Author Archive | jimagine

Tips for Identifying a Virus

1. Hardware Troubles – It’s Alive!

If sudden sounds of the CD-ROM tray opening completely out if its own will give you the heebie jeebies, I don’t blame you! If your hardware – computer, printer, etc. – started acting up on its own, without you requesting any action by means of keyboard or mouse, you are likely having a virus in your computer system. When you work on the computer, especially if you are performing some actions by using programs, your hard drive is expected to be making some noises.

2. No Response – Is Anyone Home?

We’ve all been there: working away, and then BAM – nothing happens! You can’t move your mouse, the keyboard does zilch, you go into panic mode “ouch, did I save that document I was writing for the past 2 hours?”…. Lockup alone may not necessarily mean you have a virus – it could also be a symptom of a desperate need for a cleanup , but if it presents itself in array of other symptoms, be on a lookout for a virus.

3. Slow Performance – Are We There yet?

If you notice that certain actions take much longer than usual, you should be concerned. As in the previous paragraphs – you must account for specifics of certain files and programs when making a judgment of the slow performance: one PDF document may take much longer time to open simply because it is of a much larger size, and it will not be indicative of the computer virus.

4. Slow Startup – Easy doesn’t.

Another important symptom of a computer virus is a slow startup. Do not confuse it with wishful thinking.. Does it seem to be much slower than usual? Does it seem to just sit there, and not even a blink or a squeak happens?

5. Crashing – Crash and Burn, Baby!

When your computer crashes spontaneously, be careful. After computer restarts, you may notice it does not seem to run normally. If it self-restarts frequently, every few minutes – beware of a virus. This symptom alone may indicate that your system is infected.

If you suspect your computer has a virus and you’re not sure what to do, or you need some help protecting your computer from a potential virus or threat, contact the team of experience IT experts at Imagine Now IT and they can help you out!

Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing?

Did you know that cloud computing has been around for a long time? The idea of cloud computing dates back to the 1960’s but many believe its first use in modern context occurred in 2006 when Google CEO Eric Schmidt introduced the term to an industry conference.

The term cloud computing can often be hard to understand but in laymens terms it means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of using your computer’s hard drive.

Many of us have utilised it in one form or another in our everyday lives for example like internet banking!

Cloud computing offers various benefits for all businesses, such as:

  1. Working Remotely:Cloud computing allows employees to be more flexible in their work practices. For example, you have the ability to access data from home, on holiday, or via the commute to and from work (providing you have an internet connection). If you need access to your data while you are off-site, you can connect to your virtual office, quickly and easily.
  2. Cost Reduction: Moving to cloud computing may reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems. Rather than purchasing expensive systems and equipment for your business, you can reduce your costs by using the resources of your cloud computing service provider. You may be able to reduce your operating costs because:
  • the cost of system upgrades, new hardware and software can be managed for you
  • you no longer need to pay wages for expert staff
  • your energy consumption costs may be reduced
  • there are fewer time delays

       3. A Shift of Care and Responsibility: All of your IT challenges are taken care of by your provider via a dedicated server infrastructure, your cloud based line of business program.
This may include expert monitoring and ongoing support and maintenance to ensure you are kept at a constant working level.

cloud computing concept. hands holding computer laptop smart phone tablet and touch pad

Cost Effective IT Solutions for Start-ups

Starting a business can be an expensive exercise and many people will try to save costs where they can but it is important not to cut corners on your IT. See below for some cost effective IT solutions for start-ups.

Effective IT systems can save you money in the long term as they will help your business to run efficiently and allow you to focus on what you do best.

  • Plan your IT set up. This will allow you to see what it is you really need and when you need it so you don’t face a large amount of costs at once.
  • Seek the advice of an IT company. An IT expert will be able to advise you of different options available to you and the best options for your business.
  • Consider IT outsourcing. This is much cheaper than hiring a full-time IT employee and you can make payments periodically. It also allows you to focus on other aspects of your business as you have an expert looking after your IT.
  • Look into cloud computing. Cloud computing can save you a lot of money in the long run as it requires minimal hardware, has automatic upgrades and makes backing up your files very easy.

If you need help with your start-up IT or have any other IT issues, contact us today to experience IT support with a personal touch.

start_up_elephantsmall

Chrome Vs Internet Explorer

It’s the debate that doesn’t end… Chrome Vs Internet Explorer. Which do you use? Most people just use the browser that they have always used but what is the real difference?

  • Chrome is only just faster to boot up. Chrome has built a reputation for speed but Internet Explorer is not far behind, taking just 0.002 seconds longer to open.
  • Internet Explorer uses slightly less memory.
  • Chrome allows you to isolate problems caused by specific programs. This is the main reason Chrome uses slightly more memory to run than Internet Explorer.
  • Internet Explorer processes Javascript more than twice as fast as Chrome.
  • However, Chrome processes HTML5 more efficiently.
  • Chrome is known to be more aesthetically pleasing. Viewers like the simple, uncluttered design. Internet Explorer seems to be less polished with a boxy, angular design.
  • Internet Explorer doesn’t have much support for plug-ins, add-ons and web apps.
  • Chrome has an array of third-party extensions & applications.
  • Chrome is available on more platforms allowing iOS and Andriod users to sync their data across devices. Unfortunately Internet Explorer is only compatible with Windows phones.
  • Chrome is one of the best browsers available for security purposes however it’s privacy is not as strong.

In modern day, as we use multiple devices and don’t have the time to wait for things, it seems as though Chrome may be the better browser for most people. However, as with most things, they both have positives and negatives.

One Local Business Supporting Another

There is no better feeling than serving the community that we live in and love. Our work provides the privilege to help so many great people in our region achieve their goals. We feel very fortunate to live in the Hunter as it has a rich culture, rich environment and rich community spirit, thanks to the generous people and businesses within our local community.

Imagine Now I.T. is proud to be one such local Maitland company that was blessed to have the opportunity to give back to the community as a sponsor of the 2015 Mai-Wel Gala Ball. As a proud and excited sponsor, I attended the Mai-Wel Gala Ball with my beautiful wife Sophia and almost 300 other local business leaders and Maitland residents. The Paris themed event was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Imagine Now I.T. are grateful that we could be a part of the Mai-Wel Gala Ball. As a sponsor we had a great sense of satisfaction seeing such an amazing night happen and knowing, that we in a small way, contributed to the events success. There is nothing greater than giving back to our local community and we intend on continuing our support of The Mai-Wel Group well into the future. It’s amazing what you get in return for giving so much.

We are also excited to be sponsoring the Mai-Wel Comedy Debate on Saturday 8th of August. We are sure to have a few laughs as some local and Celebrity debaters discuss the controversial topic, ‘youth is wasted on the young.’ The Mai-Wel Group always have great events so I am thoroughly looking forward to this event and it just makes it that little bit better knowing that Imagine Now I.T. is contributing to this wonderful event and deserving charity.

As a small business in the Hunter Valley, we certainly feel lucky to live and work in such a giving and supportive community. At Imagine Now I.T., we feel very grateful to be able to support local businesses and charities and we look forward to continuing to do this in the future.

Windows 8 Vs Windows 10

There’s been talk of Windows 10 being what Windows 8 should have been. With the release of Windows 10 coming up, we wanted to highlight the main differences. If you would like to find out more, contact us on 4934 4966

There was a big jump from Windows 7 to Windows 8 with major changes that seemed to just confuse a lot of people. People have said that Windows 10 is the update that should have occurred instead of Windows 8 as it allows people to slowly adapt to the new modern layout and look. So what are the main highlights of Windows 10 in comparison to Windows 8?

The Start button is back and it’s better than ever! That’s right, there was a lot of fuss when the start button was removed in Windows 8 but it is coming back. You will be able to access and pin apps, search for content and pin contacts and websites to the start menu.

Free upgrade – It has been said that Windows 10 will be free for existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 users for the first year.

Platform for every device – Windows 8 was compatible with PCs, laptops and tablets but Windows 10 will also be compatible with smart phones.

We welcome Cortana – Cortana is Window’s digital assistant that will be available on Windows 10. It is expected that Cortana can provide region specific answers and she is always scanning the web for new information.

Microsoft Edge is launched – This is a new web browser for Windows 10, code named Spartan. This new browser will allow users to annotate web pages using finger or keyboard input, it will have a reading mode and Cortana will be integrated.

Introduction of multiple desktops – This will make it easier for users to work on multiple projects at once. Also, in Windows 10, up to 4 apps can be snapped per screen.

As with all upgrades, there are many more new and improved things but this is just a run down on the major changes. So will you upgrade?

If you would like more information on Windows or if you have any other IT issues, contact us today to experience IT support with a personal touch.

See what our clients have to say: Gascoigne Consulting

We love providing IT support with a personal touch so we were very proud to receive this testimonial from one of our clients, Gascoigne Consulting:

“Word of mouth referrals is the primary way Gascoigne Consulting acquires new clients and it is also our preferred way when choosing businesses to supply services to our business. Chris and Imagine Now I.T. came highly recommended to us from both a client and a colleague and they were among three businesses that we met with and sought proposals from as we were looking to change I.T. providers over twelve months ago. We are heavily reliant on computer technology in our business and we are committed to ensuring our hardware and software is maintained and updated regularly and any downtime is minimised. We are pleased to say that we have achieved all of these outcomes now that Imagine Now I.T. are part of our team. Our server is monitored daily and updated weekly, maintenance is carried out on all workstations quarterly and we can access Chris and his experienced and dedicated team when required. Fortunately, phone calls & emails to support have reduced considerably now we are working with Imagine Now I.T. and that allows us to get down to business. We have no hesitation in recommending Chris and the Imagine Now I.T. team to any business looking for a tailored, personalised and valuable I.T. solution.”

If you would like to know more about this valued client and what they can offer you, please contact the team today on 4936 6185 or email admin@gascoigneconsulting.com.au.

gas1logo

ABC of Computer Maintenance

To alot of people, computer maintenance is the last thing that they want to be thinking of, but you may not realise that a lot of your IT issues may be due to lack of maintenance. We want to make it simple for you with the ABC of computer maintenance. So what is the ABC of computer maintenance? Antivirus, Backup & Computer updates. These three things are the most important elements of computer maintenance that could save you time and decrease your need for IT support of small errors.
Antivirus
New viruses constantly emerge out of nowhere. It is important that you keep your antivirus up to date as viruses can cause many IT issues including stealing your personal information, decreasing your productivity at home or work and making it difficult for children to use the computer for school and study. The definitions within the anti-virus program keep your computer secure and if these definitions are outdated, it may cause IT issues for you and your computers. For example, if your definitions are six months old, any new viruses created in the last six months can then infect your computer since your software doesn’t recognize them as threats. The latest definitions are loaded with the correct detection abilities to remove threats before they can cause damage. This is why it is so important to keep your antivirus updated.
Back up
Take a moment to think about what would happen to you and your business if you lost all of your files, or even just the files that have been created/updated in the past week. We can imagine that this would cause a lot of stress and problems for you and a lot of lost productivity time. This is why you must have a reliable back up system. If you choose to conduct your back up onsite, make sure to store the files in more than one place. Use external hard drives rather than CDs as these have a lot more storage and are harder to lose. Ensure that this is stored in a secure place like a safe. If you are still using USB drives or tapes to back-up your data, or if you have no back up at all, it is time to switch to cloud back up. Many experts believe cloud storage is the most reliable backup solution because it is secure, fully customizable, cost-effective, and easy to use. Remember that you have no control when or if a natural disaster or human error could destroy all of your files, so you need to make sure that these are backed up. This will save you a lot of time and stress if this were to occur.
Computer Updates
It is critical that Microsoft updates are completed to update the operating system. This plugs holes in the system to decrease vulnerability to virus attacks and other harmful IT issues. This also ensures that the computer programs are enhanced. You should also be sure to update Java, Adobe Reader, Firefox, Chrome and other applications to minimise the risk of exploitations and ensure that your computer is not vulnerable to attack.
Implement the ABC of computer maintenance today so you can experience less IT issues. If you have any questions or need further IT support, contact us today.

Cloud Server Upgrades to Mobilise The Workforce

Imagine Now I.T. are cloud server experts and have experienced great growth in past 12 months as Hunter-based businesses are realising the need for this technology. With this growth and future growth in mind we have now moved our servers into a top grade Data Centre in Newcastle. The servers will be stored in the Tier II facility. The benefits of this upgrade to businesses include:

– Provides the fastest way to connect to cloud providers, data centres, disaster recovery services or critical sites

– Allows clients to enjoy the security of a fully dedicated network infrastructure

– Dramatically improves user experience and productivity.

This in general will enhance the service and intellectual property security that we already provide to their clients. To find out more about cloud technology and how to equip a workforce on the move, contact Imagine Now I.T. on 4934 4966 and get an IT expert working for your team.

Leave IT to the experts

When you own a business, you can sometimes find it hard to do the things you are really passionate about. It would be fantastic if you could spend your time at work doing the jobs that you enjoy and are talented at. However, as the business owner you will often find yourself looking after the behind the scenes activities such as taxes, invoicing, backing up of your documents, calling your email provider because your staff’s emails have stopped working, putting out fires and trying to fix the technological landscape that modern business depends on. Sound familiar?

You may want to consider IT outsourcing. Why not let an expert take care of these tasks so you can save time and stress. Leave backing up data, managing anti-viruses, buying new equipment, disaster recovery and sorting out IT failure to some who is actually passionate about I.T. rather than trying to juggle it yourself and spending hours on end talking to someone in another country who can’t quite understand the problems you are having with your computer. Imagine Now I.T can help you – offering IT service with a personal touch.

Imagine Now I.T. is a local Maitland company with a team of IT experts who are passionate about making your IT simpler to save you time and stress, allowing you to focus on your passion. To find out more, call now for a free initial IT consultation with our expert staff on 4934 4966, email cloud@imaginenowit.com.au or visit our website www.imaginenowit.com.au.