Archive | Kansas City IT Support

If You Are Using Sophos Anti-Virus You Need To Call

November 7, 2012Leave a reply

It has come to our attention that there are serious flaws that have been identified in Sophos Anti-Virus by security researchers at Google.

OPENRSM has never used, nor provided, Sophos Anti-Virus.  And it seems that our own internal evaluation to not provide or support Sophos has been sustained (for additional reasons) by Google.

You can read the 30 page report by Google HERE:

You can read more about the findings that Sophos is insecure HERE.

And you can always call 816-200-2220, or email info@openrsm.com and OPENRSM will help you with your IT questions.

 

Why Your PCs are Infected

October 17, 2012Leave a reply

Ever wonder why there seems to always be a PC that’s slow, infected, issuing pop-ups, redirecting your Google searches, etc?

It’s because they’re infected!  “But we have anti-virus installed on all our machines” is the usual self-denial cycle that sets in.  Usually followed with “why can’t you keep this from happening?  Your the expert here?”.  Which is a valid question.  And now, what we’ve been telling our customers for years has been documented.

“Zero Day” exploits in Windows, Applications, etc. go for MONTHS WITHOUT THE SECURITY PEOPLE KNOWING IT!

An article in Forbes (click  HERE) tells the tale.  The people who publish software are often unaware of their own security weaknesses for months on end.  Ten months is the average.  This means that your anti-virus/malware software won’t even know about the threat from a “Zero Day” exploit when you click that dubious link that causes your system to become infected.

Or, as the article in Forbes put it…  “…the value of the benevolent hackers who find and report bugs in software before they’re exploited. Without someone to dig them up and demand they be fixed, those hackable flaws are far more common, and remain secret far longer, than anyone may have realized.”

Which is exactly why you have PCs in your business that get “infected” with malware, adware, etc.  And it’s exactly why every business needs to have a company like OPENRSM taking care of your critical business network and systems.  Having people that understand the cold hard realities of protecting networks and pc’s and more importantly, being able to get rid of malware and viruses without your anti-virus protection even knowing that something is wrong.

 

Celebrating Liberty

July 4, 2012Leave a reply

Many of our Friends and Customers know that OPENRSM is a proud supporter of Scouting and Scouts.  And on this Independence Day we’d like to pause and think not only of our own Freedom’s and Liberty.  But also how it is also celebrated by the “Good Turn” done daily by Scouts.  A case in point….  The many replica Statue of Liberty installations across America.

Freedom Corner, Cape Girardeau, MO Photo by Ken Steinhoff http://www.capecentralhigh.com

Freedom Corner, Cape Girardeau, MO Photo by Ken Steinhoff (Troop 8 Cape Girardeau Alumnus) http://www.capecentralhigh.com

The Boy Scouts of America celebrated their fortieth anniversary in 1950 with the theme of “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty”.  Between 1949 and 1952, approximately two hundred 100-inch replicas of the statue, made of stamped copper, were purchased by Boy Scout troops and donated in 39 states in the U.S. and several of its possessions and territories. The project was the brainchild of Kansas City businessman J.P. Whitaker, who was then Scout Commissioner of the Kansas City Area Council (now known as the Heart of America Council).

Over the years many cities and towns have benefitted from the gift from their local Scout Troops.  Some of which have been expanded into a mini-pavillion celebrating America’s Freedom, and the sacrifices made to preserve our freedom.  One of note is located in Cape Girardeau, MO.  The local VFW and American Legion have generously added to the monument with a listing of those from the area that have sacrificed all for their country.

With the same local Scouts, Scout Troops, and others pitching in to both maintain and improve a local symbol of the Liberties and Freedom’s we enjoy.  The Scouts continuing to “Do a Good Turn Daily” for all of us.

Happy 4th of July!

Excessive Maintenance Means Excessive Downtime

November 28, 2011Leave a reply

Have you endured the “FUD” salespitch? Signed a maintenance agreement for your computer systems only to later discover then not much has changed except that your costs have increased? Well, it turns out your not alone. In an article published in Data Center Knowledge a study has shown that the more maintenance you do, the more downtime your likely to have.

From the article… “There’s this mantra that more maintenance equals more reliability,” said Steve Fairfax, the President of MTechnology. “We get the perception that lots of testing improves component reliability. It does not. The most common threat to reliability is excessive maintenance.”

Many Kansas City IT departments are often locked into rigid over maintenance. The same goes for many Kansas City Computer service companies. Selling ‘real time monitoring’, solidifying their pitch with a free network assessment, etc. all designed around ‘FUD’… Fear Uncertainty, and Doubt. But now, (way too long in our opinion) there are some facts that blows the over hyped maintenance plan sales pitch out of the water.

Which helps us all bring a little more reality and a lot more awareness of the bottom line into the picture. Proper maintenance doesn’t have to cost a fortune. More maintenance than what is necessary can actually hurt your IT infrastructure.

You happen to have a high cost maintenance plan your afraid to cancel? An IT company pitching a plan to you? Do yourself a favor… Call OPENRSM today and ask for a second opinion. We won’t sell you a thing, just provide a qualified assessment of what your business really needs to do for the best ROI for your data infrastructure dollar.

Steve Jobs Has Passed, Along With A Part of My Past

October 5, 2011Leave a reply

It was just announced that Steve Jobs has died.  And with his passing, a part of my own personal past.

Steve Wozniac and Steve Jobs, 1976

It’s funny how when someone “Rich and Famous” dies affects you.  A favorite actor, sports figure, etc. This is different.  I havn’t told many people about my own personal encounters with Steven P Jobs.  And now the “Kansas City IT Guy” is going to tell you “The Rest of the Story”.

When the Apple II was first rumored I had just purchased an Apple I.  The funny computer board with no case, keyboard, or video output (you had to build all that yourself) was assembled and mounted inside a Heathkit Ascii Terminal kit.  Pretty fancy stuff that stretched my own personal abilities in electronics assembly at the time.  And shortly thereafter I purchased an Apple II right when they came out from a dealer in Columbia MO who happened to actually have one available.  It was $1,380.00 (which was more than my Chevy Luv Pickup truck cost).

Which is how I had the opportunity to have some discussions with a young man only a couple years older than myself, in a garage, in California.  All from my parents house in Cape Girardeau, MO.

The Apple I had issues.  I called the number on the hand written invoice and a guy named “Steve” answered the phone.  Elated that I was happy with the Apple I but thoroughly incapable of helping me with mine.  He waxed poetic about the new Apple II coming out.  Told me it was “insane” how great it was, etc.  And then I was passed (literally, the phone was passed, no hold or anything) to another guy named Steve who was so technically beyond me that it took some effort to figure out just what he was talking about.  Til it dawned on me he was discussing replacing an IC Chip that I could get from Radio Shack. A $5.00 fix.

And yes, that was Steve Wozniac that told me to go to Radio Shack for that $5.00 part.

But the phone was passed again to “The Real Steve”…  I was drilled, pinned, unable to just let the call go.  “You should become an Apple Dealer”, he said.  “This is gonna change everything for everybody”, he said. The pure enthusiasm was not lost on me.  I like it when people believe in what they’re doing and in what they’re selling.  Which is the primary reason I bought the Apple II which served faithfully and well through four jobs and three moves over the course of time I had it.

And I wouldn’t have learned as much, as fast, if I hadn’t gotten it.  All thanks to a young entreprenuer and his partner that took the time to talk with an even younger guy from Cape Girardeau Missouri.

Godspeed, Steve…  As much as I didn’t care for some of the things Apple has done, I do appreciate the time we talked and the Apples I bought.

 

 

Microsoft Wants a Piece of Your Software

September 19, 2011Leave a reply

Windows8 has been released to developers and so has the “Metro” interface.  And the Metro interface is both the same, and different than what your used to.  To put it simply, Metro is like your Android or iPhone screen, and the regular Windows interface is more like Windows LiveMail.  The old Windows interface is gone.

Along with that is a general “disdain” for the Windows interface in Microsoft documentation itself.  Perhaps giving a clue that Metro is where Microsoft wants all your Desktop computers to run with all your applications running under it.  And no wonder.  All Microsoft Metro Applications will be exclusively delivered by…  The Windows Online Store!

To directly quote Microsoft documentation…  “Speaking of discoverability, all roads, as the saying goes, lead to the Windows Store.”, and “For Metro style apps, that is, the Windows Store is the only means of general distribution”.  And finally, “As such, your relationship with the Store really defines your business, whether you’re in it for fame, fortune, fun, or philanthropy.”.

Which means Microsoft wants money for every application installed on Windows even if (especially if) that application comes from a company other than Microsoft.

And that’s okay.  The model works well for the iPhone, iPad and other devices.  And Microsoft stands to make a ton of money doing it.  But this will drive your IT costs higher.  Your a couple years from full out deployment of Windows8 and Metro, so you have time to plan accordingly.

 

Samsung Restricts Windows Reinstallation.. for itself.

September 17, 2011Leave a reply

Woe is the person who has a laptop problem.  Like Joseph reports to Consumerist...  His (out of warranty) laptop started having hard disk issues.  He promptly backed everything up (backups are good) and proceeded to replace his disk.  Only it isn’t so easy.  And Samsung tells him his only option is to return the laptop to them (for a fee).

Which isn’t all that unusual anymore.  We’ve seen this from prospective customers that call with laptop issues frequently.  Manufacturers designing the packaging of their systems so that you cannot repair or reinstall software yourself, or even locally..  Of course, with payments to the manufacturers required.

Now we don’t begrudge the PC manufacturers from making a profit.  Far from it.  But some manufacturers are way worse than Samsung in this regard.  Which ones?  Well, it’s a moving target.  Policies change, products change, special deals and offers/promotions change.  But OPENRSM does keep track and knows the score for it’s Kansas City IT customers.

Before you chuck out old systems, or purchase new ones for your Kansas City Business..  Call OPENRSM.

 

Google Buys Motorola And What It Means For Small Businesses

August 15, 2011Leave a reply

UPDATE! – It seems my musings about a “SuperApple” type strategy have not gone unnoticed.  For example, the musings of the Wall Street Journal….. Which begins “Google Inc.’s proposed $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Inc. underscores the allure of a business model pioneered by one of the company’s rivals: Apple Inc.

Big News this morning..  Google just announced they’re buying Motorola Mobility.  Which (we believe) will generally benefit our small and medium sized business customers.  Here’s why:

  • Google Doesn’t Discriminate Against Small Businesses.  All their platforms are universally available (i.e. AdWords, Video Advertising, Voice, Search).
  • Google Integrates their Acquisitions.  Blogger, Gmail, Docs, Voice, Google+ are tightly integrated.  Expect the same from their Motorola Products.
  • Google Gives Away Android.  The Number One Mobile Platform.  Expect Motorola’s innovative adoption of Android to continue.

In the short term, don’t expect to see much.  Just the Xoom Tablet, excellent phones, etc. to keep coming out the doors of Motorola.  But downstream (and I would expect sooner rather than later, Q1 or Q2 2012) I would expect a significant rollout of more advanced tablets and what we call “crossover” systems…  Essentially tablets with all the power and storage of netbooks and notebook computers.  All with tight included integration of Google platforms on Android.

Of course, there is another possibility…  Could Google be looking to build themselves they’re very own “SuperApple” type of company?  Where they control Android, and the hardware?  All coupled to Google’s virtual services?  Might be a little far fetched, but stranger things have happened.

 

 

 

 

Factory Installed Maleware In Your Computers?

July 28, 2011Leave a reply

An intresting article came out yesterday in the blogs at Hewlett Packard about Malware, Viruses, etc. and the threat of them being “built in” to the computers and peripherals you buy.  And just what a threat it is.

Which brings up an interesting situation for businesses and the liability they may incur as a result.  For example, what would happen to your business if suddenly all your customers data (stored on your business systems) was being sold to identity thieves?  What if it was discovered that your systems contained Malware that enabled the breach of security?  How much money, time, effort, and manpower would it take to figure out what was going on with your computers?

Which is why OPENRSM humbly suggests that you need us to manage your systems and security for you.  Being proactive includes screening hardware and software systems before they’re installed in your business.  That takes a level of expertise and experience that you and your company simply don’t possess.  And why should you?  Your the experts in your own industry.  Let OPENRSM come in and audit your systems (For FREE) and provide you with a comprehensive report on the overall health and security of your network, a list of suggested maintenance, and a security review.  It won’t cost you a thing.  We’ll do it for free just so you can see how OPENRSM employs it’s “I.T. is a Process, Not a Project” approach and show you just how cost effective it is to not have computer issues.

Take a look at the HP blog HERE…  It’s an interesting read.

 

Is Your Business Ready For The Yearlong Power Experiment?

June 25, 2011Leave a reply

Tentatively set to start in mid-July, an experiment proposed by the major US Power companies (AP Source linked) will cause the frequency of the electrical current powering your computers, printers, phone systems, etc. to fluctuate to a much wider degree than in the past.  And many of the internal clocks in your computers, phone systems, and printers rely on the frequency of the electrical grid to help regulate their internal clocks.

What is this going to do to your business?  Just check out some of the things you use every day that rely on system clocks:

  • Point of Sale Systems
  • Employee Time Clocks
  • Time and Billing Applications
  • Phone Systems

Fortunately, we have the Network Time Protocol and Internet Time Servers we can use to help keep your systems properly “clocked”.  Unfortunately, many (if not most) systems we see for the first time havn’t been configured to use NTP properly!  This is okay as long as the power grid is at a constant frequency, but with this new yearlong experiment about to begin these systems are susceptible to disrupting your business.

Do you know if your business is at risk?  Call or Email OPENRSM and we’ll check out your systems, network, and peripherals and provide you the news, good or bad, and if anything needs to be done.  No risk, No obligation.  Just straight answers.

 

 

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