Intel, ARM and AMD CPU Security Issue

Nearly all computers worldwide – and many other devices – have been exposed to security flaws which leave them vulnerable to attacks by hackers.

As such we felt it important to warn customers that updates will be rolled out to our business customers computers as soon as they are made available. Home users are advised to contact us to update their computers.

Please be advised, this applies NOT just to Windows computer devices but also Apple iPad, iPhones, etc.; Android tablets & phones as well as some other devices like set-top TV boxes.

You can read more here on this BBC article (posted: 4th January 2018) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42562303 you can also watch this video explainer to help you get a better picture of the overall problem.

 

 

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OneDrive – Archive vs. Sync Mode

OneDrive is an amazing tool to allow users to access the same files from multiple devices. However, what if you don’t want to sync files to all of these devices but instead you just want to archive a bunch of files off your computer for safe keeping.

This article explains how you can use OneDrive to do just that.

What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is a cloud platform that provides storage space to save photos or documents and then be able to access them from any device, anywhere. You can use your phone, tablet or PC to view, edit and save documents or photos and then be able to continue on from any other device. These files can also be shared with other users and especially users who have Office 365 which can provide a rich real-time collaboration in editing documents very handy if you are working on a joint project.

What is Syncing?

Syncing is the process of uploaded files into the cloud and then have them sync to any other device you have like a phone, PC or tablet. The advantage of this is that your files are always accessible from any device anytime and from anywhere. When you alter, add or delete a file then the same process is echoed to all other devices connected to the cloud service.

 

 

What is Archiving

Archiving is the process of uploading files to your cloud storage service but not enabling synchronisation for that particular folder. The advantage of this is that certain files that you don’t want to be available on all your devices are only kept in the cloud which is handy for large files (i.e. video or audio) and means you have created a nice simple place to store files you want to keep (i.e. legal documents, old photographs)

 

Conclusion

Depending on your requirements you can use OneDrive either as a sync service to provide continuous access to files on all your devices or switch off syncronisation for particular folders that you don’t and instead use those folders as an archive. Remember if you want to access files and folders that you have setup to be “archive” or “Cloud Only” you won’t see them on your PC but instead you would have to login to the cloud service to access them.

See Also:

OneDrive Placeholders is Back!!!

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OneDrive Placeholders is Back!!!

Back in the day of Windows 8 Microsoft introduced a cool feature that allowed users to keep their files stored in the cloud and use the built-in file explorer to see these files and access them without taking up precious storage space. However, when Microsoft released Windows 10 the feature simply disappeared.

Now after a very long wait Microsoft are releasing the Fall Creators Update (Due for worldwide release 17th, October 2017 and officially version 1709 build number 16299) which will include the return of placeholders under the new name “Files On-Demand”.

Placeholders, are a simple concept of storing all your files in the cloud instead of on the device, thus saving storage space on new devices like tablets and mobile devices that utilise small SSD (Solid State Disk) storage that typically hold only gigabytes of data. When the user opens a file it is simply downloaded from the cloud and opened in the appropriate application.

Previously, if you wanted to access your cloud files you had to choose which folders to “sync” to your PC this meant that not all the files you had could be accessed without logging-in to OneDrive web access.

With the new File On-Demand service, you now have three different methods of keeping your files.

Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer. You see a cloud icon for each online-only file in File Explorer, but the file doesn’t download to your device until you open it. You can’t open online-only files when your device isn’t connected to the Internet.

 

When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access. If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Free up space.”

Only files that you mark as “Always keep on this device” have the green circle with the white check mark. These files download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there for you even when you’re offline.

 

The new feature has been long awaited for many users of tablets, hybrid tablets and mobiles. You can read more information on the Microsoft website. You can also read more about the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update here.

See Also:

OneDrive – Archive vs. Sync Mode

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Important information for Plusnet customers

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Planned Network Maintenance – 5th, 7th, 8th December 01:00-06:00

What does it affect?
Broadband connectivity.

How long will it take?
Up to 5 hours.

What does the work involve?
Disconnecting some users on a single link in our network.

Am I likely to notice the work?
Yes, there’s a chance that your Broadband may disconnect during this work, however you would be expected to reconnect automatically.

Is there anything else I need to know?
Customers having problems connecting once the maintenance is complete are advised to cold reboot their router.

Kind Regards

RLS IT Support

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Windows Essentials 2012 – End of Life

In January 10, 2017, Microsoft Windows Essentials 2012 suite will reach end of support. So what does this mean to the users and what are the alternatives, you can find the answers here.

Like all things in the IT world, like devices, bits of tech and software applications; all good things have to come to an end. In this case, it’s time for Microsoft’s Windows Essentials 2012 to hang up its coat and say good bye. However, what does this mean to the many people using the applications that was freely available from Microsoft.

What is Windows Live Essentials?

The software suite included “essential” applications that allowed the user to carry out a set of every day tasks on their computer, these included: Photo Gallery, everything you need to organise, edit, and publish your photos. Movie Maker, for making movies from your photos and videos. Windows Live Writer, for creating blog posts in minutes. Windows Live Mail, to manage multiple email accounts, calendars, and your contacts. OneDrive, which allows you to keep your files synchronised on all your devices and Messenger, which was very popular back in the day and allowed users to chat with one another. Most of these applications have been absorbed into the latest version of Windows, however the the main application that will cause many readers a problem will be Windows Live Mail. Windows Essentials 2012

What is the main problem?

Since Windows Live Mail’s introduction back in 2012 email has moved on dramatically, more and more people are now using multiple devices like smartphones and tablets to access their emails and the way those emails are handled has also moved on. Most service providers now use the modern IMAP method of accessing emails instead of the old POP3 method which is less secure and not compatible with users who have multi-devices. So what are the alternatives?

What are your options?

Stay as you are – You could opt to keep using the software, you won’t get support for it and you might find things not working correctly especially if you are using a Hotmail, Live Mail, MSN Mail, Outlook.com and Office 365 email service as Microsoft plans are to move them to one singular Outlook.com system.

Office 365 Subscription – You could invest in Microsoft’s Office 365 annual subscription which provides the latest version of the Office suite which includes Outlook. Although there is a price tag to this option (currently £60 for a personal subscription – annually) it does have the benefit of providing the latest version of the Office suite, 1TB of cloud storage and 60 mins of Skype credit per month. You also have the licence to install the Office suite on a tablet device which could be an Android, iPad or Windows.

Outlook.com – If you don’t want to pay for Office annually you can access your emails via the web. This is how most people without Outlook installed on their PC access their emails. However, there are limitations with this method with the interface and does require some thought in some processes like attaching files, however it is free and easily accessible on any web device.

Mail – If you have an up to date PC running Windows 8.1 and above, there is a simple mail app installed. This has reduced functionality and is designed to provide a overly reduced interface to access your emails.

To conclude, if you are using this software I would advise start looking at alternatives and don’t leave it to the last minute especially if you rely on Windows Live Mail for accessing your emails.

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Issues with 4G and Digital TV signals

We have received recent reports that customers are losing their digital TV signal. This might have something to do with 4G signal in your area. Digital TV and 4G mobile services both use parts of the same radio 800 MHz frequency spectrum that is used by some 4G services are next to frequencies used for Freeview. This may cause interference to your Freeview service.

Some providers like EE have noticed the problem and advise that you check with the at800 service, which has been setup to deal with households where TV reception may be affected.

For more information, please visit:
DigitalUK website at http://help.digitaluk.co.uk/article.aspx?article=7993&p=153 or the at800 website at https://at800.tv/

Watch this video to explain more:

Content courtesy of:

https://at800.tv/
http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/

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Changes to the Broadband Migration Process

As a Broadband provider we wanted to let all our customers know about changes in the process of switching your Broadband provider. From the 20th June; there will be no MAC needed to transfer broadband services, as part of this, the switching time is now a minimum of 10 working days.

For further information:

These changes are being made to simplify the migration process and to make it consistent with the way that telephone lines are migrated.

From the 20th of June you will no longer require a MAC to switch from one provider to another,  migrations can be done simply by placing an order with the new provider. The single signup journey will no longer request a MAC.

In addition to the removal of the MAC there has been a change to the time it takes to process the orders. A migration will now take a minimum of 10 working days to complete. This allows the losing provider two weeks to stop the migration completing if it is believed to be unsolicited.

This change has come about as a result of an Ofcom decision to simplify the migration process and apply the same rules that are currently in place for switching telephone services. These rules will be applied to all providers and leave the onus of the switch on the gaining provider. The losing party will simply receive a notification stating that the service is migrating away.

Any information in regards to this can be found on the Ofcom website. you can also read an interesting article posted on the ISP Review website here.

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How To Get Windows 10

Microsoft have now announced how end users can obtain an upgrade to the new Windows 10 Operating System. The new release will be on July 29th 2015 as a free download for anyone running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 and will only be available for 1 year.

If you are still running Windows XP then you will not be eligible to upgrade and you would have to purchase a license. Windows 10 Home will set you back $119 (just over £77 under the current exchange rate), and Windows 10 Pro will cost you $199 (just over £129). However please note, these are just US pricing and there are no current UK or international pricing at time of writing this article.

How Do I Get Windows 10

If you can remember the article I wrote about “GWXconfigmanager Linked to Windows Patch KB3035583“? Well this is where it now comes into play. In order to get Windows 10 (code-named: GWX) you must have this patch installed, next you have to “reserve” your copy to be entitled to it, here is your To-Do list:-

  • First, you must be running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1, and you must have installed the Windows update KB3035583, which you can check yourself in your Add/Remove programs > View Installed Updates
  • In your system tray (the lower right corner near your clock) you should see a new icon displaying the Windows logo.GWX - Get Windows 10
  • Click that icon, and a window will pop-up that explains how the free upgrade works. Once it’s available, Windows 10 will automatically download onto your PC. You’ll need approx. 3Gb of hard drive space and a good Internet connection, you will receive a notification after the download is complete. Meanwhile, you can scroll through the various screens of the GWX window to read more about the new OS.

GWX1 - ScreenshotGWX2 - ScreenshotGWX3 GWX4 - Screenshot GWX5 - Screenshot GWX7 - Screenshot

  • When you’re done, simply click the button to reserve your free upgrade.
    The reservation screen asks for your email address so you can receive the notification. Enter your email address and click the Send confirmation button. You can now close the GWX window.

GWX8

  • Should you change your mind and wish to cancel the reservation, just click the Get Windows 10 icon again. Click the menu bars in the upper left corner to display the options and click the link for View Confirmation. Then click the link to Cancel reservation and click the button for Cancel reservation to confirm your choice.

What You Need to Know!

Please be advised, by opting to install Windows 10 I would strongly advise you follow these tips:-

  • Backup your essential data BEFORE installing the upgrade.
  • Check with your software and hardware manufacturers that the kit you have is compatible with Windows 10.
  • Make sure the specification of your PC meets the requirements for the new OS.

For further support on upgrading to Windows 10 please contact us on support@rlscomputers.co.uk.

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Using Cloud Storage to Backup your Photos

The Cloud is quickly becoming the core of mobile computing, with multiple devices on different platforms, it is clear to see why storing those precious photos in the cloud would be sensible and attractive. This article looks at using the cloud to store your photos centrally rather on CD’s, pen drives or even your personal computer.

There are many different Cloud storage providers like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and many more. I will be drawing your attention to just two of them OneDrive and Google Photos, these services are key in the mobile market at the moment especially as according to an article in THE INQUIRER, Android currently hold 49.7% share of the smartphone market (Page, Carly. “Apple’s UK market share climbs to 42.5 percent as Android dominance falters”, http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2389029/apples-uk-market-share-climbs-to-425-percent-as-android-dominance-falters#) and both these services (apps) can be installed not just on this platform but also Apples iOS.

OneDrive

OneDrive (formerly named SkyDrive) is the brainchild of Microsoft and comes with a FREE 15GB of storage (at time of print), you can store all your files in OneDrive and install the app onto your PC, smartphone or tablet (inc. iPad) and if you are using a quirky device that you can’t install the app on, then you can gain access to the service using just a web browser.

To use OneDrive you would need to have a Microsoft account, if you already have a Hotmail, Live or Outlook email address then you already have an account. If not you can setup account for FREE at https://login.live.com/ and then choose “Sign Up Now”. Please note you DON’T have to create a new email account with Microsoft you can just use your existing email address to setup an account. Once you have gone through all the details and verification processes your account is ready to use.

To get OneDrive onto your device simply visit your app store and search for “OneDrive” and install it, again the app is FREE so go ahead and download it. Once installed, sign-in with your Microsoft Account and follow the on-screen instructions.

One of the cool things I like about OneDrive is the minute Screenshot_2015-06-03-10-22-55you install the app onto your mobile device and opt to backup your photos, it offers you an additional 3GB upgrade for the pleasure and for FREE (thank you very much Microsoft). I would always recommend that you only upload your photos over “WIFI Only” as utilizing your mobile data contract might incur additional costs. Also note that you can upload video too, which is useful, but remember video’s are large and will take up much more space.

Now once you have completed all those tasks OneDrive will start backing up your photos into the cloud and from now on, every time you take a photo OneDrive will upload it to the Cloud.

Google Photos

Google Photos works slightly differently than OneDrive. With Google Photos the user is still given 15GB of FREE space however, this space is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, as well as Google Photos, the collective name for this service is Google+. That said if you are only using this facility to store your photos you will be taking advantage of the full 15GB. Everything is pretty much the same, you can store all your files in Google Drive, install the Google Drive Sync app onto your PC and if you are using an Android smartphone the Photo app will already be installed. You can even install the app on your iPad or iPhone or access to your photos can be gained using just a web browser.

To active the service all you need to do is to setup a Google account at https://accounts.google.com/signup in much the same way Screenshot_2015-06-05-10-05-02you do with OneDrive and again you can use your own email address, so there is NO NEED to have a Gmail email address, just make sure to click the option “I prefer to use my current email address“.

There are a few more settings in the Google Photos app than OneDrive allowing a little more tailoring of how and what to backup, however in my opinion these are for the geeks to play with. In simple terms once the service is enabled all your photos will be backed up and stored on the Google service in the cloud.

Finally, although you currently don’t get extra space for FREE if you opt to sync your files on other devices. Google do provide FREE storage of photos IF they meet certain criteria (for example, you can store up to 2048px photos without taking up storage space).

So finally, there is no excuse for loosing all those important and precious photos of your loved ones ever again and if you run out of space on any of these services you can always purchase extra space at a very reasonable price.

Quick Summary of Services

  • OneDrive – (Free 15GB, app available for iOS, Android and PC, upgrade space available for additional charge)
  • Google+ – (Free 15GB, app available for iOS, Android and PC, upgrade space available for additional charge, space not used if storing photos under 2048px)
  • Dropbox – (Free 2GB, app available for iOS, Android and PC, upgrade space available for additional charge)
  • iCloud – (Free 5GB, app available for iOS and PC, upgrade space available for additional charge)

Service Websites

Further Information

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IT Engineer (Contractor) South East England

Job Title:    IT Engineer (Contractor)

Location:    King’s Lynn, Norfolk, South East Area

Hours:        Starting 4th May – 29th May (split shift Sunday – Thursday)

Salary:        £350 per week

Work Pattern:    Days, Nights, and Weekends (as required)

Employer:    RLS Computer Services Ltd.

Closing Date:    29/04/2015

Pension:    NA

Duration    P/T, Casual

Description:    

IT Engineer required to provide on-site installation work throughout the South East area. The job involves swapping out computers and migrating data for a large retail supermarket outlet. Previous IT experience is preferred but not essential as training will be given, however applicant must be educated to an appropriate standard (MSCE, CompTia, or Nat Dip appropriate). Duties will include the ability to diagnose and solve simple problems with hardware and software issues, collection and drop off of new equipment from a central site would be likely, providing a clean installation and providing support next day after the installation is completed, reporting back to central depot. Must be able to work own initiative and provide professional standards appropriately both on a management as well on a client level.

 

Responsibilities:

  • Visit business client to implement installations
  • Collect stock from a secure central depot
  • Effect a clean installation with testing
  • Provide support next day after swap over
  • Report job completion back to central management team
  • Collect and dispose of old units back at central depot

 

Working Conditions:

  • Multiple sites based throughout the South East of England
  • Overnight stay possible at some sites (overnight expense paid)
  • Training will be provided as well as tools.
  • Must drive and be able to use own vehicle (fuel allowance provided)

 

Personal Skills:

  • A good team player but able to work on own initiative
  • A good communicator, confident and well presented individual
  • Good listening skills and the ability to work with sensitive matters
  • Ability to work to deadlines and targets
  • Excellent English in both written and orally
  • Excellent presentation skills

Application:

Through appropriate recruitment agency, responses to Rob Lucas 01553 776937 or email rob@rlscomputers.co.uk.

 

Ref: NA

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