Monday, April 18, 2011

Graphically selecting files in Explorer

Here's a Windows 7 tip for all those who don't like using the Ctrl or Shift keys when selecting multiple files or directories, but prefer using the mouse.

When opening Explorer and selecting multiple files (typically used for copying to another disk or thumb drive) it's been accepted that to grab a bunch of consecutive files, you highlight the first one, then hold down the Shift key and highlight the last one, then drag and drop. To select individually, hold the Ctrl key down while clicking on each individual file.

But what if you're graphically oriented, love the mouse and abhor shortcuts, but still want the ability to select multiple files? Windows 7 has a feature that now allows you to do this.

Open Windows Explorer, then select Organize from the menu bar, then Folder and Search Options. Select the View tab, and in the Advanced settings window scroll down until you see "use check boxes to select items". Click in the checkbox next to it, then click the Apply button. Going forward, whenever you hover your mouse over a file or directory, a checkbox will now appear next to it, allowing selection of multiple files without having to remember those annoying shortcut keys!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Buying a Business Laptop

We frequently receive calls from clients who purchase a computer at one of the big box stores and need our help getting it connected to their business network. After upgrading the system to the point that it is compatible with their business network and paying for our time to assist in this process, the client has added several hundred dollars to the cost of the computer. Purchasing the computer preloaded with the correct software in the first place often would save a considerable amount of money. If you are considering purchasing a computer for use in a business, feel free to contact us for our input on your purchase.

I recently received a very helpful article from PC Magazine on how to buy the right business laptop. I hope you find it helpful: How to Buy a Business Laptop

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Look for an increase in Phishing attacks

Recently I received a notice from two different businesses that send me e-mail newsletters. Their mass e-mailing service had a security breach on March 30 in which recipient names and e-mail addresses were stolen from the company.
PC Magazine Article: "Email Data Breach Affects Credit-Card Issuers, Best Buy, TiVo, More",2817,2383016,00.asp

Anyone that subscribes to lists sent out by this service can expect an increase in Phishing attacks over the next few months. Phishing is a social engineering attack that tries to trick e-mail recipients into revealing personal information.
PC Magazine Article: "Infographic: Anatomy of a Phishing Attack",2817,2383197,00.asp

So how do you protect yourself from a Phishing attack? 1. Never log into a web site that you access by clicking on a link in an e-mail. Go to the website manually, preferably from a previously known address. 2. Better yet, never click on a link from an e-mail ever. If you hover over the link without clicking, most e-mail clients will reveal the destination address. If the destination address doesn't match the text of the e-mail message or looks strange, don't open it. Here are some more tips:
PC Magazine Article: "Seven Tips to Avoid Post-Epsilon Phishing",2817,2383134,00.asp

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Virtualization: The Business Impact

C&G Virtualization Project Success
We use virtualization technology to help our clients solve many of their growing technology demands. Virtualization allows more than one operating system to run on one physical computer. This reduces hardware costs and can improve disaster preparedness.

C&G Consulting has helped our clients successfully convert over 20 physical servers to virtual servers in the past 18 months using VMware Converter or other imaging methods. We have also helped our clients successfully install over 40 new virtual servers over the past 18 months. Virtualization has many business uses including: separating server roles, improving system performance, and upgrading software or server platforms. Our average client using virtual servers has five virtual servers for every one physical server.

Virtualization Vendors
The three major Virtualization vendors are VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix. C&G Consulting is a VMware Partner as their virtualization technology is arguably the most mature and fits our clients needs most closely. All of our virtual servers within our own network are running on VMware. We "practice what we preach."


The Benefits of Virtualization for Small and Medium Businesses

The Business Value of Virtualization (a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of VMware):

Overview of VMware Virtualization:

Overview of Microsoft Virtualization:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Give Windows 7 a quick shake

Do you ever suffer from window clutter, as in having so many applications running on your desktop that you can't focus on the one you want? Manually closing all those windows is tedious, but Windows 7 has a quick and fun way to minimize all windows to the taskbar except the one you wish to keep on top.

Simply click and hold the title bar of the windows that you want to work with, and shake it slightly left-to-right. Yes, SHAKE IT. All the other windows will drop down to the taskbar ready for you to grab and work with, leaving your current window the sole occupant of your desktop real estate. To restore the other windows, just shake the title bar again. (Note this requires a Windows Aero theme to be turned on, several of which are found under the "Personalize" menu when you right-click on your desktop background.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Microsoft Access and Sage Peachtree - An Unusual But Effective Pairing!

C&G Consulting is in the process of assisting a Sage Peachtree Accounting user who would like to process salesperson commissions outside their accounting system.

Through the use of Open Database Connectivity (ODBC ) we are now able to address the data tables of the Sage Peachtree system and use this information to analyze the data using the features readily available in Microsoft Access. Additionally, the Microsoft Access environment permits complete control over adding additional data pertainent to managing commissions (in this case) that are otherwise unavailable in the Sage Peachtree Accounting system. Together the two systems work nicely together to provide an efficient and effective way to manage and maintain the end-user's commission program.

If you have questions about custom software development or Sage Peachtree, please contact us for more information!

Learn more about Sage Peachtree.

Windows Explorer - view settings for consistent behavior

Ever wondered how you could set an Explorer window to always display the way you want - even after logging off and back on? Wonder how you could set that for every Explorer window you open? It can be annoying to have to constantly change the settings every time you look at your files and folders. However, setting a permanent preference for Explorer windows is not difficult.

First, set your preferred view in a given Explorer window using the View menu (pick from List, Detail, Icons, etc.), then make windows Explorer apply them to all folders by using the Tools-Folder Options menu. Here is a link with screenshots that shows you how to do this using Windows XP. The process is very similar for Windows 7. (Hint: in Windows 7, if your menu bar is hidden and you can't see any menus, press the Alt key on your keyboard, which will temporarily make the menu bar display itself.)