Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Article: Nick's Printer Picks & Tips

I just released an article to the publisher on this topic... see a free version of it by clicking here!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Mac OS Sierra - Caution!

Apple has released Mac OS Sierra (version 10.12), and folks are asking questions!
  1. Should I upgrade?
  2. Are there incompatibilities with some of the apps I use?
  3. How do I un-upgrade?
Here is the answer key:
  1. Be cautious! Read the answer to question 2 before upgrading.
  2. I've been running it a couple of weeks, and find it mostly good. In our configuration we have found two incompatibilities so far: Bria (our VoIP softphone app) and Thirtyseven4 (our anti-malware app). So, to answer question 2, check with the developer of your must-have apps to be sure there are no incompatibility issues before proceeding.
  3. Apple calls it a rollback, and another common term is downgrade. There are steps to do this that work; I recommend Googling downgrade sierra to el capitan to get the steps.
 I'll post updates as I have them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New Article: IT Security Essentials

IT security is an important piece of the IT puzzle that many in church and ministry leadership don't understand. I wrote a brief article that covers some of the most important, easy-to-fix, and affordable-to-fix issues. The article has been released to the publisher, but you can access a free copy on my firm's website by clicking here!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How NOT to Do Tech Support

Today's call to support of an app is a perfect example. Because I've probably been just as guilty, the company name will not be mentioned.
  • MBS: Since upgrading our Macs to MacOS Sierra, your app crashes a few times throughout the day with no identifiable pattern. Is it because of Sierra?
  • App Support: Let's have you uninstall the app, delete a bunch of hidden files and folders in the system library, then restart and reinstall the app.
  • MBS: Okay, we did all that. It still crashes.
  • App Support: That's because the current release isn't compatible with MacOS Sierra. We'll be releasing an update in a few weeks.
Two thoughts:
  1. Wouldn't it have been better to tell us of the incompatibility up front and encourage us to wait for the coming update? (Their website still doesn't warn of MacOS Sierra incompatibility...)
  2. Three weeks? Really? Did the MacOS update catch them by surprise? Perhaps they're appropriately embarrassed and that's why they had us do a bunch of things most wouldn't do (deleting hidden files and folders in the system library). Or, at least, they should be.

Friday, August 26, 2016

We Finally Moved Our Last Netware Client to Microsoft

There's no doubt that everyone in IT owes a debt of thanks to Novell. They standardized networking with their core product, Netware. Eventually Microsoft saw the opportunity and won the battle, but Netware was a terrific Network Operating System.

This week we finally got to move our last client who was using Novell Netware to a Microsoft Windows Server network! They had been using their most recent version of Novell Netware for over a decade, and it just kept working! 3-4 years ago we moved them from Novell GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange. And this week we finally got to move them to Novell Netware to Microsoft Windows Server.

Thank you, Novell, for helping to get IT moving in such a good direction! You served well... rest in peace...

We just received this pic from the client...

Monday, August 22, 2016

2 New Articles: Nicks Software & Hardware Picks

I've released two articles to their publisher, one on software and the other on hardware picks. They are available to preview for free on MBS' website; here are the links:

Friday, July 29, 2016

New WiFi Spec Promises 7gps Connections!

The May 13, 2016 Kiplinger Letter had an article that has attracted the attention of many. It was about WiFi that uses a portion of the air waves that is otherwise 'little-used' to transmit data at 'lightning-fast' speeds. I did a bit of research and found the following facts about this new technology spec:
  • The WiFi spec, referred to as WiGig, operates in the 60ghz frequency range, compared to today's WiFi specs that operate in the 2.4ghz and 5.0ghz ranges. The higher broadcast frequency of WiGig means it has a shorter distance range… probably maxing out near 30 feet. This effectively eliminates it as a replacement spec for current WiFi in business and, especially, church buildings. You can imagine the number of access points that would need to be purchased and configured to cover an office or sanctuary… it would definitely be prohibitive.
  • The WiGig speed tops out about 7gps (gigs per second), which is way faster than the connections speeds of current WiFi (the fastest of which tops out at about 1gps).
  • Very few of the required chips are available at this time, but that may change in the near future.
Given that the range is so small (less than thirty feet), but that the speed is so high, this technology will likely be limited to consumer solutions such as connecting home media equipment without wires, etc. I don't believe it will replace the need for Ethernet cables in buildings--at least not this spec. But it may encourage the thinking and momentum behind other specs that are yet to be announced.