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Website - Our Hot Pick for the Month

The website we have chosen as our "Hot Pick" of the Month.

GOPC is a website that offers a suite of portable applications that can be run directly from your thumbdrive, ipod, or other portable device. It stores the data on the portable device, so you can take it with you, whether its email, browsing history & bookmarks, msn lists, media players, the list goes on, and its quite an extensive list at that. The best part...Its Completely Free, no trial, no advertisements, just free!!

Visit Website Now


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Company / Industry News
3 Easy ways to lose all your Company Data....Permanently, & 1 Easy way to keep it
This Months Forum Topic
Product Pick of the Month
Tech Tips
The Funnies


Welcome to the New Advantage Computer Systems Newsletter, and whilst this is the first, we plan on releasing a new newsletter every month containing what we hope you will find to be useful information, ranging from "Tech Tips" to "Industry News", as well as a new monthly Featured Article, and highlighting useful products, services or software that we have identified as potentially being invaluable to your business

If you would like this Newsletter emailed to you on a monthly basis as it is released, then please sign up to our email list using the sign up box on the top left of this page. You can unsubscribe at any time, and we do not redistribute or sell your information. It will be used solely for the purpose of sending you our newsletter.

If you have any ideas for our newsletter, or for the monthly article, then please read "This Months Forum Topic" and it will direct you to where you can submit ideas in our Computer Forum.

Take care, and hope to talk to you all again next month.


Company / Industry News

You will find a few new sections in our new website, like our Newsletter, Downloads, and Links Page to name a few, as well as our new Computer Forum, which we have had to start from scratch due to previous spamming issues. We have implemented a visual sign up verification measure, as well as an email sign up confirmation process to try and eliminate the previous issues, but rest assured the process is still very simple and straight forward, and we invite you to participate in the forums as much as you like.

You will still find information on our Computer Products and Computer Services as before. We know that some of the information on our previous website was a little out of date, and we appologise for that. It was largely due to the knowledge that the "New Look" Website was coming, unfortunately it had just taken much longer than we had expected.
We will be adding to the site as time goes on, with even more computer related products and services, as well as keeping the current information up to date.

So please feel free to browse through our "New Look" Website, and have a good look around.


3 Easy ways to lose all your Company Data....Permanently, & 1 Easy way to keep it

The “3 easy ways to lose your data”

1. Hardware Failure / Accidental Damage

Like any electronic or mechanical device, the Hard Drive inside you computer, that stores all your information, WILL eventually stop working!!!
This may happen gradually, and therefore give you enough time to save the contents of your hard drive before too much data loss occurs, or it may happen suddenly, and without notice, losing all of your data at the same time.

2. Fire

Whilst not as likely as “Hardware Failure” it is still a sure fire way ( excuse the pun ) of losing all your data. And whilst you probably have insurance against fire, it still will not bring your data, emails, accounts or documents back. But at least you can take your mind off it by having to remember which customers still owe you money, and which suppliers you have yet to pay.

3. Theft

Like “Fire” you are probably insured against this one also, and have probably invested more money in some preventative measures against theft, like Safes, Monitored Alarm Systems, and maybe even Security Doors or Glass. However should a budding modern day Ned Kelly manage to find his or her way into your premises, then your computers will probably look like quite a tempting item to take, making “Theft” the 3rd easy way to lose all your company data.

The “1 easy way to keep your data”

1. Back Up

That's it!!
The only other 2 things I could possibly add are automate the process to ensure it doesn't get forgotten or put off, and keep a copy of the back up “off site”.

The “Explanation”

As cliché as it may sound, if the 3 rules of Real Estate are “Location, Location, Location”, then the 3 rules of Computers are “Back Up, Back Up, Back Up”, admittedly for some people I know “Delete History, Delete History, Delete History” might be better advice, but if your running a business, then we'll assume for arguments sake the former applies more.

Computers, whether you like them or not, have been an integral part of the day to day business operation for quite some time. And as such we rely on them to manage our accounts, keep in contact with customers via email, as well as producing documents using programs such as word, excel, powerpoint, acrobat, autocad and photoshop to name a few. The question is, if you were to turn off your PC right now, and drop it in the bin without saving any data ( not yet, finish reading the newsletter first ), what effect would this have on your business over the next 24 hours, or over the next week, month, or even longer? And what cost would be involved in getting back to a normal day to day operation, recreating all those documents again, inputting all your data back into your accounts program, etc etc. I know some of you are cringing at the shear thought of it.

The good news is, backing up your data can be easy, and relatively cheap, especially when compared to recreating it from scratch. Let me give you a couple of the most common methods for backing up data.

  • Method 1 – Floppy / Zip Disk or Thumbdrive
Whilst floppy or ZIP disks, have become a bit outdated, and don't generally get used anymore, I do still have a couple of customers that use this method
quite happily. The main type of back up these disks, as well as the thumbdrives, get used for is backing up accounts information from such programs as MYOB or Quicken. And while this isn't a method of back up that I'm personally fond of, if your accounts are the only thing you need to
back up, then it will probably meet your needs quite well.

- It's Cheap.
- It rarely involves the need of additional back up software, as the back up functionality is generally built into MYOB or Quicken.
- No additional set up is required.
- Easier than “Method 2”, ( which I'll cover in a moment ) for accounts information stored in MYOB or Quicken

- Floppy Disks can easily fail ( ZIP Disks or Thumbdrives do tend to be more reliable though )
- Floppy Disks only store a small amount of data ( Zip Disks will store more, and Thumbdrives will store a far greater capacity depending on the size you have purchased.
- Thumbdrives can be easily lost
- You have to remember to do the back ups ( Although MYOB & Quicken do normally prompt you ).

  • Method 2 – Burning data to CD or DVD discs

This method, like “Method 1” also requires user interaction, and therefore you need to remember to burn your data to the CD or DVD on a regular basis. This method of back probably isn't as well suited to backing up accounts information as “Method 1”, unless you are planning on backing up the entire program folder. This form of back up is probably more suited to backing up your documents ( i.e.: the contents of your “My Documents” folder ). And obviously the more frequently your documents change or are created, then the more frequently you will need to perform this type of back up. If your documents don't change that often, or if the documents aren't vitally important to your business operation, then this method is probably for you. And of course it goes without saying that you will require a CD or DVD burner in your PC to use this method of back up. Most PCs these days will come as standard with a DVD Burner, which allows you to burn your data to both CDs and DVDs.

- It's Cheap ( although there is an ongoing cost in the purchasing of CDs or DVDs.
- It rarely involves the need of additional back up software, as most CD or DVD burners come with the necessary software to burn the discs.
- No additional set up is required ( providing you already have a Burner ).
- Can store more data than floppy or ZIP Disks ( although it is possible to get thumbdrives that can store more than even a DVD )

- CDs & DVDs can fail over time ( although if your using this method, you will probably have multiple back up CDs/DVDs around, and can always use the previous one if this is the case )
- You are restricted to about 700MB of data per CD, & 4.7GB of data per DVD.
- Can sometimes be time consuming.
- You have to remember to do the back ups.

  • Method 3 – External USB Hard Drive ( Automated using software )

Now this is the method I most like. It does involve the purchase of some hardware & software, and will require being set up by someone reasonably computer literate, but after that, you can pretty much forget about the back ups as they should take care of themselves.

The way it is set up, is using an external hard drive which is large enough to take the amount of data you need backed up, with enough room left over to cover future data back up needs. This hard drive is then connected to your PC, some back up software installed on your PC, and for this I highly recommend SyncBackSE ( I have added this to our “New Look” Website this month as our “Hot Pick Software of the Month” on the homepage, it is also available from our downloads section, and is a trial version that you can use for 30 days before the need to purchase it ). The software can then be set to back up your entire hard drive. Then, we schedule a regular back up time, for the software to run autonomously. Whenever it runs its routine back up it will check the External Hard Drive against the hard drive in your PC and look for new & modified files on your PC, It will then copy the new files across to the External Hard Drive, and will overwrite the files on the External Hard Drive with the newer versions that it detected on your PC, ( those files that have been modified since the last back up ).

This method of back up is also ideal for networked computers in a small to medium business. Lets say there are 5 PCs in your office, all networked together, we can install the software on each PC and have them all back up to the same External Hard Drive, without the need to have an external hard drive for each PC. However, in this scenario I recommended two things, the first is to run the back ups at night, so it doesn't slow the PCs down during the day while they are being used, the second is to have two external hard drives, one as an “off site” copy, and one as an “on site” copy ( the one connected to the PC ), you then simply swap them over every morning, and remember to take the one you disconnected, “off site” that night when you leave work.

Using this form of back up means, that come worst case scenario, whether it be fire or theft, even though you may lose the on-site back-up, you will have an off-site copy which is only 1 day out of date.

- It's reasonably inexpensive, and no ongoing cost. ( Cost will vary depending on the size of External Hard Drives that are needed, but in the majority of cases the hardware & software costs should come to less than $500 if you are using 2 External Drives, one as the onsite back up, and the other as the offsite back up, to back up 3 – 5 Office PCs, )
- It rarely involves user interaction, as the Back Up System runs autonomously, and therefore you can't forget to run Back-Ups.
- All Files on the PC can be backed up, including emails and data associated with other programs that is not stored in the “My Documents” folder.
- It is the easiest method of backing your data up, and keeping your “back ups” up to date.

- A little bit more expensive than the other two Methods of Back Ups mentioned above.

This Months Forum Topic

This months Topic of the month is now waiting for your ideas and suggestions on "Newsletter Articles" & future "Topics of the Month" that you would like to see. Just Click the link below to be taken straight there.

March 2008: Newsletter & Forum Topic Suggestions

Product Pick of the Month

As mentioned in the article above titled "3 Easy ways to lose all your Company Data....Permanently, & 1 Easy way to keep it", SyncBackSE is a "must have" piece of software to ensure your backups are kept up to date. With a Simple and Advanced Configuration mode, it’s easy for most computer users to set up, and can run autonomously in the background after scheduling a regular desired back up time.

More Info

Download Trial Version Now


Tech Tips

This months Tech Tips will list a few useful Keyboard shortcuts for performing such tasks as copying, pasting, opening windows explorer, minimizing and restoring current window, plus more. Whilst the list below is for Windows XP, you will find that many of them are common amongst most versions of Windows. A more comprehensive list can be found on the Microsoft® website by Clicking Here.

General Keyboard Shortcuts

CTRL+C (Copy)
CTRL+X (Cut)
CTRL+V (Paste)
CTRL+Z (Undo)
CTRL+A (Select all)
CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
F2 key (Rename the selected item)
ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)
CTRL+SHIFT+ESC (Open Task Manager)
CTRL+TAB (Move forward through the tabs)
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the tabs)
TAB (Move forward through the options)
SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the options)

Keyboard Shortcuts using the Windows Logo Key

Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)
Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
Windows Logo+M (Minimize all of the windows)
Windows Logo+SHIFT+M (Restore the minimized windows)
Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)
Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
CTRL+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)
Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)


The Funnies

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