Tech Tips

Making the Move to Microsoft Office 2007

For most business users, Microsoft Office is the program that gets the most use. Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint shape the way we work. With the latest version of Office, new features and improvements have been incorporated into the software we’re all famaliar with. Microsoft has stopped support for Office 2003 and it is no longer being sold in stores or pre-loaOffice Small Businessded on new workstations. Now is the time to make the move to Office 2007.Office Small Business
I personally moved to 2007 Office Enterprise edition, and I use the basic programs heavily. There have been a few changes in the appearance of the toolbars that take getting used to, but over all there are some great benefits to upgrading. I have seen vast improvments in Outlook searching, and PowerPoint makes it easier than ever to make impressive, professional presentations.

Listed below are some of Microsoft’s ways that Office 2007 will improve user productivity.
1. Find Information Faster. Instant Search technology built into the Microsoft Outlook 2007 messaging and collaboration client works like a search engine for your email.
2. Spend Less On Marketing. Templates in Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 help you product your own professional-looking prochures, flyers, newsletters, emails, and more.
3. Manage Customers More Efficiently. Business Contact Manager in Outlook 2007 lets you manager detailed customer and prospect information all in one place.
4. Avoid Unexpected IT Costs. Improved junk mail and anti-phishing filters in Outlook 2007 help you protect your PC’s from potentially costly Internet dangers.
5. More Compatibility. As more people upgrade to Office 2007, you will continue to see more .docx, .xlsx and other 2007 formatted files from your clients and vendors. Expanding from view-only on these files improves your productivity.

The following table provides a brief overview of each of the versions and will help you determine the version your office needs.

Office Comparison

Making the Move to Office 2007 can cost a lot less than you think- especially considering that it can run on the Windows XP operating system, so you get full functionality without having to upgrade your operating system. In fact, because of its tools and features, you can reduce your costs of doing business over the long term.
As a Microsoft Partner, we have special offers that can help you save even more on Office Small Business 2007. We’ll also let you know if you can benefit from volume licensing options and quality for Microsoft financing.

Big EasyIn addition, Microsoft is currently running a rebate program that 5 or more licenses of Office or most other Microsoft software qualify for. Microsoft’s Big Easy Offer give you a rebate in the form of a Partner subsidy voucher. You can use this towards other products or services your office would need in the future. Visit the Big Easy site, or call our office for more details. An example of the savings with Big Easy is 10 licenses of Office 2007 Small Business edition earns $350 in rebates. This is a limited time offer through June 26, so if this is something your company would like to take advantage of, please call our office soon.

The entire EDC staff is always avaliable to speak with you about the details of upgrading software, and there’s plenty of product details on Microsoft’s website: www.office.microsoft.com

Virus, Malware & Spyware: The Differences Explained

Virus, spyware, malware, a malicious program by any other name is still a royal pain. Many people ask what is the difference between the three?

Spyware is a malicious program that is loaded, normally without your knowledge, that is designed to track what you do on the Internet. It will track sites visited, searches made, and in some cases email addresses messages were sent. This information will then be used to create custom advertising in the form of pop-ups, SPAM, and in site ads. Of the three Spyware is least destructive, but can be very annoying.

Malware and viruses are very similar in the sense that they will both have a negative affect on a computer. A virus will normally attack a specific function of your computer, delete data, and/or spread to other computers on a network. Viruses can be very destructive, but they normally do not afford the creator any financial gain from producing the virus.

Malware will normally disguise itself as a legitimate program warning that you are infected with a virus. It will offer a solution to your problem by following the link provided and purchasing a program that will clean the infections. It will also keep you from accessing any websites other than their’s and in some cases it can also stop you from loading/running utilities to clean infections or accessing any administrative functions built into Windows that could help you remove the Malware. Under no circumstance should you ever purchase the program being offered. Besides the fact that you would be giving into their extortion techniques you are also given your credit card information to an unscrupulous company. This information in the hands of these companies can do more damage than just destroying your workstation information. There are legitimate programs that are very successful at removing these programs, such as malware-bytes.

You are welcome to give us a call and we would be happy to clean the malware from your workstation, or if you would like you can follow the instructions below and clean them yourself.

How to Install and Run Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

To download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware click here.

If you are able to access the Internet save it to your Desktop.
-Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
-Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
-When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
-When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
-Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
-Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
-Then click Finish.

If you are unable to access the Internet from the infected workstation save to an external USB drive.
-Click the link above to download the install package. If prompted select Save do not select Run.
-Once the download completes transfer file to the infected workstation by copying the install file to the USB drive.
-Enter safe mode on the infected workstation by tapping the F8 key while the computer is booting.
-Copy the mbam-setup.exe to the desktop of the infected workstation.
-Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
-When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
-When installation has finished leave Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware checked:

MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
-If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself.
-Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
-If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates,
manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
-Alternatively, you can update through MBAM’s interface from a clean computer, copy the definitions (rules.ref) located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware from that system to a usb stick or CD and then copy it to the infected machine.

On the Scanner tab:
-Make sure the “Perform Quick Scan” option is selected.
-Then click on the Scan button.
-If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
-The scan will begin and “Scan in progress” will show at the top.
-It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
-When the scan is finished, a message box will say “The scan completed successfully.
-Click ‘Show Results’ to display all objects found”.
-Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.

Back at the main Scanner screen:
-Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
-Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
-When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
-The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
-Exit MBAM.

Note:— If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you may be asked to reboot your computer so it can proceed with the disinfection process. Regardless if prompted to restart the computer or not, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.
— MBAM may make changes to your registry as part of its disinfection routine.
If you’re using other security programs that detect registry changes (like Spybot’s Teatimer),
they may interfere with the fix or alert you after scanning with MBAM.
Please disable such programs until disinfection is complete or permit them to allow the changes.

Text instructions courtesy of quietman7 at SpywareHammer and edited by Troy Brannan.

Here is a You Tube instructional video courtesy of BetaFlux:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-6l6oAT0ss&feature=channel
*NOTE: If there are any advertisements on the You Tube page do not click on them. Instead, please use my download link(s) above for downloading MBAM.

The Much Anticipated iPad

Apple’s announcement of the new iPad last week has drawn alot of attention, and at the same time it has also drawn its fair share of criticism. The most important thing to keep in mind about the iPad is that Apple is not proposing it as a laptop replacement. The iPad is really more of an smart phone enhancement than it is a new computer. Apple envisions users browsing the web, reading, and doing their casual computing from the iPad.iPad Display

 

 

First the technology of the iPad is evolutionary. It is a 9.7” screen and .5 inch thickness. These decisions on size appear to be mainly to increase portability. It runs all existing iPhone apps from the App store. This means that there are thousands of applications available immediately. Apple also will let you use apps that were already purchased for your iPhone on your iPad. While this is a plus, this means that the iPad does not run Apple OS X software.iPad View

Apple designed the iPad to take net books to the next level. If you are not familiar with net books, they are essentially small laptops often with cell data services built in. In typical Apple fashion they looked at ways to make improvements to the problems with net books by removing features they felt were not necessary. The thing to keep in mind is that the iPad is NOT a laptop replacement. Through the sacrifices Apple made they were able to deliver 10 hours of run time and a much more portable device.

SafariWhile net books are portable, they are limited by small screens that are hard to read for people without 20/20 vision. Apple’s solution to that is to allow zooming on many applications. Also net books generally run a standard version of Windows, so that makes them vulnerable to spyware and viruses. The iPad will most likely not have any viruses, but your will not be able to run as many applications as a net book. The most glaring omission on the iPad is the lack of flash support, so while Apple touts the iPad as the best way to surf the web, all of the flash websites will be inaccessible.

 

 
iBookThe iPad is also positioned to complete with Amazon’s kindle. It is priced competitively with the kindle with models starting at $499. The iBooks Store allows you to purchase books from 5 major publishers. They also have plans to introduce textbooks to the iPad. While many book lovers are hesitant to move to electronic books, they have their place. While most people will not use the iPad strictly for iBooks, the ability to read a book from the iPad will be tempting and it will give many people their first experience with eBooks.

 

 
An appealing feature of the 3G iPad is the data plans. AT&T will be offering a 250MB data plan for $14.99 and an unlimited plan for $29.99. Neither plan requires a contract AppStoreso you can try without the plans to see if you really need them. There was no word from apple if wifi will be required to download some apps like the iPhone currently requires. So having a home internet plan may still be required, but the low cost of the data plans makes it appealing for those users who do not do much more than surfing the web and e-mail.AppStore

 

 

iTunesThe bottom line on the iPad is that it is not a laptop replacement. If you have need of real portable computing, you will still be lugging around a laptop. Where the iPad shines is when you need portability and speed. You will be more likely to bring along an iPad than a laptop in most cases when your wait isn’t very long. Trips to the doctor’s office or waiting for your car’s oil to be changed will be more pleasant experiences with an iPad. It is just a question of if the price tag is worth what it offers.

All iPad Photos are Copyright Apple Inc. More Information can be found at www.apple.com