Category Archives: Tech Tips

Windows 10 Upgrade?

Should we upgrade to Windows 10? That is the question we are confronted with on a daily basis. Today we will explain the reasons for upgrading and not upgrading. The reality is change is not always welcomed, why change something and have you and your staff go through the learning phase all over again. Is upgrading to Windows 10 really free?

The first question we will answer yes Windows 10 upgrade is really free. if you have Windows 7 or above you can upgrade for free until July 29, 2016. After such date you will have to pay to upgrade. When considering if you should upgrade now the first question you may want to ask if you don’t upgrade now will you in the future? Because if so it will cost you per each computer you upgrade after July 29, 2016. We can only guess somewhere between $99-$199 as has been typical in the past.

Why is Microsoft for the first time ever allowing free upgrades to it’s newest operating system. Well we believe Microsoft has learned from the past. Having to extend support for Windows XP because it was still widely used even after Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 had been released. The reality is few people pay for upgrades, they usually wait until they buy a new computer that comes with the new operating system. By making the upgrade to Windows 10 free, Microsoft is benefiting from the fastest adoption of the new operating system ever. When everyone is upgrading to Windows 10 it forces software and hardware vendors to make sure their software or hardware is compatible with Windows 10. If you are choosing not to upgrade to Windows 10 you have to realize that very soon you will be the minority.

What are some reasons to avoid upgrading? What can we do to keep our Windows 10 upgrade option available to us? Well if you have hardware or software that you know is not compatible with Windows 10 then holding off on the upgrade might not just be an option but a requirement. I would encourage you to pressure your hardware or software vendor to make their stuff compatible by letting them know how much they are costing you by preventing you to upgrade. Another reason not to upgrade is if your computers are already at end of life and you will likely be replacing them soon. While we must say Windows 10 has proven to run very impressively on old hardware, sometimes making your old computers feel new again. But if you will be paying someone to upgrade all your old computers and then a few months later paying again to install new ones it may not be worth it. If due to incompatible hardware or software you are unable to upgrade by July 29, 2016 there are still some options to help you preserve that upgrade ability. For example you can clone your existing hard drive and upgrade one of the clones to Windows 10 while keeping the other one at the older version of Windows. That way when you are ready to make the switch you can simply go to the hard drive with Windows 10 already. This process may come at a cost so you have to weigh that in, when considering it as an option.

Benefits to upgrading to Windows 10 are the additional features offered by Windows 10. While we are sure there are countless features and depending on if you are upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8 you will be introduced to new features. Being that we often times work in regulated environments that are highly regulated a notable feature is that Windows 10 Professional includes BitLocker Encryption both for the hard drive and BitLocker To Go for protecting portable USB drives. Also has mentioned before Windows 10 runs well on older computers and computers with slower processors.

The reality is if you are able to upgrade you should do so! If you are not upgrading because of the learning curve or because you don’t like change we would strongly advise you that you upgrade because change in technology is inevitable and will likely happen if not now in the near future. If you have other specific questions about upgrading please contact us and we will be happy to help!

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Portland Dental Office Fire Caused by Overheating Computer Equipment

Dental Chair After Fire

Investigators determined the fire. in a Portland dental office was caused by overheating computer equipment. The fire caused an estimated $642,000 of damage. While we can only speculate what type of computer equipment caused this fire and why, there are various actions that can be taken to protect a dental office and any other business from fires caused by overheating computer equipment.

Too often proper implementation and placement is overlooked when installing computer equipment in a dental office. Over the past years technology has become an essential part of a dental office. Computers are now placed in dental operatory rooms and many times the placement is as hidden away from the patients view as possible. However these computers need proper air circulation to avoid overheating. Just as importantly the computers need to be cleaned to avoid dust buildup inside that can create a perfect environment to start a fire.

How can an overheating computer lead to a fire? While there are various ways that this can happen here is one potential option. A front desk computer tower is installed underneath the desk at the front desk. Overtime the computer collects and builds up dust, depending on the environment this could take only a  few months to happen but so many dental offices go years without proper cleaning of the computer equipment. The dust in the computer builds up and causes the internal processor fan to stop spinning. Once the processor fan stops spinning the computer could reach extremely high temperatures and with enough dust build up could lead to a fire.

How to prevent overheating of computer equipment? Dental offices are usually maintained very clean and most have cleaning crews that come in every night to clean the office, this however does not prevent the inside of a computer from building up dust. Follow the following tips:

  • Have computers professionally cleaned at least every 6 months
  • Check placement of computer equipment and make sure fans have proper circulation
  • In server rooms/closets always check temperatures, keep it clean and make appropriate changes for proper cooling.

For more information the computers experts at OCS Onsite are always eager to help. Call 877-333-6532.

To view the full news article from WMTW visit:

http://www.wmtw.com/news/maine/portland/Cause-determined-in-early-morning-fire-in-Portland/-/8865266/19100638/-/7ubuusz/-/index.html

Can you TRUST the IT contractor in your office?

Today, your typical IT professional has access to so much sensitive information. With everything going digital, most companies are at the mercy of the IT guy. If your office has credit card numbers, personnel information, patient data, legal documents or even just email addresses you might be at risk. Is your business protected? Did you know there are regulations that require you to take steps to protect your information such as PCI Compliance for credit cards and HIPAA for patient data?

When you hire an employee most businesses do their typical background checks and provide necessary training to be compliant. Too often however the IT contractor hired is overlooked.

At OCS Onsite we want to ease your worries. Every IT professional is extensively vetted before they enter your office. Our IT professionals have to pass a background check, personality assessment check, reference verification, driver license check, vehicle insurance check, work eligibility verification, verification of certification, HIPAA training and additional training if necessary.

Below is a checklist of what to ask for when hiring your next IT professional:

Checklist:

  • Criminal Background Check
  • HIPAA Certified (Required for healthcare industry or if will be exposed to patient data)
  • PCI Compliant (If dealing with Credit Card data)
  • Reference Verification
  • E & O Insurance Verification
  • Driver License Verification
  • Vehicle Insurance Verification
  • Eligibility to work in the US
  • Verify All Certifications
  • Personality Assessment

Or give OCS Onsite a call and you can check all of the above. Call 877-333-6532