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Category: Business, IT Support.

Here at The PC Support Group, we manage IT for hundreds of businesses and one thing that we regularly come across are business owners and managers who are frustrated that they don’t understand IT and so feel incapable of choosing a good IT support provider.

We often hear that they have been “blinded with science” and don’t know what to believe. Most have also had bad experiences with previous IT support providers too.

Of course there are no guarantees of a great service but there are some basic, non-technical, questions that any business should ask an IT support supplier before engaging them in order to improve the chances that they will perform.

This infographic shows 20 great questions every business should ask an IT support company when selecting a new support provider. You can see the full size image by clicking here.

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Hudl Tesco Tablet

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Category: IT News.

Tesco are set to launch their competition for the increasingly popular tablet market as they aim to compete with major software giants including Apple.

If you thought there was no end to the supermarket’s ability to rival the major brands; you’d be right. Cheap clothing, low cost food brands and now a budget tablet.

But can the Hudl, as it is to be known, stand up to the pricier alternatives on the market?

Let’s get this straight. We’re not talking bargain basement here, the tablet costs £119. Even so, it should still attract a lot of interest from those still not wishing to shell out upwards of £300 for the privilege of surfing and browsing on the move.

Tesco’s tablet will run the latest version of Android, has a 1.5 GHz processor, an HD screen and expandable storage – so they obviously mean business.

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PC Support

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Category: Business, IT Support.

Asking the right questions can make selecting the right IT support provider for you and/or your business a much easier process. As an IT support business striving to provide a great service to our customers we love being asked tricky questions as we’re confident we can answer them. Here is a list of the questions we think will help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

1. Can you provide me with some reference companies to speak to?

Everybody knows that there’s no greater measure of a company’s ability to deliver than through referral so always ask for a number of references. You don’t have to call them all but if they can provide a few to select from it will instantly give you confidence.

And for those you do speak to, here are a few potential questions you could ask:

  1. Do they deliver what they promised?
  2. Are they responsive and easy to get hold of?
  3. Do they communicate well – letting you know what’s happening with issues?
  4. Do they stay within the projected budget?
  5. Would you use them again?

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iPhone 5S Finger Print Scan

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Category: IT News, Latest.

The latest generation iPhone was unveiled by Apple at a glitzy event in California earlier this week.

Pairing the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, this is the first time the technology giant has released two handsets on the same day, in what many think is a change of direction for the company.

Despite all the fuss surrounding a possible new budget-friendly version, it’s the latest 5S model that has made all the headlines as phone enthusiasts wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve next.

With the iPhone being Apple’s single biggest product in terms of income, the announcement is a vital part of their strategy for the next 12 months when it comes to seeing-off competition from the likes of Samsung and Nokia in the cut-throat world of smartphones.

So, after all the razzmatazz of this latest Apple announcement – you may find yourself asking: “What exactly is the difference?” and “Why should I upgrade or buy Apple’s latest model?”.

Well, here is a rundown of what you need to know.

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Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch

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Category: IT News.

Samsung’s new smartwatch has finally been unveiled amid much excitement.

The Galaxy Gear had been highly anticipated as the firm is currently the world’s largest smartphone maker and has beaten rivals Microsoft, Apple and Google to unveil such a device – now consumers can see exactly what it does.

The watch works as an extension of a Galaxy phone and enables users to make calls, use apps and even take pictures form the camera lens mounted on the strap. Samsung have called the Gear a “fashion icon”.

However, analysts warned that a decision to limit the watch to working purely as an accessory to other Galaxy Android devices might be a mistake and limit its appeal among users.

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Category: IT Support, Microsoft Office.

We’ve previously updated you on the fact that Microsoft is withdrawing support for the Windows XP operating system in April 2014 but you may not be aware that the same fate awaits Microsoft Office 2003.

In 2002 Microsoft produced the Support Lifecycle policy to ensure that users of their products where given clear visibility of the support they could expect. They committed to providing a minimum of 10 years support from product release (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support) and they also committed to informing customers when such support would be withdrawn.

In line with this policy, Microsoft announced that Windows XP (Service pack 3) and Office 2003 will go out of support on 8th April 2014.

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Category: Computer Maintenance, IT Support.

Just like checking the oil and water levels in your car we should be checking on the health of our computers. Here, David Tyrrell of The PC Support Group (Leeds) provides an overview of what he would recommend:

AntiVirus and Malware

Antivirus software should always be up to date and a full computer scan should be run at least weekly. If this is left unchecked then even a seemingly operational AV system will be ineffective and any new virus could cause havoc on your system. It could corrupt important documents or even attach itself to an email and spread itself amongst your friends and business partners. Most Antivirus software will allow you to schedule a scan at a time of your choosing. Set if for late one evening and simply leave your computer on overnight.

Windows Updates

Microsoft regularly writes fixes for issues that are found by everyday people. They obviously can’t get to everyone’s PC themselves, so they put these updates on their website. To make things easier they also give you a program to apply these updates called, unsurprisingly, Windows Updates. Again this can be set to run automatically at a time of you choosing. Personally I like to set mine to download the updates in the background so that I can schedule there install after my Anti Virus scan has run.

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IT Outsourcing

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Category: IT Support.

IT Outsourcing is an extremely effective way for businesses to either fill a skills gap that they don’t have within their organistion, or when a support function can be delivered more effectively and more cheaply by a third party.

Outsourcing as a concept has been around for years and could be traced back to the early days of manufacturing where external companies and individuals were employed to produce specialist components. These days, the same principle is used but for a whole host of services such as marketing, HR and especially IT support.

If you or your company is having IT issues, this is where IT outsourcing can come to your aid. So, what are the real advantages of outsourcing?

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Hire Me

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Category: IT News.

A smartphone app and London-based charity are attempting to help young people find work by allowing them to upload video CVs of themselves to Twitter.

In conjunction with UK Youth, the VideofyMe app is encouraging those out of work to record a visual representation of their skill set which employers can then take advantage of by using the #employme hashtag on Twitter.

Users are also able to include a hashtag of their chosen industry to help differentiate themselves from other job-seeking candidates.

The chief executive of UK Youth – Charlotte Hill – claimed the CVs were a “fantastic” idea.

“They are simple and accessible to all and can help young people from all backgrounds present their skills and talents directly to employers,” she explained.

According to recent statistics, it is estimated that there are 46 graduate applications for every one job opportunity with almost 1m people aged between 16 and 24 currently unemployed.

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Category: Data Backup, IT News.

Most businesses understand how vital it is to protect the data on their computer systems. Yet despite this, a recent (2012) survey Trend Micro shows that less than 50% of SME’s routinely back up their data.
The causes of data loss are much more common than we might suppose. Terror attacks and disasters such as fires and floods aside, evidence shows that a surprising number of businesses experience data loss due to simple human error such as the accidental deletion or overwriting of files.

Disc or system failure, viruses, failed applications, sudden power losses or surges, over-heating, electrostatic discharge and physical damage to the storage device or medium are also often to blame.

Most remarkable of all is the fact that a comprehensive back up system for a PC or laptop can be put in place for a monthly fee that is little more than the cost of a cup of coffee!

Here are a few data loss statistics every business owner should be aware of when deciding whether or not data backup is essential:

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