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Thursday
Oct152015

Twittens!? What are they!?


Well summer is over and fall is starting to set in. The leaves are changing colours, the wind is picking up and…. my hands are getting cold when I'm out texting! If only there were some kind of mitten for the "text generation"!  This is where Twittens come in!

Twittens are a very simple-but-cool product we carry during the Fall and Winter seasons that are the brainchild of London's own tech superstar: Lincoln McCardle!

I find them to be great because they keep my hands covered and warm but have flip up finger holes so that I can still use my iPhone touch screen while I'm out for a walk or waiting for the bus with out having to take off my gloves and let my hands freeze!

When I am out on a nature hike with my camera, Twittens make it very simply to adjust dials and settings with out removing anything I can quickly take the picture I am looking for and keep moving only way without getting frostbite!

If this seems like something you or someone in your family could use we have just restocked our shelves and would be happy to help you find the right fit at both out our locations! 

Thanks for reading and happy texting, stay warm!

Scott Henry
Outpost2 Store Manager
Wednesday
Sep302015

Cyber Security and other spooky stuff


It wasn't long ago that one of the largest retailers in Canada had a major security breach of the credit cards and terminal computers. The retailer may have survived the initial ramifications however there is little doubt that this eventually lead (among other things) to a general mistrust by consumers, and perhaps the eventual closing of its doors.

In more recent memory a website with a very large database of users was leaked with malicious intent. There are all sorts of motives for this kind of activity, but almost every time the outcome is a negative one. Never more than now has taking preventative action been in the forefront of home and business users alike.

There are a few things we can do to protect ourselves against those who wish to extract information or even money from an individual or organization.

First of all, password complexity and two stage verification are more important than ever before. This will either text or email you a confirmation code to verify your identity, and also doubles as a notification if someone is trying to log in to one of your accounts who is not authorized to do so.

In a perfect world every password would be different, but we can pair this with two stage verification. This means there is generally a code or phrase that is texted to your cell phone or email address asking you to verify that in fact you are trying to log into the service or account in question.

Second, in a business environment particular user groups and permission rules should be assessed by a security professional and implemented across all platforms without prejudice. Security breaches are almost always user related however recently managed firewall services (such as Sonic Wall which we offer and support) are a great security net and and tremendously difficult to breach.

Finally, we don't always have to learn from our mistakes. Professionals such as ourselves are always monitoring risks and new threats. It takes a special attention to detail to successfully secure a work or personal environment. With an ever changing software arena its not only important to be able to trust our gut, but its also almost essential to have a team of reliable advice.

If you’ve got any questions about security we’ll be hosting an event at Outpost2, White Oaks Mall on Wednesday, October 21st from 3pm - 6pm and would love to meet security minded individuals. If you’d like us to come out and assess your security levels in your organization or would like to beef up security with our Firewall services I’d love to chat.


Stay secure.

Wednesday
Jul222015

What would you do in the catastrophe of a total loss of data?

Having good back-ups are like a Get Outta Jail Free Card!  Why’s that?  Keep reading to find out more!

Students … pay close attention. Don’t risk losing your notes, assignments, portfolio and down-time dealing with lost data.

We all have our electronic devices; computers, smart phones, tablets, and more. One thing they all have in common is that they hold our precious data.

What is data?  It’s the files we keep on our devices:

Photos
Documents
School Assignments
Contacts
Calendar Appointments
Device Settings
Emails
And more


Let me ask you a question. What would you do in the catastrophe of a total loss of data?  Do you have a back-up (a duplicate) on an external drive?

When it comes to computer users we’re all at different levels of expertise.  Some of us know the easy steps to keep our data safe, and take care of backups regularly.  Others understand that they SHOULD do it, but perceive it as a chore so it never happens.  And of course some computer users aren’t yet aware of the Russian Roulette they are playing with their digital files when no duplicate exists.

Here’s a fact:  Devices are lost and stolen every day. Hard drives crash; and software can malfunction. If you don’t have a back-up in any of these scenarios chances are very high you will lose part or all of your files.

CASE STUDY:

A Fanshawe College photography student came to our service desk with a malfunctioning hard drive in hand.  She had just finished her final year. The drive she clutched contained every photograph and project she had crafted in her years at Fanshawe.  The plan was to make this her portfolio in her pursuit of employment.

These files were important. But no back-up existed. Whether the device malfunctioned or it was lost, the result would still be the same.  The data was lost.  It was a life-changing event.

It is sad to say that our story ends there. Although we are often successful in data recovery services, in this case even aggressive attempts to recover her data didn’t help.


NOTE TO PARENTS:

Data loss is not only life-changing for your students, but it’s common too. The good news is that the solution is easy.  In fact I’ll even show you how to keep your data safe. Come in to our White Oaks location and ask for Virginia. Or sign up for our free class on SAFEGUARDING YOUR DATA.   http://www.macoutpost.com/training

Be sure to have your “get outta jail free” card by making sure the student in your household has an external back-up hard drive.  Pass GO … and collect $200!

- Virginia R., Mac Outpost

Wednesday
Jun242015

LETS RECYCLE TOGETHER!

 

The summer is officially here, and Mac Outpost is happy to announce our annual summer recycling event!  Our local community has recycled "tons" of unwanted,  sometimes ancient technology over the past few years.  The best part? It's free!   Just drop off your unwanted electronics and batteries at Mac Outpost on Wharncliffe Rd. South this Friday or Saturday (June 26/27) from 11am to 4pm.

Let's face the facts: Electronics have a life span.  Once they've reached the end of their useful lives, they should be disposed of responsibly and safely. We've partnered with Zubicks of London to ensure the recycling and reclaiming of any possible resources, for as little waste product as possible.

#HowDoesThatEvenWork? I'm glad you "hashed".  Zubicks can reclaim many of the basic materials that are present in old computers.  In fact, many modern technology gadgets can be almost completely disassembled, melted down and recycled.  Sort of like in the "Terminator" movies!

Like many people, I've been planning to have a garage sale to just get rid of my old technology.  Sadly, many seasons have come and gone and my garage sale plans never showed me the tens of dollars I could have made!  Recycling my stuff responsibly clears up potentially hazardous materials in my basement, and has given me a sense of relief!

Bring your old stuff by and together we can save our small corner of the earth! See you there!  REMINDER: Mac Outpost on Wharncliffe Rd. South this Friday or Saturday (June 26/27) from 11am to 4pm.
Thursday
May282015

Data transfer tips


DATA… we all have it, right?  And likely loads of it too!  If you’re like most of us you have likely accumulated plenty of important data over the years. Whether it’s photos, videos, music, playlists, documents, emails or even our favourite bookmarks in our web browser, these are examples of how DIGITAL our lives have become. Migrating from an old computer to a shiny new one can be a daunting task! This process is called a data transfer.

Removing the shrinkwrap from a brand new computer or iOS device is always an exciting process. But sometimes that’s where the fun ends and the questions start. What do I do with my word files? What about my music library  … where’s my WIFI password? And who can handle this FOR me?

Whether transferring your data from an aging Mac or from a PC, the first step is to look at the amount of data that you have, as well as what transfer method you’ll be using. This is important because many modern computers now have SSD (solid state hard drives), which are smaller than the spindle style hard drives of years gone by. Be sure that there is enough space on your new bundle of joy, to handle all the incoming files.  And what’s more, do you have the required cables to connect the computers to ensure a steady (wired) stream of data from the old to the new?

Take the time to do a bit of spring cleaning. You’ll no doubt find files you simply no longer need. These could be old school assignments, blurry photos, or even projects that are no longer relevant.  Clean up your desktop too (if it’s cluttered), by putting the documents in a proper home. If your computer has multiple users, plan to move only the accounts you need.

One of the tools that Apple provides is Migration Assistant. It doesn’t affect any of the files on your OLD computer, it is a handy utility to help bring the data across to the new Mac.  When configured correctly, it can even transfer apps, as well as selected user accounts.

The next step is to make sure that all the versions of software as well as the two operating systems are compatible. When leaping forward from the old to the new, this interim step can become quite a headache for most of us. When transfers are handled by an Apple Certified Technician the issues or hiccups are no longer in your hands!

Call us if you feel overwhelmed and we will help!

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