Hot Off the Press!
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Dominic was pleased to be awarded the prestigious ‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ award this week for massive implementation resulting in huge business performance since the beginning of the year. Dominic said;
“Barton is growing from strength to strength. My team are all excellent and winning this award is as much for them as it is an accolade for me. I’m very proud of all that we have achieved.”
Dominic Jones, founder & managing director being awarded
‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ by Vanessa Langham-Day.
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The following new System Status notice has been posted regarding a new event on the SureDSL ADSL2+ Network.
There is an unplanned outage at the Sutton Cheam exchange which is causing disruption to our broadband service. We are working to resolve this as soon as possible.
We are currently seeing further attempts from a large scale botnet targeting Joomla/Wordpress Administration areas. This attack has recently increased its hit rate and we have taken action to protect the targeted areas from these attacks. As a result of this you may now find you are prompted to pass a CAPTCHA check when attempting to login to your WordPress / Joomla website.
Information regarding this botnet was also recently published by the BBC and you can read that article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22152296
The Support TeamRead more →
We are seeing increased traffic to a large number of WordPress sites on our shared hosting platform. The attack is not unique to ourselves and is affecting many hosting providers worldwide. Many providers have blocked access to the Admin area of WordPress altogether, however we do not want to take this approach as it will also prevent you from administering your own website. Instead, when accessing your WordPress Admin Area you may find that you are prompted for a username and password not previously required.
The credentials for this login are as follows:
As soon as normal service is resumed, this prompt will be removed and the above credentials will no longer be required. We appreciate your patience during this time, and we will update this page once this has been resolved.
The Support Team (email@example.com)Read more →
Santa Helps Barton…
Seasons greetings everyone. Just a quick note to say thank you for reading our blog and watching our videos during 2012. To finish off the year we have something a bit special for you…
We had so much fantastic feedback from our Halloween cartoon that we just had to do another one! Check out Santa helping to deliver the Barton team presents below.
On behalf of all the team, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Look forward to hearing from you in 2013…
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It is that time of year for decking the halls, Christmas trees and three wise men, so I thought it would be a good idea to publish our opening times during the season to ensure that you know we are on hand should you happen to be working over the Christmas break. Please pass on this message to any members of your team who may need us during the festivities.
Christmas Eve - 09:00 to 13:00
Christmas Day & Boxing Day – Closed
27th-28th December - Normal operations
New Years Eve – 09:00 to 13:00
New Years Day – Closed
2nd January - Normal operations
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients for using Barton Technology during 2012. All the team here wish you all a very merry Christmas and an extremely prosperous New Year.
Managing Director (and temporary Santa’s helper)Read more →
Hi everyone, welcome to this week’s Tech TV from Barton Technology, your local IT experts. Today Richard will be showing you some of the features of Windows 7 Aero.
Don’t forget to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Please let us know what you thought of this episode in the comments below and subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can also follow and contact us at:
See you next time on Tech TV brought to you by Barton Technology – Passionate about your business uptime!Read more →
With support for Windows XP ending in April 2014, businesses of every size need to think about migrating to a newer version of Windows
While Windows 7 will continue to be popular, Windows 8 is a compelling choice. Not only is it a highly cost-effective upgrade near launch, with Microsoft’s upgrade offer extending back to Windows XP systems, but there are other great reasons to embrace the new OS.
Performance Even if you’re using aging hardware, Windows 8 can actually deliver a performance boost. It’s approximately 50% faster to boot than Windows 7, and the core operating system and Windows 8-specific apps will run more smoothly with lower amounts of RAM. More demanding conventional desktop applications may struggle in 2GB or less, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how nippy Windows 8 can feel.
Security Windows 8 is the first version of Windows to have security fully baked into the OS, with the features of the free Microsoft Security Essentials suite now rolled into Windows Defender. As a result, you now get effective baseline security as standard – Security Essentials was highly commended in the 2012 PC Pro Excellence awards – with Windows Firewall continuing to provide solid firewall duties.
Throw in more efficient BitLocker encryption, SmartScreen protection against rogue downloaded apps, and a trusted source of software in the App store, and Windows 8 is arguably the most robust Windows yet.
File HistoryWindows 7 supported a form of file versioning through Volume Shadow Copy, but Windows 8 brings it to the foreground with the brilliant File History feature. File History keeps multiple versions of files in your libraries, your SkyDrive or the desktop, enabling you to easily roll back to an earlier version if the latest one becomes corrupted, or if you or someone else makes changes that you wish to undo.
File History supersedes the Backup and Restore features of Windows 7, transforming backup from something users need to think about into something that happens in the background, and it’s much, much easier to use. Provided you set up an external drive or network location as your destination, your data is every bit as secure.
While most businesses would rely on a server or cloud-based backup solution, the advantage of File History is that it’s at work on laptops and tablets even when they’re not connected to the network.
Storage Spaces With some users, there’s never enough storage, and the more you add second hard drives or external drives into the mix, the harder it gets to find individual files and folders. Storage Spaces is a way of unifying multiple disks of different capacities into one big virtual storage pool. This pool can then be divided into spaces that scale dynamically to the available capacity as files are added. Running out of space? Just add more disks and expand the pool. What’s more, you can even set Storage Spaces to mirror files across different disks for peace-of-mind.
Improved Cloud Integration Windows 8 is built to better support the biggest shifts in business computing, with a far deeper integration of cloud services. Integration with cloud-based services is a major feature of central Windows 8 apps for mail, calendar, social networking and contact-management, while a single Windows sign-on now connects users to a full range of services.
These might include cloud-based email services, cloud storage services like SkyDrive, and apps that connect to services online, not to mention settings, preferences, and any accounts you’ve connected to a Microsoft Live ID. Yet Network Administrators still maintain control through Group Policy settings and control over domain accounts. Users get instant access to cloud-based services and applications, without the pain of typing in a dozen passwords during the working day.
Easier Support We’ve all experienced the way that a good Windows installation can become bogged down with unwanted services and bloatware. The new Refresh recovery option takes the pain out of fixing that, replacing the need to reinstall the OS wholesale with an option that restores Windows to a virgin state in minutes, but keeps all personal data, Windows 8 apps and vital settings.
Meanwhile, the new Reset option is a boon when you need to repurpose an existing PC; it resets the system to an ‘as new’ condition, with options to protect expunged personal data against future recovery. Throw in new features for remote diagnostics and repair, and Windows 8 could save you serious amounts of time.
Native File Handling and Hyper-V If you’re still using Windows XP, then you’ll be used to installing a whole range of applets just to support the full range of files your users might have to work with. Not anymore. Windows 8 supports PDFs, most image file formats and a wide range of audio and video file formats through built-in viewer or playback apps, so there’s no need to download and install a PDF reader just to browse a downloaded report.
A built-in Hyper-V client also makes life easier if you want to implement virtualisation to sandbox applications or browsers. Throw in the ability to mount ISO and VHD images directly in the operating system, with the disk images functioning as normal drives, and Windows 8 has convenience on its side as well.
Flexibility Ever since the iPad arrived, hard-working admins have been working out how to integrate tablets into business. With Windows 8, that becomes easy. Tablets, laptops and desktops can now all run on the same OS, with the same apps and the same management tools (though with some limitations if the tablets are running the ARM-specific Windows RT).
Roaming profiles, with settings and preferences tied into a single sign-on, help maintain consistency across different devices, while the closer integration with cloud-based services ensures that users have access to critical information, wherever they are and whatever they’re using.
The Best of Both UI’s Not everyone loves the Modern UI – or the Metro interface as most people still call it. Yet the thing is that you don’t have to use it. A Windows 7-style desktop is still there if you want it, and once you pin your most-used applications to the taskbar you’ll find you can do most of your work within it.
However, the Modern UI is great for gathering information at a glance, controlling multiple apps or searching for documents and applications. Switching between the two takes nothing more than a tap on the keyboard, while the corner-based charms should one day seem as natural as right-clicking does today. Don’t write off Windows 8 because it looks unfamiliar – the UI isn’t perfect, but it’s a real evolutionary step forwards.
Want to know more? Give us a call – Barton Technology Ltd – 0845 180 00 00Read more →
In anything beyond the smallest small companies, migrating existing laptops and PCs to a new operating system is always a major task.
To its credit, however, Microsoft has made that task much easier with Windows 8. How easy depends on which operating system you upgrade from and how you choose to handle the migration, but no matter what the particulars, there are tools available to help.
The Preparation Phase
Before you do anything, you need to be ready. Start with a little research. By using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant (which runs during Windows 8 installation) and Microsoft’s Windows 8 Compatability Centre, you can check whether your PCs, your applications and any devices will work properly with Windows 8. If you’re going to have to replace components or purchase a new printer, now is the time to know.
Ensure the PCs you’re migrating are in good health, either by using maintenance and management tools, or by using Windows’ built-in tools, such as the System Health Report, ChkDsk and Disk Defragmenter. Make sure you’re up to date with service packs and patches, and that you have any software installation disks, any drivers you might need and any licence keys accessible.
Finally, back up everything you can. Ensure that user files are backed up securely either locally or to an online service (or both), and it could be wise – as a precaution – to use a package such as Acronis TrueImage or Norton Ghost to make a clean backup of an existing reference Windows installation with all applications installed, so that you have a point to return to in case things go wrong.Installing Windows 8
Here, there are three routes you can take, and which one you opt for will depend on which version of Windows you’re already using, and how many PCs and laptops you’re having to migrate.
Your first option is to upgrade one machine at a time, using Microsoft’s standard installation methods. You can upgrade from within Windows or by booting to a Windows 8 DVD or prepared USB memory stick. If you’re currently running Windows 7, you’ll get an option to install Windows 8 while retaining some settings, Windows 8-compatible desktop applications and user files and folders. This is the simplest option. If you’re running Vista or XP, then the best you can hope for is to retain your user files and folders, but you will lose desktop applications and any OS and applications settings. Make sure you have product keys to hand if you need to reinstall any key programs.
The second option is a clean installation. This ‘scorched earth’ approach will see the end of any applications, files and folders, giving you more work once Windows 8 has installed, but many IT pros will swear that a clean installation is the only good installation, allowing the system to start again from scratch. What’s more, there are tools available to help you move settings, user files and folders from the existing Windows to the new one, which we’ll look at later on.
The approaches above are fine if you’re just looking to migrate one or two PCs, particularly if they’re running Windows 7, but what if you’ve got dozens of PCs to move? Here Microsoft’s Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8 comes into play.
This allows you to create a working image on a reference PC, with an ‘answer file’ that enabled unattended installation, all necessary drivers and default user profiles all configured. After testing, you can then capture this image and install it to multiple PCs using a deployment script. This isn’t the method for part-time IT staff with only basic Windows admin skills, but it’s an effective means of moving large numbers of PCs to Windows 8.
Migrating User Files and Preferences
If you are working with a clean installation, then migrating user files and preferences will get your users back to work faster, and make the experience less onerous for them. Available as part of the Windows ADK, the USMT Toolkit can be used to capture user accounts, user files and operating system and application settings from their existing Windows setup, then migrate them to the new Windows 8 installation. You can store the data either on an external hard disk or network share.
In a smaller office running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, Windows’ built-in Windows Easy Transfer utility offers a simpler way of doing things. Before installing Windows 8, plug in an external USB hard drive and run the Windows Easy Transfer utility. Just inform the wizard that this is the old machine when prompted, select the hard disk as the target, and Windows will copy across user-accounts, user files, settings and emails.
Then, once you’ve installed Windows 8, you can run Windows Easy Transfer again and import all those files and settings to the new machine. Older, pre-Vista versions of Windows won’t have Easy Transfer Utility installed. If that’s the case, the utility offers an option to install Easy Transfer on it, although you will need to run Easy Transfer from a Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC first.
Stuck? Ask the Experts
Dont worry – we know not everybody is as technical as we are. Thats why we are here to help!
For advice or help, give us a call @ Barton Technology Ltd – 0845 180 00 00Read more →