean and ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
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BLUE SCREEN……………………………………………………………………………………………………….
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Problem: “Nothing really, I’ll just wait for it to restart. Okay, maybe fourteen booting loops is enough…… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” My friend (Time to put that Yoda practice to good use now folks), a problem we have. Although, there are many causes of a blue screen, we’re going to assume this one means that the internal HDD has crashed and all the data is lost, just like Alderaan.

Natural Response: Shout and scream like the world has just come to an abrupt end because you’re never going to get to know why Mayor West was brutally stabbing the tranquil shore waters of Quahog.

A Superheroes Response: “Although we may have lost some dear friends of ours; Meridith Grey, Peter Griffin, James Lucas Scott and, of course, Little Foot. We must press forward to ensure the rest of the global union of DVD’s and series shall be safe from this day forth!”

What to do: Okay, sucks to say it, but it’s gone. Unless you’re willing to fork out tens of thousands of rands to have a crashed HDD reconstructed, which I presume is 99,67% of the sane portion of society, it’s time to start fresh.

HOWEVER…

This time we’re going to devise a plan to keep the sanctity of our precious data secure. There are many ways to back up data but the most common and reliable means are through backup services (such as POPTECH’s offered Attix5*) or by backing up to a server or external hard drive.

*Attix5 is an IS backboned service that runs a daily backup of predefined data on users machines and/or servers. POPTECH offer (and highly recommend) this service to all of our clients.

Backing up data manually to an external HDD is useful as it let’s the user decide exactly what gets backed up and when and allows for quick and easy access to data that is well structered.

Conclusion: Computers are not 100% reliable. Always make sure there are at least 2 sets of any piece of important data. Redundancy is your friend in the harsh and unpredictable environment know as IT. Finally, in the fabled words of Master Yoda, “Back that stuff up dawg, or the bite you shall feel…”

(Or something like that)

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Crash Course Tip of The Month – September 2010
CREATING .PST’s FOR OUTLOOK

 

Finally, it’s late Friday afternoon and you’re slowly getting ready to pack your bags and head on home for some good ‘ol R ‘n R. Suddenly, and much to your dismay, the boss walks in to see if you’ve gotten her e-mail regarding the new account that she sent about 5 hours ago. (Directly translated from “Boss talk,” that means roughly 25 minutes) You check your inbox, but there’s nothing there. Fear? Satisfaction maybe? You’re unsure of what emotion is brewing up in the pit of your stomach. The realisation hits you quickly though, this isn’t going to disappear… I mean, it’s only 3 days ’til Monday and you don’t want to start the next week with a fuming boss.

Problem: Your Boss has sent the mail, the network is up and you’re connected to your favourite poker site, but you’re not receiving anything. Notably too, all your jokes you’ve tried to finish off the week with are still sitting in the Outbox.

Natural Response: Phone up the IT guys and tell them you’ve got a problem with Outlook (AGAIN!)

A Superheroes Response: “Hold on there ma’am, that mailbox is lookin’ mighty full there, I can see at least 465 unread mails and we ain’t even touched that Sent Items folder yet!”

What to do: PST PST PST!!! Your friend in the unpredictable world of Hosted Exchange mail. You see, your account online has a limited amount of space. The host, be it HE or any online mail system can only support a certain amount of data. If they allowed an infinite volume to every customer, servers would need untold petabytes of space which would not only be very costly, but also break the internet, and who wants to be blamed for that!?

Creating a .PST file is quick and simple and makes backing up of your important mails even simpler.

Outlook 2003:


On the Tools menu, click E-Mail Accounts.
Click View or change existing e-mail accounts, and then click Next.
In the E-Mail Accounts dialog box, click New Outlook Data File.
Click Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) to create a new Outlook 2003 .pst file.
Click OK.
Use the default Outlook folder location, you can locate a different folder location (Usually “Exchange” on the C Drive.
In the File name box, type a name for the new .pst file, or you can use the default name. Click OK.
In the Name box, type a title for the .pst file, or you can use the default title of Personal Folders. The title that you enter in the Name box is the name that is used on the Outlook 2003 All Mail Folders list, and it is applied to any shortcuts that are made for the .pst file on the Outlook Bar. You can also select an encryption setting and a password for the .pst file. After you select the settings that you want, click OK.

Outlook 2007:

On the File menu, point to New, and then click Outlook Data File.
Select Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst), and then click OK.
In the File name box, type a name for the file, and then click OK.
In the Name box, type a display name for the .pst folder
Click OK to finish.

All better: Moving the majority of your mails into a .pst may take some time but clearing up that over-sized .ost helps not only you, but the internet. (…and for that, she thanks you!) Once the files have started moving, free space in the .ost can allow for mail traffic to flow once again and it shouldn’t be long before you’re working ’til 20:00 on that new account and your friends are laughing at the jokes you sent them while they relax at home and watch some TV.

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Crash Course Tip of The Month – August 2010 

 

Okay, so you come into your office, sleep in your eyes and have finally convinced yourself that you’re ready to start the working day. You sit down at your desk, take that final sip of your skinny latte with extra foam and moan as you have to bend over to turn on your computer.

Soon after it comes on, you fire up the e-mails, it’s time to see how bad things really are. But hey, nothing comes through… Maybe everything will work today, for the first time in history! But alas, you look down to the bottom right corner of Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 and see that you’re disconnected.

Problem: You’ve actually woken up by now and realise that without your e-mail system functioning, neither you, nor your business can make any money.

Natural Response: Phone up the IT guys and tell them you’ve got a problem with Outlook.

A Superheroes Response: “Wait just one minute there kind civilian, there is more than one possibility for fault here!”

What to do: Where there may well be an issue with either your Outlook or the Hosted Exchange, a network fault is to blame at least 90% of the time.

Step 1: Open up an internet browser and see if you can still break out into the web. Make sure to try at least one site you may not have visited before. This ensures that the site is not simply being called from cached memory. If you can get out, your initial presumptions were probably correct and the IT fellows need a call to work on your mail client. If you can’t break out to the web, continue on brave soldier.

Step 2: Ask around the office if anyone else is having a problem. Not only can you tell if the issue is common, but it’s also a pretty good way of making friends. If you’re on your lonesome, see Step 3. If it’s everyone, skip to Step Panic!

Step 3: Now that you’ve realised it’s only you, check if your network cable is plugged in at both ends and make sure you’re IP settings are correct (Maybe a quick call to your handsome IT team could help with this one.) If everything is plugged in and seems to be configured as it should be, make the call and we’ll come running to your aid.

Step Panic!: Okay, maybe it’s not reason enough to panic, but a network fault, be it internal or outside of your office, needs to be reported quickly so that technicians can get around to finding and fixing the fault.

All better: “Click,” the network cable plugs in and you burst back to life, aren’t you glad you fixed it yourself? Rewarding, isn’t it!? Well, this could be one of the few methods in which that “Outlook problem” can be resolved. Always remember to test out the basics before you lose your cool, it could save you time and money if your team can stay cool under pressure.