Archive for the ‘Desktop – Workstation’ Category

Description of ‘Desktop – Workstation’ Category:

Posts primarily dealing with the health/maintenance of desktop computers.

Sharing Business Resources without Using Microsoft Exchange

Friday, October 21st, 2011

File sharing is the storing and distribution of digitally stored information. File sharing has quickly become an integral part of most businesses. With file sharing, companies and their employees can easily share resources such as computer applications, multimedia content, and documents.

Companies utilize a file sharing environment to:


from, Oct 2011

  • Save time
  • Cut costs
  • Increase productivity
  • Organize and centralize information for easy retrieval
  • Make content sharing faster
  • Share of hardware
  • Protect data and make backups
  • Increase the performance of existing PC equipment

File sharing can occur in a couple of different ways, the two most popular being a centralized server on a network and a collaborative cloud based service. Recently more and more businesses have been moving more towards the cloud based services, which is why we decided to look into some of the most popular collaborative cloud applications. The one that stood out the most was Zimbra Collaboration Server. Zimbra is advertised as the leader among open source email and collaboration systems. Zimbra uses a cloud infrastructure as its primary storage as opposed to using the desktop or a network server like Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.

Zimbra is a browser based enterprise class open source email, calendar, and collaboration platform that is designed for portability over private and public clouds. Along with its mobility it is also simpler to manage and more cost effective to scale. Zimbra keeps you organized and productive because your information is always assessable.

The Zimbra Collaboration Server offers rich email, contact management, group calendars, Tasks, sharing and document management, mobility, desktop sync, archiving and discovery, and powerful administrative tools. With the free Zimbra desktop client you are able to combine both online and offline services. The desktop client enables users to store and sync their information from email, calendars, contacts, files, or documents in the cloud and access it from any location with an internet connection. You can save your files locally on your desktop and continue working while offline, once you reconnect your files will automatically be synced.


Whether you use Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail or AOL mail, all of your emails, calendar and contacts are now integrated into a single user interface along with your Zimbra mail. Similar to Microsoft Outlook it’s easy to compose, edit, delete, reply, or make drafts and utilizes “Drag and Drop” to move messages from folder to folder. Zimbra’s email supports plain text or html message formatting and adds email signatures for each account. Even while offline you can compose email it will be sent once you connect again.

Conversation Views, Tags, and Search

You can collapse email threads into a single conversation view to clean up your inbox and tag messages for quick identification. The advanced search makes it possible for you to quickly search for text, pictures, documents, and attachments. You can also create and save custom searches with details like folder, date, person, or subjects.

Web mash-ups

Open source extensions called Zimlets allow developers and administrators to incorporate third party applications or customer creations directly on the Zimbra user interface. When connected you can view addresses as Yahoo! Maps by hovering over the contact’s address. The interface also automatically detects your location to determine points of interest with Yahoo! Local. Zimbra provides previews of webpages as thumbnails instead of opening a browser and see your calendar schedule from within an email message if you hover over a date. Web Search powered by Yahoo! is built directly into Zimbra Desktop and it also automatically saves downloaded pictures to Flickr.


Zimbra’s address book allows you to store all your contacts in one place for all your accounts and lets you create groups or tags to organize them. You can add photos to your contacts and it has auto complete to help out when composing and sending emails. Zimbra enables you to easily import new contacts from other applications as .csv files or export contacts as .csv files for backup.


The Zimbra calendar lets you view by day, week, work week, month or even as a list. You can manage a multiple color-coded calendar and “drag and drop” events to new days or time slots. In the month view you can view or edit thumbnails of events. You can also sync the Zimbra calendar with your other calendars and even import event from other public web calendars. With this calendar it even easier to invite others to meetings and view their free or busy times. Zimbra is fully compatible with standard messaging systems like Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Exchange so you can share calendar events with others whether they use Zimbra or not.

Documents, Tasks, Briefcase

Edit Documents by adding images, tables or spreadsheets and share them all directly in email. Track your collaborative tasks with start/end dates and percentage completed. Save attachment in the Briefcase rather than a message attachment, the Briefcase is used as a common folder to share important documents.

Extra features with Zimbra Collaboration Server

  • Email, contacts, calendar, documents, tasks synchronize to the Zimbra Server
  • Access to shared data from peers (email, contacts, calendars, etc.)
  • Works with both Open Source and Network Edition (ZCS 5.0+ servers)
  • Existing user preferences (folders, signatures, settings, etc.) are imported
  • Access to mobile devices, the Zimbra online Web Client and much more

Zimbra Desktop is free to download and can be used with or without the Zimbra Collaboration Server. Zimbra works on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. Check out the VMware Zimbra Video.

Also considered was Novell GroupWise , IBM Lotus, ZoHo Docs, and several freeware like Google Docs, Google Calendar, and DropBox.

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Alternative Defragmentation Software May Not Be the Best Solution

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

from, October 2011

Defragmentation is a process that mitigates and reverses fragmentation. File system fragmentation occurs when the system is unable to maintain the data in a sequential order. During fragmentation data that is in memory is broken into pieces and dispersed throughout the system. One of the major problems that occur with fragmented data is an increase in the time it takes for the system to access files and programs.

Files on a drive are commonly known as blocks or clusters. These files are stored on a file system and are positioned one next to another. When files are added, removed, or changes the amount of space between these files is altered and the system no longer has enough room to hold the entire file. The system will then fill in these small spaces with portions of new files or files that have been adjusted, causing data to become separated from the rest of the file. This separation creates a delay in Seek Time and Rotational Latency. Seek Time is the time that it takes the head assembly to travel to the portion of the disk where the data will be read or written. The Rotational latency is the delay waiting for the rotation of the disk to bring the required disk sector under the head assembly.

The primary purpose of a defragmentation tool is to sort, organize, and compact similar blocks of data in order to reduce wasted space as well as to speed up access time. Windows operating systems come pre-installed with their own “Disk Defragmenter” utility. This utility is designed to increase access speeds by rearranging files contiguously. Many users feel that the pre-installed defragger isn’t the best on the market and have considered using alternative defragging tools. For the most part defragmentation software all does the same thing but it is very important to only use software from trusted developers. Using a poorly constructed defragmentation tool might cause problems like corrupted data, hard disk damage, and complete data loss. Free software can also lack the necessary support and may not be performing the function that it is meant for correctly.

If you still decide to use an alternative to the one provided with the Window’s OS, the paid options are probably the safest. This is because commercial software like Disk Keeper are put through testing to mitigate the negative impacts. There are also a few free alternatives that are pretty popular like Piriform Defraggler, Ultra Defrag, and Auslogics Disk Defrag.

Before making any decisions you should examine the strengths and weaknesses of free and commercial defragmenting software alternatives. After all, it might not be worth the hassle especially if the Window’s Disk Defragment utility is running adequately.

Have a Great Day!


“> Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Tips for Increasing Productivity by Keeping a Clean and Organized PC

Friday, September 9th, 2011

It is critical to perform routine maintenance on your PC in order to preserve its performance level. Computers can quickly get bogged down with too much data and the inability to quickly locate your important documents can lead to frustration. The same organizational skills that you practice in the real world should translate over into the virtual space of your computer. Keeping your PC clean and organized will not only help to keep your files easily accessible but it can also reduce your stress and save some time. The following are some simple tips to follow when it comes to organizing your PC files. PC organization

  • Clear up your Desktop:

The desktop is the first thing that a user encounters and should be the starting point for cleaning up your computer. Remove the files or programs that you do not use, leaving only the programs that you use frequently. Attach the most frequently used programs to the desktop toolbar. Create labeled folders and group the files or applications appropriately. The typical icon layout will group the desktop icons along the right side of the computer screen however these icons can be grouped and moved elsewhere if beneficial. Based on their level of usage arrange your icons and folders in an order that makes the most sense to you. Additionally you can use desktop wallpaper that displays a grid so you can group and move icons into particular sections or categories.

  • Organize your media content:

Keep your music with music, photos with photos, and movies with movies. Typically your computer will have preset folders for your media content, however over time it’s easy for these files to be unintentionally scattered and saved in other locations. You can also create your own media folder which holds separate folders for each type of media content. To provide more organization you can further break down your content, it may require more clicks to access but it will be more specific and easier to locate content. To relocate the files, first sort by media type, select the files, cut, and paste into the new location. (You can also organize these files in programs like the latest version of Windows Media Player)
For Example:

>Media Content Folder





>Media Content Folder


>Band Name

>CD Title

>Song Title







>Movie Title

  • Create More Folders:

Similar to how we organized the media content, we can also access the documents folder and create more efficient folder architecture. Compartmentalize the various sections of your files, for most it may require folders such as home, work, and school. You can also create more subfolders to further categorize your files. Although folders provide the option to sort your files multiple ways, for a folder that has a lot of files it can be beneficial to further break down the files into file type. (Images, .xls, .Doc, and so on)

For example:

Work \ Company Name \ Project Name \

Work \ Company Name \ Project Name \Word Documents\

Work \ Company Name \ Project Name \Spreadsheets\

Work \ Company Name \ Project Name \Images\

  • Organize your Browsing Bookmarks:

If you continue to bookmark web pages without assigning them to specific folders they can begin to blend and become very difficult to find. Folders can be created by accessing the favorites or bookmarking menu on the browser or toolbar that you use. Create new folders and label them according to the areas or subjects that they will contain. Once the folders are created select the appropriate pages and drag them into their new location. During future bookmarking you can designate which folder the bookmark should be stored in.

For Example:

  • Social Media Sites
  • Shopping Sites
    • Create Email Folders:

    Email is one of the most common reasons why people use their computers. With the number of emails sent and received every day email organization is often ignored. To clean up your email begin by deleting junk mail and any old messages. Most people keep their mail in their inbox, instead create subfolders and sort your email as you access it daily. If using Microsoft Outlook you can also establish rules for your emails that automatically deliver them to the correct location. Similar to your computer files your email can be separated into categories like social, work, and school. Email folders can also be created to assigned priority.

    For Example your email may look something like this:

    >Inbox (22)


    >Classmates (5)

    >Project Conversations with Jack (2)

    >Project Conversations with Jill (3)

    >Professor (2)

    >Assignment Instructions (1)

    >Misc. Information (1)

    >Shopping (4)

    >Purchase Confirmations (2)

    >Shipping and Delivery Notices (2)

    >Junk (0)
    >Trash (0)

    These are just a few simple organization tips for your PC. These methods should be done in conjunction with regularly scheduled PC maintenance tasks to provide the best results. These 5 tips along with your own organization methods should help your computer’s performance as well as your own ability to store and quickly sort through data.

    Have a Great Day!


    Providing Tech Support to Businesses in Maryland

    Running Out Of Space? The Advantages Of Adding More Space!

    Friday, January 21st, 2011

    Laptop computers that are available today often come equipped with hefty hard drives.  Their capacity can range from 100GB to 899GB and can be even larger in desktop units. Because the amount of hard drive space available, the average computer user doesn’t really have to worry about overloading their hard drive. However for the folks with tons of software applications and hordes of movie, photos, and mp3 files it’s easy for their hard drives to still become flooded.  Do you have too much stuff, is your computers hard drive approaching its full capacity?

    When a computer’s hard drive begins to reach its maximum capacity it’s not uncommon for the computer to experience a major decrease in its speed.  In addition to a drag in the speed, programs start to slow, freeze, and crash frequently.  Additionally, you might also encounter reoccurring error messages and experience problems with new program installation. In a couple of our other blogs we detailed some methods of regaining your computers speed and reclaiming hard drive space. Described in the past blog articles were techniques that included managing the startup folder, running security software, clearing temporary internet files, performing a disk cleanup, and defragmenting the disk.  Although these methods are extremely helpful in obtaining more space they will most likely be unable to assist with any hard drive that is above 85% capacity.

    So what other options do you have?

    Rather than purchasing a new computer, the two best economical options include upgrading your hard drive or purchasing an external hard drive.  Although purchasing a new laptop hard drive might be cheaper than buying an external component it also comes with its own restrictions.  Even though laptops make the access to the hard drive fairly accessible, the average computer user still may not have the knowledge to change out a hard drive. Attempting to change out the device without the adequate knowledge or equipment can create a situation where more harm than good could come to the computer.

    Without getting too technical the steps to swap out an existing hard drive for one with more space consist of selecting a new drive with the necessary specifications, copying your drive, dismantling the hard drive cover on your computer, swapping out the component, reassembling the panel, and performing any required re-installation. (Check out the links provided at the end of the article for more details)  But if you’re like me you probably don’t want to risk damaging your computer.  In that case paying a professional is always an option but even then you have to spend more money and take the time to copy over your current hard drive data.

    This leads us to our next option. Even though an External Hard Drive component may be accompanied with a slightly higher price tag they tend to alleviate some of the effort and frustration involved with adding more space. An external device will allows you to select which files you would like to store on it.  Due to the external and portable nature of the hardware most come equipped with a password encryption and addition security attributes. External hard drives are available in varying sizes and can often be found for a suitable price. If you decide on the external device, you will be able to save some time on transferring your entire existing hard drive. Usually these kinds of hard drives are plug and play which will do most the work for you.  Just connect the device, let it create the back up, and then move your files to create space. Usually by dragging and dropping or a simple upload menu users will be able to manage the files on their main disk and relocate them if necessary.

    If you have tried the methods in our past blogs mentioned earlier and didn’t achieve adequate results it might be time to invest in a new hard drive either internal or external. It is advised that you keep 10-15% of your hard drive space free at all times and the advantages of adding more space are unmistakable. Your computer will experience fewer errors and run faster!

    For information on external hard drives and more technical help on installing an internal hard drive visit:

    Benefits of an external hard drive!

    Upgrading your hard drive

    (Video) Changing a hard drive on a desktop!

    (Video) Changing your hard drive on a laptop!

    Have a Great Day!


    Providing Tech Support to Businesses in Maryland

    Is your computer running slower than normal? How to regain speed!

    Friday, December 31st, 2010

    happy about computers speedHello everyone, this is Dustin and I am back to help you with recapturing your computers speed.

    Have you experienced a decline in your computers speed or are you un-happy with the speed of your system? At some time or another we all have endured a slow startup, encountered simple tasks that have taken way too long, or suffered with speeds less than what we have come expect from our machines. In an attempt to salvage the fast processing speed that you may once possessed here are some simple methods that will help you regain and maintain speeds that you can appreciate.

    • Check your security software- Run antivirus, and anti spyware scans!
      • Using programs like McAfee Protection Software or Norton Security programs can identify and eliminate threats that can cause your equipment to run slower. These threats can infect your system causing harmful damage to your data and take up precious resources on your hard drive.
    • Manage your startup folder- Eliminate the programs that are not needed!
      • The start up folder contains files of any programs that you or software manufacturers have designated to start up automatically when your computer is first initializing. They can often drain the performance of your computer and this folder should only include the programs that you will be using immediately or those important to your computers operations.
      • In order to fine-tune the startup folder you will need to access the system configuration folder. This can be done by expanding the Start menu, Clicking Run and then typing MSCONFIG. (Windows 7 uses the Search application instead of RUN.) Once the Configuration window appears click the Startup tab and carefully select the programs that you are positive that you do not need for startup. Save and exit, restarting your computer is required for any setting to take effect.
      • Additionally you can also manage their startup programs with the security software previously mentioned.
    • Clean up your hard drive- Remove the applications you no longer!
      • If your hard drive space is currently occupied by programs that you don’t want or will never use again it’s advised that you clear them off your system. Be sure that these are un-needed programs. Any programs that you are unsure about leave in place, for removing certain programs could cause more problems.
      • To edit your programs enter the Control Panel, open the Add or Remove Programs function (Windows Vista and 7 “Programs and Features”). When the list of program populates select any program that you wish to amend. You can even sort by the last used date or installed date. Follow the uninstall procedures for each individual program and restart your computer if necessary.
    • Trash any useless files
      • Delete any redundant or unwanted photos, music, movie, or document files that you are no longer need.
      • Most of the time this can be done by simply locating the file that you wish to eliminate and dragging it into the trash can. You can also right click and select delete as well as highlighting it and pressing the delete key.
      • In order for it to be permanently deleted, access or right click the Recycle Bin and execute the permanent delete option.
    • Buy more space- Get an external hard drive!
      • External Hard Drives are available and come equipped with various sizes.If your files are important and you would like to keep them rather than deleting them, this is your best bet. Storing surplus files on an external drive provides more space and still allows for easy access.
      • Other Computer Data Storage include: CDs, DVDs, Flash Drives, and smart cards. Online storage centers like iBackup are also available.
    • Clear away Temporary Internet Files!
      • In the “My Computer” window, right click on your hard drive (C:), right click Properties (General Tab), you’ll see a link for Disk Cleanup. After a new window opens, you’ll see an option to delete Temporary Files, check the box, then click Clean up. This is a good way to clean up any data left over from installations or web browsing that you won’t need anymore.
    • Perform a disk clean up!
      • The Disk Clean up process will search out any unused or unnecessary files or folders on your PC that are safe to delete.
      • To perform a disk cleanup access the Start menu, locate the accessories menu in the programs folder, scroll down to system tools and select disk clean up. Or enter cleanmgr in the Run application box located on the Start menu.
    • Execute a Disk defragment.
      • Disk Defragmentation searches out similar files on your hard drive in order to consolidate or group the similar files or applications together. Files can often become fragmented and cause a computer to run slower because it has to search harder to locate them.
      • The Disk Defragmentation program can be found on the same menu as the disk clean up program described in the previous method.

    Additional Tips to help increase your computers speed:

    • Keep windows up-to-date using Windows Automatic Update.
    • Add additional RAM
    • Maintain above 15% of free space on your hard drive, again an external hard drive can assist with any overages.
    • Obtain Registry Scan software

    Hopefully by using some of these techniques you will be able to see and enjoy an increase in your computers speed.

    Have a Great Day!


    Providing Tech Support to Businesses in Maryland

    Strong Passwords: Major Elements That Every Password Should Include

    Friday, December 24th, 2010

    wordpress login

    Hello, Dustin back with some useful tips to assist you in creating a strong password.  How confident are you with the strength of your current passwords?

    Some of the elements of a strong password may appear to be common sense but be often overlooked.  Most applications, resources or tools at your disposal require password protections that should not be taken for granted regardless of the level of importance that the information offers.

    Passwords are for your safety and even if the information that is being protected is not detrimental, in the hands of criminals this resource could be utilized in an effective manner.  It is more than likely that if a password is required the information is important and for your eyes only.  Exercise the following steps to ensure that your information is safe and sheltered from outside users with a strong password.

    • The longer the better: A strong password should utilize 10 or more characters.
    • Variation Matters: Mix it up! Don’t use repetitive characters or common sequences.
    • Add Complexity: By adding numbers, symbols, and various upper and lower case styles will greatly increase the protection of your password.
    • Take advantage of the full keyboard: Avoid using familiar character groupings or letters and numbers found in the same row (example: qwerty123). Branch out using the full keyboard and select characters that have some distance between them.

    Here is a Helpful method for creating a password:

    • Create or think of a saying that is familiar to you,
    • Select a letter position of each word, for example the first, second or last letter in each word, use this to create a row of letters,
    • Add a couple numbers that you can easily remember,
    • Add a symbol if allowed,
    • Select 1 or more letters and capitalize it,


    When Life Hands You Lemons Make Lemonade.





    Check to see how this password checks out in the Password Meter!

    Additional Tips regarding your password:

    • Keeping a hard copy of your password is o.k. but make sure that it is also secure.  Make sure you don’t leave a hard copy of your password out or think your being clever by keeping it under your computer keyboard or taped inside you desk drawer.  The best place is locked in a safe.  Also avoid giving out your password or let others see it when being typed.
    • Avoid using personal information such as your birth date, your pet’s name or email account.
    • Number sequences may be easy to remember, but 1234 is also easy for unwanted users to figure out as well.
    • Avoid misspellings, slang, backwards or transposed spellings.
    • Don’t use all the same passwords for multiple applications.

    Still not sure if your password is strong enough?

    Employ a password checker!  When creating a password some applications visually show you how strong your password is and won’t let you proceed until it meets their specifications.  However for those programs that don’t present this resource users can venture out and use secure public password checkers.  Try this Password checker with your current passwords! Secure Password Checker.  Also available online and as browser add-ons are password generators, but these can be hard to remember since they don’t use data that is significant to you.

    For addition methods for creating a strong password check out these sites:

    How to choose a good password

    Passwords and Pass phrases

    Did your passwords meet these standards? Hope these tips and resources will be able to assist you when creating or recreating your first line of defense.

    Have a Great Day!


    Providing Tech Support to Businesses in Maryland (more…)

    Windows 7, Not Yet Convinced? Why You Should Upgrade!

    Friday, December 10th, 2010

    Hey everyone! Dustin here, welcome to our blog.

    Many of us have already seen the Windows 7 advertisements but have continued to utilize previous operating systems. Are you still holding out on the windows 7 upgrade?

    Here are 5 reasons why you should not wait any longer. Updating your operating system is crucial for both the security as well as usability features.

    Occasionally an operating system may appear to take a few steps in the wrong direction but Winwindows 7 taskbardows 7 is certainly not one of them. As operating systems continue to advance the latest versions are able to add features, especially those learned from previous versions short comings. The following key features generate both increased security as well as usability for users. As operating systems go Windows 7 is Fantastic!

    1) The Smart Design

    The Windows 7 task bar immediately catches the user’s attention. The new task bar has a better looking design than previous versions and its functionality is also unmatched.

    The Windows 7 Live Task Bar Preview allows users to catch a glance at their open applications without having the window selected. Hovering over an icon in the task bar creates a window that shows what is going on in each open application. Preview may be the wrong name since within these windows users can now play, pause, or close the applications. In previous OS versions the preview window was strictly a quick snapshot, but with Windows 7 those days are long gone.

    Rearrange your taskbar, this time around the tabs located on the task bar can be organized and relocated in an order that is more desirable to the individual users. Rather than opening and closing applications in the order you want them to appear in the task bar they can now easily be rearranged by simply dragging the icons. The task bar now permits users to pin selected programs for more convenient use. Windows 7 remembers user activity and will now store most frequent programs. The logs of recent programs are referred to as jump list. Right-clicking on a program in the task bar opens a jump list where users can navigate recent and popular applications.

    Establishing Jump List and Pinning programs to the task bar build upon the Windows 7 experience. All of these features and designs fully harness the ease and power of the Windows 7 Task Bar.

    2) The Efficient Performance

    Windows 7 is now even more efficient and responsive. On top of its improved task bar working with multiple windows is now even easier.

    Snapping snaps the open windows into a position that is selected by the user. A user can drag the window to the preferred location and adjust the size accordingly. The snapping feature creates a desktop in which applications can be open simultaneously side by side. Along with the Snap element the Windows 7 OS now reacts even faster to user instructions. It starts up and reawakens from sleep mode efficiently, connects to wireless networks quicker, recognizes external devices and locates files faster than ever.

    The Response Time is much better than previous versions and your computer will now be waiting for you as opposed to you having to wait for it.

    Also helpful is the Search Entry Feature which is not completely new but has been expanded to search even more file types and locations. Pretty much if you’re having problems locating something on your computer its only a click away with the Windows 7 Search tool, Search everywhere and everything! This OS has been reconfigured to operate using less memory. While using less memory your PC’s speed and performance is greatly enhanced.

    3) The Enhanced Security

    It is always important to have an up to date operating systems. The older your OS is the more likely there are holes or faults that make you and your information vulnerable. Window 7 is new so any defects have yet to be discovered or exploited.

    On the Ultimate and Enterprise editions BitLocker Drive Encryption is also available. BitLocker allows users to set up their hard drive to be completely encrypted leaving every document and file locked for security. Windows 7 has greatly improved the system backup/restore settings as well as their accessibility.

    The Action Center found in the control panel is where settings about firewall, antivirus, and updates are found. The Action Center ensures that the most recent updates are installed and functioning properly. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download available to Windows 7 users and actively protects against viruses, worms, spyware, Trojans, and malware. The Windows Defender Software also helps against slow performance, pop-up ads, and spyware among other threats.

    The Windows 7 Parental Control Features have also been enhanced and are easier to use than those found in Vista. The multitude of security features that this OS offers makes users feel extremely secure and is a must for any PC.

    4) The Astounding Entertainment

    With Remote Media Streaming Windows 7 users are able to view their home PC’s media library while away. After a quick and simple set up your home media library will be available over the internet without copying the original files.

    With the password protected Home Group feature, linking computers and devices is a quick set up away. By home grouping media it can be sent to other computers running Windows 7 using the Play To element. Users who also have an Xbox360 can send media to their televisions. Applications like the improved Windows Media Player, Roxio, Enhanced DVD Maker, and Internet TV only add to the Windows 7 enjoyment.

    5) The Fun Personalization

    Windows 7 comes with a host of new Wallpapers, Desktop Icon and Window Themes. Users can select the theme that works best with their style and customize their desktop to their comfort level. The return of Gadgets also increases the amount of personalization ability a user has. Gadgets are small applications that are often quick references, games, or pictures. With the release of Windows 7 now even more gadgets are available and have been improved for the OS.

    Other mentionable features that are pretty cool include Shake and Peek. Clicking and dragging an application rapidly back and forth drops the other open windows making the one you shake easy to see. And Peek allows users to see past the open windows and select the one you want. Windows 7 customization ability now makes it an even more pleasure to operate.

    In conclusion I would say that it is definitely apparent that a lot of thought and time went into creating Windows 7. Whether your reason to upgrade is to enhance security, enjoy the awesome usability, or to experience the cool design, The Windows 7 Operating System is worth the upgrade or full purchase price. Just in case you’re still not convinced here is more information on the Windows 7 OS (compare Windows 7 editions)!

    Have a Great Day!

    Providing Tech Support To Businesses in Maryland

    Tweaks to Make Your Windows Machine Run a bit Faster

    Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

    Hey, everyone, Josh from Computer Fitness back with another award-winning article to help you with your computer conundrums.

    So your Windows machine is running a little slowly, eh? It happens. Over time, machines just tend to accrue a little wear and tear. Unlike a physical machine, for example, you can’t always crack open the case and just know what part to change.  Software is usually at fault for a lot of experience issues, so here are some tips to clean up your PC and get it running like new.


    We’ve gone over this before. Defragging takes all the bits and bytes on your machine and rearranges them in the proper order. Fragmentation is the reason a lot of programs will open slowly and why finding files can take a lot of time. Your PC has to gather up all the pieces, rather than just pointing to a single location.

    Clear Your Cache

    Your cache is a gathering of temporary files used by your PC for various reasons. Over time, they build up and your PC can really slow down as a result. The biggest creator of these files is Internet browsing. By clearing out your cache, you can free up precious resources your machine desperately needs. To do this, open up My Computer. Right-Click on your “C:” and hit properties. Click “Tools” and then select Disk Cleanup.

    Turn off Visual Effects

    If you aren’t hung up on your operating system looking pretty all the time (or don’t have the RAM to back it up), you can disable the cool visual effects in Windows. This is far less taxing your system and as a result, programs will run faster in general. To do this, right click on My Computer and hit Properties. In the bottom left corner of the new window, you should see a link that says “Adjust Visual Effects”. Now, just select “Adjust for Better Performance”. Your machine will process for a minute and then your PC will look reminiscent of Windows 2000, but it will run faster for it.


    Computer Fitness

    Reclaiming Your Precious Hard Drive Space with Free Tools

    Thursday, August 26th, 2010

    Hey, everyone, Josh from Computer Fitness back with another award-winning article to help you with your computer woes.

    Hard Drive space is a precious resource. If you’re like me, you have tons of movies, pictures, and music taking space there. At the same time, if you let it get away from you, files that just build up over time will rob you of the gigabytes you need to keep all of the stuff you want. Fortunately, there are some ways to make sure that you get back your hard drive.


    We’ve gone over this before, but Defragging is incredibly important. As you open and close files at random, bits and pieces of files and programs get left around. They build up and you lose space. On top of losing storage space, you also have increased load times for your data. Defragging helps to clear up a lot of this.

    Check your Installed Programs

    Now, be careful in here. The Add/Remove Programs link at the top of your Windows Explorer takes you to a list of all the programs installed on your machine. This includes the good and the bad. Take some time and look through what’s installed here. DO NOT uninstall things without checking first. IT professionals have a better idea of what’s going on here, but it is good to take a look for programs you remember installing and don’t use anymore. I know, for me, it’s usually old games.

    Clear Temporary Files

    In the “My Computer” window, if you right click on your hard drive (C:), you’ll see a link to clean up your hard drive. You’ll then see an option to delete Temporary Files. This is a good way to clean up any data left over from installations or web browsing that you won’t need anymore.

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    Keeping Your Computer Running Smoothly with Driver Updates

    Thursday, August 5th, 2010

    computer peripheralsHey, everyone, Josh from Computer Fitness yet again. We are a Tech Support Company for Small and Medium businesses located in Reisterstown, MD.

    Everyone knows that companies put out updates for their software. These often correct problems and occasionally add new features. This type of continuing support is often the hallmark of a good company. Well, did you know your hardware has similar updates? It does!

    The software that tells your hardware how to interact with your operating system (Windows/Mac OS X) is called a driver. These get updates can often help your hardware perform better and may even stave off costly repairs.


    Microsoft introduced Microsoft Update in recent versions of Windows. Most people are familiar with Windows Update, which handles all necessary updates to the OS (operating system). What Microsoft Update does is collect information about the devices you have installed on your machine and search for drive updates, as well as Windows updates. Microsoft Update will prompt you to enable it the first time you get your Windows Updates. Simply accept and it will walk you through updating it. This all-in-one center for keeping your system up to date and healthy is similar to the Apple solution, which we will go into next.

    Mac OS X

    One of the key benefits of owning an Apple computer is that they build all of their computers in house, which means they know everything that went into the machines. This means that a complete update solution was built into the system since it was assembled. Microsoft doesn’t make computers, so Microsoft Update is the closest they can get; which is not bad at all for a software company.

    Anyway, Mac OS X uses a program called “Software Update” to keep your Mac up to date on all the latest driver and software updates. It will check periodically on its own, just like Microsoft Update, but you can also pull it up at will. Simply click the Apple logo in the top left of your menu bar. Then click “Software Update”. The program will scan for updates, list them for your approval, and then proceed to handle everything for you.


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